old age

I didn’t know there is an entry in Wikipedia about old age.
Look! An old person:

Most of the people I work with are elderly. When I am sitting in my office, I can hear them talking in the other room. One of the men spends an inordinate amount of time regaling the others about the deliciousness of king crab legs. I have to say I agree with him. I thought momentarily, “I hope I never become that old person who only talks about good foods they once ate.” Then I started really listening and found the discussion sweet. The talk went from king crab legs to exchanging details about grandchildren to how relaxing cruises are.

This doesn’t sound too bad to me.

Sure, there is plenty of talk about hip injuries, or friends in the hospital for various old-people ailments (heart conditions, blood pressure issues, strokes, eye problems, odd rashes….) Right now they are talking about (heart) stints and baby aspirin.

For young, healthy people this kind of talk can seem terrifying. “THIS is what I have to look forward to? Living on a fixed income, lack of mobility, body failing? Sounds awful!”

But what those young people are missing is the richness of life these people have with their friends and family. The depth of their relationships and the vastness of their knowledge. Getting old can be frightening. It scares me. The nice thing about it is that it tends to happen gradually so you ease into it. I got eye glasses five years ago. My eyesight had gotten noticeably worse over time, and my first pair of glasses took some getting used to, but after a while I have come to accept them as part of my life now.

One of the elderly women came to me and joked with me that she has a “two-hour bladder and crooked fingers.” She finds humor in her aging. What a great way to deal with the weirdness of your body changing without your say-so!

I want to be like her when I get old.

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4th of July

Two years ago my mom and I drove to Phoenix, Az. I was moving – my car was packed full of boxes, my dog and kitty cat. We were driving through New Mexico the evening of July 4. There was a storm ahead of us.

I love desert storms – even at night. The storms can be seen for miles. During the day, you can see sheets of rain off in the distance like curtains. Nighttime storms are equally as interesting. Lightening flashes miles ahead and you know you are heading into
a tempest.

That night as we drove through the darkness, a town miles in front of us was celebrating the 4th of July with fireworks. High above a lightening storm erupted. The once impressive fireworks display looked like kid’s toys in comparison to the vast natural light show. The fireworks continued with the lightening far overhead dwarfing the man-made explosions. It was beautiful and amazing.