Showing posts with label aging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aging. Show all posts

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Yesterday morning, far too early and before I was fully functional, a cousin whom I haven't heard from in a long time called. I don't much care for talking on the phone at the best of times, but never when I'm just waking up. My cousin said she was giving a presentation and wanted to know which of the men in a copy of a photo of two Confederate soldier brothers in uniform was our common ancestor.

She then asked how we were, and I asked how she was, and she said that she had a pacemaker but was otherwise fine and always on the go, with club meetings, her garden club and the Catholic Daughters and such. She is two years older than I am, but she must have a great deal more energy than I do.

She asked me what I was up to, and I said I was a bit of a hermit, that my socializing was confined mainly to my immediate family, children and grandchildren, an occasional lunch with a friend, going to church, and that I enjoyed the internet. She said, "I never use a computer." All right, then.

When the phone call was over, I told Tom I felt sort of sad, because my life seemed so circumscribed compared to hers. And then, I said, "Wait! I never participated in any of that sort of activity when I was young!" I am not a joiner; the only club I've ever belonged to was a literary club, but, when the quality of the books we read deteriorated, I withdrew.

I never asked my cousin where she was giving her presentation, because, as I've said, I was not yet fully functional, but I wondered afterward if the Daughters of the Confederacy was another one of her clubs.

Maybe I need a pacemaker.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Even as I resist and lament
Assorted aches and pains,
Energy reduced, senses diminished,
Failing memory,

World grown smaller,
Walls closing in
As the days and hours pass
In a life nearing the ninth decade,

I remember the many
Who never grow old,
Whose lives are cut off
By untimely deaths,

And I welcome the turning
Of the decade as a gift
Not given to everyone,
And bow my head in gratitude.

(June Butler - 4/13/2014)

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Loved it, loved it, loved it. What's not to love? It was all about me, starring wonderful British actors, except I'm not a retired opera singer, living in a Beechem House, a retirement home for musicians in England, but otherwise...

Maggie Smith (Jean Horton), Pauline Collins (Cissy Robson), Tom Courtenay (Reg Paget), and Billy Connolly (Wilf Bond) play the roles of the opera singers.  The characters bravely, and more or less cheerfully, face the challenges and vicissitudes of aging.  Cissy suffers from what seems moderate dementia, and the scenes which show Reg and Wilf protecting her and caring for her with love, tenderness, and gentle humor, are quite moving.

The musicians remain active in their former professions by teaching classes to young musicians, but the home is in danger of being closed due to lack of funds.   The residents hope that a planned gala performance fund-raiser, starring themselves, will provide sufficient funding for the continued operation of Beechem House.

Cissy, Reg, and Wilf live rather quietly until the arrival of Jean.  Whenever Maggie Smith comes on the scene, we know she will stir the pot, and so she does when she joins the others in the home.   All four characters knew one another during their performing careers, and Jean and Reg were briefly married, very briefly, only one day, before the marriage ended.  Jean tries to mend their relationship, but Reg will have none of it.

Since I don't want my review to be a spoiler, I'll give no more details but only say that I highly recommend the film.  The actors are delightful in their roles, and, although there's much in the story line that is improbable, if not quite impossible, I loved "Quartet" anyway.  For me, the test of a drama or any fictional art form is whether I get caught up in the story and suspend disbelief, and I did, in spades, as I watched "Quartet", so much so that I want to see the film again.