Golden years haven’t lost their sheen

Golden years haven't lost their sheen
These golden years are slightly tarnished.

Or to repeat a phrase we've all heard: Growing old is not for sissies.

I didn't think I'd ever say this, but I am now one of them.

I've had a slight stroke and I hobble around with a cane, but, thank goodness, I write better than I talk; I drive better than I walk; and I see better than I hear.

Where, oh where, did the years go?

I now plop down in a chair; I read all the senior citizen notices (and the obituaries); I envy the "youngsters" in their 70s; and I don't recognize any names in the police blotter.

I also try to tootle my clarinet, but the upper register sounds like I just picked up the horn. (The lower one doesn't sound so good either.)

I guess I'll have to forget ever playing like Artie Shaw (whoever that old geezer is)!

I won't even talk about athletics. I lettered on a conference championship basketball squad when I went to college. The school was then South Dakota State College.

Slam dunk? Shucks, I couldn't even jump high enough to touch the net!

Where, oh where, did the years go?

Lately I've been given lots of honors. The South Dakota State Historical Society presented me with the prestigious Robinson Award, and my alma mater gave me an honorary doctorate.

It makes me think I'm cramming for my finals. Do they know something that I don't know?

In the meantime I'll just go on writing as though nothing happened.

Of course, I'll embellish my service in World War II and Korea. There's hardly anybody around any more to challenge my stories.

I can tell about being "overseas in Texas" in 1943 B.B. (Before Bush), and nobody gives a hoot. And those gosh-awful days in the Benning-school-for-boys when second lieutenants were sent up with the morning rations and came back the same day in body bags.

Where, oh where, did the time go?

Phyllis, the young one, is now the care-giver in our family. We qualify for Meals on Wheels, but she says we're not old enough � or decrepit enough � to take advantage of that fine program.

Needless to say, I'm not ready for the rocking chair yet. I've got too many columns to write and things to do. Heck, while we've signed up, it'll take me months to figure out Medicare Part D.

So don't take my security blanket away from me just yet. The golden years may be tarnished for some folks, but they haven't lost their sheen for me!

� 2006 Robert F. Karolevitz

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