Old and in ... the yard?

Changes occur when we get older. Our hair turns white and our skin wrinkles. Like it or not, that much we know is true.

What else happens?

I used to be certain our names changed once we hit a certain age. That’s because I could never picture my great-aunt being called “Gladys” when she was a kid. I figured she was always known as “Stacey” or “Michelle.” Then WHAM! On her 60th birthday she – along with all the other new Alfreds and Ethels of the world – was dubbed with an elderly sounding (at least to whipper-snapper like me) alias.

That’s obviously not how it works. But I was young, and having self-centered and rude beliefs comes with that.

Youth aside, there’s got to be a few attributes that only kick-in once we start “getting up there.”



Enjoying golf is one. I can’t stand it now. But I wonder if most people that play also loathed it before they were 47? It’s a game that takes patience, nice hair (or no hair), and good etiquette – strong traits I’m not sporting at the moment. Playing golf also requires accessories and money. In the future my personal budget priorities might change, but right now I won’t even spring for a new set of boxer shorts let alone a sweet set of graphite-shafted clubs. Although you never know. Maybe someday without even thinking about it – armed with clean underwear and a new level of maturity – I might subconsciously start hitting the links with a natural swing and swagger.

Yard work. Now there is definitely a time-released hormone for that one. I’d rather get shanghaied and have to peel potatoes in the galley of a Russian cargo ship than pull weeds for fun on a Saturday. Mowing the lawn is one thing. But wrenching on a pair of canvas gloves and dropping on all fours to get after some flower beds seems tortuous, not relaxing. Older people love it. They look forward to it. Currently, you’ll only catch me landscaping if it’s inside a gulag or part of my work release. But 10 or 15 years from now – with a house, wife, and kids – it may be my only escape. That seems sad, but at 35, I probably won’t know the difference. Ignorance is bliss.

Those are just two getting-old scenarios. Consider this, will my generation still be bumping to racy club music when we’re 80, or will Perry Como instantly takeover once we buy our first Buick? Will we still be trolling the Internet for strangers on “MySpace,” or playing on-line Pinochle against friends in Fort Lauderdale? Will we be gulping Red Bull or sucking down prune juice? Will our Attention Deficit Disorder turn into Arthritis, or just continue on as adult A.D.D.?

I’m not sure what will change once I’m old. I’m not sure what will carry over, either. I just hope to have gained some wisdom and retained some dignity. Hopefully – if golf and yard-work become my life – the transformation will be painless.

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