SYW: On Soulmates, Aromas, Being Older, and Sharing

Although it is a holiday in the U.S. today, that didn’t stop Melanie from putting out her weekly questions for Share Your World!

QUESTIONS

Do you believe in soul-mates?  (my definition of ‘soul mate’ is the IDEAL partner romantically).
I agree with Melanie that a “soulmate” is the ideal partner, whether you ever meet that person or not. I know some couples who say they are “soulmates” – often those who have waited a long time and had other partners. I love my husband, but I do not consider him my “soulmate.” He is not my “ideal” romantic partner, but perhaps I was not destined to find whoever that might have been. I’m OK with that. However, he supports me in so many ways, including putting up with my ADHD-related defects, and says I do the same for him, so I did marry someone who I could spend the rest of my life with.

What are three scents you like?
Brewing coffee (although I can no longer drink it), chocolate, and the smell of grass & dirt after it rains.

What are some things that you might be considered too old to do, but that you enjoy?
There are 2 ways of approaching this question: either people in general think I am too old to do it, but I do it anyway; or things I used to enjoy doing but no can longer do. If the former, I would say it is the type of clothes I wear. If the latter, being able to drink coffee with no adverse effects. Also, being able to do regular yoga and long-distance walking or hiking. I can no longer hike on paths that have a lot of boulders or stairs, but I still walk as much as possible. I consider it better than bike riding, because I can enjoy the small things in nature that I wouldn’t be able to notice while riding a bike. Also, my balance isn’t so good anymore, which explains my inability to do a lot of yoga postures that are on the ground, or “flow” up and down. I used to be very flexible. Maybe I am still considered flexible for my age, I don’t know. Whatever the case, I am trying to stay as fit as possible, because as a senior citizen, if I don’t exercise, I will soon lose my ability to do so.

Living in a senior community, I am amazed at the range of physical abilities of older people. I know many people older than myself that are much more fit than I am. That is a motivation for me to try to get better fit. I still want to travel the world, without worrying about physical handicaps that would interfere with that.

What is one food you absolutely refuse to share?
Most chocolate desserts – I allow my husband to take a bite, but that’s all!

GRATITUDE SECTION (as always, optional)

Please feel free to share something positive!    

SYW: On Being Better, Love, Memories, Death & the Composition of a Baseball

A new set of questions this week from Melanie’s Share Your World!

QUESTIONS    (Going DEEP on these today)

Are human beings required to better themselves and will doing that make them happier?
Required? No, no one is required to do anything in their life, but it’s better that they achieve their potential, which will be a contribution to our society and human existence in general. I think if a person works hard to achieve something, or meets a goal, (s)he will be happy with what was achieved; so collectively, people who strive to be the best they can be will be happier and more confident in themselves.

Is it easier to love or to be loved?
Depends on who is doing the loving! If one who loves another is always having to give, give, give and the other gives little in return, that can’t be an easy emotion to deal with. Love ultimately requires work, while being loved requires nothing. So being loved is easier, but both are needed.

Outside traumatic brain injury, can memories be completely erased?
I don’t know. I do know it’s possible to “block” traumatic events in one’s life – such as a history of child abuse. A person may block such memories for self-preservation and to forget those terrible events to be relieved of suffering, having nightmares, etc. But I guess these memories aren’t really “erased” – a good psychotherapist may succeed in bringing a patient’s blocked memories to consciousness in order to confront them to aid in healing.

Is there such a thing as a good death?
Sometimes. If a person has been suffering a lot or has no quality of life, or “alive” due to machines but in a vegetative state…then yes, their death could be considered “good” because it alleviates their suffering. When my mother was suffering from dementia and could no longer really communicate – and she was a person who loved being sociable, to talk on a variety of subjects, reading and writing – I used to pray for God to allow her life to end.

Perhaps we can also say that a human monster (like Hitler) who has caused terrible suffering and death of innocents, also had a “good death,” in that the world is better off without him!

Or perhaps a “good” death is simply death free of pain and prolonged suffering – such as dying in one’s sleep or very suddenly with no pain involved.

Anyone’s idea of a “good death” is really subjective.

and one ‘silly’ one because the former questions were fairly serious:   What do you imagine is inside a baseball? 
Some stuffing – cotton, or fibers of some kind. Maybe a ball of string? I’ve never thought about it before.  But your question made me curious, so I looked it up.

GRATITUDE SECTION

Feel free to share something uplifting this week!  

LAPC: Keep Walking

Lens-Artists’ Photo Challenge #163 invites us to share photos of our walking trails and discoveries!

We used to hike much more than we do now. Even so, when we are traveling and there is an opportunity to take a walking tour, we take advantage of it! Also, we go on day trips in the Chicago area, to a variety of places to find something artistic or unusual.

On our first day in Tanzania, we spent the morning on a genuine hike! This ficus tree captured my interest.

On that same hike, our guide stopped to pick up something off the ground – a giraffe turd! Holding it in his open palm, he told us it was the turd of a male giraffe, because of its somewhat football shape. Female giraffe turds are flat on each end! Several of our group of hikers crowded around to get a close-up of this unusual find! The guide patiently waited, while with his other hand he looked at something on his cellphone!

Where there is giraffe poop, you can be sure there are giraffes nearby! This one walked nonchalantly away from us – since it was also a male giraffe, I wonder if his was the deposit we had been examining!

Later during that trip, on the day we arrived at Serengeti National Park, another hike had been arranged! I love to walk because that is when I see the small things that would be missed on a bike or traveling in a vehicle! I took photos of these three small things on that hike.

giraffe footprint
Scorpion flower
Dung beetles roll dung into balls, then dig a depression in the earth and push the dung ball into it. The dung beetles lay their eggs in it.

Most of my walks are short treks either around campus or somewhere else in town. On campus one day, which happened to be my birthday, Dale and I were taking our usual walk around campus, when we came upon two other residents who were walking their dogs and had stopped to chat (while social distancing!). It’s common for residents to greet each other or chat on these walks, but before long, someone says, “Well, I need to keep walking” and they go their separate ways.

During the pandemic, we’ve taken day trips to far-flung suburbs and nature reserves.

Dale stops on a wooden bridge over a marsh at Cuba Marsh Forest Preserve.
Reflections in a lagoon – Cuba Marsh

Some of my favorite walks are in sculpture parks! Our walk at Morton Arboretum, which happened to be on my birthday this year, was in search of a new installation of sculptures by a South African artist.

Dale approaches the first sculpture, called “Hallow,” at Morton Arboretum
We did not stop to rest on this bench, although the scene was inviting.
The last sculpture, “Basilica,” of the installation that we visited. The artist of these beautiful sculptures is behind the left hand. It was cool to be able to meet and chat with him a little! I don’t know who the little girl was – she just happened to get in my picture!

Last Photos in August

A new month has arrived, so it’s time for Bushboy’s Last Photo on the Card challenge.

On my Galaxy A51 cellphone camera

Façade at Little Goat Restaurant in Chicago

We went to Little Goat Restaurant with our niece, daughter & son-in-law, picked by daughter & husband who are “Foodies.” The chef at this restaurant is well-known among foodies for combining different combinations of ingredients or adding a twist or two. There is also a bakery.

On a16G memory card in my Sony alpha 68 with 75-300 mm zoom lens:

Kangaroo at Brookfield Zoo

Our photography club took a field trip a week or so ago to Brookfield Zoo, where we tried out our photography skills on animals. After downloading, reviewing and tweaking them, we choose a few of our best (this is not one of them) to our member leader, who compiles a slide show for our next meeting.

PPAC #10: 3-D at the Library

I’m always amazed by the artists who can draw on sidewalks in such a way to create an optical illusion of a 3-D image. These drawings are usually made with chalk so they don’t last long! I photographed this one a couple of days ago in front of the Des Plaines Public Library.

This post is my contribution to Cee & Marsha’s Photographing Public Art #10 challenge. Marsha Ingrao is hosting this challenge for the next few weeks.

SYW: On Unicorns, Apostrophes & Diversity

Melanie’s Share Your World questions this week come from her “partner in crime” called Evil Squirrel.

QUESTIONS

 When you just need to forget the world for a few hours, what helps you get away from it all? 

I read a good book or get engrossed in a movie or TV series that I really enjoy.

 If you woke up tomorrow with a unicorn horn extending from the top of your head, what would be the biggest advantage and disadvantage of your new appendage?

Disadvantages would be its weight and the inability for me to wear a hat, which I always do when the weather is cold. I can’t think of an advantage.

  What is the creepiest thing you’ve ever seen someone do, that you’d be willing to talk about, of course? 

Guys who grab or scratch their crotch multiple times in public, seemingly unaware – or not caring – that they are in full view of other people.

 What’s the silliest or pettiest thing that tends to really upset you?  

People’s abuse of the apostrophe. It seems as though they never learned that an apostrophe at the end of the word (or is followed by s) means POSSESSIVE. I have a friend who I care dearly about, but his emails are full of misplaced apostrophes (almost every plural word he writes has an apostrophe). This misused symbol should never used to denote a plural!! NEVER!

The weirdest apostrophe-used-for-a-plural mistake I saw was a few days ago. There was a sign up sheet for men’s and women’s breakfast at a restaurant. For women’s, the creator of the sign up sheet wrote LADIE’S. So she was combining two grammar/spelling mistakes: Changing the /y/ to an /ie/ when making a plural (she sort of got that right), and it seems she was confused about exactly how to make a possessive out of a word that is already plural. (There are two acceptable ways to do this: LADIES’ or LADIES’S, but the first one is preferable.)

An old writing buddy of mine published a book, a mystery set in Hawaii. Apparently she didn’t have it proofread, because every single word that ended in a vowel that was made into a plural (like the word “lei”), she added an apostrophe before the s. There were so many errors of this kind in the book that I deducted a star from my review on Amazon. How can someone publish a book and not have it proofread or edited? Obviously, since she is older than I am, she forgot this basic English spelling rule.

This may seem petty or silly to get upset about because there are many more important things that deserve one’s wrath, but it shows the decline in grammar/spelling education. It has to be this, because the misplaced apostrophe is such an ubiquitous mistake nowadays, but 20-30 years ago, it was fairly rare.

GRATITUDE SECTION (Always Optional)

How comfortable are you with meeting others who are very different from yourself? (no judgment implied.  Different in any way you’d like to think about – different cultures, different races, different mind set (opinions)? 

I like meeting people who are different from me, but I tend to be shy around strangers so I may appear to be uncomfortable. I am afraid to ask questions that might make them take offense; or I am afraid to speak to them in their native language when it is one I know (Spanish & Portuguese). I don’t know why this is – it’s silly really, but if I get to know the person or people enough to be comfortable around them, then I have no problem, unless their accent is so strong that I can’t understand them. In general, I like to be in places where a diversity of people surround me, where I hear a number of different languages being spoken, or I see unusual hairstyles, or the people are wearing non-Western but beautiful clothing. I’m also pretty open to trying new cuisines, although I do have my favorites.

So my gratitude is living in a country that has a lot of diversity – cultural, racial, ethnic, etc. I actually am looking forward to being in the minority (white, northern European origin). It’s a shame that many people feel threatened by our increasingly multicultural society.