Category: We baby boomers (page 1 of 21)

Cookies, everyone?

They’re everywhere.

On the kitchen counter….

In the refrigerator….

Lurking in tiny bags with ribbon….

On top of the desk, in the break room, on the car seat….

Cookies!

If you’re not baking them, your neighbor is, and she just has to share. Chocolate, cinnamon, oatmeal, ginger, sugar…they’re out to get us. Even if we don’t usually have an appetite for them, right now, during the holidays, we feel compelled to eat them. Just one. Well, maybe just one more. After all, you don’t want to be rude.

_MG_3286_And it’s that time of year, right? When eating is akin to caroling, wrapping presents, and trimming the tree.

You take a break, you get a cookie. You take a walk, you get a cookie. You breathe, you get a cookie.

Cookies invoke memories of Christmas past, when everything was filled with wonder. When anticipation just about killed you as you wondered if you really had been good all year, or was Santa listening when you yelled at your brother/sister?

Mothers just know how to bake them, at least mine did. From scratch, of course. By the time Christmas came, there were endless round tins of all kinds of cookies everywhere. Decorating the sugar cookies was especially fun, even if I wasn’t very good at it. At least they tasted good.

Truth be told, I still could probably take the tube of icing and go sit outside and consume it outright. (Of course I can do the same thing with homemade macaroni and cheese, but that’s another story.)

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Every year, I resolve to amp up my exercising during December and stand firm against the temptation of the round devils. Yet there they are. Somehow, they’ve entered my house. As each day goes by, they seem to multiply. It’s like a trance comes over me and I find myself reaching for them more times than I would ever do in the middle of summer. Like a 1950s black and white horror movie, they take over my brain.

 

The Cookie Blob. The Dough That Ate Godzilla. Invasion of the Chocolate Snatchers.  

Even Oreos. Especially fresh Oreos, followed by tart lemonade. Research conducted using Oreos’ effects on lab rats concluded that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do.

Duh.

Is there any escape? Maybe not. Maybe that’s okay. Of course, moderation is a good idea. I’m still working on that.

But I’m not ready to give them up completely.

I like how baking cookies fills my kitchen with a wonderful aroma. I like how in the winter, they make everything feel cozy and warm, especially if the cold wind is howling outside. I especially like how they make me feel like my mother is standing next to me, smiling as she watches me do what she did for so many years. (Or perhaps frowning when I drop the pan and eat them anyway.)

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Which cookies are your favorites? Do you carry on traditions you learned as a child? I’d love to know.

As for me, I’m thinking maybe I need to make just a few more batches. After all, I sure wouldn’t want to run out….

 

“Cookies are made of butter and love.”

              Norwegian Proverb

 

 

 

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A Boomer’s Thanksgiving

It’s coming.

That moment around the Thanksgiving table filled with wondrous high-caloric temptations and goodies when some young relative innocently raises his or her said and utters the dreaded sentence:

Let’s go around the table and all say what we’re thankful for.”  

Uh oh.

By this point, you’ve either been in the kitchen since 4 a.m. and you’re mainly thankful for sitting down, or you’re already in a sugar-induced trance and you’re thankful for sitting down, or you’re trying very hard to keep from slapping someone and you’re thankful for sitting down.

But now the gauntlet has been thrown down.  You must appear to be somewhat intelligent.  Generous.  Considerate of those around you.  (Even though you’re convinced a few of them voted badly in the last election and maybe a few owe you money.)

Oh my, where is this tacky inner voice coming from?

Of course you’re thankful for good health. For the ability to see, walk and hear.  For friends and family.  For the food on the table, the roof over your head and the clothes you wear.  You’re truly grateful for it all, and you lift a sincere prayer for those who are not so fortunate.

And these days, there are far, far, far too many of those.

But just for a moment, take a look at the lighter side of gratitude.  The little things that maybe no one says out loud but several are thinking.  The little things that can make or break a day.

For instance, as a boomer, you might say you are grateful for:

Elastic.  

Naps.

Senior discounts.

Elevators.

Cheese dip.

More elastic.

The mute button.

Someone else bagging the leaves.

Indoor plumbing.

Chinese take-out.

Remotes.

Your favorite sweatshirt.  Socks.  Cap.

Watching the original “Bishop’s Wife” every holiday and feeling like Cary Grant and Loretta Young are right next to you.

A warm cat on your lap.

A warm dog lying across your feet.

Fat pants.

Not answering the phone after 8 p.m.

“Arthritis” caps on Alleve.

Eyeglasses.  Several pairs of eyeglasses. 

Knowing where these eyeglasses are.

Phoning an old friend and enjoying a happy hour over the phone.

Knowing your turkey and dressing turned out wonderfully because you’ve been making it longer than just about anyone else in the room.

Taking real joy in watching others and really understanding how precious life is.

And did I mention elastic?

As we get older, let’s embrace what we’ve earned…the right to sit back, breathe and enjoy it all…and focus on what really matters:  time together.  And maybe a little extra time on the couch!

 

“I am grateful for what I am and what I have.  My thanksgiving is perpetual.”

     Henry David Thoreau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s really scary

It’s Halloween.  Ghosts.  Goblins.  And lots and lots of fun-size candy sitting on your counter just daring you to stick to your diet.

Great for kids, and aficionados of the classic horror films.  Fun for adults who like to decorate their homes into eerie places that give trick-or-treaters a thrill.

But you know what’s really scary to me?

What’s going on in the world right now.  Sexual harassment cases exploding.  Health insurance skyrocketing to truly terrifying levels.  Bigotry, white supremacy and incessant name-calling grabbing center stage.  Crazy people in power acting like infantile idiots threatening to blow everything up.

And what seems to be a general ho-hum reaction to most of it.

Why aren’t more people upset that species are disappearing?  That walls are being built to keep out people while the privileged just get more?  That bullying seems to ongoing with no end in sight?

I don’t understand.  It all terrifies me.

Maybe some are afraid to admit they are afraid.  

Maybe some figure that’s just the way it is.

Maybe some are so used to it all they figure someone else will fix it.

Maybe some think they can’t do anything.

But I don’t agree.

Even if you never leave your home, you can do a lot.  You can make your voice heard.  You can decry meanness.  You can shine the flashlight on off-color jokes and inappropriate behavior in mixed company.  You can not laugh when someone you’ve known for years tells a repugnant joke.

You can send out positive thoughts and not buy in to the garbage.

So much negative energy comes in through our televisions, computers, phones and more. It’s enough to make you put a piece of foil on your head and hide under a rug.

But don’t.

Be true to your heart.  To the spirit of good, of light, of redemption.  Get out your hippie t-shirt from the 60s and wear it while you do housework.  Be the ripple in the pond that goes out to the universe.

We boomers have lived through a lot of war, anger, bad politics and more.  We know how to change minds.  How to be heard.  And while we may not be able to participate in a 3-day sit in (we’d never be able to get up), we can do our part to not let so much junk invade our lives.  And not let the uncivilized talk go unchecked.

Here’s to some positive energy…and to turning down the volume on what others think we want to hear.

“Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now.”

       Chet Powers

 

 

 

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Welcoming Fall

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Fall

Early morning cool

Leaves starting their journey

Soft jackets with stubborn zippers

Announcers in filled football stadiums

Squirrels getting busier

Chili peppers teasing your nose

Bright lights of a county fair

New pencils and sharp crayons

Meeting new characters on television

Early blanket of darkness

Elk are bugling

Socks and sweatshirts

Warm cider and hot tea

A different light in the afternoon

Airing out the quilt

Reading the Farmer’s Almanac

Stocking up on essentials

Summer’s last gasp in September

Laughing by the fire pit

Relaxing in the season

What is September for you? A time of exciting new beginnings? Or painful memories from years gone by? Does the cool air energize and inspire you, or do you wish summer’s warmth would linger?  Of course you may live somewhere that offers high temperatures year-round. If so, what does the change of season mean to you?

I’ve always viewed September with mixed emotions. As a child, it was the whole back-to-school thing. Then it was the back-to-campus thing during college. Then you “become an adult” and school calendars no longer rule your life (though I swear universally work stops for everyone the first week of school, and the last week of school, because no one knows where their kids, car keys, or brain are).

But then September changed for me.

IMG_6287I became relieved by the cooler temperatures. It felt like a time to go inward and be still.  I loved the changing leaves and gorgeous sunsets.

Now as I am much older, September is also symbolic of how quickly things change. How life passes before we’re ready.

How we need to take the trip today, tell someone we love him or her today, have dessert first today.

How we should not “postpone our joy”.

September is just a month; the beginning of a new season. But I think inside, it’s also our cue to pull the blanket around us and warm up to our lives.

Luckily, as boomers, we have a lot of kindling.

“There is a pearl in every season. Find it. Then give all you have to claim it.”

       Joan Sauro

 

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