Ten Years Kaput!

A red button on top of a keyboard.

🎡 A few days ago, I sent my old iPad (2012) to a close family member, hoping she could still put it to beneficial use. I used it primarily for guitar practice, but it was no longer what I needed, so I replaced it with a new one. But before I gave it away, I needed to wipe all my information off and reset it back to its original state. 

I downloaded the instructions on how to do that from the internet and began completing the steps shown. As I sat there and watched what was being removed, I realized that ten years of my life, my vacation notes, schedules, music, and pictures of visits with friends and relatives were being wiped clean. 

After all the tasks were completed, and the iPad was back to its original state, I felt a little sad. I’m confident that almost everything was backed up, but I know some things were not and are gone forever. Oh well, such is the way of life. I just hope that the disc between my two ears never needs resetting 😊.

🎡 I ran across this quote by Masami Saionji and could not discern its intent: “What you think about day and night forms your character and personality.”

My first thought was if you prefer one over the other, it reveals something about you versus someone who has no preference. I cannot see that if you like night to day, it makes your life more interesting, or if you prefer day, it makes you less so. I am more inclined to believe that people who prefer night are younger because that’s when they attend parties, ball games, etc. People that prefer days are, in my opinion, older and use daylight for getting things done, the evenings for winding down, and by 10:30 pm, headed for bed and a quiet night’s sleep. 

As far as a preference for day or night forming your personality, I’m inclined to believe it is strictly age-related and has very little to do with it. However, John 3:19-20 says: “The light has come into the world and the children of men loved the darkness more than the light, because their works were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.” Of course, Masami could be referring to what you think about all the time, in which case, I missed the whole point of the quote 😊.

🎡 For most of us, friendships are an important part of our life. Before my wife and I moved into our retirement center, our interactions with friends daily were very few. We had a few in our neighborhood but seldom visited their homes. After moving to our new home here in the retirement community, friends abound, and we have daily contact with many of them. This has made our life abundantly happier. Every study I have read stresses the importance of being social, interacting with others daily, and avoiding isolation. 

 Recently, I affectionally accused a good friend of becoming a hermit because we hadn’t seen her for several weeks. She wrote back, asking what my definition of a hermit was? I told her it was someone who stayed in their home, never venturing out to meet others 😊. Her reply convinced me she was still socially active and thus required an apology from me.

I believe it’s important to stress to friends and family the importance of daily contact with others. I see it all the time in our community, and I cannot overemphasize how important it is to be included in our daily routine. William Blake said, “The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.” Amen, brother Blake, amen.

🎡 A few weeks ago, after an ultrasound, I was told that my right carotid artery was 80-90% clogged. My family doctor sent me to see a neurologist (brain). He informed me I had nothing to worry about, stressing there are plenty of other ways for blood to get to my brain. Later, I had an appointment with a cardiovascular surgeon, who advised me I didn’t need surgery. So far, two ultrasound technicians have told me my situation was critical, and three doctors have suggested no surgery. Naturally, I will do what the docs say, but it would be much simpler if everyone agreed. The surgeon said there was a 2% chance of a stroke within five years without surgery and a 1.5% chance after surgery. That seems like a simple decision for me. As William Inge said, “Worry is interest paid on trouble before it falls due.”

🎡 I visited a website recently that asked me to put in my birthdate, I did, and it told me that I was older than 98% of the eight billion people on this planet. That was sobering! I knew that being eighty-one, I was older than a lot of people, but being in the top 2%? That bothered me until I realized the alternative (dying) wasn’t a superb option. 

I realize that living a long, healthy life is a blessing and that I shouldn’t be troubled by the passing of so many years. I still have my health, life is full of family and friends, and joy abounds everywhere. If there’s any sadness, it’s in knowing that life isn’t filled with unlimited days, and the limited number is getting closer and closer to the horizon. 

I remember when my daughter was about five years old, and we were on a trip to visit my parents (about 10 hours away), she would constantly ask me, “How much farther, daddy?” Today, I’m guilty of asking The Lord, “How much longer, Lord?” He has steadfastly refused to reveal that number 😊.

I have accepted that the more wrinkles that mock me in the mirror, the more I think about the past. They seem to appear overnight, when just the day before, there wasn’t a hint of the one that just appeared. I’m reminded of an advertisement all of us have seen on TV, with an old guy and his wife standing in front of a barn. He’s wearing bib overalls, has a pitchfork in one hand, and both of them have a plaintive look on their faces. I’m probably that guy without the overalls. My wife is not that gal 😊.

🎡 My youngest granddaughter and her husband (Chelsea/Jake) visited us last week, and it was a joy to have them with us. It was a very active week, but we enjoyed our time together.

We chose one day to take a trip across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (17.5 miles) and traveled up the eastern shore to Chincoteague Island. On another day, we visited our national capital (Washington, DC), but their favorite hangout was playing in the Atlantic Ocean at Virginia Beach. 

It was so much fun watching two young people suck in so much of life’s joy. We spent quite a few nights talking until midnight about the day’s activities and their plans for the future. I can remember being their age, I just don’t remember having that much fun 😊. They left with the promise they would be back before long. I followed their 14-hour journey home to Tennessee the next day, realizing they were getting farther and farther away. They stopped near Roanoke, VA, and got gas for $3.92/gallon. That brought a smile to my face. Gasoline here has been up to $5.08/gallon recently. 

I have three granddaughters and two grandsons (bonus), which all bring us joy. The one we see the most (Brandon) lives 20 minutes away, and he visits us often. The other grandson (Chris) lives in California, and we are lucky to see him once a year. Brandon maintains my website (www.tommyhale.net), so we are in frequent contact with each other. The thought has crossed my mind that our grandchildren are tiring of their needy grandparents 😊.

“We are not children twice, as the saying is, but forever; The difference is that we play bigger games.” ~ Seneca the Younger