By John Matonich
I have never had a problem getting older. It seemed to me there was always something good to look forward to as I aged. From being able to peddle papers to have a little money in my pocket to driving, voting and legally enjoying an adult beverage were all good things to look forward to.
Even as I got older, I looked forward to graduating from college and starting work to the birth of my kids and eventually retiring. It has been a great life so far and I have no regrets. I know that the one reality of life is that no one gets out alive, but I hope I have a lot more years to enjoy before exiting stage left.
I know I can’t do many of the same things I did when I was in my twenties, but it isn’t really that many things. I can still swim a fair distance and enjoy walking in the woods looking for some elusive game to fill the freezer. I have never been a big fan of hot weather and that hasn’t changed. I don’t need a lot of warm clothing when the mercury drops, but I expect that may change.
I remember my dad when I was young and he never seemed to slow down much either. Even after he retired, he was always in his garden in the summer and finding something to fool around with when the weather turned bad. One thing I always noticed about him, though, for as long as I can remember he always carried a handkerchief in his back pocket. Either a blue or red one with some white pattern, he looked like he was a conductor on a train when he pulled it out of his back pocket.
I couldn’t believe how many times he blew his nose. It seemed he was reaching for his “hanky” multiple times a day. When I was young I never remember blowing my nose unless I caught some bug, but never understood why dad blew his nose as much as he did.
Well, I guess things have a way of evening out as I am now finding myself blowing my nose at least a dozen times a day. I have boxes of Kleenex all over the house and you can’t walk 10 feet in my shop without coming across a roll of paper towel. I don’t know why I am all of a sudden living with a runny nose, but I can now appreciate what my dad was going through. Every time I reach for a Kleenex I think of him and it does make me smile remembering his routine with his “hanky”. I guess it is time for me to break down and pick up my own supply of red and blue handkerchiefs. I better check with my bride first. She may not be too crazy about finding them in the laundry basket.
If having a perpetually runny nose is the worst thing I experience getting older, I think I can live with it. I know I will continually slow down as I age, but that’s ok. As long as I can go to my wood shop and make some kind of sawdust, I will be a happy guy for the days to come.
And that’s the situation as I survey it…
After a 35-year career downstate livin’ amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.