I remember the dawning of the year 2000…like it was yesterday. I was watching the, late, ABC News Anchor, Peter Jennings, when the Waterford Crystal Ball dropped in Manhattan. We were afraid of Y2K. It was, widely, believed that all computers, including those for Wall Street, would freeze-up when the century changed! Many people had gathered food supplies and water and medical items…for the coming disaster. I considered that I had 10 more years to work before I would be able to retire. Our cable television service, shortly after midnight, showed all of their pay per view channels for free…for a few hours. The, controversial, Presidential election, had been decide in favor of George W. Bush, by the Supreme Court of the United States ruling that the vote recount was to cease in Florida.
I have wondered how it felt to have lived in the Roaring Twenties? Having been born in 1957…I did not imagine that I was going to be one of those people that lived in two centuries. When I would study the history of persons in the 20’th Century that were born in the 19’th Century…they were as foreign to me as if they had been born on another planet. To be around in the, 0’s, or the teens, or the 20’s,…was obscure and ancient history! I pondered how much the 20’th Century must have changed after the death of persons who had lived, only during its’s first half?
Life has, already, changed a-lot in our new century. On a personal level MJ and I have lost both of our parents over the past 20 years. Our sons have become men. We have gone from working every day….To retirement.
We have witnessed the longest war in history, in Afghanistan. The country altering, 9/11 occurred…and we have never been the same!
MJ and I have been blessed to travel to Europe on 4 occasions and Aaron and Jonathon have accompanied us 3 times. We were able to rekindle our life-long friendship with our dear friends, Margo and Jeff, who have lived in Europe for many years. This was a big deal to us and one of the highlights of our retirement!
Yesterday, we so enjoyed being with our, soul-mates, Ron and Ira Kaye, and our Niece, Tara and her husband, Mike…and our nephew and niece, Tyler and Paige. After the wonderful dinner that Ira Kay had prepared and the coffee, infused with Bailye’s Irish Cream, I marveled, as I sat on the reclining sofa, at the maturity and, wonderful personalities of Paige and Tyler!
We are planning on joining Ron and Ira Kaye in Florida, next month, and we are looking forward to the fellowship.
So, the 20’s await MJ and I, in our senior walk. We have reached the state that we spoke of in our youth. We are not longer the young people…nor the, harried, middle aged parent of teenagers,….We are members of the Golden Years Group!
At the conclusion of 2020 I will be retired for 10 years. The time has passed like a thief in the night!
I write, almost daily, and have since 2014…when I visited Margo and Jeff, in Nice, France, and observed her dedication to writing. I think that my writing and my walking/photography have been two of my premier pleasure and hobbies for the retirement years.
Pope Francis said, in his Christmas Homily, that God loves all of humanity. This truth has been my revelation of faith of many years…and has been enhanced by my 21 years as a member of First Presbyterian Church in Carbondale, Illinois, and my travels over my retirement.
I was captivated by a beggar outside our flat, in Venice. He sat on the steps, near our door, each day of our stay, in the magical city. His eyes were angelic and his demeanor was…Christ like….
A handicapped man in Edinburgh, Scotland, asked me to assist him in rising from his wheel chair…to facilitate his ordering his dinner at a local restaurant. As I spoke with him, his compassionate heart…gripped mine! He welcomed me to Edinburgh and told me of his love for the United States and his desire to visit my country.
We stayed with the sweet people at their, several hundred year old, farm house, in Tuscany, Italy. The couple was delightful and the wife was eccentric and unique and, unparalleled, in her quirky persona! The, extremely, narrow, dirt road to the ancient farm house, was like the Biblical Jericho Road, there was room for just one…automobile! I was amazed at how, Jeff, negotiated the twisty and turn path to reach the summit of our destination! His driving skills are magnificent!
We attended a town celebration in, Montecatini, Italy…which was at the base of the mountain that the farm was located on. This was a village celebration….Yet we were made welcome as if we were native to the region! As I sat and enjoyed a sausage and a beer that I had purchased at the kiosk at the festival…I looked down toward the far end of the table that we were seated at…and I nodded at my host…and smiled, a broad smile, and he nodded back at me with an equal, toothy grin…and we were one family!