Cape Gazette
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Retirement 101

Cows and jowls in the First State

By Lisa Graff | Jul 22, 2014

At 95 years young, Aime Sloan traveled across country this month with family members to visit sites she has never seen before. I asked her what she loved the most and she said, “Seeing the Grand Tetons!” After visiting with family in Washington state, she flew home to Maryland to see more family and is now safely home in Pinewater.

Gracie’s new experience was her two licks of ice cream at Hopkins Farm Creamery on Dairy Farm Road on Sunday. She is now hooked, like my husband and half of this fine state and foreign states too! I couldn’t help overhearing the woman in line ahead of me who remarked, “I didn’t know there were cows in Delaware.”  I wonder if she knows we grow corn too. I hope she enjoys seeing more of the First State, too.

Roz from Lewes wrote to me to tell me about her new but sad experience. “After shopping at Tuesday Morning, I got home and looked at my receipt. And saw that I scored a senior discount. I was taken aback and offended. I could only imagine that the checker based her split-second decision on my jowls and droopy eyes. The nerve!”

Roz, sweet pea, you share much company. In the Washington Post July 14, a plastic surgeon writes, “Patients come to us and say ‘People are saying I look tired or upset, when actually I’m not feeling those emotions at all.’ All those nonverbal cues that come from aging faces: drooping eyebrows, weak jaw lines, corners of the mouth that turn downward. People want some control over it.”

I always look tired, too. Roz and I can commiserate, but I doubt we will go under the knife. I would rather go across country with Amie and look at the past presidents on craggy monuments older than both of us. Let’s hear it for senior discounts!

This summer I taught a creative writing class at Delaware Tech for teens, and because it had been many years since I taught that age group, I wondered if I was up to the task. We created poems and essays, talked about great literature such as “The Fault in Our Stars,” “The Hunger Games” series and “Divergent.” These students were all from different area high schools, and I was duly impressed with the scope of their knowledge and talent. I enjoyed every moment and felt that although I am ancient in their eyes, they made me feel young. OK, younger. Not upset.

Finally, on July 12, Ray and I became grandparents for the first time. Catherine Isabel weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and we can’t wait to hold her in our arms. She won’t care about my jowls, and I won’t complain about her bowels. It means all of the body parts are still working.

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