Surprised by age… a creative journey into my older years


My friend and I used to tell each other that we had to practice for old age. All at once I’m there! I began keeping a journal two years ago as this trip is as interesting — to me at least — as any trip down the Danube. I’m reporting back to you as someone who’s been there and decided to stay. Only instead of telling you what sites to visit and what shoes to wear I share my day-to-day journey and as one Bishop used to say, ”This is not the cruise I signed up for!”

12 Responses to Surprised by age… a creative journey into my older years

  1. Jeanne Hill says:

    Hi, Sister Joan. This is Peg’s sister, Jeanne, writing to you in the midnite hour as the Feast of Our Lady begins. I am moved by your jottings. Thank you so much. I see you are a Junebug like myself. (I just celebrated my 80th on June 28.). Peg and I are going through so many of the detachments you so movingly describe. I hope to see you all in October, God willing. Happy feast day, dear sister.

  2. Rita Foxworthy says:

    Sister Joan,
    Just finished reading “Growing Free”.
    Thank you for your openness and sharing the inner love you have been given.
    I have underlined so many of your profound and touching words.
    I would hope to meet you if possible as I live in the Sierras not far from Reno.
    May your words speak to other souls as they have to mine.
    The Lord bless you.

  3. Barbara says:

    Dear Joan,
    This is Barbara up on Vancouver Island! I’ve been “downsizing” and came to a address label you used on a letter a very long time ago. It had two angels leaning over a wall and always brought thoughts of you. (Of course, I’m the other angel!) Please thank the Sisters for the lovely Christmas card. I’m always so glad to hear from you all and will return here for news. This aging thing is so funny, isn’t it! Some old lady has moved into my house. Don’t know who she is, but she’s in the mirror every morning when I comb my hair! Certainly not me! I’m ready for a new start with so many things – just need more energy! 🙂

    • Sister Joan says:

      Dear Barbara,
      Your welcome message increased my faith in the digital world along with my appreciation of the written word, You’re the second friend who has contacted me because of an old letter. Will anyone ever enthusiastically write, “Gee, I found this old email of yours.”
      Will be in contact with you by Pony Express – or something!

  4. JoAnn says:

    Dear Joan, A very Happy New Year to you! This is JoAnn from Michigan. Your writings and your picture add so much joy for me. I feel connected to you as “community” on the outside. We both share arthritis…………wow what a struggle that can be. We both share Love for the Lord……….and fun in our lives. May God hold you close in 2014 and make your journey lighter. Please pray for me as I have to lose weight this year as it is affecting my health. Finally I have to admit this. Let us remember each other in prayer in all the days that lie ahead. Love you my fellow traveler.


  5. Valarie Nunes says:

    Dear Sister Joan,
    I want to thank you for letting me join you for dinner last night after Holy Hour at St. Gall’s. I so enjoyed our conversations and getting to know you, what a blessing indeed! May we meet again soon and please know you are in my prayers.

    In Christ,

  6. Sister Joan says:

    Delighted to hear from you. Valarie! Our dinner conversation was an experience of what I’ve come to think of as the “leaven of the laity.”
    Keep in touch and thanks for the prayers – mine are with you and your family.

    Sr Joan

  7. Erica Harildstad says:

    Sister Joan, I love you ‘Jottings’, they make me smile. Will you and the Sisters and everyone who reads this pray for me? I am in formation to become a Consecrated Virgin (God Willing). I fell in love with Jesus and I want no one else. I will hopefully be petitioning my Bishop sometime this Summer. Please be sure of my prayers, for the Sisters and everyone else who reads this.
    A Blessed Easter Triduum to all of you!!!

    In Christ’s Love,
    Erica Dawn

  8. JoAnn Briffa says:

    Dear Sr. Joan, Is there ANYWAY I can purchase a copy of your book “river runs free”? I read your other book years ago and just loved it! Please let me know if there is anywhere I can buy a copy or rent from you??

    • JoAnn Briffa says:

      Dear Sr. Joan, Can you believe am saying HAPPY NEW YEAR once again! Wow as we grow older the days just fly………sometimes I think I am just so much slower that time passes so quickly. I hope you are doing well. In Michigan arthritis is so bad in the winter…..and we are having a very very cold winter once again. Well staying in makes me feel like home is a little hermitage…….it’s not that bad at all. God bless you Joan and may you enjoy happiness and better health.


  9. Ione Conlan says:

    Blessings abound for Sister Joan, who always has time for others. Worry not about age, it is merely a number. Or as Dr. Whittaker notes which I will paraphrase, “How old would you be if you didn’t know your age in fact” Love and prayers for Sister Joan! Ione

  10. marthak56 says:

    Dear Sister Joan, I was perusing the internet and found you. We got acquainted when you were at Episcopal Divinity School. I’ve thought of you often since then. I’m now an Episcopal priest in Delaware. God bless you, I hope you are well.
    Martha Kirkpatrick

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