Tuesday, September 23, 2014

On Being a Character

    I am convinced that everyone has the desire to be an actor in one way or another.   Children for instance love to perform and often take on roles that amuse their family and anyone that will watch and hear them.   As we mature many of us shy away from performing as we become self-conscious or have criticisms of our behavior.  Yet I think that even the senior citizen enjoys playing a part once in a while.
   This past Saturday afternoon I had the pleasure of portraying the life of Ezra Cornell at the Living History Museum of Central New York at Homer, NY.   My presentation was a part of the Tractors of Yesteryear celebration.   After reading three biographies of Ezra Cornell and writing a 50 page script and practicing several times I felt I had a sense of who Ezra Cornell was.   My goal in preparation was to absorb the essence of Ezra Cornell's psyche.  In doing so I expected that I could do a first person presentation with reasonable credibility.   To convince the audience of my authenticity as Ezra Cornell, I rented a 1860's period costume.   I think the visual impact on the audience was significant.   The costume also made me feel credible as well.
   For over an hour I imagined that I was Ezra Cornell telling my life story from the perspective of my last days on earth.  It was fun to stay in that character and I think my audience was at least informed if not entertained.   After all the work I put into this presentation, I almost wish I could get another gig to do it again.  Wouldn't that be appropriate?  Especially since it is the Sesquicentennial Celebration for the founding of Cornell University.   Yes, I guess I am a character and a ham!
Ezra and a Prop in Front

Costumed and Ready

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Simple Wholesome Pleasures

   After a tennis work out today and a shower, I grabbed a fresh tee shirt from the drawer.  For some unknown reason the smell of fresh laundry struck me as special wholesome pleasure.   So that triggered further thought about simple pleasures life can bring.  Perhaps it comes under the heading of stopping to smell the roses.
     Here are a few wholesome pleasures that I find myself enjoying by trying to be more in the moment.
1.  The smell of baking bread.  I occasionally make bread in a bread machine.  The smell fills the house and stimulates the gastric juices.   (So tempting, my wife makes me do the baking in the basement)
2.  Wood smoke wafting on an autumn breeze.  Visions of a cozy fire and a tasty beverage of your choice.
3.  The aroma of freshly ground coffee beans.   I routinely grind my own bean to make coffee and truly enjoy the process.
4.  The surprise of a beautiful sunset.   Gorgeous colors painting the sky.   Probably the same thing happens in the morning but I prefer to sleep in.
5.  The neatness of a newly mowed lawn.  
6.  The purity of dew on the grass.
7.  Fresh sweet corn on the cob.
8.  The smile of a baby.
Recent Sunset -Photo Taken From our Patio

     Readers, now it is your turn to savor the simple wholesome pleasures you can experience.

      In a few weeks the leaves will turn and we will be saturated with the brilliant colors of autumn.  I'll remind myself to store up those visions in anticipation of the grayness until the snow falls.  But as a geezer skier, I can anticipate the beauty of the snow that will clothe the earth in new beauty.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Rain on My Parade- Spouse to the Rescue

   I am convinced that minimizing the effects of aging entails daily exercise.  If my wife and I don't play tennis on a given day, some other activity has to be included at least for a half hour or more.   Gardening and other chores can substitute for athletics as long as I get up a good sweat.   This Labor Day weekend did not lack for exercise.  For two days I was repairing and maintaining my snow blower.   Each of those two days required about six hours of wrestling with the parts of the snow blower that had to be disassembled and then put together.  I must have sweat a gallon in the process.   We also threw in a couple of sessions of tennis as well.   Lost weight in the process but did vegetate one day to let the old body recuperate.
Disassembled Blower - My Wrestling Partner
   Now to the title of this post.  My day was taken up with morning chores and an afternoon guiding at the local museum.  No chance for vigorous exercise.  Post dinner this evening,  after a  brief rain shower, I decided to walk the neighborhood which normally takes about fifty minutes.  Several miles to work up a good sweat.  No rain when I left the house.   However, about 30 minutes into the walk the rain started and became a downpour.   In a few moments I was soaked and concerned about my smart phone getting wet.   Gritting my teeth and shivering a bit at the same time I was prepared to tough it out.   However, to my delight this geezer in distress sighted my wife's red Camry tooling down the street and Nancy coming to my rescue.   Great reversal in roles;  rescue of a geezer in distress rather than a damsel in distress.  Blessings to my lovely wife!
  As I write this I also hear a television warning regarding the weather.  Good thing I am under shelter.   Surviving to parade another day.
Golf Course Sight on My Walk for a Sunny Day