As I look back at the year 2017, I do so with wild anticipation for a new one. Actually the past year was filled with far more blessings than problems, yet the fact of growing older has no genuine amount of humor attached to it. So I have to dig deep to find some.
The year started out much like this one is … COLD. Temperatures that fell far below freezing, frozen pipes, no shut off valve for the water, hours of heating pipes so they wouldn’t burst – the average joys of owning an old house. That didn’t deter us however. We still had a little money to spare and were able to take care of the immediate plumbing repairs. We also invested in rewiring the house to bring it up to code. Life was good. We settled nicely into our new “old” house and became quite enamored with it.
As the year progressed, I was consumed with starting over – making a fresh start – living the retired life. By March I was getting even chubbier than before and decided to work out at the “Y.” They have a program designed just for seniors called the Silver Sneakers. I was able to keep up for a while, but then we began to plan a trip to S. Carolina in May and working out came in second to making vacation plans.
Summer came and we discovered a sagging spot in our backyard. We knew there might be a problem when Paul sat in a lawn chair and one of the legs slowly disappeared into the ground. We still aren’t sure what’s going on. It could be an old cistern, or a septic system, or who knows what else. We filled it in with more dirt and are praying that we don’t get sucked in at some point.
By this time, I was beginning to feel like Tom Hanks and Shelley Long, in the Money Pit, as they renovated an old house in New York. However, I never dreamed I saw the Care Bears, nor did we have to haul hot water from downstairs to the upstairs bathroom. Actually we don’t have an upstairs bathroom, so that wouldn’t have been a problem in the first place. It seemed that our savings were quickly being eaten up by necessary repairs. Still we love our new “old” house.
By September, I was going out of mind with boredom, so agreed to do an after school drama program. It got the old juices running again and sparked an interest in looking for a way to share my knowledge. Paul found a little art center a few blocks from home where he teaches outdoor art classes. We suddenly found ourselves in need of making additional money to stay afloat. We taught the elderly (of which we are) in assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, that was very sporadic. Neither of us wanted to be Walmart greeters and felt we still had something to offer. We’ve found places where we can teach our crafts and make a few bucks at the same time. Thank you, Jesus!
So as the end of the year approached we felt as though things were falling into place for us. We have the pleasure of a home which is half the size of our previous dwelling. We found a church which has brought our family back together to worship. We live in a community where the arts abound. We still love our little house on the highway and have adapted to the noise, by imagining that we live by the ocean.
The year ended with more plumbing problems, but our spirits are still in tact. We still laugh through it, but until all is rectified, I see the dishes mounting in the kitchen sink and think I will have to haul hot water from the bathroom or do the dishes in the bath tub until it warms up outside.
During the past few months I’ve taken a couple of falls, with no serious injury other than my pride- feel like I need one of those life alerts attached to me – and continue the battle of the bulge. Paul tells me I shouldn’t take those holiday songs literally – the ones that say, “fall on your knees.” and my son in law encourages me to stay upright.
Today is the beginning of a new year. Paul is starting to enjoy being down in the cistern, keeping watch on the space heater and contemplating putting up some art and turning it into a man cave. I’m relishing not having to do the dishes until we run out of them. Isn’t it great how God helps us to adapt to our circumstances?