Archive for the ‘weather’ Category

“And the Woman Smiled” is the titled of a poetry book which traces the life of a woman from childhood to womanhood and beyond. Published in my nom de plume Gianna B. Reid, the book is available on Amazon. Here is a sample poem:




When I was a little girl,
I believed trees created wind.
The frantic motion of the branches was empirical proof.
The howling confirmed it more.
I thought if trees could just be still, the winds
of March and November gusts would cease.
Now I am older, wiser.
Wind is because everyone is talking at once.

– Joan Bellofatto Reid

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Historic signIt’s Spring but…..
Yesterday, two advertisements in a magazine for older readers crossed my path.  Each was encouraging older persons to dress in a manner that welcomes Spring and the change of season. Although their hair was mostly gray, the women in the ad looked rather youthful and they were shown involved and active in outdoor activities. They wore shorts, t-shirts, and one was in a bathing suit. The advertisement went on to emphasize that their product had the power to keep you feeling youthful and active. The advertisement left me wondering what happened to the trend that started a number of months ago with a focus on accepting our personal changes and challenges as we age, as well as developing a different and more positive attitude.
Is it only me that has noticed recently that the illustrations and wording in some articles are becoming somewhat reversed?  Maybe as spring arrives it has re-ignited the hope that us elders might be able to renew and retain what our younger years offered.  I don’t mean to disregard the opportunities for active living, exercise, and social involvement for us elders. Yet I’m wondering if possibly some advertising agencies and product producers have totally replaced their staff with persons under the age of 30.
The other morning I walked by a coffee house table where a couple of older women in my neighborhood where chatting. I joined them and their conversation was about how they weren’t hearing much talk recently supporting a positive view of what the later years might offer. Granted, it was only a small conversation in a specific neighborhood. Yet, I’m wondering if stories of aging well, maintaining a positive attitude, and maintaining social connections that are often discussed in many recent articles are becoming diminished. Are we losing supportive stories and a hopeful and creative focus on what our elder years might offer?
As long as I can remember, our attitudes in American culture have been on the value of youth, making efforts to remain looking young, and often struggling to maintain those attitudes and behaviors into our years of later life. It seems wrong to comment on trends in a whole culture from that single conversation. What was your last coffee conversation with older women about; adjusting to some of the personal challenges and changes both actively and sensibly or feeling a pressure to “stay looking or acting young”?
These days we hear that many are living into their 80’s, 90’s and even 100’s. I often read and hear about a new focus in our country’s understanding of ways to accept the adjustments necessary as our energy and our bodies go through changes. Many now establish new exercise routines, adjust their diets, as well as make appropriate and necessary changes to some activities as we realize that what at one time was a normal part of our life just doesn’t work well anymore. So yes, it’s Spring, yet some of us in the Fall or Winter of our lives have come to understand, enjoy and accept our “new season.”

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downtown_sarasota_aerial_400Since I am a resident of Florida- for many years, my comment on the weather should surprise no one. Perhaps two or three days of moderately cold weather has not marred the constant warmth and beauty of this region. In addition Sarasota is the cultural center of, at the least, the south. We live amidst arts and performances every week. We have easy access to restaurants, arts activities, beaches, shopping. But we must not forget that this is a viable city with many retirees, of course, and also young people, families, many in need. Our human services and social organizations and investments assist many disadvantaged children, families, elderly, other individuals, including former service men and women. We have a very philanthropic, aware community.

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beilstein-istock_000057217508_largeHere in northern Germany March is more a lamb than a lion. Snowdrops and winter aconites are blooming, crocuses appear and what was grey before is now colourful and bright.

We had rain this winter, a little frost, but only a trace of snow – not enough to build a snowman or go sleigh-riding, and that´s what we did every winter when I was a child.

Now we´re waiting for spring. The blackbirds sing their sweet wistful tunes when the sun sets, it was mild and sunny today – so spring can´t be that far away.

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