The Annabelle Blog


     2 minutes-ish          

Doing Without

          I knew my family had begun to think of me as a senior citizen when I started receiving hand lotion as a gift. Well, isn't that the bomb, I thought. But--no forgiveness necessary. I well know the struggle to find gifts for older folks.

          Back in the day, I wracked my brain to come up with gift ideas for my own elderly mother. It wasn't easy. Way, way back when I was a teenage girl and had my first job, it was easy. I spent all of my first couple of paychecks on buying presents for her. She was one of those Depression-era women with a passel of kids who did without. "Make it do, wear it out, use it up," she would say. So we didn't really shop. We window-shopped.


          On that first employed Christmas, I bought her everything I could afford that she had earlier admired while window-shopping. Lots of presents under the tree and most of them for her!

          Then she got old, and I got middle aged. What to get Mom for her birthday? Mother's Day? Christmas? What to get Mom just so she would know I had not forgotten her? PFFFFFT! So hard to come up with good ideas! She liked to dress well in her old age, so one time I got her a collection of scarves. Another time when I was particularly short of funds, I found a blouse on sale at TJ Maxx and shipped it off. It was green gingham. Don't ask me what I was thinking, except: Must get Mom a gift!


          One time, I had a whole bunch of pies from a far-away specialty store shipped to her. That was a big hit. Then I sent her a live Christmas tree. Such a cool idea for new Floridians! I asked her how she liked it. She told me it was very nice, but they had to leave it on the front patio. She didn't want to get any pine needles on the carpet. 

          She's gone now, but I've never forgotten the challenge of finding gifts for my old mother. Gifts and gifting are emotional, and with families often scattered all over the country, it can be easy for Grandma and Grandpa to wonder, Do you still care about me? Am I a bother? And to think, Don't forget me.


          So that's why I started this shop. We source gifts for seniors from wherever we can find them and in a variety of price points. You can send something simple to let your elderly loved ones know you are always thinking of them. Or, you might chip in with sibs and make a dream come true. It's up to you. We hope we've made your task of love easier. And you don't have to resort to ties and hand lotion.

Annabelle, July 1019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 minutes-ish

The older you get, the more you notice that life is crazy fast.


          At first, it comes as a surprise. For the longest time, you feel like you're standing still, because your circumstances always surround you and you always adapt to them as if little or nothing has happened. As if you have been riding on a train with no windows, maybe switching seats now and then. You endure the jostling. Or walk the aisle to stretch your legs. You think the car you're in is your life, unchanging. For the most part, everything the same, always. And then a door opens, and you see how much you have passed as you were riding in your windowless car.

Dust if You Must

                                  by Rose Milligan


Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better

To paint a picture, or write a letter,

Bake a cake, or plant a seed;

Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,

With rivers to swim, and mountains to climb;

Music to hear, and books to read;

Friends to cherish, and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there

With the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair;

A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,

This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,

Old age will come and it’s not kind.

And when you go (and go you must)

You, yourself, will make more dust.


First published September 15th 1998 in the 21st edition of The Lady 

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