#31 Run Away

 

There are times for all of us when there seems to be only one solution to the day’s problems. RUN AWAY.

Oh by the way. Some of you might have noticed that this is # 31. What happened to #30? Well … there are several number blogs I started but did not finish … yet. I ran away. Until I could face what needed to be done to put it online to you. I just ran away.

And … I’ll bet there are days that you wake up and feel like just running away. . LOL.

I watch old reruns of “Frasier” and he sometime “runs away” to someplace like Bora Bora, spending a pot full of money. Yvonne, a Biddy friend of mine says, “I am not going into old age quietly!” and last week she ran away to go parasailing. Great. But I can’t spend the money to go to Bora Bora … and I don’t need the excitement of parasailing. But I often need to run away … just get out of Dodge. Here’s what works for me:

I take the subway to the Amtrak South Station in Boston. It’s a busy place. People are taking busses and trains to destinations all over the country. Departure times and track numbers and a PA announcement regularly gives departure and track information. There are dozens of fast food venues and a sit-down restaurant.

I like to get some coffee and food and then go up to the mezzanine where I can get a table, enjoy my meal and watch the action below. I am out of my empty apartment and surrounded by people of all descriptions on their own adventures and it inspires me. Sometimes I bring my marble composition book and start writing a new story.

So … are you feeling blocked, frustrate, fearful, angry, whatever? I recommend running away for a bit. If you can afford Bora Bora … fine. Want the excitement of parasailing ,,, Ok. Or jest a new scene like South Station which works for me, just do it. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

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

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2 Measure Twice

Good Morning my Biddie and Geezer friends and followers. Sometimes the best thing to do is to do NOTHING!

I successfully managed to do nothing on an issue. I am very pleased with myself. For many years of my life, before I became a Geezer, my discipline was, “Just Do It!” And much of my life got done effectively … sometimes at a cost.

Now that I’m a Geezer, I need a different philosophy. Carpenters and dressmakers often quote the slogan, “Measure twice; cut once!” With the help of my friend Pam, I applied that to one of my relationships.

COUPLE ON BEACH #2

Something occurred in one of my relationships. You don’t need to know exactly except it was a bit traumatic for me. I was ready to “do something.” Fortunately, I decided to tell my friend Pam about the situation. Her advice? DO NOTHING. She said, “Do nothing and in a few days it will be as if it never happened. And your relationship will go on.”

So … repressing my life-long discipline of fixing everything RIGHT NOW by JUST DOING SOMETHING, I decided to wait. Acting right away would be like cutting a board after measuring only once. Maybe an irreversible error. I did nothing.

Two weeks later I discovered that not only was my “measurement” of the situation completely incorrect, but the board did not need cutting at all. My first measurement was completely wrong.

Now, there is one more ingredient to the story. Where I got it right. During the two weeks I lived my life “In the Moment” without thoughts of the situation that prompted me to want to “cut the board.” Thank you Pam.

So this is a blog about second chances … but giving yourself a second chance before you screw up. There is a story I wrote about a second chance after you screw up It’s Pentimento: A Second Chance at Love

pentimento ,noun,

Painting, the presence, or emergence of earlier images, forms, or strokes that have been changed and painted over.

Read it at:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0725FTXGB

Click the link below to see my books and stories on Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Doug%20Olsen/e/B006QUVNC2/ref=la_B006QUVNC2_pg_2?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_82%3AB006QUVNC2&page=2&sort=author-pages-popularity-rank&ie=UTF8&qid=1459797571

 

 

 

 

 

# 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

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

# 26 How to Change the World

I was feeling a little down. I write my little books and stories hoping they will bring some enjoyment to the readers. Make their day a little brighter. And I have gotten some good comments back from some readers. But I wish a lot more of the world would read them. Was feeling a little blue … but then I remembered a hymn we used to sing … with enthusiasm … in my Sunday School. It was written by Ina D. Ogden in 1913. Ear­ly in her life, Og­don had hoped to preach on the Chau­tau­qua cir­cuit. How­ev­er, her fa­ther’s ill­ness forced her to aban­don her plans for an evan­gel­is­tic ca­reer, in or­der to care for him at home. She wrote these en­cour­ag­ing words show­ing how one can serve the Lord in ma­ny dif­fer­ent ways and cir­cum­stanc­es. In other words, make the best of where you find your­self.

Here are the lyrics:

  1. Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
    Do not wait to shed your light afar;
    To the many duties ever near you now be true,
    Brighten the corner where you are.

    • Refrain:
      Brighten the corner where you are!
      Brighten the corner where you are!
      Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
      Brighten the corner where you are!
  2. Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
    Let not narrow self your way debar;
    Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
    Brighten the corner where you are.
  3. Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
    Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
    Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
    Brighten the corner where you are.

Now the facts. That little song has been recorded and sung by Ela Fitzgerald, Burl Ives, and other famous groups and changed the world of many people. And the idea is still true.

Don’t fret the many, many people who are trying to change the world by making other people miserable with violent demonstration. You and I can with a kind wor or a small act Brighten the Corner Where We Are and the brightness can spread around the world.

You are important. A little piece I wrote about how important you are is It’s All About you: :

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0789RYLJR

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

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

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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:

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

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

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#24 Random Thoughts

It’s 2 AM. Could not sleep. I made myself a cuppa coffee. Not a good idea for sleeping but I needed the caffeine. Wanted to talk to you. I’m thinking of you, my Biddies and Geezers. Are any of you awake? Maybe some on the left coast never went to bed yet. On the East Coast some are sleeping and some are awake like me, could not sleep. Hi!

A sip of my sweet coffee brings me pleasure. In self-defense I quickly apply discipline to my thoughts to only be in the very moment. In the very recent past there are a couple of sad events I want to exclude from thought. Another sip of coffee stimulates me in the present.

My mind is now awake enough to realize it is decision time. In the discipline of being in the moment observe my room. Spartan. But … nothing is missing that I need right now. And therefore between happiness and misery, the choice is easy. I choose happiness and live it. Oh, and now another thought joins the thoughts of you my readers Joy. Joy at the thought of sharing these feelings with you. I am not alone in my Spartan room. So my love for you flows from my heart, down my arm to my fingers, and through the Bic pen to the page of my marble composition book. Later I will type if on my laptop, and send it to my blog on the internet to you.

As I pause in my writing for the moment a few thoughts cross my mind. What shall I do today? I don’t need food. I should restock a little wine so I will take a little trip on the bus to Quincy Center today. Will I have lunch while I am there? I don’t need that decision now. Now I need to reheat my coffee.

As I zapped my coffee, my thoughts went to you, my reader. Loving thoughts whether you are male or female … you are my companions in my Spartan room as I write.

One of my writings, “Writing in the Wee Hours,” is at :

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LKXBJVO

But another book you might like is “Murder at the House of Prayer at:

https://www.amazon.com/Murder-House-Prayer-Doug-Olsen-ebook/dp/B019501BRG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

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#23 Just Showing Up

My profound wisdom for today is to just show up. For us Biddies and Geezers, just showing up can be seen as a revolutionary act.

Dear God, there are lots of groups of very angry people showing up to demonstrate these days! Protestors for all sorts of causes populate the landscape and the TV news. They are everywhere.

But when I show up… I could be in danger. I plan to show up with a smile and I could be mistaken for a counter-revolutionary. And more dangerous … if I laugh, it might start a riot.

I am amazed at the modern logic that leads people to believe that working a crowd up to a lather of anger and frustration and venting it upon people of a different opinion will bring about a better world.

Because of media reporting it is easy to believe that the entire world is angry and is fighting for some righteous cause, Or against some person for some misdeed or even something they said or tweeted. Burt reality? The real world is different from what we see on TV.

As a bone fide Geezer I have a special window into today’s world. Sometimes I ride the T, (the Boston subway), during the rush hours. The following is a typical scenario. A crowd stands on the platform just behind the yellow line as the already train rumbles into the station. With a swish the doors open and, shoulder to shoulder, the people, (and I) push into the train. All the seats are filled and the rest of the people hang onto straps and bars as the doors swish closed and the train lurches into motion and picks up speed. I stand in front of specially designated seats right by the door.

A large sign designates those seats for “Seniors and Disabled” and most often the people in them are young and able-bodied. But they do not see me because their heads are bowed and they are intent on their smart phones. Their bodies may be in the seats but their minds are far, far away. Never showed up to the reality of the situation. But they are not the point of my story.

Often a young hero or heroine halfway down the car will wave at me and motion for me to come take their seat. A seat not “designated.” I always accept, not just for me, but for the blessing that the universe will bestow on them for their gift. But more. The passengers in the car have been taught a very strong lesson that is far more effective than the signs designating priority seating for us Biddies and Geezers. A lesson possible by Just Showing Up.

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

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

# 19 A Love Poem in the Twilight Years

As a Geezer who lives alone, I have relationships that are only at a distance … on the internet. This is a poem about one of these:

To Someone

A love poem in the sunset years

 

There is a Realm

Located not in space and time.

Beyond.

And there your soul and mine

Recline

Forever

One.

 

Oh do not fret

That in the here and now

Or in the there and then

We were  to other souls inclined

And love them yet.

The Author of All Grace

Has formed this special place

And named it just for us.

It’s done.

 

And ‘though I cannot touch your hand,

No physical thing for us is planned,

And ‘though the words we share are weak,

We text each other, rarely speak,

Together now, we truly swim

In waves of love

Sent from above

And it is Grand.

 

Know this, my dear,

And do not fear.

‘Though Time in this world will turn the page.

We’re joined forever in our realm

And there

Forever

We shall not age.

 

 

#17 The Healing Power of a Fire

A Geezer memory from a few years ago:

I was content. No, not true. I was joyful. Quietly joyful.

Outside the temperature was 19 0 F. I heard a blustery wind blowing through the fir trees. I was sitting in a very tall 18th century wing chair that screened me from the slight draft of cold air from the door. The wing chair was upholstered with muslin as it patiently waited for me to acquire the significant funds to have it properly dressed in accordance with its true magnificence and value.

When last I looked through the frosty glass windows on the sides of the door, there were flurries of fine snow coming down. The day was Groundhog Day and the local groundhogs had not seen their shadow. And the legend was: a Spring would come early and the Winter of Discontent would end. But that day, winter was all pervading. Except in my wing chair whose wings and arms concentrated and focused the heat from my woodstove stoked with several fiercely burning logs of hard, black locust wood. I was joyful!

Why? If I were practical and tallied up my material accounts I should have deduced that I was miserable. From whence this gift of unexpected, and unmerited joy? I pondered this question until a slight chill came upon me that was material and not the otherworldly mist of philosophical thought. The fire had burned down and needed more wood. This was a practical matter that needed my immediate attention.

Rats! My wood-rack was empty. With difficulty caused by un-cooperative arthritis, I manipulated my arms into my work jacket, stuffed my hat onto my head stuffed my feet into my boots and pulled my work gloves onto my hands. With practical caution, I stepped out the door, into the weather and trudged to the garage where the wood was stacked. Turning on the light, my eyes gazed back and forth at my hoard.

I was joyful! There it was, the source of the heat of the fire in my wood stove. Was this the source of my unmerited joy? Well, not really. That was too weighty a question for my situation. The fire needed wood. Regretting my slothfulness that before the storm I had not brought a generous cartful of wood into the house because now the deepening snow made pushing a cart a fool’s task, I gathered a mere armful of wood and trudged back to the house.

With my free hand I turned the doorknob and opened the door. As I stepped over the threshold my bare face felt the radiated warmth from the room. Nice! I set my payload of wood into the rack, fed the fire, stripped off my weather gear, and settled again into my waiting wing chair. Joy flowed to my spirit as the warmness flowed to my body.

Back to the question, ‘What was the source of the joy?’ Let us trace it back.

As I sat in the chair the fire warmed me. But it cannot be just the heat. My house has oil heat, which is not used much these days of high oil prices. A warm house is nice but it just is not the same as the heat from my wood fired stove. So we must study the history the wood.

I thought back to last spring.  Andrew, my 13yr old grandson and I felled tree after tree after tree. There were the black locust trees. These are also useful for fence posts and also for poles to support our clothesline because they do not rot when put into the   ground.  I shared this lore with Andrew. There were hickory trees, and these could be fashioned into handles for sledgehammers and axes if we needed such an item and had less money and more time. And there were ash and maple. The ash were great because they split so easily. We discussed these subjects as we worked.

Concerning the maple trees we harvested, they were not of sufficient diameter to serve as part of our “sugar bush” which are trees suitable for tapping in February for the production of maple syrup. Andrew and I had done that one year and produced what we claimed to be the best maple syrup in the county. That was a project that gave me joy every time I had pancakes in the following year. I thought, ‘This may be a clue.’

With an almost malevolent intensity my granddaughter and my daughter-in-law heaved the cut logs into the cart of the tractor and hauled them to the garage where they were spit and stacked against the wall. An armature psychologist might suspect they were working out frustrations of work and school. I do not dare to go there.

So we must conclude that part of the joy must come from those dear to me harvesting the wood. Not the physical part of cutting and hauling, it must be the unseen spiritual part that regardless of our personal mood, we sow the seeds of love into an unseen component of the wood. It is this component that is released as the wood burns.

But we can trace these unseen properties further, to the source of the wood itself. The wood once had a life of its own. Beginning as seeds, each tree began in the ground. Seeds were covered with earth. They died and were resurrected to life. They burst from the ground with this unseen phenomenon we call life. Through the years they lived through winters and summers, storms and beautiful days with an invisible spirit of life that came from the creator of the universe that many call God. A spirit indeed!

As I sat and pondered, a very negative thought intruded the reverie. ‘Oh yeah,’ it said, ‘then how is it many people watch a fire and remain in a funk of gloom?’ Good point. Why indeed?

Defeated by this adverse thought, I just sat. The unsympathetic thought held me captive until I began to hear a whisper from deep within my being. Over and over it repeated but I could not make it out. But it persisted a little louder with each repetition until finally I discerned the voice say, ‘an attitude of gratitude is required.’

Inspired, I shouted aloud, “Thank you Lord! You are the author and the finisher of our joy!”

And the adverse voice was silenced. And an all-pervading joy transfixed my spirit. This was a demonstration of an omnipotent and omniscient power that can be appreciated in full only in person.

I have now shared this with you and there are substantial consequences. Neither of us needs again have dismay nor despair drown out the God given spirit of Joy. We can use the power of gratitude of the gifts of Love given in the past to unlock our soul from any jail.

I am now at peace, how about you?

Doug Olsen’s Author Page

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#9 I Stole $89,620.12

For an 85 year old Geezer like me, the Internet has been a blessing. I live alone, but with my laptop and smartphone I am in daily contact with friends and family all over the country. Actually all over the world.  But there is a problem.

There is a culture of crooks on the internet whose occupation is stealing money from people like me. (And you.) The thing is somebody in a grass hut in the Philippines with a laptop connected to the internet can get into your computer and then into your bank account and rob you blind. It happens every day.

So, we Biddies and Geezers must make sure that we have the right kind of security protection on our devices that will detect and stop viruses, worms, Trojan Horses and other malware that the crooks use to steal our money.

I wrote a little book, “I Stole $89,620.12” to warn Biddies and Geezers. It’s fiction, but it could happen. My purpose is to give you an example of the type of thinking that can get you scammed and flimflammed out of your money. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary English is full of words concerned with trickery and deception, ranging from the colorful “flimflam,” “bamboozle,” and “hornswoggle” to the more mundane “deceive,” “mislead,” and “delude.” Flimflam” is often used specifically to refer to swindling someone out of money. The ultimate origin of “flimflam” is uncertain, but the word is probably of Scandinavian,

Anyway, there is a lot of it going on. My little book is available on Kindle for $0.99. (Free if you have Kindle Prime.)

Click the link to check it out.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NACNR51

Doug Olsen’s Author Page

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen