Friday, February 10, 2023

Loose Ends

  Yesterday I missed skiing because of the rain and spent  time in my Cornell office preparing for a visit from the archivists who will decide what materials from my past will be saved for the Cornell archives.   It has been 27 years since I retired as an emeritus professor so I guess this is a loose end I need to tie up before it is too late.  All this got me to thinking about the loose ends of life that come at us in one way or another.  Things happen and we leave some things dangling to be picked up later and finished off.  These things can take all kinds of forms from the metaphorical to relational to the physical.  When I told my wife that I was going to write this blog she asked me if I thought I had a lot of loose ends to deal with.  I assured her that in the relational area all is good and we in our marriage are certainly in sync all the way around.  However, I do find that there are always things hanging out there I would like to get done.  Perhaps that is good because it gives meaning to the future for useful engagement.

    This ski season however has seemed to create a lots of loose ends in my geezer skier community.   Too many of our crew have had difficulties that have limited participation in our favorite  pastime.   To me it is a loose end when we no longer have full participation in the social life on the slopes.

    So to wrap this up I have the sad requirement to comment on what has happened to my friend Tim that requires surgery on his shoulder within the next few days.   An unfortunate collision earlier in the season damaged the rotator cuff in his right shoulder.   Since then he has been soldiering along on the slopes in spite of being unable to lift his right arm above his waist.   A recent MRI shows that this is not the best thing for his long term health.  He hasn't a metaphorical loose end but a physical one of ruptured tendons!  Thank heavens his surgeon says if he gets to it now he can repair the damage!  All of us in the geezer community wish him the best of all care and success in taking care of the problem.   We look forward to meeting with him during his recovery and keeping the relational connections with the skiing community.   In my most previous blog I wrote about transitions.   This will be one for a while but we will not let it deter holding things together for the future.

    From time to time  I have heard the expression "I am at loose ends".  Probably meaning one doesn't know where they are going.     We know our friend is not in that situation.  He is moving on and facing his issue and we know he will be the better for it.  Likewise the advice for all of us when we find ourselves at loose ends, it is time to suck it up and move forward.  May I exemplify that in my own behavior.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023


    A few days ago our geezer skier group got together for a noon lunch at Greek Peak's Trax restaurant.  Our gathering included both active skiers and some who were in hiatus from the slopes for one reason or another.  In the past we have often had 10 to 15 in our gathering.  Only eight were able to make it that day.

    It seems our little fun group of Tough Old Geezer Skiers is going through a transition.  A few years ago when we would have our annual lunch meeting in March we could field and many as 30 in attendance.   Of course the covid pandemic kiboshed recent get togethers.   The march of time drives a lot of the transitions.  Health concerns also exacerbates participation as well.   Thankfully many of us are still able to hit the slopes almost at will.   However, the day will come for all us when we will have to make the transition to other endeavors. 

    How we make our transitions reveals our resiliency and character.   Gracefully making exits might be the mark of a life well lived.   Several of our group have seen the inevitable and have gracefully changed to life away from the slopes.  I admire their resiliency and see them as a model for the transition I will have to make some day.  

    The idea of transition transcends the matter of skiing.    In life we go through a multitude of transitions.  We are in flow from birth to toddler to teen to young adult to  maturity and old age.   Along the way we will face many issues of both success and failure.   How well we deal with the vagaries of these changes will relate to our happiness and contributions to human kind.   Perhaps the best we can hope for as a legacy is for our friends and family to say he/she lived a good life.

    In closing I want to assure the reader I am not being melancholy!  In my senior years I am more content than ever in living with the changes each day.   Savoring the latter years is a great gift from the wisdom gained in the past.