Thought I would get a few words down right now, before I call my dad. Dad has always been a talker, even before he retired, but since mom died it’s hard to get a word in edge wise plus it’s always a long call. Lisa gets a kick out of it, especially when he says “I suppose I should let you go” and then proceeds to launch into a conversation about his next newest project. 30 minutes later, he’s still talking. I’m glad he’s still around to talk with, however, and the guy is as healthy as anyone. He turns 83 next month, but he has the energy and clear mind of someone much, much younger.
I do like how he gets excited about things. Usually it’s his newest purchase, or his newest expected purchase, I should say. When he bought his e-bike last year, he researched for weeks before finally deciding on a HeyBike. This was after purchasing a used e-bike online that proved to be a bit too heavy for his liking, and it fell on him while he was installing a kickstand on it. That mishap resulted in a broken wrist (the guy removed the cast himself after about three weeks). Our phone calls last year consisted of reports on his rides and upgrades he was considering for the HeyBike. At one point, I had to talk him out of buying a trailer attachment, so he could take his dog along on rides. I am happy with the mileage he logged this past Fall — over 500 miles.
Before the bike, it was a sudden itch to try out motorcycles, which did not turn out well. He signed up for a riding skills course, one where the motorcycle is provided. The instructor eventually told him that maybe it was best dad learn to ride at home. I am glad for that. As the only son of his three sons that had owned a motorcycle, not only did dad consult me about every idea, but I know enough about riding to be genuinely scared for my father. I was glad when he gave up the idea.
Recently dad decided to have all the floors in his house replaced with vinyl. He really liked the floor Lisa and I had put in, so after a few months of consternation and consulting with us, he had the floors replaced. Dad is a bit cheap, so price became a factor. That meant he decided to leave the original cherry baseboards and trim. When the floors were finished, Dad’s new project became making his own baseboard and shoe (he has his own wood shop). I’m pretty sure my aunt and his lady friend (he won’t call her his girlfriend — no one will ever live up to the standard my mom set, a very high bar to reach) convinced him to replace the trim. To his credit, he finished the whole baseboard and trim project in a few days. It looks very nice.
When Dad last visited, he was impressed with the large flat screen TV set up we have in our condo. He had never considered a smart TV set up, liked the wireless mesh network I have, especially when he saw that it made it possible to watch TV out in the garage. There were all sorts of questions about the different streaming subscriptions we use. This project only took a few weeks, however, and now he has a very nice TV. It’s funny how he cut his entertainment center in half, so the larger TV would fit. Soon, he will probably mount the TV he bought on the wall. I will make the trip down to visit him that weekend, help him with the wall mount.
Watching my dad makes me wonder what it’s going to be like for me in a few years. I am not too far away from retirement, just a few short years away, and I find myself resembling my father more than I care to admit. Also, like him, I have a wife who keeps me busy, who is always planning our next project or adventure. Our condo has transformed in the last year since we married and I moved in. We bought paint and supplies to paint our kitchen this weekend, so that’s going to be my project for the next few days. We also are looking at tubs or shower units, vanities, sinks and vanity tops for the main bathroom. That will likely be done in the next few months. On top of that, we go to Disney next month, are planning a trip to Turkey in June, and a trip to Arkansas in July. Lisa is going to Colorado in April for work, is taking our granddaughter to Disney in July.
I also am going to be playing tennis competitively for the first time ever. My friend, Norm, and I signed up as doubles partners for the indoor/outdoor season in a regional tennis league. Games start in two weeks, with the indoor season going until May, followed by the outdoor season that goes until the end of August. Couple that with mountain biking and I am either going to be very tired, or in the best physical shape of my semi senior life. I turn 62 this year. While I am an active 60+, I am not going to say 60 is the new 40.
Looking at my dad, though, I would say 80 is the new 60.