Monthly Archives: June 2017

Mackinac

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, available by clicking here Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

Now, on to my blog:

Mackinac Island 1 - June 2017Clop, clop, clop—the sound of the horses’ hooves as they pulled the wagon taxi  carrying me around Mackinac Island, Michigan last week.  It was the time of the Lilac Festival during which all of the lilac bushes covering the island in their various colors and hues perform for the tourists. It seemed that every hotel, restaurant, park, private home and anywhere else something could be planted had its own lilac bushes for passersby to admire, sniff, and use as a backdrop to pose for photos.

The island is supported by tourism. However, despite the thousands who descend each year, it has been kept pristine and is a little step back in history.Mackinac Island 2 - June 2017 No cars are allowed. All transportation is accomplished by horse drawn carriages and drays, bicycles, and good old-fashioned walking. Humans with pooper scoopers as well as machines pulled by draft horses, Belgians and Percherons mostly, ply the roads gathering the equine droppings. They are then composted and spread throughout the island to assist in the growth of those magnificent lilacs as well as other flora.

Here’s another fact that grabbed my interest. The three-mile-long body of water to the closest mainland freezes shortly after Christmas forming what the locals call the “ice bridge.” The full-time residents have created a folk remedy of sorts to delineate the path as they traverse it atop their snowmobiles. People simply save their Christmas trees which are then set up on the ice to mark the route.

Yes, the five-hundred full-time islanders certainly do enjoy modern lifestyles that technology has brought to all of us.  However, they seem to have found some simple solutions to their unique challenges.  My little peek through their keyhole tells me that they have a less stressful, less emotionally demanding cadence to their lives than we in the big cities experience.

My auditory sense relaxed in the replacement of engine noise with the resonance of the horses’ hooves as they went about their duties. I like that their emissions help the life cycle unlike that of automobiles that only contribute their noxious gases to the destruction of our planet. Is progress really all it’s touted to be? Can we learn from Mackinac Island residents?  Might a return to simpler times and simpler ways be the answer to our angst?

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Please forward my blog to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at:  gowergulch@yahoo.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, health and wellness, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, seniors, successful aging, Uncategorized, wellness

Generational Differences

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, available by clicking here Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

Now, on to my blog:

Earlobe spacer 1It is often so hard for distant generations to understand and accept each other and to even communicate.  Differences are greater as the years between generations increase. Behavioral and linguistic disparities between parents and children are hard enough, but it becomes more extreme between age spans separating grandparents and grandchildren or great grandchildren.  This, of course, can be extrapolated to anyone, not just family members.  However, if we are going to live together and benefit from each other, we must adapt and cope, as hard and confusing as it may be.

A few weeks ago, I had a young workman approximately age twenty fixing some damage to my wall.  He arrived with tools in his hands which were attached to fully tattooed arms.  This contrasted sharply with my tattooless ones.  In his earlobes were hole stretch earrings (also called gauges as Google informed me) which expanded those lobe holes to about a three quarter inch diameter.  My own lobe holes are pinhead width, my norm for voluntary body mutilations.

Click on this link for a how-to primer on ear lobe stretching for those so inclined:  http://www.wikihow.com/Stretch-an-Ear-Lobe-Piercing  As you can see, it’s not an easy thing to become a practitioner.  If you are still determined to stretch your lobes, here are Amazon’s offers of do-it-yourself kits: https://tinyurl.com/y8vupuq9

Despite our stylistic differences, the young workman was a sweetheart.  He set to his task with diligence.  About an hour later, YW appeared at my office door and announced that he was finished.

“I’m sorry it took me so long,” he said.  “I had a brain fart and cut the wood too short, so I had to do it again.”

“What?”

“I had a brain fart and cut the wood too short.  The reason I didn’t finish earlier is because I had to do it over.”

Yes, I had heard him correctly.  A brain fart.

I swallowed and just responded, “Oh.”

He had used that compound noun twice in his explanation with no sign of jest, sarcasm, or a goal to shock.  It was simply part of his natural speech, and he never even thought that it might be offensive to someone else.

Stretched ear lobes

I was not exactly offended—more surprised and amazed.  In my lifetime, I’ve experienced confusion, distraction, misunderstanding, mistakes, but never a brain fart.  Or, maybe I had but just didn’t know it. “A word is a word is a word,” as I’ve heard it said.

We should be grateful if the younger generation beings in our lives are loving, giving, goal oriented, etc.  Mild rebellions such as tattoos, shaved heads, trendy words and phrases, bodily piercings of various types, rainbow colored hair, etc. are tolerable and non-destructive—so much better than drug experimentation, criminal acts and the like which some use to rebel.  So, get in sync with the young people in your life; go ahead and stretch your earlobes.

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Please forward my blog to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at:  gowergulch@yahoo.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

Bottom Photo: Photo credit: Rod Waddington via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-SA


			

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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, health and wellness, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, seniors, successful aging, wellness