Thursday, February 20, 2014

On Turning 65

  It had to happen eventually but turning the big six five happened much sooner then I expected.  I figured I still had another fifty years to go yet.  It's not that big a deal, really, I feel exactly the same as I felt when I was sixty-four.  When that happened, I was glad that I could sing (to myself) the Beatles' song and mean it.  Now I am going to have constant reminders of this personal historic event when driving on the interstate

  Nevertheless, here I am.  Looking back, it seems like many events are still very vivid and occurring only yesterday.  Oh, wait, some of the events I was thinking of DID happen yesterday!
Some of the things I remember very clearly:
- As a toddler, trying to build an enclosed porch from scraps of anything.
- As a toddler, being in the hospital with double pneumonia.
- Seeing a color television for the first time.
- Having to light the gas burner in the old steel and rivet hot water tank whenever we wanted a bath.
- On a winter's day, buying a soda from the vending machine at the gas station across the street and sucking the frozen contents from the bottle.
- Being by myself a lot.
- Meeting a black family for the first time and happy to have a friend to play with.
- In kindergarten, having to climb in and out of snow pants when going outside.
- My first crush on a girl while in the fourth grade.
- Wanting to know how everything worked.
- Being in Cub Scouts for the first time.
- The fun of visiting my cousins.
- Trying to understand what happened to my best friend's sister who was handicapped.
- Always wishing I could have a closer relationship with my mom and dad.
- The security I felt while being raised by my grandparents.
- Looking forward to visits from my older sister or my dad.
- The new freedom of having a driver's license.
- Going to college and being on my own for the first time.
Many, many things I remember and I STILL want to know how everything works. 

  The music favorites I listened to as a teen are still among my favorites now.  I remember The Beatles first appearing on American television as guests of Ed Sullivan.  That was the day before my birthday fifty years ago and I still frequently listen to their CD's.

  Will I retire?  No, not yet.  Five years ago, at an annual job review, I was wondering how my employer felt about employees as the got older.  I asked my supervisor how long they will let me work.  His reply was "How long do you want to work?"  That was good to hear.  So as long as I am able and as long as I am wanted, I plan on working until I am 70.  Then I might start thinking about slowing down.  There is always something on my 'to-do' list and I think that is a major impetus on keeping me going.  Don't confuse a 'to-do' list with a 'bucket list'.  My life has been pretty full so far and that is plenty.  However, if I could have a 'wish' as it were, it would be to see my kids and grandkids more often.

  So at this juncture of life, being 65, I can't complain.  I love my wife, I love my job, happy in my faith, reasonably healthy, and I have a workshop, life is good!
Growing old is not growing up - Douglas Horton

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