When? he asked. When does middle age end and old age begin?

"When" he asked, " when does middle age end and old age begin?"

It took awhile to recover from his question.

Friday, March 13, 2015

On this day, I say:

I always intended to head this blog with a favourite picture from a  road trip. It shows the view going down a long  gradual  incline. Because it always seemed that that's what aging would be, a gradual incline. Sometimes though, you find yourself free wheeling down the road maybe  pulled into the invisible slipstream, pulled along with ever increasing speed with no desire to hit the brakes to back off and let them race on.

Once  coming through the mountains of BC many years ago, I saw a family picnicking. A classic bucolic scene so ordinary as to be trite. Wicker hamper and plaid blanket, man and woman with small child, boot of the car open and a vista of highway and a swiftly flowing river with a backdrop of snow capped mountains they, the family appeared so ordinary and unaware. Their choice of picnic site not an abandoned roadway or wayside  as they may have imagined but, a run away lane.

Sometimes life is a picnic.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

More Ageing

It has been  a nasty winter it seems as if  everyone is moving a little more cautiously and often a little slower. I was on the bus yesterday. The driver stopped  for a passenger. There was a  brief delay as a woman struggled to get on the bus with a shopping cart. She moved slowly and stiffly to a seat near me as the driver waited for her to get settled. I looked up at her and the though struck me"there's and old woman." Then I looked into her face and was shocked to realize I had once known her when we were both young. I sat for a few minutes realizing how long it had been since we both volunteered at the same elementary school when our children had attended. I quietly called her name and she looked up at me. Yes it was her  and yes it has been that long.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Picking up speed on the downhill stretch

If I were religious I'd say  we have been blessed with good health.

We being 'my family,' both the children I have borne and the family I was born into. My husband too, has a family history of good health and longevity. On the periphery  of my family life I have known of people who suffered from ill health and disease but my fore bearers and those of my spouse have lived to impressive  ages, in remarkable good health. My children and grandchild, to date; hale and hearty, my spouse; vigorous and vital.The one cloud on this sunny horizon was the death in early adulthood  of my dear brother Todd, victim of  an aggressive brain tumor.

My friends too have been fortunate to be healthy and parents of healthy children. I have never had to support a close friend with a sick parent, nor give comfort to a friend with sick or injured child or a terminal spouse. I believe  my  life is exceptional in this regard. I cannot attribute it to good living   and see it as little more than dumb luck, adequate nutrition, clean water, immunization and preventive health care. I have given considered thought to this over the last few years and have reckoned that this will not continue as I age.

Someone I know will have a stroke, someone will suffer a heart attack, someone will develop Parkinson's and surely someone will fight cancer. As I age, the incidences of the diseases of aging will increase in my peer group and touch me personally, this is inevitable. It also stands to reason that the odds of encountering catastrophic illness in my community of acquaintances increase as the years go on.It happens to other people and I can expect the same. How can it not be so?

Yesterday I visited one of my oldest friends in the hospital, something I haven't done since all our babies were being delivered into this world. He is a grandfather of two. He seems to be doing very well. He doesn't give off the vibe of someone terribly ill. His condition, just treated, was one of those found  in adults over 50 . It was found in a routine health examination. Tissue and lymph nodes have been sent for further examination, but all indications are that this is due diligence rather than a suspicion of anything more sinister. I am optimistic his crooked smile, quirky sense of humour and kindness will be with me for years to come, but know too that his health is the first of my circle to be seriously affected and that we all will again be touched as time goes on in this down hill track to the end.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

End Of The Road

I like to travel to the end of the road, to go as far as possible just to see what there is when I get there. My travel budget is small and I don't get to leave the country but last week we took a 3 day breather  in Prince Edward County and is our pattern ended up going to the end of the road...on the way there we stopped at the Little Bluff Conservation Area. Seemingly nothing special we were annoyed by a group of seniors sightseeing  who we had the misfortune  to be trailing from place to place. We were about to  head back to the car when I noticed a blue arrow,an  indication of a trailhead. We took the downward path to the beach below.

Photos cannot describe the enormity of the rocky beach below. A perfect arc of large pebbles rounded by the relentless wave action created a steep beach angling  to the water below and leveled off to a ridge which contained the marsh behind it . Surely this geometry was the inspiration for the Hoover Dam. We watched a flock of birds (must figure out what kind!) perform and aerial ballet swooping and grouping over the surface of the water and blasting towards the sky only to turn swiftly and break off, regroup and repeat before flying out of sight but not forgotten.

The isolated and sheltered situation of the cove made me think that most probably  the location had been used by smugglers  and this website indicates that was the case. The pictures do not do the cove justice and fail to convey the scale of the beach.


Young no longer

I've had some thoughts for the now, not so young Callum. Not so much about the nebulous end of middle age but more about the realization of old age and the looming end of the road. But those thoughts are for another day, another post perhaps even another lifetime. I've had yet another birthday and feel an urgency and the speedy passage of time. I have places to go and stories to tell. Philosophy can wait for the dark side of the moon.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The other side of the table.

 At the end of the table where we eat  there is a collection of  vitamins and prescription medications.  We used to have a pile of home work and permission slips there, but it's been awhile. We used to keep these sorts of things in the cupboard in the bathroom, but now if we did we might forget them. We used to keep this sort of thing  locked up  but now that the grandchild is driving it seems unnecessary.