” I take care of my flowers and my cats. And enjoy food. And that’s living.”

The sound of the pouring rain woke me up this morning, but it was a quick downpour which had stopped by the time I went to get the papers. The day is mild, in the 50’s, despite the missing sun and the dampness. Gracie and I have a dump run later.

Another year ending. They go quickly now, but this last year I’ll remember. It was a favorite. I finally fulfilled my promise of getting back to Ghana and what a joy that was. I remember being 20 minutes away from landing and getting butterflies. It had been forty years, and I hoped to find pieces of my Ghana, and I did. I fell in love all over again. Finding my students was an amazing part of the journey, but that they remembered me was the most amazing. We spend all but one of my Bolgatanga evenings together eating and drinking and laughing. We shopped in the market and ate goat for lunch. They had so many memories of me, and I cried when they sang Miss Ryan’s song to me my last night in Bolga. They sang Leaving on a Jet Plane perfectly and told me they always sing it when they are together. I hated to leave, and I have promised myself I’ll go back again, and I never go back on a promise.

When I was young, I used to wonder how it would feel to be old. I sort of know, but I think of myself as older, not old. I have to admit, though, nothing works as well as it did. My knees groan and complain, and my back hurts. My hands get stiff. My hair is getting grayer. My word retrieval skills are less than satisfactory, and I hate getting to the kitchen and forgetting why. The one bright spot is I’m retired and have been since the day I turned 57. That means I have had wonderful years of owning every day, of doing whatever I want. I even banished my alarm clock. Every morning is leisurely, and I can spend the whole day reading if I want. I don’t even have to get dressed.

The new year starts tomorrow, and I’m making no resolutions. I’m not very good at keeping them anyway. I’m going to enjoy every day the same as I have been. Maybe that’s a resolution, but for me, it’s just living my life, and I love it.

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17 Comments on “” I take care of my flowers and my cats. And enjoy food. And that’s living.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    We’ve had below 32F all day and sunny most parts of it, but now clouds filles the sky and warmer wether and rain will come tomorrow.

    I’m not old but my body is 🙂 spare parts in my body already and more will come but things could be much worse to be honest 🙂

    This has been a rather good year but Your year has been fantastic! I’ve enjoyed following You on Your trip to Ghana via Your blog 🙂

    Have a good ending of this year and a good new one!

    • katry Says:

      We had rain on and off all day. I never did make it to the dump. It was a gray day.

      My right knee and back are the worst. Getting old takes too much energy.

      You’re right about my trip to Ghana. It was the highlight of my year, and I loved it.

      Have a wonderful New Year, Christer!

  2. Coleen Burnett Says:

    I never had a great body – – cerebral palsy will do that. I am not complaining. I make do with what I got and leave the rest to others. I was ALWAYS a half a step slower, even in my teens. So now that I am older, it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference! 🙂

    If you have a railing to help me keep my balance as I hoist myself around, we are good to go. If I need a railing and there isn’t one handy – – ummm…we may have to work out something. Just give me a few minutes to figure out the angles as I get from point A to point B.

    Kat, if you have cable you must see “Rollin with Zach” Monday nights on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). He has a bit more CP than I do and is confined to a wheelchair. But he won a nationwide contest to get his own travel show on the network – – and the result is hilarious!

    I see myself as I watch the show. A disability is but a minor bump in the road. He travels all over the country, and has the most wonderful sense of humor about everything. He comes up with one liners that have me on the floor! 🙂

    I love the show because I can tell he was raised the same way I was – – you are no different than anyone else. You can do what everybody else does.

    (And I am finding out that there are companies out there who are willing to help the disabled do things like surf – – hey, where do I sign up? 🙂

    I have had a great year and it will get better in 2012. And I wish the same for you and all the others in your orbit – – including the animals!

    Waving from Jersey – –


    • katry Says:

      You’re right about getting older. We all start to be a few steps behind so we’re walking together.

      You seemed to have found ways to enhance your life and work around the CP. I love the way you see your life. Your parents were wonderful in helping you believe that you can do anything.

      I do have cable, and I have written a stickie to remind myself to look.

      2011 appears to have been good to both of us. I also wish you an even better year in 2012. I’ll let the animals know they were thought of-I expect Gracie will wag her stub of a tail.

      Waving right back with a sparkler in honor of the day!

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    You can’t beat loving what you do. Happy New Year Kat. I hope you stay healthy and enjoy another trip to Ghana. It’s your second home for sure. Just don’t forget to “Keep the Coffee Coming”.

    • katry Says:

      I loved my job when I was working at the school so I have been blessed in my life. Coffee is as much a part of my day as brushing my teeth! It will keep on coming!

      Happy New Year!!

  4. Bob Says:

    Happy New Year Kat!

    You are very lucky. You were able to retire on a pension, which in today’s world is a rare thing. Many of my coworkers have lost their pensions through bankruptcies of the companies to which they gave many years of service only to have their pensions sacrificed to the Federal Pension Guarantee Corporation which is itself an oxymoron. My coworker received less than ten cents on the dollar.

    You and your students in Ghana were able to be reunited and both you and they remembered the good times in years gone by. Hopefully you and they will be bound together into the future. You are also lucky to have a following on this blog who appreciate your musical taste, your wit and your wisdom.

    On Monday I will have to return to work for another year since I can’t retire until I am at least 70 or older. Hopefully the Social Security system will not go broke in the next few years. May 2012 bring everyone in the world, good health, peace, happiness and prosperity. I look forward to visiting this blog daily except Wednesdays.

    • katry Says:

      You’re right about the pension. I am lucky not having to rely on social security. The teachers’ retirement board is conservative in its investments so they didn’t lose as much as private companies.

      I love all my blog regulars. We haven’t met in person, but we have become friends. I look forward to your comments every day. It’s like a phone call, a hello.

      I call one of my students every other week just to keep in touch. Today I struck out: called three and none were home. I’ll try tomorrow.

      I wish for you the best of all years in 2012. May you be healthy, wealthy and wise. I also wish you happiness, to me the best of anything.

      Thanks for dropping by for a visit. It’s always good chatting with you!

  5. Hedley Says:

    I am staring at January 19 as the day that I go back in to hospital to have the rod and most of the screws taken out of my leg. The plate will likely remain.
    I go day to day being 57 and wondering if it is time to retire. It will be soon and no later than 60. I have been lured back twice because of what I do, not necessarily because I enjoy it. I am lucky that I could retire although I have no pension. It sometimes brings clarity to muddled thoughts

    This is a community, I enjoy everyone and wish you the best for the New Year

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I am so glad that soon enough most of the hardware will be gone. I hope all goes well.

      I never thought I would retire that early. I always figured 64 would be the target age, when the house had been paid for a while and I had eached maximum % for my pension then came the early retirement offer. I jumped right on board and then the law was passed which allowed me to buy back my 2 Peace Corps years. All of a sudden at age 56 I knew I only had to work one more year. I could have kept going, but I was ready and excited.

      I love being retired.

      You are so right about this being a community. I feel ever so lucky at all the friends I’ve met through Coffee.

      Happy New Year, my dear Hedley!

  6. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    I want to thank you for keeping the coffee coming. That’s been a good part of this year. I’m not making any New Year’s resolutions either, except,…. nope,.. well, maybe a few basic ones. You have wonderful gifts that you share, and I feel lucky to know you.
    My head is not quite together yet, so I’ll just wave for now.

    • katry Says:

      I feel as if I should thank you for dropping by, reading Coffee and taking the time to comment. It has been a pleasure.

      I’ll take the wave!

      Have a wonderful and happy New Year. May it be better than the last year!

  7. Caryn Says:

    Thank you, Kat, for being my retired person role model. 🙂 I no longer feel guilty about not having something to do with all my time. I don’t even feel guilty about owning my time. I earned it.

    I’m not making any resolutions this year, either. Making something a resolution is a sure-fire way to guarantee I won’t do it. I think that if I tried reverse psychology resolutions I would probably manage to do those. I resolve not to eat healthy. Okay!

    Happy New Year and please keep the coffee coming. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      You certainly earned the right to loll. Working 5 days a week year after year mounts up and take its toll. I figure being retired is our reward and we can spend it anyway we want.

      Okay, but I’m not so sure reverse psychology works when you do it yourself. I think it needs to sneak up on you.

      The Coffee is always brewing!

  8. Rita Says:

    I wish you, Kat, and all your readers good health and much happiness in the new year. Yes, my friend, we “ain’t what we used to be,” but we are still above ground and for that we must be grateful. Keep the coffee coming! New Year Hugs, Rita

    • katry Says:

      I also wish you the best New Year!

      I am grateful for everyday, and I’m thankful for my Coffee regulars! Good to have you as one, Rita.

  9. Morpfy Says:

    This will be the last post of 2011.
    Happy 2012 evryone !…

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