HOWARD WARD: Aging Means Sagging Body, Rising Prices
When I finally accepted the fact that I was probably going to grow old if I lived long enough, my chief goal became to do it gracefully.
OK, so I've already given up on that pipe dream. Now my goal is just to grow older.
Seriously, folks -- and believe me there is nothing about growing old that isn't serious -- this aging process is a royal pain in the (you name the body part).
The last time I didn't hurt somewhere was -- uh-oh, let's don't get into this memory thing. That's another sore subject.
Golf has been my game of choice since I was 19 years old. Anyway, I think that was my age. I have no idea what I shot in that first round, probably about what I shot in my last this past Thursday. Can't remember that, either.
I had a suspicion a few years ago that I might be aging. I realized that instead of wanting to go out somewhere on Saturday nights, I wanted to stay home and watch the "Lawrence Welk Show" reruns on the educational channel. That guy plays the accordion a lot better than I remembered.
Another hint came when I went to a local park the other day to feed the pigeons, sat down on a park bench and this Boy Scout came up and helped me cross my legs.
Speaking of appendages -- weren't we? -- I've noticed that my arms seem to be getting shorter. I can't even hold the newspaper far enough away to read anymore.
My hearing has been failing for years now, which helped at first because I couldn't hear the giggling during my backswing. But now that I've invested $6,000 in a set of hearing aids, I can't remember to put the darn things in before leaving the house.
I always swore that I'd give up driving before I started creeping along the road with a line of honking cars behind me. But just the other day, I was making my way out to the golf course, and it took me two tries to get over one of the speed bumps.
I got another shock the other day, too. Decided to take the BW to a movie for our (censored) wedding anniversary and learned that our honeymoon trip cost less.
Speaking of movies, heck, I can remember when it cost less to go to the theater than it does to buy a postage stamp these days.
Nowadays (there's a word you won't hear those young whippersnappers using), a sleeve of new golf balls costs more than the initiation fee to my first golf club. I kid you not. The first club I joined, the initiation fee was $100, and the monthly dues were $7.50.
Now the golf cart is $17.50 for 18 holes, and I'm constantly reminded that our club is cheaper than most. I take the BW and our granddaughter out for a round of golf where we're members, and it costs me $52.50 for the round. And then there's that $30 for three burgers and ice teas.
But I'm not complaining here, just comparing. Still, I can't help but wonder what my father, who died in 1956, would think of his son paying $2.50 for a bottle of water.
Let's see, the last round I played with the BW and Taylor added up to $85, and we didn't even buy any balls or gloves. Support your golf shop? Hey, my pension check ain't that big.
The BW insisted that we go to a party given by some old (literally) friends last weekend, and we played musical recliners. When that grew old (there's that word again), we played a few rounds of spin the Mylanta.
We left when someone suggested we play kick the bucket.
Yeah, I'm old. I'm so old that my memory is in black and white. But, know what? All of my favorite movies are now revised in color.
Took the BW out to a cafeteria the other night to celebrate her birthday and she got upset when I complained that the gelatin was tough.
That's life. Live it. Love it. It's the only one you'll ever have.
Contact Howard Ward at 867-6493 or 690-2211 or by e-mail at
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