HOMECOMING – Ramblin’

 

If 2017 is a homecoming year for you – hope your celebrations are wonderful, with all the good memories front & center, all the irksome behaviors left in the past.

The homecoming for my high school is at the same time as for my college – the two are sort of joined at the hip…  make that at the HEART.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the class that were seniors when I entered as a freshman.  It was a year that changed my life – Glenn Hall became my home away from home, the office a spot where I always felt welcomed by homesick dorm students who missed their younger sibs.

Just hit me – this is the 50th year of my finally feeling like I had a place somewhere.  Thanks, Miss Betty, for always making me feel welcome, always making me feel like one of your “girls.”  Thanks, Gail, for always making a mere freshman feel part of DEKA’s circle of friendship.

Next weekend will feature a special procession, a special church service, great football, the final farm market, LOTS of parties (Classes of —7) & dinners & what passes these days as a dance.  It will be filled with fun & joy & old friends reuniting, seeing only the memories & moments & nary a wrinkle.

If you’re anywhere near a homecoming game of any sort – GO!  If you are blessed to be part of this year’s reunion classes – CONGRATULATIONS & HAVE A BLAST!

 

 

Innovation & all that lies ahead

An advantage of growing older is racking up enough experiences to spot the same old issues, whether the usual suspects pop out in the usual way OR get sneaky & attack under different guises.

Although it was a jaw-dropper when this was first brought home to me five years ago, I am an innovator, a problem solver.  Never saw myself that way – the first manager of our local farm market mentioned it, as if it was obvious.  To her – yes.  To me – nope.

Oh, I knew about being a problem solver.  That was my unacknowledged but essential family role.  But the innovator part caught me unawares, although looking back over 60 years shouted out the truth of her comment.

For 41 years, my #1 problem-solving energies were directed at getting a better sense of mental emotional spiritual balance in a life that had been & continued to be…  I can’t describe the indescribable.  Trying to make sense of whackadoodle dynamics that seemed to make sense to everyone BUT me.

Which is where Susie’s “innovator” description comes in – for 41 years, I’ve reached for different perceptions of “reality,” different spins on events, different WHYs behind what this person or that did.  I upended entrenched views of myself, my family, my teachers friends colleagues, disrupting assumptions with “what ifs.”

Although it didn’t hit me until today, that’s innovation at its core – seeking different views, fresh understandings.

I am always seeking a new take on old problems.  I am willing to jettison what is messing me up, even if it is something I’ve held onto for decades.  (Our resistance to do that is a blog posting all on its own!)  I hold my image of what HAPPENED in any given moment with light reins – 65 years have shown how many times what I was SURE happened turned out to either be off-kilter.

Being an innovator got me to this flat-out terrific now.  It zooms me, even at a glacial pace, to all that lies ahead.

And it drives a lot of people nuts.

HOSPICE – a guest post by Lori Soneson Odhner

Lori & her husband, John, are the tender holders of the marriages in our local church – they seem like one angel more than two heart-graced humans.  She wrote this beautiful tribute about a married couple I’ve known all my life; song birds who embody virtues to which I aspire, yet they never seemed puffed up.  They breathe love.

John and I went to sit with a woman whose husband of sixty six years is dying. I say dying as if it is permanent. But death is as much of a ruse as the sun coming up this morning. That golden orb couldn’t rise because it didn’t actually sink down. The sun does not revolve around us. Never has.

The wife who has lived and loved and laughed with one precious man for two thirds of a century can barely leave his side to go to sleep. Only after she has tucked him in, kissed his sallow cheek, and recited the prayer loud enough for both of them, can she shuffle to the elevator and push the button. Turn the ignition and drive home. Except that home is where her husband is. And he is on the third floor, eyes closed, just past a sign that has that final sounding hush.

HOSPICE

Probably there have been very few midnights that they were not side by side. Maybe a couple dozen. But now she is thrust into the entryway of widowhood. She must learn to make one sandwich. Pour one glass of juice. Not call into the other room with a question. Sleep in the middle of the bed.

There are pictures in their apartment of the two of them. Photographs of white weddings, and pink cheeked grandchildren in their laps. Proof of their trips to Singapore, and Alaska, England, and Vermont. Snapshots of them cross country skiing in their seventies, with arms still strong enough to push the poles across the glistening snow of upstate New York. Family portraits with his kind eyes crinkled in song.

Yet pictures will never be enough.

Their son sat with us by the bed, and he picked up the guitar. His fingers knew their way across the fret board, while his low voice crooned the words of what was happening right before us.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life,
You were only waiting for this moment to be free

Black bird fly, black bird fly
Into the light of the dark black night

I can only imagine what he will feel like when his eyes open like orbs, and his spirit takes flight beyond the horizon. Yet part of him will be looking over his shoulders, now supple, waiting for her to come too.

Heaven would not be heaven without her.

Love,

Lori

Life IS Good – Podcast Tuesday

Delighted to discover The Art of Charm team – speak to me, guys!  People think of me as a social smoothie – in some ways, yes; in others – oh brother, am such a fledgling!!  Having a blast as I work my way through the 30-day challenge, taking me upward & onward to a glorious upbeat, optimistic FABULOUS forever!

Here’s the link to BERT JACOBS’s interview with the AoC guys – great info at ANY age. Bliss!

https://theartofcharm.com/podcast-episodes/bert-jacobs-life-good-episode-502/

 

Sparking discussion – Rotary breakfast

Enjoyed giving a breakfast presentation this morning to the Abington Rotary. a group worth joining! Jenkintown Kiwanis last month, Positive Aging lunch in Philadelphia this past Tuesday, Rotary today.

It is a pleasure & an honor to spark discussions on issues around aging, about the NEED for countless wide-ranging conversations about the myriad angles, dynamics & impact of growing older & upward in America.

And it’s another example of synthesizing our experiences & know-how into something tangible, valuable, worthwhile.  Something that takes our loves & interests & purpose and creates a visible, viable – real – outcome.