My grandmother’s brother and his wife lived in Muscatine, Iowa. It was about an hour’s drive from where I grew up in the Quad-Cities.

Every other month or so, my mother and dad would take my grandmother to visit Uncle Mart and Aunt Emma and my grandmother’s sister, Aunt Murl, who also lived near Muscatine.

Too young to stay home by myself, I went along on the trips, too. I was never asked if I wanted to go, I just went.

So much of the time during these Muscatine visits I sat in silence.

Uncle Mart and Aunt Emma had a standard greeting when they saw me, “My, Bobby, how you’ve grown!”

My standard response was to smile and then sit down on one of the big burgundy over-stuffed couches in Uncle Mart and Aunt Emma’s small first floor apartment.

I’d sit quietly, listening to my grandmother and her peers talk. So much of the conversation I recall focused on what ailed them and on the life that used to be.

As an impressionable young kid, I began to make up stories about older people and how they lived their lives.

I realize now I’m probably at the age of my grandmother and her Muscatine siblings at the time of  these visits.

The aging stories I made up at a very young age I’ve carried with me throughout most of my life. It’s now in my plus 50 retirement years that I’m aware of these made-up stories bubbling up for me to take a look at. These stories are filled with judgments about the later years of life.

I see more clearly now the reasons behind my resistance to owning the fact that I’m in my retirement years.

Uncle Mart had a very unique voice, so very soft and rather high-pitched.

I’d listen to Uncle Mart talk and wonder to myself if he ever wanted to get up out of the chair and go outside and play.

Me at a young age could not imagine a life without play and joyful adventures in the outdoors.

You might say in a way I’m coming to terms with the Uncle Mart that lives inside of me, an Uncle-Mart story that I made up about aging . . . a story featuring an “old” guy sitting in an over-stuffed chair, talking about a life that was, and watching the life of today pass him by.

I’ve decided to make peace with my Uncle-Mart story, and in doing so, to leave behind this aging-story on how the retirement years might look . . . a story that featured a restricted and contracted life.

With the old script shredded into pieces, I’ve got room now for a new story.

The new story I’ve crafted to tell myself is one that honors life as an on-going  joyful adventure.

I’m discovering the more frequently I tap into this story how energized I am by it, and that it naturally inspires me into action and into living a robust life, filled with my heart’s vim, vigor, and vitality.

I’ve recently discovered Austin’s 95 year-old Big Eddy Pool and am loving hanging out with this older guy.

My daily, morning adventures at the pool are encouraging me to get up and jump into the refreshing, invigorating waters of living.

Yes, that same young boy, Bobby McCreight that visited Uncle Mart and Aunt Emma, is still alive in me today. He’s thriving on the retirement-years stories I’m telling myself now, thus enabling me to fill these years with natural health, wealth, and happiness.

Loving you,

Robert, aka Bob

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