I never thought it’s something I’d live to see……I’m not sure whether to be happy or sad

But today it finally happened to me…I turned into my dad.


We are supposed to welcome the good traits…we inherit from our mom dad

But we’re also, there is no debate…expected to overcome the bad.


I loved my father but when I was young…my friends and family would stare

When over at my house they hung…and saw Dad in his underwear.


Dad didn’t seem to notice or care…the chortles and the snorts

As he would walk from here…to there…clad only in his boxer shorts.


Oh, I thank you Dad…is only fair…for all the good traits I received from you

But I promised myself walking around in my underwear…is something I’d never do.


I kept that promise for 66 years…In my underwear I would never stray

I was doing fine…or so it appears…until earlier today.


Deborah, Bryan and I were working hard…in the heat of the Florida sun 

Moving our camper into our side yard…and it was anything but fun.


The camper was not cooperating…our best plans were derailed

as despite some great collaborating…every attempt had failed.


Every muscle in my body ached and I was dirty from my head down to my toes

so I decided to take a little break…go inside and change my clothes.


I’d like to blame it on the heat of the day…as I was totally unaware

until I heard Deborah laugh then say…Jim, you’re in your underwear.


I can’t believe it, I sighed….and I could hear their chortles and snorts

as I quickly rushed back inside to put on a pair of shorts.


When I returned I had to smile…I had become my dad, it’s true


And I stopped to wonder…for a little while…if Dad was smiling too.

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We have a bird feeder on our porch we fill with bird seed every day

We love to watch the different birds visit…the cardinals, the wrens…the jays


But every time we fill the feeder we painfully become aware

how the squirrels also like birdseed…and squirrels don’t like to share.


I’ve tried a myriad of solutions to deter the squirrel attack

but no matter what I’ve done…they just keep coming back.


I tried attaching a rope to the feeder, in through a window next to my favorite chair

I would pull it and make the feeder swing when I saw a squirrel in there.


Little did I know, however, each time I pulled the string

that squirrels not only like to eat…they also like to swing.


I fastened the feeder to a zip line where birds were light enough to dine

but the weight of the heavier squirrel would send it streaming down the line


Yet I found myself dumbfounded…(my frustration I couldn’t hide)

when more squirrels than ever before lined up…awaiting their turn to ride.


I heard squirrels hated hot chili flakes but they would not deter the sparrows

only to find the squirrels partying in the feeder…wearing serapes and sombreros.


Lastly I found a wooden cat and affixed her near the feeder

hoping she would stand guard and become a squirrel impeder.


But she only made it easier…gee I hadn’t I thought of that…

now the squirrels don’t have to jump to the feeder…they just step upon the cat.


So we continue to feed the squirrels by filling the feeder every day

and occasionally when they squirrels are full we see a cardinal, a wren or a jay.


But I am not discouraged…I see this as a problem for the ages…

My next solution, as I watch the squirrel fill his little cheeks


is in the planning stages.

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How we love our Global Positioning System for getting us to a place…and back

but what are we to do…when our GPS attacks?


First of all let me come clean…I admit with my GPS…sometimes I like to play

I’ll miss a turn on purpose…just to see what she will say.


After all it is my Global Positioning System…I am the consumer

Only I didn’t know my GPS didn’t have sense of humor.


The first indication I had that of humor she was bereft

was when in the middle of a bridge one day she advised me to ‘Turn Left’


But that was a few years ago…many times since then…together we have driven

However on our latest trip to the mountains I found I have yet to be forgiven.


I programmed in our route…and things seemed to be going smooth…until…

before we knew it instead of heading north we were heading east to Jacksonville.


I imagine before this happened she probably thought I persecuted her

When….for a fraction of a second…as a joke…I may have muted her.


The next thing I knew we had crossed the state in the completely wrong direction

So I apologized, reprogrammed her and waited for her correction.


And she did correct, at least I think she did…we seemed headed the right way

but some of the roads seemed desolate…one was even made of clay….


I finally had to turn her off…but speaking as the consumer…

I now believe my GPS has a mischievous sense of humor


Because it took us 12 hours to finally arrive at our hotel

on this madcap trip she’d been choreographing

and even though she was turned off…


I swear I could heard her laughing.

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I received it in the mail…a card addressed to me!

I’m to meet some people for a luncheon…and this luncheon will be free!


The food pictures that grace the front of the card are, of course, a masquerade

for directly under these is this question:

Confused about hearing aids?


The luncheon might be free…but it’s hearing aids they’re trying to sell

They are assuming since I’m older now…that I don’t hear as well.


My hearing is just fine, thank you (I’m pretty sure my family agrees)

but I’ve noticed once I reached 65…I get a lot of these.


Emails, cards and letters asking me if I need things…

like an alert system in case I fall…

Am I getting the most from my Medicare?

Do I need to lower my cholesterol?


How is my sex life? Am I depressed? Am I too skinny, too bald, too fat?

not to worry if my correspondences are correct…there’s someone to help with that.


They’re concerned if I am healthy, depressed, their concerned about my heart…

apparently they think, at my age, everything’s falling all apart


I even receive messages asking if I’ve made my funeral arrangements…

or do I need to save

I guess they figure I’m further from the cradle and closer to the grave.


Now I’ve been blessed with good health and a wonderful life…each day is a happy day

So when I get these emails, cards and letters I usually delete them or throw them away…


But lately I’ve been thinking…some of these luncheons I might attend

some of these people I might have to meet….

After all, I am on a fixed income…


and even old and healthy people have to eat.

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I once played high school football…I even wrestled on their mat

but I was never a first class athlete…and I am comfortable with that.


My exploits in both fields will never be well known

but when it came to sports in general…I like to think I held my own.


Which is why when Deborah suggested we go bowling…

when she initially planted the seed

I thought, I’m coordinated enough at 66, and enthusiastically agreed.


And despite the fact we hadn’t been bowling since 1989

I thought, given my confidence and physical ability, I was going to shine.


I know I’m not as strong as I used to be, but after tying up my shoes

most balls were much too heavy…so I chose one the children use.


“Isn’t that ball a little light?” Deborah asked, (what was that a psyche?)

I ignored her veiled rebuke and concentrated on my strike.


My feet were planted, I lined it up and was mystified and appalled

when my first roll of my first frame became a gutter ball.


My confidence was quickly waning

I wondered: Is this what the bowling Gods have wrought?

“I think you want to knock the pins down?” Deborah smirked

as I lined up my second shot.


It seemed my brain and arms were at odds with one another

they weren’t working together at all

and when I rolled my second shot…

another gutter ball.


I improved and was eventually satisfied with my result…

although I found it hard to gauge.

Is it golf or is it bowling where it’s good to score your age?


No matter…I got a little better as each game did unfold

and here is what I learned the more and more we bowled:


I may not be the greatest athlete…no crowds…no adulation

but I still can have a lot of fun…once I accept my limitations.


And when Deborah asked, “Will we be back?” I said, “Of course we would.


We may never be great bowlers…but we make these shoes look good!”

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When we were younger…we prided ourselves in being what we would call hip!

We were hip by our music, by how we danced, even the clothes that we wore.

and as grandma’s and grandpas we still think we’re hip

but we’re told no-one uses that term anymore….


Back then when it came time to watch the Grammys

we knew the words to every song…

we watched as the performers did their singing and dancing

and we danced 

and we sang along…


But as the years have slipped away from us

though we still have our musical hunger

it seems the people doing the singing 

have gotten younger

and younger 

and younger.


So now when it’s time to watch the Grammys

we don’t always feel we belong…

We often can’t understand what it is they are singing

which makes it impossible to sing along.


And if we try to dance like they dance

we don’t feel like hipsters…at all.

In fact the only hip we are feeling

Is the one that we bruise…when we fall!


So now we sit back and relax watching the Grammys

they still put on a wonderful show

and we listen and try as old hipsters

to pick up and use their argot…


So this year we were dope with the clothes they wore on that stage

and dope with the songs that were sung…

though we’re pretty sure dope doesn’t mean the same thing


as it did back when we hipsters were young.

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Sometimes I think the way we view the world is a little antiquarian

for instance we have words to label everyone…from Capricorn to Sagittarian…


Take Deborah and I…we don’t eat meat…we are proudly vegetarian

though occasionally we will eat fish…which makes us pescatarian.


and since we’ve been known to eat a burger…we are most assuredly hypocritarian.

however we do not care what you eat…because we’re not authoritarian.


And though we believe in eating food that is predominantly agrarian

we know it doesn’t matter what you eat…if you are humanitarian.


It doesn’t matter if you are straight or gay…black, white or Hungarian.

If you’re Democrat, Republican, Independent or Libertarian.


It doesn’t matter…if you’re Catholic, Muslim or Sectarian

If you’re a doctor, or a lawyer…a dentist…a Veterinarian… 


It doesn’t matter the type of music you like…rap, pop or opera that’s Wagnerian

or how you like your donut cream…whipped…butter…or Bavarian.


I think it’s time to apologize and end this poem

for I have shamefully become aware…

I can’t remember where I was going with it…

and, I imagine you…no longer care.


But let me end with these two hopes…

that you are not a strict grammarian…

and that we all may someday live…

in a world…




Last year I thought I’d start something new…a new custom…a new tradition…

It never caught on but I’m bringing it back…this year…with a few revisions…


My idea is to celebrate December 26th! 

like Christmas, it’s filled with joy and love and laughter

but has the disadvantage…of arriving one day after.


If not…I’m afraid December 26 is fated to remain unreckoned…

doomed to stand in relative obscurity with its neighbor…January 2nd.


I think it’s time we celebrate those days…days that could have been so great

if they hadn’t been ill-fated…..to show up one day late.


Do you know the name of the first man on the moon?  

Of course…everybody does?

But do you remember the second…Ed Aldrin…his family called him Buzz.


Buzz Aldrin… the second man to emerge from the Lunar Module….

his history forever destined to be blurred…

Just like the groundhog who quietly emerges from his burrow…on February 3rd


Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world…the second is almost as high…

yet K2 remains an afterthought…kind of like the 5th day of July.


Everyone knows Amelia Earhart, her story is one of courage, strength and devotion.

She was the first female pilot to fly by herself…across the Atlantic Ocean.


The second was Geraldine Mock, and at her even more accolades were hurled

for she kept going after crossing the Atlantic…and flew around the world!


Isn’t it funny how life works, for no one could have foreseen

that Geraldine would be a footnote in history…just like the day after Halloween.


But such is the way the calendar unfolds, be it September, October or December

some days, like people, are destined for greatness, while others we hardly remember.


I think it’s time we change all that…and give these days their due

For I believe ‘days after’ deserve their place in history too.


At the very least ‘days after’…I, for one, think you’re great…

If nothing else you’re four times luckier


than February 28!

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We have found some odd items on our morning walks

some things that surprise, that shock and awe…

We’ve found money.  

We once found a man sleeping on the street.

Hey, one morning…I found a bra!


But a funny thing happened yesterday morning

as we were out enjoying the flora and fauna…

there on the sidewalk…directly in front of us

a small packet…of…marijuana.


Deborah posted our find on her Facebook account

‘this will be funny’…at that time we thought

and it was…but it was also amazing

to see all the responses she got.


Now I’ve been writing a poem every day

I’ve been doing this for a few years…

It is my hope that my words will bring laughter to some

and on occasion, perhaps, bring them tears…


But no matter how elegant my phrasing

it is with great sadness I must concede

There has never been more interest in any of my poems 

than there was in that packet of weed.


We heard from many of our friends…

every one had a fun thought to add…

Why we even heard suggestions and comments 

from friends we didn’t know that we had.


Personally I am over my inferiority complex

I have worked through my suffering and pain…

I understand people are less interested in poetry…

and more interested in Mary Jane.


In fact at this moment I’m feeling quite euphoric

I don’t care that my poetry world’s out of whack…

I feel only peace, love and understanding…


and boy…could I go for a snack!

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