Tuesday, November 23, 2021


 I had a most lovely surprise on the shelf outside my door. A lovely pewter Irish candle. Anonymous.

I immediately put it to good use honouring the two dear ones I lost this year.

I posted the pic on FB and anonymous announced herself. What a lovely thing to do.

My eldest brother has Covid. He is double vaxed and boostered. So there is no relaxing with this thing. He is masked at all times. He believes he caught it on a flight to Dublin, (plane washroom?). He's recovering in isolation now. Fingers and toes crossed.

Writers Workshop is fantastic. The group is now cohesive and having wonderful fun. Great talent is on display and some excellent writing. A huge pile of work involved for me but it's all such a joy.  

An interesting sideline out of this is that I was asked to do a series of sessions with a very sharp 98 year old veteran to extract his extraordinary life story. I am really looking forward to this new enterprise and putting together questions that are easy and meaningful. I am so very grateful that I am entrusted with this and perhaps can do some more with the elderly before they pass on, their stories lost forever. I say elderly with a snort (I is one!). 

I am reminded of an article in that great lamented defunct magazine "Saturday Night" where this dance teacher visited homes for the aged and taught them basic moves and encouraged them to have more creativity and endurance when dancing. She said she loved helping the elderly embrace a fresh activity. As she climbed into her sports car after a class , the interviewer asked delicately how old she was. "92" was the response as she zipped off. That story stayed with me, nearly 40 years later.

I see many elderly reliant on their families for entertainment and inclusion with nothing else on their platters. All outside interests suspended, personal development a thing of the past. All their friends like themselves, trapped like a fly on a spiderweb of expectations which, of course, are never met. Sending out depressing guilt-o-grams to adult children about not seeing enough of them. 

Never has it been more important to "get a life", keep stoked, do something new, get out, feed the birds at the lake, take a drive, get a colouring book, a jigsaw, take a photography class, get more plants to look after, talk some new ideas. Be realistic with the time one has left (short).

What are you going to do with what's left of your one and only wild and crazy life?


  1. That candlestick was a WONDERFUL gift - and put to excellent use.
    I hope to continue to muddle through life, and to savour the many, many beauties which fill it.
    I do hope your brother recovers quickly - and completely.

  2. Not good about your brother but the odds, having been triple vaccinated, are very much in his favour. Good luck.
    She have described my mother to a tee. She is so inwardly focused. If she would help herself a bit more, where she can, it would be so much better for everyone.
    While I am not and never have been a high achiever, I hope I am never as self focused.

  3. In my 80th year I am sorely tempted to just stay home and veg. Friends help me get motivated to go out and enjoy life. It is an effort but I am always happy once I get to wherever I have been forced to go!

  4. Double vaxxed and boostered means recovery with no life-long after effects. I hope your brother's recovery is speedy.
    I planned on a nice long retirement of reading and beachwalking. Then covid came along and now I am a slug in a chair. until my booster at least, which isn't due until February :(

  5. I am so sorry about your brother. This is exactly why people should continue to be vigilant. I am staying home and hoping my friends who flew to see their son will stay well.

  6. I bet you get some interesting stories in your writer's workshop. What a wonderful thing for you to do. Hope your brother is okay.

  7. Your talk of elderly people relying on their families for entertainment struck a chord with me. I'm 50 and i do have friends and work and study so I haven't given up on self development but I do tend to rely on my kids for a social life and you've pointed out how I don't want to be.

  8. Fingers crossed for your brother!
    I have plans - lots of plans for my coming years. I'd like to travel again (Covid, get lost!!), improve my draving skills, learn to ride a horse, learn a new language or two (Japanese, Finnish maybe?). I do not plan on my kids to entertain me, but to come home for some cake and a talk now and then.

  9. Oh, so true. I play my violin, buy art to add to my collection, cook gourmet meals, and invite people over for lunch. Not to mention, BLOG. Haha. My plate is full, indeed.

  10. Yes, its very important to "get a life" as you get older. It's very tempting just to slob around the house all day and never go anywhere else - especially being retired and not having to shoot off to work. Jenny and I are always looking out for things we can go to, like movies and art exhibitions.

  11. Live one day at a time. I just realised how vulnerable we are as unexpected things can happen to one. Please see my latest post.

  12. How lovely the candle gift and a touching memorial you created. So sorry to hear about your brother and Covid -- do hope his vaccinations combat the virus.

    Wonderful your writing group is going so well. I miss the group with which I participated but understandably gradually dissolved a few years ago before Covid. Congrats on the interview you'll be doing -- should be very interesting.

    You are so right about making our own lives interesting. I thank my Mother who taught me when circumstances presented themselves that I was responsible for my own happiness -- a lesson that has stayed with me all my life.

  13. A very interesting post, Mary.
    We are all responsible for our own happiness.
    We can enjoy our children if/when we see them, keep in touch if possible but let them be free of the parent-guilt so many of the older generation appear to foist upon the younger ones. x

  14. Thank you all for your comments, each one was cherished.



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