To Learn or Not to Learn – That is the Question!

Had someone asked me when I was a teenager back in the 50’s what I was going to be when I grew up, I would probably have said – “Duh, I don’t know!.   Truthfully, I cannot remember having any aspirations whatsoever as to what I wanted to do with my life after I got out of high school. I knew that college was not in the cards as I grew up in a family of eight children and money was always rather tight.

Higher learning for us meant that when I was hired at the Italian bakery where I got my first taste of working for a living – I learned how they baked Italian rolls, I learned how to sweep out the garage where they backed the trucks in to load up and several other menial duties around the bakery.

italian baker

Later, when I joined the Army, we learned how to make hospital corners when making our beds, how to break down an M-14 and put it back together real fast. We learned that you never call your rifle – your gun. It was your weapon or your rifle but never your gun.

hospital corners

After mustering out of the Army and getting a job in a grocery store just to keep food on my table, I learned real fast how to stock shelves which also including remembering how to rotate stock so that the oldest is pulled to the front of the shelves and the newer stock went in the back.

 stock clerk

That same store was also a meat market and I learned real fast how to balance a hind quarter on my shoulder so that I wouldn’t drop it when moving it from the abattoir truck to the walk-in refrigerators in the back of the store.

butcher shop

And then there was the time I worked in an upholstery factory and had to learn how to install the arms on stuffed chairs and sofas. When one gets right down to it, most of us are always learning something or another.


Take our homes for instance should the toilet not flush right, many of us learn how to replace the float in the toilet tank. After we were married, we learned how to lay cement blocks, dig a drain field, lay pipe within the drain field, hang dry wall, panel a room, lay a carpet and many other jobs not necessarily because we wanted to but because it was the only way it made sense to get a project done. We couldn’t afford the cost of a contractor so we learned how to do it ourselves.

 jack of all trades

When life threw me a curve ball and laid me off after the birth of our second son, I got out of blue collar work and became a white collar worker.  It was then that I really learned what “learning” was all about and I have been learning ever since. Insurance is a fascinating business and shortly after beginning my career in insurance, I learned that one never stops learning in life as there is always something new to learn.

insurance books

Eventually I went on to achieve many insurance designations all of which took many hours of hitting the books. As a matter of fact, just one part of a five-part insurance course (which has now grown to eight parts) had me reading a stack of books that must have been two-feet high when stacked up on each other.

stack of books

Now that I am retired though, my learning has not stopped. When we decided we were bored and wanted to get a part-time job, we learned how to work a cash register, tally the cash drawer at the end of the evening, order supplies for our respective shops and so forth

cash register

Also during retirement, I took up teaching some of those courses I mentioned above and let me tell you – sometimes I think or thought that the teacher studies as much as or more than the students do. I say that because even though I was doing the teaching, on several occasions, the students would present me with a question that I had to go back to the books to seek out the answer.

 instructor question

And then there is the learning we do once we are retired. My wife and I took up line dancing many years ago – well she took it up first and then taught me (there is story here about that time in our lives but I will save that for another time). Since then we have become instructors and have to learn new dances to teach so that our students do not get bored. Want to keep an active mind and not worry about Dementia and Alzheimer’s – take up line dancing. You have to keep your wits about you at all times.

line dancers

Bottom line is that from the time we are born until the time we pass on – if we are lucky, we are constantly in a “learning” mode and believe it or not, continuing our learning is one of the best things we can do for ourselves as we age. The best thing about life is that we never stop learning. Whether we are young or old, we always have someone to learn from.

keep learning

Until next time!


Looking Back!

50 years

Fifty – add nineteen in front of fifty and we would have the year 1950 or better yet, the 1950’s. The year is 1958 – the year I left home and struck out on my own.

Did you ever consider what life would have been like had we been born in a different time period whether it was 100 years ago or perhaps centuries ago? I have never really given it much thought. But should I be asked to give further thought to the matter, I would find myself in a quandary of sorts trying to decide what period of history I would feel more comfortable with.

Naturally, armed with the knowledge I now know, going back to any particular era should not be a problem, provided of course, we would be able to use that knowledge to better prepare us for the future.

Having traveled as much as we have over our lifetime, there are many places we have been to either living there for several years or just visiting while on vacation. Places like Reading, PA – our birthplace, and the world.

pagoda    the world

I doubt seriously that I would want to go back as far as the days of King Arthur.

King Arthur

 Having lived in Bisbee, Arizona back in the 1970’s, I must admit that I did find living out west fun and enjoyable. But, my guess is that I would be the true “city slicker” type and thus, I doubt seriously that I would want to live back in the days of the Wild Wild West.  (Let’s face it, I am a lover not a fighter!)

wild wild west

 And knowing that there have been several wars the early part of the nineteenth century, I doubt seriously that I would want to go back to the early 1900’s. Although those years were the years of our parents,  World War  I – “Roaring Twenties” – “The Great Depression”.

world war I   Roaring Twenties   great depression

Actually I cannot think of any particular time I would truly like to go back to. Besides, who is to say that the next time would be any better or worse than the time period we have already gone through?  While, I could probably list several things I might have changed – definitely less than fifty items – in essence, we are quite happy with our lot in life and really have few, if any, regrets.

We both made it past the first fifty years of our lives and as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,”  broke - fix it

so I guess we will do just as good during the next fifty as well!

Until next time!


What a Ride!

Youth – when did I stop being young and considered a man?

Was it when I graduated high school and went out on my own

Or perhaps when I enlisted in the Army to serve my country

Maybe it was the day I married my soul mate

Or perhaps it was when our first child was born

Could it have been when we moved away from family to start a new life

Fact is that there are many stages in life.

The first stage is when we are born and some would say lasts until we reach the age of four.


The second stage is known as our childhood years and usually occurs between the ages of four and thirteen – you know the years that we tend to develop character, personality and what might be considered our own form of intelligence (some of us become book worms, others become athletes, while others may go in various other directions).


The third stage and one I feel fortunate to say that none of our children gave us any problems during these years would be the teenage years. These years can last between the ages of fourteen and twenty-two depending on the child. These are the years of impulsive behavior, with them expressing themselves in a way, we as parents may have never expected. It is also the time that they may become involved with what we used to call puppy love (first crush as we called it back in the day).

archie andrews - teenager

The next stage is the young adult stage – you know once they are around age twenty-three, the age one would hope they begin to mature and begin making mature decisions (and hopefully logical ones at that). Sometimes they did and sometimes they didn’t – but hey, we must remember – we went through these same stages.

young adult

Come age forty, hopefully the child/teenager/young adult stages are behind them and they are ready to be considered true adults. You remember those years, the years where we used to sit back and think to ourselves that life is just passing us by. When am I going to become or make something of myself and oh, by the way, how is it I am supposed to do that?

forty year old

Believe it or not by age fifty-five, we begin to think about retirement. This time of our life becomes prevalent because, over the years we have developed a good sense of wisdom and in doing so, begin to say to ourselves “our time is here and it is now.” Were we to be honest with ourselves, looking back in time, we remember that a good number of our friends and colleagues worked up until age 65, only to take retirement and die within a year or two afterwards. Such is not the fate we are aspiring to at age 55!

fifty five year old

So, at this stage of our life we decide we want more leisure activities and we want to be around longer than one or two years to enjoy the fruits of our labor. After all, let’s face it we have been in  the workforce the better part of thirty-five or so years.

Going on the assumption that one does get to retire at age fifty-five and spends the next fifteen or twenty years in retirement bliss, the final stage of life is that of becoming, in my case for instance, an old geezer or as some might say, senior citizen, elderly person, or old fart and this stage lasts for the remainder of our lives.


Now I am sure by now everyone is wondering what does this post have to do with today’s word prompt – “Youth?”

Well in the words of John O’Donohue, from Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“You are as young as you feel. If you begin to feel the warmth of your soul, there will be a youthfulness in you that no one will be able to take away from you.”

Youth means different things to different folks. Had someone told me that my wife and I would live long enough to celebrate fifty-three years of marriage this past May or be retired twenty years come this December, I would have probably told them that it would never happen. But, in my humble opinion, it is through having a youthful attitude towards life that has kept us going and continues to do so. We both are still young at heart and are looking forward to this upcoming final stage of our life.

line dancers 55

Allow me to end this post, in the words of Hunter S. Thompson:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

What a ride

Until next time!

In the Blink of an Eye!



One of the things I like most about writing is that I enjoy the research that I put into whatever I am going to write about. Fact is though that when I read, I tend to read various quotes, philosophical sayings, and jokes.  With that thought in mind, what usually gets put together as blog posts are articles that tend to make retirees and seniors (you know – like the old geezer I am) think about ways to make their retirement years happy ones, or I provide philosophical sayings geared to bring ones spirits up or have a distinct point to be made, or spout off some wild and crazy information that quite possibly will have the reader smiling and hopefully laughing before they reach the end of the page.

Having said that, and not wanting to delve into various sayings about eyes – you know ones that might go:

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder

She is the apple of his eye

Catch his eye

I only have eyes for you

Pull the wool over a person’s eyes

Or ones like:

An eye for and eye only ends up making the whole world blind – Mahatma Ghandi

Everything that is made beautiful and fair and lovely is made for the eyes of one who sees – Rumi

All that we do is done with an eye to something else – Aristotle

I decided that my post on “Eyes” would be more comical. So, what follows are a couple of jokes about eyes that will hopefully provide a chuckle or two.

Here goes:

A guy left work one Friday afternoon after a rather hectic week and decided that since he worked so hard all week and he just received his paycheck – he was going to stay out all weekend and go fishing with his buddies. Not only did he do this but he also spent his entire paycheck.  Finally, Sunday night he decided it was time to go home and face the music. Upon entering his home, a very angry wife confronted him and just went on and on about how wrong it was for him to do this and just belittled him for hours about his lack of responsibility to her and his family.

After several hours of nagging, the wife simply said: “How would you like it if you didn’t see me for two or three days?” Not thinking before he put his mouth in gear, he replied, “That would be fine with me.”

Monday went by and he didn’t see his wife as did Tuesday and Wednesday with the same results.

However, by Thursday, the swelling went down just enough where he could see a little out of the corner of his left eye!
black eye lion

Different one – Bob asks Jim: “What do you call a deer with no eyes?” Jim responds: “No-eye deer.”

deer no eyes

Here’s one:

What do you call a pig with three eyes?

A P-I-I-I- G!

pig with 3 eyes

How do you make a blonde’s eyes sparkle?

Shine a light in her ear!


I know – they aren’t getting any better, are they?

A friend of mine said he was very scared about going to the eye doctor to get a certain procedure done on his eyes.

When I asked why, he told me: The doctor tried to put me at ease but to no avail. It was after he finished with my first eye, something he said made me almost jump out of my seat.

I asked what it was that he said: He replied: The doctor said “There, there, only one eye left!”

Ok, I am going to change the pace a bit here and get a bit more serious – what follows is a bit of information you probably did not know about your eyes:

Eyes: 15 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Them

  1. The average blink lasts for about 1/10th of a second.
  2. While it takes some time for most parts of your body to warm up to their full potential, your eyes are on their “A game” 24/7.
  3. Eyes heal quickly. With proper care, it only takes about 48 hours for the eye to repair a corneal scratch.
  4. Seeing is such a big part of everyday life that it requires about half of the brain to get involved.
  5. Newborns don’t produce tears. They make crying sounds, but the tears don’t start flowing until they are about 4-13 weeks old.
  6. Around the world, about 39 million people are blind and roughly 6 times that many have some kind of vision impairment.
  7. Doctors have yet to find a way to transplant an eyeball. The optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain is too sensitive to reconstruct successfully.
  8. The cells in your eye come in different shapes. Rod-shaped cells allow you to see shapes, and cone-shaped cells allow you to see color.
  9. You blink about 12 times every minute.
  10. Your eyes are about 1 inch across and weigh about 0.25 ounce.
  11. Some people are born with two differently colored eyes. This condition is heterochromia.
  12. Even if no one in the past few generations of your family had blue or green eyes, these recessive traits can still appear in later generations.
  13. Each of your eyes has a small blind spot in the back of the retina where the optic nerve attaches. You don’t notice the hole in your vision because your eyes work together to fill in each other’s blind spot.
  14. Out of all the muscles in your body, the muscles that control your eyes are the most active.
  15. 80% of vision problems worldwide are avoidable or even curable.

Who knew your eyes could be so amazing and complex.

Okay, time to wrap this up so bear with me. You know I cannot let this go without some wild and crazy ending. Haven’t used an idiom yet so I will end this with an idiom using the word eye:

In the blink of an eye – something happening in the blink of an eye means that it happens nearly instantaneously, with hardly enough time to notice it. Hopefully that is how fast you were able to read this (in the blink of an eye) and that you enjoyed my wild and crazy post using the word prompt for today – “Eyes!”

Until next time.

Various ways to use the word “Moon”

word prompt moon

Today’s word prompt – moon – got me to thinking about how many different ways the word “moon” can and has been used over the years.

If we think back to some of the quotes said by Mark Twain, we might recall that he once said, “Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.”

And then when thinking about the possibility of something happening that is so remote that it may never happen, we might hear the phrase, “Once in a blue moon!”

blue moon

What about those of us who are married – remember your “honeymoon”? You know that very short holiday a man and a woman take immediately after they get married (ours was all of two days and some of that was spent just driving to and driving back from the Poconos).

our honeymoon

We are big fans of the television show “Suits” and the most recent episode had Louis “mooning over”  the architect that was supposed to redesign the firm’s offices.

new suits

Those of you into astrology might think of someone born under the sign of Cancer – you know those known as “Moon Child.”


I guess this piece would not be complete had I not included the word many college kids thought was rather funny way back when – you guessed it – I am referring to the word “mooning” – you know that which refers to a bare, moon-like posterior being displayed to passer-bys.


Anyone that can think back to Prohibition days might also remember the nickname given to those that decided to make illegal whiskey in secret stills – you know those individuals known or referred to back then as “Moonshiners.”


For my southern friends, there is that famous snack that is made by the combining of two round crisp cookies with a great big layer of marshmallow filling inside it and then dipping this concoction in a chocolate or banana flavored coating. You know what I am talking about – “Moon Pies!”

Moon pie

The next one may take you back – but how many of you can remember the show “Moonlighting” with Bruce Willis and Cybill Sheppard. Now that is a good remembrance of the word Moonlighting. I like to think of this show instead of the usual interpretation of the word moonlighting which means having a night job as well as day-time employment.

Moonlighting final season

And then for us really old-timers, how many remember the famous threat used by Ralph Cramden (Jackie Gleason) to his wife Alice (Audrey Meadows) in the show “The Honeymooners” – “To the moon, Alice!”

The Honeymooners

But then what do I know, I know as much about it as the “Man in The Moon” or put another way – I know nothing.

man in the moon

Until next time!