Perfect Couple, Imperfect Trail

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway is a place known as Graveyard Fields, so-called because of the moss-covered stumps of logged trees that resemble tombstones. The Pigeon River flows through the area, with waterfalls accessible by various trails. My husband, George, and I easily hiked to one waterfall and then attempted the much longer trek to one further upstream. The terrain appeared similar until we came upon a sharp drop-off that afforded no rocks or tree roots to use as footholds or handholds to help with the climb. I knew my knee’s torn cartilage couldn’t handle the impact of jumping to the lower level of the trail. “I don’t think I’d be able to get back up even if I could jump down there,” I said. “This is about a four-foot wall and I know my arms aren’t strong...

All-in-the-Family Perks

Seniors living with their children and grandchildren is something I never experienced, but it’s an alternative to moving older family members into an assisted living facility. The question, though, is whether it’s a good alternative. My husband had a glimpse of that life through his two friends, Bobby and Flynn, each of whom had grandparents living with them. “How did the grandparents spend their time?” I asked. “They watched soaps on TV, smoked cigarettes….” “Didn’t your friends do things with their grandparents?” George recalled that he and Flynn often took Flynn’s grandmother, Emma, to the store. “To get groceries?” “No,” he said. “To buy beer.” “Beer?” It took a few seconds before I understood and my jaw dropped. “She bought beer for you and Flynn because you...

The Things That Drive Us

Men and their toys—or should I say, cars? And I don’t mean toy cars. A man’s image is often tied to what he drives; most women are no different. The other day when my friend, Betsy, and I went to Radnor Lake State Park to hike, a Porsche in the parking lot caught our eyes. There was an older man behind the wheel whose face took on a smug expression when he saw us looking. He seemed pleased to be noticed as he simply sat in the parking lot with his motor running, apparently more interested in being seen in that car than on any hiking trails. Betsy loves to spot expensive cars, especially when there’s a good-looking man behind the wheel. As we were headed home from the park, she started salivating over the Rolls Royce driving abreast of us. The driver appeared to...

Meal-Sharing

I use FaceBook to keep up with the lives of my friends, to hear about funny experiences, things they’ve learned, and milestones in their lives. I don’t use it to see what they’re having for dinner. I’m not going to comment on the food you have chosen to eat. No “good job” or “happy for you” will be coming from me. And I sure as heck am not going to Like it. I’ll gladly share a meal with you at home or at a restaurant. Feel free to order anything you’d like. If it’s not pretty, I’ll ignore it. But I might just stick a needle in my eye if I have to look at one more picture of mashed Mexican beans that resemble what I pick up after my dog every day.

It Feels Weird To Be Like You

Somehow, I have gotten on a new daily schedule. I’ve long been the one to stay up late at night and then have difficulty awakening in the morning. But my month in Baltimore with the grandkids changed me. I was so tired by the end of each day that I went to bed about the time three-year-old Carter went to bed, 8:00pm. I found myself awake by 5:30 each morning and used the opportunity to get in a good long walk before the kids were up and running. Literally. Carter often asked me by 8:00am, “Granny, will you run with me?” I’ve been home three weeks now and find I’m sticking to the schedule established in Baltimore. I’m getting up before 6:00 every morning because I’m tired and ready for bed by 8:00 every night—just like George. I have teased him about his...

Peanut Butter and Jelly

My grandson, Carter, was sick. As he lay on the sofa half-asleep, his dad encouraged him to eat in order to keep up his strength. “Would you like a sandwich?” Chris asked. “Peanut butter and jelly always made me feel better when I was sick.” “No,” said Carter. “Peanut butter and jelly is for happy people.” Wisdom from a three-year-old.