Saggy Baggy Skin


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 


The Baby Boom generation is aging.  I was in the earliest crowd of post-war babies. I was 70 in July.  There are many of us, one of the largest age categories in the USA right now.  Maybe that’s why we’re seeing so many ads about creams and all other sorts of remedies for sagging jowls, under-eye bags, and crepey skin.

Baby skin is so beautiful, especially as the baby begins to plump up. Soft, smooth, elastic. So touchable, and those little cheeks just beg to be kissed. If you push on those chubby legs and arms, the skin comes right back and shows no sign of being touched.

We manage to keep that healthy skin for a good long while, and I’m sure there are others, like me, who didn’t even think about what would happen to our skin as we aged, and especially as we developed the scourge of our generation, Type II Diabetes.  Your skin dries out from your head to your feet. And dry means it doesn’t spring back. The elasticity is gone, The saggy baggy elephant has come to stay.


Remember that little storybook?  The little elephant didn’t know what kind of animal he was, and he was afraid his wrinkly skin made him look old. I read that book to my kids over and over again.  It never lost its charm.

I’m not so charmed now.

So now, probably too late, I try to take the time to slather up with lotion that smells nice and keeps my skin hydrated. Not trying to look younger, especially.  I just don’t want the saggy baggy parts to drag on the ground behind me when I move 🙂

Gold Bond has a whole new skin care line for people like me. I suspect it’s selling like hot cakes. Cream for turkey wattle necks; for bumpy arm and chest skin; for hydration, especially for Type II Diabetics.  Lots of choices, something for every body part.

I’d think it was hilarious if I weren’t so tempted to buy every single product  🙂



The picture on the right is supposedly the same woman as the left, only after she’d been using some magical product.  We can dream, can’t we?

Anyway, if we’re old, we’re old. Still searching for that elusive Fountain of Youth, when we could just be enjoying our grandchildren 🙂

To Go or Not To Go


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 


We just got our passports renewed, and are waiting to receive them in the mail. Fascinating little blue book that allows a person to enter  other nations.

Image result for American passport

I was hoping to go to Slovakia again this summer with a mission team from my church, but we’ve decided against it. After my last episode with my back, which came out of the blue with no warning, we’ve felt that it would not be fair to the rest of the team if something like that should happen over there.  I would be a liability.

It isn’t easy to accept that my body is slowly grounding me. You don’t expect it, even though you see it all around you. As we age, we slow down. We lose muscle mass.  We have trouble with balance. Our vision dims. That list is endless and could take us to a very dark place.

I choose not to wallow in my misery 🙂  The process is normal and natural, and I’m thankful that really, apart from my back, my health is pretty good.  Yes, I have the specter of diabetes hanging over my head, but that can be controlled.

Anyway, it looks like world travel may not be in our immediate future. You never know, though. At least we’ll have those little blue books that allow us to pack up and go.

I Forget


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


Yup.  It’s that time of life when I forget words that used to come tripping off my tongue with no effort on my part.  Words that are elusive,  just beyond the reach of my searching brain, words that flit in and out of the particular crevices of the brain that control such things.

I’d like to think the problem is really that I just know so many  words.  I took one of those silly Facebook quizzes the other day because it caught my interest:  What was the size of my vocabulary?  Well, according to the quiz, it’s XXXL.  They told me I’m Shakespeare, and that I could coin words!  Well, the truth is, I’m going to have to coin words because I can’t remember the old ones any more.

Then there are names.  Terry and I spend a lot of time saying things to each other like, “I saw–um–you know, the one who married —uh–that kid who had the wart on his nose, you know the one?  Yeah, that’s him.  Anyway, I saw his wife the other day.  I’ll think of her name in a minute.”

You continue the conversation, drifting away from the person whose name you’re trying to remember, when suddenly it pops into your brain and you blurt it out right in the middle of your husband offering to take you on a world cruise, because if you don’t say it right away you may never get it back.  Trouble with that is, it derails hubby from his proposed gift, and he can’t remember what he was saying before you hollered Jezziablah! and then you’re really bummed because you know he was saying something amazing but you can’t remember either. . . .

Yeah. Elusive.  I used to connect that word with romantic things like perfume. Not any more. Can’t remember the name of the perfume.  It will come back to me.  Eventually.

Helpless is Not Cool!


Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it? 


I really hate helpless.  I was born on Independence Day, and there’s a really good reason for that.  I can do it myself. Can too. CAN TOO!!

I’m short.  I can’t even claim 5 ‘1″ any more.  That, in some people’s minds, would make me seem helpless.  Believe me, it can be frustrating, but I have been known to climb grocery store shelves for that item that some fool shoved to the back of the top shelf. I’ve also learned, grudgingly, to ask tall people to get things for me. I hate it when they smile condescendingly while they exert their superior length.  What they don’t know is that their long, gangly arms and legs are not as economical as my short ones. If you don’t see the logic in that, I just can’t help you.

I think the most helpless I’ve ever felt was when I took a header off my bike some years ago. Broke both elbows, just little  1-2 inch fractures in the ball that fits the socket.  I had to wear casts on both arms for a week. Thank God it was only one week. There are a lot of things you just can’t do when both your arms are in bent-elbow casts. I’ve never been more thankful to be in a good marriage; I’ve never been more aware of how much I hate being helpless. I’ll never forget that first night.  I’d gone to bed, drugged up so I’d sleep. Somewhere in the midde of the night I needed the bathroom, but I couldn’t move. I tried, I really did. But my knee had also been hurt pretty badly, and my left leg was in an immobilizer.  I couldn’t get any leverage with my legs; my arms were useless. Terry wasn’t in the bed. Told me later he hadn’t wanted to disturb me, so went to sleep on the sofa. He’d left our bedroom door open so he could hear me if I needed him.

Boy, did I need him.  I called his name several times, but it must have taken about half an hour before my constant calling woke him up. I was desperate by that time, and we  were both in tears as he helped me get up. He felt terrible that he hadn’t been there when I needed him;  I was frustrated, embarrassed, and angry. Not with him. With my inability to take care of such a simple need without help.

We’ve both had a glimpse of what helplessness can mean as we grow older. He broke his heel three years ago, and the injury has changed him. He needs to rest during the day. He can’t be on his feet all day long like he used to. His pain is debilitating at times, and he has to call on others for help doing tasks he used to handle himself.

I think maybe one of the lessons of age is that you really can’t always do it all by yourself, and that’s ok. It’s a hard lesson to swallow.


My List

Who doesn’t love a list? So write one! Top five slices of pizza in your town, ten reasons disco will never die, the three secrets to happiness — go silly or go deep, just go list-y.

The only list I really keep up with these days is my grocery list.  It hangs by a magnet on my fridge, and I keep it going all the time.  I usually have something to add to it the minute I’ve put away the latest stash of groceries.

Aside from that, when you’ve lived as long as I have, your lists are in  your head.  You develop routines, and when you don’t follow your routine it discombobulates your whole day.

I remember my mom describing how my dad would dither at bedtime, putting everything in its exact place and going back to make sure of it. Over and over again.  Yeah. See, that’s because  you can’t remember what  you just said or did. You can remember what you ate on the Fourth of July 50 years ago, but you can’t remember if you put your keys in the front pocket of your purse, so you dither.  You check, and if you don’t see them, you go look for them.  Same with your glasses, the grocery list, and your list of prescriptions if you’re going to the doctor. You know you meant to do it. . . .

And it’s really aggravating when you don’t see your keys in your purse, and you spend all kinds of time dithering around looking for them; you go back and dig around in your purse again, and they were there all the time. Sigh.

So as you age, build time into your schedule for dithering. And don’t apologize too much.  It happens to all of us sooner or later.

Ditherers of the world, Unite!


Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?


The first coin I see is a nickel sitting right on my computer desk. It’s shiny, so I’m not surprised when I see the year “2014” stamped on the front.  It still bears the “In God we Trust” statement, although some are doing their best to have it removed from our money.  The fellow on the front is Thomas Jefferson; flipping it over, I see his home, Monticello, on the back under the Latin logo E Pluribus Unum. “Out of many, one.” 

I could say a lot about all that, but that’s not the assignment.  What was I doing in 2014?

Working. Keeping house. Writing. Adjusting to a new church after having to leave the one we attended for over 30 years. Enjoying my grandkids.  Taking a trip across the country with old friends.  Visiting our second son and his wife and three more of our wonderful grandkids.  Enjoying meeting old friends that Terry grew up with. Enjoying a visit from our first son and his wife and those three wonderful grandkids.  Seeing all nine of them in one year is quite unusual these days.

It was life as usual, with a few highlights.

Watching Terry’s ongoing struggle with pain from his foot injury of over two years ago; watching him struggle with senile osteoporosis, losing almost six inches of height and sustaining compression fractures in three vertebrae.  Watching him age before my eyes.  Finding hope in a fairly new treatment for the osteoporosis.  And he went to see a doctor yesterday who may be able to help relieve the pain in his foot, thereby helping with the fatigue that comes with chronic pain.

Getting older.  Not such a bad thing, you know.  There’s only one other option. Realizing that death is not something to be feared; that it’s a natural part of life.  Looking forward, in fact to seeing my Savior when I take my last breath here and my first breath in heaven.

Trying not to worry about the horrible threat of radical Islam destroying our American freedoms, wishing our President would show as much concern for our safety as he does for protecting Islam.

Not usually making inflammatory statements like the above, here on my blog, which could bring a thunder of criticism down on my head. Thank God I still have the freedom to speak my mind. That freedom may be gone soon.

Thinking about my Great Generation parents who scrabbled through the Depression, WWII, and all that came afterward.  What would they think about what America has become?  What would they think about the country they fought and died for way back then?  I think I know.

So. This is a rambler, isn’t it?  Interesting how one thought leads to another and another. . . .

I wonder what the rest of this year will bring.

Only Two Goals

What’s your next, most pressing deadline? Are you excited, stressed, or ambivalent about it? What’s the first thing you’d like to do once you’re done with it?


One of the best things about being 67 is that there aren’t very many deadlines unless I set them for myself. I really don’t have a pressing deadline right now.

However.  Big however. Time is passing faster and faster. There are still some things I want/need to try to do before I die. One of them, of course, is to write a book. It may be the only one. I may be just a one-book writer. I have a couple of ideas, both intriguing to me, and I feel a sense of urgency about one in particular.

I also want to get my “stuff” in better order.  I had a client some time ago whose father had died and left her to clean up over 50 years of his hoarding. It was overwhelming to her, causing great stress and anxiety in her marriage and with her children. She was the only child, so the whole responsibility rested on her shoulders. I will never forget her tears as she angrily told me, “I’m just so angry with him for leaving me this horrible mess to clean up!”  She couldn’t just toss everything willy nilly into a dumpster because her parents had tucked money, stock certificates and other important papers haphazardly into all sorts of nooks and crannies including books and record albums. It took her over two years to get the job done.

I WILL not do that to my children. I’ve already started the sifting process. I think they’re going to be surprised.  Now if only I could get DH on board, but that’s a whole different story.

And really, that’s about it.  One of the rewards of being older is that under “normal” circumstances, life really is a little less hectic.  I know that’s not true for everyone, but it is for me.  And I’m thankful.

Sometimes a Lie is Kind

As kids, we’re told, time and again, that lying is wrong. Do you believe that’s always true? In your book, are there any exceptions?


We all lie, so let’s just clear that one out of the way so we can respond to the prompt. The Bible, in Jeremiah 17:9, says that the human heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.  Can’t get around that.

What is important to me is the context in that verse, which makes deceit and wickedness clearly connected. To deliberately lie with the intent of deceiving others for nefarious purposes is wicked. To lie to avoid punishment is wicked. To lie to make someone else look bad is wicked. To lie when one is in a place of power, in order to pass one’s pet legislation, is wicked. To lie in order to impose one’s own will against the express will of others is wicked.

Do you see where I’m going here?

Now, let’s change the setting a bit.

My mom was living out her last month of life. Most of us were fairly certain that the doors of heaven were about to open to receive her, and we were as ready for that as anyone can ever be.  She’d been ailing, in great pain, for way too long.

This was Mom's last birthday on earth, her 87th.  I wish the lighting in this snapshot was better so you could see her wonderful smile.
This was Mom’s last birthday on earth, her 87th. I wish the lighting in this snapshot was better so you could see her wonderful smile.

Mom was always a bit vain. She  needed Dad, for instance, to compliment her often on her appearance, and when he died over 20 years before she did, she lost her main source of encouragement in that regard. So she would ask other family members, “Do I look all right?  Do you like my hair this way?  Is this outfit a good style for me?”

I didn’t always tell her the truth. She was visiting in our home for a month or so, and there were a couple of things she wore that I felt were very unflattering. But when she had finished dressing and came out for her inspection, I always found a way to compliment her—because she needed it. I would have been cruel to tell her, “No, that’s not a good color for you any more because you’ve changed. Your hair is almost completely white now, and you need more color.”  No way, not me, not on your life.

And I don’t believe it was wrong to lie.

Just before she died, we got permission to take her out of the nursing home to a Fourth of July gathering. Her hair had grown too long, and hadn’t been set or styled.  I brushed it for her, trying to keep it under some sort of control, but her hair was soft and fly-away, and I could see that it wasn’t going to cooperate. So I told her she looked just great, and everyone would be so glad to see her that her hair was the least of her concerns.  She had a wonderful time. My son and I started singing, and soon my sister joined in, and then most of the other 30+ people who were there. We sang all the old hymns she loved, and whenever I glanced up at her from my seat at the piano, she was glowing. She’d forgotten about her appearance in the joy of being with friends and family who loved her.

A little less than two weeks later, she was gone. She looks perfect now, and I really don’t think she bothers to think about it at all.

On Being Sixty-seven

From the Top
Today, write about any topic you feel like — but you must reuse your opening line (at least) two more times in the course of your post.


I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel.  People tell me I don’t LOOK 67.  I wonder what that means. People tell me I don’t ACT as if I’m that close to 70.  What do they think someone who is 67 should act like?  Is there a rule somewhere that I don’t know about?

I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel, being only one year younger than my mom was when my dad died. He had just turned 70.  He looked older, because he’d been sick for nearly 10 years. He had heart disease, and strokes, and he had been through some really scary surgeries. Of course, Mom aged a lot during all that. She worked so hard to cook  healthy food for him, most of which he didn’t really like but ate for her sake.  He was the center of her life for more than 50 years.

See where this kind of musing can take you?

I really don’t know how I’m supposed to feel.  I’ve been married for 45 years.  I have four adult children, and nine granchildren. Some of them are in their teens already!  I’ve had three careers:  Wife and mom, teacher, and counselor.  When I think back over the years, I realize how long I’ve lived and all that I’ve seen.  I was ten when the Russians put up Sputnik, the first space satellite.  It was a huge thing in 1957.  Seems like no big deal now.  What we didn’t have then?  Cell phones. Personal computers. McDonald’s. Drip coffee makers. Most of us didn’t have air conditioning. Most of us had only one car. Our rock and roll music was Pat Boone and Perry Como, and Flying Purple People Eater, Alley Oop, and Monster Mash. Elvis was pretty new, and actually pretty tame by today’s standards.  The Beatles hadn’t crossed the pond yet. The summer I was married, 1969, was the summer we first landed men on the moon.

I think I just feel grateful.  I’m in pretty good health, all things considered.  I have two artificial knees. That wouldn’t have been an option 50 years ago.  I have Type II diabetes, which I’m working very hard to get under control.  My blood pressure is a little high, also  working to get under control. Other than that, I’m good. My ticker is strong, my brain seems to be functioning well, and I have pretty good vision. Hearing is weaker than it used to be, but still not bad at all if only people wouldn’t MUMBLE 🙂

maxine hearing aids

I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about the world I’ll leave my grandchildren.  I fear for the kind of trouble they’re facing if our government continues in its present direction. Less liberty, more control; less freedom, less value placed on human life; more stifling of truth, more revisionist history, more hatred toward Christianity.

I know one thing for sure:  I wouldn’t go back and be young again.  I love where my life is now, and I’m looking forward to heaven more with each passing year.

What is He Thinking!

Daily prompt: Who’s the last person you saw before reading this prompt? Whether it’s a family member, a coworker, or a total stranger, write a post about what that person is thinking right now.

My husband left around 7:30 this morning.  He had an appointment to get his van inspected. He’s been working on it for most of a week, fiddling with something called an evaporater; also tinkering with the emission thingy so it will pass our state’s emission control standards.

We’ve been married for almost 45 years. He has ADD.  I know exactly what he’s thinking right now.

He’s amazing, really.  He gets a lot done. He’s brilliant, especially when it comes to fixing, repairing, rebuilding, re-inventing anything he can do with his hands. He’s an engineer by training, and that profession is perfect for him because he’s always looking for the loophole and how to plug it. Apart from the ADD, he’s an analytical, detail-oriented thinker.  I’ve never, ever called any sort of repairman in 45 years.  Never taken the car to a mechanic. Never called the HVAC guys to install central air. I’m very spoiled. If he dies before I do, it’s going to be a scarey new world.

Anyway, back to what he’s thinking right now. I’m pretty sure he’s working with his previous boss on a project having to do with a new piece of equipment that was purchased just before Terry retired. His boss told him no one has been able to figure out how to use it yet.  So right this minute, Terry’s brain is totally occupied with the mechanics of that new piece of equipment, and he’ll get so absorbed in the details than an earthquake could happen under his feet and he’d be oblivious to it. 

He never wanted to retire. He loves to work. He keeps busy around here all the time with projects he didn’t have the time or energy to do before he retired.  He has to rest often, and that bugs him to death. He injured his foot severely a couple of years ago, and it’s changed his ability to be on his feet all day.  He’s in pain all the time, never free of it, and he gets really tired. So life has changed for him, for both of us really, but it hasn’t changed his churning brain.  His body just can’t keep up the way it used to.