I’m sitting here staring at this blank page and suddenly I realize, it’s an exact reflection of my mind. Hello in there; anybody home? Nope – it’s empty. Based on this realization, I’m suspending my Friday Blog post activity. Frankly, I have nothing to say. If you’re driving by Sunset Memorial Park in Albuquerque as I’m writing this, you will hear Phil saying, “I don’t believe it.” To which I respond, “Really Phil, this time it’s true.”
To my dear friends who’ve been following me, THANK YOU! Having what you’ve written read is GREATLY satisfying and rewarding.
As I bounce from activity to activity in days to come, I hope I land here intermittently. Life is good!
Both my best friend Shari’s and my son Zachary’s first loves were horses. Shari loved the four-legged kind and Zach loved the internal combustion engine kind. Shari’s sister, Debra, immortalized her first loves with an AMAZING mosaic of a galloping horse. Debra’s so talented.
Shari’s First Love
Zachary loved his 1988 Mustang 5.0. He saved every penny for parts and pieces to soup it up and customize it. He took his then girlfriend, now wife, to both their Junior and Senior Proms in it. He sold it to get money to set up house when they married. Twenty years later, his brother-in-law came across the exact Mustang for sale on Craigslist. It was still owned by the person who had purchased it those twenty years earlier. Sarah secretly purchased it and presented it to Zach for their twentieth wedding anniversary. Pretty cool, huh? It had long sat in a garage and needed a lot of work to get it up and running. Now their oldest son is driving it. It still has the bass-boosters Zach had installed back in the Nineties and they still work. Grandson Caleb has assured me that he doesn’t turn them on while the car is moving because they make his eyeballs vibrate and he can’t see to drive.
My first love was God. I read The Greatest Story Ever Told when I was nine. The descriptions of leprosy terrified me and I erected altars in my closet and backyard. I prayed that God would protect me from leprosy. I also decided to become a nun when I was an adult. I had to let go of that aspiration when I found out that Methodists don’t have nuns. I have, however, avoided armadillos throughout my adult life including during my retirement since they are known carriers of leprosy. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t become a nun, since some of their orders work in leprosy colonies (I totally admire their selfless devotion). I avoided contracting Covid during the recent pandemic and I’ve also managed to avoid leprosy during my lifetime. Life is good!
When I was a teen, I could barely wait to turn twenty-one. It represented freedom: the freedom to vote, the freedom to drink in bars; and other freedoms that I really didn’t care about. I married at twenty, so I could legally drink in bars as long as I was with my husband who was over twenty-one. I could also drink in the Capital Bar in Socorro, NM with my friends who were students at New Mexico Tech. Back in those days, Socorro was kind of a sovereign nation ruled by Tech students. They had their own rules, laws and justice system. For independent bar drinking I coveted a driver’s license with a birthdate twenty-one years prior to the date on which I was attempting to enter a bar.
I will turn sixty-five this year and I can barely wait. At sixty-five, I’ll qualify for Medicare. Medicare represents freedom from the health insurance ties that bind most of us to the workplace. I was able to retire at sixty-two only because I had been a Federal Government employee and we were able to retain our health insurance benefits in retirement once having met minimum retirement criteria. For most people, however, that Medicare card is the equivalent to the driver’s license of the newly-turned twenty-one year old.
I turned twenty-one many years ago (let’s see; sixty-four, minus twenty-one equals forty-three – yep, I didn’t go to college for nothin’). I don’t know if I was hassled by telemarketers looking to sell me alcohol the year I turned twenty-one, but I am currently being hassled by “Medicare Advisors” trying to sell me their services. I receive between ten and fifteen calls a day. I’ve asked to be put on “do-not-call” lists; I’ve threatened to report callers and their organizations to the FCC; but mostly, I just don’t pick up (by the way, if I’ve missed a call from you, I apologize). That, and formerly unknown aches and pains are the downside of turning sixty-five. Beyond those things the perks of turning sixty-five are great. In addition to Medicare eligibility, I also like the discounts and special deals afforded the aging. I do get a little discouraged, when people don’t even ask if I’m sixty-five, but rather determine my eligibility for all-things senior-citizen-worthy by simply examining the many wrinkles on my face (those wrinkles help to hold my glasses in place, which in turn hide the bags under my eyes). Aging is not always easy, or pretty, but even while aging, life is good.