When the wind sweeps across Northern Minnesota, even the ice fisherman, snowmobile people, and cross-country skiers go indoors. From Ely to St. Paul, doors are closed tight, wood burns, and traffic is sparse. One man swore he saw a giant otter driving a van. The sad fact is that no one became alarmed.
Most hockey players at my college came from Canada, Massachusetts, or Minnesota. We all became acquainted with places like Thief River Falls, Duluth, and Mankato. The National Hockey League’s Hall of Fame is even in Minnesota.
Hugh Pates didn’t play ice hockey but scored the basket that won the State Championship for his high school fifty years ago. Even now, when he returns to St. Paul, people will approach him and talk about that game!
One might think that Hugh went on to play college ball after high school, but no, he didn’t. He became a monk! He studied, prayed, and contemplated; he became a Catholic priest in 1963. However, his desire to serve others clashed with his wish to have more intimate and meaningful relationships, and, decisively, Hugh left the priesthood after ten years.
In short order, Hugh departed from the land of ice, snow, and mosquitoes for graduate school in California. Hugh had classes at the United States International University with Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, Viktor Frankl, and Fritz Perls.
In the Spring running water, skimming over rocks, through the trees, in the spring, when melting snow, leaves no trace, like it was never there, but for the rushing water, the crumbling trails, under a new sun, a new time, in the descending forest.
My late friend, Kevin O’Grady from Beverly, Massachusetts made wonderful buttermilk pancakes. If you want your guests saying, “wow”, try his recipe!
2 eggs at room temperature 2 tbls of melted margarine or butter 2 cups of buttermilk at room temperature 2 cups of flour 2 tsps of baking powder 4 tbls of sugar 1/2 tsp of salt
Preheat your griddle to 400 degrees. Grease with a non-stick substance. Beat eggs, milk, and melted butter, add dry ingredients. Mix just enough to make a creamy batter with some lumps. It is important not to over mix. If the tops of the pancakes bubble but the bottoms don’t brown, the heat is too low. If they brown before they bubble, the heat is too high. Don’t let the batter stand. It will thicken.
They say crossword puzzles are food for the aging brain. Is that true? A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that people with mild memory problems who did web-based crossword puzzles showed improvement in cognition and experienced less brain shrinkage, compared to those who played web-based cognitive games. For commentary on this study see an article from Harvard Health Publishing entitled Have You Done Your Crossword Puzzle Today?
Whether crossword puzzles improve cognition or not, they are fun and engaging. I started doing them a few years ago, beginning with easy puzzles. Gradually I worked on puzzles that were harder as I learned the ins and outs of the puzzles.
The creators of crosswords have certain tricks one has to learn to do them. They like words that have double meanings depending on the context. One has to think beyond the obvious. It also helps to be up on pop culture as questions often focus on film and music stars.
Many daily puzzles like those from the Washington Post become more challenging through the week. I only want to spend so much time on crosswords, so I stay away from ones like the Sunday New York Times.
Some fun puzzles found on the internet are:
The Washington Post Dictionary The Atlantic USA Today
If there is one word that captures the key to successful development across all species, it is probably “adaptation.”
Life has constantly been changing from day one. Weather changes, environments change, people change, and circumstances change. Adaptability is crucial if a person is to move forward successfully.
It makes sense that a good prognosis for successful adaptation in later life is a prior history of flexibility and effective adjustment. Most people will face challenges as they age, so the ability to change direction when necessary is crucial for successful living.
So, what are some problems many will face in their senior years? Certainly, health issues must rank high on the list. Health problems are not only intrinsically difficult, but they have ramifications in many other areas. Hearing loss affects social life and can push a person toward social isolation. Joint replacements and arthritis can end an active lifestyle. What does one do, then?
Are you looking for an excellent Italian restaurant? Baci on Morena Blvd. has been around for a long time. There is a reason why this family-owned Italian restaurant is popular. First, it has excellent food, along with friendly owners and staff. Are the prices reasonable? Yes, they are. The vibe is Old World, with knowledgeable servers, good wines, and a relaxing ambiance.
This vignette perhaps captures the spirit of Baci. I met a friend for lunch there years ago, and on the way out, the owner stopped me at his table. He was tasting some wines presented by the wine rep from Napa Valley. Would I sample some? Of course, I would. After some tasty Italian wines, I headed north, a contented man.
Paranoia probably doesn’t create a pleasant vacation atmosphere, but some alertness makes sense, particularly when traveling in foreign countries. In less economically advantaged countries, one needs to be particularly careful. There are exceptions. We traveled in the wilds of northern Pakistan. Usually, crime was not a problem since the substantial Muslim influence there kept crime low. There were few prisoners in the regional prison when we were there.
In Europe, I have been cheated a few times by cab drivers and tollbooth collectors, and once, we had a cat burglar in our room at 4:00 AM. A group of itinerant women came at me in Milan, but I fended them off by swinging my backpack. In Lima, people chained their handbags and attaché cases to their chairs in restaurants and took off their watches when driving since thieves often reached into cars and took valuables from the arms of drivers and passengers. Here are a few common-sense tips.
Don’t wear expensive jewelry or carry Gucci bags, etc.
Try to blend in, though it is impossible to do so in certain countries.
Don’t park in isolated spots.
Don’t rent a high-end car. A friend had her rented Mercedes vandalized in Italy on the Autostrade when she and her husband stopped for a break.
Lock up or hide at least your valuables. The cat burglar got my wallet, though we were on the fourth floor. He walked along an 18-inch railing and went into 8 or 10 rooms.
Keep your eyes and ears open, and listen to your intuition. If some place or situation doesn’t feel safe, leave it.
Keep copies of all your documents in your luggage.
Don’t carry large amounts of cash. When he was a child in New York, Rob Schannon’s mother gave him mugger money. The muggers got the cash in his pockets, but the real money was in his shoes.
One advantage of staying at a sizeable hotel is using the concierge service. You can learn where and where not to go.
Know the customs and legal systems of the country you are visiting. Amanda Knox was naïve when she first went to Italy. She acted with the police as if she were in Seattle. In Dubai, a recent rape victim was sentenced to 18 months in prison after reporting the crime to the police. Only the intervention of government officials in Norway, her home country, and Dubai’s sensitivity to world opinion resulted in the eradication of her sentence.
like a leaf floating downriver. we follow the trail of time, through shadows in the night to the rising island sun, to the golden meadows: we laugh with the tides, we race with the moon, we sing with the fading light.
Most people cringe when presented with the idea of a laser or scalpel touching their eyes. However, by age 65, 90% of people will have developed cataracts. In other words, cataract surgery for most of us is a given!
The idea is much worse than the process. When I had my first eye done, I wondered when the procedure would begin. At that point, the doctor said we were all done. Yes, it is easy and painless. The whole operation took about ten minutes. The most noteworthy thing I remember was an argument between the surgeon and the anesthesiologist about what kind of medication she would give me.
After the operation, I wore a patch for a day and then used eye drops for a short time. Before the procedure, I thought our car needed new headlights. Guess what that was all about? That winter, I told my wife I had forgotten how beautiful Colorado was in the winter. Yes. The new eyes were working!