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Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014

As the years accumulate, life has new meaning

Posted Monday, May 7, 2012, at 2:20 PM

In the past few weeks, I passed another of life's many milestones.

I quietly turned 59 on April 25.

I was born in 1953 -- the year an old soldier named Dwight Eisenhower became president of the United States -- becoming the first Republican to live in the White House in 20 years.

It was the year that color television came into U.S. homes for the first time. It was actually 12 years later before we got a color TV in the Schneider household.

It was also the year when the nation's unemployment rate was 3 percent, the New York Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers to win the Major League baseball World Series; and the year when a first class postage stamp cost 3 pennies.

There are many ways to measure time.

There's one measure that we all agree is that we're all very rapidly becoming history and or legacy is being established as the clock ticks away.

I may not stand as erect anymore, or walk as fast as I once could.

And as I look into the mirror, it is one of the saddest things that life does bare, when it all turns gray or you have no hair.

Reality continues to smack me in the face every day when I roll out of bed and try to get my bones moving after a few cracks and scary aches.

I am reminded that the days between Christmas and my birthday used to take forever when I was a small child. Now, the days move rapidly.

Life is like one of those long trips that you remember your youngsters asking you nearly every mile "Are we there yet?"

Do children experience time in slow motion, or as adults are we much more unaware of every precious moment of every single day that we let time slip by?

It's all just a number.

What matters is how you are living.

If you are younger today you can hope to live long enough to feel old.

If you are already past this then you can better understand where I'm coming from.

Perspective becomes important when you are my age.

I realize that worrying just takes away my precious time because it doesn't change anything.

I realize that my weaknesses give me my strengths.

I can "smell the roses" and see the distant horizon clearer than when I was care-free in my 20s.

I understand knowledge is power. We're never too old to learn.

I believe stronger than ever that beauty comes from within ... deep within those battered, worn, partially repaired and replaced body parts in my case.

At my age, I know without a doubt there is a higher God controlling my destiny each day. Now, all I have to do is learn to listen to him and trust in the wise guidance He gives to me.

At my age, I know that I'm that "old guy" that I talked about as a smart-mouthed teen.

At my age, I can use the excuse that I am tired and get away with it.

These days, if I forget something, I blame it on my age.

If I make mistakes, I can blame it on my age.

At my age, the many lines and wrinkles on my face and body can be attributed in part to war wounds of bringing up the kids. Now bring on the grand babies!

I understand that "life is a journey," so I'm going to buckle up and enjoy the ride, despite the many peaks and valleys.

I know there are things more meaningful than money.

I can enjoy some of those discounts like 10 percent off at eating-places. I wonder if the gasoline stations would help us poor seniors out with a few pennies off at the pump?

I do still remember the days of 26 cents per gallon gasoline. Now, those were the good old days during the first summer I had my driver's license.

Another year is notched in my life belt.

I am more than thankful for the many blessings that have been brought my way and look forward to many more years -- enjoying my family, my friends, my life.

Living sure beats the alternative, wouldn't you agree?

As my Bloomfield friend "Red" Oliphant often says, "I'm glad to be vertical, not horizontal."

That has to be something to be thankful about.

Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at schneider.nick@gmail.com .

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