Maurice Chevalier, that marvelous French entertainer who delighted everyone in the movie "Gigi," gave us more than a few things to thank Heaven for. In reflecting on his life on passing seventy, he recalls: "I can no longer go out with the younger folks every night like I used to, but I recall with pleasure the times that I could."
In a sense Maurice was downsizing.
We all eventually downsize our life styles. The kids are out on their own. The house is now too big. The lawn seems larger and the chores seem more frequent. It's time to downsize.
We do the same thing in tennis. We get too old to run with the youngsters but recall with pleasure the matches when we could. We downsize.
"Old" really is a relative term, but for some, tournaments are not as exciting as they once were and have become somewhat grim.
Polishing the trophies gets old too, so we lift the citations off and arrange them together onto a single plaque. Put away the brass polish.
Recreational tennis has a lighthearted aspect about it that keeps the fun -- and the techniques -- intact. Not exactly hit-and-giggle, but there's nothing wrong with that either.
Weekday morning round robins become popular. They are usually populated by senior players because the youngsters have to run off to their places of work. It's a most accommodating format because you don't have to be there at a given time, or even show up if something comes up.
And we give back to the game as well. We give advice, become coaches, certify as instructors, encourage the kids. It's always fun.
Kids of all ages love the game. The oversized foam balls and regular tennis balls work just fine to fire their enthusiasm.
All this adds much to our raison d'etre as we move along.
So, like Maurice, we downsize in tennis too and recall with pleasure our earlier matches as we play well into our senior years.
And we can thank Heaven for that too.