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Where I Am 2021

Recently, Husband hung two pictures on our bedroom wall: 8” x 10” black and white pictures of himself and me.  Pictures we gave each other while we were college students.  Pictures made a year before he put a diamond ring on my finger.  His picture sat on the three-drawer dresser beside my twin bed in my college dorm room. 

            My young Grand looked at the pictures and asked, “Gran, who are those people?” 

            “That’s Pop and me when we were dating,” I said.  Her furrowed brows said she didn’t believe me.  Why should she? Husband had hair; my hair was long and brown.  Those people didn’t have wrinkles or double chins.  My Grand doesn’t know those people, and somehow her doubt made me think of something my aunt said when she was about the age I am now.  

            While visiting Aunt Doris, she told me she’d been to three funeral home visitations and baked cakes for grieving families during that week.  I said, “I’m so sorry.” 

            Aunt Doris’s reply gave me the title of this column and a mantra for life: “It’s okay. This is where we are.”  In her gentle voice, my aunt encouraged me to take stock of today and to accept life and its changes.  This is where we are. 

            Even though I’m not a student, I still like to learn and ask questions.  I want to learn something every day, although I sometimes forget and learn the same thing another day.

            I’m no longer a granddaughter or daughter; I’m on the other side of those relationships. I attend more funerals than weddings.  A rocking chair on my front porch welcomes me. 

             I try to do something every day that I’ve never done before.  Last week I held a one-month-old kid, a baby goat, and it wiggled like the puppies I dressed in doll clothes when I was a child. 

            I like celebrations.  A gathering for fun or birthdays or Friday night pizza supper is a celebration. I’m still a country girl.  I’d choose sitting outside under a shade tree over a shopping trip anytime.  

            Exercise feels like physical therapy.  Stiff joints move slowly. I do chair yoga and Silver Sneakers exercise.  I walk around the block, not for fun, but to keep my bones strong.  I tiptoe, not to be quiet, but to stretch the calves of my legs. 

            I solve newspaper Sudoku puzzles and play Words with Friends online for brain exercise.  Writing my memoirs (which my children might read and appreciate when they are my age) and this column, forces me to think in complete sentences.

            I’m thankful for technology to easily and quickly communicate with friends and family, especially my teen-age Grands. I like board and card games – even when Grands ask to play the same game time and time again.  I’ll never read all the books on my to-be-read list.            

That girl in the picture is still in love with that guy. And the older we get, the more I embrace life as it is.

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