Rounding Third ……………

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We all age—either gracefully or curmudgeonly –if we don’t make an early exit.

My friends and I have lived long enough to witness the aging of everything we know and love. I suspect, if you’re reading this, that you have experienced those things too.

It’s a very sensitive area. Some just can’t handle it. It beats them into the ground. I don’t have a panacea for getting older. I just try to keep doing all the things I love for as long as I can. I always tell people who are retiring to—retire to something, or you will become nothing! Unless you’re feeble or sick or just unable to move—don’t slow down, because as Satchel Paige famously said, “something might be gaining on ya!”

I will believe that old adage that “Age is a state of mind” until my mind says, “you’re really full of…it.” I’m no Pollyanna but I hate it every time I can’t do something that I once could. History is full of stories about people who did great things at advanced ages. So-why not us? I’m not going to act or dress young. (Lord no! The way some young folks dress today they’ve made Halloween obsolete). I have mirrors and see the wrinkles and scars. I have a scale too. Fighting that battle is never-ending! But, I’ve learned to take my victories and successes where they come. And I’ve stopped rushing.

Moving more slowly leaves me more energy for fighting life’s battles. And that’s another thing. I don’t fight many of those battles anymore. Seldom discuss politics, religion, watch less things that might anger me, and don’t even argue Yankee/Red Sox if I can help it. Just root, but do it more quietly. Traveling slower these days and enjoying it more. That’s why I wrote this little ditty called:

Travel Slowly:

When I was young and, oh, so free, I cared not what became of me.

I held each day up to the light and ran it through with all my might.

I asked no quarter and gave none and loved each day when it was done.

I did not slumber in my bed, for life was to be lived, instead.

But, as the years went surely by, a wrinkled mirror caught my eye.

The heart that had so fired my youth began to wither in the truth.

So, now I’ve reached a time and place where life’s long echoes slow my pace.

I cringe as younger hearts prevail in realms where I had set my sail.

And now I fear the darker night, and that which hovers past my sight.

The souls of those who went before are smiling by an open door.

Now I have learned to take each day and wring it till it fades away,

For hurry is a young man’s gait; the old one is content to wait.

The flowers all seem sweeter now, and love is such a hallowed vow,

But though I’ve tried to slow the climb, I live my life in measured time.

For now, I care, and now I pray, and cherish every coming day.

If youth could know what old men do—they’d travel all the slower through. — JDF

I sure hope that didn’t get too maudlin for you. As I keep telling people, I have no plans to leave, I just want to enjoy whatever is left for me.You should too—no matter your age.

• Joke: The man was asked by his wife to pick up some organic vegetables on his way home from work. He stopped at a store and asked a kid working in the produce department where he could find them.

The kid looked confused, so the guy said, “Well, for instance, have those tomatoes been sprayed with poison? After all, they are for my wife.” The kid said, “NO SIR, you’d have to do that yourself!”

• Favorite sayings: *To those who love us and those who don’t! We sometimes change, …...but, probably won’t! *Old age is when you can’t decide if you’ve saved too little or stayed too long.

*I’m retired. I was tired yesterday and I’m tired again today *Justice is this country is dying. It’s all about who has the best lawyer or the loudest voices. *By the time you can make ends meet—they move the ends, *Water, water everywhere there’s no place left to go. The only thing I’m thankful for is that it isn’t snow! Enough for this week. Travel slowly, and I will too — and again next week I’ll visit you. — JDF

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