# 53 Our Autumn Years

For us Biddies and Geezers the time has come to realize we ain’t in the summer of our lives any more. But it ain’t winter yet. Sure, there are lots of things we just can not do anymore, or should not do. But this time of our lives was made by God for some very special activities that can only be done in Our Autumn Years.

 

Take a clue from the leaves of the trees. In the summer they are green and very busy. The leaves produce food for the trees by converting the energy in sunlight into chemical energy that the tree can eat. The structures within the leaves convert the energy and make it possible for the tree to get food. Green chlorophyll is the molecule in the structure of the leaves that takes the energy in sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide gas into sugar and oxygen gas. But the autumn is that time of year when the leaves gradually lose their green hue and their true colors come out.

I am always in awe at the various brilliant colors of the trees share with us in the autumn. But back to us Biddies and Geezers. We have beautiful things to share in our autumn. I still remember many of the things my grandmother shared with me when ai was a little boy.  They were good for me then. But there are several things she shared that I  have not understood or appreciated until now in the autumn of my life.

And there are things we can do for the generation behind us, like watching their kids while they get a chance to be by themselves.

I could go on and on … but I shall not because this is really about you and you have a different “autumn color” than I do. Share that in …

The Autumn of Your Years.

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Photo by cousin Harvey George

# 51 Hitting a Brick Wall

Ow! Ow! Ow!

I just hit a brick wall.

These days seniors like us hit many brick walls Some because of health and age issues. Some because of financial problems. The wall I hit was about a relationship.

In my 80+ years of life I have learned much about getting through tough spots. Persistence and prayer usually work. But a brick wall? Butting my head against a brick wall can just get me hurt … not through it. If I keep trying I just get angry and bitter. Not good. I want to live my geezer years in joy!

Why is there a brick wall between me and the person, (a woman) in the relationship? There could be one of two reasons. The obvious reason is that the other person wants no more of me. Forcibly trying to break through that wall would be harassment. I don’t want that. But there is another possibility. It could be that God put the brick wall there because I was getting hurt in the relationship and God was watching my back. Butting my head against a wall that God built is dumb and stupid.

Is there another way? Another way to live my geezer years in joy? Yes there is but there is a little pain involved. I need to change, like look and move in a new direction. Change always requires a little pain … for a while … but it is good pain.

And so I look in a new direction. And see new people. And there are no walls.

I guess God has my back!

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Photo by cousin Harvey George

 

 

#2 Do Good

Do Good! That is the most powerful tip for living well. The Universe is wired to shower rewards on you if you do something good for another person … or animal.

Giving money to a charity is nice but not the best way to reap the reward of a blessed life. You, personally doing the good deed is what God loves … and rewards.

Dark anger roils through much of the world today. Anger flows through many people. But if you are alert you will see opportunities for yourself to provide some good deed that, like a ray of sunshine, will brighten the corner where you are. Even for the angry people. Especially for the angry people. It’s a powerful healing force.

Doing good results from a mental decision that runs counter to the body’s reflex responses to conserve energy.  While it is a free will decision made by each individual body, once it is made and acted on by one member of a society, there is an invisible “follow the crowd” imperative that works on the minds of the rest of that society. The psychic and material well being of the society improves by a multiple of the “do good” energy expended.

So … do you want to improve your life? Do you want to live better? I strongly suggest you observe the world around you … and you will see individuals … leaders … who are brightening the corner where they are by “doing good.”

You will see the person on the crowded bus or subway stand and offer their seat to an elderly or more infirm person. You will see someone who organizes a “free coffee hour” for their neighbors. Then get donation of coffee and day-old doughnuts from a local business, and prepares a spread in the morning to share with the neighbors as they share fellowship over the free repast. And more examples that spread invisible radiations that foster feelings of well being.

Yes, do good and you will reap the invisible reward of Living Well.

See my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

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#1 Forgive

Want to get well? I do. And I have found that the #1 priority to my living well is for me to forgive others. I must forgive people who have hurt me in the past and people who are hurting me now!

I live well not because I “earned it,” but because I accept my wellness as a free blessing from God. But there is one condition. Just as God has forgiven me for my offences against  Him, I must forgive every person who has hurt me or is hurting me now. Unconditionally.

Not for any contrition or recompense they have given me, but proactively.

There is only one way that is possible.  I must accept and allow myself to be a conduit for His love and forgiveness for all people.

This is the strange wonder of God’s world. It is in giving we receive. It is in forgiving we are forgiven by God.

There is “stuff” from some of my family and from some of my friends that hurts. I don’t understand it. Some now and some in the past. I don’t understand but it does not matter. My #1 priority is to UNCONDITIONALLY FORGIVE.  As I do, God’s universe unfolds a blessing of wellness into my life regardless of my material condition.

In my life there are some friends and some family that have “unfriended” me.  I have no idea of any specific offense I have given them.  But following this rule I have forgiven them. Now the debt of unforgiveness is upon them and has consequences. Sad.

Make forgiveness your #1 priority for wellness,

Shalom.

Photo credit: My cousin Harvey George

See my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

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#48 Life is an Omlet

Again … I’m writing this post from my friend Pam’s apartment. in Providence , Rhode Island. The Big Little. It’s 3 am and I’m having breakfast. An omelet left over from yesterday, reheated in the microwave. OMG it’s fabulous.

 

Some of you may never had an omelet so great it was still scrumptious heated over the next day.

 

So … when I realized that … I realized that the LIFE of a person is like an omelet.

 

Really? Sure! First there is the rather “pure” individual who lives a life like a “simple” omelet. A simple omelet is a couple of eggs wisked with a little milk and gently heated in a frying pan. Then slid onto a plate and maybe seasoned with a little salt and pepper. Nourishing, but certainly not exciting.

 

A few people add a couple of more ingredients to their omelets, (to their lives.) Maybe they like a little chopped onions or parsley. It’s still pretty much like a 9-5 job. The world needs 9-5 people.

 

The omelets Pam and I make are like the lives we have led. Filled with all sorts of interesting stuff so that eating it is a rare experience. This morning’s omelet had eggs and milk of course. Plus! Chopped onions, chopped celery, sliced green olives, capers, spinach, prosciutto, and even a little bit of shredded cheese.

 

The strong flavors melded together into an experience. Fantastic! Even reheated the next day.

 

It’s “the next day” in Pam’s life and my life. And the memories remain alive like our omelet. Fantastic.

 

How is your omelet?

 

See my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

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#44 A CANDLE IN THE DARKNESS

There’s darkness in this world.

It is not silent,

Not without feelings,

Of Rage and Fear.

It is not a void

But is a globby smear,

That sticks on the skins of souls ,

With an itch they cannot scratch away,

In the darkness.

They need a light.

A single candle will do.

 

Can you be that candle?

A light of Hope?

A glow of love

With the warm whisper of

Forgiveness?

 

Alone I cannot.

I want to Rage back

And rouse Fear.

But I am not alone.

A Spirit that is not my own

Upon my spirit a Light has shown

The way of Love

And by His power

Love will be sown.

 

And You?

What will you do?

Alone you are dead wax and wick.

And rage and fear your politic

Until you invite the Light

To live in your soul

And transform your role

To be

A Candle In The Darkness

# 42 The Energy of Love

We may be getting older and losing some of our energy. But there is something about the energy of love we need to remember. Let me tell you a story about my friend Bob from several years ago.

There is no practical rationalization of Bob and his provision of firewood to me. There are many people in life that we may know that are acquaintances. But there are precious few that are truly friends.

Over a period of ten years both Bob and I were in financial difficulty, each for our own circumstances. At that time I was living on Quaker Hill, upstate New York. Knowing that I was continually short of hard cash, Bob took on the assignment to gather cut, split, deliver and stack up firewood for me to use in my wood stove. He did this as a gift to me. The firewood saved me megabucks in fuel oil. I do not know how I would have avoided possible bankruptcy without his gift of firewood.

But Bob was an old geezer like me. He could not move too swiftly anymore, especially on the very physical tasks of dragging logs out of the woods and making firewood. There were a lot of young bucks in our area that had all sorts of equipment and lots of energy and make a living providing economical firewood for country folk like us. Even so, I would not have been able to afford their prices. On the other hand, Bob took about four times as long to deliver a cord of wood, and the effort he put into it was almost certainly ten times that of a commercial woodman.

What’s the wood worth that Bob gave me?

What’s it worth? The wood is nothing! Sure, I appreciated the wood, but it was the loving kindness of his gift that mattered. He struggled day after day to get the wood to me. That is something nobody can pay for! It came from his heart. It is priceless!

Now, what did I have after I burned up the wood? Not just ashes. There was something else remaining from Bob’s loving kindness. Something that did not burn up with the wood.  You can’t see it or touch it.

There is a quotation from The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery where the Fox tells the Prince, “It is only with one’s heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Bob’s thoughts of loving kindness began somewhere, were in our here and now for a moment, and then went somewhere that has no space or time. They are forever. The thoughts have in fact been multiplied. They were good when he had these thoughts, but when I received the gift of them and the wood, they were multiplied. I had thoughts of loving kindness myself.

And now I pass them on to you, my Biddies and Geezers. By your deeds you can pass them on. Multiplied.

See my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

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# 29 Living Simply

Living simply is essential for my creativity to flourish. My 1 bedroom apartment in Quincy is as bare as a cave. I have learned that for me … Clutter is the Killer of Creativity. My friend Lynette lives in a “nest” filled with “things.”

I just returned from a visit to my friend Lynette. She lives in a 1 bedroom apartment is Riverside, Rhode Island. It’s near Providence. The plan was for me to come down on the train that arrived about noon. She would collect me at the Providence station. We would drive to her place, have a simple meal, and I would catch a late-afternoon train back to Boston and then the MBTA, (we call it the “T”), back home. Didn’t happen.

Here’s what went down:

We started out great. Just as I emerged from the station lobby, Lynette drove up. I climbed in the car, gave her a kiss and we drove off to Riverside, about 15 minutes away. Then, within minutes, we were savoring complex gastronomic pleasures from earthy food and wine. Simply prepared but knowledgeably selected. Lynette does THAT simple well.

The food? Steamer clams boiled in a broth of beer, garlic, onions, and celery. Also a pasta salad made with mayo, celery, and onions. And hot dogs on buns with mustard and sauerkraut or chili peppers. And then a white wine, an Italian Pinto Grigio that complemented all the flavors and crowned the simple feast as a meal for royalty. Simple, inexpensive, yet superlative.

Lynette and I each shared our recent events. It was healing for both of us. Then it was time for me to begin my return journey. Lynette checked the radio for the traffic report. Bummer! The highway was a parking lot. Trying to get me back to the train would destroy all of the good feeling our simple visit had generated.

“Why not stay the night?” she asked, “I’ll take you to the train on my way to work at 10 am tomorrow. There will be no traffic.” I agreed, intending to write in the living room while Lynette watched her soaps and slept in her bedroom. Didn’t work. The sound of the TV soaps drifted out of the bedroom and my eye roamed around viewing the clutter of her nest. No creative thoughts. I finally lay my head down on the couch and slept until it was time to get up and return to Quincy.

Back in my clutterless cave I am writing up a storm. Again. But I realize this because of my visit to Lynette. During our simple meal, the clutter of my mind had been cleared and swept clean. Creativity flourished.

Thank you, Lynette.

See all my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

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#25 No Sex or Love Scenes

“You don’t do sex and love scenes well!” That is what a friend of mine said about my writing. She has read much of the stuff I write while it was still in draft … unpublished. She was, “of course” saying that about my “writing.” I never did any sex or love scenes live with her. So, she would not know if I was “awesome” live. I’m a Geezer but I still have some life. How about you?

Maybe my friend likes her sex and love scenes hotter than I write. My writing is not “overtly” graphic for a reason. I want the reader’s imagination to fire the scene to their desired level of passion. I’ll just supply the clues.

My friend “hated” the draft of a novel of mine she reviewed that dealt with some love and sex issues. So I put the work aside for a while. I picked it up later and did some rewriting and finished it. And gave it a new tile, “Love Outside the Lines.”

My intended readers are Biddies and Geezers. I don’t think the younger readers have enough life experience to appreciate the situations the characters of the book live through. But you do!

Read it and give it a review on Amazon or Goodreads. See it by clicking the link:

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