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Watching the septuagenarian presidential candidates’ has me thinking about age. In my own home I see how the mind looses some sharpness with age. For instance we recently acquired another dollhouse. It needed minor repairs. My Energizer Bunny husband has been doing house repairs all his life. In short order, he cleaned, reglued and stabilized the dollhouse. He left it on the dining room table and asked me, “Where are you going to keep it?”

“Hmm, I will think about it.” I probably won’t keep it so I set it on top of the nearby sewing machine cabinet. I also have too many sewing machines that need new homes. However, I know that I will buy another machine or house if the right one comes along.

Hubby walked in and asked, “What did you do with the doll house?”

I just looked at him. It was right there. “I think I will let you find it.”

A few minutes later he said, “Oh, it’s on the sewing machine.”

“Right.”

We have days like that around here. This morning, hubby woke up complaining about being stiff.

“Do you need a pain pill?”

“I just need to move around and loosen up.”

He walked around pulling on work clothes to clean up the tree trash from the hurricane. He followed me to the laundry room where I sorted clothes to wash.

“Have you seen my belt? Do you know where it is?

Usually that is a logical question to ask me. If he hangs it on the door handle in my bathroom, I may toss it into the hamper or deep into his side of the closet. Sometimes I hang it on one of his hooks.

“No, I don’t know where it is… this time.”

He walked away mumbling about looking for the belt in the bedroom and his bathroom. And, yes, since the kids left we have his and her bathrooms - except when he wants to soak in a really deep tub, then he comes to my bathroom and leaves his belt hanging on the cabinet handle. His bathroom has a wonderful walk in, fully tiled shower that he installed a few years ago. His luxurious shower fails to satisfy when he wants to soak in a deep tub after a day of hard work. Recently he helped my son move into his new house with a wading pool of a tub in one bathroom. At the end of the day of moving boxes, hubby tried that tub. “I could not even get my belly covered. I might need to lose some weight.” he acknowledged.

That belly is the reason he needed the belt this morning which he still did not have when he returned to the laundry room, “I still cannot find my belt.” Finally, he resigned himself to hitching up his pants all day. Sighing, he hooked his thumbs on his blue jeans to pull them up stopped, “I’m wearing the belt.”

We looked at each other and laughed,

“And how old are you?” I teased. He just smiled and left to do yard work.

Most days he could give a couple presidential candidates, who are only a couple years younger than him, a run for their money in mental acuity. But even the Energizer Bunny will attest that no matter how many times folks insist, “60 is the new 40!” it isn’t.

Which is why I say, “The next time we have a presidential election, how about finding candidates closer to our children’s ages? They can see the dollhouse right in front of them and know when they are wearing a belt.”

Joan Hershberger is a former reporter for the El Dorado News-Times.

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