Monday, May 08, 2023

Letter from Colorado

 I’m winding down to saying goodbye to our Colorado family tomorrow, Tuesday.

It’s 9.a.m. MDT (Mountain Daylight Time) and I’m sitting outside in the garden in warm sunshine, thinking back over the weekend.

Saturday morning I watched the girls’ gym class, and then we walked over to Growing Gardens whose mission is “To enrich the lives of our community through urban regenerative agriculture.” They produce and donate food and teach people how to grow food. Lux is keen on gardening and wanted some seedlings. She chose cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, cucumber, rosemary and basil and something else I can’t recall.

In the afternoon we drove up Boulder Canyon into the foothills of the Rockies to the small town of Nederland to have a go on the Carousel of Happiness. 

The girls hadn’t been since Covid and they’re now almost 11 and almost 13 but it doesn’t matter what age you are, once you’re riding on one of the hand carved wooden animals, going round and round and hearing the Wurlitzer, you can’t help smiling. 

Isaac and Wendy

Saturday night is home-movie night and Cece chose Matilda the Musical, which everyone enjoyed. Gosh, it’s dark. The girls can cope with more darkness than I can now. They are currently addicted to an Anime series called Spy Family, which they laugh at. When it’s explained to me, I can laugh at it too. 😊 My choice last Saturday was The Railway Children Return, which was pretty good for a sequel. 

Sunday morning saw Isaac and I cycle up the Canyon for a few miles. He doesn’t have an electric bike but he would have gone farther and faster than me even so. It was a really super ride, and long, and I arrived home invigorated and healthily tired.There are ‘multi-use’ paths all over Boulder and they are mostly paved. It’ll be hard to go back to the rough surface of the Monsal Trail. 

Isaac and Wendy went out on Sunday night and the girls made me Cornish pasties for tea. They’d made small ones before in a cooking class. Their recipe calls them British Welsh Pasties, which baffles me. I am amazed at their enthusiasm for cooking, but this - of course - merely reflects my disenchantment with it. Sitting chatting to them and chipping in with tentative suggestions as they eagerly prepped the vegetables and rolled out the pastry was a joy. The pasties were pretty good too. Actually, sitting here thinking about them is making me want to go and hoover up a chunk of a left-over.

This is the jigsaw that has been on the table for the last week and which Wendy and I just finished yesterday.

I wanted to tell you what I’ve been doing, but I’ve been thinking about aging. I can see it in myself and in Dave, and it’s a conundrum how to deal with it. I mean deal, as in work, rather than ‘cope.’ How forgiving should I be of myself when I forget things, or want to engage in sedentary activities rather than physical? There’s the whole ‘use it or lose it’ thing. And there’s the question of how much savings to keep for the future and how much to spend on enjoyment now, when you don’t know how long your future is going to be. 

And how do some people carry on into their 80s with work inspired by a life passion? Is the answer actually in the question? I listened to a long interview with the film maker Ken Loach this morning, who is 86 and still going strong making films about social issues. But there’s Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, David Hockney and David Attenborough too. Do they all have afternoon naps? Do they suffer short term memory loss? Do other people have to be patient with them? Or do they have super duper genes that protect them from common aging frailties?

How is your aging going?

I know one thing. We shouldn’t delay joy. 

And now I’m going out in the electric bike one last time. 😊


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