Monday, August 2, 2010

Already August

I turned the calendar this morning and found it hard to believe it is already August. Before this month is over, kids will be back in school, and we’ll all be wondering what happened to the summer and all the plans we made in the springtime.

When I was in elementary school, it seemed to me that summer lasted for a long time. The first day of school some kids had changed so much over the vacation we might not recognize them at first glance.

Now that we are adults, we don’t usually see drastic changes over three months’ time. It’s hard to notice a few more “laugh lines” or that the sun is glinting off more gray hair than the last time we saw someone. And unless you are in the educational field, you most likely see your co-workers nearly every day and don’t have much occasion to be shocked by a change that happened while you weren’t looking.

August is State Fair month. It is usually extremely hot or stormy. What is it about the State Fair that brings out the worst in the weather? Is it because all us wimps are used to air conditioning and suddenly find ourselves in the great outdoors—walking around on hot pavement—without any shade. What’s not to love about that?

It seems like time goes by faster than it ever did. Not only is summer almost gone, but with surprising speed we’ll be into 2011. Here we are ten years into the twenty-first century and I still sometimes want to put “19” in front of the year.

August was once a time of birthday celebrations. Jim would have been 65 years old later this month. He lost the battle with dementia more than five years ago—and never made it to his 60th birthday.

At one time, in my youth, I’m sure I thought anyone in his or her 60s was ancient. Now, it doesn’t seem old at all. I have three older siblings who are in their 60s, and I’m getting pretty darn close to it myself. I have a little time left, but as fast as time goes by, we’re going to have to call the fire department before anyone lights the candles.

Growing older is like anything else—there is good and bad. On the plus side, I think we older people don’t worry so much about what others think of us. We still like to look good, but we would rather have a few wrinkles than have a surgeon pull our faces into a plastic mask. Some of us wear our gray hairdos proudly, or else we just cover the gray with whatever dye suits our fancy. See a man with a bald spot and you’ll often see one that shaves it all off as if he had it planned all along. Another plus side to getting older—our eyesight begins to fail us and (guess what!) that makes everyone look better. We can’t see the flaws like we once could.

On the downside, we find we can’t always ignore some of the things we used to. Last night when I woke up with a heavy feeling in my chest, I debated whether it was from all the acidy tomatoes I had eaten, or whether I needed to call 911 to get emergency medical help. I look at myself in the mirror and think, I may not feel too old, but I am for sure old enough to have to consider a heart attack as something not too far out of the realm of possibilities.

Another down side—you may only pack on a pound or two a year, but we know what that means. The more candles on the cake, the more likely we are to be packing extra pounds around the old midsection. That in turn causes health problems—diabetes, high cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure, and on and on and on. We wind up with problems in body parts that we didn’t even know we had. Thank goodness for Google and all the health networks available with all the symptoms, side effects, and health alerts that any aging computer savvy middle-age-going-on-senior might have.

Here it is already August—and the next thing you know it will be autumn. Probably in the next week or so Halloween decorations will be in the stores. Time passes by, we flip the calendars and wonder what happened to summer. It used to seem like it lasted so long and now it just flashes by with the speed of life.

Copyright © August 2010 L.S. Fisher
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