Rather than stare at the ocean from a humid hamlet on the Florida coast, I’m ready for the third act. Besides, a study just came out that said, seniors are the happiest age group. In my mid-fifties, I obtained a master’s degree and still teach at 71. This will continue for as long as I can put a noun and verb together - Uh huh.
I received a spa gift certificate for Christmas and the best they could do was make me look refreshed (their words). Okay. Refreshed, I’ll take. My dermatologist flicks off suspicious basal cells twice a year, while my dentist digs out 50-year-old fillings.
My husband and I have always loved to travel. Our lives revolve around frequent flier miles. However, it’s not to see famous sights - we did that long ago. We meet the locals. Last fall, we sat on the wall in Dubrovnik and watched a group of American golden oldies embark from a cruise ship. They were following a leader holding up a ping-pong paddle so they wouldn’t get lost. Getting lost is what makes travel exciting.
And that brings us to what to wear. I tried putting a sweater on with a blouse hanging out the bottom. Some looks don’t work for us seniors. This is one. When did I realize that sleeves might be nice because my arms were sagging? Each succeeding mother-of-the-bride outfit requires more fabric. No matter. I can still wear skirts mid-knee. Oprah said so; but, no décolletage and no leather outfits. You know the rest.
My Winnie-the-Pooh coat continues to do daily service in spite of the fact that it was a hand-me-down from one of my daughters 10 years ago. I like wearing Pooh as a fashion statement.
Yes, I still roll around the floor and run with the grandkids (It’s the getting up part that smarts). Elmo and Ernie have been in my vocabulary for two generations now.
Gardening is a passion. With the usual flowers and tomato plants, I always try an odd plant each year. This time, it’s the Kale Walking Stick. It grows up to eight feet (2.4 m) and has foliage like a palm tree. And, I’m the only kid on the block with edelweiss (seeds bought on a Switzerland trip).
I rarely buy shoes. I don’t need to when I hold onto such gems as a 10-year-old pair of boots that have duct tape - yes, duct tape holding parts of them together. I love those boots! At my age, you can afford to be eccentric.
Or take the pair of Burberry patterned sneakers with the broken and tied-back-together shoelaces. One of these days, I’ll remember to pick up a pair of shoelaces. After all, they’re only $1.39.
I drive a 2002 red Beetle to add a touch of sass - especially with sunflowers in the dashboard vase.
I had lunch with my daughter and one of her close friends a few weeks ago. They are both professionals in their mid-thirties. Surprisingly, they were talking about the younger generation: something about this new crop of college kids and their sense of entitlement. Wait a minute, aren’t my children the younger generation?
I’m learning Italian for an upcoming trip to Italy. The tapes are in my Bug as I navigate the highway to school.
My old friend, Gail, and I have known each other since we were three months old.
We have weathered all the “hoods” together up to and including senior status. When we first met, we were drooling, incontinent and unable to walk. If we live long enough, life will repeat itself.
Like Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey, I wonder what it would be like to see how one’s life has affected others. I think I have done okay and I’m satisfied with that.
OCTOBER 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER & LOWER MAINLAND
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