My Hunny

It’s Valentine’s Day, and after 47 years of marriage, it matters more than ever.  The years before us dwindle in number with no promise of another, making this February 14 a precious commodity.

As annoying as it is to live with someone twenty-four hours a day, I cannot fathom life without him.  He completes me, balances me, steadies me.  In a world where people love everything from tacos to movies, I find “love” too cheap a word for expressing what my Valentine means to me.  Rather, it tarnishes the depth of my feelings, and sadly, language offers no other single word more satisfying.

Instead, let me live my feelings.  Small acts of kindness, moment by fleeting moment, resonate as the only way to express the joy and the meaning of Valentine’s Day.  For twenty-four hours, let me be gracious in overlooking annoyances and full of the gusto of giving kindness without measure.

I wrote this blog at 4:30 am as I sat with a dying friend, and I meant it  But after 3 hours of sleep, I can see I failed to give even these paltry Valentines to my love…but in my heart there lives nothing but gratitude and appreciation for this man who hauls me around, helps me out of every scrape, and brings me roses on February 14.  I love you, Bill.

me and my hunny

Sharing is Caring

I freely share my wisdom with younger women.  I tell them…one of these days you will enjoy grandchildren.  There are rules you must follow.  Love and spoil them.  That’s your job.  I do mine well.  But in doing so, beware of these caveats!

  1.  DO NOT give each one a baby afghan and baby quilt.  That explosion of joy accompanying your first grandchild will be replicated a number of times.  You may experience deep regret about the time #8 comes along.
  2. And BY NO MEANS should you make a “big boy” quilt and a “big boy” afghan when the first grandchild transitions into a “big boy” bed.  This is an especially dangerous time for you if your first grandchild is 3 or 4 years older than the next to come along.  You are being lulled into a dangerous state of thinking you’re home free.  Trust me.  You’re not.

I’m on the seventh grown up quilt and the eighth child’s big girl afghan.  I never voice misgivings, and I love them dearly.  Giving is a pleasure, but at 1:30 am a week before Christmas, I sometimes very silently think them when no one is looking.  True confession.  The commentary runs something like this:  “How EVER will I get this done by Christmas?  I have GOT to be out of my mind!!”

Then the little punkins’ run into my arms when they see me next, and I know it’s all been worthwhile.  So let me go on record with this amended wisdom:  Pour out all the love and service you can…but invest in therapy.  You may need it, lol!  As an alternative take up baking.  Now that’s something I can get behind!

What Is Retirement?

Generativity.  According to Erickson, even old people jump through hoops of developmental stages.  Seriously?  Thanks to Jane Fonda, a high bar of strong muscles and a lean core pose a new challenge.  “Seventy is the new fifty.”  The world assures us we aren’t through yet.  But what if we are?  I mean, really, the second floor poses enough of a challenge for me.

What does retirement look like?  In the face of an unstable economy, it could look like a silver-haired woman clearing tables at Backyard Burger.  It may take the reflection of creased faces huddled around tables at McDonalds each morning.  Heaven forbid it look like a group home for wayward youth.

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My new friend and I both like the Never Grow Up face cream.  You can find it at http://www.madaboutposh.com

For me old age assumes the guise of weaving myself into the lives of others.  I home school two grandchildren.  I keep three more on Mondays.  I serve at church camps.  I teach Sunday School.  I run a small business.

Today I made a new friend.  We both like the Never Grow Up face cream.  You can find it at http://www.madaboutposh.com  We found we had a great deal in common.

Am I retired?  Retiring?  I think not.  I remain simply me.  An older version of me, but the same.  Just me.

Grace and Gusto

What does it mean to live with grace and gusto?  To live life to its fullest and still be present in the moment?  To rock the boat but not tip it over?  For me, accepting my age and living with it requires a defiant spirit.  It requires being fierce yet gentle, feisty yet sweet, a mind that accepts paradox as the norm.

The essence of the paradox requires me to at once be old and young at heart.  Today I venture into a new world of online blogging, one my son suggested I not pursue.  Ever defiant of life’s expectations, of course, I swung open the door and threw myself in.  A year long commitment bespeaks quite an entrance!  For me, gusto.  Not telling him, grace.

The book speaks to the way I prefer my reading material, but this page to the reality of life in the twenty-teens.  Like a robin trapped in the unwelcoming frost of winter, I seek a nesting place in this great void of internet space.  And I’m guessing you feel much the same way.  We live and breathe in a world that overlooks and marginalizes the old, but in our hearts we feel a spring in our step, one often unseen by those we love.  We live with gusto.  We accept limitations with grace.

This first chat sets the stage for sharing recipes, tips on skincare, stories about littles, and a host of other topics.  I welcome your comments and suggestions as we explore the beautiful world of aging with grace and gusto.

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