Trying to outguess Mother Nature is quite a challenge

On Tuesday, May 4, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Your Way Café in Schoharie, where the proprietor covered what has been going on in her life and the life of the restaurant during the pandemic. It is amazing how strong and resilient so many people are.

This scribe suspects that ailments and sickness will go on and on as the group is composed of OFs. That can become boring and depressing. The only up-side will be unusual cases and what is being done about them.

This may bring encouragement to those who read the column regularly (and who may be mostly old people anyway) or maybe just one or two young-uns (who read for laughs and giggles) that have a malady and are glad to see they are not alone.

Like other organizations that have regular meetings, as people arrive the greeting chatter is generally about the weather; so it is with the OFs. This time the chatter has been about the rain, drizzle, and general nastiness of what the skies have been offering us in the Northeast the last couple of weeks.

In our area, many eyes are on the creeks and streams of the Hilltowns as they race to the valley. The word at the meeting on Tuesday morning is these channels of running water are becoming full, and powerful.

The report on the little Schoharie creek, and the creeks around Huntersland, is the fullness and the power of the rushing water. This water is beginning to move some of the rocks placed there to prevent flooding from the storm that occurred in 2011, and these rocks are now being shoved around. Some of the rocks are the size of a Volkswagen. Oops.

One OF mentioned hydrologists may be great engineers, and study fluids day in and day out, but trying to outguess Mother Nature is quite a challenge. Of course Mom Nature has millions and millions of years of practice, and her drawing board is just trial and error, and this ole planet is still in the trial period, or so the OFs think.

Hardest hardship

The OFs began a discussion on “Old People.” Well, duh!

Who could be better to have this discussion than the Old Men of the Mountain? The basis for this talk was when to stop driving and give up the licenses.

For most OFs, this is the hardest hardship of all. As one OF put it, it is just like being put in prison.

This OF said he has a relative who lives with another OF for economic reasons but they both were still able to drive and the two OGs went everywhere together. Eventually his relative had to stop driving, but since the other OF still could drive his relative’s coming and going didn’t change much.


What is “old?”

This brought up when, and what is old. The OF said the old adage of age not being a number is only half true.

Some people become old when they are in their late fifties or early sixties, and others know when they are old in their late eighties or early nineties, and a darn few never seem to get old.

One OF said, “All the books in the world that tell you to do this and that, or take this or that so anyone can stave off getting old is a bunch of bologna. All of a sudden your body will tell when it has had enough. More often than not ,the mind won’t agree, but it is best to listen to the body and adjust mentally and physically.”

One OF said that there is something about the people who try to help fend off the age bit by eating right and exercising; it does work. The OF said eating chips and rocking in the rocking chair just gaining pounds, moaning and groaning about life and living is the easiest way to getting old in a hurry that he knows of.

This particular OF is going to push himself as much as his body will let him. The mind is another thing; however, this OF doesn’t know much about that. Maybe that is a good thing.

Sometimes the mind (as discussed above) has nothing wrong with it, but one little part of the body limits the OF’s mobility. That event is very discouraging. The OFs try to correct this problem so they can catch up, and again sometimes that is difficult.  

Getting off on a little side track, one OF mentioned “Bones them bones, them dry bones.”

“Well,” as another OF said, “Dem dry bones can be one h--- of lot of trouble.”

Another OF commented, “The doctor that works on our shoulders doesn’t have much to worry about. The bones are big and the only weight these bones have to carry is your head. Down where the foot is located, it is loaded with a bunch of little bones and they have to carry all two hundred pounds of the OF.”

Then the discussion started. What about push-ups, pull-ups, throwing balls, footballs, basketballs, etc., how about swinging a tennis racket, a ball bat? Hey! The shoulders get a workout.

“Nah,” one OF said. “You are talking all muscle here.”

As scribe, I would like to have the last word on this conversation. If you boil a funny bone, it becomes a laughing stock. Now that’s pretty humerus. (The humerus is the upper arm bone — get it?)

What this group needs is a good physical therapist to sort it out for the OFs who are interested in this issue, but in a few hours the OFs won’t remember they even had the conversation.

Those attending the Your Way Café in Schoharie and who are still arriving at the establishments by car (and at least not yet canoes) were: Glenn Patterson, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Rick LaGrange, Roger Shafer, Ted Feurer, Jake Lederman, Wayne Gaul, Jake Herzog, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Bill Lichliter, John Muller, Pete Whitbeck, Elwood Vanderbilt, Dave Hodgett, Rev. Jay Francis, Lou Schenck, Herb Bahrmann, and me.