I write this in the hope that somebody reading this can explain to me, a laymen, in non-mathematical, plain English terms, why my thinking is wrong regarding the calculation of the age of the observable Universe and the formation of the elements in the Periodic Table given the (short) age of the Universe. I watch the TV series dealing with the Universe where astronomers say that the universe is about 14 billion years old. In the same breath, they also say that the light we see today coming through our telescopes on earth left a distant galaxy just shy of 14 billion years ago. (let us assume for simplicity sake about 13.5 billion years ago). I will call that distant galaxy "Galaxy X". If my understanding of what they are saying is correct, this would suggest that the plasma/energy/ matter (or whatever label the scientists want to call it and which I will call "Stuff" for simplicity sake) which became Galaxy X and the Stuff that ultimately became the Earth (which, for simplicity sake, I refer to as "Earth-Stuff") both came into existence at the same time and from the same starting gate -- about 14 billion years ago. Question #1: Assuming my understanding just discussed is substantially correct, how is it possible that the light we see today coming from Galaxy X took 13.5 billion years to reach us when the light which left that distant galaxy already had reached Earth-Stuff billions of years ago? It seems to me to be impossible for an observer on earth to see the light from Galaxy X twice: the first time is when the (hypothetical) observer located on Earth Stuff observed that light about 14 billion years ago; the second time is when a present day observer on earth saw that early light coming from Galaxy X while peering through a telescope. Question #2: I understand that Expansion?Inflation of the Universe may answer my first question. As somebody on this Forum explained, the effect of Inflation/Expansion of the Universe is that even though Galaxy X and Earth-Stuff came into being at the same time about 14 billion years ago, Inflation/Expansion caused Galaxy X and Earth Stuff to become instantly separated (at an apparent speed faster than the speed of light) by a distance so great that it has taken the light from Galaxy X about 14 billion years to reach us today. But then how is it possible that the Earth today possesses all the elements in the Periodic Table? I ask this question based upon Cosmologists and physicists telling us that many of these elements came into existence through the death of earlier stars. If that is so and given that the age of the earth is about 4 billion years old, it seems to me that there could not have been enough time for those earlier stars to come into existence and then die within a time frame that would allow the four-billion year old earth to have the elements it has today. I hope I have stated my question in a manner that does not cause many of the readers of this forum to throw their hands up in despair. I would appreciate those who have a far greater understanding of this to provide answers.