Keeping up with Mrs. Kostelnik (on her 83rd birthday)

A few weeks ago I called to check in on my mom because I had heard about some awful weather that was pummeling the area just south of where she stays during the winter.

“I’m fine,” she said. “I’m just waiting for this wind to die down so I can take my walk.”

To be fair, my mom was unaware of the terrible tornadoes that had swept through Fort Myers when I called that day, but I still had to chuckle. Neither rain, nor sleet, no threat of night will keep Peggy from her rounds.

Today, my mom turns 83 and I am lucky enough to celebrate with her. We rose early to toast the sunrise, and then she’ll be heading off to her tennis match.

My mom keeps a rigid schedule that includes a rotating cycle of at least two exercises a day — swimming, walking, tennis, biking, dancing to music from the 50s and marching to band music.

Yesterday, a typical day for her, nearly wore me out. We walked, toured a diversity display she has been anxious to show me, had an early lunch, swam, walked some more, picked up our dinner (at 3:30 p.m.), strolled down to the beach to have a little wine at sunset, and headed back to eat. In between, she worked on her crossword puzzles. She does three a day.

My mom hangs out with equally motivated people. Currently, she and her tennis buddies are engaged in a spirited defense of their courts against the encroachment of the pickleballers.

“I’m too young to play pickleball!” she says, because she prefers a full court to run her opponents around.

Having met them a few times, my money is on the tennis players.

Recently, my mom has become fascinated with the term “super ager” because she knows so many of them, people who look decades younger than they are and whose physical and cognitive abilities have remained extra sharp. In the coming weeks, she’s going to guest blog about some of them and I think you’ll be as impressed as I am.

For now, though, I’d like to use this space to say Happy Birthday Grandma Peggy! So glad I can spend it with you.

Now, when do we nap?

She generally prefers to use the beach for toasting sunsets, and firmer paths for walking but when I saw what she was wearing yesterday (a birthday present from my sister Kathy), I couldn’t resist a little photo shoot on the beach. I love all that blue.
So, we posed and then we headed back to the paths for some agressive walking.

16 thoughts on “Keeping up with Mrs. Kostelnik (on her 83rd birthday)

  1. Happy Birthday Mrs. K! I sure hope it’s a ‘Good One’. My favorite English Teacher of all-time (just hope my prose doesn’t make you cringe). Can’t wait to read Your Blog. Best & Cheers, Kevin

    1. She says “Thank you! We’ll see you on the court in a little bit. (Hopefully we’ll be partners!)

  2. Laura please pass this on to your mom.
    Michael and I have had the privilege of knowing your mom for some years now and the joy that she brings to us is priceless! Peggy has filled a place in our lives and in our hearts after the loss of our parents. Her loving caring and always insightful views are refreshing.
    We love her and we can’t say that enough we wish we were there to celebrate this birthday with her and you!
    But I think we would need a nap also she runs circles around us!
    All of our love Michael and Steve

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