The sun was shining; the sky was blue and cloudless; despite the cold I decided to walk to East Liberty and pick up my prescriptions at Walgreens. There's a Borders in the same complex as the drugstore and I stopped in to warm up. While I was browsing in the magazine section, in fact looking at a jewelry mag, a woman questioned me, "What kind of jewelry do you make?" One of the great things about Pittsburgh is that people talk to you. We had a long, very pleasant conversation during which she mentioned she had been a librarian. I told her I thought that was something I might have enjoyed doing. She said, why don't you do it? Go back to school. I said no, I didn't want to work again. We left it at that, but I've been thinking about it all day. I think this was the first time I've acknowledged to myself that I am too old to do something.
This evening I finally went through the pile of papers I brought back from my trip. It made me very sad. I will probably never return to Japan, although I would very much like to. I have finally, at almost 75 years, concluded I would not do another trip like that alone and as inexpensively as I have done these last two. Having money makes things much easier, and I no longer have confidence that my money will outlast me. I may have to go back to work, yet.
The lady in Borders had the same undaunted attitude I had a year ago. This has been a hard year for me, sometimes wonderful, occasionally frightful; it has very much altered my vision of myself and my attitude. I hope I can recover my sense of invincibility, or maybe it's just a fantasy I've had for 74 years.