Tag Archives: Neil Young

Another New Year

Other than a sunny morning walk with friends, it has been a slow day around here. Tom made one of our current favorite treats, Detroit-Style Pizza. It was delicious and cheered me up as I watched my college football team (University of Michigan Wolverines) lose again. Tom has a cold–perhaps it is the same one I had on Christmas.  We just finished binge-watching three episodes of Chopped (I think that is legal when one is under the weather).

Now I have set myself three tasks before I can get back to rereading Little Women. I need to settle on my New Year’s resolutions, I need to transfer my personal data from last year’s Audubon Engagement Calendar to this year’s calendar, and I need to write and publish a post.

My resolutions

  • be more kind: I’m no ogre, but I need to be less judgmental and more open-minded.
  • write more posts: I keep all the words, ideas, and photos stewing in my mind too long; I want to serve them up more often–when they are fresh.
  • exercise more: I do exercise quite a bit, but I want to be ready for any mountains, valleys, or canyons that I come across.

Data transfer

I have a computer, a smart phone, and a wall calendar.  However, I organize my tasks and my life using my old school day planner.  Every year I ritually and painstakingly transfer items–everything from New York Times and Washington Post passwords to friends’ addresses to the Neil Young quotation (see Old Year, New Year, Flexibility, Part 3) from the old  book to the new.  I am feeling good about this task because I am about half finished.  I probably will finish tomorrow or the next day.  A couple of years ago, I didn’t finish the transfer of information until sometime in the spring. When I write down the names and addresses of our children, my brothers and their families, and our friends, I remember them.  In my mind: back to Milford, MI,  to Van Aken Boulevard, to the Colorado Plateau, here in the neighborhood, and more. This is powerful magic for me and I take my book wherever I travel. It is my Book of Kells, my book of hours, my book of love.

day books

Write and publish a post

I have just written and posted these lines.

Happy New Year and talk to you soon.



Old Year, New Year: Flexibility, Part 3

I didn’t know there was going to be a Flexibility, Part 3.  I had thought that I had explored my flexibility (and lacks thereof, various) sufficiently in Flexibility, Parts 1 and 2.  This has not proven to be the case.

  • When I contort my arms while doing my stretches, my left shoulder hurts. I think I am losing strength and range of motion (e.g., flexibility) because  I haven’t used my weights in over a week.  We are on the road again, plus it was a) too stormy b) too cold c) too sad (see below) d) too cold (second round) to get the weights out of their storage space in the camper.
  • Yesterday morning, after re-stowing the–once-frozen, now defrosted–canned goods in the camper, my hands were so cold that I went back to the cabin, whimpered from the pain in my thumbs, and sat in a chair all day with a blanket up to my chin.
  • I am warm today as I sit here in the food court of the Myrtle Beach Mall, Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, S.C. I sit here and miss my father and mother.  How flexible is that?   I might have gotten used to their being gone since it has been  20 years and more.  Without my parents’ kind hearts and bright souls here to raise my spirits, I feel like I am in a cave without a light.

I’m late: I usually transfer the data from my old day planner to my new day planner by around January 1 of the new year.  It’s some sort of ritual for me–copying names, numbers, emails, addresses from the old book to the new. Note: I also transcribe some of my passwords onto the day planner pages. Because of that, in a fit of sense, I am not posting my photo of the old and new  day books  together as I had intended.  Someone might be able to read my little secret codes.

New day planner

New day planner

Speaking about rituals: For the last several years, I have affixed a Post-It note with lyrics to the back of the day planner. This year, I have actually written the words on the inside cover:

There is a town in North Ontario,
With Dream comfort memory to spare,
And in my mind
I still need a place to go,
All my changes were there

For decades, I  would understand the North Ontario part, and then I would hear Neil mumble the next lines: something, something, something.  I didn’t know what the somethings were or meant, but I felt they were important and the words I couldn’t understand made me want to cry.

I do, however, understand the meaning of the song title: Helpless.

I grow old. Someone else wrote, “I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled” (“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot). I used to think that line was a bit funny.  Now, I get it.

I think I am fit and flexible. When I ask, people tell me my gait is fine. However when I see my shadow, I see a little something wobbly with the gait on my right leg.



I can’t seem to stop walking into swamps of one sort or another, but then I remember, I love swamps.

Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park

I am helpless to stop people I love from dying. So, Ave atque Vale (check your Catullus) and Happy New Year.

Sunlight and water, Myrtle Beach

Sunlight on sea foam, Myrtle Beach