The people around me are not all old! Younger people attend to some of my needs. I am, after all, in assisted living. They are the ones who do my laundry, prepare up to two meals a day, dispose of my trash, provide transportation, and comfort me if I am distressed.
Last night I discovered that time had flown by quickly, and at 9:30 p.m. I had been locked out of Evergreen Place. I have a special key to be used in that event, but I found that I didn’t know how to use it. Relying on my I-phone I called Greencroft’s phone operator who summoned an attendant to open the door and teach me how to use my special resident key.
I am seated for meals with three men as table mates. One is a Mennonite from Kalona, Iowa and he and I do Mennonite talk. I happened to know a Brenneman who was a pastor in Iowa. We learned that we both knew the pastor’s younger brother who took his family to Tampa. He was thrilled to know that I had helped baptize some of Gaylond’s children including Jim, president of Goshen College.
Also at our table is a German Baptist with a long white beard. When I said I like change, he exclaimed, “I don’t. I wish times were as they were 50 years ago.” When the three of us discuss churches as we know them he is jovial, and full of good humor.
From my table I can see in the corner of my eye a woman who helped me by informing me of some of the protocol of assisted living. We sometimes banter back and forth. She has just celebrated her 85th birthday. Another woman looked at me closely and said, “You look familiar; I think I know you.” Exchanging notes, she had wintered in the estates next to the Bahia Vista Mennonite Church in Sarasota when Rhoda worked in the church office and was responsible for relationships with the “snowbirds” in the estates and elsewhere. My new friend worked as a volunteer under Rhoda’s supervision.
Most of us here are in our eighties or nineties so we have had plenty of time to have met somewhere in the past.