My employer, a man I respect, told me at the end of my most recent term of work that he was concerned about my health and potential for working next year. I of course laughed and assured both of us that I would be ready and able to start in May of next year. My habit is to laugh because I am absolutely sure doubts like these are just knee jerk reactions to my age. I always think I have abused my body for sixty-seven years and I am not dead yet. I believe this comes from a Scottish/Northern Irish background and attitude that has at its center a “no surrender” motto.
Well motto or not I have run into situations recently which asks me to really consider my age and my employer’s concern. I have virtually always lived in the country and am used to the various jobs inherent to this life style. When I got home from the camp I realized there were some trees to fall and some brush to eliminate. Try as I might I could not get my chainsaw to work. Odd because usually I can wrestle the beast to life. Okay I will take it in for repairs. At the repair shop I was told that it had been twenty years since they had been able to legally work on saws so old. “It hasn’t got a single safety feature” I was told. He went on “I think this thing must be forty years old”. “Fifty” I corrected him.
I believe his laughter could be heard for miles. “I tell you what,” he said, “If you let me, I can put it up on a shelf where we keep the antiques”. I was sorry to see it go but I understood … safety after all. But I wanted just for a few seconds to show this upstart that at least I was not antique. I left with pamphlets telling me that I could buy a new chainsaw with all the safety features and I would only be $700.00 poorer.
Recently I was doing some Christmas shopping. The people I was shopping for have a new baby whom I felt would appreciate some pampers. I was in a pharmacy and found I could not find these precious items. I asked a young woman where I could find pampers. She hesitated for a minute and said “you mean for a baby?”
For just a second I had the most unchristian thoughts but my slightly cooler head allowed me to respond “yes”. One day recently an old football injury flared up, which causes my knee to swell. I have a cane that I walk with very occasionally. It is quite amazing how doors flew open and people offered to carry packages. I mused, “If I had a walker perhaps people might drive me home and shovel my driveway”.
The old guy who showed up in the mirror one day still keeps showing up and try as I might he’s not getting any younger. I can comfort myself knowing that God has allowed this and perhaps I should celebrate every day. Yes, I think I will do just that, and understand each day as an opportunity to serve God.
Sometimes I wonder what God wants with a glib, flippant turkey like me. However, he has allowed me to live to an age where I still have some get up and go, and I should, and will be grateful.
I love irony and to laugh. I feel deeply for those I care for and love. God has allowed me this latitude and the ability to see humor in the day to day trials.
Some day He will call me home and I will go with all the love in my heart.
Perhaps he has a chainsaw I could use!