Tag Archives: Aging

A Handwritten Note

6 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Photo by Melody Hendrix

Photo by Melody Hendrix

When I was younger, I decided not to fall into the trap so many older people live in, with several dates a month marked for the purpose of going to the doctor. However, you know what Robert Burns said, “The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglay.” Last week I visited three doctors with a member of the family in two days and this week, for various reasons I will have been in waiting rooms every day except Monday and Wednesday (twice on Thursday).

I get tired of passive things like reading, listening to audio stories, watching TV. (I never do that anyway), but I don’t knit or crochet, so I’m coming up with a new plan. I will take a small packet of paper; pens, maybe watercolor crayons and either write notes or draw a bit.

Emails are a big thing now, but writing notes and letters on paper has been part of my life since I was a child and I still get the urge to do it when I’m waiting. Mother and I wrote to each other every week. I still have all her letters and she kept mine up to her last days. When I was twelve and moved away, my best friend and I wrote each other every day. Recently, we wrote our schooldays memoirs together, but that was by computer. Out of habit, I hurry to the mailbox every day expecting something, but usually it contains only commercial mail, so I take that in, sort it out, and throw most of it away.

On my last run to the SPCA store, I got a thin book that reminds me of Alexander Stoddard’s beautiful, Gift of a Letter. It’s called, The Art of the Handwritten Note, this one by Margaret Shepherd.

Realizing how happy it made me to read another book about the subject, I realized I missed writing and receiving handwritten notes more than I knew and decided there was no reason not to take it up again.

Ms. Shepherd says, “Writing by hand makes you look good on paper and feel good inside. Even an ordinary handwritten note is better than the best email, and a good handwritten note on the right occasion is a work of art.”

One thing I’ve always loved about notes is that you can save them and re-read them. I know you can do that with emails, and I do have a file, but for some reason, once they’re out of sight, I never take the time to look at them.

“Art Has Always Survived Technology,” says Margaret Shepherd. I agree. It takes about a minute to write a note, so I’ve put a small pad of paper in my purse and some cards in the door pocket of my car. Last Tuesday I wrote a note to my son, (who, because he lives in another town, always sends a handwritten note on birthdays and mother’s days) and one to our pastor’s wife who did my family a big favor. She is also a card-sender and note writer, so it was a pleasure.

Don’t get me wrong I like to get emails, and I enjoy writing them. It isn’t one or the other, for me, but both. It’s something I’ve missed for many years. Are you missing it too?

Handwritten note copy

When Do We Grow Old

5 Apr

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

I  woke up in the morning,
mind refreshed and full of hope.
There is so much I want to do-
all within my scope.

My mind is willing, my mind alert-
I’ll spring right out of bed.
My mind is saying, “Go girl!”
but my back says, “Whoa”, instead.

Ego! Yes, ego is the culprit
in this aging game we play.
I don’t mind saying , “I’m 78,”
But, getting old???”No way!”

An Unexpected Gift

27 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Onisha

Recently we went to Anderson, South Carolina to spend some time with friends and attend the Anderson Senior Follies.  It was held at Anderson University and the proceeds provide a scholarship. We were especially excited to attend since one of our friends was performing.

As the name implies, all of the performers were “seniors” with an age range of fifty-five to ninety-two. This year’s theme was Hometown Heroes. According to the newspaper style playbill, a hero is someone you know. The opening scene included the entire eighty-person cast all costumed to portray the most obvious heroes down to the least obvious such as secretaries, maids and miners.

group

Once the opening number was completed the performers stepped out quickly and I do mean quickly with old favorites such as Baby Face, Bugle Boy of Company B and Run Around Sue to name a few. There were corny jokes, patriotic pieces and some songs just for the joy of laughing.

My husband and I laughed the whole show, one time I even snorted. We were in awe at the way those old folks could move. There was rhythm galore and plenty of flirty looks from the ladies but my favorite was a tap dance performed by some of the more elder ladies of the cast. Not only did they move, near the end of the number the men they had been dancing around suddenly ripped off the ladies skirts! While the music continued I watched anxiously as the ninety-year-old dancer bent down to pick up her skirt then struggled to put it back on.  I didn’t think she would be able to manage it but she sure did, right on cue.

After the show I was marveling at the rhythm and free spirit some of the women demonstrated. I wondered if they had always been that way or had they experienced an unexpected gift of age, the freedom to just go for it.

Merl Follies

Old Age is Not For Sissies

6 Aug

 

My Take

 

 DiVoran Lites

 

 

Bette Davis, starring in movies from 1932 to 1989 said that. But, shh, let’s not talk about old age and maybe it will go away. How many of you do not want to grow old? You don’t. Really? Have you considered the alternative?

 

Because of insurance changes, I’ve recently been to a new doctor who is close to my son’s age. Taking a history, he asked if my parents were still living and when I said no, he asked how they died. I said Dad had an accident and Mother just faded away. After taking the history and reading me with his stethoscope, he said I appeared to be healthy. “Good for you,” he said.

 

“Boring for you,” I said.

 

“I’m not looking for sickness,” he said, “there’s plenty of that to go around.”

 

“You’ll probably die of a heart attack or a stroke,” It felt a like a curse and I’m afraid my face must have got, the look that can move mountains and make grown men cry. I didn’t mean to use it on the doc, but I figured I had when he backed off with, “Or you may just fade away as your mother did.”

 

Another doctor once wanted to project how I would die. She asked what I thought. What’s up with that? Do I have to choose right now? Okay, I’ll go with Ashley Montagu who said, “I will die young as late as possible.”

 

I like what Victor Hugo says about old age and dying too. “Why is my soul more luminous when my body powers begin to fail? Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart. I breathe at this hour the fragrance of the lilies, the violets and the roses as at twenty years. The nearer I approach the end the plainer I hear around me the immortal symphonies of the worlds that invite me. It is marvelous yet simple.”

 

Victor Hugo was in exile in Jersey, and latter...

Victor Hugo was in exile in Jersey, and latterly Guernsey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Yes, simple. I don’t want to grow old, but I don’t want to die either, so I’ll keep on keeping on and I sure hope I won’t be a sissy about it. I want to be one who hears, “the immortal symphonies of the worlds which invite me.”

 

I Corinthians 4:16

 

 

 

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