Tag Archives: retirement communities

A Play in Two Acts: The Age of Descent

9 Feb

The Age of Descent

A Play in Two Acts

By L. Stewart Marsden

I’ve completed the first draft of a play about an older man whose wife has died, and the adjustments he must make –– both life without her, and life as an older man.

While humorous, it has a little pathos in the mix.

If you would like to read the play, find my email address under the ABOUT tab and I will send you a PDF version. I will not respond to mere “Likes” –– I frankly don’t know what there is to like about me announcing I’ll send out a copy of a new play. The play is in PDF format, and must be emailed. Period.

The stipulation to sending you a copy is you will make honest commentary about the play, including plot, characters and whatever strikes your fancy. That’s work. If you don’t have the time nor the inclination for that kind of commitment, please don’t ask for it.

Not for younger readers, and most under the age of 50 will probably not relate, unless you have older parents in your family.

–– LSM


Old ways, new ways

9 May




Old ways, new ways

By L. Stewart Marsden

Dear Kiddo,

I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch, but since the big move to Honey Glades, I’m still unpacking and arranging my new life.

And, I hate my cell phone. The old landline was just fine. I don’t trust these new electronic gizmos. Same with the computer. The government is listening in, in case you haven’t heard.

So, don’t text me and don’t send me email. I don’t need you-know-who looking into my personal stuff.

Snail mail might be slow, but it gets to you all the same. By the way, if it looks like my letter has been opened up and resealed, would you for god’s sake let me know? Thanks.

And by the way, my old television reception is fine. A maintenance guy with the Glades came by and brought some box, which he hooked into the back of the set. I get ABC, NBC, CBS and the public stations, of which I think there are more than I could use. Cable is such a waste! Why in god’s name do you need 400 stations?

Hey, there’s also a sex channel I get! And for free! Not that I have any interest any more. You probably don’t want to hear about that, right? Too much information. TMI. See? I’m not so terribly behind.

Anyway, in my book, a handwritten letter is the best. When I was working, I always sent a handwritten note to whatever customer I had just met with. That very same day. I carried a box with Thank You! cards and pre-stamped envelopes. Jotted something simple and slipped it into the first mailbox I could find. Sometimes, right in the letter slot of the business I was visiting.

They all would mention that.

I got your card, they would say, and smile.

Remember that, Kiddo. The new ways aren’t always the best ways.

I haven’t got out to play golf yet. I don’t really know anybody, and these old geezers seem to have regular golf buddies. I think you put your name onto a waiting list at the pro shop and whenever someone kicks the bucket, they call the top person to fill the spot.

Unless you happen to sign up for a tournament and score well. Like that’s going to happen for me.

It’s like when I lived in Manhattan. God, you had to look up the obits in The Village Voice if you needed a place to live. Rent controlled is rent controlled. You do what you have to.

It’ll probably be a little time before I actually get to play. In the meantime, the driving range is fine.

By the way, I appreciate the Big Bertha driver you bought me, but the goddam club head is so big I can’t lift it! I’m going to use my old reliable driver. Accuracy is more important than length. That’s what she said!

The balls are appreciated, though. A man my age appreciates good balls! : )

So the reason I’m writing today is that when I went out on my porch this morning, I discovered a wonderful thing.

Remember the little Christmas tree your kids decorated for me last year? The one they said was a memorial to Mother?

As you know, it died. And, as you know, I insisted we take it in the move.

Oh, no — you said. It’s dead weight and what am I going to do with it?

Remember what I said?

Something will come up, and I’ll be able to use it. That’s what I said.

Remember that?

So I put it out on the porch next to the railing. It happens that I put it in the vicinity of the bird feeder you bought me. The one you filled with sunflower seeds.

That sticky, brittle dead tree looked so awful I finally pulled it out of the container and threw it away, thinking I might put some herb seeds in leftover mulch in the pot at some point.

Guess what?

This morning, as I was sweeping all of the sunflower debris that the birds leave (along with the bird poop, I might add), I looked down in the pot and what do you think I saw?

Sprouts coming out of the dirt!

Sunflower sprouts!

So, that same pot — your mother’s pot, as far as I’m concerned — the one where the tree died — has given life to something new.

Talk about your karma!

I don’t know why I’m so excited about it, I just am! I actually took a picture of it with my camera, and as soon as Walmart develops the roll, will send you a copy. I’m not even going to wait to finish the roll. There might also be a picture or two of your mother. I’ll send those, too.

And, while I’m at Walmart, I’m going to that little pet store nearby and get me a pet. I’ve been thinking about what you said — older people living longer because they have a pet.

But I don’t want a dog or a cat. Too much looking after for me!

I think I’ll invest in a nice fish.

Have a wonderful day, Kiddo. And please don’t forget me.


PS: There’s a woman at the dining room who has been making eyes at me. Imagine that! Also, did you know there’s not a cart trail to Denny’s? What’s with that?


I think this is at the beginning of summer last year, just before she took a turn for the worst. God, I miss her.

I think this is at the beginning of summer last year, just before she took a turn for the worst. God, I miss her.

I know it would be mean to say "I told you so." But, I told you so! Love, Dad

I know it would be mean to say “I told you so.”
But, I told you so!
Love, Dad

Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 9 May, 2014