Braking Points

Exploring the Adventure of Aging


April 2019

I Plan, God Laughs…Later I Laugh Some, too.

My Seventh Decade...The Years Beyond

imageYesterday did not go as planned! After a hectic “Spring Break” with two grandkids and a grandkid for a week, MY PLAN was:

Rise at 4 am EDT–check
Leave at 5 am EDT–left at 5:12 am
Sail smoothly to I-4, take I-4 to Toll Road 429–check
Sail smoothly to the Florida Turnpike, north to I-75–check

[By this time I was smiling broadly, while the plugged in, tuned out younger passengers slept and Terry rode shotgun…I could see Atlanta in my sights by Noon, home in 12, maybe 13 hours…yes, sir, I was feeling good!]

THEN, Red light, red lights, a whole stream of RED LIGHTS!

Terry suddenly alerted, shouting, “Stop!” [Stop was not in my plan, but I did stop. I did not hit anyone or even squeal my brakes and no one hit us. Whew!]

As far as my eyes could see ahead and soon behind, cars and trucks…

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Math for the Seventh Decade…Back to Fifth Grade

My Seventh Decade...The Years Beyond

imageThere is no subject for which the statement, “I have forgotten more than I ever knew” rings truer than Math. While I managed to make good grades in math, Algebra, Geometry…that’s where I dropped off the math train in high school, I have retained only rudementary functions into adulthood. Terry would undoubtedly take exception to that since my subtraction skills as evidenced by reconciling the checkbook still seem lacking. No one is more grateful for the calculator than I. However, the calculator, although admittedly amazing cannot tell me how to do the problem in the first place.

I am not alone! Thank you very much. That much is perfectly clear by the million or more wrong answers to the following problem presented on Facebook:

Fortunately, in my circle of Facebook Friends two mathmeticians stepped forward, when I reposted the above problem with my WRONG answer of ONE, or possibly FIVE…

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FASHION CONFESSION: I Cannot Wear Thongs–the Feet Variety

My Seventh Decade...The Years Beyond

Sometimes I need a break from serious and lately I have noticed there are a number of bloggers out there who share “what they wore this weekend” or “what I wore to workout.”  Then they post pictures of their tiny twenty-something selves wearing said outfits.  Quick question, does that make them millennials, guess I am not sure about the cut off age for that group. Anyway, they look so cute, in their shirts, hats, scarves, shoes.

Ok, Ok, I admit it, I am a little jealous, because ‘what I wore this weekend, except for church, were jeans and a T-shirt and ‘what I wore to work out’ consisted of a Tulsa Habitat for Humanity T-shirt from the 1980’s and comfy–elastic waist band, knit fabric–pants. I did put on make-up and brush my teeth and hair, but at no time was I ready for a photo shoot.

Come to think of…

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If I Call Myself A………….

My Seventh Decade...The Years Beyond


Sunday afternoons, especially ones with thunder rumbles and rain bouncing off the windows make me contemplative. It may also have something to do with my seventieth birthday next weekend. I don’t feel melancholy, just thoughtful, so as usual I turn to exploring again where I am on this road of life, how the devil I got to where I am, and what ever am I to do with myself.

If I call myself a writer, does that mean I am a phenomenal wordsmith, that my stories are profound, that I have good grammar and spelling? No! I call myself a writer because it calms me to write, it thrills me to write and I find fulfillment in writing, that helps me live my life. I cannot image myself not writing, even if it is only stories in my head or even if dementia sets in and I dabble in…

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My Seventh Decade...The Years Beyond


On the Today show recently they were discussing Free Range Kids so I looked up the website, mainly because the discussion was about whether it was poor parenting to let your kids walk to the park, several blocks away, alone. If so, I think my parents and others were beyond neglegent when I was growing up.  AND  I just want to say THANK YOU!  As a kid, I roamed just about anywhere I wanted and all was well just so I was home by dark which in the summer was pretty late. I and many of my contemporaies survived just fine. I have wondered about the hovering parent model for a long time. Now I am wondering about the hovering kid of older parents model.

Free Range Kids is a site that according to its mission statement believes self reliant kids need to be educated and…

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More from the Free Range Mimi Chicken: Puberty is a Piece of Cake Compared to the Golden Years

My Seventh Decade...The Years Beyond


1950 Something Edition 1950 Something Edition

When I was nearing puberty, my mother gave me the “talk”–a fairly disgusting scenario, if I remember it and I DO!  She also gave me a book, ‘So You Are a Young Lady Now’, even though, based on the aforementioned “TALK”, I had decided being a young lady might be the last thing I wanted to be.  Trust me on this, I decided then and there that Peter Pan had the right idea…never grow up.  But as the hormones kicked in, I slowly fell in line with the ‘growing up’ agenda.  I furthered my education in the classic manner of the time,  discussing IT with my girlfriends.  From the bounty of thirteen/fourteen year old wisdom,  I learned a lot more than that book or my mother told me….although time, life, and experience have proved some of that information to be erroneous if not…

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WOULD BE WRITERS REMEMBER: ‘Amateurs Built the ARK, Professionals Built the Titanic’

My Seventh Decade...The Years Beyond

I stole this title from a Twitter Post promoting ‘trying something new’….I am a huge fan of trying new things.  Also, I would prefer to build an Ark rather than a Titanic, but don’t plan to build either one.

Admittedly, I have not always been so open to new experiences,  AND, boundaries exist on what I am willing to experience–not bungy jumping, base jumping, hedge jumping or jumping off my back porch.  I will, however, jump in exercise class at Fitness Formula and might attempt jump rope.  Back in sixth grade I was not too bad at jumping rope with two people swinging the rope as I ran in and sang:

‘Cinderella, dressed in yellow, went upstairs to kiss her fellow. How many times did she kiss him?  1, 2 , 3 and so on’ until rope and foot tangled.

I started blogging in 2013 and much like jumping rope…

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Objects in my Rearview Mirror: Dead Butterfly Collector…unfinished manuscript, 2012

My Seventh Decade...The Years Beyond

Looking in my Rearview Mirror, I found this manuscript which began as a short short story…the first chapter..for a contest requiring a story set on Halloween. I won $100…the MOST I have ever made from my writing.  You have got to wonder, why then does she keep right on writing.

Most people who have read my writing found the short story a gigantic shift from my usual stuff.  Actually, so did I, but it seemed to beg for more story.  I let the odds and ends of life interfer, so this is all there is.

My question to anyone who reads this….IS IT WORTH FINISHING?  Suggestions, critiques, appreciated.  AND NOW,

The Dead Butterfly Collectorimage

Chapter One

Dead people don’t talk.

Nor do they grimace, smile, blink or sneeze.  Aside from pallor or rigor mortis, and the inability to change positions without assistance—all in all—they make perfect models for portraits.  After…

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Privileges of Aging–Part One–Adjustments to Body Image

My Seventh Decade...The Years Beyond

imageAdmittedly there was a time in my life when the poster that inspired this exploration of the privileges of aging with the photograph of an obviously older alibet beautiful, graceful, limber female would unleash an avalanche of not so positive reactions.  Not the least of these feelings would be envy–translation: my basest self wanting to snatch her bald headed, followed swiftly by denial–translation: it’s lighting, Photo Shop, ‘no way is this woman real!’.  And then because of all the insecurities from awkward teenager till now, I would have slid into despair.  Comparison to another always leaves one feeling lacking or God help me superior.  Yes, she is beautiful, elegant, and limber, but I am not her, nor is she me.  If I had focused on her elegance in comparison to my clumsiness, I WOULD HAVE MISSED THE WHOLE POINT!  To be alive, to be aging is a privilege.  For me…

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