11/22/63 The Book

 

11/22/63 The Book


Today most people are thinking about the approaching Thanksgiving thinking, planning, cooking and getting ready to celebrate with family and friends.  It is my experience that this holiday is primo, better than Christmas, or what ever your major day of the year is.  It’s a day where commercialism has no hold, no gifts except that of appreciation.

Unless you were born prior to 1960 you will not have a memory of the events of 11/22/63.  You know I did not appreciate this fully until a day long ago,when I made a comment about Jack Kennedy and my  sons asked, “Who is Jack Kennedy?”

That got me thinking about perception and the things that shape our world.  Now I don’t mean our world in the broad sense, I mean our personal internal world and all the things or events that help shape who we are, that touch us in some way.

For some of a more current generation it might be 9/11, or the assassination, or….?  For my parents generation who lived through the second world war it may have been an event for that, the Holocaust, the loss of friends, sons, fathers, mothers,…well you get the idea.  For my mother who served in the WRENS in Britain, it was the memory of working in a command center and when a submarine went down off the coast of Britain and while radio contact was maintained there was no way to rescue those men and all she and her people could do was listen to them die.

Stephen King, my greatest inspiration, although I cannot read some of his books, has published 11/22/63 and in that magnificent King way of his has given the events a twist – of course.  What if the assassination could be prevented?

I cannot comment on the story as I have just begun to read it, but it does make me wonder – if we could change the outcomes, would we or even should we?

Our growth as human beings depends on our ability to adapt and learn and move forward.  There comes a time when, I believe, most of reach a point of acceptance, liking who we have become and are comfortable in our own skins even though, by that point our skins seem to hang loosely on out bones.

It Started With Grumpy Old Men

It Started
With Grumpy Old Men

Original Grumpy

That really was the start of a new awareness about life and the uh elderly..no..I mean life in the more senior population.  Notice I say life in not life about.
I’m talking about the movie, not real life grumpy old men.  Or real life grumpy old women for that
matter.   Age, or aged, depending on how
you look at it is popular right now, probably because all we baby boomers decided not to accept ‘old’ as meaning ‘old’.

When I was twenty I thought thirty was ancient and how ridiculous that seems now.  At twenty I could not imagine feeling or looking any different – ever.  A woman I know at
the age of seventy-six went zip lining a couple of weeks ago and loved it.  Now I tend to think eighty-five is old but may have a different point of view when I get there.  I tend not to glimpse in the mirror as often anymore as the reflection belies how I actually feel.

I do seem more conscious of age now and have been looking at what makes age ‘old’ because in spite of people thinking I am much younger the facts are the facts: I am a
senior citizen.

It seems to come down to energy and joy in living.  I have met some in their thirties who are much older than I, who seem beaten down, exhausted, too weary, and as though gravity itself is a weight that relentlessly prevents living.  Energy does not even
have to be physical activity but can be mental.
The fountain of youth as sought by Ponce de Leon was thought to be a fountain and the myth of magic waters actually extended back a thousand or more years.

Men and women alike seek eternal youth through plastics and injections which to me really has the opposite effect.  Nothing
like spotting implants and unmovable facial skin makes me shake my head and wonder where the common sense is and what trigger in their brain convinces them, as they stare into a mirror that they are younger or better looking.

Longevity is of interest to me (current life span in America is 78 and in Japan is 83)
but it is not the number of years of living but the quality of life in those years. Tibet’s longevity is interesting for there the goal is for a long and healthy life. One is no good without the other.
There are a few things that are consistent in everything I have read
about youthful living.

My idea of 5 Factors for Ageless Aging

1)      ENERGY of course that makes each day
an adventure whether physical or mental – actually looking forward to each day
or minute.  Moving with intention.  Showing interest in just about anything. That
is energy.

2)      A SENSE OF PEACE or acceptance – the
feeling that you are not at odds with the world on a daily basis.  It is not that you accept injustice but within you your mind and soul are at peace with yourself.  I don’t think this applies only to religious folk but each of us can find a viable truth within ourselves that makes some sense of existence. Que Sera Sera.  No point in getting your girdle in a knot, as they say about things you cannot change.

3)      SENSE OF HUMOR – this seems to be core to even wanting to live a long worthy life because if you cannot laugh at the irony of life or at yourself for that matter then why would anyone even want to exist for however long?

4)      GRATITUDE – so essential, not because you have to, not because God demands it, but because it increasesappreciation of everything large and small around us.

5)      JOY – What was the last thing you were really joyful about?  Try looking at
just about anything right now, the first object to your right and finding some
joy in it.  Just for the heck of it.  Just because.

What is your true age and how do you define it?

‘The eyes are the windows to the soul’ is an oft used phrase and is pretty accurate as
they reflect pain, sorrow, happiness, deceit, smugness, life, love..the list
could go on and on…but they also show age, for the youth, regardless of years
have a sparkle called life and when that sparkle ceases to show then regardless
of years, there is only ‘old’.

BTW sparkles can come back.  There is little
else more rewarding that bringing joy to another and seeing life.

If Snowflakes Fell in Flavours

If Snowflakes Fell in Flavours
 
One or two years ago, thirty odd to be almost exact, I took my children to the Haliburton Highlands each summer to a cottage. It was a delightful little rustic dwelling with a wood stove and screened in porch right on Lake Haliburton with a shallow beach ideal for wee ones and a diving platform further out. When the odd storm came up we would wrap ourselves in blankets and sit on the porch and enjoy nature’s fury as the wind blew horizontal rain and thunder clapped and lightning provided a better show than man could ever construe.


 
Most times the weather was ideal with sun and gentle breezes rustling the leaves of mighty oaks, elms and maples that sheltered us in a world far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. No TV or Internet just games, running, laughing and splashing ourselves into deep untroubled sleeps at night. The only goal was relaxation and community with other cottagers.
 
We met many people over the years but one family in particular remains a frequent memory. When we first met they were just ordinary folk on holiday and then they told us about their lives. Family singers and musicians were very popular then and this whole family sang and produced records.
 
I don’t remember if we bought the most recent LP (long playing record) or if they just gave it to us but ‘If Snowflakes Fell in Flavours’ quickly became a favourite often played once we returned home. Shortly after that holiday I flew out west to Vancouver Island to visit friends with two young children and took a copy to them.
 
The family of singers have no idea how much pleasure they brought to us and I have no idea what happened to them but for one summer the very thought of flavoured snowflakes brought smiles and happiness to a few of us across the country.

**Thanks to Google again.  A search shows the song  was by Sandy Offenheim and all my favs are there including Let’s Play a Statue Game.  The bio says that Sandy Offenheim is a Canadian teacher, children’s song writer and performer, who recorded four albums of her original kids’ songs with her husband Harold and their children, Nadine and Stephen while they were growing up.

Well I am glad I had that memory today and want to thank Sandy and her family for providing such wonderful entertainment.

No Idiot Here! Mark is Requesting our Help

http://www.minotredcross.org/

Mark from redriverpak.wordpress.com has asked for our help for Minot ND.  Please  read below and if you are willing to contribute or repost that would be great!

The Ride:
Thursday JUNE 30th!

As most of you here in the US know, the city of Minot and much of North Dakota is dealing with massive flooding issues this summer.

The flooding in Minot is the worst in the history of that city.

Thousands of homes have been lost, and about a quarter of the cities population has been evacuated from their homes.

My Mother, A Grandmother, and a Grandfather, were all born in Minot.

I have three wonderful blog friends, Diva, Sparrow, and Brea, that currently live in Minot.

I would like to do something to help out the folks in that area by doing another marathon bike ride on my stationary bike. Most of you are aware that I have been riding the stationary bike since January and have logged over 5,700 miles thus far. My personal record for distance in one day is 160 miles.

I would like to attempt another long ride on Thursday June 30th. I am asking anyone that is able to sponsor me to consider donating 10 cents per mile to the Mid-Dakota chapter of the Red Cross for each mile that I complete on that day.

Here is a link to their website:

Link here

If I make 100 miles on Thursday, your donation would be just $10
150 miles = $15
200 miles = $20

If you would prefer to donate more or less for each mile, that is perfectly fine. Any amount of money for the Red Cross will greatly help them.

I will not be involved in any way with your donations. I will just put this link up and you will be able to go directly to their page to make a donation. It will all be confidential, I will not know who donated, or how much was donated. As always, any charitable contribution is 100% tax deductible for your tax purposes. With the Red Cross, you have the certainty of knowing that your money will be put to good use in helping the people of Minot and North Dakota.

LINK HERE

I would have hoped that I would have had a little longer to get into better shape to ride more miles, but they really could as much help as possible right now, so this is why I am doing the ride on such short notice.

I will probably re-post this page a few times this next week for people who might have missed it.

Finally, if any of you could re-post this on your own blogs, it would be greatly appreciated. The more people we can reach in such a short period of time the better. I really appreciate it.

So, it’s pretty straight-forward.

On Thursday, I will get up at the crack of dawn and start pedaling. I’ll take frequent breaks throughout the day and will try to log as many miles as possible before bed. Just have an amount in your mind that you would like to donate for each mile. I will update my blog frequently on Thursday with updates on my mileage progress. Once I quit for the day, I will post the final mileage. You can then go to the Red Cross website on your own time, at your convenience, and make the donation in what ever manner you wish. It will all be confidential and private.

Thanks so much for helping out the great people of Minot and North Dakota, home to three members of my great blog family.

Time to get back on the bike and get in shape!

Thanks much!

Mark G. Pakulak aka “The Idiot”

 
 

Posted in author, charity, cycling, family, internet, internet friendship, Life, money, news, texas, travel, writer, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Mama I am Promptless!

Good Ol Mama

This week’s prompts and I got nuthin!

.) Girls Night Out! Describe the last time you got to hang out with your friends? What stops you from doing this more often?
2.) If Social Media died tomorrow, describe another hobby you might get into.
3.) Share a Summer Camp memory.
4.) We’re too old to be getting in trouble…aren’t we? Write about a time you were scolded…as an adult.
5.) Barefoot and hormonal…describe an incident that upset you when you were pregnant, but now looking back makes you laugh.
 
Mama I am Promptless!!!
 
Oh my! My nightmare has come true. Prompts yes Inspiration No. I am museless, clueless.
What am I to do?
 
Girls’night out? Yes without a doubt the best at an old four hundred year old country bar, Commercial by name, but home just the same. Beer. music, dance, and maybe by chance, a cowboy.
 
Social media died? I cried. Or not. Then to the street corner, speaker’s corner to spread my message far and wide.
 
Summer camp? It was damp. And buggy and hot and a snake crawled out of our portipot.
 
Old and in trouble? Don’t break my bubble cause trouble and scolding just keeps molding.
 
Barefoot and hormonal? Oh Lord it’s just normal. Preggie and menopausal and all things between.
 
So Mama I fail you and I fail me. When I find that muse he is getting such a beating!
 

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