I Am Not Old

“I will most definitely be outrageous, difficult and undignified,
but not until I am old.”
Judith Baxter, Blogger, Mother, Sister, Grandmother and friend.
1938 –
I make no secret of my vast age. I know how very lucky I am to have had such a long and interesting life. Many don’t have the good fortune to reach this age.
I have bored you with this on several earlier posts.
I compared myself to a classic car in Vintage?  “I too am kept in a warm dry house (rather than a garage) away from the vagaries of the weather.  I’m cleaned, polished and primped.  I have regular services, hairdressers, facials, manicures, pedicures, dentists and the occasional visit to the GP”
I gave you fair warning that I wasn’t going to age gracefully ” So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised When suddenly I am old and start to wear purple”
And again in Rambling with an OctogenarianI mused on growing old along with others and said  “When I think of old I imagine an old person sitting in a chair doing nothing active. I don’t want to be that person. I have said in the past that I want to hike into my old age. “
And of course, we all know that Strange Old Lady who seems to inhabit all our houses as we get older – “Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I looked in the mirror and saw this Old Woman looking out at me.” 

Granny on computer

(sigh….. bet that strange old lady is on “her” puter too!) What’s a body to do??????

Then today when noodling around the internet with coffee in hand, I came across this:

I am not old … she said … I am rare.

I am the standing ovation

At the end of the play.

I am the retrospective
Of my life as art

I am the hours
Connected like dots
Into good sense

I am the fullness
Of existing.

You think I am waiting to die …
But I am waiting to be found

I am a treasure.
I am a map.

And these wrinkles are
Imprints of my journey

Ask me anything.

~~ Samantha Reynolds’

I find that Samantha h Reynolds is the Founder and President of Echo Storytelling Agency. She is based in Vancouver, BC and says -“I help great people tell great stories. I also talk on the phone a lot and write ideas on scraps of paper when stopped at red lights.”

Down Memory Lane Workbook Now Ready

Hey, hey.it’s Saturday again.  Time for Six Word Saturday

Six word Saturday button

I am sorry to say that the site no longer exists, but some of us are continuing with Six Word Saturday. Please join us for a bit of. fun.

My six words are in the title if this post. To live in lives we leave behind, is not to die.”
Judith Baxter 1938 –

In 2009 I devised and have since run a course on Memory Witing,  This is not to write your life story, but to record your memories to pass on to future generations. But now, after so many years, the time came for the workbook to be updated.  And now it has been,

The course is ideally, run as a group, but sometimes I have had people who either didn’t have the time or the desire to work in a group, and so they have successfully worked through the course on their own using the workbook.

The course comprises six sessions and depending on the number of people involved, will usually take about one and a half to two hours.

I introduce the course with a few remarks:-

On and off over the years, I have written my memories.
I told them and read them to my young children when they were too young to read for themselves, and they treated them like fairy stories.
Those memories were the bricks on which we built our lives My growing up during and after World War Two was a totally foreign environment to them. And as we moved to New Zealand when they were seven and four London was mostly foreign to them too, although I called it home and we visited family there bi-annually.
The children grew up and made their own memories, but I continued to write mine.
At one time, I printed out the memories. I had them ring-bound and they sat on the coffee table along with other, much better-presented coffee table books.
Friends began to notice and ask how they could/should start to collect and collate their memories, and so the course was devised and with it came this workbook for participants.

And I am now pleased to say the workbook is ready to go onto Amazon to be sold. But before then, I should like to offer a copy to any of my followers who would like to receive one. Please send an email to judith@judithbaxter.net.nz with Memory Lane Workbookin the subject line and I will respond asap.

This is really a great and precious gift for your future generations, so I hope to hear from you.

“Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions,
they can take away your money, and they can take away your health.
But no one can ever take away your precious memories.”
Judith Baxter, friend, mother, sister, aunt and blogger. 1938-

Getting Ready To Return To ‘Normal’

“Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love ”
Leonard Cohen, Canadian Songwriter
1934-2016 Continue reading

Goodness, It’s Saturday Again

SIX WORD SATURDAY
FIRST SATURDAY IN ALERT LEVEL TWO

“It’s a serious thing just to be alive
on this fresh morning in this broken world”
Mary Oliver

On Thursday we moved down to Alert Level Two from Three.

And now I’m musing about the imposed, and necessary lockdown.

Usually, the week is defined by various activities on specific days: I am out and about daily. But now days follow days with nothing to differentiate one from another.

Yesterday, there was a highlight. A much-needed visit to the hairdresser, many weeks overdue.

And what have I learned in these eight weeks of lockdown?

  • Even though I am a bit of a social butterfly I have learned to amuse myself.
  • I have looked inward and once again have turned to meditation. This was my shield when my husband died all those years ago.
  • I have read and listened to countless books and have discovered new authors.

  • I have walked around this neighbourhood, finding new paths, walkways and streets never before known.

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  • I have learned that just because shops, restaurants and cafes are open again, I don’t have to go there.
  • And I have learned It’s OK Not To Be OK.
  • And mostly I have learned how very fortunate I am. There are so many for whom to mourn, so many without support of family and friends, so many being unable to distance themselves from crowds, so many…

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Rumi, 13th-century Persian poet 

 

 

 

Six Word Saturday

 

Friendship Is the rainbow between two hearts
Judith Baxter, friend, confidante, mother, sister and grandmother
1938 – 

 

                        A  DISASTER, RUINED POT, NOW WHAT?DISASTEDISASTER, RUINED POT, SO NOW WHAT?

image_36d65fa7-6823-48da-8eea-c2b705c39272.img_1265

Many years ago I bought my DYS (Dashing Young Scotsman) a cast iron pot. He was a cook and he loved and cared for that pot.  Wherever we lived, the pot was always too big to go into a cupboard and so it proudly sat on the stove, in full view to be admired.

Unfortunately, the pot didn’t survive my cooking attempts. One day, I put on the pot with apples to stew and forgot about it. Disaster. Apples stuck to the bottom of the pot. Several attempts were made to bring the pot back to its original state without success. And in cleaning it I removed some of the coating so it can no longer be used as a cooking vessel.

Tears,  as I thought about how my husband had looked after the pot. Then I thought of how it could still be used and admired again. It now sits outside the french window in full view in its new function as a planter, and happily sits with three cyclamens in the sunshine.

So Recycled, Reused and Redeemed, I am happy once again.

“There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain,
comedy and tragedy, humour and hurt.”
Erma Bombeck, American Humourist,
1927-1996

 

I really hope you are all coping in this time of turbulence, trouble and tragedy. Did my lighthearted post brighten your day just a little?

 

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NOTE – I published this about two hours ago but somehow it got lost in the ether and so I had to write it again. So if you got the original before the ether took it and notice some errors, apologies. Blame WordPress or the Ether or whoever, but never the writer. Haha!

 

Today in Lockdown

With nothing better to do on a sunny autumnal Friday,  I started to read W H Auden’s Collected Poems.

This has long sat on the shelf above my bed and I find I often just open a page and see what he has to offer. Today I found:-

When there are so many we shall have to mourn,
when grief has been made so public and exposed
to the critique of a whole new epoch
the fragility of our conscience and anguish,
of whom shall we speak?

For every day they die among us, those who
were doing us some good,
who knew it was never enough
but hoped to improve a little by liv
ing.”
In memory of Sigmund Freud 1939

How very apt at this time when we are counting deaths around the world including those on the frontline of this fight against the unseen and unknown virus.  And then:

“Goodness existed: that was the new knowledge”

W H Auden’s time was so different from ours – 1907 to 1973. He lived during the Spanish Civil War and both World Wars I and II. His poem titled “September 1, 1939”, speaks out of his concern for mankind and where their unbridled hunt for more and more,  and bigger and ‘better’ things will lead.  It is. sobering poem to read, even though written 81 years ago, it still holds true.

“I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:”

And here in New Zealand, the government is considering moving us from Alert Level 3 down to Level 2. If/when this happens, shops will be opened again and the consumerism will once again be god. How I hope that all we have learned in the past six weeks will not be undone.

Looking at what happened when Level 4 became Level 3 and click and collect was put into place for takeaway and fast food services; lines of cars queued for hours for a burger, chicken or coffee. So we will still feed our personal appetites even with the restrictions currently imposed in this Level and promulgated for the next.

 

 

But here in the sun still shines, There are two new cases reported today after one yesterday. Three people are in hospital and some 90% of those who succumbed have recovered. So it appears that we are on the way to getting it under control.

But we are not complimenting ourselves. We are not unaware that we have many benefits that other countries don’t have. We are a long way from anywhere and we are a small nation – 5,000,000 at last count. We have a determined young female Prime Minister, who is willing to listen to advice and accept help from her advisers and scientists.

And I think of my friends and family in other parts of the world and hope that they will soon be able to say they are on the way to gaining control. And with love, I offer the following –

End of today’s musings.

 

 

 

A Totem?

“It is impossible for light not to get noticed,
especially in the dark.”
― Matshona Dhliwayo
Zimbabwean-born and Canadian-based Philosopher.

 

Several Christmases ago, among other things, my daughter gave me a salt lamp. Since that time, the lamp has glowed 24/7.  I never switch it off. I have had to change the bulb on occasion, but that was the only short time it hasn’t glowed in my living room.

With the door open into the living room, it is a reminder during the night, that tomorrow will come and with it, the light.

But on arriving home on March 21 from my brief dog-sitting stay at my son’s house, I found my lamp was off. Unfortunately, this coincided with day one of the imposed lockdown of seniors here in New Zealand. Added to that, the electrical supplier is open only until mid-day on Saturday, so my lamp has to remain off until such time as I can purchase a bulb.

And now my thoughts trundle around and I think this will be my totem. Once the pandemic is under control, and life returns to some kind of ‘normalcy’, my lamp will glow brightly once again with a new bulb

And then I remember the wartime song, bringing hope and lightness into the very darkest days of World War Two.

When the lights go on again all over the world
A kiss won’t mean “goodbye” but “hello to love”
When the lights go on again all over the world
And the ships will sail again all over the world
Then we’ll have time for things like wedding rings
and free hearts will sing
When the lights go on again all over the world.”
And for those of you who are not even nearly as old as me, here’s the link to Dame Vera singing this song during the war. Perhaps it can bring hope to us during this dark time when there is so little to celebrate.
Meantime my lamp will stand as a reminder that there are ways and means to lighten the darkness.
“The most precious light is the one that
visits you in your darkest hour!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan
Turkish author and playwright .1965 –

 

 

Sunday’s Sunshine Saunter

“I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks – who had the genius, so to speak, for sauntering: which word is beautifully derived “from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked for charity, under the pretense of going à la Sainte Terre,” to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, “There goes a Sainte-Terrer,” a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander.”
Henry David Thoreau, American essayist, poet and philosopher. 1817-1862

My walks these days are more a saunter than a brisk walk. But while sauntering  I have time to take in the sights and the scenery. Yesterday, I ventured further into a park that houses the outside swimming pool. Nobody was in it and I omitted to take a photo of this sad, deserted area, But I did get some others.

The street leading to the park

Deserted play area

Almost a country lane
but so close to town

I wonder where this drive leads.

The path through the woods

0FEC6764-1FA5-4B28-8C0B-CA4845D40003The path not taken

And so, as the day is drawing to a close on an. autumn day, I make my way home again to a warm drink and my book.

When we walk, we naturally go to the fields and woods:
what would become of us, if we walked only in a garden or a mall?
Henry David Thoreau

 

Six Word Saturday

 

Lest we forget. ANZAC Day 2020

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We Will Remember Them.”
LAWRENCE BINYON 1869-1943,
English poet, dramatist and art scholar.

I have written about ANZAC Day most years since I started blogging in 2011.

April 25 is a special day here in New Zealand and Australia. celebrating,  commemorating, and remembering all those who have fought, suffered and died in all wars. In both countries, it is a Public Holiday. Services of Remembrance are held throughout both lands. And on this day in Gallipoli in Turkey, those brave souls who suffered and the many who died there are also remembered by the laying of wreaths at the Gallipoli Memorial.

On April 25, 1915, thousands of young men, far from their homes, stormed the beaches on the Gallipoli Peninsula in what is now Turkey.

For eight long months, New Zealand troops, alongside those from Australia, Great Britain and Ireland, France, India, and Newfoundland battled harsh conditions and Ottoman forces desperately fighting to protect their homeland.

But this year during the Covid-19 pandemic all public commemorations have been cancelled. No poppies were sold but some of us had those from an earlier year and we wore them, and many homemade poppies have been seen this year.

The Prime Minister suggested that as we can’t go to the dawn services at war memorials people should stand at their gates or front doors at dawn in memory of the fallen.

A very different ANZAC Day but we will not forget.

war2

 

Thursday’s Tirade

No matter how dark the night we know that whatever happens,
the sun will rise tomorrow and then all the shadows

will be chased away.”
Judith Baxter 1938 –

Stay home

What part of this message do people not understand? We have a Minister of Health who has broken the lockdown on two occasions. We have an outspoken, and well-regarded doctor in the far north, who reprimanded the citizens of his home town for ignoring the Stay Home notice. Now we find that he went kayaking over the weekend.

And out of the spotlight, I have neighbours whose daughter and young children visited yesterday and a friend whose son visited. We now have only five more days in the current Alert Level 4 and at 11.59 pm on Monday less stringent rules will apply to lockdown. Our bubbles can then be extended. Can these people not wait five days?

Jacind

Our Prime Minister congratulates almost all New Zealanders for obeying these strict rules and helping to keep Covid19 under some control.  Foolish, and unthinking actions like these will quickly undermine all the good that has been achieved over the preceding weeks.

Selfishness and Me Me attitudes cannot be allowed.

OK End of the rant; well at least for today.

Here in Aotearoa, NZ, we are getting our first taste today of the winter to come. Rain and wind met me when I woke this morning. No sign of the fabulous Indian Summer we have been enjoying over the last few weeks. Here, winter is mostly grey and wet: maybe thoughts of winter encouraged today’s rant.

But I am English and like the mail, we go out in the wind and rain for our daily perambulation; suitably dressed of course. I don’t know if there will be photos to accompany me on the walk and to share with you.

And a reminder – a pluviophile is a lover of rain.

“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.”
Roger Miller, American singer-songwriter and actor
1936-1992