Be Where You Are

I am a curious person. I love to read. I love to learn. I always have.

A good friend told me years ago, “Ag if you weren’t so busy being a mom and taking care of your kids, I think you would be a professional student.” Doris was pretty close to the truth. The only problem is learning doesn’t always happen in a classroom. Doesn’t always require doing research or turning in homework.

One doesn’t even have to be seeking knowledge to learn. Life lessons are there for the taking, all around us. Sometimes learning occurs in weird places, happening in our daily lives when we don’t even expect it.

I am reminded of the quote, “Wherever you go, there you are.”  Loving quotes, especially simple ones filled with wisdom, I feel compelled to give credit to the person who originally spoke the meaningful words.

No matter where you go, there you are. I’ve heard variations of that phrase for years and never knew who actually said it. So, I googled it and found lots of references to who and where the phrase originated. Not sure I know much more than when I started my search.

Google listed credit references to Star Trek, Stephen King, Muppet Magazine, One Day at a Time, comic books, songs, TV shows, movies, and even a guy from the 70s who claimed credit for starting the phrase himself.  My favorite credit line was from The Brady Bunch, “and remember kids, a very wise man once said, ‘wherever you go, there you are.’” Who am I to argue with wise old Dad Brady?  Even Confucius got a nod. That one seems a bit questionable, but who is still around that could confirm or deny that claim?

I am getting off track. Seem to do that a lot these days. Old age, I guess.

This week, I finished writing a little devotional book, and my neighbor asked me, “So what’s next?” I knew she meant was there another book planned? I replied, “Whatever comes along.” Those words were so freeing. I didn’t even think about them, they just popped out.

No longer does my life have to be about work, accomplishments, striving to meet deadlines or expectations set by others. I am where I am.

After all these years, I still love to read, to learn, and my curiosity is still thriving. The only difference is that time is no longer on my side. I’m okay with that. I am where I am, where I belong. This time of life fits like an old comfortable pair of shoes.

The phrase, “Wherever you are, there you are,” is starting to make perfect sense.  Where am I? Just trying to make sure I am really there, present in the everyday moments of my life. To quote a famous sailor, “I am what I am, and that’s all that I am.”

Ending on a Positive Note: All I have to do is enjoy THIS time, THESE moments. Taking things as they come, not wasting time wishing things were different.

 

Technology Has Left Me Behind?

My cell phone died yesterday on the way to my granddaughter’s softball game. I’ve known for some time it was time to replace it. The poor thing is almost six years old and a friend told me recently that the model I have is being phased out.

My first thought was to stop at the phone store after the game and get a new one. Instead, we opted for Mexican with our daughter and her family. Having dinner with family, especially my grandkids, will always take precedence over shopping for a new cell phone.

Before going to the phone store, I am doing a bit of research online to prevent being talked into a pricey phone that doesn’t fit my current needs.

My dead phone is an iPhone, so I start there. The latest iPhones with all the bells and whistles are listed at the top of the page. Comparison shopping begins to raise some pertinent questions.

At this point in my life, my needs have changed. I am no longer employed. Tom and I chose to downsize two years ago and are enjoying living a more simple life these days. Checking my emails and social media are not things I want, or need, to do while out and about. I really don’t think people will mind, or even notice if I don’t immediately reply to an email or a message on Facebook. Choosing when I go online offers more freedom in my life.

Our life is uncomplicated and we are intentionally working to keep it that way. We seldom go anywhere where directions are required. If we do, I have time to check MapQuest or Google before leaving home. When out in the car and a need for directions arises, I can retrieve the functioning GPS in the glove box.

Simplicity is the name of our game. My phone should fit that lifestyle. A simple phone is what I need. One that allows me to call and be called by the important people in my life, to send and receive a few texts from time to time, to snap an occasional photo, and to make emergency calls if needed.

We still retain a landline phone as it is a necessity to buzz folks into our building. I like using it. It’s convenient; three out of five rooms in our apartment have a phone. It is simple convenience.

I am seriously considering the newest version of the flip phone. It answers all my needs and comes in hot pink, a color that appeals to this older version of me.

I’m preparing for the laughter and negative responses such as, “Wow, didn’t know they still made those things.” My decision is not everyone’s choice. I’m okay with that. Everyone has the right to choose a phone that fits their personal needs.

Consider our transitions from native Americans smoke signals, to letters, to telegrams, to chunky home phones, to pay phones, to mobile phones, and now to slim cell phones with countless apps that can manage lives. Technology is amazing but nowadays moves a little too fast for me.

The technology of a smartphone is a set of tools you can use when or if you choose to. Access to maps, traffic alerts, and weather reports can be especially useful and helpful when traveling or commuting to and from work. You can easily turn off all your notifications and only check email when you want to. It’s only intrusive or additive if you allow it to become so.

For me, the advantages of going back to a dumb phone are not paying for functions I will never use or need. Leaving behind the never-ending charging anxiety, and an expensive price tag. Going back to basics feels a bit like retreating back to vinyl records. The only computer I want is in my home office. I really don’t need to carry a smaller, hard to read version in my pocket.

Marketers have somehow convinced us that smartphones can whisk us away to a better, more stimulating place. It certainly is more immediate, but I am happiest in the space where I actually live. I want to enjoy what is going on around me, such as real, honest-to-goodness conversations with others. Without an attachment, words on a screen don’t show smiles and certainly don’t give hugs.

Ending on a Positive Note: I have come to rely on my cell phone and I’m not sure if this departure from technology will last. However, it feels right at this stage of my life.

 

To Have and To Hold

 

Wedding DayTom and I have been married fifty-three years today. Taking our vows in front of God, family, and friends on that balmy, rainy Saturday night in 1964 still glows brightly in my memory.

Tom had a head full of hair, twinkling brown eyes, and was a few pounds lighter than today. I wore a pill-box veil and a size eight wedding gown that my mother had to take it in at the waist. It is now carefully folded in my cedar chest; never to be worn again.

Remembering our wedding vows makes me reflect on how young we were in March 1964. Even though we loved each other and were confident we had chosen wisely, what had we really known about spending the rest of our life together?

I, Agnes, take you, Tom, to be my lawful wedding husband…
Fifty-three years ago, that word husband was brand new. At that point, my experience of marriage was limited to choosing the perfect white dress, making an appointment to get my hair done, being excited about picking out new furniture, and putting gifts away in the apartment that was to be our first home. Oh, and hoping Tom would like my cooking.

To have and to hold from this day forward…
That phrase sounded so romantic. Our love seemed so complete. We walked down the aisle. Tom carried me over the threshold of our new home, a feat he certainly couldn’t do today. I was clueless as to what life would be like along the way to spending 19,345 days together. Our love was just so new, I had no idea how much stronger it would need to be to survive what was to come.

For better, for worse…
I thought our life would be all “for better” days. I couldn’t have even imagined the “for worse” days in front of us. Days of having to live with bad decisions and learning to make the best of whatever came our way.

Struggling to understand and live with the loss of so many loved ones; parents, brothers, and close friends who were like family. I certainly could never have fathomed the unbearable pain of losing one of our children.

Our youth made it hard to comprehend that life could not be perfectly planned. We still had to learn we were not in control.

For richer, for poorer…
We couldn’t imagine the hardships that awaited us, the sacrifices we would have to make. We thought if we worked hard and planned wisely, we would always have more money than bills.

The only thing I did know for sure…when we had children, we would love them with all our hearts. Wouldn’t matter if they were girls or boys, we knew they would be the most important part of our lives. We wanted four, but the doctor stopped us at two. God blessed us beyond measure with two beautiful, bright, funny, kind, and loving daughters who were more than enough. We felt complete. However, when our sweet granddaughters arrived, we discovered our hearts could expand with more love, a love that melted into pure joy.

In sickness and in health…
We weren’t thinking of living with heart attacks and strokes. Our young minds had never even heard of cancer, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s; unknown diseases that would impact our future in unbelievable ways.

To love and to cherish…
As we stood before the minister vowing to love and cherish, we thought our love was perfect, as we shared common goals and seemed to be on the same wavelength. How could we have realized our thinking could be so different when we starting sharing one another’s space? We never envisioned being angry over insignificant things like taking out the garbage or the way we organized the garage.

Until death do us part…
Planning to grow old together, we were two young kids who had not lived long enough to have experienced life’s uncertainty, pain, or loss. Death was for really old people and seemed so far away.

This is my solemn vow…
Our life has been a good one, but not without obstacles and trials along the way. Married life starts out on a high note. With a little luck couples mature at the same time and enjoy a long life together.

Our vows were sacred and we meant them to last forever. Although marriage was harder than we ever dreamed, we did grow into one union, promising never to leave or forsake the other. Though our life has been tough at times we are grateful for mostly “for better” days.

Never considering ourselves poor, but certainly not rich, we prefer to use my mother’s definition as a measure. “No one is ever poor if they are surrounded by people who love them.” That perception has given us more riches than we could ever have dreamed possible. Our lives have been all about family, belonging to each other, and to a God that continues to offer strength, guidance, and faithfulness.

Has health turned to sickness? Today, the boundaries of our world together are defined by our health issues. Tom is still the same man I fell in love with so many years ago, but our illnesses have taken their toll on both of us. We struggle to do things we used to take for granted. We walk like those little Weebles; you know the little wooden people that wobble but never fall down, at least not lately.

Tom’s brown eyes still twinkle when he makes me laugh.  Holding his hand still, makes me feel safe and warm inside. He still makes me feel loved. The oldest in our families now, we talk about our myriads of memories, a lot. Memories serving as the fabric that weaves our happy life together.

People occasionally ask for our secret. How did we stay married so long when many others gave up? Our answer is simple. We took vows; honored our commitments. It was the right thing to do. We loved each other enough to work at making it last. But, at this stage of comfortable love, I tease him that maybe I just have too many years of training invested in him to start over.

Just as we vowed, we are still holding on, still together, and just as we planned growing old together. I believe God knew we belonged together and that’s why He gave us the forever kind of love.

Ending on a Positive Note: Today is a special day, but in many ways, it’s just another day; an ordinary day. We are so grateful for each other and thank God for blessing us with fifty-three years of wonderful ordinary days.

Sleep Can Be An Age Thing

Last night, I fell asleep while we were watching one of the late night talk shows. I awoke with my eyes blinking in the darkness at shadows peeking through the blinds. Struggling to stay asleep, but knowing I wouldn’t be able to pull it off, my eyes found the clock and focused on the time. It was 3:00 a.m.  Often, the clock reads 1:30, other times its 4, but at some time every night I am usually awake.

Sometimes it’s physical pain that keeps me from sleeping. Other times I think it’s just an age thing.

If this had occurred before I retired, my mind would have started whirling with all of the items on my “to do” list, mentally starting my day. Of course, when one’s mind enters that mode, sleep is lost. I was the world’s biggest worry wart. Always worrying about things I couldn’t control.

The last few years have been difficult, but retirement and having more control over my time each day have presented new options for my sleep patterns.

I have discovered napping. Tom tells me napping has been around for years. He ought to know since he has reached the rank of master class. As a novice, I’m just getting the hang of this wonderful remarkable sleep choice.

I learned a long time ago that when my eyes flew open bringing me to wide awake status, it was better to get up. Get my mind off problems for a little while and then go back to bed. It usually worked.

But, old age sleeping patterns are a bit different. Tonight I refreshed my mug of water, went to the bathroom, filled my weekly pill-box, read a few chapters, then closed my book and turned off the light. Knowing I would be able to go back to sleep. My eyes closed and the next thing I knew it was 7:00 a.m. My body was still tired, but wanted to get up.

This is where the new sleep option comes in. Sometime in late morning or early afternoon, I will drift off to sleep in my recliner. Sleep thirty or so minutes and awake refreshed. What a concept.

Slowing myself down, now able to relax my mind has made a big difference in my life. No, I don’t get eight hours of sleep every night, but who says my eight hours can’t be broken into smaller periods of time throughout the day? I’ve decided that it would be wonderful to sleep through the night, but it’s okay if I can’t.

Now, if Tom and I could only regulate our naps so we are awake at the same time.

Ending on a Positive Note: Accepting what we can’t change or what we can no longer do is the first step to freedom in our lives.

Everybody Has a Story

Several days ago, I walked down the hall to get my mail. I always check the bulletin board sign-up sheets for upcoming events scheduled for our building. Coming up was a breakfast, a chili luncheon, our monthly birthday party with one of our favorites scheduled to provide entertainment. An every other month trip to the Casino was planned, plus the usual exercise, bingo, dominoes, and card game nights, along with Friday morning Bible Study. Usually there was a pen hanging from the bulletin board to make it convenient for us to sign up. Looked all around, no pen in sight.

So I wheeled my walker into the manager’s office next door to get a pen. The manager was on the phone. While waiting for Sandy to get off the phone, I said good morning to a fellow seated across from me. I had never seen him before and was surprised when he told me he had lived in the building for years. His apartment was just a few doors from ours.

We struck up a general conversation. How long have you lived here? Do you like it? Have you always lived in Cincinnati? Informative, but pretty boring stuff. He spoke in a monotone. No smiles. No interest in our conversation.

I decided to try one more question. Even though I knew the answer, I asked if he was retired. He told me he had been retired a long time. So, I asked the obvious, “What kind of work did you do?” His whole body went through a transformation. He sat up straighter and in a voice filled with pride, he replied, “I was a newspaper reporter for the Kentucky Post.” I am discovering many older people only see their value in their former profession.

His question asking if I remembered the Kentucky Post made me laugh. He chuckled when I told him I remembered not only the Kentucky Post, but the two afternoon papers, the Cincinnati Post and the Cincinnati Times Star. I even recalled those two papers later merging before finally closing up shop leaving only the original morning paper, The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Bert went on to tell me his beat had been a mixed bag. “I was an investigative reporter so I handled everything under the sun, but occasionally got assigned a really great story like the opening of Riverfront Stadium.”

With that remark, we were off to the races. I was a huge fan of the Cincinnati Reds. I asked him his opinion of Riverfront the first time he saw it.

Bert replied, “Found it a disappointment. How about you, did you like it?”

I told him Riverfront had never done much for me either. Too much concrete didn’t allow room for much character. However, I did remember one fun fact I heard during a TV interview. Roy Rogers, who was born in Cincinnati, said his family lived where Riverfront Stadium has been constructed and joked he was born at second base.

He hooted when I told him, “I did think Riverfront Stadium was very appropriately named until they changed it to Cinergy Field. I retaliated by calling it Riverfront until they tore it down.”

I continued, “Crosley Field had such charm and personality. What wonderful memories were in that little ballpark; the sun deck, the moon deck, the terrace in left field, watching Ronnie Dale at the organ playing special songs every time one of the hometown players hit a home-run.”

He seemed surprised that a woman was a fan, prompting me to tell him my mother had also been a huge fan. He almost choked on his words. “Your mother was a Reds fan?” Yep, she had fallen in love with baseball when we first moved to the Cincinnati area in 1954.

“She loved the Reds and so did my mother-in-law. They never missed a game, listening on the radio or watching on TV. My husband and I took them to the last game at Crosley Field and then to the first game at Riverfront, two weeks apart in 1970.”

We agreed the best name for Riverfront was in the mid-70s when it was labeled the Home of the Big Red Machine. Many local Cincinnati fans referred to the Big Red Machine as the best team to ever play the game. Who doesn’t remember Pete Rose and his head first slides, Johnny Bench’s bullet throws to second, (little) Joe Morgan, Tony (Doggy) Perez, Davey Concepcion, Ken Griffin, Sr., George Foster, and Cesar Geronimo?  That team could hit, run, field and create excitement for fans, even when they didn’t win the game.

By this time, Sandy was off the phone. I left them to talk and I went back to the mail room to put my ‘John Hancock’ on a few sheets. As I was leaving the mail room, I noticed that Bert had a small box on top of the mailboxes, so I took it with me.

His walker was different from mine and couldn’t accommodate the box, so I offered to take the box down the hall for him. Arriving at his apartment, I found UPS had left a big box outside his door. Accepting my offer to take both boxes inside his apartment, he unlocked the door and asked me to put them in his library.

Assuming his second bedroom was his library, I put the two boxes on top of a hard backed chair so he could easily access them. I couldn’t help but notice he had books all over the room. Some were neatly arranged on book shelves circling his library while others were stacked on top of his desk, a little table across the room, and one small stack was on the floor next to a comfy chair.

Asking if I liked to read, we fell into an easy conversation about our love of books; briefly discussing favorite authors and a few favorite books.

As I headed for the door, I asked if I could do anything else for him. He said he was fine, but thanked me for bringing in his UPS boxes and for brightening his day with my smile and conversation. I had enjoyed my time with this sweet, old guy who had lived an interesting life.

Ending on a Positive Note: Our eyes cannot see the stories people carry inside. There has to be a conversation. An interesting conversation with a real person is always a fascinating pause in any day. Hope you are taking time to enjoy the people around you.

100 Years Old and Going Strong

Williams - Plaque Stone
Plaque – 100th anniversary of Williams Avenue Elementary

Do you like celebrations? I think everyone does. I know I do.

But, celebrations don’t just happen. They are a lot of work. They take time and energy to plan and implement. Attendees usually have a good time. It’s always fun to hang out with people we haven’t seen in a while.

On Saturday, March 4, 2017, Tom and I attended the 100th anniversary of Williams Avenue Elementary, his old grade school. Although North Norwood had been my grade school, I was familiar with the Williams building since I had worked in the Board of Education offices, which were located in the wing added in 1952.

Although, there was a little snow on the ground, we got up early and headed to Norwood. Since we both had lived in Norwood for years, we had no need for directions. I think we could have driven there with our eyes closed. Landing a great parking space right in front of the school, we headed up the front steps.

As we entered the building, there was a buzz of activity in the front hall; people hugging old friends, picking up name tags and tickets for lunch, and everyone talking excitedly in expectation of a fun day. Happy sounds in an old, familiar setting.

Everyone, alumni, teachers, and friends were reminiscing about days spent in the beautiful old building. Moments from other school celebrations crowded into my mind. Williams was the last of the Norwood School’s five elementary schools to celebrate a 100th birthday. Norwood High School had celebrated their centennial in 2014 preceded by Allison, Sharpsburg, and Norwood View. North Norwood had celebrated its 97th anniversary when the building was closed because of low enrollment. It now functions as The Hamilton County ESC Learning Center. I am grateful the building is still educating students. I find empty school buildings once alive with activity and noise from kids laughing and learning so very sad.

Looking around the building on Saturday, I was pleased to see that Williams was still in such good condition. I wasn’t surprised because all Norwood schools had been built to last; standing as strong anchors in this wonderful city for over 100 years. As I stood observing the happy faces, the conversations, the joy and laughter; I teared up seeing first-hand the evidence of a rich heritage of community.

How many people had roamed the halls of this beautiful old school? How many lives had been impacted, changed by spending time here?

How many dedicated principals and teachers had inspired students to learn lifelong skills that would help prepare them for their grown-up life in the future?

How many parents had attended parent-teacher nights, participated in PTA, attended plays, music concerts, and basketball games? How many had served as a volunteer in some capacity? Always showing up, offering encouragement and support, just being there for the kids.

How many neighbors had bought candy bars, wrapping paper, candles or whatever the Williams kids had been selling?

How many people working together to help kids grow and gain confidence. How many people making a difference in lives and helping kids become who they are today?

Crowding into the auditorium, the celebration started with Mark Gabbard, current principal of Williams, welcoming everyone. Although the seats in the auditorium seemed a little smaller, the old grads were enthusiastic as congratulatory letters from local and state leaders were read and when current students presented a brief look back at 100 years of history.

The keynote speaker was Eric Benken, who had attended Williams Avenue from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Eric had a distinguished military career, but his talk on Saturday was from the perspective of a former student happy to be back in his old grade school. His memories were vivid as he named every teacher he had while at Williams; even revealing that his first love was his second grade teacher. He shared his pride to have been a member of the Safety Patrol and a flag boy with the responsibility of raising and lowering the American flag every day. His words of gratitude for all of the teachers who planted seeds and helped shape his life were touching. Laughingly, he even thanked those teachers with eyes in the back of their heads who kept him on the straight and narrow.

I know his words echoed the thoughts of many in the auditorium. We learn from everyone we meet in life as we encounter different experiences and circumstances, but elementary teachers are truly instrumental in our early learning. Their loving support and positive encouragement carries a lot of weight. They are just special people.

As the program drew to a close, everyone was invited to stand and sing the school fight song. As I looked around at people of all ages singing, “We’ll be loyal sons and daughters of Williams Avenue…No matter where we go, you can count on us Williams Avenue,” I once again teared up. Simple moments like this are among the best times of life.

Alumni took off in all directions, walking down the hall, recalling which teacher taught in the various classrooms. Entering the library, Tom was quick to tell me, “This was the old Home Economics room.” I often tease him about not being able to remember what he had for dinner, but his memory was running on all cylinders with details of his old grade school.

At lunch, everyone had a good laugh as we tried to figure out a dignified way to sit at the picnic tables on wheels in the cafeteria.  The wooden tables and chairs had made way for modern seating, but what works for young kids doesn’t seem to fit old alumni bodies very well.

Tom saved the best till last, as his last place to visit was the gym. He was delighted with the changes. A big W in the middle of the brand new gym floor and a bright red Wildcat logo painted on the wall. No doubt recollections of some of his free throws and Wildcat wins would surface on the way home.

As we left, I ran into an old high school classmate, who was also a former Williams Wildcat. I hadn’t seen him in about ten years, so we played catch-up and talked until we realized we were freezing. What a treat to see him.

The best thing about growing up in Norwood is that going to a celebration of any kind means you are going to see tons of people you know. Some who went to school with your kids, old PTA buddies, longtime friends or friends you haven’t seen in a long time.

Anytime you talk to anyone from Norwood longer than a few minutes, you are bound to be asked two questions. First question, “What year did you graduate?” and second, “Which grade school did you go to?”  Norwood grads are extremely loyal to their grade schools.

Tom and I were so thankful we got to attend the 100th anniversary of the beautiful old Williams Avenue Elementary School building. The staff and volunteers are to be commended for their hard work and devoted effort that made the 100th celebration a big success. It was a wonderful day.

Norwood was such a great place to grow up. No matter where our life takes us after graduation–no matter how long it has been since we have seen one another—we still remember the happy days of going to school in Norwood. Today, that school just happened to be Williams Avenue Elementary. Happy 100th Birthday, Williams Avenue!

Ending on a Positive Note: As Norwood grads, let us all be grateful for the significance of Norwood, the schools, the teachers, the people and the experiences that made and continue to make such a difference in our lives.

The Old Folks at Home

Do any of you watch reality shows? I’ve never liked them much. They feel too scripted and are about as far from reality as one can get. Although a fan of Dancing with the Stars, which really doesn’t count as it seems more of a competition than a reality show. Besides, I enjoy Tom Bergeron’s quick wit.

Seriously, it is unbelievable how many reality shows are on TV. Trying to count them last night, I ran out of fingers and toes. I’ve heard reality shows are cheaper to produce and make a boatload of money for the networks. I guess that explains it.

When Tom gets bored watching TV, he starts flipping channels and sometimes stops on a reality show. That’s one reason I keep books close at hand. When he starts to wander through the TV channels, I find it easier to pick up my book or my Kindle than to have a “what in the world are you watching” conversation.

For several years, I have told him we should do our own reality show. There has to be people out there just silly enough to watch it. I truly think my idea is the only area the networks have missed.

I even have a suggestion for a title for the show, The Old Folks at Home. My reality show idea would cost almost nothing. Simply place an (unmanned) camera behind our TV pointed out to capture both Tom and I sitting in our recliners every night.  The camera could remain in a fixed position as we don’t move much.

Since the remote is always in Tom’s hand, an exciting moment might be when Tom wakes with a start and drops the remote between his chair and the love seat. Watching him trying to retrieve the remote is sure to be good for a few laughs.

Another camera could be set up in our kitchen to capture electrifying moments such what snack would win out for the night. On second thought, that’s probably not a great idea. Our kitchen is about the size of a postage stamp which makes it difficult for two people to be in that room together (comfortably), so adding a camera might prove hazardous to our health.

However, the most entertaining spots could possibly be found in the highly intelligent conversations taking place. An example of recent chats.

Overheard while watching Family Feud:

Me: “Did you see that blonde’s name tag?  It says, Doo Dah.”

Tom: “Doo-da as in Camptown Races?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Tom: “Camptown ladies sing this song, Doo-da, Doo-da, Camptown racetrack’s five miles long, Oh, gonna run all night, gonna run all day. Bet my money on a bob-tailed nag, somebody bet on the bay.” 

Me: Sing it out, hon, you’re on a roll.

A few minutes later during a commercial.

Tom: “What was the name of that singer?”

Me: “Which singer would that be?”

Tom: “You know that guy with the big hit from a few years ago?”

Me: “Country singer? Pop singer? Lots of choices out there, babe. How about a clue.”

Tom: “He also acts once in a while.”

Me: “Tell me a movie he was in?”

Tom: “I think he was in that one we watched a couple of nights ago.”

Me: “Okay, let’s try another route. What made you think of this singer?”

No answer. Commercial is over. Tom is back to watching his show. Meanwhile, I am wracking my brain to come up with an answer to his original question.

I guess old folks have to amuse themselves in some fashion, so our version of Trivial Pursuit might offer some hysterical or confusing moments for people tuning in to watch The Old Folks at Home.

By the way, I would be happy to share the name of the singer, but after going a couple of rounds of Old Folks Trivial Pursuit with my favorite guy, I really don’t remember.

No million dollar salaries for us, just give us free cable.

Ending on a Positive Note: Another cost saver, there would be no need to pay writers to prepare scripts. We could just wing it. You really couldn’t make this stuff up anyway.