Life in a Senior Residence Community is challenging and cherished.

Take Care!

“Take care of yourselves!” our mother told us as we bolted out the door and jumped into the car. She stood on the porch, waved, pretended she was checking the border flowers as she lowered her eyes to hide her tears, waved again, and called out, “Take care! Take care of yourselves.”

I thought of that scene as I listened to the millions of words shouted out during the Republican Convention two weeks ago and in the Democratic Convention last week. Such unabashed demonstrations of people exercising their right to gather and speak out, supporting the candidates they believe will take care of them. Lots of speeches promising to do just that.

And then we heard from President Obama whose greatest one-liner was a throw-away three-word phrase: “Don’t boo…VOTE.” Not shouted, not demanded; spoken almost as an aside, as a spontaneous thought.

And I whooped with excitement! That’s right! We need to take  care of ourselves. We each need to vote! It’s imperative that everyone votes. That’s our democratic way of making an effort to take care of ourselves.

In recent years, since I’ve moved into this residence for the elderly, I have heard complaints, moans, and whines from people who now, in their impaired states, feel helpless. As though they need someone else to care for them. And, yes, that is true, to some extent. But not to the extent that they might believe. I think it was (almost) 101-year-old Leslee who I heard demand, “Stop your complaining. Draw up a petition and have everyone sign it. That way you’ll have a chance of changing whatever you feel is important. You want different food? Get organized. Get a group. Go tell the cook. See what happens.”

When I told a staff member in the front office of a situation I felt helpless to change, she gently reminded me, “You know, you need to take that to Resident Services. That’s the office right down this little hall. Let them know. See what happens.”

Another time I complained to a friend here that whenever I drove off campus, I came back to find someone had parked in the space assigned to me. I stormed around in frustration, and she asked, “What are you going to do about it?”

I realized I had to take responsibility for myself and my parking space, so with a red marking pen, I highlighted the sign that said “Resident Parking Only,” three times underlining Only. I left a note on the intruder’s windshield. It worked! Now when I return, I zip right into my own reserved parking space.

Several years ago I was in Oregon saying goodbye to my youngest brother, David. Our brother John had died some time ago and I’ve lost track of our other brother. I patted David’s chest and looked up at him. “You take good care of yourself, David. I used to have three brothers and now I have one, you.”

He grinned and patted my shoulder. “You take good care of yourself, too. I’ve always had one sister, you.”

What is Bernie Sanders saying? He’s saying just what Mother said, “Take care of yourselves,” just what Leslee is saying, “Get organized,” just what David is saying, “You are important,” just what President Obama is saying, “Don’t boo….Vote.”

Oh, Happy Day!

Last week, Assisted Living resident Leslee stopped me in the lobby. She lay her hand on my arm and with an intensely worried look on her bright face, said, “Donna, the pictures in Assisted Living are terrible. Can you do anything about them?” I looked at this ever-so-slender almost 101-year-old fireball with her painted nails and bright orange hair, and thought how much I love her…how she knows the difference between aging and living a long time. She is our bridge teacher. She had been wanting to play bridge, but since no one here at Friends House played, she announced bridge lessons every Wednesday afternoon. Now we have two tables and the beginning of a third.

When I was in my 60s or 70s, I declared, “When I get old, I’m going to learn to play bridge!” Leslee and I are a good match.

Standing together there in the lobby, I reminded her that I am clerk (a Quaker term for chairman) of the Beauty and Decor Committee and that my main responsibility seems to be hanging pictures. I would figure it out.

The next day, Rosemary pushed her walker along the sidewalk and brightened when she saw me.

“Donna!” she called out. “I have something to ask you. The paintings in Assisted Living are so bad. They are dark, have heavy frames, and are quite depressing. I understand you can do something about them. Would you, please?”

I asked her if she’d been talking with Leslee and she shook her head no. I asked her if she and Leslee could meet me near the art storage closet the next day about mid-morning. Rosemary replied that she could meet at 10:30, but she gets on the bus at 11:30 to go stand with Women in Black down on the corner of College and Mendocino Avenues. Every Friday morning without fail, she joins Women in Black with their Peace placards. Rosemary is 93.

Exactly at 10:30 I came along the hallway, and there they were snug in green wing-back chairs, waiting. I brought out a couple of paintings. They approved of one, but rejected the other. I brought out two more. And two more. We collected the ones they liked.

After Leslee returned to her room and Rosemary went to the bus, a resident friend, Nancy, and I loaded the pictures into a laundry cart and wheeled them to Assisted Living. As we began to unload them, to set them on the floor, to lean them against the wall, the Director of Assisted Living hustled toward me, a concerned look on her face. “If you leave those there, someone will trip over them.”

“Oh. Where do you suggest?”

“Over there near the piano.”

“Okay. It’ll probably be a few days before I can be back to get them hung.”

“Well.” she admonished, “you’d better put in a work order.”

“I will,” I said and wondered to myself how many days would pass before someone would come to help with this project.

It was almost noon when I finished placing the work order and I was in my apartment, eating a salad and reading a book when the phone rang. It was the Director of Assisted Living and she said, “Miguel is over here ready to hang the pictures. What shall I tell him?”

“Tell him, please, that I am on my way!”

That’s the quickest reply to a work request I’ve seen in the 2 1/4 years I’ve lived here!

“Okay, Miguel, the first one goes right here.”  While he marked, measured, and hammered, I decided on the placement of the next one, and the next one and the next one. We were ripping right along when Leslee showed up and I asked her what she thought about the pictures so far. She carefully looked around and said, “I think that one is too low.” and “I think that one would be better over here.” We made the adjustments and by three o’clock, Miguel had hung 18 pictures.

“You happy, Boss?” he asked.

“I’m happy, Miguel. What about you?” He nodded and grinned, gave a thumbs-up.

“Are you happy, Leslee?”

“I’m happy, too. Here comes Rosemary. Are you happy with the pictures, Rosemary?”

“Yes! This is so much better!”

Everybody happy. Life in the Old Folks’ Home. Happy.

 

Ah, Decisions!

Last weekend, I was in Sebastopol in a shop, Silk Moon, searching for a Grandmother-of-the-Bride dress. A member of our family had heard from another member of the family that the bride has suggested that women attending the mid-August wedding wear “nice summer dresses.” I haven’t owned a dress since 1991. So, what do I know about buying a dress these days? I googled dresses and stared at ones that are too short, too tight, too transparent, too lacy, too sleeveless for me. Doesn’t anyone sell dresses for dumpy, plumpy grandmothers? Women who carry their great wisdom around their waists and in their bellies?

Yes, someone does! In Sebastopol, I parked in a 24-minute zone, tore into the shop’s back door, strolled quickly among the colorful dresses hung on racks, screens, and walls, took three into the dressing room, came out with three and said, “I want to take all of these home to try on again. I’ll return next week. Okay?” It was okay. One dress is the colors of a 1933 kitchen–apple green, pale aqua, pale yellow, white–so that one is back in the sack. The remaining two are called “A-line” dresses. Look at the shape of an A. That’s it. Hanging from the shoulders, loose at the waist, hemline below the knees. No sleeves, though, but that can be remedied with a stole, a shawl, a wrap, whatever that is called.

I must decide between the floaty, bright watermelon-color one and the other of deep aqua heavy cotton. Such a delightful decision! But not easy. In the watermelon floaty one, I feel celebrational and animated. More in the light. Do I really want to live out loud? In the aqua one, more proper, more plain, more grandmotherly. More in shadow. I remember that shadow provides the strength and groundedness we all need.

Oh, come on, either is good. Eenee-meenee-miney-mo. Turn around three times and point.

Other times other decisions have had to be made. Not such inconsequential ones. In 1950, in Oregon, my husband and I, in our mid-twenties, owned a much-loved yellow Studebaker convertible. He said, “We either have to move out of Oregon or sell the car. This is no place for a convertible.” We sat on the leather seats, patted the dash board, and moved to California.

When son John was seventeen, he had two brothers in college and a decision to make. One Saturday morning, he spread a map of the United States on the kitchen table and placed his right hand on New England, and his left hand on the Pacific Northwest. “Let’s see,” he said. “Matt is at Yale and Sam is at University of Oregon. What’s in the South? In the Middle West?” After much rifling through the College Directory, he came up with Northwestern University. “It’s good in music and in computer science, Mom.” The following autumn he left for Evanston, Il. A generation later, his eldest daughter also chose Northwestern.

It isn’t as though these decisions were as impossibly painful as Sophie’s Choice, but they were life-changing. I don’t think my dress decision will be life-changing. Although, it could be. I was wearing a watermelon-color suit at a 1948 University of Oregon football game the first time Jim Love saw me and asked his friend, “Wow! Who’s that?”

 

If you’ve ever gone on a group tour, you know the routine. On the bus, gaze at the unfamiliar scenery whizzing by, get off the bus, troop into an exhibit, a lecture hall, a factory, a significant natural wonder. A series of experiences of great variety, strung together by bus-trips down the road. One after another, like a strand of beads, not necessarily, actually probably not, related, except they all take place in a foreign country.

And so are notes taken during the trip to Iceland . A string of unrelated events that add texture to our days. Welcome to my notebook.

First, the flag: A red Scandinavian cross bordered by white on a field of blue. The blue for the ocean; the white, snow and glaciers; and red for volcanic fire.

Iceland is geologically part of the mid-Atlantic Ridge. It straddles the North American tectonic plate and the Eurasian plate. These two plates are pulling apart about two centimeters a year. We saw the rift and walked across a bridge connecting the two continental plates. Steam burbled noisily out of the ground; extremely hot water burped in mud.

Iceland is on the very edge of the habitable world. Reykjavik, the capital, home to 2/3 of the population, is about 37 miles south of the Arctic Circle.

Iceland’s is a market economy: sheep kept early settlers alive; fish and agriculture were the foundation in the 20th century; add tourism in the 21st century. Dried cod is the main export.

Icelandic sheep are a Northern European short-tailed breed. They have been vitally important to people’s survival over the centuries. Currently there are 500,000 winter-fed sheep. The sale of meat is 90% of farmers’ income. We saw sheep, in distant pastures and up close. One afternoon as we were visiting an Icelandic-horse farm, one of their ewes delivered triplets! Another time a flock of sheep and some shepherds were scurrying up the narrow road with our bus trailing along behind them.

Today’s farmers need another job for income. Some use their farms for summer residences. Some are part-time farmers. Barley and rye are  grown and harvested twice a year. Timothy (a grass) is grown and baled as silage for winter; livestock spend September-May in barns. Icelandic cows come in all colors! Original breed was from Galway, Ireland. No hormones used. “Cows are as natural as possible.” They produce 50,000 liters of milk/year.

We saw many waterfalls, all with a story attached.  One, Godafoss, is where Porgeir threw his poles of Norse gods, similar to totem poles, into the falls when he proclaimed he’d become a Christian.

An example of the power of the people: A hydroelectric power company came in to dam a waterfall. Farmers protested and “exploded the dam project.” Thirty-five people claimed, “I did it.” A few days later, the case died away. There was no one person to prosecute.

Along a road, I saw name signs and asked our guide Eirikur if they were the farmers’ names. “No, that’s the name of the farm. It has had the same name for many generations.”  He added, “To address a letter, write the person’s name, the name of the farm, and the 3-digit zip code.”

We passed through a small town and learned that first there had been only a boarding school. Children from remote farms boarded during the week and went home on the weekends. Then families of  school-children moved in to form a town. Their main industry is drying fish. I think I mentioned that dried codfish is Iceland’s main export.

There is no litter in Iceland, except a little–a paper cup rolling around on the floor, a page of newspaper skipping across the parking lot–at the metro bus depot in Reykjavik.

Fact: Icelanders are genetically 40% Irish and 60% Norwegian. When the settlers came to Iceland in the 800-900s, they stopped by Ireland to pick up some women.

I think that the Irish brought with them a great belief in the “Hidden People.” They are little people who live in rocks and borrow your glasses and car keys when you can’t find them. They are descendants of the first children of Adam and Eve. One day God visited Eve and asked to see her children. As it happened, she had been bathing them, so sent the clean ones out to meet God. The others, those still unwashed, were hidden and He never got to see them. Nowadays, very few of us humans can see them. But we know they are around for all the mischief they create.

A different breed of little people: the Trolls, who come out at night. If the sun shines upon them, they turn to stone. All over the Iceland we visited, they were pointed out to us as stone formations.

The Blue Lagoon is the largest of many warm-water pools in Iceland. The water is run-off from the filtered water used for heat and for hot water supplies in homes, offices, businesses. Even to clear driveways and sidewalks.

While standing shoulder deep in the soothing water, I spoke with a young woman from Seattle. She asked how long we were staying and when I told her until May 20th, she sputtered, “OH! How do you get to stay so long? I can stay only until Friday.” I told her we could stay because we are old and don’t work any more and have the time. The lesson is to stay healthy, grow old, and you, too, will have until the 20th.” She laughed and said, “That’s inspiring.” I hope she remembers.

To review the Blue Lagoon: When Joanie and I took a taxi from the international airport in Keflavik, 45 minutes to our hotel, we noticed that we were surrounded by a vast lava field from which steam or smoke spewed forth here and there. Then around a corner, we saw a cluster of large shiny steel buildings, and just beyond that, our hotel! In the US we don’t build nice hotels in industrial areas. We asked the hotel clerk and learned that what we thought was a factory was indeed a geothermal power plant in which ground water at 300 degrees C was filtered. A 100% renewable resource. Then we learned that the Blue Lagoon was an enormously popular tourist attraction. Hence the Northern Lights Hotel.

Iceland has no standing army. They do have Coast Guard, who literally guard and would defend the coastal areas. However, war has affected Iceland in that during  WWI, Britain needed wool for uniforms and Icelandic sheep farmers benefitted from that. May 10, 1940, Britain occupied Iceland as a base from which to patrol the North Atlantic for German submarines. July 7, 1941, seven months prior to Pearl Harbor, American troops arrived. They brought with them trucks and tractors which promoted mechanization of local farming. Just one example of the exchanges between two cultures. Before WWII, Iceland was one of the poorest countries; after WWII, it became one of the richest.

Iceland does claim to have been in one war; The Cod War, between local fisherman and British trawlers, who dragged nets two miles behind their boats. Icelandic fishermen cut the lines and that was that. At least, that is what I understood.

In conclusion, let me say that Joanie’s and my trip was an over-view, titled The Best of Iceland. We cannot become experts in 12 days, but I’m sure she will join me in sharing  enthusiasm for this small bright country. I can’t recall another country that has so stimulated my curiosity. I am still ordering and reading books about Iceland. I’d be happy to share these books. And I’d go again in a heartbeat.

Note: When you look at a map of Iceland, note how many place names end with vik. Vik means cove or bay. Note foss. That means waterfall. Ness, headland; kot, small farm. The language is ancient and fascinating.

 

 

 

What’s to Like?

The Settlement Period in Iceland began in the 870s when the fjords of western Norway became overcrowded. The story I heard was that in 874 a Norse chieftain, Ingolfur Arnarson, loaded his wife and children, several slaves, young livestock, and supplies onto a 54-foot boat with huge sails and a newly invented keel. They headed west 615 miles (SF-Portland, OR is 634) looking for new land. Sound familiar? Not unlike pioneers in America in the 1800s. To help him decide where to pull ashore, Ingolfur tossed two carved pillars into the sea and followed them to the area that he named Reykjavik, “Bay of Smokes.” They settled in. The fishing was good. It was so good and ingolfur was so thrilled with it, he neglected to plant grain for silage for his cows. In the winter, his cows died, and the family, tired of fish, fish, fish, loaded up and went back to Norway.

Others gave the land different names. One settler, upon leaving to return temporarily to Norway, worried that someone would come take what he called his, so he thought of a name that he was sure would discourage settlers, Iceland.

Unlike America, Iceland had no indigenous peoples. There weren’t even any animals. Just fish, sea-life, including 20 kinds of whales. The settlers brought with them sheep which are today a basic economic commodity. Lamb chops on the dinner plate. Shops full of Icelandic woolen sweaters, jackets, coats, hats, gloves, scarves, even bathing suits, and, in days gone by, underwear. Tells you something about the weather, doesn’t it?

Early Vikings brought horses, too. A small breed originally from Mongolia. These days, when any horses or sheep are taken off the island, they are not allowed re-entry because owners want to keep the breeds pure and to protect against diseases for which these animals have not developed immunity.

Farms’ original property lines were established by the man riding his horse for one day around the perimeter of the area he had chosen. A woman could have the area around which she could lead a cow in one day. Slaves also had their own land. Today, farms are still solitary family enterprises. humbled by the snow-mantled mountains and isolated from neighbors. Before roads, farmers walked or rode horses along trails for days to the nearest neighbor. Sociologists say that this life-style has produced people of resilience, resourcefulness, hardiness, and creativity.

The houses were framed with birch or driftwood with attached walls and roofs of turf, which was good insulation, plentiful, and free. Turf houses were built as late as the 1930s. We saw some earlier examples: low head-banging doorways, a long dark passage, kitchen with an open fireplace, storerooms, all the beds in the living room (stofa) where the main source of heat was sometimes that of living human bodies.

Stories and sagas told and retold in prose, poetry, and music remain a dominate passion of the Icelandic people. That love of story has translated into love of printed literature. The literacy rate is 99%. Book stores are prolific; people hang out, buy books for themselves and for their children, and have coffee. The coffee is wonderful; fragrant, rich, dark, never bitter. I, who have not had coffee in many years, enjoyed it with milk and a tiny chunk of sugar. In the old days, a traveling stranger could depend upon a welcome at an isolated farm house. Seeing a walker approaching along a path, a farmer would call to his wife, “Make coffee. Someone is coming.”

Joanie and I chatted with customers in the book stores and found everyone polite, gracious, curious, conversational, and considerate. Young men stepped aside, looked me in the eye, and smiled as I thanked them for letting me pass by. One would reach out to open the door. When I admired a child in a stroller, the mother paused, met my gaze, and thanked me, maybe told me her child’s name.

Iceland is small country, a little smaller than the state of Virginia, and the entire population is about 330,000. St Louis is 348,000, Colorado Springs, 360,000; Cincinnati, 332,000. Two-thirds of the people live in the Reykjavik urban area; the rest scattered on farms, in tiny villages, and in small towns. Anyone who has grown up in a really small town knows the unique feeling of security and comfort. Much of Iceland is like that.

Joanie and I noticed a homogeneity and cohesiveness among the people we met. We asked about immigration and were told, “Yes, we have quite a few Polish people now. They are good workers. We like good workers.” About 7% of the population is made up of foreigners.

We asked a young woman at the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik if she or her friends would like to move to another country. To the United States? “No,” she shook her head. “I would like to see New York, but I like living here. This is my home.”

The language has remained old Nordic. Everyone can read ancient texts and everyone speaks with the same accent today as a thousand years ago. They are proud of their Icelandic language and resist contaminating it with foreign words. The word for telephone is simi, which means cord. What do they call cordless phones?

I admire Iceland for having no standing army. We were told that in their only war, “The Cod War,” Icelandic fishermen cut the lines of British trawlers. And that was that.

I think what entrances me most about Iceland is its ancient stoic wisdom coupled with the enthusiasm of an adolescent. Iceland settlers had established their parliament by 930. After a few hundred years of self-governament, Norway took over for 600 years. Then Denmark. In 1918, Iceland became a sovereign state and in 1944 established independence in all affairs. So, you see, contemporary Iceland is just newly born. Full of ideas, familiar with women’s equality since 1914, eager rock-and-rollers, they embrace their identity and are joining the 21st century with sagacity, a high standard of living, and high spirits.

Velkomio til Is-land

Memories shift like loose powdery snow and, like the glaze of ice over water, memory may be too fragile to trust. But before the memories fade any more, I want to tell you something about the Road Scholar Trip to Iceland that fellow Friends House resident, Joanie Przekop, and I shared May 6-20.

We left Santa Rosa just about a month ago and flew from Oakland to Seattle-Tacoma where we waited two hours for the Icelandair flight to Kevlavik. While in Sea-Tac, we sat at a table to eat our peanut butter and honey sandwiches and noticed an attractive young couple nearby. When she stood, she carried a garment bag. “Oh, are going to a wedding?” I asked. She smiled and answered only, “Yes, we are.” Then he stood and he also carried a garment bag. “Oh,” I brilliantly proclaimed, “You, too!” He grinned, “Yes, we are going to our wedding. We are to be married in Iceland.” Talk about a destination wedding! I asked, “Why!” and she told us they had met while skiing there and wanted to return to that resort.

This little exchange was the first of many delightful moments during the next couple of weeks.

After a seven-hour overnight flight, we landed, found a taxi, and headed off across bleak and barren landscape to the Northern Lights Hotel in Grindavik on the Reykjanes Peninsula where the Road Scholars were to arrive the next afternoon. En route we noticed an industrial looking building of bright metal and around the corner from it, was, surprise!, our low, rambling hotel.IMG_8705 In the United States, industrial buildings are seldom right next door to good tourist hotels. Oh, well, we were in Iceland and the only thing we knew for sure was that we needed a shower, a nap and breakfast.

When I wakened, I read about the Blue Lagoon, a warm water bathing pool within walking distance, across the lava field, from the hotel. Then I understood why the industrial-looking building was so close. You may know that boiling hot water runs beneath Iceland’s surface. In strategic places, geothermal plants filter that water and send it in large insulated conduits across the landscape to heat the homes of Iceland. Offices, too; hospitals, schools, everything gets tap water, heating water, and elecricity. The filtered out mineral water is sent to a large depression where it slowly seeps back into the ground. This has become The Blue Lagoon around which changing rooms, showers, massage rooms, lunch rooms, gift shops, and thousands of tourists hover. So that is why the hotel is where it is. All because hot water coms out of the ground. Every town in Iceland has a warm water swimming hole. I was told, “There’s no reason to have a town without a pool.” Pools are social centers, therapeutic emotionally a well as physically.

When Joanie woke up, we scanned the breakfast buffet of cereals, yogurt, eggs, meats, cheeses, fruits, juice, wonderful breads, tea, and excellent coffee; the dining room so bright white and with so many windows, I needed sunglasses.

We walked over to the geothermal power plant. Steam spewed out the tall “smoke” stacks and fissures. Pipes, six feet in diameter, snaked around and off across the lava desert like red blood vessels. I could believe that Iceland has almost 100% renewable energy.IMG_8699

The sun shone brightly on the clear 4-degree C afternoon (that’s 40 degrees F). The landscape is harsh, bare, tough, unforgiving. Not one bit gentle. It looks like a wasteland, but isn’t. Instead, it is “new.” Eventually the lava will break down to become rich soil. For now, the dominant colors are black, brown, tan, with splatters of white mineral. I wondered how such an environment has honed the strength and determination among the people. Hannah Kent, in Burial Rites, says, “Iceland’s is a cold and formidable landscape that is as stark as the people who inhabit it.”

Joanie and I didn’t find the people stark. Quite the contrary.

The name, Friends House, sometimes leads to confusion. Two years ago, when I told my friends I was moving, some of them who didn’t realize that Quakers call themselves Friends, understood me to say I was moving to a friend’s house, and asked, “Who?”

I explained that Quakers call themselves Friends and this community is called Friends House. “The term is a reflection of the belief in equality among fellow human beings seeing ‘that of God’ in everyone. The label of ‘Friends’ was taken from words in the Gospel of John 15 following the parable of the Vine and the Branches.”

About a third of our population here are Quakers. In reality, I have, after all, moved to a house of friends…Quakers or not. I realized it this morning as I took my cereal bowl and mug and headed over to the oatmeal in Commons C. Not six feet out the door, I was greeted by Bev, a most competent Assisted Living staff person. She paused and pointed out the fragrant Cecil Bruner roses that arch over an old trellis. Then Margaret came, pushing her walker along to the Eight O’clock Reading Group, thus alerting me that only a few minutes remained before I began to read aloud Morris Dees’s A Lawyer’s Journey (1991) to Nancy, Dorothy, Margaret, and Marie.

I decided to forgo the oatmeal and filled my mug with hot water for tea. Standing next to me was Betty, who always has a cheerful report about a grandchild or a bit of personal history. Heading back to my Hutch, I encountered Anne who asked about a Garden Mensch, whatever that is! And Ruth waved as she loped up the office on an errand.

So the day has gone. Charlotte showed me her newly planted herb garden. Mary chuckled about yesterday’s grand slam in bridge. Nancy waved from her doorway down the walk.

Lynn called at one o’clock, “Just to remind you that today’s yoga is at two o’clock. Best to have lunch an hour before.”

Joanie told me, “I raked up leaves and left them in a pile, planning to gather them into a bag to put into the yard-waste bin, but when I went out to do that, they were gone. Hmmmm, who might have done that? I asked someone and was told, ‘Joe picked them up and put them in the bin.'”

“That Joe,” Joanie breathed. “He’s such a good guy. One of many around here.”

Joe is the computer tutor who comes to my rescue when I sigh with frustration. I’ve mentioned Joe to you before.

After yoga, I’ll walk over to John and Polly’s because she will lend me her walking sticks and show me how to use them so I can take them when Joanie and I go with Road Scholar to Iceland next week.

No doubt about it, I live in a community, a Quaker inspired community, of friends.

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