Are We Sick or Merely Getting Old?


As we age, we know our bodies go through various changes. Sleep habits might change. Some people begin sleeping more while others may begin to sleep less. Muscles ache, body aches, some individuals may even experience pins and needles in their feet or other parts of the body. Some may have problems with their brain (ideas just bouncing from one thought to another).

What does this all mean? Well, several questions come to mind: “What does old feel like?” or an even better question is: “What does sick feel like?”  How do we differentiate between the two?

If one looks up these two words either in the dictionary or on Wikipedia, they would be told the following:

Oldhaving lived for a long time or no longer young.

Sick – affected by physical or mental illness.

Which brings me back to my question – “What does old feel like?” I ask this question because it would appear to me that as far back as I can remember – once a person reached a certain age – or perhaps even looked the part, they were looked upon as being “old.”

And yet every now and then one will pick up a newspaper, see someone on the television, or notice something on the Internet that exclaims – oh look at this or that person do whatever it is they are doing and make the comment “Gee, I hope I either look like that or can do what they are doing when I reach that age.”

The problem with this scenario though brings up the question “At what age?” We all know that as we age, our bodies do tend to wear down some, if not completely, and as such need rest. For some – a nap may be in order – for others, perhaps just sitting down to take a break from whatever physical activity they were performing might be in order.

But, is this enough? How are we to tell if we are sick or merely tired? Okay, one day we may over-exert ourselves and do tire sooner but the question that still needs to be asked is – “Are we merely tired because of what we were just doing or is it because we are getting older?  The flip side to this question could also be that quite possibly we are tired because something else is happening to our bodies and we should not just be passing it off as “Oh, I’m getting older?”

Hopefully most of us visit our doctor, if not twice a year, at least annually. Let’s review that scene as to what happens when we do visit them: they draw blood the week before the visit so as to view same and make sure everything is within its normal range(s); they listen to our heart and lungs to make sure they are working properly; they take our blood pressure to be sure that is not “out of whack” so to speak; and sometimes they take your temperature to be sure you are not running a temperature. More often than not, they also weigh you to be sure you are not gaining or losing an inordinate amount of weight within a specific time period.

But, is that enough? Could something be lurking behind the scenes – something the doctor doesn’t see or know about. Most of us, at one time or another, has had the occasional flu or cold that has laid us up for a few days – you know – the one episode that has us coughing, and hacking, being feverish, quite possibly having the runs, and just that overall feeling that – hey, just let me lay around for a few days until I feel normal again, whatever normal is?

However, putting that scenario aside for a moment – and I don’t mean to sound like a broken record – but does anyone have a sound description for what “old” feels like? Why do I ask? Because, looking at life and old age in this fashion, is it any wonder why sometimes we may well wake up, not feel our usual selves, drag ourselves to the doctor – assuming of course we can get an appointment within a reasonable amount of time – only to find out that – lo and behold, the doctor informs you that you really are sick. Or, perhaps the doctor says something like – you should have this or that test or procedure done to rule out certain possibilities. What now, you think to yourself.

Over the past two years I have seen several close friends and relatives – some that were truly sick and others not sick at all, receive information that they have some dreaded disease or worse yet, that their time is short. Keeping that thought in mind, the fact is that today, more than ever, we need to become our own advocate when it comes to our health.  Only we know how we feel from one day to the next and whether that feeling is different than our normal (and I will let you be the judge of what normal is) selves.

Unfortunately, I do not have a solution to this dilemma but in thinking about it and knowing that as we age, our bodies go through various changes, it is logical that we will feel differently. Naturally, the question that results is – “How differently?” – old-old, or sick-old?” To coin an old cliché: “That my friends is the $64.000 question!”


In the interim though, “Stay well! “

Until next time!

Posted in Live for Today, Senior Moments, The Future, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Where’s the Fun in That?

Where Does the Time Go?


It was only a few days ago that we said goodbye to February of 2017 and hello to March 2017. At the time, I asked myself where did the time go. So I decided to look at the Monthly Planner I keep open in front of me at the breakfast table to see whether those two months were wasted months or if we actually had something to show for the past time.

Truth is that we were evidently busy and active doing many things which, when I stop and think about it, is one of the reasons my wife and I feel we have been able to stay as active and for the most part as healthy as we have been all these years (I turn 77 this year and she will turn 79).


Glancing over what all was accomplished during the first 60 or so days of 2017, the first and happy event was that our son from California, visited with us for a few days.  We had a great visit and will go visit him later in the year. Plus, we will, in all probability be taking a road trip back north to PA and CT later this year to visit relatives and our oldest son who lives in CT.

We live in a small manufactured home community and as such there is a constant turnover of homes thus bringing into the community new residents. One of my wife’s pet projects is for us to host what we call a “Welcome Home” party designed to not only welcome returning “snow birds” but also those new owners (individuals that have chosen our park to spend/live their retirement years in). That event was held on January 7th 2017.

Our park is also big on group travel excursions and as such – once a year we go on an “overnight trip” where we take in dinner and a show. On the return trip we  stop, shop and/or visit a Casino. This past January we traveled to Fort Myers, Florida (a little better than 100 miles away) where we enjoyed a show similar to but not exactly like “The Phantom of the Opera,” entitled “The Phantom.” 

Another thing we do here within the community is have what we call “Casino Night” which is an event sponsored and put on by the Lions Club. If you haven’t already guessed it, you would be right if you were thinking – I bet Irwin and Dolly hosted it.  Yours truly agreed to be the host for that event and I am happy to say the evening was a great success and we raised a nice amount of money for the Lions Club. This too was in the month of January.

Casino Night Jan 2017

Towards the latter part of the month several of us went to Treasure Tavern in Orlando, Florida  (another dinner theater) where both the food and entertainment was fantastic. Well worth the money! Not to mention the fun we have with our friends and neighbors on the bus ride to and from the event.

Treasure Tavern - Orlando Jan 2017.jpg

Off course, throughout the entire month of January there was our daily line dance practice four days a week, and our normal Wednesday night game of “Mexican Train.” Plus, my wife, being the “keeper” and person responsible for maintaining, and updating our annual Park Residents Directory, had to get that put together and ready for press by the end of January so that we would have our new directories during the first week of February.

Directory a

That takes care of the month of January and shortly after the beginning of February, quite a few of us from the park went to Haiti, Jamaica, and Cozumel via Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s “Allure of the Seas.” Now that is one big ship – close to 6000 passengers and almost 2000 crew members. What can one say about such a cruise – 24/7 food and service. Great food, fantastic entertainment, wonderful company – just right for the perfect getaway every now and then.

Allure of the Seas Feb 5th

Okay once back home and with it being February, Dolly and I hosted the Valentine Day Dance here at our community park and fun was had by all in attendance which was close to 100 attendees. As is the case most months of the year, we also spend our time line dancing, playing Mexican Train, Social evenings once a week, pot luck supper every now and then, and several other events I am probably forgetting to mention. And oh yes, I cannot forget that I had to take a short break from all the fun and frivolities to do my taxes and get them off to the IRS.

Valentines Dance Feb 2017

Unfortunately, February was not all fun and games. Shortly after returning from the cruise, Dolly took sick with a viral infection (bronchitis or allergies or something) that laid her up for the better part of two weeks, but I am happy to say that she is better and was back in class just this morning teaching the “newbies” in our park – you know – those individuals that don’t know about line dancing but see how much fun it is and want to learn..

Cartoon Line Dancers

So, here we are in March and while it isn’t as busy a month, we are planning a short, and possibly overnight trip to see a cousin that comes to Florida to get away from the nasty northern winters.

What’s in store for us over the next few months? Well, we will continue teaching line dance (four or five days a week); will continue to go to Mexican Train Game night every Wednesday evening; attend our usual Saturday morning coffee and donuts to shoot the breeze, if you will with our friends and neighbors, more doctor appointments; a Saint Patty’s Day Dinner (and no, before you ask, we are not hosting this one); and finally, last minute odd jobs around the house so that it is in tip-top shape should we decide to run away and do who knows what over the summer! One never knows with us!


Until Next Time!

Posted in Live for Today, Routine, The Future, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Aging Process Then & Now!


Have you noticed that once we reach a certain age, things tend to slow down? Even though I usually wake at the same hour and go to bed about the same time every night, for some reason or another I tire more easily these days. As a matter of fact, truth-be-told, I would have to say that I tire more easily now than I did during any other period of my life.

Problem is, I have never been one to take afternoon naps and usually if I get up and move around, the sleepiness tends to disappear. Or, if I occupy my brain by reading a book, or writing in my daily journal – anything to stimulate brain activity (take a walk or do a ten or fifteen minute task) will remove the thought of being tired. As such – no nap is necessary which is not to say that such a nap is bad for you. I personally have never followed such a routine.

Also, for as far back as I can think of, I have always been one of those individuals that is an “up and at ‘em type of guy” when that first alarm goes off first thing in the morning. I am always the first one up just chomping at the bit to see what the new day will bring.

Of course, being a list type of guy, I usually have most of my day already planned before I go to bed and that normally consists of whatever is left on the “To Do” list I did not complete the prior day in addition to items I think of that I want to complete before the new day is over.

But lately, I must admit there have been days that I would be just as happy to turn that alarm off, pull the bed spread up over my head and say “Forget it world, I’m just not ready for this day to begin.” I would just as easily hit that snooze button or in my case – merely change the time the alarm is set to go off to allow for another hour of sleep.

Is it because I have passed the ripe old age of 76 and am heading into becoming an octogenarian? Just the thought of that makes me think of a quote by Mark Twain who said “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.”  But now that I think of it – Nah, I think I will pass on that thought and just accept where and what I am right now.

I guess it is natural for one to have concerns about the changes we see happening, not only to our bodies as we get older, but to our brains as well. Take the daily “To-Do” list I usually prepare each morning. I can think of quite a few things I should place on that list – but knowing that I am not getting any younger – in reality, I place things on the list that I want to do.

Let’s face it, a lot of things require a bit more thinking these days as to not only what to do but whether or not it actually needs being done in the first place and if it does – the question also arises – but must it be done right now? I am the same way with various books I have laying around the house. Some I have started and never got back to – others I haven’t even started yet. At the time I obtained them, I am sure I had every intention of reading them and absorbing the knowledge contained therein. But now – well – the fad has passed. Now they are merely dust collectors.

Getting old can be a pain. One can be fortunate however, if what I briefly described above are the only concerns one has during this, the aging process. While I have had my problems some years back with certain health issues, for the most part I lead an active and fairly healthy  lifestyle. But even so, as one ages we do find that this “getting old” stuff can create changes in our lifestyle.

As we get older, things tend to take a little longer to do. You know, like getting up out of the recliner after sitting for an hour or two. Or going to the grocery store or mall and looking for your car once done shopping. Both our bodies and the old grey matter isn’t working as fast as we have become accustomed to in the past which seems like just a few short years ago!

Some things – our capability to rise from a chair like a normal person instead of a decrepit old fart that hasn’t exercised a day in his life or bending over to pick something up from the floor (bending down may not be such a problem but coming back up – whoa there big fella – now that is another story!) causes us to stop and pause and utter the words – when did I get old? Feeling the blood pulsing through the veins in my skull and listening to my heart rapidly pumping the blood through my veins upon becoming vertical once again isn’t the music I had intentions of hearing at this stage of my life.

Fact is – as we become older – we change as does our bodies. By acknowledging those changes, accepting them, and making allowances for same, one can continue to enjoy life.  Besides who would want to go back to any time in our past – remember in going back – at some point  we will also have to move forward once again and I am sure that there are some years during that interim that we wouldn’t want to relive all over again. I can think of a few myself.

Best thing to do is to accept whatever changes we may incur within our bodies and our minds as we grow older and accept those changes with the same viewpoint as we have done over our present life span. After all, we made it this far – why change a good thing!


Until next time.


Posted in Rants | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

What’s the Word?


I would like to say that it has been hard for me to compose any type of article recently, be it for this site or my other writing website due to our nation’s current state of affairs, but truth be told, when it comes to the news and certain other items, I am like the ostrich that buries his or her head in the sand.

We all know that this metaphor is an untrue statement. The reality of the saying is that the person is ignoring obvious facts or refusing to accept advice, hoping that simply denying the existence of a problem will make it go away. Our nation’s current state of affairs is not going to go away. And to be quite frank, nothing I am going to do during the year 2017 or the next four years is going to change that.

But that is not to say that we as individuals (specifically senior citizen retirees) should just “bury our head in the sand” and ignore the fact that while we may not like where the country is heading, we still have a lot of living to do. As a matter of fact, even though we are now past the mid-point of February, it is early enough in the year that I am still considering what one might call my list of resolutions and good intentions. I just prefer to identify with them in a different manner.

Years ago I was involved with a group that chose a “given” word as the word they would most like to – how shall I say this – pursue throughout the upcoming year as their word of the year.  Words like – Accept, Connect, Pursue, come to mind as they all relate to things we do in our everyday lives as seniors enjoying our current lifestyles. There are many things we tend to accept (case in point – our current state of affairs when it comes to our nation), connect (not getting any younger, many of us plan to connect or quite possibly re-connect with both friends/  relatives while we still can), and pursue, meaning we will start that diet, begin an exercise program, and so forth and so on.

But for the year 2017, choosing a word of the year, leastways for me, is similar to making New Year’s resolutions. And I usually shy away from making them because I never follow through with them anyway. And while I do sit down, pencil in hand at the beginning of each new year and vow to eat less (or eat healthier food), walk at least 30 minutes a day a minimum of five days a week, clean out my office, clean out our storage room, and so forth, the one thing that keeps coming to mind as I think of these words is that, hey – I am still “a work in progress!” Nothing is set in stone and if thinking of a word will help me accomplish that which I still hope to do – why not?

Having figured that out, the word I am choosing for 2017 as my “Word of the year” is Achieve. Achieve means to successfully bring about or reach a desired objective, level, or result by effort, skill, or courage. Why bother having a list of New Year resolutions when thinking about one word can work subconsciously as I think of it each time I begin to eat, exercise, clean or whatever happens to be on my plate for any given day.

For instance, passing up having that donut when I go to Saturday morning coffee and donuts will show that I am achieving my objective of eating less or at least not eating something filled with sugar and too many calories.

In addition to our line dancing four days a week, by making it a point to go for my morning walks which, by the way is an excellent way to start your day as it makes everything seem so much clearer as to what must be accomplished, I will be achieving my objective of exercising more, thus staying physically fit.

The challenge, if there is one in this whole scenario, is making the time in our busy lives to do the other things I want to achieve in 2017, i.e., the cleaning up of the office, storage area, and other “need to be done” items that aren’t at the top of my “to do” list but should be.  So, therein lies my challenge for 2017 and while some may say at age 76 looking forward to turning 77 later this year, why is this of such a concern to you – fact is, it is thinking and planning like this as to what we intend to do with our time is what, in my humble opinion, keeps us going.

Fact is, if it weren’t for my having these things bug me when I let them slide, I could probably become a couch potato and my guess is that I would eventually look like a “rolly polly” old fart that didn’t know the first thing about keeping himself in shape and eventually my health would deteriorate, I would become depressed, and who would write these posts making sure I keep you all on your toes as well. So, with that confession in hand, I guess I had best get to work and not only draft a schedule of things I need to do – but will also include a schedule outlining times for me to sit down and write (one of my most favorite times of any day).

Oh, by the way, should anyone have something they would like me to either comment on or write about, please feel free to share your thoughts with me and I will do my best to see what I can do. Until next time!

Posted in Routine, Senior Moments, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments



Why is it when we lie down at night to get some sleep

Our mind won’t shut down so our eyes can peep

And then when the magic hour arrives for us to wake

A few more zzzzzzzz’s we wish to take

Is it our age and body that is the culprit

Or perhaps our mind and all that is in it

Just one time I would like to lie down at night

And be off to sleep without a fight

Today I’ll work myself hard and fast

So that when my head hits the pillow I’ll sleep at last


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“Change of Pace!”

I don’t know how long I’ve been blogging now but no matter what I read about blogging, it seems the theme is always – “Write about what you know.” That comment has always bothered me, mainly because to do that, with insurance being what I made my living at for twenty-five plus years, it would mean writing about insurance and well, other than taking a crack at writing a children’s book about insurance with funny characters and so forth, I just cannot wrap my head around that concept. Besides I would want to inject some humor and well, truthfully speaking – it would be hard to do.

I have had some experience writing short stories (even wrote an E-book for Kindle) and so the thought crossed my mind, why continue reading what others write today and then try to put my take on the subject into my own blog, why not come up with my own thing. So, seeing that I write a monthly column for our Community Newsletter, I decided to put such an article together for February’s newsletter. Haven’t had any feedback from those readers yet but then the printed version just came out two days ago!

So, as promised, seeing that I wanted to do something different with this blog, I thought I would share what I wrote  as my newsletter article for those of you following my blog to see what you all think. It allows me to continue the blog, utilize a completely different concept, be creative with my writing, and hopefully write my post in such a way as to entertain those of you following my blog. My guess is that not only will I continue this path for the Newsletter articles, but prepare similar but not the same type articles for you here on Lakeland Musings.

With that introduction, here goes:

As I sit here racking my brain wondering what wonderful words of wisdom I want to share with you this month, my eyes wander from the keyboard to the wallpaper that adorns my office.  After looking at it and losing myself in the titles of the bottles, I got to thinking – hmmm – how drunk would one have to be to drink the contents of any of these bottles if their titles were “for real?”


I mean – come on – who wouldn’t want a swig of Old Fashioned Rot Gut? Or and this is for all those red-blooded American Indians out there – How about some “Fire Water?”  I do not even want to venture a guess as to what might be lurking in that bottle of “Curly Wolf.” And then there is good ole “Gunpowder Cocktail – Not for the Faint Hearted.”  So as to not slight the women folk in the room we also have “Shotgun Nancy’s Whiskey.  To me it is a drink Annie Oakley might have been fond of!

But then one might also say – hey – based on some of Irwin’s past ponderings – he probably finishes off one or two of them thar bottles just prior to sitting down to write.  I’m not telling!

Fact is after partaking of some of that “Old Fashioned Rot Gut,” I plumb got soaked and before I could do anything else I meandered down to the hotel and got me a room so that I could lie down for a spell. After all, that is some pretty dad gum good whiskey and while it goes down real smooth, it sure has one heck of a kick later on.


When I woke, I knew two things – I had to mosy on down to Trader Jake’s to stock up on some vittles, but before I could do that, I needed to get some dinero from the bank.  After all it costs a heap of greenbacks to keep a good stock of this fine whiskey. Bottles such as these aren’t easy to come by.

Now many of you are probably wondering where I might be doin’ my bankin’ these days. Well, let me be the first to say it isn’t in one of those new “high-falootin’” banks like Mid-Florida, Bank of America, or Wells Fargo. Not this old cowpoke – I decided to head out to the bank Wyatt Earp and his brothers probably used – none other than good old “Boot Hill Bank.”


Of course, once I got there, that *flannel-mouthed banker (an overly smooth or fancy talker) tried to talk me into taking out a loan (always hankering to get more of my money) and so I told him – “No sir ree!” I just wanted to withdraw enough to pick up my whiskey and get some more grub/vittles. Besides I did not have time to dicker with him ‘cuz I knew I was going to have to dicker with the gent there at Trader Jake’s General Store “ifin” I was to get all I needed to hold me over the winter. But you know me – always up for bartering or trading with “Trader Jack!”


Like it wasn’t enough I had to deal with the bank and general store, one such varmint I had hoped to steer clear of was my landlord.  Not only did I need vittles and whiskey – it was time to pay my rent and he was a mean old rip (reprobate). I was hoping to put off paying the rent for another week although I know by doing that all I was doing was beating the devil around the stump (evading responsibility or a difficult task).

Besides, that thar fella is so mean – were I not to pay my rent on time, he’d be afixin to shoot me with that double-barreled shotgun of his and next time you’d see me – would be in: Boot Hill Cemetery.

Boot-Hill Cemetary.jpg

And just between me and you – I ain’t afixin to go just yet!  Well, that’s the whole kit and caboodle ~ as far as this month’s “Irwin Ponders” goes. One never knows what I will come up with when I set down at this ‘puter. Hope you enjoyed it! Who knows, I may have created a monster cuz now I have to dream up what I will rant and rave about – oops – pardon me – ponder about next. Til next time pardner!

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

What does “Ten” mean to you?


Ten – what does the word ten mean to you………….well it could mean we have ten fingers and ten toes.

For some of us, not me though, ten could be the magic number of weeks, months, or years until we retire.

Ten could in fact represent the ten dollars one might owe a friend.

A happy couple may be celebrating ten years of marriage.

For the clock watcher, a worker might be waiting for those last ten minutes of his or her shift to be over.

For me, we have ten more days until we embark on yet another adventure.

So while I had hoped to get back to posting at least one article a week, (something I have already missed looking at today’s date and my last posting date), it would appear that unless I post something on or around the 28th and then again on the 4th of February, I will have missed my deadline……..again.

But, have no fear – I am trying something new with my writing (actually the piece I am thinking about is the article I wrote for next month’s community newsletter). I got wild and crazy one day just sitting at my computer and before I knew it, I had written a comical story of sorts and submitted it to our community newsletter (I write a monthly column entitled “Irwin Ponders”).

I am contemplating sharing this story with everyone – if for no other reason than to receive some feedback as to whether or not articles of that nature would be something people might follow here on this medium.

With my schedule though, I may not get around to posting it until Sunday but when I do, I am hoping to receive comments on same (pro or con as I am a big boy, I can take it).

It is good to be back writing again – something I must definitely put at the top of my daily “To Do” list. Until Sunday then!

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Why do we “Cling” to old habits?


Why do we cling to so many bad or maybe bad is too harsh a word – let’s say, unproductive habits.

Not too long ago I read an article utilizing the following quote: “So many books, so little time.” – Frank Vincent Zappa

The gist of the article was that “We are what we read!”  I know of many individuals in our community that just love to read and have no problem just picking up a book and wrapping themselves up in it for hours on end. While I can truthfully say that I have never spent hours on end just wrapped up in a book, I do enjoy reading and keep blaming our daily social life as the reason I do not read as much as I would like to.

Fact of the matter is though that we all are given the same 24 hours a day to use as we see fit.  So, I have no one to blame but myself for not reading more than I do. I must admit, I tend to cling to my obsession with the television set as we do have several shows we just love to sit and watch. Fact is, were I to isolate some time from my so-called busy schedule, (you know, like giving up a show or two) I could have time to read.

It is all a matter of how we want to spend our time. I truly do enjoy reading and I should not allow my crazy mixed-up schedule rob me of the joy derived from reading books. Reading, whether fiction, non-fiction, or just staying current with the news, does serve a purpose in our life. Reading can improve our education (think “Self-help or How- to” books). Mysteries (one of my favorites) allow me to escape from reality and I allow myself to get so caught up in the story I feel as though I am there instead of just sitting in a comfy chair forgetting about many of the things I probably should be doing but will still be there tomorrow or the next day.

Take travelling for instance, if we are neither financially nor physically capable – one can still enjoy what other countries have to offer just by reading about them and then picturing ourselves in that particular atmosphere/environment. Is it the same? No. But for one brief moment in time, we have escaped from our daily routine. So much can be obtained out of the simple pleasure of reading a book.

Look upon reading a book as isolating yourself in a room with a good friend – one you are willing to spend some time with knowing that you enjoy their company and are looking forward to the time you will be spending together. A plan I intend to cling to for the entire year of 2017!

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Pass it on!

Not sure I am doing this right but I enjoyed the following blog so much – I wanted to pass it on to others so I have cut and pasted it here on my site – probably the wrong way to do it but wanted to share with all my WordPress friends.


Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks Helen as your blogs are always so entertaining.

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Happy New Year

Wishing all my Word Press followers a Safe, Healthy, and Happy New Year – 2017.

Be well my friends.

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