The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Memories Come Flooding Back

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I received an email today telling me an old beau from high school had died. Memories of high school suddenly came flooding back. Oh, those stressful times of trying to get a date for the dances, keeping up with the latest trends and fads created by the “rich kids” that we couldn’t afford to keep up with, keeping tabs on who was “seeing” whom, walking down those hallowed halls and gawking at that good looking senior boy – you know the one I mean – that tall, blond, blue-eyed creamy delight that walked with a cool stride and a carefree attitude.

The only memory remaining of this beau is our break-up, sitting in his car parked at the side-door to our house. It was a short conversation and I sort of knew it was coming. I had a rivalry and she had won. Good luck and good riddance I felt; I could do better even though at the time it felt like life was over as I knew it. I soon began to analyze my life as this was my second break-up during high school and I kept wondering what I was doing wrong – maybe I wasn’t cute enough, maybe it was the way I dressed, maybe it was where I lived (what would be perceived in those days as the ‘wrong side of the tracks’), or maybe I just wasn’t hip enough (a very good possibility).

Naturally life went on and I soon got on with it. I made a career for myself and really liked where I was going and love where I ended up. For some unbeknownst reason someone “up there” was looking out for me and had my future in hand. Life had dealt me a good hand – marrying the man of my dreams, a new kidney and now enjoying life to the fullest (or at least that money will allow!!). It was obvious that break-up was meant to be.

Coincidentally at the same time I heard the news of this man’s death, I was in the throws of converting our 45 record collection to digital for storage in iTunes and for posterity. Listening to those golden oldies has been a laugh at times (what in hell made me think I loved that song?), a bit nostalgic (my then boyfriend’s favourite tune) and just a whole lot of fun (those up-beat songs that made you ‘rock ’n roll’). As The Dick Clark Show dancers would say “It had a great beat and you could dance to it”.

Fifty years later the nostalgia is rearing its head only because I’m now considered part of that aging population where your memory returns to your youth and your yesterdays are forgotten. My loving hubby is getting to be my memory and, at times, I’m getting to be his. Hopefully we can hold out for as long as possible.

Even though most of the songs in our 45 record collection is contained in some album we have, it’s still important for me to convert each one to  digital format and store them in our Mac. Preservation for me is important even though I’m sure my step-grandchildren may not take an interest but I’m a huge believer in never say “never”. We’ve all had those moments where we regret not getting to know our parents (or even grandparents) and wondering what memories they may have disposed of during their lifetimes thinking we wouldn’t be interested. Think about it. Just like our parents and their parents and their grandparents before, each generation will have those nostalgic moments, too. So Never say “Never”.

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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