Mack Thompson, Editor
A few days ago I decided to go to Walmart early so as to beat the crowd. Much to my dismay, the store was fairly full of people. As I wandered the aisles I was wondering about these folks. Who were they? Then I realized they were almost all “old people”. I thought to myself why are these people here clogging up the aisles and walking slowly when I had stuff to do? And then it hit me… these are my people too I’m one of them… we are of they same herd. I’m 66 and I guess I can no longer kid myself that it’s still middle age. When I analyzed it further, I saw that the signs were there all along. For one thing I sometimes woke from my nights slumber sore in certain places. My family and friends said I just slept wrong. What, how do you do that? I have been sleeping along time and thought I had it down. I’ve never seen a bed or pillow come with instructions on their use. I even sleep more now due to my after lunch nap, which is another sign of aging. When I retired from the State Police ten years ago I passed the physical fitness test with high marks. As some of you readers may remember, a year or so ago I pulled a ham string in my leg while chasing a runaway grocery buggy down the hill at Bill’s Cash Saver in Hardy. As of right now, I guess I can’t run anymore which means I can’t go back to Colorado elk hunting . I know what does that have to do with hunting. Well out there they have lions and bears and if I can’t out run them I sure don’t want to have to explain to a Federal Wildlife Officer why I had to shoot one. Although he would probably just look at me and send me on my way because he too would realize the truth, I can’t run anymore. One of my greatest fears used to be getting shot while working, now it’s that I might fall down those twenty two steel steps at work. My second greatest fear was almost realized last week. We bought new living room furniture for the house. Well mostly my wife picked out the furniture and bought it. All of the seats including the big leather recliner are electrically powered. Push a switch and it reclines an-other and it returns to the upright position. Kind of a carnival ride for old folks. So, early one morning I had finished my usual routine and decided to recline this leather clad bad boy all the way back and take a quick snooze. After I had it fully back I decided to lift the headrest a little. I pushed the appropriate button and nothing happened. Well that’s not entirely true. The chair did nothing but my mind was racing. What if I couldn’t get out of the stupid thing? My wife would not have been able to help and I dang sure wasn’t calling 911for a lift assist. Eventually, I managed to get out of it and found a loose wire to the battery. I eye that chair with a new found respect for its power over me now. A couple of years ago, I bought a nice two year old truck. I re-member getting it home and thinking that it might be the last vehicle I ever buy. Last year, I bought two pair of shoes just like I prefer. When I got them home, I wondered if they might be the last shoes I ever buy. Two days ago I bought milk at the store and checked the expiration date on the carton, you can guess the rest. So now what? Do I just give up and accept the inevitably of my own expiration date or do I resist it, maybe a little of both? I have to live with the truth that I’m not able to do some things anymore. Those afternoon two and three mile jogs are probably out, but a brisk walk won’t hurt. Maybe pay a little closer attention to what my body is telling me and consider going to the doctor when something is amiss. Maybe take the advise of someone I’ve never met but do admire, Clint Eastwood. A few years ago the singer Toby Keith asked Eastwood how he stayed so active and sharp in his late eighties. Clint replied, “Don’t let the old man in”. Keith went onto write a great song by that name that became the theme song of Eastwood’s movie The Mule. I think he has it right. Accept what you can gracefully and fight against the rest.
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