100 Years Old

“My granny just celebrated her 100th birthday,” Donna said.

“Wow,” Ernie said. “She’s a real survivor.”

“Unfortunately, she took a tumble down the staircase yesterday and broke her hip, so now she’s in the hospital,” Donna said.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Ernie said.

“No need for an apology, Ernie,” Donna said. “It wasn’t your fault.”

“I know,” Ernie said. “I just feel bad for you Granny.”

“She’ll be fine, Ernie,” Donna said. “After she gets out of the hospital, we’re taking her to a nursing home. It won’t be all fun and games for her, but it’s in a lovely, bucolic location, and I’m sure she’ll be happy there.”

Ernie sighed, and with a philosophical tone in his voice, he said, “Sometimes I wonder if happiness when you reach 100 is just a mirage.

Written for these daily prompts: E.M’s Random Word Prompt (birthday), Word of the Day Challenge (survivor), The Daily Spur (staircase), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (apology), Ragtag Daily Prompt (game), Your Daily Word Prompt (bucolic), My Vivid Blog (mirage).

Three Line Tales — A Piece of Cake

She’d been feeling kind of down in the dumps recently, so I thought inviting her to meet me for coffee at one of her favorite cafés might cheer her up a bit.

She was already there sitting at a table in the corner when I arrived at the café, so I walked up to her, said hello, told her that I’d get us each a cup of coffee, and asked her if she’d like anything to eat.

I could tell that she’d been crying, but she looked up at me, managed a smile, and said, “A piece of cake would make me happy.”

Written for Sonya’s Three Line Tales prompt. Photo credit: Bekky Bekks via Unsplash.

A New Addition

It was an auspicious end to the week for my wife and me. Our son and his wife brought our grandson to our house on Saturday. The seven month old boy was dressed in a baby t-shirt that said “Best Big Brother Ever.”

When I saw him wearing that shirt, I looked at my son and asked, “Does that mean that a new grandchild will be added to our family next year?” With a big smile on this face, he nodded affirmatively.

I have to laud my son and his wife for their imaginative way of breaking the good news to us. The only description I can think of for our feelings was glee, and there was no way to mask our happiness and joy at the great news.

Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (auspicious), MMA Storytime (week), Your Daily Word Prompt (family), Word of the Day Challenge (laud), The Daily Spur ( description), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (mask).

Share Your World — More Potter and Human Happiness

Share Your WorldThis week’s Share Your World prompt from Melanie is once again leveraging Roger Shipp’s obsession with Harry Potter by asking a series of questions related to the movie “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” Knowing nothing about that movie, I will still attempt to answer his questions before I move on to Melanie’s more traditional SYW questions. So here we go….

Here are Roger’s Harry Potter questions.

One of my favorite gifts that Harry Potter received came from the Weasley Twins; and was “Mrs. Mooney’s Marauder’s Map.” This magical document showed every classroom, hallway and secret corner in all of Hogwarts. It also showed you the location-by name of every person in Hogwarts. If you had such a magical map of your town, what would you use it for? If you would not use it, is there another person to whom you would gift it?

I do have such a magical map. It’s called Google Maps and it’s always available on my magical iPhone.

When was the last time you made a snowball? Were in a snowball fight?

I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for over a decade and it doesn’t snow here, so it’s been at least a decade since I made my last snowball. But as to snowball fights, I grew up and spent many years living in areas where it snowed every winter and, of course, I was in many a snowball fight.

Many cultures set great value in each child of the family having godparents. Did you have godparents? Are you a godparent yourself?

Yes, I had godparents, although after we moved from the city I where I was born when I was five to another city 500 miles away, I lost touch with them. Am I a godparent? As I tell people when they ask me if I have any other children besides the two I admit to, I say, “not that I know of.”

You have found a secret tunnel under your house. Where does it go?

It leads right to my lawyer, who I will engage to sue the guy who built my house for having constructed a secret tunnel underneath it without disclosing it in the listing or disclosure documents.

And now for Melanie’s traditional questions.

Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?

I once saw a quote that said that “a smart man knows that a tomato is a fruit; a wise man knows not to put tomatoes in a fruit salad.” Intelligence is defined as “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.” Wisdom is defined as “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.” My thoughts on this are that one must be intelligent enough to learn things. But wisdom comes from experience that allows us to use our intelligence to help make smart choices. In other words, intelligence is more closely related to book smarts gained through education, whereas wisdom is more closely related to street smarts gained through experience.

How important is play in living a healthy and fulfilling life?

To use leverage old quote, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ First of all, I have no idea who Jack is, but that’s besides the point. I think what it means is that without time off from work, a person becomes both bored and boring. Of course, I’m now retired, so I must, therefore, be a dull old man. Anyway, yeah, play does, in my opinion, help make life more fulfilling. As to healthy, well, I don’t know about physical health, but it probably helps with mental and emotional health.

Is happiness just chemicals flowing through your brain or something more?

I believe that happiness is essentially a range of positive emotions, including joy, pride, contentment, and gratitude. I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on my blog, but I’d say it’s not just chemicals flowing through our brain, but something more, something that may trigger whatever mechanism in our brain we have that causes a positive response to whatever that “happiness trigger” is.

Share Your World — Murphy Says Hello

Share Your WorldMonday is Share Your World day. Today is the first Monday of a new year and a new decade. So let’s see what Melanie, at Sparks From a Combustible Mind, wants us to share.


Is “hello” enough for you these days?

You had me at “hello.”

Do you believe in Murphy? For those who aren’t familiar with Murphy, here’s a wee explanation: Murphy’s Law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

These days I believe that the proverbial Murphy has inhabited the bodies of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and most Republicans in Congress. It’s time for an exorcism!

Does evil come from within? If so, why?

I don’t believe that humans are born evil or that evil is an inherited trait. Evil is learned. I also think the definition of evil is fluid. For example, some people believe abortion is evil. Others believe that denying a woman domain over her own reproductive rights is evil. Some think homosexuality is evil, but others don’t. Seems to me that evil, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Are intelligent people more or less happy than others? What defines intelligence?

There is no correlation between intelligence and happiness. One can be intelligent and happy, intelligent and unhappy, dumb and happy or dumb and unhappy. That said, I did come across at least one article reporting the results of a study, which concluded that, “Those with lower IQ are less happy than those with higher IQ.”

Please feel free to share a quote, photo or thought about gratitude.

I had my first follow-up appointment with my ear surgeon today, and he said that, of all the possible outcomes from the surgery, mine was the second best. And for that, I’m grateful. He was able to remove the entire mass without having to drill into my skull. But the growth had destroyed one of the small middle ear bones, which means my hearing won’t be restored in that ear. But he also said that, after a second surgery to implant a prosthetic bone six months from now, there is a strong possibility that my hearing will be at least partially restored. And I’d be extremely grateful if that’s the case.