We are never too old to learn a few new tricks

Never too old to learn new tricks, discussed in this week's Hammertime.

In those hectic and mostly fun years when we were attempting to raise a family, hold down a job, pay the bills and still trying to sneak in all sorts of other sports and social activities in between, there were obviously a few everyday tasks and adventures that we missed along the way. While all of us are still very likely have some of those personal dreams and aspirations on our bucket list that we still strive to achieve, some of us may have to wait for our retirement years before climbing a few more rungs on our ‘ladder of success.’

As I very optimistically approach my 74th birthday, I can honestly look back at some of the ‘short falls’ that I know that I can still work on, while honestly admitting that if I had had to depend on my own cooking, I would have never survived. I am somewhat of a ‘stone’ when it comes to swimming but I have promised to enroll in senior aqua-aerobics this fall, my dancing skills have always evolved around ‘quick hops’ and foot shuffles, but don’t ever ask me to do a slow waltz, and while I have and always will love to get right in the middle of fun and hot conversation with anyone, I really do need to learn to back off sometimes and listen..

My daily senior household chores performance is pretty reliable, that is as long as I am allowed to work with the TV or the radio tuned in and can stop for regular coffee and snack breaks, but I would like to think that I have really improved in the kitchen. I don’t have to be asked anymore to clean out the dishwasher and always try to put everything carefully back where I got it from, but my greatest advance in collecting ‘brownie points’ has come from never complaining about what we are having for supper or company or sudden quickie meal or social plans..

It was so many years ago that I stood in our tiny Riverside kitchen in awe and watched my dear mother busy preparing all sorts of fruit and vegetables for canning and then later helped store them away in the tiny basement ‘cool room’, only to appear again for a delightful winter treat. As kids, most of us were usually guilty of eating most of what we picked or snitched from ours or neighbourhood gardens or berry patches, but now, we have likely become way more involved in this age-old fall culinary kitchen custom.

Like so many of you, my wife and I really enjoy visiting the farmer’s market to browse and help carefully pick out the season’s best fruits and veggies, then pack them home and get ready together to ‘heat up’ the action around the kitchen. I don’t mind shelling the peas, peeling peaches and pears and washing all the jars and lids, and then sitting back and getting an occasional tasty sample while watching the process as the delicate slices and pieces are carefully stuffed into the jars and placed into our family relic 1947 Presto Cooker Canner, which will soon bubble to the boil. Later, as we place them all on the kitchen table, we patiently wait for the lids to pop and seal, and then pack them into boxes for storage, but just can’t wait until we can enjoy or share those delicious treats together whenever we wish.

I guess I have mellowed quite a bit, but I am really trying to enjoy some of the little joys that I may have missed or ignored over the years, and realize that all of us must never be shy about bravely and patiently trying to learn a few new-age treats and tricks and living life to the fullest, at our chosen speed and choice. Please be mindful of the kids, our future, scurrying back and forth to school and other fall activities, and have a great week, all of you.

 

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