“Just a week or two, maybe less,” I heard my doctor quietly tell Gillian. She walked him to the door, wished him a good day, and came back to me. “You heard that, right Mom?” she asked, sniffling, holding the embroidered handkerchief her grandfather gave her when she was just a tot. And what a bright, energetic girl she was. She grew to be so accomplished. Married well as the old saying goes. Made me a grandmother to three amazing people. Read more
Poetry has the unique capacity to capture our deepest thoughts, whether they be the experience of mounting grief, tender remembrance or even a flight of fancy. With economy, rhythm and the taste of language on the palate, our three contributors present an array of emotions in Three Odes to Women. –Editors
Three years ago, Kay and I, along with our family luv “Emmy dog,” left Tampa with a new 4-wheel drive Jeep and hit the trail to the Rocky Mountains, settling in Loveland, Colorado. (Yes, there is a Loveland in the U.S.A.—actually two with Ohio the home of another.)
Excited about living on the “Front Range” in Northern Colorado, we were certain we had found our “forever home.” Alas, three years later, we purchased a small house in Sun City Center, Florida, where sun & fun gush galore. Of course, getting there on I-75 heading south from Tampa is a challenge with 90 mph bumper-to-bumper traffic that turns into “How slow can you go?” when you get off the Interstate.
So, what’s it like living in the fast lane in Sun City? That’s the tale I am going to share with you.
This week we have chosen to highlight the artwork of two talented female artists, Judy K. Patterson and M.A. Sinnhuber. The vibrant colors and unique design quality of their work is showcased in two separate slideshows for your viewing pleasure. But before you get to that, enjoy Judy’s heartfelt portrait of her life as an artist. A brief excerpt follows here. Click the icon for the complete story and the artists’ galleries. –Editors
…Now, being So Old and excited to be entering a new and hopeful stage of life that requires new questions, new answers and a quiet courage, I continue my quest for meaning, identity, possibilities and self-realization. I’m finding excitement in being So Old; it’s a fierce ride with an acceleration of time left. I am a little ashamed of my years, afraid my independence will decrease as I get older. Aiming as high as I can, I weave the tapestry of life in my artwork…. Read more
Author’s Note: I was inspired to write this memoir after taking John Grant’s OLLI class titled, “Life and Death Documents Everyone Should Have.”
I had insomnia on Memorial Day weekend of 2016 and disregarded the advice not to check my phone.
I instantly regretted it when I saw a text message from my second cousin, “Joe.” Our dads were first cousins who were as close as brothers. We both grew up in Des Plaines, Illinois and went to the same church. We had bonded lately over fond memories of our dads.
He reported that Vince, his uncle and my first cousin once removed, had had a stroke and lung cancer. Since he was losing his vision rapidly, he hired a neighborhood woman to be his assistant to communicate with his friends. Read more
Yogi Berra once advised: “when you get to a Y in the road, take it.” So that’s exactly what Kay and I have done. Oh, you say—but how do you know where you will end up? We don’t, and of course, that’s exactly the point. Our Y in the road was the decision to relocate to Colorado and take residence in a brand-new sparkling co-operative. So, if you are not sure what life in a cooperative is about—neither are we, but we are going to share with you what we know in this essay.
First, the basics—a co-operative is not a condo nor an apartment complex, although it is close quarters living. You don’t buy or rent your living quarters—in our case 58 units in a three-story building. Rather, you become a member by purchasing a share in a mortgaged building. You are not an owner. Okay, I know that is difficult to grasp—think of it as an investment. Over time, your share will (More…)
When my mother became a widow, I was 12 years old, living in Tallahassee, Florida. The morning of April 20, 1960, I walked into the kitchen just as my mother was hanging up the phone. “Daddy’s had a heart attack,” she said. I assumed she meant her father, Clough. No, it was my father who’d had the heart attack.
The day before, my father had gone to a conference in Chicago. Mother told me she’d be flying to Chicago to be with Dad while our elderly and rather taciturn neighbor, Mr. Yant, would take me and my 16-year-old brother Chuck to school.
Mid-morning, Mr. Yant appeared at the door of my classroom. We drove home in silence, and I arrived home to be greeted by three anxious neighbor ladies, one of whom still had on pin curls. I said hi to them and walked into the living room to sit by myself. (More…)
Yogi Berra, the greatest philosopher and sage of our time, put it this way: “The future ain’t what it used to be!” No, it’s not … it’s what we imagine it to be. How do I imagine the future? At almost age 80, I imagine a future that is not far off. Indeed, nearly five years ago I imagined a future that would put us in our forever house. Oh, how wrong I was. Why? Because I learned that it is near impossible to imagine a future that is different from the present. Let me clarify. (More…)
Socrates is alleged to have said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Was he talking to the elite of ancient Greece? Or are his words still applicable to us, even though we are separated by thousands of years?
Bruce Feiler, in his most recent book, Life Is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age, would appear to agree wholeheartedly with Socrates’ idea that we benefit from examining our own lives. After interviewing 225 people who had experienced horrific and some more common life-altering events in their lives, Mr. Feiler states: “Life is the story you tell yourself.”
Feiler says that our life transitions, which he calls “life disrupters,” and for the very largest of these events, “lifequakes,” require us to rewrite our life story. I had one of these “lifequakes” myself; it was my heart attack on the eve of my 49th birthday. To compound the difficulty of this medical event, it also led to the subsequent loss of my first career. (More…)
My Mother, Margaret Lucile Burnett, was the first-born child to a wealthy couple in Denver, Colorado, in 1911. She was her father’s dream come true, but not so much so to her mother, Lucile, since Margaret was an unattractive child. Lucile much preferred her next child, Chuck, a handsome boy, and her beautiful baby, Jean.
Mother grew up feeling ugly, especially as she moved into her teens. When she was 13, she sprang into her full 5’8” height, with much extra weight to boot. She often told us of the time that her parents invited a German couple to visit. As Mother descended the stairs to greet them, Mrs. Higgenbottom exclaimed, “Oh what a backfisch!” which Mother interpreted as a devastating put-down. (More…)