By Bill Derby
I couldn’t wait till I turned 16 to get my driver’s license. The day I did I drove down a street waving to a friend showing off that I had reached that vaulted age. I almost ran off the road.
In half a year I really will reach a vaulted age meaning high up, aged. We are reminded of our mortality every day. Glenn Frey passed away last night. Our band plays some of his music. It was kind of shocking to hear that news. He was a good golfer too.
As we age our mortality starts to register more and more. I’ve been thinking about reaching the age of 70. I have been lucky and very blessed with relative good health. Just a few months ago I realized I have outlived my dad. We Baby Boomers are lucky. We have a ton of new drugs that keep our blood pressure down, arteries unclogged and numerous other medical remedies our parents did not have, not to mention the advances in medical care and surgery.
There are some advantages in growing older. My body lets me know I’ve aged but my brain is still that 16-year old driving down the street but now more carefully. I’ve figured out my supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size. My secrets are safe with my friends because they can’t remember them either.
Just the other evening I got a call at 9 p.m. They asked, “Did I wake you?”
“Sure, I fell asleep watching Antiques Roadshow at 8:15,” I mumbled.
Judy and I have discovered there is really nothing left to learn the hard way anymore. Now, an added bonus is, the things we buy won’t wear out. She didn’t agree with me on that count.
We can now even eat dinner at 4 p.m. Judy asked me the other day if she should cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables. I suggested she grasp the logistical efficiencies.
“What does a cow eat,” I asked her? “Hay and corn, and what are these? They’re vegetables of course. Steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Chickens eat grain. Cows eat grass. There you go. You get your grains and daily allowance of green and leafy vegetables,” I suggested.
“Maybe I should stop taking a glass of wine,” she mentioned.
“Honey, wine is made from fruit. They squeeze out the water and leave more of the fruit behind giving more of the grape,” bottoms up I said.
She continued, “Is chocolate bad for me?”
“Hello…. Chocolate comes from cocoa beans, another vegetable. Eat up!” I exclaimed.
She also wants me to buy her a swimming pool for exercise. “It will be good for my figure, she exclaimed.”
“If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me,” I said.
I believe people reaching that magic 70 age should have more benefits. “I think restaurants ought to let people over 70 eat free. Have you ever noticed a sign at a restaurant that says ‘kids eat free?’ Well, of course they eat free. Have you ever heard a kid say, ‘hey dad let me get the check.’ It’s not fair.”
“Derby, you’re one in a million,” she gasped.
“Does that mean there are 300 people just like me in America?” I asked.
Yes, the aging process has a way of making us all a little more humble. I’ve put off buying bifocals. You ought to see me grocery shopping, on and off, on and off. Judy can’t see up close with her glasses off. I can’t see up close with mine on. One or the other must take off or put on their glasses to read anything.
“Here Judy read this, I can’t read it with my glasses on,” I say.
“I can’t. I don’t have on my glasses,” she says. It’s a real treat. But at our age maybe our eyes won’t get much worse.
Our joints are more accurate than the national weather service. It’s so bad I caught myself singing along with the elevator music.
Maybe turning 70 won’t be so difficult. And if you are having an argument with your wife, I found this suggestion that might help. It reads: “If your wife is upset, hold her and tell her how beautiful she is. If she starts to growl, retreat to a safe distance and throw chocolate at her!”
The future will be better.