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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Old Age Sucks



I'm not being ungrateful. We all age and life becomes a slow-motion movie. It's the memory that plays tricks when you can recall flying through the air in an aerial flip with a svelte body. Yes, I did. Once upon a time.

You notice little things ..... people open their mouths wider and enunciate each word. The first time that happened, it was with the girl at the fish market and I thought SHE was deficient.

Suddenly my kids become boy scouts at street crossings and grab my arm but then I remember how I used to make them take MY hand at crossings.

After a fresh snowfall, each kid calls .......
"Mom, don't drive today."
"But I have an appointment with....."
"I don't care. Cancel it."
That old memory kicks in again and I recall driving across Minneapolis and St. Paul to a remote ballroom for dancing, during some of the worst Minnesota blizzards. Dang.

Yesterday I visited a 90 year old lady who is absolutely one of most scintillating and interesting ladies I've ever met. She has one of the largest libraries, filled with books of varied subjects. Ina is a walking encyclopedia and although I had intended a brief visit, it lasted hours. We love discussing books and there is always an exciting exchange of ideas.

There was a heavy box of stuff she wanted to give me, so she dragged the box out of the garage while I backed the car into her driveway.

Maybe old age ain't so sucky after all.

53 comments:

  1. I keep telling myself it beats the alternative!
    Karen

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  2. You make old age sound like all the rage..haha. Each part of life has it's up and it's downs interesting how things come back around though.

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  3. If you don't get old you get dead. I'll take old.

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  4. I like getting older...it's very liberating. And it has it's side benefits! The wisdom that comes from experience being just one of them.

    Although I can probably still do a back-flip (if I HAD to), I choose NOT to! And nobody thinks my choice is weird! Imagine that! :)

    xoxoxo, cd

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  5. Hi Manzanita .. I have an 'aunt' like that .. she's 95 - and lives too far away now my Mama is incapacitated - we talk on the phone .. but I'd love to be able to go down and see her ..

    Great you got a box of goodies too .. books - sounds like a lovely day ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  6. Youth is SO over-rated! That's how I see it!

    :-) Take care
    x

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  7. Some days I feel older than others. Today's been 'middle aged'. I'm hoping for mid-teens tomorrow!

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  8. Lovely post, Manzi! I'd love to meet your friend and enjoy what's becoming the lost art of conversation when time doesn't matter.

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  9. Oh Manzi, I just love you to pieces!!

    I want to be just like you when I grow up. You are such an inspiration.

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  10. Justice of the Supreme Court Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., at the age of ninety, is supposed to have said, on seeing a beautiful young woman, "Oh, to be seventy again!"

    It's all in your perspective, kiddo!

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  11. Great stuff. I love it. I thought (by the b/w photo) that you were heading into the wideness of old lady's butts. But you didn't.

    Great job.

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  12. My dad used to not let me do stuff for him. I am not sure what changed, but last time I was out there he let me go get the extra chairs from the basement.

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  13. The thought of you in an aerial flip is enchanting.

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  14. Hey, Manzi. Not having kids, I sometimes wonder who will be the kind, young souls who will remind, cajole, and scold the Husband and me to act our ages when we're in our 80s and 90s. Since we're the "kids" being so with the Mama, I might just listen to them. Maybe. :-)

    Last night, I had a dream I was visiting you in Montana. So cool!

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  15. OH, dear. You can't seem to get it right, can you. I'll try one more time.

    There is no such thing as "old."

    Until you're 80, you're young. After that, you're venerable. Please try to retain that distinction.

    And if you still want to try aerial flips, go ahead. Just be sure about a soft landing place.

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  16. Dear Karen : And when you can keep singing.... Hey, it's that bowl of cherries. :)

    Pat : It is the rage. I'm just a trend setter. You'll all have to follow. He he
    Interesting yes, but a mite mellow, too.

    Delores : Yup. And sometimes we can just spend our time wishing on a star and see where that gets us. Can't avoid it, can we?

    Clare : Your choice not to is a good one. Something just made me chuckle. We can all practice really hard and have a back-flipp'n chorus line. No, better we stick to the can can.

    Hilary : I wish you could see your Aunt too. Time doesn't stand still very long. Old age is such a joy for so many. You will be the most delightful and still teaching.

    Kitty : Youth really is so over rated. I wouldn't go back there for all the hand-sewn silk tea bags in China.... info....thanks to Hilary. :)

    AJ....: I'll join you. We can get some pom poms and try out for cheer leading. :)

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  17. Kittie : WOW.... so much to think about in those few words. (you're the best) In fact, one of the subjects we talked about was, people don't know how to carry on an interesting conversation, anymore. Well, some do. And I do keep myself extremely busy but the wonderful great thing about this old age business, if an illustrious moment presents itself, run with it..... don't let it get away. And I didn't.

    Sweet Terry : But you know something..... you will be like Peter Pan. You found the Fountain of Youth and you'll never grow up. And you are such a dear for sharing it with others.

    I like your "on the road" profile. You are a trend setter. :)

    Fran : You and Oliver ( I love that name, Oliver. I had an Uncle Oliver and my grandson's middle name is Oliver) are such clever sages. I did say that once.... "Oh to be 70 again" and someone laughed and laughed and I didn't mean it as a joke.

    Susan : Naw ...... won't go there. It's all part of the territory. Ha Ha

    Dear Ruth : That is a mix of emotions statement. It's happy and a little sad, sweet but bitter-sweet. It must even be harder for a man, who is always the strong one who opens the doors and carries the heavy furniture.

    Suze : But the image is gastly. Wouldn't it be fun if we could always stay air-borne? Indeed.

    Su-siee : Yes, perhaps you will but let's look at your history ...Ha. Molly will cajole you then.

    Maybe that dream was not a dream but a premonition. Ever think about that? Did I tell you I'm just doing wok cooking. I have gas but it never gets really wok-hot. Wouldn't it be neat to have a (I think it's called) a blue star gas stove. One grate comes off and the wok will fit into the hole where the flame is. If the world weren't so ditzy, I'd get one.

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  18. Rob-Bear : OK, you win, this time I will bow to the wise one and do my best to remember. Wa-Hoo.....aerials here I come..... then I'd have to join you in your next three weeks of classes. :)

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  19. I used to look forward to growing old and mostly I still do, being able to take my time over things, not having to race off to work ever day (as if I would race anywhere...), just having entire days, weeks, to myself....those things I look forward to and some of them I already do. It's the creakings and groanings of aching joints and muscles that I'm not enjoying! The eyes that need bigger print if I'm to read anything without squinting, even with my glasses on. which reminds me, I need new glasses soon, something with more magnification.

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  20. P.S. I like your header picture. The vine is so pretty I almost didn't notice the bird on the feeder.

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  21. I don't like this hair business! My hair is thinning on my head but my chin and throat -- throat? hairs are growing.

    I do not like that.
    I do not like it at all.

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  22. Madame,
    It takes years, pressure and experience for coal to become a diamond. You are a beautiful, tough, and oh yes, flawless diamond.

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  23. It's great that you reached your age and you're satisfied. If everyone was able to think like you, the world would be a much happier place.

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  24. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that I can be like Ina in too few years. It's just that too many parts seem to go awry as we get older. Sigh...

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  26. A neighbor of ours turned 100 last year! She lives on her own, walks a mile a day, joins in neighborhood parties where she enjoys a glass of wine! She has stories to share about the magnificent changes in technology she has witnessed over the years. She is writing her life story, for her family to cherish when she is gone.
    I pray, if I'm blessed to reach 100, I can live an independent life as this woman.

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  27. It is obvious to me that your brain is the picture of youth. Sounds like Ina's is too :)

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  28. River : It's always a great life, as long as you feel well and are healthy. Bad health can really get one down. Thanks for commenting on my bird.... a woodpecker. I just started putting out feeders last year. I have one woodpecker and I was happy to get him on picture with my cheapie little digital.

    Carolyn : It certainly seems that it's "hair gone wild" as you get older. :)

    Mrs Bacon : What a sweet thing to say. I wouldn't say diamond quality but I feel as I get older I have the ability to see things more clearly than I could when younger.

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  29. Jax : Oh thanks....I think age brings a mellowness and things don't feel as frantic as when young.

    Kay : You will be the equally gracious intellectual lady when you are Ina's age. It does slow one down a bit when one of the "awries" is poor health.

    Shawn : I love to hear stories like that. People who can live alone and still take charge of their life is such a blessing.

    Ina : That Ina is so sharpe. She heard my phone number once and remembered it. She is also "up" on all current events. An extremely interesting lady, she is. :)

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  30. If Old Age can be done like your friend, there is no suck to it.

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  31. ROFL!!!! This post is so amusing, Manzanita. So far, nobody treats me as if I were old. Frankly, I wish they would, because I could use some pampering!

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  32. Friends, at any age, are wonderful and special.

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  33. This actually happened today:
    I remarked to my co-workers:
    "I'm not saying it's an advantage and I'm not saying it's a disadvantage. Let's put it this way, one of the REALITIES of getting older is that you have a huge collection of stories to tell and they are applicable to pretty much anything."
    So, I told them a story fom 1987 and it perfectly fit the problem we were having.
    So, I'm okay with getting older. If only I didn't need to keep getting up in the middle of the night to pee...

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  34. Young soul keeps the body young too; and I fully refer these words to you, my dear Manzi!
    Glad you enjoy such wonderful, inspiring friendships!
    P.S. I can see your birds are safe, that's good! ;)

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  35. The women in my family has a long tradition of living independently into their 90 and yes, even 100s that I fully intend to continue!

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  36. Hey, just think! We're both in a generation that values reading books. There a children being born as we speak that will never read a real printed book - scary, huh!!!

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  37. Yes I know just how it feels to be 65 next to a 90 year old. the her I'm still a kid! Ha. Just hope I age as gracefully.

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  38. What bothers me about aging is that time goes by so fast. I remember everyone worrying about Y2K. It's been a dozen years for crying out loud.

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  39. How would you know anyway, Manzi? You're still my idol!

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  40. Manzie, hope you're feeling better.

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  41. I love hearing about your life. It always sounds so much more exciting and active than my own and you certainly never sound old in your blog posts. I too have blogged about getting old this week. There must be something in the air.

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  42. Patti : Under normal circumstances, I believe old age can be the best part of a life. But we also have to prepare for old age on our own and not sit back and let the government take care of us. How fulfilling can that be?????? Then I think I'd feel like a blob on the beach.

    Gigi : No one treats you as if you are old, because you're not old. You're young and vibrant.... The old wise one has spoken. Ha....

    Elizabeth : You just said your magic words.... picture. I like the way you think in pictures and draw them. :)

    Carol : So right on about friends. I have many friends yet from kindergaten.

    Al : Even getting up in the middle of the night to pee can make some great stories. Perhaps even the most humorous stories come with old age and we can laugh at them all.

    Zara : You are such a sweet young fresh mind but with an ancient soul. I think we've had some business together in the past. :)

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  43. Tattytiara : Great expectations. You surely will. A friend visited me yesterday and I always ask about her grandmothers because one is 105 and the other 99. One lives alone and one in a nursing home..... can't remember which is which. I remember the 105 grandmother has never drunk water.... only coffee. Go figure, huh?

    Red : That's a sad thought.... no books. I even love the smell of books.... hate the smell of a kindle or a computer... Ha.

    Heidrun : WOW.... yes that sounds like a kid to me. Under normal circumstances I never even think of people in their 80's as being old. But sometimes these times appear to be a little different.

    Anthony : You said it!!!! When we look back, our life feels like it could have been 5 minutes long. Perhaps souls have no time sense.


    JJ : You must have kissed the blarney stone when you were in Ireland. I looked for it but just found a motley little elf sitting under a mushroom reading his kindle. :)

    Kittie : Thanks. I'm frightfully busy and I think that alone keeps one energized. Gets the blood going. :)

    Roz : Thanks. I think of you as a babe in arms...... never even close to middle age. I believe when people are involved with books and reading, it fulfills the soul and our bodies remain somewhat ageless. With books we can travel and even though I no longer fly or leave the state, I daily visit new and exciting places. Blogging and meeting people from cultures far distant from mine is something I wouldn't have missed for the world. We would never have met and been able to exchange these marvelous ideas, my friend.

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  44. Live long and prosper Manzanita!

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  45. Dear Manzanita,
    Yes, this growing older can be a bummer, but it's so wonderful to have many, many years to look back on and to be able to see that all has worked out unto good. That's where I am today and it's a wonderful place to be.

    Thank you for helping me realize that.

    Peace.

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  46. I"m not liking the wrinkles and gray hair, but I do have to say that with age comes a bit of wisdom. It must be something experience gives you. The longer you live, the more you have.

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  47. My mother told me years ago the frustrating part was that she still FELT like a 20 year old in her head, but that her body wouldn't let her do all the things she once did. I know what she's talking about.

    Getting old ain't for sissies. But I'm beginning to believe one of the reasons we don't live a loooooong time is because there is so much pain and heartache in the world. If we lived a long time, we'd either go insane with sorrow or we'd become emotionless robots. At some point death begins to feel like relief and release. I'm not there yet, but I sense that it will come.

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  48. Irene : Great words. Let's follow them.

    Dee : On getting old is mostly written with tongue in cheek. Actually it's not so bad. :)

    Sherry : Isn't that the truth. I love my wisdom.The older I get, it seems like I get new brain implants. :)

    Bish : I realized long ago that when you see these old people sitting in their chairs in nursing homes, they still thought of themselves as young. Hard to believe when you're young because you can't get by the wrinkles and sagging body parts. Ha
    You are so wise. We tend to keep the values we learn when we're young. Mine are far, far away from the values taught today. I'm not saying mine are better, just different and it's difficult to relate. I try to keep up with what's currant but I can't embrace it. Finally, I imagine there's no one left who shares one's values and then one is ready to leave.

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  49. I just came over from Al's and wanted to wish you a very Happy Belated Birthday Manzie! Between all that you do, and your hip writing style, you are definitely aging gracefully! Julie

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  50. Well, if you got a SUCCO and you're a ped, it helps.
    And you got a DOOMME - MENEIN- MAINE.
    ZOODUCE and ZOOART know what I'm talking about...
    NESSPA ?

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  51. This the GROSS blog with ROOT?
    NYE's pissed off.
    It's about CHO.
    She's " INSANE"!

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  52. I've met 15-year olds that seemed older than me and 90 -year olds that were younger.

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  53. And you just had a birthday, didn't you? I remember from last year, so happy birthday belatedly. I guess I'm not as old as I feel, remembering stuff like that. I've been depressed about age lately since I am not getting over my virus as fast as I would like. Called my 91-year old girl friend and she really cheered me up. She has all her brains and wits and has kept a wonderful sense of humor all along. So, I guess we just have to keep mushing along, enjoying the bright interludes in life.

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