Deborah’s 50th high school reunion starts today…one year late

because of Covid last year it was dismissed…

but vaccinated and wearing a mask this year she’s attending

which gives me this opportunity to reminisce…


We were children of the ’60’s and early ’70’s…

We stood up for kindness…for peace and love

our symbols were the peace sign…the flower and the dove


We were children of the ’60’s and early ’70’s…

It’s when we first experienced war and killing and bombs

in a place many of us had not heard of before…in the south of Vietnam.


We were children of the ’60’s and early ’70’s…

We learned how our world of psychedelic and tie-dyed colors could quickly turn to black

when some of us who fought in Vietnam…never made it back.


We were children of the ’60’s and early ’70’s…

We were shaped but not defined by that war…

We were sure we saw the world a little differently than those who came before.


We were children of the ’60’s and early ’70’s…

and many of us would grow up to be

more independent, 

more accepting

more innocent and free…


We were children of the ’60’s and early ’70’s…

And though it’s been…now…quite a while

We know…even if our taste in clothing has changed…kindness…peace and love will never go out of style.


We were children of the ’60’s and early ’70’s…

Who are no longer children…who have grown

Who now have lives and families

children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of our own…


Who when we think about the last 50 years

often pause and wonder how…

How we children of the 60’s and early ’70's

are in our 60’s and early ’70’s now.



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Years ago my granddaughter and I were watching the sun set over the ocean…and as we stood there enjoying the view…she said, “Pick me ip PopPop, so I can see as good as you.”


“Why is that?” I asked as I lifted her up and we gazed out at the sky. 

“Because,” she said with the innocence of a child, “I have little eyes.”


I watched a smile engulf her face…I watched her eyes widen within her head…”The view is so much better up her.  Thanks, PopPop.” She said.


You have to admire the way a child’s mind works…there is no pretense….no deception…there is an honesty…a vulnerability in the innocence of their perception.


She was just a little girl then…brimming with purity and charm…who thought the world would look a little different way up in PopPop’s arms.


As we watched the sun paint the sky…as I held on to her…tight

as I saw the expression on her face…I remember thinking she might be right.


My granddaughter is now as tall as me…those days of lifting her into my arms have past…but I pray no matter how tall she grows…her innocence will last.


I hope she never will forget…those days when she was a little bit shorter than me in size…

those days I held her in my arms 

and she saw the world through little eyes.

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I grew up a child of the ’60’s

together my life and the hippie movement dawned…

now when I look back at that time I wonder…where have all the hippies gone?


Those long haired tie-dyed idealists who walked around with our feet bare

who grew our own organic vegetables…who wore flowers in our hair.


Who sang and danced and laughed…who kidded and teased and joked

whose spirituality was enhanced by all that grass we smoked.


Who ate our share of granola…who drove an old VW van

who believed in peace and love and Woodstock…

and who would never listened to The Man.


Who were excited by the universe…who were filled with loving thoughts…

who lived for today and for each other and…did I mention all that pot?


Where have all the hippies gone?…all those innocent…free-spirited pups?

I imagine what happened…happens to every generation…we hippies all grew up.


Our long hair is now white or gone…our jokes are shared in tweets

our spirits aren’t as free as they once were…and we now wear shoes upon our feet.


We still like organic vegetables…but we’ll also eat at delis

and the only pot we carry now…we carry around our bellies. 


Most of us drive comfortable cars instead of those old flowered vans

Oh, we still eat our share of granola…but now we throw on a little bran.


And we certainly don’t dance as much…we never know when we might slip

for there is nothing more humiliating…than a hippie with a broken hip.


Never fear however!  It may be a little harder to pick out

what was once our claims to fame

but despite the ravages of age…we are hippies just the same.


Sure life has a way of interfering and our priorities rearrange…

but I believe the spirit we brought to our generation

and our ideals have never changed.


So here’s a toast to all the hippies out there…we may be heading over the hill

but we still believe in peace and love and I’m guessing…


we always will!

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We have four grandchildren in our life and we love they came our way.

We remember when each was born…as if it was yesterday.


When they were merely babies we held them in our arms

and through the years we’ve been enchanted and captivated by their charms.


It’s fun to look back wistfully to a time when they were smaller

because over the years…we’re not sure when…they’ve all grown so much taller!


We use to kid with them when they were younger…oh how the kids would fuss

When we’d put our hands on their heads and say…

“You’ll never be taller than us!”


Well…the first grandchild grew taller than Nana years ago, 

followed by the second 

then the third…

and Nana smiled as each one overtook her…without saying a word.


But the other day, reminding us how time often passes in a blur,

Nana noticed our youngest granddaughter is now looking down on her.


Nana, who once carried all our grandchildren easily across the floor

in the blink of an eye, or so it seems, is shorter than all four.


(I probably would be more sympathetic to Nana…to this growing reality

If I didn’t realize that all too soon…they’ll also be taller than me!) 


Of course we know that’s the way it goes…the way the years are supposed to pass

still in our wildest dreams we never expected…the years would pass so fast….


But as I see Nana and our grandchildren now standing side by side

I have to smile when I think how much we’ve enjoyed the ride….


So the fact they are taller than Nana…

is not something we bemoan

because we have enjoyed every minute 

of every hour 

of every inch 


that they have grown….

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You may ask yourself this question…How important is a doll?

You may think in the scheme of life…not too important after all…


But I would beg to differ…because somehow my little girl found a way

of all the dolls upon the shelf…she picked me that day.


She chose me over all the others…it took her quite a while

I like to think there was something in my eyes…or the crookedness of my smile.


From that moment we were inseparable

Inside…outside…in any kind of weather

We played…we ran…we laughed…we drank tea

We went everywhere together.


I loved the times when she was happy…when her smile was innocent and bright

When she would toss me in the air then hug me with all her might.


I was glad to be there when she was sad…or to help her face her fears

Those times she used my only dress to wipe away her tears.


I remember the day she left me in a restaurant…

I was frightened and lonely without her arms around me

and I remember how relieved I was

when she came back and found me.


This went on for years and years…all I needed was an occasional sew-up

But although dolls remain the same…little girls all grow up.


She didn’t need me like she used to…she spent more time off by herself

and I went from sleeping next to her…to a spot upon her shelf.


Where I now sit and watch her…remembering our laughter…and our fun

and the moment I resign myself to thinking my usefulness is done…


The instant I start thinking I’m just another doll filled with stuff

she gives me a little hug or says I love you

and I think…that is enough


Enough of a reason…enough proof…enough of a diagram


to remind me how important I was…and how important I still am.

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The 5th grade breakfast was today…

proving time can be sad as well as cruel.

Wasn’t it only yesterday…when they were starting school?


Wasn’t it only yesterday they were a much smaller size?

How could they have grown up…right before our eyes?


We’ve enjoyed our moments together…we’ve taken pleasure in the climb…

How can life move in slow motion…and fast speed at the same time?


It’s not that we don’t want them to grow up…to be kinder, smarter…stronger

It’s just we hoped their growing up…would take a little longer….


But we take solace in our sadness because there is something we all know…

They will always be our babies…no matter how they grow.


Yes, we take solace knowing we will always see them through a parent’s loving eyes


and they will always be our babies…no matter how time flies…

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I love Winter’s silent beauty…as her snowflaked breezes sing…

But no matter how much I love the winter…she cedes herself to Spring.


I love how Spring awakens us…to dream, to paint…to rhyme

But no matter how much I love the Spring…she gives way to Summertime.


I love Summer’s excitement…and the  many ways she can enthrall?

But no matter how much I love the Summer…she acquiesces to the Fall…


And I love all those Fall colors…and how those Autumn breezes blow

But no matter how much I love the Fall…she can’t hold back the Winter’s snow…


For years now, after we retired, we thought it would be cool

To bring a lunch, every now and then, to our granddaughter…at her school.


She usually invites a friend to dine…we wave as they walk in the door

and we pretend we ‘re in a restaurant…at our table set for four.


Yesterday we brought their last lunch…(time can be both wonderful and cruel)

because this time together is over…they’re moving on to Middle School…


Minutes change to days…then months…new years come and go

We know seasons will continue to change…and all children will grow…


But we also know as each moment shifts from the present to the past

Every new first moment evolves from shadows of the last…


So we do our best to make a memory in the moment…this is our endeavor 

Knowing the moment will eventually end,

but the memory will last…forever.


And we took these memories with us…as we headed out the door

A little sad this season’s over…


wondering what next season has in store.

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It’s selected off the store shelf.

It brings security and joy.

It takes its place among the family…

when it becomes a child’s toy.


And immediately they both feel it…

a bond of happiness…and joy.

And for a while they’re inseparable…

the child…and the toy.


But a child grows up…a toy does not,

and though it seems unkind,

a child finds other things to love,

and leaves the toy behind.


But the toy is ever vigilant,

it waits patiently night and day,

for one more moment with the child…

one more chance to play.


And every now and then the toy is picked up,

“I miss you!” the child concedes.

and the toy once again feels joy…

for that’s all it ever needs.


And so I wonder:


When we want to learn of patience,

of dedication, love and joy…

perhaps we need to look no further 


than on the face of a child’s toy.

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