When we began doing things on the Web and created a Web site showing pictures, people said, “You are going to that gallery or museum and you can put something up on the Web.” And I, in my arrogance, said, “Certainly not. If I can’t get them to see this painting through my description, then I failed. I don’t want them to be driven to go online to see it.” But now I am so grateful, because it saves me so much airtime. I can describe [a painting]; it is a combination of purple and oranges, then I can go on to something else. I don’t spend a lot of time describing. In the middle. I can say, “You can take a look at this at NPR.org.” It is a tremendous help.
What are your hobbies?
I like walking. I like to go to exercise class, Jazzercise. There’s a church basement near me, or I go the National Cathedral School. I do yoga. I cook a little bit. I read. I watch old movies on television. I Netflix. That is quite the salvation. And I see people for dinner. I have a sociable life. I keep busy, but work has been grounding for me. I come in every day. They are fairly short days. I came in at 9.30 to 4 or so.
I think the big key is keeping young people in your life. I have some very good friends who are considerably younger than I am — 10 years, 15 years younger. My son is one of them. He is a good friend to me, as well as my child. He’s way across the country, which is part of why I go out there in the winter. That keeps me thinking.
He comes to me with his family for Thanksgiving. We were standing in the kitchen and he said to me, “What’s life like now at your age?” I thought, “Oh, God, Josh, that is a wonderful question. Thank you for asking me that.”
I’m keeping busy. I’m curious. I am keeping my mind going.
What techniques do you use now you didn’t use before to remember things?
I keep these [pointing at a paper calendar]. Everybody keeps their calendars on phones, but not me. [She laughs.] I have Post-its, which I move forward. Here’s one on payday, and I move it two weeks forward. I put prompts and reminders all over the place. I always kept a little engagement book, but all I needed was to write was one word. I would remember. I wouldn’t have to write down as much as I do now.
Here’s something happening on Monday, and I have no idea what it is. Eleven o’clock, radio, Diane calling me. I don’t know what that is.
No, no, no. That is the Diane I know, but this one, I was writing it fast. But I figure 11 o’clock will come and I will know what that is about.
Hambleton is a freelance writer.