“I’m getting older, but not on top” | News, Sports, Jobs


Sometimes I find myself in a conundrum thinking of Sally and my 16,000 or so days together (before and after marriage), starting in the late 1970s. to be spouses and parents, we have found time to fit in with camping, history, entertainment, family and friends, sports, concerts and just plain relaxing vacations to occupy many days, nights and weeks of our 43+ years together. We have also welcomed children from other parts of the country, who have come to our city for various reasons and also met their families, and we have endeavored to roll out the red carpet as best we can so that they feel welcome to our home and community. We met wonderful people who were in the same groups with us that our children were involved in activities before they grew up and left the nest to start life in their jobs and start their own families.

We’ve been lucky enough to be on class trips as chaperones, fans, teachers, and coaches, and we’ve been lucky enough to have met even more great people who have been on those trips as well. We were involved in many of our children’s local school and community activities, which brought us together with so many other parents who shared the same purposes in each of these groups and situations.

Over these many years and many travels, we have seen sights, seen family, met new friends, shared amazing times together, all resulting in many smiles, laughs, sometimes tears (of joy ) and many amazing memories. We can’t imagine how many.

Post-retirement hasn’t turned Sally and me into Snowbirds yet, even though winters aren’t fun anymore at our age. We would like to try to get away from it all in the short term by avoiding some of the winter cold, the chores of snow removal, wrapping ourselves in blankets and heating the house. We probably won’t become six months north/six months south, or even nine/three, but maybe a month after the holidays would be a good break from the frigidity of our region. Until then, we will continue to take mini trips for concerts, ball games and visits to see family.

The VFTB has touched on this story before, but since then our involvement in the activities has increased and we haven’t seemed to slow down. On the contrary, we seem to have become a bit more intense in how we value our experiences. As we have aged in our years together, I often wonder what it looks and sounds like when we attend sporting events, concerts, etc. We let ourselves go, in our clothing, in the decoration of the vehicles, and most of the time in the voice. We’ve always tried to immerse ourselves in the activity that we have fun with, but sometimes I wonder if, people look at us and wonder, when are these fogs going to grow up and play their age?

That said, and showing my loyalty to being a Jimmy Buffett Parrothead, I revisit the lyrics to one of his most popular songs, titled Growing Older but Not Up, where he sings:

“I’m getting old but not standing

My metabolic rate is pleasantly locked in

Let these winds of time blow over my head

I’d rather die while I live than live while I’m dead.

Sally and I are definitely getting older, but we’re not growing yet. It is my hope that we never will. We like to sing at the concerts we attend. We sang: Margaritaville, Rocket Man, Piano Man, Sweet Caroline, Hotel California and Don’t Stop Believin’ with Jimmy Buffett, Elton John, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, The Eagles, many tribute bands we heard in Cleveland , on the Bemus Point Floating Stage, and with live entertainment bands at local taverns in Richmond, VA and Nashville, TN. We like to cheer/high-five when the “Guardian Children” (formerly Indians) come from behind or march to another victory. We’ve been very vocal at all of Jon’s sporting events, cheering on all of his teams/teammates from his t-ball through his college playing days. and/or choir that Chasy, Chris and Jon were connected with. We were loud and proud as Jon took the oath to serve and protect. It’s safe to say that we don’t always put decorum before our emotions when attending certain functions and events. I’m also very rowdy with my fellow Browns Backers from Jamestown, NY at Waddington’s Tavern during football season.

The fact is, everyone who thinks we don’t act our age and need to grow up is right in some circumstances and in some contexts, but I’m very happy that we can still, in our middle age “middle ages” of 69 and ?? (I love you, Sally) get excited, get up, sing as loud as you can and have fun like most people of all ages we’ve met in concert halls, outdoor venues and stadiums so that we go here and there doing sports events and musical programs.

To prove my feelings in this story, just read the words tattooed on my left arm, the same words ending the chorus of Growing Older but Not Up by Jimmy Buffett, “I’d rather die while I live than live while I’m dead.”

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