Archive for the ‘feeling older’ category

Staying Put

May 31, 2023

I am writing this post at an altitude of 30,000 feet on Southwest Airlanes flight 276. We are headed home to Utah from Texas where we spent the week celebrating my oldest grandson’s graduation from high school. I still find it surprising to call Utah home since never in a million years did I imagine living there. But there it is: Utah, home. Texas? The home of my daughter, son-in-law and my three grandchildren. They are the reason we find ourselves in Utah. We moved here four years ago to be near their then-home in Riverton, Utah, fifteen minutes away from our now-home in South Jordan. Their now-home is in the affluent Dallas suburb of McKinney where they moved less than a year ago so my son-in-law could accept a new job. It was a shock when they told us and I was furious for a while but having left my parents behind in Connecticut to move to California over fifty years ago, I could hardly stay mad. Mad became sad and sad morphed into acceptance.



May 20, 2023

Today I am Seven-T-Nine. Did you know that 79 is a prime number, since it is not divisible by any number but 1. Does that mean I am in my prime? No. My prime is well behind me. 79 is an isolated prime because 79+2 and 79-2 are not prime numbers. Yes, I do feel a little isolated since we moved to Utah] (and out grandkids moved away) but fortunately, 79 is a happy number because (7 2+92)=130, 12+32+02=10 and (12+02) =1. I have no idea why that would make a number happy but at 79 I am pretty happy as old guy happiness goes. Wikipedia (the source of all this number nonsense) also says that 79 is a lucky prime number. Why? Well, I am too far past my prime to dive into Wikipedia’s explanation (you can find it here), but I certainly feel I am a lucky man today


Not Just Sittin’

May 12, 2023

Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits.

It is a fine Friday morning here in Utah, blue sky and a pleasant temperature, snow still bright in the Wasatch Mountains. Once a month we have a team of housekeepers come in and give our house a thorough cleaning. They roll in like a white tornado, vacuum cleaners whirring and dust rags clattering on the shutters … and conversation in Spanish echoing loudly from room to room. It is a luxury we are lucky to be able to afford given that one of the two human occupants of our house likes things just so, while the other is, well, not especially neat. The third occupant, a big tuxedo cat named Tyson, doesn’t have an opinion on neatness but his opinion is clear on the noise the housekeeping generates. He will spend several hours hiding under the bed. Me? The not-so-neat human occupant is sitting in his car at Western Springs Park, a few miles from our house, overlooking the Wasatch Mountains.


More Goodbyes

May 6, 2023

goodbyesPart of growing old is having to say goodbye to your contemporaries, both people you know and people who you don’t know but have has a significant influence on your life.   And it is natural, I think, to note their age when they passed awayLeft this worldWere called home200+ Ways to Describe Death & Dying  offers over 200 euphemisms for death.   And just as it is natural to find an alternative to saying they died, it is natural as an oldster such as I to consider my age in comparison.   I am 78.  Only a few weeks ago, it was Burt Bacharach, one of my favorite songwriters who was laid to rest at 94.  This week, shortly after I posted On Being a Seeker, in which I referenced Rabbi Harold Kushner, Author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, as a helpful influence in my spiritual life, a blogging friend informed me that the good Rabbi had departed this life at 88. Then, a few days ago, I heard that the remarkable Canadian songwriter and singer, Gordon Lightfoot, had taken his last curtain call at 84.  His music has been part of the soundtrack of my life. (more…)

Walking Again

April 25, 2023

fitbitMy friend Barry (of Barry’s Blog) recently wrote a post titled What’s the Score about how we, from cradle to grave, judge ourselves (and are judged by others) by scores like school grades, job evaluations and medical measures of health.   In fact, when his post popped up in my email, I was reviewing my scores on the Fitbit that is my constant companion.   I this case, the score in question is the number of miles I walk per week.   The app on my phone tells me that exactly one year ago, I was walking over 3 miles a day.  Of course, twenty years ago, I was RUNNING 20 miles a week, and ten years before that, I was running 30 miles a week, swimming 5 and biking 100 (yes, miles a week).  Last December, my Fitbit tells me I walked slightly over a half mile a day.   By any standard, those scores tell me I am well into the physical decline known as aging. (more…)

Cat Therapy

April 12, 2023

BFASEvery Tuesday, I do a two-hour shift volunteering at the Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) Lifesaving Center in Sugarhouse, UT.   BFAS calls the shift Kitty Comfort since it consists of spending some time with each of the cats awaiting adoption, just playing with them and giving them love.   Whether they are strays or cats abandoned by their owners, ending up in a kennel (which is a cage no matter what you call it) can be traumatic, particularly if they were in home.  Some seem to adapt quickly, others are stoic.   Some are frightened and hide in the corner of their kennel, others angry and hissy.   It is especially rewarding to spend some time with a frightened or angry cat and see it relax and enjoy some petting or a snack, to see it come to you the next time.   And move on to foster or a forever home. (more…)

The Portal

January 13, 2023

medicalIf you are a college football fan, you probably think this post is about the NCAA Football transfer portal, which allows players enrolled at one school to transfer at any time as long as they have remaining eligibility.   It’s not.  This post is about the online Health Portal which comes with my health plan here in Utah.  By signing on to The Portal, I can make appointments with my doctors, request refills of prescriptions, check the dates of previous visits and review the results of those visits.   For person who doesn’t like using the phone, isn’t good with dates and doesn’t maintain a personal calendar recording everything I do (as my wife does), it is a Godsend for monitoring my health care.   Another feature is that results of tests, from simple blood work to MRIs, show up quickly in The Portal, often a day or two before the doctor gats back to you with the results.  That is a feature on which my wife and I have a difference of opinion.  She waits to hear what her doctor says about the results and I look as soon as the results appear in The Portal. (more…)

Political Fundraising

November 22, 2022

donationsFor a few years, I posted every day.  It was work, coming up with a topic and writing every day.  I am now retired, and I post when I am so inclined, which seems to be once or twice a week.   Sometimes, it is because I am inspired.   Sometimes, it is because a topic appears in this old brain and will keep me awake nights until I write it.   And sometimes, it is because something bugs the crap out of me and I have to get it off my chest. Today’s post is the latter.

I consider myself a good citizen.   I follow what is going on in our various levels of government, try to evaluate election candidates carefully and I always vote.  At this point in my life, I am a moderate which means it is hard to find a home in either party.  I have never been inclined to donate to political causes or candidates.  Until 2020.   When Donald Trump turned out to be far worse than my initial opinion of him (which was a pretty low bar in the first place) and seemed to me to be a threat to the country I love, I contributed substantially to the Democratic Party and was overjoyed when Joe Biden won.  Of course, by contributing regularly, I placed myself on every Democratic fundraiser in the country.  And so, as this year’s midterms rolled around, I found my text inbox littered with requests for contributions to election campaigns all over the country.  While that is indeed a nuisance, it is not the number of solicitations that drive me crazy, it is their nature.  Here are a few examples from my inbox in the last few days; (more…)

Seventy-Eight and Sick

October 31, 2022

sickIn my seventy-eight years, I have had most of the common ailments of life, fortunately none very serious (I can hear my wife, my mother, even my grandmother … saying, Knock on wood).  Yes, knock on wood.  I’ve had mumps. measles, chicken pox, and an assortment of flus, including COVID.  When did we start naming our flus?   I’ve had a few minor surgeries and spent a few nights in the hospital.  I am hypertensive and diabetic, thankfully both under control with the help of modern medicines.  My old friend, Don, when I used to complain about one of these maladies, used to say, That would have killed you fifty years ago.  Don was a mensch.   Luckily I have avoided the awful illnesses that appear on the return address bar of solicitations we receive requesting donations for research … Parkinsons Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, Arthritis … the list goes on and on … and of course, the Big C, Cancer.   But I have watched friends and families deal with these diseases, some losing their lives.  After 78 years of life, I sometimes wonder when number will come up.  It may even have begun … I’ve developed arthritis in my lower spine which limits my walking unless kept at bay with a spinal steroid epidural. (more…)

All That Jazz

September 2, 2022

This is this week’s Playing Favorites, in disguise with a different title.

music notesLast year, we watched the Super Bowl at my daughter’s house.  Not likely this year since theyve moved to Texas.   Anyway, the halftime show included an assortment of hiphop-rap-whatever performers and when it was (blessedly) over, I said, that was awful.   My daughter turned to me and said, What do YOU want for a halftime? Jazz?  Not likely.  It seems to me jazz has fallen hard times, at least as far as getting any airtime, except perhaps on streaming services’ specialty stations.  It wasn’t too long ago that groups like Steely Dan added flashes of jazz to their top-twenty hits and, occasionally, a jazz number would make the pop music charts, like Chuck Mangione’s Feel So Good in 1970 which reached number 4 on the pop music charts. (more…)