Showing posts from December, 2015

Will You Make the Choice or Will It be Made For You?

We received a letter from our friends in Oregon with their Christmas letter attached. I always look forward to Beth's missive. Her family is very interesting and she is naturally very proud. Best of all she has a way of telling her story without appearing to brag. That my friends is a trick.
But what interested me the most about her words this year was the message about the positive side of change. See, her world is not perfect. I don't suppose that anyone's is. 
Change is the substance that keeps us alive and moving. Without it we would crumble in our chairs.
Aging is not a good time to decide to live in a "forever" house or dig in and refuse to do what is necessary to grease the wheels for ourselves and our families.
In the place where my husband and I live in the winter, change is expected and even inevitable. Even the structures we live in are not permanent in anyway and they symbolize what the future holds. It is the choices we make now that will ease the ne…

Happiness At Whose Expense?

It seems that everything has a cost. Even the freedom of retirement comes with a price tag. Hopefully, someone in the retirees family is not paying dearly. But that is what happens many, many times.

One of my commenters said something the other day that made me stop and think about the price paid for being happy. I told about our snowbird lifestyle and how free we were. She said that freedom had so many meanings for her but being free to travel was not something she was going to get to do for a while. She said:
Right now, we are the somewhat caregivers of my elderly parents who reside in a nursing home. My sister didn't want to help so she felt FREE to move 1,000 away. One sibling simply left town and did not offer to return so the other sibling could have a month or two of respite. It seems very unfair doesn't it? I don't know the whole story in that particular case but I do know about my own life.

In order for my husband and I to leave Oregon for six months, our children…

Watching, Waiting and All That Means

We drop into bed exhausted every night. The days fly by because they only get to stay over night for 4 sleeps. The first sleep was after a 37 hour plane ride from Dubai. Safely next to our bed they slept like the babies they are.
We have ridden the bicycle, made a duct tape purse, decorated cookies, played pickleball, taken a walk, eaten out a Wild Wings where I embarrassed them cheering for Green Bay and watched two wonderful movies on Netflix. Plus a lot more. They had a wonderful time but of course they were ready to go when their mom and dad came.
I couldn't explain to you if you have never been around children what it feels like to love them so completely. Even after a scolding they will snuggle close. But best of all everyday begins with the watching. I can see them growing right before my eyes.
The Tanque Verde Resort here in Tucson has hundreds of horses that they use on trail rides and for lessons. We visited yesterday just so the girls could get their "horse fix&qu…

What Makes You Happy?

My granddaughters are staying in our tiny park model for 4 nights. We talk a lot about what we like. This morning we discussed my need to buy them clothes because what grandma does not love to buy girls clothes? We worked out how we were going to handle the gifts I bought (that are probably are all wrong and won't fit) them for Christmas. I can be happy and they can be happy.

Last night the conversation turned to our favorite things. We were watching "Call of the Sea" on Netflix and I commented on how beautiful the animation was. "Isn't that the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?" I asked. "It makes me happy."

The youngest answered with an emphatic "NO".
"What was the most beautiful thing you have ever seen Meelie?" I asked.

"The flower in your yard...remember Maddie...Grandma's flower that smelled so good you just wanted to stand and smell it. Then when you got up close, oh my gosh, it was just the most beautifu…

Would You Enjoy 3rd World Travel?

Up until last Spring my husband and I had always traveled to third world countries. We have been to the Far East a number of times, each trip to a different country. We have stayed in Hong Kong, The Philipines, China, Vietnam and Thailand. Our travels have also taken us to Mexico, Jamaica and The Bahamas. The fact is that each one of these trips was an adventure and a huge learning experience. Those trips are the jewels in our travel crown.
But...after taking the trip to Europe last spring, I fell in love with the vacation that lifted me up through art and food and people that could have been my ancestors. The days flew by in a comfortable way I cannot describe. It wasn't about the adventure or bragging rights. It was just about relaxation, beauty, food and laughter. It was an entirely different experience for us.

So, I wonder, "How do you feel about third world travel." If you are thinking that third world travel is for you, you need to realize that that type of travel i…

Nancy Was Our Light

We lost a dear friend. Nancy (right) died unexpectedly yesterday. We will miss her greatly. Our world will not be the same without her in it.

Rest in peace Nan.

Barbara and Earl

Another Snowbird Reality is cold!

I am a snowbird that expects warm weather everyday all winter long. But the reality is IT IS VERY COLD HERE in Tucson Arizona today and will be for about a week! I brought some winter clothes with me so I am good. Believe or not we actually follow the weather, ocean currents and other miscellaneous news items. My husband tells me about el nino and el nina. Then I decide what might happen while we are in Arizona.

The REALITY of it all is that, even though we travel south for warm weather and all that means in our life, it can be very cold here in Tucson. We have had cactus freeze solid to the core when it stayed below freezing for 2-3 days. Our palms have been frozen and the fronds turned brown.

Locals don't wear shorts in the winter and those of us that plant beautiful flowers are prepared to cover them and provide some warmth.

It is so much fun to watch the local people get bundled up looking like Eskimos and to hear them talk about lighting their fireplaces. It is very exciting…

Dear Santa....I can explain!

1914 Santa Claus in japan
(Photo credit: Wikipedia) If you are a reader of mine you know that I was born guilty. If a crime is committed in the neighborhood and the police come to  my door, I will confess. Even though I didn't know about the crime and cannot help the police, I am sure that in some way I am responsible. It is just the way I am.

I am not a Catholic so I don't get to confess my sins and even though I say I am sorry a lot, it seems that I alway feel at odds with the world. It is not easy being me.

So...when I saw this sign in the front window of a small rv in my park I knew that I had finally found a solution. Santa could help. The sign said:
Dear Santa,I can explain...Love, _________________ There you have it. I will send a simple letter to Santa, try to explain why I did what I did and hope. I can trust Santa and I know he is a good guy so he will probably forgive my mistakes. If there is a gift in my stocking, I will know that I am golden for one more year.


Were You Born to be Free?

What does that mean....born to be free? I was walking this morning and I saw a sign in front of one of the park models here in our park. It said, BORN TO BE FREE. It was made out of steel and had one person's name above the slogan. A big motorcycle was parked next to the front door. It made me wonder...what would it be like to be born to be free?
I was not born to be free and has never wanted that life. I am an only child and that is bad enough. I am self centered and selfish, love to be waited on and will always sleep in the middle of the bed. I'm not a bad person but I am an only child of older parents. It is not their fault...well not entirely. But to be free of my family or my husband or even my home does not appeal to me. And I never wanted to ride a motorcycle.

In spite of the "only child syndrome" I have always yearned for company and people to care about. Freedom would be very lonely for me I think.

So I struggle to understand what it would be like to come and…

When We Forget What We Are About....

Sometimes what sounds like a very good idea is not. It is as simple as that. We live in a box of sorts and, depending on which way you approach that box, things look and sound different. That is what happen when the man at the grocery called someone on speaking a language he did not understand and was not english. That was the problem...the man's willingness to act on something he did not understand. He forgot that he might be the one speaking a foreign language. (As seen on Facebook)

My husband taught me early on in our marriage that most issues are not simple and I needed to be very careful to get ALL of the information before I opened my mouth. Even what seems very straight forward really isn't.

Take gun control for example. Following one of our awful mass shootings this fall I was spouting off about how ridiculous and wrong it was to allow one person to own so many weapons. "There should be laws limiting gun ownership." I said with great authority.

"How man…