Commentary – This just isn’t going well!

Chris Clegg

Golden years, schmolden years!


OK, I’m not there yet, but this getting old is not all the glory it’s cracked up to be.

If 65 is the cutoff to be a Golden Ager, I’m less than seven years away. I do not envision myself playing shuffleboard and cribbage all day, just yet.

To be fair, many seniors volunteer a lot of their time, and many are very active at work in business or otherwise.

When I was young, I cherished visiting my grandparents and uncles. Oh, the stories they used to tell and wisdom they shared! The appreciation and love from my grandparents shone each time I visited. They truly loved each visit. For me, the snacks and great food was a bonus! Ever meet a grandmother who wasn’t a terrific cook?

I was remembering good times a few weeks ago. I used to have lunch daily at Barry Sharkawi’s fine eating establishment with Steve and Mary Blonsky, Marshall and Marilyn Kocon, and Marie Savill. We shared many a good laugh and great conversation. I often wondered how such a young pup could be found amongst the elderly. Now, each one is gone. It deeply saddens me.

Yes, we are all losing the battle with Father Time. He remains undefeated.

I remember being on a slopitch team that played the Highland Park Oldtimers many times. They used to moan and groan come the second day about their aching bones and stiff joints.

“Hogwash!” we used to say.

Boy, do I owe them an apology! Today, I’m as stiff as a board each morning until I move around a bit and loosen up.

I tell people I’m so far over the hill I’m picking up speed going down the other side!

As time rolled on, I lost both my parents and almost all my uncles and aunts. Thank goodness a few of them are still around. Orest and Joe I still visit frequently – not as much as I’d like – while I rarely see my aunts, Elizabeth, Julie, Dorothy and Iris. The latter two I haven’t seen in over 30 years.

I’ve always felt a connection to visiting the older people. When Ann Olson and Marie Savill were residing at Pleasantview Lode, I used to try and visit once a month. It was a great chat. There was always some wisdom in the years they lived and the experiences encountered that always gave them a bit more wisdom than someone younger. A different perspective made me leave many times reconsidering my stand on issues.

As I approach those golden years, I can only hope a few will seek out what “little wisdom” I’ve accumulated over the years.

Of course, many tell me not to share too much because I can’t spare what little I have!

But this getting old is not a bowl of cherries. I cannot enjoy the foods I used to. Some days, I really pay for it. Ask a doctor to explain to you.

And I still can’t figure out what happened to that dreaded mid-life crisis. Guess I forgot to latch onto that phase of my life.

Unlike many, I can’t envision retirement. I enjoy working and enjoy keeping busy. Besides, I’m too young. Like, really, I’d be bored out of my skull.

But the onslaught of old age is approaching with the popularity of a swarm of mosquitoes at a nudist colony. We’re all going to face it so we may as well make the best of it.

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