Photo by Simon Hrozian on Unsplash

March 9, 2021

Today is my 65th birthday. Because I have been lucky enough, and just careful enough, I am a healthy older lady.

Until today, I have not been lucky enough to qualify for one of the precious vaccines that everyone on earth is now clamoring for. Today, as a 65 year old in Massachusetts, I can officially get my jab and start getting back to real life. So I’ve spent the past two days making phone calls to pharmacies and local hospitals in search of any available shot. No luck.

I’ve used every known internet site, including Massachusetts’…


I’m with my sweet grandson, who is snuggled on my lap, his cheeks full of the frozen waffle he’s using to ease his sore gums. He grins at me, and those dimples appear in his rosy cheeks.

There’s wonderful music on, an old playlist of my favorites.

So what’s with the tears that won’t stop leaking from my eyes?

I kiss Max’s head, then rest my cheek against his. He chortles at me and pokes one chubby hand into my hair, where drool and waffle mingle as he shares his treasure.

I can’t stop crying.

I’ve been filled up with…


I’m not ready to completely give up on the world of modern medicine, but I have to tell you, I’m getting pretty close.

I’ll be forever grateful for the eye doctor who replaced my cataracts with nice clear lenses. If I ever break a bone, I’ll be happy to have it set by a professional. And if something attacks my heart, I’ll be ready for my ride to the Emergency Room.

But no more little plastic jars of chemicals for me. Nuh, uh.

I’m a relatively healthy 65-year-old woman, so my intake of prescription drugs has been limited. But I…


So if you read my last post, you know that we are in the midst of having our kitchen renovated. Finally, after 20 years of planning and 10 years of yearning and 2 years of sheer desperation, we are having our kitchen renovated.

Huzzah!!!!

Naturally, being the overly dramatic Italian woman that I am, I have shed some tears over past memories. But now that the new clean, white, wide, sturdy cabinets are in, I’m feeling a whole lot better.

The process isn’t finished quite yet, as I have no counters and no sink, but it still looks a million…


So here’s the thing. We moved into this house 31 years ago this month. Back then, this was a reasonably nice 5-year-old house with a cheaply made interior. The kitchen was basic, functional, not particularly beautiful. The countertops were laminate, the cabinets made of particleboard. There were plastic “lazy susan” shelves in both corners.

It was way better than the run-down apartments we’d rented before, and more up to date than the kitchen in the one decent house we’d lived in earlier.

We had finally had our first child and were awaiting our second. We had finally, finally, finally finished…


My mother was beautiful. She was elegant and stylish. She always looked immaculately put together and ready for anything.

She was a wonderful cook, and was able to keep 6 kids and our Dad happy, well fed, and healthy on a very tight budget.

Mom was an artist, and could paint and draw in ways that left me amazed.

As the oldest daughter in a family of six children, I grew up very much in awe of my Mother. She was fiercely opinionated, always outspoken and she never backed down from a conflict. I remember her as the champion of…


I love spring. I really do. I love the smell of wet earth and the sight of the first few robins. I love Easter, and stale Peeps and the first time we roll out the grill and make some burgers.

But I’m realizing that there are certain parts of the spring ritual that are not really designed for the elderly. Especially the elderly like me who have the kind of memory issues that make us forget the arthritis in our spines and the nerve issues in our necks.

Today was a beautiful day out here in North Central Massachusetts. It’s…


Spring is always uplifting, always rejuvenating, always full of hope.

But after watching 64 springs come and go, I know that I can get a little jaded. I mean, of course I’m happy when the first few crocuses open and the daffodils start to push themselves up through the straw and pine needles.

The thing is, I am old enough to know that here in New England, it might snow again before it’s really time to relax and enjoy the weather. Yesterday I walked through my yard and what caught my eye was the mud, the downed branches, the many…


I know that this makes me look a bit ridiculous to some. I know that people think, “She’s giving up the best part of her retirement!” and “She’s letting herself be taken advantage of!”

I know.

I have many friends who tell me, “I am willing to babysit once in a while, but I’m not giving up my hard earned freedom!” They tell me that now is the time to focus on myself. Now is the point in my life when I should just have fun and do whatever I want.

Even after six years, I don’t know exactly how…


It never fails out here in suburban New England. One dog in the neighborhood lets out a bark, and the one next door feels compelled to answer. Then the hound across the street and the one around the corner join in. Pretty soon the air is filled with the howls and yips of a dozen pups, each one standing as close to their fence as they can possibly get.

So I was thinking this morning, as the canine cacophony made its way around the block, the life of a suburban dog is a lot like life in prison.

No, I…

Karen Shiebler

A Mother, a grandmother, a progressive voter. I write because it’s getting harder to march and because words are my only weapon. I blog at momshieb.blog

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