Find a hobby you can do sitting down — easy on the body, active for the mind

The days are noticeably shorter, which has the Old Men of the Mountain heading out in the dark, and sometimes catching the sunrise on their way to the restaurants.

This past week, the OMOTM traveled to the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville. The trip in the early morning mist was slow because at that time of the morning the deer and the antelope play. To these critters, woods and roads are the same so the OFs, wary of this situation, take care.

Tuesday morning, there were reports of Santa’s sleigh propulsion system cavorting along the sides of the road.

The OFs keep advising people that, at whatever age you want to start, it is a good idea to develop at least one hobby that is interesting but does not take too much effort. Hobbies like writing, art, music, building models, wood carving, or even rug hooking, which are hobbies that can be done sitting down.

The more active hobbies like skiing, race-car driving, motorcycle motocross, skydiving, or rock climbing arrive at a point where the person is now like us, an OF, and he can’t take part in them anymore.

Travel is one thing that keeps the OFs going (pun intended); not only do the OFs have the experience of traveling but get to tell stories of their trips at the breakfasts.

One OF told of his trip to Lowell, Massachusetts and a World War II gathering. The trip was organized by the local World War II equipment collectors’ club and they traveled by bus.

Another told of his trip by bus to an event in Canada. Other OFs are in clubs that do things that are easy on the body, but active for the mind and at least get the OFs moving.


Much conversation then ensued on a variety of topics. We are finding the stink bugs are only a pest in certain areas.

One OF asked some other OFs (who live off the Hill) how they are handling the stink-bug problem and they said that they never heard of the bug and they don’t have them. They said they have tons of lady bugs but no stink bugs.

One OF said the lady bugs were brought in a few years ago to eat the larva of the moth that was defoliating trees, and it worked but now we are left with the lady bugs.

Another OF said those little suckers can bite.

Yet another OF said they are thinking of doing the same thing with these darn stink bugs. The thought is to bring in some kind of wasp (the OF couldn’t remember what kind) and these wasps would do the same thing to the stink bug that the lady bug did to the moth — feed on the larva.

Then one OF asked, “Are we going to be stuck with another type of wasp?  We have enough of those already.”

Beautiful boats

The OFs talked about the beauty of the older wooden boat runabouts. An OF thought the plastic “boats” plying the waterways today can’t hold a candle to how beautiful the wooden boats were — and are because some are still on the water.

One OF thought the older boats even sounded different; they seem to have a nice rumble to them.

“Yeah,” an OF said. “You can have them to look at, but maintaining them is a different story. The newer ones, unless you hit a rock, will never leak, and they consume less fuel to run. Those older wooden boats were heavy and it took a lot of gas to push those things through the water.”

An OF answered back, “Yeah, you can have a good-looking chick on your arm and she is as cold as ice, or one a little on the heavy side, nice, but not model quality — yet hotter than a pistol.” This OF maintained he would take the pistol. The same thing goes for the boats.

Night mysteries

The OGs had a discussion on sleep apnea. It seems it is more prevalent than the OFs thought. This condition has potential fatal effects because, in one particular type, the person that has it actually stops breathing for short periods of time. When this occurs, the brain and other parts of the body receive no oxygen.

One OF mentioned that his wife has this problem and sleeps with a mask. The OF said, when she is sleeping, she will stop breathing 40 times a minute. With the mask she sleeps fine — just like normal.

Other OFs have this malady and it is good to know that it can be controlled and without pills. Looking around this group, it sometimes appears that most are asleep anyway so they may not be getting night sleep, but day sleep is taking care of it.

One OF says he does not like to go to sleep; because his dreams are so scary, he fights going to sleep. Another said his dreams are so real that the dreams seem like life, and life seems like a dream.

Still another OF said he doesn’t dream at all. He goes to bed at night and wakes up in the morning and that’s it.

Another OF said he dreams basically the same pattern of dreams over and over.

One OF said he can remember some of his dreams, but in some cases, when he would like to remember a particular dream and tell his wife about it, that usually turns out to be the one he can’t remember.

The Bible says, “Your old men will dream dreams” and that was 2,000 years ago; nothing seems to change.

Wouldn’t a psychiatrist like to get a hold of this group?

The OFs who made it through the deer, and over the back roads, and still maintain it is worth the trip to the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville were: Roger Chapman, Bill Lichliter, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Glenn Patterson, Karl Remmers, Bob Snyder, Chuck Aelesio, Richard Frank, Jake Lederman, Ray Gaul, Ted Feurer, Rev. Jay Francis, Lou Schenck, Mace Porter, Gerry Irwin, Warren Willsey, Mike Willsey, Jack Norray, Marty Herzog, Jim Rissacher, Bill Rice, Henry Whipple, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me.