My Retirement Stories

75 Years Old!

It’s hard to believe, but I just turned 75 years old. That’s three-quarters of a Century! I never expected to live this long; does anyone? Does anyone think about being 75 in their 20s, 30s, or even in their 50s? Of course not; it seemed a long shot and a long time in the future.


The future is here; fortunately, I am in good health and remain active. Those who know me know I love pickleball and play it for several hours most mornings. Despite arthritis in my right hand, mostly in my thumb, I do my best. I write about pickleball on this blog often, starting with how Pickleball Saves Retirement!

No matter how many times people tell me, “but you don’t look your age,” the truth is my body knows. Here are a few hints reminding me over the past year –


Arthritis in my right hand, especially in my right thumb. Oh well, it’s just a thumb, you’re thinking? Do you realize how important that thumb is for

  • good penmanship (Catholic school upbringing)
  • painting (holding the brush!)
  • pickleball (holding the paddle!); returning hard shots
  • tying shoes
  • having a glass of wine
  • squeezing that ball when donating blood
  • opening jars or bottles

Then there’s how it looks. I remember when a date would take my hands and comment on how lovely they were. It was probably a come-on, but I would know that for certain today!

My Aching Back!

Sitting in the car is the worst thing for my back, and probably yours. Sitting too long anywhere is a pain, but spending long hours in the car’s passenger seat is not good. When we’re on a road trip and stop at a Rest Area, I feel like a 90-year-old when I get out of the car. It works itself out, but it isn’t pretty!

My Feet Hurt!

Now, even my feet hurt. When I get up at night, my feet hit the floor, and it’s painful! I wear good pickleball shoes, but my feet hurt in the morning until I get moving. Is it the arch or plantar fasciitis or just old age? I am grateful that my knees are okay and that the arm I broke last year has healed.


It’s finally time for cataract surgery, complicated by astigmatism. That means that the standard cataract surgery is not enough; I need astigmatism correction, which will cost almost $5,000! Medicare won’t cover astigmatism correction because glasses can correct it, but why would I get surgery and still need glasses for distance? I don’t mind glasses, so I may decide just to get the standard surgery and keep wearing my glasses. Bill says he likes me in glasses! Ugh, we are under the thumb of pharmaceutical and insurance companies.

Birthday Parties for days!

Normally, I don’t make a big deal about birthdays, but for the big 75, I wanted to be surrounded by friends. I am so lucky to have made many friends here in The Keys. There’s the Key Largo Pickleball group and the Islamorada Pickleball group. Then there are the other budding artists and local musicians.

On the 5th, my actual birthday, friends in Key Largo, Derek and Linda Rydholm, hosted a fantastic party at their home. There were balloons, a tiara, a sash, lots of great food and fun. Bill surprised me with a carrot cake from Chef Michael’s, a perfectly cooked tenderloin, and much more. Thank you so much, Linda and Derek and Bill, for hosting this wonderful party.

Several of my friends in Islamorada have birthdays within days of mine. So, we had a joint birthday blast for myself, Ellen Summers, and Jan Holkovic in our garden. Maybe 75 isn’t so bad after all!

And now, back to the real world. Looking forward to slightly cooler temperatures here in The Keys, lots of pickleball and painting!

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1 thought on “75 Years Old!”

  1. Francine Balinskas

    I loved this ! I wish I can say I am looking forward to 75 but I won’t.
    I only hope I look as young and and fit as you do. Keep up the good work !


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