Wednesday, January 27, 2016


I posted yesterday a photo of days gone by when I used to climb around on rocks.

SWMBO can tell you, and we have the pictures to prove it, that I was known for going to the edge of precipices, clambering around on boulders in streams, taking chances on my footing.

But those days are gone as I approach the end of my 75th year on the planet.

My knees aren't as flexible as they once were.

My balance isn't near what it once was.

So after a couple of slightly scary incidents in recent years, I've taken to doing whatever outdoor activity is on my agenda with a hiking stick.

I stick to the trail system in our development.

They call them "trails".

For the most part I call them "sidewalks".

Occasionally I walk down to this small park a short distance from where I live.

It's not much.

Just a circle of grass and on this particular day it was looking gloomy under cloudy skies.

But it does have an advantage I never would have thought of in my more physical days: several park benches to rest on.

Several of my Gentle Readers commented yesterday on their own difficulties with age.

Tom, in California, says he sticks to trails nowadays as his knees and ankles seem more tenuous.

Steve, in Germany, said heights never bothered him when he was younger but now they do.

It seems that we're all growing not just older but actually "old".

I was thinking about this after I woke this morning but was still clinging to the warmth of bed and the futile hope that I might go back to sleep.

Oh well. I still have my window next to my desk and I can still watch my birds as they come to the bird bath and the tree above it.

This little goldfinch, if that's what it is, seemed to be warming himself in the sun of a brighter day recently.

Newcomers here think winter is over as the temperature rises into the 60's.

But those of us who have lived here for awhile know that Old Man Winter can surprise us over the next couple of months.

The day SWMBO and I opened our bookstore, back in 1996 after a very mild winter, a snowstorm dumped several inches on us.

That was in the first week of March.

I had envisioned a nice day snuggled down amidst my books welcoming eager customers.

Instead I spent much of the day shoveling the sidewalk in front of the store and we took in less than 30 dollars.

Nowadays, I'd hire some kids to do the shoveling and it would probably cost me $30.

So it goes.


  1. If you are only as old as you feel, I am older than my birth certificate says.

  2. I first noticed my ageing body 5 years ago at 65, I was crewing as the mainsail trimmer on a 44 foot full out, hot, racing sailboat and for the first time in my life I felt weak. We got in a tacking duel in a race off Marina del Rey, on the upwind leg we probably tacked 10 or 12 times, cranking the mainsheet winch absolutely ruined me that day. The boat had running backstays, so in addition to winching the huge main in on every tack, the windward backstay had to be winched in tight on every tack. Any sailing I do now is relaxed, usually with a beer in my hand and my arm around my wife...the balance thing is rather scary isn't it?

  3. Sleep too, I spend at least an hour in the middle of the night pondering this issue.

    1. Maybe you're not drinking enough in the evenings.

  4. Knees don't last forever. At least they have bionic knees now.

  5. I tell my husband that some day he will not be able to operate chain saws and power saws and all manner of sharp things because his reflexes will not respond quick enough. He hates to hear it. There is a man in his 80's in Victorian Estates who has a 2 stall garage covered wall to wall in big power tools that he can no longer use but will not sell. My husband said, "That is the saddest thing." Crap. I may never get all these tools out of my garage!

    1. Judy's dad was a contractor all his life. When he was in his 60's (I believe) he was sawing some wood and cut off the end of one of his thumbs.

  6. I find that one of the most disturbing things about getting older [I'm 78 so still in my middle years :) ] is that if I fall, I am unaware of the falling until I hit the ground. Time was when I was aware of the journey downwards and could take preventative action. Recently bought a new, good pair of "non-slip" walking shoes, and that helps on rocks. And I must remember not to look up and then down quickly.

    1. The biggest problem I have with falling is getting back up!

  7. I think I once owned that Picasso book behind you in the photograph.

  8. I feel your pain. My pacemaker causes no problems, but my myasthenia gravis saps my strength by mid-afternoon. Luckily I have no issues with balance, even though I used that as my excuse when I told my wife a few years ago I could no longer mow the lawn. ;)

  9. It seems to take longer to recover from a tennis match than it used to. But then we have guys and gals in our club who continue to play very competitive tennis well into their 80's. One of the foursomes in which I play includes Bud who is 92, though you'd not know that by watching him play. He's fast, runs to the alley and net and may be the most skilled net player in the club. So, there is hope.

    1. If you continue playing tennis with those older guys, you'll HAVE to stay in shape! :)