Friday, October 24, 2008


No, I'm not going all scientific on you. What I would like to briefly discuss this morning is age.

Are you young, middle-aged, or old? Age is relative, a state of mind (imo).

One of my blogger friends, Steven, who's in his very early 50's, described his body as 'old' the other day when he was unable to open his hands after his fingers had frozen almost solid in a bicycle grip.

What had happened? Well, he bicycles back and forth to work every day and had been caught in some fairly severe weather. His gloves had gotten wet, there were strong winds, it was cold, and by the time he finally got home all he was able to do was bang on the back door with his elbows until his son (thank goodness someone was home!) heard him and came to his rescue.

When I was 'young' and in undergraduate school -- in fact, even in graduate school, I thought 30 was old. In fact, I think I wrote in a much earlier post that my very best friend, Jacky, had sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers for that occasion. The only thing wrong with her thoughtful gift was that she didn't remember the actual date of my birthday, and sent it two months early!

Now I'm in my 70's. My perspective has drastically changed. (Well, I guess!!) I know I'm considered 'old' by many, and some of the time I actually feel old.

But I still have all my wits about me, and delight each and every day that I am able to present to you a (hopefully) somewhat logical post, albeit the subject matter could be scattered 'here there everywhere'.

When I first began teaching 1st grade (I was 21 yrs. old at the time), one of my favorite responses to a student's question about my age was, "How old do you think I am?"

Initially, their answers to my question were absolutely hilarious! I stopped asking when they started more accurately guessing.

One of my more unforgettable cab driving experiences occurred quite some time ago, when I was dispatched to a Randall's (local grocery chain) store to pick up a customer.

When I arrived, she was outside to meet me (along with the manager of the store, who was the one who had actually called for a taxi), somewhat supported by her walker.

She looked really 'old' to me. (Turns out she was 103, or some such almost unbelievable figure!)

She was a regular customer of the store and usually arrived via a city bus. She'd do her shopping and then take a bus back to the retirement home that was her current place of residence.

This time, tho, the manager -- who'd seen her many times before -- felt that she had way too many groceries to try and take with her on the bus, and called for a cab. (He paid for the trip out of his own pocket! I had to estimate the charges.)

She and I talked a lot on the way back. Seems as tho she had outlived all of her children (and even some of her grandchildren), lived in this retirement home where "all they did was play Bingo", and was bored half out of her mind.

Every once in a while I think of her.

My daughter wrote in one of her posts some months back how surprised and proud she was of her mother, who -- at the age of 70, was starting her own blogsite. I was like a little kid with a new toy, actually, and am still enjoying it very much. Thank you again, DD and DSL, for your wonderful Christmas gift!

It was only yesterday that I learned of another blogsite, where it seems that a woman ten years older than I is writing about and sharing some of her memories.

Good for her!

If you'd like to see/read it for yourself, here's the link. You might notice that my site is linked there on her side bar. Don't know how she got onto it, but I'm glad she did.

Yesterday, as I was getting ready to leave Dr. Bauer's office, he asked me if I wanted to get a flu shot. I said, "No, I never get the flu." Then he asked about a pneumonia shot. Now, that took me aback! I've never heard of a pneumonia shot. Have you? (I declined. Hope I'm not sorry later.)

I was tempted to ask him if his office was offering a shot to make one 50 or even 60 years old again!


whalechaser said...

I heard on the news yesterday that people who smoke may be 4 times more likely to contract pneumonia. If you are, or have been a smoker, it may be a good idea to take him up on his offer.
Years ago, when I smoked, I had Pneumonia 3 times in one year...that's when I decided I better quit if I wanted to live to be an old lady ;-)

steven said...

hi goldenrod, i have thought about the "age" thing and it being "relative" off and on over the last couple of years. i teach people who are between the ages of 10 and 12 making me at this point some thirty-nine to fourty one years their senior.

some of how i see myself is through their eyes. to them i am chronologically an old man. i don't look it, or act it - whatever 51 looks or acts like - according to them. i do find that my mind and body have both changed in the last five years in much the same way and for a similar reason as my mind and body changed in my mid-thirties.

the numbers don't lie but for me the bottom line is the quality with which we live our lives and that's where we can judge and be judged. i think we can be comfortable with our "age" in that respect goldenrod!!!!!

Goldenrod said...

You know what, Whale? If I gave up smoking (have actually done that twice in my life ... both times started back up at a party, what can I tell you?) our nation's economy would be that much worse off due to my no longer paying all those riDIculous taxes on cigarettes!! :)

(You didn't think about THAT consequence, did you?)

Pneumonia three times in one year?!? Incredible! Your immune system must have been really down!!

Steven, I think the 'big 5-0' must be a real milestone for men. (I know it was for DSL, my dreaded son-in-law.)

Thirty was mine. Surviving the 6's (2006/age 66) was another big one.

None of us can escape the facts. What we choose to DO with them is something else entirely.

I thank you both for your very thoughtful and supportive comments. Keep those digits warm, Steven, and Whale? Keep those piston legs churning!

Craig Peihopa said...

Another great post Goldenrod. I am so glad you write, I love seeing a small portion of the world through your eyes.