When I was very young I wanted to be older so that I could do all the things that older people do.
I wasn’t thinking of being so old you couldn’t do what you wanted. Who ever thought that going up a flight of stairs would be almost impossible?
How about having to choose the vehicle you ride in because you cannot step high enough for most pickups and SUVs. Or being seated in a restaurant — do you want a booth or a table?
Do you really want that cup of chili for lunch? How about giving up lemonade and onion rings? There’s a long list of fried foods that has to go, and so does that second cup of coffee.
It’s hard to name many of the everyday chores that become so hard to do.
Try pulling a vacuum cleaner though the house, scrubbing a bathtub, or using a stepladder to change a light bulb. That’s just a few of many things that need some youthful energy. Time spent cooking has dwindled until lunch is found somewhere else on most days.
But age has some advantages. Like you can rock and read as long as you like. Bird watching takes time if you count those humming one at a time around the feeder.
You can spend as much time as you please searching those library shelves for the best book. Shopping has about expired, as closets hold enough to choose from.
Thoughts of redecorating bring shivers, because who could live with that again? Outdated kitchens have long done their duty but they still look pretty good over the breakfast cereal.
The sewing machine is covered, but I can still thread a needle if some small rip needs mending.
Those boxes and files are not clutter, they are papers and notes that I have saved through the years. I can’t remember what I planned to do with them, but someday I will sit down decide if it’s still something I want to keep.
In my computer room I have covered a wall with pictures of my family and some friends at different ages. I’m not always looking at the screen. Our two children, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren are posted at different ages.
Today, our children are retired, my grandchildren are parents and our great-grandchildren have brought even more happiness into our family.
So, no stair climbing, no high steps and no spicy foods. But even better — more time for family, friends and bird watching from a slow-moving rocking chair.
Kathryn Yarbro is former managing editor of the Lincoln Times-News.