Mature Branching

Section 3: Another Chance Chapter 3: Mature Branching

Later that day, Gavin re-organized her remaining two shelves of print books while Casey loaded an organized podcast library of MP3 files onto a memory card for him to listen to while driving.

Both Gavin and Casey wanted a joint project to unload their memories and continue this mature branching of their interests. They wondered why so many retirees started, then abandoned, biographical writing. Each admitted they were themselves “lazy memoirists”. A page here and there on some critical moment in their unique careers, but an organized theme never emerged to motivate a full-scale book project.

Gavin excused himself, “Well, let’s call that a feature, not a bug, in our life plans. My two novels were enough writing for me.”

Casey objected. “No, my dear! That is what blogs are for!”. Reaching up his 6’4” frame, Casey twisted her finger into his chest. “Bloggers know how to write a lot, lazily,and slowly gain followers. I can teach you.”

Casey outlined how they could polish up summaries of epochs they thought important, paste them into blog posts, add some tags, and follow related blogs. And thus hatched their first offspring, The Lazy Memoirist blog with tag-line “Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement.”. In seconds, Casey had the web site ready to claim their memories.

Gavin grew serious. “You mentioned being a ‘Sage In Training’ when I teased you off the bike path. Do you mind explaining to a youngster like me why Sage-ing matters?”

“Well, young wise one, here’s the pitch. While full of vitality, as you are, you decide it’s time to package your wisdom and find a few younger listeners who need it. Maybe somebody even wants you as a mentor. You consciously move into another realm of life by offering your elegantly packaged experience. It’s like teaching without those god-awful student evaluations.”

Gavin chuckled, “Please continue, Professor Hawke.”

“I’m sparing you the cosmic and spiritual mumbo-jumbo. I’ll do the blogging and you think through some Sage-ing opportunities? End of pitch!”

Gavin nodded, a bit overwhelmed with her serious aging proposition. “Looks like we have a plan for the next few months. We’re now mindful memoirists, mutual mentors, and late-life lovers. Does this alliterative proposal fill your heart, at least for now?”

Toweling off after his shower, Gavin seemed reluctant to spill his thoughts.”How did I do on your Dementia Predictor? I have family history, you know. And my late wife was a victim of early onset.”

Casey hesitated, , then gently pulled on the towel. “Nobody knows whether to trust this test. All that personal quantification stuff needs validation. But, we both have vocabularies intact, stable balances, and typical bodily responses. One way to continually test is through our blog posts and other writings. When rambling, or vocabulary lapses, or different tics show up, it’s time for neurological testing. Let’s trust BodyReader and just get on with our long delayed relationship.”

Gavin picked up a book from her night-stand. “I like that phrase — ‘The Last Gift of Time’ — you borrowed from your favorite author. Professor Carolyn Heilbrun, writing as Amanda Cross, and her academic sleuth character Kate Fansler , right? May I borrow a mystery and memoir for my solitary drive back through the Rockies?”

He’d enjoyed his first snowbird period through peer learning classes. Their renewed romance was unexpected. Now, the gardens of Victoria drew Gavin back to his other home. From there on, an Alaskan ferry beckoned them on a late summer research vacation to Skagway with intermittent visits to compile totem pole myths. Casey accepted that this relationship between individuals used to solitude would be fostered by separation and commuting.

Casey moaned, “Oh, no! Lucky me, too many trade-offs! Can I continue Gavin’s wonderful personal invasion of my solitary routines? What do I owe Sally and our profession and my desire to help save the Web? Can I stand those Pink Page skirmishes? What about my computational snooping practice? When will I find time for ParaLog? Do I have to choose paths on this journey?”

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