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Day By Day: Aging: a cloud with a silver lining and a little tarnish

I’m thinking, I’m thinking too much about age these days but what the heck. Every time I have to search for reading glasses to read a label and find them perched on my head, pick a place to sit based on the difficulty of getting back on my feet once I sit down and treat TUMS like dessert after eating just about anything, what am I supposed to obsess about?

So I’ve decided I need to take different approach. Take for example my colonoscopy my last week. I checked with my doctor and she said it was time again. Oh joy. The only good news was that the “preparation” now only involved drinking a gallon of Gatorade instead of the same amount of liquid chalk followed by a chaser of magnesium citrate.

All that comes at the end of being on a strictly liquid diet all day that results in thinking about nothing but something to chew for an entire 24 hours. This is followed by test day which really isn’t all that bad and involves some of the best anesthesia ever invented. That, and Nurse Melody, who turns out to read my column regularly, made the experience tolerable, if for no other reason than I don’t have to do it again for another 10 years. That’s where my new attitude comes in.

The thing about being in your 60s is that you start to realize there is a finite number of times you will be doing some things – like a colonoscopy. I’m thinking I really only have a couple more of them to go through. I mean I don’t think anyone will care about my colon once I’m in my 80s.

And then there is buying stuff. We had to replace our dishwasher last week. I think I’ve mentioned that Kevin is kind of a stickler when it comes to buying things and that the process is usually worse and takes about the same amount of time that Congress does trying to pass a budget. This time was a little easier since the store actually had the model that Consumer Report recommended – that usually never happens.

It is a great dishwasher but I think a little more than we needed. You can sterilize surgical instruments in it. I thinks the turbo jets at the back can take the paint off a car let alone lasagna schmutz off a pan and so what if we have to get new silverware to fit through the basket lid. He’s always hated that silverware.

But all that aside, the young salesman hit it on the head. This machine is so efficient, so state of the art, so maintenance free, it might just be the LAST dishwasher we ever buy—provided we get the 20 year maintenance agreement. That was a pitch no aging baby boomer could resist. The last dishwasher…

Which put me in mind of another thing I hate to do – buying cars. Of course when you consider that Kevin and I have only purchased seven cars between us over more than 42 years, it isn’t something we do very often. Among the things he likes to rave about is the planned obsolescence and that any car worth its salt should last at least until 200,000. It has only been in the last few years that he has given up the argument he always made about buying foreign – repair guys don’t like metric tools – and actually started buying a car that is supposed to last all those miles.

His thinking was always rational on the subject. “You can buy a lot of oil for what it would cost to replace a car Meg.” And air conditioning is a luxury option that irritates his allergies and probably leads to more colds. Never mind that you can’t open the passenger side windows on either car and it is way too expensive to get them fixed. Another conspiracy by car companies – bring back crank windows.

His mother very generously gave us her Buick LeSabre recently (that kind of brown one you see everywhere with no one under the age of 60 at the wheel) – a 2003 with less than 50,000 miles. I’m thinking it won’t only be our last car, he’ll probably bury me in it if O’Connell’s let him.

We’re done with weddings as of this year. Both kids are happily married and on their way. We won’t be doing that again – statistics be damned. Add to that, that we will never paint the deck again, that we will go before the John Deere mower does and the Google cloud is likely to institute an age limit for users. I’m thinking there might be a silver a lining to this getting older thing.

--By Reporter Meg Heaton