Twin grandchildren born on Friday! A boy and a girl! I now have three grandkids. Plenty of babysitting ahead for me. It will be a tough year ahead of holding two tiny, slightly premature babies. The first 14 or 15 months of a child's life are spent in quiet in the nursery... or should be.
My grandkids came along at just the right time for me... as I settled into retirement. They give me useful, good work to do. I need them as much as they need me. Caring for them gives me a sense of purpose. And, kids are fun. Raising my kids was, I often say, the best part of my life. Raising my grandchildren is sublime.
My desire to work has faded away into non-existence. I still look for that Church organist job that will give me some extra cash, but I'm not driving myself crazy over that either.
I focus now on my house. Granted, it's a hermit like existence out here in the woods and mountains above Woodstock. I often wish I had a mate to talk with. But, I spent plenty of years in lively cities, probably enough so that I don't really need to be there any more. I'm dressing up my house, garden and yard, making it into my own little sculptured world. This is a new thing for me, since my life was divided between Manhattan and Woodstock for decades. During that time, it was difficult to focus on either of my homes.
Staying out of online debate is a key to maintaining a peaceful and serene existence. Loneliness can drive me into stupid debates on Facebook or some blog. What a waste that is! I count it as a successful day when I don't engage in angry political debate online. I get better at this with each passing day.
Being a productive artist is still a struggle. It's tough to accept that there will be little in the way of fame and compensation. That's reality.
The next step for me is to produce. I want to record and post every song I do, and that's a huge library. Sketching every day is the goal. And, I want to continue to find some ways to perform that aren't too painful.
Mostly, I'm grandpa. Playing with my 2 year old granddaughter is so much fun. She's learning the simple skills of life, like how to recite the alphabet, and she takes so much pleasure in those challenges.
I'd become hardened and embittered by the deaths of two wives, the death of my father and the deaths of close friends. Laughing and playing with my granddaughter washes away my sins and renews my soul.
I have a little time left on this earth before God takes me. Life is good.