“I’ve decided I’m not buying my grandchildren Christmas presents anymore,” my sister-in-law told me. “I’m just going to start passing down my things.”
“Oh my Lord, you’ve become Grandma,” I declared, remembering my own grandma’s tradition, and my disappointment when I got an engraved serving spoon when I was 16.
This began the long weekend, as four of us, all sexagenarians, gathered for the first time in three years. It was like a bad stand up act for 60+ year olds who hadn’t seen each other for a while. Sharing of medical procedures, showing of surgical scars, anxiety over upcoming operations – I began to call this the Christmas of Surgery Past, Present and Future. I sort of felt like Ebenezer Scrooge when I suggested we move to other topics, and we did… to Medicare supplemental plans! Next up – bra management issues with stiff shoulders, Social Security challenges, extending the life of knee braces, and how to make your IRA work harder for you. The fun just never stopped.
We laughed so hard, and initially, I was so disappointed my nieces couldn’t attend. In the end, I was so relieved! They shouldn’t have to endure conversations like this, at least without alcohol, and sadly, nothing was flowing yet.
Does this happen with other families or friends who are closing the door on middle age? How did we become our parents and now, our grandparents? Well, I get it – it’s called aging and maturing and managing fixed incomes – oh yeah, that issue came up too.
It was a great weekend filled with much more laughter, catching up on the west coast grandchildren, good natured ribbing about the pitiful amount of ice cream I put in the cream puffs, shopping for good deals on flaxseed and tapioca flour at an Amish bulk food store, beer and wine tasting at our local produce market, exchanging home made ornaments, feeling good about a purchase made with recycled pop cans at a local craft fair, and buying crazy gifts – like a nose flute for my brother.
In the end, we were left with one conclusion – we have got to get together more often – these experiences are too rich to not share with each other.