One magnolia fading after a full bloom, another magnolia opening to the day
Yesterday at 3:30 a.m. a dear friend in Alabama passed away from complications following surgery. We were neighbors for several years and our children grew up together. We shared many meals and laughs, helped each other when needed and worshipped together. We’ve lived apart for maybe 18 years now, but we have stayed in touch. Her loss is deeply felt by my wife and me. Rest in Peace, Mary Ann.
Mary Ann leaves her husband, Keith, and three sons, all of whom are grown and married. She and Keith were married for well over forty years, and he now faces a loss that will reverberate through his life for years to come.
Then at 6:30 a.m. in Vermont, one of our nieces bore her third daughter, Harper Grace, and everyone is doing well. We probably won’t see Harper Grace until late fall or early winter. She joins her two sisters who are full of curiosity, hope and love, and her parents, Marc and Amy who are in middle life, devoted to work and family, and spending their own energy as if it were boundless. Welcome to our family and the world, Harper Grace.Continue reading →
Retired people can read for days in a row if they set their minds to it. An old friend in his eighties clued me into that. He would turn off his phone and TV and read for a week.
My habit has been to read when I’m almost sick. At the first hint of illness I give up, turn on some music, pick up a book and sit near a back window where I can read and occasionally lift an eye to see outside.
When I worked as a professor I got sick often. Germs thrive in the open petri-dish-environments of college campuses. In retirement, without all that mingling, I seldom get viruses. But something else is taking shape. Continue reading →
Barbara is on vacation. She went exploring along the northern California coast with two friends she has known for decades. She has been having a wonderful time, including taking a close photo of a bear near a cabin. When we talked on the phone, she was as excited about the bear as you might imagine a twelve-year-old girl scout.
I have been alone with Cicero and the rain. Since Barbara has been away, it has rained everyday. The woods, bushes and grass are growing fast enough to watch.
Most of his essay is given to discussion of four reasons for unhappiness in old age. Cicero refutes the notion that old age is necessarily unhappy by offering prescriptions for its common complaints. His first two arguments counter the charges that old age withdraws us from active employments, and that old age takes our bodily strength. His last two deal with sensual pleasures and death.