Friday evening, Nancy asked me, “Are we walking tomorrow? Should be a lovely day!” She waited for my answer, her pretty faced lighted by her smile.
“Okay,” I reluctantly agreed. Who could resist Nancy? “I’m playing bridge with Ruth at seven o’clock. I’ll ask her if she wants to go.” Then I forgot.
Next morning about nine, Ruth called, “I hope we’re walking this morning.”
“Yes, we are. Nine-thirty, my place.”
We three octogenarians have been walking the nearby creek paths on Saturday mornings for over a year now. We start out peppy and after a mile or so, begin to slow down. We have found a bench where we sit in the shade for a little while, wiggling close so we all fit.
We talk about anything that comes to mind. We talked again about how to pare down our stuff. I mentioned a small book called just that, STUFF, by Steve Neff, in which he says, “Identify the essential, eliminate the rest.” He also stresses (in heavy print), “Don’t leave it for the kids!”
Nancy suggested that treasured family photos be put on an e-device that shows the pictures in rotation, a few seconds at a time. Her daughter reduced several scrap-books this way and Nancy sees the photos every day. Another idea is to have a bonfire and everyone tosses pictures of relatives no one knows. One friend suggests we discard pictures of people three generations ago. Another pipes up, “Those are our ancestors!”
Each time I visit friends and family for a few days, I take a fat scrap book with me for their perusal. One of these days, I’m going to start tossing those books. But not quite yet. They are still on the essentials list; records of important parts of my life.
Ruth is going to include old photos of friends in her Christmas cards and share memories of times past.
We walked along, chatting, for an hour or so until we’d circled back to Friends House.
“Bye. Nice walk. See you at one o’clock,”
“One o’clock? What’s then?”
“Remember? We have tickets to the Santa Rosa Symphony rehearsal.”
“Oh. Right. See you at one.”
Cleaned up, not dressed up, except for Ruth who glowed in a jewel toned silk blouse, we drove to Green Music Center on the Sonoma State University campus. This is the Santa Rosa Symphony’s 89th year. Mine, too. I’m celebrating with season tickets for Conductor Bruno Ferrandis’s final year here. He says, “For my last full season as Music Director of the Santa Rosa Symphony, I want to remind you who I am through the spirit of programs and artists who are close to my heart.” His guest on Saturday was his brother, Jean Ferrandis, an internationally acclaimed flutist. Leonard Bernstein said of him, “(Jean) is Pan himself.”
“I wonder if the entire Ferrandis family is musical,” I said. “Imagine how proud their parents must be!”
What a treat to sit in Weill Hall, gaze out the windows toward the rolling rural hills, and listen to gorgeous full music, and maybe even doze a little.
Back again at Friends House, Nancy asked, “Are you going to the movie in the library tonight?”
“I don’t know., “ I answered. “What is it?”
“I forget,” she said. And Ruth, who is on the film committee, announced, “It’s The Magic Garden. Very touching. British classic. Nice.”
“Okay,I’ll go. Will you?”
“Yes. Wouldn’t miss it. Shall we sit together?”
Of course. Together. The entire day.