Monday, September 24, 2012

They say it's your birthday

Well, it's my birthday too yeah  
They say it's your birthdayWe're gonna have a good timeI'm glad it's your birthdayHappy birthday to you
-   The Beatles

September 25th will be the BIG 60 for my twin brothers David and Mark.
I am quite sure this is a traumatic number for them and I send my condolences along with my birthday congratulations:-)   

Appropriate song for a birthday shared by twins!

There are two things in life for which we are never truly prepared:  twins.  ~Josh Billings

My parents were not expecting two babies and they truly were surprised and a bit overwhelmed with the news!  
In those prehistoric days of yore, ultrasounds and other diagnostic tools were years away. 
Multiple births were a rarity. Back then, In Vitro and other fertility interventions were not commonplace.
Having twins during the early Baby Boomer era was comparable to today's "Octomoms" with their ever increasing litters!
Mark was not able to be delivered for some time after David had emerged because they gave my mother too much anesthesia, not knowing there was a bonus baby on board.
He was sleeping it off and they had to wait three hours til he awoke and could begin his arduous journey down the birth canal.
My mom was so caught unawares that she could not come up with middle names for her two newborns. (They are my only Sib's with no middle names.)
I was not impressed!
bedtime prayers

Boys, boys.... it is just a number!

For all the advances in medicine, there is still no cure for the common birthday.
John Glenn

It could be worse.  Christopher Reeves was also born on September 25th, 1952.  And Patrick Swayze was born that same year.  I am sure they would be more than thrilled to be celebrating their 60th birthdays. Kinda puts it in perspective, does it not?
You share your great year 1952 with many other celebrities, among them:
Mr. T, Pee Wee Herman, Roseanne, John Goodman, Paul Stanley, John Tesh, David Hastelhoff, Dan Akroyd, Micky Rourke, Neal Pert, and Liam Neeson.  You are in good company!!!

Quotes to ease the pain:

George Carlin
I'm sixty years of age. That's 16 Celsius.

Maurice Chevalier
Old age isn't so bad when you consider the alternative.

Bernard Baruch
To me old age is always fifteen years older than I am.

William Butler Yeats
From our birthday, until we die, is but the winking of an eye.

Joan Rivers
Looking fifty is great… if you're sixty.

Mark Twain
When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not.

I may be a twin but I'm one of a kind.  ~Author Unknown
That would certainly define David!  Since high school days, he has gone by Buddah or Bude. 
And yes, "one of a kind" is a nice way of describing him.  
He is a musician at heart.  He has a lovely voice and plays guitar.  Actually, I believe he owns more guitars than Elvis had in his prime! 
He is married to Cheryl and they have a son, Brenton.

"Just because two people look the same, doesn't mean they have the same dreams."

Mark is more into artistic endeavors.  He is a talented painter and utilizes experience from his trade (welder) to craft beautiful works of art.  He is married to his bride of three years, Jocy.

Twin one, twin too!  ~Author Unknown

For 59 years and counting, David and Mark have lived their lives within a few miles of each other. They presently reside in North Olmsted, Ohio.

Here are some words of wisdom (not mine) that may help you accept your age with more grace and dignity:

A 60th birthday is a wonderful occasion. You have crossed several milestones, but life just keeps looking for more challenges. Enjoy the bliss of sixty; enjoy the fruits of your labor. Surround yourself with your children and grandchildren, and tell them tales of the yesteryears. Relive the magical moments of life even while you look forward to new experiences. It's great to be sixty!
Mark, David and Danny

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How Great Thou Art

Thank you, Lois, for inviting me out for an evening of inspiration, renewed faith and beautiful music.
We went to the Canton Baptist Temple to attend a service and listen to an hour of good old fashioned hymns sung in resplendid harmony by Selah.
Selah is a contemporary Christian vocal trio which features the passionate and impressive vocals and musical talent of Todd Smith, Allan Hall, and Amy Perry.  They have won many Gospel Music Association Dove awards and were formed back in 1997.
I go to bed with their CD's every night and tears are always close at hand, as the hymns remind me of my parents and the very best of my childhood.
Todd and his sister Nicol (the original female member of the group) were children of missionaries and grew up in Africa (Congo) and their music reflects their background and experiences.
So natural and unpretentious,  they dressed in jeans and plaid shirts and had no fancy bling or worldly ornamentation.  It was an intimate gathering and we were encouraged to participate with sing a longs, clapping and dancing in the pews!could tell they were inspired by what they did and in turn, touched our very souls.  I truly felt the love in the room.

Now take a few minutes and close your eyes, sit back and listen to one of the most beautiful renditions of "How Great Thou Art" I have ever heard.  This song was sung at both my parent's funerals and always is a source of comfort for me.
God be with you til we meet again!

Friday, September 7, 2012

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

My Reflections on Retirement- a cautionary tale

it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us...
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

I have reached the ninth month of my retirement life.  
I have given birth to boredom and second thoughts.
Perhaps I should have waited to collect "full retirement benefits" at age 65, 66 or 70!
My premature departure at 62 has left me in a less than desirable financial state.  
Continuing to indulge in the reckless lifestyle I had grown accustomed to was slowly draining my savings and threatening my security. 
Once the gift cards ran out and the checks were cashed in,  reality hit me like a ton of bricks.  
The every other week paydays, opportunities for extra income via overtime and working holidays at time and a half $$ had vanished into thin air.
My monthly pension and social security payments were my new reality. And they were not going to increase or arrive more often then scheduled.  
(Regrettably, I had even tapped into my 401K on several occasions. Realizing that my retirement savings was going to have to last me the rest of my life, I resolved to only use that money as a last resort!)
So, either I had to go back to work or I had to change my life style. My old job was gone and I wasn't ready to flip burgers at McDonald's quite yet.

Therefore, I came up with a ten step plan of action:

1. Stop going out to eat on a daily basis.
try for three times a week and go at lunch time

2. On that same line of thinking, learn to cook!  Practice, practice, practice. Be creative.
3. Do not go to the mall!  (do not commit spontaneous acts of purchase)

4. Make a list when grocery shopping and stick to it.  Go for sale items and use coupons.
5. set  goals and reward myself realistically. (no take out pizza til I loose 3 lbs, no horseback riding til I loose 30 lbs)
6. Go to the library rather than loading up on E books.

7. Stay Busy!  Make a schedule and incorporate exercise as part of my daily routine.
(I joined a Wellness Center and will keep a calender of attendance to justify the expense versus the health benefits.)
Health & Wellness Center - West

8. Have a vacation fund.  If I know I have the air fare ahead of time, I won't feel guilty or deprive myself.

9. Take time to unclutter my life.  Throw away, give away or otherwise remove excess baggage. reorganize!
10. Enjoy family and friends.  Make time to write, call or visit loved ones.
After all... the best things in life are free!  :-)

If I can successfully fulfill that list, I will strive to be more global or, at the very least, community centered next time around .  (For example, walk dogs at Humane Society, volunteer at church or nursing homes, etc.)

But one step at a time.

If all else fails, you may see my smiling face in the persona of a Walmart greeter!!