Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Future Beckons

Every so often, I get a glimpse of the near future, and it's not aways such a bad thing. Yeah, I'm now at that stage where riding an old man bike is acceptable to me. And a good long walk now passes for legitimate exercise. I'd no more imagine running a marathon than I'd plan on shifting careers and becoming a doctor or professional basketball player. Pushing 53 years of age, my life options have narrowed considerably, it's true.

But on other levels, I begin to feel new freedom opening up, too. Late last week, on the spur of the moment, my wife and I decided to take a couple of days off and drive to Ann Arbor Michigan to watch the Big Ten Rowing championships—in particular, we were interested in Girl's participation in this event, since she is serving as one of the coxwains for the team.

Time was that any sort of trip of this kind involved a lot of planning, but now that the progeny are more or less grown and self-sufficient, we find it pretty easy to take off at a moment's notice. This freedom should only get more pronounced in the next few years.

Ann Arbor is only a couple hundred miles further south than Minneapolis, but the few degrees difference in latitude makes a huge difference in the timing of Spring. Here in Minneapolis, the trees are just beginning to bud, and the tulips are still just hinting at blooms. On the way back from Ann Arbor, we stopped for a day in Chicago, where we visited museums, walked through parks, and did pretty much whatever we damned well pleased. At various times, we smiled at young couples pushing baby carriages, but the truth is that we've been there, done that; and as great as it's been raising kids, we're now quite ready for a breather in preparation for the coming days when we'll be borrowing grandkids to spoil them rotten. We're in that enviable phase now of having raised healthy, happy kids to adulthood, and can now occasionally do pretty much what we want.

We went to the movies the other night on a $20 bill, for example. Wasn't all that long ago that taking a family to the movies involved spending a C-note, easy.

In a couple of weeks, there's another rowing event in Tennessee. I'm told that Tennessee in the Spring is quite nice, too. Have Mazda, will travel.


the chaplain said...

Nice post. The deacon and I have come to realize that our children's growing independence from us equals growing independence for us. The child-rearing years were great, but it's nice to have more "me" and "couple" time again.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Your freedom makes me suffer.

But it's perfect.

; )