I have gone to look for myself.
If I return before I get back, keep me here. I’ve gone to look for myself because about a year ago I discovered I was getting to be an old man.
My world was changing and while I used to think I had paid my dues, I’m finding I have a whole new bunch of dues to pay. Dues like finding a lot of aches and pains — more difficulty hearing, eyes are failing and a few other functions reduced to memories.
Now, I’m not really complaining. My life has been interesting and rewarding, if not financially rewarding, at least in the lessons of life. I still recommend long life, well, at least I’m not wishing early demise for anyone including myself, but Golden Age does tarnish. At best it takes on a warm patina. I do agree old age is a mental state – some people are old at 60 and some still young at 100.
On my next birthday, I will be 89 years old, but never before has a generation been so challenged with the “progress in technology” as our biggest hurdle. Just ordinary everyday living, like using a telephone, can be a challenge.
I got so frustrated with dead batteries, hard-to-hear voices, dialing 10 digits, dialing the extension and press 1 or 8. I threw three of the high-tech phones I had collected into the trash, went to Wal-Mart and asked for the cheapest phone they had, adding that if it came with instructions I didn’t want it. Now I have a phone I can clearly hear, with a ringer that shakes me out of my chair, better for me in every way – and got it for a price of $6.95.
Now, let me say I sincerely believe the state policeman had my safety in mind when he stopped me on Highway 214 coming home from grocery shopping. For more than two years, I have been riding wherever I wanted to go on my state-of-the-art Yamaha 50, which is classified as a moped and limited to 35 miles per hour.
Now this policeman, a really big man, tells me it is against the law for me to ride on the highway. He said something about the traffic moving at 65 miles per hour, (the signs say 55 miles per hour) and I was holding up traffic. I informed him I was only restricted from riding on the interstate freeway and I did not mind other drivers going 65 – the road is straight, level, and traffic not too heavy so they could pass me. He told me I should ride in the bike lane, to which I told him I would be happy to do so with his permission but the law says I cannot ride in the bike lane under power (only if I am pedaling and my scooter does not have pedals).
By now I am wondering if he had read the drivers’ manual. Anyway, he walked back to his patrol car, nothing more said. At my age, 35-40 miles per hour is fast enough for me, and 116 miles per gallon fits my budget.
Along these same lines: If I am driving a car at the posted speed limit and there is a driver wanting to exceed the legal speed, if I pull over to let him pass, can I be ticketed for aiding and abetting a law breaker?
Well, another year has produced a lot of history, much of it not too good but we got through it with hopes for a Happy New Year.