The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.



Who is the author of these blogs? Some of you know me; some of you think you know me; and some of you do not know me at all.  I could describe myself, give you a list of likes and dislikes, describe what I look like, talk about my values, dreams and regrets.  I could say I’m just an average person – never going to be rich or famous. I was better than a ‘C’ student  but I‘m not a genius.  I have no special talent and have never learned to play the piano as I wanted to.  I’m going to tell you a bit about me another way

I once took something called the Color Code Test. I don’t have a lot of faith in personality tests of this nature but I shared the results with my kids, my sister and a couple of other people who know me well.  Unanimously, they agreed it was accurate.  The test does not measure intelligence or specific characteristics.  Maybe this will give you some clues about the author of these blogs.



My core motivation is peace.

I seek independence, require kindness, resist confrontation

I am an excellent listener

I am adaptable

I value diversity

I have a very logical mind

Whites are very good partners

I am very patient

I am typically satisfied; not envious.

Resist confrontation?  I sure do – at all costs   I don’t argue, stamp my feet or fight with anyone – ever. .As to the last two points.  One of the things I have failed to learn is patience. I make a supreme effort to be more patient than I am but often fail.   And, what is meant by satisfied? Satisfied with what? I suppose it means satisfied with my life, with where I am just now. No, I am not satisfied with where I live, the car I drive, the paltry income I must live on. I am satisfied with who I am, my kids, how I spend my time. And I admit to being envious in a few areas – not overall jealous, mind you, just selectively envious.

Are you patient, satisfied, envious?    Try putting a plus/minus sign next to each of those points depending on how you see yourself. Where do we click or butt heads?


Julie Rose


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One of the traditions observed at the Jewish Sabbath is blessing one’s children.  Parents place their hands on the child’s head and to girls say “May you be like Sara, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.”  For boys it’s “May you be like Ephraim and Manasseh”


It’s a lovely custom but I’ve always wondered why we wish our children to be anyone other than who they are.


My question is answered in a Chasidic story. One day his disciples found Rabbi Zusya weeping and they asked him why. He explained that he trembled when thinking about the end of his life and being asked by the Almighty not “Why were you not like Moses?” but “Why were you not Zusya?”


Indeed! It didn’t take very long for me to change the blessing for my kids.   It became, “May you be blessed with the strength and the wisdom to become who you are.”





            Traditionally, as the Sabbath meal commences, husbands recite A Woman of Valor in honor of their wives. (Proverbs 31-10)  There’s much to be said about the value of maintaining traditions but I often had to surprises a giggle. It wasn’t me my husband was speaking of when he said, “She seeketh wool and flax and works willingly with her hands,,” or “She considers a field and buys it,” Right. I should be so lucky as to have enough resources to buy a few acres of land. And I seeketh wash-and-wear – not wool and flax. “She maketh linen garments and selleth them.”   Who? Me?  I search for those linen garments in resale shops.  Find me a woman who “Rises while it is yet night and giveth food to her handmaidens.“. Instead, how about “She willingly driveth the children to soccer practice, and tolerateth her husband’s idiosyncrasies  with patience?”  Handmaiden?  Are  you kidding? An occasional foot rub by my husband is the closest I’ll ever come to a handmaiden.


For many years I was so blessed but accepted that blessing with a sense of unfairness..  Why should the children and the wife be blessed and not the husband? Finally, I took it upon myself to rectify what I considered to be a thoughtless omission. Here it is. I leave rephrasing of Woman of Valor to you.


Ode To A Husband


I am fortunate for I have found a man to treasure.

His worth is immeasurable.

He is committed to the welfare of his family,

Works diligently to provide for them

And cares for his friends and community as well.

His concerns are those of a king beholden to his kingdom

And the toils of his labor are in their behalf.

He is neither selfish nor idle and conducts himself with dignity and compassion.

He walks with a straight back and a raised head

And the touch of his hand is my delight

Blessed is the man who honors his wife and

Directs his children in paths of righteousness.

May his love be appreciated by those whom he cherishes.

How would you bless your children or your spouse? Post a comment.

Julie Rose


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I sometimes ask myself what I have learned.  Usually I am dissatisfied with the answer.  It feels incomplete – as though by the age of 75 I ought to have learned a good deal more.


I have learned to be content with less than perfection. I accept the fact that I’m not going to win the Nobel Prize or be entered in the Guinness Book of Records. I’ve come to understand that my contribution to our troubled word is that I managed to raise three well adjusted kids, all of whom are considerate, honest, caring people. I take some pride in that and am past striving for more.


I have learned how little I know – how little I understand. There is a whole world of unread stuff – a universe of un-understood things – that beckons me every day. I have come to realize how insatiably curious I am. I always feel that even if I taste it, I won’t have digested it. I want to feel about something the way Helene Hanff feels aboutLondon– to know all its nooks and crannies, to weep at the sight of the Towers. I want to be inside the skin of an Israeli whose village is threatened – to be able to intelligently discuss what happened at the Finland Station – to comprehend Joyce, Shakespeare, Descartes and a host of others – to spend hours upon hours inside the world’s great museums and come away understanding something – and on and on .


I have learned that anger and self pity, jealousy and envy are self-defeating. I have learned and appreciate the fact that mankind is one kind and I strive to incorporate that point of view in all I do and say.


I have learned not to waste worry. I know I am too trusting but I have no desire to be anything but.  ‘Parlous’ times are not familiar to me. I have learned to value and take pride in some personal qualities that, some years ago I didn’t recognize. I like my flexibility, my open-mindedness, the things that make me caring and loving, whatever creativity I possess.


One of the most important things I have learned occurred one day on about the 50th lap of a one mile swim in a pool.  Like a bolt of lightening I suddenly realized that subjecting ones self to unpleasant living circumstances only causes one to lose self respect.


On the other hand, I have failed miserably to learn anything about cynicism or skepticism. Essentially (foolishly?), despite all evidence to the contrary, I  believe  good will triumph over evil and that people are basically kind and honest. I have been sensible enough, however, to have taken my phone number off the number/address tracking line and I don’t walk down dark alleys.


I have also failed to learn much about patience and how to control my impulse to snoop.  If it wasn’t illegal I’d probably open other people’s mail.  Nor can I control my tendency to be critical of those who butcher the English language.  I haven’t learned how to participate in small talk nor how to reach out and make friends.


In a discussion about satisfaction I was given a quote from an inscription at the Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto, Japan. It said: “I am content with what I lack.”  I don’t lack the essentials but I am not content with living alone, the lack of enough resources to travel, my medical problems.  I have, however, learned to be content with what I lack.


Surely there’s more – more I’ve learned and more I’ve failed to learn. I’ve yet to determine what they are.


What have you learned? Are you content with what you lack?


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Julie Rose


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