Challenges of an aging carcass

AT 73, I FIND myself faced with challenges.

bodyGetting older is an interesting process. I do not recommend it, but it is interesting. It only recently began to pummel me. That began at 73. It will, of course, vary with other individuals.

Up until 73, there were physical changes, but they were almost entirely a reduction in energy, nothing extreme but noticeable. I passed my 73rd in August, and that’s when things racheted up a few nasty notches.

First the foot problem, which I wrote about last September. That appears to be permanent. It’s only an issue for about a minute after I stand up after being seated a spell, but I’ll never again be able to flee from someone or something chasing me. With an ax or an appetite.

I am easily nabbed now.

Then there was the back issue, which I wrote about last month. Not the first time I’ve suffered that problem, but it’s never lasted so long, a tad over two weeks of Hell. Usually, it self-cures in four to five days. Big difference.

It was the back issue that knocked me upside the head.

I had been getting lazier by the day, and that needed to change.

For decades, I’ve done regular, moderate exercise, and I eat healthy. For these reasons I have been svelte for almost 40 years. But my regular, moderate exercise had been very gradually diminishing. I knew I had to change my habits.

Old routine: 20-minute, brisk, morning walk around the neighborhood plaza Monday-Friday. I often cheated on the frequency. And I have a home gym set, a big fancy one I bought about decade ago. I was doing a 10-minute weight routine three mornings a week. Again, cheating was not unknown.

New routine: 20-minute, brisk, morning walk around the neighborhood plaza Monday-Friday with no more cheating on the frequency. A second brisk walk around the big plaza downtown following my afternoon coffee. Weight routine on the gym set every weekday morning. No cheating allowed. Yoga. Well, that’s what I call it, but it’s actually two sets of stretching, one in the morning, one in the late afternoon. Weekends off.

I was losing my flexibility to a notable degree. Thus the stretching, which helps a lot.

I’ll close now with the following words from Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. The “good night” being, well, you know …

Sometimes there’s just too much

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About half finished with this year’s section. Photo from this morning.

I’M A LAID-BACK kind of guy. Don’t like having lots on my plate. Prefer having my feet up on the desk, or up on the table on the Jesus Patio. I’ve always been this way. Some call it lazy. I call it relaxed.

So I’m on edge of late. The biggest bother is the guys out in the yard. They arrive every morning about 8. We hardly have time to eat our bagels before the doorbell is clanging, which means I have to move the cars from Point A to Point B because the guys mix cement in Point B. The Honda goes out to the street for the day.

As I’ve dreamed of doing for years, I’ve begun the process of eliminating most grass from the yard and replacing it with stone and concrete, a process called empedrado, very common in these Mexican parts.

Looks nice and doesn’t need mowing.

The work being done this year will uproot about a fourth of the grass that will be uprooted when all is done in three more years. A big semicircle in the middle of the yard will stay put, the only grass I’m keeping. I’m doing the work in stages every winter.

That’s one thing on my mind. Another is that renters arrive to the Downtown Casita on Friday, and I want to get some plumbing and electrical work done there first. It could wait, but just this morning the Hacienda’s solar water heater sprang a leak, so I called the plumber. Maybe he can do the work here and at the Downtown Casita in one fell swoop.

Or not at all. You never know.

Retirement is supposed to be easier than this. I want the workmen done and gone. I want the solar heater to quit leaking. And I want my feet up somewhere with not a care in the world, reading my Kindle and dozing off now and then.

Now that’s the good life.

Bagels and sausage

My child bride is at my side, but she didn’t have her feet up just then.

THE RAINY season changes everything hereabouts. The mood, the grass, the feel, the temperature.

The daily rain was reluctant to start this year, but I think it’s finally worked up some enthusiasm. It rained gently most of last night and, as I write this in late morning, it’s still falling quietly and steadily, the rain. Nice.

Speaking of mood, usually, after our morning bagels or croissants, we step from the dining room into the living room and sit on the sofa, which is nice and soft. I put my feet up.

Sometimes incense and/or music.

We finish our coffee and talk. Okay, truth be told, she talks. And I listen. She is female, after all. And I’m not.

God created them to talk. Us to listen.

That lasts 15-30 minutes till we get up and start chores. There are always chores. We have no maid.

Life’s been pretty slow since we got back from our anniversary trip to Mineral de Pozos about a week ago.

Last weekend we hopped into the Honda and headed around the lake to an eatery I simply call The German Restaurant even though the real name is Campestre Alemán.

The German Restaurant offers grub you won’t find anywhere else in these parts, this world of endless tacos and cheese.

There is Bavarian sausage, for instance, and goulash too. I always order the Bavarian sausage, which comes with sauerkraut, something else you rarely encounter locally.

I took this photo of my Bavarian sausage and sauerkraut. Just beyond is the bunny my wife ate. I consider eating bunny appalling, but she does it anyway.

It’s still raining as I wind this up, which means there will be no morning exercise walk around the neighborhood plaza. I guess I’ll  just shave, take a shower and put my jeans on.

It’s almost time for Breakfast #2. Cereal.