The Journey - Chapter 1

A Look At Aging

Older couple painting by Normal Long: mat from my collection of old ads & calalogs.
Older couple painting by Normal Long: mat from my collection of old ads & calalogs.

It's a special journey which began with our birth, now taking us into our "Golden Years". In all our times, we're different, individuals, - each bringing along a distillate of the preceding years, each with rich experiences and loves, families and others whose lives were touched, with lessons learned and wisdom attained which the years bestowed. Let us share some of it with you now and here, in our questions and their answers which will follow.

This is Chapter 1 of 16 Chapters written by 16 hub authors. A new Chapter was published by a participating author, through Chapter 16 and are linked to each other at the bottom of each hub.

I was chosen to kick off this fascinating series on Aging because, at 80 and quick-stepping forward, I am the most - er - mature member of the team. So I hereby claim the privilege of my antique immunity for anything I say or place here on my kickoff hub or in my answers to the others' questions!

Growing pains

At any age!

______© Nellieanna H. Hay

Seeing darkly - gone.

I see face to face.

The soul glows brightly

All about the dream

Astounding me

Whilst light's stream

Surrounding me

Does dimness replace

As I move along

My golden journey's pace.

______© Nellieanna H. Hay

My Question

What have you expected of life so far and how do you expect it to continue?

The Answers


My answer: Expectation played scant role when I was young. At the ranch every June till September, I joined in timeless existence, days’ beginnings marked by roosters crowing and coffeepot brewing on wood cook stove, where a pot of frijoles simmered on another burner. Days' endings were marked by sounds of livestock and people settling in, kerosene lamps lit by which to eat frijoles and cornbread before retiring. Times of intense expectation were when Daddy was to come from town. If he didn't arrive when expected, it was unbearable. That happened if Devil's River flooded and the highway bridge was washed away. As I grew, projects and semesters begun and completed measured time. During WWII, I lived in expectation of my brother’s return from duty.

I hoped to be heard by elder siblings occasionally, but - unlikely; I didn't hold my breath. I proceeded with my own projects and plans; that way, I was assured of outcomes. Growing up, challenges brought more to expect, but I'd internalized an internal serenity which focused on the now, doing what could be DONE rather than expecting something other than good outcomes. Often, they came.

It's likely to continue for my next 20 or so years!


His answer: My expectations of life are, that I as a human being can and will do whatever I can to help others and to do what I can to help guide the world toward a better future. Further, I expect that not only myself, but every person should strive to do the same. This is not realistic in every case, but it is valuable and I hope in some small way that it comes to fruition.

Mark Weller (Curiad)


His answer: When I was a younger man I didn’t expect my life would improve from the hand I was dealt. However once I met my mentor at 15 my whole world changed and he opened up doors for me that I thought were permanently closed. I expected so much as my teacher taught and I listened and absorbed his scholarly wisdom. He was a senior at the time just turning sixty and here I am now turning into a senior as well. I expect my life will continue on the learning curve, as I am so dedicated to staying healthy and an active senior thirsting for each new day. For me it all starts with attitude, as a senior if I want to wallow in depression I can do that easily enough. But knowing that father time is ticking away and I am on the other side of the mountain watching the sunset, I want to live a life of helping younger people achieve some of their goals from the many lessons taught to me by my teachers in life. Let’s all as seniors keep a healthy attitude and it will definitely pay us dividends.

Vincent Moore


Her answer: I began this journey with high hopes and dreams, convinced by my grandmother I was destined for something special. Then, Life happened; my pathway evolved through bumps, potholes, 45-degree turns and major detours.

Higher education was postponed for marriage and motherhood. The marriage ended, but produced my beloved children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

As a “displaced homemaker” in the ‘70s, I ventured to college and the workplace. Another crossroad: choosing a career path later than ‘norm’. For more than a quarter century that choice provided stability and fulfillment.

Then my journey morphed again—twice. I remarried…and divorced. A serious accident ended my career abruptly. Both events led me to appreciate “silver lining” theories. Marriage brought me to the right place to care for Mother in her dotage, an immeasurable blessing. Early retirement gave me time and opportunity to pursue creative writing.

What did I learn from these twists and turns? Informed decisions are best, but results are not guaranteed.

Flexibility is a trait I developed of necessity; it serves me well. I believe it will do so as long as I live. Pine trees sway in a strong wind without breaking; so do I.

So, thankfully, do I.


Her answer: The funny thing is, I've never expected anything from life. I think I've just looked at it as my life and what happens is what I deal with. Of course I'd like to be a millionaire, but that's not happening. I'd like to be healthy and for the most part I am. I want my family to be happy and healthy and so far they are.

I guess I don't have a lot of expectations. The main thing I want from life is the love I am surrounded with and the ability and health to enjoy it as long as I possibly can.


His answer: I have several times in life thought that the path ahead was clear and would be a matter of progressing along that path for the duration. For good or for ill, however, circumstances change, other people change, you change as you mature (which is a long process and another subject). Change is a fact of life. So, those earliest expectations were not met with success, and a Plan B evolved, interrupted by the draft and an unwanted but broadening experience in the U.S. Army for two years. I did not, early on, have the expectation of a college education, but started college at the age of 29, and finished in three years. I had a goal of teaching at the college level. Again, change came. Sometimes these life-altering experiences were instigated by me, others came as a surprise.

I had not expected to be a parent, yet became one at age 48, to a wonderful daughter. Then I was, overnight, a single parent 6 years later . I expected to be married once, for life. Married more than once, I now have a relationship that is loving and reciprocal.

Whether due to poor planning on my part or chance, reinvention seems to be a theme. I am again in that process now. Do I expect it to continue? Yes, I learn every day; I explore every day. I could have planned better, anyone can, but the winds of change blow from every direction.


His answer: As a child, I expected love and to be taken care of. My expectations were always met, though I didn't understand being scolded for climbing so high in trees. As a teenager, my expectations evolved a bit because I was given responsibilities like mowing the yard and other chores around the house. My expectations were marked with a price. The free ride was over.

I soon had my first real job working at a local Pepsi Cola bottling plant. I expected to keep that job forever at the time....but...I found I could make twice as much money in a compressor factory. I expected my new job to be wonderful and after the first night of work....I hated it! Three months later I took a job at another factory. I expected it to be better and it was but I still hated working in that type of environment. I simply began to accept my situation.

I worked through the weeks and chased girls on the weekends. In those days, Friday night to Sunday night was earmarked for party time. I expected to find lovers at and did. Finding love was a whole different search. I expected love to hit me like a bolt of lightning and it did, but it wasn't until I was 33 years happened!

After falling head over heels, I expected the bliss of love's winds to sail us into the bright beautiful future. Somehow...too soon...I was back mowing the yard. It wasn't long before I was yelling at our children to get out of trees and having them mow the yard. I expected the same frowns that I had given my parents....our kids didn't let me down.

Now we have grandchildren and I smile when I see the same circle of life spinning in their lives. I've always expected love, work and enjoying the fruits of our labors. I expect it will continue because I care enough to have expectations.

Tom Cornett


Her answer: When I was very young, I found life to be amazing, mysterious, and powerful. What was this secret pulse that ran through my kitten, animating it in a way that could never happen to my doll? I came to the conclusion that it was more than just a gift; it was a rare and precious privilege to breathe and move and think. Try as I might, my crayons and scissors could create nothing in comparison. One day, as I watched my hand move a paintbrush across the paper to create something with colour, form and depth, I had a moment of realization. If such a simple thing as a paintbrush could work such wonders, if it could create the illusion of a three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional surface, just imagine what a living, breathing girl could do! There it was: the answer. Without me, the piano is silent. Without me, the canvas lies stark white. So my answer is, I expect nothing of life but I do expect if of myself. I am the paintbrush and the keyboard come alive. My life is a creation of joys and sorrows, sunlight and shadows, melodic runs and heart-wrenching minor keys. My days will continue as they will. My joy in life will continue as long as I will.


His answer: I have, as of late, stop expecting so much at this point of my life. When I was 35, I expected to retire from a noble profession with a title of being "the best," at something. I was not greedy. I didn't want all of the good things, just one: to be "the Best," at something so I could tell my grandkids how I achieved that goal. But now, with my physical obstacles, being "the Best," is out of reach. I am now just content to "be."


Her answer: I have always expected life to be basically good if you worked hard, made good choices, and trusted God to lead you in the right way. Pretty much that is the way it has worked out, with a few exceptions.

What has been surprising for me is to find out that you can do all those things, and bad things will still sometimes happen. There have always been some bumps along the road, but I never expected the road to lead over the edge of a cliff – and turns out – sometimes it does.

From this point on, I expect to be less surprised by the twists and turns in my road. And I’m now packing an emotional parachute for those unexpected cliffs. I don’t expect I’ve seen the last of those. But as the saying goes: Where God leads, He provides.

Kathleen Cochran


His answer: Honestly, my expectations have been few; I think this trend will continue throughout life’s duration. Although not expecting anything but death and taxes here, I’m filled with blessed hope: Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” My faith rests upon Christ’s promises; my confidence in Him provides courage and hope.

Courage gained from following Christ allows surviving and thriving on a planet lacking guarantees. A student of history, I’m aware that many people of antiquity set sites on lofty goals, only to get them shot down eventually, or saw expectations bear fruit, but surrendered temporal gains to the grave.
I believe two greatest causes of life’s disappointment are unrealistic and unfulfilled expectations; best to avoid them like Plague. Living by the “Golden Mean” and the “Golden Rule”, I don’t expect others to follow suit. Believing in a loving and all-powerful Creator, I don’t expect others to share my beliefs. Believing that to have a true friend one must be a true friend, I don’t expect others to agree.
Living many years, I’ve concluded that the safe presumptions are birth and death…further expectation is mere speculation, wishful thinking. It’s one reason I’ve set my sites on the hereafter, placing all my eggs in Christ’s basket. Although this world is rife with death, disease, evil, greed, hunger, sin, sickness, suffering, uncertainty and violence, I know God will fulfill His promises. I expect nothing less from Him.


Her answer: By twelve I was aware that my parents had lost a lot in life, so I expected my life to be hard, filled with obstacles and challenges. But my parents also had resilient personalities, strong moral character, and an abiding faith in God. So I expected to navigate the ups and downs of life; to have disloyal friends and friends who were closer than a brother, to be bitterly disappointed and to be amazingly blessed, to give up much and to receive much, to endure turbulence and to enjoy peace, to be bent low under the weight of great sorrow and to dance and sing with great joy. My life has not been easy, and often I was not happy. But I was content, determined, able to endure the bad long enough to see the coming of the good, and I experienced much joy. I expect the future will mirror the past; there will be hard times to endure and there will be contentment, friendship, the love of children, joy, beauty, language, music – there will be many good gifts.


His answer: For me, expectations are one of those evolving elements of maturity. As I've said to my children, it's not so much that we continue to acquire more knowledge as we age, but we just gain more perspective and understanding of distinctions. Dealing with expectations is one of those. When I was in my twenties, I expected certain things to be absolutes - that I'd always have solid relationships, that my career and life choices would come together, etc. and I was impatient waiting for it to "happen" as I grew older. In my thirties, I began thinking about the larger span of life and what I wanted to see happen - we had children, things started taking shape, etc. Then came the slap-in-the-face forties, where I began seeing some of the consequences of my earlier actions or inactions, and in many ways, it stopped me in my tracks. As I move closer to my fifties, I'm gaining a more peaceful perspective of the natural order of things, which I'm happy to say I'm looking forward to experiencing.

Greg (aka: Gerg)


His answer: Expectations lead to disappointments. From childhood through early adulthood, I was unaware that others’ expectations and the interconnected and interdependent world could be negative.

There are reasonable expectations. Boarding public transportation, I’ve essential trust in the vehicles’ operators being sober, competent, skillful and attentive necessary to protect my well-being throughout the journey, a reasonable expectation generally taken for granted.

Traveling life’s journey, we share reasonable expectations of others’ civility. Human nature’s exceptions to rules range from rude behavior to antisocial outbursts to criminal, psychopathic violence. We’ve reasonable expectation of law enforcement personnel’s protecting us from aberrant behavior outside society’s norms and government’s roles to secure public safety.

I entered marriage with unreasonable expectations. These expectations had roots in religious, cultural traditions which I’d accepted and personally adopted. Marital gender roles were narrowly defined in my family; not in hers. Divorce was an option in her family; not in mine. Mine was the first divorce recorded on our family tree. I expected my wife to tolerate any behavior of mine and remain in the marriage. I was wrong; expectations led to disappointment.

We may expect our ‘others’ to read minds, to know our wants, needs, struggles and boundaries without our expressing them. We’re disappointed when our needs are unmet or our boundaries violated. believing ‘they should know better’. They should not and cannot.

Since releasing unreasonable expectations, I’m rarely disappointed. I’m happier and intend to continue being happy whatever my circumstances.


His answer: I know that I've always wanted some sort of security, especially in such things as employment, health care, and personal freedom. I'm 76 now and retired and have had all these things, but can't recall that I expected them early on. I just kept breathing and the days passed by. I expect my pension income and health care to continue. More than anything else today is that I want to enjoy the love and caring that comes with having children. I was married quite young and helped raise four sons. They all share my love of the great outdoors and our great natural resources. I now have ten grandchildren and a great grandson. It's a good life.


His answer: I suppose my expectations have changed with the years. The idealism of my youth expected life to be fair. The years have taught me that life is anything but fair. Bad things happen to good people and I am left to reason why or to make lemonade, as they say, from lemons. It isn’t cynicism with which I walk the road ahead. It is in the knowledge that life owes me nothing. That leaves me with hope instead of expectation. Whatever I am left with in the end, is made from ruin and rubble, put back together with a refusal to surrender and clothed in the love of those around me. I expect that life will fall, with equal measure, both in rain and in glorious sun upon my life. I’ve learned that sunlight is better reflected in people than in the collection of things. I’ve learned that the love around us is our umbrella when it rains and I’ve learned that umbrellas come in different sizes. Life isn’t fair, but, if you get a big umbrella, you don’t notice it as much!

Holding on to our dreams ~ and living them!

George Hay - mid-1990s
George Hay - mid-1990s

I add this music in my George's memory. At 70+, he's wearing his Hay tartan cap, given him at retirement, 'swooshing' a sip of margarita, cruising San Antonio's Riverwalk one pleasant October day. He lived to 86; never lost his zest for LIFE, - - a full and golden journey!

Though he'd have preferred it to have continued, he lived it fully, departed it courageously.

The 16 participants who compose this Journey, each with his or her own hub for each of its Chapters, have 2 things in common: 1) all are fellow Hubber-writers and 2) all are 'of an age' to qualify to speak first-hand on the subject of AGING.

No stereotypes link us; no prerequisite viewpoints, backgrounds or beliefs, no predictable circumstances unite us. Each expresses his or her honest, real perceptions gleaned and garnered from his or her unique experience called LIFE so far. We aren't all at the same stage in the Journey - the aging process. We range from AARP-eligible age (50s) to the eldest (80s). So there is no single type of question posed nor 'politically correct' answer given them. They arise from our hearts.

Yet, though not of one mind, we have demonstrated a deep human kindred spirit as we've risen to the envisioned idea of our Alan Berry (aka: arb) to lovingly collaborate on a project with lofty goals, to be brought to light and forefront by a true cross-section of real people willing to share moments of our lives' highlights with each other and with YOU, 'paying it foreword' and leaving tracks, for whatever value and enjoyment to be derived from them,

I promise, you won't be disappointed! By following-up with each LINK as the Chapters are being added day by day during most of July, you'll find a treasure-trove of thought and authenticity spread before you! So, - please return to open the NEXT Chapter on or following its publish date; and so on through the series!

Some chapters no longer exist. Just skip to the next one that does.

Table of Contents: THE JOURNEY ~ A Look At Aging

  • The Journey - Chapter 1 What have you expected of life so far and how do you expect it to continue?
  • The Journey - Chapter 2 Based upon your years lived, what message would you share with those that follow?
  • The Journey - Chapter 3 What have we learned in aging, which could extend the years remaining?
  • The Journey - Chapter 4 At this point in our lives, can we reverse damage already done by poor health choices we made along the way, or are we to suffer the consequences as we age?
  • The Journey - Chapter 5 What is this thing called aging. Does it come with benefits?
  • The Journey - Chapter 6 Is anything fore-ordained, is it destiny or is everything random?
  • The Journey - Chapter 7 Assuming that we can be partly measured by how many people we have loved in our lives, including those we have lost, have the number of those you really love, Increased or decreased and why?
  • The Journey - Chapter 8 Knowing what you know now, if you could return to your twenties, would you make the same choices or would you do things differently?
  • The Journey - Chapter 9 In life we meet all kinds of people. Some seem to have it all together, never sad and always happy. New things and challenges seem just another trophy for them. Do you ever feel, in looking back, confused or if you missed something in your life?
  • The Journey - Chapter 10 Our children following behind face choices we once confronted, become adults, less dependent; our relationships change. What works for you to help them? How has it affected present relationships?
  • The Journey - Chapter 11 If you could write a script that described your life, what was its driving force or the principle which gave you direction. Is it what you want to be remembered for?
  • The Journey - Chapter 12 Growing older involves diminishment or compromise in physical abilities or eventually will. We must consider that our lives won't stretch out endlessly. How do these realities affect how you live yours?
  • The Journey - Chapter 13 What was your most important, fork - n - the road - moment? With the wisdom that comes with experience, would you make the same choice? Why or why not?
  • The Journey - Chapter 14 Does your belief system include an afterlife or reincarnation which provides you hope that your spirit will survive the passing of your body?
  • The Journey - Chapter 15 Eventually we reach a place or an age & know time is not the friend it used to be; we're faced with what may remain of gradually decreasing physical abilities. What will you do to prepare for this eventuality?
  • The Journey - Chapter 16 If I were granted something to keep from youth and something to keep from age, what two things would I keep and why?

© 2012 Nellieanna Hay

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Comments 115 comments

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

I have to comment, having just absorbed your answers to my question as a complete, unified "read": - my eyes are moist, I've a lump in my throat and my heart rejoices to have gotten to know each of you so much better through this unique undertaking together! It's truly been and continues to be an inspiration and a delight You're surely some of the greatest people it's my privilege to know! Thank you, thank you, one and all! Big ole hugs!

Gerg profile image

Gerg 4 years ago from California

Beautifully composed and presented, Nellieanna. You've started the series with grace and an uncommon understanding of what we've all set out to accomplish. I'm honored to be on this journey with you.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon

It is a terrible thing sometimes, to simply nod because an expectation was met. It was met and surpassed, but, it was still expected. What a wonderful array of beautiful answers to a thought provoking question. I enjoyed the music and George's picture. "In my secret" life teared me up. You have set the bar as high as always and then proceeded to dance upon it. Beautiful!

sligobay profile image

sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

Thank you Nellieanna for launching our collaborative effort with such enthusiasm, beauty and wisdom. Your design skills and knowing poetic words showcase our Journey with your artistry. I am honored to be part of the "flock" winging forward on this journey.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Greg, I appreciate that comment so much. What a pleasure it has been and continues being to be associated with you, 'putting heads together' to resolve things and provide encouragement. I'm so eager to see the next - and the next . . Chapter. Usually when a project is launched one's worked on, there's a feeling of anticlimactic relief followed by a need to be caught up into another one. With this, it's just beginning when this phase launches! It has the feeling of ripples on a quiet pond radiating from a source.

Thank you, my friend for your part in it

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

What to say to such multi-dimensional praise, Alan? Thank you may have to do, but be assured: my heart is warmed and pleased. That song and Leonard Cohen's delivery are indeed capable of touching errant, but beautiful thoughts and feelings - or beautiful but errant ones, - as honest ones can be and sometimes are. One of George's favorites was Sinatra's "It Was A Very Good Year", which I thought of using till I found "In My Secret Life" which somehow seemed fitting.

I'm glad you approve of my choices.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Gerry - thank you! Your eloquent answer and the others are the true heart and soul of it. I am pleased with the presentation but well aware that my background is "just window dressing". But how could I allow it to be shabby an still do justice to the actual writing??

Alan's metaphor about the geese suits it so well & reminded me of the movie "Fly Away Home" about the little girl and her Dad deciding to train end then personally lead a flock of Canadian geese she'd rescued - to fly South so the brutal winter wouldn't kill them, as surely would be their fate if they didn't know how to make it home. There's a real message in there - with many an application.

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Wow, you're going to be a hard act to follow! This was so nicely done, not just the Q&A but the intro by you and the graphics and video, and very, very much to praise. Great job and great start!

Voted up, awesome, beautiful, and interesting.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

Nellieanna....I am in awe of your Chapter 1, The Journey! You've set a high standard for the series, as I knew you would. Every element in your hub fits so beautifully. The varied answers to your question all contributed to a discussion of life's expectations that should be interesting and helpful to all readers.

Voted UP and everything but funny.


profile image

Vincent Moore 4 years ago

Like the others here Nellieanna I compliment you on kicking off this first chapter in fine fashion as I always expected you would. There is such a cross section of "Living" this life. We all weave our webs and find ourselves moving in many of the same directions. Gains, losses, love, disappointments, love, death, finances, stress, marriage, divorce, children, grand-children then organizing it all and hoping for the best. I look forward to the many questions and answers coming up as we all move along in our wonderful "Chapters In Life" Voted UP all the way to the top.

Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Silvergenes: Without me the piano is silent. Beautifully expressed.

sligobay: Since releasing unreasonable expectations, I’m rarely disappointed. I’m happier and intend to continue being happy whatever my circumstances. -That's wisdom!

Looking forward to the next installment. Nellieanna: What courage to go first, but WOW!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Wht a 'loverly' idea this is, Nellieanna, and it is my pleasure to read each chapter. Promise! You-all began with a 'bang.'

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Mary, (tillsontitan) - Thank you for the lovely compliment! I appreciate it and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to begin getting to know you!

Just be assured that it's not competition, but for each of our individual inspiration, perspective & style to be freely expressed.

I admire others' inspiration passionately. It's a treat to share how others see things and how they choose to express it. That is what it's all about!

It's deeply-rooted in me. I struggled with others' pressure to conform me to their ideas, views, behavior, beliefs & styles of self-expression most of the first half of this life (that's 40 years!). Even tried to conform:- thought I had no choice. But, of course, like Silvergenes' answer, it IS the me in whatever is in me and comes forth from me that make both 'it' and 'me' alive, real & valuable. Who/what else? I so much appreciate & encourage their 'self' within each other selves too!

Another value is allowing & helping others full rein to know & express themselves & to avoid perceiving them as 'oughta-be' mirror images of oneself.

A tiny poem I jotted down 40 years ago as my "me" was emerging:

Try to not

Make your sense

Out of another's


And let him

Tell you

What it is.

______© Nellieanna H. Hay


Curiad profile image

Curiad 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

This is awesome as I knew it would be Nellieanna!

I am pleased to be part of this project, and thank you and all the participants. I hope what is shared here goes out to millions of people, the message(s) are worthy and needed in this world we live in!

Jackwms profile image

Jackwms 4 years ago

Your presentation is outstanding. The photos, videos, and poetry really added to it. I am also glad to be a part of this project and look forward to the chapters that follow. Well done.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Jaye, dear friend - thank you for your lovely words and votes! The high standard is IN the project itself from its inspiration, which arose from Alan's fine spirit & fertile brain, to his concept of actually attempting to formulate it. That's never wavered. It's infused the project with that high level of effort & excellence among all of us who've entered into it with our own individuality's contributions. It's gratifying to work side-by-side with each who accepted the challenge to participate with unique questions, answers and the hub-Chapters themselves, dedicating their time and effort to bring the idea to LIFE. Isn't that awe-inspiring!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Vincent, Yes! All the participants contribute to this venture as to 'Real Life'. Writing is such a magical way to share moments, memories and mental images we each 'own' exclusively. When some little trigger passes our minds, it can conjure up whole scenes we've lived, complete with many of its related factors, just as it happened. We FEEL it real. I've found myself almost pinching myself to make sure! There are visible and all the other sensory 'memories' which float through the mind's screen (where all our views of the 'real' scene are also rolled along and captured). So real they seem real for a moment.

What's special is that, then, if one's a writer, those fleeting impressions CAN be captured with words & imagery, to be reviewed by oneself and shared with others! They work somewhat as a surgeon's instruments to allow him to view the hidden insides of the person's body over which he holds life and death at that point.

With our writing, we offer readers such a probe, internal microscope or Xray image of our hearts' and our minds' 'innards'. Like you say, with our amazing cross-section of the LIVING images of 16 people, we've joined up to open and expand the view inside the larger field of imagery and experience of the senior years and influences which brought each of us here - a larger X-ray or probe area. A Hubble shot of a small but representative 16-star galaxy on the fringes of the screen! Thank you!

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

It is, indeed, awe-inspiring. So is the topic--a study of aging, and I predict the series will gain a lot of readers.

Gathering all this wisdom from a group of writers in various mid-to-later stages of life's journey is almost a "riff" on my HP profile, which explains why I use the writing name "JayeWisdom." It's my firm belief that life teaches us all along this journey called "Life." However, it's up to each of us whether or not to accept the lessons and put them to use.

This series, beginning with your question and its 16 answers, shares what we've learned along our individual paths. By the end of Chapter 16, the accumulation of wisdom (or, lessons learned) about the aging process will be a valuable "life manual" for readers of all ages.

After enjoying your Chapter 1 for the third time, re-reading all the answers from our team of individuals (the key word) and marveling over the broad scope of ideas and values expressed, I am so glad Alan thought of this project and delighted we all took part in it.

Now, I can hardly wait for tomorrow and Chapter 2......


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Kathleen - AH, yes - you've pinpointed a couple (among many) 'gems' expressed in just this first set of answers to just this first posed question!

(giggle) - Courage? ahem. Nor quite! I was drafted - or shall we say, chosen to volunteer! And what an honor it is. If I were as shy as I once was, I'd have shriveled & sunk between the cracks into the sub-floor joists! Now that I'm more foolhardy, I said I'd do it. Never looked back, once that was said.

Now we can look forward to Mark's Chapter 2 tomorrow! WOW is right!! Hugs.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

DRBJ - It is a lovely idea - and Alan (arb's) idea! He asked me to kick it off since my years surpass the others' - almost double some of them. OK - that's an exaggeration but the ages range throughout the second half of the century mark. I'm closest to it, is all!

Be patient and persistent in following the chapters. Chapter 2's link at the bottom of this hub will become active tomorrow when Mark (curiad) has published it! It's so exciting!! Each link to the next Chapter will give the publish dates.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Mark - Thank you for that fine comment. It's my pleasure to be working with you and the others on this project! Would you believe that I find myself KNOWING each of you by your Chapter #s! haha. Right off the top of my head I think "Mark #2" - :-) and so on! That's familiarity! whoo hoo!

I've learned you well enough to know that you're a man of few words - each of which is well-measured and highly meaningful -=- so well demonstrated by the mention of how this microcosm of what and how we've shared here is more widely applicable to the macrocosm of the world's needs today. And how!

I'd add that the wisdom and willingness of these senior folks who've comprised this microcosm will likely not be around to see far-reaching results of that macrocosm, with or without our input. But it is HERE now! That's pretty doggoned awesome, isn't it?

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Jack, my new friend -Thank you! I'm pleased that you like and approve of my presentation! What a pleasure it is to be a part of this for me, too. I'm glad I've some unfinished work to do, or I'd surely be too impatient to be able to wait to see all the other Chapters! I'm eager to see them as it is! They'll be unfolding like petals of a summer rose faster than we realize!! A worthwhile part of our July, 2012! Keeps my mind off the triple-digit temperatures, too!

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phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Thank you Nellieanna for a lovely and meaningful hub. What a wonderful and intriguing diversity of answers from all the collaborators, reflecting the human condition, I suppose. We have all had some similar life experiences, but also many life experiences which are different.

I am heartened by the general determination we have to keep moving forward, prepared for the worst if it should come, but hoping for the best and prepared to share the best with those we love. An affirmation of life in all its complexity, :)

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Jaye - your latest comment really is a magnificent summary of the scope of the project; given from your own unique perspective. Gives me goose-bumps (and not just because of Alan's metaphor about our being like a coordinated flight of a flock of them!). But it is thrilling to see in the comments further good thoughts expressed about this topic! Thanks!

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Theresa - Ah - thank you for the thought-provoking comments. How true. -

Diversity, breadth and depth represented in our little band of writers here so reflect "The Human Condition" in its best multi-manifestations. Remember the book by Hannah Arendt in 1958? It came out during my personal "Dark Ages", so it happened that I merely heard the tittle. But it's remained a part of my vocabulary.

I think of what it is and implies. . .

When we think of the mega amounts simply of individual fingerprints so that they're all diverse and distinct from one another, is it any surprise that the whole 'organisms' attached to them are unique 'subjective universe's unto themselves? To be able to communicate and interrelate among ourselves with true mutual understanding seems near-to impossible, yet with a degree of shared desire to do so, it does happen. Thank goodness for some similar and shared life experiences! And also - for the vast diversity which keeps it intriguing!

The impulse to move forward, even in the face of obstacles great and small, - and the magnificent spirit of determination to overcome them with hope and good cheer, - is a kind of everyday miracle that's enacted all around us constantly. We're often oblivious of it! I notice these days that a malaise of oblivion pervades too much human interfacing - or lack of it at any but the most basic levels. Grunts and grimaces would seem the eventual language at the rate people are foregoing conversation and correspondence. Pausing to reflect on that gives me a sense of humility and awe at The Human Spirit which still persists and notices its surroundings!

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xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Fantastic and beyond expectation! You have opened this "Journey" so beautifully that we all have the problem of just coming close to this, as Arb put it "high bar" that you are "dancing on."

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you so much, Jim! - That's high praise from you & much appreciated. I've become a such fan of yours! Hugs!

At the same time, - the beauty & integrity of our collaboration on this project is most fully demonstrated by each of our own individual efforts expressing our own sense of the project & our intimate, first-hand experience of and sensitivity to the topic of AGING. As the answers to the first question illustrate, giving our own perspective in our own way is the only real bar at which anyone needs to excel, in his or her own way. Our various presentations then come together to make it an excellent Look At Aging and The Journey!

It's the best example we can offer younger folks who might look to us to observe how to be more "comfortable in their own skin" as their own lives move forward and will enter the same life stages where ours are!

When I finally realized that, try as I would, I could only be a second-rate, poor image of anyone else, no matter how admirable they were; and when I realized that I can be and always am the very best image of myself at any stage of becoming, no matter how different from anyone else I may be; when I focused on practicing "doing me" instead of trying to mimic or let myself to be coerced into mimicking others, then "I" started to discover my presence in my own life and to be free to work on being my best me.

It's like the charming, imaginative story of "The Velveteen Rabbit", a toy stuffed rabbit who yearned to become a real rabbit through the love of his owner. Of course, it's a fairy tale. A stuffed animal can't find and become its own inner being no matter how much it's loved or how well-meaning the coaching. But real people can be real, because it's always "in there"! Many folks try for the fairy tale to be their reality and neglect their real selves. I remember doing that to myself!

So - I can't be a clone. It's vital to be authentic, however it's viewed by others. But usually it's appreciated. For one thing, it frees them of responsibilty for me!

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xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

That comment is a Hub in itself Nellieanna. You and Arb wear the crowns of eloquence on HP, it seems to me...

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

You may be right about a potential hub there, Jim. I'm passionate about the subject, obviously.

Thank you for the compliment. That's quite a lofty league you placed me in! :-)

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billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I don't know how I missed this series; great idea, Mark!

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Curiad 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

Hi Bill, thank you for the comment but the Idea was Arb's and I am just one of the contributors!

it is an awesome collaboration and I am honored to be a part of it.

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Tom Cornett 4 years ago from Ohio

Wonderful Hub Nellieanna. I love reading the answers and seeing how so many different ways, we all have in common. This is a great project, thanks to Arb and all of the contributors. Again....wonderful Hub....keep smiling. :o)

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phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I just made a list...Texas, California, Oregon, east of the equator, New York, Jackson - Mississippi, another time, South Florida, California, Atlanta - Georgia, Eugene - Oregon, Ohio....of the locations we each call home.

Quite a microcosm of America - New York to California, Oregon to Florida, "east of the equator" to "another time," and many places in between. I like this about our collaborative group, and I know this is not everyone.

We should be pleased and grateful and proud of our endeavor and our accomplishments, and I believe we are. :) Many Blessings! Have a safe and happy Fourth of July! Theresa

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sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

Thanks again Nellieanna and all the collaborators and friends who have commented upon the commentary. I believe that the sweet sixteen 4x4 team have left their comments to further facilitate the conversation on aging. In "Field of Dreams", it was said of the baseball diamond, "if you build it, they will come." Our diamond has been built, cut and polished.

Others will come. They won't know why. They will just be drawn to the energy and the magic.

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CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Dearest Nellieanna:

I expected you to start the game with a home run, but you instead led off with a grand slam. :0)

I honestly was rendered speechless, Nellieanna. Your poetry is both beautiful and brilliant and your words are as sweet as honey.

Walking amongst giants, I fear I'll be seen for the dwarf that I am. I am afraid you have set the bar so high, I cannot hope to reach it. You are, indeed, a sight to behold.

Thank you for taking the time to help me along and for delivering such a beautiful work of art. Your talents really are astounding and the whole team has benefited substantially from your efforts.

I would just like to thank, Alan (arb), for inspiring this project and for his keen insights and vision. They say that great managers surround themselves with quality personnel, and this is exactly what Alan has done. Walking with such talented people is truly a humbling experience for me. I pray that I can hold up my end.

Thanks again, Nellieanna, your hub is an instant classic and one that I will read over and over again, as I am sure many others will do for many years to come.

Best wishes and be well - C.J. Sledgehammer

Voted up and away...over...and over again.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you for the visit and a big Welcome to joining in our Journey, Bill! You're not late! The series was only launched right after midnight on July 3! It will continue to meander through July, with a Chapter opening each weekday of the month, till all 16 chapters are published with the publishing of Chapter 16 on July 24th!

So now, Bill - please be sure to check back in to Mark's Chapter 2 on July 5 when the link to Chapter 3 will be "live"(after a day "off" for the 4th of July holiday).

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Tom - isn't that amazing? We are all so different in so many ways, but the bonds & commonalities are strong too! Alan surely saw that in us!

It's my feeling that there are strong links between the generations, too - despite many differences. We can learn from each other! They've new eyes for seeing things we've either never known or have formed our own impressions and conclusions, some before they were born! We could expand our perspective with their influence.

We've also made accurate observations and learned valid - time surpassing lessons which could benefit them in their sorting it all out. Opening the windows to each others' souls is a first step. This project is a means to opening and baring ours, :-) - which we're doing in it.

I appreciate your visit, Tom! Look forward to seeing yours a week from today! (Your links templates are going out momentarily, btw.)

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

OH, my - Theresa - Thank you for bringing that to my attention! I hadn't thought of the physical breadth of our contributors as you've done! Truly is a microcosm of our macro-continent + there are two from our neighbor to the north in our Journey group! Both of them moving residences during its preparation, yet courageously keeping up their contributing parts! Everyone is to be congratulated on giving of ourselves to making it work well.

BTW- Jenna Bush on Today has been touring and telling about the Cumberland Island, a barrier island off Georgia's coast, in your area. I think I want to visit there, even if I have to pitch a tent on the beach!

The whole Today show is a lovely nod to the birthday of America! It's keeping me company in the background. :-) Right now it's making my mouth water for the 4th of July picnic food they're cooking up! Seriously - the dishes look to die for! :]b

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Gerry - yes - thanks to all the collaborators and friends here! It feels like BEING among you all, visiting and chatting among ourselves. Love your 4x4 thought for our 16! I guess that makes us 4-square! Not a bad thing, though our outreach is beyond the cube!

"Field of Dreams" is among my favorite movies. That line is hauntingly inspiring. Thanks to the combined talent and efforts of our 'sweet 16' bunch of lively mature folks, I see that for our project, too! It's Built to attract visitors!! It's less remote than the field of dreams in the movie was! I love your comparison! SO fitting at many levels!

Thank you - hugs - NH

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

CJ, dear new friend - - I'm humbled. It is my pleasure and honor to launch this magnificent concept with the first of the 16 Chaptes to follow, all of which will be awesome! I had to try to make it deserve the honor! Alan put his trust in me to do my best to do it nicely! What choice had I? :-)

As for YOU, my friend - no such 'dwarf' talk! You're an individual giant! My bar - or any one individual's - is not a goal; - your own is and will be exactly the right height. and will lend its excellence to the whole. Summer Olympics this is NOT. We will earn the gold medal as a group!

As for helping you along, - I've no doubt you will pass along your own help to others as needed. I learned very young to take part in whatever in which I found myself involved with an attitude of "if not me, who?" and "if not now, when?" Someone told me to behave as if I were a co-host who was responsible for a contributing part in any dinner party to which I was invited. Being naturally OCD, I confess, - that always means giving myself to it - if I'm in it. I have to be choosy about what I get myself into! This worthy project left me no doubt about its choice! I didn't know in what capacity I could contribute - I simply responded as it shows 'what' when it's clear that I can help and do my part at the table -=- with great pleasure, in line with my other adage: "if it can't be fun, why do it?" - meaning it's up to me to make it fun!

How many other li'l ole 80-year old widow ladies living alone can claim such an honor? :-) I am deeply grateful for the opportunity - thanks, Alan! And thanks to all who have respectfully allowed me to do what I can and then excel at what you do!

Of course you'll hold up your end, CJ!! Haven't I done a good job of coaching you? :-) Thanks for letting me! Besides - YOU are the best example of YOU! Awesome!

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tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Wow! I knew this collaboration was extraordinary and I was in the presence of greatness...fifteen greats to be exact, but reading the comments on this hub have humbled me even more. The success of this journey is what we have learned along the way...both in life and with each other. The wisdom, humility, humor and so much more shared in these sixteen chapters is astounding!

I think, Nellieanna, that at this point in our lives we have all learned to "just be me" for want of a better person ;)

I just had to jump in again and say thank you to all for allowing me to be part of this great venture and SHARE this hub with my followers (I was so taken with this hub I forgot to share the first time!)

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Welcome back Mary! I've no doubt I'll be revisiting the other 15 Chapters as they unfold, and then beyond! It's that kind of a treat! You chose the right word for it all - 'astounding'. Reading the answers is like thumbing through the collected & individual wisdom of great, but unsung, philosophers!

I agree that we have learned to be ourselves, since that actually is our primary and built-in choice! We've been through the obstacle course which tried to confuse us about it, but which didn't stop us from going on as ourselves!

Not everyone has managed to, though. Our readers may be going through and may be caught up in Obstacle 2 or 99 along their own journeys. We, as examples, need to demonstrate our wisdom about this for them, by acknowledging others' merit and exemplifying our own. One never can know what little trigger may help some person whose life ours touches to see his or her own beauty and value as a result - but only if we truly see it in them and 'own' it in ourselves. :-)

Oh - good - let's all share and broadcast our collaborative venture with our own followers! Yeah!! Hugs - and thanks for all you do!

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TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

I read chapter 2 prior to reading Chapter 1, so my main comments are there. Great job, all!

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, Timetraveler! It's a labor of love, for sure!

I popped over and read your comment on Chapter 2 before replying to this one here. I left you a reply to your query about our ages over there. Here in my introduction I disclose my age - 80 (and a half) - and explain it is a primary reason I was chosen to begin our Journey! Of course, you hadn't yet read that since you began with Chapter 2. But we are all qualified senior citizens, you see.

There is no extra charge for rereading any of the Chapters! :-) So feel free to do so!

Hugs - Nellieanna

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sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

As I return to enjoy the comments, I carry a request from one comment on chapter two. Only the author is privy to page views, though we can all read the comments. May we please have a periodic report of page views for each chapter as our collective readership expands? Thank you. Hugs, Gerry

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Gerry - I must confess that the request is out of my realm. I seldom study my own views stats. You caused me to go look just now. But whether sharing this information is regulated or permitted by Hubpages, I've no idea. That they reveal it only to the author would indicate their preference at the least. The last thing we would need would be to breach some tenet of our host and cause the entire project to be jeopordized or waylaid. If Alan has knowledge or a sense of what is both permitted and ethical, he should answer that, I think. I will refer it to him.

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JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

I hope everyone on the project team is sharing each chapter with their own HP followers and suggesting that other readers do the same and share the chapter links on social networks. Who knows? Our series deserves a broad readership, and "networking" may accomplish that goal.


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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Jaye - I like Gerry's comparison in an earlier comment of his with the movie, "Field of Dreams": its theme, 'BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME." I just read some of the early comments to Vincent's Chapter 3, the first of which almost echoed that 'being drawn' to come read it.

I would like for people to start at the beginning and read through from Chapter 1 to Chapter 16 in their natural sequence, and of course that won't happen, just by the nature of each of us having followers who come to our hubs before any strangers'. I don't know how it would work in inviting people from other social networks. But we've proceeded with this project trusting its natural flow, twists and turns, so we can handle all of them!

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

PS - It would be beneficial if we encouraged our followers who visit to start at the beginning, and we're looking into a simple, built-in method for doing that. It truly is a 'work in process'!

:-) With so many talented people involved, it can only keep growing better and better!

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QudsiaP1 4 years ago

Hmm, so 16 of the most awesome hubbers writing together makes me almost wish I fit the criteria. :/

How can this not be an awesome venture?!

Nellie, Alan, Vincent... All 3 of you have played monumental roles in my life. Specially Alan; as he and Sherry of course mentored me in my times of fall or discouragement.

In all of you I see a hope; a never ending will to aspire all or more. Your wisdom; your words; a reflection beyond reflection.

In the beginning when I joined hubpages; never did I think I would come in company of such fine men and women; ones who didn't let the years whither them but fashion them and mould them into an elegant prism of knowledge beyond any one's wisest dreams.

Nellie; there are some who if bugged by a bee on a picnic would seek to kill it while we ... Well that event may as well be a 5 series novel!

I am going to read all 16 chapters, well done!

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Qudsia - Yours is a comment I'll especially treasure in my heart as well as here on the thread. I also keep "live" copies on my computer of all my hubs' comment threads, adding to them as they move along with each new entry; because they're such special gifts & treasures!

Yes, it IS an awesome venture! Alan's foresight & inspiration infused it with a special glow from the beginning. More authors were invited, but Life being as it is, some were unable to accept. It's been a valiant commitment from each who've remained! Alan's work at getting and keeping it all together is nothing short of epic! it comes as no surprise to me that he's been a mentor to you along your path! It's his character!

You perceive major common links among us, Qudsia - hope & enduring will to aspire to our highest visions of possibility. I'd say that any other traits are fruits or offshoots of those. Very perceptive of you!

It's so, in many instances. Paths of least resistance which let obstacles or challenges serve as deterrents or excuses for abandoning persons' worthy visions of earlier years, seem all too much evidenced in actual outcomes and progress of actual lives being lived, and that is sad. It inspires one to want to be an influence for others who may be overtaken by too many "character-building experiences" (as my daughter used to refer to these rocks in the road of her life, praying to God to notice that she'd had more than enough of them for a day!)

Of course, just as the choices along the journey are our prerogatives, the consequences we set into motion become our challenges.

Your mention of some who respond violently to a bee bothering them reminds me somehow of a little poem of mine from long ago. Well, it's actually a combination of two little poems from back then:

Some have missed the picnic

Waiting for the ants.

The wonderment of life

Is all that happens

In between attempts

To think about it.-

___© Nellieanna H. Hay

Thank you, my dear, for coming and contributing such lovely comments!

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

PS - Not to worry about fitting the criteria, Qudsia! You will! It's built-in to the system. What is negotiable is HOW you'll fit it when it becomes yours, which is now being determined by your 'todays' and how you live THEM. :-)

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marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Nellieanna,

Thanks for the link so that I can continue what I find to be a wonderful, valuable and profound collaboration with so many respected writers.

This was a fabulous question to jumpstart the series and you handled it in a dignified and elegant manner. Voted UP & UABI.

Looking forward to Part 2... Hugs, Maria

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Maria, my dear! Thank you! I'm thrilled that you came and read this kick-off Chapter! I can assure you, each one to follow is both interesting and unique. It's a wonderful experience for me to collaborate in it. I'm not a big 'joiner' normally, but when I do, it's 'no holds barred'! Alan really came up with a great concept with this one! But what else would one expect of him? :-) And then the participants are praiseworthy writers, too - so what else but a great series, if I may boast! :-}

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miss_jkim 4 years ago

Nellieanna, what a unique and wonderful idea. I love your poetry and in my absence, have missed keeping up with you. But, was pleased to see such an interesting post from you. Such lovely things written by your co-contributors, I look forward to following each one.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Miss jkim! I'm pleased to see you've visited. Glad you like this project! I've been so engrossed with it, that I've not published much else in a little while. The Journey is indeed - a special journey! But what a joy and blessing this has been. Thank you!! I look forward to each new chapter too!

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LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

This is beautiful, dear Nellieanna. I am enjoying this Journey series..... How can I pick a favorite when all the answers are so wonderful! Thanks for bringing this great journey to us. Voting it up and everything :)

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, LaThing! Thank you for visiting and commenting~ and for the votes!

No need to pick favorites! I've given up on that myself. All the answers are fantastic & all the other Chapters are equally great -each posing its own question and answered by the 16 participants who answered my question here. Truthfully, with each new Chapter that's published - one a weekday during July - it seems to get better and better! Each question is unique, coming from the hearts of those asking them and the answers are likewise unique & heart-felt. None of us knew before the Chapters are being published what anyone else's answers to their questions were. We just submitted our own answers to be placed on the others' hubs. So each is independent of every other answer! It gives quite a wide cross-section of seniors' thoughts and wisdom. Of course, each Chapter hub has the styling of its own creator. It's a lovely Journey, to be sure!

So I hope you're perusing the unfolding series! It will be valuable to view them in order, Chapter 1 thought 16 eventually. Today, July 10, Chapter 6 of the 16 has been published. On Wed. Thurs & Friday - Chapters 7, 8 & 9 will appear. And so on . . . . BTW - it was the conception of Hubber "arb" - whose Chapter 16 will conclude the series. He asked me to kick it off because I'm the eldest! :-)

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snakeslane 4 years ago from Canada

Hello Ms Nellieanna, been wondering where you are lately! And here you are weaving wondrous tales in golden hues. Your monumental memory of life's bright details serves you well in this endeavor. I love your daybreak at the ranch scenerio, I felt as if I was there with you hearing that ol' rooster crow at the break of dawn. Enjoyed this so much! Regards, snakeslane

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Snakeslane! Thank you so much! I'm so pleased you've come over to the Journey's first chapter and I highly recommend following the rest of them - in sequence, at your own pace!! I promise, you won't be disappointed! I've just come from reading the latest chapter to be published, as I've done with each one as the trail has progressed, and all I can say is wow. It's like a progressive book written by a group of talented writers with real-life experience and loving hearts.

We all thought it was a great idea when asked to participate, and it's proven great enough to commit our parts & hearts to it; - but the whole is so much greater than parts and the combined hearts are a choir of love and a painting of real life! By the time the 16th Chapter's published, this odyssey will truly stand apart from most treatments of the subject of aging and from most series-type writings, which are usually from one pen. It's collaboration at a whole 'nuther level!

Even we participants are treated to a new experience with each Chapter as it's published. We all knew the 16 questions asked, one each - so that we could answer them and return our answers to each questioner to be included in each of their chapters. But otherwise, each was written totality & spontaneously independent of the others. So the perceptions and presentations are all, (both as answers to questions and as the unfolding Chapters), - fully stand-alone creations out of the depths of each of us, who've become tied together by the experiences of working for the project and by the progressive links between the Chapters themselves. There are no stars. Each is a galaxy of light and life lived and living!

I was honored to be asked to write the first Chapter. My sense of freedom to express myself and what the aging process means to me individually (as each of us has enjoyed), rather than with an assigned agenda or format, has made this one of the best writing experiences I've had. Alan's (arb's) insight in setting it forth is truly awesome. He'd thought to have many more participants, but even that became "what it was". He's been willing to go with the flow and resist monitoring or otherwise interfering, simply providing help as needed. I have the privilege of helping in some of those technological instances, too. (& someone said, the cheering department, which I can only do when I believe in a thing). So all 16 of us who've committed to it are truly uplifted by it. I haven't had so much fun since . . . well . . . ;-)

Welcome to the Journey, dear friend! So glad you've found the path!

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snakeslane 4 years ago from Canada

Dear Nellieanna, thank you so much. Your music made me weep...

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ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada


Theresa alerted me to this outstanding series and informed me that you were the kick-off author. I'm so glad she did! I love your notion (about expectations) "I proceeded with my own projects and plans; that way, I was assured of outcomes."

That is so true of everything.

Truly excellent!


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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Snakes -- I hope it's a happy weeping. It is, for me. Hugs . . .

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thomas, dear heart! - I've missed YOU! Theresa is a real treasure! I hope you'll follow our Journey on through its Chapters. . .

Yes - that's the prominent thread of the tapestry of my life: proceeding with my projects, having the say in their outcomes. This series has become like my own . . .It is that worthwhile to me!

When I was 7, with a shattered right leg in a huge cast and on my back porch yelling for my playmates across the alley to come play with me - which, of course, they neither heard nor heeded - they were biking and jumping rope and playing hide-and seek - none of which I could join into -- and I was growing hoarse from beseeching them to leave all that for a 'crip'- haha! Mother came out and gave me a suggestion: do something interesting yourself; maybe they'll be curious and come look. So I did.

I found an old wooden Velveeta cheese box and ripped the sides into 1-inch slats. I figured out a way to join them with brass brads, so they'd be flexible, and then I decorated the segments with my Crayolas like sections of a bright, colorful snake! - (I'd dreamt of such a creature!).

While I was so totally immersed in my project, I hardly noticed when some of the playmates had succumbed to curiosity and wandered over to see what it was so engrossing me! I was having my own fun! I guess that thereafter, I put doing my thing at priority above getting others to look my way. I appreciate it if they do but it's simply not my sustenance.

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msorensson 4 years ago

Beloved and dearest Nellieana...I love the poems..I am posting it on my FB wall together with the link to this article.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, Melinda! I'm so pleaded you like it and are sharing it on your FB wall. I highly recommend your perusing the following chapters, 1 through 9 of which are so far published of the 16 total.

There is an ongoing Table of Contents of the published Chpters in my profile and on my Chapter 1. Each chapter is a wonderful insight into its senior citizen author, plus all 16 of us answer each of the authors' individual questions relating to aging on the bodies of the Chapter, as I've done on Chapter 1.

The questions themselvs are quoted on the TOC on my own Chapter at the bottom. Progressing through them as they unfold is especially enlightening. No rush. Read as you are led to. Each Chapter has links to the others thus-far publshed.

The breadth and depth of experience and insight is truly astounding!

Its concept and organization make up a bit of a new genre here on HP.

De Greek profile image

De Greek 4 years ago from UK

Growing pains at any age I understand,


At MY age?!

You are so talented Kid, that this is now becoming an annoyance. Get on with that book of poetry, or else I shall fly over to Texas and spank your bottom!

And to participate in your project:

I came out of the womb full of selfish burning ambition for material wealth and raging male hormones seeking to surpass all previous records of female conquest. The wealth came fairly easily, but I lost myself in it. Female conquests were even a lot easier and soon I simply stopped counting, but then I began to feel distain for the women who were so transparently interested…

Then humility arrived, not as a welcomed friend, but as a guest forced on me by circumstances. Gradually I began to live without material extravagances and I finally met a woman who had boundaries and limitations. Because of her I learned to look for something deeper in the female of the species and began to make wonderful female friends for the first time, without any un-saintly thoughts… except in the case of Nellieanna, who still lights my fire, but that is another story.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Oh, Dimitris. . . like some of us, you've lived several lives and with each, it's a new beginning from which to measure our aging. That makes you a young but wise man again now!

Well, there are so many projects to be done. A book may be among'em, though I may pretend disinterest in order to collect on the 'threat' of a visit by you to prompt me onto it.. . .hehe

I'm THRILLED that you've participated in the project by answering my first question in it! EXCELLENT!

Your answer is outstanding. You give additional dimension to the scope of the purpose of our project! . . . You're a unique person, for one, extremely honest, for two, and a great writer with which to present it, for three. Thank you!

Your powerful influence on your readers stands as testimony to all that.

As for unsaintly thoughts. . . . well, Natali didn't create a saint out of the raw material she found in you, my dear! Maybe not a raging bull, but a pulsating warm male. Neverthless, you have proven yourself capable of female friendships (especially when that is the choice available, take it or leave it) . If all are at least a bit in love with you,- maybe even a bit both ways - so be it.

When my Dad was very feeble and under 24-7 care, and when he noticed a cute nurse sashaying out of his room and commented on her wiggle, I knew he was still alive "in there"! :-)

Thank you, my highly esteemed friend for visiting with the wonderful comments! It's added to my Chapter 1; - now - go to Chapter 2!!

De Greek profile image

De Greek 4 years ago from UK

If this is what it will take to get you to write that book, then so be it. Prepare your bum because I am coming over to administer the needful...;-))))

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hm-m-m-m ~ doesn't sound so much like a working conference. . . .;-)

(I just pubished another hub, by the way. I'm not just twiddling my thumbs, y'know!)

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sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

Great comments and discussions within them compliment the quality of your Hub. Hugs, Gerry

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, Gerry - it's amazing how much goes on within the comments threads! Really deep discussions, often!

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Sunnie Day 4 years ago

What a beautiful start to a wonderful series..Thank you! It is so great to see how each person views life and aging. I shared this on my face book page too..Thank you Nellie..look forward to reading more.



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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Sunnie - thank you! (your comment posted twice, so I'm deleting one copy! - though I appreciate it both times!)

Yes - the perspectives of different people gives dimension to one's own concept of the subject. Each Chapter adds more in the questions and answers, as well as the presentations and personal "earmarks" by each of the 16 producing a chapter! Hope you will read on . . .

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SilverGenes 4 years ago

As you know, I've had to wait for Internet access to begin reading this incredible series and what a beginning! Nellieanna, your poetry sparkles and the music brought such good tears! The question you asked made me reflect rather deeply and reading the responses from all the others has been like a voyage of discovery. I love the images you describe of your early life... I can almost see the kerosene lamps. At the risk of repeating myself over and over (isn't that a priviledge of aging? lol) it is such a pleasure to read the thoughts of so many others. What a talent pool we have here!

Thank you for this magnificent introduction to a unique and riveting series!

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Yes, dear Alexandra, I was well aware that your residence for awhile there was on wheels of your vehicle as you moved across the continent! Hope you are all settling in to your dream place now!

This series is simply amazing. Your adjectives, 'unique' and 'riveting' fit it well. As I'm following along the Chapters being published, I'm drawn into each one irresistibly! Each question and each answer holds so much wisdom and an unmistakeable joie de vivre which speaks well of the ability to enjoy every stage of life.

Thank you for the lovely comments!

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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Nellieanna, how very profound, heart-touching and soul-enriching are all these answers on your question: "What have you expected of life so far and how do you expect it to continue?"

They touched the core of my soul and I feel good, knowing that I have had all these expectations myself and that I've already reached the stage where I know that too high expectations bereave us from happiness and joy. Being grateful for what we have NOW, today, and to believe that everything always turns out for the best, is certainly one of the secret ways to be happy and contented.

Thanks for this lovely, insightful and informative series. I'll catch up in time with all chapters.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

My sweet Martie - I'm so pleased you've come and read the first Chapter! Yes, the secret to being happy and fulfilled is to fully engage in the NOW! If not -- when? It's only the NOW that we actually have.

I promise you - the following 15 will continue to touch your heart and enrich your soul - and mind. These writers are all high-calibre Hubbers whose combined life experience would fill a University!

Each question is important - and with 16 brilliant answers, plus the creative, intelligent "staging" in hubs by the different hubbers! Each of us follows along like any other reader, since we don't see each Chapter till it's actually published! I'm going to be sorry when the last is published next Tuesday! But even though I've read them word for word, I will enjoy going back and viewing them again!

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sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

Hello Nellieanna. As the concluding chapter of our Journey together has been published by Arb today, I must return to the beginning - the source. If the sweet sixteen were a baseball team, everyone had a turn at bat and got a hit and got on base. I've played on many sports teams throughout my years and continue to do so with my bowling team. I have rarely experienced the teamwork demonstrated by this collaborative effort. I personally award to you my vote for MVP because your efforts went above and beyond the call of duty. Your poetry, musical score and images are more beautiful still as I begin to reread our entire Journey. We have published a wonderful new book which requires no editing in an innovative format. I am grateful for the honor of being one of the many.

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AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

What a wonderful series. This must have started while I was gone. I read Arb's closing chapter and am going back to read them all--full of grace and wit and kindness!

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Actually, Gerry - Arb is the source. It was his concept. He just asked me to write the first chapter, which I was honored and pleased to do.

I just love your designation of the Sweet Sixteen and telling that it's a reference to a baseball team! I had no idea! That is so wonderful! We did each have a turn at bat and got a hit and on base. What an appropriate metaphor! It has been the most inspiring teamwork and collaboration! My experience with sports has been limited and, consequently, so has my experience with collaboration. This has been such a delightful experience in both! Everyone involved has been the epitome of good will, cooperation and dedication to the purpose of our collaboration!

Thank you with all my heart for your lovely vote and mostly, for your heartfelt appreciation of my input. I am going to reread and savor all the Chapters, too. Each one stands alone, yet tied together. Isn't that amazing? I, too, am grateful to be one of the many!! Hugs, Gerry!

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Audrey!! How good to see you! It's been such a wonderful experience. Today - July 24 - was the day the final Chapter was published - Arb's own. Wasn't it wonderful? Well, each of the 16 Chapters is a wonderful experience and a treat to the thoughts and feelings of one of the 16 - as Gerry calls us Sweet Sixteen - collaborators on this project which Alan conceived!

You are so right that it's full of grace, wit and kindness! Behind the scenes as well as on the pages! Hugs and welcome back!

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IntegrityYes 4 years ago

That is fantastic,Nellie. I voted up. The Leonard Cohen video is great. He made many magnificent songs.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

IntegrityYes -- Oh, thank you! I do enjoy Leonard Cohen. He sounds so authentic!

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Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I loved reading this piece of writing! So many thoughts, experiences ... it was a treat to read through them all.

I am always interested in what people think but when it comes to people who are more advanced in age, their perspectives are generally more interesting (than younger people) because they carry the baggage of Life's experiences.

My grandmother used to say that:

"The wise man learns from other people's mistakes,

The smart man, learns from his own mistakes,

While the fool, never learns."

- With these words in my mind, I always try to learn from other people's experiences although, I am not always successful (lol).

Thank You to everyone who has worked on putting this article together.

All the best!

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you Mr. Happy! I loved hearing your grandmother's advise. Sounds much like my Dad's. He always encouraged me to learn from others' mistakes - and like you I tried by not alway successful. I think it's that each of our own challenges are unique to our set of circumstances and timing. We are seeing from the "before" position, not the "after"! haha

I hope you'll continue reading the series - on through the 16 chapters. You won't be disappointed if you do!

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KT Banks 4 years ago from Texas

There has been so much said in the comments, that I can only echo. I just want to add that this is a wealth of wisdom, that would undoubtedly make a blockbuster book. - And I've only read chapter one.

My mother (at almost 82) has long said that she wished she had had a book on aging. She says it's been harder than she thought it would be.

I look forward to reading the rest of it, however, I think I may do it a day at a time, in order to have time to fully digest all that it really offers.

I want to truly thank each one of you for this gift.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

I would welcome your mother to come and comment. KT! Perhaps it's not so hard when one shares! I'm just learning to!

I truly thank you for your comment. Believe me, the rest or the story - all 15 other Chapters - are so worth the reading. so much to think about and digest! There is plenty to assimilate. Each of the 16 authors is an outstanding writer and person. And each is in the genre to qualify to speak from experience! Your mother would relate, I think!

Big hugs. I really love your hubs! Realty in Texas; - Anorexia. Your perspective is truly special. Thank you. Hugs.

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tsmog 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

Hello Nellieanna. I know I read this once before. I was sharing some hubs by hubbers I admire and have a sense of knowing. Then I choose you to discover like Leaf Erickson or Christopher Columbus. I ventured to a new world as they, only to disover a world the same age as where I left, although the wisdom much more mature and ancient with wisdom of centuries and not years.

NOTE: this window will start bouncing and my comment will be contorted a PC challenge from where I sit.

So, quickly I discovered a few threads of gold or silver, woven maybe of four like Otto and his theory of numinosity. I have mentally book marked this series of hubs for a future read. However it has inspired me to write something tonight - a poem, maybe, prose possibly, or maybe a beginning to be continued and then published later. I dun'no.

I do know I feel like jumping on a plane, yet that would be impulsive and not of reason. That said those answers above have demonstrated to me just thinking of that journey I have overcome fear.

thank you for your communication today and this series from which I have opportunity to learn from. I thank all those who willingly shared their life experiences in this series.


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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Tim - I'm pleased you found time and impetus to visit - again, or for the first time. I'm amused by the time-period reference because10 days before your birth, I married my first husband, beginning a 17 year extremity that could easily eclipse many a bad situation which curls one's ears. It also provided a kind of monastic life which must have served me well, over all.

I can't promise you numinosity if you peruse this series (that would depend on YOU) - but I can promise a worthwhile Journey with some truly wise and wonderful Hubbers!

The lovely part is that in each and every one of the 16 chapters, all of us again gather to share our experiences and weave a few threads of gold or silver together into some valuable patterns and AHA! moments. None is alike any other - but there is an amazing bonding and love which developed over the couple of months it took to bring this idea into fruition.

I hope you will continue - it may further aid in overcoming fear of journeying (which I perceive you may need to do in order to move forward in your life and on your quest!! -- across the Atlantic. . . ) Impulsive? Naw. You've been thinking about it a long time. Not of reason? Perhaps not, but ENFJ s not totally focused just on reason, nor are you. . . You're a bit balanced, which isn't a bad thing. I've worked on balance all my life! That's what matters. The extremes are fine so long as they're in balance! :-) Definitions are for others. One's own sense of it is what counts. And right now - the sense of overcoming fear of the journey you truly desire counts. Sometimes one must just - let go. . . fly - soar - paddle - whatever it takes to FIND OUT & to move forward accordingly.

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phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

This posted on Alan's Hub because you mentioned the incredible heat:

Oh Nellieanna, sign up for the bill averaging thing right away. It has been such a blessing and help to me to be able to count on all my basic utility bills being roughly the same every month. They might vary by five or ten dollars a month, but no more than that. The consistency is very helpful when trying to make and keep a budget.

I just realized you may not read this here (Alan's chapter 16), so I am also going to send it to you via your own Chapter 1. And I am so sorry you are melting...we are too, but our temps sit in the mid to high have it much worse. Hold on, surely the cooler winds cannot be too far away. Theresa

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Started the reply here right on the comment box - and - (not unusual) - it was suddenly gobbled up by "Moofie", the cyber-monster.

So I went over to Alan's Chapter 16 and started to acknowledge it there; ended up writing a treatise on Dallas weather! Well, conversation had slowed over there, anyway, so a shot in the arm, - even about weather, - seems justifiable. haha.

Now I don't want to copy that here, so will recommend reading my reply over there. I do think the bill averaging may be definitely in order for me! Thank you, Theresa! Also they say one can back out of it anytime.

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phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

You did write a treatise on Dallas weather, but it was altogether delightful. My brother and sister-in-law live south of Dallas in a town called Red Oak. When I have gone to visit in the summer the temperatures were high er than here and the humidity just a little less. I think Dallas has more constant winds than we do because so much of Texas is flat and open.

And you are so right about humidity. I spent three years in Greece and four years in Northern California (we regularly had summer temps between 98 and 104), but I had no idea what really oppressive heat was until I moved to Georgia. And of course it wasn't the temperature per se, it was the humidity. I do not know how people in south Georgia, Alabama or Mississippi endure it.

I am glad you can get your watering done before the worst of the heat. Do stay inside during the peak of the heat; like you I am fair and I know how easy it is for us to burn and damage our skin.

We also can opt out of the bill averaging program any time we want to. Have a wonderful Sunday. :) Theresa

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, Theresa. On one route to and from the ranch, we always passed through Red Oak. Coming back, Red Oak was a welcome sight - meant we were almost "there".

You may or may not know, - the ranch is 500 miles from Dallas in Southwest Texas. Ir's "West of the Pecos" - and (as George coined a phrase) "just shy of the Bend" (the Big Bend). It is far from flat, though the most dramatic variations in elevation come from canyons. There are some substantial mountains a bit further west, going toward the Big Bend. And it's near the border, with beautiful mountains in the distance in Mexico. They were part of my youth when I figured everyone had distant blue and purple mountains on the horizon.

North Texas where Dallas is -- is flat, for sure. I haven't been too far down into the Rio Grande Valley, but I think it's pretty flat. Parts of mid and northwest Texas are pretty flat. But can't judge Texas by what is visible around Dallas.

Texas has about 5 distinct regions with different weather, topography, vegetation, etc. Southeast areas are quite humid. Trees have much to do with lack of wind, as well. East Texas is much more forested. I adore trees, but truly prefer them individually! I feel claustrophobic in dense trees. I don't care for strong wind but I love gentle breezes.

I went to school in Abilene - where the wind never stopped! Like a blast furnace in summer and freezing in winter. We all wore scarves on our heads all the time!

I'm kind of hooked on watching the Olympics. I'll be watching some of that tomorrow. You have a lovely Sunday, too!

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phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Texas really is so vast, I think we forget the incredible regional and geographic variations to be found in one state. Speaking of flat I did mean the Dallas area and thereabouts.

Oh, my! To have distant purple and blue mountains on the horizon (and I did not know the ranch was 500 miles away!). What a gift.

I was born in Texas, Harlingen, way down in the tip. My father was stationed at an Air force Base. We moved when I was three so I don't remember a great deal, but the grass was lush and think and there were banana trees in many of the backyards.

It must nave been very flat, because my parents had pictures of our neighborhood after heavy and sudden rainstorms and the water had nowhere to run, so all the cars were standing in two feet of water. :)

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

So you are a native Texian! (that was how it was referred to back during the early days). It's quite a distinction! Actually native Texans are more and more rare these days. I was conceived on the ranch (the headquarters ranch, not the nearby one I own) but was born in Del Rio. There are banana trees there too! I didn't see snow till I was 10 - and it melted before it hit the ground. Mother used to laugh and say, "She's seen rain twice, though!" Del Rio is quite a lush oasis but not due to rain; it's a huge natural spring that gushes out tons of water constantly. And now there is a huge lake which is partly in Mexico and partly in Texas nearby.

It's a border town, too. Dad had a farm in Quemado just a bit south of Del Rio at one time to raise feed for the livestock. It's the furthest down toward the tip I've been except to Corpus Christi on the Gulf once.

Yes - those mountains in the distance are truly lovely. There are layers - peaks as far off as 100 miles behind the main ridge which one sees all the time. Just outside Del Rio, one begins to see the mountain range, in fact. It's part of the Sierra Madre Oriental in Chihuahua. haha - When I was little and we stayed at the ranch all summer every year - there was no indoor plumbing. The outhouse faced south and I liked to leave the door open (only sheep & goats to spy on me) and gaze at the mountains.

When Mother and I went out and about to paint, and she handed me watercolors and a cardboard divider from a Shredded Wheat box to paint on, I began with the mountains. Somewhere in my keepsakes, there's a little painting I did when I was 4 or 5 - the mountains are really quite lovely in it, though my version of a tree was pretty 'sketchy'!

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phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I am indeed a "Native Texan." And in my youth, I was extremely proud of my place of birth and admired cowboys and rugged ranchers and all people who were of independent spirit and required great open spaces. Well, actually, I still admire those kinds of people. :)

I always thought I might end up raising my family in Texas, but my husband was a convinced Georgia boy who wouldn't even consider looking for work opportunities in Texas.

Of course travel meant dislocation and hardship to him, as a military dependent, I thought, and still think, travel is adventure and opportunity and wonderful. :) Theresa

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

I love hearing this about you, Theresa! We must be kindred spirits! I started a reply - which has turned into a hub! I decided to use it as one.

I've been ruminating about what I want to write about and meanwhile, I keep writing comments that are hubs in themselves. haha.

Wouldn't it have been something if you'd moved to Texas and we'd have met?

I've only been to Georgia at Atlanta's airport when switching planes. I knew a guy in college who had come from Emory University. I know more about Georgia from" Gone With The Wind" than any other source! haha I think of it as a place with red soil and languorous accents.

I just love you! Hugs.

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Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Hi Nellieanna. At this point in my life, I expected to be a little more content; more serene and less overwhelmed. I knew I would achieve economic independence by now, because I strove for this from the moment I was aware of how valuable being without debt would be in order to achieve my goals. What I didn't expect was to be in such a responsible position in terms of those I love most in this world; my feline companions. This has, without a doubt; changed my life and what the rest of my life will be like; how I will live and so many decisions / choices I make from here on out. In essence, my focus and motivation in life is completely changed; and the way(s) in which I relate to others is based on this. I had no idea this would land at my feet but, so it has. I have no regrets about the abrupt change in my life and direction; I am pleased and feel a sence of worth because of my responsibility towards these lives; that they, ultimately, depend upon me. So, now, my emphasis, my "directing" what is, now, the expectations I carry, from now and forward. I am working towards improving and securing my "mission," so that there will be no problems when I'm gone.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Kathy, what a fully-considered, thoughtful answer. You've faced crossroads and seem to be standing at one now, ready to proceed and yet wondering about it. You do, indeed, have a weighty responsibility, and one based on true dedication to, as you so aptly refer to it, your mission. Very admirable.

If I may, from my vantage point, I would only advise that you make sure to relish the moments - they are the only building blocks of this wondrous thing called LIFE. Now is always 'when'. Any other is an illusion, if only because when and if it arrives, it will be a 'mere' now moment too. If one feels a little discontent, lack of serenity and overwhelming responsibility - those are what the now is and must be relished for the value in them. The worst thing one can do is to stuff them and put on a brave face. The brave face follows living through them successfully, as I've no doubt you do and will.

Thank you for a lovely comment on this hub. I hope you'll read the rest of The Journey. No hurry or pressure but each chapter is a gem.


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phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Nellieanna - We are kindred spirits and there are know the guy from Emory University? I got my Masters and Doctorate in European History from Emory University!! At the time I lived in a suburb about 40 minutes north of Atlanta. I was 36, had three sons at home in middle and high school, so of course I commuted instead of living in a dorm. And yes, Georgia clay is terribly gritty and red...getting it out of little boy's clothes was one of my major occupations. :) Life is full of interesting intersections and almosts... :)

Hugs for you too. :) Theresa

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

I'd read that you got your Masters and Doctorate at Emory. I immediately had remembered the guy I knew at Abilene Christian who had transferred from there. haha - I always got the feeling he regarded all of us as bumpkins and semi-literates. haha. I was never sure why he'd come there unless it were some sort of penalty for him! I was there because it was close to home & a very strict school to which I could be entrusted. I'd been sent there to finish high school because my parents had to commute to the ranch so often and it had become a problem 'farming me out' to friends and neighbors when I had to stay in San Angelo for school when they were away and was a young teenager whom shouldn't be left alone. In those days people didn't leave kids to fend for themselves. So I started on to college - in summer school immediately after HS graduation, in fact. I'd gone to summer school between my junior and senior year of high school too, taking music and light courses. Those were months when my parents were most often commuting! I was barely 15 the last time I really lived at home full time, in fact. My eldest sister decided she could look after me better (and teach me her ways) and convinced my parents to let me transfer to SMU for my junior year in college. That's a whole other story.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Nellieanna; you are a wealth of wisdom and insight, thoughtful sensitivity with the wonderful gift of the ability to communicate so well. In my musings offered here, I failed to mention the words with which you introduced this series that touch me so...

Serenity is my adornment,

The gift of years.

I envy not that blank

Of youthful innocence,



The calm water shows

No wear and tear

From its past storms,

Nor I, from storms

I've known.

These are so complete; descriptions of the steps and stages we've experienced on this journey called 'life.' Poetic; perfect.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Yes - they are descriptive of steps & stages. And no matter whether one achieves states of serenity, if one is ALIVE, it's not static or fixed. It shifts over and over. But one knows it is dynamic and can become serene again. I'm in process of starting a hub which I think touches on that process.

Thank you so much. When I wrote those words, I was recovering from a recent NOT so great time. And my 'age' was only half what it is now! haha! 40 SEEMED 'old' then! hehe. It could have been easier - and perhaps more likely - to give up and 'accept' defeat & discouragement. But those are the enemies of life, not age!! I had garnered strength through writing - privately, even secretly - but it had given me the strength and courage needed when all else was incredibly bleak.

The theme of the hub in process was also realized about that time and helped me through it!

Each stage has been experienced more than once, believe me. The fluidity - and one's ability to encompass its experiences with oneself as a whole being - are what lead to a quite good - contented in a fluid way - LIFE. The moment life is not fluid, changing - and therefore, uncertain - it is no longer LIFE!! So - knowing & accepting that is such a strength and comfort.

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eddy4me 4 years ago from Wales.

Oh how wonderful it is to be back and to enjoy your beautiful words Nellieanna.

You are such a wonderful lady and this shows through in each hub that you write.

I will be onto the next in this series now.

Take care and have a wonderful day.


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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Oh, Eddy - I'm so very pleased that you've discovered this marvelous series! It has been one of my best experiences on HP! Everyone who participated wrote beautifully and they must be the greatest gathering of fellow hubbers there could be.

Thank you for your lovely comments about my segment! Hugs.

DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 4 years ago

A sheer stroke of genius.You have incorporated so much in one hub.I love the beauty and your wonderful style.To see the people behind the writers and their inspirations and struggles.A project that has surpassed old boundaries and the sky is the limit.With great love I look forward to many years of learning and reading your wonderful writings that shape our lives for a better future.Thanx for sharing and helping young writers when they need a little guidance and support.So they too may become leaders that continue to scale a wall of life no matter how tall. May wisdom and health bless you forever.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

I just realized that a comment which I coped onto my comment thread backup, from someone I greatly admire doesn't seem to be here! I've no idea how that could happen. But here it is, along with my reply to it:

AudreyHowitt  from California

Beautiful and stirring--you have a way of both touching the heart and evoking deep thought--

Nellieanna  from TEXAS

Audrey - I deeply appreciate your kind comment! It is high praise coming from you! Hugs.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dream On - your beautiful comments are so appreciated. This series has been a delight throughout the experience and it's one with a long life and a broad reach, too! It does my heart good that it continues to touch people. Thank you, dear friend!

sligobay profile image

sligobay 2 years ago from east of the equator

Hello Nellieanna

I am back in Ireland and delighted. I hope that you are well. Hugs, Gerry

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Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

sligobay: Are you there for a visit or for good?

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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, Gerry! Good for you! I'm aware how much your heart and heritage are always in Ireland! Saying you are "back" there sounds as if it might be permanently. Like Kathleen, I'm curious about that!

As for me, I'm quite well and enjoying opportunities to go back and forth more frequently to my remote southwest Texas ranch, which is where my heritage is, along with much of my heart. :-)

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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, Kathleen! Great to see you here! It's like a mini-reuinion with you and Gerry here at the same time! Wonderful. Hope your autumn is going well!

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manatita44 4 months ago from london

Wow! Popular Hub. Leonard Cohen is awesome and Try to Remember is really sweet. Your poem is charming and the conversations are interesting. I did write about aging and I think that you visited and is mentioned somewhere else. I quoted something that you said. Much Love.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 months ago from TEXAS Author

The whole series was quite popular and we got to share our followers for it! Many things have changed since its publication, but it still offers good thought.

Yes, Leonard Cohen is awesome! "Try To Remember" seems to go-with aging in special ways, not that remembrance doesn't accompany all our ages, but they multiply as we age and sometimes the memories can be crowded out!

I must revisit your writing about aging. Thank you, dear Manatita!

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