Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The wisest mind has something yet to learn. Unknown

Last night was Halloween and I was waffling over whether I should bother to buy any candy to give out. We haven’t been getting many kids and that means we eat what we don’t give out.

My husband encouraged me to pick up candy. When the kids were young he gave out the candy and I took the kids and our dog Krypto a Scottish terrier, out trick or treating. My part is long finished but my husband still enjoys his part.

It was seven o’clock and no kids came by so I turned off the outside light. “Why’d you do that?”

“I’m going downstairs.”

“We’ll look after it,” my daughter and husband said. I go downstairs and finally the doorbell rings. Our dog (Lulu a 12-pound cock-a-poo) goes running and barking to the door). I hear screaming and a commotion so I run upstairs. Our daughter has the dog in her arms and is coming up the walk. Lulu does not run out of the house when the door is open, but when she saw kids dressed up in Halloween costumes she ran after them like she was saving our daughter’s life. I’ve always thought our little Lulu is one of the best watchdogs, I hope her protective instincts won’t become a problem.

That she thought she needed to protect our daughter and chased after those she thought she was protecting her from is funny and not funny at the same time. My son-in-law came in and said, “The kids running screaming up the street were coming from our house?”

They were the only Halloween visitors we had. We didn’t give out any candy at all. I ate more than my share of little chocolate bars last night. When I was a kid we got to trick or treat in town which was fun and I got to take out my two younger sisters so it was fun longer. The years before trick or treating in town we went up and down our country roads.  It was fun, and it wasn’t just the candy we loved.

Watching the next generation of kids is fun whether it is children in our neighborhood or children in our families. Those shiny happy faces are our future and it is good to see them having fun.

We don’t stop playing because we get old… we grow old because we stop playing. George Bernard Shaw

It’s hard to believe how quickly time has flown by. If we still have thirty years ahead of us it will fly by too. At my age, if I still have thirty years ahead of me I am very blessed. Longevity is in the family on both sides so I do have a lot to be grateful for. Fortunately, painting and writing are great for older years. I was reading Joel Osteen’s book, “The Power of I Am.” They’ve studied the brains of older adults and by looking at the brain they would have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but the people had no symptoms. These people were hopeful, and they stayed productive. There is a study by neuroscientist Timothy Hohman of Vanderbilt University Medical Centre trying to figure out how 30 percent of older adults who have brains that would qualify for an Alzheimer’s diagnosis lived without so much as a hint of dementia.

This resilience they believe is caused by the cognitive reserve of their brains. Cognitive reserve is developed by a lifetime of education and curiosity to help our brain better cope with any failures or declines it faces. Being curious, creative, and reading, thinking, and questioning our way into old age may be the answer. We won’t find cognitive reserve in a pill, like exercising and eating right, it’s something we will have to do for ourselves.  

This is great news. It gives us something to do instead of worrying about what is ahead. Do we really care about the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s after our death, if we can live like we don’t have it?

Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning. John Ratey

Memory offers up its gifts only when jogged by something in the present. It isn’t a storehouse of fixed images and words, but a dynamic associative network in the brain that is never quiet and is subject to revision each time we retrieve an old picture or old words. Siri Hustvedt

Apparently there is redundancy in memory: You store the same memory in different parts of your brain for accessing at different speeds. That speed would depend on the frequency of use and the importance of the knowledge. Bill Nye

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back again and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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