• Last modified 578 days ago (Dec. 24, 2019)


Another Day in the Country

Combing the static

© Another Day in the Country

Remember KFRM on the radio dial, 550,’” Doug wants to know.

I’m at the “exercise place” in Abilene. The folks balancing their coffee cups nod, remembering.

“Great station!”

This reminds me of Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” program on Netflix. There’s Jerry and another comedian going in some fancy antique car to get coffee, and you get to go along for the ride.

Well, twice a week, at least, I drive over to Abilene in my “antique grandma car” to exercise at the fitness center, where I meet my “Mayberry Rd.” friends for what I call “retirees, taking a break, getting coffee.”

My friends are already there since they live closer than I do.  At about 9 a.m. they take a break, and I’m just getting there. So we all have a cup of coffee before we exercise some more. I look forward to it!

On this particular morning, Gordon is in a singing mood. 

On days like this, when I walk in the door he sings out, “Ramona, when day is done I hear you call, Ramona, we’ll meet beside….”

It’s rather nice to be greeted by music first thing in the morning.

“…the waterfall…”

I join him singing until we get to, “I’ll always remember the rambling rose you wore in your hair,” and then we falter, because we don’t know the rest of the words.

But, it’s the thought that counts.

Today, Gordon is singing “Cigarettes, whiskey, and wild, wild, women,” and being a preacher’s daughter. I can’t help him out on the words.

“Who was it that sang that song,” Gordon asks us, and immediately DeAnne is on her iPhone checking it out.

Who says that retirees aren’t “with it?” We have learned to use all this new equipment!

“It’s Sons of the Pioneers who sang it,” she announces.

We all thought a raunchier group would have sung this particular song. When you think of the Sons of the Pioneers, you usually think of songs like “Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds.”

One of the care facilities in Abilene brings oldsters to box a couple of mornings a week. They come in wheelchairs so you don’t usually think they’d enjoy boxing, but they do.

As they wait to be taken out to the bus afterward, Doug and Gordie enjoy talking with a couple of the wheelchair bound ex-farmer boxers.

They call out familiar names, “Remember old Charlie — what was his last name,” one will say, and the other supplies the answer. “Yes, that’s him!”

They’ll all smile, remembering what a character this guy was. It’s a connection. Something or somebody they have in common.

Sandy, who teaches the exercise class everyone is waiting for, helps get the oldsters to the bus.

One old guy calls out to her, “Remember, have fun while you’re young, Sandy,” as she waves goodbye.

Swisher comes through the door, and stops to chat. His son plays for the Chicago Bears.

When I told my football-addicted cousins at Thanksgiving that I knew Swisher from the health club, they were impressed. Of course, it helped that the Bears were playing on Thanksgiving Day.

“I felt like they were going to ask me for my autograph just because I knew you,” I tell him, and we all laugh.

“Tell ’um I said, ‘Hi’ the next time you see them,” he chuckles.

Gordon strikes up another tune as someone else comes in the door. “Oh, I wish I were single again,” he sings out.

“Do you know, years ago, our grandson asked Gordon to sing at his wedding reception,” DeAnne said. “And do you know what that ornery guy decided to sing?

“ ‘I wish I were single again,’ ” I laughed.

Bob comes through the door. Everybody greets him.  

“How are things in Ramona,” he asks me, always the gentleman, smiling and gracious.

He’s here to work with a trainer. Meanwhile, he’ll walk laps for half a mile around the track.

We look at the clock. It’s 10 a.m.

“Time to get busy,” someone says.

Sandy starts up the country music. The faithful gather and I head for my perch on the exercise bike and start pedaling.

It’s another day in the country, and “where should I go today on this bike,” I imagine, a country lane in France, a southern California ride along the beach or maybe just a dirt road leading to home, in Ramona.

Last modified Dec. 24, 2019