Category Archives: Random Musings

Times Have Changed…Or Have They?

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving to an early morning appointment, when I happened upon a group of elementary aged students waiting for the school bus on one of those last days of school.  What struck me in that moment was that there were three moms waiting there with a group of 6-8 children.

Fast forward to the events of this month where that precious child was attacked by the alligator in Orlando, or even to the toddler who fell into the gorilla enclosure at the zoo.  What disturbs me most is the rant on social media against the parents of these children – a sort of social media piling on, blaming the parents for not paying close enough attention to their kids.

Now I am anticipating the typical backlash from those who will point out that I’m nobody’s mommy, but my head just wants to scream out…

It was an accident, people!
Accidents happen…

Horrible, terrible, accidents that these poor parents have had to endure – the worst imaginable moments of their lives…and instead of finding support from other parents, they are attacked from all sides.

And now here’s where it gets dicey –

I really hope that this doesn’t cause parents to keep an even closer grip on their children.  There has always been danger of one type or another.  Remember when Baby Jessica fell in the well and a nation held its breath during her rescue?  When I was in elementary school, we would practice drop and cover drills, all climbing under our desks as if that was going to save us from the pending nuclear attack.  And there have always been perverts out there.  I can remember my friends and I running home from the park to tell my mom that there was a creepy guy in the bushes.  Talk to any senior in Europe, and they will tell you how horrible it was to live during World War II. If that’s not enough to make you grab your child and hold on tight, I don’t know what is.

Dangers have always, unfortunately, existed.  What has changed significantly is our immediate and unrelenting access to media coverage of every.single.horrible.event.  And it’s got parents scared.  So scared that they are afraid to let little Johnny or Susie out of their sight for even a minute, for fear that the terrible things might happen to them.

And that, I believe, is doing a tremendous disservice to this nation’s children.  It saddens me that kids no longer play “kick the can” in the middle of the street.  While I’m fairly certain that they are smart enough to yell, “CAR!” (remember, how everyone scattered?) – they won’t ever get the chance to test those independence skills.  Or to just take off on their bikes with a bunch of friends and hang out in the neighborhood because mom said, “Go play outside!”  Or to be able to start a pick-up game of baseball without adult assistance, coaches, refs and umpires. You know, just kids with a ball and a bat in a vacant lot.  Or how about walking along that split rail fence – Yes, I know, they could fall and break their arm.  But shouldn’t they be allowed to try???

Not really a retirement post, I know.  And I’m pretty sure I’ll get blasted from well-meaning younger parents in defense of keeping their children safe.  But I’m curious about your opinion…

Lynn

Encore Quotes – Random Reflections

Think about it for a while.  Are the things that were important to you when you were younger really the same things that are important today?  Do we finally figure out that the most important things in life are not things?  I hope you have a wonderful weekend collecting experiences!

Lynn

Beyond the Midlife Crisis

Not too many years ago, hubs told me he wanted to purchase a Corvette.  Of course, the first thought that blasted into my head was

Oh good Lord, he’s having a Midlife Crisis!

I feared that the next thing you knew, he would be running around with the top two buttons of his shirt undone, and would be wearing gold chains.  Yikes!  I didn’t think I’d be able to stand it.  Furthermore, we joined the local Corvette Club, and I was just certain that I was going to be surrounded by them – middle aged men, all going through a special sort of Midlife Hell – all hairy and trying to act waaayyyyy too young for their ages.

But you know what?  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  As it turns out, the members of the club were all just working folks like us, who had dreamed of owning a Corvette in their younger years, and now, finally, were in a position to purchase one.  And they were still just working stiffs, making payments on their dream cars while polishing the paint off.  Some of the nicest, most humble people you’d ever hope to meet, just enjoying driving and being together.

I am reminded of this because Jeremy had a beautiful diamond ring made for our 35th wedding anniversary this month.  It’s quite a blingy thing, one any woman would be proud to wear.  Back in the day, I can remember being envious of women who, at the time, appeared to be dripping in diamonds.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my new ring and all that it stands for.  It touches my heart that it is custom made to represent our 3+ decades together.  But I don’t give a S*#T who sees it, really.  I have absolutely no need to impress anyone with bigger, better, more expensive “stuff!”

These days, we’re finding that we’ve moved beyond the Midlife Crisis.  When we were younger, I think we were intent on climbing – on impressing others with our home, our accomplishments, our possessions.  Now, we’ve reached an age where we’ve reevaluated, and all of that posturing just doesn’t matter anymore.  Finally, we understand what is
TRULY IMPORTANT!

The crisis, if there was one, is OVER!

Once again, I keep having those “if only we’d known then what we know now” moments.  I hope we weren’t total jerks in our younger years – I don’t think we were, but ya never know!  So how about it.  Has anyone else successfully navigated the coming and going of the Midlife Crisis?  I’d love it if you’d tell me your story!

Lynn

Encore Quotes – Random Reflections

We just returned from a trip to Northern California and Lake Tahoe.  One of my favorite things about travel is that you get to share the adventure!  There are a couple more posts to come.  Maybe the upcoming weekend will provide you with stories to tell…

Lynn

Photo credit: Jacob Nolan ~ Freeimages

Encore Quotes: Random Inspirations

I have found this to be true about many things on the Encore Voyage. From getting up in the morning, to working on paid projects – everything changes when the task is something for which you have a bit of passion!  So what is it you really want to do today?  Do that thing! Enjoy your weekend!

Lynn

Photo credit: Skeeze – Pixabay

Skilled Craftsmen – Will They Disappear?

As our remodel project nears completion, I marvel at the warm woodwork that has taken shape before my eyes.  The moldings and book cases, the stained wood ceiling, the precision of the fine joinery – all have come together to create as much a piece of art as a room addition.  Tray, the master builder on our project, has spent days carefully measuring and fitting pieces of wood together in flawless miters and joints.  Sanding, measuring, and trimming, he so carefully looks over his work and feels the pieces he is working with – touching the wood to make sure it is smooth and perfect.

The same has been true of the young man who laid the tile.  On his hands and knees, one tile at a time, he created a completely random pattern which he placed carefully and perfectly.

As I watched the work unfold, I found myself wondering,

“Who is the next generation of skilled craftsmen?”

As I discussed this with Tray, he confirmed my fear that many of the men in his industry are older gentlemen.  He does not see this current generation rushing to enter the fields where working with your hands is a valued commodity.  The tech revolution, along with a media that claims that a traditional college education is the only viable path, could be leading us to a time when skilled tradesmen are few and far between.

In this world of instant gratification and virtual commerce, will we lose our appreciation of the hand-crafted?  Who will fill the need for future stone masons, metal smiths, and wood workers?  As I run my hand over the satin finishes which are nearly complete, I hope I will never need to find out.

Lynn

Photo credit: Mike Kenneally – Unsplash