“Compassion” is another one of the words that have been floating thru my mind as of late.

One of the suggestions in our writing class was “Forgiveness.” And in the midst of thinking about all of the ways that we forgive, or try to forgive ourselves as well as others, the word “compassion” just kept sneaking in.

When we are young it seems so natural to hold a grudge against someone that we perceive to have harmed us, or our loved ones.  Anger seems to hold sway over common sense and we often glory in our anger. But as we get older, need I say, actually “old”, anger can take its toll. Knowing that we are “right” and someone or something else is “wrong” doesn’t seem to work as well as it used to.

And sometimes it even begins to seep into our souls, that we weren’t always right either, that maybe we held grudges.  Maybe we even read thoughts into someone else’s comments that weren’t intended.

The younger people who we disagree with, how do we know what life’s experiences have brought them? Maybe life hasn’t always treated them as well as it could have. Their generation and the ones following it have had to cope with a whole different set of problems than we have. We do not always agree with our own generation, but we have all had different experiences and expectations.

I think it is time for all of us to walk the mile in the other persons shoes! Realize that life isn’t always fair, but it is what we have got, and we have to pull together or be torn asunder, as the old saying goes.

I find that as I age a lot more people are looking at me with compassion. The first few times I got called “dearie” and, “sweetie”, I laughed! Why did all these people think I was “old”? Little did they know what was inside of me, I thought.

But as time has gone on I find that I am being looked at with, you guessed it, “compassion.” I feel I am doing my part to help make the world better, by smiling back and realizing I am helping them to feel compassion for others.  And that is a good thing.

We are all here to help each other enjoy life, so go for it, people. Call me sweetie or dearie, open the door for me, I don’t care, I  love it.  And I will do it for you, wherever I can.

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For the past several years the word “pragmatic” has been popping up in my conversations with my husband whenever we got into any serious discussions about life and our place in it. Now that we are retired we have a lot more time to have these talks, and it has been amazing to me how we have gotten better acquainted with each other by just sitting and talking.  After almost 24 years you would think that we are used to each other’s ways, but that is not always the case.  When you both have a job somewhere there isn’t always time to really get down to the nitty gritty of how you feel deep inside about certain subjects.  We think that we know most of how the other person will react to everyday subjects because we have been together for so long.

Each of us seems to have a certain boiling point, and we know pretty much what it is, so we try to avoid it. What is the point of having an argument when you know that you aren’t going to change the other one’s mind anyhow? That is what I call “pragmatism”, when you know what is important and what really isn’t. Like when you know that you really should get after that extra load of washing, but it surely will  wait until tomorrow.  Or the grass certainly needs cutting, but you can always do it later.

“Realism” seems to be a synonym that works just as well.  One of the advantages of getting older is you begin to realize that it is a waste of time and energy to force anything upon anyone. Realism tells you that it is all going to work out just as it was meant to anyhow, regardless of what you do, or push or shout.  If at the same time your spouse is learning the same lessons as you are, why, you are a very lucky person, and they will be happy to embrace your pragmatism.  You will live in a more joyful house, and your children and friends will call you blessed.

A pragmatic is one who accepts what is, and is happier for it.  But a pragmatic is also one who looks for the silver lining, because they know it is here somewhere.





It is a beautiful November day and I am smiling at all of the sunshine around me this morning.  We have arrived back in Florida for the winter from our home in Michigan and I am so happy to be here.  No matter where I look I see the familiar faces and scenes that are welcoming us back.

It is not that I was overjoyed to leave the north.  This year it has been blessed with a lot more sun and warm weather than is normal for a northern state in November. Living on a farm in the summertime is something for anyone to be grateful for. Altho we are retired there are still many obvious blessings when you live in a farming community.  The abundance of fresh produce, the orchards to walk thru, the lack of traffic on the highways near us, all of these things make summer a delightful place.

But! Yes, everything changes. We begin to feel a nip in the air, it is getting dark an awful lot earlier, and during one rain shower it actually turns to snow for a few minutes. And then we know it is time to start changing addresses, packing up our summer clothes, and heading for our home away from home.

This year we decided to take a different route, some back roads and highways we had never traveled before, and so it became an adventure with less traffic, more rural scenery, and a lot less trucks. We live in a beautiful country, folks, and we have just seen a lot of it. We avoided the big cities and I didn’t miss them a bit.  Next time we will explore even further.

But what I am noticing the most this year is how handy everything is here in Zephyrhills where we live.  Everything is so close, grocery stores that I like, libraries to enjoy only a mile away, doctors of all stripes near us, bread stores, tech stores, landscaping gardens, great restaurants, anything that we could need, all within ten minutes of our house.  When you live in the country as we do up north, we go 25 miles north, or 32 miles south to find the things we need.

So I have decided that in addition to the warm weather, our pleasure at being out of the winter storms, all of the things that I like about Florida, one of the very best things is how handy it is to be here, enjoying life, with the best of two worlds.

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