My response to the yoga improvement discussed on talk radio.

A more polite version of my response to the yoga improvement discussed on talk radio.

From our house in Colorado to my mom’s assisted living in southeast Kansas is a round trip drive of 1,300 miles.  When Jim is at the wheel we listen to sports or news.   When I’m driving, I search radio stations for interesting topics and call-in reactions.  I’ve mentioned several of the strange topics in previous posts, but the one I listened to on this trip home after Thanksgiving takes the prize.  Last place prize.

Briefly, the program I flipped to responded to an earlier topic argued on another station.  The basic theme was making regular activities more interesting during the holidays and into the New Year.  I tuned in to catch up on the conversation about spicing up Yoga groups and classes by doing naked yoga.   Lots of responses to that one, I tell you.

Now, to reset that December visual, here are some other interesting Christmas details.   For instance, did you know that one common superstition says that animals speak on Christmas Eve?   The elderly neighbor who told me this, spiced it up by adding that it was very bad luck to tease animals and try to make them talk.


The second superstition—shared by the same neighbor—was that when you get new shoes for Christmas, if times are hard for others, you should not wear the shoes until later.   Otherwise it might cause hurt feelings, and would tempt you to feel proud.  And pride goes before the fall, which is, of course, more bad luck.

Old shoes at Christmas work just fine, and they don't hurt any feelings.

Old shoes at Christmas work just fine, and they don’t hurt any feelings.

This last one is not a superstition, but a trivia question. What is still one of the most popular, enduring Christmas movies viewed during the holidays?   If you answered IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, you’re right.  Unless you agree with actor Tom Hanks, who says it’s ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, and he watches it every Christmas.   I’ve read Remarque’s sad, bloody war novel, and trust me,  it’s not anywhere on my must-see movie list. But we each have our own opinions.


Which brings me to something my mother used to say before dementia clouded her thoughts.  I had a tendency to jump right in and argue about all kinds of things, and she repeatedly  told me that if someone said something I didn’t like or agree with, I didn’t always have to be rude or argue.  I could just shrug, turn away or go on with other things.

If she’d been riding with me and hearing the radio talk show on naked yoga, I wonder if she would have laughed, been shocked, argued with the topic…or just reached out and turned off the radio.  Probably the last…her version of turning away and going on with other things.



Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, just doing the best we can, lessons about life, making a difference, memories for great-grandchildren, Things to be thankful for

45 responses to “NOT A GOOD VISUAL

  1. juliabarrett

    I would have laughed! Going to the gym is bad enough– naked women stretching in the locker room. Why? Oh, why? Makes for bad bad memories! I do agree with your mother regarding arguments. I pick and choose. A discussion is okay. I have little interest in an argument. Usually a waste of time. Oh, and fortunately I’ve never received new shoes at Christmas time. 🙂

    • I went to my yoga class yesterday, Julia, and during several of the Cat and Cow stretches in the beginning, I got the giggles. Then I got back in the moment, worked on my breathing and pushed away the radio comments.
      It wasn’t at Christmas, but at Easter, when Mom and I either bought or made new outfits, we never wore them on Easter Sunday…but the next Sunday, for the very reason the neighbor gave for not wearing new Christmas shoes. 😉

      • juliabarrett

        On Easter we each got new patent leather shoes and a hat. But we’re Jewish so we didn’t wear them to church. 🙂

      • Hey, you got new patent leather shoes and a hat on Easter, but you didn’t go to church? Wow, Julia. And I even sang in the children’s choir–and the adult choir years later, and I didn’t get new shoes.
        Life is so unfair. 🙂

  2. Naked yoga, can you imagine that? My husband also likes to listen to football or baseball when he drives. It immediately puts me to sleep. I just love it.

    • You never know what you’ll find on radio talk shoes, Gerlinde. 🙂 When I’m driving and listening to them, Jim takes a nap. When he drives and following all sports, I’m like you and take my nap. It’s a good way to travel.

  3. Hearing about naked yoga on the radio wouldn’t provide much excitement while seeing definitely would……I think, maybe. It could turn out to be just too much rather like a feast when all you want is a meal.
    Definitely A Wonderful Life for me along with the Alistair Sim version of Scrooge.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx.

  4. I will be sure not to tease Jack on Christmas Eve. I don’t want to scare him away from a conversation. 😉 As for naked yoga ~ definitely wise to shrug and walk away from that one.

    • We’ve decided that with Scout, too, Gallivanta. 😉
      When I think about my mom’s reaction, I remember back to her exercise group in her 70s when she and her friends did the Hokey Pokey routine. I think Mom–and all her friends–would join you with a shrug and walking away from even the topic of naked yoga.

  5. Naked yoga? Who knew?
    I wonder if it’s appropriate to wear new Christmas shoes while doing naked yoga?
    I have no doubt that your mother would have laughed if she hear that discussion, Marylin. xo

    • Maybe if your new Christmas shoes were thongs or little ballerina slippers, Jill. 🙂
      My mom would have laughed at this radio talk show, I’m sure of it. And then she would has asked if there was something better to listen to. 😉

  6. I’m still thinking of what you said in the introduction: From our house in Colorado to my mom’s assisted living in southeast Kansas is a round trip drive of 1,300 miles. Wow!

    I agree with Jill. And then your ma would turn and walk away. Life is too short to waste energy on the trivial on that we can agree!

    Thank you for sharing your subtle wisdom here, Marylin.

    • That’s the trip I make almost every month, Marian. I’ve missed six monthly visits in the past 7 years due to weather or illness, and Molly filled in for two of those. But even for her, it’s 200 miles each way to visit her grand-mother. In addition, I spent a full month in their asst. living apt while I cleaned out their home of 54 years to be put on the market. Sometimes it’s exhausting, but I know when all is over, I’ll never regret it.
      When I think of this radio topic, I remember the visit many years ago when I took Mom to her exercise class with her friends in their 70s then (the mothers of my friends), when one of the exercises was the Hokey Pokey. I wish all those women were still alive, and my mom didn’t have dementia. I’d take them out for donuts after the exercise class again, and then I’d tell them about the radio topic, and we’ll all laugh as one or two of them would spit out their cocoa. 😉

  7. Having participated in numerous yoga classes over the years, when I first heard of naked yoga I tried to imagine it and decided to get those images out of my head. 🙂 Also, I don’t think I’d be a fan of the sweaty hot yoga rooms, I forget what they are called. At any rate, my fav Christmas movie is Miracle on 34th Street, made complete when I finally got to go to the Macy Day Parade in 2001 in person, and saw my daughter marching up that famous street in her band. The experience was even better than the movie, partly because it was so soon after 9/11/2001 and so emotional; we could still smell the smoldering ashes of the World Trade Center in that part of town. The police officers who kept the crowds back and helped provide safety were just gems, so cordial, helpful, not “snobby” New Yorker stereotypes. My two cents.

    • My Thursday morning yoga instructor does the hot yoga room practice, but none of our group has ever been tempted. This week I told several of the others about the radio topic as we were getting ready to start, and during the first moves there were ripples of giggles and groans. Nope, not tempting at all. 🙂
      Thanks for sharing about your daughter marching in the Macy Day Parade. It’s such a good memory on so many levels, Melodie.

  8. I wonder what advantage there is to doing yoga unclothed? The latest fad here is ‘hot’ yoga which sounds horrible. Did any of these weird off-shoots originate with this ancient art of movement, already proven to do good. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
    Favourite Christmas movie? I honestly don’t know. We never sit around the TV on Christmas Day – we’re too busy eating and playing silly games!

    • My instructor is Yoga-talented X 100–a former professional dancer–and even she does hot yoga only occasionally. Luckily for us “oldies” she focuses on what we need and can work toward, Jenny, including improving strength and balance. After yesterday’s group I told her about the radio topic, and she howled in laughter but said surely it was a joke, that nothing would be more likely to ruin the concentration and breathing!
      We watch IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE every year, but never on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Usually it’s mid-December, on an evening when it’s snowing, the decorations are up, and we’ve popped corn. 🙂

  9. You made me remember how I often used to drive with talk radio chats – Dr. Laura and Dave Ramsey were companions for a while. The audio-book has replaced them. We just bought a new car and I was shocked to find DVD players are no longer being included. I asked how I was suppose to listen to my books, and the salesperson pointed to the flashdrive ports. Humph. I enjoy my boxed DVDs with book descriptions just as I prefer a book to a kindle. The selection process of which one I will read/listen to next from my unread collection is part of the fun for me. I imagine there will be a time when I will appreciate such a “convenience,” but it’s probably not going to be this week!

    • Shel, I love listening to audio books on long drives, too. But overall I most love to curl up on the sofa or on the bed and read, so talk radio is a good alternative for me.
      Plus, I like to be surprised as I check out little known stations, especially as I drive across Kansas. One of my favorites was about “Moms who make a living by providing phone sex so they can stay home with their children.” I almost called in myself to say the Moms were using that as an excuse or were out and out wrong; it wouldn’t work. How could they pretend to offer phone sex services while their children are at home, when we all know that as soon as any mother gets on a phone and wants privacy, her kids will swarm to her, asking who she’s talking to–“Hey, is that grandma?”–or wanting permission to do something or go somewhere, etc. Oh, sure, that would attract a lot of callers prepared to pay big bucks. 🙂 Luckily, the program was swamped by females calling foul, saying the very same thing. That one radio segment made two full hours fly by as I drove!

      • Glad i missed that one – it would have had me chomping at the bit to add my two cents! But you have made me feel better about losing my DVD player, Marylin – I’ll be checking out what’s happening on Talk Radio!

      • And if you get really involved, Shel, call in and comment. (I’ve never done that–concentrating on driving and all–but I’d love to hear from you if you call in!) 😉

  10. Nancy Parker Brummett

    All good and timely bits of wisdom, Marylin. No naked yoga for me!!

  11. I won’t be trying naked Yoga, but each to their own, I’ll just turn the other way 🙂

  12. Jane Sturgeon

    Goodness, that leaves a mental image that is unsettling…flip! Your Mom would have had a wry chuckle at this … ❤ and hugs my lovely and thanks for the giggle. ❤ Xx

    • It made me giggle as I drove and listened to the radio talk show, Jane. Jim was taking a nap in the passenger seat and when he woke up and asked what was so funny, I wished I’d somehow recorded the program and comments. I don’t think I did them justice trying to summarize them, but he got the general idea! Many hugs to you, dear Jane! ❤

      • Jane Sturgeon

        I am giggling again….why would anyone want to do that? I recall a holiday that I put together for Em and I a few years back in a little known part of Lanzarote, Beautiful place and we loved it. A three mile sandy beach (unusual in those volcanic parts, anyway I digress…) Em and I discovered that half the beach was naturist. Oh the sights…there’s a story all in itself. Sending you giggly thoughts and much love Marylin. ❤ xXX

      • Now I’m smiling, Jane. I have a friend from college who, for her honeymoon let her husband choose the location as a surprise.
        You guessed it. It was a lovely place in France, but since the description was more the lovely resorts, the water and sandy beaches, he somehow didn’t catch that attire or swimsuits were optional. 😉
        That was years ago, and even now in their Christmas letters, if they’ve had a difficult or challenging year or faced obstacles, they refer back to their honeymoon! 🙂

  13. Molly

    When you first told me about this story, I thought it might be one of the funniest things that I had heard. I think it would be hilarious to have heard what Grandma’s reaction to this would have been… “Oh my!”, “Why would anyone want to do that?”, or “I wonder what their parent’s think about that?”.
    After you shared about it, without even really concentrating on it, I have begun thinking about other things that would be super hilarious to do in the buff…Girl’s basketball, Boy’s wrestling, Christmas tree decorating, and Christmas gift wrapping. WOW!!!!

    Thanks for the funny visuals! Love you!

    • Ah, the possibilities. Yes, Molly, there are soooo many.
      But yoga…it’s supposed to be about the breathing (not the gasping or holding the breath), and also calming, relaxing, pushing external thoughts aside. 🙂
      And what if the fire alarm went off?
      So many possibilities. Grandma would say, “What were they thinking?”
      Love you, sweetie! ❤ ❤ ❤

  14. Naked Yoga? Yowzer!!! No way!! Oh, the images it conjures up…well, let’s just leave at that! Reminds me of the naked bicycle rally hubby witnessed when we were in London back in June… no thanks to both! Oh Marylin, this is such a great post. You are such a wonderful writer, the way you bring in so many great, thought-provoking points, and your always wonderful sense of humour. I just love it! I’ve never heard of the Christmas Eve superstition of making animals talk…I don’t think I could get our cats to do anything they didn’t want to do either way, ha! I remember living in CA that It’s A Wonderful Life was so popular. They do show it here too, but a lot of people here tend to watch the Christmas specials of regular shows on all year round, and some of the old comedy classics. We don’t, but we have a ‘thing’ about Lords of the Rings and always say we’ll watch the entire triology over Christmas Eve to Boxing Day, but of course, although it’s on, I’m not sure whose really watching or not…and that would be not for me in the kitchen slaving over the turkey lol! Seriously, everybody pitches in 🙂 I think your dear mom’s advice was spot on…for much of what ails in life! Thanks for this fab post my friend! 🙂 ❤ xoxo

    • Oh, thank you for this, Sherri. YOWZER is right!
      But of all the naked sports I’ve heard of, only you mentioned the naked bicycle rally.
      So surely they had to wear helmets for safety…and maybe gloves and special shoes…but the rest? Of course not. 🙂 😉 :0
      Thank YOU for your fab comments, dear Sherri! 🙂 ❤

      • I’m just glad I wasn’t there Marylin, lol! And some of those bikes are hired by the general public as a push by the previous Mayor of London to encourage the use of bicycles over cars. I’m not so sure I fancy hiring one now…!!! 😀

      • That’s so funny, Sherri. One of the callers into the radio program said that after yoga, she goes with friends down to the coffee bar for a break. She asked if she still needed to be naked, and if she should take a wipe’em cloth to wipe off the bar stool before sitting there. 😉
        Maybe the bikers have to do that too? 🙂 ❤

    • Haha…if not, they should! So funny! 🙂

  15. Jim

    Well, honey, I know your mom meant well when she gave you the advice to shrug and just walk away when someone said something with which you disagreed. But let’s “get real” as they say nowadays. I’ve NEVER known you to turn down an opportunity for a good ole argument or “informal debate” as we might more respectfully say. Recently with the election, you have enjoyed putting the TV and radio political pundits to shame. Too bad they couldn’t hear you firing back at them.

    Yep, sweetie, I have always said you could have been a top-notch trial attorney if you had so chosen. But many public school kids over the years are so fortunate that you chose to be a teacher instead. They loved you not only for how well you taught literature and writing but also because your classroom was a place where fiery but responsible discussions were frequent and welcomed. Oh yes, your readers would also love to know that my contentious spouse coached our school’s Mock Trial Team to a state championship. Your team defeated a team which was the perennial state champion–a team loaded with the offspring of prominent lawyers who were much chagrined at the outcome. 🙂 ❤

    • Oh, honey, your sweet and generous comments make me speechless. (Sigh and pause) There. Now I can talk again. 😉
      Thank you so much for always being my champion, and Molly’s too, and now you champion your son-in-law and grandchildren as well. We are so blessed to have you. You have so many talents and abilities, but at the top of the list is your capacity to love and support and protect. ❤ ❤ ❤

  16. This post made me chuckle more than once, Marylin. I am about to go on a 1300-mile car trip myself, and I’ll probably fortify myself with podcasts on the iPhone while Stuart searches for ball games on the radio.

    We would both listen to a talk show about naked yoga, however!

    I hope you have a great Christmas visit this year. You are your mother’s memory, or the closest she comes to one, I suppose. This blog is the memory of all of us.

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