Monday, February 14, 2005

Celebrating 100! Another oldie, #28

Musings #28
January 9, 2004

The Same Choreography

The other day, after leaving my house, walking to the gate, I saw a neighbor at work. She was shepherding the toddlers she takes care of. Her eyes were glancing in all directions, holding their hands, keeping her charges going in the right direction, avoiding obstacles and accidents.

Later that evening, at a wedding, I observed the same choreography as an old friend shepherded her mother and mother-in-law at a wedding.

A close friend, eighty years young, is moving to an “old age home” for the “independent living.” She’s doing it while she’s still able, because once one is too “feeble” or “tired” to move independently, one is stuck. Running a home is too difficult, but moving is even more so. My “sandwich” friends and I discuss the dilemma frequently. Many of our parents are still in the homes in which we were raised, and they can’t imagine how they could ever sort through their lifetime of possessions in order to move to smaller quarters. We’ll inherit them, I guess. In another two, three decades, will our children and their friends be having the same discussions?

“Senior” Time, and the Living’s Expensive…
apologies to George Gershwin

“Old age homes,” or whatever you want to call them are big business in Israel, especially the ones that are more like “senior hotels.” For the price of a modest apartment in a good neighborhood, one can buy a room and a half in one of those luxurious buildings. Furnish it, then pay a good portion of your monthly pension for “services/maintenance,” and you can cook for yourself in your kitchenette.

Not long ago, I read that the kibbutzim are getting into the business. They have the facilities for their members, and outsiders pay enough to cover the expenses of all. Will the yishuvim open facilities, too?

“I’ve got rhythm..”

When I was a little girl we went to Jones Beach, Long Island, New York a few times each summer. My father taught me how to jump with the waves. As the wave approaches, you can feel the water recede. Bend your knees and prepare to jump as you find yourself in the rising water. Properly timed, no matter how high the wave, your head is always safely above water. As the wave breaks on the beach, your feet have securely returned to the wet sand of the ocean.

Jump with the waves, the rhythms of life.

Batya Medad, Shiloh

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