Second Childhood

Playing with drawing and the glockenspiel reminded me of the saying,

It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.

For years after we retired when people asked me what I was doing I would answer,

Enjoying my second childhood even more than my first one.

I haven’t said that in a while but it’s still true. My childhood was a mixed bag. I’m not sorry I had it, but I wouldn’t want to go back. What about you?

PS Yesterday Ginny asked what’s the difference between glockenspiels and xylophones. Apparently xylophones have wooden bars while glockenspiels like mine have metal bars. Hurray for blogging and the internet to keep us learning and sharing!

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Two Short Meditations

My first meditation is drawing a bit every day, just for a few minutes. I finished the exercises in

a couple of weeks ago and now I’m just drawing for a few minutes a day. I don’t worry about how it will turn out, I just draw and observe and go back to the rest of my life. I have noticed that now when I see people while shopping or streaming videos I often notice their shapes and mentally start sketching them. It’s clearly a great practice in awareness.

The second thing I’ve been doing is playing simple tunes on my glockenspiel.

I’m not even trying to memorize the songs. I notice how I strike the keys and I savor the sounds. Another good practice for staying in the moment and being open to life.

Do you have any meditation practices?

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Perfect Timing


Last May I wrote about hiring someone from Need A Hand to recycle some heavy electronic equipment from our porch. The pieces were too heavy for us to carry down the stairs, so we were thrilled.

I contacted Need a Hand again over a week ago because I had another pile of old cables and other electronic stuff that needed to be recycled. The problem is they are high school kids and only operate during the summer. School was about to start and they already had a lot of jobs before us. They said they would refund our money if they didn’t get to us, so it didn’t look hopeful.

That was fine. This time our things were light enough for us to carry to the car and take to the recycling center ourselves. Except…Monday evening our HP 8600 Pro printer gave out. Andy could barely carry it to the porch. Then about an hour later a fellow from Need a Hand phoned and said he could come by yesterday morning at 9. Talk about luck! If that wasn’t perfect timing I don’t know what is.

We are grateful and happy.

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Toast and the Kitten

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View from the Top

Yesterday Andy tried the trail Beate, Tim, and Kaitlin had cleared to the top of our property. He took these pictures.

Click on pictures for higher resolution.

Neat stuff!

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Six Days Later

Kaitlin, Beate, and Andy planted the greenhouse last Sunday. Andy took this picture yesterday.

That’s why we love radishes. They sprout so fast.

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Scaring Ourselves

In this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon they are happily running when Calvin says,

Com’on. Let’s go try to find a big poisonous snake!

Hobbes stops and asks,

What will we do if we see one?

Calvin answers,

Are you kidding? We’ll scare ourselves silly and run around in circles, screaming like a bunch of loons!

Have you ever purposely scared yourself? For instance, watched a horror movie? I knew a fellow who bungee jumped, not because it was fun but to confront fear. Not my style, I avoid heights let alone bunging jumping, but I do confront fear regularly — I read the news every day. I do it in small doses, it’s part of my stress/mood management practice.

It all started about 30 years ago when both Andy’s and my divisions were having serious funding problems…it looked as if both of our jobs might disappear. All my colleagues were worried and tense, of course, so I looked around and asked,

What’s the opportunity here?

I could become an expert on stress management. It’s been one of my hobbies ever since and for about 10 years after we retired (we were offered a good retirement package) I taught and led groups in stress management, emotional aikido, etc. It was a good choice, and now it’s an invaluable resource given our ages and the state of the world.

How do you handle worry? Do you have any hobbies that help sustain you in these crazy times?

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Poking and Prying

Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.
—Zora Neale Hurston

One of the great things about being retired is I get to poke and pry for the sheer joy of it. I don’t need a purpose. What about you?

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The Deer and the Dog

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Hurry, Hurry?

Hurry, hurry, open every door! says my heart!
—-Mary Oliver

The older I get the less I hurry. Stay curious and open to life, yes. Hurry, hurry? Not for me.

What about you?

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