Tuesday, May 27, 2014

We're aging out of weekend tasks

After spending nearly all of a three-day weekend doing long-postponed jobs around the house and in the yard, my wife and I sat on the deck in the twilight to relax and unwind. The time is coming, she said, when we won't be able to do all the things we've done this weekend. All of the pruning, weeding, mowing, carpentry, maintaining the deck — we just won't have the physical stamina to continue.

She's right, of course. Over our 43 years together, we have maintained our homes and yards on our own. I fixed plumbing and changed electrical connections. No lawn service or gardener or cleaning service made life easier for us. Instead, we thought of these jobs as exercise to help us maintain our physical vigor and maintain a healthy weight.

But already, we have reached our limits on some things. Several years ago, it was time for me to repaint the dormers on the house we then owned. I put the ladder in place, hauled the paint can and brush and scraper to the top of the ladder and stretched out my arms to reach the far side of the dormer. And then I cautiously went back down the ladder with the paint can, the brush and the scraper and told my wife, "I'm just too old for this." The stretching and balancing and hanging onto the ladder was just too much for me. It scared me.

Other epiphanies like this one are, no doubt, in my future.

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