Expressions: A new home, new discoveries
I have lived in Westchester for almost six years, having moved from Long Island, our home for almost 40, to be closer to our granddaughters, ages 5 and 7. Moving as a senior citizen has not always been easy. I have learned that it is difficult to make new "old" friends.
Moving was more traumatic than I imagined. Once our furniture was settled, I was not. I roamed around our new townhouse wondering why I made this move, and often regretting it. I longed for the familiarity of Long Island, my friends, my supermarket, my library, and the closeness of stores and the ease of driving on roads I knew so well.
Westchester is a beautiful county. The roads are hilly, unlike Long Island's flat parkways. The woods are abundant, the streams gurgle and bubble, the trees and shrubs outdo each other to be noticed. A magnificent panorama awaits us when we open our doors. It is a breathtaking scene; still, it did not please me. I was not feeling like I belonged. I moped around, whined and complained for several years. I pretended I liked it and told lies about how well I adjusted. The part I did not lie about was that I loved the nearness of our family and our two granddaughters, whom we have watched grow up and become an integral part of our lives.
Now the girls are becoming more independent and soon will not need us as babysitters. This saddens me a bit, but our relationship will move to another plateau. Our get-togethers today involve shopping trips to The Westchester mall in White Plains, movies at Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, dinners at the Iron Horse Grill (Pleasantville), ice cream at Ben and Jerry's in Mount Kisco, and soccer games at home in Chappaqua or on the road in Elmsford, Tarrytown, Scarsdale, Armonk and Port Chester. I am also learning that I do not need them as much as I did at the start. I have made a new life for myself in this new county and am becoming more independent.
It is a subtle change, and it evolved slowly. I joined a ladies' bridge group, a book review group in our condo, became a member of a committee at Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester in Chappaqua, became a docent at The Katonah Museum of Art, and found a group of ladies who like to exercise at our Riverwoods condominium clubhouse in Mount Kisco. All senior citizens, we laughingly call ourselves the Aqua Belles. In addition to our water aerobics, we chat and share our lives with each other. We cheer each other on, and share our worries. Maybe it is the warm water, maybe it is the ease of movement by our arthritic joints, but it is during these times that my new "old" friendships are being formed, splash by gentle splash.
Reader Gloria Raskin lives in Mount Kisco.