My 65th birthday was Friday.  My son in law , Grant, organized a celebratory dinner for all the family plus Susan.  The restaurnt had great craft beers and very god food.  A good time was had by all.  My Medicare card arrived Monday.   The medicare system seems to me to be very opaque. It may have come to the point of having to call for some answers.  Which of course means a likely long wait time on hold.  Not an enticing picture.  Neverthless I have reached Medicare in good health.  My antihypertensive med was switched by new doctor and the foot swelling has disappeared; as we all expected.

So many changes.  It does make me live in the moment, as so much change is too much to wrap my head around.  My house now has all my favorite posessions in a new arrangement.  Sometimes a little disorienting.  George If you are reading this, you know well what I am talking about.  On the other hand life goes on in much the same patterns while adding new ones.  One thing about retirement is there is always time to exercise.  And I do.  Pictures of the house below, I hope.

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Susan and I walked a good three maybe four miles Saturday, We also went to a Missouri River conservation site ( of which there are many) and enjoyed the wealth of ecosystems and wildlife.  It was spectacular and awesome.  The river was running fast and powerful after all the rain we had had, though not at flood stage . There was plenty of evidence it had recently overrun its banks.  Probably in the flash floods of the past week.

Between us, Susan and I prepared a scrumptious meal for the family on Saturday, after taking Caitlin to the nearby children’s park.   It was too hot to be on the deck, so we unfortunately had to squeeze ourselves around the indoor table.  and before she left on Sunday we assembled my new bed.  See pic above.  The old one was at least 50 years old and five moves.  It could not be assembled without repairs.

I had my first hairdresser appointment in Columbia.  Funny how anxious I felt about that.  What if the color was not right, the cut bad.  But the hairdresser was great.  I had the color formula from my DC hairdresser, and he understood exactly how to replicate it.  He also taught me how to better handle the curls.  Ladies, he told me not to towel dry the hair.  Just squeeze the water out.  and no combing either, just squeezing and scrunching.  And it came out so beautiful.  I did not know I had such curls.   And they have stood up well to being slept on, and the humidity.

I had expected it might be drier here than in the swamp of DC.  Not true.  Just as humid here.  And the temp has hit the nineties everyday I have been here.  But it is awfully lush and green.

I am truly enjoying the birds visiting my feeder.  The feeder is hung off my deck, so I can see it from the dining table , the kitchen sink, and the living room.  I’ve learned to recognize various swallows, which I previously thought were all the same.  There are a surprising variety of birds in my yard, including a hawk that likes a particular perch in my neighbor’s yard.

People are so kind and jolly here.  Susan and I were in the better grocery store, hoping to find prosciutto.  The deli counter had only domestic prosciutto, and I wanted Italian for my birthday.  The delicounter guy immediately found the deli manager, and she asked what brands in particular I wanted, and promised to check it out with her suppliers.  She took my name and number.  Several minutes later, she seeks us out in the store to tell me her supplier can supply an Italian prosciutto, and it should arrive in about 8 days.  And that is only one example of how everyone behaves in Columbia.  Even the swallows seem to have a system whereby everyone gets their turn at the feeder, without fights.  The Grackles, though are not good citizens.  They butt in when it’s not their turn.  But the swallows are so numerous, they can’t stay.

My car now has a toddler car seat, stroller , sippy cup, and several toddler library books in it at all times.  You never know when you’ll need them.  It’s a whole new round of suburban living.  I marvel at it the way I marveled when I found myself with a staionwagon, dog and house in suburbia.  Not a picture I had ever dreamed of for myself.  And now I’m doing a reprise.