The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Back Home Again

As you know -- if you're a regular reader -- Diane and I spent the past three weeks in Massachusetts visiting our children and grandchildren. Despite the horrible weather, we had a wonderful time making the rounds from Cape Cod to New Bedford and then to North Andover. As we drove south we took the inland route so I could avoid the insanity of I-95. It also allowed us to visit our good friends, Nancy & Joe Hathaway, in Ocoee, Tennessee, as well as a few of Diane's cousins in the Atlanta area. For obvious reasons I didn't spend much time posting things on the blog, but now that we're back home and warm once again, I hope to ease back into my previous routine. I've included photos of all eight our beautiful grandchildren here -- photos I took during our trip -- so you can see what keeps us going north, even when the weather is less than inviting.


Even though we didn't get home until last night, Diane was up at 5:30 this morning so she could resume her duties as the Thursday cook at the Wildwood Soup Kitchen. After running some necessary errands, I joined her and her team of volunteers later this morning. My time at the soup kitchen is what I miss the most when we're away, and so it was wonderful to be there again after our three-week absence. Of course working at the soup kitchen also leaves me with sore muscles, tired feet, and a need for an afternoon nap -- all symptoms of my senior citizenship.

Advancing age has brought with it some other interesting side-effects, one of which is increasing absentmindedness. This morning, for example, my errands included a stop at Sam's Club to pick up two pair of glasses I had ordered before our trip. When I entered the optical shop, one of the opticians greeted me and asked me to take a seat. I told him I was there to pick up my glasses and he immediately went across the room to a cabinet and selected two pair from the hundred or so in the cabinet. He returned, handed me one pair and asked me to put them on. I recognized them as a pair of bifocals I had ordered, put them on, checked them for both reading and distance, and told him they were perfect. I did the same with the other pair, but throughout it all I wondered how he could have known who I was since I had never given him my name. I also knew I had never seen him before. When I ordered the glasses the optician on duty that day was a woman. Finally, as he handed me my new glasses, along with my prescription, and thanked me, I had to ask, "Excuse me, but we've never met. How could you have possibly known my name? I'm certain I never mentioned it." He just pointed to my shirt on which was clipped a name tag from the Wildwood Soup Kitchen. I had attached it there earlier that morning and forgotten to remove it when I left. I'm glad I asked him; otherwise I might have thought he had psychic powers and I really don't believe in such things. It would have been hard to explain, if only to myself.

I've actually come to accept most of these age-induced side-effects. I've never been an extremely physical person but for most of my life was blessed with a good metabolism that kept my weight down and allowed me to stay in shape with only very moderate exercise. This is no longer true, but the fact that I would probably not survive a three-mile jog really doesn't bother me. It does, however, bother Diane, and so tomorrow she is inaugurating a serious diet and exercise plan with the goal of returning me to a more mature version of my former slim, trim and healthy self. I'll try not to cheat or allow my inevitable grumpiness to infect future posts.

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