Posted tagged ‘feeling older’

Texas. Utah. Home.

November 7, 2022

xi9aEahEMy wife, Muri and I moved here to Utah late in 2019. We had found a beautiful house we could buy outright in the community of Daybreak but the real incentive was the presence of our Grandkids a few miles away. We had lived in Orange County California for over fifty years in a beautiful house in the hills that I thought we’d never leave. Especially for Utah. The first year was a nightmare … COVID descended upon us and my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. I don’t know if we’d have made it without family close by. By the end of 2020, cancer treatment was successful, and vaccines had brought the pandemic under control. We set to enjoying having our grandkids nearby and getting to know the people in our over-55 community. And we began to enjoy the natural beauty around us. Still, every once in a while, we’d look at each other and say, Really? Utah? (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…)

Playing Favorites 8/26/2022

August 26, 2022

The_Opera_Band_album_coverI’ve missed posting Playing Favorites for a few Fridays in a row now. Given how rarely I post these days, it is hard to believe that I posted every day for two years, 2011 and 2012.  Oh, to be sort-of-young again.  But here I am, ready to post another Favorite. I decided I’d post something a little more eclectic than the rock and pop I usually post. According to Wikipedia, Amici Forever is a quintet of classically trained musicians, comprised of sopranos Jo Appleby and Tsakane Valentine, tenors David Habbin and Geoff Swell, and basso Nick Garrett.  Nick Patrick, who had produced albums by the Gipsy Kings, Tina Turner and Marvin Gaye produced the band’s first album The Opera Band. The album mixes opera classics such as “Nessun Dorma” with pop standards such as “Unchained Melody” and “Requiem for a Soldier”. It charted at number one in New Zealand and number two in Australia in 2004 but hardly made a ripple in the US. It did, however, it did make its way to Borders (a place I still miss) where I listened to it on one of their listening stations. I bought it immediately.  (more…)

An Old Man Back

August 2, 2022

mareIn my mother’s later years, one of her favorite sayings was, The old gray mare ain’t what she used to be.  She certainly had more than her share of maladies to deal with as she aged.  To my mind, it is proof that God or nature (depending on your stance on spiritual matters) doesn’t dole out maladies according to virtue of the recipient, otherwise she would have had a much easier time of it.  On the other hand, I had reached 77 with virtually no major maladies.  That may prove the same premise because although I have tried my best to be a good man, I am not the saint that my medical history would seem to indicate.  (more…)

Bunco

July 9, 2022

buncoOn Tuesdays here in Springhouse Village, it’s Bunco night.  You know.  Bunco.  That mindless little dice game designed as much to socialize as to amuse.  No … you don’t know it?   It is played with three dice.  You score points by trying to roll a particular number with the number progressing through 1 to 6 with each round.  Let’s say the number is 1.  You get one point for each 1 you roll and you get to keep rolling as long as you are scoring points.   If all three dice come up as the number, that is a Bunco and you score 21 points.   If all three dice come up any other number, that is a Funco and you get five points.  It is played with 2 two person teams at each table where the number of tables is determined by how many players turn up each week.  Now, the social part.  After each round, the winning team moves to another table … BUT you can’t stay partners with the same person.  So, in the course of an evening (we play three rounds, with the number going from 1 to 6 in each round), you get to spend some time with lots of different people.  Wikipedia says that the skills required to play Bunco are counting and simple mathematics.  Indeed. (more…)

Independence Day Love Letter

July 4, 2022

Good Morning, My Country,

amer heartHow are you? Fine, you say.  I’m not so sure.   Oh, you are still beautiful.  Sometimes you take my breath away, like when I sit here looking up at the snow covered Wasatch Mountains.  It reminds me of America the Beautiful.   Yes, I love the National Anthem but America the Beautiful was always our song, wasn’t it?   Purple mountains majesty above the fruited plain.  It always brings tears to my eyes when I hear Ray Charles sing it.  Crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.

purple (more…)

Playing Favorites 6/24/2022

June 24, 2022

turnIt has been 5 weeks since my birthday.   It was a wonderful birthday … followed by what can best be described as a shit-storm.   Sorry if my choice of words offends you.   On the evening of my birthday, our son texted me with some legal issues he needed help with.  Never good.  The next day, my daughter told me they are moving to Texas, which is really hard to take, since to my recollection their promise not to leave Utah was one of the reasons we moved here.  The sense of betrayal that brings has been keeping me awake nights.  Then, we both came down with COVID.   A trip last weekend to Virginia to attend the Bar Mitvah of the son of our dearest friends left us exhausted but probably kept me sane.   It was a joyful occasion but seeing them surrounded by their kids and grandkids was also a reminder that ours would be moving away.  So, the last time I posted Playing Favorites, the song of the day was the saddest song I know, Shattered by Linda Ronstadt. (more…)

The COVID Club

June 6, 2022

Clipboard01Wednesday I woke up with an annoyingly persistent cough, the kind of cough I’d probably had hundreds of times in my 78 years and thought, Shoot, I must be getting a cold.   But that was before the arrival of COVID 19.  As a senior with several medical issues, I tested myself one of the COVID self-test kits President Biden sent (for free, imagine that).  In case you haven’t seen one of these, it looks like a pregnancy test.  I was neither infected with COVID or pregnant.  After 24 hours of worsening symptoms, I tried again and tested solid positive.  Welcome to The COVID Club.  I received a club T-shirt in the mail from Biden and a card from Trump that said, See? I told you it wouldn’t kill you!  DONATE NOW TO STOP THE STEAL! (more…)

Playing Favorites 5/27/2022

May 27, 2022

greyghostIt has been a long week, a descent from a very happy birthday through the news that my daughter’s family will be moving away to my own futile attempt to avoid the sadness through denial, anger and bargaining (see Navigating Grief).  Last night I sent my son-in-law and daughter a note, telling them I was trying to accept their decision.   The very act of doing so stoked my anger again but this morning, I feel different.   I think am ready for the Grey Ghost of depression to wring the tears out of me and guide me to acceptance.

If you knew me personally, it wouldn’t surprise that I carry on my music devices a Heartbreakers playlist of sad songs to help this reluctant crier bring the tears.  All beautiful sad songs.   But which one gets to be the Favorite played today.  Easy.  Shattered  Beautiful melody written by Jimmy Webb.   It is remarkable how many songs by Webb grace my music files.  The most perfect pop female voice in my generation (perhaps any), Linda Ronstadt.   And the lyrics …

Shattered
Like a windowpane
Broken by a stone
Each tiny piece of me lies alone

They would rip the heart out of the Gray Ghost himself, if he had one.

Enjoy … or have a good cry … whichever suits your day.

Playing Favorites (5/20/1944)

May 20, 2022

wpid-happy_birthday_to_you.jpgNo, that’s not a typo in the title.  In spite of my advanced age, I know what year it is (2021, right?).  But I was born on this date in 1944, making this my 78th birthday (2022-1944=78.  See?  I is still good at math).  So the question of the moment is what a music loving septuagenarian music lover will play on his birthday.  The obvious (if not original) choice is the classic Happy Birthday we been forced to sing since we were kids.  My favorite version:

Happy birthday to you,
You belong in a zoo.
You look like a monkey,
And you act like one too.

Cute but hardly appropriate … monkeys rarely life beyond forty.   Or, I could find a page like 33 Best Birthday Songs Of All Time and choose one of the dozens of birthday songs that were recorded by various artists.   I could reach back to my youth and choose The Crests Sixteen Candles, but that would be about 55 candles short (see?  I is still good at math).  Besides, the song is about heartbreak and I am a happy old goat today.   I could choose Happy Birthday songs by The Beatles or Stevie Wonder, but as much as I love both artists, their birthday songs feel like half-hearted efforts.   I could go modern with 2 Chainz – Birthday Song featuring Kanye West and the lovely lyric, All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe.  Not a freaking chance … we’re talking music here.  And it’s crap like that that makes me feel even older.

So, I’ll pick a birthday song with a brain by one of my favorite singers, Carly Simon, who tells a story in every song.   In her Happy Birthday song, Carly talks about all the things growing old has cost her, including caffeine and dessert.  It’s a great birthday song, but it’s also a reminder of all the things you have to do make it to your seventies.  And appropriately enough, she’s also a septuagenarian.  Be sure to listen to the lyrics (or read them here).