Virginia Watts

Identity Crisis

Today's Gift from the Garden

If you have retired recently, did you notice that when you looked in the mirror you seemed different?  Or were you just the same, only more relaxed and happy?  Or did you find a face there at all?

I retired almost five years ago, and I'm still trying to discover who I am now.  The fact of me was so defined by what I did, that I can't quite figure out yet how to just be... or how to do, as I have heard said, "very little, slowly." 

INTO THE CANYON: A Chapter Book for Grown Ups

INTO THE CANYON: A Chapter Book for Grown Ups - Chapter 2

002_1.JPG       Sage, or Salvia officinalis , a wild undershrub, has long been credited as a charm against evil, snakebites, and more.

Clifford’s hands fascinated her when he filled her glass…strong and broad, with an odd scar on the back of the left one. 
“Bad burn when I was a kid,” he said.
“Oh god,” she said.  “I’m sorry for staring.  It looks like that symbol for infinity.”
“Yeah, it does—or a lazy eight.  You okay?”

New Vistas

Stumbling, tripping, slipping – or how about just doing a face-plant?


When you are in a liminal place, on the edge or the verge or perhaps standing in a doorway, you must be cautious.  Stepping into new space is always something that should be done thoughtfully, carefully, and maybe even reconsidered before you do it.  And I do believe this applies to every age, although maybe age should be part of the equation.

DIY Interior Design

Whenever I feel a need for a change, I rearrange furniture or clean out cupboards.  When we were first married, this used to cause my poor husband some concern.  He couldn't rely on where the couch or the coffee table might be at any given time.  He pretty much likes things to stay where they are.  I pretty much like to move stuff around.

Reflection on Retirement

I have been having lots of trouble adjusting to retirement.  I am 70 years old, and I know that I retired when it was time for me to move on to something else.  But so far, I've been so caught by an identity crisis after "quitting" -- that I can't move on.  I quit.  And I had some good reasons for doing so.  But that doesn't mean I'm sure what's next. 


Puzzle, undoneJigsaw puzzles are often found spread out in various stages of completion or disarray at our house.  We clean around them, try not to knock pieces onto the floor, try to keep the grandkids from walking off with bits or disassembling what has been assembled.  They sometimes serve as coasters for a cup of tea or coffee, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a piece in the dishwasher as a result of this somewhat unorthodox treatment.

Apple Blossoms

I think I have just fallen in love with apple blossoms.  I have never known them so personally before.  But four years ago we planted a Granny Smith tree in our yard, and after some false starts -- well, a start can be false and true -- this year we have some blossoms that have completely captivated me.  The translucence of the petals and their call make me wish I were a bee. 


Approaching 70...

January, for me, has always been two new beginnings.  I'm not only beginning a new year, I am turning another year older.  And this year it will be 70.  Seventy.  I am approaching with caution, and disbelief that I have only been on this planet (well, this time anyway) for 70 years.

At sixty I thought -- "ah, free at last, free at last" -- to do what I like, see what I like, eat what I like, drink what I like!  I'm old enough that it doesn't matter anymore! 

The Week After Christmas

Even though the ornaments are still on the tree;


And even though the lighted reindeer are stll on the lawn;

The week after Christmas has a stripped down, self contained aspect.

The stuffed Santa knows he will soon be put back in the old sea chest,

And the sagging branches of the tree know they will soon be outside on the curb for recycling.

It feels like there is more air and more light (well, there IS more daylight!);

Christmas Present(s)


Christmas presents or Christmas presence?  I've been thinking about those two words for some time.  Obviously they sound the same, obviously they have completely different meanings.  Or do they?  Sometimes what we crave the most is not a thing, but a connection. 

Christmas Past

It’s 1957 and even though it is winter and cloudy, smog gives an acid-edge to the air in West Los Angeles.   But it is what I know as normal for that time and place, and the weather seems right to me even though it’s a little hard to breathe.


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