Posted tagged ‘smiles’

Monday Smiles – 1/25/2016

January 25, 2016

date night tooYears ago, when my wife Muri and I were younger … and friskier … we would periodically take mini-vacations.  We’d find, perhaps, a play on Saturday evening and maybe a concert on Sunday, then stay in a hotel near the venue on Saturday night.  Dinner at one of our favorite restaurants was always part of the agenda.   As we push forward, me into my seventies and Muri not far behind, we still reserve nearly every Saturday for a date but the mini-vacations have been few. (more…)


January 23, 2016


Today I went to the park as usual, in spite of the cool temperatures and overcast skies.   After a busy week, I needed some time in my enclave.  In spite of the showers predicted by, I spread my electronics and journal out on a picnic table and began to write to the sound of smooth jazz from my bluetooth speaker.  I’d finished my Morning Pages … Julia Cameron’s name for a morning freeform journal … and my letter to God (if that sounds pretentious, I’m sorry … as a writer, I just pray better on paper) and I was partway through my gratitude list when the first fat drops fell, smearing the ink on ADIGW and FriendsI scrambled to the car to protect my electronics, the cold drops like little electric shocks on my bald, hatless head.  Well-prepared walkers were already popping open their umbrellas on the path along the lake, while others were walking faster to get under the trees. (more…)

Throwback Thursday – Bright Lights

January 7, 2016

Here it is, the first Thursday of (gasp) 2016.  That makes my birth year, 1944, sound like is was very long ago.  Yes, I know.  It was. So for the first Throwback Thursday of the year, I’m reposting an anecdote that happened on the day of my birth.

mom letterOne of the treasures I saved from my father’s house when he moved to assisted living is a letter my Mom wrote from Casper, WY, where my father was stationed at the Army Air Corps Heavy Bomber Training Unit.  The letter begins, Dear Mother and Dad, This is an extra special important letter so I’ll send it to the two of you  (You’d best sit down, Mom).  It continues, You two have been married too long to be just Mom and Dad.  Don’t you think it’s time you were Grandma and Grampa?  My Mom was telling her parents that she was four and a half months pregnant with me.  Of course, they didn’t know I was me yet, so they’d nicknamed me Stinky, Jr.  Thank goodness that it was Buddy that eventually stuck as my nickname.  The letter says, I hope we do have a boy … with blue eyes and a dimple in its chin … not the other end like me.  Hmm.  I have brown eyes, by the way.   In the letter, my Mom went on to ask if it was OK for her to come home and live with her Mom and Dad while my Dad was shipped overseas to Italy to fight the war.   I’ll have a Pullman all the way home, she said … for free, too.  The Army was paying.  Trains playedbud and dad a big part in my Mom’s travels when she and Dad were first married.   There was even a running family joke that my real Dad was a porter.  All you have to do is see a picture of my Dad and I together and you’ll know the truth. (more…)

Throwback Thursday – Falling or Climbing

October 15, 2015

Would you believe I have over 1800 posts here on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog?   Maybe that’s why new post topics seem hard to come by.  At any rate, I’ve decided to repost my favorites on Throw Back Thursday.   This post, Falling and Climbing, was originally posted in 2009 then again in 2011.   It is about the true meaning of love, at least as I see it.  It is about what it really means to have a soulmate who challenges you to be the best person you can be, not one who is a reason to leave the relationship you are in.

My wife and I are friends with a couple who are about ten years older than we are … and who have been married ten years longer.    When they’re out together, they get those aren’t they a cute old couple looks.   People often ask them, “How can we have a marriage like yours?”    The answer is this –  “If you want to have what we have, you have to go through what we went through,” a response I liked enough to use in my toast at my daughter’s wedding.

Birthday, Interrupted

July 15, 2015

birthdaymuriToday was my wife, Muri’s _____ birthday.   Really?  You thought I was going to tell you her age?   A man does not stay married to the same woman for going on 47 years by telling the universe … or at least that small portion of it that reads Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog … her age.  I have always made a big deal of her birthday.   I don’t know where that particular instinct came from … I don’t remember my Dad  doing so.   Making a big deal used to mean buying extravagant gifts, at least extravagant by our inherited middle class standards.   I am fortunate to have a very practical wife that, although she loves beautiful things like jewelery and designer purses, is most often too practical to buy such things for herself.  Happily, I get to indulge her for holidays like birthdays and Valentine’s Day.   However, as we push our way through our sixties (one of us having exited said decade), we find it harder and harder to find things we want for our birthdays.  Yes, we are lucky but we are also less drawn to material things as we age.  Making a big deal of Muri’s birthday can become problematic.

Monday Smiles – 7/6/2015

July 6, 2015

music notesI have a busy day ahead of me, at least I think I do.   I know I have a phone interview in about an hour with a potential client for my services as an expert in sonar and there is some work that needs to be done on my company’s sole project.  My office is a mess and often what is going on in my brain reflects the clutter in my office.  Today, I clean up the latter and make some progress on the former.  I have written my Morning Pages, prayed a bit and read from the four daily readers I use each morning (not quite daily, however).   I am doing what I like to refer to as getting back on the rails, Older Eyes code for getting back to a disciplined life.  Not one of my strong suits.   If I had a dollar for every time I’ve gone off the rails, I could give away my IRAs.  The point is, I don’t think I have the time this morning to be very creative with Monday Smiles, so instead, I’ll offer something that made me smile this weekend.


June 20, 2015

kidsIt strikes me that it’s been a little serious around here on Bud’s Blog for a while, maybe even a little grumpy.   Even some of my Monday Smiles have been of the I-don’t-feel-like-smiling-but-here’s-something-that-makes-me-smile variety.   My Inner Curmudgeon, that persona who has been responsible for bringing humor (of a cantankerous sort) to my blog since 2009 seems to be on vacation.  So, I thought I’d tell a grandkid story today just to brighten the place up.  Whats more fun than a grandkid story … unless it’s a grandkid story with poultry. (more…)

There IS a Free Lunch!

June 19, 2015

P1010610One of the great advantages of being a self-employed consultant is the flexibility to work both where and when I want.  When can be virtually any time that inspiration strikes … or, other times, when a deadline looms.   Where is frequently at a picnic table in Yorba Regional Park.  Yesterday, our housekeeper, Eva, was cleaning our house so I came to the park fully intending to spend most of the day.   I set up my office away from the office at a picnic table in one of the shelters near Lake Number 3.  I travel with a backpack that weighs about 40 pounds and when I’m spread out, my array of electronics (from laptop to bluetooth speaker and a camera just in case one of the park denizens stops by for a photo op) covers most of a table.   I was busy writing an email to a friend when a van parked nearby.  Suddenly I was surrounded by about 30 people.   There was a time I would have said old people but I’m less inclined to do that since at 71 I’m clearly in the club.  From the van, I could see they were from the Town and Country Manor, a retirement facilty, and it was pretty clear they were setting up for a picnic lunch.   Kidding, I said, If you want to have lunch in my office, you’ll have to feed me.   That got a few chuckles and appreciative smiles.  Then I went about my business while they set up table cloths and a food table.

A while later, someone came by and offered me lunch. I was only kidding, IT AND C 2 said, I’m fine. Then someone asked again, saying there was plenty of food.   So I had a lunch of fried chicken, baked beans and potato salad while I chatted with several ladies who stopped by to comment on my electronics or ask what I P1010609was doing.   I helped one woman get her digital camera working.  Just because we’re old, she said, doesn’t mean we can’t use electronics.  Amen.  One woman mentioned how nice it was to be able to walk around the park at her age.  Ever politically incorrect, I asked how old she was.  She was 75.  I’m 71, I said.   You don’t look it, she replied.  My wife assures me she was flattering me and if so, it worked.   When a gaggle of Egyptian Geese swam by and someone said, Look at the baby ducks, I politely corrected them and they appreciated the information.  By the time lunch was over, they were calling me Bud and I was one of them.

t AND c 3

It occurred to me that I would like to post about the experience so I showed them my blog on my laptop and asked a director if it would be OK.  She talked to everyone and they said yes.  It is a perfect subject for Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog because it highlights one of the best things about getting older.   I become part of a community that is, for the most part, kinder, quieter and more appreciative of the small things in life, like a beautiful day in the park.   My new friends were a reminder of just that.   As they were leaving, several stopped by to tell me what a wonderful place Town and Country Manor is to retire.  But I already knew that from watching the faces and the interactions of the people who happened to stop by for lunch in my office.  You can read about Town and Country here.

Monday Smiles – 6/1/2015

June 1, 2015

I have to tell you, I am fighting a rather nasty cold this particular Monday.   And I am trying to come to peace with the knowledge that my daughter’s family is moving away from our home in Arizona.  You  can’t follow your kids, you know, someone told me when we were considering buying a house there, because they’ll just move again but our first grandson, Reed, was on the way so we went for it anyway.  Even back then, in our heart of hearts we wondered how long it could last.   The answer was ten years, ten years in which two more grandkids turned up, Maddux, who is now eight and Savannah, who will soon be seven.  When we bought the house, we hoped it would be a good investment, and as it turns out, it was … just not in the way we expected.    When they move, we will put it up for sale and in the Arizona housing market, we will lose some money.  But it gave us ten really great years in which the kids (and, if necessary, their parents) could come and stay with us at Nana and Papa’s House and where we could stay when we went to visit.   There is no way to put a value on the memories we have there.  Here are a few of them. It’s Monday.   I’m looking back and smiling.  And looking forward to the next chapter.

Monday Smiles – 5/4/2015

May 4, 2015

Scenes from a weekend:

tmp_24317-20150501_203229456155580Blair Field:  It’s is the home of the Long Beach State Dirtbags.  That’s right, the LBS baseball team is known as the Dirtbags and the are playing the Rainbow Warriors from the University of Hawaii on Friday night.  I’m out for an evening with the guys, even though I have no affiliation with either university and don’t really care much for baseball.   But I’d been invited before and I need a change, so there I am, laughing as I listened to the kids in attendance (with their alumni parents) cheer, Let’s go Dirtbags.   It was a good game on a gorgeous night relaxing with friends.