A “steeplechase” experiment as I look back on the pandemic year

Photo by Grant Ritchie on Unsplash

The year 2020 was the year “plans” — not planes — crashed to the ground for millions of people. I was not the exception. The biggie was the plan to launch my first book as the only author. Another major plan was to travel to Canada to see my son, wife, grandkids, and, ideally, relatives in other places.

Bang! It came unannounced that closing down of activities and movement, at least much beyond our homes. It just plopped down on all our dreams, ambitions, and expectations.

No comparisons!

By Margie Hord

We arrive at the eco-park; the girl in the ticket booth charges us, and by flashing my senior card I get a discount. We enter the loop that goes around the oval-shaped lake. Every 100 meters, wooden signs tell us how far we’ve come until we reach 1600 and can go around again. Near the entrance are several paddleboats and rowboats for rent. We can hear the swish of oars and paddles, and the happy sounds of families calling to one another. Often I see an elegant white heron standing ramrod straight on the rocks by the shore…

In my garden and in my life

Photo by Natalia Luchanko on Unsplash

What child hasn’t enjoyed dandelions? Sunny yellow and attractive to the eye, but all the more fun when their shaggy heads turn soft and white. What delight little ones find in blowing those seeds and watching them float away in the wind!

An Essential Part of the Personal Essay

Photo by Gabriel Villena on Unsplash

The prompt for our online writing workshop had us look at a scene from a bird’s-eye view, and gradually zoom in closer to get more and more sensory details to describe.

I had chosen to write about a family ceremony for which I could not be present except via Zoom. First I helped my readers to picture the community, then the more direct context of the interior of the church where it took place, and little by little the people involved and the story itself.

Photo by Lubov' Birina on Unsplash

Maybe he realized he was leaving me soon. Maybe he suffered more pain than he let on, or more desperation as he tried to breathe. Maybe he didn’t want me to worry, so he tried not to complain. Maybe, as he lay on the living-room sofa with an oxygen mask, he wished I would spend more time by his side. Maybe his skeletal frame was only a temporary phase. Maybe we were both afraid that the other would mention the phrase: How much time is left?

Whether or not the WHO says so

Photo by Angèle Kamp on Unsplash

I recently read that the World Health Organization declared that 65 is still considered young. After that, people are “middle-aged.” (I confess, however, that I never could find any official declaration by WHO to that effect.) In 1875, age 50 was defined as old by the Friendly Societies Act in Britain. Times have changed.

Though I turned 65 not long ago, in many ways I feel better than I did in my 20’s. Back then I struggled with my weight and seldom got much exercise. In addition to that, there were insecurities about my appearance, my timid nature, my future……

And part of our daily lives.

By Rachel Greenlee de Lechuga (with permission)

Summer in central Mexico is the rainy season. Late in the day, I always prefer to be inside. More often than not, dark clouds pile up in the north and gradually migrate south, eventually dumping torrents of rain on my neighborhood. If it comes down too hard or too long, some water leaks into the house through my skylight. Occasionally, hailstones rattle down on the Plexiglass, and a conversation becomes close to impossible. Outside, some streets become flooded, making even driving rather risky. We plan to do our most important activities earlier in the day.

This time of year, the…

Margie Hord de Mendez

Canadian-Mexican linguist and translator, Margie loves to write about cross-cultural living, faith, family, aging gracefully… and more!

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