An uplifting yarn about two indomitable spirits.

Photo by Fons Heiginsbroek on Unsplash

My Aunt Betty lost her husband to suicide. Her two boys were grown men; doing their mischief somewhere across the continent in California.

After attending their father’s funeral they high tailed back to California to continue whatever they were doing before his death.

Betty was alone.

She had a good-sized house in Connecticut where she had lived with her husband.

After finding out the droplet of equity accumulated in the heavily mortgaged Connecticut house was the only money she had to her name, Betty realized she was alone — and almost broke.

As…


If you’re like me you don’t want to simply fire up your computer and quickly pick out the first item that’s age appropriate and send it off. Shopping in stores isn’t what it use to be either.

Read this; your problem will be solved.

Photo by Ayssa Stevenson on Unsplash

Most people eagerly perform certain tasks on their trusty computer: computer friendly tasks. How come no computer has wanted to be my friend?

Now we’re coming out of our enforced hibernation brought on by the pandemic; we’re shopping for graduation, birthday, Christmas and everything in between. …


I tried to yell out an alert, but apparently, she couldn’t hear me. I quickly realized it was too late for any heroic rescues.

Photo credit: Jon Del Rivero on Unsplash

My Aunt Effie was younger than I was. Don’t ask me how that can be, but I’ve heard that can occasionally happen. I Googled for an explanation of the family anomaly and got lost halfway through the answer. I’m 78, so lots of people can legitimately claim they’re younger.

Effie lived in Northern Vermont and didn’t travel much. I must admit, I’d be tempted to stay in that gorgeous green land if I lived there too.


I sometimes think that western culture has it backwards.

Photo by Vidar Nordi-Mathissen on unsplash

By law children are forced to sit still every day for many hours and adults often do simple enervating work for survival and retirement

Far different from the classic but ghastly satirical essay written anonymously by Johnathan Swift, I have my own modest proposal. It’s not based on anything other than observations learned at the University of Experience. I have no letters before or after my name indicating any advanced degree.

That’s my point! At 78 years old, I now wish I had been more academically inclined when I had the freedom and time to take advantage of my educational…


I’m an American! When traveling, I’m always proud to tell anyone who’ll listen!

Photo by Bahar Khairy on Un splash

Before the Covid crisis grounded us all, my wife and I used to take a trip to a city in Europe once a year. 2017 it was Paris.

We had a 4 day 3 night whirlwind tour lined up at a reasonable price for the plane and a hotel. The cost included a quick touristy run around Paris in a bus. The idea was that you could chose to return on your own to the places you whized by and saw only from the bus window.

The tour was designed to allow you as much freedom to do what you…


She may have been 73 years old but her clear dark brown eyes said she was 27.

Photo by Alexander Anshiech on Unsplash

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as relieved as anyone in getting my two Covid shots (Pfizer-BioNTech). What a weight off my shoulders!

However, I don’t enjoy going shopping at Walmart as much as I did this past year.

Please, let me tell you my story:

Last year, in the teeth of the pandemic, my wife and I ordered most of our food delivered. Every once in a while we’d have to pick up a prescription or cleaning paraphernalia, personal items -- stuff like that. …


My grandson’s drone may get stuck in my neighbor’s tree and other problems.

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

If you Google the word bamboo, you’ll find it’s a grass — not a tree.

It has a multitude of uses: construction, furniture, food, biofuel fabrics, cloth, paper, pulp, charcoal an ornamental garden plant. You wonder what we Westerners did before it was introduced to Europe in the 19th century by the Chinese who had been using it for 7000 years.

Rapid growth and bushy leaves make it an excellent screen between suburban residential properties. However, it’s a perfect example of careful what you wish for!

Bamboo…


Photo by Jen Theadore on Unsplash

My neighbor recommended I join the senior center for advice on getting a covid shot. I got the advice along with a Scrabble tournament and birdwatching tour as a bonus.

The dues for one year was the best $30 I ever spent.

Not only did the center connect me with Rite Aid for a couple of Moderna vaccinations, they offered a plethera of other benefits as well.

Every day I get an email from them providing a list of activities in which I may participate if I so choose. …


Simply a case of crop rotation

Photo by Ramdom Institute on Unsplash

Pretty much everyone who has reached the age where they can get the 10% discount at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company has felt the water in the shower creep up to their ankles. More often than not, the discovery that the hair off their own head is responsible for the clog brings even greater distress.

I’d like to think of that phenomenon as nature’s way of rearranging your hair rather than repossessing it.

To establish in the beginning of this piece: I’m not a dermatologist, barber, beautician or anyone else that you would consult on…


It was in my sophomore year in college. My team’s first game I tore the cartilage in my left knee. I would be hors de combat for most of the season.

Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

I thought my world was ending…

Because I was on scholarship, I was expected to attend every meeting, every practice and rehab. It was before the medical advancement of arthroscopic surgery so an operation involved a year’s recovery. I would have liked to avoid that if I could. Deep down inside I knew that “knee wouldn’t heal thyself.”

I was caught in a morass of confusion and depression.

Until:

I met the Most Optimistic Guy In The World.

The Guy came as a 300 pound scholarship lineman who had injured himself in an ill-advised fireworks accident on the prior July…

Brian Dickens Barrabee

A lifetime of philosophical, psychological, physical and fiscal involvement. Above all, a storyteller. brianbarrabee@aol.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store