Published on June 16, 2020

My favorite things and routines remind me of my grandfather

By Edward A. Forbes / The Bulletin

I am turning into my grandfather. It is a little disconcerting, but I have noticed that I am beginning to exhibit signs of old age and resistance to change.

I need a cup of coffee. As I reach for a coffee mug, I feel that mug, MY mug, calling my name. I have 10 or 12 coffee mugs. You know those coffee mugs that are larger than traditional coffee cups. I drink from the same mug every time. If it is unwashed, I have a backup mug that I use, but when the mug is clean, it is the one that is front and center and within easy reach.

I have a favorite plate. It does not match any of my other dishes. I got it at a bake sale. The plate came with the cake. I have been using it for about 10 years. It sits atop the dishes that I picked out many years ago that are only used when “the plate” is unavailable.

I have a favorite wine glass. I know it looks just like the other wine glasses, but I know which one it is, and it is THE wine glass and my first choice to drink from. It sits in the rack, first on the right; you cannot miss it. It feels like it anticipates that six-ounce fill.

If you have not guessed by now, I live alone and “set in my ways” is an understatement. I wash clothes on Thursday. It is almost a tradition, and only rarely do I have to run the machines between Thursdays. If you have ever watched and experienced the musical “Fiddler on The Roof”, you can appreciate tradition.

My alarm goes off each morning at 6:30 a.m. I try to leave my comfortable bed by 7. I try to be showered, teeth brushed and hair (the little remaining) and beard brushed, then dressed and out the door by 8. I drive the same exact path to my morning coffee group. I try to extricate myself from group one between 9 and 9:30 to follow the exact same path as the preceding days to coffee group two. I try to leave for home after an hour following the exact same path as the day before. At home I check emails, pay bills, write for a bit, or play solitaire if the writing muse has nothing to offer.

I will not bore you with the rest of the day’s schedule. The point is if you see post-retirement persons at certain places at certain times, do not be shocked. They are merely following the demands of that internal clock they have fine-tuned over time. Trivial things, such as doctor and dentist appointments, etc., are scheduled to avoid conflicts with my favorite rituals. Even special occasions like my lunch visits with my brother, Donnis, are scheduled so we eat at 1 p.m. to avoid the crowds and visit at our leisure. They also do not interfere with my normal morning schedule.

When the COVID-19 restrictions are finally eased, I plan to take short trips within the boundaries of Texas. I have been recording The Texas Bucket List and will select venues from their suggestions.
My current trip vehicle is a 2009 Ford Flex. I have a second vehicle as my daily-driver, and I had been looking at a trade-in on a new or used vehicle to replace the Flex. The cheapest deal I could find on a vehicle I deemed road-trip worthy involved financing $25,000.

I could go crazy and run that up to $40,000 plus trade-in but decided that I could be happy with what I have and spend less than $1,500 to bring it back to nearly pristine condition. I replaced all the exterior weather stripping that the sun had damaged over the years, and I had it detailed.

It has an adolescent 60,000 miles and drives and rides as the highway cruiser it has always been. I know that the Flex is a great trip car. I even have two DVD players for bored passengers. I also have the gold collection of Looney Tunes for the sophisticated traveler to watch.

I want to meander at my own pace. I want to stop and read those roadside markers whenever I feel inclined.

A similarly inclined companion would be nice. Resumes are being accepted.

(Edward Forbes wants to hear from you. Email him at eforbes1946@gmail.com or send comments by snail mail to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton TX. 77516.)