There she is two years ago picking olives for us.
My mother-in-law Betty is 91 1/2 -years-young and still living independently in her home, a two-story.
Although she confesses to moving more slowly and skipping her afternoon walk with her small Yorkie-poo Lilly, Betty still travels up and down her carpeted stairs to her bedroom and although the love of her life, Doug, passed away several years ago, she is still in “the game,” reading her iPad daily, watching hip movies on Netflix and checking in with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, one of which is sixteen.
Last year, she had a flat-screened television installed and new bed in her guestroom in case ” she needs live-in help someday. ” She has made the decision not to go into a senior living facility unless she absolutely has to do so.
I find Betty to be wholly inspirational and true member of the Greatest Generation. She is a determined woman with common sense. Imagine! A person with common sense, one who doesn’t overthink every little decision.
She still has a glass of wine (or two) at 5:00 PM, still maintains a flower garden, and still commands the respect of her adult children (some of whom are approaching 70 years old themselves).
This month, Betty and her 94-year-old sister Ellen, will be picking olives for our annual olive harvest again.
I read in the Wall Street Journal this past week that the projection that baby-boomers (not the Greatest Generation) will gravitate toward senior living arrangements has not proven to be true. Turns out, many of us have made the decision to do exactly what Betty has done: stay in our homes and not downsize to a small apartment unless physical maladies make it impossible to do so.
The advantages, if one can financially, mentally, and physically do it, are many.
Most importantly, you maintain age diversity in your life. How wonderful to have a neighbor in her 40’s or 50’s who provides a different point of view! How wonderful to see children playing, kids screaming Marco Polo in the pool and try this one on for size: trick or treaters!
You continue to move your body to the grocery story, the mail box, and God knows, up and down stairs if you have them. If you can’t drive, you can take a taxi.
You do some or all of your own cleaning and cooking.
You put your trash can out and in.
You stay 100% in the game of life.
You keep your independence and confidence.
You go girl!