Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Second Childhood?

Well, I finally gave in and let my husband Ovid buy a bike! And what a bike! We rode it Sunday afternoon for about a half hour, laughing so hard we could hardly pedal! Yes, we bought a bicycle built for two! On our way home from the Martinsburg Hospital where Ovid had an echo cardiogram (routine test), we saw a man selling bikes from his front yard, so we stopped to look. He adjusted the front seat for me and told us it is hard for a man to adjust to being in the back seat where the power pedals are-- men normally want to be in the driver's seat, so it takes communication, coordination and working together to really get adjusted to a bicycle for two. As newly weds (8 years), we can always learn more about communication and working together!

Well, we took it for a test ride Sunday afternoon, since the man who sold it to us said if we did not like it, we could bring it back. We got on, balanced ourselves, and headed down the hill-- what fun! With cool air whizzing past our faces, the exhilaration was great! We felt like children released from an unwanted chore to go flying out the door! That is, until Ovid thought I was going into the ditch on the side of the road and got frustrated that his handle bars attached to my seat did NOT give him the power to turn the bike! The seller told us the bike would be different than a single seater-- we just had to learn HOW different! It also did not help that my seat was slightly loose and when Ovid tried to steer from the back, he kept turning my seat! We were laughing so hard we had to stop in the middle of the road-- my tears were blinding my steering ability!

Ovid had brought the tools to reset my seat, and once he could not move my seat around, we managed to have a great ride! It sure is a cardiac workout on the uphill-- I was in a full sweat. But the exercise for my knees is wonderful. I can feel the workout on my thighs and flexibility on my knees without so much weight bearing pain as when we take walks. My left knee gets replaced Oct. 5th, and hopefully I can strengthen my muscles in both legs before the surgery, and also ride the bike after surgery to restore flexibility in the left knee. God is so good! We have not laughed that hard in ages!

Thought you would want to know what us old folks are up to!

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thoughts on Aging

As a goal oriented, type A person, I have always had my plate full. When I was first married, I taught in a Christian school while my husband was in seminary, and also did the ordinary wifely things of homemaking and hospitality. When our children were born, I no longer taught at school, but continued homemaking and hospitality, and added the feeding, diapering, training and discipling to my duties as a wife. Balancing those things was sometimes difficult, as it was easy to let some things fall by the wayside. I now had to work hard at not neglecting my first job-- that of wife to my husband!

Then we added homeschooling to our list of priorities. The first year was hard as our children complained that it was not "real" school and I was not like their teacher from "real" school! Enter Daddy, the husband, father, homeschool Principal! Over the years we both learned to "balance" quite a lot of activities. My husband was very helpful in helping me decide what new tasks to take on-- praise God for His plan of submission! It was great to be able to say, "My husband does not feel I can do that at this time."

When the children grew up and married, I had to learn what to do with time again. I volunteered to wash dishes for Senior Citizen lunches at church, taught a couples Sunday School class with my husband, and continued upholstering and custom sewing for other people, as I had time in between homemaking and hospitality.

When I was widowed at 52, EVERYTHING changed! For four years, God sent other activities to fill my days and I eventually adjusted to the loss of my husband. I still was active in homemaking, hospitality, church activities, and sewing, but now God added grandchildren, and mentoring and discipling younger women to my plate. What a joy that has been!

When I remarried at 56, God gave me lots of new activities, including moving across country twice in a little over a year! Homemaking, hospitality, sewing, mentoring and being wife, stepmother, and grandmother to a growing tribe of Blessings completely filled my plate again. God is so good!

Yesterday, I realized my days of multi-tasking may be limited! As I was pinning a slipcover together, I pricked my finger and bloodied my hand. On my way to the kitchen to wash off the blood to avoid staining the fabric, I spotted the hummingbird syrup cooling on the stove. So I picked up the pan on my way to the sink, and poured the syrup into the hummingbird feeder. I noticed an ant walking around the edge of the pan, so as soon as I finished filling the feeder, I set it down to rinse the ant down the drain. Suddenly I was covered with syrup flowing over the counter onto my dress and the floor! I had set the feeder onto the counter without first putting on the bottom part and turning the feeder over so it could stand without dripping. How many times have I filled the feeder in my life?!

Yes, I know that is a silly matter on which to base my conclusion that I can no longer multi-task, but it showed me that I AM aging and cannot expect to do so many things at once as I once was able to do. I walk into a room looking for something and spot some task I have not done, do it; then realize I should also clean my desk, or maybe finally add to my blogs, and a few minutes later, my husband walks in to ask me why the kitchen faucet is running in an empty sink!

My dreams lately have been of having a day when I can sit down and read a book all the way through in one sitting, instead of taking weeks to read it between other daily chores. Or of having a day when I can really clean out the flower beds, instead of just watering them occasionally because I must pick the vegetables in the garden and can them before the next batch comes in-- and guests are coming for supper, and I have not finished folding the laundry yet. I used to be able to do all those things at once without even thinking.

I believe God prepares us for each stage in our lives, and His preparation for me now may be to slow down and gratefully accept my limitations so that when the time comes when I may be really limited, I will not stress about it and complain that I cannot do all that I once did. Praise God, I may get to slow down and read that book in one sitting after all!

Psalms 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.