I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Walking into the light

Hiding in the dark

I took this picture last Thursday when Melanie and I hiked up the Chanterelle Trail. The second segment of the trail, after the viewpoint, starts off in dense forest. After we enjoyed a brief respite at the viewpoint, we started up the second part just long enough to experience the darkness of the trail and see the light coming from the open area. It's a little haunting, but also serene to my eyes. I needed to find some serenity.

How do you cope with sorrow and pain? I would bet that all of us have developed coping mechanisms, since everyone alive eventually experiences the dark side of living, even if it's not very often or very difficult. But for some of us, it's simply hellish to wake up every day and have to leave the comfort and forgetfulness of our night's sleep, only to face yet another day of suffering. That's what is happening in so many places in our world today. Whether it's that small town in Texas, in Buffalo, or the entire Ukrainian country. Or Bangladesh's floods, or...

So much suffering that sometimes I wonder how anybody escapes this world without falling into despair. At first I watched the news and read all about the latest mass shootings in our country, two awful ones within a week. Then I began to realize that the news was just repeating the same stuff, over and over and enough to make anybody go a little crazy. So I stopped watching and reading the headlines. It helped me feel better. Yesterday Melanie and I went for a nice five-mile walk in the beautiful forest surrounding us here in Bellingham, no rain, and I began to feel better. Now I'm spending my time watching old Star Trek episodes and enjoying being transported somewhere else, somewhere other than the present world. However, it's a holiday weekend out there.

It is Memorial Day weekend, and I was truly surprised by the numbers of people out and about. Then I remembered that this is the first time in three years that we here in Bellingham get to celebrate the Ski to Sea event! This amazing race will take place today, Sunday, and covers seven different segments: cross country skiing, downhill skiing or snowboarding, downhill running, road biking, canoeing, mountain biking, and ending with kayaks coming into Marine Park in Fairhaven. Each team has three to eight participants, usually one person for each segment except for the canoe segment that requires two paddlers. A few years ago it was decided that one person can participate in up to three segments instead of a different person for each one. Anyway, it takes all day from the starting gun at 7:30am at the Mt. Baker Ski Area, with people coming into the final leg usually by mid- to late afternoon. I've watched the finish a few times, but it's a huge party and way too loud and high energy for me! There's lots of food to buy, beer and wine, and musicians at every corner. If we are lucky and there's not any rain, it will be packed shoulder to shoulder. Yep, I'll be home safe and snug in my apartment, but I'll read all about it online as the day unfolds.

On Memorial Day, I don't want to only remember the combatants. There were also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace, men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live. —Eric Burdon

Especially this year, I want to think about all those who are working to make this world a kinder place to live, one with clean water and air, and safe places to gather without fear. I have spent way too much time lately thinking of all that is wrong and scary in the world, and not enough thinking about how one tiny little act can change the world. I remember a quote from the Dalai Lama: "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." So I will try to spend the rest of this post spreading around as much of it as I can muster.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead

Although I have used this quote from Margaret Mead before, it's the one I originally went looking for, because it reminds me that it doesn't take a massive movement to change the trajectory of fear and despair that many of us have been following lately. It has come to my attention that there are many of us who are ready for a change in direction. We are a divided nation and a divided world, but there are more citizens in the United States who are ready for common-sense gun control than those who think that assault weapons should be able to be purchased by anyone over the age of 18 without even so much as a background check. For the first time, I envy those of you who live in more enlightened countries, like Australia and Europe. We are the only country where these mass shootings with weapons of war occur almost DAILY.

Okay, I'll stop there. I don't usually let politics enter into my posts, but I couldn't pretend like it's not uppermost in my mind. There are solutions, and I will donate to the causes I believe in, and I will join with other like-minded citizens to vote my conscience in the fall. I am confident that we will make a difference, because we are definitely not such a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens, but instead a massive group of mothers and fathers who cherish our children.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, and I especially want to remember those in my family who have served in the armed forces, starting with my dad, who retired as a Major in the Air Force. I remember learning about the air-refueling jet (the KC-135) that he navigated, and wondering how the heck it was possible to figure out how to take into account all the variables to allow a skinny little hose to extend from one moving plane into the right spot on another moving plane! My father was able to do that.

And my mother, who raised six kids from infancy into adulthood, all the while teaching us how to cook and clean (and knit and crochet) like she did. Although we moved a lot while I was growing up, I always had a secure home life, and Mama always managed to create a home out of each place we lived. It was hard to find my home after both of my parents died and there was no longer a central place to point to, one where I could come for visits or when times were hard. But eventually I did find a place, and for the last thirty years, my dear partner has been there, creating a home base and sharing his life with me. I am so grateful for his presence in my life, and I want to acknowledge what a difference he has made in my daily existence.

Although circumstances didn't allow me to keep my two beautiful sons, they also gave me so much joy. Chris lived into his early forties before dying of a heart attack, but he was loved and cherished, having found his soulmate before his death. It's been a long time since he died, but he is still alive in memories and there are times when I swear I can hear his distinctive laughter behind me. No, it's only in my head and heart where he still lives. Stephen was just a baby of 13 months when he died, so I have fewer memories of our time together. But they are there nevertheless, and when I stop to remember them, I am content and grateful.

Another place I go when I need solace is to my electronic family, the collection of blogs that I follow, and people who have become as familiar and cherished as my "skin" family and friends. I enjoy learning about your children and grandchildren, and smile at the antics of your furry companions. I love to see your gardens and your homes as you also make your way through the days and weeks of your lives. It gives me great pleasure: you have no idea how often I visit you just to share your peaceful worlds. I know we all have trials and tribulations, it's part of life, but it's also not the only thing we write about.

See? There's so much we can share as we make our way through life, much that gives me perspective and hope. Not to mention how easy it is for me to transport myself to Fresno, Canberra, Seattle, Miami, North Dakota, and many other places in a flash. And to find out how you all are managing your lives and giving me a few pointers when I falter. Yes, it's a good life all right, and I am more than grateful for it, and all the possibilities that await us in the days and years ahead.

My dear partner is still sleeping next to me, and my tea is gone. It's time to wind up this post and remember to give thanks once again for everything that is good, true, and beautiful. Until we meet again next week, dear friends, I wish you all good things.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Gifts of friends and memories

Squalicum Harbor

Yesterday it was just Melanie and me walking around the harbor, checking out the flowers and boats, enjoying the cool breeze and delightful views as we covered a little more than five miles in full sunshine. We have finally seemed to make it to an actual springtime season, with the temperature here making it all the way up to the high sixties, and maybe today we'll make it to 70° (21°C) for the first time this year.

I have been reading about the awful heat wave covering the entire northeast of the country, with many places setting new record highs for the date. It seems to me that the weather everywhere is out of whack, and many areas having really weird weather. Take Denver, for example: after hitting 90°F on Thursday, the very next day a snowstorm dropped the temperature by 57 degrees and brought as much as 20 inches of snow to several parts of Colorado. I remember well a May snowstorm in Boulder, when we received three feet of snow overnight, and I and some friends brought out our cross-country skis and enjoyed a wonderful sunny day with lots of slippery ice to navigate. I couldn't seem to find just the right mixture of ski wax, finally ending up using klister, which is almost like slapping chewing gum on your skis in order to be able to make your way up the slopes. Sliding down was easy, but any climbing needed lots more skill than I possessed. It was fun, though, and I remember skiing in a t-shirt and getting sunburned (we weren't as careful in those days).

By late afternoon yesterday, we opened the windows in the kitchen and living room to allow the lovely breeze to cool down our apartment. It was warmer than I am accustomed to, but then again, it is still not anywhere near too warm. Last year in late June we had a terrible heat wave, with Seattle setting an all-time record of 108°F on June 28, hot enough to buckle the roads and close down highways. Here in Bellingham we set a record of 99°F on June 29. We don't know what's in store for us this year, but with all the rain we've had, I don't think we will be in any fire danger for at least a couple of months. But then again, all the rain caused many meadows to proliferate with grasses, which might dry out and become a fire hazard. It's really hard to imagine that, but it used to happen in Boulder frequently in late summer and early fall.

I thought it might be fun to reminisce today over some of my favorite skydives. Most summers during the 1990s I traveled to Quincy, Illinois, to attend the ten-day-long World Freefall Convention (WFFC). After a couple of years, I realized that there was a great need for a place for inexperienced skydivers to gather and make some safer, smaller skydives together. I got permission from the owners of the Convention to do it. So I ended up gathering a bunch of skydiving pals from Colorado to become load organizers and create that space. The more experienced skydivers were glad not to have people who were not ready yet to join larger formations have a community of their own. We specialized in getting groups of four to eight skydivers together to play together in the sky, with some very simple and fun formations as the basic format.

We had a huge tent and got couches and chairs for people to sit in, with lots of room to pack parachutes after a jump. Fans and a portable TV with DVR player helped to give us a way to watch skydives that some of our participants would film. These days, everyone has digital cameras attached to their helmets, but in the 90s, they were not as available. We made sure we had a chance to see and critique our performances in the sky.

Paul, one of our regulars packing his chute

I went looking back in my old archives for any pictures I might have of the WFFC to share with you, so you could get a better idea of the tent. Anyone who has traveled or lived in Illinois in August knows how hot it can get, so any shade was much appreciated. It's hard for me to realize that this picture was taken almost twenty years ago, probably with my little old PowerShot camera. Nowadays I don't take pictures with anything but my phone, but back then we didn't even have smartphones. Did you realize they didn't exist before 2007? How much has changed since then.

Not only did the WFFC have thousands of participants, they also offered plenty of unusual aircraft for us to jump from. I made jumps from helicopters, hot air balloons, King Airs, Cessna Caravans, and the workhorse that took us to altitude most often, the Twin Otter. And much more (check out the link I found to the Convention). From that link:
The World Freefall Convention has seen many successful years, starting with skydiving numbers of 700 to 800 participants in 1990 and rising to a high in 2001 of 5700 jumpers, from 57 countries that made over 70,000 jumps during the event. As the number of annual members in the USPA have decreased, so have those numbers attending the WFFC.

The last one I attended was in 2000. By then I was still skydiving, but the desire to spend so much time in the heat and humidity of Illinois in August had faded. I still have some of my old jackets from the nineties. And boy, do I have a lot of memories! I forgot to mention that for two or three years I jumped from a 727 Boeing JET! That means I have a D.B. Cooper number, which was issued to those who purchased a jump ticket and made the leap. They cost twice as much as a regular jump, but it was more than worth the price.

The jet had the seats removed and held 180 jumpers at a time. This particular model had a rear exit, with the stairs covered with plywood so you could just run down the short ramp and be in freefall. The way it was done was to load up all those jumpers and make two separate passes over the Drop Zone. But first, we had to load up the plane and secure ourselves with the seat belts on the floor. It was so hot that we were sweating buckets as we waited for the loading to be completed. Then once the plane took off, it was only three minutes to altitude! And we were frightened when a dense fog formed almost immediately after takeoff (it looked like smoke at first) from all those sweaty bodies. We relaxed when we realized it was fog.

We lined up when it was time for our exit, holding onto the shoulders of the person in front of us, then we quick-stepped together until we were out the door and in freefall. Since the plane was traveling very fast, we actually slowed down from exit speed to regular freefall speed of 120 miles an hour! It was very disorienting and exciting, but once we were in freefall, it was just a regular skydive. Not to mention that most of us landed off the field, since stringing out that many skydivers (90 per pass) meant it was impossible to have everyone land on the field. There were plenty of volunteer drivers who drove around and picked us up. I was in a pickup and thrilled to have done it.

In going back in time like this, I realize I've had quite an exciting life with plenty of memorable experience. And here I am in 2022, still hiking and walking and doing my yoga, even if I'm no longer skydiving. I know there are a few eighty-year-olds still out there, but the desire faded as I got older and realized I'd done just about everything as I gathered my jump numbers, which ended at 4,201 in 2015.

How can I be sad about having left it behind? In many ways, I can look back at my years and be incredibly grateful for the wonderful experiences I've had. There have been good times and bad, which is typical for most of us, but I realize I can concentrate on the good times. Attitude is everything. As my dear partner still sleeps next to me, I am looking forward to having breakfast with my friend Lily, who will join John and me this morning. This morning, I am filled with gratitude and smiling to think of those skydiving years I enjoyed. So, dear ones, until we meet again next week, I wish you many good memories to wrap yourselves in. Be well.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

News in my world

Some of my newly planted flowers

For some reason, I have had a hard time making myself plant the flowers on my front porch. I have, in addition to these planters, a few others that I haven't finished yet. Usually by this time of the year, they have been growing enthusiastically and giving me lots of satisfaction by now, but I just couldn't rustle up the gumption to get my hands in the dirt. I bought some geranium plants more than a month ago, and when they didn't get replanted and properly watered, all their blooms withered and died. I've now got them into their planter and fed them, watered them vigorously, and hope that they will recover enough to flower sometime in the future.

Part of my lack of enthusiasm has been the almost unrelenting rain we've had, along with much cooler than normal temperatures. It's easy to get out and enjoy the outdoors in cool weather, but not when there is constant rain, even if it's a light one, with only a few days so far this year of brilliant sunshine. Some, just enough to make me want more. I will take this weather, however, much more happily than when it gets super-hot. Around here, we usually only have a few weeks of really warm weather, in July and/or August, but I still have my heavy comforter on my bed and am in no hurry to take it off. But then again, it's only mid-May.

In many ways, I am quite content with my life. My dear partner is doing pretty well, considering his ongoing illness is under control and shows little signs of progressing. He has permanent damage from the August 2020 stroke he suffered, but he's perfectly able to function, drive, cook, and take care of me in all the ways I've grown accustomed to. I am grateful.

Because we here in Washington state are in somewhat of a "hot spot" in terms of the virus, we still limit our exposure to others as much as possible. I wear an N95 mask on the bus (even though we are no longer required to wear any) and I am not alone. More than half of the people on the bus wear some sort of mask, and sometimes the driver is the only one not masked. Of course, most of the people on the buses are elderly or homeless, with a few students mixed in here and there. I have only been on a few rides where were more than a handful of passengers (six or so is pretty standard on a bus that seats 30).

Yesterday morning, the time of my usual walk with Melanie, we were joined by our friend Dianne and her wonderful dog Joe, and a special treat was finding that our friend Peggy, who usually walks with the faster ladies an hour earlier, was at Lake Padden with the hope of making the two-loop trip around the lake with us. I had not had a chance to visit with Peggy in years, so it was a delight to spend some time catching up. She's pretty much done hiking with the Senior Trailblazers; she stopped when her husband suffered a life-threatening injury more than three years ago. And then of course the pandemic intervened in many of our usual activities. Although the rain was supposed to stop by 8:00am, it managed to continue for most of our five-mile walk. The company helped me enjoy myself anyway.

This past week astronomers showed us an image of the black hole that exists in the center of our Milky Way galaxy. It was only the second time that we were able to see what a black hole looks like. In 2019, a telescope known as the EHT (Event Horizon Telescope) showed us an image of a black hole that looks like a massive donut, a ring with a dark center. This was taken from an area known as M87, 55 million light-years away from here. 
We were stunned by how well the size of the ring agreed with predictions from Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, said EHT project scientist Geoffrey Bower from the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
It took a network of eight telescopes all linked together to get the picture of the black hole, which looks very similar to those of the M87. Although they look much the same, the black hole in the middle of our own galaxy is a thousand times smaller than the M87. I'm simply amazed at what we have been able to learn about these massive areas that consume everything around them. Even light cannot escape from a black hole. I sometimes fantasize what it would be like to stand on the event horizon and peer over the edge. Of course, that would be impossible, but thanks to our active imaginations we can do whatever we want inside our mental palaces.

And as the days and weeks fly by, I am closer and closer to understanding my own place in the universe. I am reading more about black holes and space-time every day, taking a pause now and then to come back to more mundane tasks. Maybe that's one reason I've been so slow to get my flowers going: I'm more comfortable with my head in the stars than having my hands in the dirt.

It's already Sunday again, which is why I'm sitting here in the dark once again writing on my laptop, and it seems like only yesterday I finished the last post, but here I am once more trying to find the proper words to commit the present moment to the page. I'm not doing very well, I fear, but then again it's my post, my endeavor and no one else's. As I've said before, sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn't. Writing in the moment has its drawbacks. Dancing in the chaos of existence, sometimes I find myself with wings, and sometimes they just don't quite take me off the ground. 

Oh boy, now I'm getting myself into trouble. Maybe it's time to wind up this post and start the rest of my day. John will pick me up in an hour, and we'll head to Fairhaven for Sunday breakfast. SG still sleeps quietly next to me, and I feel myself ready to begin to emerge from the cocoon of dark silence that holds me here. I just checked the weather, and you know what? It's raining again, no surprise there. But I can revel in how much the plants will enjoy it, and my raincoat will keep me dry.

Until we meet again next week, when hopefully my post will make more sense, I do hope you will find many wonderful moments to enjoy with your loved ones. Be well and I wish you all good things, dear friends.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Thinking of our mothers

Pink petals in sun and shadow

All of our ornamental cherry trees are losing their petals, and as I was beginning my Saturday walk with my friends yesterday, I couldn't help but stop and admire the look of all those pretty pink petals making the sidewalk look like a confection. And now it's Mother's Day, with my desire to honor all our moms as we mark the second Sunday in May as the one day when we remember who bore us, took care of us when we couldn't do it ourselves, and who guided us (some were better at it than others) into adulthood. 

I was one of the lucky ones whose mother lived long enough to see all her children grow from tiny helpless infants into actual people, and every one of the six of us has become a productive member of society. Still, she only lived until the age of 69, and the loss of our mother was hard to bear for many years. Since it was long ago now, 1993, memories of her are all I have left, and they are probably nothing like what she was actually like: time has a way of softening out all the hard spots and leaving me only remembering smiles and positive memories. The unvarnished truth isn't relevant here any more. Just the fond recollection of her touch on my forehead when I had a fever, her droll sense of humor and boisterous laugh, the wonderful meals she created (no one made turkey hash like hers), and much, much more. This is what I remember.

My mother’s love has always been a sustaining force for our family, and one of my greatest joys is seeing her integrity, her compassion, her intelligence reflected in my daughters. —Michelle Obama

I can see many aspects of my mother reflected in my siblings, and sometimes when visiting them these days, I see glimpses in gestures and ways of being in the world that come directly from Mama. Imagining the procession of our ancestors that bring us to this moment, and all the mothers who existed earlier, each one living a life that included childbirth and stretching back into the mists of time. I wonder what Mama would think of the world today and wonder what it would be like to sit down at the kitchen table and talk over coffee. What would she say to me?

For one thing, I realize I am now a decade older than she was when she died, and although I don't feel so old, I know that I am. Every day is a gift, a blessing to be shared with family and friends. Listening to the birds sing, enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest springtime, and snuggling down in my bed with the laptop and creating a Mother's Day post. Being in the moment.

Mama was industrious and never stopped taking care of the things that fell under her purview. She planted and watered flowers for as long as I can remember, she cooked and cleaned as her children grew up, and she read books. Oh, did she read! I remember her going to the library and bringing back literally boxes of books, and she read them all. She was never without at least one or two by her side. I read, too, but I am an amateur when compared with her. I'm glad she never had to deal with macular degeneration and gradually lose her ability to read. It's a tough one: I can only read for a short time before my eyes begin to complain. My Kindle is an essential part of my life these days, because I can read it much easier and longer than hard copy. You can see that reading has been an essential part of my life, coming directly from the influence of my mother. I can only give thanks for all the ways she helped me grow into the person I am today.

Mothering comes naturally to most women, I suppose, and I am no exception. Although my mothering days are long behind me, I can still feel the urge to take care of little ones when they are around me. For years I looked forward to playing with little Leo, a young boy who came to the coffee shop, and we would always connect when we were both there. He is now a teenager and yesterday his father sat down for coffee with me. He said that Leo would never come in these days, as he sees it as part of his childhood. He wants to be grown up. But I know without a doubt that I will be one of those memories he will carry with him as he matures and grows into adulthood. How quickly he changed from a toddler into a teenager!

Sitting here in the dark, with my dear life partner sleeping quietly next to me, I am looking for inspiration, looking to see where my mental processes want to go next. Of course I'm looking for ways to eulogize mothers and motherhood on this special day, but nothing comes immediately to mind. I can remember times when Mama and Daddy returned home after a day on the golf course, and Mama's outfits were something to behold: she usually wore bright, loud clothes. She also had a nose guard to protect it from the sun, which complemented her outfit perfectly. The memory brings a smile to my face. My mother was unique, all right, as all our mothers are. But she was exceptional. My mama is a part of me and will never stop being present in my life, no matter how many years separate us.

Mama and me in the Colorado Rockies

I have no idea how old this picture is, but it is a time when Mama was visiting me in Boulder, and we took a quick trip up into the mountains. I remember she couldn't walk very far because of the altitude, but she wanted to see the mountains. I believe this is Brainard Lake, and she was very happy to sit on a rock and take in the scenery. I remember her being surprised that there were still patches of snow in shady spots. Gosh, this picture brings back memories I had forgotten until I looked at it. Mama, I still miss you, but I am very grateful for all those years we did have together. I can relate to Michelle Obama's line about how her mother's love was always a sustaining force in the family. Mothers everywhere are celebrated today and every day, if we just allow ourselves to settle back into memory. Or if your mother is still around, then hopefully you will have a chance to be with her. 

With that fervent wish, I will wrap up this Mother's Day post and get ready for the rest of my day. John will pick me up as usual and take me off to breakfast in Fairhaven, and then I'll come home and enjoy some sweet moments with my guy. And of course I'll take some time to walk around outdoors and enjoy the sunshine, clouds, and sprinkles of rain. Until we meet again next week, I wish you all good things, dear friends.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

May Day 2022

It's so thrillium to find trillium

 Today is the beginning of a new month, the beautiful month of May at the tail end (we all hope anyway) of a two-year pandemic, but stuck somewhere in the midst of an awful war in Europe. I sincerely hope it (the war) will be over soon, too, and join the pandemic in the ash heap of history.

I learned that the term "Mayday" when written as one word is considered a universal signal of distress and has been around for more than a century. Written as two words, it's a spring festival of light and joy, dancing around the Maypole, baskets hanging on doorknobs filled with treats and candy. It took me a few minutes to decide to title this post as a joyful moment, rather than as a distress signal. Let's have fun today!

It has been so wonderful to get outdoors here in the Pacific Northwest and see all the spring flowers everywhere, all at once. It's like a fairyland out there, and with all the rain we are blessed with, they cannot seem to help themselves from sprouting and showing their incredible profusion at this moment in time. I'm glad to be able to see and share what I am experiencing with you, dear reader.

It's interesting that my skydiving years keep inserting themselves in today's circumstances. Melanie started a conversation on Facebook with some people I was acquainted with when I was active in the sport. She was so excited to learn about their accomplishments, and as we discussed it, that was when I realized how removed I feel from those days. That was then, and now I am in a different world. But two decades ago, I read my Parachutist Magazine from cover to cover, and now I glance at it, but I don't really feel much connection, other than to those who are still around from those days. Unfortunately, many of my old friends have either died or walked away from the sport themselves, and the new generation and I have little in common. There was a time when I could not have imagined my situation today, thinking that some part of me would always crave to be in freefall again. Nope. I've moved on.

At first I thought it would be fun to write a humorous post, one filled with jokes and laughter, but you know what? I couldn't find any jokes that I thought fit with my mood. Humor is an interesting topic: what makes something funny to one person and not to another? I looked online for the best one-liner jokes and found few to be actually humorous. Then I read the Wikipedia page about humour and found that it is indeed a very slippery concept. Although it's definitely worthwhile to laugh and find the amusement in our everyday lives, it's not easily defined or appreciated. 

I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. —Groucho Marx

Now that's the spirit! I watched the White House Correspondents' Dinner on TV last night, and there were quite a few good jokes and only a few of them were groaners. Trevor Noah knows humour and can dispense it with only a little barb now and then. Mostly it's enough to make me smile but not enough to make me laugh out loud. My friend John sends me jokes that often make me laugh and sometime when I re-read them I find they are not all that funny after all. A curious thing, humor (or humour). 

On another topic, these days I spend some time in the morning, usually, solving the daily Wordle. It gives me such pleasure to actually get the word, and I've gotten pretty good at it. Do you do it, too? You can play it online, free of charge, and it's not exactly easy, but I've only been stumped a few times. You get six chances to solve the word of the day. Check it out here if you don't already know about it. But trust me, it's addictive. I did find a cartoon about it rather funny. 

Do you find it funny, too?

I snagged this from the New Yorker. I tried to sign up to receive the magazine (which I enjoy very much) but it's too expensive for me these days. I have enough online subscriptions already, where I spend way too much of my time as it is. It sure is nice, though, to peruse my usual subscriptions and catch up on the day's events. And so much easier on my mental state, rather than turning on the TV and getting frustrated with all those commercials, and being fed the same story over and over, learning nothing new. Much better to pick and choose.

Well, I tried to write a post without being all doom-and-gloomy, to make a couple of my readers happy. I guess I've been concentrating too much lately on ageing, growing older and losing my faculties, and hanging out with topics that bring them down. Perhaps this post will be more uplifting. Whatever you decide to do with your day today, I do hope you find some time to smile and laugh. Remember, it's May Day, not Mayday!

And I hope that you will find some time to get fresh air into your lungs, breathe deeply and even smell the flowers if you can. Why not? It feels good, it's good for you, and I'm sure the flowers appreciate being admired. And with that, it's time for me to wrap up this post and give myself some time to get ready to head out with John for our usual Sunday breakfast. Thank you for coming along with me on this wonderful and magical May Day!!!