Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Out of the Mouths of Not-So-Babes

It is snowing again.  We live, and always have, in the Northeast.  It is winter.  What do we expect?  I'm stuck in the house again and the look of delight is not on my face.

Okay, so this is a winter of discontent.  I used to love winter as long as I did not have to drive in snow or on ice-covered roads.  That has all changed.  My life has changed.  I don't have any sidewalks and I am totally dependent upon snow plows and shovels and the conversation during morning coffee often turns to the idea of leaving the Northeast, moving ourselves to a warmer climate....until we hear that Atlanta is currently paralyzed by a two inch snowfall.  Is there no safe place?

I'm sitting here watching huge flakes of fluffy snow fly by the windows.  We live three stories off the ground and have lots of big, wide windows which make us feel as if we are living in a snow globe and that sounds very nice indeed. But I still long to be living in Santa Barbara.  We're even seriously considering a next move to Portsmouth, New Hampshire...yes, I know, it snows there too....but they have sidewalks downtown and I want to be downtown in any town to which we relocate.  So, what's stopping us?

Oh boy, this is hard to say but we can't make a move, not now, because of our parents.  Used to be because of our kids and then we had a five-minute break when they arrived at adulthood before it was time to be back in the game, looking after people other than ourselves, once again.  It has good and bad moments I must admit but, and forgive me here again, they are both healthy, alert, capable of most activities of their daily lives and not ready to leave the Earth any time soon.  Our window of opportunity is closing again.

His mother is going to be 99 in a few weeks and my father is a mere 92.  If we even thought about moving clear across the country, they would stop us dead in our tracks.  You see, they both have houses.  One in New York, and one five minutes from where we now live. And neither of them will make a change.  Ugh.

But, alas, that is not what this is about.  This is about snow storm after snow storm and my increasing unrest with the winter and all it has offered so far. Or is it?

Both my husband and I, when we tell people the ages of our surviving parents, are asked "what is their secret?"  Everyone wants to know how they have gotten this far in life and kept their health.  We don't really know.  We could chalk it up to good genes and move on but in both cases, they, so far have lived many, many years longer than their own parents and siblings so that theory is shot.

I have a feeling I know the secret to my father's success.  I do all the worrying, the fretting about his happiness, comfort and safety.  Snow days are all the more unbearable for me because I worry so much about him being alone, in his house, with nothing to do all day.  So, this morning, like every morning, I called him up and expressed how I felt about the snow keeping him home again and bingo! he had an answer.

"Hey, it's winter. What do you expect?  This is probably the end of it for this year."  

"The end of it? isn't even February yet!!"

For those of you who are students of logic and philosophy, I put this question out:  who's going to outlive who?

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