We’ve been married 18 years. Together our ages total 151. We play golf, watch “Morning Joe,” sip dirty martinis (mine Vodka, his gin), dig classical guitar stations on Pandora and stroll Kennebunk Beach. Consistent in our daily dialog: “Where are my reading glasses?” and “Can you turn up the volume on the remote.” I repeat, “CAN YOU TURN UP….”
Me? My index and pinky fingers are ramrod-stiff with arthritis. I need a wrench to rip off the plastic cap on my Lipitor bottle. My knees bend just enough so I can plunk down on a sand chair. Getting up requires two grandchildren or a pulley.
I remember every frou-frou on the ballerina-length pale pink dress I wore to my Senior Prom but can’t tell you what I cooked for dinner last night. I recommend books to my friends. Recalling the title or author? Doesn’t always happen in a flash.
And Him? Mr. Wonderful is prone to the gout. He’s presently PT-ing a muscle tear in his shoulder that’s keeping him off the golf course. He has days, honestly, when he can feel his hair grow. And his hearing …. his HEARING! ….let’s not go there.
So there we were, slipping smoothly and steadily into senioritis when Something Happened. And it had our kids looking at us and wondering aloud, “Who are those people?”
He spent all last year hunched over his computer writing a musical electronic children’s book (illustrated by good friend and artist Steve Hrehovcik) that was just accepted by Apple as an App and an iBook. And I am building a website and starting a blog, Wandering With Val, which will come to your computer every week or so.
Truthfully, we have the Apple Help Line on speed dial, but somehow, some way, we were able to accomplish something on our computers beyond reading mail. Those hours we spent discussing swing thoughts and putting techniques have morphed into chats about android download-capability and assessments of digital publishing software companies, such as PubCoder. I’m checking out WordPress and MailChimp, plus devouring Googled articles about blogging. We write and revise, research and create.
We are not alone in embracing new adventures and projects at our “advanced ages.” My friend Fred has just signed up to be a driver for Uber. Sandra and Martha sell monogrammed jute bags in a host of stores from Long Island to Maine via California. Ken’s photographs appear on hospice walls. Caren is manning phones in LL Bean’s order department for the Christmas season. Louise redesigns kitchens throughout most of southern Maine, Betty sells houses all over town. Bob volunteers at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Lizzie sells firewood in Rocky Mountain National Park, Margaux opened a knit shop in Park City. None of them are spring chickens. Almost all get Social Security. Take THAT, Dotage and Decrepitude and Dillydallying!
So watch out world: Me and Him, we’re striding happily into a whole new landscape. We are those people.