On President’s Day the senior citizen hall sponsored a program described as: “A two-character play that brings history alive. This one-act play chronicles the true love story of the lives of John and Abigail Adams.” What a treat that was to watch this play and this is coming from a woman who has never been big on going to live theater productions. I guess I need to give them another try, broaden my horizons as they say. The actors---well-known in area Civic and Heritage theater groups---spoke in character for an entire hour, never once missing a line or stumbling on a word of the fast-paced dialogue. The acting was extraordinary and it didn’t hurt that they brought up one of my Revolutionary Era ancestors who had a well-documented connection with the Adams family and the revolution. I left the building uplifted and smiling just as a snowstorm was moving in that dumped another eight inches of drifting snow overnight, bringing our seasonal total up to 101.1 inches!
The cost of these life appreciation lectures are unwritten by area businesses and the President’s Day play was paid for by a senior living apartment complex. (You have to be 55 or older to live there.) Since I keep going back and forth about moving to a condo or senior complex or staying put I asked a lot of questions of the representative who was manning their table full of handouts. It’s a nice place with some bells and whistles I want but I was shocked to learn that the rent for one person in a 780 square feet apartment is $3,180 per month. It doesn’t cost me anywhere near that much to live in my 1,600 square feet house, not to mention I would hate going down the hall to do laundry, not having a garage for my car, and I would be exchanging snow shoveling for walking my dog in the winter, since here I can just turn him loose in his dog pen. Maybe I'm just out of touch with rental costs? If I sold my house I'd end up spending all that money in five or six short years on rent! Then what? No wonder people end up living in their cars.
Our bad weather last week caused my Red Hat Society chapter to cancel their Valentine’s Day party at the nursing home and it was reschedule for this week. Why did I have to join a do-gooder chapter who does these little cheer-up-the-inmates events from time-to-time? I did my thing with nursing homes twice a week for seven years when my husband’s mother was in one. I share-cared my dad for five years through his early Alzheimer’s and cancer. I was my disabled husband’s caregiver for twelve years. I don’t want any more reminders in my life that many of us get helpless and needy as we age, thank you very much. I’m perfectly content to bury my head in the sand on that score. But I’ve ran out of excuses for Red Hat nursing home duty and so Wednesday I played nice with a bunch of their residents---many of whom aren’t that much older than me. I came home determined to take better care of myself lest I be the next recipient of a do-gooder group handing out punch, sugary treats and holiday trinkets, and playing bingo in slow-motion with cards the size of Texas. It wasn’t such a bad experience---I made myself useful---but you know what a drama queen I can be.
Transitions in life are often scary and I’m finding this one---attempting to age with grace---the hardest of all. Yes, you caught that---I’m at a point where I’ve separated the transition caused by grief from the transition of aging which makes it easier. Divide and conquer. But it’s a little like having the horse that was pulling my cart run off leaving me to decide whether to push the cart or abandon it. I accept that my horse isn’t coming back but now what? Do I sell the house and move on or do I stay as long as I can still keep it up? If I move, where to? If I go to a senior complex will I be happy living so close with others my own age? Or will I hate the loss of real privacy? What will I gain, what will I lose if I move? Will I run out of money and end up roaming the streets? People in transition can drive themselves crazy with questions! ©