Monthly Archives: March 2014

Old is Great! Take 2 (who knows what happened to Take 1)

Okay, we all know getting old is tough sometimes, as Bette Davis said “growing old isn’t for sissies” That quote right there tells you something about getting old because I could have sworn it was Dr. Seuss who said it in his book, You’re Only Old Once, . But maybe he didn’t. That just goes to show how old I’m getting.

But anyway, it has been documented at least twice that you have got to be a tough old bird to be an alive old bird so I figure, enough’s been said, and much better than I could say it, about how hard it is to be old.

I think it is time someone old like me (67 this year) pointed out the really good things about being old so that all the kids don’t give up before they get here. By kids I mean anyone under the age of 50 which is when AARP sends you an invitation or 55 when a few grocery stores start giving you a discount on Wednesdays, if you are willing to tell them how old you are Younger than that and you are still a child to those of a certain age (and who knows what that means because nobody ever says exactly what that certain age is!).

So, Kids, here are some great things to look forward to (besides the afore-mentioned senior discounts):

Parking spaces just for you, marked Senior Citizens Parking, in your church or synagogue lot
An excuse to wear sneakers everyday if you want to
People tell you how beautiful your white hair is and how they would let their gray grow out if only it looked as good as yours does which they claim to know it doesn’t, but since they have been coloring it since they were 16 they really aren’t sure if they have gray hair at all
Your wrinkles illustrate the person you’ve been all your life–this could be good or bad depending–but if you’ve spent the past 60 or so years finding the good and the funny, your laugh lines frame your face and put quotation marks around your sparkling eyes
You don’t have to wonder who your best friends are even if you have a hard time remembering their phone numbers because they are programmed into your cell phone so you just punch their names on your favorites list
You get to volunteer for jobs you couldn’t afford to have a career doing
Nobody gets laid off or downsized from a volunteer job
People who volunteer get thanked
If you find you don’t like your volunteer job, you pick a different one next time
You are happy you can__________________: walk, see, hear, open the pickles—there are a lot of things that can fill in that blank
You only get up to see the sunrise if you want to and then it is really beautiful
Rainy days are better now that you get to get a second cup of coffee and read a good book
Snowy days are better now that you aren’t trying to make your way home from work after the roads have been closed
Finally you have time and energy all in the same place at the same moment
There are 15 things to look forward to that I know about, Kids, and I am just a beginner at being old. When I get really, really old, say 68, just think how great it will be!



I Was Sold for a Nickel

Shel Silverstein ( and my brother would have been good friends, if they had lived near each other when they were seven years old. Shel was ten years older than my brother and born in a different place, but they had one thing in common apparently: each thought a sister would bring a good price if sold to the right person. (

Next week is my big brother’s birthday. He is seven years older than I am and when he was seven, playing cowboys and Indians was a big thing. When he found out he was getting a sibling, he requested a specific type: an Indian brother. Imagine his disappointment when he got me. I wasn’t Tonto and I wasn’t even a boy. What good would I be? Maybe he could cut his losses or even make a profit if he found the right buyer. Our Uncle Russell was the likely target–he already had a girl and he liked her so maybe he’d want another one. Perhaps, if our parents decided to try again, my brother would have better luck with his request.

So on the day I was brought home from the hospital, according to the entrepreneur now 74 years old, he offered Uncle Russell a real deal–me for a nickel. I must have known this story all my life, but somehow I had blocked it from memory until this weekend when we went up to Knoxville to celebrate his birthday. He reminded me that he had gotten a nickel for me, but then Uncle Russell refused to take me home. He had gotten stuck with a sister who wasn’t even Indian. I think he kept the nickel, too, so in my opinion, he really came out ahead, but that may not have been his opinion.

I checked and 1947’s nickel would have bought a one ounce Hershey bar back then. Today that nickel is worth between $2.20 and $4.00 ( Hershey bars are worth about $.42 an ounce in today’s inflated money. There’s a lot of math involved which my brother got the genius Gene for, but I think if he saved his nickel, he could get a lot more chocolate now by trading it in for cash.

I don’t know if he’s got that nickel or not, but I do know that since he was stuck with me, he took his burden on like a true big brother, an honorable cowboy, a good guy. Oh, sure, there were those moments when he acted like a regular brother. Like the time he told me I could swing a bucket of warm cow’s milk fresh from the cow over my head without spilling it. Or the time he locked his bedroom door and climbed out his window to keep me from going in his room when he was gone (he thought I broke his stuff!). Or the time he caught me with Daddy’s big ladder propped up on a tree in order to harvest wild muscadines.

 But when it came down to it, he was always looking out for me. When our mama got sick and was in the hospital. Who ironed my little dresses with the puffy sleeves? You guessed it. My brother. When I got married, who let me have my wedding reception at their house? Yep, my brother and his very wonderful wife! When I thought I wanted special house plans drawn up for me and my new husband, who drew them for free? Uh huh! Him again. When our mom was sick that last time, who was always there during the week while I was in school in Atlanta and who opened their house for me and my family every weekend so I could be with mama? Yes, my brother and his wife. And after our daddy died, too, who made certain I received all of the family treasures I wanted to remember them by? My big brother.

So this weekend, to be sure he was compensated for his nickel, we stopped by Cracker Barrel and bought him a whole coca cola cake ( As you can see from the hyperlink, it is double chocolate fudge and though I have the recipe, they make it better than I do. Full disclosure here, I did eat at least 2.5 pieces myself, but I think he got his nickel’s worth. I hope he thinks so, too.

Happy Birthday, big brother! I love you. 

If someone says your face looks like a prune, please don’t take offense.

If you have a macular hole and you get surgery on it, it is just a little bitty surgery. They don’t even put you all the way to sleep. Just numb your eyeball, suck out the vitreous fluid in the middle of your eye, repair the hole, shoot the cavity up with an air/gas bubble, and presto, you’re done. Except for one or two things. Depending on the mixture of gas and whether you’ve had cataract surgery before or not, you’re recovery will vary. With a weaker gas mixture that dissipates in about three weeks, you get to stay face down for a week. What’s fun about that? Well, what’s fun about that……surely there is something fun about that.

  1. You get a good look at you toes.
  2. If anybody’s lost money, you’ll be richer.
  3. Books, Ipad, laptops, crossword puzzles, and art supplies can all be place right beneath your nose.
  4. Maybe you’ll stretch your back muscles and downward dog will be easier from now on.

But, if none of this sounds fun to you, not to worry. You have another option. Get the cataract surgery first, then when that heals they can put a stronger mixture of the air/gas bubble and you don’t have to be face down at all. There are a few drawbacks to this option, too.

  1. It takes 8-10 weeks for the gas to dissipate.
  2. You have to sleep on your side, but not face down.
  3. You can’t go anywhere that your ears will pop because…..yes, you guessed it…..your eye could also respond to the added pressure and pop, too.

With either option, your eyesight is going to be compromised for a while, but with a macular hole, it is already. In the eye with the hole, you can see things in a very unique way. Straight parallel lines appear to go into the distance and meet in the middle like an hourglass. If only you could click that image and save it in I-photo, it would be fun to share with your friends. Faces are very funny to look at through a macular hole. Depending on where you look at the people, they can appear to shrivel up like a prune and their noses disappear into their mouths.

 I’d never heard of a macular hole before March 10. See what an education old age can bring. I am almost a doctor now. I wonder if there is a test you can take and if you pass it, they automatically give you your license to practice medicine, or at least be a consultant or something. I may have a new career budding. Elderly specialist. Marie Patty, El.S. or Doctor of Antiquities. D.A. but that might be confused with an attorney. Maybe, Ph.O. Marie, no maybe for this I should use my first name, Ethel.  Ethel M. Patty, Ph.O. Ethel sounds older than old, maybe prehistoric. I’ll go with that!