The Journey - Chapter 16

The journey--Destination unknown. No refunds & No returns!
The journey--Destination unknown. No refunds & No returns!

A look at aging


This is the concluding chapter of our collaborative series. It is the profound hope of our 16 authors, that we have portrayed an honest view of the aging process. It is not intended as an exhaustive or comprehensive view. We simply share with you, the music which accompanied our dance, from youth to age.



At the bottom of this chapter you will find the links to each of the published chapters, beginning with chapter 1 and linking each successive chapter through to this concluding chapter. We sincerely thank all of you, who have followed us through to the end and we treasure the gracious comments left along the way.





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Introduction

Mistakenly, we sometimes assume that the good times are gone. That they belong to another time, the once fresh rain that fell upon our youth. Some assume that age comes to beg our submission to the inevitable encroachment that will steal our bodies and inject us with senility. It isn't true.There are pleasures and conveniences associated with both youth and age and yet, advantage does not sit on either side of the proverbial fence. They are, neither one, better, they are simply different. Contrary to much, which is assigned to our "over the hill status" we are still moved by sensuality, by adventure, by the thrill of it all. We engage in such frivolity, with enough frequency, to still be counted among the living, despite the opposite presumption of our children. Our intentional pauses, our momentary lapses, our deliberate hesitations, are not signs of a diminishing capacity, but of intentional interludes, meant to savor life, to squeeze from it the nourishment that would feed our hearts and satisfy the appetite of yet still hungry minds. The hurry, which once encumbered our full attention, has departed and left instead, a want for life to linger at our senses; A want for it to settle, like collected sediment beneath the daily current that would sweep any of it, too swiftly from our pleasure.

"Everyone around me seemed happy, but everyone around me seemed in a hurry to be happy somewhere else." Hannah Cowley
"Everyone around me seemed happy, but everyone around me seemed in a hurry to be happy somewhere else." Hannah Cowley



We are also moved by the seemingly insignificant. You might see us staring with wonder at common rain or you might catch us humming to invisible music. We are at home, in solitude and in revelry, in simplicity and in extravagance, either alone or in company. Yes, we feed the squirrels and on occasion, we talk to the pigeons, but when they tire of us, we are rather ordinary. We still make love, steal the unsuspecting kiss and we still whisper "sweet nothings" in ears, forever enchanted with our lies.Yes, we can not find the glasses perched atop our heads and we can't ever remember where we put our keys, but, we remember the birthdays of 190 people and why birthdays are more important than where we put the keys. We still floor the accelerator on occasion and yes, we still dance by ourselves when no one is around to see the fool in us.

We have accumulated a deep reverence for life and we approach it with a more patient resolve. The years have tendered our hearts to the things that matter and hardend them with indifference, to things that never will. We remember yesterday with quiet affection and with a grateful smile. We are indebted, both for what it gave and for what it did not take. Regardless of our age, whether twenty or eighty, together we all hold this in common; We each have the same day before us. It isn't youth or age that fills the hour, it is life. We can fill it with hurry, with business, with passion, with adventure or with each other. It will not return to us, young or old, unless we fill it with something worth remembering. At the end of days, when the chaff is seperated from our lives, it is the love we left behind, which will beg our immortality.

" It takes a long time to become young " Pablo Picasso
" It takes a long time to become young " Pablo Picasso



My Question:


If you could keep one thing from youth and one from age,

what would they be and why?




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The Answers

From: http://nellieanna.hubpages.com/




" "The garden does not inquire from youth or age, it offers itself to whoever comes." arb
" "The garden does not inquire from youth or age, it offers itself to whoever comes." arb

Actually I feel I’ve kept my personal treasures from my youth: - a perpetual delightful, curious trust, though it’s become quite realistic. I’ve learned to trust people to do what they’re going to do and to accept it, which is among my treasures of age, accepting and appreciating people as they ARE.

From aging, I value my sense of quiet certainty of what really matters, - a serenity, - that comes from feeling all is well, along with an almost amazing ability to spot a phony, even from a distance - and live with it. So, to answer your question, - from my youth, - I would keep my innocent rambunctious joy; and from my age, - I would keep my realistic serene joy - both of which, I do keep and enjoy.

Serenity is my adornment,

The gift of years.

I envy not that blank

Of innocence.

I am become a womanPainfully,

And there’s no debt Against it.

The calm water shows

No wear and tear

from its past storms.
_____© Nellieanna H. Hay



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From: http://kathleencochran.hubpages.com/

From my youth I would keep that conviction that anything is possible.Life has a way of limiting your dreams, forcing reality upon you, and whittling down your choices. When you are just starting out in your teens, you think you can do anything. It’s a wonderful thing I wish you could bottle and take a dose of every day after the age of forty when life is often too real.

From the process of aging I’d like to keep all the mistakes I’ve made. I’d like to keep that accumulated experience and wring out of it the wisdom that comes no other way, but from making mistakes and learning from them. I’d bottle that wisdom and give my children a dose of it every day.

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From: http://kennethavery.hubpages.com/

My unbridled laughter and happiness that only lends itself to us when we are youths. That would be the perfect tool in my old age. And from my old age, I would want to keep the REAL memories of those true friends and yes, even the "LOVES," that now give me the unnoticed smiles on my lips covered with my beard.





"Tranquility isn't something to be found, it is something we need to quit running away from." arb
"Tranquility isn't something to be found, it is something we need to quit running away from." arb


From: http://curiad.hubpages.com/

From my youth, I would keep my insatiable desire for knowledge. From age, I would keep my desire to help others and to make this world a better place. The most important things we could ever have, come from within, from the spirit. If I can share this one thing with those that follow, I will have done the best I can.

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From: http://tillsontitan.hubpages.com/


"Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many." unknown
"Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many." unknown

This is a tough question to answer. I hope I brought the best things of my youth with me as I age...of course that is not possible physically but that is not what's important. So, I guess if I had to choose something from my youth that I wanted to keep it would be the vitality and stamina to do all the 'physical' things I want to do for as long as I want and as well as I want without needing a nap.

From age, like I'm sure everyone else will say, I would keep my wisdom. I have told my children so many, many times, "I didn't get to be this age without learning something along the way!" The joys and sorrows we deal with in our lives are what make us strong and wise. Whether we have academic degrees or not doesn't matter once we are past fifty-five. What matters more is what we have learned from life; from our families, from our friends, and yes, even from our enemies. Hopefully we have learned from our mistakes and have mellowed to a point where we know life is not in our hands. We use our 'wisdom' to guide our own lives and perhaps pass some along to the generations to come...if they will listen.

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From: http://vincentmoore.hubpages.com

I would treasure my physical condition, stamina and good health as a youth, this I would love to keep till my dying breath.Combine my youthful treasures with having the wisdom I have gathered throughout my life, and now a senior the two would be a blessing surely sent from Heaven above. So in a nutshell, the two things I would keep would be physical condition and wisdom.


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From: http://phdast7.hubpages.com/

A friend wrote, “You are the most “curious” person I have ever known; I thought you might like to attend a Hindu wedding with me.”I began considering what makes one curious.My mother was well versed in literature, languages, words, music, and fine art.We discussed everything we heard and read, and we read voraciously.My immigrant father passed the GED, then spent the rest of his life reading and absorbing about history, botany, geography, astronomy, military science, archeology, and geology.Soon I was enamored of these disciplines.Curiosity has greatly enriched my life and served me well as a teacher.I would “keep the curiosity” of youth.

Most of my life I have been an impatient person, always hurrying to achieve, complete, accomplish. Keenly aware how an impatient person can easily wound those around them, I struggled to minimize my temper, sharp tongue, and critical attitude. It was difficult work and seemed never ending.Then during my forties my temperament began to change; sometimes it seemed like I was losing myself, but God was both merciful and quite persistent. I would “keep the patience” born of years.“Curiosity and patience.”



"Couriosity is lying in wait for every secret" Ralph Waldo emerson
"Couriosity is lying in wait for every secret" Ralph Waldo emerson



From: http://tomcornett.hubpages.com/


I would like to keep the blissful wisdom of my youth and the lessons in life of my age. I've often wanted to reach back in time and flick myself in the ear....but then I'd smile and realize that changing the past could be a far worse mistake. Even though I was wise beyond my years, even as a child.....there was an innocence within my wisdom. I only saw the light of the world and my mind formed that light into an even more innocent being that I had many conversations with. At ten years old, I would walk deep into the woods with my dog at my side. I didn't fear the dark shadows at all. I felt that innocent being was with me, sheltering me and protecting me. It gives me chills now to think of how I wondered away back then.


As I grew older....I began to know things about some of the people who owned the properties where my dog and I would explore. I was fortunate enough to have never crossed their paths in a situation that might have left me abused or even dead. A few backwoods, ignorant hicks tend to have the idea that anyone who tress passes on their property is fair game. What I believe is the greatest rule of all,"Do not hurt the little ones."I also believe that we have a far greater wisdom of love in youth. We connect love to our learning until the pain of struggling begins to separate the two. Our sweet curiosity becomes sooner or later, an obsession to make money and find a mate. The wisdom of love fades and the wisdom of surviving grows. A dove can't escape a viper unless the dove learns to be aware of it's surroundings.I've learned in my age to protect that ten year old boy with every essence of my being. He is the very being I spoke with as a child, so many wonderful times.


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From: http://jackwms.hubpages.com/


I think I like this question. On a lighter side, from my youth, I'd keep my teeth. Dentures have been an annoyance. I'd also like to have kept my parents beyond my 18th and 22nd year. But, on another level, it would be great to have the energy and enthusiasm I had back then. For example, It would be fun to travel Europe with a friend and a back pack before taking on a career and family.

Today at 76 years of age, I am retired with an adequate pension (not large) and health benefits. I've had a replaced hip and major back surgery in recent years and cannot be as active as I once was. But, I have helped raise a family of four sons and now have ten grandchildren plus one great grandson. I've lived a good life, traveled to other countries, and enjoyed my family.

What two things would I keep from age? Well, the family is all important, watching them grow and mature and become successful in their own right. The aging process has been wonderful in many respects, in that I have had the privilege of seeing these things develop. I am now enjoying the slower pace of life and spend more time reading, writing, and just soaking up what life has to offer. O.K., you said two things. The second thing from age is a big one. Wisdom. I no longer stress about things as I once did. I understand, from my years of experience, the things that are most important and the things not to worry about. It's been a good life and I expect more to follow.


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From: http://sligobay.hubpages.com/





"Youth and age are but a dance, where we take our turns leading." arb
"Youth and age are but a dance, where we take our turns leading." arb

Innocence of youth, once lost, is never recaptured. It is a state of spiritual purity that is the exclusive domain of the young. The enthusiasm of the young is limitless. It continues through life, in varying degrees, but never regains the raw energy with which it was first infused. Youthful enthusiasm is undaunted. The innocence and enthusiasm of the young is accompanied by a natural self-centeredness. Maturity tempers the natural self-centeredness of youth and allows selflessness to grow in many but many people never accomplish the transition. Selflessness arises from acceptance and understanding. Wisdom evolves with experience and knowledge. I choose the innocence of youth and the wisdom of age.


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From: http://cjsledgehammer.hubpages.com/

In my youth I was given a reprieve and through this reprieve a “second chance” at a new beginning, and this gave me hope, inspired faith, and ushered love into my life. Now that I am well-passed my physical prime and the effects of time have ravaged my body and drained me of my youthful vigor, there is something that time, not only appreciates, but rewards. And, that is the accumulation of Godly wisdom through faith. So, with all things considered, I would take the seed of hope that had been planted in my youth and had been nourished by the rains of time and nurtured with loving hands, thus sprouting into a great pillar of faith as I aged. I choose, therefore, to keep faith, hope, and love, because these elements will stand the test of time, yet can continue to nourish those left behind, all-the-while serving as a badge of honor in the life to come. “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” - 1 Corinthians 13:13

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From: http://silvergenes.hubpages.com/

Keeping the body of my youth with its energy and flexibility would be nice but more to the point, it would be fun to look great in a bikini again! I also miss that vibrant, elastic kind of energy that can send one across the floor in cartwheels. Best of all is the innocence, that open sense of trust and wonder. Do I have to choose only one? If I am going to be practical, it would be the energy because a hot chick in a bikini who is asleep by nine defeats the purpose. From age, I would keep the confidence and gentle character that comes from living, learning, loving, and forgiving. It would be a very unusual combination though and might tempt me into joining the Peace Corps or striking out in a career with National Geographic.

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From: http://jayewisdom.hubpages.com/

YOUTH: No contest—my singing voice! By age eight, I had an adult’s voice, perfect pitch and a range of three octaves. Adults hearing me sing were moved to tears. Without formal training, I didn’t know how to protect my voice. I sang at full volume and for hours at a time. What joy I got from singing! By age 48, respiratory allergies took their toll. It became difficult to reach that high A with a round tone. Still, I kept singing. When I was eight, my grandmother said my talent was a gift from God that I must not waste, and I didn’t. I sang at school, church, weddings, funerals, special concerts, on local radio, sitting at my piano… developing a repertoire of thousands of songs. Many I still recall. But I can’t sing them. Surgery in 2000 damaged my larynx. My range spans three notes instead of octaves, and my once-glorious voice is a croak I can’t bear to hear. I play keyboard instead. AGE: My mental capacity…intact for the rest of my life!

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" Life is the childhood of our immortality"                   Goethe      .
" Life is the childhood of our immortality" Goethe .

http://gerg.hubpages.com/

I had to really think about this one, because I feel like I have been granted this already. I'm not that concerned about physical prowess or looks, and actually find both more appealing with age, and I could also say the sense of comfort and security I felt as a child, but it's not really something I need to "keep". That said, what I choose from youth is a sense of childlike curiosity and inquisitiveness about things, qualities I have tried to maintain, despite the struggles and obstacles faced along life's path. From age, the peaceful acceptance of what is possible, without the clingy stress of feeling like what I've had isn't enough.
"Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact." ~ William James

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From : http://xstatic.hubpages.com/


If I were granted something to keep from youth and something to keep from age? From age is easy, really. I would certainly like to hang on to whatever modicum of wisdom that has settled upon me over all these years. It does seem like a thin cloak at times in these increasingly complicated times, but I would choose to keep it, maybe even add to it as long as I am able to walk this earth.

From youth, so many choices. I suppose I would choose to keep that unflaggable energy of youth, the kind that allowed me to stay up all night on election day, 1960 arguing good naturedly with two friends about the merits of John F. Kennedy versus those of Richard Nixon. We were all too young to vote, but it seemed so important. When we fianally got the news early the next morning, two of us were elated, one not so much, so we all went out to breakfast at Yummies.

If there were one other available from back then, maybe I would want my hair.


"Love is a symbol for eternity. it wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and any fear of an end".
"Love is a symbol for eternity. it wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and any fear of an end".

http://arb.hubpages.com




Youth appears to have a partnership with vitality, with unbridled energy, with that naive optimism that extends horizons and stretches the imagination. I have measured such gift, however, in people of every age, which lends evidence that perhaps, their absence is more about surrender. I think "time" is the true prize of youth. Their horizon seems limitless, while ours has lost it's elasticity. We notice the mile markers more today than yesterday. Perhaps, noticing the mile markers, encourages a quickening when it comes to growing up!


There is I think, a quiet elegance, which accompanies aging. An authenticity pressed into the residual wrinkles, which leaves evidence, that we have lived beyond our youth. I would like to think that it is wisdom, but, I have met my share of old fools. Not all who are old are wise, but, all who are wise are old. If wisdom is the influence of past experience imposing itself upon our future, then age should gift us with bountiful measure. Life has been a school that never closes for me and it has patiently mastered my stubbornness. It has taught me what love is and what it isn't. That I must bathe it every morning in forgiveness and lay it down at night without condition. Perhaps, learning to love comes from wisdom. Perhaps, wisdom comes from learning how to love. The chicken or the egg, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that love grows up. It begins in self and flies from there until it finds a home in others. To feed on such love, is indeed, an acquired taste. What would I keep? The gift of time that accompanies youth and the authenticity of love that graces age. Time is such an incomparable luxury, however, without love, it is a useless extravagance!


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Age collects our youth

like sand within the glass

Could I but turn it upside down

what would I do it ask?

I'd make a list of those I love

and pour them in the glass

just time and love and them

for as long as life would last.



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"The things that you will wish for tomorrow, are already here today. We are not in need of wish. We are in need of wake." arb

"The sand within my glass"
"The sand within my glass"

L to R - my two sons, my daughter-in-law, my wife and I, my youngest daughter and her husband, my oldest daughter and her husband.

Zoe Jane - my grandaughter and the only evidence "I" need of God. (from my hub "The story of Zoe")
Zoe Jane - my grandaughter and the only evidence "I" need of God. (from my hub "The story of Zoe")







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We have looked at aging through the different windows of 16 writers. We do not presume a wisdom other than, we are all wiser today, than when we were young. Neither do we, as individuals, presume an answer, which will illuminate the road for those who follow. Each one of us, alone, would prove insufficient light for so treacherous a journey, however, collectively our candles cast a broader light revealing that both, treasure and danger lay in wait along the way.

Our lives are sculptured by every measure of circumstance that comes upon us, from conception unto our final day. No one of us, can go this journey unscathed, but in the midst of our trials, through our loss and our failures, the human spirit mends, to joy, to laugh and to love again. In examining the answers from these 16 chapters you will find that we have all shared a common ground, harvesting from life, the fruit of what we've planted and at times, harvesting losses, despite what we have planted. We have alike, tilled the ground, nurtured our planting and fed on eager expectation. Experience has taught us what to plant, what not to plant and why, but, it has also taught us that our faithfulness does not always guarantee the yield expected.

If there is a common thread which runs through our collective tapestry it is simply this; We love life at every age, we keep dreams at every age and love can light our journey, like headlamps that tame a dark and unfamiliar road. We've learned that hope is a more reliable companion than expectation and we've learned that the condition of our heart, is a more accurate judge of age than time. We've learned that who we are, is the consequence of failure and success, of defeat as much as victory and of loss as much as gain. We've learned from every question, from every answer, from every line and in between the lines, that life is about our love for the people who fill our lives. They are the living ornaments with which we decorate our lives and the daily prize which lays our head to rest at night.

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I chose this song because it tells the story of a journey, where the importance of collecting ornaments can not be illustrated any more profoundly.



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I find it difficult to close this series without some reference to the encroaching horizon. For many, this present journey diminishes the idea of a loving and merciful God. It leaves the hungry soul with questions, with reservation and with mounting doubt as to the possibility of any awaiting paradise. If this journey is a prerequisite for the next, then it begs the question from me, why, if not to fashion from me, something essential for the journey yet to come. As I gaze upon the approaching horizon, I can see the reflection of where I've been, of things which bent my will and insisted from my heart, something more than I had any want to give. Where else, but from such a journey, with its smorgasbord of around-the-clock, seductive temptation, where the voracious appetite of my five senses clamor for perpetual attention and stimulation, where my human nature craves the deceitful promises offered by empty illusions along the way, where else, but in such a journey, could I learn to cross the bridge from myself to others? Perhaps this journey is necessary, to break that stubborn allegiance, which man, so proudly assigns to himself. Perhaps it is necessary, to learn of the soul and of the life in love. Perhaps, we are only here, to be sculptured from youth to age, 'till in the end, we are finally, selfless.

" I don't know what is next. I do know the road has always gone further than I could see." arb
" I don't know what is next. I do know the road has always gone further than I could see." arb

In conclusion, I am left to marvel at the sixteen candles, which have left their light upon my life through this collaborative enterprise. Each hand has left an indelible fingerprint fixed upon these collective pages as we examined the road behind and the road that still remains before us. Together, we have examined our journeys for regret, for lesson and for understanding. In so doing, we have established a mutual admiration, a shared amusement and affirmation, that we are all engaged in a common struggle to elevate the good in life against all that would beg a measure of our surrender. To each of you; I will keep you as ornaments to hang upon my heart and as company to warm the memory of our travel together. Because we can not go this way again, I am ever thankful that we made so much of our first encounter. My heartfelt thanks to

Nellieanna, my friend and parntner in every crime along the way.

Greg, for doing your share and yet another, for one in need of a samaritan.

Theresa, my friend and secret sounding board

Kathleen, continuous offers of help, support and encouragement

Vincent, guardian of our collaborative integrity and in the throws of his own move

Silvergenes, all of this while in the middle of a 3000 mile, coast to coast move

CJ, his want to equal our every effort surpassed the bar and revealed his humble gift

Jack, coming on in the final week and completing an incomplete group

Sligobay, my kinsman in thought who gives confidence to what I write

Jaye, sweet spirit spread upon our every change

Kenneth, in the midst of trials, gave all he could

xstatic, my Oregon neighbor, long on willingness and gracious character

Curiad, every change met with smile and compliment

Tom, a new friend whose honest heart spilled content into our work

tillsontitan, daily praise of every word and heart for every one of us

arb

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For immediate access to any previous chapter simply click on one of the following chapters.


A Table of Contents ----- Hub authors

The Journey - Chapter 1 - Nellieanna

The Journey - Chapter 2 - Curiad

The Journey - Chapter 3 - Vincent

The Journey - Chapter 4 - Jaye

The Journey - Chapter 5 - tillsontitan

The Journey - Chapter 6 - xstatic

The Journey - Chapter 7- tom cornett

The Journey - Chapter 8 - Silvergenes

The Journey - Chapter 9 - kenneth avery

The Journey - Chapter 10 - kathleen Cochran

The Journey - Chapter 11 - CJ Sledgehammer

The Journey - Chapter 12 - phdast ( Theresa )

The Journey - Chapter 13 - gerg

The Journey - Chapter 14 - sligobay

The Journey - Chapter 15 - Jackwms

The Journey - Chapter 16 - arb

Comments 161 comments

sligobay profile image

sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

Thank you Arb for a wonderful final chapter. Jimmy Durante and Roy Clark sang the lyrics which pulled the Journey together. I will comment further later. Your great leadership made all of this possible.

"If it can be conceived, it can be achieved."


QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 4 years ago

Arb by the time I was done publishing my poem when I refreshed the page I saw you had published this hub and of course I just had to read it.

I have been following this series from the beginning; some places I chose to be vocal, others I chose to be the ever silent reader.

Arb as I read this hub I couldn't help contain the emotion I felt build up inside me. Almost the same way one feels as they begin to near the end of a great book.

The wisdom you and all others have portrayed is inspirational, nay, it is beyond words and rightly so; you have most certainly earned it through your years.

Arb; the way one lives life is so important yet for some reason we count only milestones; good and bad, each of us waiting for the next milestone, never stopping and waiting how important the current present it. How important it is to just step back and take a look of all that we have; of all that we have done.

I was absolutely touched by your quote:

"The things that you will wish for tomorrow, are already here today. We are not in need of wish. We are in need of wake." arb

Thank you for the beautiful family portrait Arb.

I am so proud that I know you; I am so proud to look up to you.


Curiad profile image

Curiad 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

This is beautifully done Alan, This quote " where else, but in such a journey, could I learn to cross the bridge from myself to others? says it all!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

Arb....I expected no less than brilliance from Chapter 16, your wrap-up of The Journey, and you did not disappoint. Your introduction and summary together compose a masterful essay on the art of aging well. Our Poet/Philosopher spoke here, in full measure.

The pictures are beautiful, their captions (especially those that are original to you), apt. Your musical choices are right on target. Thanks, too, for sharing your family pictures. I understand why they are the "sand within your glass."

I read this chapter through from beginning to end, and, with tears falling from my eyes, read it again. You ended this series with the entire orchestra playing--solos by the stringed instruments and horns at just the right places, perfect notes from the oboes and flutes, the crash of cymbals and the boom of the bass drum, and back to the violins for a smooth-as-silk ending.

I was touched by my collaborators' answers to your question, not surprised that the most usual gift from youth desired is physical energy and strength, or that wisdom is the gift from age most chosen to keep through life. (The visual image of silvergenes' "... hot chick in a bikini ... asleep by nine..." enlivened my reading with a touch of humor that caused me to chuckle--even on the second reading, through my tears.)

My own answers to the question must seem perplexing to readers and, perhaps, somewhat flighty. I must explain that, upon first reading the question, there was no pause to consider it carefully. My answers to both parts sprang full-blown from my mind instantly. I cannot describe how much I enjoyed singing for most of my life, nor how much I've missed it since losing the ability. Also, both my parents had Alzheimers, so I feel a certain vulnerability in that potential aspect of aging.

Thank you, dear Arb, for conceiving of this glorious project--its format and topic. Thanks, too, for allowing me to participate in the collaboration with 15 talented writers. I feel I've come to know each one through this process and made new friends as a bonus. This project was a wonderful experience, beginning to end.

I feel confident The Journey will continue to find an audience on HubPages and be shared by many readers who find nuggets of wisdom within its 16 chapters.

I must also thank Nellieanna again for her marvelous (and unselfish) help that ensured technical continuity and smooth publishing of the 16 chapters.

And...(this is beginning to seem like an Oscar speech!) to all my fellow collaborators--it's been a terrific expedition!

JAYE


Jackwms profile image

Jackwms 4 years ago

Alan... A wonderful concluding chapter to this collaboration. I thank you for bringing me in as a participant. I have learned much and gained new perspectives from reading the responses to each of the sixteen questions and the comments following. Nellieanna and my son Greg have helped keep me on track with my own question and postings.

I loved your pictures, and videos. You certainly have a beautiful family.

Isn't it a shame that some young people might not know who Jimmy Durante or Roy Clark are?

I knew this grand finale to our collaborative effort would be special. I certainly wasn't disappointed. Great job!


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Alan, words fail me. This is a smooth and wonderful way to close our series, and yet it is a crescendo as well due to the way you use language to convey deep and heartfelt meaning in every sentence. We were all fortunate to be included in this concept you proposed. Like Jaye, my eyes filled and blurred as I read, and even now as I write.

Jaye said it all, better than I can. It was a great experience and I learned from paricipating.

Thanks to all who wrote and to all who will read about our Jourmey.


SilverGenes 4 years ago

Oh, Alan, this is brilliant! I want to read it again without so many tears in my eyes and come back and comment properly but for now, please know that you couldn't have summed up this magnificent journey any better!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

"Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by -" Thank you for introducing me to these writers I might never have found on this site with so many interesting people. Thank you for causing me to consider some aspects of my own life I might never have taken the time to consider. Thank you for all I've learned.

"It has made all the difference."


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I know once more why you are so beloved - - your unparalleled wisdom and sensitivity, brilliiantly shown in writing this perfect last Chapter to the collaboration which took seed in the fertile ground of your mind and heart. It all plainly proclaims the reasons you're so dear to me and to all of us. Your quiet dignity and honor run through your words, the selection of wonderful pictures - I'm honored with the one you placed near my answer; Your beautiful family who reflect the character and love you give them; the music selections, - both are wonderful. I'd nearly forgotten what a dear voice Roy Clark has. I used to watch "Hee Haw", - early on, when it was among the few choices on TV where I was. Some of those singers were memorable and endeared themselves to a generation or two, including Roy Clark; - also Glenn Campbell, Buck Owens -- and a list of famous quests to the show is amazing. Elvis was even a fan! Thanks for that memory and such a wonderful choice of songs by Roy: - "Yesterday".

Jimmy Durante gives an aura to any song he sings. This one is lovely. "Young At Heart" goes-with your lovely poem. And this - you can, you do, Alan:

Age collects our youth

like sand within the glass

Could I but turn it upside down

what would I do it ask?

I'd make a list of those I love

and pour them in the glass

just time and love and them

for as long as life would last.

Again, I'm carried away by the question posed and the answers given by my beloved fellow collaborators! Each shows us another amazing facet of himself or herself. I can think of no other means for so much real personality and character to shine throughout and out than with this way you set forth for us to share our lives and especially as they are slipping into the part called "Aging". I find myself loving each of them more than ever.

It's incredible how much each of us really IS our youthful self, though seasoned with wisdom and experience, directed by setbacks which opened detours and other constructive paths than those we had first envisioned for our Journeys - if, indeed, we really had concepts of what a Journey it was on which we were embarked, so into ourselves were we!

I see that we all felt a little immunity to many of its realities, and perhaps when those confronted us, we felt a bit miffed, misunderstood or affronted! Then gradually, we learned that unerring truth of cause and effect, and also became aware of a pervading grace, mercy and forgiveness there for our taking, -- provided we took along and began to apply some wisdom and updated innocence to our continued Journey.

Now each of us is joyfully proceeding on our path! Obviously we are as full of awe and delight in it as at any other time of our lives - maybe more so! Thank you, Alan, for bringing us 16 fellow writers the chance to share this among ourselves and with our other followers and friends on Hubpages! It's a momentous presentation!!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Dear arb and all writers of this series, this entire series about living in the 'end-phase' of the journey of life, is truly a precious gem not only in HubPages but on the Internet. As I grow older I miss profound information about aging. There are so many books about infants, babies, children and teenagers and even about young adults, but 'nothing' for older people except about medical issues and retirement. This series is so enlightening, for the first time in my life I look forward to the rest of my life.

Your question - If you could keep one thing from youth and one from age, what would they be and why? - and all the answers, enlightened and delighted me tremendously. Thank you!

I have not yet read all the chapters, but plan to do so a.s.a.p.

My hat off to all of you. You are brilliant role models :)


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I am challenging my age today, running about like a lost rabbit at a greyhound training track. These comments deserve much more than a coffee break, friends deserve even more. Sometime today I will gather from myself whatever the greyhounds leave and drag my worn out carcass back where it belongs, with friend and family.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

You need do no such thing! Relax - you deserve it. Reply as the spirit moves you and as it pleases you to! Hugs.


sligobay profile image

sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

Arb, you are both a great writer and a great leader and have demonstrated your prowess through a fantastic journey with the sweet sixteen soul mates. It has been my honor to come to know you and our precious colleagues and new friends. Gerry


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

My day will end at 3:30 and then to my daughters birthday celebration at 5:30. I will answer then what I can and the rest I will address in the mornings, which reserve themselves for my coming.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Thank you Arb! You made my day! You help me see the beauty and grace that I stand on the verge of if I am lucky!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Audrey, I am delighted that you had time to read. I have missed your visits. Have you gone and returned? I do not think that you need help seeing either beauty or grace; I have read enough of your poetry to know that you are well acquainted with them both. Thank you as always for your remarks, they always add to my day!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Sligobay, I remain humbly in the shadow of those who went before me. My pen fed upon the seed which pled with prayer, make me equal to all that they have done. What friend does not run to where friendship waits? Thank you for yours


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hello sweet pea, I learned long ago to look neither up or or down at any man. Each of us are mirrored in the eyes of one another. I invite you to look with me at one another in mutual admiration. Should either of us fall, our friendship will sustain the other and fall will be forgotten. You are light years ahead of where I was at your age and not far behind where I am today. I shall keep watching the rising star, not only within your writing; I watch the light that grows ever brighter in the person you are becoming. We will for many years to come, enjoy looking at each other. We are friend and friend.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Such a bridge has left you at my doorstep, curiad. What a pleasure our travel has been. I look forward to growing what has seeded. Be well, my friend


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Jaye, what does the shadow say to light. You have been a joy to come to know and I am moved to gladness to contemplate the years we have before us. What sweetness will spread upon our lives as these friendships grow beyond our finite imaginations. I am pleased to have met the measure laid before me, to keep as treasure your lovely and gracious praise and even more, to hold tight, another ornament.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hi Jack, Roy Clark and this song settled hard upon my life. I must have listened to it a 1000 times one year. I've little doubt that its impact settled deeper than I will ever know. They are a beautiful family, made even more so in their demonstrative love for one another. I stand in awe of what life has given one so undeserving. I am thankful for ailing eyes, it requires more looking with my heart. Thank you Jack for adding to this group and for new friendship. I look forward to new exchanges my friend.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Xstatic, My comment capsule insures me that I have commented to those I have not yet commented too. If you prefer the comment I did not make to this one feel free to disregard the latter. That any man should confess a welling up, in and of itself, makes him worth knowing, but then, I instinctively knew that you were such a man. I will share with you something I've never told anyone. I am most inclined to the things I've written which were accompanied by tears. I do not if others do this, but, it happens to me occasionally. I look forward to our continued exchanges my friend and to our eventual visit in Bend.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Silvergenes. to soar with eagles one must leave the ground. I was left upon the ground gazing up at my collaborators. It is good to come home. I am thrilled at your present station along your journey and look forward to reading of bikini clad foreigners romping around the frozen barrier. Perhaps the cover of National Geographic? I suspect both you and your daughter are wearing Nikes with little wings, flittering about your northern paradise. I understand from one who knows that a great novel shall arise from there. I suspect my new friend will autograph a copy.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Kathleen, such a cooperative spirit you are. My thanks for your multiple offers to help. Whatever you have gleened from all of us, rest assured, you have in turn fed us alike. Mr. Frost would have like you very much. He was big on authenticity. As I wait for the novel from Silvergenes, I look forward to an autographed copy of yours also. I am building a library of books by friends. Since we are friends, it is only a matter of time before yours is here.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Well butterfly, what do I say. You didn't think my placement of butterflies was an accident did you? My unparalleled wisdom comes from my garden confidant and my sensitivity from her subtle questions meant to dull my hardness. I am dear to you because both life and people are dear to you. You are a reflection of where we wish to play and where we wish to rest. You are, little butterfly our heart and soul. I am enriched because I know you, I am taller because I see you and I am your friend because you made me so. What greater gift can any one give to any other. Besides, I have a special fondness for butterflies.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

And they, for you . . . my dear. No,I didn't think it accidental that you placed butterflies there. We share them, don't we? All your replies to the comments bring tears to my eyes, this last one most of all.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

btw -- you mentioned ailing eyes. You know that mine were ailing since birth. I believe one's other kinds of seeing get more.


sligobay profile image

sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

"the blind see more clearly than the sighted" was the title of one of my hubs. As Arb rightly points out, as the physical vision fails the spiritual vision of the heart is enhanced and assumes the duty of the eyes. This is a wonderful final chapter but the comments demonstrate that the story of the "sweet sixteen" has only just begun.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

hello Martie, thank you for the praise of this collaborative effort. That you look forward to aging is a testament to the message left in each chapter. I don't believe that it is a coincidence that this group loves life at every age. I think they are the reflection of how good life is when we reflect on what we have. Thanks for your reading and even more, for gracious comments that shine like diamonds in the crown of our work.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Life brings tears to your eyes. What else can one do when all they see is the beauty which surrounds them.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I was born blind in one eye and much of youth monopolized the other. Now that I have it back it insist on glasses to read and another to see where my golf ball landed. Fortunately, I've little need of eyes to write.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hi gerry! Sounds like a hub I would like. You are right about the story just beginning. It perhaps, is crying out for such a hub.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

What a beautiful end to a beautiful journey! Your layout has more than done justice to this journey you started. You have been a beacon throughout and left us with a final chapter of wonder and 'stamina' to see us through.

Your choice of pictures was lovely and your words...wisdom as always.

God bless you, this hub, and the other fifteen that shared this journey.

Voted up, useful, beautiful, and interesting.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Alan – What could I possibly say that hasn’t already been said? Probably two or three times. :) I suppose it makes sense to start at the beginning. Lovely and interesting pictures and photographs; I especially appreciate the little girl who embodies “curiosity.” Thank you.

From your introduction, ~~”There are pleasures and conveniences associated with both youth and age and yet, advantage does not sit on either side of the proverbial fence. They are, neither one, better, they are simply different.” So very true and yet our society so often and so frequently tells us otherwise; society is to be ignored, even resisted when it is wrong. :)

The entire introduction is beautifully articulated, but this passage stood out to me as something that ought to be found frequently in greeting cards. ~~”We each have the same day before us. It isn't youth or age that fills the hour, it is life. We can fill it with hurry, with business, with passion, with adventure or with each other. It will not return to us, young or old, unless we fill it with something worth remembering.” I should mention that I do not like or buy greeting cards; I maintain a supply of striking and beautiful “blank” cards and write my own messages in them. However, I would purchase a card that had your words in it.

And such wonderful answers. ”From my youth, - I would keep my innocent rambunctious joy; and from my age, - I would keep my realistic serene joy…” ~Nellieanna~ “From my youth I would keep that conviction that anything is possible.” ~Kathleen~ “My unbridled laughter and happiness….” ~Kenneth~ “ The joys and sorrows we deal with in our lives are what make us strong and wise. ”The most important things we could ever have, come from within, from the spirit.” ~Curiad~ “~tillsontitan~ “Combine my youthful treasures with having the wisdom I have gathered throughout my life….” ~Vincent~ “I've learned in my age to protect that ten year old boy with every essence of my being.” ~Tom~ “I am now enjoying the slower pace of life and spend more time reading, writing, and just soaking up what life has to offer. ~Jack~

“Maturity tempers the natural self-centeredness of youth and allows selflessness to grow in many but many people never accomplish the transition.” ~sligobay~ “I would take the seed of hope that had been planted in my youth and had been nourished by the rains of time and nurtured with loving hands, thus sprouting into a great pillar of faith as I aged.” ~CJ~ “From age, I would keep the confidence and gentle character that comes from living, learning, loving, and forgiving” ~SilverGenes~ “I sang at full volume and for hours at a time. What joy I got from singing!” ~Jaye~ “From age, the peaceful acceptance of what is possible, without the clingy stress of feeling like what I've had isn't enough.” ~Greg~ “I suppose I would choose to keep that unflaggable energy of youth, the kind that allowed me to stay up all night…” ~Jim~

Alan, you penned so many meaningful phrases, it is hard to choose, but then I don’t have to choose, do I? Privilege of age. :) ~~ “The most important things we could ever have, come from within, from the spirit.” ~~ "The things that you will wish for tomorrow, are already here today. We are not in need of wish. We are in need of wake." ~~ ”We've learned that hope is a more reliable companion than expectation and we've learned that the condition of our heart, is a more accurate judge of age than time.” ~~ “Perhaps, we are only here, to be sculptured from youth to age, 'till in the end, we are finally, selfless.“ [And of course I am reminded of the potter’s whee, and He who shapes the clay and of my grandfather the sculptor.] ~~ “…we are all engaged in a common struggle to elevate the good in life against all that would beg a measure of our surrender.”

Alan – Thank you for asking each of us to walk with you on this splendid journey. I anticipated a good and interesting journey…described by individuals. I did not grasp the possibilities that would emerge and the depths which would be plumbed by the 16 questions or how the 256 collaborative answers would blend to create a dramatic story, an inspiring song of aging. Our “Journey” will be one of the “good gifts” I leave with my children when I am no longer here. Blessings. Theresa


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thank you for such a lovely comment. This has been a journey within a journey, a trip where we have collected friends along the way and drawn from one another, a sweetness from the very life we wrote about. My spirit whispers it has just begun. We shall make it so.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Theresa, thank you for your comments, drawing from each contributor, a reminder of their precious words. Thank you for your praise of our project and thank you for your graciousness, as always, in finding lines which spoke so deeply as I wrote them. Thank you for your friendship, for your willingness to be a sounding board I always trust and thank you for being you. It is I , who remains thankful to all of you who said yes to an untested idea. The fruit of what we've planted is so much sweeter than anything I anticipated. We harvested more from one another than all the words we wrote. Perhaps we have all found that the seeds of friendship simply wait a a breeze to scatter them in the right direction. In any case, I feel much like I did when each of my children left the nest. I will look forward to the visits.


Jackwms profile image

Jackwms 4 years ago

Alan...I sent my chapter 15 post to a friend in Adelaide, Australia, that I have blogged back and forth with the last few years. I thought you might like to read his response.

Jack

Dear Jack,

Good to"hear" from you again, and congratulations on "The Journey" and on your part in it.

Everybody has thoughts and beliefs they'd like to share, and this is an ideal outlet for them.

In this instance I agree with you and, in particular, the fellow who said (more or less) that he'd enjoyed the life he'd had and had now, and had few complaints.

At near 76 now, I've had a full life so far - sailing dinghies in the Murray River as a teen, and leaving my long-suffering wife as "sailing widow" for 25 years for almost every weekend and holiday while I sailed off-shore on yachts rangeing from 30 ft. to an elderly ex-Sydney Hobart Race veteran, in partnership with an old friend. (that stopped when arthritis butted in - at about the time yacting started to become the sport of the rich. I had 20 years of driving midget speedcars on the local (rural) track I helped to develop, and elsewhere around South Australia, tried gliding (no aptitude and sinus troubles), light aeroplane flying (dead boring, I thought). And, for 40 years there was work in the family rural newspaper that grew from my Father's 8-persons to the bigger better "local", that included SA's second-biggest contract newspaper printer, employing 45. In the middle of that we developed a commercial radio relay station (for another company) into an independent business that sold for $2m. Then came retirement, partnership in a desktop Publishing company, another retirement into computer type-setting consultancy for rural newspapers through the Eastern states.

then came the caravans for five years and now the retirement village where (would you believe) I produce the village newsletter. Why would I want to grumble?

I'm not a fitness enthusiast like you and your friends, but the body generally does (most) of what I like doing without more than the odd ache and rumble, and my PCs and Ipad are my main interest, with reading, of course, these days. . . ."happy as the pig in the proverbial", as they say.

Re the prostate - "It wouldn't dare to cause more trouble!"

I've had a couple of reductions over recent years, but that's all settled down.

Getting back to your mail,and the project. . . . . much more worthwhile and fulfilling than Facebook, I reckon. Well done.\\

Best regards,

Mike


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

another instance of a rewarding life with few regrets. Thanks for sharing this jack. He is obviously a man who has no idea how old he is. ha ha


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Jack - what a great response from a far-off friend. That was so nice of you to share it with us! (and kind of what this has all been about!)

We all have such varied experiences, but how clear it is that we are each and all about the 'trip' and what we've gleaned from traveling it - and living each of our days. Maybe your friend Mike will see fit to join us here in Hubpages. He's a pretty good writer with a story to share!

Hugs - Nelllieanna


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

A grand suggestion!


Jackwms profile image

Jackwms 4 years ago

Nellieanna and Arb.. That is rather what I was working toward. He is a former news reporter and editor that I ran into a few years back on one of my other blogs. http://jackwms36.blogspot.com/

He is quite a good writer and, being in another country, could add some intrigue to the postings.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

If I can be of any help Jack, give a holler!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Invite him to join and he will have some friends awaiting him! Let us know so we can go greet and follow him.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

butterflies must flitter!


Tim 4 years ago

Hi arb, ran across this on facebook. Superb treatment of aging. Kudos to you and your fellow writers. "Until finally, we are selfless" Extraordinary.


Vincent Moore 4 years ago

Allan there is not much more I can add to this accumulation of wisdom bestowed in these 16 Chapters. Let me first start off by thanking you for the invitation to be one of the sweet sixteen's as Gerry has so eloquently coined us. I am truly honoured and humbled to be a contributor. I will return time and time again to review and soak up the many pearls and gems that shine with a University of experiences gained from all of our youth to our present stages in life.

The accumulation of thought and answers that went into the 16 questions laid down before us all can only be gained by having been there, lived through it all and now able to pass on our knowledge to the ones we leave behind. You sir have eloquently and with great tact and wisdom opened up many doors for my continual journey. You have in verse mapped out a route for all of us to follow. To live life to the fullest, place the past behind us, remember the bad times yet strive for purity and continue to LOVE and seek all good things in life. Leave this world a better place, hold close to our bosom's the LOVE of family for they are our light, our beacon of hope.

I have struggled much in my youth and early adult life, I have lost much and the love of many. Yet somewhere in my wrinkled life I was plucked from the abyss and brought to the surface to share what gifts I may have left. My Muse has found me and coaxed me into taking up the Quill, be it dull, I've sharpened it with words from my soul. The dark is slowly leaving and the light coming forth. Allan you've brilliantly brought to a close with Chapter 16 a summation of discovery.

You've opened up Pandora's box by bringing forth such a vast display of knowledge here by so many gifted writers like yourself. There is such a display of experience that will vastly be soaked up by the many that will stumble into these Chapters and leave them breathless, in tears, joyful, sad, excited,thankful,mesmerized,taught,envious,delighted and most of all wondering what role they will play on the stage of life as they continue on their Journey into ageing with dignity and grace.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart and now can taste the salty tears as they slide down my cheek to my tongue. I am much wiser for having met so many talented scribes and learning from what they so eloquently shared with us all. Peace and blessings to you and yours. You left me with so many memories, your pictures chosen and the videos of Roy's and Jimmy's were spot on. "Yesterday" would be my signature song for my life.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Beautiful.


Jackwms profile image

Jackwms 4 years ago

FYI, Greg (Gerg) is spending the week at Boy Scout camp with his son, Zachary. I know he would love your final chapter, Alan, and will comment when he returns to Sacramento after the weekend. He has no internet capability while at the camp.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hello Tim, I was hoping you would find this once posted. By the way, Chuck Banks will be here in Bend visiting for about a month. say hello to cyndi and thanks for reading.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Your comment has settled deep into my quiet places Vincent. Most conversations spill from our minds because we reside there most of the time. Your extraordinary gift is that your past has led you to feel deeply and you speak and write from what you feel. Such sensitivity is what makes you who you are. It strikes me that we have gathered a group who are so inclined. Our thoughts are bathed in more than what we simply think, we have come to a place where we can feel the words left for one another, words that speak much more than what simply they say, they speak to places reserved for friends. Roy's song spoke to me of you also when I chose it, mostly things gathered from your comments and writings, but, I have met you where you are and not where you have been and where you are is worthy of your many friends.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thanks Jack, I had assumed as much. His heart would not forget any one of us. Says a great deal about how he was raised, I suspect.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Arb: Just wondering how my other collaborators faired with this project. My chapter was my highest viewed hub of this month. Thank y'all for the promo!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hi Kathleen. I haven't checked with the others. I have a total of 255 visits but about 60 of those were prior to publication. It is currently scoring 89 with 52 comments 1/2 are probably mine. I conclude that 195 reads (15 today) means a lot of people are reading, but leaving no comment. I have also done a search using some tag lines and a host of chapters do come up so I think, The journey will continue to secure reads for some time.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I have a total of 752 visits with 624 in the last 30 days so over 100 were before my own publication. The score is 93 and there are 84 comments with only 3 in the last 24 hours. The peak was July 5th with 120 visits. I'm not too good on the score-reading or interpreting, but obviously being the first has given my chapter more time to accumulate visits.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Wow! Wow, Wow! 624 is terrific. 93 is a great score 30 days after pub. I would think, nellieanna, that this is very pleasing.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Kathleen, et.al. ~~ Prompted by your question and Nellieanna and Alan's masterful use of statistics, I decided to go check mine : ) I posted chapter 12 on the 18th and it has 42 comments (21 comments are mine), a total of 249 views --- 35 of which were mine before I posted it, and the Hub score is 92. Certainly not the best results I have ever gotten, but in the top ten or or so. :) Anyone else want to share about their chapter's progress.?


Vincent Moore 4 years ago

Interesting figures. Here are mine, my score has been up to 94 but has dropped down to this present score.

87 36 1 19 314 384 07/04/12

I believe over time the comments and views will just keep going up. The journey has just begun, many will come. Thank you again Alan for this magnificent idea of yours and Nellieanna for keeping us all on track. It's been a wonderful experience.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thanks theresa! I think Nellieanna's views are very encouraging. Using various search engines, The journey, a look at aging, I found all chapters under each search. Using hub search under aging, just a few, but all under aging and longevity.


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Alan:

Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for having been invited to participate in this grand adventure. Even as we speak, I am still basking in the glow. I just want to say...thank you for thinking of me.

Technical problems notwithstanding, I had a wonderful time. And, God bless Nellieanna for demonstrating the patience of Job and for guiding me to the promised land. :0)

Alan, there really is nothing more I can say to you, that I have not already said through my eagerness to please, my desire to excel, and through my willingness to learn. You opened a door that had been closed to me my entire life, and through reading your poetry and studying your words...I found my own voice and style.

I believe God sent me to your Hubpage to learn how to see things a bit differently and how to express myself in a fun and effective manner. Plato learned from Socrates, Aristotle followed Plato...and I studied you.

Sixteen writers employed 16 different perspectives and writing styles into their respective hubs and answers, but one thing we all can say with one voice, is how much we honor, respect, and admire you.

You are the sixteenth voice and the final chapter in this series. The first fifteen made ready the vessel, now we all can sail-off into the sunset as the mighty anchor has now been lifted from the sea.

Reading Chapter 16 has been "bittersweet". It is "sweet" because of your eloquent words, beautiful imagery, and heart-warming perspectives. It is somewhat bitter, because the 3-week thrill ride has now come to an end.

I loved your meaningful pictures and musical selections. I especially enjoyed seeing your clan photo...you all look like a happy bunch, which is what I would expect to see and little Zoe is a living doll!!!

Thanks again, Alan, for allowing us to be part of something extraordinary!!! :0)

God's richest blessings to you and yours - C.J. Sledgehammer


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Well put CJ!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

The scores are very pleasing, Alan! Among the best ever. I owe it to you!

I've noticed that with several of the Chapters, the list titled "Discover More Hubs" provided by HP just before the comments frequently highlights many of our other Chapters! In fact, Alan - here on your Chapter 16, all 6 of those they featured are some of our other Chapters! Says a lot!

I've just watched the opening of the 2012 Olympics in London. Quite an impressive show!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thanks for sharing Vincent.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I am humbled by your heartfelt praise CJ and I am honored that my writing has helped you to find your magnificent voice. I believe finding our voice is the consequence of reading others who have found their voice here on hub pages. I am excited for where this will take you. As for the bittersweet end, it is something we all share together. I am humbled by the company of this collaborative journey, they are an impressive collection of writers and even more, an impressive array of beautiful people. I've enjoyed our friendship from day 1 CJ and look forward to its continuation. We have traveled together for a little while and God willing, we shall do so again some time. Perhaps another excursion into some unfamiliar territory where only exceptional people venture. I know where to find such a lot.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

We celebrated the opening together as a family. Another reason for my wife to have a party. I especially enjoyed the first hour. It was indeed, impressive.


Gerg profile image

Gerg 4 years ago from California

Alan, you have such a poetic, soothing voice in your writing, such as "The hurry, which once encumbered our full attention, has departed and left instead, a want for life to linger at our senses; A want for it to settle, like collected sediment beneath the daily current that would sweep any of it, too swiftly from our pleasure."

It's no wonder you were able to squeeze such a wonderful assortment of questions and answers from the rest of our collaborators. What winds throughout your hub also does so through all of the other chapters - a graceful and accepting sense of wonder about the experience of living. So much of what we invent as people that we present as problems are merely natural components of our journeys, perfect exactly as they are. There's a collective knowing that weaves throughout all of our responses that everything is truly okay.

Thank you for your wisdom and leadership through this rewarding project; I'm honored to have been a part of it.

Best, Greg


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thank you for your comments greg and welcome home. There is a cohesiveness in the group which does transend into the writing itself. It was, indeed a pleasure, both in writing, the collaboration itself and the immense pleasure in simply getting to know each other. It is good that everything is o.k. The alternative is unacceptable. Thanks again for your unselfishness in all you did, much of what has slipped unknowingly beneath the surface. Much like nellieanna and the incredible amount of energy which went into technically and creatively making this much more than it could have been.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

When I try to explain to people, even older people, what an inspiring experience this series has been and is, it is like a curtain is drawn across their minds, in spite of my obvious enthusiasm about it. "A Look at Aging" must conjure up visions of decrepit oldsters comparing notes on illnesses and limitations! Not so!! Of course, I clarify, but I guess it has to be experienced!

I'm so glad that many of our friends & followers have been able to follow and share it, and continue to discover and get into it.

Yes, I liked the first hour of the Olympics opening too. Amazing presentation.


Jackwms profile image

Jackwms 4 years ago

Nellianna...I so much understand what you are saying and wish I could somehow implant these thoughts into the minds of others. But, alas, they have to arrive there on their own. Anyway, I enjoy your thoughts and comments.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Nellieanna, Jack. Alan -- It has seemed sometimes like people that you might expect to respond prefer to avoid this series. There is a lot of cultural and social negativism about aging in America. that is for certain.

I also think the length of each hub might be putting some people off, not that I think we should have shortened them - they needed to be as long as they needed to be.

We have had some good responses and I think in time we will have more. But it does occur to me that we would be the "Highly Revered and Celebrated Sixteen" if this has been posted to whatever the major writing site in Japan is. :) Theresa


Jackwms profile image

Jackwms 4 years ago

phdast... Even if it's just us, and we are just "preaching to the choir", there are at least 16 people here that have been enriched by the writings and thoughts of others. But, I do think many more will be reading our lines in the days ahead. Aging is only for the fortunate ones of us as some others don't make it. Anyway, keep the good thoughts.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

I find myself agreeing with both Teresa and Jack. "We" have been most of the readers and commenters it appears, but as Jack says, "we have been enriched..."


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Good morning everyone, Rather than add another for comments to this thread, I will just respond to the overall gist. Sometime ago, I wrote a hub entitled, How to not write another how too! Although it was humor, I wrote it in response to a reality which exist on hub pages. If you were to check whats hot this morning you would find hubs telling you how to, do almost anything. If you were to check whats qualifies as best, you will find another host of how to. People are writing what people are reading. There is barely a serious literary work in the top 100 of either catagory, not an essay, not poetry, not an editorial. Chapter 16 is currently #51 on whats hot, mostly because this weeks publication has drawn from our group and our following, I suspect. Hub affords us a place to write what we love, but, it affords many more a place to make money. We have created a worthy and interesting work and were we to change the title to a how to grow old, we would probably gather more response. I remain content to know that who ever reads, will say of us two things, well done and I enjoyed reading this. I doubt that whoever reads, " how to make cookies from incredients in your compost pile" says anything after reading. By the way, if my writing were to get only people like you, I would wallow in satisfaction.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Alan, Everyone -- I really didn't mean to come off as complaining or frustrated. I am not, at all. There is a limited number of HP members that are interested in what we created (although there are more like-minded people here that on almost any other general site I can think of) - that is normal and to be expected. No surprise there.

I well remember your hub "How not to write another how to." I remember wishing I had thought to write it. :) I whole-heartedly echo your final sentence Alan, "if my writing were to get only people like you, I would wallow in satisfaction." I don't think I ever put the words "wallow" and "satisfaction" side by side, but I like it! :)

I hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday. My family (and three grandchildren under nine) will be arriving shortly for a cook out, so I will be having a great Sunday. :) Blessings to all.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Didn't think you were complaining. It is a little disconcerting to know sweet potato's are getting a better response than 16 chapters of aging, but, I'm not big on sweet potatos. Its a glorious Sunday and tomorrow the world will forget about sweet potatos and lima bean recipes will rise to power. I'll still be aging with my friends and enjoying their company and lima beans will fade into the distant past. Today, my grandaughter and I are having a picnic in beautiful, scenic Oregon.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

This has been a priceless experience all the way around, including Alan's last two comments. I like that "How to Grow Old Thing," very funny. I never realized how many "how to" Hubs there really are, though I have read a few. "To wallow in satifaction" may find itself in a poem at some point.

Have a great time to day Alan, Teresa & all!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Since I've never tried to gain a lot of attention, never sought any commercial recognition, - and actually started out not even intending to publish anything, particularly my poetry, which has become my most published genre, - I've been fairly immune to concern about traffic and scores. I admit that it is gratifying when I get some encouragement from either of those, but it is always the individual response to my stuff which gives me goosebumps and deep gratification - and about which I CARE. I've noticed the kinds of hubs which seem to garner more traffic, scores - and, probably, commercial results, and they seem to me at times to be rather shallow. But I just think, "to each his/her own" and keep on doing what I enjoy doing and hope they enjoy what they're doing. I learned early-on in my online days that popularity is fickle and so I accept it if it's 'there' and don't worry if it's not. There have been times and periods of each, and I'm sure there will be more of each! The only thing I've ever done about it, if there is a slack-off to boost it is to be take note and be more 'present' if I've become less so.

When I first started online - and it was just as accidental as it was when I came to hubpages, because I did NOT intend to 'get on the internet'. But I bought a laptop in Dec, 1996 which happened to have capability for internet. It was to take back and forth to the ranch. When it offered the chance to register the computer online instead of the usual mail-in registration I'd done with previous computers, I thought, "why not". I was bustling around trying to get ready for the trip to the ranch and it seemed time-saving. I quickly picked a service provider (MSN) and as soon as I figured out how to connect to the phone line, I registered my computer. We went on to the ranch where I discovered that software on the computer could be registered online too. Not having any idea of the limitations of the Big Bend Telephone Co. over a hundred miles away and our microwave phone service at the ranch, I ran into impossibilities doing that! Lots of comical scenes connected with that fiasco which George loved to tease me about after taking a picture of me out by the telephone pole lying on the rocks, with the laptop and me under a blanket to shade from the sun in an effort to get a better connection! I was almost ready to dismiss the whole internet thing at that point!

But when we got back to Dallas I discovered wondrous things on the internet! People! Communication! Comic chat! Music! Art! I was hooked. So I went out and bought a big Que book all about the Internet and tried to make my way through it. Of its technical contents I could only key into Netiquette, acronyms, and a piece of advice about "being a presence on the web". I didn't know that they were referring to making a webpage, so I took it to heart as a personal attitude on the net. I quickly noticed that, despite the feeling of some folks that one was anonymous online so it didn't matter what one did on here, that one's presence did become one's identification and if it were at odds with one's 'real-life' presence, it would be a problem. So I figured it wise to just be myself as my presence. It's served me pretty well ever since.

This series we've created together as a team is outstanding. It does require a bit of commitment from readers to follow it. So there will only be real followers! Voila! Whoopee! If we are the best followers - sure, why not? Others with sensitivity and taste will discover it. They may not plough through it in a sitting, but however they taste of it, will be good! Heck, I'm still trying to read all of Durant's "Story of Civilization"! The 4 volumes I've read have enriched my knowledge and if I finish all 16 or 17 volumes, - I'll be among the happiest centenarians ever! :-) Doesn't detract at all from the Durants' work that I haven't' finished yet.


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

"Its a glorious Sunday and tomorrow the world will forget about sweet potatos and lima bean recipes will rise to power. I'll still be aging with my friends and enjoying their company and lima beans will fade into the distant past." - Alan

That was not only true and thoughtful, but it was downright funny! :0)

May the peace of God be with you and yours - C.J. Sledgehammer


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thanks xstatic, had a wonderful time at the park with the river playing host to hundreds of playful and exuberant sun worshipers. Bend comes alive in the summer months and the community host endless free events. Its difficult to stay at home on weekends.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Words of wisdom, but, what else should spill from the mouth of eternal babes?


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thanks CJ, sometimes life is more peculiar and funnier than fiction. Had a glorious day at the park (river) Played, napped and ate while the family watched over dear old grand pa.


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 4 years ago from Ohio

"At the end of days, when the chaff is separated from our lives, it is the love we left behind, which will beg our immortality." I love that.

You started a wonderful path that ended just as wonderful as the beginning. I have so enjoyed participating and now reading.

A beautiful family picture and the picture of your angelic granddaughter....perfect.

Thanks so much for inviting me and taking us all on a journey we'll never forget. :o)


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thanks so much Tom. Your contribution and your friendship to this group and myself simply lends evidence to such a comment. I look forward to reading and commenting on your work. It is a means to continue what we have planted. Thank you, for joining us.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 4 years ago from Canada

Congratulations Arb and esteemed collaborators. This series will provide a treasure trove of inspirational reading for a long time to come. I've only read the two so far, Nellianna's Journey #1, and this one, and enjoyed both very much. This hub has given me a good feeling for what's to come. I can see already it is a fait accompli and I am looking forward to the rest of the journey. Regards, snakeslane


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hello snakeslane, Thanks so much for reading. I hope you are able to read the other chapters. There is so much about the journey, between the covers. I am delighted that what we put together leaves a good feeling for what's to come. Obviously, we gave our best effort to portraying it as so.


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Alan:

Just so you know, my Chapter (11) has only been viewed 140 times, with 30 comments - all of which have come from the "Sweet Sixteen".

I realize I am not well known and do not have a large following, so perhaps this would explain it. I just thought it was kind of strange that in two weeks, no one outside of our group has posted a comment.

I have never seen this kind of hub behavior before, so I am not sure how to interpret it. I even posted the chapters and names of the authors on my Hubpage profile to help advertise the series, but outside of our group, there has been almost no traffic generated.

I do not know what to think of it, and I know it is still early in the game, but I thought you and Nellieanna would like to know for the sake of posterity, if for no other reason. :0)

God's blessings to you and yours - C.J. Sledgehammer


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

It looks as if I have ten comments other than the 16, and 273 views. But, I notice comments being posted on other chapters daily, and regardless of that, it was a wonderful experience working with fifteen of the best! Hats off to all!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

IT MAY TAKE A WHILE FOR PEOPLE LOOKING FOR ARTICLES ON AGING TO FIND THIS SERIES. UNTIL THEN WE WILL ENJOY A BACK SEAT IN THE PEANUT SECTION WHILE TOP 10 RECIPES FOR SWEET POTATOES KEEPS US HUMBLE. GOD WILL DO AS HE WILL WITH THIS, WHATEVER THAT IS. I WILL TRUST HIM AS I DID UNDERGOING THE SERIES AND WRITING MY HUB. SOMETIMES WHEN I'M HUB HOPPING, IF I SEE THE WORD CHAPTER I SKIP READING. THE WORD IMPLIES A LOT OF READING. MAYBE THE RIGHT PERSON HASN'T YET DISCOVERED IT. MAYBE IT WILL NEVER DO WHAT WE HOPED, IN EITHER CASE, I AM SATISFIED WITH WHAT GOT FROM IT. I WOULD HAVE DECLINED OPRAH ANYWAY!


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Xstatic:

As far as I am concerned...I don't care if anyone else read our series other than our project partners - I am a better man just for participating.

I leave Eugene in your custody, Jim, and hope to be down that way next summer (Lord Willing). It has been about 30 years since I last climbed Spencer's Butte, so that will be near the top of my list.

Best wishes and be well - C.J. Sledgehammer


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I am editing the title for a few days to test my hypothesis. I've left off the word Chapter, which may deter readership. We'll see. I had 24 reads yesterday.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I feel the same way CJ, however, I will try a few things this week and see what happens.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I think this series will have a shelflife beyond the run of the mill hubs. Many hubbers are very young and it may not interest them at the moment. Just for the uniqueness of the effort I thought HP would make the last chapter Hub of the Day. Too many hubs on sweet potatoes to highlight! And they have their apprenticeship program to promote.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

We may well be mistaken about hub readership. Seniors may represent the smallest age group on hub pages. It may also just take time.


SilverGenes 4 years ago

My chapter has received only 215 views and only 3 comments from outside the 'Sweet 16" but it was a labour of love to write and collaborate with the others on this project. I'm not particularly well known on HP either - most of my original followers have long gone. My hubs are radically different from what I was posting in the beginning, too; they are not related to my creative writing and photography anymore and that's probably why I don't post much now. So - we can discount me having any sort of following anymore which leaves us with subject matter and page views. I tend to agree with you with regard to the chapters. People often assume when they see "Chapter 12" that they are required to go back to the first part and read all the way through. Time constraints being what they are, most of us skip things like that. It would be interesting to see what would happen with something like: "The Journey of Aging: (insert question here)"


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Great idea Alan! That will be interesting.

CJ, Sounds like a good idea, that climb.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Just my two cents worth, but I think having the full title (perhaps minus the chapter indication) might be helpful.

The Journey: A Look at Aging


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I will let you all know what happens with (chapter) removed.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

will keep you updated!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

will keep you updated.


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Sweet 16:

I was also wondering about the tags that we employed. I only used the two tags that we all used to set up our hubs in the very beginning. To help increase traffic, perhaps more tags should be utilized.

I also feel that if we all strike out on our own and come up with different titles, that we will lose that sense of collaboration, which, in my mind, is the most unique aspect of this project.

I think what we have here, is an amazing journey accepted by 16 writers, who started out investigating the journey of aging, but ended up embarking on a journey of self-discovery. I would really hate to lose what we have accomplished.

Yes, perhaps a writer or two would increase their own traffic by changing their title somewhat, but our strength is in our cohesion and in the uniqueness of our collaborative chapters and verses. To me, this is what we set out to do...not to rack up big numbers and to take Hubpages by storm.

I believe, that in time, the readers will come, but my vote is to keep things just the way they are. Why mess with perfection? I do not want to sacrifice a work of art, which this series has become, to make it easier for people to discover. Sometimes one has to do a little digging in order to strike gold. Let them dig.

That's my two cents. :0)

Best wishes, behave, and be well - C.J. Sledgehammer


SilverGenes 4 years ago

Thank you, C.J. - I just added more tags. I should probably go on record here as saying that I am changing nothing at all in my title unless there is a consensus from all. I agree, our strength is our cohesion. ;-)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Alan - I, too, shy away from delving into series with Chapters listed in the titles. As you say, it implies a commitment of much reading and follow-through. But what's the saying? If something its good -- it can declare by its strength & character: "I'm worth it!" - wink. We really aren't trying to attract disinterested readers. It's not that kind of an effort.

But in fact, you might recall that at first I started my first segment just as "Journey~1", thinking perhaps the others might follow suit. I registered the hub that way and since I prefer my hub URL and visible title to match, completely started over with it to include "Chapter" in the title when it seemed the general preference. Would you believe that I still have the unpublished The Journey~1 among my hubs, with only the 3 answers to my question I'd received up till then? haha

I considered trying it without the Chapter in it now that you mentioned that factor, but our Table of Contents and al links between the Chapters refer to them as Chapters, so decided against it.

I greatly agree with CJ that keeping the continuity and unity in the titles and themes is preferable. The more deviation, the less it works as a collaborative unit.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 4 years ago from Canada

Hi guys, I have a suggestion regarding the individual 'chapter' titles. What if each had a subtitle to reflect the theme or question of that particular chapter? A shortened version of the question being asked? Nellieanna's for example would be The Journey: what does one expect out of life?

Or something like that. I probably didn't get the nuance right, but something along those lines. Is it too complicated to do that now?


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Well, it has been 24 hours now since I removed "chapter 16" from the title. I received 46 reads in the last 24 hours for "The Journey". I will try it for one more day and then put chapter 16 back in the title.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

It is an interesting idea snakeslane and would fix the chapter dilema, if in fact, it proves to be the deterant to reading. At the moment, I suspect it is.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Hello everyone! Hope everyone is having fun with summer things!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I have missed you terribly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I haven't been anywhere! Just keeping an eye on things -- not much to respond to! Anyway - I do hope you're having fun with your summer things. Me, I'm mostly just trying to keep from melting in the HEAT! When daytime temperatures are 106 and 107 or more and its still 99 or 100 at midnight. . . I turn off the A/C at night anyway - and sleep under a ceiling fan! Don't turn it back on till about 9:30 -- and then, set at 79. No wonder I"m a little languorous! (Still my electric bill last month was $231~! Better than it used to be @ $500 or more! I may sign up for the averaging electric bill thing!)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

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, 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 nineties...you have it much worse. Hold on, surely the cooler winds cannot be too far away. Theresa


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I was replying on Chapter 1 and didn't take precautions, so the whole thing vanished. So I came here to check what you said here too.

I appreciate your advice! I can really see the sense in that. I've thought about it before and when I got my electricity bill today and it had that flyer, I thought, "This may be the time to do it!" The main deterrent has been that once summer is over, my utility bills are so manageable! It makes for a better Christmas, etc. Gas is much cheaper and that is what I heat with. I am VERY conservative about A/C! Growing up in Del Rio, winters were mild; - all we had were space heaters and a couple of fireplaces which were used only occasionally. In Indiana, we were simply conservative in the winter. Sometimes wet washcloths on the side of the tub would freeze! haha. But I was never a sissy.

Then for years, George & I just turned on A/C in May and never turned it off till late September. We might notice at times it was cooler outside than inside, but it ran 24/7 till fall! I literally wore the same clothes in the house year-round! NO more. I just can't afford it and it's wasteful besides. I enjoy managing the resources and feel rather grateful to be able to have A/C on during the heat of the day. I bundle up in the wintertime and peel down in the summertime.

Anyway - I think it would be very nice to have the bills evened out all during the year. I'm a stickler for a budget too. Makes if more fun to splurge once in awhile when the bug bites! (wink)

Due to drought, we can only water the yard two days a week, assigned days, and only between 6PM and 10AM. I like to water mornings. Wed. and Sat. are my days, so I was out @ 6:15 starting the sprinklers. The front yard is small but the back is humongous, necessitating much changing the sprinklers to get to it all. So I plan it carefully. Had it done by 9:30, before it was too ghastly hot. Actually I do my outside errands early, too, and hole up inside during the middle of the day. Rarely do I venture out when it's really hot. I'm fair-skinned and don't tolerate a lot of direct sun, though I used to love to boat on the lakes in the summer. The ranch is a whole 'nuther matter - but it's dry heat and cools off at night - and always OK in the shade - but shade is scarse.

Yes - it's that time of year when Autumn sounds SO good!! My favorite season, at least partly because it means the end of the heat. This summer is not as hot as last summer when there were 70 consecutive days of over 100 degree highs. They say we've had more days this year over 105 than last year though. At some point, what does it matter? I lived in Phoenix a year and one got used to 112 or more routinely. Coming back we stopped to visit my sister Ruth in Jackson, Miss. and I thought I'd die in that humidity!

It's an unusually hot summer for many parts of the country unused to such high temperatures. So we're not alone. I know it's hot in Atlanta - the Weather Channel used to have a meteorologist who referred to it as Hotlanta. So it's preaching to the choir, talking about the heat in Dallas. Plus It's more humid there, as well. I prefer dry heat. Dallas is a bit on the humid side.

Well, well - have I resorted to talking about the weather? haha - So it seems!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I am sorry about the heat and that you must ration the ac, but, I can relate. It was 94 here today but the nights cool down in the high 40's at night. We (the family) spent the day at the river with a picnic, the kayacks and inner tubes. The river winds slowly through Bend and leaves it perfect for lazing and playing. Half the community is drifting the river on anything that will float. I don't have ac, but, it really isn't needed. We always get an afternoon breeze and cool nights. I am doing a lot of social security work this summer and hope to slow down come sept. We are also getting a lot of company over the summer, every week its somebody else. Anyway, praying for a cool spell for the lone star state, at least the Dallas area.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

You should sit in a cold bathtub with a lap top.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

The weather is a worthy subject!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Aw, thank you, Alan -- I appreciate the empathy. But I wasn't complaining. It's Texas! Everything is big here, even the heat!

94 without A/C could be a bit warm, though if it's breezy and not humid, not too bad. It's 12:30 AM now and Dallas' temperature is 92. But I'm in northeast Dallas, near Garland where it's 81. I turned the A/C off several hours ago. But the ceiling fans in here are going full speed. I'm afraid that sitting in a tub for any length of time enough to do much good would turn me into a prune! It would be my luck to doze off and drown my laptop, too. But it's a good idea in theory. hehe

Your 'river running through it' sounds much more practical. That must be a delight! No wonder you have so much company over the summer! And high 40s - wow! That's blanket weather! Michael has those lovely mild temperatures in Colorado too. If you've wondered why he's not online much, it's because he's buying a house, gathering furniture for it, and all that jazz. Plus, summer in his part of the world is time to be outside enjoying it - like it is there, I'm sure.

BTW - I have locations of folks I care about on my iPhone weather app. I just added Bend. :-)

It looks like we may get a little cool spell mid-week. A degree or two below the triple digits anyway. In the very early morning hours, it's down to the high 70s - which is where I keep the thermostat when the A/C is on - 78 or 79. So that's not bad. I love the early hours. I need to get to bed so I can be up and enjoy them! So, g'night!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Enjoy the olympics and your cool morning. We are headed for the high lakes today. 10 degrees cooler up there!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I did an unprecedented thing. Went back to sleep and slept till 10AM - with no A/C -- haha. - And I've decided to watch "Braveheart". I touch on the Olympics too. And I'm inspired to write.

Have wondrous time at the high lakes. Sounds idyllic.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Had a wonderful day kayaking a high mountain lake. A pleasant 81 degrees with a gentle breeze. Chicken salad sandwiches and an ice cold beer. A magnificent day!


Jackwms profile image

Jackwms 4 years ago

That sounds wonderful Alan. I would have enjoyed that-including the cold beer.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Magnificent is hard to beat! Glad it was!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I had one in your name Jack!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

It's hard to fathom that it's been 10 months ago we did this fantastic series. Many other worthy series have appeared since then, but, actually, none as inclusive of many writers on a variety of subjects as yours, Alan. You set the standard so high!

Hope all is going well with you. Miss seeing more of your writing treasures! Come back to us when you can!! :-)


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Hello Butterfly! I have just returned from Southern California. My wife's little dog passed away just before we arrived so its been an emotional couple of days. Today we are picking up her new car and going to the high desert museum. Tuesday back to work to an office full of catch up.

It was an extraordinary series and collaborative effort. I do miss hub and writing. Hope to return soon. Thanks so much for checking in. I miss our exchanges.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Good Morning Alan. Glad you are all safely home. You have been sorely missed (a rather strange phrase, now that I think about it). I know what it is like to have to play catch up in terms of office work. So sorry that is all before you. I think of you often and patiently wait until you have time and energy to lavish on HP and all of us. Blessings. Theresa


xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Glad to see your name pop up Alan. Looking forward to reading more of your work when time allows.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

I was thinking about you and your activities earlier and hoping no further sad news had occurred, Alan. So sorry about your wife's dog. Losing a pet can be extremely emotional.

It's surely good to be home, though and to know you'll be able to catch up the work that's awaited you. . . not that any of us ever fully catch up our work! It's difficult even to imagine such a state of being!

As Theresa and Jim have already assured you, your work and presence have been greatly missed and are eagerly anticipated whenever you can, - and when it seems not just another chore!! :-)


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Hello Theresa. I used to receive email notifications when certain people responded via hub. I will have to examine my settings. Summer has fallen upon us with the usual visitations of family and friends. My client list is currently at 76 so my once volunteer position has escalated to paid part time and now paid full time. So much for part time retirement. Randy's little dog passed away on our return and I'm nursing my boxer from unexpected surgery. He had 5 cyst removed (1 of which was cancerous) he should be fine now. Looks like he tangled with a bear. Randy picked up her new car (last one I hope) last week and apparently is attempting to see Oregon via her panoramic roof. The family is fine with the exception of Cecile whom we pray for daily. Whatever time I find in between is confiscated, without complaint, by Zoe. Hope all is well and I so look forward to returning.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Hi Jim! I assume you will read my responses to Theresa and Nellieanna so I will not repeat myself. I am thankful for your continued checking in and hope that you and Anne are enjoying the sudden arrival of Summer. I'm sure the rain has worn on all of our valley friends. Looking at visiting soon to see our son. I will check with you before we come over. Maybe time for a quick visit together. Be well.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

It is 2:20 in the morning and an inability to sleep has brought to hub only to find friends who I have failed to answer. My apologies. I have not been getting notifications, not sure why. Anyway, thank you for checking in. I suspect writing is the medicine I need to feel tethered, but, I can't seem to find time to get to a pharmacy. I do, sorely miss my time here and may simply take the camper and head for the hills. y excursions and mia are the consequence of obligation, responsibility and far too much clutter for a writer who simply wishes too reflect and scribble. I hope that you are well and that the Texas weather is kind. There appears to be some changes in hub land so I will have some catching up to do, but, its real gift (the people) remain and that will always bring me back. Be well my very special friend!


sligobay profile image

sligobay 3 years ago from east of the equator

Hello Arb. My alerts worked to get me here. They show up in notifications now rather than emails. I echo the sentiments of Theresa and Nellieanna. We writing colleagues, the sweet sixteen, enjoyed a great collaboration thanks to your leadership. My five years at hub pages has offered no equivalent satisfaction. Thank you.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Thanks for the heads up Gerry. I agree. The journey of our journey together was indeed fulfilling and I do not think I've enjoyed any bit of writing more than that collaboration. Thanks for sharing its impact on your personal time here. I pray that you are well my friend.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Good Morning Alan. Seventy-six clients (writing it out in letters, instead of numbers - 76 - gives it more weight, significance, gravitas). Oh my, what was a volunteer assisting has become a busy full-time position, but I know you are good at what you do and I know that people need help, so ...

Thanks for keeping us abreast of things in the midst of your busy life.

I am in the opposite situation. Last year was the most difficult (frankly unpleasant) year of my teaching career. I will not be teaching those classes ever again. I think they are poorly conceived and serve no purpose (all of which I put in a five page memo). Aside from the wonderful week at the Holocaust Museum the year was pretty miserable, eating up my time and energy and leaving me depressed.

But since May 5th, I have been on summer schedule, which for me is like being on vacation. Classes two days a week, no meetings!!!!, no reports to write, a quiet, mostly empty campus, which leaves much time for family, writing, music and a little bit of gardening. It is already too hot for me - we have hit 85 several times, but that is the price of summer in Georgia -- a good bit of it will be in the low nineties for the next four months.

Not expecting you to write back - know you are busy beyond busy. Just wanted to touch base and say hello. Glad Zoe is there to help take care of your need for joy and wonder. :) Theresa


sligobay profile image

sligobay 3 years ago from east of the equator

Hello Arb. Hello Theresa; Nellieanna and Jim. You are 25% of the Sweet Sixteen and so having a quorum, I propose a one year anniversary reunion before any of us are lost to the afterlife -my topic. Nellieanna's virtual drowning in the bathtub with her laptop was the impetus to my proposal. Let Arb pose one question answered by all and let's cooperate on one "the Journey Continues" Hub each year on our anniversary. It will give us all a place to gather and chat throughout each year. As a matter of seniority, I suggest that Nellieanna author the first anniversary Hub followed next year by the author of Chapter 2 and so on. If it can be conceived, it can be achieved. I hate to thrust the burden upon you, Nellieanna, but your shoulders are broadest. Any of the sweet sixteen can relinquish the task and defer to the author of the following chapter. For Arb to fashion the first reunion question would assure an interesting Hub - for sure. We can then link the new Hub to our masterwork and promote new readership. Let's take our teamwork to the next level. Can you imagine a sixteenth annual reunion?


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Gerry - What an amazing, interesting, and most important "doable" idea.

This would be much more manageable than what we tackled at Alan's request last year, but it would be a neat way to reconnect. Reunions are great, a terrific idea. Theresa


sligobay profile image

sligobay 3 years ago from east of the equator

Theresa and I are rereading our journey from back to front. We will relive last year's Journey together. I proposed a reunion at Arb's Chapter 16 in an earlier comment which has disappeared at present; probably pending approval. I read chapter 16 this morning and am soaking in its wisdom and charm. I just listened to Young at Heart by Durante and Yesterday by Roy Clark. Arb, your choices were fantastic and this Chapter was superb.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Gerry - We shall definitely read together from back to front. :)

But I am puzzled -- Your comment about a reunion and all is showing up clearly for me. I wonder what the glitch is? Maybe when you open up to read my comment, it will have reappeared. Hope so. Theresa


sligobay profile image

sligobay 3 years ago from east of the equator

Theresa- The comment showed up when I returned to a refreshed page. I have reread and commented upon Chapters 16, 15 and 14. I have just begun to reread Chapter 13 but need to break away and get some work done. We will get some feedback from our co-authors regarding a reunion. Chapter 16 was published in late July, I believe. Greetings Arb and our merry band of brigands.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM

What a beautiful article you have written here. I so enjoyed reading it. Aging is difficult but at the same time interesting and fun for me. I really don't "feel" 0ld even though by society's standards I am. I hope that I have gained a bit of wisdom but I still want to bring curiosity and a bit of innocence with me too. I don't want to become too jaded. I love the photo of your lovely family - you truly are blessed. And I love the metaphor of the hour glass with the sand that you use at the end of this piece. Very philosophical and interesting to read. Thank you for your view and the gorgeous photos.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM

By the way, I have read a couple of these along the way. I read Theresa's and a couple others - I think Kathleen's, too. I can't remember - but I want to say they are all good and so well written. A lot of thought and work went into these and the series is worth it, don't think it is not.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Hello Theresa and happy summer break. Sorry about last year! Perhaps the bad ones give us perspective to better appreciate the good ones and this year will provide such evidence. I hope so. Thanks for checking on me.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Hi Gerry. I like your idea and will participate in any way the group would like to go. I will begin to think on this and wait for the others to chime in.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Love the Roy Clark addition! Listen to it often.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

I too will begin reading the chapters.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

I will give others time to respond and then contact the remaining ones.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Thanks so much for the comment suzette. This work was an undertaking and every read validates the work behind it.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Again suzette, thanks for the comment. Each one lends a fresh perspective and together the independent threads weave a common and useful fabric.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

So good to read your words, hear your "voice" Alan, even if only in brief responses. And we will see who responds. :) Take care. Theresa


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

To: ALAN AND TO WHOMEVER IT MAY CONCERN: - I long ago relinquished depending on email notices for NOTIFICATIONS OF NEW COMMENTS on my hubs and for the NEWEST HUBS PUBLISHED by people I follow . It's so much simpler to manage them, the way I discovered to check on them!

STEPS TO CHECK FOR NEW COMMENTS ON YOU OWN HUBS:

!) - from any HubPage, click your Hub name in white fonts on horizontal black bar above hub screen.

2) from drop-down menu, click "My Account"

3) click "Comments" in white font on the vertical list with black background on left side of screen.

4) A listing of the new comments, along with the persons making them and the full comment appears. If several comments are on the same hub, they're shown in chronological order. Rather than 'Approving' there, I recumbent clicking on the name of the hub at the top, which takes you there, where you can also real and reply, approving as you finish each one. This allows the others to remain on the referral "Comments" list until they are finished and approved, in case you don't get all of them answered right then. Those which are not answered will stay on the referral "Comments" list until you finish answering them, even if may take more than one sitting.

STEPS TO CHECK FOR NEWEST HUBS PUBLISHED BY THOSE YOU FOLLOW:

1) - from any HubPage, click your Hub name in white fonts on horizontal black bar above hub screen.

2) from drop-down menu, click "My Account"

3) click "Following" on the gray horizontal bar across the page opened when you've click "My Account"

4) click "Hubbers You Follow" in white font on the vertical list with black background on left side of screen.

5) You get two types of listing of the Hubbers and their most recent hubs.

6) To look for a specific Hubber alphabetically, click "sort by hubbers" directly under screen title, "Hubbers You Follow".

7) To look for the most recent hub of all those hubbers you follow, click "sort by recent hubs" directly under screen title "Hubbers You Follow". These will be almost minute by minute - much faster notice than the emails! If you check regularly, you can keep up more easily with visiting the newest hubs.

They are replaced on the 'recent' list by more recent ones, but the alphabetical list of your hubbers keeps track of each of their most recent hubs and how long ago they were published, to be checked at any time, which is handy if you've been out of touch for a time yourself.

Another advantage of these lists is that there is no need to click back and forth from your email to the Hubpages to follow up on the new hubs. It's more convenient to be able to just click the link at the top of any Hubpage you may be using - for "My Accounts" and then whichever other path you want to follow.

HOPE THIS MAY HELP, - Alan and others! As I say, I no longer must use & deepen on the flakey email notices to find new comments or hubs.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

OK. . . .Do I understand this awesome new anniversary suggestion, Gerry? See if this is it: (Must admit I'm not too sharp today; - so I may be way off-track! That's why I'm asking!)

Alan would choose an annual topic, and, starting with the original series' First Chapter's author, each year on the The Journey's" anniversary, ONE hub would be written & published by each one of the original authors of the original 16 chapters, in the original sequence, and would feature Alan's topic for that year??

Now, let me see how it would unfold, if that's the idea:

This anniversary series would go through the next 16 years, ending in 2029 with Alan's own hub about his 16th topic that year! Good thing I"m going to live to 100! I'll be only 97 in 2029. My comfort will be that everyone else will be 16 years older too! :-) I may need it to be read to me! Or maybe we could narrate & u-tube our hubs for those with failing eyesight!

;-D I know. I'm bad. I think it's a great idea not matter how many anniversaries we get to celebrate. Maybe there's a way to 'cram up' the lineup so that everyone will be most likely to get to write one of the featured hub-topics while we're all still kicking and HP is still afloat?


sligobay profile image

sligobay 3 years ago from east of the equator

PROPOSAL: Let Arb pose one question answered by all and let's cooperate on one "the Journey Continues" Hub each year on our anniversary. Just like our Journey Hubs, ONE Question is asked and each of us sends an answer to the ONE question. The sixteen answers are then compiled into a single Hub article. As a matter of seniority, I suggest that Nellieanna author the first anniversary Hub followed next year by the author of Chapter 2 and so on. If it can be conceived, it can be achieved. Any of the sweet sixteen can relinquish the task and defer to the author of the following chapter. For Arb to fashion the first reunion question would assure an interesting Hub.

We can then link the new Hub to our masterwork and promote new readership. Let's take our teamwork to the next level. Can you imagine a sixteenth annual reunion? I hope this clarifies my suggestion.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

It does, but we know how big a job it was originally. The number of questions was not a complicating factor compared to the coordinating everything that produced the results. Perhaps a simpler anniversary Journey project could be conceived? What if each of us who wishes to, took Alan's question and just wrote a hub about it on an individual hub? Or is that essentially what you had in mind?

Not so much coordination would be needed for that, except to link to each other, perhaps. That might be done on one person's master hub (yours could do it), to which each other hub could simply post one link.

There wouldn't need to be a time deadline factor or any certain line up of the hubs by which person was participating - we could just voluntarily write our own hubs about the one subject.


sligobay profile image

sligobay 3 years ago from east of the equator

I am entirely open minded. I just believe that our Journey deserves an anniversary celebration of some sort. Gerry


Gerg profile image

Gerg 3 years ago from California

Sure - I'm happy to participate!

Best, G


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Thank you Nelieanna, I began this process two days ago and have been playing catch up since.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

I too have followed the same train of thought and have been mulling over several ideas, none of which have yet to settle well. When one does I will share it. Until then, perhaps others might leave suggestions.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Hi Gerry. You can read my response to Neliieanna's response to see where I am at. I will, of course, meet the concensus, but like Nellieaana, 16 years may be a stretch. I do however, feel we can do something. Maybe someone can propose something which is more immediate which we can then continue each year that finds us able and willing?


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

I think a mulling over of possibilities is appropriate. The goal is to come together as a group and add to the original project as a means of connecting and collaborating again. There must be many ways in which we can do this. Gerry's impetus I believe, will spur someone's creativity and eventually we will come up with a creative venue.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Looking forward to whatever we decide to do.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

I have come up with an idea that might work. 1 Question-16 responses. Gerry writes the introduction-Nellianna writes the conclusion. Next year 2 others write the intro and concusion. This insures 8 years of continuation. If the title is "The journey Continues" we could assign numbers (1 through 16) and each of us would publish the same hub on the same day. We would simply add to the title our assigned number. Example: The journey continues #1 - The journey Continues #2 and so on through - The journey continues #16. The numbers should allow each of us to publish simultaneously. Expands our readership and allows all to publish. I was also thinking that it would be really cool to add a profile pic above our answers. It would add some real character to our collaboration. Anyway, my suggestion. I am sure there will be others and eventually a worthy route.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

I, too, am sure there will be. It would be lovely to again collaborate and share our efforts!!


sligobay profile image

sligobay 3 years ago from east of the equator

Looking forward to whatever we decide to do.


Jackwms profile image

Jackwms 3 years ago

I think I'd like to participate.


SilverGenes 3 years ago

The last collaboration is my most precious memory of being here on HubPages. It was an honour to be part of it and it would be my pleasure to contribute toward anything you decide to do in the future.

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