I used to believe that some of my old friends were pushing their luck too far. George Gunning, at that time, had turned 73 on the time clock. When he told me he was planning on building a new house in Davenport, I said to him, “Golly, how come at your age?” George replied, “Yeah, I know. According to the Bible I’ve lived my alloted time, but I’m not intending to leave ’til I have to.”
Then, years later, when I reached 75, I surprised Sugar by saying, “Let’s tear down part of our house, and build on something brand new. And wouldn’t it be fun to walk from the old house that has a history and go right into rooms that you have dreamed about all your life?” That was a dangerous way-out statement to make. It overcharged Sugar’s talents, and it left me with no room for backing out.
I guess it’s worth it if for nothing else than just to see Sugar living on a manic high. But is it logical? Are some of us acting like kids, and don’t realize that the life cycle will soon be completed? Anyway, for the first time, I can understand to some extent why my older relatives, when they retired, built new homes in Ritzville.
For practical reasons it’s best for us not to buy household equipment with a warranty over 15 years; or to build a house out of bricks that will soon be used mostly as a monument to someone’s past life. Anyone planning on what we did should, within reason, make a house that is suitable for either the very young or the very old. Unnecessary stairways and steps can be a hazard to your life. Slick floors and small booby trap rugs can land you in a wheel chair.
By golly, I too am beginning to get excited about the new modern section nailed onto this old house. To make sense, it’s best that we start calling it: ‘Our retirement home.’
"Never Too Old" Kik-Back Country p. 92