I am trying something a little different today: at least composing the first draft of my post BEFORE reading any emails, twitters, online news or participating in any of my favorite blogs or forums.  I want to squeeze out of my fingertip pores a drop or two of my first-of-the morning impressions.  Then I will attempt to compare them to first-of-the-morning impressions I remember from the age of eight back on the farm, pretending that was on a Thursday morning, as well.

About-to-be 65 on this glorious October morning, peeking out the French door at first sunbeams striking the blazing leaves of the wild grapevines hanging above my mailbox, giving thanks for my bigger and better heating pad that prevents stiff joints in the morning, executing a few langorous stretches and pretend Tai Chi stances, I begin to allow my to-do list for today to invade my conciousness.  The annual trip to the vet for exam and vaccinations for my 3-year-old female Black Labrador Retriever has become something I approach with joy, as my Lab is really healthy and smart and our vet is just great (not to mention being wise enough to have graduated from my own alma mater!).  Then I get to complete and submit ads for the program of a local music festival in memory of a guy we all loved, whose life transformed so many lives in our community.  Also, I am remembering all the serendipitous encounters of my days over the past three-four weeks, no matter how rushed or how many deadlines(self-created or otherwise!) I was under.  So, okay, humming through a few more deep knee bends, toe-touchings, head-jogglings, I KNOW I am not bent under a single molecule of angst starting my day.

Now, about those early morning eye-openers back on the farm at the age of eight:  rolling over to gaze through my bedside window, I allow wake-up calls from the kitchen in another wing of the house to go unanswered for about 30 seconds.  I really NEED to absorb all the beauty outside first.  First things first, after all.  Then I leap up, crack my bedroom door, and holler a “Yes, Ma’am” down through the hall, across the “mudroom” to reach the vicinity of my mother at the stove.  I climb into last night’s outdoor chore clothes, scoot onto the mudroom, grab two pails of chicken feed and manage to avoid the worst droppings getting across the hen yard to their feeders.  Back to the kitchen, grab the waiting buckets of cat, dog, and horse food,  deliver feline and canine food in pans on the porch, scoot around the house,clump around and over piles of wet leaves under the live oaks in the front yard, back out the front yard gate, and putter along the tractor trail up to the feedlot/catchpen area of our biggest barn.  Stroke horsey nose, promise more attention after school, and start racing back to the house, not quite making it back inside the yard before legs turning to rubber, chest pain hits, and plop down on the front walk.  Mother has been watching from the kitchen windows of the sink.  As it turns out, my parents have been concerned and carefully observing my little “weak spells”.  She has been campaigning with my father to excuse me from before school chores until they can find out more about why I LOOK so healthy but keep having these “spells”.

Okay, segue way about 28-30 years ahead to when I am finally correctly diagnosed with a type of aggravated mitralvalve prolapse and develop the lifestyle/low-level treatment plan I still enjoy today.  Also, seque way to the years between 1999 and somewhere around 2006 when I finally stretched internally up above the heretofore lifetime angst I had suffered in the company of most other people, even when I was having a marvelous time with said folks.  The events of those two time periods in my personal growth are largely responsible for the first paragraph of this post being true of the Granbee of today!

Hey, I don’t need to write a second draft of this post.  I like it just the way it is.  After all, I will revisit all of the above no doubt many times in future posts here!  Love you guys!



This past weekend, a family member of a friend suffered fatal accidental O.D.   This was the third close family member of a friend to have passed in this manner in the past twelve months.  I learned of this most recent trajedy the day after reading in this week’s New Yorker magazine about far more people suffer from various effects of prescription medications in this country than from effects of illegal substances.  And the CDC says the odds are 115% greater in the American South.  Many reported fatalities seemed to occur after the victim sought greater relief from physical pain.


All of the above brought on a weekend of anxious pacing up and down, repeating mantras a lot, then gradual settling into: “Hey, you white-haired one, you have learned a lot about preventing pain, living healthier and more joyously; and you have learned a lot of postive ways in which to share this wisdom over the last few years.  So rejoice, and get out there and SHARE!”


Could it be that sharing one’s aches and pains and medical problems in socially acceptable here, sometimes the only social connection available other than the weather and college football?  I totally believe that the more we talk about our pain, the more we hurt!  The Zen folks, and the Coptic Christians, and Native Americans in sweat lodges are really onto something, I have found.

BUT—–WHY IS PAIN A SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE TOPIC OF CONVERSATION IN THE SOUTH, especially in small towns?  Do we Bible Belt folks think we are SUPPOSED to “suffer”?  Is it because we think everyone else hurts, too?

Well, I am here to tell you, at near-65, I “hurt” a lot less than I did at 25!  And the CDC statistics back this up, that the age group greatest at risk for death-caused-by-chasing-more-and-more pain relief is 15-24.

Guess what?  Eating raw, fresh hot peppers, Yoga, soaking up the sun in limited sessions, singing, dancing, worshipping, saying “thank you” for every little ol’ pea-pickin’ thing, drinking lots of water, etc., etc.–you get the idea–prevents a LOT of physical pain.  All of these preventive items are MUCH more worthy of discussion than, “oh, poor me, my knees/back/feet/hips/shoulder,etc. hurt so much; I’d better go back to the doctor for a different prescription!!!


And you know what?  My white hair hurts not one little bit!

(See how using senior wisdom rechanneled that weekend angst?)

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