Twenty five years ago…

….when my father was still alive, I’d call him and ask if he wanted to play golf sometime in the coming week. My schedule was usually flexible enough. He’d start by saying, “Well, this Monday, I gotta get my haircut. And Tuesday is when the girl comes in to clean up. I have to get my dry cleaning on Wednesday, Thursday I go to your sisters for dinner and I am having lunch with John on Friday. Neither of us likes golf on the weekends so, well, how ’bout next week, maybe?”

I’d laugh and say, “OK. Great! Let me know when it works.” I know that he was not brushing me off in a rejection sense. He was just getting old. Seventy four, 75, 76. One thing a day was all he was up for. And his routine was important to him. It was not a problem for us but it was kind of amusing. Both Sally and I could have done all his weekly chores in one day, gone to work, socialize, shop and still have time for a renta-movie in the evening. Well, Sal, anyway.

I am now 74 goin’ on 75 and and am now reducing my activities to one or two (a really busy day is 3 or four ‘commitments’) a day, too. I am in better shape than my dad was. I have a helping partner (my mom died years prior) and just about everything I do is on site, in situ, or within walking distance. But age catches up with all of us. I am no longer amused at my dad’s old-man ways. I get it.

Having said that, my one or two chores a day are much more physical than ‘picking up the dry-cleaning’ or ‘getting a haircut’. Today I will fix the lower funicular cart, build a window frame and trek about the property some. I might even chainsaw a log. (OK. I am kidding myself, but I will do some of that.)

Jus’ livin’ is a chore, too. There’s breakfast, ablutions, dogs, house cleaning, dinner prep, dishes, wine-time and, of course, NetFlix. Throw in a nap now and then and it is amazing anything gets done at all.

“Dave! What’s your point!?”

Don’t really have one…..jus’ thinkin’….thinkin’ ’bout Trump, actually. Here’s an out of shape, old guy who is suffering incredible stresses and dealing with that by throwing gobs of money (that he stole) at his mounting problems with increasingly bad lawyers. Jail looms in his future. All he does is watch TV, eat MacDonald’s burgers and kinda play-at golf (with a cart and cheating alla time) anyway. Melania is no fun. He really should be dead from a massive heart attack soon.

Having said that, Joe Biden is no spring chicken either. He’s got stresses, too. If I or my father are anything to go by, both those guys either nap a lot, are in much better shape than they look or they just do NOT do very much despite the situation they are in. Makes ya wonder who is doing most of their heavy lifting…..

Epilogue: went down to the lower funicular to examine why it seemed to be a bit of a drag….turns out rust (it goes into the sea to rest at boat deck level for unloading stuff) was worse than the cursory ‘eyeball’ check I give it as a rule. I knew it was rusting away, I just did not know that it had completely rusted away. So the fix was gonna be bigger than a bolt or a grease job. Got tools. Then I ground all the crap away and brought down the welder. I ‘custom-cut’ some steel and welded it in situ, the ocean lapping at my feet. My assistant passed me bits of ‘patching steel’, grinders, cutters, tools and changed the bits in the drill and replaced the cutting disc as needed. We worked like a well-oiled machine (with a totally kaput black box). The dogs frolicked. Then they got in the way. But, when the welder or the grinder fired up, they high-tailed it. While we were there, we examined the wheels for greasing…..both the front axle wheels had lost their nut. Seems all the rage. Replaced nuts. Added Loctite and grease. And we were good to go. At 4:30, I poured the wine….no sense waiting ’til five if you got ‘er done early.

20 thoughts on “Twenty five years ago…

  1. Dang me! There, but for the grace of god, go I.
    I often wonder what kind of insufferable fool I’d be if I’d been born rich instead of good looking!
    I can’t imagine what I’d do if I had the resources of tRump, or Putin. It certainly wouldn’t be what either of them do. It must be horrible to wake up in the morning faced with all the problems that they’ve brought upon themselves. I think I’d rather be an Epstein!
    D’ya suppose Donnie wakes up, turns to Melania and says “Hon, what would you like for breakfast?” No, I don’t either!

    I guess I’ve become sort of a one trick pony. My goal is to accomplish one external project a day. That’s beside doing normal household chores, feeding the fish and….. that’s pretty much it! A haircut is an external project. So’s shopping. I suppose I COULD combine the two, but my hair grows at a different rate than I run out of food.
    ‘s all good though.


    • Hair growth and food consumption are definitely in synch with Gus and Daisy. Hair exceeds all possible food input but they are clearly related. Putin, Trump, even Queen Elizabeth and now King Charles….what kind of personal hell…?! As for Melania, she does not wake up beside the Donald (White House staff-written books). Always separate bedrooms, often separate homes. Distance at all times. She comforts the odd Secret Service agent now and then but never the BIG Orange with the tiny unsatisfying hands.


  2. 75 is the new 55 Dave.

    You’re probably in the same shape or better than your Dad was at 55.
    20 more years of wood chopping and funicular welding to go!


    • Best said by a guy who is 50 or so…..75 may be the new 55 but some 55 year olds feel prematurely old sometimes. But, not always. Most of the time it is all just fine. It’s comparing myself to twenty years ago that is surprising. No complaints, really. Just observations. Here’s another: I really look forward to dinner now…..20 years ago, anything would do….today, I even help prepare it! Sheesh…..


      • Ahahahah.
        True enough.
        I’m 61 and ran into a guy I used to go to high school with 40+ years ago.
        He looks 80.
        decades of smoking, excessive drinking and a sedate lifestyle.
        He won’t have to worry about affording retirement because he’s probably gonna have a jammer before retirement.
        Your lifestyle seems to be agreeing with you.
        Hale and hearty with 75 year old knees and a 55 year old attitude.


  3. Lifestyle seems to be a very determining factor, although if you have bad genes, a healthy lifestyle might not save you. I am 56 and the older I get, the more I take after my father. I have more and more of these moments where I do exactly the same things or react in the same way as he did. Not a bad feeling really.
    But it is strange that retired people never seem to have time for anything
    Maybe it’s just the fact that we still do 50 things n a day and we also have the feeling that time is passing to quickly
    We have a reunion coming up from people I went to high school with
    Most of them look at least 15 years older then I do
    Keeping active will ensure you a long life Dave.
    And maybe by the time noncon and me will swing by for that BBQ, everything will be fixed, all wood cut and chopped, and only thing left for us to do is eat and drink Scotch, and then help out with the dishes
    If not, well, we both will help out with whatever chores remain to be done


    • Future BBQ – very kind and something to look forward to. And I do. But, alas, an OTG’ers work is never done. And that might be the secret – always something to do. I do not look 75. I am pretty sure I look around 65. A thick-set, ugly, occasionally limping, grumpy 65 but still not a day over, well, 66, maybe. Mind you, I try not to look too closely…..
      My family genes are a bit of a joke. I once asked my mother if we had any family medical history I should know about. She said, “No dear. Nothing.” I then asked what did Aunty Joan die of? “Heart attack, dear”. Aunt Hilda? “Heart attack”. Uncle Sammy? “Well now, that was a heart attack, too, dear.” And so it went until I cried out, “Mom! Waddya mean we don’t have any family history?” “Oh, there was no history, dear. They each just dropped like a stone one day!”


      • Well.
        That sounds like a plan.
        If Wim can travel 10,000 miles to visit I can certainly travel 100 miles to visit on the same day.
        I’ll bring more booze, the food and chauffer Wim to the OTG pick up spot.


        • Damn! Wim, man….make it so… time for good weather is May/June or September/October. July/August is getting a smidge warm these days and Jan/Feb is usually cold and bleak. Mind you, I drink more scotch in Jan/Feb.


    • Now yer talkin’……this could shape up to be some kind of major debauchery. Somebody bring the women ’cause Sal will head for the hills with that many old men. One time a rock and roll band came up to stay over and we all started wailin’ out the blues and standing bare-chested, drinkin’ Vodka and struttin’ like Mick Jagger (OK, that was just me but the other guys were playin’ to drown out my harmonica). After awhile Sal wandered over with two girlfriends and watched from 50 or so feet away. “Hey! Sal! C’mon in and sing!” All the women shouted back, “No way! Too much testosterone for us!” And then they left!


    • Well, now…logistics are looming…(altho Sal figures this is ALL talk and that old guys will fall asleep at dinner……and, even if they stay up past then, they will fall asleep in their chair or kill themselves getting to one of the out-buildings. She has a point).

      We have the boathouse. It is good for three but two are in the same bed. Then we have the houseboat……not ours but likely good for one. And then there is the ‘old communal’ cabin deep in the woods that would be good for four but is more rustic than Davey Crockett would accept. I suppose there is also the living room floor (where someone might fall unconscious) and the workshop that makes the communal cabin look good. If we ever do this and it is in the shoulder season, my neighbours might give up their place (they are not here except for the long summer). Then there is the Heriot Bay Inn ten miles away by boat that is inexpensive and adequate…mostly….kinda….

      Scott is good, tho. He lives a couple miles away and is teaching his dog to drive the boat.


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