Saturday, July 23, 2011

Odds And Ends

by Lois Jamieson
I woke up this morning feeling full of pep and energy. The sky was blue, the sun shining.
Then I went to the mailbox.
I wasn’t expecting a letter. No one writes letters anymore. I get all my newsy notes from either my e-mail or on my wall. I kid you not, check out FaceBook. I receive all kinds of interesting information about their lives from my friends – it’s all on my wall.
But today the mailman did leave me four pieces of mail.
1.     Important News About Cremation – Sign Up Today
2.     Six Free Chances To Win a Classic Contour Adjustable Bed – For The Elderly
3.     Assisted Living Is For You – But Hurry We Are Selling Out Fast
4.     The Facts You Need To Know About Hearing Aids
I wonder how they know I’m eighty two.
Some Quotes For You –
“Some People try to turn back their odometers. Not me; I want people to know ‘why’ I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren’t paved.”  (anon.)
“I am able to say that while I am not ruggedly well, I am not ill enough to excite an undertaker.” (Mark Twain)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Remembering Joe

by Lois Jamieson
I am finding that one of the ‘Perils’ of aging is losing friends.
The problem with being an Octogenarian is that a great many of our close friends are also octogenarians. Just last week we said “Farewell”  to our wonderful friend, Joe.
It seems like just yesterday my husband and I were sitting in our living room having a before-dinner-drink with Joe and his wife Punkie. Two days ago we celebrated his life at his memorial service.
The Joe we knew was a kind, thoughtful man, with a sweet smile - a gentle man and a ‘gentleman’. At his memorial celebration, we heard from his three children and three grandchildren that he was also an understanding father, who never let them down. His love for his family was unconditional. During the past week we had the privilege of spending time with these three grown-up children, as well as his dear wife of fifty seven years. We shared laughter and tears and sweet moments.
Joe had a keen interest in sailing and spent many happy hours on the water. So we say “Bon Voyage" dear friend ’til we meet again.”

“When through one man a little more love and goodness, a little more light and truth come into the world – then that man’s life has had meaning.” Ano

Thursday, July 14, 2011

An Interesting Study

by Lois Jamieson
When Phoebe and I started talking about our book, The Humor, Perils and Joys of Aging, I read everything I could get my hands on looking for interesting ideas.
I came across an article in our local newspaper, The Arizona Republic, about a longevity study. In this particular issue they highlighted three people. I was especially interested in their ages and their activities. This is what I read:
A one hundred and six year old woman – reads two newspapers a day and has daily visitors.
A ninety two year old man – exercises three times a week, including weights, stretches, sit ups, push ups and knee bends.
An eighty seven year old woman – plays golf and drives to Arizona Diamondbacks baseball games. She also exercises, including weight lifting, and swims daily.
Dr. Walter Nieri, who did the study, learned that those who live long independent lives, seem to share the following: they are cheerful, have a good diet, exercise, have an active social network, have an ability to overcome hardships and have a religious or spiritual base.
In taking stock of myself at eighty two years of age, I find that I have a reasonably good diet, have a very active social network, I am cheerful and have a strong religious and spiritual base.
I fall short in most of their daily activities. I gave up golf seven years ago and I watch  baseball games sitting on a comfy chair in my living room. I don’t swim anymore because it messes up my hair, and I’m not sure I could lift more than two pound weights. My exercise has dwindled down to grocery shopping, doing the laundry, talking to people a lot, hugging the children at StarShine Academy where I volunteer, and writing blogs and books.
If my daughter, Jan Shoop, has anything to do with it I will begin exercising immediately.
If you would like to read about the kids at StarShine Academy check out the blog I write with Jan at

Monday, July 11, 2011

Some Of My Favorite Quotes

by Lois Jamieson
I have discovered the pleasurable pastime of collecting quotes. Sometimes they make you think, sometimes they make you laugh and sometimes they make you cry. But they all give you ideas to use in your writing, whether you write for your own pleasure or write for publication. Here are a few from my treasure chest of quotes.
“Two of the most uninteresting people you would want to meet. They were 65 when they were 20.” – anon.
“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Self care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have. The gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” – ‘Let Your Live Speak’ by Parker J. Palmer
“I’ve learned that the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.” – Andy Rooney

Please Note  - Phoebe will be back writing for you in the near future. She and her husband have just completed a complicated move into an assisted living residence. As well as writing on our blog and our book – The Humor, Perils and Joy of Aging – she plans to teach a writer’s workshop at their new location. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Greatest Generation

by  Lois Jamieson
My older brother Carl was truly a member of journalist Tom Brokaw’s, ‘Greatest Generation’.  
 Carl graduated from high school in N.W. Pennsylvania in 1942 amid World War II. Within a few months he joined the Army.  He became an infantryman and eventually fought in the famed Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944 and 1945. This was the last major offensive of the war. During this time he was shot and was captured by the Germans. His captivity was short lived when the Germans surrendered. He later received the Purple Heart medal.
After the war Carl attended Penn State University and graduated with an Engineering degree. He married in 1952 and fathered two children.  He never spoke about his part in this battle. It was as if his war experience never happened. He simply went on with his life.
Until one summer evening in l994.
Carl and his wife Betty were staying with us at our summer home in Flagstaff, Arizona. We had just finished dinner and were talking over a cup of coffee when much to our surprise he started talking about those years. He must have talked, with tears in his eyes, for thirty or forty minutes about his experiences in that terrible war. I’m not sure why he chose that moment to share his story. Many men and women of that generation never talked about it. I’ll always be grateful that Carl chose to share his story with us.  
Carl died in 1997 and I miss him terribly.