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Senior Correspondent

Every now and again when I chat with friends and neighbors where I live, the most amazing observations and comments are shared. Some things I pick up just by keeping my mouth shut and my eyes and ears on the alert.

For instance, one morning last week as I was walking down East Side Drive in Concord, I noticed someone walking a dog just ahead of me. I did a double-take because the person was dressed as a circus clown.

I kid you not! Adorning the dog-walker was an enormous orange wig, a bright-colored romper-suit with a red and white striped shirt and stockings. The small black dog marched along on his leash as if walking with a clown was simply part of his daily routine and he was proud to be part of the act. When the clown turned into one of the cottages on our campus, I remembered the Havenwood-Heritage Heights' Clown Troupe, The Joyful Joeys, were visiting hospitals that day. Missus Clown was making sure her costume and makeup were in place before she walked the dog. Our unspoken rule here is, "If you're on time you're late"!

Helen, a friend who is way into her 90s, fell a couple of months ago and broke her pelvis. Hospitalized for a few days, she was then moved to our continuing care rehab facility for skilled nursing care and physical therapy. After three weeks, Helen returned here to her cottage. The other day we saw her pushing her walker along one of the walkways near our home. We admired her new equipment, truly a Cadillac in style and extras, and remarked on how well she was doing. Very matter-of-factly she said, "I pushed babies in strollers for so many years it was good training for pushing a walker – it just came naturally."

We have so many retired clergy living here it was no surprise to overhear one of them explaining to a visitor, "We have two levels here – Cain and Abel."

Perhaps that was the same resident who said, "Most of the men here have one of three hairstyles – part, no part and depart!"

And finally, we purchased a new computer recently and were advised to get a flash drive and save everything from our hard disk onto it in order to preserve our files. Called a "flasher" for short, the gadget is about 1 inch by one-half inch in size. All I could think of was the nude flashers from yesteryear who flung open their trench coats when you least expected it. The 1-by-half-inch was the only similarity between flashers then and now!

Here are some of my own thoughts:

The older I get, the more I appreciate a good conversation.

Even when you get old, if you don't have a dream you don't have much.

I can't waste time on people who aren't sincere – in their criticisms or their compliments.

I try not to take myself too seriously.

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