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Posts Tagged ‘Age’

Recently, I posted this quote on my Facebook page and was astounded by the reaction…and most astonished by who unexpectedly responded.  The Help was a good movie, but the book was better.  Maybe it was because I read the book first, and I find that my imagination version is usually more interesting than the celluloid version that a director creates.  When I read a book, I can picture what the characters look like, sound like and how the scenery appears.  But the best part about reading a book is the thrill of going back after seeing the movie and re-reading the book, just to see how much better it really is.  And it is…really better.

I remember when little Mae Mobley repeated what Aibileen had taught her.  You is kind. You is smart. You is important.  And in that moment, I knew that every child should have Aibileen, or someone, give them the knowledge that they are kind, they are smart, and they are important.  If more children had that lesson ingrained in them from their earliest days, we would have far less pain in the world.

People of all ages respond to being told they are important.  It isn’t just children who need the reinforcement of being told they are kind.  We all want to believe we are thought to be smart.  The triple threat – being kind, smart AND important.  Those traits are the making of leaders.  I think about the leaders I would follow.  They are all smart…and kind.  And that makes them important to me.  And the most important person in my life who is smart and kind is my husband.  If there was ever someone who should have been told over and over that he is kind, smart and important, it is my guy.

It also makes me think of another movie I saw recently.  Girl Rising.  It moved me that there are so many young girls fighting for the right to prove they are smart.  They fight for the right to an education.  And they are willing to do almost anything to get an education.  They shouldn’t have to go to the extremes these young girls did, just to go to school.  They are important.  And they should be able to prove it.  No one should hold them back.

For all the children, everywhere, you are kind…you are smart…you are important.  Believe it.  Live it.  Pass it on.

“The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer  

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When I was a kid, there were 3 channels.  Black and White Television.  No remote channel changers…unless you count my brother and me.  We were the human channel changers.  And I vividly remember when we got our first color television.  I could not get enough of those three channels.  And then…there were four!  How were we possibly going to have enough time to see all there was to see?  I know, that makes me old.

I loved watching the old Shirley Temple movies.  And there was nothing better than seeing commercials in color.  I could finally see the avocado green appliances and the color of the shag rugs in the homes of the characters who were wearing bell bottom jeans and psychedelic mini dresses.  They were awesome colors!  But I also remember being shocked that black & white movies didn’t turn to color just because the tv was a color tv.  🙂

This love of television did not stop at the shows.  Since my early childhood, I have been fascinated by commercials.  The funny ones, the sad ones, the ones with catchy jingles.  I love commercials.  Nothing made me cry as much as the Hallmark card commercials.  And the old commercials like “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop” and “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan…” still run through my head like they were just shown yesterday.  And who can forget the Spot commercials from 7-Up? My favorite was Spot climbing up the chimney and finding a forgotten toy on the roof (and then swooping down the roof in that toy fire engine, through the tree and a window, landing under the Christmas tree).

Looking back now, I can’t get over how much fun television was back then.  Sometimes, I wish we could go back to that simpler time.  And then I turn on the tv and find hundreds of channels to view…and one dedicated to old movies, another dedicated to old sitcoms from back in the day…and the Food Network.  I LOVE the Food Network. And since we CAN’T go back in time, I’ll stay in the here-and-now and enjoy it.

Although the shows have changed and the channels have drastically increased over the years, my fascination with television ( and with commercials) hasn’t changed at all.

“Television is more interesting than people. If it were not, we would have people standing in the corners of our rooms.” ~ Alan Corenk

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My hubby and I are getting to the age that many of our friends (and we aren’t far behind) are now starting to care for their parents.  Some of them are now complete caretakers and others are starting to give advice to their parents…and others fall into other parts of the spectrum.  So far, my husband has just been giving advice and reviewing their finances to make sure they can continue to do what they need to do on their own.  After hearing bits and pieces of some very sad stories from friends and acquaintances, and the occasional funny one, I realized how lucky I am that my mother is such a go-getter, that I haven’t yet had to consider the options that are available and what I would do if I needed to be her caretaker.  My mother is such an independent person, I just have no idea how I will get her to do what I say is necessary.

Recently, a friend was telling me about her experiences with her mother.  Her mother questioned her about the finances over and over until her daughter had to tell her that she had no choice.  Her mother asked, “Why?” and her daughter had to tell her, “Because I’m in charge now.”  She said it was the hardest thing she has ever had to do.  I could feel her pain as she told the story.  I know exactly how difficult it would be to say the same thing to my mom.

So, how do you know when you are just butting in where you aren’t needed and when you really need to step in and take control?

I worry about the day I need to let my mother know I’m in charge now. I don’t know how she’ll take it, but I hope it’s as good as my friend’s mother. When told her daughter was now in charge, her response was, “Okay.” And that was that.

“We begin our lives being cared for by our parents and we care for them at the end of theirs.  It’s a fair trade.” ~ AEK

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I Remember When…

Recently, I was reading someone else’s blog and they mentioned a memory from their past.  It triggered something for me and I started thinking of my lifetime and how much in the world has changed.  The little things.  The things that seemed so normal and some things that felt so right at the time.  And some are things I wish hadn’t changed. 

I remember when dialing a phone meant using a dial…no push buttons or touch screens (there WERE no cell phones).

I remember when televisions were black & white and there were only 3 channels.

I remember when the dishwasher was me (and I remember when my parents finally bought a dishwasher).

I remember when I bought my first calculator…an HP scientific calculator that came in a carrying case and was almost the same size as a brick and I was excited that I didn’t have to use a slide rule!

I remember pay phones on almost every corner – and there were no Starbucks.

I remember when there was no internet.

I remember a time when parents didn’t have to check all the candy collected by their children on Halloween for razor blades and other dangers.

I remember when riding on a plane meant dressing up in your best clothes.

I remember when stamps had to be licked to stick.

I remember when checks had 19 printed in front of the blank for the year…and we didn’t realize it would need to change for 2000….it was too far into the future.

I remember when there was no such thing as a debit card.  We carried cash…or maybe a checkbook.

I remember when pumping gas was done by the gas station attendant.  And he checked your oil and washed the windows, too.

I remember when clogs, bell bottom jeans and low-rise jeans were in…the first time.

I remember when the Kansas City Royals was a WINNING team…big-time winning, that is.  The days of Paul Splittorf, George Brett, Darrell Porter, Pete LaCock, John Mayberry, Freddie Patek, Cookie Rojas, Frank White and Hal McRae (went to lots of games in 76 and 77) and later when they actually won the world series in 85 with players like Bret Saberhagen and Dan Quisenberry.  Awesome!!  

I remember when saying the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the school day was expected, not an affront to anyone.  Being a military dependent, I LOVED saying the pledge of allegiance.  It meant something to me.

I remember when it was safe for children to play in the streets or in their yard, ride their bikes all over town and there was no fear of being kidnapped or stolen. 

I remember when kids were kids…they played after school and their days were not filled with so many lessons and activities that they had no time just to be carefree children.

I remember when terrorism happened somewhere else…not the U.S.  And it was safe to be an American.

“Take time to gather up the past so that you will be able to draw from your experience and invest them in the future.” ~ Jim Rohn

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As I’ve made quite clear in the name and description of my blog, I travel.  As much as possible.  And, although I’ve been many places in my life so far, there are far more interesting places yet to visit.  My list seems to be growing, not shrinking.  And as I see the end of my life getting closer each day (not that I expect it will happen for years, but you never know), I find that I am starting to face my mortality.  I am beginning to realize that I may never get to see all the interesting places I’d like to visit.  So, now I find myself starting to prioritize.  And I am getting more insistent that every single vacation must be somewhere significant.  I don’t have time to waste in visiting the same places over and over, just because I happened to like them. 

The more I find myself prioritizing, though, the longer the list becomes.  Because each time I look at where I want to go next, I think of another place that I just MUST see before…well, you know.  I’m extremely excited that in the next few months, I’ll be checking off a major destination from the list.  I’m going to Alaska!  I’m so happy that my dear, sweet hubby has let me talk him into the Alaska cruise.  I know…I won’t be in Alaska long, but I will have had a small taste of the experience.  And, like my father, I will find myself off the coast of Alaska on a ship.  But unlike my father, Alaska is a state when I will be off the coast.  My father was on a ship off the coast about a year before Alaska became a state. 

I have always wondered what that must have been like for him.  It couldn’t have been as exciting as it will be for me.  He was on a military ship.  I, on the other hand, will be enjoying the luxury of a cruise ship, entertainment, good food, and my family (translated: hubby) with me. 

My father was from a small town in southern California and had been in the military a couple of years or so when he was off the coast of Alaska.  It must have been a little different for him.  I grew up moving and traveling.  He didn’t.  But if it hadn’t been for the adventurous spirit of my father, willing to join the military, I would not have been born.  He met my mother in England when he was stationed there.  I’m very thankful he went to church that Sunday morning so many years ago in a strange city.  After getting married, they moved to France and along came me!

My first trip to another country was when I was two months old and my parents took me back to the church where they met and were married to be christened.  And I’ve been traveling ever since.  About 9 years ago, my hubby and I took a trip to England and visited that church, along with other amazing places all over England.  I’ve been fortunate to spend time in Europe, the USSR, the US, Mexico, Latin America, South America, and Canada.  And, someday, I hope to expand my travels to other areas of the world.  Because, although I’ve been so many places in my life and time, I still have so much to see.  And I thank my father for giving me this traveling bug.  If it hadn’t been for him…well, you know.

 

“Traveling is not just seeing the new; it is also leaving behind. Not just opening doors; also closing them behind you, never to return. But the place you have left forever is always there for you to see whenever you shut your eyes.” ~ Jan Myrdal

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I have no idea how we are even beginning 2011, much less seeing it end.  The last year has been one big blur of days flying by with work, trips out of town, and football and basketball games.  I hope that saying that time flies when you’re having fun is the actual reason the last year has whizzed past — I’d hate to think the time is just going by faster, because I’m getting older.  If that’s the case, at this rate, I’ll be 80 before I know it. 

I feel very remiss that I haven’t kept my promise to myself…I had planned to post something every week of 2011 and I missed the boat.  In fact, posts during the last six months have been almost non-existent.  I have to admit, I felt like committing to once a week sounded like a good idea, but then it started feeling like work instead of enjoyment.  And that is when I started putting off the posts.  Or starting to write, but never completing them.  I have several drafts and just can’t seem to finish them. 

So, here I am, wondering how the last six months went by so fast and how I managed to write so little.  But, does it matter?  It’s over.  All I can do is move forward.  And I feel like writing again.  I’m back.  I’m not committing to any specific number of posts per week or month.  I’ll write because I feel like writing.  It makes me happy– again.  I guess that means my New Year’s Resolution is to write when I feel like it. 

I hope each of you have found something that makes you happy, something you enjoy.  And resolve to do what makes you happy.  Happy New Year…welcome, 2012!  I hope you’re a little less frantic than 2011 was.  And a lot slower!

“In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking.” ~ Sir John Lubbock

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This morning, my hubby and I went bowling. There really is a reason. The division I work in at the university is having a jamboree (staff end-of-the-year event) this week and it is at the local bowling alley. I haven’t bowled in 34 YEARS! Yes, that’s right.     34 YEARS!     I know there are people I work with who were born AFTER the last time I bowled. Needless to say, some of them bowl on a regular basis.

Don’t get me wrong. I used to love to bowl. And then I got tired of it or just didn’t make the time anymore. I can hardly remember. After all, it was 34…okay, enough. Anyway, I used to be good.  Pretty darn good, in fact.  I competed at the state level and placed seventh, if I remember correctly, in doubles and 11th in singles. 

So, off I went to the bowling alley this morning, with the knowledge that I am now incredibly old to be learning how to bowl (again) and with my hubby in tow.  At least the place we went was far from the house, eliminating odds of running into neighbors.  But, it was close to work.  So, I worried (needlessly, fortunately).  We had socks ready (since we were renting those LOVELY shoes that are available for the novices or non-regular bowlers).  And we had checked…it is only 99 cents per person per game on Sundays before noon.  Yes, we didn’t go to church.  We went bowling. 

Well, it started out rough.  We didn’t know where to go once we entered.  The place was mammoth!  And when we did find the desk, I blurted out, “I haven’t bowled in 34 YEARS!”  So, too late.  I have now embarrassed myself.  But I was wanting to make sure he knew up front, we didn’t know what we were doing and we were going to have stupid questions.  I had to give him my driver’s license.  HUH??  I guess that’s so you don’t leave without paying.  Boy, has the world changed in the last 34 years.  😀  Okay, I’ll stop bringing that up.  Then, he asked what size shoes.  Well, I live in south Texas.  I hardly wear shoes that cover my entire foot anymore, so I just had to guess.  And were those shoes lovely!?!  NO!  Mine were three colors and one of the shoes had a chunk of leather (?) missing on the area where it wraps below your ankle.  It looked like it had been chewed on by a rat.  But, they were broken in (really broken in) and were actually comfy.  Well, off to lane 3.  But first, put on the shoes and find a bowling ball.  Strangely, hubby and I are both left-handed.  I was worried.  But I guess they make the bowling balls generic now.  Who knew?  Back (XX years ago) in the day, there were left- and right-handed bowling balls.  So, we found bowling balls (and amazingly, they are all different colors now, too).  I had a bright pink one and hubby’s was orange–I didn’t see a black bowling ball in the entire place.  Then we sat at what looked like the Enterprise’s (reference to Star Trek) control panel and realized we had no idea what we were doing.  The guy on the next lane was nice enough to show us how to work it.  I was used to paper and pencil and keeping tabs on the score myself. 

I have now thoroughly embarrassed myself without even throwing the first ball.  But things definitely were not as bad as I expected.  My first game was a not horribly embarrassing 77.  Could have been a lot better, but could have been a lot worse.  And my second game was 130…I broke 100!!!  I’m feeling a little better about going on Wednesday to the jamboree.  I did my pre-jamboree, bowling reconnaissance and embarrassment-proofing.  Now, let’s hope I can repeat at least one of those game scores, so I’m not cringing as the bowling ball bounces across lanes (I’ve done that before) or flying behind me (again, done that) or bouncing off my foot (haven’t done that, but it’s a fear).  So, wish me luck and keep me in your thoughts on Wednesday evening as I head off to the lanes and the camaraderie of my co-workers.

“There’s a blush for won’t, and a blush for shan’t, and a blush for having done it: There’s a blush for thought and a blush for naught, and a blush for just begun it.” ~ John Keats

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