Happenings in Paradise-The Letter

happenings

Happenings in Paradise

Norma and Doreen moved languorously through those first days of summer. Trying to get the worst out of the way, they rushed to finish their daily chores, spurred by an urgency to spend their extra hours together. In Norma’s family, ‘helping out’ was a well established tradition: Norma and her brother James were given chores from the time they were five or six, expected to do little jobs like wiping dishes or loading the firebox without being reminded. Now that they were older, they were supposed to dedicate a few hours every day to the endless work on the farm—there was always so much to do. This summer, James worked at a neighbor’s farm in addition to his own chores, tilling fields and clearing weeds whenever they needed a hand. This was a matter of great pride to James, and a source of great irritation to Norma.

read more

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Happenings in Paradise-Summer Begins

happeningsIt was June, and the sun hovered on the horizon until close to midnight, rising three hours later, but it never got dark. Between sunset and sunrise, there was a smokey dusk, and if people couldn’t sleep, they lit a lamp so they could putter around or read. The constant light threw everyone out of kilter. Farmers, tired from a day of discing slept restlessly for a few hours, waking to worry about what was left undone because of the heat. Their wives struggled heavy-lidded through their day, sleep-walking through the most necessary of chores. Only small children, their energy depleted from their extended day of play, slept well.

read more

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Retirement – The Other Side of the Story

retirementLast week I wrote about retirement. It was an upbeat article, with a few remarks about my experience as a long time retiree, and some links to other blogs and articles. It was well received, with many readers offering their positive experiences. But a couple of readers took me in a different direction—to a less comfortable place, which I’ve always known about, but didn’t really want to acknowledge.

What was pointed out to me was the other side of retirement. While I was writing about the people who were having a happy and successful retirement, I was ignoring the thousands who were not enjoying it at all.

read more

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Retirement – The Best Is Yet To Come!

RetirementIt seems that there is a rush on retirement these days. I guess that makes sense—the baby boomers are getting older, and many of them are turning 65, some even 70, if they were born in 1946.

When I retired there was little fanfare about it, we decided to retire, we went to the banquet, we got our watch (in my case, an engraved tray) we went home and figured out what to do from there. Nobody speculated about our numbers or, least of all, our well being.

We were part of a generation that enjoyed the last of the benefits of a long term secure job, and the last of the pensions that were awarded devoted servants of the system. We owned our own homes, we saved for a rainy day, we went along with the corporate decisions whether we agreed with them or not, and we didn’t complain (that’s why we were called the ‘The Silent Generation’).We worked as long as we felt we were productive, and when the age of 65 approached, we took the hint and moved on.

read more

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

When Chickens Ruled the Roost

chickens

Janie holding her pet chicken

We had a flock of chickens once. I grew up on a farm, so I thought I knew all about chickens. I remember my mother ordering them and having them shipped special delivery to our general store. She thought about her order carefully; Rhode Island Reds were the hardiest, Leghorns laid the most eggs, Plymouth Rock were the most dependable. They had to be balanced, so that we would have eggs all year. When my father brought them home, there were at least one hundred chicks crowded together in a box with holes in the sides. My sisters and I were allowed to gently pick some of them up and stroke them for a few seconds.

read more

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

30 Websites To a Good Nights’ Sleep!

insomniaIf you are still tossing and turning at 3:00 am., you are not alone. It may seem that you are the only person in the world who is awake, but you have lots of company—the latest statistics say that more than 30% of the population suffers from some form of insomnia during their lifetime. Many have progressed to chronic sleeplessness. People over 60 are especially susceptible, with between 40% and 60% unable to regularly sleep well.

You have probably already done some research online about what to do. Don’t be surprised if you find it eats up hours of your time. And it’s frustrating as well, when you come across the same websites over and over!

read more

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

All Alone on a Prairie Road

prairie roadI’m walking on the road to our house. I’m all alone, but I’m not scared. Besides, I can see all around me. I can see the farm where the Burmeys live—it’s on the right side of me. I can see the little bushes on the left side, and a little further I can see the big white church that belongs to our family. Way down the road, where it almost stops, I can see the flat roof of our barn, and beside it, our house. I twirl round and round with my eyes closed, wondering where I’ll end up when I open them. Everything looks in the wrong place for a minute, but soon it all goes back to where it should be—everything so pretty and in the right place. It’s not like the story Teacher read once, about someone who came here for the first time.

read more

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Spotlight on 12 Mature Writers

writersI’ve heard recently that writing has become a lost art. In our fast-paced, digital world, pundits say, so much day-to-day communication takes place online via email, social media, snap-chatting and texting, that no one knows how to communicate clearly, anymore, through the written word.

Not so. I’m a member of an online blogging community that loves to write. We wake up in the morning, itching to take cursor to monitor and reach out to our audience—the readers we know and love. But what if we had even more to offer them? What if we had a book or two to publicize, to put on our sidebar and link it to Amazon? Just speaking for myself, it would be a dream come true!

read more

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Solitude: The Gift of Reflection

solitude“For a younger person,” Carl Jung says, “it is almost a sin—and certainly a danger—to be too much occupied with himself. But for the aging person, it is a duty and a necessity to give serious attention to himself.”

Like Jung, I believe that the end stage in life, where many of us are now, is a time to think, to reflect, to make sense of everything that had gone on in our lives before, and to pay attention to ourselves.

This kind of remembering, and thinking, requires that we remove all chaos from our lives, still our thoughts, and find a quiet place in which to think. It requires being alone. and yes, solitude. This runs against the grain of much that is currently proposed about being solitary. Being alone goes hand in hand with being lonely, psychologists and researchers say. The dangers of loneliness in the elderly are so well documented that any image of an older person sitting alone evokes feelings of dread and despair in us.

read more

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Our Dream Home in the Country

Dream Home

Our Dream Home

We bought a 100 year-old French Canadian farmhouse once. It wasn’t a wise thing to do. We knew that right away. But we had two small children, all of our belongings in a van, and no where to live. It was 1967 and Vancouver Island, where my husband had just accepted a job, was suddenly overwhelmed with new residents.

We talked to the owner of the coffee shop, as we were having lunch.
“Happened overnight,” he said, “Hardly anyone living here for years, then suddenly, people all over the place, looking to settle down. Must be the Centennial. Never should have printed all those damned brochures.”

read more

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Still the Lucky Few Newsletter-April 2016

Dear Readers of Still the Lucky Few,

It is almost a year since I launched this blog—a good time to send you my first newsletter! I won’t commit myself to a regular schedule for this, but will write you whenever I feel there is something regarding my blog that I’d like you to know.

Thank you everyone!

First, a big thank you to my regular readers, and especially to those of you who add your comments after reading a post. Comments are the bread and butter of a blog. They are the measure of how much you have enjoyed an article, and how much it has resonated with you. For most bloggers, me included, comments keeps us connected to the human race, rather than feeling that we are toiling alone in a dark, cold attic!

read more

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Late Bloomers: Is it Ever Too Late?

late bloomersThere’s a difference between late bloomers, and talented older achievers.

Late bloomers arrived late to the party. You can say they procrastinated, dawdled, straggled, lagged behind. Some of them didn’t know what they wanted to do. Some didn’t believe they could do anything. Some tried earlier and failed. Some didn’t try at all until they were old. People called them dilettantes, and laggards. Late Bloomers have many different explanations for why they didn’t succeed at their craft when they were young. But they have one thing in common—once they became older and decided to start, they didn’t stop. Once they realized what they could do, they were on fire.

read more

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone