Talking Points . . . . . . . . .

Doris with book

It’s not often that I actually learn something from the news, I mean learn something that will be useful in my own life.  But I’ve picked up one little tool  that is starting to have meaning for me.  It’s something I may have used in the past, but somehow it has more meaning now that I know what to call it.  And that is:  talking points.

I’ve learned, possibly the hard way, that it is pointless to shoot my mouth off if I don’t know what I’m talking about.  I’ve learned that a complaint or a request for special consideration should be made point by point, giving my reasons and listing how the accommodation will affect me or possibly a whole bunch of other people.

I’ve learned that, even with friends, it is not a good thing to ramble.  If I tell a story I’ll  keep their interest only if I give the exact details that make the story real for them, and if I have deleted all the fluff.  This could be called:  telling points.

If I volunteer a social sermon, or if I’m asked to speak out about something, I should probably decline unless I have a clear picture of the situation. Concerns might lead me to speak up if I have listed the pros and cons, the specific details, and my own opinions either on paper or in my mind.  Maybe these are: sharing points. 

Preparing talking points, and sticking with them, prevents me from wandering off subject.  I’ve noticed how it’s done by politicians and I see that if I stick to my talking points I can control a conversation and protect my privacy.  Cleverly I will see that we talk about what I want to talk about.

Traditionally, a wife is often very good at having talking points and sticking to them.  Maybe only one talking point, when in a discussion with her husband.  She’ll just keep coming back to it, because she’s planned this talking point in her head all day, and she knows she can purposely drive it home.

Teenagers also are practiced experts with talking points.  Just listen to one explain why he/she should go to the late night party across town and should take the family car.  Then listen to Dad.  He probably has one talking point.

Still, the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley, and there are times when I find another’s talking points speak louder than mine or make more sense than mine. Or there are times when my points are good but only time will prove my wisdom.






Flowering . . . . . . . . . . .



Do you remember when you turned nine and were soon telling people you were almost ten?

And do you remember when you were 39 and you stayed 39 until the very last moment before your next birthday?

And do you remember a grandmother or neighbor who turned 89 and soon told people she was almost ninety?

Although we have no control over the aging process, we seem to want to hold it back or speed ahead.  Still, time goes on as always.

Funny thing, but people have no curiosity about your age unless you are very young or very old.  Through all the in-between years if you either sadly or proudly tell someone your age they will look at you and say “So?”

We may ask a child his age if he seems to us to be way beyond his years . . or maybe because he seems way behind in his development.  Maybe we ask the old ones their age for similar reasons.

Our trip from one to ten is the longest and the slowest.  Our trip from eighty to ninety is the shortest and the fastest.  So I can tell you that if you have things you want to accomplish you’d better do them while time is on your side.

I can tell you this because, although my birthday is in August, I consider I am almost ninety because I know I’ll be there, like tomorrow.

Aloha from Paradise . . .


Yesterday I landed in Honolulu for the 40th time.  I must explain, for those who don’t know me, that we made our first trip here in 1975.  In 1978 we bought a condo apartment here, and this was our vacation home for years.  Now it is actually my second home, where I spent the winter months to escape the icy weather in Nebraska.

There is a four-hour difference in time, which always leads to temporary confusion.  Sleepy, after a twelve hour trip from Birmingham, where I’d been visiting, I went to bed early by Honolulu time.  This morning, well rested, I was up and the bed made before I realized it was 6:00 in Nebraska . . but 2:00 a.m. in Hawaii.  I think it is going to be a long day.  Still, it doesn’t take long to slip into a new schedule.

So, up early with hours to fill before the sun, I’m sipping tea and pondering about transitions.  I’m thinking . . no, I’m seeing . . that wherever I find myself it is a simple necessity that I must adjust to it to be THERE in that space, at that time.  If I’m with people I must be THERE where they are and not with my mind somewhere else.  If I’m driving a car I must be THERE and not in another zone from which I don’t see direction signs and immediate dangers.  The same holds true when I walk about in my home.

This is sometimes a challenge for a born daydreamer like me.  But I’m learning.

I’m learning too how better to use that time.  Basically we divide our 24 hours per day into eight hours for business, eight hours for our social life, and eight hours for regrouping, resting and attending to personal matters.  When I stick to that I get things done.  When I mix them up, confusion creeps in.

Even in this lovely tropical paradise, even with the privileged life granted to people in my age group, all of the above holds true.  We may have retired from many things, but never from learning about life.


D. M.




Fuzzy Memory . . .

FullSizeRender (2)

One day on my holiday travels I spent an afternoon with these two. It was probably

a dumb thing to do and, even dumber, I went for a crazy ride with them.  But it was fun.