CONVERSATION WITH…The Wind…What Keeps It Blowing Through Time

I was at the tallest peak Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road. Suddenly, something pushed me down. It was the wind!

wind

Thanks a lot, wind.

WIND:  Oops. Sorry. Didn’t see you there.

That’s okay. It’s just that you came out of nowhere.

WIND: Always have. Always do. Always will.  That’s how I roll.

Apparently.

WIND: Hey, you don’t look familiar. You’re not from around here, are you?

No. I’m visiting– trying to figure out where I belong in the world as I grow older.  I’m looking for my spark.

WIND:  Well, don’t sweat it too much. I’ve been around forever and I just keep going and going and going and going.

How?  Is there a thought or idea that propels you along eternally?

WIND: I just keep doing what I do.  Like, when I see leaves on a tree, I rush over and do a dance with them. It’s always new.  Every dance is different.

That’s so great.

WIND: Flags do a pretty funky furl, too.

Right.

WIND: And when I see chimes hanging on a porch?  I rush over and blow them into a song that’s being heard for the first time.  No two songs are ever the same.  I love that.

Me too–

WIND: And when you see a cloud in the sky?  Maybe it looks like a fairy or a unicorn or an elephant’s butt?

Yeah?  You blow all those clouds into those shapes?

WIND: I do.

You’re an amazing sculptor.

WIND: Thank you very much. Even when I blow over a glass of milk or a whole bunch of trees….the look I leave behind is unique every time.

This is so interesting. So I guess maybe you’re saying, as long as we’re here, our creativity will be with us and can carry us through?

WIND: That’s how I see it. And now, if you’ll excuse me… I gotta go.

Where are you going?

WIND: I don’t know.  But I’m on my way.

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CONVERSATION WITH…An Aging Ambulance…About What’s Exciting  vs. What’s Frenetic

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I passed an aging ambulance in front of a deli.  It was lunchtime, so the driver was inside getting a hot pastrami sandwich.  I started a conversation with the ambulance.

ambulance

You know, I’ve always wanted to talk to an ambulance. This is an honor.

AGING AMBULANCE: Thank you. But…why?

Well…I have a dream I don’t share with many people.  I’ve always wished I could have an ambulance of my very own.

AGING AMBULANCE: You’re kidding.

Nope.  I started dreaming about it when my children were in elementary school and had playdates in my house.  I worried what would happen if someone got hurt.  It would have been so calming if I knew an ambulance was parked in my driveway at all times.

AGING AMBULANCE: I’m touched.

And now that my kids are young adults and my husband and I are older, having our own ambulance would totally calm our nerves.

AGING AMBULANCE: Hmmm…

I mean, for example, last week my husband had bad stomach cramps and chest pains late at night.  It turned out to be a stomach virus. But since he’s a bit older, when he was in pain, we were concerned it might have been something more serious.  Having an ambulance in our driveway would have been a dream come true.

AGING AMBULANCE: Hmmm…

Plus I’m a hypochondriac.

AGING AMBULANCE: Well then, I’ll let you in on something that embarrasses me. As I get older, my exciting, dramatic life as an ambulance doesn’t feel exciting anymore.  It feels frenetic. The sound of my siren is just overwhelming noise and gives me a headache.

I can relate.  It’s embarrassing to admit, but large cities feel that way to me these days.  I used to find all the sounds and crowds of people stimulating.  Now I’d rather be in a quiet place.  I’m changing.

AGING AMBULANCE: Me too. When I have to speed down a highway to get to a fire, I just want to go home.  Or when I have to weave through traffic to get to an emergency, it’s not exhilarating anymore.  I’m changing.

I understand.

AGING AMBULANCE: But…I still want to be helpful.  Somehow. Somewhere.

Well then, dare I ask? Would you consider a permanent job sitting at the end of my driveway?

AGING AMBULANCE: What would your neighbors say?

Nothing. They know me.

AGING AMBULANCE: Okay then!  I’m in!

This is wonderful! I guess you just never know when a dream will come true.

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CONVERSATION WITH…A Gallery of Art by Bloggers

Today I arrived at the “Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road Art Gallery.”  It gave me an idea…

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Hey Gallery, is there a manager I can speak to?

ART GALLERY:  I’m the manager.  As long as my walls don’t crumble and my plumbing works, I’ll keep running this place no matter how old I get.

Yeah—you must be really proud of all that you hold on your walls.

ART GALLERY:  It means the world to me.  I carry thoughts, dreams, visions, statements.  I carry the hearts of so many gifted people.

Totally. In that case, would you mind if I set up an exhibit here?  There are five bloggers who have invited me to guest post or have shared my blog on theirs.  Their art, photos and writing is so beautiful.  As a way to say a heartfelt thank you and let the world know about their work, can I set up an exhibit of links to some of their best creations?

ART GALLERY:  Absolutely.   I’ll keep it here forever.

Okay bloggers reading this post!  Click on each link, and you’ll definitely smile:

1.Linda has invited me to post as a “Guest in Jest” on her site on February 2. Her blog is about “crazy stuff that happens and things that amuse me.” I’m in love with Linda’s skunk photos. Click and scroll up to them here:

https://mainepaperpusher.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/black-white-vs-color-challenge/#comment-5668

2. Da Al invited me to share my post about a kitten I found Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road.  She posts on arts/cooking/dancing/joy/writing/tales and tails.  I have a special place in my heart for a piece she calls “silk hand and eye.” Click and scroll down to it here:

https://happinessbetweentails.com/2016/09/05/art-love/

3.Raili was inspired by one of my posts and shared it on her blog. She’s always “creating magic with words” through poetry, stories, and thoughts about health and well-being. I can’t stop staring at her purple tree photos:

https://soulgifts.com.au/2017/11/24/echoes-of-purple/

4.Elaine did a very kind shout-out to my blog. Elaine paints and writes while “living and following the light.” I especially love her fantasy work. Here’s her display of amazing paintings.

https://elainespaintings.com/

5.Barbara shares every single one of my posts on Facebook. She does incredible paintings and photographs.  The expression in the eyes of every animal she paints blows me away:

https://www.facebook.com/RosenbergMuseumOfArt/

That’s all for now!  Hope you enjoyed the art show!

CONVERSATION WITH…An Older Vampire Overwhelmed By Too Many Choices

In a mall Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I heard a strange moaning sound.  I realized the sound was coming from an older vampire bat flying beside me.  I figured I’d try to help.

revised older vampire

Uh–Vampire?  Got a problem?

OLDER VAMPIRE:  Obviously yes!  I’m in pain! I’m too old to rest in my coffin box!  It’s killing my back!  I need a mattress!

I can understand that. I used to be able to sleep on anything.  But now, my back hurts in the morning if I sleep on a mattress that’s too hard or too flimsy—

OLDER VAMPIRE: Well that’s the whole ridiculous problem. I came here to the mall to buy a mattress to put in my coffin. But there are too many kinds!  I don’t know which one to get!  Why can’t there just be one mattress?

I went through the same thing last year.  I wanted to buy a mattress.  It used to be there were soft, medium and hard mattresses. That was all.

OLDER VAMPIRE. Yes, like with The Three Bears.

Right. Those were the only choices. But now we have—

OLDER VAMPIRE: Mattresses with memory foam! A little foam!  Or a lot of foam!  Or they lift your back up and down with a remote!  Or they have extra coils!  Or no coils!  Or they’re thick!  Or they’re thin!  Or they’re attached to a sofa bed! Aaaaah!  I can’t take it anymore!

I admire you for getting angry about it. 

OLDER VAMPIRE:  The truth is…my anger actually covers up my fear.  What’s happening to me? Is there more to understand in the world?  Or am I just not able to understand as well as I used to?

Maybe it’s a combination.  Sometimes the whole thing embarrasses me.  I’m self conscious about it.  So to cope,  I focus on exactly what I want and reject the other choices, even if a different choice might save me money. That’s one way to deal with it. At least I don’t go insane.

OLDER VAMPIRE: I don’t get out a lot during the day. Is this sort of problem just happening with mattresses?

No, it’s everywhere. Like, I had a new window put in my house recently.  But you can’t just buy a window.  There are types that have extra panes, or picture windows that don’t open, or there are windows that open if you tilt them at a certain angle, there’s another kind of window that opens if you pull it up and down and–

OLDER VAMPIRE: No wonder I’ve been having so much trouble flying into bedrooms.

It doesn’t end there! When I go to the supermarket, there’s low fat yogurt, no fat, 2%, 4%, no sugar, less sugar, Greek, regular–

OLDER VAMPIRE: Alright already! Shut up!  You’re giving me a headache!

Sorry.

OLDER VAMPIRE: So, what should I do about the mattress?  How did you resolve your problem with it?

Well, instead of asking a million questions and trying to understand how every mattress works…I went to a store that offered a special deal.  You can buy a mattress that seems comfortable, but after a month if you don’t like it, you can exchange it for a different mattress in the store.

OLDER VAMPIRE: I like that! I’d like to go with your mattress deal if you don’t mind directing me to that store.

I’d be happy to. Just keep in mind, if you’re thinking of returning the mattress, don’t drip blood on it. They won’t take it back with stains.

OLDER VAMPIRE:  I don’t know if I can pull that off.

Well then, just buy a mattress protector. They sell lots of them in Bed Bath and Beyond.

OLDER VAMPIRE: What do you mean by “lots of them?”

You can buy a simple plastic type—

OLDER VAMPIRE: That’s for me!

But… in your case, you might want to pay extra for one that protects against stains and odors, and you might want the kind that zips all the way around the mattress so it won’t fall off easily, and you might want the kind that…

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CONVERSATION WITH… AN OLDER SPONGE…Wondering If Gratitude Includes Feeling Everyone Else’s Pain

Walking Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I noticed an older sponge crawling in front of me.  He was having a lot of trouble moving, so I offered to lend a hand.

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Sponge?  Need some help?

SPONGE: Yes, thank you. I’m older and I’m on overload.

What do you mean?

SPONGE: Well, I’m on my way back from a high school reunion. Everyone I knew from way back was there.  The dish detergent…the Brillo…the bar of soap… We’re all aging. But some of us are feeling better than others.

It works that way with people, too.  It’s very hard to be part of whatever this phase of life is supposed to be.

SPONGE: It IS very hard!  And my problem is, as a sponge, I absorb it all. I take in everybody’s pain, plus my own, and now it’s weighing me down.  In my older age, I can’t hold in all these feelings without having symptoms.  I can hardly move.  Sometimes it paralyzes me.

I know what you mean.  I’m most grateful to be here.  But when I meet up with someone who has very serious health issues, I take in their feelings. I experience their feelings as mine, too.

SPONGE: Today I saw the plastic bottle of dish soap I grew up with.  She’s almost out of liquid soap. She’s scared.  What will her life be like without the soap? They’ve been together forever. My heart hurts for her.

I know someone who’s so sick he has no fight left in him. He doesn’t want to be here anymore.  I feel his pain even though I can’t quite understand it.

SPONGE: I know a bar of soap like that, too. She’s so thin she’s wasting away. She says being like that isn’t living anymore.  When she speaks that way, I absorb her pain.

But…are we supposed to be experiencing gratitude this way?  Or are we supposed to separate our lives from theirs and live the best way we can at this moment?

SPONGE: Maybe both.

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CONVERSATION WITH…CINDERELLA’S FAIRY GODMOTHER…Holding Onto Her Magic in Older Age   

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I passed an Assisted Living Center. I wondered who might live there.  A ham and cheese sandwich came out and cried, “Welcome! I’m Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother!”  I tried to respond with sensitivity…

HAM AND CHEESE

Uh, actually, I think  you’re a ham and cheese sandwich.  You might be just a tad confused.

FAIRY GODMOTHER:  Ah ha ha.  I can see why you’d say that.  But I AM Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother.  I just had an unfortunate mishap.  I combined two different spells as an experiment and accidentally turned myself into ham and cheese on rye.

Oh. Of course.

FAIRY GODMOTHER: I’m not going to stress over it.  I have my health. That’s what matters.

Well…but…aren’t you going to turn yourself back into a Fairy Godmother?

FAIRY GODMOTHER:  I can’t remember how to do it right now.  I can’t recall which two spells I combined.  I’m having a senior moment.

Sometimes I can’t remember little things, too.  It’s so annoying and upsetting when I can’t recall names of movie actors… or internet passwords…or names of people I went to school with.

FAIRY GODMOTHER: Same here. But I try not to let it interfere with my creative process. I’m still an artistic soul.

I admire that. You know, I’ve been in creative meetings at my job when people realize I’ve already mentioned an idea… but I don’t remember I’ve said it before.  It’s embarrassing. I feel like quitting. I think I’m too old to be there.

FAIRY GODMOTHER: Hogwash. I don’t let that stuff hold me back. It is what it is.  I remind myself I bring a lot to the table.  And other people might not have the same assets I do.

I wish I had your confidence.

FAIRY GODMOTHER: You just have to take a deep breath and remember to look at your whole being. And if you have a shortcoming because of your age, figure out a way to make it work for you.

How?

FAIRY GODMOTHER: Well, for example, if one of my original magic spells is dated, I come up with a replacement that others might not have imagined.

Which one of your spells is dated?

FAIRY GODMOTHER: I’ve noticed not many people want to turn pumpkins into coaches these days. I did that for Cinderella to get to the ball, but now it’s old-fashioned. So instead of feeling like a useless fairy, I let my imagination run wild and created a new spell.  Now I turn microwaves into self-driving limousines.

I’d ride in one of those any day.

FAIRY GODMOTHER: Thank you! Then you’ll like this one!  People don’t want glass slippers with high heels anymore—like the kind I made for Cinderella.  The whole “suffer for beauty” thing is dying out.  So I designed a glass sneaker with memory foam.

Brilliant. 

FAIRY GODMOTHER: Thank you again!  You know, I’d love to talk more, but I have to meet Old Mother Hubbard in the dining room. She’s saving me a seat at her table for dinner.

Okay, sure.  But before you go, if you don’t mind that I’m asking, aren’t you just a little concerned about remaining a ham and cheese sandwich for the rest of your life?  What if you never remember how to turn yourself back?

FAIRY GODMOTHER: I’ve got it covered.  At the stroke of midnight, all my spells end. I always turn back into whatever I was before.

I guess SOME old spells are still the best.

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Blogger friends, I don’t think this is as easy as it seems. How do you hold onto your magic?

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CONVERSATION WITH…THE “F” WORD… As It Speaks Out On Older Age

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, after a rain shower, I watched a cloud pass away.  My mind wandered to a thought about my own life. As I grow older, it’s devastating and frightening when someone I’ve been close to is suddenly no longer here. Even when a celebrity passes on, I feel there’s something missing from life the way I know it.  I started thinking to myself, “Who or what will always be here for me?  Who or what can I count on no matter how old I become?”  Suddenly, I heard a bold voice cry out, “You can find the answer to that question in unexpected places!” I turned around, and there, standing behind me, was the “f” word.  What???

IMG_1757

Uh—you’re the “f” word?  Right?

FUCK: Yup.  It’s okay.  You can say it.  Go ahead.

Fuck.

FUCK: Very good.  And it’s not like you haven’t said it before.

True.  But, how or why can I count on you no matter how old I become?

FUCK: Think about it.  Throughout your life, behind closed doors, when you’ve been incredibly frustrated or extremely upset, what’s the first word that springs from your lips?

Fuck.

FUCK: Exactly!  I’ve always been an immediate form of stress release for you. I should be included on your health plan. I’m freeing!  For a fleeting moment, I make life feel better.  And as long as you can say me, I’ll always be here for you.  I’ll never go away.

I guess that’s comforting in a warped way. Now that I think about it, when I’m angry or very confused, you ARE always there for me. 

FUCK: Of course I am.

I mean, whenever I’m driving and someone cuts in front of me, if I shout, “You freakin’ idiot!” it doesn’t make me feel better. It has be to, “You fuckin’ idiot!”

FUCK: It’s a fit.

Or if I’m running to catch a train and the door slams a split second before I can get on, “Oh darn” just doesn’t work.  It’s gotta be, “Fuck!!!”

FUCK: Totally.

And when my kids were little, if I couldn’t find them and I was terrified, when they finally showed up, there were no better words than, “Where the fuck were you???” Then I could take a deep breath.

FUCK: You got it!

Although…my kids did start to imitate me in front of their friends. I suppose they might have been invited on more playdates if I hadn’t said “fuck.”

FUCK: The world isn’t a perfect place.

Anyway…I thank you. You HAVE always been there for me in a healthy way, and I see now you always will be.  It’s reassuring to recognize this as I grow older and feel more alone.

FUCK: Not many people thank me…

Well, in that case, dearest blogger friends, if you have compliments, examples, or words of praise you’d like to share about the “f” word, please write them in the comment box.  On the other hand, if this post has upset or offended you, I’m really sorry! I know it’s not for everyone, but I felt it was something interesting to think about and–

FUCK: Stop fucking apologizing!

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CONVERSATION WITH…LITTLE BO PEEP…A BITTER EMPTY NESTER

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I noticed a woman with a sheep. Was it possible she was the famous Bo Peep who lost her sheep (from the Nursery Rhyme)?   Had one of her sheep come back? If she was Bo Peep, we had a lot in common! I’m an empty nester, too. I had to check it out…

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Hey there, by any chance, are you Bo Peep? You know, from the rhyme that goes, “Little Bo Peep, lost her sheep, and didn’t know where to find them.  Leave them alone and they’ll come home, wagging their tails behind them?”

BO PEEP: That’s me.  One sheep came back for a quick visit.  I’m smiling on the outside but crying on the inside.

Why?

BO PEEP: Here’s the part they never tell you about when you‘re an empty nester. When your kids come back to visit, you notice they’ve changed. And it hurts.

I get that. My daughter moved far away and when she comes back to visit, I see she’s adapted to her new environment.  She’s not exactly the same person she was when she left. It hurts to see that.  Selfishly, I miss who she used to be.

BO PEEP: Right!  And why do they have to go so far in the first place?  I mean, I raised my two sheep in a beautiful meadow with a sturdy fence so they’d always be safe.  I made sure they had organic grass to eat.  We settled in an area where the weather was perfect—not too hot and not too cold.  There were lots of nice sheep to hang out with. What more could sheep want?

Don’t ask me.

BO PEEP: Obviously it wasn’t good enough for my son sheep.  He whined it was too confining and homogeneous growing up in our meadow. He never wants to live here again.

So where did he move to?

BO PEEP: The African plains. He’s exceptionally fuzzy, so I worry he’ll pass out if he gets too hot. He’s not fenced in, so he wanders around wherever he wants to go—which makes me crazy.  And he’s seriously dating an elephant.

It’s a changing world.

BO PEEP: But it really hurts my feelings. I tried so hard to make a nice home for him.

All this hurts my feelings, too.  On the other hand, I remember when I was in my twenties and moved out of my parents’ house, I was sooo happy!  It was so freeing! I went out and did whatever I wanted whenever I felt like it! And I told my parents I hated where I grew up!  I said it was boring and superficial and I’d never come back.  I must have hurt THEIR feelings.

BO PEEP: Yeah.  Same here.  Before I was Bo Peep with Sheep, I was “Bo Peep with a Jeep.”  I drove that thing all over the world any time of day or night.  My parents never knew where I was. I was a wild woman.

I guess back in those days, we weren’t ready to be the women we are today.  We were…different. 

BO PEEP: And… now that my sheep are living away, I’ve become less active.  I’m quieter and take life a little slower.

Me too.  Maybe when our kids come home to visit, they also notice…we’ve changed.

BO PEEP: And it hurts them.

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­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Hey there dear blogger friends, I’m still struggling with this.  If you’re an empty nester, how do you feel when your kids come back and you notice they’ve changed?  Or if you’re a younger person and have left the home where you grew up, how do you experience your parents when you return for a visit?

 

 

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CONVERSATION WITH…SNOW…STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road it suddenly started snowing!  And then…just as suddenly, it stopped and the sun came out.  I continued strolling through a park and passed a mound of snow.  I smiled and nodded to it.

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Weird weather, right snow?

SNOW MOUND:   Easy for you to say!!

What do you mean? The air is crisp.  It’s a nice day for a walk. The sun is shining brightly and—

SNOW MOUND: The sun is evil!  The sun is cruel!  Look what it’s doing to me!

Oh.  I’m so sorry.  I wasn’t thinking.  That was so insensitive—

SNOW MOUND:  I don’t have the luxury to go for a walk!  Or anywhere else! The sun is overtaking my entire being.  I don’t know how long I’ll be here!  Or what tomorrow will be like!

I don’t know what to say. 

SNOW MOUND: I hear people around me yapping about being empty nesters or dealing with age discrimination or turning gray.  They should just be grateful!

Well-

SNOW MOUND: Why is the sun attacking me?  Why isn’t this happening to you?

Uh—it’s not happening to me at this moment. But maybe someday—

SNOW MOUND:  I’m so angry!!!!!  I’m angry at everything and everybody who has a life!  Look at me!  I’m shriveling! I’m not “me” anymore!  My white curves are turning into a colorless puddle!

Maybe in some strange way the sun is doing its job.  There are cycles all around us.  Maybe this is part of one.  We just don’t recognize it.

SNOW MOUND:  I don’t have the strength to fight anymore…It’s too much of a struggle…

How can I help?  I want to help!!!!

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Moments later, the snow mound was gone.  All that was left was its puddle. But struggling to come up where the mound of snow used to be…was a flower.

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CONVERSATION WITH…The Graying Mona Lisa…Struggling with weight control in her older age

Today I visited the “Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road Museum.” When I entered, the first thing I saw was the Mona Lisa hanging on the wall.  I was shocked to see her there!  So I had to ask…

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Mona Lisa!  What are you doing here?  Aren’t you supposed to be in the Louvre in France?

MONA LISA: Yes.  But I had to get away from the Leonardo Di Vinci branding thing.  I mean, he was a great artist and all, but I’m getting older and I don’t want to be in his shadow till the end of time. The Mona Lisa painting was his creative vision, not mine.  My own creative voice is dying to come out. So I had to separate.

I know exactly what you mean.  I was a professional writer for children for years and years. I loved it, but I made a lot of creative compromises because of the brands I was supposed to be representing.  After a long time, I forgot why I was as a writer.

MONA LISA: I know where you’re coming from.

At some point, I realized I couldn’t think of one more song about the number three.   I had to move on and find a different creative voice within myself.  That’s one reason I’m here, Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road.

MONA LISA: Me too.

So, what’s your creative voice dying to blurt out?

MONA LISA: I’d love to tell the world the true, heartfelt reason I’m half smiling in my portrait.  It’s kind of obvious.

Do tell!

MONA LISA: Well, years ago, on the morning Leonardo was painting my face, it was taking forever.  I sat for hours and hours and hours.  I was starving.  I thought I’d pass out. I soooo needed a lunch break.  So, I started thinking about all the awesome food I’d stuff my face with when we’d finally break for lunch.

Like what?

MONA LISA: Bread, meat, fish, potatoes, tomatoes, kidney beans, Indian corn, chocolate, peanuts, pineapples, red and green peppers, turkeys and tapioca!  And I’d wash it all down with a glass of wine.

Sounds good to me.

MONA LISA: Yup!  The thought of all that food made me start to smile!  But then!  I stopped myself!

Why??

MONA LISA: Because I knew if I ate that feast, I’d put on weight. Quite honestly, I have the worst metabolism in the world.  Whatever I eat, I wear. Immediately.  I was afraid if I sat down and posed for the rest of my portrait, my stomach would stick out to the moon.  Leonardo would have to repaint that section and he’d be so pissed!

I can imagine.

MONA LISA: So I stopped thinking of all that food and didn’t smile.   But a second later, I started thinking of the food again because I was so hungry! I smiled!  Then I stopped!  I smiled! I stopped!

Hence the half smile.  So what did you finally eat for lunch?

MONA LISA: Green peppers and tapioca. I tried to strike a balance.  But here’s the bottom line.  Now, as I’m much older, it seems like no matter what I eat, I put on weight.

You’re not alone.  Years ago, I could go out for a nice, big dinner and the scale wouldn’t show it.  Today, I’ll gain weight from that one stupid meal.

MONA LISA: Me too.  But I’m still a foodie.  I  wrestle with how much I can eat vs. what’s unhealthy every day.  For the most part, I stay in the healthy zone, but it’s always a struggle.

That’s true for so many of us.  I guess it’s a “new normal” that comes with aging.

MONA LISA:  Right. But I’m hoping, from now on, when people look at my portrait, they’ll relate to my ongoing struggle to stay at a healthy weight.  I hope they’ll remember I’m always thinking of tons of food and ways I can modify eating it.  Maybe it will help them, too.

Well…Mona…you’ve already helped ME.

Mona smiles

 

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