When I was a child, my father said that I should learn something new every day. For a man who held 125 patents and owned every Scientific American ever published, this was not hard advice to give. Although it was easy for me in school, learning about everyday life as a cautious child it was not, however. A friend had once teased that I could give her ten reasons NOT to do something she suggested we do for fun. She was right. Fifteen if pressed.

Realizing that this was going to lead to a boring life, at age 18 I vowed I wouldn’t be able regret something I didn’t do, especially from cowardice, and to keep learning. I didn’t want to be 80 years old and wish I had taken more chances, so over the years I did just that, often with a deep breath, eyes closed and fingers crossed. It seems, surprisingly, that sometimes the most interesting things we learn may be the smallest, found hiding as afterthoughts, like these, between the big ones.

Peggy Keonjian is a member of the Jottings Group of the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.