Monthly Archives: February 2016

A Senior’s Early Years—Floor Tiling For Dummies


I tiled a hallway floor once. It was the 1960s, so there was no internet or YouTube to tell me what to do. I had to go to the hardware store and talk to the guy who sold paint. He didn’t know anything about tiling floors, but he knew a lot about paint. He wanted to know what the flooring was in the hallway. I told him it was old linoleum, over old hardwood. “Why don’t you just paint over the whole shebang?” he asked.

So I went to the library and read a manual on tiling. It told me what tiles to buy, how to glue them down and what to put between the spaces. I measured the floor and tried to figure out how many tiles I would need, exactly like the manual said. It was complicated. I wasn’t very good at math, so I took out my old math book from grade 8, and turned to “Solving Problems”. But I couldn’t find anything about tiling. Instead I learned about ball caps: read more

Ageist Language—Taking the “Sting” Out of It

ageism beeBy now, anyone over 50 must know there is a movement afoot to end ageist attitudes. We’ve been reading and hearing about this for awhile. It’s reached a point where we recognize the term, and understand some of it’s consequences. Maybe we’re ready now to move beyond discussing and intellectualizing it, to think about the actual language that expresses it.

It’s not easy. What is it about certain statements that anger and inflame us? What’s so wrong about saying, “You look so young for your age?”
Well, lots, it appears. That simple statement carries with it the implication that it is wrong to look a certain age—or old, in other words. And being old, in our culture means being unattractive, weak and dependent. Erasing that stereotype is what the anti-ageist movement is all about. read more

Defeating Ageism – Are Boomers Taking All the Credit?

defeating ageism

Defeating Ageism – Are Boomers Taking All the Credit?

I’m within spitting distance of being a Boomer, but I’m not proud of what some Boomers have been saying about the gains being made in addressing & defeating ageism. A lot has been happening around this thorny issue. Two or three years ago, there was barely a ripple on the topic in mainstream media, only an article or two in a newspaper or blog. Suddenly it’s everywhere, on Twitter, on Facebook, in pod casts, videos and blogs. It’s as if a faucet has been turned on and these ideas, which used to be relegated to the back pages—old people going on about being laughed at, ignored and excluded—have become a self-sustaining newsfeed. read more

A Senior Remembers: Secrets of the Root Cellar

root cellar

A typical root cellar – John A. Harris photo.

I am halfway down the stairs, feeling each step with my foot before I go down further, since the flashlight beam doesn’t go very far. Suddenly it goes out, and I am in complete blackness! I look up quickly. The kitchen lamp sends a wash of light over a few of the top stairs, but the middle stairs are dark.  I strain to see April’s face. Where is she? Mum told her to stay there, at the entrance to the cellar, until I was finished getting the potatoes.

“April!” I yell. I don’t know how long I can stay here, with the dark around me, and the creatures who are probably hiding behind the shelves. “Apriiiiil!” I yell louder, and her head pops up from the edge. read more