When we were visiting Philip’s cherished stomping grounds in Berkeley, California, I collaboratively suggested we retire there, thinking it might be more his flavor than Naxos, where for many years I’d envisioned organizing my sweaters for the very last time. There would be a whitewashed house that had a porch with a recycled olive oil can that held a bright pink bougainvillea, that smell of the dried curry plant and salt air wafting by from time to time, and a bellicose goat on a rope. I would only wear black skirts with button down black sweaters and black lace up shoes. I would have a donkey instead of a car.
A new subject for us to contemplate together, turns out Philip wasn’t enthused about retiring in Berkeley (I thought it best to not bring up the Cyclades at that juncture), but preferred to stay put in Brookline where all our friends, family and clients are nearby. Fair enough, though for me, my Mediterranean father’s daughter, it would be a cold circle of hell that evokes the works of Gogol and Solzhenitsyn. (photograph below is not in Siberia, but New England, taken a few weeks back).
Thanks to friends in Santa Monica, I have made many visits to this outdoorsy, temperate, palm-treed city and have come to think of it as another alternative for those later years, temporarily putting aside Philip’s lack of enthusiasm. What better place to watch the sun say goodnight to the United States?
Exercise? LOVE exercise and embrace the idea of somewhere that places importance on getting the daily sweat going. But what if one is old, and I might add getting older, and not able to rollerblade? Admitting that I can only do two pushups would be a bit like telling someone in Brookline that I don’t like listening to NPR. Just a tiny bit awkward.
Perhaps we’ll end up in Kentucky.