Thursday, December 28, 2023


I don't know exactly  when it happened - when Christmas stopped being fun - but it was a very long time ago.  It was about that time - that time when custom and hormones blended together to completely addle my brain into thinking that even at such a tender age I was ready to make life choices that were thought to last a lifetime.  It was that time when young boys and young girls had come into their "season" and suddenly they were certain that no one else had ever felt this way.  That's the time I'm talking about.

Fast forward several years and Christmas rolls around again and I said, "What do you want for Christmas?"  "Oh, I don't know…Surprise me."  This from a woman who had already purchased gifts months ago, wrapped them and stored them in top of the hall closet with the warning: STAY OUT!  While I, on the other hand, had just become aware of this urgency that was presently turning my guts into jelly.

So without any help and very little money, I headed down to 3rd Street ( this was before malls when all the good stores were down town where the banks and "picture shows" were ).  

I stopped to look at a clock in a jewelry store window.  Now, I think that would be the ticket - I thought.  My guts were in a turmoil.  The clock was busy with delicate romantic figures and designs with two angels on top - it was all molded glass or ceramic material.  The man who was helping me said it was made in Austria.  Austria?  I asked. He also added that since it was so late - Christmas Eve to be exact - he marked it down from #49.95 to $29.95.  I had $35 and change.  These were 1949 dollars.  I said, "Wrap it up".  He assured me that I had done well.  That actually helped, as I recall.

She loved it.  I should have learned something from all this but I did not.  The angels broke off within the first year and I glued them back on.  She loved that clock for decades.  She loved filigree and romance.  That clock had it all.

Sunday, December 17, 2023


A common theme among my friends, most of whom are well into their AARP years, is what seems like an epidemic of dementia and Alzheimers.  My own partner in life, Carol Ann, is deep into what seems a  hopeless decline into oblivion.  I don't know a better way to express it.  Everyone I speak to brings up their own experience, someone of their own family or close circle of friends who has succumbed to the ravages of dementia.  The disease is so powerful in its ability to defy reason and articulate hopelessness.  

This will be the first Christmas in our twenty seven years together that we won't be able to honor the myth with a tree that for many years was cut down and dragged into the house by our own hands.  Boxes of ornaments and holiday memorabilia would be dragged down from the attic and as each ornament was placed on the tree one of us would recite its epochal provenance.

I thought it would never end.  But of course I knew it would.   It's just that these latter years go by so quickly.  Thank you for being there.

Be well.  Stay safe and stay tuned.

                                All my love - - -   Jerry


Thursday, December 7, 2023


My friend, Margret Bell posted somewhere, "I can't explain this with science but the cup you drink your coffee out of matters." So simple and direct but so obviously true.

Margret - you nailed it. It does matter.

For as long as I can remember I have preferred my coffee in a tall rather than wide cup. It's my experience that coffee stays hotter longer in the taller, cylindrical cup. The wider cup exposes more surface area from which heat can escape. Makes sense to me and I expect Einstein as well.

My cup measures 4 and 3/16ths tall and 3 and 1/8th wide with a slight flare on the rim. The handle has a little bump in the top curve that is just right for the thumb to rest on. The sides of the cup are straight. No bulges.

I like a China cup. The one I am using now is made in England. It's bone China. I'm not clear as to where the bones come into the plan but there it is written on the bottom of the cup. Many of the cups that I use are actually made in China. I can't tell the difference. This style of cup seams to be a standard mold pattern in the China cup industry.

I'm not particularly picky about any art work on the cup but I do seem to lean toward flowers. I do not favor cute aphorisms on my cups. I do a fair amount of thinking as I sip from my cups, but I like freestyle thinking not pre-programmed one-liners by some back office poet in waiting, And just to be clear, I don't care for those thick road house mugs that seem endemic to the roadside café. Their only virtue is indestructibility.

I'm always on the lookout for another cup. Mostly, I have found them at TJ-Max. Carol Ann and I would look at each other some cold gray November morning and think, "What are we thinking? Why sit here waiting for a blizzard when we could go see if the stock has rolled over at TJ-Max.

Friday, November 3, 2023


There isn't much you need to do to be old - just show up.  I understand that there are many impediments to aging, such as disease, accident or being the star in the ultimate reality show: the hideously popular Mass Shooting.  Many people think that in spite of eating your greens and regular exercise the smart money is on pure luck.  At least that's what my doctor tells me and she's not smiling.

Previously, I have mentioned my several falls, all of which, as I think about it, were completely unexpected - even shocking.  In other words, likely to happen again with potentially dire outcomes.  About a year and a half ago I smashed the radius on my right arm while doing nothing more dangerous than turning around in the kitchen.  More recently I knocked the hide off my head and a few other places in a majorly bloody episode while on a neighborhood walk.  For no apparent reason I am careening toward the pavement and I'm like: WTF!   Something is going on and that something needs to be addressed.

Children learn and sing . . . 

Walk around the circle
Walk around the circle
Walking walking
We all fall down

Remember those years when falling was fun - you just tucked your head and rolled up and kept running and falling all over again.

At what point - can you remember - at what point did it begin to frighten you?  Don't worry if you don't yet worry about falling.  I'm in my tenth decade and I only just began to be concerned.  You have time.  (Wink Wink)

Of course, I'm cultivating a working relationship with the neighborhood neurologist.  Here's what he said: Get a walker,  He gave me a prescription for one.  I'm thinking, Won't that make me look old and feeble?  For the time being I put that thought aside.  Which leads me to the next topic -


I know this because I have a birthday this month.  Many of my favorite friends are November babies.  My father, John Murdock Henderson was 125 on the first.  Happy birthday, Dad.


Friday, August 11, 2023


Did you read about this woman over in Silsbe, Texas who was out in her yard doing yard work when, out of the clear blue, a snake falls on her and wraps itself around her right arm. Did you hear what I said? This snake fell from the sky and wrapped itself around her right arm! Just imagine - she is dancing around like a chicken wirh its head chopped off. She's desperately trying to disengage from this serpent. If only Eve had made such an effort we'd very likely have a whole other ball game.

But wait! I'm not done. While this demon from the sky was tightening its grip on her arm and striking at her glasses this woman is not standing still. She is making moves that would have impressed the judges on Dancing With The Stars. Just then this huge hawk dives on the flailing reptile wrapped arm and began clawing and pecking at the snake obviously trying to retrieve his lunch that was, just as obviously dropped from on high. Viciously tearing at the four foot long snake with it's curved beak and deadly talons, the hawk, showing little concern over whose flesh it was ripping and tearing, finally freed the snake from the woman's arm and flew off to his pick-nick site in the woods.

The good news is that the woman's injuries were serious but not deadly. She will be some time recuperating. The less than good news is she will never trust anything that moves in the grass, along with a few other things. I'm guessing she will also add an overhead inspection to her outdoor activities from now on. It couldn't hurt, what with global warming and all.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023


It is widely known - just kidding - that I have been trying to figure out how to meet people and  make friends in my new home here in Texas. You know other than at the doctor's office.  Those people are OK, friendly enough and reasonably well educated.  Often someone will actually remember your name.  That's a nice perk.  It feels good.

Old friends - most of whom live a million miles away - offer welcomed advise such as, go to church.  OK, I'm rolling on the floor laughing my ass off over that one.  I have an advanced degree in church - too much baggage.  I know that there are several top tier brands to choose from but it seems rather dishonest since I pretty much reject the primary directive of religion that there is a god who loves me and will intervene on my behalf when called upon.  Yeah but, I am told, they all have a robust social component and fairly decent grub.  Not much booze, however.  I know the Catholics share their booze but he guy in the dress won't let go of the cup.  I'm gussing that the staff gather afterwards for their own sharing session and finish off the jug.  I mean, I'm just guessing here.  No question, though, a full bar would definitely elevate the quality of the service.

Another suggestion is that I find somewhere to volunteer.  That has a ring of authenticity about it.  And it touches the need to serve.  So I checked a couple of places and was informed that there was no current need.  Here, fill this form out and should a need pop up we'll call.  I have a secret confession to make.  I don't want to volunteer.  I really wish that was not there.  But . . . there it is.

I was talking to a sort of step-niece of mine Sunday and she told me about a web site called "".  As the word suggests it's a place where likeminded people meet up.  You can pick from a list of groups covering all kinds of interests.  There are also virtual groups that use Zoom and other mechanisms to talk and actually see each other.  This sounded like a winner.  So I joined two: a book club and a discussion group.  The book club is reading what seems to be of the fantasy genre, so I'll pass.  I had already checked out the local library and in September they will offer a book club.  i'm hopeful.  The library is really great.

The other group I joined is a philosophy and conversation group.  That really rang a bell for me.  The first meeting is next Monday and the questioin is "is it really possible to be an entirely self made person?"   What gives me hope is that this group meets in a brew pub.  I've already put it into my GPS.

In case you're wondering, I am lightyears away from being self made.  But wait a minute - who else can be blamed for what I am?