The mind says one thing, and the body says another

At the end of November, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown. When the OMOTM first went to the Chuck Wagon, there was not much activity in Princetown. Now there are quite a few businesses in that area along Route 7, most on the north side of the road.

Time is such a strange thing; it is all relative to what’s going on and, with the OFs, it can be a lot or nothing at all. In the relatively short time the OFs have been going to the Chuck Wagon, there have been many changes made in the area of Princetown.

All that is a lead-in to one of the conversations the OFs had at breakfast. This was: “What is old when it is relative to people.”

The OFs have discussed this before but this time the OFs are older, at least in the group discussing age, and the OFs in that group are older, but don’t know it.

Some of the plans talked about were pretty grandiose and this scribe does not think these plans they are making are going to happen just because of the ages of those in the group talking. It’s good that the OFs make plans for the future as if their bodies don’t ache and some have trouble walking.

An old adage that has been bantered around the OMOTM since day one is that the mind says one thing, and the body says another. One OF said he would rather have it that way than the other way around.

To go along with the age discussion, the OFs continued with items that make them feel old. Some items are the internet, smart phones, and vehicles that drive themselves, but most of all is the news that the OFs’ kids are retiring.

That is enough for the OFs to say they are not only out of the loop, but can’t even find the beginning knot.

One OF said even the habit of smoking when he was young was the thing to do; in the military, cigarettes were given to the guys to help calm them down.

Another OF said, “Like that was going to help.”

So much has gone on since the OFs were young but none really makes them feel old as when their kids start to retire, most at age 65. One OF commented that his kids are old enough to come to the OMOTM’s breakfasts.

Another OF offered that he thought he would never be this old. He thought that he would be pushing daisies years ago, and here he is still picking them.

One OF said that years ago DDT was going to kill us off, then it was the nuclear age and radiation going to do us all in; now it is climate change and pollution that is going to drive us all to the grave. What will it be next, an asteroid smashing into the planet and we will all go the way of the dinosaurs?

What the heck? For some reason, the OFs are still here.


Travel for some, not for others

Travel was another topic that fit in with getting old. The OFs discussed trips they plan on taking, but one OF said the trips are not like they used to be. The OF said he can’t get out and explore like he used to, or ride a bike.

See above: The body says no, the mind says let’s go.

“Nope, not going to happen,” the OF said, but to him it is nice to go someplace even if he just has to hang around and not do much exciting. Getting to meet different people, and away from the old homestead for a little while helps his mental and physical well-being a lot.

Some of the OFs have places to go to every year and they make plans in advance to continue going to wherever. Some say they plan to go to a different place every now and then, but all of them right now use commercial transportation; the days of driving themselves are gone, but they still like getting away.

From the internet comes an analogy of cars and OFs.  If my body were a car, I would be trading it in for a newer model. I’ve got bumps, dents, scratches, and my headlights are out of focus. My gearbox is seizing up and it takes me hours to reach maximum speed. I overheat for no reason and every time I sneeze, cough, or laugh my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires!

This is from one group of the OFs. There are other groups that are still young enough to go on hikes, take out their boats, fly their planes, go bowling, travel, and take walking tours.

Some of the OFs look at these OFs with a little envy in their eyes. The OFs with walkers and canes listen to the reports and stories the other OFs bring back from their traveling experiences and secretly wish they could tag along and do the same things.

The hunters, hikers, and the outdoor OFs report that many animals, once they have established their territory, return to it no matter what. The OFs said taking beavers and bears from the territory the animal has singled out for his or her space is not too good an idea because eventually the animal will find its way back.

Birds are particularly good at this, and one OF said even snakes have homing instincts. This OF says he knows because the OF caught a snake around the house, marked it and carried it two miles away to let it go. In three days, it was back, trying to go under the same steps as it was when the OF caught it.

The OFs young and old who made it to the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown were: Miner Stevens, Paul Nelson, Rich LaGrange, Jake Herzog, Roger Shafer, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Jake Lederman, Bill Lichliter, Robie Osterman, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Joe Rack, Russ Pokorny, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Herb Bahrmann, Mike Bahrmann, John Dabrvalskes, and me.