Monthly Archives: May 2017

Made In 1957… And Built To Last!

When I turned thirty, it had absolutely no effect on my psyche what so ever; and why should it have? I was strong, healthy and for the first few years of my thirties, still being asked about (high) school! I felt that my whole life was ahead of me and the opportunities were infinite.

When I turned forty, it too was just another number to me. My body was in great physical shape inside and out. I liked the slight, subtle touch of grey that had begun to fleck my hair on the sides of my head, and even at forty-nine years old, while taking a routine stress test for an annual physical, I was asked by the stress test technician, if I’d like a job, touring the country, demonstrating the machine at medical fairs and conventions. I felt like a “Superman.”

I entered my fifties with the same optimism and enthusiasm as the decades that had proceeded. For goodness sake, at fifty-three years old, young (and quite fit) men at the gem were telling me that my body was their goal!

However sixty hardly carries all the same cheerful prospects that the 30’s, 40’s, and yes, even 50’s did. Lately I was chatting with a stranger in the market who asked almost childlike, “what’s the big deal, so we’re middle aged?” Middle aged nothing, I thought. Who the heck do you know who’s 120 years old?

There’s a reason I am being chased down by AARP and worse yet, hounded by insurance companies to make sure my “final expenses” will be covered. If that’s not bad enough, I receive weekly invitations to come and enjoy a free meal at various restaurants around my community to start “PLANING MY OWN FUNERAL” and I’m even being offered wonderful two-for-one deals on cemetery plots as well as discounts on cremation. This didn’t happened when I turned forty. Clearly I have been placed into a new demographic. One that, if you please, I’d rather not think about.

Sixty is apparently an age that etiquette deems to be socially acceptable for organizations to constantly remind one that they should start preparing now, because they are closer to death than they’ve ever been before. I get it; I have one foot in the grave, but if you don’t mind, I would like to still go on living until such time that the Grim Reaper actually grabs me by the throat and drags me into the hereafter, kicking and scratching all the way. Is that too much to ask?

As you can plainly see, 60 is not a friend of mine. I am not graciously embracing 60, tossing it around as just another number. I do appreciate that in actuality, I’m merely one day older than I was yesterday, but I also know that I need help from younger people with my “tech” problems, who snicker at me because I don’t use my smart phone for anything more than calls or photos. If I have to climb a ladder it is no longer done with the same quick sense of purpose and reckless abandon of my youth but instead rather cautiously, always aware that one wrong move can leave me with some badly broken bones, and I relish getting into bed by nine o’clock each night, as if I’m meeting an old dear friend. All this said, inside I feel every bit the same as I did when I was twenty-seven; it just seems to come with rather old packaging nowadays.

So sixty, I say to you, beware. I am not going to allow you to get the better of me. I may be older, but I didn’t reach this age without a multitude of struggles, each and every one of which, I conquered with sheer determination and stubbornness beyond compare. If you do however think you want to take me on, remember that you have been warned!

In fact, I’ve decided that I am not going to sit back and just “accept” 60 as my newly “assigned” number. From now on when someone asks me how old I am, I think I’ll simply answer, “five dozen years old!”

Jan, Don, and Maur 2

Celebrating 60 with two of my sisters

Until next time,
Don

 

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My Last Word On Last Man Standing

OMG! Has it actually come to this, we’re going to be led to believe that a TV show was canceled because the character on it has “right wing conservative” beliefs? It leads me to wonder, just how many people complaining even watch the show!

As a regular watcher of Last Man Standing and one who has been since the series began (until recently), I admit that the past two seasons have gotten stale and silly at best. I went from a guy who DVD’ed the show in case I should miss it, to “I don’t need to tape it; it’s no big deal if I miss it,” to searching other avenues aka Netflicks, etc., for something “good” to watch instead of Last Man.

The fact is that the show has ALWAYS been what it is, and ABC bought the show knowing so. They then ran it for SIX SEASONS, a truly excellent run for any TV show. Very, very few series have the staying power of an “All In The Family,” “Friends,” or “Law and Order.” Last Man, and the out-in-out horrible, poorly written, and poorly acted show, “Dr. Ken,” have both been put to pasture as ABC tries to revamp their Friday night, prime-time lineup with newer fresher shows for the upcoming fall season. In the meantime, the cast of Last Man Standing, will be enjoying the “really big money” as the show runs in syndication, bringing them all a heafty paycheck, without the effort of any work, for a long time to come. So your energies are better spent on starving children, war torn countries, and horrible, incurable diseases.

I wonder how many people who are fast to write ABC a letter about this silly and very imaginary issue have also written letters to congress demanding, healthier foods served to our children in school lunchrooms, or for that matter, to Ambassador Mr. Cui Tiankai to stop the annual torture and killing of innocent dogs in Yulin for a festival.

Let’s PLEASE STOP the political belly aching, especially on ludicrous issues like this, solely to make a point (or try to) and get on with a more productive and intelligent life once again. I for one really miss those days.
Until next time,

Don

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Will Someone Please Just Shoot Me?

There I was, minding my own business doing some work that needed attending to in our front yard. I was in a “Big Band” kind of mood so I had Pandora set to just such a station on my cell phone.

While I went about my work, happily singing along to Glen Miller’s Chattanooga Choo Choo, a fellow who appeared to be about 30-32 years of age, pulls up in a small pick-up truck to ask me directions to “Curly Cut.” Delighted that this is indeed a street I know in this crazy maze of a development, I direct him around the corner.

After thanking me, the fellow decides to offer some unsolicited small-talk. Nodding his head toward the music he says, and I quote, “It’s great singing along to the songs of our youth”

Smiling I tell the guy that Chattanooga Choo Choo is from 1942. He smiles back and adds, “Cool, I bet it really takes ya back hah?”

Tilting my head in dog-like confusion, I repeat the year again, slowly this time making sure I emphasis the date lest he should think I said 1972. “This song is from nineteen FORTY two!”

“Wow,” he says in total astonishment, “That was like the World War Two days right?”

Thinking he has now seen the error of his ways, I say, “Yes, it absolutely was,” only to have him ask me if I fought in the  freakin’ war!

Now anyone who knows me can tell you that I am a man who would avoid conflict at all costs. That said; it was evident that diplomacy was getting me nowhere. In total disbelief, I explain to the young man (who clearly has trouble with arithmetic) that 1942 was seventy-five years ago.

All he did was shake his head and say (and once again I quote) “I sure hope that I can remember the words to songs seventy five years from now!”

I know that the past seven years or so have not been kind to me. My face shows the stress of a man who suffers chronic pain from both nerve damage and disintegrating bones, but do I actually look thirty-three years my senior? Could ANYONE ever look thirty-three years older than they are?

Frustrated I tell the young man, “you do realize that even if I were fresh out of high school in 1942 it would make me 93 years old today?”

“You’re kidding?” he questions more amazed than before. “That’s awesome!”

Then with a smile and a wave, off he went to do whatever he was going to do on Curly Cut, leaving me to ponder whether he thought I looked really, Really, REALLY bad for 60 or that he is going to go home tonight and tell his wife that he met the finest specimen of a 93 year old that ever lived…I’m hoping for the latter.

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Your Truly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time,

Don

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