I cannot believe I have turned 70 years old. I don't feel 70. I don't look 70 (on most days) and truth be told, I don't act 70 (this comes from my youngest child who has a penchant for telling the blunt truth).
When I was 16 (back in the olden days) anyone over 21 years old was out of it. I was the 60s flower child who was going to be young forever. When I was 21, I was getting married. I was 5'5" (I have now shrunk to 5'2"), wore a size 12 wedding dress (not a size 12 anymore), had natural dark brown hair (now have natural silver gray hair), had 20/20 eyesight (can't see anything w/o glasses these days) and could squat, jump, cartwheel and have energy all day long even to the point of staying up all night (no way that happens now).
The upside is that I am retired and can pretty much do what I want. I get up in the morning when I want to and can move as slow or as fast as I choose. I love that I have not heard my alarm go off in 7 years. I can get dressed or spend most of the morning in my pajamas.There are days when I go out whether to shop or walk or whatever and there are some days when I choose to just stay home, read books, play with my cat or watch mindless tv. I put makeup on only when leaving the house and then only enough so I don't look like the walking dead. I go to bed usually after the 11 o'clock news but sometimes I choose to read in bed and have been known to wake up with the open book on my chest and my glasses still on. Financially, I am doing just fine in retirement...house is paid for and I have enough to pay my bills and travel and play. Medically, I take more pills now than when I was younger but on the whole I am doing okay.
Although I am more than willing to acknowledge my age when it is necessary for certain official documents, I refuse to use the "s" numbers when asked my age by anyone else. I have informed my children that if anyone wants to know, their mother is in her 50s. Of course, as they get older that statement doesn't fly anymore. I have been told that I should celebrate that I have reached such a milestone. I can think of many milestones to celebrate...being married to the same man for 48 years, 2 sons that I am especially proud of...but reaching the age of 70....I don't think so!
There have been many things invented in the world over the years that I like very much and there are some that I scratch my head and say, "What was the purpose of inventing that?" However, these are my very favorite inventions and I thought I would share those with you.
1. Sticky Notes. These are a super invention. When I was teaching, these were an important item on my school supply list. They identified papers, were mini notes to myself and others, became part of lessons and activities, super organizational tools and so much more. At home, they are great for attaching notes for husband, sons and myself onto mirrors, tv screens, refrigerator doors, telephones and the occasional backpack and/or child.
2. Caller ID. This is such a simple but great invention. No more answering the phone thinking its friend or family but instead finding out it's a telemarketer (and yes, I am on the "do not call" list but still get calls).
3. Mute Button on TV Remote. I love this button. Press it and the most annoying commercials (which are most of them) become just a picture of moving mouths, and politicians become automated robots that are easier to look at without hearing all the empty promises.
4. Slo Cookers. This is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. Put the ingredients in the slo cooker in the morning and by dinner time you have a meal. This is an especially great alternative to turning on the oven in the summer and turning the kitchen into a sauna.
5. Coffeemaker. I adore coffee. My day starts with coffee and keeps going thru the day and into the evening with coffee. I love being able to set the timer and wake to the sensual smell of coffee first thing in the morning. I love how I can make a new pot of coffee in less than 15 minutes. Growing up my mom had one of those coffee pots you used on the stove. Many a time, it was forgotten and then there was boiled over coffee all over the stove. However, this can still happen when I forget to slide the carafe all the way in.
6. Live Streaming. I love this! I wasn't sure I was going to like this invention but circumstances changed my mind. Example: my oldest son was getting his doctorate and he lives on the other side of the country. We couldn't afford to go to the ceremony but with live streaming, we were able to watch the whole ceremony as it happened on our computer. What a great way to share those special, important events that in the past we would have missed.
Your inventions might be entirely different from mine and that's ok. Sometimes progress brings good things in the midst of all the negatives.
Autumn is once again upon us and yes, it can be a beautiful season. The trees will explode with leaves of gold and red and yellow. The air will be crisp and bring thoughts of apple cider, homemade soup and warm quilts. However, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Autumn is not always the way you see it on a picture in a calendar. For instance, this year the leaves are all green although some are trying to burst out into Autumn colors. The temperatures are bouncing around from low 50s to over 80. It's as if Summer wants to stay and is giving the new season a fight to remain. Yes, Autumn is a beautiful season but in this point I am on the side of the season of Summer. I am rooting for it to hang on as long as possible for I know what is coming after Autumn and I don't like it.
the unconditional love of my God. No matter what kind of person I have been on any given day, I know He is beside me good or bad. I have no fear for I know He will take care of me and those I love.
the beauty of the earth in all its forms. My hope is that we be the caretakers God intended us to be.
over 40 years with a man who can still make me laugh, surprise me and fill my heart with the same passionate love from that first date.
the continued good health in body, mind and spirit of my family especially in the midst of this seemingly unending pandemic.
memories of a 60+ years life to remember and share.
being able to watch my sons become the adults I knew they would be with good, kind, loving hearts and the courage to pursue their dreams even when I do not understand them at times.
seeing that my sons have strong, independent women in their lives who love them almost as much as their mother does.
parents who taught me about romantic love between soul mates, the strength of a unified family who can get through any adversity and the belief that it is what is inside a person that is most important.
continuing to hope that those I have been separated from over the years for whatever reason will reach out so we can reconnect.
the appreciation of the small things in life--hearing the coo of the morning doves, watching mares graze in the field, the smell of freshly mowed grass, the taste of hot orange tea in my nanny's teacup on a rainy morning, the touch of my husband's hand when we are out for a walk, the cuddles and purrs from my cat on a down day.
good food on the table, a roof over our heads, a comfortable secure retirement life.
time to pursue pasttimes, travel with my husband and just enjoy day to day living without the rush of time.
books that you hold in your hands, turn the pages and appreciate the beauty of how they look; music of all genres that lift you up or calm you down and art in all mediums that makes you wish you had just a small percentage of the talent the artists have.
being a cat mom and a dog & cat grandma.
the ability to appreciate the positives in my life especially on days when there seems to be more negatives.
On September 11, 2001, I was teaching in my second grade classroom unaware of what was happening in New York and in Arlington, Virginia. The school secretary called me over the intercom telling me I had a phone call in the office. When I answered the call, it was my husband. He told me that he was watching the tv and that planes had crashed into the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Virginia. The newscasters were saying that it was a terrorist attack. I hung up and told my principal and the secretary what my husband had said. They immediately turned on the news in the office. I walked back to my classroom stunned at what I had just heard. Within the hour, the principal came to each classroom and told the teachers to just continue with our day as if nothing was happening and that we would all meet after school to discuss the next plan of action. It was difficult keeping my mind on the lessons that day knowing what I knew.
After school, we met in the lunchroom and the principal told us that we would not discuss this in class as our students' mental well being was our main concern. If parents wanted to discuss it with their children...fine, but we would not in school. At the time, our school was DK thru 4th grade.
That night, like so many others, my family watched the coverage on tv. I remember crying as I watched people running out of the buildings and down the streets, as first responders went into the damaged buildings looking for survivors and how some of those responders never came back out and the news that a plane which had been headed for the White House had gone down in a field in Pennsylvania due to the courageous actions of the passengers and crew. I felt pride at how we all came together to show that America could not be beaten and that we would find who had attacked us.
"Where were you when the world stopped turning..." by Alan Jackson