What do you see when you see a cemetery? Probably not the best opening sentence to an article for geared to seniors. But really this is food for thought for everyone. Is it spooky? Is it a reminder we’re all mortal? Is it sadness?
To me, it’s one thing: history. History is nothing if not for the people who lived it. If anyone follows me, my husband or family, you know we enjoy traveling when we have the time or resources. And each time I come across an old cemetery, I like to read the names, the dates, the epitaphs, and try to imagine what they would have been like – what it would have been like to live in their time.
Gold miners who never made it beyond the Golden Staircase in Alaska during the Gold Rush: were they greedy? Opportunistic? Both? They were certainly quite young for the most part when you calculate the age of their death.
On the other side of the world, a vast cemetery surrounds an ancient Monastery in the Wicklow Mountains in Glendalough, Ireland. Stones aged and weathered to where you can’t read the writing stand (or lean rather) next to marble stones placed days earlier. I guess if you have the family name, in the family plot you shall go, as long as there’s still room. It really is a strange sight, though. It’s like, antiquity and the modern world are juxtapositioned, and you are standing both in the past and the present somehow.
I’ve come across a similar feeling in the Boston/New England area. A modern car driving on a cobblestone street past a 200 year-old cemetery that is completely blackened by time…. I can’t make out much writing on the tombstones, but I still wonder, “Did this man throw tea into the harbor?” “Did this child die of smallpox?” “Did this woman cook with a wood-burning stove and homeschool 6 children?” “Did this family attend that old church over there?” ………
It seems the older we get, the more guarded we become when it comes to scams and theft and fraud and such. It must just be something that comes with experience. Fool me once, right? Ironically though, the older adult generation, who is often the wariest of us all, is also the quickest to whip out the least secure method of payment in existence – the checkbook.
There are people out there who will take the time to shred junk mail but give no second thought to handing or mailing a total stranger a piece of paper with their full name, address, bank account number, routing number, and worst of all… their signature. Why is the signature a problem? Because it can be easily scanned and reproduced onto another check – an easy way to steal someone’s identity.
Now if you’re reading this, you’re obviously online. You possibly do online banking… perhaps a little debit card usage, and a little check usage, depending on your age. I was recently reminded of a correlation between age and check-usage.
Three-quarters of Millennials say mobile banking is important to them, and 61% of people under the age of 24 have never written a check.
I’m 32 – On the older side of the Millennial generation. And I will admit to being an occasional check-writer. In fact, I just wrote one to the roof inspector this morning, who I don’t know from Adam. More in-line with my age group, I also review our account on my Bank of America phone app every day. Just to make sure everything’s on the up and up.
Side note: Speaking of phone apps, I detest sending money via smart phone apps, i.e. Venmo and Cash App. It’s not that they’re not secure. It’s not that these aren’t great apps. They are. My issue is that, as soon as I download, learn and link one app to my bank account, another similar app seems to become popular. I have no desire to keep repeating this process. It seems everyone has a different preference. And each time I catch myself rolling my eyes at a younger generation quick to download the latest money-sharing app, I feel my “old age” resisting what I feel to be an unnecessary change. My brain is yelling, “Can’t we as a society just pick one and stick to it?” while another part of me is saying, “learning is life. Growing is living.”
But there is no doubt, online banking, is NOT the future. It is the present. And whether you are 32 or 82 or however old, don’t fear the debit card, automatic bill payments, or a new way of doing things. Continually learning is part of what keeps you young. I personally hope I never stop learning new things. Even if it means letting go of a piece of the past. Like the checkbook.
Our house is on the market. Yes, we are staying in San Antonio - just need some space for home offices since we both do a lot of work from home. On that note, showings have been.... well, not fun. Our realtor and stager (who are both brilliant) insist on having the house look like no one lives in the house during showings, of which we've had many. Paper towels hidden. Coffee pot hidden. Shampoo, laundry and dishes of course, cat items, even the microwave hidden away as it takes up an ample amount of counter space.
On the first day of showings, I idealistically thought I'd just be taking the cats with me, at least my "trouble-makers." I crated two and got them in the car. I was lucky enough to shoo two more out to the back porch. The 5th hid under a bed.
The 2nd day of showings, they were all wise to the game. No amount of treats, coaxing, chasing or pleading could get those babies into a crate. Realtor comments (I'm not making this up):
Nice house and sweet kitties!!"
...shows well. Sweetest and friendliest cats."
And from our own realtor who showed the house once.
Yep. The cats were out in full force."
The best time was when I came home to find that one threw up in the middle of the living room. I'll be sure to hear about that in some realtor's comments. And it's just great when my black cat decides to nap on my pristinely made white bed.
There is a sort of drill I do now when I leave the house. It begins with hiding every big of evidence that the house is occupied and ends with vacuuming my way out. So if someone comes in they must think, if a person lives here, they surely must be perfect or superhuman. They don't produce dishes or laundry or trash or drink coffee, or use a microwave...
This is our first time selling a house. So those of you who have been here before, what did you do? How far did you go? What tricks did you use? Is there a way to simplify this hectic process?
the bath houses that harnessed the healing power of the hot springs were actually quite well designed: systems which allowed the water to flow effortlessly down the mountains into an intricate system of pipes and valves, filling tubs and pools and drawing ailing bodies from around the nation.
Now Historic Hot Springs draws tourists who may just want a peek into simpler times - like when mercury rubbings were $0.50 for a single rub. Try finding that at your local spa.