Southern Indiana Living

NOV-DEC 2018

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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Nov/Dec 2018 • 9 S trangers no longer drop off packets. The phone rings less. The mailbox overflows only when Amazon de- livers. I finally am 65. A card in my wallet says so. The hordes of Medicare supplement salespeople have moved on. You poor whippersnappers of 64, hang in there. Trust me, making it to 65 feels like making it to 21 or to 16. As if I can recall much about making it to those ages. I do know I wanted to be popular back then, not at 64. Being in demand at 64 turned out as fun as being in line at the cable TV place. But hey, for we seniors, crankiness is not just our right, it's our re- sponsibility. We are sworn to swear. Who's that on my lawn? Where's my senior discount? Really, I have to pee again? Why they'd cancel "The Love Boat"? Good thing Medicare is earned by age, not by attitude. With or without dim- ples, I am no Doris Day. But am I ready to be a stereotypical snarky old guy? At 65, what am I? Who am I? Well, I rationalize up a storm. I buy a $70 shirt in August and call it a birthday gift to myself. Though my birthday was two months later. I go on whipping up a conspiracy that technology is against me. I kid you not, I almost bought a particular new car just because it has a CD player. Stuff bought shouldn't be smarter than the buyer, should it? Yet here I am, sounding all but ready to return to the party-line phone. I will not lather on the sunscreen next time. Too much trouble. I will go on lying to the dermatologist. Skin cancer killed my father and it was a despicable way to go. Why am I too lazy to buck the trend? I have been invited, more than once, to join an Optimist Club. I passed, assum- ing optimism to be a rather crucial quali- fication, while I tend to make too little of good days and too much of bad ones. At 65, I realize I should live until I die. Medicare will help. Will I help myself? I no longer gain or lose weight. My belly and I are clearly in it together for the long haul. So at 65, I will go on eat- ing neither smartly nor stupidly. Churchill Downs will have look elsewhere for an- other jockey. At 65, I am weird and getting more so. I buy shampoo and razor blades months before I run out. I usually pay bills as soon as I get them. I cannot remember my last tub bath. I enjoy being with dogs as much as with people. Thunder Over Louisville is one of the last places I want to be. I enjoy returning home almost as much as I enjoy traveling. I look forward to seeing what is in each day's mail. I get on inexplicable kicks with food; as I write this, I cannot drink too much V8 juice. Before that, it was fish sticks and yellow Oreos. At 65, I am on my first wife, 43 years gratefully great. I had one employer from college to retirement. I live in the same house in which I grew up. Change is good, of course. It's just not always been imperative for me. Stability is more an ac- complishment than a compromise. I am proud but I could be more proud. At 65, I volunteer but I could vol- unteer more. I read but I could read more. I am tolerant but I could be more tolerant. And Lord knows I could be more patient and more curious. At 65, will I keep making an im- pact? For that matter, what impact did I make I at 55 and 45 and …? Opportuni- ties abound to be a better husband, father, grandfather, friend, neighbor and citizen. I take some and miss too many others. At 65, continuing to care remains a must, not an option. Who am I trying to convince? My father told everyone to stop and smell the roses. Then the sun killed him before he did his share of sniffing. He died before he could retire, before mom and he could spend my inheritance. He did not make it to 65, to Medicare. I did. I am old, certified by Uncle Sam, with obviously a batch of new questions to answer. Some of you nail this senior thing. Now it's truly my turn to try. • After 25 years, Dale Moss retired as Indiana columnist for The Courier-Journal. He now writes weekly for the News and Tribune. Dale and his wife Jean live in Jeffersonville in a house that has been in his family since the Civil War. Dale's e-mail is A Note to Baby Boomers Officially Old, Unofficially Clueless Being in demand at 64 turned out as fun as being in line at the cable TV place. But hey, for we seniors, crankiness is not just our right, it's our responsibility. We are sworn to swear.

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