Tag: aging

GRANDDAD and the SUMMER SOLSTICE – A Memoir Moment

GRANDDAD and the SUMMER SOLSTICE – A Memoir Moment

granddad
Morris Shallcross Wickersham 1947

It’s the summer solstice and my grandmother’s birthday. The connection seems absolutely right, though I know little about her. My mother told me stories of her love of nature. . . a gift passed down from generation to generation. Now, as I watch my son till and plant his garden I see the circle of life unfolding. I never knew my grandmother – she died before I was born – as did all of my grandparents except one: Granddad.

My grandfather, my mother’s father, lived with us all of my life. My first memory of Granddad was of him carrying me on his shoulders to the chicken coop.  I was two.  Granddad and the chicken coop were a thing. It was who he was around town. He raised chickens and sold the eggs to the local people for pocket change. That is, until we moved to Maine where there were no chicken coops. During the dark winter days he took to washing dishes and canning chairs. Occasionally, he watched over me while my mother was at a church function or a tea party. He fed me poached eggs with too much salt as I sat in front of the TV.  I didn’t say a word. Granddad was hard of hearing and I didn’t like shouting at him.  People did not hear me anyway. Silence was my modus operandi.

We moved again right before my ninth birthday. The weather was warmer in our new home further south, but still no chicken coop. Instead Granddad spent hours on his knees in the front yard, hunched over digging dandelions out of the grass with his pocket knife – in a white shirt and tie. It was what he wore every day. It was always Sunday in his world, and each morning began with the sound of his straight razor against the razor strop that hung from his bedroom door. Once in a while I’d sneak in to his room and watch him lather up his shaving brush and paint his face in great dobs of smooth white froth. I so wanted him to dob some on my face too!

Slender and almost 6 feet tall, Granddad was number eight in our family. He made us an even-numbered family. I don’t recall him ever being sick, except once when I was eleven. He was ninety-two. He laid in bed for two weeks with a mysterious illness. The doctor came and went and talked in a conspiratorial whisper with my mother in the kitchen. There was no discussion of what was wrong with Granddad except that he wasn’t feeling well.

One night a kerfuffle coming from his bedroom woke me up. Before I could decide whether or not to get up, I heard my mother’s feet scurrying down the hall. I lie in bed, beneath the safety of my covers, listening to the activity but discovering nothing about its cause. After a time the racket stopped and I drifted back to sleep. Over breakfast my mother told my Dad how Granddad thought the trash can was on fire. She had to take it into the bathroom and run the water to convince him that it wasn’t.  The trash can wasn’t on fire at all, but Granddad’s imagination was!

Finally, after two weeks, he got up, got dressed in his white shirt and tie and stretched out on the couch in the living room. When I passed by on the way to the kitchen for breakfast he was fast asleep. I was encouraged. He was getting well at last. I poured my cereal as my mother washed the dishes. “Granddad’s up!” I said. “He’s dressed and napping on the couch!”.

“He’s not napping, dear,” she said. That afternoon the undertaker came and took him away. Family members always seemed to leave just as I arrived.

HEMP OIL – Is it Good for You?

HEMP OIL – Is it Good for You?

Hemp oil is all the rage these days. It seems it’s the latest best new thing for our health. When I was asked to review a hemp oil product I Hemp Oilhesitated.  I’m a bit of a late comer to whole foods and natural remedies. From a philosophical standpoint I’m always open to new ideas and an ever-expanding view of life, but when it comes to ingesting things I don’t understand I fall back on my upbringing.  My English mother made it abundantly clear to her five children that the only things worth ingesting were meat, vegetables and potatoes, in small amounts three times a day. She’d throw in a multi-vitamin on occasion for good measure. It served me well in the psycho-tropic drug era, but things have changed.

Modern medicine failed me one too many times and a complex world left me searching for better solutions to my health concerns. No more would a pat on the head and a prescription from my doctor serve me.  Little by little, I stuck my toe in the waters of “natural” remedies. Fortunately, I had a willing and very patient guide, and my outlook has forever changed.  So here I am facing down Hemp oil, wondering if I dare. After all, it has cannabinoids on the label. Sounds suspiciously like marajahooch, and I’m too old for that stuff! But, I decided to take the risk because if it does what they say it does, I’m in!

First of all, Hemp oil does not contain THC, the stuff in marijuana that some of us once found so appealing. In fact, it’s a slightly different plant, as you will see in the graphic to the right. So rest easy and read on.

HERE’S WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT HEMP OIL

Hemp Oil in Your Diet

Hemp Oil Receptra PrimeHemp oil, a vegetable oil, is derived from hemp seeds. Low in saturated fats, it is high in antioxidants. Added to your diet it naturally addresses muscle and joint pain and arthritis by reducing inflammation. In addition it reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer and blood clots, according to the “Journal of Nutraceuticals Functional and Medicinal Foods”

According to RECEPTRA  who sent me the sample, “Research is surfacing that shows hemp oil’s antioxidant content is ideal for removing toxins from the body that cause inflammation. Inflammation, “a silent killer”, can lead to muscle and joint pain as well as a variety of other diseases and conditions. Using Hemp CBD Oil, like Receptra Naturals, is a great way to battle the complications of inflammation-causing toxins, as well as potentially prevent its/their existence entirely.”

Not all Hemp oil manufacturers are equal. Across the board, Receptra received high marks. Cannainside reports: “Unlike many of the brands out there that claim to test their oils, Receptra Naturals uses a third-party laboratory to test their products and post the results online. Yes, you can go to their website, identify the batch of your product, and view potency, mold, and heavy metal lab results. Isn’t it about time the rest of the industry catch up?”  See more reviews below.

Hemp Oil for Your Skin

The sample I received from RECEPTRA is a dietary supplement, but Hemp oil is also great for the skin. Hemp oil skin products can be used to alleviate dry skin. Rub it directly on dry or cracked areas. Use it on hands, feet, cuticles, nails and to remove makeup. It’s also used to condition hair, reduce acne and eczema. Research has found it to be an effective treatment for atopic dermatitis as well.

MY EXPERIENCE with RECEPTRA PRIME Hemp Oil

I’ve only been using it a week but so far it’s a painless process. Whenever I start something new, I start out very slowly. The directions say to use a full dropper 2 to 3 times a day. I started with 1/2 dropper once a day, and am now taking a full dropper once a day. I started it with plenty of aches and pains so if it helps I will be sure to let you know!

What natural remedies do you use?

 


Receptra Naturals Review

Receptra Naturals Review: Pure Hemp Extracts for an Active Lifestyle

 


 

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy:

CHIA SEEDS ARE GOOD FOR DAMAGED SKIN

ARE WE TAKING TOO MANY PRESCRIPTION DRUGS?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Receptra Naturals. The opinions and text are all mine.

WISDOM – WHAT IS IT? #WisdomWednesday

WISDOM – WHAT IS IT? #WisdomWednesday

As a young adult I admired those individuals who emulated wisdom. I read voraciously the words of great writers and teachers who seemed to have an inside tract on the meaning of life. From Kierkegaard, Tillich, C.S. Lewis, Kahlil Gibran, Jesus, Reinhold Niebuhr, Jung, Martin Buber, to Camus, Sartre, Herman Hess, Samuel Beckett, Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn, Virginia Woolf, I soaked in what I could.  I leaned in hungrily to the words of my professors of philosophy and theology, hoping to find a nugget or two of wisdom that would free me from my suffering. Wisdom . . . a thing I longed for. . . even as it eluded me.

What is wisdom?

Forty five years later, I think I have finally begun to understand the true nature of wisdom. It is not just the gift of insight, although it is that. Nor is it something that shows up on our doorstep, like a Fed Ex delivery. It shows up  in its own time and is something that one recognizes in oneself only in hindsight.

Wisdom
“It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau

Wisdom, I believe, is a byproduct of suffering. It is not an award for endurance, although endurance is necessary.  It’s something more. It requires yielding to suffering and allowing it to become our teacher.

Wisdom comes to those who allow the fires of hell to burn down walls of protection in order to see the truth. It does not come to those who insist on wearing masks of denial or pretense. A fundamental ingredient of the wise is the ability to see and speak the Truth regardless of the consequences.

“We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.”
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace   

The wise learn to see themselves and the world through the eyes of truth, not the eyes of their ego.  Wisdom begins to show up precisely when a person sees how much they have left to learn and when they have begun to be willing students of life.  Not a goal to be achieved,  it arrives precisely when one no longer care about being wise.


FINDING HOPE, Quotes for Midlife and Beyond is packed with quotes to guide and support you as you gather wisdom. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it. If so, please leave a review on Amazon and recommend it to a friend! It also makes a great gift for Mother’s Day and special occasions. Thank you, as always, for your support. DS

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR FEAR & ANGER POST ELECTION

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR FEAR & ANGER POST ELECTION

Fear and AngerPanic, fear and anger are very normal responses to what has taken place over the last week (and months). Many of us feel threatened and angered by all that is happening. We are in hyper-reactivity mode and our emotions have been propelling us forward. Everywhere people are saying and doing things they would not ordinarily say or do.

This high adrenaline response (survival response) is a natural and normal biological response, programmed into our DNA, to give us the biological resources we need to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe in a threatening situation. It is not ALL that we are. Not by a long shot, and it’s important that we take time, now, to reconnect with the rational and more expansive aspects of our selves.

The threat seems immediate and our bodies are responding as if it is. But, it is not, at least for most of us. Our bodies don’t know this, and the adrenaline coursing through our veins is telling us to fight or flee when there’s nowhere to flee and no one to punch! We take this adrenaline to social media and pick fights with our words, or we bark at our kids or spouses. This doesn’t satisfy our bodies need for calm. In fact, it keeps us in a heightened state of reactivity and keeps the adrenaline flowing.

Our best course of action at this time is to do the opposite. It may feel counter intuitive, but we need to make a concerted effort to calm ourselves. Remaining in a hyper alert state for long periods of time is hard on our bodies and will ultimately drain our resources. We may need these resources down the road when a course of action becomes clear.

Now it behooves us to take a deep breath and do everything we can to find our center of calm. We think more clearly when we are calm. We act more carefully and intelligently when we are calm. During challenging times such as these, we need to think and act with the best of who we are, not in reaction to a set of circumstances that at this time is beyond our control. There will come a time for action. We will know it when it arrives. Today, taking care of ourselves and restoring our sense of security within ourselves is our job.

As we live out the coming months and years, our ability to be vigilant in our self-care, will allow us to stay the course. Establishing a sense of security and calm within ourselves provides an anchor that will help us ride out the storms.

In my experience this can be accomplished by engaging in any or all of these practices. You may have your own.

  • avoid unnecessary confrontation
  • decrease exposure to inflammatory rhetoric/media
  • disconnect entirely from the internet for a period of time
  •  limit news/TV/electronic devices
  • take several deep breaths periodically throughout the day – we tend to hold our breath and breath shallowly when we are tense; deep breathing actually activates calming mechanisms in our body.
  • moderate exercise – a brisk walk, swimming, dancing
  • spending time outdoors, preferably in a natural setting away from the hustle and bustle of every day life.
  • pets can be calming – take some time each day to cuddle with yours; no doubt they will be calmer as well!
  • eat healthfully and avoid alcohol and junk food (Adrenal Burnout Soup Recipe)
  • get lots of sleep (even if you need a little help to do so for a while)
  • spend time with people who are calm and with whom you feel safe;
  • avoid those who don’t (it doesn’t mean you have to stop loving them!)
  • soak in a hot tub
  • use essential oils in a diffuser or sprinkle on a cotton ball and carry in your pocket
  • meditate/pray
  • practice mindfulness
  • body work/massage/
  • read positive, reflective literature
  • tune into yourself in silence; heart/mind/body/soul
  • Listen to and follow your intuition

We will get through this together.  Dorothy


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Lessons In Letting Go & Finding Balance with Sora Garrett

Lessons In Letting Go & Finding Balance with Sora Garrett

Learning to find our balance again and again, is a valuable skill we practice as we navigate life’s challenges. This is especially true during the midlife years when a plethora of destabilizing happenings beset many of us. The blessing that is born as a result of our hard work is multifaceted. Sora Garret joins us today as the final guest in this segment of The Voices of Wisdom Series. In her article she describes this practice beautifully. Sora is a gifted writer with a gentle spirit whose valuable message comes through loud and clear . . .  Be sure to visit her website and check out her books.

Midlife Reflections on Balance, Menopause & the Joy of Being

Sora Garrett

Letting go
Sora Garrett

I’m turning 50 this year, the foundations of my life solid around me, wisdom woven deep from the rich tapestry of a half century of living. Some days I revel in this feel of solidity—the comfort & freedom it brings. Other days I am cast as water, floating in the elusive nature of things and wondering what I am to do with myself now that I’ve reached so many of my dreams.

Most of my life I’ve found fulfillment through action, the fulcrum of my life based in doing. Finding balance meant stealing time for myself so that I could keep functioning as a working-volunteering mother-wife-friend-entrepreneur.

Balance was also a journey of taking myself to the extremes, testing boundaries, exploring edges to find where I belonged so I could be really happy. My outer life was in well-juggled balance. My inner life was not.

A LESSON IN LETTING GO

Eventually life crashed in around me, literally, and forced me to listen. After a major ski wreck gave me a concussion, I slowed down for a few months. The following year…different wreck, same concussion. Only this time I listened more deeply and finally ended a business partnership that was falling apart at the seams.

It was a huge lesson in letting go, and one that started me on the most amazing adventure of my life—the journey into my essential self.

I’m at least part way there, and the dance of balance is different now, though still illusive. There is less I have to do and more I want to give.

While I still have tendencies to over-do, my evolving spiritual practice keeps me well-watered and connected to my inner being. I really know what it is to overflow with giving that comes from a sincere desire to share. These days, I’m pulled (not pushed) to explore my edges so I can stay fresh & awake to wonder.

FINDING BALANCELetting Go

Rather than looking for some miracle balance point that will bring happiness, I’ve learned to shift my balance in the moment as life blossoms around me.

When I engage gracefully in this life-dance, I find a joy of being that is more fulfilling than any accomplished goal or conquered dream. And as I learn to say no to my habits of over-doing, my soul leads me to give in ever more satisfying ways.

Except there’s this one little thing: my changing body is betraying me.

Some days, I barely know myself, the heavy-fuzzy symptoms of menopause casting a dullness over my otherwise radiant world. More sensitive to almost everything, my physical balance point has become so narrow that I keep falling off. And, some days, nothing I do seems to help.

So I just keep doing what I can, showing up as authentically as I know how, and creating new rituals to support the physical changes as they come. My body has become a new learning edge that is inspiring me to pay attention more closely than ever before…to practice a new dance that will serve me as I enter this next new phase of my life.

TUNE IN TO THE SIMPLE JOYS OF BEING

I’ve discovered that even in the midst of the physical or emotional pain, when I tune to the simple joys of being…walking in the snow, getting kisses from my dogs or hugs from my family, drinking in a most amazing sunset, connecting with a friend, sitting by the fire…my balance is restored, at least for the moment.

And I’m learning that sometimes doing nothing is the best way to keep giving.

MORE from VOICES OF WOMEN

 


Sora Garrett is an author, mentor & life simplification guide who just turned sixty. She wrote this article ten years ago and is amazed at how relevant it still is today. While she no longer experiences the intense symptoms of menopause, her highly sensitive nature has given her a gift for helping women s l o w – d o w n to create lives of ease, joy and overflow.

With her FlowLiving® Mentoring programs, Sora will help you embrace the miraculous and find calm in chaos as you create more space in all areas of your life. Schedule a free illumination session, enroll in a mentoring circle, and find her books & blog @ SoraGarrett.com

SORA’S BOOKS

The Miracle Keys: A Conversation with an Angel

Silent Grace: A Celebration (poetry)

Coming Soon: Ignite Your Inner Star: a discovery guide & playbook for creating your most Radiant Life.


 

“SOMEDAY” IS TODAY with Sunny Lockwood

“SOMEDAY” IS TODAY with Sunny Lockwood

“Someday” begins with a day just like today.

No one knows this better than Sunny Lockwood. This morning I”m happy to introduce you to Sunny  in The Voices of Wisdom series. Sunny reached out to me and said she thought Aging Abundantly readers might be interested in her story. I agreed! I hope it is as much of an inspiration to you as is was to me. There is no time like the present to live the life we’ve always dreamed of living. It can begin today. After all someday is just a day like today.

Al & Sunny Lockwood
Al & Sunny Lockwood

 

My husband and I have always been sort of workaholics. Like others with fulfilling lives, we dreamed of things we’d like to do someday (perhaps when we were older and life had slowed down a little).However, on a Sunday evening in July in 2012, as we waited at a red light, our life changed dramatically.

It was a perfect evening. The blue sky held a golden sunset glow. We’d been to the beach earlier and the pounding surf still filled our heads as we waited for the light to change.

Suddenly,  a texting driver slammed full speed (60 mph) into us, totaling both cars in an explosion of glass and metal. I’ll never forget the grinding, screaming metal as her SUV tore through the back end and then the side of our Toyota Carolla. Although seatbelted, we were tossed about as our car crumpled.

Both vehicles were totaled. Fortunately, we suffered no broken bones. But we were bruised and banged up, and our summer was ruined as our days filled with doctor appointments, wrangling with insurance companies and trying to find a replacement car.

We ached for weeks.

I complained loudly about drivers who fool with their phones, wishing I could get them all arrested and thrown in jail.

But my ranting gave way to the awareness of how lucky we were to be alive.

If we had not been wearing seat belts. If our airbags had not inflated.  So many ifs. Yet, here we were. Alive.

The realization that life is fragile and brief changed our lives. It woke us up.

We realized anew how all the little gifts we take for granted — the sweet fragrance of roses or lilacs, the welcome chill of ice cream on a hot day, the comfort of prayer, the pleasure of a kitten’s purring, the delicious smell of newly cut grass or fresh-brewed coffee — all these everyday blessings can be snatched away in a moment.

You can be doing nothing more risky than sitting at a red light, and the next moment you could be hooked up to monitors in a hospital, or lying cold in a morgue.

Everyone knows the truth that life is temporary. But until we take that truth seriously it’s just a distant theory as we rush through our busy days.

Al and I suddenly took that truth to heart. As we focused on how lucky we were that the wreck didn’t kill us,  we decided to start doing some of the things we’d dreamed of doing. It’s not like we had great life goals we’d been putting off. But we both enjoy travel, love seeing what’s over the next hill or around the next curve in the road.  We’d camped up and down the west coast.

And for years we’d toyed with the idea of taking longer trips, perhaps a cruise to somewhere interesting. But we’d talked about such travel in a dreamy, someday sort of way.

Now, feeling grateful to be alive and whole, we decided to actually take part in that “someday” travel.

First on the bucket list was a cruise through the Panama Canal. Al is a retired engineer, and he’d dreamed of going through the canal (one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century) since he was a child.

Online research revealed a 17-day cruise through the canal that we could afford and we signed up. The trip from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale was fantastic.

Traversing the famous canal from the Pacific to the Atlantic in the same way ships have been traversing since 1904 was a thrill beyond compare.  The trip was so amazing that we actually wrote a book about it: Cruising Panama’s Canal, savoring 5,000 nautical miles and 500,000 decadent calories.

So what began as a dream come true trip, grew into a writing/publishing venture.Today is Someday

Cruising Panama’s Canal was named an Amazon #1 best seller in 2014 and continues to sell in both paperback and ebook formats at Amazon.com

Since that first cruise, we’ve taken other wonderful trips and have written three more travel memoirs.

One of our books, Cruising the Mediterranean, was named an Amazon best seller in two categories: Senior Travel and Venice Guidebooks and Travelogues.

Readers from around the world have written that they love our books. We’ve been asked to talk about our travels at retirement communities, senior centers, book stores and service clubs.

Making our travel dreams come true has been fascinating and fulfilling. It has led to new endeavors — writing our travel memoirs, speaking about our travels. And our adventure continues as we schedule more trips and write about them.

We write to encourage others. Everyone carries dreams within their hearts. The dreams may be small or large, but often they remain Someday is Todaylodged inside. Al and I want to encourage readers to grasp those dreams and make them come true.

Whether it’s earning a college degree, or traveling to a far away place, we encourage you to do it. Do it now, while you can. Tomorrow is not promised.

Believe me when I say that making a dream come true is deeply rewarding. How satisfying it is to achieve something you’ve always dreamed about. That accomplishment comes with enriching memories and stories to share. And you can never tell where your dream will take you.

Ours has taken us on cruises and tours, to book stores, libraries and travel clubs. It has enlarged and enriched our life as we’ve shared our travels through our books and presentations.

Who knows where you’re dream will take you?

A few photos from our trips:

Someday is Today
Venice’s Grand Canal was a busy and beautiful highway.
Someday is Today
he Parthenon in Athens, Greece, was spectacular.

Today is Someday
We stayed in a small hotel close to the Rialto Bridge.
Someday is Today
One of the many stunning sights in Istanbul.

 

SUNNY LOCKWOOD has been a newspaper editor, magazine editor, daily newspaper reporter and newspaper columnist. She holds degrees from San Jose State University and Santa Clara University.

AL LOCKWOOD is a retired electrical/mechanical engineer. He is a fine art film photographer, a ham radio operator and an enthusiastic traveler. The sweet photograph of Sunny & Al, at the top of the page, was taken in an Athens coffee shop in 2014. Al and Sunny had ducked inside to escape a sudden downpour.

Visit Sunny’s website 

Connect with her on Facebook.


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