Just Another Day in Paradise

by Mark

Hello folks. Summer is relentlessly cruising by.

I've been reading a Harlan Coben novel that somehow escaped me, and here's a thought that rang too true. A character asked her 92-year-old grandfather what it is like to be that age. His reply: "It's a finger snap. One day I turned 18 and joined the army. And now I'm here."

I can totally relate, as my high school class is re-planning our 50th reunion, which will now be our 51st. Where the hell did all those years go?

Anyway, my wife and I have stayed busy helping our son and daughter-in-law out with the grandkids; we are truly blessed to have them so close that we can be an integral part of their lives.

Two other things, one very good and one very troubling. The good: My family celebrates our heritage in America annually in August. 'Hecklerfest' is held on a Saturday at my ancestral homestead, now a public park, near Harleysville PA. I have never been, but this year I will change that, and I can't wait to tour the actual house my grandfather was raised in.

The troubling: on June 30th while taking my morning bike ride, I suffered a TIA. Fortunately, it resolved quickly and left no detectable long-term damage to my brain. But let me tell you, losing your ability to speak for even a few minutes is frightening! I am eternally hopeful that it was a 'one-off.'

But it hammers home with crystal clarity that tomorrow is promised to no one. So go out and enjoy the rest of your summer!

Comments for Just Another Day in Paradise

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Paradise Revisited
by: Mark/Maryland

Hi there Michael, and so great to hear back from you!

My dad was one of the 'Greatest Generation,' and served in the Navy on a destroyer in the Pacific. He mustered out, returned to small-town America and went to work for my grandfather in the family business.

He ended up working forty years in a job he didn't care much for, but that allowed him and my mom to retire to North Ft. Myers in 1996.

I have a picture that I cherish of the two of them, arm-in-arm, in front of their manufactured home with the caption, "Just Another Day In Paradise!"

Those days in Florida were, without doubt, the happiest of his life.

One day at a time
by: David in Iowa

Mark, I totally agree with you on savoring each and every day, and living your life to the fullest NOW.

In late March, my wife and I were shocked 'out of the blue' to find out I had Stage 4 Advanced Prostate Cancer throughout my body. I just finished 6 courses of chemo, but I remain on 2 expensive heavy duty drugs for the rest of life that change the quality of life for me just enough to remind me that the cancer is still there, and always will be.

So we can only pray for some period of remission and that the "pain" period stay away long enough to get a few more years of enjoying my wife, kids and grandkids.

So, live and love every day.

And my public service message: men, get your PSA checked AT LEAST every year. 1 out of every 9 men will get prostate cancer. It is increasing in both frequency and severity when detected, and affecting more men in their 40's and 50's for some reason (avg age is still 69). My PSA level was normal just 14 months before they found my advanced status.

JADIP - Venice, Florida
by: Michael - Upstate NY for the summer!

Mark - I had to chuckle when I read your headline. "Just another day in paradise" is how we describe our days in Venice, Florida where I spend the winter months. I love architecture and old homes as well as road cycling. Hopefully you'll still be able to cycle despite your recent health setback. The greatest thing about family reunions is no one is a stranger, and regardless of the number of years, you feel like you never lost touch! We are given time, and we live our lives. Then, when we're retired, we have more time to think about things and what our lives used to be like. We often miss the fact that we still have time to reach out, create, and make new memories. Don't think too much about the past unless it will help you enhance the present and create a new future.

Mini Strokes and Heritage
by: Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach


Mom had mini-strokes all through the pandemic. Maybe once every month or two... totally out of it and sleeping for 24 hours, then doesn't remember a thing. She is fine today.

I am surprised that you mention not speaking for a few minutes but IF you were riding a bike, what happened there? You simply continued riding despite the medical issue? Yikes... Do take care!

Finally, I am thrilled to hear you will visit the family homestead and meet relatives you don't know, yet! How fun is that!

Life is Short. It flies by year by year, but also I think (like you) where did the years go? Macomb County was so important to me when employed, now, it's simply not. The last TWELVE years I've been retired, what DID I DO? I don't know (lots of mom caregiving). AND 12 years, not 2 years or 5 years but TWELVE years!!! Seriously!??

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