Don’t turn the page if you are not yet a “senior”…with any luck, you will be one one day. And forewarned is forearmed. (Sometimes those trite slogans come in handy.)

When you’re a child or even a young adult (that would be – according to my reckoning – anyone under the age of 50), you might bump into things, experience a glancing blow off a bit of furniture that randomly wound up in your path. You might accidentally kick something hard – and thereby sustain the unpleasantness of a toe stub. No biggie, right? When you have achieved the vaunted state of more than six decades, there are both more “no biggies” and also a few familiar things which have now achieved biggie status.

Toes age.

I know – it’s not something that is customarily discussed in polite (or otherwise) society. It’s not something your parents warn you of; friends don’t give you a heads-up. So, when your toes have a sudden run-in with an immovable object, there is quite a bit of shock that accompanies the sharp hit of pain. “Wow!” you might exclaim aloud to the assaulting object, “Why did you do that?” or “Hey, what the bleep is going on here?”

What’s going on is that you are no longer the schtarker (Yiddish for a person of great strength) you once were. The protective energy field that seems to surround us when we are young dissipates with time and age. Ergo, the term “frail elderly.”

It’s worth knowing that for most of us (not all – there are still those miraculous old beasts who seem to retain their schtarkerness well into altacockerhood), we are in need of adjustment (dare I say a pivot?) when those calendar years start to stack up over our heads.

“Walk slowly,” “watch where you’re going,” “be careful,” “pick up your feet.” As with many things inside the great circle of life, this sounds a lot like the admonitions of your parents when you were just a tadpole. For those of us fortunate enough to still be in the race when we are 63 or 79 or 85 or older, it’s time to surrender to these this protective guidance. I didn’t say you had to like it – just incorporate it.

The ultimate reason for this bit of advice is in the aftermath of the over-60 toe stub. A ridiculously long recovery period replete with limping and re-injury can be avoided.

You young’uns – just file this away for future use.

 Look for my new non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on

Also available on is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference.

You can find more information about me and my books at

The possibility of presents

It’s a rectangular box with some colorful or metallic paper wrapping. Unwrapped, it holds the world of possibilities within the recesses of its tissue-clad unknown.

Thanksgiving augurs the opening of the Christmas/Hanukah season, and with it comes a special kind of hope. We talk of the spiritual, the global, the familial, and the personal hope. There is also another variety. It is the hope of having one’s material desires made manifest.

We may all decry this aspect of self, but it is the rare human who does not lust after some THING. Be it bright and shiny, fashion-forward, electronically cutting edge, or obscure (but meaningful) – in our little yearning hearts we have our druthers: stuff we really want – but for one reason or another we don’t provide to ourselves.

Hearts begin to race at the potential for gratification. Not just the under-10 set either. As the hour of gifting nears, eyes – even those that have seen more than 60 holiday seasons – light up with anticipation.

Some take the high road: carefully disconnecting the taped paper at a slow measured pace; others take the impulsive road: tear it all open in a quick second – going straight for the gusto. There are also the shakers, delaying the final outcome in the interests of a kind of psychic foreknowing.

Then there’s that final moment – the big reveal. Now, most all of us have been brought up to understand that “it’s the thought that counts.” And so, we are to demonstrate gratitude and delight – no matter what we are given. If you’re at all perceptive, however, you can see the visible difference between polite thanks and real gleeful happiness.

And – for the givers – the latter is what we live for. When that happens, we all enter a special kind of heavenly zone where the full possibility of presents is attained.