Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Getting Old

Well, I'm not real old but I have some health problems that make me feel and look like an older man. It is aggravating to have a young mind in a feeble body, well, I don't mean the young mind aggravates me...it is just that my ambitions get me in trouble sometimes. Yesterday, I went out to the car to look at the new radiator I was going to get someone to install. Before I knew it, sort of, I was carrying my old red toolbox across the yard and popping the hood. I figured to do a little work on it while I had some time. Pretty soon, I was catching anti-freeze and looking for bolts to take out. I finished the job, swelled up my wrist and hands, had to take off my wedding band and collapse on the bed for a while. It felt good to get some grease on my hands again but I paid for it.

There is a little wisdom that comes with age, you learn that hitting your finger with a hammer hurts every time you do it, that speeding often results in a ticket and that the payment thereof is a source of income for the government and not necessarily a result of their love for your safety. You learn than reasoning with a teenager is like telling a baby not to wet their diaper or telling a politician not to talk. You learn that there really are just a few primary important things in life and that friends do not always stay true. You learn to look for facts in the sad stories people tell you and to notice the ages of the people in the obits. You learn that just about every thing goes in cycles, from the weather to what society thinks.

When I was younger and more agile I never had a good lawnmower, my push mowers would quit in the middle of mowing and refuse to start again. I could pull that rope a hundred times back then before I gave up on it. Now, I'll give it four pulls and push it back in the building until next time. Clean gas and a new plug usually fixes that problem. Now, I finally have a good push mower (never had a rider) and I can't keep up with it...it is not self-propelled.

I remember when my son held his arms up and I could scoop him up to my chest in a swift easy motion. He passed away in Nov. The other day his son, my grandson was going to give me my goodbye hug and I was rocking in my chair to get enough momentum to stand, finally I reached up my hand and in one swift motion he pulled me from the chair to face him, well my face to his chest. Things do change, moment by moment, we ought not to let those moments escape us.

Times have changed, times are uncertain but I am glad to be here again today. A fine space shuttle is off to repair a telescope that lets us see into space. I remember our '48 Ford and the dirty road curves where we had to honk the horn to let people know we were coming. Most of the creeks have bridges now, I remember splashing through them hoping the car did not drown out. Matter-of-fact we did that on the way to the church where I was born again many years ago.

Getting old ain't so bad, especially for someone who never thought they would make 30. After all, there was a war going on. Guess I'm a sissy but I like flowers a lot more now and that little bird sure puts on a show sometimes. My doctor talks to me like a friend now, the nurse knows me as well as the secretary and the lady who takes my money. I only get upset once or twice a month now and red-faced mad about once a year, usually over poor customer service when I spend my few dollars for something that cost twice what it ought to. If I don't have anything to get mad about when it's time, I just think about D.C. for a minute and that always gets the old heart beating again.

We could tell the next generation a thing or two about how to make things better but like our generation, they got their own ideas. I'm afraid mostly its about the opposite sex and any improvements in the world will come as a sideline. So, what's changed about that?

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