Delightful Eva and I have travelled, mostly together, outside and inside the US since we were married 37 years ago. Nowadays our favorite reason for leaving Springfield, IL, is to visit our pre-school granddaughter in southern California (LA area) and infant grandson (born 1/1/13) in Portland, OR. Oh, yes, and to visit their parents too. Our two boys are now fathers, each in their 30s, at an age and stage in their lives when they welcome a visit from their mom and dad.
Speaking of mom—also now a grandma or, in Yiddish, “bubbe”--she’s a warm, wise, charmingly wise-cracking clinical psychologist who decades ago began incorporating mindfulness in psychotherapy. Eva not be a tall woman, but she has always had, as she says, "tall ways." That's true. People do look up to her. And no one overlooks her, partly because she dresses with an eye-catching, distinctive flair. She loves her new iPhone almost as much as her grandchildren, though learning how to make it work can be maddening. A few favorite aphorisms convey her outlook on living: Crisis is opportunity—acceptance is magic; the way you do one thing is the way you do everything; pain is inevitable—suffering is optional.
Unlike Eva, who continues her private practice, I am now fully retired from Illinois’ human services agencies and a stint as a public health consultant on emergency preparedness. While I’ve time now to spend a couple hours a day exercising at our YMCA or settling into an easy chair with a fun book, I spend more time on house chores, errands, cooking supper, making travel arrangements, and watching the Indiana Hoosiers play exciting basketball. In the spring and fall, the Japanese garden that fills our back yard requires tending and mending, activities that are fun until bugs start biting and sweat soaks my shirt. Now and then it occurs to me that fewer plants and more rocks would make gardening easier. Other pleasures include learning to take more interesting photographs, fixing and improving things around the house, afternoon naps, walking and biking and, yes, even exercising at the Y and reading a book now and then, not just articles on the iPad.
Thankfully, neither of us are limited by health issues or disabilities. Is there a better reason to practice gratitude? You’ll find us friendly, clean, neighborly, respectful to you and your property, and happy to be near our family.