Take a Taxi – Don’t Walk

Believing that even sad events can teach us something I want to share the upsetting news that hit me this week. Filled with sadness I realized that it was a kind of wake-up call. A wake-up call, not just for me, but it should be for every older person who has been told – and we hear this advice very often – be careful how much money you spend because you don’t want to outlive your money.

A scary thought for sure, but how can we be certain it is not our money that out lives us?

No, nobody knows how long we are here and what the future holds. And keeping this in mind we should be more generouss with ourselves! Don’t deprive yourself – buy that new dress – take that trip – go out for dinner with your friends – take a taxi if the bus doesn’t come – do whatever makes your daily life more enjoyable without feeling guilty. And saying this I know that most of us won’t go overboard, but we do deserve a few extra treats.


When I got the sad news, and before I could accept the reality, I was sitting again with my friend Joan on her porch during the long weekend I had spent with her just a month ago. Her laughter, her joie de vivre was infectious. She was telling me how she looked forward to her trip to Turkey in September, and had some funny stories about her skiing trip to Whistler, B.C. with her grandson. and that she was going on a hiking trip to the  Adirondack next week. Kayaking was part of her like life too, boundless energy.  We had a busy, physically demanding weekend with parties, time on the beach, walks and debates about life. Her life looked like it had a long way to go; she was only in her early 70s. With her unshakeable optimism she told me that now, being partly retired, she was looking forward to ticking of items on her bucket list one by one.

It was not meant to be – Joan died last week.



….and all her dreams and hopes for the future are being buried with her today.


Writing this and remembering the way she was always ready to help others I feel like she leaves us with a message which I want to pass on by telling you a little anecdote

A friend of mine asked her father on his deathbed if he had any regrets about his life and he answered: “Yes, I regret that I didn’t take more taxis!”

Don’t let the taxis in your life pass you by  — instead take the ride while you can.


Joan – may the angels enjoy your laughter as much as I did.





ALEXA – Have you met her?

If you haven’t met Alexa don’t feel bad. Until a few days ago I didn’t know her either. I met her while visiting my friend Helen. We were enjoying a glass of fine when Helen suddenly called out,

“Alexa when do we have to leave for the movies?”

Confused I looked around to see who she was talking to, because I was under the impression we were alone, “Who are you talking to?”

“Oh, that’s  Alexa, our Echo Speaker.” Helen answered.

“Echo Speaker?” What is that?”

Helen told me all about it and while she demonstrated it I felt I had been transferred to another planet. But no, I was right here on earth, and  listening and looking in awe at the black cylinder on the table, I found out that by using nothing but your voice Alexa can help with tasks like:echo-fullres-1784-1-630-jpg-alexa

  • shop on-line
  • create a to-do or shopping lists
  • search the web
  • dim or turn on the light
  • get the weather report and so on and so on……..

These are just a few things Alexa can do. There is so much more; too much to tell you about here – besides I doubt that my explanation could do justice to this little miracle. But if you go on Amazon (yes, where else do we buy anything today?) you can find out all about it, and it might just tempt you to have Alexa as a friend too!

What about me? Did she become my friend? No! Yet, I do admit it’s a really cool idea and she could help me do many things, but this is where I have a problem. Being  at an age when it is important to keep active and move, a device that will stop me from doing things myself is not what I need. So I will wait a few years!


By the way Alexa was named after the ancient library in Alexandria, Egypt –  a tall order to follow indeed., but she seems to manage well.libraryofalexandria


And never forger – A Smile Changes Everything!




Vending machines have been part of our life for a long time, but last week when I wanted to buy a train ticket they competed with a real live person.

Pennsylvania station in New York is a very busy place. Trains are leaving from here to Washington, Florida, New Jersey and Long Island. Never having gone to Long Island I was not sure where to buy my ticket. So I walked up to a young, very young policeman in his early 20s and asked,

“Where can I buy a ticket to Long Island?”

“Over there on the ticket vending machines.”

Wondering where ‘over there’ was I looked in the direction he had pointed to, and seeing my hesitation he said,

“Or do you want a real person to help you?” (is there any other kind?)

“Yes, that might be better” I answered.

“In that case turn right at the end there and you will see glass windows where real persons sell tickets.” and making sure I had understood he said again with great emphasis, “A real person will help you there.”

Following his instructions I found the windows and a real person sold me a ticket.

Of course there will come a day when the vending machines will win and there won’t be  real persons behind glass windows to help us, but until then ‘let’s all enjoy the real people!


And never forget- A Smile Changes Everything!

2016-01-27 12.40.02 (5)Brigitte





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