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Episode Nine: A Few Dollars and Change

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I figure Oscar Wilde was bang on when he said that youth is wasted on the young. At the tender age of 75, I was having the time of my life. Alice and I were getting closer all the time, and the loneliness I had felt since my wife died was beginning to disappear.

Alice was spending a lot more time at my house. That was great, except that she was also beginning to notice a number of things around the house that she wanted to change. Alice isn't pushy, but she's straight up and, when something is on her mind, it's on her lips soon enough. She had attended a workshop on how to make a home safer for older people, and I guess I was her first experiment.

At first I wasn't too comfortable with the idea of making changes. Maybe I was more set in my ways than I thought. Or perhaps I figured that altering the place would somehow be disloyal to the memory of my wife.

I resisted. Alice persisted. One day she presented me with a list of the changes she wanted to make—a phone in the bedroom, better lighting on the stairs, handrails down to the basement, and grab bars in the bathroom.

I guess I kind of sloughed it off. But that didn't deter Alice. Fact is, the changes she wanted to make were all changes to make the house safer—the phone in the bedroom in case of an emergency, better lighting on the stairs so we wouldn't slip, that sort of thing. Alice was doing what I hadn't found the courage to—admitting that we were getting older and that we should accommodate the change.

The modifications were easy. And not too expensive. A few dollars here, a few there. And I felt better when things were safer and more comfortable around the house. I even made a few changes of my own, including better lighting in the studio where I do my artwork. Now I can see the mistakes I'm making! Another change for the better...


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