July 24, 2020. I’m 73 this year. And what a strange year. In the past, there were floods, family deaths, cancer, radiation damage for me and now in 2020 the Coronavirus pandemic. Five months of “in house,” almost 150,000 deaths in the United States. President Trump craziness almost every day. No details needed. Weather today overcast with some rain.
But most days I’m upbeat. Some days the sun shines (although there have been too many 90 plus days), I’ve had fistula closures leading to fevers but no need for a hospital visit (hoping), the garden is producing and we have a full freezer. Many of our outings have involved food purchases Schneiderwind Farms, Traugers, Griggstown, Solebury Orchards, NonSuch Farm. Others involve lunch, most recently Pineville Tavern, in the past 2 months, Black Bass, Washington Crossing Inn, Zoube in New Hope, Kasey’ in Tinicum, take out from the Yardley Inn and Caaleb’s Kitchen.
We walk most days. For me it’s been usually local, on the canal. Diane takes Nala on an afternoon explore walk. I should go with them more often. I read quite a bit in the afternoon. In the spring it was with a fire in the wood stove; now it’s with AC. Some books like the Thurgood Marshall biography, If Walls Could Talk and Independence were rereads; others Why We Make Things And Why It Matters, Tower and Why Fish Don’t Exist are new. There are magazines each week or month. Movies on Netflix or Amazon.
We’ve seen the grandkids somewhat regularly. All outside encounters in Yardley or Gladwyne. Tomorrow they will visit for Villa Rosa take-out, talk, maybe a walk. I also keep in touch with my sisters and friends, telephone, e-mail or Face Time.
I certainly miss museums, theatre, trips to Philadelphia, dining inside and probably no Cape Cod this August. But I think my being retired, procrastination tendencies and medical limitations lead me to accept what I have. Tomorrow will be another day, new opportunities, the possibility of new experiences, some serendipity, a bit of spice in life defined by home town, traditions, contentment in the familiar.
My biggest regret is my self limitation in what I do. I have friends in retirement who paint, do woodwork, or some other creative or volunteer endeavors. I thought in retirement I would get back to doing some serious photography and writing. That I would volunteer, maybe at Mercer or Independence National Park. I think my 2015 surgeries and subsequent medical issues have been a limitation but also an excuse. I haven’t bought a new camera as planned and have almost stopped taking photographs. My only writing has been journals and this blog. I have not volunteered.
For many retirement means getting rid of “stuff.” Organizing what you want to keep. I haven’t been too good in this area. I’ve listened to a few old records but not frequently enough. I bought a converter, slides to digital, but I haven’t begun to use it. I have collections, post cards, stamps, coins that need to go. A cellar full of tools I won’t be using. And of course, books and more books. I guess I am a I get rid of stuff, very slowly type of person.
In the end I’m thankful for getting up each morning, for family and friends. I’m thankful for each day, whatever happens. 73 years, still counting.