Playful, Pius or Remembered Stuff

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

About being an old duck

I can remember when I first took a 10% discount because I was 55.  I was reticent at first, as though I was cheating.  Some restaurants issue a card for seniors, but even then I had the feeling that I was stealing.  I feel fine.  Why should I pay less than others for this meal?

A few more places joined the benevolent policy when I turned 60.  Then it was 62 or 65 or I don't know.  Those increments are all so irrelevant now.  And I no longer feel a qualm.  There are too many other reasons to lose sleep now.  I'll take all the courtesies merchants will offer, thank you.  They don't really compensate for the pains of aging.  Getting old is a bummer!  But as they say, it's a lot better than the alternative.  Yet even that is not true for the Christian.  God is still reminding us that to depart and be with Christ is far better.  Hey, all this and heaven too!

I can remember the first time a little teen age girl, a bagger at the supermarket, offered to help me out to the car with my groceries.  Are you kidding, Missie?  I could carry you and the groceries myself.  That was then.  Now I am frequently tempted to take the offer.  Walking the full circuit of the market, toting my stuff home and putting it away is now a day's work.

It was much later in my life than it should have been when I first realized I would never play professional baseball.  I did have a few memorable highlights in the church softball league.  The day I made "the catch" for example.  Or the night I hit home runs in two consecutive times at bat.  Evidently my son, Bobby, remembered my prowess and yet discounted what all the intervening years (and several "Outback" meals) had done to my constitution.  When we visited him on a night when his team from work was playing, he asked me to be the ringer for a missing player.  I asked to play catcher so that I wouldn't be required to run.  But he wrote me into the batting order in clean up position.  Traditionally the fourth hitter was the heaviest hitter so he could bring in the men who had reached base before him.  Well I was the heaviest hitter, alright, but only when you can appreciate the double entendre.

Social gatherings find women discussing recipes and the men talking about exploits and skirmishes from their places of employment.  But when we become seniors, we talk about other things.  My lengthy hospital stay with pneumonia for example, or my heart attack or my hip replacement surgery.  Someone has cleverly dubbed this "the organ recital".

I remember when I felt sorry for the old duffer who was struggling to cross the street.  Now I AM that old duffer.  I used to rise to the challenge of little things that broke and fix them, feeling so smug about saving repair bills.  Now I'm planning to hire some strapping young man to dig up a pernicious plant that is gradually invading our flower bed.  It takes enough of my fleeting energy just to prune the roses, pick tomatoes and zucchini and water the crops.

God has his own way of encouraging us to long for heaven, and not all of my motives are noble and pious.

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