What to write about in the dying days of summer?
School, Alice Cooper notwithstanding, is not out forever.
As a matter of fact, this is the first September in 20 years that we have not sent a child off to school, that we have not had to rush to Zellers or Staples for last minute supplies, that I have not had to rent a truck to move furniture to Victoria.
I miss it: the transition, the segue into fall, the peace and quiet on the home front, which I never had being at work.
Now, they go off to their jobs, so some calm is mine, and will be for all those harried moms who have had to keep their charges entertained for the past two months.
Time for coffee and talk and a good book, once the housework is done (as readers roll their eyes and say, "little does he know").
Rest assured, I have my chores here from TW, author of the "to-do" list, the "nag notes."
She says I can't just sit around and do nothing.
She is right. I am just loath to admit it.
I tell her I'm retired and she hits me with a look that could stop a moose in full flight.
I usually do my housework, read a little, and then I am off to the leisure centre for some much-needed therapy, courtesy the elliptical trainer and the stationary bikes, the weights and the pool, and the requisite small talk among the regulars.
Sound mind in a sound body; strength of mind is exercise, not rest; etc.
Except this is the time of year that they close the centre for "maintenance," the cleaning of toilets, painting of walls, replacement of machines, and a long look at the hot tub - which seems to go "on the fritz" at least once or twice a month.
They expect me to go to Pitt Meadows and the world's smallest weight room. Closet fitness, I call it.
Huge foyer, big gym, nice change rooms, tiny weight room built with whatever funds they had left over after paying Don Cramb's salary.
And no pool!
Such a lack of foresight.
Swimming is good for the aged and aging, easy on the bod'.
Speaking of which, in September I reach the pinnacle, 65 (it's all downhill from here).
I have already received a gold medical card in the mail.
I can walk on to the ferries for free on certain days: the poor man's cruise, just spend your time going back and forth.
There will be other discounts, no doubt, and expressions of interest from seniors' dating services, and theatre groups, and carpet bowling teams.
I may start using a cane, maybe pick up some hearing aids, get fitted for false teeth, talk with other old farts about the young and the cost of a home these days and politics: that Christy Clark with her dimples - she doesn't fool me - although I wouldn't turn down a dance; and that young Adrian Dix, he's no slouch.
I can sit in the mall for hours with a cup of coffee before heading back to the "home" and a nap before dinner, maybe some cards. Or not.
I can't see life changing much. I'm already limping with the arthritis, so I'm not fooling anyone. I'll just keep going to the gym and drinking beer and being grumpy and thankful for every year from now on, now that there are some intimations that the end is not that far away.
Give me 10 more years, I cry, maybe I'll write a novel (sure!), another decade with the Angel Andrew, who helps keep me young at heart.
Give me 10 more autumns. I just bought a big screen TV, for gosh sakes!
I want to see the Rio Olympics. I want a new hip.
I want to take my grandchildren to school.