S lives across from us and before we moved into the apartment building she was the youngest resident at 81 years. S is awesome. I really don’t know her, but she is awesome. She is the only person in the apartment that speaks any English so at least we have been able to get to know her a little bit, but its the details of her life, (which I unassumingly observe from across the hall) that makes her so interesting.
At 81yrs, she is one speedy lady. She definitely climbs the stairs to our third story apartments faster than I can, even without carrying a kid in my arms. We often spot her scooting around town like she is Speedy Gonzales on a mission. Two days ago I was walking to the local grocery store and noticed that S was on the far side of the street. It had been snowing and the sidewalks were pretty slippery; I didn’t have either of the boys with me for a change and was completely unencumbered and she still managed to get to the store before I did!! This lady is amazing.
It’s around 10pm, the boys are asleep and for some odd reason my wife and I are barely staying awake…pretending to have adult time though we both just want to crash, when all of a sudden we here S coming home and going into her apartment. Where is she coming from so late? This is a small quiet town, but S is often out partying late into the night. She has so much energy and like the Energizer Bunny she keeps going and going.
It seems like every few weeks she travels away to spend time with her kids and grandkids. I can’t keep track of how many grandchildren she has, either she keeps changing her story or I am just too sleep deprived to keep track. She always has a smile on her face and is willing to have a quick chat in between her hustle and bustle, which is quite rare for a Swede.
My wife and I look at S and vainly hope that we will be as spry at 60 as she is at 80. And S is not the only one. The older population here in Sweden get out and move. Down at the entrance to our building where we store our stroller, there are about four or five walkers; and everyday we see these folks scooting along through the town. At 9:30 in the morning when the Apotek opens (the local drugstore), there is a queue half way down the block of folks with their walkers. It is such a happening place and you can just tell they are getting together to gossip as well as refill their prescriptions.
I don’t know what the secret it…perhaps its the amount of nature and the culture of being outside and self-sufficient, but Sweden seems to be a great healthy place to be old. So, if you are looking for a vibrant and happening cold place to retire, think of Sweden.