Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘getting old

Cool Morning

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Having noticed the outdoor temperature was in the 40s(F), I was already wearing a long-sleeve hoody sweatshirt when Delilah and I made our way down the big hill trail in the woods into the increasingly cooler air. I pulled the Buff® head gear that was around my neck up so it covered my nose. Having just climbed out of a warm bed, I wasn’t mentally prepared to face such cool air against my skin.

Evidence is mounting that I have lost my robust preference for dealing with cold temperatures over warmth.

The low-lying areas held a haze of water vapor that added a visual perception of a cool morning.

A vocal flock of geese flying in the classic “V” formation punctuated the underlying obvious sense that we are in the season that follows summer.

Some of the visible water vapor in the air was coming from the four exhaling horses. It seemed so cold that I felt a need to bend over and touch a couple of blades of grass to confirm the very white-looking dew wasn’t frozen.

Every time the seasons swing from one extreme to another I marvel over how our sense of the temperatures differs. What was feeling so cold to me this morning would feel almost tropical at the end of winter.

Dealing with the change to cold air is getting increasingly more challenging for me as I age. Time to bring out my obligatory fleece vest everyday wear fashion statement again.

It offsets my increasingly gray hair impeccably.



Written by johnwhays

September 11, 2022 at 9:50 am

Age Old

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How old is old? It’s an age-old question. For many –even though “old” can be hard to define– the famous 1964 Supreme Court opinion phrase about obscenity, “I know it when I see it” fits nicely to identify old.

Many of us know old in ourselves because we feel it.

When I was a kid, “old” was anyone older than me. That pretty much applies throughout our entire lives. Early on, it was someone who went to school during the week. Later, it was someone who had a drivers’ license.

One aging milestone that really struck me was when professional sports heroes started getting younger than me.

Back when I was frequently participating in team sports, there was an occasion at the end of a night of floor hockey when my hand ached as if I had strained it. I assumed it must have been injured during some competitive action that kept me from noticing at the time.

When we met again for the next week’s games, my hand still hurt and it struck me as odd that I wouldn’t have noticed when I injured it. After some time, with the discomfort in my hand never getting any better, I learned that what I was feeling was an arthritic joint.

A few weeks ago, when I assumed my usual plank position for my morning exercise and stretching routine, I detected pain in my left foot. My first assumption was that I must have stressed it somehow and blamed either the shoes I wear all day at work or the boots I wear when outdoors at home.

Two things: First, I couldn’t positively identify having done anything specific to bring on this kind of pain. Second, the pain hasn’t shown any sign of going away. Reminds me an awful lot of what happened with my hand.

It makes me feel old.

Not as old as everyone older than me, but certainly older than everyone younger than me.

I have to say it. It’s all relative.

For the record, these thoughts came to me between 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. when I needed to get out of bed and try to walk to the bathroom to pee.

I felt really old. Age-old.



Written by johnwhays

September 17, 2021 at 6:00 am

Latest Observations

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Okay, I admit it. I am officially getting old. In the good ol’ days, my lovely wife luxuriated in the summer heat while I sweltered. We rarely turned the air conditioner on, preferring to let all but the most humid of summer days fill our living quarters for her comfort.

It’s no longer like that today.

I walked in the door yesterday and immediately sensed she had turned the air conditioner on again, after we had opened up the house on Sunday night. It was cold enough for me that I needed to put on long sleeves.

I am now the one who gets cold while Cyndie is too warm.

It reminds me of the decorative flowers Cyndie planted around the grounds. The petunias appear to be perfectly happy, but the marigolds haven’t changed since they were put in our soil. Maybe the marigolds were old.

Or maybe it’s just been too cold for them.

Last weekend was basically our first real heat of the summer. Progress for many of the growing plants around here is looking rather stunted, now that I think about it.

The old saying, “knee high by the fourth of July” is just not happening this year. Fields that did get planted are all maturing just about as fast as Cyndie’s marigolds.

Our wild raspberry bushes looked like they weren’t going to bear fruit at all until just recently. I haven’t seen it for myself yet, but Cyndie says they are just starting to blossom with hints that there might be a lot of berries. I love her optimism, but I fear the amount and size of berries are more likely to be less than impressive, given the stunted growing conditions.

Maybe I’m not getting old. It’s probably just the type of weather we’ve been having.




Written by johnwhays

July 2, 2019 at 6:00 am

Just Reward

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I don’t know how many times I have good-naturedly poked fun at Cyndie when her glasses somehow make their way to the floor beneath the bedside table in the dark of night.

Since she can’t see anything without her glasses, she asks me for help.

I just can’t restrain myself. I always end up asking why she puts her glasses down there in the first place. If she can’t see them and she can’t reach them, that seems like a really illogical place for her to put her critical specs.

Cyndie never thinks that’s as funny as I do.

Well, until last night.

While she has had glasses for most of her life, I breezed along for almost fifty years before finally joining the club. I’m still struggling with the routine of keeping track of my growing variety of readers. 

As I stood up from the bed and turned to set my glasses on the bedside table, they slid. My cat-like reaction triggered the reach reflex, but I missed. Instead, I succeeded in pushing them further off the surface, where they were able to tumble down to a spot on the floor that requires an extra joint between the wrist and elbow to reach.

Cyndie was way too mature to ask me why I put them down there in the first place.

Unfortunately, something tells me this serving of humble pie won’t successfully dissuade me from blurting out the same dang question to my love, next time she needs me to rescue her glasses again.

I may be getting older, but it doesn’t guarantee I’m maturing.



Written by johnwhays

December 13, 2017 at 7:00 am