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Mendon Musings

Tropical storm "Hermine" gave us a touch of fall earlier this month, with temperatures dropping and winds blowing – but, alas, no heavy rains to recharge our wells and restore the dust bowls we used to call our lawns.

Fall is the season I've always liked the best. It's a time of change. The kids go back to school, the sun sets earlier, and the leaves turn beautiful colors before we get that last bit of summertime exercise by raking them up. Our thoughts turn to the Old Farmer's Almanac predictions of how bad winter will be.

Of course, school had barely started when stores began selling Halloween candy and some even started to push snow shovels, snow blowers and Christmas.

Autumn is also a time of life, when you are no longer "young" but not yet "old." In golfing terms, you are just beginning the "back nine."In football, it's just after half-time. But, society looks at the "6" that makes up the first digit of your age and tells you that you are "old," no matter how you feel about it.

When my father was alive, he would proudly say – well into his 80s – that he was not old. He would point to my mother – who was five years older – and state, "I'm not old. Now, your mother, she's old!" Since I am the youngest in my family, my son, Tim, has evolved my dad's comment to a new generation: "You're not old, dad. Now, your sisters, they're old!" he jokes.

To me, age is just a state of mind. Most people my age do not consider themselves "seniors," looking ahead to their mid-70s as reaching that status. We still poke fun at those "old people," as we pretend we're not on our way there, too.

For example, I've seen a host of tee shirts with slogans poking fun at aging:

• "With aging comes oldness."

• "Inside every old person is a younger one asking, What Happened?"

• "Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional."

• "I may be old, but I got to see all the cool bands."

• "Goodbye, tension. Hello, pension"

• "Give me my discount and nobody gets hurt!"

• "Retirement: The pay stinks, but the hours are great."

• "Young at Heart. Slightly older in other places."

And, of course, there's texting for seniors:

• ATD = "at the doctor's"

• BFF = "best friend fainted"

• CBM = "covered by Medicare"

• CUATSC = "see you at the Senior Center"

• FWB = "friend with beta blockers"

• FWIW = "forgot where I was"

• GGPBL = "gotta go, pacemaker battery low"

• IMHO = "Is my hearing aid on?"

• LOL = "living on Lipitor"

• ROFL... CGU = "rolling on the floor laughing and can't get up"

• TTYL = "talk to you louder"

It's all meant in fun, of course. But, nonetheless, after the spring and summer of your lives comes the fall and winter. How you deal with them is up to you. Me? I'm off to enjoy my "over 55" discounts!


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