Copyright © 2006 Henrietta W. Hay
April 21, 2006
When I moved into the Commons, I thought 90 was old. But I found that I am almost a kid again. I don't know the exact number of people living here who are over 90, but there are a lot. One delightful woman who will be 100 next month still gets around on her walker and smiles at all of us. A retired nurse of 98 likes to talk about the old days. And we all know Lloyd Files who is 107 and still walking with the help of a walker.
I am getting a little wiser and smarter now that I am almost 92 and living among people close to my own age. Our backgrounds and our experiences are so very different that conversation can be an adventure. I suspect that if I cold find the birthplace of each one of us nearly every state would be included. And we could add the British Isles to that. One woman was born and raised in Scotland, and her brogue and her laugh are delightful.
I marvel at the experience and knowledge that are here. We have a lifetime of stories. There is a man who spent 33 years of his life mapping the west for the United States Geological Survey. He lived in 106 different towns, but spent great parts of his time alone in the forest or the desert with only his dog for company. We have a doctor who still worries about the difficulty in finding transplants for people who are not rich and famous, and a man who has been around the world three times but doesn't talk about it much. A Texas cotton farmer has
explained to me in some detail how cotton is raised and picked and made ready for sale.
Most of the men were in d World War II or the Korean War, or both, and occasionally you get a story or two from one of them. Two men were with the Atomic Energy Commission when it was active here in the fifties. During that time we had more Ph.D.'s per capita than any city in the country. And one of them has solved over 600 sudoku puzzles -- for fun!
There are a number of local people living here, including a couple of previous owners of well known retail stores , and lawyers and accountants and professors.
We have career nurses and teachers, now retired, and they have some wonderful tales to tell. One woman spent 25 years in Alaska doing social work with young people. Of course when my generation was young, women were not expected to do v very much beyond keeping the house clean, feeding the men and taking care of the children. After meeting a number of those now middle aged children d, I think we did a very good job.
One woman ran the Grand Junction Office for Elliot Roosevelt who had a ranch in Meeker. She even met Eleanor. She also worked for an architect at one time and we had a very informative discussion one morning about basic principles of building construction and types of soil in Colorado.
It will be a specal birthday since my two wonderful sons, John and David will be here. They are probably coming to see whether mom is behaving and we'll have a great time.
As I turn 92 next week, I find the world and its people as interesting as ever.