God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Growing Old

I would like to grow old-really, I would. In the cycle of life, that is what I am supposed to be doing now. So, there are days when I think of these things:
  • Downsizing: What would it be like to move into a nice, new condo where the maintenance fee pays for everything? With a bathroom that doubles as a spa, has special shelves for candles and toilets that flush themselves. With a white on white decor to match the requisite little white fluffy poodle--with a bow on her head, of course. And, finally, a kitchen worthy of my friend Palma.
Problem: We would first need to sort through an accumulation of 45 years of "stuff"--a commodity which I learned during our year in Italy we don't need. Why I ever thought we did, confounds me. It seems that a good solution might be to rent a large container and just toss stuff in. But.............what about the art? the mementos? the silver that seemed so important for our wedding registry? the..................? Oh, it is just too over-whelming. Guess we'll probably stay put and let our son deal with the stuff....later.
  • Letting my hair become its new natural color-grey. Think of the money and time that could be saved. I could really be "me." Wonder what that is?
Problem: Casey thinks I am 51--until last year he was convinced it was 35, a year younger than his mother. He believes Ken dyes his hair (not true) but that my hair naturally changes color every month or so all by itself (true).
  • Forgetting that I used to be a size 6 and learning to love the new look--after all, double is better, right?
Problem: I hate the mirror these days. That surely isn't me looking back. Or maybe, as a practical joke, it has been exchanged for a fun house mirror. And--somehow now if "it" fits in the waist, it hangs on the hips or if the hips fit nice, the buttons don't work right. I had thought the problem was with Italian clothes--not so.
  • Traveling at will when seeing great deals to exotic destinations: Myanmar, Thailand, Fiji, Turlock, Disneyland...Bella Italia.
Problem: A 9 year old who needs someone to make sure he does his homework and who feeds him dinner. Plus--no clothes that fit the destination--or anywhere for that matter.
  • Moving to the countryside where night skies are black and roads only have two lanes--this way and that way.
Problem: Refer to #1 and... can we really recreate our idyllic, paradisiacal Italian hilltop vineyard home with its views of castelli medievali? Somehow Paso Robles doesn't quite do it.
  • Living life as a senior rather than as a parent. This two-hat existence overwhelms sometimes--as well as being confusing. What would it be like having a house not overrun with transformers, legos, and time machines. Most of all, what is it like to "send them home" at night?
Problem: Not being able to imagine life without our boy--his loving arms and endearing ways. Not knowing that Pokemen evolve into weird and wonderful creatures. Not discovering that it is possible to wet your hair and present yourself as having taken a shower.

And finally, I count my blessings that age has brought me youth rather than illness and pain or poverty and helplessness. Yesterday I was explaining to Casey the meaning of viewing one's cup half full rather than half empty.

My cup overflows--Most of the time.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jane,
I think your cup is very full, if a bit heavy at times.

I was so glad to hear that you were all okay with the fires. I thought of you'all often while watching the news reports. Unfortunately we didn't have an internet connection most of the time we were away.

Definitely, introduce Jeff to Casey's tutor, she is a beauty. What a lovely couple they would make.
Tell Casey I left him a note on his blog.

Mary Pace

Anonymous said...

I drive to Siena and see the signs Greve in Chianti and think of your Blog. Its beautiful, breathtaking and peaceful.

Jane said...

Mary Pace aka Cracker--Thanks for thinking of us during the fires. We were very fortunate not to have been in the way of any of them. I also have been thinking of you and your elderly relatives right now. You are busy with them. Yes, Yolanda is very pretty.

Anonymous: Who are you?? Leave a clue.

Teaberry said...

Beautifully expressed!

Jane said...

Terry, Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane,

I have been enjoying your blog for several months now. Boy can I relate to this one!

We have had thoughts of downsizing, I keep toying with the thoughts of stopping my hair coloring and long for the days of a single digit dress size.

You hit a soft spot in my heart with your devotion and love for your grandson. I help watch my daughter's three children (6 and 3 year old twins) several days a week. How I treasure them. At times I do feel a bit tied to home and we can't easily pick up and go like I thought we would be doing at this stage of life....but my life would lack many blessings if they were not such a big part of it. We do get to send them home to mommy and daddy most nights. :-)

Our cups indeed overflow and sometimes we drink from the saucer!

God bless,

Jane said...

Hi Tee, what a wonderful note you left and how similar our lives are--but yours do go home at night :) It might be nice to continue our conversation. My e-mail is jane@janeandken.com. If you write me there, I'll answer with my real address. Thanks for leaving your note.

Angie said...

Hi Jane, we will be 8 Americans traveling to Chianti in May 2008, all flying into Rome. 1/2 of us want to rent a car in Rome and drive up to Montespertoli (where our villa is located)...the other 1/2 want to take the train to Florence then rent a car there and drive to the villa. Do you have any recommendations? From what I have read, trying to get a rental car in downtown Florence isn't all that easy. I think some of us are "afraid" to drive from Rome to Florence.

Jane said...

Angie, first--have a great trip!! But then--what else could it be?

I would say get the car in Rome. Driving to Florence is very easy. Just be sure to follow the directions to the A1 that the car place will give you. Appoint a navigator for the driver and then everyone else keep quiet. If you go on Slow Travel, there is a good explanation about getting out of the airport.

By getting the car in Rome, you don't need to be schlepping luggage around--it will be much easier.

You can e-mail me at jane@janeandken.com