Reflections on Aging #OpenBookBlogHop

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is:  “What’s something you look forward to as you age? And what do you miss from your youth?”

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I turned sixty in June of this year, but I don’t look or sound like I’m sixty, and I certainly don’t feel old, despite minor health issues. Someone told me that the reason I don’t have gray hair is that I’ve never had children. Wow, can you imagine what would happen if everybody believed the secret to not having gray hair is to not have children? But I digress.

Since I turned sixty a couple of months ago, I’ve already been enjoying the benefit of eating breakfast or lunch for only $5 at The Hub on Smith, A Center for All Generations. This facility is primarily for senior citizens, but all are welcome.

By the way, my singing group, Just Harmony, will perform there tomorrow, August 4th, at noon during lunch. You can watch this event live on Facebook, and it will be recorded. See below for details.

But I’m digressing again, aren’t I? This is what can happen when you grow old. Anyway, I’m looking forward to enjoying senior discounts at restaurants and other establishments. I also understand that if I were to join the American Association of Retired Persons, I would get even more benefits.

What do I miss from my youth? Well, the only thing I can think of is the fact that my bones aren’t as strong as they used to be. I’m more afraid of falling than I was in my younger years. Many older adults end up in nursing homes because of little tumbles from which young people can pick themselves up and dust themselves off. Although most can usually return home, it’s not the same. They may be forced to use a walker or wheelchair for the rest of their lives and/or depend on someone to help them with the simplest tasks of personal care.

Since I have no one whom I would want to burden with my care, I’m doing my best to remain upright for as long as I can. Since I’m thankful not to have succumbed to dementia, a stroke, or other conditions faced by the aging, I’m not complaining.

So, how about you? What do you look forward to in your old age? What do you miss from your younger years? You can leave your answers in the comment field below, or click here to participate in this week’s blog hop. I look forward to reading your answers.

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And now, I’m pleased to announce that I’ll again be performing at The Hub on Smith tomorrow, August 4th, at noon, this time with my group, Just Harmony. We’re a bunch of women who sing mostly barbershop but other styles of choral music as well. This event will also be broadcast live on Facebook, and a recording will be available later. Click here to visit the event’s Facebook page, and mark your calendar. See you there!

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

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New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Image contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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Thursday Book Feature: Our Souls At Night

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Our Souls At Night

by Kent Haruf

Copyright 2015.

 

In Kent Haruf’s last novel, published posthumously, Addie, a widow, is lonely after the death of her husband. In desperation, she asks her long-time neighbor, Louis, a widower, to spend nights in her bed, keeping her company. Their relationship blossoms from friendship to romance amid gossip from people in the small town where they live and despite their families’ objections.

From the beginning, this author takes us directly into the story with little description of the setting. As the story progresses, we learn about our main characters’ lives through dialog instead of paragraphs of narrative back story. All this make Our Souls at Night a sweet story about two people finding happiness in their older years. The ending, though, leaves a lot to be desired.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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Thursday Book Feature: Breakfast at the Good Hope Home

Breakfast at the Good Hope Home

By Mike Bayles

Copyright 2017

 

Through prose and poetry, this novella describes how a young man deals with his father being placed in a nursing home after he is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. In ninety-six pages, the author details the last eight years of the father’s life and how the son and his mother cope. Besides the story and poems, all told from the son’s point of view, the book also includes historical and other information about Alzheimer’s Disease.

When I first read an interview with Mike Bayles on the blog, Scan, in which he talks about the book, I found it intriguing, having once been a registered music therapist working with nursing home residents afflicted by dementia. I was disconcerted by the fact that none of the characters have names except for Becky, the certified nursing assistant at the Good Hope Home who cares for the young man’s father. Then again, this story is short. It only took me about an hour to read with my Amazon Echo device. That doesn’t give readers a lot of time to connect with characters, so I can see why the author didn’t name many of them. Since nurses’ aides in skilled care facilities play a more pivotal role in the care of such residents, I can understand why Mike Bayles gave her a name.

Eight years is a long time to watch the slow decline of a loved one with dementia, so I’m glad this story is mercifully short. I recommend it to anyone dealing with Alzheimer’s. It would also make a great training tool for health care professionals learning to work with such patients.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

Maroon Dream

I posted this poem here five years ago but am re-blogging it in response to a daily prompt. It was published in Serendipity Poets Journal in 2013. You can click below to hear me read it.

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https://soundcloud.com/user-91961896/maroon-dream/s-i0YUt

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Maroon Dream

As a teen-ager, I loved Grandma’s maroon Cadillac,

its soft, red velvet seats,

automatic windows, stereo speakers,

longed to take the wheel,

cruise up and down Main Street, radio blasting,

have fun fun fun till my granny took the caddy away.

I could never hold the wheel,

put the pedal to the medal.

With eyes that only saw objects and people up close in color,

I could only sit in the passenger seat

while Grandma negotiated the roads,

as we drove to the movies

or to the park for ice cream.

Through the years,

Grandma’s driving became more cautious, less certain.

Eventually, she sat in the passenger seat, said nothing

while I rode in back—

Dad drove us to restaurants or the theater.

When Grandma left this world,

her car and other possessions were sold.

Someone else drives her maroon Cadillac,

lucky to have such a car.

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Who first taught you how to drive? Did you ever cruise Main Street?

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

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The Healing Voice

Sunlight streams in through large windows

of the room where we sit,

some like me in wheelchairs,

others on couches, in armchairs,

a few with walkers in front of them.

Some shout, cry, wander, fight.

Others, like me, watch the passing world.

The television talks–no one listens.

 

Then she appears, guitar in hand,

asks if we’re ready for some music.

TV silent, she stands,

strums the guitar, sings favorite songs,

knows our names.

Nothing else matters when her voice

fills each corner of the room.

I love to sing,

wish she would stay forever.

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I recently received word that the above poem won second place in a contest sponsored by Magnets and Ladders, an online magazine featuring work by authors with disabilities. It will appear in the fall/winter issue. Click below to hear me read it.

 

 

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.