The Other Side of 50

Looking back, ahead as the year changes

By From page OSF2 | January 09, 2014

OK, so this is the expected New Year’s column that looks at the past year and the upcoming one. Most writers write about those things. I am no different.

All in all, it has been another good year. The real test is that I have survived with most of my faculties. Some of my critics might say, “Oh yeah? What faculties?”

Such as they are, I still have ’em. As a matter of fact, one of the positive things that has transpired this past year has been the growing awareness of my own mortality and the need to be less patient and more focused. I put things off much less and I achieve the results I look for more often than not. I would say that’s a positive development, wouldn’t you? Doctor’s visits and lab tests are good, so my medical problems seem to be under control.

Last year was the year of the beard. What started as a little joke with my son resulted in a real beard. People have told me that the girls will love it. So far, all they want to do is feed me. No change, but food is good, too.

This has been a good year electronically, too. I have been featured in several videos concerning the Tools of Learning for Children reading and citizenship programs. With the help of Cathy Ritch, I have even been able to post a crowd-funding video on the GoFundMe crowd-funding website. Really pretty good. We are trying to raise $5,000. Take a look and tell me what you think. Go to GoFundMe Tools of Learning for Children.

Tools is the only nonprofit in Solano County to qualify as a top-rated nonprofit out of 2,000 county nonprofits. Go to GreatNonProfits.org, click on Tools of Learning for Children and read our reviews. You’ll be impressed. If you would like to sponsor some kids, you can do it on the GoFundMe site. The new Tools website should be up and running by the time you read this.

One last comment about electronics. My citizenship efforts have been greatly bolstered by the IT skills of Internet friend George Rogers Clark, who lives in Ohio. I met him about two years ago on the Web. He has become like a brother to me, even though we have never seen each other. We both contribute Grassroots Commentary to Patriot Post, a site that seeks to preserve America’s essential liberties.

One of the best things to happen this year from a personal point of view has been my return as a regular at Rotary, rebuilding old friendships and forming new ones, such as with Rick Dichoco. For a number of years, I had been pretty homebound because of my care-giving duties. This year, I have eased back into meeting with friends and getting some exercise at the Kroc Center and on walks.

Of course, there was the three-week trip to Hawaii to stay with my grand-nephew Wesley Seely. It was great to relax, but it was hard to get started again when I got home. I’ll have a lot more to say about Hawaii in some future columns.

I’ve run out of time and space. Next time, we’ll look at prospects for the new year. Be happy and be safe.

Reach Murray Bass at 427-0744 or [email protected]

Murray Bass


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