Don’t worry — I haven’t started acting old.

November 11, 2011


Recently I was turning into a parking lot and  saw a woman driving out whom I recognized, so while turning in I was also looking at the woman in the car that was driving out.

Unfortunately, because I was distracted I ran over the corner of the curb. It was a low curb so no damage was done, but it’s never a good thing to do that.   And the topper was that I quickly realized that the woman I was waving at wasn’t the person I knew.

I can just picture what that woman was thinking after witnessing me waving to a stranger while careening over the curb into the parking lot, “Somebody really ought to take that old lady’s car keys away — she’s obviously become a dangerous driver!”

Ha!  Luckily, I know she’s wrong.  I’ve done that kind of stuff all my life!

Which of these is not like the other …

August 10, 2011


Today is the once a month lunch of former co-workers (friends)  from the large trucking manufacturer where we all worked (and two still do).  It is all women over fifty, so we are from the generation in which you dressed nicely for a lunch out with your friends, and we all usually do.  But this time I may stand out in the crowd, and not in a good way.

Today, my social calendar runneth over.  I had an invitation to play golf at 9:30 this morning from a friend who hasn’t been able to play very often this summer because of some health problems for her husband.  I just couldn’t say no.  But it happens to also be the day that our lunch group gets together, and I hate to miss that.

A tight timeline — golf at 9:30 for approximately one and a half hours — done at 11.  Lunch with work friends at 11:30.

So, I’ll be going directly from golf to lunch.

My friend, Linda, is the leader of our lunch group, so I’ll be giving her a call that I might be a little late and please go ahead and order my usual for me.

And, by the way, Linda, you might want to save a seat for me between two of our most hard–of-smelling friends.

It doesn’t happen too often, but once in a while retirement gets really busy!

Best Advice of the Week: Bathroom Graffiti our way

April 9, 2011

When we worked, I carried a small Franklin planner that was my go-to place for all things going on in life, both work and personal.  It was always either on my desk at work or in my purse, and I referred to it many times a day.  And Hubby had an electronic hand-held planner where he (and his admin) put everything important for him to remember and that his ad min synced once a day with his work computer as well as hers.  So that was his go-to spot for all things to be remembered.

And then we retired.

When we retired, it became much more important to keep a master calendar here at home.  But, then we had to remember to look at it every day.  A bigger challenge when in retirement, because there wasn’t nearly the daily routine that there had been during our working days.

So, I started putting post-it notes on the mirror in our bathroom when there was something we needed to remember.  Most of the time, these were reminders of things that were already written on the calendar that we kept, but seeing it on the mirror was a much more sure reminder.

But then something I saw on television, and my memory fails me here so I don’t remember what it was I saw that inspired this idea.  Anyway, I thought of the grease pens that are used on white boards and wondered how they would work on the mirror!

They worked.  And now any messages we need to leave for each other or any reminders we need to leave ourselves, are left on the mirror.

The notes are often incomplete — just enough to remind.  This tells me, on Friday I have golf at Shoaff Park at 10 am and we’re going to dinner and a movie with Doug and Linda about 4 pm.

This picture shows both what kind of works and what works better.  On the tub deck beside the plant is the calendar we write everything on.  But, when we realllly need to remember something, even if it is written on that calendar, we write it on the mirror “just to make sure”.

I put the markers and eraser in a container on the counter to keep them handy.

Have a plan, man!: One more really good suggestion

January 25, 2011

It has occurred to me that when I wrote about activities to look into at the time of retirement, I didn’t mention the most important one that I took up after retirement … blogging!

I so admire those of you who still work or are young mothers, and still have the time and energy to write your entertaining blogs that I so much enjoy reading.  But I just don’t think I would have had the energy … or attention span … to write a blog while I was working.  But, since my retirement … what a blast!

So I hope any of you who are readers but not bloggers will give blogging some serious thought when it comes time to retire.  It  has added immeasurably to my life.

Have a plan, man!

January 24, 2011

When I was at the grocery store yesterday, I saw a guy I used to work with.  He was wandering around with a cup of coffee in his hand.  I eventually found out that he was there with his wife, but it seemed pretty evident that he was enjoying just wandering around looking for people he knew to talk to.  So we talked.

I asked him when he retired.  He said in October.  I said, “What are you doing now.”  He said, “Nothing.  Well, I’ve done a few things that needed fixing around the house.”

I enjoyed visiting with him for a few minutes, but my over-all impression was that he is bored. So I came home with the conviction that I would post about retirement and what you might want to consider before you get there so that you don’t have to hang around the grocery store, drinking coffee and looking for someone to visit with, to fill your time after you retire!

Fifteen or twenty years ago Hubby and I attended a class about retirement provided by my employer for anyone over 45 and their spouse.  It was called Opportunities Unlimited and was lead by my very own dear friend, Linda.  (She has never claimed to be a public speaker and I would even say has shied away from it, but she did an excellent job at leading this group.)

It was a fascinating class because it made you really think about the realities of retirement — something I’m guessing alot of people at least used to not do.  I won’t go into alot of the details because I’m thinking this might be a subject that Linda could enjoy posting about herself.  But when I saw our former co-worker at the grocery, it made me think about that class, and wonder if he attended.

One of the things that was stressed in the class was that you need to plan for what your days will be like when you retire.  Yes, for a while it will be fun to get up in the morning and say, “What do I have to do today?  Ha Ha!  NOTHING!”  But after a few weeks that will get old and you need to have some plans for how you will fill your days.  A part-time job?  Doing volunteer work for a worthy charity?  Playing a game like golf or bowling in a league, so that you get into the routine of playing regularly?  Trying a new game like pickle ball or chess?  Taking classes about subjects that interest you?  Working out at a gym?  Traveling?  Maybe just regularly working jigsaw puzzles or playing board games with your spouse.  Any combination of activities you like that will keep your mind and body active.

And then on the occasions when you have time in your busy schedule to go to the grocery store, and you run into a former co-worker, when she asks you, “What are you doing now?”, you can rattle off a list of what keeps you busy, not only impressing her but making you feel good about yourself too.

When Hubby and I retired, someone said to us that he would give us about six months to become couch potatoes who sat and watched TV all day every day.  It’s been four years now, and it hasn’t happened yet.

Don’t let that happen to you either.  Have a plan, man!

How Did This Happen?

April 14, 2009


You know how when you are young, you have some very definite opinions of what “old people” are like?  And those traits are ones you avoid like the plague?  You avoid doing … or saying … or wearing anything that is done or said or worn by “old people”?

Well,  let me tell you how it is from a little farther along in life than you may be right now.  Listen carefully, and  THOSE THINGS SNEAK UP ON YOU AND, BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, THEY’RE YOU!!

We all have or had our “bench marks” that indicated that people were old, didn’t we?  I clearly remember some of the ones I looked for — snoring, bad memory, drinking prune juice and Sanka, needing bifocals to read small print, needing help opening jars, loving to tell stories about the “old days”, wanting to be home before dark, falling asleep in front of the TV (see snoring above), regularly saying “What is this world coming to?!”, men wearing black socks with sandals and bermudas, and — one of my big ones — women wearing knee-highs!

For most of my life, I have been able to avoid many of these traits, so I could still tell myself, Well, I’m not old yet!”  But, I’ve just recognized a new development that may have finally put me over the fence into the “old” category.



  p10102491  I kept buying socks that were longer and longer, until recently I bought these “extended length” socks.  Then when I looked in the mirror the other day, I suddenly thought, “Well, crap!  I don’t care what they call them, these are knee-highs!”

So, a word to the wise.  Be careful what traits you attribute to “old people” because, the next thing you know, you may have (inadvertently) adopted those traits!

When you come to the “home” to visit me, be sure to wear your name tag.  My memory’s bad too.  And, if I’m asleep  in front of the TV (snoring just a smidge), come back later. Sigh.

Eighteen to Sixty-two in the Blink of an Eye

May 16, 2008

Yesterday I turned 62 years old, and DD wrote a very nice post about me.  She doesn’t post very often since she went back to work full time, so it’s especially touching to me that she took the time to write it.  Thank you, DD.

In regard to this milestone birthday, I really do wonder, “Where did those years go?”  It’s so hard to imagine it until you get here, but it is a reallllly short trip from 18 to 62!

For all of you who are young and very, very busy with children and careers, I urge you to find some time to sit down and really think and pray about your life and ask yourself, “When I’M turning 62, where do I want to be?  What do I want to have achieved?  Most importantly, what do I want my relationships with my family to be like?”  And then, use your answers as goals to guide all the decisions you make. 

Believe me, this is one of those “do as I say, not as I do” things.  I wasn’t very good at setting a course through life, and it made life for me, and my family, sometimes very bumpy.  I thank God that Hubby, my “rock,” was there to love me and support me, and sometimes “pull my bacon out of the fire.”  I can’t imagine what my life would have been without him.

By the grace of God, my life, and those of my family, have turned out pretty well, but certainly not because of any planning or organization or goal-setting on my part!  And I know the “road” would have been smoother if I HAD taken the time to set goals.

So, my suggestion — have some goals to keep you on course and then just savor the good and diminish the bad as much as you can, and ask for God’s help and guidance in all of it.

And, by the way, all things considered, 62 isn’t so bad.  (Well, at least not as an age, but I try realllly hard to avoid it as a golf score!)

Sometimes You Just Have to Admit When You’re In Over Your Head!

April 5, 2008

Yes, there are times when you have to admit when you’ve in over your head, but I don’t think it usually happens twice in such short order!

Thursday I sat down with Turbo Tax to do our taxes.  We had had them done by an accountant for many years, but, hey, we were retired now, so how hard could it be?

But, I DID put off doing them, probably because I was unsure of myself.  So anyway, I ended up with about two weeks to get them done — plenty of time to do some simple “retireee’s” taxes, right?.  Well, “retirement” brings all kinds of new wrinkles with it, that I had no idea how to handle. 

So, after a couple hours I went outside where Hubby was “staying out of my way while I did the taxes,” by doing the spring cleaning in the yard.  I walked up to him and said, “I’m calling Bill.”  He said, “Okay.” But, then he said, because he’s always the optimist, “But, you know it’s probably too late to get him to do them for us.”

Well, that put some pep in my step!  I hadn’t thought about not being able to just dump this mess on Bill!  So, I immediately went in and called him, and, thank you, God, he said to bring the stuff over.  I am so relieved.  Crisis averted.

Then yesterday, I received cute pictures from our granddaughter that I decided, without any reasonable expectation that I could actually DO it, to post them here for you to see.  Well, you know how THAT turned out.  The post looked lovely when I looked at it, but apparently none of you could see the pictures!  I have spent several hours trying to put the pictures on in a way you could see them, and I just can’t figure it out.  So, I’ve “unpublished” that post, and I’ll keep working at a way to do it.

So, I think we could safely say the “theme” for my last two days could be “UNCLE!”   As in, “I give up!”

But, I remind myself, there are lots of things I CAN do, so I’m not going to stress over the things I can’t. 

I thank God for the people in my life, like Bill, who do for me the things I can’t do for myself. 


A Milestone (or a Bump?) on the Road of Life

March 22, 2008

Wellll, I will turn 62 in May, so it’s time to sign up for Social Security.  So, Hubby and I took a leisurely little drive yesterday to a town close-by where there is a Social Security office that generally isn’t as busy as the one’s in the bigger towns. 

After retirement, you develop a real aversion to “busy.”  That’s why you tend to go to public places during the day, so you don’t get involved in all the “busy-ness” that involves working people, in their off hours.

Good thing for the guy in a pick-up truck who cut us off in traffic and almost caused an accident, that Hubby is retired.  If he had still been a cop, that guy’s butt would have been arrested sooo fast he wouldn’t have known what hit him.  (When he saw he had made Hubby mad, he gave him the “one finger salute,” which Hubby felt “obligated” to return!  Nice Christian “witness,” Hubby!)    

But, other than that, it was a pleasant little drive.

When we walked into the Social Security office, there was an elderly (that means at least 15 years older than us) gentleman standing at the counter, and just one other couple sitting in the waiting area.  The prospects of a short visit looked good!

But, looks can be deceiving.  How many times have you picked a line at the grocery or toll booth, only to find out that its “look” of being the quickest was deceptive and you would have been much better off in ANY line but that one.

Well, in this case, there was no choice — only one line.  (You took a number and then sat down to wait.  So, no real line-standing, per se.)  And at the head of the “line” was a little old gentleman who probably had nothing better to do than talk to the nice lady behind the counter.  This might take a little longer than we first thought. 

The man was talking to the clerk about his monthly checks.  He had apparently been owed some “back pay” so he had received two checks in January. It’s nice to get a little windfall, unless you’re old, have a certain way of doing things. are easily confused by change, and apparently have no relatives to help you figure out what you should do.   He wasn’t sure what to enter into his checkbook.  I knew it was going to take a little while, when he got out his checkbook and handed it to the clerk.  She really impressed me (she has probably had alot of experience with confused old people) that she was so patient with him.  I never once heard her interrupt him or talk down to him.  She just, patiently, kept telling him why he received two checks in January, and kept explaining that he needed to make an additional deposit in his checkbook.  Finally, after he handed it to her,  she checked to see if he had made the additional deposit.  When she was convinced that he hadn’t, she just wrote the deposit into his checkbook for him!  I liked her even before I had any dealings with her myself. 

When the gentleman was finished, and happy, he had to walk out right past the other couple and us.  So, on his way out, he stopped to chat and chat and chat with the other couple, and Hubby gave me a look that strongly suggested, “Don’t make eye contact!”  He knew from experience, because I’m a question asker, that if I had started talking to him, we could have all missed lunch!  But this old guy didn’t even need me to ask questions.  By the time he left, we all knew his whole life story.  And, he was probably the happier for having had an opportunity to tell it!

While we were waiting, I noticed that there was a small desk over to one side where a man in a police uniform was sitting reading a book.  My first thought was, “He is probably the one who gives the driving tests.”  I thought that because I am on my way to being a “confused, old person.”  But, since I’m not quite there yet, I then thought, “Oh, wait a minute, that would be in the license bureau — this is the Social Security office.”  So, I asked Hubby why he thought there was a need for the police officer.  He said — security —  that there are probably some very angry people who come to the Social Security office, and that the police officer might be there to “keep order” at those times.  Immediately, because that’s how my mind works, I had a picture of a “gang” of little old people attacking the Social Security office, swinging their canes and walkers — and shouting things like, “Fiddle-de-de and “oh, fudge!”

So, now I’m signed up for Social Security.  Kind of hard to believe.  It seems like yesterday when I was 21.  Where did those 40 years go?  It’s been a great ride, but my “parts” are all out of warranty now, and beginning to really show “wear.”  I look forward to getting the new improved model in the next life!

That reminds me, I once discussed Heaven with my sister who died a few years ago.  We decided we would play tennis (a game we both thought we would enjoy, but never tried) with each other when we got to Heaven.  So, since she got there first, I picture her practicing like crazy, so that she can be ready when I get there!  I love that thought.  Sis had a strained relationship with Mama most of her adult life.  So, I also love the picture that now that they are both in Heaven, they each see the other as they really are, and can truly love each other.  That picture brings happy tears to my eyes.

May we all savor whatever time in life we are experiencing right now.  It’s a short trip — enjoy the ride. 

Puzzles are Puzzling, But Not Like PEOPLE!

February 9, 2008

About a month ago, we were having some really blustery weather.  Streets were treacherous and people were being warned to stay at home if at all possible.  So, Hubby and I stayed in, and I got out a jigsaw puzzle to give us something extra to do (Hubby gets cabin fever easily). 

We both worked on the puzzle, but probably Hubby a little more than me, because he said it was a little like having a bowl of popcorn setting out — every time you walk past you have to “taste” a few pieces.

So, when we were done with that puzzle, I got another one out (because we had enjoyed that one so much, right?).  Hubby did some mild grumbling about another puzzle, but I was sure he would enjoy it once we got into it.

Unfortunately, because of several things going on right now, including the start of my writing class, I haven’t had much time to work on the puzzle this time.  But, usually a couple times a day I would see Hubby sitting at the table in the sun room where we have the puzzle spread out, working on it.  Seemed like he was enjoying it to me. 

Today Hubby has a head cold, so he’s staying in, and right after eating his breakfast, he went out to work on the last of the puzzle.  This particular puzzle is a hard one.  There is lots of desert in the picture and those desert pieces (a hundred or so) all look exactly alike, except for small variations in their shape.

So, he’s sitting there looking at all these look-alike pieces and I innocently walk out and make a little conversation with him.  I commisserate about the sameness of the pieces and tell him that it would make my eyes cross to have to study each of those similar pieces and try to find where they go (You see how I have segued from co-assembler to sympathetic by-stander?  Yeah, I think Hubby’s noticed that shift too.)   So, I just suggest that “we” not bother to put those pieces in.  We could just put that puzzle away and be done with it.  AND, I tell him that I have just bought another puzzle (because “we” are enjoying the puzzles, right?) that is actually four small “companion” puzzles.  Kind of a large puzzle made up of four segments.  Meaning, they could be assembled one at a time, as smaller, less time-consuming projects.

You know how sickly and grumpy kind of go together?  Well, Hubby said in his best raspy, sickly, grumpy voice, “Nooo, I’m (notice he’s not even pretending I’m helping him anymore) not quitting on this puzzle until it’s done.  And, noooo, I don’t want to put another puzzle out.  I’m just trying to get this one put together so we can finally get it out of the way!”

You know, we’ve been married a lonnnnng time, and there are lots of ways that we have grown to be more alike, but this emphasized one of our core differences.

There are lots of things in life that I must complete, and I try to do them to the best of my ability and to always complete those things.  But, if I am doing something for enjoyment I have absolutely no problem with saying, “This isn’t fun any more.  I’m going to stop.”  (Notable Exception:  When I am playing games with our grandchildren, the rule is — if you start the game you must complete it.  Yes, games are for fun, but I think that, with children, it is a good life lesson to have to complete a game after you’ve started it, even if, say, you’re losing.  It’s called being a good sport!)

Anyway, there aren’t any children around right now and if he isn’t enjoying this puzzle, which apparently he isn’t and maybe hasn’t for a while now, I see no reason for that puzzle to have to be completed.  I could easily mentally wash my hands of it, and move on to another.

But, not my salt-of-the-earth, task-oriented, stoic, we-must-trudge-on-to-the-end Hubby.  By god, that puzzle will be completed even if he goes blind from looking at all those sand-colored pieces doing it!  And enjoying or not enjoying it has nothing to do with it!

So, I think this is the end of “our” puzzle-assembling days for a while.  In fact, the puzzles, especially this “sandy” one, may have just become fodder for my next garage sale. 

Do you think this is a bad time to ask him if he’ll take ballroom dancing lessons with me?