Friday, January 26, 2018

Women of Midlife...when did 55 get to be so young?

Back when the world was young, I was 50 years old! Good grief Hannah, when did the world turn around that many times? Is there anyone still blogging at my age (76)? I wonder.

As I was reading Women of Midlife today it struck me that like my doctor, everyone is barely in their teens. When did 50 become so young in my mind?

 This is what I found:

I barely remember being 50 or 55 and 70 was not particularly outstanding at all. I didn't feel the need to accomplish a whole lot so the idea of being 68 and needing to climb a big mountain didn't even occur to me. I felt I had plenty of time to do what I wanted.

But here is the interesting thing...those things that I used to feel compelled to do don't even interest me now! I don't want to learn to sail or to go on a very long hike to the top. I did want to do those thing at one time but not now...not at all. 

I love to read the post from those younger midlife women. That large group of women was formed several years ago and I joined them in the very first wave. It includes so many very interesting women. But, it seems that Midlife is getting longer and longer...we do not go away even though we outgrow the age period. If there were no mirrors in our homes, we would not know that 25 years had passed and we were no long "middle aged" anymore.

Thoughts anyone?


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Life is An Easter Egg Hunt...a game for aging people!

Our new greatgranddaughter, Addie.
The perfect found Easter Egg.
My husband plays a very good game of golf. It really doesn't matter how old he is (almost 80), he is really good...but not every day.

The trick here is to make even those bad days pay off. In his world that is very important. On those bad days his ball may go anywhere; into the woods, the water or people's backyards. The preference is the woods or a hazard near the tee box. Strange huh!

See, he views those days as an Easter Egg hunt, the eggs being really good golf balls made by expense golf companies. He may not come home with any winning money but he comes home with a lot of golf balls. That makes him happy.

Life is very like a game of golf I think. As I age the Easter Egg hunt comes into play more and more often.

Life is not a beach but
it is pretty darn close.
The "Hunting for Words" game is one my friends and I play everytime we meet. It is kind of a mixture between Pictionary and Search a Word. My friend was talking about her granddaughter, a dancer and actor, applying for a job in Detroit this summer. The job was at a place, you know, one of those fun places where everyone goes on rides. There are hand gestures and facial experience giving clues to just the right answer. In a few minutes the answer will be found and we are both happy.

Let the games begin!

As we age, we accumulate more and more things. Now my husband and I live in two house with all together different tools to make our lives easy. We do the Easter Egg hunt game...a lot. Have you see that stud know the one that is yellow? or Where is the crock pot that will hold enough food for eight people when they come for dinner?

If the lost item doesn't turn up within a few minutes, we will look at each other and realize we don't have that here in Arizona/Oregon. It is in the other house.

See what I mean. Searching for the perfect place to live, the right tools to do a job or even the right words is what our life is made of daily. At times it is frustrating because, well, you know how you feel when you cannot find the car keys, your glasses or even the newspaper. It does keep
us on our toes.

My cup is is not perfect...but it is full.

How is your day going? Questions anyone?


Monday, January 8, 2018

Is it Possible to Find a Place on Earth that is Untouched?

Sapa Market...Sue Mae (oldest sister) and me (no bath, no hot water, no makeup)
There really are places you can go see the past. There may not be a McDonalds so you might not be able to get a burger. I am sure you will survive. But it is tricky. Did you see that 1000 people were lined up at base camp to climb Mt. Everest in the last few days of the climbing season? One thousand people dropping oxygen bottles and trash on the highest most remote mountain in the world! What was an adventure enjoyed by only a few has now become a tourist destination! It is getting hard to find places where the McDonalds culture has not evaded. But it can be done.

The New York Times featured at article in the Art and Design section about a region near Oaxaca, Mexico. A village close by has remained untouched by the modern world. The article was aptly titled The Past Has a Presence Here.
The past is visible in the landscape. The past casts a sharp shadow here, wherever you look. You see it on mountaintop plateaus, where the ruins of ancient pyramidal staircases and capital-I-shaped ball fields hint at mysterious rituals that disappeared over a millennium ago.
When you stand on a flattened hilltop above the village of Atzompa, some seven miles outside of Oaxaca, and look over at a nearby peak, you can glimpse the immense ruins of Monte Alb├ín, a pre-Columbian plaza of breathtaking expanse used for ceremonies and games. Below those ruins, where perhaps 25,000 people lived in the early part of the first millennium, you can make out faint remnants of terraced farming on the hillside. New York Times, June 15, 2012
The Times article pointed out that even in this place the stalls in the market feature Sponge Bob Square Pants t-shirts. And yes, McDonalds came to Oaxaca in 2002. In this case, you must travel the 7 miles from Oazaca to Atzompa to escape the omni-present fast food business. The truth is, in order for a person to get a glimpse of what was, most humans must be left behind...a distant hill or village has to be the destination.

H'mong woman

When my husband and I visited Sapa, Vietnam this last winter, we could not believe our good fortune. The food was authentic and the only tourists we saw were trekkers. There was not a McDonalds in sight. We shopped in markets run by H'mong people that did not call Vietnam nor China home. They belonged to a culture of their own.  The H'mong women that were sent to town each week for a few days followed us relentlessly asking us to buy their trinkets. I was adopted by a woman named Jan. She trailed behind us like a puppy for a whole day. She could not read nor write. Western culture had not ruined her true nature. The face she showed us was one of a childlike innocence. She let us know that all the women talked about our family. My husband and I were a rarity because of our age.

When we were in Hanoi, the real Vietnam was still very much in evidence. Vendors began crowding the street to set up stalls at 5:30 a.m. so people that lived in that neighborhood could do their daily shopping. They brought the produce on their shoulders to the street balanced like a scale while riding bicycles. A loud speaker outside our bedroom window woke the neighborhood at 7:00 am with daily announcements. (Shades of Good Morning Vietnam with Robin Williams)
French Villa style setting.
Here again, the difficulty of getting to the place determined how authentic the places would be. We flew into Hanoi from Shanghai on a Vietnamese airline that was actually held together with duct tape on the interior.  The trip to Sapa required an overnight train ride and a bus ride north to a place at the foot of the Himalayas 40 kilometers from the Chinese border.  

Night windows?  WOW!
Cat Cat Village, Vietnam

A few French villas left from the times of the French colonization dotted the hillsides. The people in the country side lived as they has been living since heaven knows when.  But, in order for us to see that, we walked down stairs and paths that made the adrenaline rush as the thought that, if you fell, you would die flashed through the mind.  It was only then that we saw the H'mong people  living much like generations before.  

I suppose the lesson here is that the real cultures of the world are disappearing at the speed of light and, if we want to see something authentic, we need to dress in suitable clothes, bring a helmet in case you fall and wear good walking shoes.  It is not physically easy.


I recommend you read Seth Kugel, of the NYT.  I especially recommend this article he wrote about Mexico.  

Picking a Spot, Any (Undiscovered) Spot, in Mexico

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