Jottings contributor Joan Waldron writes about bumperstickers and how they impact her life.

Bumper stickers can be entertaining particularly if they are not political. I was stuck in traffic one day and read "The older I am, the faster I was." I had some less than grateful thoughts as I read and pondered the message. Of course, there is some truth in the statement but I wanted some encouragement about the challenging journey one takes when age numbers start to spike. I need to find a new balance between relaxing and somnolence.

Do I feel more tired after turning off the morning news? Yes, I do and I rapidly retreat to my chaise lounge. I protect the cover with a quilt and invite my roommate Henry, the pug, to join me. Oh, the comfort I feel reclining with my furry, heat bearing dog snuggled next to me. I don't want to move. It is obvious to me that I need more stimulation and less napping. However, all the experts say that relaxing needs to be balanced with working on goals and exercise to keep healthy.

If I work on too many projects at one time I get overwhelmed. So, no more projects; only goals with no set deadlines. One of my goals is to write a family history about our ancestors.

My mother's last name was Huertas. Her great-grandfather Antonio spelled the last name Huerta (no s); he was born in Spain and came to the United States around 1865. Her father was Thomas Huertas and she was one of his eight children. The family lived in Manhattan in New York City. I wonder if the change in the surname was connected to the town where Antonio Huerta lived. There was mention of "Huerta de San Vicente" in an article in "The New York Times Travel Section." I found out that "Huerta de San Vicente" is now a museum near Granada, Spain. It was the summer home of the poet Federico Garcia.

Now that is a place I would like to see. In fact, I really want to go to Spain and find out more about my ancestors and their country. I will need to dive back into my genealogy work and find out more about the Huertas family. Were they farmers, artists, or musicians? Can they be traced back to royalty?

I will need a lot of energy to make the trip to Spain. I have spent too much time lounging on the chaise with Henry reading and snoozing. As a result, I have lost some muscle and flexibility and need to rebuild my body. Fortunately, our apartment complex has a fitness room with recumbent bikes, weight machines and is only a few feet away. I am working with a physical therapist to help me manage my aching and stiff body. She has given me eight new exercises to do and they are tough but I need to do them.

I am also doing some yoga and will now do more because the solution to cure my "Tin Man" walk is to move and move some more. My walking buddies are will to walk in the rain, and we are all ready to go. I passed a couple with head lamps on running on the bike lane on Country Club road tonight. As anxious as I am to walk, I am not excited to walk with an umbrella and a head lamp. Guess I will stick with indoor exercising for now and sprint outside when we get a sun break.

The last time we walked I asked if anyone had a bucket list and surprisingly to me everyone had a list. Some wanted to travel to one more special place in Europe or Asia. Alicia wants to take her granddaughters camping at the Grand Canyon. Erin wants to go back to Africa. All of us were feeling gratitude for all the adventures we have had and the happy memories. I have a needlepoint pillow with the message "Life Is Uncertain; Eat Dessert First." That is such a good reminder for me. My 80th birthday comes next February and is what prompted me to think about what is important to me. I am determined to live my best life and pass peace and love to all.

Joan Waldron is a member of the Jottings group at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.

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