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The far sideo of getting

Tales from the ONO Ranch
Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Well now, gentle readers, to many of you out there in my world or those of you who identify with a lot of what passes through my brain onto paper, “OLD” is just sort of a scary word. Right? Man, I know it was to me in my 40s and early 50s. “I just ain’t gonna’ be that old geezer hoppin’ around bent over like a dying flower in October. Nope, not me! Well, guess what, here I am on the almost far side of getting old and I don’t like it at all. Truth is, after I have gotten up, made my bed, (that’s important, you should make yer bed), gotten dressed, got the coffee on and fed my ponies, I’m movin’ around purty good. Well, almost purty good. However, this will be my first winter to have horses since my little accident a year ago last May. They will need to be taken care of regardless of how well I am gettin’ along. I am gimpy with both of my legs being broken at the ankle and I feel it almost every minute of every day.

I have come to the conclusion that old men like to challenge other old men as to who is the oldest and find out their life history. Example: a couple of years ago I was sitting with one other woman in the hospital lab waiting to get a blood draw. This old feller comes in and after checking in walks and stands directly in front of me as I am reading a magazine. “HOW OLD ARE”? he challenged. I looked up slightly annoyed and replied, “I’m 78”. “WELL, I GOTCHA’ BEAT, I’M 81,” he bellered. I’m wondering how long I’m gonna’ have to put up with this old gent until someone takes him away. I heard almost all of his life history before he was led away. ‘WHEW”! Actually, I too have a tendency to watch men that I think are my age or close to it and see if I measure up. I sort of fool them with the big black hat and crooked walk as I have assured myself that I earned my stripes, if you will. Of course, You always find that one guy or guys in a group that age is discussed and discussed and discussed. I happen to be the oldest guy in my group of coffee drinkers when we get together.

I don’t know why it is, but when a man turns 80, he wants everybody to know it. “I’M 80!” I think turning 90 is even worse. You have more braggin’ rights I reckon when you turn 90 and you want everybody to know how old you are.

In a manner of speaking, gettin’ old is a blessing of sorts. Folks seem to cut you a little slack and of course, everyone calls you “sir.” We are living longer and longer but I’m not so sure we are getting any wiser. I know I have learned some really valuable lessons in my 80 years and expect to learn a lot more as I am a curious feller. I know, I know, I know what you are thinking. I am curious, I have so much more to learn and be aware of as I try to stay involved with what’s going on around me. I also think that it is important to keep one’s mind active. My dad died at 80 from Alzheimer’s so of course, every time I forget something, I am sure I have that dreaded disease. That’s not true as I have come to know that forgetting things just comes with old age.

I believe that I am on the near side of getting old even though I feel so “beaten up” at times and all of that is a result of my past and present lifestyle. So there ya go!!

By the way, I got a pleasant surprise last week as the UPS feller left a full box of calendars on my deck and I had no idea that they were being shipped. I have to believe that someone at the parent company in Iowa must read my column and realized I had sold out a couple of weeks back and bless them for taking care of me. Sooo, all you folks I sent your money back to, I would really like to see it in my mailbox again if you are up to it. I have 100 calendars and that will be all for this year.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, remember to get out and vote it’s only a short time away and I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖


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