Fifty years ago today, I opened my eyes to the wonders that are planet Earth. In that time, I’ve experienced extreme joy and heartbreaking sadness. This fact in no way makes me any different from those who have gone before me, those I share the planet with now, or those who will come after I close my eyes and slip into eternal slumber.
Below is a list of 50 things I’ve learned since my arrival (one for each year).
1) Experience is a great teacher, but the cost of tuition can be excruciatingly high.
2) No one ever gets away with anything.
3) Complete silence is a myth.
4) The neighbor’s dog will always start barking the moment you answer the telephone on the porch.
5) Every moment is a chance to start over.
6) Humor and beauty are both in the eyes of the beholder.
7) Attitude is everything.
8) The mirror is a liar.
9) The camera adds 10 pounds, unless you’re on vacation. It adds 30 pounds then.
10) Small victories help to achieve larger goals when given the right amount of appreciation.
11) The weak will always pay the price for the errors of the strong.
12) Compromise is only a dirty word when your soul is involved.
13) Blessed are the peacemakers. Truly!
14) You lose every fight you run away from.
15) A thing being sold is always more valuable than a thing being purchased.
16) The view is only as clear as the heart is pure.
17) When you feel at war with the whole world, double check your own battle plan.
18) The worst examples of any group will always make the headlines.
19) Mistakes and accidents don’t make you a bad person. The inability to recognize them as such does.
20) “The End”, rarely is.
21) “Yes” and “No” are the two most powerful words in the history of mankind.
22) People teach what they themselves have been taught. This is an awesome responsibility. Taken too lightly, the effects can leave a society in ruins.
23) Movement is evidence of life.
24) Losing everything can be quite freeing.
25) No one knows everything about anyone.
26) Almost everyone with minimal education can write. Not everyone is a writer, though.
27) The worst infant is still better than the best adult.
28) Focusing too much on the destination takes away from the joy of the journey.
29) Patience, when practiced for too long, begins to look a lot like immobility.
30) Comfort, in limited doses is great. But I believe the first chair was built only after the ground became uncomfortable.
31) Casinos aren’t built to pay out.
32) A story is only interesting to those who can see a reflection of themselves as they are or as they wish to be.
33) Profanity will never improve your position in any disagreement.
34) I prefer the weeks leading up to Christmas over the day itself.
35) I still don’t know how old is “too old”.
36) No matter how many times I look at it, I am still in awe of the night sky.
37) The roar of the ocean is deeply relaxing, but the drip of a leaky faucet can drive one mad.
38) Nobody ever reads number 38.
39) Reality rarely lives up to fantasy. Fantasize anyway.
40) Everyone is special to someone.
41) Soft sand trumps the most expensive man-made pathway every time.
42) Every story is relayed from the viewpoint of the speaker.
43) Truth is a rare commodity and despised by those who fear it.
44) We celebrate the sunrise and the sunset, but rarely the noonday.
45) The earlier you start, the greater your chance for success.
46) Preparation may not always mean victory, but it certainly makes victory harder for the other side.
47) There are times in life when giving up truly does make the most sense.
48) No scars. No life.
49) Don’t ever ask the question how much worse can it get. You will definitely find out in short order if you do.
50) Never question those who love you or those who hate you. Usually, neither knows why for certain.
Well that’s it. With a little love and luck I’ll survive to do my list of 100 things I’ve learned.
I can hardly wait to see the device I’ll be using then to convey that list.
(Editor’s note: For Rob’s list of 47 things he learned, written in 2011, visit, “Rain Can Fall From a Clear Blue Sky + 46 Other Things I’ve Learned“.)
By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter
Seventeen years ago this week (Sept. 9, 1996), Louie, a beautiful red miniature pinscher puppy rode home on my lap. He was to become my first pet as an adult. Spirited and ornery, he also was faithful, tender and a loyal companion, through many life events, challenges and changes. Together, we celebrated Christmases, New Years and birthdays, and we also mourned losses such as the death of my grandma and my first marriage.
During the past seven years, he has been an integral part of Rob’s and my life, as we fell in love, learned to sail, married and relocated our lives to North Texas’ Lake Texoma. Throughout all, Louie was adaptable, energizing and a willing participant. Along the way, he got lost a few times-escaping through fences or otherwise wandering off–learned to swim and found solace in the calm of a summer day. Despite his aging body, blindness and partial deafness that had been more visibly evident the past year, Louie always enjoyed his treats, lying in the sun and a warm, soft blanket. Always, for me, he was a source of joy, sweetness, comfort and companionship. He was an enduring friend who never judged and always loved.
Immediately following his death yesterday, I felt a sense of deep loss, affection, sadness and remorse for how I could have comforted him more at the end, love, heartbreak and a deep well of other emotions and memories that I’m still working through. My husband, Rob, has been great – comforting and supportive, talking through feelings, and even brought home a spray of lilies to further celebrate Louie’s life. He also misses the little fellow. We buried Louie properly, and said a few words. I know that Louie is at peace.
Following are a few memories of Louie from his most recent few years, illustrating his robust and wonderful 17-year life here on planet earth:
Adios, my sweet Louie. Thank you for your inextinguishable love, the light in your eyes and the lively spirit that I will never forget. I will miss you forever.
By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter
With the flip of a calendar page, I sailed into 50 on Sept. 3!
Coffee on the porch with my handsome husband and fur family helped ease into the morning. This was followed by an invigorating call from my sister, Janet, and a power workout setting the day on just the right course.
Early afternoon, my good friend, Claire, treated me to a spa day at Tanglewood Resorts.
Afterward, we took an elevator ride up to the top of Tanglewood Tower.
Here is the Tanglewood Tower.
And me, on top of the world–or at least, on top of Lake Texoma.
Upon returning home, my husband, Rob, asked me to close my eyes and led me to my office, where he presented:
Brand-new solid oak writing desk! I LOVE it.
The Merlot and fresh flowers as well as the pottery and wicker basket add brilliant value to his thoughtful gift!
Our friends, Kirk and Tara, were kind enough to pay us a visit and hang out on the treetop lounge. Here are Kirk and Tara – picture from a few weeks ago.
We were equally honored they brought along their most valuable pint-sized package,
Ella Mae. This is Rob holding their NEW arrival; she is only 2 weeks old. We feel so blessed that they all 3 came to visit!
In addition to all this, Rob prepared an amazing steak, baked potato and crusty bread dinner, accompanied by delicious beverages and followed by rich chocolate cake!
Bella, our adopted kitty, hung out with us every chance she could get.
Here she is toward the end of the big day, crashed. I felt as relaxed as she looks after such a luxuriously divine day.
Finally, I received many well wishes from my social media friends, many with whom my relationship extends into in-real-life conversations and face-to-face visits. Thank you to everyone who helped me feel special on this once-in-a-lifetime day!