Rose Mary’s Words of Wisdom Upon Growing Old, Part 3

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
Translated by Fitzgerald, “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam”

Recently one Friday afternoon, Bill said, “The water heater has been rumbling, and now there’s water on the garage floor. Bill is a talented handyman. Time was when he’d have ordered a new water heater and had it installed. This time He called Phil King.      One of the smartest things that we did when we grew older. was to develop a relationship with a trustworthy, prompt, cost-effective contractor. Phil runs a handyman ad in the “Weekly View” under the title “Above Expectations.” Indeed! From installing new doors on our storage shed to repairing the roof to dealing with a leak in Bill’s shower, he’s done several jobs for us. Watching his interaction with Bill, I know that should I ever have to deal with maintaining our home, I can trust and rely on him.
Phil called J. Keys, the grandson of Randy whom I had recommended to real estate clients. He bought a water heater that he and a helper installed that same evening after removing the old one. He returned the next day and re-worked the dryer’s vent pipe in the crawl space.
Recently Bill woke up and saw a spot on the ceiling above his head. The roof was leaking which was no surprise as it’s in its teens. When it was three years old there was a huge hail storm that shattered windows and damaged roofs on the Eastside. The insurance adjustor counted the pockmarks and said, “It isn’t terminal, but I’m writing a check for it.” Since it had been installed so recently and figuring that we could afford to replace it when needed, we blew the money on a trip to Paris. Now we thought that the piper must be paid. Yippee! Phil came, did some repairs and said that it’s good for five more years.
I agree with Henry David Thoreau that sometimes common sense should be uncommon sense. We could have been sensible and used that money to replace the roof, but going to Paris was wiser. I asked Bill if he had suggestions for this column. “Tell people to travel while they’re young enough.” He reminded me about Glen who took a raft trip through the Grand Canyon. “Did you enjoy it?” Bill asked. “Yeah, but I would have enjoyed it more if I’d been younger.”
You youngsters of sixty or seventy, close Facebook, put away your iPhones and iPads, turn off the TV and think — really think — about yourself. We’ve been responsible, frugal people who worked, raised our children and helped with our elders or grandchildren. However, we have continually kicked the can of our personal dreams into tomorrowland, but tomorrow never comes.       Before you are too old, ask yourself about your unfulfilled heart’s desires. Do it now! Have you dreamed of going to Europe? Do it now! You can drive and get along without speaking the languages, or you can take a tour. Amtrak offers packages for American trips. If you’re alone, invite a friend to go with you. Do you dream of creating art? Do it now! One of my former clients teaches art at her eastside home. Do you want to learn cookery? Do it now! Take a cooking class. You want to write? Do it now, but you must do it every day!
The French poet, Baudelaire, called the clock a “sinister god.” While our bodies slow down, time goes ever faster! Tick-tock, tick- tock . . . becomes tick, tick, tick, tick, tick . . . The artist, Everett Ruess, disappeared in the wilds of Utah when he was only twenty. He wrote, “What time is it? It’s time to live!” Folks, it’s time! Do it now while you still can!