Signs of Aging
by Dan Seagren
Posted: May 6, 2018
Thoughts on my world at 90…
Playing tag as a kid who rarely got caught because of dexterity which is gone forever today.
No financial worries on my first pay jobs of 15 cents and $2.20 weekly peddling magazines and a newspaper route. More complicated in retirement.
Contests of finding a page ahead of everyone is gone from fingers that have trouble turning pages today.
At camp at age 17 our church guys challenged all campers to a football match where I scored all four touchdowns. Today I am lucky if I watch a whole ball game on TV.
Now if I talk on the phone I don't get tangled up in a cord but I don't worry about neighbors listening in any more either.
Nor do I have to go down in the basement to haul red hot clinkers from the furnace or shovel coal out of the coal bin like
I did when my dad was away.
I remember driving our car downtown lying flat on the front seat while my buddy gave directions from the back seat. Now chemo-induced neuropathy ended my driving.
For sandlot football after grade school I put my glasses on a rock and retrieved them the next morning before school.
I couldn't remember a last name yesterday but my wife remembered and then I remembered the first name. Strange how we remember things tons of years past but not five minutes ago.
Today I couldn't work for a fire department because if a 2:00 a.m. alarm rang I couldn't get dressed fast enough. Buttons and shoelaces are the worst followed by legs into right pant-legs.
But if my wife became ill, I could grocery shop because of those handy carts to hang on to.
If asked to volunteer, I could pretend not to hear, or say I forgot my bifocals.
And so it goes at ninety. If I forget my wallet, its OK because I can't drive anyway but it would be embarrassing to pay the bill if my wife forgot her purse too so might as well stay home.
Ah yes. Getting up there in these climbing decades has its virtues except at times it is hard to recall them. But worse, they don't shrink or fade away so we learn how to invent things. When I hit 90, and was asked how old I was, I would say sixty and one half. There are tricks in every trade, even when getting old. What was your answer when you reached thirty-two? Easier at fifteen, wasn't it?
Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.• E-mail the author (su.nergaesnad@brabnad*) • Author's website (personal or primary**)
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