She is as vital and feisty as they come. At aged 86 she walks two miles each day, and never dawdles! Once in a while she’ll sit on a bench to catch her breath.
Her name is Betty and she is legally blind. So as we draw near I call out with my best cheerful voice “Betty, it’s Michael and Penne”.
Penne knows who likes her, and who could not care less, so she always strains at her leash, tail-a-wagging, to greet Betty. They have a mutual love affair.
Betty and I chat about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, or about the weather.
She has a great sense of humour, and responds with a broad smile to my silly jokes.
She also has a phenomenal memory, and in early part of the week she will ask me “how was your sermon at St. X’s?” when on the previous Thursday or Friday I’d told her of an impending Sunday gig.
Betty had been in the Marine Corps. She had started war time service as a “Rosie the Riveter”, but had found factory life to be too dull - so she enlisted in the Corps. There she met her husband, and they enjoyed 56 years of married life. ( He had died some time before I moved to SRQ).
About 4 years ago Betty encountered an intruder in her home. The young man had broken through a screen. When Betty saw him she yelled “get the hell out of my home”. And he did.
I would have done the same!