By Jim Hicks, columnist
A week ago it got cold in Buffalo.
And then each day seemed to be a little colder as the low temperatures sank past the minus 20 mark.
Finally it looked like Sunday might be a bit better (warmed to 4 below), but along came wind with gusts of 30 miles per hour.
Going outside to do any chores gave a new meaning to “wind-chill.”
And this week it warmed all the way into the low 30’s and it seemed like summer was back. We’re surprised we didn’t see some wearing shorts.
Younger people are able to ignore this kind of weather. They load up the snow machines or strap on skis and have a good time. We can remember those days.
Now winter catches most of the older residents by surprise. We suddenly realize we are moving slower that before . . . and that was already pretty slow.
Nobody says things like . . . “let’s run to the grocery store.” Now it involves a planning session with “list making”, checking prices in the newspaper insert and taking an inventory of the refrigerator because we can’t remember what looked at for more than 10 minutes.
But senior citizens are almost always positive and believe they will be full of energy when it warms up next June.
That’s when a “new adventure” will begin. Most seniors we know value every day, and also know that wealth has less to do with the bank balance. It’s more about family and friends.
After a discussion on this issue, the Bench Sitters came up with a few thoughts about the “fourth quarter” of life.
One remarked he realized he was getting old when his kids started looking like him and his grandkids had turned out to be perfect.
We all know going out is fun, but coming home is even better.
It’s alright if you forget names. Most of those people thought you had died years ago anyway.
It’s this time of life when you become aware you are not going to be any better at doing puzzles, figuring out how much to tip or playing golf. In fact, you know you are no longer really good at anything.
It’s when you know there were certain things always at the top of your bucket list, and now you don’t give a darn if you do them anymore.
When did you start sleeping in the recliner with the television at 400 decibels? Then you wake up at 2 a.m. and stagger off to bed . . . where sleep is now impossible. You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than in bed.
We won’t talk about the sick jokes Mother Nature plays on your body as the aging process moves along. You know — veins that stand up on the back of your hand, the crepe skin, vanishing muscle mass and thin or disappearing hair.
Freckles have changed to “liver spots” bruises appear with no memory of an injury while toenails grow so fast they seem to need clipping twice a week.
Your clothes closet is packed, and less than a quarter of those items will fit anymore. That’s OK because most of it is out-of-style.
This is the time of life when the actors in movies that are on the television seem to all speak in “whispers”, and so do a lot of people you meet.
It’s hard to find a television program you like. So mostly it’s a diet of re-runs of M.A.S.H., All in the Family, Everybody Loves Raymond and Golden Girls.
Any music later than the 1980’s doesn’t have a melody, and “rap” is an absolute mystery.
But you remember when there were lots of stores downtown . . . places where you could buy dresses, shoes, suits, shirts and even pajamas. When you stopped at Ellis Hardware the items you bought were in a paper bag and not sealed in plastic so tough you need a hammer and a cleaver to open it. It was the same at the grocery stores.
But the best part of these days is the absolute knowledge that old songs, old movies, and old friends are the best.
We’ve got to stop writing about grey hair. People are going to get the idea it’s on our mind too much. Be happy, don’t worry about aging and we’ll write again next week.