The Second Hand Hanukkah Party



I am having a Second Hand Hanukkah Party this year. Instead of bringing my vintage pre antique treasures to the Good Will, I have begun to put them on the dining room table and will allow guests to choose their vintage Hanukkah gifts. The youngest will go first and so on, round and round until the table is empty. I have decided to tell them that we put a hundred dollar bill in one of the gifts to add extra excitement to the gift giving.

So many people are downsizing and those two words stick in my craw. In downsizing, people cram their blessings from the past into cartons and bags and shed tears as they drop them off and get their coveted tax exemption receipt.

Now you may want to know how hard it is to give your treasures away. It might have had some difficulties years ago, but not today. They opened a Good Will down the street from us and we drop in on occasion. There are my things, or shall I say things like mine. Anytime I want a dish for graceful grapes, or a dish for dainty olives, or a platter for large meat dishes, or perhaps a scalloped dish for creamy veggies, or a dish for cheese and crackers, all I have to do is go down the street to the charity shop and for $ 2.99 I can buy something I may need. If I need a very dressy jacket, a sporty cashmere sweater, or a never worn crispy blouse, I can go and get one for a few dollars. I don’t need to worry yet, because my stuff still has stuff.

I did shop in the various stores where in the past I have purchased great gifts, but my mind turned to the drawers full of my treasures, soon to belong to others via the Second Hand Hanukkah gift share. I feel happy.


I’d Give Anything..

IMG_3617.Photo by Jim Meredith@


I realized lately that I have been saying to myself that I would give anything to be young and strong. I would give anything to feel great everyday at the crack of dawn, plus for the whole day, falling into a well-deserved slumber the whole night through. I tell myself, I’d give anything to do this and that, here and there. I say to myself I’d give anything to be thin at will. I realized this negative self-talk when three big burly brutes set up tables and chairs for a gathering at our home in twenty-four hours. I said to the boss, “Enjoy you youth and your strength, because I’d give anything to be strong like you fellows.” Then and there, I realized my lie.

Well, I’ll have you know, I am totally lying to myself by saying I’ll give anything because I will not. I realize I am begrudging myself as I am. I am telling myself I want to go backwards when in reality all we all have is to go forward.

I would never give up my home, my family, my friends, and life as it is for anything.  Faced with a trade off, I would end up the same as I entered. That’s the truth. I would never change my health situation for something someone else has because there is too much out there that I will not trade even for a second.

So if you say or hear anyone say, “I’d give anything for this or that, they are lying to themselves and don’t even know it. It gives them a momentary spurt of influence, but not a reality.



A grasshopper, when observed, flits from one space to another, not traveling very far from each landing.

A grasshopper’s mind does not seem to run far and wide from my perspective, but from his or her perspective it is everything.

This critter is living wholly in the moment, knowing only what it sees, hears, and what it can eat in its surroundings.

The relatives of the grasshopper family, the crickets, join in the space and sing way into the night. Their party is an open invitation

I know because I have a grasshopper and a cricket in the down stairs living room. It is totally quiet, until we walk within range, and then the cricket sings and the grasshopper explores.

Shall we learn from the grasshoppers and the crickets? Live in a small space, look only to live within means, explore, invite the relatives, party all night, and rock to the rhythm of the universe

The House Next Door


The house next door is getting a new roof. After so many years of wear, it began to leak. I did not know how intricate the work of art between man and materials is in the job of receiving a new   roof, and I have learned to respect it greatly.

Many men have worked the past two weeks, weekends off, to finish the job. I have the best view out of my two-story bedroom window. Men working on the first phase made the most terrifying grinding, ripping, scrapping, wrenching noises as they worked to pull off the old, and tired roof tiles. The tiles were gone, but still they scraped and pulled. Then some slight banging began to secure the edges of the chimney.

The next task was to unload all of the tiling necessary to complete the roofing job. As these men transferred the tiles to the roof, they threw each tile to one man on the first level, who in turn threw the tile to the next level. Tiles passed hands for the rest of the afternoon and were placed in rows where they would be nailed into place beginning the very next day. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang! Double bang, bang. Triple bang, bang, bang. Bang, bang, bang for the week and into the next. The roof stands newly shining in this morning’s sun.

The house next door had a big family. The four children were raised, and left to live their own lives. Their sweet, precious, kind and generous momma died and dad is left to live his life. Dad is a righteous, trustworthy, caring, kind person winning a Great Neighbor award.

The yard of the house next door is full of roses, fruit trees, and perch with a view that extends to the valley below all the way to the Santa Susanna Mountains. Now sparkling from the new roof are waves of reflective light and some twinkling going on.

God Bless all of you from the house next door and thank you for all of your kind attention these many years.


A Metamorphosis


My eyes have been opened and I am in awe of the process. The first eye opening process came from being very nearsighted.

I saw everything in magnifying glass dimensions. Everything was up close and personal. I was caught looking at another student’s paper during a test in the beginning of 4th grade. The teacher went ballistic on me. After her horrid diatribe, I had the wherewithal to tell her I could not see the board and I did not copy answers. I told her that I had my own answers, but I could not see the board, so I did have to copy the questions. This ended up after much hullabaloo with me seeing an optometrist and getting fitted for my first pair of GLASSES.  I thrived for the next segment of my life, but the nearsighted view of the world, put me into a self-centered arena. Being self-centered is where most people reside. You know what you see, you add what you hear, and you do what you do. For me, the self-centered existence has lingered for the longest time and been the most profound.

The next segment for me was the cocoon, the chrysalis, and the metamorphosis, which is “a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means.” This change was paramount to me. Becoming a nice, fairly well rounded person, who has never stopped being nearsighted, self-centered, and just out of a cocoon and constantly learning new things, is a metamorphosed entity in which I hope we all will thrive.

As a Metamorphosed entity one still captures all of the past as it morphs into a new whole. Regarding the nearsightedness in human beings, I want you to know that what I love about myself is that I have been nearsighted all of my life and I live that view. Now that cataracts are just beginning to grow, some one of these days I will have to have cataract surgery. Then, you as well as I have to make a decision. Do you put in a nearsighted lens or a 20/20 lens, or wait until you are nearly blind with indecision. I want to be nearsighted. I can see the world in old dimensions. I can pick up the teeniest little bit of information and I can see this world, as few others have been able to see it. How many of you can say you have seen the world under a microscope? You have no idea what you can see being nearsighted. It is like going around in your life here and there using a magnifying glass. That will/would be hard to give up wouldn’t you say?

Putting in 24/7, 20/20 vision lenses in my eyes to be used day and night, day in and day out, here and there and everywhere would cast my view in completely different vistas. I would not be able to go into my heretofore known world without help. So I would be beholden to the nearness or handiness of a magnifying tool that my eyes have always done for me.

My friend C. says to get the 20/20 vision lens because when you are a really, really old lady, in a retirement or care facility, they will always be losing your glasses, so 20/20 will be helpful. Not having to look for your glasses everyday more than once or twice would be fantastic.

To become a nearsighted lifetime adventurer, a self centered one, or a morphed one will be a future decision, so I am going to, and hope you do, too, make the best of things as they are right NOW!

Here me howl!!! ahhooowwwooooolllllll

This is what I hope the howling brings: a feeling of being alive, conscious aging, realizing a gentle Elder Ego, which is the part of the aging soul. Let each howl fan the flames in which there are steady beams of light announcing that we are still here. I hope that each howl brings peace for our souls, energizes our molecules and electrolytes beyond recognition. Start howling!!!

And tell me what lenses you will request.

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