They say that as we age, time accelerates. Those endless waits for summer vacations, Christmas and our birthdays that we experienced at age six, become a mere blink of an eye at age sixty. And if you’re approaching sixty, you will remember, like I do, those old Kodak commercials: “Turn around, turn around, turn around and they’re gone.” Indeed they are.
A few weeks ago I visited a good friend in Arizona. We were talking about her horse, a beautiful and rare Fell pony that she bought as a two year old stud colt, mahogany bay and full of promise. She has had very little time to train or ride him, and now gelded, he lives on her small ranch, solitary and unworked. I asked her, “What are you going to do with Scooby? He’s six and a half now, and he’s being wasted. Surely there are people who would love to have him as a riding or driving pony!” She protested, “There is NO way he could be six years old already!” I replied, “Oh yes, he most certainly is—I remember driving with my daughter from California to Texas four years ago when she started medical school. We stopped in to see your new horse. You had just gotten him—he was two and a half. You know she is graduating in two months.” She was completely taken aback. How is it possible that four years have gone by this quickly?
Four years ago we came to Texas and looked at condominiums to buy. Texas is very supportive of its young doctors in training—if you become a homeowner, after one year you qualify to become a state resident, and the cost of attending medical school drops by two thirds. Texas of course, has that Texan way of thinking—if you live here for a few years, and grow to know and love the state, you won’t ever want to leave. In many cases, it’s true, and those of us who eventually do leave feel pangs of regret and forever when asked, we say, “I’m from Texas.” Four years ago, we looked at my parents condominium—empty and unused after they retired and left for the mountains of Aspen, Colorado. The maintenance costs were too high, and we settled on a nice one bedroom within walking distance from the Texas Medical Center, the Museum District and the live oak shaded avenues around Rice University. My daughter has loved living here, in this light filled place with her cat perched on the eighth floor windowsill.
My parents’ place is now “under agreement” and I spent the day Thursday sorting through their possessions that remain there. Today my daughter and I will do the same for her place, and this afternoon we meet with a realtor. Four years—still a near eternity for her, with the rigors of medical school being what they are. For me, a mere blink of an eye.