Just a little old: keep the sense of wonder

It’s easy to get bored when we climb it for years. After all, we’ve seen it a lot; creating a “wow!” takes more time and being open to a possible “wow!” can help us stay young mentally. At least for the writer who is turning 80.

I’ve had a few wows and learned some cool things in recent weeks, thanks in part to a wonderful visit by my nephew Tukalit and his wife Nancy.

Maine Musical Theatre’s Extraordinary Production “Purple” is an absolute “Wow!” How many times have you seen the audience interrupt the musical with a standing ovation before the show ends?

An American bald eagle often perches on top of a tall spruce tree in front of our house. Why did the eagle choose that particular tree? Why are Eagles so prevalent this year?

One night, the International Space Station flew past our house at 17,000 miles per hour. Google tells us that this flying wonder is about the length of a football field and can circle the Earth in 19 minutes. Now it’s awesome.

Speaking of Google, our visitor Nancy is a very talented artist. She showed us a stunning painting of a black family in colorful costumes posing for a photo. Another woman is taking a picture of the woman taking the picture. “Wow,” I said, “how did you come up with the idea?” “Google Earth,” she said. She went on to give me a Google Earth tutorial in which I learned that you can zoom in almost anywhere in the world and see buildings and people up close, not necessarily life, but you feel a place. Nancy sometimes uses Google Earth for drawing inspiration. who knows? I definitely don’t.

Speaking of tutorials, Tucarit taught me how to use my library card to take advantage of the Curtis Memorial Library’s digital offerings. I never knew I could watch movies on my laptop this way.

One of our neighbors lost his precious white poodle; later that same day, a magnificent rainbow appeared over Casco Bay. Make beautiful gifts for your beloved pets. The poodle’s death brought back memories of the day our dear Black Lab Chowder crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Tina and I sometimes break down after a few weeks. Dogs do this to you.

Here are some more useful tidbits passed on by Tucarit and Nancy. Did you know that spreading gossip can be said to be “giving tea”? Better yet, is tsismis (pronounced “cheesemis”) another term for gossip? Give me that guy’s tsismis.

Speaking of words, members of our family love to play novel games. The “it” person picks a word from a dictionary whose meaning no one knows. Then that person writes the real definition on a piece of paper. Other players write a reasonable definition on a different piece of paper. People closed their eyes and voted for what they thought was the right definition. You get points if people choose the wrong definition, and points for everyone who doesn’t choose the right definition. Give it a try. Once again you will be reminded of the incredible number of unfamiliar words in English.

I noticed a young gay couple pushing a cute little boy in a stroller. Later I asked my grandmother how they got the baby. She told me they used a surrogate mother and they plan to use her again to add another child to the family. Now I ask you: how could anyone object to such a wonderful way to give two young gay men a parental gift?

I met a neighbor who was weeding in her garden and she said the hardest part was determining what was a weed and what wasn’t. But then she got a weed app that solved the problem. Take a photo and the app will tell you what it is and if it’s a weed.

I don’t know what new things, if any, I will learn today. I do know that I will try to better maintain my focus on new discoveries. There’s still a lot to see there.

Brunswick writer David Treadwell welcomes comments and suggestions for a future Just a Little Old column. [email protected]

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