68 is great

As I posted previously, I have spent the last week up in “sunny” Portland, enjoying the dappled air that made my hair frizz just ever so slightly on a daily basis. If you have never visited Portland the best adjective to describe it is “verde” – “vert” – “green”. Everything about Oregon screams mossy, grassy, tree-topping green and I love the freshness it imbibes in your spirit.

While waiting at the airport last night – hmmm, that sounds funny. “Waiting at the airport” – everything at the airport makes you wait. To check your bags, to get through security, to get on a plane, to go to the bathroom, to get some food, and blah, blah, blah. The airline I was on has this funny thing of not assigning you a seat number because it gives you “freedom to fly”. Uh huh, whatever that means. All I do know is that unless you don’t want to be stuck in a crappy seat assignment, you have to check in online early to get in the “A” group, stand in a line for a looooong time before boarding and hope that you can find some room to put your bags up above your head.

So, as I was standing in my “B” group line (which translates into meaning “wait an even longer amount of time so you can hopefully get a good seat) I struck up a conversation with this little old lady who was standing right behind me. Her name was Bethany and she was a 68 year old sweetheart. As we started talking and getting to know each other a bit – “Can you believe this line?” “Aww, look at that cute baby over there” “I need to grab some water – can you watch my bags?” – I found out a little bit more on this gem of a lady.

She got married late in life so she didn’t have any kids of her own but she adored (and I bet IS adored by) her nieces and nephews. She travels often with her friends from Phoenix, all widows, and her group had a great time living it up in Portland, despite the constant drizzle.

I started to imagine myself like Bethany when I turn 68. As she described the cameraderie she shares with her friends my mind started to envision my life similar to her’s in several years down the road. Working out at Curves every other day, traveling to big cities around the country, playing tennis in the dry heat of Arizona, embarking on an annual cruise in January when the weather drops below a cool 85 degrees – all with close friends. I was just so impressed with Bethany’s sparkle, her vivacity and zest for life and the fact that age really was just a number with her. She was just a little sparrow of a woman but I was extremely glad I had to wait in line for 45 minutes just so we could chat.

I think the greatest gift we can give ourselves is to learn to enjoy life, especially as we age. I love it when I meet women (and men) who just seem to drink up the essence of life with how they live. They exhale a certain energy and their zest and vigor is enthralling.

The pic below reminds me so much of how darling Bethany was and how I could imagine it really being an actual picture of her and her gal pals…and that when I am 68 I want to have a swimming cap just like THESE bathing beauties!

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