It has taken nearly 55 years for me to arrive at this point in life. Despite the gray hair, aching joints and other blessings that go along with the aging process, Im generally happy and optimistic.
However, lately I seem plagued with those senior moments that keep my life more interesting than perhaps it should be.
For instance, many of you commented on our Pink Paper of a couple of weeks ago. I had a ton of phone calls after we hit the street, asking why the paper was pink.
Wed been planning that for over a month, as a way to raise money and awareness during National Breast Cancer Prevention Month. It proved to be one of our more successful efforts this year. Advertising sales were on target, and we were able to use a portion of the proceeds as a donation to the American Cancer Society.
We took extra pains to try and tweak our photos for reproduction on pink paper, and for the most part, I thought the results were pretty good.
In short, everything went according to plan.
Except I forgot to put an article in that weeks paper explaining why we were printing on pink newsprint.
Recently, I ran into a fellow on the street I had not seen in awhile.
Hi, Wayne, he said.
Hi... I said with my voice trailing off. I know this guys name as well as I know my own, yet as he stood smiling before me, my mind was about as blank as Santas Christmas list on Dec. 26.
After with exchanged a bit of chit-chat back and forth for a few minutes, the name came back to me like it had never left. But its not fun to have your brain suddenly shut down like that in the middle of a conversation.
Growing old, someone told me, sure beats the alternative.
I would not argue with that statement, but it sure would be nice if the aging process didnt take such a toll on body and mind as it progresses.
Growing old, Im sure, has a number benefits, if only I could remember what they were.
I suppose one grows wiser with age. I like to think Im a little smarter now than I was at, say, the tender age of 19. But then again, Im pretty sure a turnip was smarter than I was at age 19. It was about that age I once tried to remove a T-top from a Trans Am going 70 mph down the freeway and nearly became the first person to parasail over Interstate 75 in the process.
Not long after that little incident, I discovered that its a really, really bad idea to light firecrackers and see how long you can hold them between your thumb and index finger before tossing them.
Some people get better looking with age. I am not one of those people.
Im not quite old enough to qualify for a senior citizen discount, but I AM old enough that pretty waitresses ask me about it quite often.
At this point in the process, about the best thing I can say about growing old is that while my memory sometimes comes and goes at the worst possible times, it also nurtures and holds tight to treasured images and sounds of loved ones past and present, of great times and great friends, spectacular sunrises and sunsets and a million other things that make life so wonderful and special.
Even if its starting to show the mileage, my memory keeps alive so many wonderful moments of my life.
I hope its still working in another 50 years.
Wayne Knuckles is the acting-Publishers of the Dawson News & Advertiser. He can be reached at 706-265-2345 or firstname.lastname@example.org