THE GREENER PARTNERS GALA AND FIVE DAYS IN MEDIA
Last Saturday night was very special in our family. Jerry and I attended the annual fund raiser of Greener Partners. It is a non profit in the Philly area headed by our youngest daughter, Meg. Their mission is to promote healthier communities through food, farms, and education. Focusing on those in need, they utilize mobile education programs, hospital gardens, and access to healthy food initiatives. Last year over 11, 000 families and individuals benefited from the program. No wonder we are very proud 😘
I like the way our family members show support for one another. Our daughter Maura, her husband Paul, and daughter Claire and Claire’s friend Greg all came from Virginia to be part of this event . Daughter Lilly came from New York. So including Meg’s husband Brendan, Meg’s personal support team at the gala numbered 8. And the total of guests at the event numbered 350.
Jerry and I arrived in Media on Thursday. It is a two and a half hour plus trip from our home in Virginia. When we were younger that could have been an easy there and back , even in the same day – but not any longer. This time we added a few days for trip recovery and relaxed visit time with our Pennsylvania family. And we wanted to have a luncheon date with our friend Rene whom I have known since my Cornell days. She lived across the hall from me in the nursing dorm. Now Rene lives in a continuing care community about fifteen minutes from our daughter’s home.
We met Rene at a local Media restaurant where the emphasis is on yummy, nutritious food that is creatively prepared. But the best part was being with her and sharing our thoughts about aging. I told her about starting my blog and she talked about how she had started a monthly listening group with her friends . Each one takes a turn being the facilitator and the facilitator gets to choose the topic for that particular meeting. Participants can just listen or they can contribute their thoughts. Interestingly, she said no one wants to talk about aging. She has decided that when her turn comes again, aging will be her topic. And not just the negative aspects which are so easy to fall into.
Aging is tough – as the saying goes, it is “not for sissies’’. Diminishing health, loss of mobility, loss of loved ones, loss of friends, perhaps loss of livelihood, loss of life purpose , loss of a sense of responsibility – these are some of the negatives. Recently in trying to straighten out my right hand which gets cramped from arthritis I moved it too quickly and tore a tendon in my right hand resulting in a “mallet finger”. According to the orthopedist this condition is common in “older” women. I had not been planning on wearing a finger brace to Meg’s gala.
The positives depend on how one deals with ageing’s adversities. It is important to keep intellectually challenged. For the last several years Jerry and I have participated in Learning in Retirement classes covering topics from current events to the history of unions. Through our church we are active in a bible study that is very important to us. And we participate in several bridge groups. And we do crossword puzzles.
We are both avid golfers, we will never be tour material but we get an incredible pleasure from the game and from walking the course.. We used to play 18 holes at a time but now accept that 9 holes is more realistic for our various aches and pains. Sometimes we play a few holes more and sometimes we don’t even reach 9. We are fortunate that twenty nine years ago when we moved to our present home we found a golf club that was within our price range.
We are now home – we have two young neighbors that we hire to water our patio plants when we are away. They do a great job but have no power over the deer who occasionally roam our backyard – it was a bummer to discover that the hydrangea which started as a cutting gift from a friend and had grown to a healthy flower filled shrub had been mercilessly trimmed by the deer. I know it was the deer because the hydrangea had grown quite tall and only the deer could have reached that high. The deer seem to be aware of our travel schedule – they never attempt the patio when we are home. A few weeks ago when we were on our beach week we came home to the remains of a beautiful hibiscus that had been gnawed to oblivion. I actually am not anti deer, I find them to have an almost spiritual quality in their quiet presence, but I sure wish they would leave the patio plants alone. Perhaps there is a lesson here – sometimes we just have to accept the bad with the good.