Here it is, another hot summer day, something we all yearn for in winter. Here I am, in retirement in summer – one year and a week. If you are expecting me to crow or gloat about it, you will have to wait a long, long time. You can retire from a job, but you can’t retire from life.
The same applies to summer and vacations. You still have to do the breathing and eating thing. You still have to go to the bathroom. Sheba still sheds her hair all over the house. Meals have to be made, dishes to do. Then there’s laundry and the floor to vacuum. It’s no vacation at all. I have never deluded myself on that one!
I’m sweaty and cranky. My eyes feel crossed and stuck to the back of their sockets. I suspect I am a little difficult to live with. But the dishes are done, the floor vacuumed and a load of laundry out to dry. At last I’m sitting here, tapping out my words. What story do I have to tell?
Things are never what they seem. It is often more complicated than you planned and always take longer than you think. You just never know what turn your life will take.
I remember the time I went downtown to buy a broom and dustpan. I walked by Sound City and went in just to look. I came home with a Magnavox cabinet stereo and a portable TV. I had just started my very first real job at the Dept. of Indian and Northern Affairs. I didn’t have any money but the store was quite happy to do the financing.
I did get my broom and dustpan that I set out for. Later, I learned about the high interest I was paying on the TV and stereo and took out a loan from the bank to pay off Sound City. My impulsiveness did not stop with electronics. A little while later, I saw an ad in the paper about ballroom dancing at Arthur Murray’s. I phoned for an appointment to check it out.
I came out of Arthur Murray’s Dance Studio a few days later, having signed on the dotted line for x number of lessons. I signed a few more times after that, ending with a certificate saying I had completed the Bronze Program. I did not have the money. It was just shortly after my electronics purchase. Again, it was not a problem. They happily put me on the monthly payment plan.
It may have been foolish of me to have spent the money, for it was not small. But dancing was one of those things I had always wanted to learn. I never went to any school dances after Grade 8. I felt out of place in our small town so didn’t go to town hall dances either. Arthur Murray was worth every penny I spent there.
I fell in love with all my instructors. I felt like Ginger Rogers dancing with them. I did not enjoy dancing with my fellow students that much. They were clumsy like me! I unloaded my roommate problems on Mr. Woodhouse. The problems were bad and she had mental health problems, but that’s another story.
Mr. Woodhouse was very British and patient, had a willing ear and a good sense of humour. I went ga-ga over Mr. McDonald. I don’t think there was much talking on my part. I was probably demure and love sick. Alan was like a brother. He convinced me to participate in a dance competition. I was reluctant but gave in. We tangoed to Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina. It was a good experience which meant we didn’t win any ribbons.
I had no regrets over my electronic and Arthur Murray spending. I was young and trying out my wings. That was the proper time to fly and be a little daring. If I faltered, I had time to recover.
I could still fly. I have the time. Do I dare?