This month’s presentation at the travel club was titled, “The Best of the Hawaiian Islands.” I always thought if I ever take a trip with this group it would be to Hawaii or Alaska, their only U.S. destinations to date but I just found out they’re adding a Western National Parks trip by train and an Eastern Seaboard trip in 2018, the latter appealing to me if it goes to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Those places have been on my Bucket List since before the moon landing. The two sisters who run this travel escort service markets mostly to seniors and I know many widows who have traveled with them. I trust them to take care of their clients. Unfortunately, the sisters prefer two week trips to places like Peru, China, Russia, Scotland, Iceland and other interesting places but in this age of international terrorism and long, security checks at airports they would over-tax my physical endurance. But going to travel club presentations is a great way to “see the world” and I should thank an old boyfriend from the early ‘70s for introducing me to the concept, even though as a dating destination back in my early twenties travelogues were a bit odd. He, as it turned out, was a deep-in-the-closet gay back in those days but, gosh, I loved that guy. To this day, he still goes on a yearly adventure aboard while I’ve only been to Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas. Boohoo. It’s too bad we can’t take the best qualities from our past relationships and build ourselves a new playmate.
The Hawaiian Trip cost $5,375 for ten days and nine nights, all-inclusive if you don’t mind only eating ten breakfasts and five dinners while you’re gone and having three days---one in Honolulu, Kona and Maui---to plan your own adventures on your own dime. (The other days are group excursions.) The bottom line: If you’re widow yearning to travel there are clubs and escort services around for us. It just takes a little time going to travelogues to build up your confidence in a service by meeting their repeat clients. Who knows, maybe one day I'll lose my head, plunk down a down payment and joint the cool people with colorful stickers on their luggage.
Have I mentioned balance class lately? No? This week we got a demonstration on how to get off the floor if we fall. Not sure if I can do it with my fake knees and I’m not going to try it until someone visits that can help me up off the floor if I can’t. We also had a dorky role playing session where one person had to read positive responses to negative statements read by another person in the group. The facilitator wanted me to go first but I shocked myself when I replied, “No! I’m dyslexia and I don’t read out loud.” I’ve thought it many times and but this is the first time in my entire life that I've ever said that. Usually I just stumble through, feeling embarrassed if my reading doesn’t come out fluidly. The facilitator went to the next person without missing a beat and I thought, Wow, that felt good! But it does worry me that over the summer I’ve been hearing myself say things that my younger self wouldn’t have said. That filter in the brain that keeps me from blurting out the first thought that comes to mind is starting to deteriorate which seems to be fairly common as we age, but I don’t have to like it.
Aging is not a spectator sport. Old people issues take up a lot of time and energy, don’t they. This week I had to see the audiologist for the yearly check up on my hearing aids---cleaning and adjusting the volume. I’ve been wearing them for three years, now, which means at the end of the month the warranty no longer covers them if they get broken, damaged or lost. Insurance costs $350 a year, but if you don’t get the insurance it costs $350 to send one back to the factory, if needed. I opted to take my chances and not to buy a policy from the I-Don’t-Give-a-Rat’s-Ass Insurance Company. I don’t have an ear wax problem and I don’t lose things or leave the aids down where the dog can turn them to chewing gum like my husband used to do. The biggest problem I have is my ears itch inside with the aids in. The audiologist told me I have very dry skin inside my canals and to get some hydro-cortisone anti-itch cream, put some on a Q-Tip and put a thin layer inside my ears at bedtime for a week. One more cream, one more potion or old people powder and I’m going to need a bigger medicine cabinet.
On the way home I took myself out to lunch and my turned-up hearing aids allowed me to eavesdrop on a conversation going on two tables away. One woman was telling another how she fell for the scam where someone calls and tells you your computer is being attacked by a virus. She ended up giving them her credit card number and access to remotely control her computer. Long story short she was lucky she told her son about it immediately afterward who knew it was a scam. He helped her close her credit card, file a police report and clean up her computer. It’s a scared world out there and you don’t even have to leave your house or the country to be in harm’s way. ©