Rambling Prose...

Rambling Prose...
.Let's take a walk together.....

Thursday, August 1, 2019


"There is nothing permanent except Change", comes from Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher who who lived some 2500 years ago.  It's even more relevant today, given the many changes we all face.  My life has undergone several significant changes during the past two years, and I felt that my story might help others to cope with the challenges that they have encountered.

About a year ago, I discovered a wonderful website, http://www.seniorcorrespondent.com, which provided a online platform for "seniors" to submit articles for publication.  I had always wanted to be a published author, and this seemed to be an ideal vehicle to accomplish that goal.  

I had celebrated my 78th birthday, and thought a story about folks in their 70's would be of interest to my "underage readers."  My submission was approved and on July 6, 2017 it was published.  

*The reader may wish to read this article about my life back in 2017.  My life was very good...adequate income, a stable residence, and good health.  "Life as a Septuagenarian"   Clip on the URL below. SeniorCorrespondent.com. http://seniorcorrespondent.com

What I didn't understand at the time was that the Universe had some definite plans for me and my wife.  It was getting ready to provide me with plenty of material for the next Chapters in my life.  My life as a satisfied Septuagenarian was about to undergo a complete transformation!

"Chapter 1"  After 20 years of retirement, I learned that my monthly benefit would be cut in half!  I was told that there had been a "clerical error" shortly after I retired, and I had been "overpaid" by thousands of dollars!  While the retirement agency admitted their error, we were still legally required to pay back all of the money.  We sought out legal advice, but after months of negation, the final settlement left my wife and I with only half of my previous retirement income.

"Chapter 2"  The financial bombshell would have been hard enough to deal with...but another shake-up was just around the corner.  We had been leasing a 2 bedroom home for approximately 7 years in a wonderful neighborhood.  Several weeks before Christmas 2017, I received a call from our owner who advised that her brother had a serious condition, and they would have to sell the home.  We had until March 15th to locate and move to another residence.  (Oh boy, more material for that next installment in our life!)

"Chapter 3".  We soon discovered that rentals had doubled during the past 7 years, and with our "new reduced income," we had to move out of the area.  We finally located a bedroom we could afford in Riverside County.  The move was a difficult undertaking.  It was very tiring to both of us.

"Chapter 4".  On the morning of March 12th, Paula and I were enjoying morning tea and planning out our day.  At one point, Paula said that I looked ill, and asked how I was feeling.  I told her I wasn't feeling well, and felt pressure in my chest, and my left arm was some what numb.  That's right!  We both realized that I might be having a heart attack!  She gave me 6 baby aspirins, and then drove me to a nearby Kaiser Urgent Care.  I was seen by a doctor, and he verified that I was having a heart attack.

I was soon admitted to the Kaiser Hospital in Fontana, CA.  I underwent an angiogram that showed I had major blockages in 3 heart arteries, and the next morning I had Triple B-Pass Open Heart Surgery.

The surgery was successful, but my rehab was arduous because staff failed to take me off of a specific medicine that caused my blood sugar levels to "crash" multiple times.  As a result, I came very close to dying.  Weeks later another doctor discovered the error, took me off of the med, and I immediately began to get better.  My physical health has continued to improve.

"Chapter 5".  So...our life has undergone shocks that turned our lives upside down.  My initial reaction was one of anger and disbelief.  Why had these things happened in the way they did?  Had we somehow created an environment that caused these changes?  What could we have done differently?  Are there Lessons that will help us to better understand the Changes we have faced?  And, perhaps, are there Gifts we have received unwittingly from these experiences?  My answers to some of these questions are below in the Epilogue!

"The Epilogue".  Taking a serious look at Chapter 1...where our monthly retirement was cut in half...I was certainly challenged, at first, in seeing any Lessons or Gifts. 

Viewed from the perspective of today, the Lesson is apparent.  It is not true that financial decisions are best handled by professionals.  I had assumed that the Retirement agency would monitor my account, and after receiving the same benefit amount for 20 years, what could go wrong?  The Lesson:  Don't assume that others are carefully watching over your money.  We later learned that the agency had not audited our account since I retired in 1997!

Was there a Gift in this situation?  After some thought, yes there was.  If we had not contacted the Retirement agency on that fateful day in August 2017, the clerical error would not have been discovered until my demise.  Paula, my beneficiary, would have had to pay back the over payment on her own!  

Chapters 2 and 3...our move from San Diego, and relocation to Riverside County...was yet another series of events that proved very difficult.  We had lived in the same house , resided in the same neighborhood, and developed friendships, for the past 7 years.  We ended up moving to a very different community where we had no prior contacts.  We were essentially starting over!  

The Lesson that we learned was to remember that we had moved fairly often in the past.  We knew the "drill" regarding moving, creating a home, and meeting new people.  We had survived all of those moves, and we could do it again.  

There have been several Gifts.  We moved into a 50+ here our monthly rent is several hundred dollars less than we were paying in San Diego.  It has a community swimming pool, and ongoing activities.  It's a smaller 2 bedroom, but newer and located in a lake-side development.  We are meeting new friends, attending a great church, and live near medical facilities and shopping.

"Chapter 4".  On March 12, 2018 I had a Heart Attack.  Four days later I underwent Triple Bi-Pass Surgery.  My initial response was I couldn't imagine anything positive about my situation.  As my weeks of recovery went by, I began to understand the Lessons and Gifts from this experience.

The main Lessons for me were the necessity of taking better care of my health and changing my lifestyle.  During this past year I've changed my diet by eating less meat and more plant-based meals.  There has been a radical change in my use of alcohol...I only occasionally drink a glass of wine.  I walk several times each week.  I try to live each day to its fullest.

Perhaps the greatest Gift was the realization that the heart attack led to life-saving surgery that would not have taken place in the normal course of events.  Neither my doctor or myself realized that I had such a significant blockage of my heart.  Thus, the surgery has improved the functioning of my heart, and added years to my Life!  

I've spent many hours thinking of the Lessons and Gifts, consciously forgiving the people and events that brought us to this point, and putting aside the resentment that continues to abate.  My spiritual life within Religious Science, and its teachings have helped me to move on, and focus on the future.  Although some days are a real challenge for me, there are more and more days that I feel peaceful and happy with my Life.  And, most importantly, my wife, Paula, has been a strength and guide for both of us.  Her care and love for me have indeed saved my Life.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


WEBSTER College Dictionary defines "Septuagenarian" as..."one who is between the ages of 70 and 80..."  Well that's me! 

 I don't quite look like the cartoon ....no beard, don't smoke, no typewriter, and no cats!  However, we might be getting a small dog soon. 

 About a month ago I celebrated my 78th birthday with my young wife in attendance, and quietly gave thanks for making it this far.  I'm certain that she had much to do with this accomplishment, given her eternal optimism and her abiding belief that everything is "going to turn up roses".  She is one of the most positive women I've had the pleasure to know!

So...what is life like as a Septuagenarian?  All things considered, my life is rather good.

I'm married to a wonderful women.  

We are both in good health for our ages.

Our income is adequate for our needs.  

We have very little debt.  

We reside in a nice home in a good neighborhood.

We live close to our "adult children" and grandchildren.  

We have a close circle of friends.

Now...I wouldn't want you to get the impression that we are living in a"Ozzie & Harriet" TV lifestyle.  We have challenges like any other couple.  But we are quite similar in core beliefs regarding religion (spirituality), politics, family values, life goals, etc.  We both believe that we are "soul mates" who were destined to be together in this life time.  

My everyday life at 78 isn't much different than my life at say...74 or 75.  I'm an early riser as before, but I'm not exactly bounding out of bed.  I've found that moving a little slower, stretching my body, and rubbing my muscles...especially the legs...makes for a better morning.                      

 cropped-dscn2000.jpgMy routine is quite predictable.  I slip into my "uniform of the day"..Wrangler jeans and a t-shirt...; brush my teeth; splash on some after shave to wake up my face; and head to the kitchen.  My wife is usually up before me and has the teapot water boiling and my green tea set to go.  After a morning hug and a brief exchange, she's off to her home office to begin her day, and I'm in front of my computer...checking out the weather report, a look at our calendar, a check of my emails, writing my "Morning Pages", jot down a few lines in my blog, and then I'm off surfing the Internet.

 My pattern is to check out general news first...Huff Post, Google News, Twitter, New York Times, L A Times, and spectrum Live TV.  I then branch out covering politics, local news, the environment, health news, and several "activist" sites.   Every 15 minutes I'll take a break...stretch, walk around, fix a morning snack, and rest my eyes.  I'll post some articles on Facebook and Twitter, respond to emails, and make every attempt to limit my surfing to 2 hours.  (Sometimes it works..)

While keeping informed is a serious component of my life, staying healthy is equally important.  Walking and working out at the fitness center has been a "on again, off again" routine for the past few years.  But right now, I'm stuck in the "off" mode and need to just get out there walking and going at least 2 days at the fitness center.  I really do enjoy walking around the neighborhood, but working out on the machines is less exciting.  I wish I could recapture my days of running Marathons and 10 K's during the 1980's, but that will just have to be a pleasant memory.    (My own words have inspired me....going out for a walk right now!)  



My life...especially during the past 15 years... has changed in many different ways.  It's been a metamorphosis, a bit of a "shake up" at times, it has evolved slowly, parts have been renewed, others left behind, a Left turn here, and a Right shift soon after, a passage from one form, state or stage to another, a belief no longer held, an experience that challenged my view about many things, and a change that didn't change a thing!

Back in 2001-2002, life seemed simple and less complicated until "9-11" happen and several weeks later I was hospitalized and under went a procedure to correct my Atrial Fibrillation.   (Knock on wood....no further Fibs in all these years!)  

 The Things that were important to me then at the beginning of a new Millenium  seemed almost unattainable.

To live an Abundant life...

Enjoy good times with my wife, family and friends...

Stay active and enjoy good health... 

Travel the World...

To engage in Life-Long Learning...

Be the Change I want to see in the World...                        

and Live everyday to its fullest...             

And yet, many of these goals have been realized.


While we are not exactly living an opulent life, money is less important to me now.  We've reduced our overall debt, and don't need to buy "stuff" and join the ranks of conspicuous consumers.  Our 2005 and 2006 cars are just fine, and we aren't burdened with monthly payments. Renting at our age makes a lot more sense than taking on another mortgage. One credit card is sufficient for our needs  I can't recall when I last wore my one suit.  

After our return to San Diego in 2011, following  a 6 year "sabbatical" in Prescott, Arizona, we returned to be closer to our extended family.   They are now living in Los Angeles and San Diego County, and we see them all on a fairly regular basis.  As of this writing, we have 3 grandchildren....a 16 year old granddaughter; a 9 year old grandson; and a 8 year old grandson;.... and another boy due to arrive on or around August 19th.  We are blessed.  

Since our return to California, we have renewed old friendships and established new ones.  These relationships have assumed greater importance as the years go by, and are the building blocks that have created life-long memories.

As mentioned earlier in this post, Paula and I are in reasonably good health, and stay fit by a combination of walking, working out at the local fitness center, and for her, going to Yoga classes 2-3 times a week.

Travel is one area that has frustrated us.  The type of world travel we are seeking is quite expensive.  A River cruise through Europe, a visit to Great Britain and Ireland, South America, a Caribbean cruise, China and the Far East are all on our wish list.  For now, we will have to limit our travel to the good 'ole USA, and specific trips in Canada and Mexico.   travel1 




Learning...reading, taking classes, exploring new ideas...has been a life long pursuit.  My "bucket list" includes a goal to read the top 100 Classics before I leave this planet.  (All those other books will have to wait for the Next Life! )  Which reminds me.....lately my learning has been more Spiritual and Metaphysical rather than traditional.  I've been especially attracted to Eastern faiths like Buddhism and Taoism.  The writings of Lao-tzu ...(The Tao Te Ching)...have been especially important in adding valuable content to my life-long learning.  Old_Philosopher_by_Intervain

Since about 1980 I've been involved in Religious Science and the Unity Church.  My education has never stopped.  My questioning has increased with time.  My beliefs keep on being challenged.   Politics occupies a great deal of my thinking, especially since the recent  election of Donald Trump.  I've become a rather ardent activist in resisting his reactionary agenda! 16427578_10209575677481045_2070261803907700098_n Civil Disobdence





The balance of my life will be devoted to living up...as best I can... to the last two "subjects that are important to me".... 

  inspirational-life-quoteTo be the Change that I want to see in the World, and, to Live Everyday to its Fullest!


 So...at my "advanced" age, I am being the change that I want to see in the World, by supporting causes such as being an Activist for Climate Change, involving myself in issues that advance "Progressive" political and social programs, standing for Immigration Reform, marching for Peace, endorsing diversity in Race, religion, sexual orientation, gender issues, election reform, and free public education through college.  (I'm sure I have left out other important matters that will be addressed in future posts.)  My focus in the coming years will be less about political parties and candidates, and more about great issues.  However, I will allow myself to speak about our current (since Nov 2016) political landscape, and my "resistance to the current occupant in the White House!  I'll devote several posts to that.  


                                                                                                                                        To live Everyday to it's fullest has been a challenge for me.  


All my life I've been so damn goal orientated...chasing after Fame and Money...and in the process, missing out on the essence of Life.  While I had more than enough goals, I really didn't have a Purpose in Life.  But after some serious thought...especially during the past 10 years... as the saying goes, I may have learned a thing or two.  Life has taught me some important lessons:

Money wouldn't bring me happiness; Memories are priceless; Relationships are so very important; and a Simple Life was a better life, at least for me!  

At this point in my life, I've decided on my Purpose, which is always subject to change (Of course...).  While it is somewhat imprecise, it is still meaningful to me.  Several years ago, I discovered this Purpose while reading a biography on Robert F. Kennedy.  His quote:  "THE PURPOSE OF LIFE IS TO CONTRIBUTE...IN SOME WAY...TO MAKING THINGS BETTER!"   What I like about this Purpose is its inherent flexibility in allowing me to create without limitations.    

Well, I hope my Ramblings haven't been confusing, and your leaving with a more accurate understanding of how "this Septuagenarian" lives his life.  This has been my first post in this new edition of my blog...Rambling Prose   There will be others to follow, covering a variety of subjects.  I hope that you will take the time to make comments....positive or negative ones.  

Until next time....                   

Working hard at Semi-Retirement! I'm Larry, with a "Seasoned View of Life."

Monday, November 4, 2013


  This is my fourth post in the series: 
    What Do I Believe Now?


My title was inspired by a saying from Mahatma Gandhi:  
"There is no way to Peace.  Peace is the Way!" 

 Deepak Chopra, the bestselling spiritual author, was inspired by Gandhi's saying, and in 2005 he wrote the book "Peace Is The Way...Bringing War and Violence to an End."  Both Gandhi and Chopra have influenced my thinking regarding this subject, along with many others such as The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Wayne Dyer,etc., and interestingly, Carl Sandburg who once wrote..."Someday there will be a war and no one will come!"

  My father had made the military a "career"...first as a solider in World War II, and later enlisting in the United States Air Force in 1947, and eventually retiring as a Chief Master Sargent in 1965.
I served in the USAF from 1958 to 1962, received an Honorable Discharge, and finished my BA and MA on the "GI Bill of Rights."
Dad was certainly not a "war hawk", and my politics back then were decidedly moderate.  

It wasn't until later in life that my beliefs about peace and the futility of war evolved.  While I believed that World War II was "necessary"for the protection of our country, wars and major military operations since that time have "generally"not been justified. 

The Korean Conflict (1950-'53), Bay of Pigs invasion (Cuba 1961), Vietnam War (1961-'73), invasions of the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama (1965-1989),  the Gulf Wars of 1991, military actions in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo (1993-1999), Iraq (2003-2010  ) and Afghanistan (2001 to the present), have been bloodstained chronicles of American history that many of us would like to forget. Over seven decades of wars and military actions have had an adverse affect on our national psyche, and lead to the extermination of millions of people.

The Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War were waged in order to "stop the spread of Communism.  Korea was the first armed conflict of the "Cold War," and essentially ended in a draw.

Vietnam was the longest conflict the U.S ever fought (until Afghanistan), and the first war lost by the United States.  Popular opposition to the war had much to do with its ending in 1973. 

Invasions of the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama...and later, Somalia and Haiti, were "justified" as necessary to protect America "interests" by over-throwing the current governments and replacing them with one "friendly to the United States."

The Gulf War actions were ostensibly to protect Kuwait from an invasion by Iraq, but most historians acknowledge that we were primarily protecting our oil interests.

U.S. and NATO air strikes on Bosnia in 1994-'95 were carried out to prevent "ethnic cleansing".  And in 1999, U.S.-led NATO units bombed Serbian forces in Kosovo, who were killing the ethnic Albanian population.  ( These two actions by the United States and NATO were justified under the circumstances.)

America invaded Afghanistan in 2001.  It was justified as we believed the Taliban government was harboring Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terrorist group that was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the United States.  We never found bin Laden (but killed him later in Pakistan), and the al-Qaeda groups dispersed to other areas of the world.  We are still fighting in Afghanistan as I write this blog.  A majority of Americans feel that we should have withdrawn our forces years ago.  People continue to die everyday!

America invaded Iraq in March 2003, and we were told by the George Bush administration that Saddam Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction", and he was a current threat to the United States.  Both of these statements were lies!  American troops withdrew from Iraq on August 18, 2010.  American troop deaths: over 4,500; wounded: in excess of 32,000!  The Iraq war was unnecessary and costly.  "Faulty intelligence manipulated for ideological reasons..."produced this horrible outcome!

All of these military conflicts, with few exceptions, have accomplished little or nothing of real substance.  

Korea:  Since 1953, American troops have been helping the South Koreans, deter aggression from Communist North Korea.

Vietnam:  After loosing this war to North Vietnam in 1973, we are now trading partners with them and Vietnam has been unified as a Communist nation.

Gulf Wars:  Were inconclusive, and eventually lead to the Iraq War in 2003.

Afghanistan:  The longest war in American history appears to be coming to an end.  However, as before the war, the Taliban will undoubtedly run the government once U.S. and allied forces leave in 2014.

Iraq:  The U.S. was forced to leave the country in 2010.  By most accounts, Iraq's fragile government can't govern their nation, and incidents of violence occur daily.

So I return to my original premise....War Achieves Nothing!  

History is replete with facts that back up this truism.  However, you need to read accounts that are unbiased, not censored, and not edited by writers interested in slanting or reinterpreting history.  

Wars have interesting endings.  Once, not long ago, we were told that the Germans, Italians, and Japanese were our enemies. Now they are all our friends.  (Governments had to make them our enemies so we would kill them!)  Communism was evil and the Cold War was a nuclear game of "chicken" between us and the USSR.  The Berlin Wall came down along with the myth that Communism was the wave of the future.  Now the Russians are "almost" friends, we trade with Vietnam, the Chinese are undergoing a "capitalist make-over",and some day, off in the future, the Middle Eastern countries will not hate us...as they do today! (Just even money on this bet for now!)

Is Peace the Way?  For me, and increasing numbers of people in the World. the only answer is Peace!  Most of us have come to realize that wars don't resolve the underlying issues that cause governments to fight other nations.  Diplomacy should be the first step, not the last!  

Till next time....


Friday, August 9, 2013


In this current series of posts, I'm continuing with What Do I Believe Now?


 As I look back over my Life, I'm trying to recall when I first had this belief.  Was it all the times that my parents told me they loved me? (Did I assume that all people were good like them?)  Was it when I felt protected and secure in my family?  (Were not most families like mine?.)  Was it the innocence of my childhood, surrounded by good friends?  (With friends like that, people must be the same.)  Was it during my early school days, when each day was generally a pleasant memory?  (Life was so simple and wonderful back then.)  All of these experiences probably laid the foundation for my belief that people are good.  

For those of you who had to overcome challenges in a less than perfect childhood, you probably believe that my early life was idyllic.  It probably was in some ways.  But I don't believe it was unique.  Growing up in the late 40's and early 50's in Orange County, California....before the crowds, the smog, gangs, urban sprawl, and the drug culture....was almost a fabled existence!  (While my father was fighting in World War II, my mother and I lived with my grandparents in Santa Ana.  When he was discharged, we moved to Newport Beach.  How bad is that for a 8 year old boy....sun filled days, barefoot, and always swimming.  Life was truly a Beach!)

But, back to the subject.  Like all of us, life has thrown me some challenges.  But through it all, my belief in the goodness of people hasn't been diminished.  A 30 year career as a Probation Officer, working with juveniles and felons, hasn't changed my mind.  During my life time.... World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, The Gulf Wars, Iraq, and now Afghanistan...with all of their horror, inhumanity, and suffering, have not altered my view of people.  Read the history of these conflicts, and you'll find numerous incidents of kindness, even between the combatants.  People, with rare exceptions,  are not "wired" to kill.   

Examples of the basic goodness of people abound.  Every day, whether on the internet, TV, newspapers, or through personal experience, we can find accounts that support this belief.  Sometimes it takes a little extra effort to ignore all the "negative stuff,"and seek out the "good news."  I find that I read the good if I expect to find it!  (Like everything else, it's your attitude.)

I'm sure that by now you are convinced that I'm a "pollyanna."  No I'm not....I am an optimist!  It is a lot easier than being pessimistic or cynical.  While I'm far from perfect, I do try to "walk what I talk."  ( I'm not quite batting 500 yet.)


Well...I hope I've persuaded a few of you that People Are Basically Good.  If I've changed one mind, that fulfills my Purpose in Life:  To contribute...in some way...to making things better!

Looking forward to your comments about this post, or anything that's on your mind.

Let's have a conversation....