Friday, January 19, 2018

Look out Millennials

Look out Millennials—
We’re still here – the Perennials.
You may know us as grandparents or Baby Boomers,
But as you can see we’re no longer booming onto the scene.
I only hope and pray that many of you will live this long.

Perennials are not the new 40 or 50 as some might wish.
To be honest we are older if not old.
We aspire to age gracefully and contribute to society,
But as perennials we can bloom again and again until the winter is too bitter.
I only hope and pray that many of you will live this long.

After reading this article in the Washington Post,  In Search of a Word,  I smiled and felt invigorated about my age. My eyes were opened to a new metaphor about growing older, and older. I can proudly say that I am a “perennial.” Each day and each season I can begin again, if I care for my body physically and mentally.

Naked ladies or Surprise Lilies 

In my late forties when one of my seventh grade students said that I must be the same age as the math teacher on our team, Mrs. L., I danced a happy step and laughingly replied, “Absolutely.” On our planning period that day, I laughed all the way down the hallway to Mrs. L’s room.  The thirty year old teacher didn’t think the comparison was funny.

In my fifties my back and feet conspired to keep me on the injured and recovering list summer after summer.  Aleve became my ally, our hot tub eased the pain, and I pushed like a thirty year old to play through the pain. Even in my fifties I didn’t have the wisdom to slow down.


In my sixties, one of my students carefully touched my hands and said, “Your hands look like the old ladies hands in the care home where my mother works.” I stopped breathing for a moment then replied with an empathetic smile, “You’re right. They look like my mother’s hands, and I rather like that.” Inside I felt the tears and smiled in recognition that I was aging. And that's a good thing. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Savoring Life

There can never be too many cardinals in the world. 

Seven decades have come and gone in my life.  Worry about the future plagued my approaching 7th 0 birthday, nearly blotting out the abundance of life and joy surrounding me.  Consequently, I looked inward reflecting on decades past. Wondering, questioning, seeking answers for the unknown...

Reflecting felt like seeing life in a kaleidoscope. 
Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry.

Earning my driver's license on a slippery cold winter day in 1963 felt crowded by a fear that Russia might
Under the cement slab in our backyard we buried a bomb shelter to save our lives!
drop a bomb on us, and that my family might have to use the bomb shelter we installed in 1962. Do things really change? 

Sunshine on the water looks so lovely.
Sunshine almost always makes me high.

Giving birth to a healthy baby girl will always shine as the brightest moment.

If I had a day that I could give you
I'd give to you the day like today.

Then like the dramatic changes of the kaleidoscope life moved too quickly. I couldn't focus on one thing or keep up with the changes without tears and fortitude.   

The sudden death of my parents in my early 40's shook my soul to the very depths of sorrow and anger, but their deaths somehow created the greatest miracle in our lives--it brought our family together. 

If I had a song that I could sing for you
I'd sing a song to make you feel this way.

I found myself fast-forwarding through the next few decades. The pronoun "I" became we. No matter the changes that our lives encountered, we moved forward with focus and a feeling of gratitude for every day we lived while savoring the friendships  developed; the maturing of our children; the opportunities to travel; and those precious times with family.

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine on my eyes can make me cry.

Yes. We've all traveled perilous paths over the mountains and trudged through valleys of sorrow,  together and alone. 
Many of our friends are no longer here to look out the window of life and savor the beauty in nature and God's love that surrounds us. 

Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high.

Time spent reflecting erased my worries of  the "what if's" that sometimes haunt me, but dang it, it didn't erase those lines and bags around my eyes!  

If I had a tale that I could tell you
I'd tell a tale sure to make you smile
If I...

Sunshine on my Shoulders by John Denver

RIP: Betty Roberts Labigang and Juli Carson

*The irony to writing thoughtfully is that for the previous few days gray has been the color of the skies, and I couldn't seem to write clearly. Today, when the sun came out, words flowed into and out of my head like watching the birds soar in the sunshine and blue skies.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Prayer of Thanks

Reflecting on 2017 we say a prayer of thanks for:

Our good health and yearly birthdays.

Every year and moment we spent with Alleen, Jack’s mother who died in February.

The bun warmers in our car during winter months and AC by summer.

Our family, scattered from coast to coast and places in between.

Arriving home safely from our travels and daily tasks.

Our Lucy dog who keeps us walking, playing, and laughing like children.

Hot coffee and tea each morning as we enjoy the backyard birds & squirrels.

The freedom to vote and share our faith in God.

All of the many friends in our lives. God Bless You Each and Every One.