Billie Silvey
Slowing Down
May 2009
An eclectic website about Women, Christianity, History,
Culture  and the Arts--and anything else that comes to mind.
Hundred Acre Wood
and Age
When our granddaughter Katyana turned three in April, we had her
birthday party at our house.  It was a lot of fun, but it also made me
painfully aware of the contrast between youth and age.

Because we were planning for almost 30 people, inside and outside, I
had to give the house and yard a good cleaning.  Bricks standing at
an angle made a zigzag pattern around the backyard, forming a
hazard for a yard full of children six and under.  I started trying to dig
them out, but I wasn't getting very far.  Katyana's father, Andy, made
quick work of the job that was taking me a very long and hard time.  
Every morning I felt stiff and sore from the activities of the previous

The theme was
Winnie the Pooh, from the books of A. A. Milne
about  the adventures of a teddy bear and his friends--Piglet, a small
toy pig; Eeyore, a toy donkey; Owl, a live owl; and Rabbit, a live
rabbit--in the Hundred-Acre Wood.  The characters of Kanga, a toy
kangaroo, her son Roo, and Tigger, the bouncy toy tiger were
introduced later.   The book has been translated into over 25
languages, including a Latin translation called
Winnie Ille Pu.
With three generations at the party--ten fast, flexible and
fearless children, 12 intelligent and creative members of the
middle generation, and two slower, less flexible, and memory
challenged grandparents--I began to muse on the
all-too-obvious contrasts between  youth and age.

As I've aged, the biggest surprise has been how much I feel the
same way I always have.  Except for an occasional pain, an
isolated fuzziness, or a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I seldom
realize how many birthdays I've known.  It's easy to imagine
that I'm still the girl who tore around town on her bicycle and
climbed the big tree in front of the house to read in its branches.

Thus, I offer this issue of the website--with its articles on
physical contrasts, mental contrasts, and spiritual contrasts--to
share some of my thoughts on growing old while staying young.

I hope you enjoy it and will respond by writing me at with your thoughts and experiences.