A lot of sh*t can happen in 5 years!

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In 2015, at 92, Harriette Thompson became the oldest woman to complete a marathon!  She passed in 2017, but what an inspiration!

So somewhere in the bustle of the holidays, my never ending sniffles, and out of town guests, I missed my 5th anniversary on WP!  It happened like on December 30th (give or take a day.)

Happy Anniversary to my little ass, Aging Gracefully!

Holy cow, that was a fast 5 years!

When I started AGMA, I had a lot of time on my hands.  Blogging seemed like a good way to fill some of it.  I’m a bit ADHD, so I needed something to keep me busy.

Little did I know that the next 5 years would turn out to be crazy eventful.  And my days would soon be overflowing with “opportunities” to be busy…

  • The most adorable grandchildren in the world (MAGITW) made their appearances in 2014 and 2016.  And there is soon to be a 3rd MAGITW!  Stay tuned this summer…
  • I decided to start “running” marathons, and have 6 notches in my belt so far.  I ran my 1st one 2 months after starting AGMA.
  • My love of thrifting turned into a little Ebay business.  The problem is that AGMA loves thrifting more than listing the items on Ebay.  And I’m running out of places to store the crap…eh…treasures.
  • I gave up the space I was renting and made the decision to switch my massage practice almost exclusively to corporate chair massage.  And business has been good. Very good.
  • Because of the series of most unfortunate events on November 8, 2016 and after, arranged by Comrade Putin, I’ve become a Resistor (NOT the electrical kind.). This has taken up quite a bit of AGMA’s time.  But it’s time well spent (refer to the 1st bullet point!)
  • I’ve been able to indulge my passion for travel both domestically and internationally like never before.  With a very flexible work schedule, family & friends flung all over the US, a bit more in the bank account, and the desire to sample local wines in every country in the world (still working on this…), AGMA has racked up beaucoup miles in the air and in the car.  Now THAT’s what I’m talkin’ about!
  • Some “not aging gracefully” health junk has taken up way too much time.  I’m not a fan and ignore whenever possible…   But I’m pretty pumped because I had my BIG birthday a few weeks ago.  It’s Medicare time now baby!

Whew.

It’s been a rockin’ and rollin’ 5 years.

But I love this little AGMA blog and ADORE my blogging friends.  Yinz guys (to say it in my native Pittsburghese!)

And I’m looking forward to another 5, 10, 15, dare I say 20 (?) years of blogging.

By 2038, I predict I will have at least 4 more tattoos, will have run at least 30 marathons, have an Ebay business that Jeff Bezos will envy, will have finished my wine quest (hic), will have a great grandchild, and will have visited the Big Orange Cheeto and his posse in prison at least once since being sentenced in 2019.

Nah – maybe not that last one…

But you can read all about it here on AGMA so stick around!

P.S.  I am forever grateful to the now “retired” blogger, Dobster, who gave me wonderful encouragement in those early months of AGMA.  I still miss him – he quit blogging cold turkey one day in 2015.  It was jarring and I felt like I’d lost a friend.  If he hasn’t already, I hope he returns to the blog-o-sphere one day.  His posts made me laugh.

A tale of many cities

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”                               Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

It’s been a long time since AGMA’s read the CliffsNotes on this great book. I’m pretty sure that I never actually read it from cover to cover.

I saw the movie though…

But holy crap on a cracker, this quote totally describes so many people I know in the USA.

Including AGMA.

On one hand, life is very good. It took 60+ years, but I’m finally comfortable in my own skin. I’ve dispelled (for the most part) the shadows of the past that held me hostage for so many years. It’s really wonderfully liberating.

AGMA’s become a Ms. Sassy Pants.

I’ve taken up marathon running. I’ve discovered a passion for men’s elite cycling (young men in spandex!). I have a blog I adore writing and a family in my WordPress friends. And I got a tattoo this year. That I still LOVE by the way.

My relationship with my older son and DIL has completely transformed into something I only dreamed of a few years ago. I’m welcomed into their home with open arms and lots of love. They have given me two adorable grandchildren to spoil.

And spoil them AGMA does indeed!  Which is what I was doing last week when I should have been posting to AGMA.  Oops…

Hubs is retired. We have a comfortable income from his pension and my part-time massage therapy work. And some modest savings.  So I can travel. Something AGMA has been wanting to do since her early 20’s.  Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and all over Europe multiple times. For me it’s been a dream come true.

However, I just found out that we are actually at the poverty level based on the GOP’s definition of the middle class in the new tax bill. Evidently to be middle class, you need to earn $450,000 per year.

Who knew?

#MAGA

Great segue to the worst of times…

Our traitorous illegitimate president. His pack of corrupt henchmen and Stepford women. The spineless, heartless, bottom dwellers of the GOP. The morons in charge of education, our natural resources, consumer protection, financial regulation, commerce, housing, veterans affairs, public health, social programs, immigration.

Lobbyists basically in charge of public policy.

A nuclear game of cat and mouse between narcissistic megalomaniacs.

The repeated assaults on and the attempted destruction of the tenants of our Constitution. The attacks on the judiciary. The demonization on the free press. The egregious, illegal exploitation of public office for personal gain.

The fear and hate mongering. Condoned attacks on women, minorities, non-Christians, LGBTQ’s, the disabled.

The extreme profanity of the “Christian” alt-right.

Treason and rigged elections. Gerrymandering. Voter suppression. Poll taxes.

Our precious children at Sandy Hook and Columbine. Virginia Tech. Charleston. San Bernardino. Orlando. Charlottesville. Las Vegas, New York City. Denver. Sutherland Springs.

Our precious children…

Chuck was right; it is the best of times and the worst of times.

AGMA’s challenge, as I think is every other person who loves what American used to stand for, is to not retreat into my personal best of times out of fatigue or sense of helplessness or a desire to block it it all out. Although I know plenty of people who have done just that. They have just tuned out what’s happening to the US because it’s not all unicorns and rainbows. Or it makes them feel bad or sad or ruins their feng shui.

Ah…I think that’s what happened in Germany in the 1930‘s.

Just sayin’…

As AGMA loves to tell via social media our Trump-arse-kissing, spineless, gutless, in-the-pocket-of-the-lobbyists, dishonorable Georgia senator David Perdue, “History has its eye on you and will judge you accordingly.”

Truthfully, history has its eyes on all of us. And will judge us on how we used our best of times to heal our worst of times.

AGMA knows this seems overwhelmingly daunting. But I also know that the actions of one person can make a difference.

We all can’t be a Mother Theresa (especially AGMA!), but we can pick up the phone and call our legislators. On the federal, state and local level. Often. And let them know what we think about the worst of times and how we want them to make it better.

And we can support, either financially and/or with our time, local political candidates who would unite and heal rather than divide and wound.

The same thing with organizations that support civil rights, voting rights, LGBT rights, a clean environment, sensible gun laws, our Constitution, immigrant rights, our veterans, etc…

You get the idea.

Honestly, AGMA would really like to cocoon and withdraw from all of this worst of times stuff. I mean, my life is going great. I’m living large. Finally. Why should I worry about all that other “unpleasantness”?

Two reasons…

An almost 3 year old boy who loves trucks of every kind, wants to be a “worker guy” when he grows up, and loves inventing make-believe stories he can act out with his Nan when she visits.

And a just turned 1 year old young lady who loves to climb on things she’s not supposed to (that’a girl!), babbles incessantly and gives her Nan the best heart melting snuggles that Nan ever had.

They and millions of other precious children of all colors and religious backgrounds and cultures deserve a better future.

History does indeed have its eyes on us.

I wonder how we’ll do?

“History has it’s eyes on you”

 

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AGMA traveled with now retired Hubs to Chicago two weeks ago to visit the most adorable grandchildren in the world.

Seriously, they are. But I don’t want to pick any fights with those of you who might disagree because you might think that your grandchildren are the most adorable.

I’m sure they’re cute and all that but…

We went up to Chicago a day earlier than normal because we had tickets to see…

“Wait for it”…

HAMILTON: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL!!!!

OMG, OMG, OMG!

Now I know that Broadway musicals aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but if you get the chance to see Hamilton, please go! Saying it was fabulous doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

And men, you’ll love it even if you think you won’t. It has war and cannon fire and drinking and duels and sexual intrigue and comedy and rap battles. I mean, what’s not to like?

AGMA bought the tickets last September. Risky at our age buying tickets to something 8 months in the future. You just never know…

And the way T-Rump has been acting toward North Korea, there was definitely a 50-50 chance we might not have been able to go.

Kaboom!

I’m frugal. Very frugal. Some might even say cheap. I buy a lot of my clothes in thrift shops – very nice ones, but still… But I didn’t hesitate to shell out the $167 per ticket to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s masterpiece of a hip-hop version of Alexander Hamilton’s life.

And from what AGMA hears, compared to seeing it in New York and San Francisco, we got a bargain.

A year and a half ago, a friend of mine suggested we take a girls trip to NYC to see Hamilton. She’d seen something on Good Morning America and said it looked fun. At that point, I was Hamilton-unenlightened. I checked the ticket prices (only resale were available) and said “No way!” They were $300 per ticket.

$300. To see the original cast. On Broadway.

I’ll never forgive myself.

My DIL and son went to New York last summer to see one of the final performances of the original cast. She says she will never tell anybody how much she paid for her tickets. AGMA thinks it was close to a hefty downpayment on the national debt.

Interestingly enough, she was pregnant at the time and having difficulties. The baby was fine, but her body was not handling the pregnancy well. Her OB advised her not to travel.

She started crying. Literally crying in her doctor’s office. And said, “But I have tickets to see Hamilton on Broadway with Lin-Manual Miranda this weekend!”

He told her to go.

All went well on the trip and they had a Broadway experience of a lifetime.  And little V came out singing “Hey yo, I’m just like my country, I’m young, scrappy and hungry…” when she was born.

For those of you who don’t follow this stuff, Hamilton is a hip hop opera written by, at the time, 29 year old phenom Lin-Manual Miranda.  He based it on the Ron Chernow book titled Alexander Hamilton.  Hamilton was an immigrant from the West Indies who came to NYC as a penniless 17 year old and became one of our Founding Fathers.

“Immigrants, we get the job done.”

The music and lyrics are wonderful. And catchy. AGMA has lately been heard belting out some of the songs while showering.

“La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la”

The staging is impressive. One set that is incredibly adaptive. Like AGMA.

And the casting concept is a stoke of pure genius.

Miranda uses a culturally and racially diverse cast of African-Americans, Latinas and Asian-Americans to play the Founding Fathers and the rest of the historical figures. Kinda makes American history more accessible to everybody…

Miranda started working on the concept for Hamilton in 2009, well before T-Rump burst onto the political scene, but it is so very relevant to what’s happening in the United States right now.

AGMA’s pretty sure all of our Founding Fathers and Mothers are furiously spinning in their graves at how our fake president is trying to tear down the nation that they built with their blood, sweat and tears. And how he and his traitorous, bellicose baffoons are trying to undermine the checks and balances our Founders put into the US Constitution. And take away our rights. And get into bed with the Russians.

T-Rump and Putin in bed. Now there’s an image in your mind’s eye that you can’t un-see.

Yikes!

One of the most poignant songs in Hamilton is titled “History Has It’s Eyes on You”.

I have been calling my Senators (both GOPer’s) since the inauguration expressing my deep concerns with the corruption, lies and treason in the White House and Congress. Lately, I’ve been adding the phrase, “Remember, ‘history has it’s eyes on you’…”

History does indeed have it’s eyes on them.  All of them. And AGMA has a feeling history will not be kind to them. Any of them.

Nor should it.

So until we get their butt’s kicked out, impeached, tarred and feathered, etc., just like Hamilton, I’ll keep resisting tyranny and treason.  AGMA hopes you will too.

I’ll continue calling my elected officials and attending town halls and marching and being AGMA-obnoxious for the sake of the future of the most adorable grandchildren in the world.

And if you don’t agree about the adorable grandchildren thing – no problem. I’ll just challenge you to a duel with pistols.  In New Jersey because…

“Everything’s legal in New Jersey.”