Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Attitude Is Everything

"Old Age, I decided, is a gift. I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long. I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly.

As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and l am less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon, before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging. Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 & 70s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will. I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day if I feel like it!"

Author Unknown

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Adventures for All

Another Bowers, retirement, more education, new jobs...stay tuned!

Six weeks from now...

...the Junebugs will be pulling in to Gnats Landing and talking about how fabulous it is to be at the beginning of a Junebug week! Petey is bound to be a bad influence on us. Woo Hoo!

My trip with the kids was a great one to go out on. Up to now, the only trophy any of my students won was my first year. This year, all four of the seniors I took won a trophy and one of them was a first place. For one school to get four trophies is almost unheard of, so I was very proud. Also, they behaved so well and really worked at getting to know students from other schools. All in all, a successful outing. If you get bored and want to see photos: http://tchscti.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Full Schedule

Thursday - Bluestockings and major news from Mary Ann from Albany and the Shops at Sea Island!

Friday - George, George Jr., Dena, and Kate arrived for the Tift Green weekend.

Saturday - golf tailgating under the tent and a late night bonfire

Sunday - brunch and more golf tailgating - the Pros from Dover came in second on regression.

Patio Time

Uh Oh. Two of them.

Not sure how this is helping.

Noogies all around.

The gallery observes.

My ball did what?

Golf dance.

What? You never heard of tailgating for golf?

Who's the boss?

Any excuse to get close.

Double Trouble

Happiness is sitting in a Chappie chair
surrounded by family and friends...
and great weather.

All cleaned up for the evening.

We want to see the shot,
but not enough to leave the beverages.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Overheard at the Masters

You don't want to know; you just don't want to know.
...but then I slipped.
You gotta be in shape.
Oh, I think they left.
This course isn't that difficult. It's just that it's Augusta.
I brought the graph out here last time.
...piggyback
...I never even knew what a pimiento is; what's a pimiento cheese?
Do you see anything we can buy for Mr. Huck? Cheap?
It's not that many acres.
You want to go get in the shade?
He's got a good recruiting record.
That's the key to my older sibling.
Run get me another beer.
...medical evacuation.
We tried to figure out how many miles we walked. 30,000 is a conservative estimate.
Why don't you just keep moving?
Terrible shape!
You should be at home.
I'm impartial.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Moving Right Along

Last New Year's Eve when we wrote our predictions for the year, I knew 2008 would bring some major changes to our family. How fast some of them would be set into motion, I couldn't imagine! Just ten days after that, at 2:45 in the afternoon, I was struck with the idea that I should retire at the end of this school year. My plan had been to retire at the end of 2010, so I can't say why it came to me like it did, except I had really been in prayer about it. Amazingly, God had already decided that we'd be grandparents this year...we just didn't know it until Feb. 1. Thirty-two days into 2008 and two major events were already under way! Now that we are further along in the year, I am anticipating some other changes. Emmett should soon be earning his real estate license and Kate is aggresively exploring her options as she plans a career change. I ask God to give us all guidance and his blessings as we transition into our new roles.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sound Like Anyone You Know?

Excerpts from Caring for Your Introvert: The habits and needs of a little-understood group by Jonathan Rauch (full article at http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/200303/rauch)

Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and seems awkward in groups? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? If so, do you regard him as aloof, arrogant, rude? Redouble your efforts to draw him out? If you answered yes to these questions, chances are that you have an introvert on your hands.

Science has learned, by means of brain scans, that introverts process information differently from other people (I am not making this up). If you are behind the curve on this important matter, be reassured that you are not alone. Introverts may be common, but they are also among the most misunderstood and aggrieved groups in America, possibly the world.

Introverts are people who find other people tiring. Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone. They often seem bored by themselves, in both senses of the expression. Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially "on," we introverts need to turn off and recharge.

For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating.

Extroverts are easy for introverts to understand, because extroverts spend so much of their time working out who they are in voluble, and frequently inescapable, interaction with other people. But the street does not run both ways. Extroverts have little or no grasp of introversion. They assume that company is always welcome and cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone. As often as I have tried to explain the matter to extroverts, I have never sensed that any of them really understood.

Are introverts arrogant? Hardly. I suppose this common misconception has to do with our being more reflective, more independent, and more level-headed than extroverts. Also, it is probably due to our lack of small talk, a lack that extroverts often mistake for disdain. We tend to think before talking, whereas extroverts tend to think by talking. The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through. Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves. Still, we endure stoically, because the etiquette books—written, no doubt, by extroverts—regard declining to banter as rude and gaps in conversation as awkward. We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts' Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say "I'm an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush."

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Mothers, Daughters, Sisters

When Betsey, Eve, and I arrived at the ADPi house Friday night for the ADPi Beta Nu 75th Anniversary decades event, we ran into Ba on the back porch. Betsey wondered when we had walked into that door together last and we agreed it had been forever! We had fun running into others from our 'era' and had lots to remember as we toured the house. We spent a few minutes talking to a few of the girls who live in the yellow room now and told them we hoped they had as much fun as we did! Eve's daughter, Erin, is living in the lavender room and we enjoyed seeing her there. The brunch gave us time to renew old ties; what an amazing experience to see women I've not seen in thirty years and to have them meet Kate! Hopefully we will not wait another thirty years to get together again. I could almost feel the walls of the Chapter Room talking as we reminisced about waiting out the tornado, spending long nights during rush, and sticking to the old vinyl sofas! The house looks great (the vinyl sofas are long gone) and the collegians hosting the event were precious. I'm not sure they believed us when we told them they would be us in thirty years, but I wouldn't trade places with them for anything. All in all, it's very strange to be a different person in the same place.
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