“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

The morning is overcast and is still holding a bit of the evening damp. The fog hasn’t yet burned away. Heat will be here later. 77˚ is the predicted high. I have no real plans for the day. My laundry is finally done, but I haven’t yet gone to the dump. I’m saving that for later, maybe even tomorrow.

This summer I will be seventy-five, yup, you read that right, seventy-five, three quarters of a century. What I find strange is my mind doesn’t recognize seventy-five. I do forget things, but they somehow jump back into my head later. It is my body which reflects my age. I used to carry 50 pound bags of cat litter into the house and upstairs. Now I struggle with 12 pound bags of dog food. I drag the bags from the car into the kitchen. My back aches. I groan a lot.

When I was a kid, I couldn’t have dreamed this life I have been lucky enough to live. I always knew even back then I’d travel. The count is 32 countries. There is still travel in me. I want one more trip to Ghana. I just have to save all that money. Spam, here I come.

The two years I spent in the Peace Corps were more than I ever could have imagined. I loved every day. Africa is the most amazing place. Ghanaians are amazing people, warm and loving. My friend tells the story of one trip when his moto (motorcycle) quit working far from home. A truck driver stopped and offered to help. He loaded the moto on the truck and drove it and my friend home. Once, when I was market shopping, the rain started. I just kept shopping. When I finished, I went to where I had parked my moto, and it was gone. I could hear someone calling. I looked and it was one of the police guarding the bank. He was standing beside my moto. The police had carried it there so it wouldn’t get wet. Ghanaians are amazing people.

After Ghana, I worked in the same high school for 33 years, the one from which I graduated. I didn’t love my job every day, but I loved my kids, especially the ones who visited my office often. I wanted them to be the best they could become. They weren’t going to get away from me. I was like a dog holding on to pant legs. I favored my frequent fliers even to the point where I was criticized. I didn’t care. I knew these kids were so worth my time, attention and my love. When they graduated, I was proud for them, for what they had chosen to become.

I have been retired for almost eighteen years. I’m living the good life.

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9 Comments on ““There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.””

  1. Christer. Says:

    It has been raining here all day so we’ve taken it easy. Long naps and eating pancakes 🙂 I think we reached 50F but it still felt rather nice outdoors.

    I didn’t win the big lottery yesterday, around $ 125,2 million US (some German did) so I need to work a bit more, five to seven years before I can retire depending on what economy I want to have. Still I did win $13,5 US so I can at least buy a couple of ice creams 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Christer,
      Today is wonderfully lovely, warm and sunny. It is a pretty day. Tomorrow will be the same.

      Any day with ice cream is a good day. Now you have wanting to buy some!! My latest flavor has been coffee chip, Hmmmm.

      Have a wonderful evening!

  2. Mark Says:

    That’s a great picture of you on the camel. It embodies the joyful adventure of world travel.

    • katry Says:

      Mark,
      There I was ready to take a camel ride into the Sahara Desert on the camel of a Tuareg. We sat and drank tea for a long time before the ride. His mother tried to interest me in her son but she acceptedly my gentle no or at least I guessed she did. She didn’t speak French (I was in Niger), and I didn’t speak Tuareg. I still smile at this memory. Joyful is the perfect description.

    • Bob Says:

      Mark,

      I didn’t even notice the Camel, only Kat.

  3. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Don’t worry about turning 3/4 of a century. It’s no different than any other birthday. Unfortunately, some of the things I used to do easily now are more difficult. Going up and down the stairs is accompanied with much less spring in each step. Making more trips to the bathroom during the night and other things that don’t work. For instance, touching your toes without bending your knees is now impossible. Otherwise, it’s just fine.

    Today was partly cloudy and not so hot because a cold front came through during the morning without any rain. And, the drought goes on.

    I have Been working at my present location since 1990. The company has had four owners including the present one. The first owner was the U.S. bankruptcy court. I asked the manager if they would put me through recurrent training during my interview. When he said yes, I told him I was interested in the position. In those days recurrent training would have cost me about $3,000 which I didn’t have. If the front door closed after that I would be requalified to fly for 12 months and worry about recurrent training the following year. It’s been a journey that continues because I enjoy the work, the coworkers and now the short drive to and from work. 🙂 Sadly I keep a list of the instructors who have passed away in the last 32 years. It now has reached 61 with one more instructor in hospice care. When I started many of the other instructors were already middle aged.

    Your experience in the Peace Corp. sounds amazing and you will do just fine. After all, woman out live men. And if you don’t believe me, here’s proof.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=83yyMAdbrpE

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      Stairs and I are mortal enemies. I strain going up, especially carrying laundry or litter. I have fallen both up and down the stairs. I have to bend my knees to touch my toes already. Luckily, it is seldom I get up at night. I suppose because I can’t stop it from happening, I might as well just accept it.

      It was cooler than predicted today. Boston was supposed to be over 90˚ but stayed in the low 80’s. The prediction of over 90˚ is tomorrow’s weather. We stayed in the 70’s today and will tomorrow.

      Your job is perfect for you. I know how much you love aviation. It was a stroke of luck about the recurrent training. $3000 is a lot of money. Why retire when you are still looking forward to working and enjoying it? That is a huge number, 61, but as you said, many were already middle age when you started.

      That was hysterical. I smiled and laughed. The last one was so funny!!

      • Bob Says:

        That $3,000 was thirty two years ago. Whenever someone asks me how much is training, I reply, “I don’t know, but I probably can’t afford to buy it”.

        There is a longer version on YouTube but I didn’t think you could take any more of, “Survived by his wife”. If you enjoyed that one you might like, “The dumbest man who ever lived”.

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p_DgxAlEdvs

      • katry Says:

        Given inflation, you’d probably have to get a second mortgage on your house to pay for it!!


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