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Old Houses and Motorcycles

Remember when we were kids, and our parents were soooooo oooooooold? I couldn’t IMAGINE even being as old as thirty! And my grandparents? Forget about it! I mean, they were in their sixties (I guess), and it was like they already had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel!

Then one day I realized that the “oldies station” was playing “my” music now.

And I found my first gray hair.

And my own kid started thinking of me as “old.” Me!

These days, I’ve come to realize that the parents weren’t old back then – and not just because I’m older now than they were then, either!

I realize this now, I’m afraid, because I’m starting to see some very definite signs of age, both in my own parents and in my husband’s mother.

A few years ago, I noticed how frustrated my father got when he couldn’t easily turn a wrench – he just didn’t have the strength in his hands anymore to unstick that stubborn pipe. And these days, after a lifetime as a mechanic, working in auto shops, his hearing isn’t what it once was, either.

I realized, after not having seen my parents for a while, that my mother’s dark hair was actually not dark anymore. When did that happen?

And then there’s my mother-in-law. Having only met my husband about twenty years ago (“only” twenty years!), I never knew his mother in her prime. But what I’m seeing now is a frail old lady, one who is afraid of falling, is too tired to care for herself and her home, and who has spent far more time with doctors and in hospitals lately than I ever want to do.

Sure, I do what I can now to keep myself hale and hearty – I quit smoking many years ago, I eat right, I walk the dog before I head for the gym every morning, and I’ve even been running some of those mornings, heaven help me.

Yet time marches on, and, frankly, I’m not getting any younger.

Ain’t gonna need this house no longer
Ain’t gonna need this house no more
Ain’t got time to fix the shingles
Ain’t got time to fix the floor
Ain’t got time to oil the hinges
Nor to mend the window pane
Ain’t gonna need this house no longer
I’m getting ready to meet the saints

This song came up on my “gym playlist” the other day, and, you know, I realized that “This Old House” isn’t really about an actual house. I’m pretty it’s more about “getting ready to meet the saints,” isn’t it?

So I did some thinking (what else do I have to do during those endless sessions on the elliptical trainer?), and I’ve come to a conclusion.
When I start getting old and frail – IF that happens – I’m going to get a motorcycle.

I figure I’ll start riding around, maybe even without a helmet, and I’ll just let nature take its course.

It’s got to be better than lingering, right?

Categories: aging family humor

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6 replies

  1. It is a slow process, this aging stuff, and we don’t notice when we don’t see people every day. DD is “treating” her grey hair and I forget she just turned 53! My DD is 53! My baby! How the heck did that happen? I would be a great grand mother if either of my grand girls got busy but that isn’t going to happen any time soon. But I tend to disagree to a point about the lingering. As you know well, I could be called lingering in my situation but I am not ready to take my helmut off. I enjoy my time too much to spend too much thinking about how I can’t drive any more, my range of motion is only as long as my chord as the commercial says (except I have a cart too), I enjoy my small (on purpose) apartment (easy to keep up) and a porch with flowers and a humming bird feeder with lots of visits daily, etc. etc. etc. Also, DD says she enjoys so much spending time with me and talking about where we have been and what we have done (complete with all the pictures from Hawaii and the Bahamas), theater productions we have seen, and on and on. She needs time to be ready for me to be gone and I plan to try to give her all the time I can because I love her and she is SO GOOD TO ME as I travel down this road. Just another take I guess. As always Kris, a great read and you make me think so there is that too. Hugs.


    1. But Judy, I don’t think of that as “lingering” – you’re “enjoying your golden years” – as you should! And both you and your daughter are lucky to have each other.


    1. Pshaw- I get that from you, then!

      And don’t think you’d ever just “linger” either, Mother – you don’t have any more patience for that than I do!


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