This fall has had both Don and me so busy that I felt like I was back in the office full-time.
First of all, there was school. We both started out auditing two courses each at Hunter College, part of the City University of New York. It’s a great (free!) opportunity for us elders, and I for one thoroughly enjoyed it. Don had two classes from the English department which focused so heavily on political correctness that he had to either drop out or explode. Do not get him started on the politics of 1970’s graffiti in New York City. Do. Not.
I, on the other hand, had two great classes on subjects where my knowledge needed bolstering. The first was a Shakespeare course, wherein we studied seven plays and saw performances of Hamlet and The Winter’s Tale. I loved every minute and – even though audit students need not participate in any assignments or tests – took every quiz and wrote every paper. I was immersed!
My other course was World Regional Geography. Don’s hope was that this would teach me how to read maps without tears. We didn’t get to that part, but now when I open the newspaper, there is so much more I know about the world and why one group is fighting another group. (And that’s mostly what’s in the paper these days – except for the part about what’s going on in this country, which I have trained myself to avoid.)
My theory is that there is just something so manageable about school that I felt right at home. If you listen and do the work, the grades follow and learning actually occurs. (Who knew?) My fellow students, although a bit younger than I am, were terrific, and they jumped on me for my notes and pre-test prep. Very gratifying. I may have gone a bit crazy studying for the last geography test, but I do have my pride, and I wanted to maintain my average. Of course, none of it actually counts as I am not registered for credit, but it’s nice to know I still have the student gene in there somewhere. Plus, my study notes were a nice addition to the bedroom for a while.
And then there was three months of physical therapy to fit in. It seems that Italy’s hills and cobblestones tested my knees to their limit, so I am anticipating at least one knee replacement. Things are manageable for now, but the PT was a preemptive strike to prepare for surgery.
On the side, I continue to do consulting, and was quite busy with what we call “work-work” up until a week ago.
All this is intended to explain why it seemed absolutely essential that we have a break before Christmas. So here we are in Puerto Rico, lazing under the palm trees. We picked a marvelous week, as the weather in New York is frigid and snowy. We, on the other hand, are enjoying the sun, the pool and the beach, with very little exertion besides swimming. (Good for the knees.)
It’s been a great fall and holiday season. I have also taken over our kitchen to compensate Don for years of hot meals on the table at night. Menu planning is another creative sport I am enjoying, though cooking does come with clean-up and the dishes. But Don is kind enough to shop for me, and all I need to do is give him a list a couple times a week.
This life isn’t half bad. Now, time for cocktails.
P.S. Sorry this sounds like one of those holiday letters. Oh well…