Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

Fashion Statement

My once-straight neck stooping
Peering into the mirror
Who is that old woman I spy?
Vaguely familiar I think I do know her
Can it be she is I?

Yesterday friend gave appraisal of me
As one “who is dwelling within my own skin”.
High compliment I received it
And now contemplate it
My settling into vintage-aged years.

Living in harmony with effects of aging
Softens the blow of multiple nuisances
Brought on by years of my being younger.
My body must deal with the natural calamity
Of living a rich life – and then getting old.

A new tool I discover and add to my arsenal
A distinct sharpening of my sense of humor.
My larger belly is wonderful for laughing
Loud, unselfconscious guffaws at my foibles
As I relinquish a measure of dignity.

These days clothes are a problem
Models on the runway just aren’t my shape.
What’s in my closet spans years of styles
I can fashion new looks as things slowly wear out
Survival of the fittest dictates my wardrobe.

Today I live at the pace of now
Finding delight in the scenes out my window.
Accessing new worlds in my writing and reading
On my own magic carpet I travel afar.
I like the view from within my own skin.


Writing 101 – Open Letter to Ed

Dear Ed,

I’m sorry I missed celebrating your 100th birthday in June. Since I moved away I’ve thought of you often. I can picture the way you looked when I met you twenty years ago. You wore, as always, your white hair in a ponytail that matched your beard and your artistic spirit. You had a wonderful tweed jacket you often paired with a paisley turtleneck. I never told you that I had one just like it that I ordered from Lands’ End. I didn’t wear mine to church because we might have worn our matching t-necks on the same Sunday – not that it would have been a terrible faux pas. We always talked about the books we were currently reading. You introduced me to the ingenious spy novels of Alan Furst. Your annual Christmas creation of a calendar-photo gallery-arts review keep me up to date on the best new books, movies and plays. I marveled that you traveled to New York to see all of Wagner’s Ring Circle in one week. I remember that you stayed at the YMCA. By then you must have been in your 90’s and hadn’t slowed down much. Your first concession to aging was to get a Leki hiking staff which you never called a cane, but found helpful in walking. When I developed a knee problem I bought one just like yours. It lives in my coat closet for when I need it.

When you gave in a little to the encroachment of time I got to know you in a different way. For years you walked to church but the ten blocks was getting to be a bit too much for you. You could still drive but your old Toyota had engine problems which your son promised to fix but never got around to. I suspect this was easier for him than suggesting that you quit driving. My husband and I lived nearby so we began to give you a ride to church with us. You and I got to know each other as people gradually transitioning to “old age” though we certainly would not have confessed to it. You let me do little things for you, like carry your cup of coffee to a table when the congregation gathered for refreshments after worship. We became simply friends.

I miss you Ed. You taught me to enjoy the wonder of being alive. I always said I wanted to be like you when I became vintage-aged. I’m working on it.

Love and best wishes.

Your friend


Haiku: Salvaging Operation

Aging over time
Like persistent rain erodes.
Treasures dear remain.

These I gather up
Held high like a petticoat
Secure from the mud.


Truth or Dare: Living Larger

What do I dare? Why my restless soul?
True I’ve made a new home, new friends. Life is good.
But I want to write a new script – to juxtapose.
I want some prose mixed with my poetic bent.
I want to tackle thorny challenges strewn on my path.
I want my Internet to work. And movies to stream.

I want to live larger. Paint my own canvas abstract and a little wild.
I want to throw caution to the winds at times and not worry about falling down.
(Well, there I think I’ll draw a line. I want to stick around.)
Yesterday a newspaper ad for a Smart TV screamed “Go for it”. I did.
It will arrive this week along with Geek Squad to hook things up.
Next week I’ll banish my old Internet provider, etc., and try U-Verse AT&T.


Haiku Challenge – Pitch and Time: Closeted Memories

Closet purging time.
Hard to pitch old clothes I love,
Dreams when garments fit.


Matters of Life and Death

Spring is moving right along. Yesterday the temperature hit seventy degrees. People were on the patio below my windows sunbathing. The family who lives in the first floor apartment that opens onto the patio who have their own good-sized garden plot were out digging and generally making way for planting season. The squirrel was in the oak tree beside my window looking for leaf buds to eat. The resident geese were in attendance. The pool has been drained and awaits a string of days warm enough for a fresh coat of paint to be applied before it can be filled with water. Summer is on the way.

Meanwhile my word game friends and I are having conversations about end-of-life matters after we read a book on the subject. I thought I had taken care of everything when my attorney in Chicago drew up Power of Attorney forms for health and finance along with a new will before I moved here to my new home. Just to be sure, I went over these forms and discovered they were already obsolete. They were created using Illinois forms and in my previous married name. I went to the Senior Center to get Ohio forms and start over. I even picked up a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) form for good measure. A trusted friend referred me to an attorney who would help me draw up a new will as well as check out the Ohio forms I had filled out. At our first meeting the attorney explained that I did not want a DNR at this time. This stopped me short. I had filled out and sent mine to my doctor who now has it on file. I had put my copy of the DNR on my refrigerator door where the EMS squad knows to look in the event of an emergency. After my attorney counseled against my having one at present I thought about the days before there were such forms. My mother had congestive heart failure and was taken to the hospital in an unresponsive condition. The doctor revived her and she lived three more good years before her heart failed for good. I went home and called my doctor to revoke the DNR he had on file for me. Then I removed my copy from the refrigerator door and tore it up – for now. Having an open-ended future and playing it by ear is a relief. I feel free to live and enjoy my good health and strong mind. I could be wrong but I’m willing to take that chance.

My attorney, who really knows her stuff, discussed a new will with me. She plans to make it so financial bequests to my sons are not subject to probate. She advised that personal bequests of family furniture and other such objects be included in a letter I’ll write that is to be referred to in my will. This letter sheds new light on my Last Will and Testament. It will be my last chance to surprise my sons with gifts – written in my own words instead of legal language. I look forward to writing it. Altogether I am looking ahead to aging in a new light. It’s like I will have training wheels to assist me but freedom to ride with the wind in my hair.


Haiku: Mentor Me

Wise ones tell me how
To pick ripest fruits of life,
Squeeze and drink my fill.


Writing 201: New Fashioned B.F.F.’s

August of 2012 from my window I spied them
By the pool playing word games. Now how
Cool is that! I left boxes unpacked and hurried on
Down, assured of their welcome by manager Pat.
Epiphany zany – this group of ladies will kindly include me the very
First day I arrive. Thriving in this place would soon be my lot.
Gregarious, hilarious and gracious to boot. I thought to be part of these ladies a
Hoot. But does such enthusiasm have a lingering shelf life?
I wondered, while pondering old memories of moving when
Joys abounded, then were followed by proving what
Kind of friends we would be in the long run.
Late in the day, winter and summer, we gathered to play and have fun.
Much to our surprise we realized with glee that we had morphed into an
N.O.R.C. The papers report designs giving heart to ladies unresigned to the old ways
Of aging. Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities are the clue. We’re in the stage of
Preparing to age with pizzaz. We plan to pool skills and gifts of which we have
Quite a few. First off we comprehend that the race goes to those who don’t fall.
Right. We’ll exercise, practice balance and wear a necklace that calls for help if we do.
Struggles will dog us. We have no doubt. Our strengths will erupt like the fountains of youth
That we once were. Alas, now no more. But we’re good to our word and strong-hearted of core.
Upright is our motto, and proudly we stand. Canes and walkers may aid us as undaunted we
Vow to be true to each other while we yet hold the cards and continue our games.
We wrinkled warriors with a clear plan or two have by pure luck found our own
Xanadu. We awake everyday, say thanks for our blessings. What’s ahead is left to guessing.
Yesterday is behind us, our future’s unknown. Today we remain happy, independent and free.
Zany epiphany? Oh, yes I can see a new horizon beckons to me.