The Big Questions

Nothing like an early walk on an exquisite spring morning to generate the big questions in life . . .

Why can’t I pick trilliums? It was illegal when I was a child; is it still?


Was that deer flirting with me? Was she following me? Was she as interested in me as I was in her? Why is her tail white? Why can’t my iPhone camera keep up?

How much does a sailboat like that cost?!

Who will live in Mr. C’s little place, now that he’s gone? Will they grow tomatoes, too?

Why does my cat sit placidly and purr when we stick a big needle under his skin and deliver fluids and then bite me, hard, when I clip his toenails?

And a related question: Why can’t I drink alcohol while on antibiotics?

Where does that lilac smell come from? How can it be so poignant and nostalgic and moving?


Which chore do I tackle when I get home? Which piece of wood do I sand and/or paint today? Which tomorrow? The next day? Can I just keep walking . . . and avoid the chores?

Why do I look so tubby in my silhouette?


And a related question: Which kind of ice cream shall I choose today?

Why does 71 sound so old and seem so young? I’ll ask my husband—he’s reaching that birthday today . . .

Where does the time go? Are we using it to full advantage?

How can I fit it all in, everything I want to do on this perfect day, and still have time to acknowledge and honor a perfect day?

Can I do this all again, tomorrow? Please?


75 thoughts on “The Big Questions

  1. What a lovely, poignant post! Actually brought tears to my eyes, especially the last line. Happy birthday to your husband! As we age, every day seems more and more precious.

  2. Happy birthday to your husband! And no thanks at all for pointing out that alcohol is a no-no with antibiotics …. I didn’t know. But I’m still here … 😉

  3. Wonderful post Kerry ~ I think you summed up a day in a life perfectly, leaving me with the same last question. Happy Birthday to your husband with a wish for happiness and laughter overflowing!

  4. Well, the answers to your questions will be revealed during the day! Basically, after 70 time races by! Have a great day and good for you walking! I walk 1.5 miles each morning and because of the heat I have to get out there by 6:30 AM. I do a 20 minute mile – at the age of 74 1/2 years of age. I have been a walker for 50 years now and it has paid off! I do miss an occasional Wine Cooler but not enough to have one! LOL Take care and keep that mind active! I think I am trying to run away from aging! Another LOL

  5. This reminded me of the Diamond Rio song — “One more day, one more night, one more sunset — maybe I’d be satisfied — but then again, I know what it would do, leave me wishing still for one more day with you.” What a blessing, to be content with simple things — and what a sorrow, that we can’t magically extend these beautiful days to everyone.

    • I like simple things way better than “exciting” things, it seems. I find myself resenting any reason to leave home, even though, when I leave and travel somewhere, I inevitably have a great time.

  6. That’s interesting that you mention trillium first.. trillium is a fragile plant in that if you pick the bloom bruising a leaf the plant then dies but will return the next year however if the plant is bruised again the next year it will kill it permanently. Grandma alway said, Life is fragile handle it with prayer… Abraham Lincoln said, in the end ,it’s not the of years of your life that counts, it’s the life in your years. Your walks are putting life in your years!

  7. Beautifully written post, Kerry. I can’t help but think of all those people working in a job they hate just to pay the bills…living for the weekends and dreading Monday mornings. You never get that lost time back. The last few years of my professional life were like that. Thankfully, my daughter and husband have jobs they love and it looks like my grandsons will be going into professions they enjoy as well. Everyone should be able to experience perfect days every day. I wish you many, many more perfect days. And happy birthday Don! You’re just a kid (same age as me).

    • Isn’t it interesting how young 70 seems, once you get there? I can’t believe he’s over 70 (or you!)! It’s funny–I loved my professional job as college prof but still could not wait to retire and have the days to live my way. I try to be mindful of just how lucky I am, at this stage of my life.

  8. Beautiful. I’m wondering now what I think about on a morning walk. Had it been this morning it would have been: why am I out here in this downpour! 😀

    • It is a beautiful area to walk–the road goes by the lake and by pretty gardens. I count bunnies and get excited by the deer and raccoons when I catch a glimpse. And ponder all those questions . . . 😉

  9. What a wonderful way to wonder as you wander Kerry…….. I know I do much the same but could never recall those questions by the end of my walk 😀 I do know that walking in nature and appreciating it while doing so is better for us than any medication. Growing older with style and grace is a gift so many are denied, and aging it seems is completely relative to where you stand on the age continuum. To a man of 98 your husband is still a youngster 🙂 Birthday greetings to him ❤

    • I really, really felt I needed to write a blog post so I consciously made note of the questions in my head! When did blogging become a chore?? You’re right about the relativity of “age”–I remember when my grandparents had their 50th wedding anniversary–they were so old! Now, our good friends are coming up to 50 years and they are so young!

      • 😀 I’ve noticed that too – my boundary is constantly shifting. Once I thought if I hadn’t done it by age 25 I never would – now as I approach 70 I realise there’s still a few more years to make stuff in……….

  10. A wander with wonder, as in awe and as in questioning. All good questions, and perhaps the trick is not to require answers but to see if the universe will deliver them anyway. Many happy returns: of the day to your husband, of the wonder-filled wander to you.

    • It’s funny–I could look up the answers to some of those questions but I sometimes just like to wonder, not know. And some of the questions are unanswerable so acceptance of life as it is is the key. Thanks for your good wishes!

  11. The questions never stop do they-which is a very good thing. I thought the trillium edict was only an Ontario thing (it’s the provincial flower) and now I’m really curious why we can’t pick them.

    • Well, Wikipedia (and my blog pal, Deb) says it’s because if you pick the flower, it kills the plant and the plant is considered endangered in some areas. In NY, we aren’t supposed to pick the red trillium but, in Ontario, it’s the white one that’s protected, I guess. So many questions!

  12. Did I know this before? That is my big question. Our husbands share the same birthday? My husband turned 71 on 7 June. Did your husband get a birthday cake? Mine didn’t. 😦 Many happy returns, and happy wonderings and wanderings to you both. And, here’s another question. My husband looks 15 years younger than I do and yet I am 8 years younger than he is. Now How Does That Happen? 😀

    • Our husbands were born on the exact same day and year! How fun! And, no, he didn’t get a cake. He chose a (store-bought) coconut cream pie instead. I’m 4 years younger than Don and we probably look about the same age. It’s that annoying thing about women aging, while men become more distinguished-looking, I suppose. Grrrrr.

  13. I loved this post, Kerry! Your questions sound like some of mine, lol. Happy birthday to your hubby, and I do hope you celebrated with ice cream, especially since June is Dairy Month! What flavor did you choose?

    • We *did* have ice cream (well, the day before his birthday but . . . ). I don’t eat much ice cream year round but I have a hard time saying no in the summer, and we have this ice cream stand quite close by. I had a Hershey ice cream called Outrageous Oatmeal Cookie–it is spectacular! And Don had Chocolate Moosetrack, another fine choice!

      • Ooh those both sound good! I treated myself last night too, vanilla with blueberries and black cherry vanilla on top. I started a summer job cleaning rental cottages for the family across the park, and yesterday was a big check out day, so I did three…I decided I had earned my ice cream!😆
        The extra $ will come in handy since piano lessons are usually about half the norm in the summer, and I get paid to work out, wrestling furniture and the vacuum. I can just walk over on the days that I work because it’s so close, and my students are all corralled into Tuesday and Wednesday. Once I get in shape, I think it will be great. 😜

  14. I hope your husband had the happiest of birthdays. Walking is for, and leads to deep thinking and questions, isn’t it? The best time. Thanks for this post.

    • He did have a very nice birthday, thanks! And, yes, I use my walks, absolutely, to help me sort things out. If I’m stressed or have a difficult dilemma, I often can deal with with it while I walk.

  15. Happy belated birthday to husband. Loved all those questions, don’t think it’s necessary to get answers to all, how can you learn without asking questions??. “Curiosity killed the cat – satisfaction brought it back”

    • You know, I was an adult before I heard the end of that “curiosity killed cat” adage–and I was so relieved to have it acknowledged that curiosity was a *good* thing!

  16. Thank you for the smile. Your questions reminded me of the 1991 movie, City Slickers, when Billy Crystal’s character kept wanting to know the meaning of life from Jack Palance. 🙂 Happy BDay to your hubby, and if you figure out whether 71 is old or not, let me know. 🙂

  17. That was a beautifully crafted, and oh-so-thoughtful, post. I can answer (kind of) the question of why you can’t I drink alcohol while on antibiotics. After extensive research on my part, you sometimes can; but apparently alcohol reduces the efficacy of some antibiotics – so it’s a bad idea to drink while you’re taking those. You probably knew that…it’s Friday, end of the week…sorry.

    • Thanks! And I think you’re right about the efficacy of the drugs–and I did want them to work as well as they possibly could. Plus, this specific antibiotic supposedly causes nasty vomiting when mixed with alcohol–no more information needed!

  18. I love starting every day with a walk with my dog. I don’t see deer, but I am just as excited to spot a rabbit. I enjoyed reading your story in the form of questions. Not everything in life can be answered by Google, although I do try.

  19. I’m too late for birthday wishes. Sorry I missed this one. I’m backlogged. I ask myself those kinds of questions too. I’m just weeks shy of 71 myself so time is very, very precious. Loved reading all your questions. Keep asking them.

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