Now that I’m in my second year of retirement I should probably stop writing about how much I am enjoying it. I wouldn’t want to give the impression I didn’t enjoy working—because I did! I told a friend I don’t sit around doing nothing now that I’m retired, but the difference is that I can if I want (sit around and do nothing). I won’t lie—sometimes I want/do (sit around and do nothing)!
This morning I pulled into the parking lot for Bible Study Fellowship and into this spot. I’m sure these signs were there the previous Wednesday mornings, but I no doubt dismissed them as not applicable for me because, well, do I actually qualify as a senior? Yes, a social security check is deposited into my account every month, and I take advantage of the senior discount at the local grocery store on Tuesdays. I see an increasingly disproportionate number of gray hairs on my head, yet the brain underneath them doesn’t seem to register that I am old enough for this spot.
So I think I’ve concluded that while our bodies unrelentingly age, our minds resist. I’m starting to believe this resistance is a good thing! The rational strategy in the war against Father Time is to give our youthful minds a reasonably fit body in which to thrive. This is much easier to say than to do! So many factors outside our control need to align. Not many years ago I could barely walk because arthritis did a number on my spine. Skillful hands and $35,000 worth of hardware restored my ability to walk upright and offered me a “new lease on life.”
All to say—I’m committed to make the most of my retirement years because God’s grace and mercy have allowed me this privilege.
One blessing is what I call is “walk and talk” dates with women friends. As I set up these dates, I openly admit I’ve developed a reputation for being “long winded.” I put that term in quotes because those were the actual words one friend used to reference me in conversation. Trust me, I took no offense, because, after all, it is true! I never thought of myself as a talker—until I started, first with “sit and sip” dates and then as the weather improved as “walk and talk” dates. Apparently, I have a lot to say, but I also listen. Otherwise, I don’t learn anything!
My friends and I talk about our families, our church(es), theology, the culture we live in, our commonalities and sometimes our differences, our plans, what we’ve read . . . yet these dates that fill much of my time aren’t usually conducive to photos. It’s sacred space, with conversations that never cross the lines of privacy.
But then my friend Clara invited me to her neighborhood for our walk and talk and allowed me to take some pictures of our time together. Our stories match in many (many!) ways, but just take a look at her back deck and know that we have one big difference! (I usually settle for artificial plants.)
This is the top of her long driveway, down which we are headed!
Well, hello there!
You might detect a slope in the topography.
Still heading down, some forestry on the right.
Preparing the field for winter.
A vineyard and the remaining downhill to the main road. I was grateful for the overcast sky as I peeled off a layer of clothing.
I admit I didn’t have a lot to say as I huffed and puffed my way back UP to the house; I couldn’t claim it was the beautiful surroundings that took my breath away.
The next morning I spent a few minutes wondering about the new pain in my glutes before connecting it with my climb up Herring Hill. At least I didn’t have to blame it on old age!
So the second part of this post is about my “walk and listen” dates with my new podcast friend Allie Beth Stuckey. I honestly don’t remember by whose influence I added her podcast to my “Overcast” app, probably Twitter, but there she was on a day I needed something other than my friends who taught me everything I needed to know about Anglican theology at “Word & Table.”
Now that I’m captivated by Allie and her “Relatable” podcast, I never need motivation to don my walking shoes and walk the track or sidewalks in my neighborhood for up to an hour on those days I don’t have a walk and talk date scheduled. No kidding—I’ve become evangelical about sharing my enthusiasm for Allie. She’s a millennial (hope for the future); she’s conservative (so am I); she’s a Christian absolutely committed to basing all of her opinions (and, trust me, she’s opinionated) on scripture, which she knows very well!
I listened to quite a few podcasts on my phone before checking her out on YouTube, where I learned how late I am to the party—she already had 57,000 subscribers!
Today was a “walk and listen” day, so off I went with my phone and ear buds (preferred over blue tooth) and a headband to keep them in my ears, stopping off down here at the river to take a picture for you. I was listening to “Episode 9: Who Even Am I?” because I’m working my way up through 170 episodes starting at the beginning. I started out by choosing episodes by the titles that interest me, and you might do the same (presuming I’ve caused enough intrigue to at least get you to click on a link or two). Here, let me help you!
HERE’S THE ONE that got me started, and since I heard it while Quinn and I were traveling together she couldn’t very easily deny her mama the wish to watch/listen again in our hotel room.
I’m sad to say I can’t find Episode 9 (the one I listened to today) on YouTube. Allie shares her story, which builds understanding and trust in her ability to speak truth. All I can say is PLEASE GIVE HER A LISTEN! She talks fast and sometimes says “freakin'” and other millennial words you might find distracting (unless you’re a millennial yourself) but oh she certainly speaks my 74-year-old mind! Then after you’ve listened a while, we can schedule a walk and talk and compare points of view.