I rose slowly from my soft bed this morning and slipped into my well-worn winter robe for the first time since the heat of summer. The air is crisp and autumn-like, and I hurriedly put the dogs out for their morning duties and settled into my chair with a steaming mug of coffee and the Saturday newspaper. How much I love these daily routines.
This year as I care for my three grandchildren, I am dividing my time between my son's beautiful new home and my own house -- such a striking contrast. My son and daughter-in-law lovingly designed their home with it's large open space for entertaining and lovely windows which welcome the sunlight. It is a home of light and the peacefulness of uncluttered spaces. I love the bright kitchen with its large island and mullioned windows over the corner sink. However, at the end of the day I am welcomed home by the comforting arms of my old house, with its dark coziness.
I wonder about the concept of "aging in place" that has become a possible solution to baby boomers as we grow old. Certainly, there are wonderful new condos and apartments on the market for seniors, with all the modern amenities so sought after -- granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, social activities. However, I question whether I would ever feel "at home" in those luxurious surroundings. I have lived in my house for almost forty years -- I know its loveliness and its scars, and find great comfort in its sameness. I love my neighborhood -- how boring it would be to be surrounded by people of my own age all the time. I love the sound of children playing in the street, and the music and laughter of teenagers. I hope I will be healthy enough and financially able to "age in place" right here -- in the home that holds the echoes of my own family and friends, the home that feels like an old friend to this grandma who finds herself turning that corner into old age. Each night as I turn out the lights and make my way in darkness to the stairs, I realize I know the terrain of this house with my eyes closed; I know it by heart, and this is where I want to spend the rest of my days, Lord willing.