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Getting older

The Way I See It

October 30, 2011
By John Sheda , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Well, it finally happened. The big 6-0! Yup, sixty years ago this little boy from Chelsea, Iowa entered the world. It's kinda funny that age is just a number and it's all relative to everything else around you. For example, when I was at the Senior Center last Friday, everyone told me that I was still just a kid. But when around some of our young people at church, they thought sixty was quite old. Someone even wondered I was around when dinosaurs roamed the earth. He is NOT on my "nice kid" list anymore!!!

But to be honest, I do feel sixty. In fact, many days I feel 70 and every now and then on the golf course, with the "old geezers" I feel 30.....but not very often. I had knee replacement surgery last June and I've found out that just about everyone else has to. While golfing or at some other function, we compare surgeries. We pretty much know our surgeons by their first name. And then after talking about the knee surgery, we then slide right into how our other knee feels or the hip or some other joint. I laughed the other day as we were talking about "joints." Forty years ago, "joints" were a topic of conversation too, but if I'm not mistaken it was a completely different "joint" we were talking about.

Another interesting phenomenon about turning sixty is that half the people you talk to about getting older, state how great it would be to be thirty again. But the other half would not go back to thirty again no matter what. I guess they are just glad to have made it as far as they did. Me? I enjoyed my twenty's, thirty's and forty's but being sixty is just fine with me. It's just the growing older that's a big pain in the kiester. Somewhere in the past ten years, I've lost an inch in height. Did somebody take it in the middle of the night? But for better or worse, what I lost in height, I have more than made up for it in width. I'm not sure what Deb is doing wrong or if it's the washing machine, but my clothes sure do seem to shrink awfully fast anymore.

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Gaining weight is not all our fault. Notice I've just included you in this category. It is hard as one grows older to maintain a nice weight. And I have the proof too. You remember that my folks in Chelsea owned a grocery store in the 50's and early 60's. Just a small store but it had all the necessities of life. And part of those necessities were snacks. To have a good quality of life, one has to have snacks now and then. Here's what the snacks of those days were like-----pretzels, regular and barbecue potato chips and white and cheese popcorn. That was it! Not much to choose from at all. The cookie aisle was just about as bare. There were no Triskets, Keebler elves, Doritos and every imaginable flavor of potato chips. And there was only one brand of chips---Highland Potato Chips. And to be honest, they weren't the greatest either.

Today when you go to the store-------wow, half the store is geared toward snacks. Have you ever seen all the flavors of ice cream today? Sheda's grocery store sold ice cream, and we had three flavors---vanilla, chocolate and Neapolitan. That's it. We also had fudge bars and pop-cycles. Ya know, now that I'm thinking about it, we lived a very deprived life.

But now that I'm 60, it doesn't seem all that old. Oh, it feels old sometimes but it sure doesn't seem that old anymore. Heck 70 is just around the corner and even 80 isn't too far away. Bring it on. I'm ready for you. After I get my other knee replaced, take all my medications, put my teeth in, my hearing aid on, clip the hair out of my ears, bend down to put my socks on, rest a bit and then get the shoes on. Yup, I'm ready for old age. I'm at that age where Deb and I look forward to a dull evening. My happy hour is taking a nap in mid-afternoon. Getting lucky is when I can find my car in the parking lot. Heck, I'm so old, I remember when major decisions were made by going, "eeny-meeny-miney-MO". And when McDonald's burgers were 15 cents and French fries were 10 cents. Anyone remember spending the evening catching fireflies in a mason jar? Of course you do, if you're my age or more. How about dancing to the Twist, the Mashed Potato or doing the Funky Chicken? And last but not least.........does anyone out there remember those old "party telephone lines?" What was your ring---two shorts and a long or three longs or perhaps one short and two longs????

That's the way I see it. Let me know how you see things at or call me at 319-334-4117.



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