Sunday, September 8, 2019

Books of August

I started Michelle Obama's book in July and finished it in August.  It's one of my favorite books this year.  She begins with her childhood and college years: Becoming Me.  Next she talks about her meeting with Barak Obama and their marriage:  Becoming Us.  Finally she talks about their years in the White House and her mission as First Lady to encourage healthier eating for youngsters:  Becoming More.  She grew up in a family of modest means in the South Side of Chicago, was accepted to Princeton for undergraduate school and to Harvard Law and worked for a Chicago law firm where she met a charismatic intern who was first a friend and later much more.  She's very honest about her misgivings about her husband going into politics and about her life in the White House.  It's a fascinating story, and it reminded me that no matter what our ages and circumstances, throughout our lives we're always "becoming."

Sunday, September 1, 2019

How Old is Old?

The other day I glanced at Hints from Heloise, and here's what I learned:
"Dearest Readers, Did you know that AGE DISCRIMINATION IS AGAINST THE LAW?  The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines age discrimination as 'Treating an applicant or employee less favorably because of his or her age.' This law applies to people who are AGE 40 OR OLDER." (capital letters mine!)

Oh dear, if 40 is the beginning of old age, I am really really old.  But guess what.  I didn't feel old at 40 and I don't feel old now.  
And I bet many people of my generation don't feel so old either.
We have our aches and pains and we can be grumpy at times, but, thinking back, I was like that at 40, too.  Note: Advice for dealing with aches and pains:  I found this in the newspaper a few years back--try Two Old Goats Balm on this achy parts.  I'm not sure who the old goats are, but it does seem to work.  Granted it won't cure arthritis, but it's great for muscle or nerve pain.  You can get it from Amazon, where, of course, you can get anything you ever dreamed of.

As for me, I just retired last year, I do volunteer work here and in Galveston, I get out and about almost as much as ever, and I keep a "gratitude list" of nice things that have happened every day.

Anyway, I'm glad to know that employers can't discriminate against kids of 40 in hiring, job assignments, training, layoffs or benefits.  This doesn't seem to apply to social situations such as dating.  You have to take your changes there.

I once read a book about aging called Coming Into the End Zone and for those of us who really do fit that picture, we should do our best to keep active and cheerful and enjoy each day...hour...minute we have.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Checking this off my Bucket List

My dad taught me to drive when I was twelve and had to sit on a pillow to see over the steering wheel.  Austin, Texas was a small city then unlike its traffic-clogged streets of today.  We lived on a quiet one-block street where almost no cars drove and there were zero pedestrians...except for the lady in the bathing suit, but that's another story.  I got my driver's license at 14 and my first car for my 18th birthday.  It was a blue Ford Victoria with a cream colored hard top and a spare tire holder on the back.  I named it Victor Victoria, and it got me through college.

After that I had a white Chevy Impala.  Alas, the Chevy and the cars that followed were nameless.

 For six years I drove a silver Nissan Altima which served me well despite being partially flooded twice during Houston's soggy year of 2015.

Yesterday I got my new car, a Lexus ES 350 sedan.  I've been coveting a Lexus for years and I finally broke down and bought it.  It has a dashboard with a dazzling array of icons and a mouse to click on them, a driver's seat that adjusts to my own specifications when I turn on the motor...and I'll have to read the manual to find out what else.  Since this will possibly be my last car, I think it, too should have a name:  Maybe Alexis Lexus, Lexi for short.  I'll think about it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Quote for the Week

A goal is a dream with a deadline.
    Author Unknown

Do you have a goal?  Do you have a deadline?

Sunday, August 11, 2019

I Love Libraries

Above is a picture of the Austin History Center, formerly the Austin Public Library.  I recently read The Library Book and enjoyed the author's memories of visiting her hometown library with her mother.  Her stories evoked my own memories of the Austin Public Library, the first of many libraries I have known.  I remember my very first trip to the library, getting my first library card (Number N2852, yes, I remember that, too) and the first book I checked out:  Where is Adelaide?, one of Eliza Orne White's many books about young children.  Every chapter began, "Where is Adelaide?" 

 Thinking about that book, I searched for it on Amazon.  Of course it was there. (I suppose if something isn't on Amazon, it doesn't exist.)  I ordered a copy.  The faded brownish orange volume sits on my desk, a memory of the library with its dozens of treasures to choose from, its large children's room with arched windows looking out on Guadalupe Street, even its "library smell," a combination of polished wood tables, paper and print.
Alas, libraries are no longer a part of my life.  They have been supplanted by technology and now I read on Kindle.  Such is life.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

quote for the week

A Senior's Version of Facebook
"For those of my generation who do not, and cannot, comprehend why Facebook exists:  I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles.  Therefore every day I walk down the street and tell passers-by what I have eaten, how I feel at the moment, what I have done the night before, what I will do later and with whom.  I give them pictures of my family, my dog and of me gardening, taking things apart in the garage, watering the lawn, standing in front of landmarks, driving around town, having lunch, and doing what anybody and everybody does every day.  I also listen to their conversations, give them "thumbs up" and tell them I "like" them.  And it works, just like Facebook.  I already have four people following me:  two police officers, a private investigator and a psychiatrist."

Sunday, August 4, 2019

El Paso

My heart goes out to El Paso and El Pasoans.

El Paso has always been a special place to me, almost a second home.  I had aunts, uncles, first cousins, second cousins there and I spent time there growing up:  hiding in the basement with my cousins when visitors came that we didn't want to see, my three cousins trying in vain to teach me to play pool, sitting on the porch with Barbara, my favorite cousin and role model, another cousin teaching me to cha cha, crossing the bridge into Juarez to go to their nightclubs or to shop, sitting on a mountainside with a boyfriend watching the stars, giggling with my sister in the lobby of Hotel Paso Del Norte as we made up stories about other guests. 

 So many happy memories blurred by the terrible massacre on Saturday.  I keep hoping every one is the last.  I pray I'll be right about this one.  Each one is one too many.

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