Tuesday, September 26, 2017

My Best Friend’s Gift
Spencer was my best friend for over 12 years. He was a darling Old English Sheepdog who was always glad to see me and never criticized unlike some people I know. While he has gone to his reward and is enjoying dog heaven he left many great memories behind. One of the great benefits of my relationship with him is that I walked morning and night for at least an hour each day, whether it was raining or the sun was shining, whether the weather was exceedingly hot or miserably cold. And that is something I continue to do each day, every day. It’s now part of who I am and I owe it all to Spencer. (Of course, now on really miserable days I drive to my local mall to walk.)
            Having a dog forces you to walk. You can’t escape it, no matter the size of your best friend. In my walks along the lake where I live, I see all sorts and sizes of dogs. Some are so huge that they could almost be classified as small horses, while others are so small, you can hardly see the body at the end of the leash. Sometimes I can’t avoid a second look like when I see a middle-aged woman who often pushes her hairy little animal in a baby stroller as she walks merrily along. Perhaps her dog is old or unable to walk long distances. I don’t know the story and I can hardly stop to ask her about it, can I? Well, one of these days I may do just that. 
            No matter what the dog looks like, I find that all owners seem very happy to walk along with their best friend. Walking is good for whatever ails you. I find that walking relieves any stress I may be feeling about issues in my life. They somehow become clearer and not as daunting.
            Walking is also good for the body, we all know we have to exercise to stay healthy. Experts who have studied the habits of people in various countries say that the data is clear. The people who live the longest are those in countries where taking 11,000 steps a day is the norm rather than the exception.
            To see how many steps you take in a day, you can purchase a pedometer and train to increase your level of activity or you can get a dog. It will force you to get out and get going every day.
While owning a dog is good for the body it also provides a friendship that does the soul good.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Thanks but No Thanks
At some point everyone over 50 decides that it’s time to downsize. The reasons vary, but often it’s when boomers come to the realization that their living space is much too large after the children have (finally, in some cases) left the nest. And they wonder why they have so much stuff. Time spent caring for that stuff could be better utilized elsewhere.
            Many of us don’t just accumulate, we collect. Case in point, I love things made of copper. Over the years, I regularly added to my collection whenever something made of copper caught my attention. The end result was a rather large eclectic assortment of interesting pieces, but of little use except for a few select pans. One day, prior to a move, I realized that, like it or not, I had to trim it. After I ascertained that my children had absolutely no interest in getting any of the pieces (Thanks, Mom, but no thanks), I got rid of my collection gradually, keeping only a few favourites. It felt good and it cleared a lot of space in my kitchen where it was displayed.
            One other thing I have accumulated over the years is books. I love to read, and I held on to most of those books until, that is, one day I realized that apart from a few, a lot of them were outdated because research is ever expanding. Fiction ones, except for the more classic titles, of course, were also dated. It was time to do something. After a bit of research I found an organization that ships books to Third World countries, and it made me happy to donate of lot of my books to them. Today, I exchange books within a group of friends, so I have stopped accumulating.
            I found it interesting that my children, and yours as well I’m sure, seem to have little desire in getting any of old “stuff”. Tastes change over the generations, and while many of us were proud to wash our exquisite “Sunday” plates by hand, our children only want dishes that can be loaded into the dishwasher. Please, Mom, no washing by hand! And certainly nothing that needs to be polished.
            So what to do with our silver, china, etc? Sell them ourselves or contact antique dealers because while our children say: Thanks, but no thanks, there are many collectors of all stripes out there, and the cycle can be renewed.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

DARN GRAVITY
A few days ago I heard an acquaintance comment that while she used to have a nice figure, her boobs are now hopelessly sagging. “Soon they’ll be at my waist!”
            Gravity is relentless. It’s always pulling us down as if afraid we might fly away. When we’re young, it’s nothing to worry about. However, when gravity has been at work for a few decades, results begin appearing. While our noses and earlobes elongate throughout our lifetimes due to gravity that also seems to be the case when it comes to women’s breasts. Like many other minor irritations, us ladies must simply learn to live with that reality.
            But what about all the young women who, in summer, proudly display the tattoos that seem to sprout when light clothing is the norm. What will happen to the cute little butterflies or pretty roses now adorning their d├ęcolletage when gravity wins the battle, as it always does? If nothing else, it’ll be interesting, don’t you think? I see lovely little butterflies expanding downward to, no doubt, look like they had a mishap of some sort. 
            And what about all the other works of tattoo artists on the arms and legs of so many people, men and women, these days. I wonder what will happen to the designs when some elasticity is lost or when limbs become either fatter or skinnier with age. Today’s snake design the artist spent so much time perfecting might need some artistic makeover, don’t you think?
            I never explored the possibility of tattoos for myself. A good thing since I have enough problems with gravity as it is without having sagging art adding to the confusion.