The early years: We didn't have TV so we moved around. The kids in our neighborhood would spend summertimes swimming in Lake Calhoun, which had a 26-foot diving tower, or the John Ryan Baths in northeast Minneapolis. It was a nickel for a towel and a nickel to get in.

The new shuffle: Now I walk, play tennis, play golf, bike, in-line skate, cross-country ski, ballroom dance and garden. I play doubles tennis two or three times a week, summer and winter, in mixed gender groups, as does my 88-year-old wife. I walk nine holes of golf once a week, pulling a cart, with my wife. I bike around Lake Harriet at least once a week. I in-line skate around Lake Harriet once a week. I started about 20 years ago when my wife went out West kayaking with her sister. I felt put upon so I went out and bought skates and started skating. I skated two days before my last knee operation. In-line skating resembles an old man's shuffle. It is low-impact and easier than walking.

When sitting: We only watch Jim Lehrer and Brian Williams. And I only read nonfiction, because I have enough excitement in my life. I do spend at least two hours every day on my computer, writing letters to four grandsons, other family and friends, and following the vagaries of the stock market.

Good as new: I had my left knee replaced one year ago with a metal joint and my right knee less than two years ago. I had a St. Jude plastic aorta valve and 6 inches of Dacron tubing spliced into my aortic artery a decade ago. And, I have had a few miscellaneous operations. A year ago, I could not walk more than a city block. Now my mobility has been restored and the arthritic pain is gone.

Most enthusiastic: Dancing has always been a big thing for us. On cruises we won prizes for enthusiasm.

Slope sense: I quit downhill skiing two years ago because of my knees. My wife fractured her skull skiing at Lutsen once; I realize from being an engineer I have an awareness of situational dangers.

Two straws, please: We don't pick up a lot of weight; we just eat and drink in moderation. When we go out for dinner we always split the meal: we split a chocolate malt and grilled cheese or gyros, and we still bring some home.

Sheila Mulrooney Eldred is a Twin Cities freelance writer.

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