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Slightly Retired

"I've reached the age when I look in my grandchildren's eyes and read back geezerette. Most signs of geezerhood (and make that word unisex) involve diminished memory, hearing, body agility, and a couple of others I can't recall. What I didn't expect in my geezerhoodom, and what can be the most surprising and intriguing, are the tricks the eyes can play. Our two eyes, together for life, have their own personal relationship, which doesn't have anything to do with the rest of the body. They've worked things out over the years so each knows what to expect of the other. But you and I don't know. We pay dearly to have an optician or oculist sort out the relationship for us and provide the correct glasses. Sometimes that works and sometimes the eyes don't want anyone messing around, intruding on their private arrangement.Lately I've been seeing astonishing things in most everything I chance to read. For instance, recently when the Skagit College schedule came out, I glanced at the outside and read. Quietly Class Schedule. My first reaction was: Oh, that's no place for an adverb, and then I wondered if Skagit had a new no-noise, no-talking policy. On my second glance, I read Quarterly, which makes more sense, although the idea of silent, no-talking classes is intriguing, if a bit boring -- do it all on computers. I find it difficult to excuse myself for the misreading of everyday words, and I thought when I saw the word hodar in The Record, things had gone too far. I got out the magnifying glass and read again--yes, that's what the announcement for the gathering of the Society of Daughters of the American Revolution read: Bring your hodar. Fascinating, I don't know if I have one. I looked it up in the dictionary and could only find the word Hoder--a mythical blind god who killed somebody or other with a sprig of mistletoe. I don't think that's what the Daughters meant.As I flipped the next page of The Record, I noticed in large dark letters Bake in Tons. Oh goody, I thought, a new bakery is opening in Freeland. What a disappointment. As I looked more closely (actually I held the paper farther away), I saw that it said, Rake in Tons referring to the classified section of The Record.On the next page, I read, Save Bus Stops for a Rainy Day. I realize Island Transit has been receiving considerable publicity due to possible budget cutbacks. In fact, I even wrote a column about it and went to a couple of meetings. I hadn't heard anyone use that phrase; perhaps a reporter was being creative. I adjusted my glasses and read a bit further. The words were Save Box Tops, which the primary school is asking everyone to do.It surprises me that I don't feel shocked by what I'm reading; rather, in my complacent geezerhood, I'm finding new, unexpected things in life. My column read, one Saturday, Slightly Reduced. That could well be if I'd simply go on the diet of my intentions. and maybe now is the time to do that. Could my geezerhood be bringing me glimpses of the unknown and I need to find their meanings?A large envelope wedged into my post box caught my attention last week. The dark letters of the return address read, Commonplace Outreach. Now that was something I liked the sound of, it had all kinds of possibilities. I tore open the envelope, blinked a few times for focus and read at the top of the enclosure, Contemplative Outreach. What a disappointment. I like contemplation, especially quiet contemplation, but commonplace sounded so new and inviting.I plan to keep my glasses and not miss the fun of being in my geezerhood. I opened a birthday card, with a check in it, last week. It said , HI-YA!! BIRTHDAY. I smiled--how refreshing, a miracle, not the same old cliche that everybody says and puts on birthday cards. Let the kids have 20-20 vision; in my retiring years, I like this new cosmos of tantalizing words and thoughts.Around the Senior CenterWednesday, March 22, 10:30 a.m., workshop on Reverse Mortgages, led by Mark O'Brian from Seattle Mortgage. Bring your questions.The next classes for 55-Alive, the AARP sponsored Defensive Driving Class for Seniors 55 and over, are scheduled for May 16 and 17. Cost, $10, and classes fill immediately. Call the center to register, 321-1600.Computer classes begin April 5-6 and run to June 7-8. The two-hour classes fill quickly and the 10-week cost is $70. Bobbi Sandberg is once-again the instructor and offering beginner, intermediate and advance groups. Call or stop by the center for more information and to sign-up.Spring is here and it's time to visit the Skagit Valley tulip fields. Bus trip scheduled for Tuesday, April 11, cost $23. There will be several stops along the way and lunch at the Royal Fork in Mount Vernon.Senior Center Activity ScheduleMonday, March 20: 8:30 a.m. foot clinic by app't., 9 a.m. tai chi, 9 a.m. bridge, 10-12 a.m. blood pressure checks, 10 a.m. stretch & strengthen, 11:45 a.m. lunch.Tuesday, March 21: 8:45 & 9:45 a.m. tai chi, 9 a.m. SHIBA training, 10 a.m. Time Together, 11:45 a.m. lunch, 11:45 a.m. pinochle, 1:00 p.m. writing group, 3:30 p.m. hula.Wednesday, March 22: 10 a.m. quilters, 10:30 a.m. REVERSE MORTGAGE WORKSHOP, 11:45 a.m. lunch, 12:30 p.m. computer class, 3:30 p.m. computer class, 6:30 p.m. BINGO.Thursday, March 23: 9 a.m. yoga, 10 a.m. stretch & strengthen, 10 a.m. arts & crafts, 1:30 p.m. Rainbow Singers, 2:00 p.m. computer class.Friday, March 24: 9-12 noon, tax assistance, 9 a.m. bridge, 9-12 noon, SHIBA by app't., 10 a.m. Time Together, 10:45 a.m. Fun Band, 11:45 lunch."

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