Is it an out-of-body experience I am having? Or is it an out-of-my-mind experience? In this new place, I feel not quite myself.
In moments like this, with the sunrise a mere line of red along the horizon, I love the new me who stands at the tall windows of our third-story apartment and looks down at the 40-foot tall blue spruce tree in among the maples and crabapple trees.
The blue spruce is mature. And so am I at eighty years of age. That is why my husband, Tom, and I have chosen to move from our two-story house to a lovely apartment in what the elder industry calls an “independent living retirement community.”
But at other moments, I feel as if the real me still lives in my house, and if I just blink a few times, I will see my familiar backyard with the crabapple tree there, the peonies and hydrangeas, and the shady patio with its potted geraniums and curvy patio furniture. I will hear the squirrel chattering as he leaps from tree to tree along the back fence line.
Instead, I blink and see my borrowed walking cane waiting in the corner. The burbling I hear is the automatic coffee pot finishing its morning task and then there is Tom at the bedroom door with the strong coffee he has poured for us.
“We woke up,” I say to him.
We smile at each other, happy with our old people joke. We tell our morning fibs.
“I feel good,” I say.
“So do I,” he replies and rubs his sleepy eyes. And then he asks, “Do you want a cookie with your coffee?”
“Yes, I do. “ I tell the truth this time.
It’s good to start the day with something strong and sweet. Especially when you’re 8o-years-old.