Tag Archives: living

Who Said You’re Too Old?

Following on yesterday’s post when I wished for several things for you, I should like to add this to that list.

Take time to enjoy the moment.

On February 12 2013 I wrote about Matilda Kline who at 94 danced the foxtrot with a young man.

Now today, watch the video as 90 year old Hollywood Swing Dance legend Jean Veloz at FatCat Ballroom in Phoenix, AZ on October 4th, 2014 for the Arizona Swing Jam – a weekend of Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Swing Dancing, and Big Band Music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FffaCtMwIBI

and also

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjCf2O7JsPU

So what will you do on this glorious Saturday? Sing, dance and be happy.  Take note of these oldies and see how they are enjoying themselves.

  • Can’t dance?  Then sing.
  • Can’t sing. Then paint
  • Can’t paint – then read, walk, run whatever makes your heart sing.

“You’re never too old to set a new goal or
dream a new dream”
C S Lewis

And Wikipedia tells us “
Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was a British novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer,
and Christian apologist.

Happy Friday

Happy-Friday

As another working week for those of you who still have to work comes to an end, and we have the weekend to look forward to, what are your plans for the next two days?

I wish you:

  • Time to meet up with friends and family.
  • Leisure to do some of the things you enjoy
  • Motivation to read a new author, take up a new hobby or restart one
  • Opportunity to take a small (or large) risk – to do something different
  • Space to do those things that really make your heart sing
  • Ability to make choices 
  • Chances to make new memories and
  • Peace to give thanks for all you have in your life.

These are the things I wish for all of us.  May your weekend be filled with fun and laughter or peace and solitude, whichever is your choice.

And as you know Mary Oliver is one of my favourite poems, so I give you this for your weekend

“it is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in this broken world.”
Mary Oliver,
Red Bird a collection of poems
published by Beacon Press

Another Day, Another Lunch, Another Pool

The third and final day of this holiday weekend found me driving over the Rimutaka Hill with a friend for lunch at yet another friend’s house.  What a social butterfly I am becoming!

The sun was shining brightly when we left but before we reached the Hill the weather became overcast and really looked as if it would rain.

Rimutaka Hill Road

The Rimutakas Range is one of several mountain ranges in the North Island of New Zealand that form a ridge running parallel with the east coast between East Cape and Wellington.  The narrow and winding State Highway 2 crosses the ridge from the Hutt Valley** to Featherston. At the summit is a lookout point where there was a cafe, but after disputes over toilets and land ownership between the Greater Wellington Regional Council and a series of tenants the building sat empty and was severely damaged by fire in April 2009 and later was demolished.

So we wound our way over The Hill with the steep drop on our left (our driving side) and as always we were  glad to reach the summit and to know we are on the way down.  The steep drop is still there on our left but somehow going downhill is not as scary.  Of course, the same thing happens on the way home but this time the drop is someone else’s problem.

 

Greytown

Our destination was Greytown, best known for its collection of beautifully restored Victorian buildings and boutique shops, one of the most complete collections in the entire country. The main street lined with trees and impressive examples of colonial architecture is also home to a wide selection of cafes and restaurants. For those in the mood to shop, the quirky local stores and designer boutiques feature everything from jewellery to gourmet chocolates and antiques.

Westwood

And then to the house.  

Another day, another pool, another lunch.  Of course, my friend, the owner of the house, greeted us warmly and as always, made us feel very welcome.  This friend established a bed and breakfast operation in the house when her husband died very suddenly several years ago.  Westwood is a boutique, thriving operation.

Lunch was a beautiful smoked chicken salad eaten beside the pool, complemented with a bottle of Moet provided by the friend who accompanied me today.  And as I wasn’t driving, I had a glass or two.

How lucky I am to have the opportunity to visit friends and family who live quite close but in different parts of the Wellington Region. 

“Friendship is a rainbow between two hearts”
Judith Baxter, Mother, Blogger, Friend
1938-

** Note – The Hutt Valley is where I used to live with The Architect. It’s approximately 37km NE of Wellington City.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note – The Hutt Valley was where I used to live with The Architect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday in the Summer Sun

Another glorious day on the Kapiti Coast in New Zealand comes to an end.

I spent this day with my son and his wife lying at the side of their pool and idly gossiping passing the time of day. How very pleasant it was. Hot sun and cool drinks, perfect.  But it was a tall glass of lime and soda for me – our drink drive laws are very strict and so as I was driving home tonight, I had no alcohol. But who needs alcohol to enjoy oneself?

I did briefly think of Sandy and her dilemma but decided that could wait to be sorted out on another day.

Raumati jpg

Sunset at Raumati Beach.

 And the sunset at the beach reminded me of one of my favourite Max Lucado quotes 

“Next time a sunrise steals your breath or a meadow of flowers leave you speechless,
remain that way. Say nothing, and listen as heaven whispers,
“Do you like it? I did it just for you.”

It’s Wellington on a good day

Six word Saturday buttonSix word Saturday 

It’s Saturday again and time to join the gang at Six Word Saturday. Click on the badge to play along.

This has been the most perfect January day. Temperatures in and around 30 degrees. This is hot in this temperate climate and the pool at my son’s house was in high demand..

Lunch at a friend’s house but we decided it was too hot to eat outside so three elderly ladies ate lunch inside. Much laughter, exchange of stories and general well being. Some three and half hours later we decided that lunch was over.

How incongruous on this hot day the man delivering winter firewood arrived.

Back to lunch and how different was today’s lunch to yesterday’s.  Another beautifulWellington day but this time lunch with a friend who has dementia. Added to that is the problem that she is unable to walk without her Zimmer frame and you can see lunch was not a bundle of laughs.

I picked up my friend and we went to the beautiful Wellington Botanic Gardens. 25 hectares of landscaped gardens, protected natural bush, specialised plant collections and of course the famous Lady Norwood Rose Garden.  Nestled into the Rose Garden is the Begonia House set in a Victorian conservatory. And at the side of the Begonia House under the same roof is a delightful cafe. As you can imagine on such a lovely day it was full of people chatting, laughing and enjoying lunch.

Our lunch was a quieter more somber affair.  My friend who used to be the centre of any gathering was very quiet.  She has trouble remembering. Oh, she remembers names and who you are.  She has difficulty remembering events and words to describe her thoughts and feelings.

How scared she must be and how scared will her family be. She is aware that she isn’t making sense and gets annoyed with herself and there’s no way for me to help.

After a short run around the waterfront (in the car of course) I delivered her back home to her lovely husband.  I made us all a cup of tea and then left once again saying thanks to whichever god is looking out for me.

I really feel for this once vibrant, educated and intelligent woman whose life is now confined to their apartment and who now has to wait for a friend or family member to take her out. When I think of all the ills that could befall one, this would be the hardest to bear.

 

 

If tomorrow never comes – 2

“If tomorrow never comes
Will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day
That she’s my only one
And if my time on earth were through
And she must face this world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes”
From If Tomorrow Never Comes sung by Garth Brooks.

I heard the song this morning and thought back to an earlier post I wrote in February 2012 – four years ago, really?

And now another love has departed this life (read died) and more than ever I know that we have to tell those to whom we are close, how much we love them.  Actions tell us/them but words are very powerful

So today please tell your family and friends how important they are to you.  When The Architect was dying, when he was in the final coma, I told him how much I loved him in words and actions.  I helped bathe him, change his bed and just as importantly, always had his favourite music playing quietly in the background and constantly reiterated how important he was to me and how much I loved him.

We are told, or I was told by the caring staff at the hospice, that hearing is the last of the senses to go, so I tell myself he heard what I was saying and heard his music.  And of course, I felt so much better having done this.

I’m becoming maudlin so I’m off for a walk with a friend in the open air and sunshine.  More tomorrow.

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world,
which I find myself constantly walking around
in the daytime and falling in at night.
I miss you like hell.”
Edna St Vincent Millay

American lyrical poet and playwright.
1892-1950  
Gilda Radner

From Strength to Strength

“You gave me strength to stand alone again
To face the world out on my own again
You put me high upon a pedestal
So high that I could almost see eternity”
You Needed Me sung by Anne Murray

Today’s post is all about me.  I heard Anne Murray singing this song on the radio and these four lines jumped out at me.

Family, friends both in the real world and in the blogosphere have given me the “strength to stand alone again” after the sudden death of the Architect.  So thank you all.

Have you read Sara Henderson’s “From Strength to Strength”?  It and the follow up “The Strength in Us All” were given to me  by my sn on his father’s sudden death some 18 years ago  

Sarah tells of her early marriage to a gung-ho American entrepreneur in the 1950’s, his infidelities in Hong Kong in the 1960’s, and finally, upon her husband’s early death, discovering he has left her virtually bankrupt on a million acre property in the Australian outback with 3 young daughters to raise alone. The book delves into her struggles to prevent the bank foreclosing, but much more than that, it tells the story of one woman’s courage and will to go on.  So with this example I picked myself up and went on with life.  And I’m doing so again now.

If you haven’t read these books I suggest you get copies.  Both are available at Amazon in print and kindle form.  Enjoy.

“Don’t wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel,
stride down there and light the
bloody thing yourself.”
Sara Henderson

Thanks

A New Year and A New Day

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
― Albert Einstein

This morning I read a post from Elizabeth at Mirth and Motivation.  She had written this in response to a prompt from WP Daily Post – Resolved.  Her response is/was very clever but it was her Positive Motivation Tip:

“A new year and a new day. Distance yourself from the usual suspects… Time to wave goodbye and flush away the drama.”

that set me off to write today’s post.

Did she mean distance yourself from difficult and/or toxic people who are in your life for no good purpose.  We all have these people don’t we?  They call on our time constantly often or usually, giving nothing in return.  We leave after a phone conversation with them or a visit from them, feeling down and a little depressed.

But it is truly difficult to get these people out of your life.  I have several that I have been working on for quite some time.  And apart from being rude and telling them in no uncertain terms to back off, leave me alone, don’t call me, I don’t know what to do.

And they do all come with drama.  Each has a story to tell again and again ad infinitum, until I could tell the story perhaps even better that they do.  Oh the story may vary in small details from time to time and from person to person, but it’s basically the same – poor me.  And I get sick of hearing it again and again.

One acquaintance (I hesitate to call her a friend) finishes the wine bottle each night and then gets on the phone for a rambling drunken discourse.  It always contains the same elements – difficult children, uncaring husband, no friends etc etc.  Why I remain on her phone list I don’t know because I never return her calls (obviously!).

And while these are difficult people, with only one or two exceptions, they stopped complaining and whining while the Architect was sick, but once he died and I moved they were in my face once again.

I can honestly sympathise with those friends and acquaintances who are going through troubled times.  After all I am a certified Life Coach specialising in Grief coaching.  And I know that the situation will drag on for a time but will then sort itself out one way or the other.  I’m happy to listen and encourage them.

So who has any suggestions for the toxic folk who people my world? I really would love to”Wave goodbye and flush away the drama” if only I knew how.

Another post I read today was from Chris at Bridges Burning and she wrote about waiting.  We all seem to be waiting for something.  Often it’s an exciting something, a visit to or from a favourite relative, a new book ordered from Amazon (or here in New Zealand more likely to be Fishpond), a holiday etc etc.  But often it is waiting with a feeling of dread as in waiting for the results of a test, then the further results and then sometimes hope surfaces along with all the positive thoughts and the results are positive, but it’s still waiting.

I feel the beginnings of a book here.  Perhaps written in collaboration with Chris, to be called Waiting.  And that’s another thing – you may be waiting for some time for this to materialise.

And for me, at this time and always, this is a new mantra.

Live for todayOnce again picture courtesy of Love This Pic

Happiness

Another beautiful summer day here in Aotearoa – the land of the long white cloud.  Too lovely to be inside following up on yesterday’s lost post, so I decided to clean the silver.

After my family got over the shock, I sat on the back doorstep in the shade and settled down to my task.  The boys were both out and my daughter was busy elsewhere in the house.  The only company I had for the timebeing was a lazy cat enjoying himself in the sun  and the Tuis and other birds calling loudly in the trees.

And then I thought of the passage from Lost Horizon by James Hilton.  If you haven’t read the book it is about a group of four people who are attempting to escape a civil war.  They are  kidnapped and transported to the Tibetan mountains. After their plane crashes, they are found by a mysterious Chinese man who leads them to a monastery hidden in “the valley of the blue moon”. Here in a land of beauty and mystery life is lived far beyond and out of the reach of the world that is heading into another World War.  It is here, in Shangri-La,that the destinies of these four travellers are unveiled against a backdrop of peace and tranquility..

And now the name Shangri-La has become synonymous with a  place of peace and harmony far from the modern world.

Well back to the passage that came to mind while doing such a mundane task:

“He was discovering happiness in the present.
When he sat reading in the library or playing Mozart in the music room, he often felt the invasion of a deep spiritual emotion.”

And this is how I felt this afternoon.  A feeling of being in the right place at the right time, doing what I was meant to do.  And I think that I was meant to take time out of a normally  busy life and just think about the beauty around me, the sun and the birds and yes, Flash the cat.  Perhaps this was my Shangri-La for a couple of hours this afternoon.

And another Mary Oliver quote:

“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”

And because I know that many of you are not having the lovely, peaceful summer days I am enjoying I share my rainbow with you.

Rainbow

My rainbow

 

Bah Humbug

I spent much of this lovely summer afternoon indoors researching for a post I was going to use today.  I sat down one hour ago to write it and had all my facts together; I just had to put them all together in a cohesive form that hopefully would intrigue you.  Having spent that hour typing somehow I lost it all.  Tomorrow is another day and so I shall make another attempt to get it written.

Doesn’t it bug you when this happens!

So what to write about now that there is only 35 minutes left in this day.  Could I tell you about an idle morning spent with my daughter?

We started at the Salvation Army Family Store where we dropped off more things from my downsizing.  They are always happy to see me there as I have been dropping things off often in the past couple of months.

Then we went off to the garden centre for some plants to put on my small deck.  Did I tell you I painted it yesterday?

Then a stop for coffee to round off a very pleasant idle summer morning.

So not quite the well researched post I planned, but as we rarely spend any extended time together I thought I would share this with you.  However, I must say here we now have dinner together each evening but it’s never just the two of us.

“One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one
is always having surprising discoveries.”

said Pooh― A.A. Milne

Down to the wire – 11.55pm