There is a lot of talk this being the “golden age.”
The context is that it is gold to be old. The term was coined by Madison Avenue to sell us something, I fear.
This age remind me more of my old friend Damocles. (Remember taht I never met some of my best friends.
Damocles was a king and he had a general who was a bit envious (I may get the details wrong here, but I’ll get the punch line). So the King invited the General to a dinner.
The dinner had everything, entertainment (dancing girls I am sure), great food and too much to drink most likely. The General was really liking this thing.
Then the wise king asked him how he was doing and the answer was all smiles. The king pointed over their heads and there was a heavy battle sword hanging from a single thread. It could fall at any moment.
“That,” said the king, “is what it is like to be King.”
It is also what it is like to be old. A neighbor is a bit older than me, and he had a stroke a while back. Left him badly damaged. We were talking about a mutual acquaintance and how healthy he was. Neighbor said: “In 30 minutes, he could be like me.”
This morning after I woke up, but was still in my warm bed, I began to think about luxuries.
Someone said that middle class was when you can afford to do more than just survive.
But to me it was different.
I am old, I know, but I remember when an add for a good car might include this line: “Radio and heater.” The radio was AM only, and played through a real tin can speaker, and the heater on a cold day might never warm the inside of the vehicle, but there was one there.
Then I think of the real “old days” when travel was in an unheated and often open horse drawn device of some sort.
For the last ten nights we have slept in a 12’ cargo trailer. We had a mattress on the floor, a pile of blankets, but we were warm. Since we were plugged into “shore” power, we had an electric heater, lights and even a portable toilet.
It is 16 degrees outside now, and all do not have a warm fire or a warm bed to snuggle into, and I feel so luxurious in my small, almost tiny, house.
And, being a good card carrying christian, while I am feeling blessed, I also feel a bit guilty for all of this.
This blog began as a spot to vent about my life with Miriam and her time with Alzheimer's disease.
She was diagnosed in '99 and her decline has been quite slow. In fact some of our best years of our long marriage have been these recent years.
Alzherimer's, at least her version is a disease of waiting. One shoe drops and it can be a very long time before the other one drops.
So life goes on.
At the beginning of this blog I told the story of our courtship and marriage, about out family and our personal journey with this disease. The part that scares the most is the anticipation as the disease slowly progresses.
So, I will touch on that subject from time to time, but the entries will tend toward comments on life. I'll leave politics and religion for others to worry about, not that I don't have strong opinions!
I have my hands full just looking after my wonderful Miriam.
We met when we were 6, began dating at 15 and have been together since. We will have our 56th anniversary this June.
We have four wonderful daughters. Smart, independent, awesome. They have given us 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. None of them are little any more. The oldest is 28 and married, the youngest is 14.
Until this last fall we lived in a hosue I designed and built in the '70's and it is pretty weird and wild, but very comfortable. Last summer the girls came to the conclusion that I really did need help dealing with Miriam. Now we live on a couple acres with daughter 1.
Life has been good. There is not much I would do different even if I could. We are rich beyond belief but chronically short of cash!
And, unless stated otherwise all the photographs are mine.