Friday, March 24, 2017

Entering Uncharted Territory

Thought for the day:  You know you're getting old when the candles cost more than the cake. 


I clearly remember reading a book as a young girl in which the main character was a sixth grade paperboy named Henry, and I, all six or seven wide-eyed years of me, thought Henry was... really old. Isn't it funny how our perspective changes? Hell, look at me now... now I have the chutzpah to pretend I'm not old.

We're only young once, but with humor, we can be immature forever. [Art Gliner]



When Karen Walker asked if I'd like to submit an essay for an anthology about aging, I jumped at the opportunity. (Okay... I hobbled... let's not split hairs here, people.) Why would I want to do such a thing, you ask? The way I see it, even though bazillions of people have already ventured into the murky seas of old age, it's still uncharted mysterious territory for each of us as individuals, which can make the transition much scarier than it has to be. So... wouldn't it be great if some of the folks who've already taken the plunge provided a road map of sorts for those who are about to enter those uncharted territories? How? By sharing some of their words of wisdom.

With old age comes wisdom, but sometimes, age comes alone. [Oscar Wilde]

Okay, I'm not saying I'm to be counted as one of the wise folks who contributed to this book, but I am a wise-ass, which is almost as good, right? The question of the day is: Who are we? Are you the person the world sees when it looks at you... or is the real you the ageless person you are inside? No matter how old I am, I am still me. Sometimes the world forgets that, but this book does a beautiful job of reminding us. Whether you're curious about what may lie ahead of you in your golden years, or whether you're already knee-deep in them, this is a book everyone can enjoy.

When you come to the edge of the light that you know, and you are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen. There will be something to land on, or you will learn to fly. [anonymous]

This book will help make the unknown more... known. Less scary. And for those of you who are already dealing with some of the issues described in this book, you'll be reassured to know... you ain't alone, baby.  And let us all remember, when we look at another person, no matter what their age, there's always much more to that person than meets the eye.

If you close your eyes and take a deep breath, how old do YOU feel inside? With me, it varies. Sometimes Smarticus tells me I act like a two-year old, but I think that's the exception.

Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art. [Stanislaw Jerzy Lec]

                                          (Too bad my artist is Picasso...)

                     Read on to see how you can win a FREE copy of this book.

                           Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

P.S. This old broad will be hanging out with four of her grandchildren for a while, so it'll take longer than usual for me to respond to your comments and visit your blogs. But fear not...I'll be Bach.



It’s a pleasure to be participating in the Blog Tour for STILL ME … AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: 24 Authors Reflect on Aging by Karen Helene Walker through MC Book Tours.

This is a charming, funny, and enlightening collection of essays about aging. In addition, Karen is offering a tour-wide giveaway featuring two (2) print copies (U.S. entries only) of STILL ME and two (2) eBook copies of STILL ME (International entries). See how you can enter to win below.

STILL ME…AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: 24 Authors Reflect on Aging
◊ By Karen Helene Walker
◊ Kindle: 2000 KB, 102 pages
◊ Genre: Biographies, Memoirs, Nonfiction
◊ Publication Date: April 4, 2017
◊ Language: English
◊ ASIN: BO6WWRK82K

Poignant...Humorous...Brutally Honest!



A collection of personal reflections guaranteed to keep you inspired and entertained on that journey we all travel together: The Journey of Aging.
With a blend of grace, dignity, warmth and humor, women and men from 60 to 90 and from all walks of life candidly share the blessings and pitfalls of aging – from keeping dreams alive and keeping sex lives active to dealing with retirement, loss of independence and a growing sense of mortality.

A BOOK ABOUT LIVING EVERY MOMENT OF LIFE!

STILL ME is available at the following sites: Amazon (print and Kindle), Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iTunes. Be sure to add it to your shelf on Goodreads.


Rev. Clara Alexander is an ordained New Thought minister who creates and performs sacred ceremonies, including unique weddings, funerals, memorial services, baby blessings and house blessings. She is also a popular speaker, inspiring groups with her talks on how we cling to our grudges, how we overuse the phrase “I’m sorry” and how we can live the life we love.
Wendy Brown recently retired from a career in wildlife biology, where she studied sandhill cranes and whooping cranes as they migrated from Idaho to New Mexico. Wendy eventually found a permanent home in Albuquerque, where she and her husband enjoy the sounds of sandhill cranes from their deck. Since retiring from state government in 2014. 


Valerie Capps has bypassed the porch rocking chair to pursue her life-long passion for writing, thereby proving that in today’s world, life can begin again at 65! Valerie lives in Nashville with her husband and their spoiled-rotten Welsh Corgi. www.amazon.com/Valerie-Capps/e/B016VD9V72
Mary W. Clark retired from her law practice in 2007 and transferred her observation and composition skills to travel writing. She is currently working on a book about her father’s World War II experience flying “the Hump” from India to China over the Himalayas. Mary lives in Paris, Texas. www.maryclarktraveler.com
Fran Fischer: “I was born at a very young age and that happened 82 years ago, so I don’t remember much about it. I’ve crammed as much living into my life as possible, and I’m not through yet. I’ve traveled extensively and I even flew in the same zero-gravity plane that the astronauts trained in. I live in California with my first (and only) husband, and we celebrated our 62nd anniversary this year.”
Pat Garcia (Patricia Anne Pierce-Garcia Schaack) is an American expatriate living in Europe. An accomplished musician as well as a writer, she has been writing (and reading) since childhood.
Mark David Gerson is the author of more than a dozen books, including critically acclaimed titles for writers, award-winning fiction, and compelling memoirs. Known as “The Birthing Your Book Guru,” Mark David works with an international roster of clients as coach and consultant, helping them get their stories onto the page and into the world with ease. www.markdavidgerson.com
Holly Deuel Gilster plays “make believe” for a living. In other words, she is a professional actress and musician. Holly also loves painting with words as an accomplished poet, an award-winning short-story writer and a book reviewer for The Or Echo.
Aaron Gordon is a retired social sciences community college professor. He and his wife, Ellie, have been married for 65 years and have three children and grandchildren.
Ellie Gordon is a retired public school teacher who spent the best 20 years of her life in the classroom. A Chicago native, she now lives in New Mexico.
Karla “Rosie” Harper recently retired from teaching elementary school, freeing her to return to her early love of dancing. Today, when not helping out with her grandchildren, Rosie is taking dance lessons, spinning on a dance floor or performing in senior centers and retirement communities with Albuquerque’s Sugartime, as a singer as well as a dancer.
Linda Hoye is the author of Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude, available through major online retailers. A native of Saskatchewan, Linda currently lives in British Columbia (by way of Washington State) with her husband and doted-upon Yorkshire Terrier. www.lindahoye.com
E.V. Legters hasn’t so much retired as she has exchanged one life for another — from rewarding years with career and children (while pursuing the arts on the fly) to a life with the arts at its center. She is the author of Vanishing Point and Connected Underneath and is currently hard at work on her third novel. www.evlegters.com
LD Masterson lived on both coasts before becoming landlocked in Ohio. After twenty years managing computers for the American Red Cross, she now divides her time between writing, volunteer work and enjoying her grandchildren. Her short stories have been published in several magazines and anthologies, and she is currently working on a new novel. www.ldmasterson.com
Kathleen Messmer not only runs a film production company with offices in the UK and the US, she is an avid photographer and wildlife advocate. In the unlikely event that she ever retires, Kathleen plans to live on a ranch with draft horses and pygmy goats and vineyards and fruit orchards, somewhere near the water. Oh, and a cowboy...maybe. www.kathleenmessmer.com
Karen Norstad has worked as cashier/gift wrapper, secretary, boutique seamstress, administrative assistant, manager of employee stock options, executive assistant, and budget analyst. Now retired, Karen’s life revolves around lounging about, wearing PJs until four in the afternoon, obsessing over the news, reading, fusing and slumping glass, practicing piano, keeping a small balcony garden and cooking.
Matt Nyman’s nonlinear career path has included working in the geological sciences, teaching high school, stay-at-home parenting and, currently, training tomorrow’s teachers. Poetry equently resides near the surface of his existence, occasionally erupting onto paper.
Jill Plaman was born and began aging in Milwaukee, but she has lived and worked in Albuquerque since 1977. She holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MSW from the University of Minnesota. Her special interests are travel, international folk dancing, reading, hiking and spending time with family and friends.
Maureen Polikoff is a clinical social worker/ therapist who has always pursued many other creative endeavors, including painting, playing music and, now, writing. A Connecticut native, she lives in New Mexico with her husband, Michael.
MaryFrank Sanborn left Boston 33 years ago, to apprentice with photographer Walter Chappell in Santa Fe. Still in love with the beauty of the Southwest, MaryFrank photographs, writes, hikes, travels, teaches yoga and meditation, makes soups on Sundays, and dreams of the ocean and whales.
Patricia Stoltey is the author of four mystery novels. The most recent is Wishing Caswell Dead. She lives in Northern Colorado with Sassy Dog, Katie Cat and her husband, Bill. www.patriciastolteybooks.com
Susan Swiderski grew up in Dundalk, Maryland, where everybody calls everybody hon and eating steamed crabs is a sacrament. Although she’s happy in her adopted Georgia, part of her heart still lingers on the shores of Chesapeake Bay, explaining the setting for her novel, Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade. Susan is currently working on a trilogy, proof that this old gal is still a pathological optimist. www.susan-swiderski.blogspot.com
Jan Castle Walker is a retired teacher and an active artist. She lives in Davis, California with her husband, Mack. www.jancastlewalker.com
Karen Helene Walker is a novelist, memoirist and essayist and the author of The Wishing Steps and Following the Whispers. When not writing, Karen is tap dancing, folk dancing or performing with the musical group Sugartime at retirement communities. Karen is currently working on her second memoir. www.karenfollowingthewhispers.blogspot.com 

You can follow Karen and the other authors along on their tour by checking out the schedule HERE.




This tour-wide giveaway is for two (2) print copies (U.S. entries only) and two (2) eBook copies of STILL ME … AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: 24 Authors Reflect on Aging. The giveaway will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, April 4.

To enter, click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient.

Thanks for stopping by today. Be sure to check out this charming book.



a Rafflecopter giveaway






69 comments:

  1. I love the new header! I take it things are warming up at last? I enjoyed reading a little bit about all the authors in the book, but knowing what they all used to do and what they all still do as well as writing, makes me feel quite slothful. I hope the tour is well received everywhere you go. Don't forget to have fun.

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    1. Yeah, things are definitely warming up in our neck of the woods, but we didn't have much in the way of cold weather, either. The grandkids and I were splashing around in the Gulf of Mexico, and it was downright balmy.

      Don't worry; there's nothing slothful about you. (On the other hand, the sloth may very well be my spirit animal...)

      Forget to have fun? Never!

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  2. Like River, I love the new header. And lust after the book. I know some of the contributors which further whets my greedy appetite.
    Have fun with the grands.

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    1. Thanks. That header picture seemed perfect to highlight this post. :)

      Lust away, dear lady. I hope you have the opportunity to read it, and I hope you thoroughly enjoy it.

      I had a WONDERFUL time with the kids. They left me with a smile on my face that should last for weeks!

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  3. Susan I love your outlook on aging. I think this book will remind us that while there is a lot written about aging there's very little about how we think of ourselves as we age. Enjoy your time with your grandchildren and thanks for being a part of this tour.

    Mason
    MC Book Tours

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    1. Thanks. You're right. Our attitude makes all the difference in the world. We can't put the brakes on when it comes to aging, so we might as well hang on and enjoy the ride.

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  4. This is beautiful! I had a smile on my face reading it all the way through. Your attitude toward raging mirrors some of my own thinking and it is so great to meet another comrade on the way.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

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    1. Thanks! I have a feeling there are a lot more others around who have the same attitude as we do. It goes a long way toward softening the blows when age tries to clobber us. :)

      Shalom.

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  5. Hi Susan - that header is a classic. But aging is about being positive and enjoying things - and certainly your writing helps us laugh out loud and have fun reading. It's horrifying to think of age - but I quite happily ignore and just get out and enjoy life while I can ... Karen's idea was inspirational and it's great to see so many contributors ...

    Enjoy those grandchildren - have fun! cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi, Hilary. Why, thank you. It's such a nice thing for you to say about my writing helping make people laugh. THAT makes me smile.

      I had a fantastic time with the kids! Thank you.

      Cheers back atcha.

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  6. Susan, where the heck did you find that photo for your header? It is absolutely stupendous. I so love what you wrote here. I love how you write, period. Thanks so much for your wonderful contribution to the anthology and for all the support during and after. Enjoy those grand babies

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    1. Karen, I can't remember exactly where that picture came from, to tell the truth. Someone sent it to me some time ago, and I liked it so much, I saved it. It seemed like just the thing to highlight a post about your anthology.

      Thank you, dear lady. Thank you for including me. And oh yeah! I had a ball with the kids. I'm still smiling.

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  7. This sounds like a fantastic book - which explores a subject that is too often neglected or ignored. Congratulations on being a part of it!

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    1. Judging by the comments, everybody loves your header photo. My thought is that if you're over fifty and jumping naked off a pier - - keep your glasses on to make SURE that there's some water down there.....

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    2. Not so, cowboy! So many of us have had cataract surgery, we can see the water better than the under-fifty crowd. :)

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  8. No one really wants to be old but we definitely want the opportunity to grow old. The operative word is grow. Being part of the invisibles is freeing, happy, funny, and at times, sad. It is kind of like the way it was when I was five, only more quiet.

    Congratulations Susan. I look forward to reading this book and wish you and all the other authors lots of success. Heck, there is a big audience out there and it is getting larger by the minute. We all need to laugh at ourselves and to be comfortable with the person we are and always have been.

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    1. Beautifully expressed, Arlene. (YOU should have been a part of this book!)

      Thanks. Once we learn to laugh at ourselves, we never run out of reasons to laugh, do we? Maybe that's one of the best things about being older. We're more self-aware, but less self-conscious. Or as you say... we're comfortable.

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  9. Such a positive post! I was one of those kids who never wanted to grow up. Still don't. :)

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    1. So DON'T! Just 'cause we're getting old doesn't mean we have to be mature about it. :)

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  10. As things would have it, I never got around to sending Karen my essay. Guess I'll wait for the sequel. Besides, I'll be older then.
    Looking forward to reading the book.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Ooops. Sorry about that. Maybe next time. :)

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  11. This sounds like a fun and interesting book. Best of luck to you on the book tour. :)

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    1. I enjoyed reading it, and I think you would, too. Thanks. :)

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  12. congrats on being in the collection. I have no doubt you added the Susan swoosh of humor to the proceedings. Kudos to all.

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  13. Re. that header picture - how did they jump like that. If that was hubby and me, the best we could manage would be a face plant off the edge into the water.

    And I think a wise-ass is to be preferred. (Great post.)

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    1. HA! I'll bet you and your hubby could jump off a pier like that. Me and mine, too. It'd be LATER that we'd pay the price. :)

      Good thing, says one smart-ass to another. (Thanks.)

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  14. My age varies from one minute to the next. You will always be young at heart.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Yeah, I know what you mean. I certainly HOPE to stay young at heart, anyway. I wish the same for you.

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  15. Congratulations ... you're in print AGAIN. YAY!!!

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  16. Funny, I was just thinking about age just yesterday. In my mind I am 20 but my body feels about a very old 95... bummer !

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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    1. Yeah, it's definitely a bummer when our bodies can't do the things we still think we can...and want... to do.

      Cheers back atcha.

      Delete
  17. I love your sense of humor, Susan. I am also known by some as a wise-ass, and yes, I do believe it is almost as good as being wise. :D

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    1. Thanks, Patricia. Cool. We wise-asses have to stick together.

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  18. What a fun post. And that can only be achieved with the wisdom of age. Keep on wise-assing! :-)

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Thanks, Mario. That's my plan! :)

      Greetings back atcha.

      Delete
  19. A good sense of humor goes far indeed. Very true, we are still us, just a little wrinkler lol

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    1. Yep, lots wrinkles and sags, but at least wrinkles don't hurt!

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  20. What an interesting list of authors! I'm off to click on that widget thingie to enter the contest now.

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  21. Oh dear, I'd love to become a pathological optimist. (But would happen to my poor worry cells?) This is one delight-FULL post. Thanks for making me smile tonight!

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    1. Just do it! Become a pathological optimist and let the nasty ol' worry cells fend for themselves. (Who NEEDS them?)

      Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  22. I love your posts --you know that-- but this time I'll comment specifically on the Dundalk, Maryland custom of calling people "Hon". My mother grew up and began her career in Oklahoma, where Hon is everybody's nickname. I thought the tradition wore out here in California until our 3rd son, at age one, gave up pronouncing "Grandma" and just called her "Hon". She never objected or corrected, just smiled and beamed. "G'night, Grandma," his siblings would say after a visit. Then she would wait. "G'night Hon!" would come from our little one, then the evening was complete. That part of growing old was a happy part for her, and for us.

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    1. That is a wonderful story. Talk about a precious memory, dude. Thanks so much for sharing it. :)

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  23. Been seeing this anthology all over the blogosphere, and it sounds great. Congrats on getting to be a part of it! Hope you've been having heaps of fun with your grandchildren, too...

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    1. It IS pretty doggone great! Thanks. We had a fan-tabulous time with the kids. :)

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  24. Congratulations, Susan - from a four year old.

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    1. Thanks, Keith... now put your toys away and eat your vegetables... :)

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  25. This is great! Congratulations. I am certainly going to check this out. (And I'd say a wise-ass is even better!)

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    1. Thanks. Well, of course you'd say a wise-ass is better... you ARE one! :)

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  26. Sadly, I'm already dealing with some of those issues...
    Congratulations to you and all the authors.
    And your blog header - oh my!

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    1. Unfortunately, issues come with the territory. But they're only really bad if you... make an issue of them. :)

      Thanks.

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  27. Love the blog header, you are a hoot! That is you, right? :)

    I will definitely be reading this one, I need all the help I can get!!!

    Enjoy the grandkids!

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    1. Thanks. I may be a hoot, but that isn't me in the picture... and it better not be Smarticus, either!

      We had a fantastic time with the kids. You'll never guess who was the only so-called adult to play in the Gulf with the kids... :)

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  28. I love the topic and with your writing style, I'm sure the essay and book will be hilarious, eye-opening, and a really great read. I can't wait! As far as my age, I volley back and forth between the eyes of wonder and what I don't know, to eyes that have seen too much. So maybe it's safe to say 13? Yikes! I do have lots of aches and pains. Thank goodness for my chiropractor. Have a lovely rest of your week. :)

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    1. Thanks. There isn't a whole lot of hilarity in the book, but I still think you'd enjoy it.

      Thirteen was a pretty good age, but I wouldn't want to live it again. :)

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  29. I think this book has the potential to be really thought-provoking - your post definitely was. Why do we make automatic assumptions about someone just because of their age?

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    1. I don't know why we do it, but judging someone based on their age... whether it's their youth or their advanced age... is pretty darned common. Like all of the other prejudices people harbor about other people, we have to look beyond the outer veneer.

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  30. We all age, so I find it hard to understand the prejudice some hold about it! It's all about growing and learning! :)

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    1. I think it's a combination of prejudice and fear. A lot of people are terrified at the prospect of getting old, because it forces them to face their own mortality. We all have to deal with it, but it's easier to marginalize seniors than it is to face reality.

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  31. Susan, I like the sound of this book... it's funny how when we are younger that we think certain ages were old when in reality it wasn't and it truly depends on how we feel inside... I am that two year old at times too... xox

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    1. For me, the concept of what it means to be old is like a carrot dangling on a stick in front of a jackass. The older I get, the older one has to be for me to consider them "old." :)

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  32. Loved reading your post; your views on age and those quotes. Hope you remember me.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Of course I remember you... it's good to hear from you again. :)

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  33. Awesome read, friend Sue ... it's snowing again after a few glorious snow mouldy days of Spring ... am gonna go and play in da snow for bit now if you don't mind ... smiles ... https://www.youtube.com/embed/Tuf61OjvoPQ?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0 ... Love, cat.

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    1. https://www.youtube.com/embed/Tuf61OjvoPQ?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0

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    2. Poor cat! (Both the one in the video and YOU!) Let's hope this latest visit from Old Man Winter will be a short one. :)

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