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My View: Seeking silver linings to our golden years

By Larry Beahan

These are our “Last days in Paradise,” the “Gilded Years.” Let’s savor them. I remember when friends, even in freezing cold or driving rain, would gloat, “Any day in the woods is better than a day in the office.” Lately it’s, “I’ll take any day this side of the grass.”

Today was a good one. Pattie, our visiting nurse, had a cold and canceled her visit. Fortunately, Lyn and I are in decent shape, in no dire need of her services – or her cold. The bonus we get is a morning free for a date. Not the movies or dancing, we went out shopping and to the “Y.”

Yesterday, Rick, the furnace repair guy, kept his appointment. He said, “Glad to see you at home, last year you were in the hospital.” He repaired our humidifier, checked the furnace and cheerfully charged us $400. Well, moist air in the house may save me another two-week nose bleed like the one that made me miss him last year.

Today, after Pattie’s call, we bundled up and headed outdoors. So what if there is a nor’easter blowing the rain sideways at 35 knots. It’s a brisk autumn day; the weather has knocked down the ragweed and delicately muted the golds and yellows of the maples.

First, to George’s Produce Market at Wehrle and Aero Drive. Heaped-up pumpkins glimmer orange at us through the deluge. Great, they still have corn. Funny, no customers or staff, either. We pile up tomatoes, Bosc pears and Fuji apples beside our corn. What a feast. Then we discover the “Pay it yourself and take what you need box” full of dollar bills swirling in the wind. Those George people have the good sense to stay out of the rain and trust us. It’s just like out in the country.

We hop back into our car. I have to brag; we are enjoying this new vehicle, a 2019 Nissan all-electric Leaf with a $7,500 federal tax rebate sweetening the deal. It’s quiet and smooth and takes off like a jack rabbit. If only I were still into drag racing.

Larry Beahan

But for excitement today we head out of George’s down Aero to negotiate the new traffic circle onto Youngs Road, just before the tunnel under the airport runway. As we approach the runway a gigantic airliner looms out of the mist on its final approach and touches down just in front of us. A thrill every time.

At the “Y” we take a handicap parking spot. The wind and the rain are bracing but a walk from the back of that oversize parking lot would dampen our enthusiasm considerably. In the “Y” lobby we enjoy a cup of coffee provided gratis by the Bunn Co., energizing us for our workouts.

Lyn’s GI problems this summer kept her away but today she did two miles in 20 minutes on an elliptical, recumbent marvel of an exercise bike. If only we could figure out the electronics on it. Jeff, my physiotherapist, gave me the go-ahead to do a mile on the indoor track. I did it and so far I don’t hurt, much.

In fact, I feel so good with this cool weather, I think I’ll go out to Kissing Bridge and renew the lifetime pass I earned there working three days a week for the Ski Patrol. My balance is terrible, my bones are brittle. I’m set up for a busted hip. Maybe I’ll just go for a hot chocolate and one of their delicious cinnamon buns and take Lyn along for the ride.

Take us, Lord. Take us in full stride.

Larry Beahan, of Amherst, won’t let aging curb his enthusiasm.

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