My widowed 88 year old father has settled in to his new digs at an upscale retirement home in Niagara. I’ll let him tell us more…
“It’s now Wednesday evening, January 18th. Just back from dinner with Cy, another lady whose name I forget, and Mary, a bright-as-a-button 98 year old who attributes her longevity to hard liquor and total irreverence of sacred cows; a breath of fresh air in this otherwise constipated conformity. Mealtime laughter surely aids the digestion, as does the ill-disguised disapproval of other diners.
I think the only way to survive in this closeted environment is to hang loose. Fortunately, I had fifteen months living alone to adjust to a single existence and in the process was able to shuck off dependence on others. I’m really quite self-sufficient now. I really enjoy time alone in my cozy little suite.
Youngest sister ran up here from her home, against a strong wind, to get my car. We have made an arrangement that she can use it for trips to the airport – she and her wife have only one car, and youngest sister uses mine occasionally. I can still drive, actually better than I can walk. I ventured to the downtown area the other day with no problems, and make regular trips to the bank and the liquor store. They are in the same shopping mall.
I read The Globe and Mail – which seems to have improved of late – and have subscribed to The Saturday Toronto Star, which lasts me through the week. There seems lately to have been an emphasis on healthy living in both papers. I’m not too interested, having lived unhealthily for eighty-eight years, but there are interesting articles on a wide variety of subjects which never graced the pages of earlier papers.
Mealtimes here are breakfast – 8:30 to 10, Lunch 12 noon to 1 pm and Dinner 5 to 6:30 pm. I’ve gotten use to an earlier dinner, but it seems to be a long time before breakfast, which encourages tippling, as I’m doing right now. As youngest sister has my car until Saturday, I’d better ration myself or I shall run out of wine with no way to get to the liquor store. In the dining room, we can buy wine. Fortunately, they charge $3.50 a glass.
I’m not involved in any of the planned activities; nobody has approached me yet. But, I shall investigate what is on offer. I’m not particularly interested in swimming in the pool, or doing aerobics. This will be a one-page effort.
Signing off, Dad”