Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The 21st Century Fountain of Youth

I think I’ve discovered the reason my generation looks much younger than our parents did at our ages. No, nothing to do with Botox or face-lifts. You see, many of my contemporaries are really modern-day versions of the Six Million Dollar Man. Obviously, life imitates art, not the other way around.

Let’s start with Hubby and his repaired knee. In July, he couldn’t walk to the front door. When he did walk, his face was crunched with pain and his body bent over. It’s been four months since his knee surgery. He’s back in the gym daily and can do his usual two-mile stroll. Then there’s my neighbor down the block. He has had repair work on his stomach or intestines, (not sure of the specifics). When that healed, he was the recipient of a new knee. Within weeks he was joining the movers and shakers in our social hall.

Years ago, when people’s eyelids began to droop, nothing could be done. People with this condition looked years older than they really were. Today, if droopy eyelids interfere with your vision, insurance will pay to have them picked up. Hence less seniors have the eyes of a hound dog and all the wrinkles that accompanied them.

As my parents generation entered “late middle-ages,” and their arthritic pains and other aches took them off the golf course or tennis court, the doctors gave them shots or medication for the pain. This treatment provided temporary relief, but the pain always returned. Not so today. Today the doctors go "out with the old and in with the new."

One of the golfers I know received one new hip last year, and she is just about ready to get her other one done. Her knee was replaced several years ago. I can name three close friends and two neighbors who also have had these procedures done. It is the "in" thing. More popular than botox! People are constantly having surgery on injured rotator cups or other joint-related damage. After all these “bionic” folks heal, they return to their previous life of “running” around – only pain free! Pain makes wrinkles. When the surgeon removes the worn out knees, hips, and what nots, he removes the source of pain. Hence, thanks to surgery, my generation will become known as the Dorian Gray Generation.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sinful Senior Community

The other night my active senior community had a Valentine’s Dance. There are two advantages for me in attending a dance in my development. First, the DJ plays the slow, romantic music of my generation, which means my husband knows the dance steps. The second advantage to dances in my community is the DJ play vocals by singers like Johnny Mathis or the Platters all night. Those crooners didn’t scream and groan and call it music like too many of today’s musicians. At our dance, if people wanted to chat for a moment, they didn’t have to leave the room to hear each other. They could hear each other’s voices while others danced to Frank Sinatra’s songs.

During one of the dance breaks, our perky social director – who must have had her training for the job on a cruise ship - decided it was game time – just like on the cruise ship. The game – the Not So Newly Wed Game – was the same as the one played on the cruise ships we’ve gone on. Experience has taught Hubby and me that if the DJ or Social Director makes eye contact with us, we risk being picked – something neither of us loves. We immediately looked down when they circulated the room the other night for volunteers.

The DJ thought he was being funny and asked if there were any newlyweds in the group. He obviously didn’t think he would get a positive response from a crowd where the average age was around 68. One couple responded that they weren’t newlyweds, but would be within a few weeks. They were picked to participate in the game. Two other couples who made the mistake of smiling at the “cruise director” as she circulated the room were also selected. It wasn’t until everyone was on the stage that our social director realized only one of the three couples was actually married. Wow! Is my very nice development in reality a modern day Sin City? The many couples described as “Significant Others” (aka S-O’s) who reside here give new meaning to the word “active” in Active Adult Community!

There are many logical reasons the S.O.’s prefer their status, and I respect and understand their choice not to be hitched. For folks like Hubby and me who are still on marriage number one, the best part of having so many S.O.s for friends is “new lovers” surround us. Their behavior rekindles our own dormant romantic streaks. Normally Hubby would say no to attending a Valentine’s Dance. We went, and he forgot about his aches and pains and danced. I can’t remember the last time my husband did that willingly. He even remembered to buy me a Valentine’s card this year – before Valentine’s Day. I’m glad I live in a Sinful Senior Community. It makes life more fun than printable!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sorry Northerners, Blame It on Me

Folks up North have been having a really miserable winter, and I think it’s my fault and I’d like to apologize. Let me explain. You see, when we first moved to Florida in 1973, we had many cold days during the winter – just not as many as we are having this year. (I even remember seeing snow fall in Ft. Lauderdale in 1978.) Back then, each December the tourists wore shorts while my family was dressed in long sleeved shirts and long pants. We have pictures of me sitting bundled up in winter clothes watching my nieces and nephews swim in my parent’s condo’s heated pool. By the time they flew back to New York, they were sick, but at least they could brag they went swimming in Florida.

In the early 1990’s things began to change, which is why I believe in global warming. By the turn of the century, we had heat and humidity 12 months a year with little relief. Oh, the temperature would show some change, from 95 in the summer to 75 during the winter, but the humidity never seemed to take a vacation. The tourists and snowbirds were ecstatic.

The locals – like me - dreamed of the days before global warming when December through February brought a bit of relief from the heat and humidity. The only exception was those whose livelihood depended on tourists. Northern visitors wouldn’t plan another winter vacation in Florida if they were cold while here. Next time, they would head to Aruba or Puerto Rico when they wanted a break from the cold winters up North.

This summer, during Hubby’s and my daily 7 AM walk, (after 7 the tropical sun is too oppressive to walk), I prayed aloud that this winter should be cold enough that I would need to wear sweaters everyday. My prayer was answered and that’s the cause of your weather problem up North. You see, whatever our weather is, the North is usually about 30 - 40 degrees colder depending on the season, which means instead of having icy rain this winter, they're getting all that white stuff.

As I said, my husband was with me when I said my prayer for an old-fashioned cold Florida winter. This morning, as we slid into our lightweight winter jackets to wear during our morning walk, he asked me if I could pray we win the lottery this weekend.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mastering Manuals

Last week’s blog foreshadowed this week’s: frustrations in setting up new phones. COSTCO had a great deal, which Hubby bought even though it meant we increased our phones from 3 portables to 5 plus the two land lines we have. This means we now have more phones than rooms.

Now, you would think that all five phones would operate the same. You would think it, but that just ain’t so. Some of the phones have 3 soft keys under the face, others have two. On some you have to press the up/down arrows to see who called, others have a mini rod to move up or down.

Ever since the massive onslaught of technology – beginning with the VCR – my usual pattern of behavior when we have a new purchase that involves reading a manual, is wait for either of my sons to visit and let them set things up. However, ever since one of them muttered, “you have a master’s degree in teaching reading, surely you can follow simple directions in a manual,” I hesitate to scream “Help,” unless it really, really is necessary.

When Hubby unpacked the box, I suggested we take the easy way out and call a friend, who recently bought the same phone. Hubby announced his intentions to read the manual. He insisted that if his friend could decipher the manual, so could he. I didn’t bother to point out that his friend was a mechanical engineer.

I am proud to announce that Hubby actually did everything – even taught me how to see who called. He set up the phonebook, but I still can’t figure out how to enter numbers. The one job he didn’t do was reset the code for me to retrieve messages when I’m not home. “You did it with the last phone, so you can do it again.”

That page is still open on my desk. All I’ve done is make a copy of the various numbers I need to press to operate the phone from afar. My goal today is to prove to myself that my Master’s Degree was well deserved. After all, if I taught hundreds of students how to read directions, shouldn’t I be able to do the same