Thursday, August 28, 2008
A preacher I heard recently asked, “What is old?”
He answered that after years of trying to come up with the answer, he had come to the conclusion that most people define anyone who is 20 years their senior as “old.”
Perhaps that’s why my children – ages 17, 14 and 6 – say I’m old.
But I argue that I’m not.
I’m writing this on my birthday (August 25). I’ve never been one of those who has hidden my age. I turned 47 this week.
A kind lady at church told me Sunday, “You don’t look it.”
I really appreciate those kind of comments.
My mother and sisters called me Monday. Mother is always nice about the age thing, but the same can’t be said of my sisters.
Maybe that’s because of the grief I’ve given them over the years, when I was a child, and perhaps even more so as we’ve gotten older. And, by the way, I’m the youngest.
“Just three years away from 50,” one sister said as soon as I answered my cell phone.
Then I started thinking about what I did to her when she turned 50. I’m sure payback is coming in 2011.
The preacher’s sermon included how we should all be prepared, in hopes of attaining heaven, because death is certain and it is no respecter of age.
I thought, too, that if the equation is true, then people 67 years of age are old, in my view.
They used to be. But they’re not anymore.
I will be lucky to even be retired if I reach 67. And I sure hope I’m able to enjoy retirement.
Growing up I thought my mom was old. She will be 78 this year, and she’s probably in better shape than I am.
This birthday also stirs much reminiscing. That’s because 30 years ago (1978) I was entering my senior year in high school – as a member of the Hamilton, Ala., High School Class of 1979.
It doesn’t seem like yesterday. But those 30 years have moved rather rapidly.
The basketball shorts were much shorter then.
And the boys wore their hair a good bit longer.
Bell bottom pants were cool.
And football players and basketball players wore socks up to their knees.
I was skinny – very skinny – “just skin and bones,” according to my children who have seen my yearbook basketball photos.
The favorite singing groups included the Bee Gees, Foreigner, Boston and the Village People.
Andy Gibb, Rod Stewart, Peter Frampton and Olivia Newton-John were some favorite singers.
The top TV shows included Mork and Mindy, Three’s Company, Starsky and Hutch and Little House on the Prairie.
Leading movies included Grease, Superman, Smokey and the Bandit, Animal House, Jaws II and Thank God It’s Friday.
I learned to type on an electric typewriter. I got introduced to computers after high school.
I couldn’t text message the girls and ask them for a date. I actually had to ask them in person or call them on a telephone and talk.
I remember the teachers – particularly the tough ones whose classes were hard and who pushed me to do my best.
Even though I didn’t like them so much at the time, I also remember the disciplinarians – the teachers I was most scared of.
A few of those teachers steered me in my career path, and for that, I will be forever thankful. That’s because I’m still working in a profession that I thoroughly enjoy.
A 30-year reunion will likely be forthcoming, although I haven’t received any official word yet. I’m looking forward to it.
And ironically this year, my oldest daughter is beginning her senior year of high school at Marshall Academy – as a member of the Class of 2009.
That is truly hard to believe.
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