ca 1997 - 1998
        Well, not long ago I opened my web site with a message about the new year, and here it is already the middle of January. Today (the 14th) is my 76th birthday, and I have no idea how that happened. Last week I was only 46, and just a few days ago I was 66. I woke up this morning and I was suddenly 76, with no memory of how I got here.


        I have always said birthdays don’t mean much, but now that I have reached an age where I might not have all that many more birthdays, they are starting to mean more! I can say, however, that although the pictures on my web site and Facebook pages are a good 10 years old, I still look like that, so that’s a blessing – and I am still in the same good health (unless there is something sneaking around inside me that I don’t know about). I can do everything I’ve always done, except in some cases I do it a little slower or have to hang on to something to get back up once I’m down. I have no idea when my muscles decided they weren’t going to work as well as they used to, but at least they do still work.


        Life can be cruelly backwards. By the time you become wise, you’ve already made a ton of mistakes, and there are no “do-overs” in life. By the time you have patience for little ones, your kids are already grown. By the time you realize a perfect, clean house isn’t as important as spending time with your kids and letting them make those messes, it’s too late and doesn’t matter anymore. By the time you wish you had spent a little more one-on-one time with your husband instead of volunteering for every charity group in town, he’s already old, too – or in some cases, already gone. By the time you appreciate your parents, they are gone. And by the time you have the time and money to do all the wonderful things you wanted to do in retirement, you’re too dang old and tired to do them.

With author Dee Brown, ca 1984

        We all wish at times we did have those “do-overs,” but alas, it’s not possible. All we can do is sound like our parents and grandparents as we give our sage advice to our own children and grandchildren, who think we are too old to understand what their lives are like. If only there was a way to make them see that we understand and remember every little problem and heartache, every unfulfilled dream, every marital and child-rearing problem, every financial problem, and every stage we go through in our lives. If only they would listen, but when we were young, we didn’t listen either. It’s just a fact of life.

October 2005

        I saw a picture once of an old lady walking down the street, but her shadow against a building was young and dancing. That’s how she felt in her heart, and that’s how I feel in mine. One 90(+) year old woman wrote me once about the sex in my books, saying “I don’t do that anymore, but I remember how good it was!” I love that remark. Thank God we have memories, and our appreciation for youth and health and a beautiful woman or a gorgeous man is still there. We can still revisit our past in our minds – and smile.


     And thank goodness (in most cases) the love is still there. To this day, I would be raging jealous if some old woman came along and tried to steal my man. (Are all of you laughing?) He’s still my man, and I still “see” him as the very good-looking, muscular, energetic man I loved and married and had two sons with. And now we have three grandsons and a great-grandchild on the way.

Larry, me, and our first Grandson - 20 years ago!

        And so it goes. Life is one big circle of birth – stages of ageing – and death. But it doesn’t really end because our children and grandchildren go on and on, just as we are the product of our ancestors. As Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.”


       We all make mistakes. We all have triumphs and tragedies in our lives – things we regret, and things we are proud of. We do our best and hope our children turn out to be happy and successful and proud offspring – but that doesn’t always happen either. It’s no one’s fault. I just wish young people would understand when we tell them to enjoy the moment or enjoy each day and quit worrying about tomorrow. Life simply goes by much, much too fast.

Willa Award, 2006

        I have a song in my Apple music called “Dear Younger Me,” by the Christian group Mercy Me. It’s about writing a letter to your younger self, with advice to you of what you would change in your past if you could. 


        “Even though I love this present life, sometimes I wish it was a smoother ride.” 

         “If I knew then what I know now . . . It would not be hard to figure out what I would have changed.”

         “Dear younger me, it’s not your fault. You were never meant to carry this beyond the Cross.”


With my Grandsons, July 2014
                What would you write to your younger self? I just might write a letter like that and give it to my grandsons. Maybe that would help them realize to be happy in the moment and make the best of what they have today and not worry so much about how to be successful. We all waste far too much time “worrying” about the future, when it’s not even here yet. Don’t be one of them. Suddenly that “future” will be here and gone, and you will wonder where it went.

With my dear friend Glenda Kinard in 2017.




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