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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

The guts to carry on

Nov 27, 2023 10:27AM ● By Karen White-Walker

One centenarian with all his teeth, hair and mental faculties came up with a clever visual image for old age when he turned to me at a local sweets shop and chuckled, “We’re only able to handle a baby-sized ice cream cone when they give us a 5-gallon container to eat it in.” 

I wondered; why wasn’t he the writer? How adorable is that? 

And how can he be doing so remarkably well at over 100 years old? We hear that stress kills, but the kid looks and acts better than a lot of 60-plus-year-olds I know. 

When I complimented him on his spunk, he leaned over and breathed heavily into my ear. 

“Here’s something worth commenting on; I can still perform. Too bad you’re not a little younger, old gal,” he winked. 

God knows I appreciate a man with a sense of humor.

Not only can makin’ whoopee contribute to one’s well-being and longevity, I’ve heard that it can also make a woman’s face glow. 

I’m going to start having those professional facials that make your skin shine and make people wonder: Did she or didn’t she take that old coot up on his offer? 

As much as I cherish life, I vacillate the idea of living to be 100. Not even a personal congratulatory letter from the president himself is reason enough to stick around for a couple more decades. 

For us older folks who don’t dwell on our headaches and heartaches, or a litany of complaints, life still holds wonder and magic. In a relative’s town, there’s a centenarian named Lenny who bounces around his neighborhood on roller skates—the kind that clamps onto your shoes and requires a key to tighten or loosen them. 

Well, this once roller-derby dandy dons knee and elbow pads, a helmet and goggles to ensure his safety. This I understand, but when he sounds that stinkin’ rotten foghorn of his to alert pedestrians that’s he’s plowing through, who’s going to ensure THEIR safety? One blast from that thing and villagers jump four feet into the air! 

Sleepy old towns with elderly people aren’t all about frayed nerves and folly. Younger generations can mingle nicely with those who sometimes look like they’ve been clobbered over the head by Old Father Time. 

Elderly people shouldn’t expect to be catered to, but don’t you think that it would be a caring and respectful gesture if every grocery store had padded chairs situated at the checkout stations for those who get too pooped from just lifting a 10-pound sack of potatoes or a 5-pound bag of sugar? I’ve seen seniors get light-headed just lifting an over-sized jar of pickles. 

I know those thinly sliced bread and butter pickles would be easier to handle, but I’m—oops, I mean they—are hooked on jumbo dills. 

When looking into faded, tired and watery eyes that, because of their longevity, have undoubtedly seen far too much of life’s testing grounds, our endurances can still endure, if only we—there I go again…they—can handle a baby-sized ice cream cone, if given a 5-gallon tub to eat it in. 

And to that we should say, let the party begin! 

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