Returning: Breaking Out; Basketball & Medicare

When you arrive in an international school scene, it’s immediate community. You are swept up into a group and you choose how extended you wish to become but there are multiple opportunities for building connections.  You have choice.

When you arrive in a new city with no instant community, no job to provide structure, and a blank canvas to begin shaping in your 60’s, it’s a different playing field.  You need to start playing or painting, either one….but you can’t just sit on the sidelines.

Our shipment unpacked, our U haul adventure behind us, our couches ordered, and our new license plates set to arrive.  We’ve managed first stages.  Shifting furniture, managing  recycling materials, purchasing a lawn mower, hanging pictures, etc.  Our initial framework has kept us busy and occupied.  What’s next?  We’re five weeks into this…..

Two highlights from last week:  We joined the Y. The YMCA in Asheville is a beehive of activity and we’ve made great use of the facility already.  For me, the best part is the number of people playing basketball. Basketball has always been important to me. It defined me as a teenager in many ways. It has continued to be important in my life. I’ve played basketball everywhere I lived.  I’ve played on adult teams in Vermont, Israel, and now Asheville. I’ve played pick up basketball on playgrounds and in gyms in Boston, New Delhi, and Jakarta.  I love  playing basketball!  There’s mid-day pick up basketball for the over 55 crowd.  Half court, minimal contact, basketball for those who love the game but have slowed down considerably.  One guy playing is 79.  He’s slower than me.

But, when I discovered a newly formed league for over 40 people was starting and I could sign up, I jumped at the opportunity.I paid my dues, but then some doubts arose. Is this too much to ask of my 63 year old frame.  Anyway,  I’m drafted, on a team, one of 6 teams with 8 or 9 players per team.  I’m the oldest on my team……We had our first game on Tuesday Continue reading

Returning: The Trek to Asheville

Image may contain: outdoorRented the U-Haul truck in Boston, drove west to Lake George, NY on July 15. After an hour of bouncing along the Massachusetts turnpike with an empty truck, knowing what lay ahead for a couple of days, Rhona posed a serious question: “Do you think we are too old for this?” My initial response – “No way” transitioned to “Possibly” and finally “Probably” as the miles continued and the AC in the U-haul stopped working. Interstate driving with the windows down in steaming heat is best left for a younger crowd. We both had our meltdown moments, and over a bowl of matzo ball soup (comfort food) we agreed tension and emotions are part of this journey and we’ll be just fine. After an uneventful evening at the Baymont Motel, Exit 19 on I-87, we set out on July 16 and worked alongside a couple of packers to load up our U-Haul.

Turns out we had a couple more items for the landfill……

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Returning: The Car Shopping Experience

The auto industry must be doing well in the US. Heaps of new cars on the road. Options galore. We’re in the market for a new car. The last new car I bought was in 1981. It was a Mazda pick up. I bought it in Montpelier, Vermont. I wanted a pick up (living in rural Vermont required a pick up). I rocked up at the car dealer and there was a single model of a pick up on the lot so that was the one I wanted. It was a Mazda pick up. Simply called a Mazda pick up. There wasn’t a brand or sub brand or multiple options for the Mazda pick up. There was an AM/FM radio and two speeds for the windshield wipers, and a rear bumper was optional.

I loved that pick up.

I’m thinking about another new pickup today. Toyota’s are popular. The Tundra (too big), the Tacoma (short bed, long bed, short cab, extended cab, long cab, super cab…..4×4, 2×4…..). The F150 Ford Ranger is the best selling pickup in America according to my millennial son. OK….let’s look at it. How can a pickup price range from $30,000 to $65,000? The bells & whistles, the bed length, the options on the cabs, etc etc. So many choices – just like the salad dressing section at Whole Foods.

I loved that mazda pickup in the 80s – ahhh, the good ‘ol days, life was simpler with fewer choices.

We find ourselves googling car models as we drive down the interstate or cruise the parking lots. It’s a regular discussion….it’s fun too. So many choices! True to form, Rhona’s all over the electric cars.

We’re in negotiations. I still like the idea of a pickup.

Finally, I enjoyed renting a Nissan Rogue. I discovered it’s part of the Compact SUV model line. Isn’t that an oxymoron? Since when is an SUV Compact?