Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Tag

What’s On Your Bucket List?

Saturday evening and I am home writing this blog!   What’s that tell you about my social life or life in general.   Actually, my life in a small town is not all that bad.   This evening, our regular group of ladies adjourned to the local pub after the 4 o’clock mass.   We do this most every Saturday evening, but we do vary our destinations among a few favorite hot spots in town.

Tonight’s conversation was about items we have on our bucket list, which I always find fascinating.  It always amazes me that some people don’t have that much on their list, while others would need to live two lifetimes to finish their list.   Pondering this topic I have added 4 new items to my bucket list, why? –I want to!

I added:

  • Take the summer off and drive cross country – stopping when and where I want until I do and see everything I want.    No planned itinerary just meander the back roads of America.
  • I want to go up to Canada and France to do some in depth, hands on research into my families ancestry on my Father’s side; and then to England and Ireland to do the same thing on my Mother’s side of the family.   I can only do just so much on the computer, I really need to get up close and personal to really understand the stories we were never told.
  • I want to write a book and have it published.  It would be my legacy to tell the world that I lived and I don’t want to be forgotten.   It will be my leave behind for the next generations to read and learn about their long forgotten ancestor.  I know when I find snippets of information on an unknown ancestor I find it fascinating.  So I hope that they will also.
  • I want to learn a foreign language that I never did when I was in school.  I think it would be French.  To be able to read and speak French when traveling would be helpful.

Of course, I still have plenty on the list that I am working on but these additions only add some incentive to keep on eliminating and enjoying the bucket list adventures.   Also, there is no bucket list police to say you have to do them in a particular order!   So relax, I am, and enjoy your bucket list items; the large ones and the small ones.   I think I deserve a Hot Fudge Sundae for writing my blog!

It Was Not Walden Pond, But It Was Beautiful

Back in the day, growing up in the fifties, the Fourth of July was always filled with family and friends celebrating our national birthday, swimming, a backyard cookout, and going to the fireworks.

I grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, the home of important historical places, events and literary notables, such as; the start of the Revolutionary War, home of Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, and his Walden Pond.   Growing up in Concord meant we learned all these things, and we even had the privilege of taking swimming lessons at Walden Pond.  However, Walden Pond’s notoriety was too much for most town  residence and was often very crowded with visitors.  So many ‘townies’ opted to swim in a lesser known,  smaller, but just as beautiful, pond called White’s Pond.

Just as beautiful as Walden Pond

To swim at Whites Pond, you needed a membership for the Whites Pond Association which cost about $15.00 for the season.   Our family had a membership and it was a life saver on many hot, humid summer days.   On Holidays, like the 4th of July, we would spend hours at the pond.  All the kids would go with my older sister supervising a troop of 7 or 8 kids.   We all knew the rules, and my sister was always willing to bend the rules a bit, and it was a great time.  Eventually, later in the afternoon, the adults will come along with possibly another couple of kids who came late, and for the next hour or so we played and swam with the adults before going home for our cookout.

Our cookouts were huge affairs, with lots of friends, family, and food.   There was the usual cookout staples; hot dogs, hamburgers, and corn on the cob, along with a wide array of salads, fruits, desserts, and watermelon!   There was, or so it seemed, enough to feed and army.   It’s funny, years later when looking through family photo’s the only photos of my Father were of him cooking at our cookouts, and he was always smiling and happy!

To go to the fireworks on the 4th of July we needed to leave town.   For whatever reason, the town father’s of Concord never permitted fireworks, no matter what occasion.    So after our fabulous cookout was all over and cleaned up, the gang all piled into various cars, and headed to the fireworks in neighboring towns.

I can remember the anticipation I felt, along the excitement and happiness I experienced during throughout day.    Along tired satisfaction I had as my Dad carried me up the stairs and put me into bed having fallen asleep on the ride home from the fireworks.

These special days and events left vivid, loving,  and lasting memories, which now cause me to smile and wipe away a happy tear or two for the good times long ago.

Time To Put Them Away!

Time to put you away!

I am so glad that this weekend I was able to pull my flip-flops out for one last time this year!

I love wearing my flip-flops and I wore them every place I could all summer – even to church.   I know people were looking at me as if I had no other shoes.  I do!  I love shoes and have a whole closet full of shoes, but there is something about these flip-flops that I love.
I believe that it is the freedom I feel when I am wearing my flip-flops.   They give me freedom to feel good about who I am and what I am all about.   I love to feel free to love, laugh and enjoy my life.
Even though I am putting the flip-flops for the winter, only means that the weather is turning too cold to continue to wear them.  I am not packing away the feeling of freedom.   Even though my feet are stuffed into shoes and boots all winter, my heart is free to love, laugh, and enjoy my life every day with out restrictions.
So until next spring, goodbye flip-flops enjoy wintering in my closet.  I will think of you often, just know I love how I feel when you are on my feet.

How Much is that Dog? Priceless!

A photograph of a German Shepherd Dog

Image via Wikipedia

At a recent networking meeting I was warmly greeted by our wonderful hostesses and Gus a very large, friendly, German Sheppard.  Gus is a retired Seeing Eye dog.    

Gus and our human hostesses, warmly greeted everyone and were very gracious and attentive to all our needs.  Gus circulated the living room and welcomed everyone.  Gus was a perfect gentleman.  He was not intrusive, he simply weaved through the visitors and accepted his pats and ear rubs when given.  Once our meeting began Gus quietly slipped away, I am sure he had to check in on other areas of the house!  However, Gus frequently returned to the living room, stood quietly, looked around to make sure everything was okay, and left. 

We were told about Gus’ background and that Gus lives with one of our hostesses, when not “on duty” at Pond Home.   In addition to Gus, there are 2 cats also in residence.  The cats pretty much stay on the upper floors and Gus stays on the first floor.  As a big an animal lover, I am pleased to see and hear how much these animals mean to the residents of this community.  

It wasn’t too long ago that many senior communities and local elderly housing complexes would not allow animals.  Some of the issues were pets can cause falls,  older people cannot take care of themselves let alone a pet, and they are too messy to have around.   So when our older family members who own and love their pets are deciding to downsize and move it makes deciding more difficult if pets are excluded. 

However there is growing research that indicates that either having their own pet or a pet available to them in their residential community provides many therapeutic physical and emotional benefits for our valued older population.  While researching on the web I found on The Pets for the Elderly Foundation website that ” . . .the benefits to elderly persons are ten-fold (versus non-pet owners).  In the following ways:

1.     Pets lower blood pressure and pulse rate
2.     21% fewer visits to the doctor
3.     Less depression
4.     Easier to make friends (enhanced social opportunities)
5.     Seniors become more active
6.     Pets offer affection and unconditional love
7.     Pets ease loss of a loved one
8.     Pets fight loneliness
9.     Seniors take better care of themselves
10.  Sense of security”

Thankfully, I am seeing more and more care facilities and elderly housing allowing pets or they have a pet in residence for everyone to enjoy.   The benefits to the seniors are well worth the effort to them keep or have a pet.

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