Lessons of getting old


Category:  The Lighter Side/ Humor

By:  studiusbagus  •  5 years ago  •  34 comments

Lessons of getting old
This is actually a letter I wrote to an old friend this morning, I wanted to share it with you too.

Getting older was always a mystery to me. I'm not sure if it's ever discussed openly between generations in a family in Persian culture.

  Other than complaining about old age benefits or taxes, in white American culture it seems not much is handed down on that subject.

 I specify white American because that is where I was raised and since there are some distinct differences between the more populated cultures.

 Getting older in general has it's rewards I have gradually learned. 

 Although as I did in my youth with a demanding elder, now whoever finishes their service with me has given me their own name and none of it starts with "Mr." or "Mrs." .....

 In usual terms here, to ask "how are you?" will mostly get a reply of "I'm okay, getting older, aches and pains, you know" and of course I would be standing, nodding my head when in reality I didn't know..at all.

 Now, I know. 

 Being retired, while most people are running around the house and preparing for work when they wake, I have one main goal and I quickly seek to succeed to achieve that goal...just before that my voice is asking, "ARE YOU IN THERE?"

  Another part I love. Do you remember I practice being sarcastic? (The maid in Spain? "The lights are on but nobody is home" We traded the day with Persian and American sarcasm. 

Well I almost have the art perfected at this late stage......but I certainly make myself look like a grumpy old man very quickly. At least they are laughing while I'm leaving. To them, the important part was I was leaving.

I learned little old Black ladies can get away with anything short of causing a death.

 On an afternoon after a meeting in the community, an old friend of 94 years was standing at the top of some stairs. I offered my arm to help her down. With the amount of people there I leaned to her and said " Miss Ginny (That is the proper way to address a black elder woman you are familiar with) I think this may take a few moments" 

  She shot a look at me as if to ask if I was crazy? " You thinking wrong baby, now look here"

 She began to sway her cane back and forth and loudly said "Get out of my way!" And the crowd parted quickly..."Sorry maam" "please pardon us maam" 

We arrived at the car, she turned to me with a sly smile and a little twinkle in her eye and said "Baby? You missing out...all you need is a cane and a grumpy voice .....now get your ass behind that steering wheel and take me home" and there was that smile and twinkle.

"Yes maam"


jrDiscussion - desc
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
1  Perrie Halpern R.A.    5 years ago

LOL, too funny!

Lots of wisdom here. Since I am heading that way, I'll have to keep this in mind. 

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    5 years ago

You're heading that way? LOL. You've got a long way to go to get to where I am now. I wonder if I could be the oldest member on NT and I don't mean how long I've been a member, although in that respect I think I'm at least ONE of the oldest.

A person realizes they're REALLY getting pretty old when they start going blind, sounds are kind of muffled, they have the bladder of a chihuahua, and they don't remember where they put their glasses five minutes ago.

It Is ME
Masters Guide
3  It Is ME    5 years ago

"Just getting older, you stop caring what other people think, but also, you know who you are, and you know what you want."

Sharon Van Etten

"Me" personally..... I'm at the age where your youngin' matters aren't MY matters ! I've already lived through YOUR youngin' type matters !

I don't do Do-overs !

Buck up "Buttercup" !

Professor Principal
3.1  Ender  replied to  It Is ME @3    5 years ago

I would never go back to bell-bottom jeans.

Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4  Trout Giggles    5 years ago

Good story, Studi. Is that you in the photo?

Sophomore Quiet
4.2  author  Studiusbagus  replied to  Trout Giggles @4    5 years ago

Yes maam...

Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.2.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Studiusbagus @4.2    5 years ago

Very nice photo, Sir

Sophomore Quiet
4.2.2  author  Studiusbagus  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.2.1    5 years ago

Thank you

pat wilson
Professor Participates
5  pat wilson    5 years ago

Yes, it is a nice photo.

Getting old sure takes some getting used to. Doesn't seem fair to me that we work all our life, raise kids, etc. only to arrive in our later years with bodies that are falling apart !

Professor Principal
6  Ender    5 years ago

Nice article Stu.

My brain still thinks I am 20. Sadly the body doesn't agree.

The other day I was going through a checkout line. When going to pay I looked up and for some reason a screen was there with a face staring back. It took me a couple of seconds to realize it was me.

Professor Principal
7  CB    5 years ago

I don't know if this will fit with the train of thought here, but let's see:

A True Story (vagaries).

Just today, as I started the water warming for my morning shower (don't worry - you're safe), out of the corner of my eye I saw a speck fly or fall down into the tub basin.
Being startled, I abruptly pulled back and away to focus on it; it was what I can only describe as, . . . small. Very nonthreatening, and about to be washed away by a rush of water. So, I softly swept the tiniest creature up on my moist finger and even quicker, I placed in on a paper towel to 'dry.' It did not move.

How odd.

I figured I'd complete my business for running water in the first place and look in on the little 'tyke' afterwards. So I did. This is where it waxes philosophical for me, about the vagaries of this life. Tyke had not moved from its curled position. I'm thinking it was only a speck of water which could have touched this tyke! How could it still be unmoving and uninterested in getting on with its life? So, smart me, I thought to arouse it by a faint blowing on it.

With horror I watched my tyke, glide across the counter and, I could not find it anymore! Gasping, "What just happened?"  Tyke was dead when I fished it out of the basin! I understood this then and there. A life ended in a near 'invisible' speck of water.

So Studiusbagus, when I read your account above today. All I could think of was my time with "Tyke." Why did I care about this poor creature, who died upon meeting me? I could not save it no matter how rapid. How had a mere 'speck' clobbered a creature as small as my tyke!

And finally, why have I remembered it all day long?

Maybe, it has something to do with what you wrote about these bones of ours which transmit slowness, tiredness, absent-ness, and pain, but still persist in outliving torrents of water crashing down on us everyday in life. 


Sophomore Quiet
7.1  author  Studiusbagus  replied to  CB @7    5 years ago

You're comment has tugged at a 20 year old self inflicted incident I created that haunts me to this day.

 Which doesn't anger me that you brought it up. It endears me to know that someone else also finds great importance to the life and soul of another creature no matter how insignificant others may think it to be.

Yet again I am stilled and haunted by my memory.

Thank you for reminding me that I am still human and still alive.

Professor Principal
7.1.1  CB  replied to  Studiusbagus @7.1    5 years ago

I do not wish to cause you any residual pain, for we may already have a proper proportion in our limbs now! You are human, alive , and kicking ! That reminds me of a song by the Scottish Rock group, Simple Minds from the 80's.   (Alive and Kicking!)

Should you spare the time, watch the vintage band and its leader lay back and let the love of the years come back to them on stage. It's a bEAUTIful thing to behold. Thanks for recalling that song up for me, Stu'! (Note: At the start of the video, he is cussing the drizzling day of the show!)

Sophomore Quiet
7.1.2  author  Studiusbagus  replied to  CB @7.1.1    5 years ago

No, you did no such thing. 

I will tell you the sad story. 

Years and years ago I had a home with a large carport. At that time I was also a collector of corvettes and would often drive one while pulling one out of the warehouse to tinker with under the carport. 

I can get to be a mess sometimes in my projects. My wife would occasionally tell me sternly about the mess and parts and things not being orderly.

I went outside, cleaned everything and closed everything up. 

The next day and night I was hearing a bird coo repeatedly. I looked around the house and could not find a bird nor where it was coming from. 

A year later I went in to get something from my carport and opened the cabinet. There were the skeletons of three dove chicks and mama on the nest. 

It has haunted me for 30 years...and hurts more then the doves come to eat at my chickrn cages.

Just the sound of a turtle dove coo forces me back in guilt.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
7.1.3  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Studiusbagus @7.1.2    5 years ago

That means that you have a big heart and you value life. 

I have a similar story. 

My dad and I used to go freshwater fishing. It was something I enjoyed since it gave me time alone with my dad. One summer afternoon, my dad got one on his hook. He fought with it for over a half hour. It was a monster size trout. Had to be approaching 30 lbs, as my dad's concern was whether or not he would lose it from his line breaking. He finally got it in and removed the hook from the fish's mouth. The fish stared at my dad. It gave a long hard blink at him as he gasped for air. My dad looked at the fish sadly and just tossed him back into the water, and the fish swam away. 

I looked at my dad shocked. I said "Dad, he was huge. A record breaker maybe for the lake. Why did you throw him back?" And my dad paused and said, "When I looked into the fish's eyes, I realized that everything wants to live." My dad never went fishing again and neither have I.  

Professor Principal
7.1.4  CB  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7.1.3    5 years ago

How profoundly sweet.  I can tell you about the mole hill that was becoming "mountains" of dirt for me in my pristine yard. Outraged and indignant at a potentiality for more peaks (I adore my grassy finery), I sprang into action and jammed a water hose with a spout ratcheted to, "Blast" down an open hole and let it run for what felt like oh a good seven - ten minutes . . . . Then, something moved. A new hill sprang up and a head popped out as I peered down at it.

I was angry enough to knock the 'fool' out of it. But then I noticed this 'rascal' staring around did not have eyes! Anger dissipating rapidly now. This could go one of two ways:

  1. I still me spine and wallop it on its head a few times hard; or,
  2. I try to move it somewhere safe and out of my life. . . Where?!

Option #2 won out. So I grabbed a box from the yard and begin to coax the little fellow into it. GUESS WHAT? Who knew it was going to talk to me! That creature begin: "Kitt ttitti kitt" or some such unflattering phrasing that I took to be the equivalence of, "Leave off, you —!"

Well, I was sure I was misunderstood for my kindness. So in the words of Elizabeth Warren, "I persisted."

Sweeping this heft filled bundle of blindness and noise into the box unceremoniously, I was off to the creek bed up at the bend in the road. Several many houses away, mind you. On the way, somehow "Heft" caused my lightweight container to "break" and it landed with a thud in the sidewalk gutter. No matter, after a few more unflattering ""Kitt ttitti —!" Heft, displaying so much personality at this stage of our 'relationship,' started plowing along the incline heading-in the proper direction-I intended for it.

So, all's going well. A few tiny corrective nudges, a few more noisy rebukes for me, and we, made it safely to the creek bed. This is where the story takes a 'sorry' turn:

Being this is city property at the creek there is a chain-link fence enclosure to ward off kids and others. As I struggle to open the gate (not happening), Heft goes under the fence and into what is some of the weediest, tangled grass I have ever seen. I can not reach the little fellow or gal or old 'rascal'! I was not going to touch me little mean friend anyway!

We're done. I can do no more, for I can not open the gate!

From time to time I wonder if I did right by 'good old Heft.' Well, no more mole hills to remind me of the day I nearly drowned a mole; nearly came to blows; but instead drove a mole to freedom—sort of.

Professor Principal
7.1.5  CB  replied to  Studiusbagus @7.1.2    5 years ago

Stu! Stu! Stu! I am so sorry to hear this. All you can do is make good on it in some big or small way. And, chock it up to 'just one of those things. Here is another true account from 1992 thereabouts.

Now, I am kind of laughing at myself because I have more stories of animal 'issues' in my life than I would give myself credit for if it was not a time like today! Here goes.

Many years ago, I used to take a fancy to pigeons, yeah. Me:pigeons.

I came to realize two things about pigeons at that time:

  1. They can "vibrate" when they strut in large groups.
  2. They will dive in 'stacks' if you 'call em' to feed.

The "vibrating" for some odd reason used to 'disturb' me. But, I digress.

One of these times after my flock had attended to its morning meal, I served portions for one more straggler this particular (or peculiar?) day. As I was throwing out bread crumbs at curbside - I can see it now in my mind's eye- several bits landed in the gutter. Not to worry! "Straggler" engrossed in getting its fair shared sprang off the sidewalk, down into the gutter continuing to eat, and neither one of us could anticipate what would come next!

This automobile and its driver, on a relatively peaceful scene between me and my little friend, swoops into the "parking space" right in front of me.

Right on top of STRAGGLER!

Okay, now I am watching this. I am on full-alert!  A man steps out of the car apparently oblivious to what he has done. I am gob-smacked.

Before I could register a proper rage; sadness; or fatigue, he is off on his mission where to and whatever it is in the surrounding buildings.

I stand there at curbside looking down at Straggler—flattened! Literally a spot on the pavement. Stu,' I am in shock!

  1. Am I responsible for this?
  2. Should I go after the man and hold him accountable?
  3. Who do you call when a pigeon (AKA: "A rat with wings") is decimated?
  4. Has a crime of some kind been committed?

Needless to state. I closed up my morning meals for my flock that very day. 

It's Interesting too. Because the next morning on time my FORMER FLOCK lined up for "Chow." I had no more heart for feeding any of them.

Isn't it funny how the vagaries of life can stop us in our tracks from seeing one good (no more flattened pigeons on my watch) over another (pigeon 'happy hour')?

Professor Principal
7.1.6  Ender  replied to  Studiusbagus @7.1.2    5 years ago

I-110 has a loop that goes out over the water. I am an idiot and have actually hit about 50 going around it. One day I saw a seagull just sitting in the middle of the road. With barriers on the loop no where to go. I just aimed for the middle of the car. Coming up fast, the gull looked at me and I was over it. Heard a loud thump under the car, like it tried to jump up when it was too late.

Felt really bad about that.

Another time I was a passenger in our company truck. The idiot that was driving decided to intentionally run over a turtle. Actually made a loud pop and squished it.

I was pissed. Several times after that I have stopped on the side of the road and moved turtles off.

Last incident I was on a residential road. A squirrel ran out and I slammed on the brakes to not hit it. I looked up and a woman going the opposite way was smiling and started laughing. She did the same thing.


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