By Anita Garner
When we named this website a long time ago, I’ll bet we thought we’d write more about aging than we actually do. It turns out Dave and I are both fortunate to still be busy doing stuff, but we’re also aware this aging thing is happening, even when we’re not writing about it.
When I was young, aging was an abstract notion. Nothing to do with me. I knew old people. I liked them. They reminded me I’d be old someday. If I had given it more thought, I’d probably have hoped to look more like Helen Mirren.
Aging and how it’s represented in the world is a crucial issue to me now. It comes with a set of complications I’m not sure we really experience until it happens to us, to someone in our family, to friends whose lives are changed forever by what they can’t do.
Along comes my book club – first one I’ve joined in decades. My turn to host is coming up. I choose The Leisure Seeker, by Michael Zadoorian, and not just because it was turned into a movie with Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland. The movie’s good. The book continues to percolate around in my head and heart.
It’s about this couple who find themselves old and with no choices. But they make a choice anyway and we’re off with them doing what they decided to do about it. Road trip. Route 66 plays a big role, and that resonates for me. I spent years of my childhood on that road. These two aren’t pretending they’re young. They’re just taking one last shot at deciding for themselves how they’ll be old.
I read up on Michael Zadoorian. He’s a writer who loves radio, works in advertising, and has driven every bit of Route 66 that still exists. He writes with compassion and elegance and truth. I’ll be reading his other books now.