The Farmer scheduled two days of golfing while we were on vacation. Neither The Mother nor I golf so I planned a couple of activities that would be pleasant and not overstimulating to her.
When we were kids, back in the day, there was no such thing as a theme park. Well, there was Kiddieland, a small parcel on North Avenue that was packed with kiddie rides. There was an article in the paper recently saying that Kiddieland had closed. How could they compete against Six Flags?
In those days we had to find creative ways to spend our leisure time. Most times that involved getting together with neighbors and friends, pooling resources and going on a picnic.
A day at the beach did not mean beautiful sand beaches on the ocean. It meant gravely beaches on murky lakes, either in northern Illinois or southern Wisconsin. Mobs of blue class workers escaped the heat of summer in Chicago to head to a fishing resort in Wisconsin every summer. Have you seen the movie, The Great Outdoors? That will give you an upscale idea of the experience.
On our trips down south each summer the major leisure time activity was porch sitting. I highly recommend this to anyone. Sit on the porch, listen to the sounds, gossip a little and snap beans. It's a terrific way to relax. Oh, and don't forget to do a little gossiping!
The Farmer grabbed a golf cart and we headed out to the beach. It's just a small beach on Lake Cortez. The water is clear and cold but The Mother and I hadn't worn our bathing suits. Instead we simply pitched our chairs and sat in the shade.
Just before leaving on vacation The Mother lost her only surviving sibling, her younger brother Jim. Putting aside time on a shady beach allowed her to open up about getting old and loss.
There's a saying, "There's good news and there's bad news about getting older. The good news is, you're getting older. The bad news is, you're getting older."
It's a difficult challenge for people who live to be very old. The losses surmount until almost all the of their contemporaries are gone. If they live long enough even their aging children begin to die. All this loss comes at a time when their psychological and mental defenses are gone.
As I said, The Mother has lost all of her siblings. But her strength is that she's been quite social all her life so she does have friends. The Other Mother has lost all but two of her seven siblings, all six of her sisters-in-law. Unfortunately she didn't cultivate many friends and is at a loss on that sense.
These are all issues that we need to keep in mind as we age ourselves. We need to recognize the challenges and prepare.
Life is not a day at the beach but nonetheless a day at the beach can be quite pleasant.