Darling, I am growing old,
Silver threads among the gold,
Shine upon my brow today;
Life is fading fast away.

Eben E. Rexford

Friday, December 26, 2014

‘Twas the week before Christmas   
And all 'round USA
People were prepping
For a good Christmas Day.

Our house was a mess
While we put up the tree.
Then we hid all the boxes
And what did we see?

But a glimpse of the future
And warm thoughts of our year
Of the family we cherish,
And our friends far and near.

We thought of our travels
Throughout twenty-fourteen
Of camping and driving,
Of the sights we had seen.

There'd been ocean and mountains
Throughout all the west
Deserts and cities,
But the rocks were the best!

In June we'd joined family
To laud graduation,
Dear friends in Idaho
Were met with elation.

At the end of the summer
To California we bound
For pears, friends, and family
In our Kelseyville town.

Then off toward Nevada
We went with a zoom,
Only to find
The sage was in bloom!

After camping one night
We'd gone on our way,
A snuffin' and snottin',
(As Grandma would say.)

We'd seen five parks in Utah
Camping near four,
Agog at the beauty
Of boulders galore.

Back to California we went
To visit our brood
Who offered us shelter,
Ball games and food.

Our hearts bursting with love,
North, toward our home,
We pointed our trailer,
No more to roam.

So year's end is near.
Time's "done gone and went" 
And reality sets in:
No cards have been sent!

E-mail to the rescue
For those who're online,
And snailmail for others
But, alas, none on time.

Now Cujo is nestled
All snug in his bed
While visions of chew bones 
Dance in his head.

Doyle in his Santa hat,
And I in my bonnet,
Have donned ugly sweaters
To bring you this sonnet.

Hope your Christmas was great
Filled with joy, and not strife
And twenty-fifteen’s
The best year of your life!

Jo and Doyle

Friday, June 21, 2013

I've come back here after a two year hiatus. I see the site has changed, and I'll have to re-educate myself on how to blog  I want to expand my theme from aging to LIFE.  I just want readers to know they're reading the ramblings of an older woman, not some hot chick! 

When I learn how to reformat my blog, I'll start writing again.  When I get-er-done, I welcome you to join me. Until then, Happy Summer!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Show Must Go On ~

For many years, I enjoyed acting in community theater. It started out as a college class in acting, no lessons, just do it! It took a semester of weekly practices, then nightly rehearsals for a week pryor to the production. Despite the fact that the play, Main Street, was boring, it was well received by the community, and I had been bitten by the theater bug! Oh, this wasn't my first time on stage; I had performed in student productions while growing up. I'd always loved it, but I had no illusions about the quality of either my acting or the professionality of the play. This, however, was different. When I stepped on the stage as an adult, performing in front of people who had paid the price of a ticket, had sat in folding chairs, not because we were their darling children, but because they trusted us to do our best to entertain them, and who listened attentatively because we moved them; when I felt the energy  of my fellow actors and the enthusiasm of the audience, I knew this was something  I was going to keep doing.

Over the years, I acted in one or two plays a year. Although I was a pretty good actor, I had only a mediocre singing ability, so when the group put on musicals, I either had an obsure part in the chorus or served as part of the stage crew. I had a variety of parts in the dramas and comedies, however, often a lead. I think my all-time favorite play was You Can't Take it With You, a hilarious comedy from the 1930s. Our cast had so much fun, I almost cried when it was over. My favorite part over the years was that of a San Francisco Madam in the play Strange Bedfellows. I donned a bright red dress, painted my lips in peaks to my nose, topped my hair with a gaudy red wig, and was transformed into a bodacious, bawdy woman of ill-repute--far removed from my conservative self! 

I finally got to the point that I couldn't handle the productions along with full-time work, but later, when I went to college full time to get my degree, I took some drama courses.  Although I didn't do anymore acting, I got enough experience to qualify myself to teach drama when I got my teaching credential. It was fun working on plays with my students, and also very rewarding, especially when helping kids overcome stagefright. It amazed me how many students I had who really wanted to act, but were terrified of getting in front of their class. Once they finally were able to do a skit a couple of times, they were able to go on stage with little trouble. I incorporated drama into my teaching whenever I could.

The year after I retired from teaching, we moved to Western Washington. I didn't realize it at the time, but I found we had settled in an area rich with wonderful little theater companies. Several times a year I attend a variety of professional quality plays and musicals as well as outstanding local high schools productions. Having been an enthusiastic thespian myself, I'm especially appreciative of the work involved. I can enjoy the plays both for their entertainment value and their artistic achievement. I've also been able to attend some professional productions in Seattle, although I think I enjoy the amateur plays more.

I no longer take part in plays, but I hope I'll always be able to attend them. There's something magical about live theater; I plan to be part of that magic the rest of my life. No matter how old I get, "The Show Must Go On!"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The big seven-oh!

Today I officially turned seventy, so another decade begins. I just wish I didn't feel that old!  I've had fibromyalgia for almost twenty years, and I'm tired of feeling so darned tired. Because of improved medication, I really feel better than I did in the first years, but it's still not fun. What was to be a fun day of shopping turned out to be an exhausting trip--much shorter than planned. I spent the evening of my birthday sleeping away the tiring pain.

I was perked up though, by reading all my birthday wishes on facebook. Birthdays are more fun now than they've been since I was a kid. Having that little bit of contact with friends, old and new, gives me a lift. Facebook is fun for browsing every day, but to have so many friends take the time to send a note, however brief, makes me feel special. I heard from lots of family, many life-long friends, former students, and friends I've gained in the last few years.

I can remember how exciting birthdays were the first years of my life - not being able to sleep the night before, opening presents, sometimes having a party, always feeling like a princess. As I got older, birthdays were milestones.  The day I turned sixteen, I got my long-awaited driver's license. Twenty-one meant that I could vote and buy a drink.  Then there was a long time when birthdays came and went without fanfair. I became eligible for Medicare at sixty-five, a big relief as I'd had to pay a fortune for medical insurance since retiring on disability at sixty-two. I hadn't planned on using it as much as I have, though!

So here I sit after mid-night, no longer the birthday girl, ready to go to bed to sleep off the hang-over from sleeping all evening!  Tomorrow will be just another day, but I'll meet it with joy. It's good to know I've reached seventy.  Good to know I'm retired and can sleep in as long as I want.  Good to know that I have life ahead that I can enjoy family and friends who have made my life worth living. I'm blessed, and feeling a little old isn't so bad after all.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gotta Write!

One person commenting on my blog mentioned addictive behavior with blogging.  As someone who likes to write, I’ve been bitten by the addiction bug before. Years ago, when taking a college creative writing class, I became so obsessed with writing, that I was getting very little sleep. I’d climb into bed, tired to the bone, and my mind would start working on ideas for a poem, mentally editing sentences I’d written hours before, or constructing a plot for a short story.  After an hour of this, I’d slip from bed to start putting my thoughts on paper.

That was long before I owned a computer, so most of my rough drafts were handwritten  as I curled up beside a revived fire. During the wee hours of the morning, ideas flowed quickly from my mind onto the paper. I often would have to force myself crawl back in bed to grab a couple of hours of sleep before I had to rise to get my kids off to school.

One reason I’ve decided to commit to blog writing is to rekindle that desire to create, that urge to express my thoughts on paper, that need to document my existence. The process is so much easier now with a computer at my fingertips, and my time is less encumbered with responsibilities. As long as I get some food on the table (no longer my sole responsibility now that my husband’s retired) and get the bills paid on time, I have the option to choose writing over housework, writing over laundry, or writing over yard work.  If I want to spend hours on the computer letting my thoughts transfer onto the screen, I can ignore the grubby floors, the overflowing hamper, or the persistent weeds that will keep popping up faster than I can pull them.

Another reason I’m entering the already overcrowded blogosphere is that I’m terrified my mind will begin to fail me before all my ideas have been transformed into something concrete.  I have no delusions about writing the Great  American Novel or a compelling memoir. I don’t care to research a topic for a marketable magazine article. I want to exercise my brain for the sake of getting my synapses connecting and expanding.  My body is obviously declining, but I still have a chance to salvage my brain.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Growing (old) Pains

One of the biggest pains of growing old isn't a physical one, but that of realizing I can't keep up with my grandchildren. Fortunately I don't fret about having everything perfect when my kids come; they'd know I was faking anyway! They pitch in and clean house and cook, knowing that I won't be insulted if they scrub the kitchen or put together a meal. My grandkids love playing with their cousins, and I sit back and enjoy watching them together. They live so far apart that they usually only see each other once a year. Their bond is amazing.

I  was born to "older" parents. My cousins were a generation ahead of me, so their kids were my "real" cousins, and there weren't too many of them. I didn't have much chance to see them, although many lived in the same county, so I don't have many memories of cousin bonds. My grandparents had passed away, so there weren't many family gatherings.

There WAS my mom's family picnic on Memorial Day. We always called it May 30th, because it was on the actual day, not the last Monday of the month. We always gathered at my aunt's house in the town where mom grew up. We picked flowers from our yard, which always had lots of spring blooms, grown especially for that occasion. I still remember the fragrance of the sweet williams and roses in the car as we traveled to the picnic. We were in our best clothes, of course, because it was a special, almost sacred day.

After meeting at my aunt's house, we'd ride to the cemetery to lay our flowers on the graves of my mother's family. The most special grave was that of Mom's brother who had died in World War I.  I associate my grandparents with those once-a-year-visited graves. I think that's one reason I especially value my time with my grandchildren; I want them to have memories of me as a living person, not as a name on a tombstone. I don't remember the afternoon picnics with my aunts, uncles, and  older cousins nearly as much as my time at those graves.

I regret that I tire so easily and have to rest often when the kids visit. I have a valid excuse for that -- fibromyalgia and some recent surgeries -- but my naps force me to miss valuable time with my grandchildren.  Will they remember that I slept a lot, rather than played with them?  They play with their cousins so much of our time together; will they know how much pleasure I got from hearing their squeals and laughter?

I want to be able to walk through the woods with the little ones, looking for bugs and slugs, and climbing over fallen logs. I make my way on the uneven ground very slowly, using walking sticks to keep my balance. They tire of waiting for me, I'm sure, so most of their time in the woods is without me. I want to ride on the four-wheeler with them, but my back just won't take it. I'd like to play volleyball with them, but a fall could mean another hospital visit.  As I said, not being able to keep up with my grandchildren is a pain. The hugs are wonderful, though, and they don't hurt at all!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Please, anyone who views this blog, bear with my experimentation. I'm trying to find fonts, sizes, colors, etc. for the various elements of the blog, but when I think I've found what I want, I can't save it. I'll learn; I'm sure I will. Let's just hope my learning curve gets shorter!