Unlike most people in California, Muri and I have only had two houses. When we moved to California from New England, we discovered we could actually afford to buy a house here. How long ago was that??? 1971. It took a while, but we finally found a new tract of homes we liked in the North Orange County town of Yorba Linda. There were five model homes to choose from and we liked a 2400 square foot two-story model best … but our bank account preferred a one-story 1,600 square foot one. Practicality prevailed. For months we drove to Yorba Linda every weekend to watch the progress as our little one-story house was built. It was a great neighborhood, mostly young families like ourselves. It was our home for 31 years. But gradually, the neighborhood began to go downhill and, with both of our kids grown and my new consulting business doing well, in 2001 we moved across the Riverside Freeway to a two-story house in Anaheim Hills. It was our dream house. Still is.
Yesterday I was working on a letter contract in my office … upstairs … and needed some documents that were on a jump drive in my laptop case … downstairs … in the kitchen. I rushed down the stairs and into the kitchen, where Muri was sitting at the table. As she looked up, she said, What? I came down for something, I said. I think she could see from the blank expression on my face that I didn’t know but she asked anyway. What are you looking for? Laughing, I said, I don’t remember. I laughed because it reminded me of one of my favorite Far Side cartoons. Muri didn’t remember it but laughed, too, when I described it to her. Senior moments, we call them, more and more often. Of course, experience has taught me that the only way to remember what I forgot is to retrace my steps … literally, up the steps. Upon noticing the Microsoft Word document open on my office computer, I remembered … jump drive … and I hurried back downstairs, whispering, Jump drive, jump drive, jump drive to myself as I did. Fishing the little bugger out of the bag, I held it up to Muri. Jump drive, I said. That’s nice, she responded, not even looking up. Have you seen my phone? I said. I need to call Paul when I finish this letter. I think it’s in the bedroom, she answered. Upstairs, of course. Back in my office, I discovered the document isn’t on the jump drive, it’s in a folder in my car … downstairs. Two times up and two times down the stairs to complete a one page letter … provided I remember what I’m looking for when I get to the car. Imagine how many trips I can make for a 100 page proposal.
I’m a bit over-weight but in decent health. I can still manage the stairs. But there’s a little arthritis in my left foot and some residual knee soreness that likes to remind me how far I used to run in my forties. My balance isn’t what it used to be either. As much as I hate to admit it, I can see a day when the stairs will have to go. I told friend who’s kind of a wise ass this story and he said I should get a Stairlift. I’m not there yet, I told him but I wonder. Do they come in Candy Apple Red with leather?