So, my email is about my mom and her physical vigor. Here are photos from our recent hiking trip: Mom, me, Carolle and Chris. Plus Garcon, Carolle's poodle of magnificence. I'll include the email text after the photos. It was 2.5 miles each way, on an old road that lead to the ruins of the Overlook Mountain Hotel. If you're ever in the Catskills, check it out.
|Overlook Mountain Hotel Ruins|
|Mom as Tree|
|Me, Mom & Chris|
|Mom, Garcon, Carolle|
|Carolle and Pup|
|Yes I climbed up!|
|Chris and me at the top of the fire tower. WINDY!|
|Heading down at last.|
Here's the body of the email, in case you missed it:
I just returned from a lovely weekend away, to a place with no cell phone or cable service, and lots of gorgeous views. Up high in the Catskills the leaves have turned colors and people are turning out to enjoy it!
We took a nice long hike (5 miles) up an old road to see the ruins of the Overlook Mountain Hotel. That's me in what used to be a window (or maybe a door?). I was with two of my sisters, and my mom, who will turn 80 in few months (sorry for outing you, Mom, but you're the point of this story!).
Hikers were out in droves on this holiday weekend, and they came in all types. There were those with big backpacks loaded with overnight gear. Some just toted a water bottle. There were families carrying tiny babies on their chest or toddlers riding high on dad's back. Young couples, older couples, and lots of dogs. Some offered to share their baby carrots when we stopped to rest, and others were fascinated with Carolle's poodle Garcon. I'm telling you, there were lots of people out, even on a day that started off very overcast.
Did I mention it was 2.5 miles up, up, up? Although the trail was an old road and so nice and wide, it was still rocky and uneven. Here's where Mom comes in: She made it up and back (heh heh once you're up there's not much choice about the return trip!) for 5 miles total. She was tired, but we had a nice lunch at the top, and there were Rangers handing out Oreos up there so, dessert!
What is her secret? I hope good genes that I've inherited, for one; but also her own subconscious motto: Don't stop. She worked as a Special Education Teacher's Assistant for 25 years before retiring at about 74 years old. She moved from there to volunteering in a teaching garden, where she was as much a fixture as the hired Farmer. She keeps her house spotless and her yard blooming. She comes to my yoga classes twice a week, and yes, she keeps up! Sometimes I worry that she "overdoes", but a little rest and she's right back at it.
I've never been and never will be as active as my mom is, but I take seriously the lesson she has modeled. There is never a time to sit in the proverbial rocker and not get back up. Retirement doesn't mean TV all day. Do things for yourself if you can; not only is it exercise but learning new things is fun and rewarding. Cook your own food. Read. If you can't see to thread the needle, get better glasses. You get the picture.