Daily Delight for the Five Senses

Who: I and my 82-year-old companion

What:  walk 5 km

When: 7 a.m.

Where: the perimeter of our community

Why: for mental and physical well-being

How: briskly with lots of communication

Bonus: All of our senses are stimulated.

Yes, it’s true. Not only do we feel and smell the newborn morning air, and see the changes in Mother Nature’s palette, but we also read each other and communicate with a glance.

This kind of bond is founded on mutual respect, and it works beautifully because we never judge or try to control each other with corrections or criticism or evaluation of the reality of the other. We don’t fill our 45 minutes with telling each other what to do or think or feel, nor how to dress or act or speak. We simply welcome and share personal experiences, perceptions, opinions and feelings . We simply listen and hear and touch each other with our stories of what is important–to us.

Our personal voices have a voice. And two ears.


Old Teachers Never … Stop Teaching

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I’m curious about what inspires my need to teach.

Truly there is a force that compels me to take the information I process and share it with those I love. And it is not simply caring and sharing, but rather explaining, and rewording, and listening, and answering questions.

Truth be told, it also involves studying. Yes, “teaching is learning” and “re-teaching is re-learning.”

What I’m teaching these days is what I’ve learned–and unlearned–over the last five or more years about health and diets and drugs; I find it truly as fascinating as I did when I first learned it. Indeed, the rewording of what I understand is still rewarding–mostly because my 82-year-old student is as attentive and curious and as keen to learn as I am to teach.

The bonus is that our classroom is our daily five kilometre route at 8:00 in the morning.

Who could ask for more?

For the curious out there, this blog post from four years ago has the basics of what I have been sharing recently: https://sunflowergirls.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/healthy-eating/ FYI, although I have relaxed a bit and do eat more carbs now, I still believe there is truth in all of it.

Parting Words of Wisdom

After completing an eight-week fill-in teaching contract at the school where I had spent 22 years,  it was easy for me to imagine that I was leaving, not in December, but instead, at the end of the school year in June. In fact, since I would more than likely never see these charming young ladies (and one gentleman) again, that’s exactly what it seemed like to me–the end of the year. And with that sense of termination, I had a strong feeling that I had to wrap things up. One doesn’t spend two months with 160 students without feeling affection for them. And concern. And responsibility. And she cannot just walk away without saying,”Good bye, and all the best for a happy and successful life.” 

So I passed on my best wishes and said my goodbyes.

Some classes got the full version, complete with the song, I Need a Break, by David Myles.

Listen to the fabulous lyrics and watch it here:


Some were also treated to a spectacular performance of my personal Rap with this important message:

Pay attention girls ’cause I’m telling you the truth.

You don’t need any makeup to get you through your youth.

True beauty that is real doesn’t come inside a jar.

It’s important that you realize, you’re great the way you are.

Forget about mascara, foundation, cream and blush.

They may make you look older, but what’s all the rush.

Enjoy your life at sixteen. Learn to love yourself.

Stop looking in the mirror. Leave the products on the shelf.

They cost a pile of money, help companies grow richer.

Just ignore all their slick talk and listen to your teacher.

In other groups I had less time and had to reduce the message to the bare essentials of these three main ideas:

  • No matter what you choose to do in life, make sure that you make learning a life-long quest.
  • No matter how difficult the task or the choice, don’t ever let others do your thinking for you.
  • To the very best of your ability, always be honest and kind to yourself and others.      

Good bye, dear students. I loved spending time with you. Thank you for the precious memories.