Need something new?

December 22, 2013
Lisa Graff and Gracie SOURCE SUBMITTED

My husband and I attended the Instructor Recognition Luncheon for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, part of the University of Delaware, at the Atlantic Sands Hotel Dec. 4, and were delighted with the program and remarks given by Donna Beecher on behalf of the Osher Council. As she surveyed the audience, she asked teachers to stand up and be recognized for giving back their talents so others can continue to learn and grow by exploring course offerings. Surprisingly, teachers don’t get paid at Osher. They volunteer to help hundreds of us broaden our minds in a diversity of classes, from oil painting to fixing flat tires. Do you have a class you’d like to teach? Submit a proposal to Osher.

Former aerospace engineer Ray tried his hand at pottery and thanked his pottery teachers Carmela, Barbara and Brenda for their patience with his first attempts on the wheel. Potter Brenda Butterfield said thinking about clay gets her out of bed in the morning. I recall a writer friend, Sheri, saying the same thing about poetry. Just last week reader Barbara told me joining the Coastal Camera Club is what motivates her now to live out the rest of her life. She radiates excitement when she talks about learning more about photography.

Walt Bryan wrote to share a similar story. “I have always wanted to be a photojournalist. Tell a story with photos…I will be sharing my local storytelling at Wilmington University in February, which will include some photos rescued from the Delaware Archives, the Lewes Historical Society and locals I know who have saved stuff over the years.”

Retirees have the time to try something new and see what makes us happy. What’s my new thing? Her name is Gracie, a 6-week-old Lhasa Apso, Bichon and Poodle mix. She has her days and nights mixed up just like my own babies did many moons ago. Up crying in the middle of the night and can’t settle. My husband referred to these times as “house tours.” He would say to our new daughter, “This is the dining room. Someday you will inherit the china. This is the hallway. See, that is a picture of your great-grandmother, who never wanted any children but had three.”

The entire world warned me not to get a puppy. Last night at 3 a.m. after I got Gracie settled, I read an email from one of my few supporters, “How is it going with the new puppy?”

It’s only been three days, but I have learned there are not enough chew toys in the entire universe to satisfy her. Gracie gets me out of bed in the morning and at night, but watching her play makes me belly laugh. I have time now to romp on the rug with her and forget about life’s commitments. Wisdom has taught me that even the most challenging times don’t last forever. Besides, now my husband and I have something new to talk about. “Do you think she needs to go peepee?” “Quick, pick her up and run outside!”

Finally, congrats to Mame Witsil, who wrote to say she got married Nov. 23. “My sweetie, now husband, noticed the mention of the Altamont newspaper in your column. I grew up reading the newspaper and the editor is one of my high school friends! It is truly a small world. Thanks for your column.” Enjoy your new sweetie!

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