It’s the Little Things

A morning sunrise, skies streaked pink and blue.  A warm dog cuddled under the afghan throw as I read a book. A hot cup of fake mocha coffee and a Madeleine cookie.  A bunch of texts from an adult child 3000 miles away.  A photo of my smiling grandson in his high chair.

The lure of big parties is gone.  Holiday events are overrated.  Birthdays are ho hum, hum drum. Everything has changed now that I’m closer to 70 than 60.  All those high heels in my closet, gone. I still dance, but now my heels are one inch high and attached to sturdy boots.

Every season of a person’s life is different. You know what season you’re in based on what you want to do with your day. Weekends used to be so important. Now a Thursday could be the best day of the week.  Thursdays are hiking days.  Tuesdays are singing days.  Sundays used to be for church. Now they’re more for social activities or catching up on house stuff. Walking dogs and writing are every day.

Days with kids at home meant lots of meals to be planned, cooked, and cleaned up after. Meals these days are mostly alone and super simple. I cooked for my two adult children over winter break, a pot of chili here, a mac and cheese casserole there, some cheesy green beans and stuffing one day just because.  Because the relatives don’t make those dishes unless they’re gluten free.

Seeing the relatives has become much more important.  I fought for Thanksgiving at my house this past year since my invalid sister hadn’t had a proper Thanksgiving in four years. Who knew she’d be gone from this earth just three weeks later?

Hours and hours of sitting with a relative in the hospital isn’t that big of a deal once you’re retired. Doing it while working or caring for a young family is another thing.

Spending a year learning about the fate of an uncle who died during World War II, an uncle that no one would talk about when asked, was doable in 2020. Little did I know that my aunt, who had researched for 16 years, would be gone by Christmas.

The long stretch of days, weeks, and months alone during the pandemic gave me time to finally sort through way too much stuff in two garages and time to pull every single weed growing in the sand at my beach house. Listening to the ocean just two blocks away while doing yardwork was a pleasant pastime that I will probably never be able to replicate.  My yard looked great for one season, but I got melanoma (surgery and it’s gone).

My drinking days are long over. Looking back, how much did I miss because I was too tipsy to notice? Or was I just having fun? Fun means something else nowadays.

Music has taken a bigger role in my life. I wouldn’t have been caught dead sitting at a driveway concert on a Saturday night in the olden days. What kind of party was that? Now it’s a joy to hear friends play and harmonize as I sit with a friend and enjoy the cool evening air.  Or was that just a pandemic thing? Either way, it has been a delight.

That’s me, raising my hand, when the singers asked who was the biggest fan of the Beatles.

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