Seniors in the Limelight

a4e2df6c95ef04ccfdd7dcb7b5274e2a

David hit the proverbial “nail on the head”. Oh, you don’t need to remind me that there are plenty of negative aspects to getting older; I have addressed many of them already in my previous posts. I have often heard younger age groups espouse the sentiment that your youth is the best time of your life, or getting married is the best time, or having children are the best years of your life. The fact is, as I see it, all these are true because at the time you have no idea what the future will bring. However, once you reach your senior years, you can look back and make the comparison with clearer insight.

Speaking for myself, I know I lived most of those early years trying to be the best wife, and mom, and person I could be. Admirable qualities for sure, but if I am to be honest, I often did and said things that I thought were expected of me, not always how I really felt. I’m not much of a gambler, but I would bet most of you went through the motions, just like I did. I think Helen Mirren echoed my thoughts when she said,

0de51a3b6ce58435419dddff7074dfc7

As we move further into the twenty-first century, I think people look at seniors differently. We are not a group to be ignored  as though we have used up our usefulness. With better health care and lifestyle, many individuals are living well into their eighties and beyond. Many are fortunate enough to have livable pensions which obviously improves our lifestyle. However, I now know for certain that money cannot buy us happiness and contentment in our “golden years”. It is truly the people around us, both friends and family, who enhance our lifestyle and sense of well-being.

Just recently, I read a wonderful book by Frances Mayes called “Women in Sunshine”.

20180512_124242.jpg The story is about three women heading into their senior years. They meet when each decides to have a look at a retirement home. The unlikely friendship that evolves with these three very different strangers is amazing. Although they are moving into their retirement years, they are nowhere near ready to stop living their life to it’s fullest and enjoying new adventures. I really hated for the book to end and wished I didn’t have to return it to the library. It was so easy to imagine myself and my friends doing the same thing.

In past years, the “Golden Girls” were a comedy hit on tv. Four senior women living under the same roof and all with very diverse personalities. I know at the time the subject matter raised some eyebrows, but today it would seem completely normal. Some of the comments they made shocked the audience, but in all honesty, they were saying what many seniors at the time were thinking, but afraid to say.

Well, all that has changed. More and more seniors are living the life they want.

Who has not enjoyed the antics of “Grace and Frankie” on Netflix?

MV5BMjA5NDU2MTk4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDkzMDI4NDM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1499,1000_AL_

Check out the trailer…. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3609352/videoplayer/vi4150769177?ref_=tt_pv_vi_aiv_1

These characters are my fantasy idols; however, I do not plan to live vicariously through them. I fully intend to live my own dreams as much as my circumstances will allow me.  My remaining years will not be spent doing arts and crafts or playing Bingo in a retirement home. I want to try new things and see new places. I do not plan to sit back and watch others live their life while mine ticks away a day at a time. Remember the saying, “It’s not over until the fat lady sings”.

So try something fun or something you enjoy. Or join my friends and I for the weekend. Tomorrow we are getting together at 5 am to eat scones, drink tea, and watch the Royal Wedding; at 6pm we will be off to karaoke and dancing at our favorite pub. Sunday we have plans to see “The Book Club” at the movies.

Book-Club-movie-poster-200x300

What are you doing this weekend?

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo

Dressing Room Drama

2f94c72b00818665e532605f674fda84

When was the last time you bought a bathing suit? For me, it has been many years. Our family no longer owns a cottage, and I don’t have a swimming pool, nor do my friends; however, recently, the girls have toyed with the idea of going away to a beach somewhere like Florida or a tropical island. At this point, it is only talk, but I always like to be prepared. Relaxing on a beach is not normally the kind of holiday that I would choose, and I now know why. The thought of trying on bathing suits is horrifying!

Remember the days when we looked like this….e565aaf5a831c1ff5c43d8391c0be40a
Well, now some of us look like this.

A few weeks ago, while wandering through a local shopping mall, I passed a store called Bikini Village. I paused to look in the window at the shapely mannequins in their colorful outfits. A large banner announced a “Welcome To Summer Sale”. I briefly recalled our conversation about going south and decided to have a look.

I wandered among the racks of bikinis and tankinis for a few minutes. Eventually, a store clerk asked casually if she could help me. I reluctantly admitted it had been a long time since I had bought my last swimsuit. She tactfully sized me up and led me across the store to the one piece suits. After she carefully selected three suits of varying styles for me to try, I followed her to the dressing rooms.

Ensconced inside alone, I slowly undressed remembering to keep my underwear on. I chose the first suit…a black one-shouldered number with ruching across the tummy area. It apparently hides bulges. I tugged and wiggled and yanked and squirmed until I was squeezed inside the stretchy fabric. It was exhausting, and I gasped for air. 4075f49a915dc139b393e748a8704cf2

I stood up straight to check out myself in the mirror. What the hell!!! The mirrors were arranged so you could see yourself from ALL angles. My loud outburst, “Oh my god!” brought the clerk running. She knocked on the door and asked if everything was alright. I apologized for my outbreak, but told her there should be a warning about the three-way mirror.

After another few minutes of pulling and holding my breath, I managed to extricate myself from the swimsuit and got dressed. I was not mentally ready for this task.

I thanked the clerk, and left the store.

A little further down the mall, another window caught my eye. This was more like it, so I headed inside. After looking around, I selected my perfect beach ensemble.

023ddc38b21707cd63cdb450e705f2cc1e5a2ddc9097d318ac0ec268e2f30808927f04ddc21f47aabcf25f95774deaa5 I am now ready to hit the sand. No worries about unsightly bulges, and I can save money on sunscreen. It is light and airy and stylish. And most importantly, easy to get in and out of. I can see myself now relaxing on a chaise lounge under an umbrella with a lovely pink cocktail in my hand. 

I know I need to address the actual swimsuit problem because I do enjoy the water. Perhaps something like this ingenious outfit. 07c654f92c114980a6d78664d2af7d80

I wonder  where she found it?

My only other option is this…66a99ae806df40816ae3795d10d4eaa8

and no one needs to be subjected to that vision. So, I will keep trying to find a suitable swimsuit, but until then, just look for me in my new beach wear.

 

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo

 

Where Is Prince Charming?

old-couples-having-fun-2__605

There are some things in life that change very little over time. MEN!!!!! I am being somewhat sarcastic, but the truth is that they don’t really change. Yes, they age! They lose their hair and their teeth, and put on a few pounds around the middle, but they remain under the influence of that organ that dangles between their legs. It is really quite amazing that it wields so much power. And they don’t seem to mind admitting it. I met a very nice-looking 80 year old man not long ago. He invited me for lunch and over coffee and dessert, he told me he was in love with me. My immediate reaction was, “But you barely know me!” He responded with, “I’m eighty and all my parts still work just fine. I want to make love to you.” Well, I have to admit I was lost for words, and that is a rare occurrence.42b3fbfea992e02c3890d4d0fdd39dd6

Now before you get the wrong idea, I really like most men. They are fun and relatively easy to understand. What you see is pretty much what you get. So I have to wonder why finding someone to date is so difficult. Is it me?

I have been single for a very long time. Oh, I have dated now and then, but the men I have met  seem to  want either a serious commitment or a one night fling. I have lived alone for over 30 years, and I have grown to like my solitary arrangement. I really have no desire to live with another person at this stage of the game. And as for a one night stand, unless the sex is amazing, why bother? Whatever happened to just dating? You know what I mean… going to a movie, dinner, a sports event. I would love to find someone who would enjoy doing these things with the intimacy thrown in, but no living together. Perhaps single living has made me too independent.

Just where does a woman go to meet interesting men? I have heard all the suggestions like… join a club or a gym, singles dances, singles clubs, the grocery store or hardware store, volunteer, through friends, and online dating sites.

The craziest dating experiences that I have had so far were through online dating. It is amazing the things guys, and I am sure girls as well, put in their online profiles. Do they not realize that the idea is to actually meet in person at some point? One gentleman admitted to using his brother’s picture in his profile because the brother was younger and still had his hair. Imagine my shock when we met for coffee. a4d8775a8e71bc9974b87ec702d349eb

The biggest eye-opener for me was the number of younger men who are looking for older women. At least half of the guys that contacted me online were 15 to 20 years younger, and I stated specifically in my profile that I was only interested in my own age group. One guy, who was 14 years younger than I, was so persistent that I actually agreed to meet him. I mean maybe I was missing something here. We met at the zoo of all places. We looked at the animals for a couple of hours and then grabbed a bite to eat. The conversation was easy, and our “date” turned out to be fun, but I felt like I was spending time with my son. The guy was surprised when I said “no thanks” to date number 2.

The other single women in my social group agree with me. Where are all the eligible senior men? Oh, they are out there, but they are looking for younger women! If you have any suggestions for us, please let us know; we welcome any help we can get. Short of that, we may have to get fishing nets and head to the closest frog pond.

 

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo

 

Pssst! Password?

23418e366c11a424a735b1cd5d802bf2.jpg

Yesterday, I spent an endless amount of time trying to log into my online banking. The computer kept telling me that my password was incorrect. I persisted, but no luck. I eventually had to call the “Help” line and get assistance. My frustration level was over the top because I needed to transfer funds immediately, and it was of course past regular banking hours. It started me thinking about all the places where we need passwords today.

giphy
Why can’t I remember???

 

Growing up, the only password I ever needed was the three number combination for my high school locker. I would use the same three numbers all year, but by the end of summer vacation, I would have forgotten at least one of them necessitating the purchase of a new lock for my locker. After the second year of forgetting, my mother insisted I write it down. I guess she envisioned a draw full of unusable combination locks by the time my brother and I finished school.

The world today is controlled by passwords. For me, I think the first actual password or pin that I had to remember was connected to my first bank card. Everyone seemed so nervous of a card that was attached to all your bank funds and seemed protected by only a secret pin number. Today the world revolves around passwords.

I grew quite comfortable using my card, and took my banks advice and changed the pin number from time to time. One day while paying for groceries, I confidently slipped my card in the machine, and my mind went completely blank. I tried every pin number that I had ever had, I think. No luck! The line behind me grew longer. Others offered suggestions… your birth year, your kid’s birthday, your anniversary. Nothing worked. I was panicked and embarrassed. I had no other money  in my purse, and was not carrying my credit card. Just as I was about to give up, I took a final stab at the buttons. Eureka!

When I got home, I decided to take my mother’s advice and I wrote the pin down on a piece of paper which I slipped into the back of my wallet. I now have a small book with all the passwords that I use. Please do not let me ever lose it!

As an aging woman with questionable memory retention, passwords are most definitely a stumbling block. Think of all the things that require passwords: bank cards, credit cards, house alarms, garage openers, car door openers,  computers, online shopping sites, cell phones, internet connections, PayPal, cable companies, and many more. I just love when you are signing up for yet another service requiring a password and the instructions say ” a minimum of 8 characters, must include 1 upper case, 1 lower case, a number, and a symbol”. What the hell!!!! My mind is already on overload.

The idea of being fitted with a chip under your skin to replace all those passwords seemed absurd to me at one time, but about now, it is looking like a great alternative to taxing my memory space.

dadc49fac003d9684bbf51dbfa6a5a27   I wonder if she needs a password?

 

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo

Hell On Wheels

9b222ba10a799f2d7b4436fa973cd0e2
As one of the girls turns eighty this year, it got me thinking about the rules for renewing a driver’s license. Here in Ontario, Canada, the law requires an individual who drives to take a test when they turn eighty if they intend to continue driving. Now, I don’t know about you, but I would be lost without my car and the freedom it affords me. That being said, it is a scary thought to know that there are even younger seniors on the road who clearly should not be behind the wheel.

The test itself seems to focus on vision. In all honesty, it should probably be a little more intensive. I am the first to admit that most of us develop bad driving habits throughout our life, and it is a given fact that traffic has increased exponentially since any of us got our driving permit at sixteen. Add to that the fact that our reflexes are not what they used to be, and you have accidents just looking for a place to happen.

I remember many years ago driving with my aunt who at the time was in her late seventies. We were on our way to her house, and she kept making only right turns and driving around several blocks until she was going the right direction. I hesitated to question her, but finally asked her why. Well, apparently she didn’t like making left turns because the traffic was too busy, so she drove twice as far to reach her destination. I have since discovered that I have friends who do the same.

Our memories are also a problem as we get older. A friend of mine took the bus home from work one day. When she arrived home, her husband asked where the car was. She forgot that she had driven to work. Oops!

My neighbor who is 84 has recently had her license taken away by her family. She is none too pleased! It seems that for several months previously, she would leave home to do errands, but could never remember how to get back without asking for help. Then there were the days she simply drove around the block 10-15 times and parked in the driveway again. The final straw was the day she came home in a police car having no idea where she left her vehicle or where she lived. The thought of these seniors behind the wheel is scary. 3f40a99b304560ee1bdc409fea525d7a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, if the time comes that we don’t pass the required test, how do we get around? The idea of depending on someone to take me where I want or need to go does not appeal to me at all. Many resort to these heavy duty three-wheel scooters.

RacingGrannies2
These gals are certainly doing it in style. However, our winters would at some point be an issue.

I, myself, have always wanted to own an electric bike. The way I see it, it is economical, easy to park, and requires no license to drive it. The drawbacks , of course, are the weather, and where would the dog sit. 6b8a05b9c2178413662a94d7bd5933a0

However, I would probably be better off sticking to this version. 086fef432b80d5f8a9fd3a280c7b00f3  Luckily, I still have several years before I am faced with this decision, and hopefully my faculties will not fail me when the time to try my senior’s license rolls around. I do know my days of maybe trying this are well past.

6b00572b2862bb6c5bf57fd62ec79c43

In fact, my future may look more like this….3ac2c7a4542bd3422c289e19fdd27bf4

Oh, well, happy driving everyone, and stay safe out there!

 

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo

Who’s Old?

68ba7a5de2c47bd19a0c8984d54f41c9

Driving to the cottage one weekend with my mom, I asked her, “How do you know when you are finally old and mature?” Without a moments hesitation she replied,” How the hell would I know? I’m not there yet!” She was 81 at the time. Now my mom was an amazing example of the idea that you should “die young as late as possible”. She was still rollerskating twice a week and downhill skiing in her 80’s. e9f84813bed03e5582ce442b45bdb0ef

I am by no means saying that aging is a piece of cake, but when you weigh the options, it’s the best choice. From my own experience so far, it is the physical changes that are the most difficult to accept. In past blogs, I discussed the visual changes of growing older like wrinkles, unwanted hair, sagging boobs, and graying hair, but those are relatively minor compared to other body functions.

One of the most obvious signs of getting older is Menopause. I put a capital on that word because it’s a big deal. In fact it is to blame for many of the things I listed above. I will go out on a limb here and say that no one misses their monthly period, but  who looks forward to those damn hot flashes? Those hot flashes affect you and everyone close by you. I remember when I first started to get them; I was teaching grade one. It was the middle of the winter, and I would throw open the windows in my classroom. One morning the principal dropped by for a visit. There sat all the kids wearing their mittens and hats. The principal looked at me and said,”Should I know what’s going on?” Before I could respond, a little voice spoke up, “Mrs. F. is hot!” My principal could barely contain his laughter as he closed the door behind him. He never mentioned it again.

Changes in our vision and hearing are other problems that creep up on us much more slowly. I remember my arms seemed to get shorter and shorter as I strained to read the newspaper, and I had to keep adjusting the volume on the phone and television. I have been wearing “reading glasses”  for several years now, but I am starting to notice that it is more difficult to see distances when I am driving. I guess there is an eye test in my near future.

9c054ffb4fa960ff23b81a5f2d140bd9  Sitting with the girls at the pub is a good demonstration of hearing deficit. Someone will say something and ultimately someone else will tap their neighbor on the shoulder and ask, “What did she say?”It turns into that kid’s game of “Telephone” where they pass a message down a line.

I was talking to a male friend at the pub one night and after the conversation, one of the girls asked what we were talking about for so long. I said that I had no idea because I can’t hear him very well with the music and talking. She said, “But you were answering and nodding your head.” I replied, “I just agree with everything he says and smile a lot.” She started laughing. “That could get you into trouble.” She’s probably right. I may have agreed to wild sex!!! I am counting on the theory that he can”t hear very well either. 5afd794f8e18a60044af87d79ab1fca4

I think the worst part of getting older is leakage. That’s right! I said leakage. You laugh and you pee. You cough or move the wrong way and you fart. There is no getting around it. www.pinterest.caLuckily most of us are in the same situation, so there is a general understanding among our age group. You know you are not alone with these issues because the store shelves and television ads feature helpful hygiene products that are readily available.

And how many others are up several times during the night to visit the bathroom? I can’t remember the last time that I went to bed and slept through until morning. Eight hours of sleep a night be damned!

Oh, I almost forgot! There is one change that makes the other issues less problematic. Memory loss! How many times a day do I go up the stairs and wonder what I am doing there? By the time I walk back down, I have remembered and head back up again.

0793f1b6c625ca3bcb5f78d34abba691 It’s like an involuntary exercise program.

They say that when you are a senior , you are “over the hill”. Where is this hill and what’s on the other side?  I’m not climbing it unless there is wine.

f13ed49d5e0e9308f61ab85dc3deb149

I think the best piece of advice that I could pass on came from my own doctor, surprisingly. She said that no matter what, keep moving and living your life because when you stop doing all those things that make you happy, it’s downhill from there. And speaking for myself, I am in no hurry to get to the bottom of that damned hill.

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo

 

 

Dancing Queens

d95524fed2434b2a20a77d030f2be52c

Like so many baby boomers, we grew up loving to dance, just like the generation before us. Dances were a  major source of entertainment all through my teen years. Not only did we have high school dances, but there were organized dances at so many other venues. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday was usually spent on the dance floor. We either went with a date or with a group of friends knowing full well there would be someone to dance with there. American Bandstand was a staple for most teens, and we emulated their precision moves. bce286b1e1e6acf582e61af0e14cd1a4Girls and guys alike enjoyed dancing; after all, it was an easy way to meet someone and hold them close to you for the duration of a song. And who can forget rocking it out with a jive or “fast dance” as we called it?

4971d5d4f8e846910fa96ae364f74a03

As I grew older and married, there seemed to be fewer opportunities to dance. Oh, there was always New Year’s Eve and the occasional sports dinner/dance evening or wedding, but it wasn’t the same. By the time my own kids were in their teens, there was only an occasional school dance, and kids seemed to have little idea about dancing with a partner.1a50b5e449a534d8edd1df901340ed88Remember how dancing was even a part of our physical education program? At clubs and bars today, most young adults just do their own thing and move alone to the music. I would venture to say that many younger people have no idea how to dance with a partner. The dance floor is more like a “mosh pit”.

Even though I was quite young, I still recall the movies with the likes of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  38a711c984911b3be6257c3538cbb859They moved to the music as though they were one. I use to  love to watch my parents; my dad was an amazing dancer, but so easy to follow on the dance floor. It is such an extraordinary feeling to dance with someone who moves so naturally and makes up the steps as they go along. Occasionally, I see a couple dancing together and you just know they took lessons; it looks like the entire routine has been choreographed.

I really missed dancing. I must admit that there have been times when I slow danced around the living room alone when an old favorite came on the radio or rocked with the fridge door to a fast song. However, it’s not the same.

Fortunately, a while ago, I found an outlet for my dance itch. Our favorite pub holds a Karaoke night every Saturday. The music, of course, varies with the singers, but I must say we have an unbelievable array of talent that shows up every week. No night is ever the same! Best of all, we dance! Sometimes it is with each other, but some1923eec47f0ded06224fbe18af82f6d1times we find some guys who also like to sashay around the floor with us. And on very rare occasions, you find a guy who can really dance well. That’s the best!

And in the words of Abba, “You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Dancing Queen.”

Dancing keeps you young at heart, so grab every opportunity you can.

 

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo

By the way, if you are ever in my neighborhood on a Saturday night, come and join us at the Tartan Tavern (http://tartantavern.com/). We’d love to dance with you!