An early morning walk on Sundays is special, wherever one is.
Just before the onset of Winter, an acquaintance in our village moved to an old age home in order to forgo the chores of Winter while living on her own in a big house. Things that we don't really even notice, do take a big amount of strength and effort for an older person. ie; dealing with the snow on your driveway, putting wood in the oven, going to the shops and generally taking care of your household while trying not to slip on a pesky bit of ice.
This lovely lady got to go to a place where this was done for her. Yes, an old age home, a place that does strike fear into many hearts the minute they have to go there. Goodness, urban myth are even invented.
Even back in South Africa, I thought how wonderful communal living in an old age village might be. Gosh, I had heard many a story ( as one does working at the hairdressers...fount of all village going on's ) of what divinely scheduled days they had...
...A leisurely breakfast perusing the village newspaper ( isn't that what Miss Marple did? ), perhaps a stroll outside, many cups of Earl Grey followed by my personal favourite: a lunch with oodles of wine to lubricate the meal and to end the day off, a bridge affair that might involve some more lubricants such as the old faithful Gin & Tonic...What a marvellous place!
On Thursday, I went to visit this lady at her new residence and oh, how fabulous to hear that she was in her element there. While we were chatting and catching up, she casually mentioned a tidbit, that was like a nugget of gold to me:
" Birgit, you told me once that you walk an hour each day and I kept on remembering this and started to do the same. "I was speechless when she told me that each morning she takes an hour to walk up and down the hallways of the home and that she noticed that others had started to do the same. Others, with walking frames, walking sticks etc. Oh yes, they have seen how well she looks.
This wonderful lady is in her mid eighties but looks in her mid sixties. This change of scenery has done her the world of good and she wouldn't change it for anything. But she did say, that even there in her new home, one gets folks who see it with a jaundiced eye and moan about life there.
If you look for the good, you'll find only that...conversely, should you look for the pitfalls and not so nice things, you'll find those too, and might I add, faster than you'd want...