Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What it really means to get "OLD"

It has long been said that in the spring, a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love.

I am one that would agree with such thinking...at least as it applies to young men.

However, when one reaches a certain age, like 65 or more and I am now 69 going on to who knows when, my "fancy" still turns to thoughts of love but it's love for something other than the opposite sex.

Sure! I still love my younger wife. I love her as much now as I did on the day I first proposed to her but it's a different kind of love. I don't look at her and think of sex very much anymore because to do so always ends up with me being frustrated...not sexually but emotionally which is sort of like it.

Thank God for a mind's ability to remember the good stuff from one's past. If it wasn't for my memory, when someone mentions SEX I'd just get this blank look on my face and ask "What's that?"

Alright! Enough of that. I've gone off on a tangent of some kind and got away from why I started writing this entry.

When I say that in the spring this old mind of mine turns to thoughts of love...it's love for the out-of-doors; love for being outside and doing stuff like working in the yard and gardening.

Though my fancy has changed, it still sounds kind of like love and sex.

For instance....I went out and bought myself a new "HOE" this year. That got me a little excited but not in the same way as sex once did.

Actually, my love for yard work and gardening is exactly why I haven't been posting very much of late. When one reaches my age there is only so much energy to work with. Energy is rationed out each day. Use up what you have in your tank and that's all there is until tomorrow. The rest of the time till then is spent laying down and resting, trying to recuperate and recharge the old battery.

Aleve, Advil or generic ibuprofen has become my best friends. If it were not for them, no amount of renewed energy could get this old, aching body up and moving the next day or two after an extended period of exertion outside, playing in the dirt.

Spring and new, growing grass and weeds wait for no man. It's either tend the lawn or have it rage out of control and require professional help to get it back in line. I can't afford professional help, not on our fixed income.

The extended drought this year took a terrible toll on our lawn. We couldn't afford to water it as often and as much as the dry, sunny conditions demanded. I just stopped looking at it and let nature do what it was determined to do. Doing that came at a high cost. Everything outside these four walls suffered because of it. Thanks to air conditioning; inside the house, we were cool and as comfortable as could be expected with the thermostat set at 78 degrees. At least we didn't turn brown, shrivel up and die like the growing plants did outside. We are getting there but it's taking longer than one growing season without enough water and too much sun to do it.

I tried to accomplish something out there each and every day. Some days it was quite a lot and others it was just "something" but it all counts in the end. I have managed to clean up all the dead stuff and planted grass seed. It was so bad, I had to resort to accepting help from a younger neighbor on our block who just happened to have a new "slit-seeding" machine...one that his father gave him for some reason. I tried to run that machine the day he was outside over-seeding his own lawn just to see if it was possible. He said he would let me borrow it if I could deal with it.

I could NOT. That machine kicked my butt and it didn't have to strain to do it. It was so heavy and the fact that my neighbor didn't have enough knowledge or experience to set it up properly didn't help the situation. Also, it did not come with a "User's Manual" for some reason. I wonder what his Dad did with it? I know I scared my neighbor when I just threw up my arms and got away from that monster of a machine and went to the middle of his driveway, bending over, placing my hands on my knees and started struggling for my next breath of air. I didn't think I was going to make it for a minute there. My neighbor agreed...something was definitely wrong. That machine should be that much work to use.

I suggested that it might help to set the slitting blades a little deeper, allowing the friction of them slicing through the soil to provide some traction to the forward movement of the machine as a whole. It did not have powered wheels of any kind. It depended on the operator and something else to move it along. I figured it must have been designed with the moving blades in mind for that purpose and it seems I was correct. I love it when I am right about something.

Even after that discovery, this old man was afraid to attempt doing all the work that needed to be done in this yard. I don't believe I hinted at all about my need for help. Let's just say my neighbor is a sensitive kind of guy with a quick mind and a passionate heart. He could see my problem and simply offered to do it for me if I wanted him to. So, that's how most of my yard got properly seeded. The smaller areas I did with my Mantis Roto-tiller and good, old fashioned manual labor spread out over several consecutive days and rest periods. Of course, I offered to pay him for his help and because of his current financial situation...he allowed me to. Thirty dollars is not much pay for all the work he did but it was the best I could do at the time.

So...there you have it. OH! It's not over with....not by a long shot. There will surely be more of my long-winded descriptions of what life is like for one that is up there in years and hasn't taken particularly good care of himself during that time.

I know it makes for boring reading. Thanks for reading and hearing me out.

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