Getting older every day


In a conversation on the phone today, a friend and I were talking about getting old. It’s me that is getting old, not her. I don’t remember exactly how it started, but the word “old” came up in a sentence and took off from there.

When you are in your 80s, something about being old is in almost every conversation. For instance, when you talk about food, you have to eat what’s best for you to stay well. You know, no more pizzas every night. You have to watch the amount of sugar in your diet. You have to be aware of how far you can walk, so if you want to go for a walk, you will be able to make it all the way back home again.

We all thought our parents were old. After all, our dad had lost most of his hair and had to have several surgeries to stay up and around. Most people begin to feel old when they see their hair turn white.

When we were in junior high, we thought seniors were old. When I was in the seventh grade, I didn’t think I would ever be as old as those seniors in school were. Hmmmmm. When my older sister started wearing lipstick, I didn’t think I would ever get old enough to do that.

I find that I am already older than my parents lived to be. But the scary part now is that I am already older than my grandparents lived to be. All four of them. (And they were really old.) It’s fortunate for me that I can still walk and eat most of anything I would like to eat in a meal.

My new problem now is how I have trouble remembering people’s names. Some of those people are even my relatives. Sometimes when I forget the name of one of the nieces or nephews I have to ask George. (After all, I have a whole 16 of them to remember.) I’m sure glad he always remembers. He can even remember what day of the week it is when I can’t.

I am now beginning to want to watch old movies on TV. Those from the 50s and 60s mostly. We even watch Johnny Carson from when he was on every night in the ’80s. We are also watching the old re-runs of the Barney Miller shows. I hate to miss them. If Milton Burle came on, I would love to see some of his old shows now. In fact, Milton was the second TV show I ever saw. It was in the newspaper about a week ago that when the Milton Burle show first came on TV, the sales of TVs took a big increase! In fact, it wasn’t too long after that when my parents got a TV. And believe me, that was a big addition to our way of life. Just think about all the meals we got to eat in the living room. We even used to spend a lot of time seeing if our friends and neighbors had a big TV antenna on their roof, like we had on ours.

When we sold our house, the TV antenna went with it. By the way, where did all those TV antennas go?

One of the good things you should do at this stage of life is to plan, and pay for, you own funeral. We found that the funeral homes are glad to take care of this problem at any time.

There are really some good things about getting older. One would be retirement. You can sleep in every morning. It doesn’t seem like it, but I have been retired for 20 years now. When retired, you can take a break from anything you are tired of doing. And so, I think I will take a break right now.

Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.

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