Posts Tagged ‘senior citizen’

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Back then…

January 24, 2016

things were different ….

Things were different back then, and a ten year old disappearing until “whistled for” at suppertime was just the way it was. I was known to do that, and my friends and I created and experienced many adventures.

There was the new subdivision not far from my home, and we explored the caverns and hideaways formed when the excavators had cleared and bulldozed the land in preparation. The tangle of tree trunks and limbs, half buried in some spots and piled high in others, presented irresistible curiosities and irrelevant dangers for us to fill our days with, returning home at the sound of family signals announcing mealtime, mud covered and tired. Of course, we never told the truth of our recklessness, somehow oblivious to the extreme likelihood that our parents had rowed that boat themselves not too many years before.

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Hikes were frequent during appropriate weather, an assessment wherein my opinion often differed from those of parental origins.

“No, you can’t go over to Bob’s! It’s fifteen below zero!”

“No, you can’t go on a hike with Fred! It’s pouring out, for crying out loud”

It is amazing that we only got lost once, necessitating a countywide search, including numerous police and other law enforcement personnel, as well as a detailed inspection of the nearby river. My father hugged me at the police station when we finally emerged from the netherworld in the middle of the night. Fred’s father escorted him to the barn the next morning and introduced him to the razor strop.

Torrential summer rains meant flooded streams and storm gutters in southern Ohio, an undeniable draw for ten and eleven year old boys, in spite of blood curdling warnings from mothers about being sucked into a drain, never to be heard from again. Nor were we dissueded by memories of consequences resulting from earlier mud-encrusted homecomings.

Our bicycles carried us beyond our usual range, leading to the discovery of at least three swimming holes and a haunted house or two. To a tween, “no trespassing” doesn’t mean “stay out”; it indicates the need for extra caution.

And then, suddenly, my father’s job took him a thousand miles away from friends and familiar small town environs to the outskirts of a major eastern city where my seventh grade class had a larger population than many towns.

Nevertheless, adventurism and adolescence continued, with newer and greater curiosities and adventures to satisfy, risks to be conquered, and “learning experiences” to accumulate.

Adulthood ensues, despite our most impassioned efforts to the contrary, eventually rolling forward primarily on momentum, presenting a time for reflection and for revisiting the adventures of another, earlier incarnation. Any man worth his salt probably has passing fantasies of going back, and any man with an ounce of sense realizes he was fortunate to have survived that gauntlet and really wouldn’t want to tempt fate by taking another shot at it all.

I find myself smiling, recalling with a bit of pleasure tempered by a dose of sheepishness and decades of learning to march to the beat of adult responsibility, sneaking away from Friday night “Canteen” with Mike and George to flex our fourteen year old derring-do at the helm of Mike’s father’s old Henry-J, a post-WW II version of the later 1985 Yugo. Mike’s parents were out with friends for the evening, presenting an opportunity we were old enough to know better than to exploit, but young enough to jump on anyway….but that’s another story for another time.

 

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…all I want for Crithmuth……….

December 16, 2014

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Aging gracefully, one skin-tag at a time

August 16, 2013

Aging gracefully, one skin-tag at a time

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Insight regarding hindsight and foresight…..

June 24, 2013

Bummer.….

I finally get to the age where I really DO know everything, and I FORGET it….!

 

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I’m a senior citizen….

April 17, 2012

….but I take showers; taking a bath in a field is for wimps…

I’m a “senior citizen”, which means I receive a discount at the donut shop without asking. That may be nice from a cash-flow perspective, but it doesn’t do much for my ego. Sometimes, just to be a schmuck, I give the kid in the paper hat a pained glare and swear I don’t qualify. It’s kind of a kick to see which ones have the stones to call my bluff and which ones look around for Mom or someone to fix it.

Like it or not though, I DO qualify, so I make the best of it by looking for things that are funny about the process of rusting and falling apart like my old pick up truck. In fact, that’s what I tell people, that I’m starting to rust, make funny noises, and have things fall off just like my truck did before it….I can’t talk about it. Very sad. Of course, some of the noises aren’t very funny under certain circumstances. At least, that’s what I’m told.

From the daily scoop on my computer and in the morning paper, I keep up with the news, rumors, and inevitable replacement of the previous day’s latest great technological breakthrough with whatever Walmart will sell out of by morning.

From the comfort of my rocking chair on the porch, I contemplate the universe as I know it, throw peanuts to the squirrels, and watch the tireless neighborhood kids practice the skills they will need to conquer the world, or at least to survive its rather capricious meanderings through time. They’re amazing and annoying at the same time.

Those steering the ship right now, too young to think about retirement yet but too old to get away with referring to themselves as young go-getters on the way up anymore, are up against some interesting challenges already and don’t quite seem to know how to proceed. Check out their marketing behavior for some hints.

Tuned in to the fact that the boomers are starting to retire and will soon carpet the world with grey hair, today’s media barkers hawk arthritis medications, Life-Alert transmitters, and nursing home packages around the clock. Nobody sells laundry soap any more. It’s crazy. On the one hand they blow off about increased life spans and on the other they pummel us with all of the accoutrements one would need out in the pasture of doom.

Out of eight back-to-back TV commercials, six of them will be for some medicine, salve, or balm we allegedly can’t live without, or some other product from Hypochondriacland. The funny thing is, the current retirement crowd has already been around the block and knows the drill, so we’re not likely to be sucked in as much as they’d like us to be. Those following in our tracks, however, if they can keep up that is, poor wimps, will be so paranoid by the time they can retire that they’ll be checking into mausoleums instead of condos on the golf course.

Speaking of pastures, to drop back a bit, what’s the deal with all of these people sitting in bath tubs out in the middle of a field because they did a few ED pills? First of all, the young men in those ads look like they’re oozing testosterone, and they don’t even have ear hair yet! Good grief, where are their fathers…..?…..probably down at the beach shopping the bikini mall in their stead.

The market minders don’t know what they are doing. If they want our money, they should blow in our ears and convince us that, in spite of rumors to the contrary, we really are as vital and indestructible as we were back in the day instead of pushing all the woe is me crap. That’s going to backfire on them; already has, if they believe their own shtick. If their plan is to tap into our legitimate aches and pains and sell us on a dozen or so others we hadn’t thought of yet so they can reap the largess of our Medicare coverage, they might want to think again since they are the ones that will be stuck with the bill. Talk about dumb!

And when they start to shift into focusing on padding their own soon-to-be-enjoyed nests, which we all do…..human nature, you know….. it may dawn on them that they are a minority. What an interesting turn of events. Imagine all of these trembling, paranoid, pill-popping folks sitting in their pastoral bathtubs….while we, their elders, are getting chucked out of McDonalds for being rowdy, or down at the beach checking out all those 85 year old chickee-poos in their yellow polka-dot bikinis.

 

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Apogees and perigees

January 9, 2010

It is the nature of man to seek stasis in a universe that seeks chaos. That being the case, we should understand how it would be unnatural for us to remain in our self-appointed position as the world’s socio-political-economic deity.

But our lives are short, some spanning the apogees and perigees of change while others simply ride out the momentum of times they can only read about. The one thing all generations have in common is the opportunity in their waning years to bitch about the stupidity of the present while declaring with a presumed sense of wisdom “Why, in my day….”.

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Open letter…

November 21, 2009

…to the gum-snapper checking me in at the doctor’s office and the little snot handing me back my credit card at the gas station…


Dear Mr. __________,
Mrs. __________,
Miss __________,


We have never been formally introduced, but have come to engage in a casual business exchange where it is both convenient and polite to address each other by name. In that regard, I would like to let you know that I prefer to be addressed as Mr. _________ in such relationships. I, in turn, would prefer to address you similarly.

In fact, though it may seem a bit archaic in this day and age, I grew to adulthood in a world where such forms of address were the norm, and I have never quite dropped the practice. To this day, I find it awkward to address anyone other than my family or closest friends by only their familiar names or nicknames.

That said, I would sincerely appreciate it if you would indulge my idiosyncrasies and address me as Mr. ________ instead of my first name until such time as we become fishing buddies, husband and wife, or in-laws.


Respectfully,


Mr. __________

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