This blog is called Sixty Something because I am, but it’s about a lot more than that.  I like to consider myself a cultural observer and a semi-deep thinker.  I am also an author. My memoir, Almost Home, is available from Amazon and other online booksellers.  My WordPress site for Almost Home is at:  www.hilaryharper.net

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The Creative Urge

20180419_164830I was born with limited artistic talent, but that has not kept me from artistic pursuits.

As a kid I loved paint-by-number kits, looms that made pot-holders, and designing outfits for paper dolls. I also loved watching the Carol Duvall show on television, she demonstrated craft projects which frequently involved Styrofoam, pipe-cleaner, glue, and felt.

The urge to make things has always been with me, and comes and goes in phases. As a teenager in the 1970s I learned how to crochet, make candles, and do macrame.

In the years since I have dabbled in calligraphy, cake decorating, weaving, watercolors, paper-making, collage, coloring with pencils, paper folding, sculpture with clay, sculpture with found metal objects, pottery, knitting, furniture refinishing, and embroidery.

These creative phases always hit me strong, like a craving – an irresistible urge which brings pleasure when satisfied. Life is good when I am shopping for supplies for my most recent creative obsession, followed by the obsessive doing of whatever it is that has possessed me this time.    Continue reading “The Creative Urge”

A well organized life

20180402_134837There are those who enjoy  organizing things, and those who don’t, and I think this must be a genetic trait. Organizing comes so naturally to me, and I get so much pleasure from it, that it must be innate. I love creating order from chaos.

When I am in the middle of cleaning out a closet, a drawer, a box of junk, or even a room full of stuff, I am my most happily engaged. Continue reading “A well organized life”

My first seeing

AAA me kidAt the age of three I went camping with my parents in the upper peninsula of Michigan, and memories of that trip have stayed with me all my life.

Our campsite was at the end of a long, dirt road, in a clearing on the shore of a lake. We slept in the big, black tent my dad used for deer hunting, and used an ice-fishing shanty, set up in the woods, as an outhouse.

I remember kerosene lanterns that hissed at night, and the way our cots creaked when we moved.  Continue reading “My first seeing”

To write, or not to write…


It occurred to me the other day that I could just stop writing.

There is no reason why I must continue to work on my short fiction, essays, poems, and blog posts. I could just quit. Cold turkey. And what a relief it would be.

I would never again feel guilty about fooling around instead of writing, nor would I ever again feel guilty about spending an entire day lost in the revision of a story.

I would be free.  Free!  I could throw away all my half-finished work and all my folders stuffed with ideas written on scraps of paper.  I could throw it all into the recycling bin and do other things.  I could complete my to-do list; learn to bake bread; organize my photos; finish my genealogy projects; and of-course I would exercise a lot more often.

I dwelled on the pleasant possibilities of this for several minutes, and then began formulating my thoughts on the topic into sentences.  I should write about this, I thought as I reached for a scrap of paper….

A Fortress for the creative self


In the book “A House of my Own” by Sandra Cisneros, she writes: “At sixty I want a house pared down to what nourishes my spirit.”

Also: “What I’ve longed for is a refuge as spiritual as a monastery, as private as a cloistered convent… a fortress for the creative self.”

I read these words recently and identified strongly with them. Continue reading “A Fortress for the creative self”

I am not a miss

keep-calm-and-say-yes-ma-amAs a person who is obviously well over the age of 50,  I do not like being called “Miss”  by the staff in restaurants and other places of business.  It seems patronizing to me.  And just plain wrong.

Calling a woman “Miss” is akin to calling a man “Mister.”

If a man asked a waiter for a glass of water, the waiter would not say, “I’ll get that for you right away, mister.”  He would say, “I’ll get that for you right away, sir.” Continue reading “I am not a miss”