A dear older friend, when asked how she was, always used to answer “Creaking nicely”. She was one of those people who faced the difficulties of old age with great dignity and courage. Another friend was wont to say “Old age isn’t for wimps!”
In our village there is a (mostly) aging population (well, yes, I know we are all aging, but you know what I mean). There are people dealing with all sorts if difficulties and restrictions, as age takes its toll on limbs, ‘dickey tickers’, eyesight and, perhaps most daunting, confidence. In the past week I have talked with at least three people who said they now lack the confidence to drive at night – in a rural setting that is quite significant.
The best dressed pensioners are now seen taking their ‘constitutionals’ with a variety of elegant walking sticks. Boy do they do ‘sticks with attitude’! A stick-spotter may see anything from a walking pole to a broom-stick (without brush!), a zimmer to a collapsible stick decorated with a flower-border of colourful pansies.
The advent of our kitten is a reminder of the agility and energy of youth AND the fact that the last time we had a kitten in the house we were a good 15 years younger ourselves! You can do quite an attractive join-the-dots picture if you take a pen to all the claw puncture wounds on my hands and forearms. She is a delightful little thing, full of curiosity and mischief, and she is certainly keeping us on our toes.
Perhaps that is what is so impressive about my dear older friends – they have never lost the knack of seeing the ridiculous and enjoying the moment. They appreciate what others do to cheer their day – but, to be honest, they are far more ‘cheering’ than ‘cheered’. They have never lost the magical talent of saying “thank you” and I guess, for many of them, their cup is half full, not half empty.
The village lunch started up last week, after a summer break. The meal was delicious and the company entertaining. The tables were covered in the usual brightly coloured cloths and decorated by our usual ‘think-outside-the-box’ flower arranger (who restricted herself to flowers this time, but has, in the past, been a dab hand with a vegetable array!)
OK, so some people would have preferred a bit more gravy – to help the food go down – but that was a detail. Conversation rattled on and there were smiles to be seen all about the room. The ‘washer-upper’ (for love, not money) did her bit and we all went home feeling good AND, I think it is safe to say, ‘creaking nicely’!