Two weeks ago I finally got to use our new sink at home. Perhaps not one of life's most significant milestones; but for me it meant the finishing touches were happening at last in the new kitchen that we've been working on for months, putting an end to the daily awkward dish-washing-in-the-bath palaver....even ready meals seem to create the need to wash up something!
As relieved as I am to be back in the land of a plumbed-in dishwasher, having a kitchen back means, more importantly, that we can start entertaining in our home again. Since moving to the countryside sticks it's quite a trek for some friends to get to us, so many stay the night & head off after breakfast/lunch the next day - so entertaining for us usually includes preparing a few meals together. Now that we are no longer chopping vegetables on cardboard counters & washing up at the outside tap bring on the visitors! (Although I will say hats off to our Norwegian friend who stayed for the whole weekend in the midst of the chaos - the sign of a good friend indeed...or maybe just an extra polite one).
So, starting this coming weekend with hosting a BBQ for our neighbours who have been rather patient with the levels of dust & noise created by walls disappearing & then re-appearing, we now have a steady stream of friends & family booked in until the end October.... I can't wait!
I love being with friends & family; enjoying the conversations and general together-ness. I am often prompted to think about how much this kind of interaction means to me when I hear customers comment on how their own level of social interaction has changed due to the presence or gradual worsening of a hearing loss.
A sense of isolation is often reported as one of the effects of age-related hearing loss, and it has been sobering to see this 'textbook information' played out for me, when one customer after another say that they no longer go to bowls or the pub or etc etc...., always because they feel they cannot interact the way they used to. Conversations carry on around them, without them. To these customers, and the many others who are perhaps a little afraid to even admit they have a hearing loss, I'd say hearing aids are not going to miraculously restore hearing back to normal levels, but that extra input of sound, processed to hopefully improve listening comfort in noise, is surely worth a try to restore some of that lost interaction.