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Friday, October 30, 2015

In Other Words: Growing old is not for sissies.

FTM file

By Chuck Keller

Living in an old house is a lot of work. Things are seldom flush, flat, square, or level.  Something always needs fixing. The same thing goes for an aging body. And the same thing goes for an aging town.

This is the second time that I went through a major street repair and resurfacing. But this one lasted all summer.  You probably loosened a number of screws in your car and rearranged your internal organs as you drove North Fort Thomas Avenue this summer.  It was a mess.

“What a mess,” everyone told me. And it was. Dust, noise, foul odors, and inconvenience. My house happened to be the staging area for construction - pipes, sand, debris, equipment and, oh yeah, the portable outhouse on the sidewalk.

But I had some fun with it. I declared the sand pile the Fort Thomas Recreational Sand Dunes and I turned the outhouse into a Mobile Reading Center. And the workers were nice and polite. In fact, the workers were there so long that I told them that we would have to invite them to the next holiday party. It was inconvenient and uncomfortable but the result is that we have improved water pressure and a smooth road.

But that is part of getting older and probably why I was accepting of these projects and not upset with the process.  Been there. I had another bout with kidney stones last spring. Uncomfortable, but after some work I am better.  It’s a matter of keeping a perspective, isn’t it?

We all need repairs. We have to keep the pipes flowing. Keep the roads smooth. My family physician reminds me that “Growing old ain’t for sissies.” But that is the price that we pay for living in an older community. Things fall apart. Entropy. We get old. And it takes attention and time and work to keep things working.  

And if you are of a certain age then you feel that thought - in your knees, your back.  Well, you get the idea.  It takes work. But we can age gracefully if we keep up the maintenance. As I walk through town I admire the unique houses and majestic trees and I feel grateful to live here.  The charm is the community’s age.

As I sit here on my front porch, the traffic glides by. I hear the wind blowing through the trees and watch leaves dance across the road and into the neighboring yards. I don’t hear heavy machinery, back up beeps, and I don’t have to wash the dust off the house, gardens, and cars. It’s nice. But it was a miserable summer getting there.  But that is the truth of anything worth doing. Progress is often messy, noisy, and takes longer than expected, but the end results are pretty sweet.

But now I am waiting for the sewer department to rip up the backyard. Sigh.

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