Stuart Hamblen sang a song many years ago called, "Old Pappy Time is A Pickin' my Pocket" in which he extolled the signs and characteristics that indicate that he was growing older.
Some of those aspects have sneaked up on me with all of the stealth of a cat burglar wearing socks made of dandelion white seed parachutes, shoes of cotton balls, creeping up on a carpet of dust bunnies.
Others have slam banged their way into my life like a dump truck unloading 10 tons of scrap metal on top of 1,720 used fluorescent light tubes on a glass driveway.
I have reached the unenviable age of 14 lustrums and I am not enthused about that rung on life's ladder except when I contemplate the only other option available. Sometimes I look in the mirror and see a rather handsome, fit, rugged looking, middle-aged man who is just a few years out of college and making his way in the world. I am vigorous, healthy and seeking to conquer world challenges.
Then I see a picture of a person reputed to be me and I see an ugly, corpulent, bald headed, ancient old mariner, whose face looks like it has worn out at least three bodies, with a nose that would make an anteater weep with anguish, a neck that looks like a rhinoceros has just swallowed a hippopotamus and only got it half way down and enough wrinkles to hold a three-inch rain without spilling a drop. I don't see a world conqueror or a bright-eyed, enthusiastic yuppie, I see an old Geezer.
The most peculiar aspect of it all is that inside I feel the same as I did 45 years ago.
I marveled at my parents who lived to 89 and for years never took any medicine except for the usual headache and other minor infirmities. Near the end of his long life my dad did take a few pills each day. To the end, the only medicine mom took was aspirin. BW's mother is 95 and she takes no medicine. The results from her annual checkup yesterday showed all of her vital signs and numbers are spot on where they should be.
I envy her because I am now taking five pills every day: An aspirin to ward off future heart problems, two vitamin pills to safeguard my vision, one Lipitor to keep my cholesterol level artificially low also because of a cardiac event several years ago (it was in the normal range when Dr. Feel Good had me start taking it), and one other pill to address my PSA count. I shall not be so indelicate as to discuss what that means. If you need to know, call me or ask any man my age and he can fill in the blanks.
BW has a white pill box for old people with a slot and a lid on it for each day of the week to keep her pills straight. I told her, "I am not going to get one of those wretched boxes. That is one submission to senescence that I will not make. Only old, sick people who have no memory left use them."
Mine is red with AARP on the side. It is easier.
Larry grew up north of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School. He lives in Plainfield and can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or (317) 839-7656. Write him at Larry Vandeventer 6860 Sunrise Drive, Plainfield, Ind., 46168. He has written five books.