Tuesday, June 8, 2021

On Saying "Thank You"

I belong to a group of women on Facebook...interesting midlife women...authors, influencers, lifelong learners, mothers, grandmothers... Everything from an author of teen books to wonderful fashionistas grace that group...2.0K strong.

But more than that, the group has come to epitomize the online friendship that has meaning. Many of those woman have been in my online life since those day when I wrote to a "prompt" on Friday or Sundays. I loved those day because they were the ones that built the ability to get words down on the page in some order. We wrote thoughts on things that we were not necessarily passionate about but that, at the moment, were inspiring. We all know that the need to write comes from somewhere inside much like our appetite. We don't know what we are hungry for. We just know we are hungry. Yes, it is just like that.

So on that connection with midlife women there is a woman that keeps us on track even though it may be weeks between times that we visit. AND she is alway there...dependable and interesting.

I went back the other day, in a way like going home, and there she was inviting us to share our thoughts. It then occurred to me that I had not ever told her "thank you" for just being there. I decided that I would do that and invited others to do the same. At last count 69 women had come forward.

The most interesting thing was that she was sitting with  her mother as she lay dying when that thought and action came to me. Don't you wonder at that? 

So we all think of her, pray if that is our way and watch for what the outcome will be. 

Hopefully, "thank you" will help just a little bit. Be well Ann Parris and know that we all love you in our own way.


Thursday, June 3, 2021

Books: Margaret Atwood's Fan Club (is there such a thing?)

I read as a part of the healing process. It is not a burden. Those periods of time when I am under the weather, I read books that are memorable and wonderful. It is a a good memory...I don't remember the pain. Just the words.

Today a book of poetry by Mary Oliver was purchased. Dog Songs was the one I chose. It turns out I love dogs a lot. I don't own one but I have a lot of "dog" friends. They are perfect, barking and alive. It is a comfort for me somehow.

The quote I saw today on Facebook was from Swan: Poems and Prose Poem.  Beacon Press. It went like this:

finally i saw

that worrying had come to nothing.

and gave it up. and took my old body

and went out into the morning

and sang.

-mary oliver 

Such a few words but such a beautiful thought. That is where we come to when we live inside an old body. 

So now I have to confess that I have a pain (not am a pain which is different). I went to see a doctor, made an appointment for an ultrasound so I feel better today...of course. But, even though I feel better, I will keep the appointment like a good patient. 

And I will read and write in the mean time.

So finally, I am down to the book I just finished. I am a late arrival in the Margaret Atwood fan club so those of you that have appreciated her writing forever will have to forgive me. I have read The Handmaid's Tale  and the sequel to that book called The Testament. Both were excellent. But the last book was the best of any so far. Cat's Eye really did call me back over and over. It was published in the late 1980's so had been around for a while. I picked it up at a second hand store for one dollar less than the original price. (a steal in this day and age)

I think that this story felt real...it could have easily have been an autobiography even though Atwood put a disclaimer at the front of the book stating that it was not. From beginning childhood memories to that part of the heroines life where she came to terms with what had happened then, I was carried along in the story. 

I kept saying to my husband...how did she do that? It was believable and relevant. I can see how anyone of any age could learn from her words and enjoy the experience of reading words at the same time. To say that I loved the book just isn't enough.

What Fan Club are you joining? I would love to know.



That's How It Goes...Retirement Life



Arizona Park Model

Shanghai China

My husband and I have been retired for 24 year...I know, how did that happen. For the last 16 years I have been writing about our life. All of those posts have been about travel, books, family and retirement. The first three are what we do. The last, RETIREMENT, is about our lifestyle. I have been selling "Retiring in Style", you know, living well no matter what you have or where you live. If you haven't bought in to the concept, you really should. Life is good.

Have things changed a lot? In 24 years? You can bet your life it has. In past posts I have written about stages of retirement and all that involves. From the first day my husband and I have been working through it. Thankfully, change is in our DNA.

It has been said that retirement is the third act of life and, if you desire, you can choose to find a new career or learn new things. That is so true but it isn't the big picture, the one that shows the patterns that older human beings follow in their old age.

I am sure that some anthropologist has written a thesis on this subject. I am just that person that lives out here in life, walking around with my feet on the ground. All I can speak to is what has happen in our stylish retirement.

In the very beginning, was filled with our children and grandchildren and all that a grandchild demands. 

We moved from one side of our state to the other so we could be closer to our family. That is I wanted...I am still not so sure that my husband wanted that but still...we settled for what we could do. It was good.

The adjustment to retirement didn't come easy. We were restless and bickered constantly. The rainbow that hung over our parade also had some pretty cloudy days. We just hung on for dear life.

When we did travel, I could hardly wait to get back home and my husband kept saying that he could stay gone forever. He waited until I worked out a way to stay away. 

I convinced myself that it was best for our children and their children. Phrases like "I let they learn to fly on their own." came out of my mouth. The truth is all three of our children are well educated and I think they did not regret it when we left town.  It was a good break for us all. At least, that is the way I would have felt at their age. 

Actually, as we grew older our income increased. Medicare and Social Security coupled with a very good retirement plan worked. We saved when we could, did without when we needed to and as we aged, our needs changed. 

We discovered the RV lifestyle and owned several different types. A resort for RVs became our winter home and we gradually turned into experienced snowbirds.

Life in a resort is very like going to college. A feeling of youthfulness returns. Because or our life choices, I really had never experienced being a young adult. I went directly from my home to being a wife and mother (with a college education thrown in). Life was busy and fill with responsibility.

When we were in the resort I just went back to those youth filled days and got it out of my system. We made friends, golfed, partied and danced (a lot). It was so much fun and I think we both have happy memories of those day.

THEN something happened...it was like growing up for me. My husband and I both knew that the resort lifestyle had worn itself out and we need to move on.

We had owned RVs and later a park model that we restored. We saw that, unlike what we had expected at our age (80 and 76), we were still very much alive and healthy. Work actually made us happy and improved our health. We moved out of the resort and bought a townhouse. 

After restoring the small townhouse, we sold it for a profit and bought a 4 bedroom home on a golf course. 

We actually have come full circle. An original dream was to have space so our children and grandchildren could spend time with us in the desert. Finally, we can have the whole family come to play with us.

Lately I have begun writing about that 4th act of life where age sneaks up on you. This stage is not a repeat of the other three at all. I don't know if I can explain. I am content to be where I am no matter where that is. I no longer yearn for things like I once did. I am quieter and softer than I was when I was younger. We are very lucky to be here to enjoy it all and are grateful each and every day. 

And, I like it a lot!

Thank you for reading and come back soon.

Let me know...how is your life unfolding?


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