Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ready for a retread

I figured since I was doing it, I had better check out what it meant. Little did I know the number of options from which I could choose. So many options.

Definition of RETIRE per Merriam Webster Dictionary (1) to withdraw from action or danger: retreat (2) to withdraw especially for privacy: retired to her room (3) to move back: recede (4) to withdraw from one's position or occupation (5) to go to bed.

It was time. I was only working part time, but at a certain age your body rebels, and you wonder what it would be like not to have that hassle of working when perhaps you could be learning a new form of art, traveling, going to concerts and museums. Oh, heck, I just wanted time to enjoy my grandkids and my life.

So what does this look like? Hm. Definitely a withdrawal from danger (No.1). I could get a paper cut or trip over my own feet falling into a rack and ending up in the hospital. I could go with the No.2 definition and retire to my room. Boring! No.3 would be wonderful. I could move back to Neff Road and enjoy my friends there. But it is different now. Mom and Dad are gone. So is my home back that lane. Yep, you can never go back. And, most important, my family is here. Now No.4 seems to hit the nail on the head. I didn't just withdraw. I walked out the door with a lively step and a smile on my face. Withdraw makes me feel as though I should have been hiding inconspicuously behind a shrub, sneaking my way to my car. Ah, and then there is No.5. No more early rising. No more dreading the next morning. No more noisy alarm clock to intrude on my peaceful sleep. Ah, yes, I will do my fair share of No.5. So many choices, and I get to do them all.

I was surprised that  the list of definitions  did not include 're-tiring', as in re-tiring a car. I get new tires and have my tires rotated. I am a bit like a worn out old tire. The tread is getting thin. When I park the car, the tire seems to relax into itself. When its flat, its flat. Seems that this is a pretty good description of my next phase of life. I am getting 're-tired'.

Ah, yes, this special time of my life will be full of love, family, home and probably some new tires. A spring trip back to Ohio. Adventures I've yet to find. And, a new man in my life. Sweet retirement. I think I like it.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

This little light of mine

Light in just a few moments turned to darkness. A barrier settled in front of the sun. A little moon up there in an orbit manages to block out that great big sun. Darkness erasing light.

Oregon was a mecca for the eclipse. People from all over the world flocking to see this once in a lifetime shadow across the sun. Small rural towns were overrun. Service stations ran out of gas. Not enough toilets, not enough food, not enough of everything, including law and order, to cope with the masses who came to see the two minutes of darkness.

As you can see, I am not one of those who rushed out to find my observation spot. Seems to me that all of these people could be doing something more useful. One of the national forests is burning and canceled all campers from entering. Reservations made a year ago are useless a year later. Much ado over two minutes. Much ado.

I am wondering if all of these people are equally interested in the mudslides in Sierra Leone leaving hundreds dead and homeless, bombs, cars driving into crowds, wars on foreign lands, nuclear war looming closer all the time, prejudice.  We seem to want to bury our heads and only think of wonderful things. We pack up our bags and drive away from the daily news. We want our two minutes of awe and wonder. Yes, this is a big event but then there are more important things blocking our lives.

Some ancient cultures believed that the eclipse happened as a mythical figure ate or stole the sun. Others thought it might be a sign of angry gods. In Vietnam, people thought a giant frog was chowing down the sun. The Norse believed it was wolves. Ancient China went with a dragon. The Native Americans believed that a hungry bear caused an eclipse. I personally believe it was blocked out by the thousands of people waiting around for their two memorable minutes.

The sun waited for the moon to stop by. The dark spot blocked out the light. Yet even with the darkness covering the brightest light known to man, a small edge glimmered. Glimmers of light. Glimmers of hope, of renewal. Darkness does move on. It moves on when the light it tries to banish will not be hidden. We know the light is there. We have seen it. We should fight for it, so there is light for everyone. For in allowing darkness to stay, we blot out the son.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Never too old

Days of summer are dwindling. School is just around the corner. The twins will be going off to kindergarten. I know what this means. Having seen it with my older granddaughters, I know that time with MeMe will not be nearly as exciting and our adventures will change. Days of leisurely playing will disappear until next summer.

We stood in the hull of the bulky aircraft, staring down the 218 ft. fuselage. The big plane, as Emma and Nolan call it, is a favorite. We are all dwarfed by this huge plane built in 1947. So when we gave the twins the option to return to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, they jumped for joy. However, Emma had a request. "Can we swim on those slides?" Ah, yes, the museum also hosts a building called Wings and Waves. An ideal way to end the summer no matter how old or young you happen to be.

Being a grandparent offers so many opportunities. We get to play with cars, push dolly strollers, play with Play Doh, paint and do art crafts, play games and pretend to eat meals the kids cook in the toy oven. We have had a great time taking the kids swimming, but this adventure was a success in an all new way. The kids loved the slides that twisted and turned then spit the duo out drenched and laughing. In the Wave pool, we were tossed as in the surf and held on to kids in life jackets waiting for the next wave. In the Vortex, we swirled in the current carrying us around and around. We laughed, we played, we made memories. And, that's what it is all about. Maybe not their memories since they are only 5, but truly it is all about our memories. A small hand in mine. A laughing child who can hardly speak so full of joy and soaking wet. The chatter in the dressing room about toilets, wet suits, soap dispensers and paper towels that shoot out when you wave at them. Children who fall asleep on the way home and capture your heart all over again.

This week we are taking them to see a wood carver, a true artist. Simple experiences that reside in our own community. Exposure to the different ways of life and the world outside of their own backyard. Yes, we have added page upon page to our memories this summer and opening a wider world of experience for our grandchildren.

We stood in the Spruce Goose, Howard Hughes's folly. The kids do not know the history yet are awed by the very size of this beast. They will talk about it again and again until it takes residence in their memories. They just might hear a story about how their grandparents stepped away from all decency in donning bathing suits so they could enjoy precious time with their grandkids. My son asked me if I wasn't exhausted. Oh, yes, exhausted, by the very best kind of being tired.