The Richmond Register

February 18, 2013

So many things characterize us old folks

By Dick Ham
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — I was just thinking the other day about how much we old folks are alike. There are so many things that we all have in common.

As I’ve said before in this column, we remember things from many years ago and can’t remember what we had for lunch yesterday. I wonder if most of you remember these things from the “good ol’ days.”

Sittin’ on the front porch and waving at everyone who passed by, whether they were walking, riding a horse, in a buggy or driving a Model A. Games — Red light, Green light, Jacks, Kickball, Dodgeball, Hopscotch, Kick the can, Hula Hoops and Mother may I?

Playing with slingshots, cops and robbers, backyard shows, catching lightning bugs in a jar, and finally learning that a lightning bug is really a firefly?

How about Coke bottles with the names of cities were they were bottled on the bottom? Penny candy from the little grocery store down the road? When kids had lemonade stands.

Remember when it seemed as if it took an eternity for the TV to warm up? No one in those days owned a purebred dog. When your dad drove the family car into a service station, he got gas pumped, the oil checked and windshield cleaned.

Kids were threatened with being kept back a grade if they failed, and it was actually done.

When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home.

Remember when teenagers went steady, girls wore the boy’s class ring wrapped with dental floss coated with pastel nail polish so it would stay on her finger.

There are definitely signs that show us we are getting older.

The gleam in our eyes is now from the sun hitting our bifocals. All of a sudden, our children look middle-aged.

We believe we know all the answers, but now no one asks us the questions. We actually look forward to a dull evening.

We begin burning the midnight oil at 9 p.m. Our knees buckle, but our belt won’t. We turn our lights out for economic reasons rather than romantic ones.

We get up in the morning feeling like the morning after even though we did nothing the night before. We bend over to pick something up and wonder if we can make the round trip.

You and your teeth don’t sleep together anymore. You can have a party and your neighbors don’t even realize it.

Your joints predict the weather more accurately than the National Weather Service. You can count on the things you buy not wearing out.

When you were 30 years old, you worried about what people were thinking about you. When you became 50, you no longer cared what they thought. Then, when you became 70, you realized no one was thinking about you in the first place.

Two elderly men were talking and one said to the other, “I’ve had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement and new knees. I’ve fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I’m half blind and can’t hear anything quieter than a jet engine, I take 40 different medications that make me dizzy and subject to blackouts. I can’t remember if I’m 85 or 92. All my friends are gone, but, thank God I still have my driver’s license.

Trivia answer

Art Fleming was the original host of the TV show Jeopardy before Alex Trebek.

Trivia question

What North Carolina college town was once known as Tobacco Town?

Thought for the day

You know you are getting old when your naptime and your bedtime become the same time.