A Fortress for the creative self

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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”

Hello

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 Barnes and Noble, and I have a WordPress web site for that: www.hilaryharper.net

If you’d like to follow this blog, and I hope that you do, just click on the menu bars at the top right.

Book Lovers Lament

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While we are having some repair work done in our home office, I have temporarily moved my books to various locations around the house, leading me to wonder, once again, why I continue to own so many, especially considering how often we move.

I am a constant reader of books, but it’s not just their content I enjoy. I am a fan of books themselves. The actual objects.  I love holding books in my hands, feeling the weight and texture of them, touching the paper pages, and riffling them with my thumb. 

I enjoy studying the front and back covers of books, appreciating the design that has gone into creating them. Artful cover designs are one of the pleasurable things about owning a collection of books. I might not ever reread my books, but I will certainly look at them from time to time. Continue reading “Book Lovers Lament”

The End of Secrets

Ted in tuxI learned the identity of my biological father two years ago as the result of an autosomal DNA test. Without knowing his name, or anything about him, the test results connected me with cousins in my paternal family, and led to the knowledge of who my father had been.

After decades of fruitless searching, finding my father was an incredible achievement. But success stories like mine are far from unusual these days.

The number of people using DNA testing services has grown steadily during the last few years, increasing the chances of finding a biological relative among them. The tests are fairly inexpensive, easy to take, and provide estimates of ancestral ethnicity along with a list of cousins.

But the most remarkable thing about DNA testing is the way it has put an end to secrecy in adoption, donor conceptions, and other cases of unknown parentage. Continue reading “The End of Secrets”

Not open to the concept

I never seem to get tired of home improvement shows, or shows where people buy new houses.  But one thing I do get tired of is the desire of nearly every person on these shows to want an open concept kitchen. I wonder if these people have ever had an open concept kitchen, or if they desire one only because it sounds good in concept.

great-room-countertops-cleanThese kitchens look great in carefully staged homes. They are spotless. Gleaming.  Gorgeous.  But they make no practical sense in my opinion.

The people who want open concept kitchens must not actually cook much. They must not be the kind of people whose dish drainer frequently gets stacked with pots and pans. The counter next to their sink must not always have a pile of plates and cups waiting to be put into the dishwasher. And their stove top must never be splattered. Continue reading “Not open to the concept”

a little short on the short term

doryThe other day I carried a pile of clothes for the dry cleaner out to my car. I tossed them onto the front passenger seat, along with my purse, and then went into the yard to water the plants before I left.

When I returned to the car and settled into the driver’s seat, I looked over and felt momentarily confused by the pile of fabric next to me. What the hell is that?  It was only a matter of seconds before I remembered, and I laughed at my momentary forgetfulness, but this kind of thing is happening more and more often. Continue reading “a little short on the short term”