Feeling old is different than getting old

 Three days of decent weather and then comes Tuesday morning, June 11. There was a half-inch of rain overnight, nasty drizzle in the morning, and wind blowing 20 to 30 miles per  hour. Hello!

It is time for the Old Men of the Mountain to gather at the Your Way Café in Schoharie for breakfast; it is hard for the OMOTM to catch a break. Two or three nice days a year for driving to the various restaurants really takes dedication.

It is only about 10 days until the longest day of the year. This date means the OFs who have their boats in the water (as noted in a previous report) do not have much “summer” time to use them. Still, the OFs say summer is short and winter is long.

One OF said that is true only if you like water and swimming. Winter is short, if you like skiing and snowboarding.

By the way, the pirate ship and crew is in the pond at the end of Old Stage Road, and the Thompson’s Lake Road (Route 157).  Bring your camera, or if you are keeping up with technology, your cellphone.

For some reason (ha!) the OFs were talking about feeling old, which is different than getting old. The one thing that makes the OFs feel old is how old their children are now.

When your kids are retiring, it makes the OFs feel old; when the OFs are attending their grandkids’ weddings, the OFs feel old.

Getting old is when the OFs start to slow down and realize they can’t do what they used to do, or it takes them a very long time to do what they used to do, which makes them feel sometimes that what they used to do isn’t worth the effort.


Downsizing is a frequent topic for the OFs. This time the chatter was on how large the home is.

Some OFs with their better halves (and that all depends on which one is being spoken to) are still in the old farmhouse. Or they have a home with four bedrooms, and back then it was only the one bathroom, but still, the home is too large.

Now there are only two of them rattling around in the place. In the instance of the big old farmhouse, which kids don’t want to inherit, the OFs have loaded it up with 80 or 85 years of collected stuff — because the OFs did not throw anything out; the home becomes quite a white elephant to sell.

One OF brought up the fact that many of the OFs started life during the Great Depression, or soon after, and throwing anything away was a sin. Clothes were held on to, to pass on to others in the family, or those who had none.

Holding on to the clothes became a syndrome even when times changed and it wasn’t necessary. No one wanted their old clothes anyway. One OF suggested that, depending on what kind of clothing they have, donating them to an animal shelter.

Many of the OFs have lifelong friends and family that their hearts would break if they had to leave them. So begins the quandary of what to do. The OFs talk it over and over and very few do anything.

One OF had a thought that the young ones should not snicker at this problem because they too will become old and have the same problem, even if they say they won’t.

Perturbing opossums

The one-time animal control officer for the Hilltowns was telling stories of some of his adventures in trapping unwanted varmints and animals that were not supposed to be where they were. One thing the OF mentioned was that opossums are one of the dumbest animals on four feet.

Opossums don’t know where to call home. The OFs think that those things go as far as they can go and eat whatever along the way and when they tire out that’s home. It can be under the porch, or under the dog house, they just don’t seem to care.

One OF said he had them on his porch like they wanted to come in with the cat. In another instance, three opossums holed up in the wall of his garage. The OF tried to get them out with a broom but it was raining out.

As soon as the opossums’ feet hit the wet ground, they all ran right back into the garage. The OF said one ran up the handle of the broom, hissing all the way. No way were they going out in the rain.

In defense of the “dumb” opossum, they eat ticks, help prevent Lyme disease, and kill venomous snakes. Opossums do their human friends many favors. It’s too bad they aren’t cute.

Old engines

The Gas-Up is running; it is that time of the year.

Some of the OFs leave the wife at home and make their annual trip to the two-weekend event in a field off Murphy Road, which is off Drebitko Road, which is just southwest of Gallupville on Route 443.

The OFs who go to this event just go to reminisce. The OFs mutter, “I had one of those (tractors), or one of these (hit-and-miss engines) etc.,” and a few OFs still have one of those and one of these.

Those OFs who left the wild animals behind so they themselves could scurry to the “Your Way Café” in Schoharie for their first cup of coffee were: Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Marty Herzog, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Paul Nelson, Bill Lichliter, Josh Buck, guest of Bill’s who rode his motorcycle all the way from Dallas Texas, in mostly rain, Roger Shafer, John Rossmann, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Chuck Aelesio, Richard Frank, Bob Benac, Art Frament, Karl Remmers, Glenn Patterson, Joe Rack, Otis Lawyer, Mark Traver, Pete Whitbeck, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Gerry Chartier, Mike Willsey, Elwood Vanderbilt, Bob Donnelly, Duncan Bellinger, Harold Grippen, Ted Willsey with Denise Schanz, and me.