Amblin' Alameda: Geezerhood

Amblin' Alameda: Geezerhood

Morton Chalfy

My sweetie and I have just finished coordinating our calendars so that we both know what we're doing and where we're going and when we're going there. We do this periodically so that one of us doesn't have to say “Aren't you ready yet?” to another, who has completely missed preparing for some important date through not having written it down in his (read: 'my') datebook. For those of us in early geezerhood, many, if not most, of our appointments are with medical personnel.

To younger folk this might seem depressing on its face, but that's not necessarily so. For one thing these are the people tasked with keeping us alive, or active, or digesting our food, or other equally laudable goals. Since we are still grateful to be here (alive) and to be getting around and usually enjoying our little pleasures like eating and moving around, it would be churlish in the extreme to resent our visits.

For another thing, these are reasons for half-day trips to pleasant parts of the Bay Area (most of our doctors are in Berkeley and San Francisco) which put us in contact with interesting, caring people who are earnestly trying to help. And help they do. One would like to be young and vigorous again, but the next best thing is to be old and alive and moving around and able to drive hither and yon. Without these appointments our calendars would not be totally bare, but they would be sparser. Much sparser.

While neither of us has given up all work, our output is much lower than previously, so the medical appointments fill the time. Raising a family, holding a full-time job and maintaining a household fill the hours of the younger folks; going to doctors, visiting with friends and family and being entertained fill the hours of geezerhood.

Humans are prone to the malaise of boredom and so we learn how to keep busy, how to distract our minds and how to entertain ourselves. Engagement with health professionals is not boring and is often fraught with uncertainty and a touch of danger. It requires travel and personal commitment and is done with the best of motives: that of extending and enhancing our lives.

Make lemonade, that's what I say.