Start Life @ Retirement

There seems to be a scam in so-called civilized countries where elders are considered to be little more than parasites drawing pensions from the workers. In other countries, people value and respect elders for their experience. “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”

In Panama, for instance, elders are waved to the front of a queue. People value and respect their elders.

Seniors are Weaklings

Does it matter? A child can bully an elephant. The child is weak, but his brainpower is superior, and he already has some experience. I once had to stop my son bullying a teenager twice his weight using only words. He was just more intelligent than the teenager.

If you have 60 years of experience, the poor elephant just doesn’t stand a chance. Of course, you aren’t as strong as a trained weightlifter. So you use your intelligence, machines, and even other people to do what you want.

“You can’t teach old dogs new tricks.”

Who says you can’t? I have taught an old Doberman new things.

Oh… can elders learn things? As they lose abilities, can they replace them with others?

I was heavily into barbershop harmony singing, and playing the church organ for the congregation. Then I went deaf.


So I abandoned music. Now I am learning to use photographs. If you carry your camera with you all the time you learn to see things. You can see some of my photos on this blog. I sell other photos to the stock photo companies – I had never heard of stock photos until I looked for new tricks to learn.

It doesn’t stop there. I’ve been learning to use photos to accompany magazine articles. Well, I’m only a beginner, but I sent off an article on spec last Saturday. You have to start somewhere.

Writing Articles

Oh, I need an article to go with the photos. No problem. I’ve just taken a course in freelance journalism. But elders often have experience.
More than half a century ago I was headed for disaster. My headmaster told me that I had as much chance of passing my exams as the Man in the Moon. You see, I didn’t know how to write essays, and the English master didn’t teach me.

Then I found a book about the exam secret, which taught me how to write an exciting essay. Next day I shot to the top of the class just because of my changed attitude to writing.

Years later I wrote a book with an updated approach to passing exams for my daughter. You can see it at

Then I joined the Organic Growers Association. We had one speaker who didn’t know how to organize a talk, and our members were very annoyed. I wrote a report on the talk in which I re-organized the facts. The committee promptly volunteered me to be their editor, a position I held for several years.

Each time I needed a filler in the magazine, I wrote one or more articles to fill up space. Then I was the first Editor for our barbershop chorus monthly publication and wrote filler articles there too.

Can You Write?

You must be able to read if you are reading this. If you are my age, you probably wrote a lot of letters when you were young – perhaps even had a pen pal. Do your friends gather around you when they see you telling a story? Then you can probably learn to write, using your experiences of a lifetime – you just need to learn how to pitch your articles.

When you go on holiday, do you take photos of people in action – not stood up against a wall and shot? Do your friends enjoy your tales of disasters while you were on holidays? Then you can probably be a freelance journalist.

Other Activities

My friend was forced to retire by a heart attack. I showed him how to keep bees, and we had several hives in his orchard for many years. He has his own orchard, and always has a bowl of fruit on the table when I visit him.

He has created a system where he pumps water and excreta from a fishpond into an aquaponics garden. The plants grab the excreta to grow well. Then the cleaned water drains back into the fish pond.

Another friend is tired of living. He won’t look after his health because he hopes to get a disease and die soon.

Which attitude do you prefer? I like the old Latin motto. Dum vivimus vivamus that means “While we are alive, let us LIVE.”

Linden Lea

Barefoot among the snakes.You may have learned the Old English folk song “Linden Lea.” It expresses my attitude rather well, and I hope that your attitude to travel is the same. I have a feeling that I quoted it in another post, but I like the attitude. I no longer need to impress ANYBODY. I started to walk barefoot when I no longer needed to impress anybody, as you see in the picture.
Let other folk make money faster
In the air of dark roomed towns.
I do not dread a peevish master
Though no man may heed my frowns
For I be free to go abroad
Or take again my homeward road
To where, for me, the apple tree
Do lean down low, in Linden Lea.

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