This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com
CHITCHAT: I will be giving free public lectures on the following dates, times, and locations:
October 16, 2018, 1:00pm, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” The Holmstad Retirement Community, 700 W. Fabyan Pkwy, Batavia, IL 60510, (630) 239-1133, www.theholmstad.org (RSVP REQUIRED)
October 17, 2018, 10:30am, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” Windsor Park Retirement Community, 124 Windsor Park Dr, Carol Stream, IL 60188, (331) 218-3637, www.windsorparkillinois.org (RSVP REQUIRED)
October 19, 2018, 10:30am, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” Covenant Village of Northbrook, 2625 Techny Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062, (224) 412-8421, www.covenantnorthbrook.org (RSVP REQUIRED)
Now, on to my blog:
I was sitting on a metro train a few weeks ago next to a woman with a Chihuahua in her lap. She kept stroking it and talking to it. The lady seemed a bit deranged. She had a knitted cap pulled over her hair, no teeth, and her clothing seemed mismatched. Parked in front of her was a baby stroller with a second Chihuahua in it. I’m sure both dogs occupied the stroller together when the woman was out and about on her daily routine.
Periodically, the dog owner attempted to make eye contact with people nearby as she chatted about her dogs. Most just ignored her or averted their gaze. A mother with a young child held it close to her, protectively, lest the child catch anything the woman might transmit such as a compromised mental state.
Over about a ten-minute period as I watched from my perch while trying not to be obvious about it, the owner pulled out a plush toy from the stroller, which she snuggled against the face of first one of the dogs and then the other. She also pulled out food, and broke off little pieces which she fed to the dogs, occasionally popping a morsel into her own mouth.
After observing her for quite a while, I said “you certainly take very good care of your dogs.” Starved for conversation, she immediately began discussing the dogs with me. We chatted for the rest of the ride, about five minutes, on the subject of how much joy the dogs have brought to her life.
I looked at the dog on her lap and addressed it by the name she had called it: Mister. Mister immediately jumped into my lap and hunkered down. His owner was delighted, and loved sharing one of her most precious possessions with me as I scratched Mister behind his ears.
When I departed the train, I again complemented my seat companion on what a good and caring owner she was. She beamed a beautiful, toothless smile at me.
Can we be willing to reach out to others who are not so cool, not so trendy, maybe a little socially offensive? Can we take that moment to connect with another fragile human being, toothless or not, smartly dressed or not? That encounter did as much for me as it did for her.
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