Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Has Anyone Noticed?

I have changed my pen name from "Undecided" to "California Girl at Heart", not that anyone would notice this minor change at the bottom of each of my posts. And, I didn't have to erase my name from all my previous posts and re-write it; one click of the button, and the system automatically changed my name on every post. Sometimes I am very thankful for the wonders of modern age.

Yesterday, I took a real "road trip". A short road trip, but a road trip none-the-less; it even used up a full tank of gas. Except for a blustery and biting wind, which was especially noticeable crossing the wide Connecticut rivers, the trip itself was uneventful, unless you count the long line of cars backed up trying to get from I-91 to I-95 during the middle of the afternoon. (What engineer thought it would be a good idea to have ONE lane at the intersection of two major highways, even 50 years ago?)

When we got back in the late afternoon, my twenty year old niece, who is a junior at an upstate New York college, was begging for a ride back to college from her dad and me. Perhaps she thought since we made it through one road trip, we were looking forward to doing another. The trip to her school is a seven hour trip ONE-WAY, a trip neither my brother or I were especially looking forward to. A two hour trip each way, which we did manage quite nicely yesterday, is much less taxing than a seven hour trip each way. We are just not that young anymore; our bodies cannot physically take sitting in a cramped driving position for 14 hours, even with stops to flex our stiff muscles. I was pushing for her to take the bus, which was feasible even if not her first choice, since the bus ride takes a few hours longer than driving takes; and she would have to mail some of her more bulky Xmas gifts back to college or pay for an extra seat on the bus for them. She finally found a ride most of the way back late last night, so my brother and I are off the hook, except for a short 30 minute drive to drop her off at a fellow student's home -a much more reasonable solution for her elders than enduring the havoc that a 14 hour road trip would wreak on two 50-something-year-old bodies.

The day before our road trip, a long time of mine from my own college days called me. He had received the holiday card I sent him and decided to contact me. Although we stay in occaasional touch by phone and with holiday greetings (I send, he receives), we haven't seen each other that often over the ensuing years, even though he lives only a three hour drive from where I am currently staying at my dad's house in Connecticut. A builder of houses, he has had physical problems himself for many years. And I have painful fallen arches, which are aggravated by the pressure one exerts while pressing on the gas or brake pedals, and now most recently, an occasional unbendable swollen finger, perhaps a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.

And so, as the years roll by, our bodies continue to age. Some of us age with grace, some of us not so gracefully. Some of the wear and tear can be repaired these days with new artificial hips or knees. So far, they haven't come up with new arches (feet are complex structures). But, I'm optimistic for the future. I have replaced folk dancing and ballroom dancing with singing in a community chorus, something I would not have even tried had I not needed an activity to replace my dancing days. I suppose I could replace using my fingers to type on a keyboard with using a microphone to translate my spoken words to printed words for my blog aficionados, should the necessity arise. I know the technology is feasible, if not already available at an affordable price. There are challenges in life we all have to overcome and, if you live long enough, aging is one of them. Some author once said (and I paraphrase) "Aging is not for the faint of heart." This California Girl whole-heartedly agrees.


  1. Just wanted to stop by and say hi - from your newest follower!! I'm looking forward to reading more of your blogs!


  2. love your new name. its a great decision. come back to cali soon.

  3. This is an interesting post.

    Tired aching bodies are what the older folks are most proud of, haha, I've had my aches and pains all my life!