Welcome to Bud’s Blog

Posted March 1, 2009 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes – Marcel Proust

Sometimes Older Eyes work, too Bud

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Necessary Definitions

Sage – a wise man; a man of gravity and wisdom; especially, a man venerable for years, and of sound judgment and prudence.

Curmudgeon – an ill-tempered old person full of stubborn ideas or opinions.

Fool – A person with poor judgment or little intelligence; a jester, a person whose role was to entertain a sovereign and the court, often with foolishness.
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I’ve been wondering lately what it would be like to be able to relive my life knowing what I know now. Or if I was able to give my grown children a view of the world through my Older Eyes, would it change their lives? Here’s a provocative proposition: If I could get every twenty-year old to look at the world through sixty-four year old eyes for just a few minutes, it would either change them for the better or kill them. Provocative but probably not true. I doubt there are many young men making bucket lists as a result of watching Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.

With a do-over unlikely and getting my children to listen to my archaic opinions only slightly less so, I’ll record the view through my Older Eyes here in Bud’s Blog.   As you read each post, you decide … Sage, Curmudgeon, or Fool … we can agree to disagree on which is which. Your comments are welcome, whatever your age.   If what you read changes you for the better, I’d especially like to know.   Hopefully there will be no casualties.   If you are new here and want a taste of my Older Perspective before diving in, The Best of Feeling Older offers a few of my favorite posts on aging.  Finally, if my work inspires you to try blogging … or even if you think, Jeez, I can do this better than Older Eyes – there are a series of posts on doing just that on my page, Starting a WordPress Blog.

Playing Favorites 7/1/2022

Posted July 1, 2022 by oldereyes
Categories: Friday Favorites

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ELPSo, music lovers, the question of the day is: How far down the list of songs I like (or even songs I love) can a song fall and still be regarded as a favorite?  And, in fact, Can a song that I’ve completely forgotten about but used to love qualify for Playing Favorites?  This week, as I was looking through YouTube’s list of live performances, I came across Greg Lake (formerly of Emerson, Lake and Palmer) performing From the Beginning.  So the question becomes, Can a song I’ve forgotten about but used to love … by one member of the band that originally recorded said song, a member who, by the way, died in 2016 … qualify for Playing Favorites?  Of course, while the questions sound hard, the answer is easy.   Here on Oldereyes – Bud’s Blog, my Alter Ego and I make the rules and we usually agree.  Like today. Read the rest of this post »

Sweet Home Utah – Pt. 1

Posted June 28, 2022 by oldereyes
Categories: home

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utahYeah, I know … Lynard Skynard says its Alabama but I want to talk about Utah.   In 75 years on this planet, I never imagined I would live in Utah.   But here we are, living in the lovely community of Daybreak, Utah, and I guess it’s home.  If you been following along with my whining over the last several posts, you know that we moved here to be near our grandkids three years ago but their parents are taking them to a new life in Texas.  But Utah will likely remain our home … we don’t have another move in us.  So I thought I ought to say a few words about living in Utah. First off, let me say it is a beautiful state.  We can see the Wasatch Mountains from our front windows and whether they are topped with snow in the winter or illuminated by the setting sun in summer, they are almost enough to make me forget how much I love the oceans.  There are national parks and preserves all around us,  And Daybreak is a modern community with varied housing of many colors and frequent community events, like concerts in Downtown Daybreak.  We love our brand new house in the over 55 community of Springhouse Village and we own it outright because our California house had so much equity. Read the rest of this post »

Playing Favorites 6/24/2022

Posted June 24, 2022 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

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turnIt has been 5 weeks since my birthday.   It was a wonderful birthday … followed by what can best be described as a shit-storm.   Sorry if my choice of words offends you.   On the evening of my birthday, our son texted me with some legal issues he needed help with.  Never good.  The next day, my daughter told me they are moving to Texas, which is really hard to take, since to my recollection their promise not to leave Utah was one of the reasons we moved here.  The sense of betrayal that brings has been keeping me awake nights.  Then, we both came down with COVID.   A trip last weekend to Virginia to attend the Bar Mitvah of the son of our dearest friends left us exhausted but probably kept me sane.   It was a joyful occasion but seeing them surrounded by their kids and grandkids was also a reminder that ours would be moving away.  So, the last time I posted Playing Favorites, the song of the day was the saddest song I know, Shattered by Linda Ronstadt. Read the rest of this post »

The COVID Club

Posted June 6, 2022 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

Tags: , ,

Clipboard01Wednesday I woke up with an annoyingly persistent cough, the kind of cough I’d probably had hundreds of times in my 78 years and thought, Shoot, I must be getting a cold.   But that was before the arrival of COVID 19.  As a senior with several medical issues, I tested myself one of the COVID self-test kits President Biden sent (for free, imagine that).  In case you haven’t seen one of these, it looks like a pregnancy test.  I was neither infected with COVID or pregnant.  After 24 hours of worsening symptoms, I tried again and tested solid positive.  Welcome to The COVID Club.  I received a club T-shirt in the mail from Biden and a card from Trump that said, See? I told you it wouldn’t kill you!  DONATE NOW TO STOP THE STEAL! Read the rest of this post »

Playing Favorites 5/27/2022

Posted May 27, 2022 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

Tags: , , , ,

greyghostIt has been a long week, a descent from a very happy birthday through the news that my daughter’s family will be moving away to my own futile attempt to avoid the sadness through denial, anger and bargaining (see Navigating Grief).  Last night I sent my son-in-law and daughter a note, telling them I was trying to accept their decision.   The very act of doing so stoked my anger again but this morning, I feel different.   I think am ready for the Grey Ghost of depression to wring the tears out of me and guide me to acceptance.

If you knew me personally, it wouldn’t surprise that I carry on my music devices a Heartbreakers playlist of sad songs to help this reluctant crier bring the tears.  All beautiful sad songs.   But which one gets to be the Favorite played today.  Easy.  Shattered  Beautiful melody written by Jimmy Webb.   It is remarkable how many songs by Webb grace my music files.  The most perfect pop female voice in my generation (perhaps any), Linda Ronstadt.   And the lyrics …

Shattered
Like a windowpane
Broken by a stone
Each tiny piece of me lies alone

They would rip the heart out of the Gray Ghost himself, if he had one.

Enjoy … or have a good cry … whichever suits your day.

Navigating Grief

Posted May 24, 2022 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

Tags: ,

griefMany people think grief means deep sadness, particularly due to the death of a loved one.   But grief is more than that, it is a process we as humans must go through to come to acceptance with any loss, from the death of a loved one to the end of a relationship or the end of a dream or a life phase.  According to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a Swiss American psychiatrist, there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  What makes this path hard to navigate is the fact that after working though each of the first four stages, all of which are painful, all you get is acceptance.   Not happiness.  Not peace.   The sadness continues to echo in your life as one of those things you cannot change mentioned in the Serenity Prayer, but at least you accept it. Read the rest of this post »

Playing Favorites (5/20/1944)

Posted May 20, 2022 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

Tags: , , , ,

wpid-happy_birthday_to_you.jpgNo, that’s not a typo in the title.  In spite of my advanced age, I know what year it is (2021, right?).  But I was born on this date in 1944, making this my 78th birthday (2022-1944=78.  See?  I is still good at math).  So the question of the moment is what a music loving septuagenarian music lover will play on his birthday.  The obvious (if not original) choice is the classic Happy Birthday we been forced to sing since we were kids.  My favorite version:

Happy birthday to you,
You belong in a zoo.
You look like a monkey,
And you act like one too.

Cute but hardly appropriate … monkeys rarely life beyond forty.   Or, I could find a page like 33 Best Birthday Songs Of All Time and choose one of the dozens of birthday songs that were recorded by various artists.   I could reach back to my youth and choose The Crests Sixteen Candles, but that would be about 55 candles short (see?  I is still good at math).  Besides, the song is about heartbreak and I am a happy old goat today.   I could choose Happy Birthday songs by The Beatles or Stevie Wonder, but as much as I love both artists, their birthday songs feel like half-hearted efforts.   I could go modern with 2 Chainz – Birthday Song featuring Kanye West and the lovely lyric, All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe.  Not a freaking chance … we’re talking music here.  And it’s crap like that that makes me feel even older.

So, I’ll pick a birthday song with a brain by one of my favorite singers, Carly Simon, who tells a story in every song.   In her Happy Birthday song, Carly talks about all the things growing old has cost her, including caffeine and dessert.  It’s a great birthday song, but it’s also a reminder of all the things you have to do make it to your seventies.  And appropriately enough, she’s also a septuagenarian.  Be sure to listen to the lyrics (or read them here).

Useta

Posted May 19, 2022 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

Tags: , ,

happy_birthday_to_youLooking back a bit on the eve of my 78th birthday …

I useta get up the day after a marathon with legs so sore I could hardly walk.  Now I don’t need the marathon.

I useta think my wife was lucky to have me.   Now I know that I’m the lucky one and that spending fifty years with her is the best thing in my life.

I useta solve complex mathematical and statistical problems.   Now I do Wordle and figure out how to fix the shutters in our office.

I useta ride a bike fifty miles a week.  Now I ride a stationary bike that goes nowhere for 30 minutes.

I useta think that people were basically good.   Now I look around at what’s going on in the world and I’m not so sure. That makes me very sad.

I useta be an engineer who thought he was meant to be a writer.   Now I am a writer who useta engineer.

I useta do triathlons … swim, bike and run.   Now do the old guy triathlon … I walk on the track at the gym, ride the stationary bike and shower.

I useta be a liberal.  Then I was a moderate.   Then a conservative.  Now I’m not so sure I want to be associated with any of them.

I useta think that 78 sounded very old.   Now I know I wasn’t wrong.

I useta know the words to virtually every song I loved.   Now I still do but I can’t always remember who sang them.

It useta make me sad that no one seemed to feel music like I do.    Now I know it is a gift that brings me untold joy and connects me to the Infinite.

I useta think I’d never move to Utah.   Now I am happily living there, ten minutes from my grandkids with a view of the mountains.

I useta be a seeker.   I still am and will be to the day I die.   I’m OK with that.

New Tricks

Posted May 18, 2022 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

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old dogWe have all heard the old saying You can’t teach an old dog new tricks and speaking as an old dog, I can testify that it is often true.   We old dogs do like things our way.  Mostly.  But every once in a while, life intervenes in a way that breaks through our old doggedness and makes us change.  As I mention a while back in my post, PT, I have been subjecting myself to Physical Therapy in an attempt to reduce nerve pain radiating from my back into my legs.  In the first three weeks it has been unclear whether the assortment of massages, stretches and exercises prescribed by my physical therapist have helped, made the pain worse, or simply moved it around in this old body.  If it were you going through this course of PT, I’d be telling you it takes time to work, but this is my body … and I want to feel better now.   My therapist is understanding and tries to keep my spirits up with jokes like What is the difference between a physical therapist and a terrorist?   You can’t negotiate with a physical therapist.   Funny and true but not helpful. Read the rest of this post »

Playing Favorites 4/29/2022

Posted April 29, 2022 by oldereyes
Categories: Friday Favorites, music

Tags: ,

roy and kdI try to be scrupulously honest here on Bud’s Blog … except, of course, for those times where my tongue is firmly in cheek or my Inner Curmudgeon has taken control of the keyboard.  So I have to admit that when I decided to post my favorite duet, I knew exactly where I was headed.   That’s probably a bit surprising since I’ve been listening to pop music for over sixty years during which I suspect hundreds … if not thousands … of duets have made it to the charts.  And thousands more have appeared on duets album by artists like Frank Sinatra and Kenny G that featured an assortment of vocal stars singing with the top-billed artist.    There were duet groups like Sonny and Cher or Peaches and Herb, and one-time duet hits like Endless Love by Diana Ross and Lionel Ritchie or We’ve Got Tonight by Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes.   One of the most famous duets, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers by Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond was manufactured from solo performances by an enterprising program manager before it was released as a duet by 1978 … and performed live a the Grammy Awards Show in 1980.  Online there are dozens of greatest duets list:  there’s a Top Forty from Billboard Magazine (with Endless Love as number one) and a Top Fifty from the UK’s Telegraph. (with Lee Hazelwood’s and Nancy Sinatra’s Some Velvet Morning as the winner.  Those Brits.  Go figure.). Rolling Stone’s 20 Best Dramatic Duets of All Time selects Kenny Rogers’ and Dolly Parton’s Island in the Stream as number one. Read the rest of this post »