Aw Shucks, Old Age

It’s going to be a busy week heading toward Thanksgiving and I have a jillion things to do today, so I thought I would have a guest instead of my usual Monday offering. I am so thankful for the writers who share their work with us, and one of them, Roy Faubion, occasionally sends me a piece that I might deem worthy of including on my blog. What he doesn’t realize, even though I keep telling him, is that anything he sends me is worthy of a spot here. He is a terrific writer.

This particular piece resonated with me as it came in my inbox shortly after a few friends and I had been out to lunch, talking about the challenges of aging. We all feel so young on the inside, but the outside is beginning to show definite signs of wear and tear. Growing old is not for the faint of heart, and I think Roy sums up the emotional reactions of most of us who are a few years past 60.

And while we are all still young enough to enjoy it, let’s have a danish to go with our morning coffee.  

Now here’s Roy… 

One thing that puzzles me more than all the other things that puzzle me is where does middle age end and old age begin in a person’s life cycle?  As I mull this around in my brain, I experience a number of disjointed emotions which do not contribute much to my desire to make a determination of what age category in which I fit. Take as an example of my muddled thoughts, the image I have of old based on the old men and old women I see. I knew a man in his nineties who appeared to be in his early seventies. He sat tall and stood straight. His voice was clear and his mind was sharp as a tack. Was he old? I did not think so.

Or how about the old feller I met twenty-five years ago at a shindig featuring a lot of violins…fiddles they called them. The musicians were from eight to near a hundred, mighty good talent, I’d say. But one of them seemed particularly skilled with the bow, bringing sound to the stage that captivated everyone. I figured he was on his last leg in life, all wrinkled and dried out. Ninety years old was my guess. While we were sitting and visiting I had the opportunity to be so bold as to ask his age. Fifty, he responded with a toothless smile, and I added in my thoughts, darned proud of it. He was younger than I. How about that?

Now here I sit, eighty years old by the calendar. I almost choke when I say it aloud. Eighty! Heck, I didn’t even see it coming. One day I was sixty and gainfully employed, the next thing I know, I am eighty, losing track of what day it is and what I think I ought to be doing but don’t.

And doctors? I surely did not know there were so many specializing in so much. There is one for my brain and one for my kidneys. The heart doctor lets me know it is time to see him, but he has to wait for me to visit the back doctor. The tooth doctor is standing in line right behind eye doctor. About the time I think I am caught up with doctors my family doctor says, “Not so fast, old timer. It is time to take the little bottle and go in the bathroom.”

Well, I went in the bathroom even though I did not feel like going. It is just something old timers do. Sometimes through the last few years I would think I was not aging at all, until Medicare set in. That stuff will do you in! When I was gainfully employed I carried a small pocket notepad to keep up with my obligations. Now that I am retired, and have been for quite some time, it takes a three ring-binder with a planning calendar to keep up with the doctors’ appointments.

In the midst of all this I continue to say to myself, when I get old, I think I will slow down a bit.  Right now I have an appointment to test ride a Harley.

Image Courtesy of Harley Davidson Blog

Roy Faubion has written columns for small-town newspapers for most of  his adult life. The first column was entitled Around The Sagebrush. Second was The Clodkicker. Finally, he arrived at a title and concept with which he is most comfortable, Ponderations from the Back Porch. Through the years of being a radio announcer (preceding the term Disc Jockey) and years of news reporting, and doing all the other jobs in the industry, he racked up enough experiences to shape a column of thoughts, remembrances, and often, true stories. He is married to Dr. A. Janet McGill, retired educator, and both are active members of their church. They are also members of the North East Texas Choral Society, a 100 plus member performance choir in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

2 thoughts on “Aw Shucks, Old Age”

  1. Old age is a state of mind.

    I’m right around retirement age – and some days I feel ancient, others definitely not.

    It’s like the weather here in NJ: if you don’t like it, wait two hours and it will be something different.

    A couple of days ago it was in the very low 30s; today it reached 71. How can you even plan like that?

  2. Alicia, the weather here in Texas has been wonky, too. We had freezing temps last week and really warm this week.

    You are right about the state of mind, but gets harder and harder to convince the old body that you are only 39. LOL

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