Old age looming
Today my husband Tom is 70. I’m not far behind.
Recently my friend Stan told me that being 70+ isn’t for lightweights.
I think he’s right.
Actually it starts back in your 40’s. Things start to shift, sag and diminish.
Although I believe the later years in our lives hold the best quality of life, there is still that lingering memory of when we were kids.
My memories are filled with a great childhood and a country upbringing.
My sister Ann and I played “army” with our beloved cousins; Tom and Tony. Tony was the pushy one so he was always a general, Tom a private, and of course in the 50’s Ann and I were “nurses” because we were girls.
Now I’m sure it is politically incorrect to play army and we for sure wouldn’t be nurses just because we are girls.
Regardless of the political rights and wrongs of it all; it was still a good time in our lives.
We had the fresh air to play in, the run of the farm, and best of all time to play using our imaginations.
There was one telephone in the house. It was a squat black model that sat on the “telephone table” and the line was shared with a few other people. We didn’t have video games; we only watched television on a black and white set and only in the evenings when the family watched together. We didn’t pick the shows we would watch. The parents were in charge of that.
We are old enough to remember that we didn’t always have a television. Before that wonder came to our house we listened to stories on the radio. Ironically I still love to listen to old-time radio and I spend travel time listening to audio books.
We sat down and ate dinner together in the evening. During the summer, we came in from playing at noon to have a sandwich. After lunch it was right back outside to play.
We played army and hide and seek and anything else we could think of to play.
Our biggest crime was touching the electric fence Grandpa told us not to touch. It was there to keep the pigs in the pen, not for kids to play with. We only touched it once.
Grandpa was right; it would shock us.
Our vacations were usually camping trips. Often we went to the Redwoods and it was a favorite place.
This next week my folks’ former caregiver Carol and I are taking our annual girls trip. This year we are going to the Redwoods. We will visit the Trees of Mystery where a giant Paul Bunyan and his big blue Ox Babe still stand.
I suspect being there will bring a flood of memories.
Now that I too am nearing 70, I find that I more and more recall the years gone by. I know how lucky we were growing up.
Although there wasn’t a lot of money and camping trips were our main vacation, I now know just how lucky we were.
So, next week when I come face to face with Paul Bunyan, the memories I will have will be good memories.
Tony and Tom are gone now. But the memories of playing with them at the farm are fresh. The camping trips that Tom came along on to the Redwoods were the best.
Stan is right. Being 70+ isn’t for lightweights. You have to work even harder to keep going, to protect your health and just enjoy your life.
I plan on doing just that.
Life is good today.
— Contact Kathy Craigo-Harteis at firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 406, Nice Ca 95454.