Tag Archives: old age

Time is merciless

As much as I enjoy becoming an old man — something neither of my parents were allowed to do — I must admit a certain trepidation over at least one element of old age.

My peers are leaving this good Earth, seemingly at an increasing pace.

Mom died at 61; Dad died at 59. I am about to turn 73. I would much rather be among the living than cavorting with them, wherever they are. But, dang! — it’s tough to hear about individuals I know personally, contemporaries of mine, who have gone on to their great reward.

Just this week, I learned of a former journalism colleague who died of a heart attack. We managed to stay in touch via social media and I enjoyed keeping up with his doings and goings-on. Now he’s gone … forever.

There have been many others. I won’t bore you with details on them. Just know, though, that as someone who continues to enjoy relatively good health, I am acutely aware that time has this way of sneaking up on everyone.

A longtime friend and former colleague — a fellow with whom I only recently renewed contact — has been fond of reminding us that “no one gets outta here alive.”

Well, there you go. The clock keeps ticking. It is relentless and it shows no mercy. None! Ever!

I will continue to live by own belief that getting old surely beats the daylights out of the alternative.


Ringo to turn 75! Gulp, some of us are old!

Ringo Starr

I don’t feel all that old old, but I guess I am.

So, then, must this guy be old. Ringo Starr turns 75 next Tuesday. You remember him, yes? He used to play drums with The Beatles — and surely you’ve heard of them.

How old do I feel today? Quite old, actually.

Consider this little tidbit.

I’m at work this afternoon. I spot a couple — Jack and Pat. They’re friends of mine. They’re shopping for a vehicle. After a lengthy session with the sales rep who sold them the vehicle, I walked up to Pat and told her, “Hey did you know that Tuesday, Ringo Starr turns 75 years of age?” She laughed and said, “We’re getting old.”

I turned to the sales rep. “Did you know that?” I asked. The rep — get ready for this — didn’t know who Ringo Starr is.

Pat said, politely, “He used to be a drummer. He played with The Beatles.”

I do not know the age of the sales representative in question. I’m guessing about 30. Hmm. Old enough perhaps to have heard from Mom, Dad — or perhaps Grandma and Grandpa about the “good old days” when bands such as The Beatles were making music that transcends generations.

That’s OK. I’ll give my colleague a pass. But as I’ve noted many times, he and his band mates — John, George and Paul — helped raise me.

If only it didn’t make me feel so old.

Age keeps getting in the way

Don’t you hate it when you show your age to a young person who doesn’t quite get the reference?

It happened to me today while I was working one of my four part-time jobs.

I was sitting in the break room at the car dealership where I work, visiting with a courtesy driver who’s about eight years older than I am.

I’m 65; he’s 73.

In walked a young salesman. We started talking about how his sales business was going.

The young man made note of how popular SUVs have become “since the price of gasoline has gotten to be so cheap.”

My courtesy driver friend and I exchanged looks — and then laughed out loud.

I told my young salesman friend that he was “talking to two fellas who remember when gasoline sold for about a quarter a gallon.” My courtesy driver friend mouthed the words “19 cents.”

My young friend, who’s 26 years of age, took note of when gasoline “first hit a buck 50.”

So, there we have a clear definition of what I’ve termed the “new normal” at the gasoline pump.

When gasoline sells for $2.50 per gallon for regular unleaded and that’s considered “cheap,” well, that signals a new way — in my view at least — of assessing the relative price of a common commodity.

I reminded my good friend — the young man — that when gasoline hit $1.50 per gallon, some of us became apoplectic.

I don’t think he quite got it. My other friend — the older one — surely did.


Medicare info overflows from my mailbox

This is another in an occasional series of blog posts commenting on impending retirement.

My 65th birthday looms just a few months down the road.

Someone must have ratted me out to every health insurance company on the planet. Nearly every single day our mail box contains something from someone telling me about my Medicare options when I hit that magic number.

Maybe I should send them all return slips telling them “Stop sending me these mailers.”

Would they heed my command? I doubt it. Strongly.

They’ll keep coming.

Here’s the latest on my Medicare sign-up planning: I have given it hardly a thought.

Medicare was that genius legislation cooked up during the Lyndon Johnson administration. President Johnson signed the Medicare bill into law in 1965. Unlike the hassling and haggling over the Affordable Care Act, there was little overt opposition to the then-new law when the president signed it.

Yes, they tweaked the provisions within the Medicare program once they figured out how to solve the problems. They didn’t toss it all out and start over, which is what many ACA critics keep insisting must be done now. To borrow a phrase from Col. Sherman T. Potter: buffalo bagels!

Medicare is still a seemingly complicated matter. My mother-in-law is on it and my intrepid wife is forced on occasion to sort out some kind of issue with it as it relates to her mother’s health care.

You’ve got parts A, B and D. I think that’s it. Whatever happened to Part C? Maybe it’s part of the pile of mailings I’ve gotten, but have just missed it.

Someone advised me once that my Veterans Administration health care coverage — which, of course, is prepaid — would be sufficient, that I wouldn’t need to mess with Medicare.

I’ll get to poring through the Medicare mailings eventually. Maybe I’ll decide on a plan to cover me in case I get sick.

It can wait. All these mailers make my head hurt.