Simply Simple

A Blog by Gail Cushman

In the past months I’ve been reflecting on my life, seventy-five years of life, love, and liberty. I’m glad I was born when I was, a baby boomer with my formative years in rural America in the fifties. We had a simple life, walking to school, sitting down to dinner nightly with my family, attending church, and enjoying being a kid without too many constraints. The terms helicopter parent and free-range parent had not been yet invented, and my parents were a combination, maybe boomerang parents, go far, but bounce back and don’t you dare be late for dinner. Remember, my brothers called my mother a field marshall. I was a defiant fourteen-year-old who was grounded a lot, maybe all of my eighth and ninth grades, but I survived and probably become a better person because of it. My granddaughter is still thirteen, but I can see that’s she’s following in Grandma’s footsteps. Yea…you go, Girl. Drive your parents crazy.

Social turmoil erupted in the sixties, seventies, and eighties and I was too busy with kids, college, and jobs to remember if those were simple times or not. I was in my forties and fifties, and it seemed important to make a difference, politically and socially and I probably did. My kids called me a German by birth, Marine by training and whatever I did, I did with gusto.

But now, I’m back to simple things and find that simple things are what really matter. I no longer worry about making a splash, rather, I get a jolt out of the oddest things, like waking up and not hurting, having all the body parts working well and on time, drinking a good cup of coffee without spilling it on my shirt, and, maybe the best, having a good phone conversation with a friend. I love hugging my grandchildren, hell, I love hugging anybody, it just feels right. None of these things cost any money and make me happy. I should have figured this out years ago.

This week our neighborhood withstood over 100-degree heat and enjoyed a Neighborhood Night Out, and about 40 or 50 people joined together to laugh and chat. It was delightful. I met a few neighborhood newbies, and it was a pleasant, although toasty, evening to shake hands, say how-do-ya-do, and hug.

Wrinkly Bits is a simple pleasure, too. It keeps me out of trouble and makes me happy. Hugs to you!

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