A New Life! Retirement at its Best 61


A tapestry of brown and yellow and red and orange covered my path this morning and my feet made a rustling sound on the trail. Squirrels dashed away, making a similar sound, and birds flew back and forth amidst the trees. It was cold, around 40 degrees, but I was dressed warmly in my sister’s brown suede jacket, a brown velour cap, and a thick, colorful scarf matching the tapestry at my feet. On my way home I figured out with the help of my fitbit that I had walked only 3 miles in one hour, that was 20 minutes per mile! And this was not a casual Sunday afternoon stroll, no it was my power walk on Sunday morning! Fifteen years ago, in Prescott, Arizona, I did 4 miles in one hour, 15 minutes per mile. So, I figured, in 15 years I slowed down one mile per hour. If I continue like this, I will only be able to walk 2 miles per hour when I am 95, with a likely rest of ten minutes on a bench somewhere along the route! Heavens, I hope I will not slow down that fast! Let’s see if our new puppy will keep me up to speed. Although, come to think of her, I wonder how fast her little feet have to go to keep up with me. Sigh. I guess I will have to get used to losing speed in the next fifteen years. That will not be all that bad though. I often cut corners going through the house at my regular pace. I injured my right leg on a corner of the bed and created a permanent scar. And recently I ran into the living room wall on my way to the bedroom and injured an arm and a shoulder – the “good shoulder” this time. So I will try to go through daily life a bit slower. But I will never run out of steam!


After brunch today I checked out the location of Wake Med Hospital. It’s only three minutes away, and I have passed it many times, but they told me to look for the main entrance with the flags and I had never seen any flags. We will go there tomorrow for a pre-op and Wednesday morning for Mike’s routine colonoscopy. It’s been three years, and we decided to do the followup now, instead of in January. This is why. The trainer offered to keep training Lani for two more weeks, so that we could have a quiet Thanksgiving. Do we realize what we are in for? He will continue to train Lani and only charge $10 per day for boarding. “Yes!” said Mike. “Okay,” said I. We have been accumulating several necessary things over the last month. A crate and crate pad, food and a container, toys, chews, a leash, bowls, and a carrier to transport her in the car, tied to the seat belt. I can’t wait!  The trainer asked how to pronounce her name. I think he had called her Lany. I sounded it out for him and he said, “Oh, more like an O.” Hm, that sounds not right, I thought on my way home and when I got home I sent him a text that it sounded like the movie La La Land. Hope he gets it.

Talking about hospitals: many people from here go there and come back, or go there and go to Rehab and then come back, or they do not come back at all. I am learning new words for until now unknown diseases – at least to me. I never heard of sepsis. Well, for those of you who are as ignorant as I was, sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs. Donny got sepsis in the hospital recently and died of it. Then Roy, who was gone for over a month, appeared to have contracted MRSA. What on earth is MRSA? Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. It’s tougher to treat than most strains of staphylococcus aureus — or staph — because it’s resistant to some commonly used antibiotics.  Roy is home again, but on Hospice care, because they had to remove his pacemaker.

It is unbelievable to me how many people have a pacemaker. Just recently I learned that a pacemaker is not only to regulate the heart beats. It also increases the strength of the heart; it comes with two or more electrodes and it saves lives! Many people have had a knee replacement or two, or a hip replacement, or a plethora of other ailments. How blessed I feel that I only had one shoulder surgery. Not even a complete replacement, just a corrective surgery. I am thankful for great eyes, without a need for glasses, for great hearing, without a need for hearing aids, for strong teeth without bridges or implants and for feet that can still walk a mile in twenty minutes! Yesterday I went to see my podiatrist, who showed me in an X-ray that one of my big toes has arthritis! Well, I can live with that. Regardless, it’s great to be me at almost eighty!

I’m planning a special surprise for the family on my birthday. I’ve thought of an escape to a hotel on a sunlit beach with warm ocean waters, but there is no such thing close by. I’ve thought about a long weekend in a cabin the mountains, but it will be a long drive and colder than in Cary. I’ve thought about a helicopter flight over North Carolina; but why do we have family close by if we don’t include them? And then I knew it: that’s what I would like to do! I am working on the invitation, and closer to the date: December 26, I will tell you my plan.

It’s a Wonderful World!

Until next time,



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