Social life for eighty-years-olds includes visits from family, coffee with friends and meeting in groups for craft activities or exercise. Bus trips and overnight sleepovers give older people enjoyment and so do competition cards, bingo and bowls. Anything done with other people benefits us, and some things more than others. Some outings make us tired. Others energise us.
Events often take me by surprise. A marathon of fun last week delighted and enlivened John and me. We thought we’d be tired by the end. We were. But we’ll do it all again, whenever invited.
We’ve become followers of Theatre 180, Perth’s newest theatre company. John’s daughter, Susan Fleming, chairs the Board, which does amazing things. If you live in Western Australia, check it out because the company leaves its Perth base to travel around the State.
John and I had the good fortune to attend a preview of one of their current productions, The Children, written by English playwright Lucy Kirkwood. I wrote a blog about it, which you can read here.
I love the theatre. I’d forgotten how much. Next week’s blog might be about that love affair.
The next day was Mother’s Day which presented something of a challenge because last year Anne shared it with us. Our family always celebrates all the mothers in a low-key way. I felt nervous this year because we’ve had more than our share of sadness. But my children and grandchildren made the day gentle and special, with flowers, gifts and kindness.
In the end, I felt blessed and peaceful.
More social life for eighty-year-olds
After Mother’s Day, a full-on week of celebrations began with the focus on John’s 85th birthday.
Susan had planned a party for her father on the following Sunday. On 13th May, I gave John a new umbrella, very smart, and a birthday card. The day ran smoothly and very low-key. Some friends and one or two of my children called to say ‘Happy birthday’ and there were cards in the letter box.
Being a clever trickster, I made a cake without John realising. As well, I cooked some of the fruit mixture in a small cake tin, to be decorated and used to hold a candle or two. Gone forever the days of blowing on cakes!
Such hard work, because I didn’t want to be caught. Our apartment is compact! To conceal the smell of fresh cake, I also made a batch of biscuits. I moved the hot cake around the house until I finally hid it in my study under a tea towel to cool.
I left the small cake among the biscuits. John sounded very happy that I’d made such a special offering for morning tea. And ate it!
I carefully avoided talking about the evening meal. Odd, I would have thought, in his shoes, if it were my birthday and there was nothing special for dinner. Susan called in after work.
‘Will I get him into some long trousers?’ she asked.
But that wasn’t my plan. John stayed in his shorts and worn tee-shirt for the whole evening..
Susan left just as our first guest , one of my sons, arrived. Like the others, he often visits.
By ‘accident’, the rest of our guests, around 20 of my children, grandchildren and great-grandies met downstairs with food and drinks for the party. I could hear the kids in the corridor when they got out of the lift, and prayed they weren’t disturbing the neighbours.
I think John was very pleased with his ‘proper birthday’ celebration. But our social life didn’t stop there.
I’m not sure what happened that John and I married the day after his 71st birthday, which was also Mother’s Day that year. A mistake to have so much to celebrate in one week.
On the 14 May, he and I went on a special date night, just the two of us. We’d been promising to try a new restaurant, on the ninth floor of a high class hotel built a couple of blocks away. Without consulting him, I booked a table with a view. The view just happened to overlook our apartment block and the view we have from our roof garden.
A spectacular meal. Good service. But, oh, the noise. Friday nights may not be our choice for future meals there. But it was lovely to celebrate fourteen years with John.
Parties to continue our social life
Two days later, we went to Susan’s for a much more sedate but lovely luncheon celebration. Guests included John’s sister Lois, who lives in residential aged care. As well as John’s children and some grandchildren, his brother and sister-in-law and friends from the days before I met John were there. John revelled in the love and company of yet more family and friends.
Below a photo of his son and daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren.
We’re back to normal now. Whatever that means in this day and age. Reading, writing blogs, walking swimming. All ordinary and much loved pleasures.
But we also have more social life planned. Another play, a ballet, and a glorious weekend in Busselton in June with my sister, Elizabeth, her husband Peter and her daughter Jane. Then a weekend in Dunsborough mid September to celebrate Elizabeth’s birthday… the list goes on.
Life continues when we say, ‘Yes’ to the next thing we are offered. A meme on Facebook recently caught my eye and engaged me. It read,
I’ve linked this blog post to the Weekly Challenge of my friends Sue W who publishes the blog, ‘Nan’s Farm Inside Out,’ and her blogging partner, GC, who blogs at ‘The Main Aisle‘. The word for the challenge was Last Week.