I tried to run faster this morning, but it was to no avail. With stiff joints and poor balance, I seem to have only one speed – slow. I do get the job done but it’s never pretty. There was something about the word “average” when it came to my running pace that struck a chord. It’s always been difficult for me to digest. I want to look younger and perform better than just average. I was always a “B” student and on the “B” team, so I’ve never been considered exceptional. There have been some “A” moments in life and rarely a “C,” so my achievement expectations continue in my race towards seventy.
The average life span of a white male in 75.3 years, so I certainly hope to be above average in this category. This means I have at least five good years left or or 1,825 running days. This would put me over 6,000 consecutive days. There was also a point where I was 6 feet tall, but I am quickly shrinking to average height. My weight is slightly over average but that’s not necessarily a good thing. I often wonder how my spindly legs have held up all these years when most of my bulk is in my torso. Yesterday’s Thanksgiving meal certainly didn’t help.
Today, college basketball and football will keep me busy. We’re up to date on Yellowstone with Season 4 not expected until mid-2021. Shameless has a final season airing in a few weeks, so the Suits series is now our primary evening entertainment. There’s also one last episode of Fargo to watch. Only 8 days until we land in Kauai, if all goes well next week with Covid testing. At one point, this Hawaii trip was planned with intentions of following Indiana basketball in the Maui Classic. That event was of course delayed a week to start on Monday and moved to Asheville, North Carolina. I.U. football meets Maryland tomorrow, as the Hoosiers try to hold on to their #12 ranking. They fell short in their comeback effort against #3 Ohio State last weekend. I’m glad to see that I.U. football is no longer considered average.
The run is done for the day, the chocolate chip cookies are gone, and there is nothing planned for the rest of this week. Thanksgiving will just be my wife and I and a batch of pumpkin bars. Restaurants and Bars, along with many neighborhood stores are closed, yet the Dow Jones average just topped 30,000 for the first time in history. I’m glad that others are more optimistic than I am in these pandemic times. Amazon and Walmart seem to be doing well, but the little guys are suffering. The same seemed to be true back in the 10th century as I continue to read Ken Follett’s The Evening and the Morning.
My mornings are full of activity with the daily run and writing. However, the evenings have been strictly couch time. I don’t expect this to change for the next ten days until we board our flight to Kauai. We have been good about staying home these past few weeks and avoiding the temptation to travel over Thanksgiving that has been a tradition for years. Covid rates in our area have been climbing, yet the airport is still supposed to be busy this weekend. We had intentionally planned the week after to avoid the crowds. We’re also required to take a Covid test before we depart and will be spending our time on the small island where exposure should be limited.
We should be finalizing financing on the new house before we leave for Hawaii and get an update on construction. We’re 83 days away from the projected closing date and less than 100 from moving. There will be a lot to do to keep us busy in the meantime, but soon we’ll be enjoying the Florida sunshine on a daily basis. Despite the day-to-day boredom, glad to be Happy and Healthy, while hoping that you are too!
I woke up this morning with all the classic signs of Covid 19: chills, headache, fever, scratchy throat, and congestion. This has happened at least once a week since March when the possibility of catching it was initially discovered. One of the by-products of being a pessimist is also being a hypochondriac – if it’s out there, I’m certainly going to get it! The first thing that comes to mind is that I’m going to end up in the hospital and my 4,347 day running streak will come to an abrupt end. On the other extreme, I’m thinking that I won’t be able to pass the Covid test to get to Hawaii with my family in a couple of weeks.
Nonetheless, I got out of bed and made the 3.1 mile run, at first thinking I would just do the minimum mile in my frail state of health. As I got going, all the symptoms seemed to disappear, as often is the case when I’m either not feeling well or hung over. It would have been easy to get up this morning if I.U. would have pulled off the upset yesterday against Ohio State. All that adrenaline would have still been flowing through my veins. Instead, I was a bit depressed when the Hoosiers fell short. Of course, no true pessimist would have expected them to win anyway, so I got what I imagined! It looks like the loss has literally made me sick, or at least pretend sick.
I hope we can get to the island in early December. The boredom of sitting in an apartment all day is getting to me. I don’t have the yard chores or outdoor home projects that keep my friends busy. All I have is my running, writing, dog outings, and T.V. watching. The snacks in between are also a problem, like the chocolate chip cookies my wife baked for me yesterday. Live sports at least adds some excitement to the day, even if its not always the desired outcome. My half-sister sent me photos of her at the Alabama vs. Kentucky game yesterday to rub it in. I haven’t been to a game of any game since January, as is the case with most of American fans.
Yes, I’m paranoid that something will prevent us from traveling to Hawaii, as has been the case with Bali and Egypt this year. Retirement is supposed to be all about exploring the world, but just not going to work is certainly adequate reward, just as long as we stay healthy. Unfortunately, I can’t keep my mind from dwelling on the things that could go wrong. It’s a defense mechanism that I adopted early in life and protects me from disappointment. I believe that if you think of all the things that could possibly go wrong, it rarely does. However, paranoia like this does have it’s price!
This morning’s run was uneventful – not a single blinking dashboard light to count or coin on the pavement to pocket. There was frost on the windows and the city did a clean-up of one of the homeless camps. Traffic continues to be light and wet leaves cover the streets. I feel sorry for all the restaurants that added outdoor seating and tents for patrons. We’re back to carry-out only, another blow to the dining business. This will continue through the holidays, and could possibly affect our travel to Kauai.
Thanksgiving and Christmas will be celebrated with just my wife and I. The trip to Hawaii is between the two holidays and our only chance to have our traditional get togethers with my wife’s two daughters and their husbands. We all have to do Covid screenings to get on the island, so we feel safe meeting as a family. It’s our final trip of 2020. Tonight, it’s take-out food, plus I continue my alcohol-free streak that’s only been a week-long, but seems like forever.
We’ve been enjoying the T.V. series Upload, but it’s only one season. Sadly, I don’t have a single thing on my calendar but sports. The three short dog walks that I do every day are the only times I’m outside of the apartment, once the morning run is over. Last night, on the final outing, I noticed a letter out on the big lighted sign over GOOD SAMARATIN hospital, one of our neighbors. I looked-up in the darkness and saw GOD. This is an indication of how boring life is right now. Anything different really stands out, regardless of how silly. The nighttime skies have been too overcast to observe the Leonid meteor showers.
At least, there’s a break in the rain, and I can see blue skies this morning for a change. If I look beyond the rooftop compressors next door, there are still some beautiful fall colors, plus a clear view of the homes on the distant hills. Downtown living hasn’t paid off, with too many places shut down and public transportation a risk. Covid has taken all the fun of our convenient location. Normally, there would be a Friday “Leadership Meeting” today, but nothing is normal anymore.
Credit checks aren’t quite the hassle they used to be with the ability to download documents and provide access to banking records. Also, I now have daily access to my credit score. Today we have a conference call with our builder to hopefully secure the funds we need to secure a mortgage on our Florida home. It better not be a problem, considering the down payments we’ve already made. However, there is still some trepidation in the process, as essentially strangers judge our ability to make payments.
This will be the ninth time I’ve gone through this exercise in my lifetime. It should also be the final time, and the first time I plan to live in a home longer than ten years. It’s semi-custom, meaning we’ve selected everything from the elevation level to the fixtures from a number of different plans available. My wife has spent many hours looking at options and making decisions. It should be everything we would ever want in a home, once we add some special touches. As a pessimist, I’m just looking forward to getting through this credit check scrutiny, despite the fact that there shouldn’t be a problem.
We’re just three months away from expected closing, so the reality of the move is setting in. The hassles of hiring movers, changing addresses, and setting up our new home is growing near. It will be a relief to get out of this apartment and into move space. We’re also looking forward to the warmer weather. We will certainly miss the friends and family in this area, but will be nearer my grandchildren in a neighborhood prime for meeting new people. It will be a fresh retirement start, leaving the big city behind for the beach.
We’ve gotten most of our paperwork together for today’s meeting, but there will undoubtedly be more to gather. We’ll have to go back through our credit history to be able to move forward. There have been a few bumps along the way, but nothing that should harm our ability to buy this home. However, it’s a formality that I’m not looking forward to, like going to the doctor when you’re feeling perfectly fine and hoping that they don’t find a problem. I hate credit checks as much as a prostrate exam!