More on My View of the World

Before I go further into my thoughts on our earth and its state, I’d like to discuss who I think I am. In many ways, I feel conflicted.


I’m independent, to be sure, and have always sought to be as much myself as possible. That means my need is to be as free as possible and do my thing my way. As stated in previous papers, I never saw myself as or needed to be a leader. I simply wanted to be me and not what others might want or expect me to be. So, I would say that I was “entrepreneurial,” but it was not about making money or attending school and becoming a professional. Instead, I became a merchant mariner, not as a job but to see the world. This held my interest until my monumental meeting with an officer in Okinawa. My path to walk the rest of my life resulted from his influence on me.


I knew I had a way with people. I liked most, and most liked me. I was a good listener, which I attribute to my brothers and sister and their shared time with me. Still, my independent streak asserted itself, and although I listened to many, it was still my way I followed.


I write this brief about my need to be independent even as I suggest in my papers that world government may be our only answer to our world’s survival. Many issues confront us all collectively. While I’m apparently aging well, I have time to think outside of myself and other organizations to consider the world I live in. It is unavoidable. For millions of individuals, it is about survival. For me, it is about “how do we make it better for those millions and the whole world?” Time is running short.


So, I continue—Still independent a person—And to help others.
Sy

Elaborating On the Future

I used to be in two places at the same time. I was always in the present with staff and kids, but when the time presented itself, I investigated the possibilities of visiting Europe as a place to hike and bike with campers and their parents. Why was I considering parents? Because many of them saw the benefits of camp. So, we would talk about what they envied and their own needs as adults. It was an invitation for me to look into a potential activity that was not common at the time. Whether the trips would remain combined or separate—one for children and one for adults— was also considered. Education and adventure were the clear benefits.


The point is that future focus was not an uncommon occurrence for me when time allowed. And now, I have the time to consider the future of our world. From my perspective, the world is having severe environmental difficulties, forcing changes that must be dealt with—air quality, drinking water, and growing the world’s food, are but a few.


All of this is serious enough, but what of the capabilities numerous nations have to destroy it all? At this time, I’m being forced to look into the future because how things are going NOW does not bode well. We must undertake different and better ways to govern and live as the one world we are before there is no time left to ponder any future!


In my opinion, nations that think they can act, live, and prosper independently live in a pipe dream. We need each other. We need to be able to trade and exchange what is full within our basket for what is full in the other’s basket. We need to see our world as a gift none of us can do without, and we all need to share in its care. Much more to come.

I live here with you—We need what we each can do—This is good for all.

Sy

Getting to Know Each Other

Dinner is our social time, and usually, we eat in the bar. It’s open seating, reservations are not required as in the restaurant, and we never know who we will be seated with. Sometimes we meet people who have just moved in, or more often, we sit with people we know well.


Our conversation flows easily when we sit with people or individuals we know. The usual opening with people we do not know is, “where are you from? What did you do for a living, or are you a mother of children? If so, how many? Where do they live, what do they do, etc.?” In other words, we search for and make a connection. With new people, we make this our responsibility. With people we know, it’s mutual and easy.


Most are well educated, and we enjoy hearing their stories and questioning them when needed. Comfort is so important, and as expected, almost all of us choose (if the choice is available) to be with people we like and enjoy.


Often our conversation keeps us s at the table for a few hours. And just as often, it’s short and sweet. The subject matter makes a big difference. A recent example is the stories our single guest told us about her professional children and their work. We were so taken by her stories that we asked if she had written them down for her grandchildren. “No” was her answer, and we insisted that she does so as a necessary part of their histories. Apparently, we made an impression, as she recently informed us that she has begun to write her stories. Wonderful!

Sy

On the People We Live With

As I mentioned in a recent paper, we live in a Senior Village. The accommodations are between a fine hotel and a resort, but neither. Yet, it is unique. The corporation that owns and operates this complex has others around the country. They are all available to us if visiting any of those locations is on our mind. Next door to us is a total care facility. Assisted care is not offered here, but we live as well as possible for people of our ages.

The beauty of this place, which is called Revel, are all the people that live here and the staff of professionals who manage it. While the people who manage Revel do it superbly, I’ve chosen to write about the people who have elected to live here.

We reserved our apartment about two and a half years ago, joining some thirty-plus other people who had also committed. Most were primarily single, as there were fewer couples. Since then, it has grown steadily to about 135 residents and a long list of those waiting for apartments to open up. Interestingly, most living here are from back east with children in their 60s and 70s who live here and in Lake Tahoe. Many also have grandchildren here. So, in general, it all allows these families to remain close to each other. Always a good thing.

While many residents are retired teachers of every grade level, there are also many former engineers, technical specialists, and various professionals. Getting people to talk about their histories is easy, probably because we are good listeners and sincerely want to hear their stories. As I’ve always maintained, the more people become comfortable and feel safe, they share.

It’s not a one-way street. We also share our stories if others are interested. Politics, the state of our country, and the world often lead to wonderful discussions. In some cases, the ability to have meaningful conversations can also depend on whether people are trapped by their belief systems. I’ll write more about the people to come.

Sy

More on Aging, Revisited

When I’ve written about aging, I am writing about my experiences that are taking place in the present. It’s what I am feeling, thinking, and doing. This paper is about where and how we live and the people we live with. Our senior complex has about 125 apartments, which are either studios or one and two-bedrooms. The building is four stories tall, with the west side facing the Sierras and Mt Rose, offering a complete and beautiful view. The east side faces a Blvd and Freeway that heads north and south. On the north side is a small forest, while the south side borders a short street leading into a small but nice shopping center. Having lived in Reno and its proximity for 42 years, I believe this location is as good as it gets.


The building is entirely rented out with a long waiting list. Having seen other senor facilities in Reno, we believe we live in the best. Also, our apartment is on the corner of the 4th floor, offering us a terrific view of the Sierras and Mt Rose ski area. We have a patio to sit and enjoy the scene when the weather gets warm. We’ve now been here two-and-a-half years.


Our building has a nice bar and restaurant, and we eat most of our dinners in the bar with open seating. We pay a monthly fee for food and service, which includes a cleaning crew each Friday morning. If problems occur in our apartment, we have maintenance people that fix just about anything.


The complex has a heated indoor pool, a small exercise gym, classes for Tai-Chi, Yoga, and more. We also have meeting and cardplaying rooms and a comfortable studio for watching sports/TV and lectures. It takes terrific management to make this all work, and we are blessed to have the right people in the right place. I will write next about the people we live with and our experiences with most of them.

Sy

More Thoughts on Aging

I’m going to share with you what my going on towards 96 is about. You must be there to know, and I’m there. Everything else is speculation. Anyone younger who believes they understand aging is blowing in the wind. So, pay attention, and maybe you’ll better understand your aging parents. I certainly hope so.


First, my body is wasting away, and any exercise seems futile. I weigh so much less, but I also eat much less. I’m shrinking before my eyes. At eighteen, I was 5ft,9in, and weighed in at about 180 hard rock. Today I am 5ft 6″ and weigh about 130. As for exercise, if the weather is warmer, and I mean warmer, I can go and enjoy relatively long walks.


Walks are something special for me because about four months back, I could not walk five feet without stopping to catch my breath. I used oxygen 24/7, even during sleep. Today, I am off oxygen and can walk long distances without any shortness of breath. Is this normal? Not according to my Hospice Nurse. She says I’m the rarest bird she has worked with. Oh well, that’s aging for me. But, as I’ve come to understand, aging is different for different people.


My mind remains sharp. I can write one pager’s as is this, poetry, and Haikus pour out of me. In other words, I’m still creative and feel that I can still enjoy genuine dialogue with the many wonderful people that visit and bring goodies, too.


What is clear to me is that aging is unique to those who are way up there in the years lived. I’m old and grateful to be here as I am. I enjoy each day as a gift. I know this and accept it as it is. “What will be, will be.” I’m okay with that.

Old is different—Each person that gets there, knows—It is what it is.

Sy

Pure Love

What I’m about to describe happened about four weeks ago, and its effect on me continues. Death is not my problem. I’m prepared for that eventuality and likely have been for many years. It must have played a factor in my life because I was known as a fighter on the streets of Chicago, and at that time, I developed a reputation that carried across ghetto lines.

But the story is not about me but Lenette. On this day, she was so concerned about me that she set aside all other things and issues. Her concern was so consuming that I realized at that moment that she needed me as much as I needed her. At that exact moment, when I decided I must stay alive for now and care for her, her confusion disappeared. 

Amazingly, from then on, I began to get better in every possible way, and so did she. In all aspects, she began to be my full and complete Lenette. 

The power of love is that important. Having witnessed her helplessness with the time and effort she gave to me was too much to bear. I realized that I needed to live for her so she could live for herself.

So, not only did I get better, but Lenette became more vital and more present. A miracle, for sure, but not surprising when love is such an essential part of a relationship. It is ours.

We are so much better because of each other. Lenette and I will do our best to keep this wellness going between us. How blessed I am.   Sy

We love and love back–We grow because of this love—How blessed we are.

Memories…

Maybe it’s my age, or perhaps it’s the many people I worked with over the years who believe I helped them be better leaders… In any event, I’m receiving a bundle of compliments. I hope this is the case of being the “good” teacher!
I’m aging, and I know it. I’m slowing down physically. That’s what I’m aware of, but the mind remains active, and I feel good about that. So, I will try to keep writing my one-page papers using that facility.


When I ask for suggestions, I get requests for “dog stories.” Surprisingly (or maybe not), those are the ones that received the most response. I told about Heidi fighting and defeating the hunting dog that lived at the farm next door to Camp. That dog was never the same after Heidi saved Brutus in the forest encounter with us. Heidi’s heroics are plainly worth retelling. She was an extraordinary animal with instincts that constantly surprised.


So please take a few moments and let me know what you’d like to have me write or revisit. My memories remain clear for the most part, and I enjoy attempting to recall many of them. Maybe some are worth forgetting, which could be a good thing too!

Sy—wishing all HAPPY HOLIDAYS & A LOVING CHRISTMAS

Now That I’m 95…

Now that I’m 95, I’m determined to stay active with my mind. I’d like to do this with my body, but it’s not the same. For someone who has been physically active most of their life, I am having a bit of difficulty with my oxygen. I guess that’s the way it is. We’ll see what we shall see, and it is the way it is.

In the meantime, I will do my best to stay with my creative stuff. I attempt to write every now and then. I should add that it would help if I received some of my reader’s thoughts. It might stimulate what I do write about—or maybe not?

Your thoughts and comments influence me on what usually ends up as a paper posted to the blog. In fact, I will often write in response due to requests I’ve gotten. Try that on my behalf, and I’ll do my best to get them on paper.

As for my being and getting older, I have this to say. As we age, things happen to us that take our choices away. My example is clear. Being short of breath is not a choice but a fact. So I take action in the evenings—with oxygen, I can enjoy a good night’s sleep. As luck would have it, I do well during the day, with no need for assistance.

Lenette is my blessing. She watches over me and makes sure that everything I do is meant to help me get better. It’s what she does, and it’s working. Obviously, she’s my best medicine. Sy
Have a great holiday. Enjoy family and friends. It’s the best medicine.

I am me; who else?—And glad I am that person—Have never wanted else.
Why want to be else?—I am what I am and been—-Enough just being.

Thanksgiving

Be thankful for the many advantages most of us are gifted with at birth: Reasonable Intelligence, health, and the extended life that medical science gives us. Add this to our relationships with family and others, and we have all the ingredients that make for the good life.


My own life is loaded with all of this. Plus, while entirely unexpected, a huge bag of other experiences has also been gifted to me. I believe that my life is, and continues to be, serendipitous. Back in the day, I loved my family even as we lived through the depression and some very challenging circumstances. Eight people sharing a small apartment is never easy. We fought over everything, from the one bathroom and clothes to wear. Yet, we also made it.


Four of us joined the military, and all came home to live out our lives. I went to UCLA, where I was blessed with the gift of meeting Lenette and the opportunity to build a profession. To this day, Lenette continues to be my most cherished relationship. She has been my miracle and my life from the very moment we met. Seventy years together, and it is still heaven to be with her now. My love always.


I’m about to be 95 and still believe myself to be creative. While not the strong, able fighter I used to be, I can still cope with the inevitable difficult moments. Together, Lenette and I have grown in the process of overcoming whatever has come our way.


We also remember and give thnks to the many remarkable people that played and continue to play a part in our life. They are our family, and I do not take their inclusion lightly. We could not love them more if they were our very own blood. They know this and should know this.


We may be unknown—-but come to know each other—And to love many
Life not a book read——-but a book to read each day——We need to know this.
I love you for you———-Not a promise to come———fulfilled as I am.
Sy