As we age, we need to constantly make adjustments to the way we used to do things. For example: the stairs in the house. Our last house had a second level, which required climbing stairs up and down. We were young when we bought that house, so steps were easy. With the passage of time, it became more and more difficult to bend those overworked knees. So we made an effort to take our time, look down at our feet to make sure they were affixed to the step and plan on a longer trip than before. When juggling art supplies, laundry, sheets and pillow cases and crates of costumes were part of our daily routine, steps were just a way to get from one place to another. By the time we were ready to downsize, we determined that we would buy a house without steps. We also decided that we wanted to be away from the city in a rural setting, with a nice, natural environment yet easy access to the places we frequented. Not too much to ask for.
After looking at hundreds of houses, we thought we’d never find the ideal one The last house we viewed was perfect It was a house built in 1875, recently restored, quaint and adorable. It’s reminiscent of the farm homes that used to pepper the landscape during those long years ago. Only problem is, it’s a two story home. There are steps. There’s no basement, except for a cistern which is accessible via a narrow series of stairs. We were willing to make adjustments, because we loved everything else it had to offer. It was close to our church, our family, our places of business and it was convenient. Did I mention the steps? Paul continues to inhabit the upstairs. He sleeps in the bedroom up there. He also has one of his studios in that space. He has made adjustments, especially when he must carry loads of paintings and supplies used for teaching or painting up and down. He considers this his Stair Master. He has also conceived of a brilliant plan to alert me when he is coming down the stairs. It’s easier for him to come down backwards, so he “beeps” when he’s on his way down. That way I don’t bump into him as I pass the staircase.
I can make it up the stairs, but I doxn’t venture up too often, because I have to crawl rather than walk. It’s interesting how many ways a person can go up and down.
There are other adjustments for the aging body. I’ve mentioned this before, but we have several little sitting areas we’ve designed so that you can rest for a while if you’re doing some outside chores, like mowing the lawn or gardening. Paul even conceived of a new form of croquet. He sets the hoops strategically so that they are near one of the sitting areas. That way you can sit and rest before proceeding to the next one.
We may be getting older, but we still have the capacity to think things through. Making adjustments is just a means of using common sense and years of experimentation. I thank God for that ability as we journey through these special years of growing old together.