A New Version of Granny Camp by Bill Storie

child under table

A New Version of Granny Camp by Bill Storie

I know before I write this that my family will be annoyed with me. Oh well, been there, done that !!!

My wife and I were out last Friday for dinner with 4 very good friends. It was a fun evening and the conversation was lively. The fact that we all thought we were talking at the same time on the same subject escaped us, because in truth no-one was listening to anyone else and we were actually all talking about separate subjects. The waiter was most confused.

Inevitably the conversation centered around grandchildren. As best as I could work out, I think we had something like 15 grandkids give or take, represented at the table. Who came up with the idea of having kids in the first place? Duh.

Anyhoo, it transpired that us “grandrents” seem to spend vast amounts of time with the grandkids and while we all recognized that their parents are working and raising the grandkids, nonetheless we dedicate large amounts of our retirement time to helping out.

When one of the lovely ladies at the table said, “I seem to be running a Granny Camp every day of the week. !!”, I had this great idea. Ready?

“Parent Camp”.

The idea is that we arrange for the grandkids to be taken to their parent’s house

on Saturdays for say 3 hours, and then again for say 4 hours on Sundays,

to give them all some bonding time and to get to know each other.

Like it?

It was a nice evening and even more so when one of the gentlemen kindly picked up the bill for everyone. It was a lovely gesture – but given that he was the only one at the table who is actually still in employment, we all applauded his kindness albeit with a huge sense of relief. He reads my articles every week, so thank you again (can we arrange to meet same time, same place, same money arrangements, next week????). Good lad.

I think I’m supposed to use these articles to provide quality thoughts and information, perhaps even advice about your retirement – I try my best, but sometimes I just prefer to ramble. This is a ramble week, so there.

At the aforementioned dinner I had a curried pizza…. Yup, a pizza with curried chicken. Brilliant. Saturday wasn’t however too clever a day – the after-shock of revenge on my tummy … but it was worth it. I know we have thousands of followers of Olderhood in India and I say hello to them and thank them for their sharing of the curry taste with the world. Maybe if I compliment them I’ll get an invite to come to India to speak … and to eat curry !!!!

On a more sinister note, I was stuck in my local gas station last week while we went through a huge rain storm. This man came up to me and asked “Are you the TV guy?” (I do local TV shows here). I said I was, so he started this long conversation about his elderly mother and the problems that he and his siblings are having trying to work out what to do with her house. Sell, downsize in some fashion, have a sibling move in. He said, “We should maybe go see a lawyer, but apart from the cost, we’re not certain that the lawyer would understand the emotions attached to our dilemma.” I understood his point – he was very articulate and very serious, not to mention concerned about what to do.

They want to do what’s best for their elderly parent, while at the same time, they appreciate that their elderly parent doesn’t want to burden the family. A circle of emotions. How many other people are in this same sort of predicament?

In many cases, proper advice cannot be obtained due to professional fees, yet even with money in the family, they don’t seem to get the appropriate advice as pertains to their situation. The advice is fairly standard package stuff. I really felt for this man. He is clearly upset and frustrated.

Ok, that’s me for another week.

By Bill Storie

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