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Falling apart


As I approach 63, I find more and more things simply can’t be done any more.
Like driving a golf ball. In my prime, during the rare event when I actually hit it where aimed, my ball might actually be in a position to reach the green in regulation. And if my aim was off, at least the shot would go two, sometimes, three fairways over.
Of late, however, even my best effort leaves me well short, and my mis-hits don’t even leave the course. Luckily, there’s a tidy little provision in the sport called the senior tee block and it’s helped me immensely. Now, a true swing from the tee gets me to a point where I can easily hit a couple irons and three-putt out.
My mind is also losing some wattage.
A couple weekends ago, Sabra and I attended a wedding in Des Moines and I couldn’t remember how to tie a tie. In my defense, I must say, you can count the number of times a noose has been around this neck on one hand. I’ve got a thick neck and have to use little rubber band expanders, and even then I’m miserable.
That’s why I was always quick to volunteer to be the photographer at weddings, thereby allowing me to claim an exemption to the dress code, to be free to move around.
But the invitation made it very clear suit, coat and tie were required, and I haven’t kept up with camera technology so offering to take photos was no longer an option.
There I was at the Holiday Inn, standing in front of the mirror, trying to remember where the rabbit goes. Nothing I tried looked right so Sabra stepped in to help and she clenched a perfect knot; a perfect knot, that is, if I was a clown. It was bigger than my fist and the tie extended about six inches under my chin.
So down to the lobby I went.
I was hoping to ask the young and pretty receptionist for help– I may be old but I’m still a man– but she was busy so I opted for a young gentleman with a military bearing. He proved pleasant, very helpful and soon I was looking like any other Republican candidate for president.
All is not lost, however.
The other day I was riding my bicycle around Iowa City and polishing up the historical tour I’m offering through Orange Hat Cycling (OHC).
My goal for OHC is to have people who enjoy cycling join us for a ride around Iowa City or Cedar Rapids. Along the way I’ll point out historical markers, interesting pieces of art and unusual architecture.
I stopped near the Riverside Theater to look at the map on my cell phone. While fumbling with it, three young men were taking turns at trying to lift a rather good-sized log off the ground. A foot in diameter and six feet long, each of the guys took a turn and failed, not even getting it above their waist.
“You need some help lifting that?” I asked, and in unison they responded, “Sure.”
As many regular readers know, I’m the son of a truck driver who finished up his career delivering furniture. I learned at an early age on how to use your body correctly, getting the right muscles into play.
Although they all agreed to let me try, I could to tell from their expression that they didn’t think an old man like me could do something the three bucks found impossible. But I fooled them.
Grabbing the log at one end I tipped it up using my leg muscles and not my back (Dad would have been proud). Next, I squatted down and got my shoulder in the middle, rocked back and pressed up with the 200 pounds of wood neatly balanced.
“Where do you want it?” I asked triumphantly, secretly hoping that the destination was near and didn’t involve stairs.
“We didn’t want to move it, mister,” one of them spoke up. “We were just trying to lift it.”