Refresh your driving skills with the AARP Smart Driver online course! Use promo code THANKS to save 25 percent.

Reply
Valued Social Butterfly
0
Kudos
166
Views
0
Replies

TWO VIGNETTES: ONE SWEET, ONE SOUR

166 Views
Message 1 of 1

More than just a Garden-Variety Relationship

Just about every time that I walk to the gym at Emerald Island, I see an engaging woman (she’s in her nineties) meticulously weeding and watering her celebrated garden at her beach home. For a few moments, we warmly exchange pleasantries. At times, she tells me that she regrets never visiting Hawaii, where my wife and I will soon live full time. Other times, she fondly reminisces about her adventures and misadventures teaching elementary school language arts. I reciprocate with graphic tales of my tenure as a community college English instructor. It is a treat to chat with her, and I sense that she feels the same way about me. 

After my wife and I a month ago returned from Hawaii to market our house in North Carolina, however, I haven’t seen my old acquaintance, and her once pristine garden is astoundingly ragged and bedraggled. Two days ago, I matter-of-factly asked one of her neighbors if my friend was “still alive.” He paused and then snapped at me: “Yeah, she’s doing much better than you are.” Whoa! Why the attitude? The man, whom I had never seen before, most likely knew nothing about me. He offered no clarification and immediately strode back into his house. Normally, strangers I meet on my street are good natured. This man, for whatever reason, was offensive. Maybe he considered my question to be flippant or disrespectful.

Soon disregarding my indignation, I was relieved and overjoyed to discover that the garden lady was evidently as vibrant as ever, even if her garden was decrepit. The next day, I noticed her getting into a car in her driveway. I quickly approached and said hello. It turns out that she wasn’t doing well at all. She explained that she didn’t have the energy to continue tending to her fabulous garden. In fact, because her husband had been immobilized by a stroke, she spent all of her efforts, feeble as they might be, caring for him at their off-island primary home. I felt deflated as I commiserated with her. It was a poignant encounter. When I left her, I knew that I night never see her again. I sadly plodded to the gym;

But after my humdrum workout, I was uplifted as I neared her once-prolific garden: I realized that I will always affectionately remember the special bonhomie and banter that we had so generously shared with each other.

What is more, when my wife and I return to Hawaii, we will reunite with our adopted “mum,” an endearing friend of ours in her nineties. I guess I’m now mature enough to kibbitz with the old folk. That has been a blessing.

 

 

Grappling with Inanimate Objects is not my Forte

I have frequently read from AARP health websites and have often heard directly from health professionals that we seniors must be careful not to fall: recovery from broken bones (especially in the hip area) can be excruciating and virtually endless. Occasionally I do slip and fall on stairs, sidewalks and crosswalks; but so far, my bones from these body slams have been bruised but never broken.

There is another menace, however, that I have just confronted this month—potentially dangerous objects falling on me. At the gym two weeks ago, while I was bending over to adjust the settings on an ab machine, the seat fell on my wrist, tearing off a wad of my skin in the process. The bleeding was profuse, but the nasty wound was relatively painless. Then yesterday, as I was wrestling with the upper part of a window, trying to get it back in its groove so that I could hoist it back in place, the right side of the window smacked me just above my eyebrow. Although the blood was minimal from the gash, it began to seep onto my glasses and almost into my right eye; it was scary to realize that the window could have whacked my eye itself.

Not only must I be careful not to stumble; I have to be on guard against unruly and intractable falling objects.

 

 

 

 

schlomo
Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
166
Views
0
Replies