(A lil' blog on a dotty hill somewhere)

Monday, March 9

"Old Age Begins Now"



"You know, Michael, old age begins now!" she said, with a sparkle in her eye.

Yes, that's Bettie for you — an elderly woman we often see sitting in the big leather chair by the corner window of our favourite place in old town, The Little Bird Bakeshop. The first thing that drew me to her, of all things actually, was her wonderful white curly hair atop her floral bandana silk scarf. This woman, needless to say, has style! Dressed in a rather bohemian yet classy fashion, she might even strike you as a type of contemporary older version of Audrey Hepburn. Sipping her tea whilst enjoying a warmed up morning croissant, she can often be found with either a few books on hand, writing and drawing in a notepad, or perusing the Arts section of the New York Times.  She reminds me some of my mother's marvelous older friends back in London days — characters who marched to the beat of a different drum, full of interesting stories, perspectives, and a life to show for it. I just had to know more.

"Hi, I don't know if anyone's ever told you this, but you really have amazing hair! I love it, all bunched up like that. In fact, I was just commenting about it to my wife when she suggested I come over and tell you..." Beaming from ear to ear, Bettie looked up and replied, "Really?! Why, thank you!" From then on, each time we see her, we make a point of saying hello. Every visit, we seem to learn something new and fascinating about this lovely curious woman.

Once, I actually asked her if she ever did yoga since Alex thought she may well have, seeming so nimble. Not only does she, but even gets up each morning, exercises and mixes in her own "made-up" Tia-chi, to boot! As she noted, "People always say, 'Oh you're so lucky to be so small!' but I tell them, 'Ha, I work at it!'" Just this morning, actually, we learned that she hasn't owned a car in over 20 years, preferring to walk everywhere. "Freedom!" I chuckled, upon which she shared how she actually made the conscious determination when she was only 15 to take care of her body, having grown up in a rather obese Italian family. "Well, you're certainly an inspiration for us, let me tell you! We need to get back into shape ourselves." That's when she remedied with the above reminder, adding, "You're never too young or too old, for that matter, to start... We're getting older every day!"

Mulling over her words later on, Alexandra kicked into her mentor-like enthusiastic fashion, prodding me to start something new myself! To be fair, I've been rather in a slump as of late, needing to push away the years of auto-piloting where I let the hurts and losses of the past too easily rob me of dreams of the future, let alone fully enjoying the present. As Alex rightly noted, I thrive when choosing to focus on the things of everyday life that lift up and encourage others around me. One such avenue is writing where I can capture the moments that then, in turn, motivate me in my creative pursuits as well. So here I am, ready to give this blogging another go, ready to rise up and live a more radiant life, connecting with others along the way.


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21 comments

  1. Come be the FIRST person to comment on this new blog...other than me, that is! :)

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  2. a more radiant life, that sounds wonderful! I enjoyed my visit here, best wishes to you and your lovely wife!

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    1. thank you, Laurie good to hear from you. It's been ages! Hope you are well.

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  3. She certainly does sound like a wonderful lady! Great idea to have a dedicated area for CT and such a great first post with such a gorgeous picture. I agree you certainly do have a gift for writing and also encouraging other people, which shows in this group.

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    1. thank you Linda. you make it easy, you know. :)

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  4. Wonderful new blog! I made a flower last night then decided it might violate copyright so back to work!

    And thanks to Alex for getting you going on this as you are a wonderful writer. You should write a book! I would buy it!

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    1. Aw, that really touches me, Christine. you are the best. Thank you.

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  5. Yes, Michael you are a storyteller. I think this kind of human interest stories is what we all long for. This little lady is going to be your "Elizabeth"...my little 98 year old friend.
    In fact, the post above the one you commented on was a story from my past. That's what I've been feeling like doing...writing my stories.

    I love this new blog, and I love you and Alex.....Hugs to you both...and I'll keep in touch.

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    1. Yes, you do that, Wanda! So, did I miss I a story? Read that one from the car wash from your past but will check again. I love it when peeps share stories form all tier years. there's so much out there to be heard.

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  6. Michael, I AM THRILLED to see you are back writing - I've missed your stories and views on life and living! Your art is amazing and I always stop by to see the latest creation, but it's posts like this that I love, and did for all those years back when things were tough and you were sad. Thank you dear and beautiful Alex for telling him to sally forth again - this has made my day, my week - make sure you keep it up Mr. Toast - stories to tell and places to go!

    I'd like that Ms. Betty too - she has it together by sound of it - but I bet you'd still win the best hair prize, tehe!!!!

    Hugs to you both - Mary (the aging Brit in North Carolina)

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    1. Wow, now Mary. That really super touched me. Thank you for writing that and being that you ere there through the thick of it and hardest parts and even knowing you've kep up n my art from afar really blesses me. Thank you. Alex has been the wind in my sails on too many occasions but I so thankful for that as I wasn't very good at being alone.

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  7. Sweet story...lovely little shop!

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    1. Thank you, Betsy! Long time no see. Hope you and the far too grown "kids" are well! Time marches on!

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  8. it's always good to start new and starting new blogs is like a hobby of mine and so I like seeing other people start new blogs as well. I think starting in a new place gives you an excuse and perhaps a reason to change things a little, even if it's a very small change. plus, there's something exciting about leaving all your baggage behind and start fresh that revives a person's perspective.

    that Betty is right and she sounds like someone who truly knows how to live.

    anyway, happy blogging! & have a lovely day.

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    1. I love what you write here, Lissa. so true on what new starts online offer. You of all peeps get that. You and Alex have new blogs down to science.

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  9. Just finished my post for next Tuesday as hubby is taking me away for a mystery 3 days. Love your new blog and my link is now to this blog. I hope that is right. I am hoping to get a friend to link it for me.
    Blessings,
    Janis

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  10. Oooh...a mystery three days?! Whoo. You can keep link to CT blog and just sign up here when the due date comes and I have the sing up. either way. You will have a whole day to do it. If need be, let me know the URL to your post and I will add you on the tuesday due, if that works for you. Thank you for finding the time!

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  11. Betty indeed sounds to be very inspirational person. People like that are like breath of fresh air :) I started to follow your new blog. Lovely stories you have. I write more personal stuff to my Finnish blog. It's easier for me with the native language.

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    1. While I can;t read Finnish, I have read along where able, niina! thank you for your comment here.

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  12. I sure enjoyed your story. You have the right to write. Oh wow!

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    1. Ha, thank you Carolann! Sorry I did not see this sooner for some reason but glad to respond accordingly now.

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