Bonjour mes amigos! Yes – multilingual! I’m currently on leave from the United Nations. It’s startling that they would let me go at a time of nearly global rebellion as one country after another pursues democratic reform against ubiquitous dictatorial and fundamentalist religious regimes. Yet here I am out amongst the general population spreading good will all the while pondering the language barrier between our own political parties. Enough said.
As usual, life is full between missives. So full that the details escape me. It was two years ago this week that we sold our house in Ithaca. Two years of waiting, hoping, watching, dreaming, planning, meeting, replanning, waiting, wondering, questioning, watching life’s energy slip through our grasp and yes – aging. But we are now happily in our home. One so nice that I can’t think of anyplace I would rather be. This is problematic because Susan already has us listed on HomeExchange.com. There have been many immediate and enticing responses. Her bags are packed. I don’t want to leave. During my time in captivity last winter I decided to try my hand at painting – not the exterior house painting that we were actively engaged in. No, the kind of painting that I’m referring to involves canvases and easels. I’m really enjoying it and can spend hours a day completely lost to time and the world; so why would I want to leave home for adventure?
In the absence of any interest in my paintings thus far from MOMA, The Met or Le Louvre I have decided to be one of those painters who becomes famous postmortem, which has dampened any desire for a rush to fame. I am though, particularly disappointed about the lack of response from Le Louvre considering my fluency in French as well as a fondness for French toast, French onion soup, baguettes, brie, Les Miserables, camembert, French wine, The French Connection, Madame Bovary, the Eiffel Tower, the Tour de France, Grey Poupon and of course french fries. They’ll be sorry.
Last night as we were settling in to bed after an exhausting day of retirement we had a conversation that went something like this:
Susan: Does something happen at a certain age that causes your joints to make sort of a crunching noise when you get up in the night and walk to the bathroom?
Me: I’m sorry Dear. Has it been waking you up?
Susan: Not your joints. Mine!
Me: OH…. Well you’re far too young to think it might be bone crushing against raw bone. In your case it’s probably just a little rust. Perhaps you should keep a little WD40 on the bed stand or include a little Rustoleum in your diet.
Susan: (Long pause)……………………………We’ve been told that in this climate WD40 just gums tings up.
Me: Ah yes. Which brings us back to the many questions surrounding the performance enhancing properties of dri-lube and whether Rustoleum is offered in any new flavors!
I have a mantra that helps me drop off to sleep at night. It is: “…another day in paradise, another day in paradise, another day in paradise…………..” and on and on until I am no longer of this world.
Reading articles about the aging population is often a source of cognitive dissonance for me as well as for many of you I’m sure. I will be reading along about the plight of these older people only to discover that the ages they refer to are just a fond memory for me – if a memory at all! Old people are always about 15 years older than whatever we are. It’s particularly confusing when one has a mother who has her sights on 101. Now that is old………..but will it seem like it then? She is still with us but neither thriving nor eager to observe any abrupt alteration in her vital signs. We are all familiar with the idea of the circle of life; well it appears that my mother has discovered the mobius strip of life – and on she goes. Our telephone conversations are more interesting than ever primarily because she can’t hear me and doesn’t talk loud enough for me to hear her. When I called her with the good news that she had a new great-grandson and that Suzi would probably spend the next day in the hospital her final words to me before hanging up were ” Well I hope you get out of the hospital soon.” Yesterday when I told her we were excited to be hosting quite a few for Thanksgiving her response was “Well, we just have to make the best of things.” So I am. Sitting here in the sunshine watching the ibises and herons cavorting just off our deck while Susan prepares meals for the next four days. Just another day in paradise! It’s great to be a man! She thinks I’m doing something important………..actually, she hasn’t thought that in quite some time.
I hope you all have a Great Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for – and enjoy another day in paradise!
Au revoir mes amigos,