Thursday, April 18, 2024

Growing Older, Maybe not so Gracefully by Nancy M Bell


The cover of the Ontario offering for the Canadian Historical Mysteries Collection from BWL Publishing to be released November 2024
To find out more please click on the cover

I recently came across some old pictures. I look at the girl in those photos and I wonder who she is. It's almost like she's a different person and not a younger me, which is absurd. But I realize how much I have changed as I grow older. Maiden, Mother, Matriarch, Crone. I don't mind growing older, I just feel like I've somehow lost a bit of connection with the younger me.
I used to believe I could do anything I put my mind to. Anything. As I've grown older and managed to break myself a few times in pursuit of following the credo I could do anything I put my mind to, I have learned that such beliefs need to be tempered with caution.

Caution??? A word my younger self didn't even have in her vocabulary. I scaled cliffs above the town of Minden in the Kawarthas of Ontario,  I rode all the rough horses I could get my hands on, if something was walking the knife edge of danger I was there. (I said I was young, not that I was smart, okay?) I liked the bad boys, you know the ones I mean, the wild ones, not a mean bone in them but good fun with no strings attached. I attempted a waterski jump with heavy wooden skies weighted down with metal strapped to me feet on Davis Lake. Just let me say that venture didn't end well and was a one off. I used to hitch up the horse trailer and go where I needed to without a worry. Embark on road trips without worrying about the weather. I can remember running out in the pouring rain of a thunder and lightening storm in the big back field behind my childhood home.

The me of today? Hell, I worry about the roads being icy, or a ton of what ifs that never happen. I imagine part of that comes from the long periods of convalescence I've endured after breaking a pelvis and mucking up my spine and a few nerve endings in one incident, and then another long period of waiting for a crushed tibia plateau injury to heal complete with metal plate and seven screws. I wonder if that taught me caution or if it just served to put a bag over the head of the younger me. I'm not sure about the caution, but I'm determined to reconnect with the younger me who threw her head back and embraced the storms.

I refuse to be a boring old Crone. I have learned to be more blunt and speak what's on my mind. It came to me in my fifties (I think) that a lot of people didn't seem to care if what they said was hurtful to me and why the hell was I being careful about what I said to them? I don't go out of my way to be mean or hurtful but I am more apt to say what's on my mind. That's something my younger self would NEVER do. I always did my best to be invisible and escape notice. 

So, I'm not sure that I'm growing older gracefully, but darn it I am getting older. So I've decided to be the best Crone I can. 

1960s Sprucedale ON at Aunt Lottie's
Me on the right, my sister on the left 
Gramma Lois Pritchard, Aunt Rotha and Aunt Lottie Hines 

May 1977

Glastonbury Tor

2000s Surrey International Writers Conference

1980s Uxbridge Fair

early 1970s at Davis lake



  1. Good for you, Nancy. I also refuse to grow old gracefully, or dress or act my age. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You look great in the latest pictures. Aging is a mental process rather than a physical one. Keep writing

  3. Aging disgracefully is the way to go!

  4. You a crone? Never. NEVER. Always young in spirit :) Enjoyed your post, Nancy, because truth from the author is always felt in the heart of the reader.


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