One of my readers commented on my last article, “My Neighborhood.” She suggested that I read, ‘The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard” by Kristin Schell. I just read the publisher’s summary on Amazon and ordered the book.
“My Neighborhood” provoked a flurry of comments, all good. While I presumed that my new neighborhood was exceptional, apparently it is not. I was glad to find that others were lucky enough to find companionship and friends in their yards. Particularly in older folks, companionship is critical.
Over the years I practiced, I watched my elders deteriorate physically and mentally as they refused to abandon the homes they raised their families in. Their families grew older and moved away. The neighbors they once knew moved, as well. They became socially isolated.
Despite their children’s pleas for them to move to a senior community, they were steadfast in holding onto the past. Their children enlisted me in a further effort to talk sense into their parents. I told them being in a community of retirees their own age, who understood their lot in life, would be beneficial in a multitude of ways. They ignored me.
My mother and Renee’s father moved in with us. They no longer could live on their own. It was great having them with us for a while, then it wasn’t. They did not understand our lifestyle and we didn’t truly understand theirs. We literally ran out of things to talk about. I tried to convince my mother that she would be better in a senior community to no avail. As you know, I’ve been playing the “would have, could have, should have” game.
I’ve looked back in time and realized the mistakes I’ve made. Moving into a over 55 retirement community and finding the companionship and newfound friendships with couples my own age has proven that my advice to my elders was right.
If you are dealing with stubborn parents or loved ones who refuse to give up their empty aging homes, give them this article. Have them call me. I hated leaving Briarcrest. I had a big empty house that was too much to maintain. I had neighborhood friends that were aging and moving. My family moved out of state, as well.
Moving was scary but necessary. It turned out to be one of the best things I could do! My new house is handicapped equipped. My neighbors have CRS and joke about it. They are going through the same problems Renee and I are going through. Even more importantly, they laugh at my jokes. I’m a lucky man.
Here’s today’s joke:
A farmer drove to a neighbour’s farmhouse and knocked at the door.
A boy, about 9, opened the door.
“Is your dad or mom home?” said the farmer.
“No, they went to town.”
“How about your brother, Howard? Is he here?”
“No, he went with Mom and Dad.”
The farmer stood there for a few minutes, shifting from one foot to the other, mumbling to himself, when the young boy says, “I know where all the tools are if you want to borrow one, or I can give Dad a message.”
“Well,” said the farmer uncomfortably, “No, I really want to talk to your Dad, about your brother Howard getting my daughter Suzy pregnant!”.
The boy thought for a moment, hen says, “You’ll have to talk to my Dad about that. I know he charges $50 for the bulls and $15 for the pigs, but I have no idea how much he charges for Howard.