This is a little warning directed to all you younger folks. When I say younger, that could very well be less than 50 years of age. You see folks, things are going to start happening that will indeed slow you down. I can remember days when I was younger with cat like reflexes. No fear of walking along a freshly studded wall. Just climb right on top of the wall with little or no fear. There was one time we had all four walls built with 2×4,s holding them as straight as possible. We were waiting for the trusses and had to make sure the walls were straight, I would walk right across those 2×4’s with little or no thoughts of what might happen. Then one of the helpers noticed how much the plank sank when I walked across. He hollered something about my lack of intelligence and I could fall and break a leg or my neck. Just because he said it, I chose not to walk across them again. I detest someone having the right to say “I told ya so”.  All was ok until they said something. But now, these days, it is totally a different story. Just walking down the road, you could trip over a rock. You stop and see that darn rock is almost sticking up out of the ground. This doesn’t even consider the dangerous task of putting on one’s trousers for the day. My doctor warned me I had to practice keeping my balance. I was supposed to try and walk as I did when a youngster.  We would walk to town from our farm right on top of the railroad rails. There was little or no need to walk on the bed of the tracks.  Heck no, see how far we could walk on top of the rails. Not now. It’s become a problem to stand in the middle of a room and put one leg into the trousers without falling over. So, practice I must if I want to even maintain the talent of getting ready to go outside. Oh, I could lean against something, but that is almost admitting I am on the older side of life. I will admit, there has been a time or two this did not go well.  Well, ok, most probably 15 or 70 times I had to end up leaning against something. You see, it is really difficult to explain that bruise on your face to the health people.  If you start by saying, “Oh, I fell down”.  This brings up a whole bunch of questions. When you are really old, you can fall down and break something. So to avoid all those questions, you follow the statement “I fell over while trying to put my trousers on”.  This will most probably warrant a giggle or two from the nurse doing the interview. This is ok with me because I have insisted that humor is ok on any of these interviews. They have asked me on a couple of interviews if I was afraid of falling. The answer of course, has to be yes. If I am up on a roof, I surely am afraid of falling. Or even on a ladder and I am more than two feet above the ground. I have had more than one life adventure where I learned the consequences of falling, even a short distance can be painful. Falling over or down, is just one of the least things you will have to contend with. Its, that morning fog and holding that first cup of coffee. Oh, it’s not the fact you have the cup and are ready for that blessed first sip. It is that darn hand does not hold the cup as steady as it used to. You get a little shaky or a tremor and now have a giant wave of coffee coming at you. There are no amount of strong words that help in this situation. You best be prepared to steady that cup with the other hand. And yet again, this is not the worst problem with that first sip of coffee. Because you have not had that first gulp yet, you still have a bit of brain fog left. So you take that first sip and notice movement outside. As you turn your head to see who or what it is, the coffee decides to take a different road down the gullet. This is the voice of experience here folks, so best you pay attention. The body is programed with automatic responses. It will not accept the coffee going down that way. So this now kicks into gear a multitude of responses. The coffee comes back out and is headed for that nice fresh coffee still in the cup. You just can’t allow that to contaminate what is there, so you move and in doing so spill some. You now have coffee, where you do not want hot coffee. As hastily as you can, you rush for the paper towels. In the meantime, the body is still doing its thing with the coughing and sneezing. With one hand you are trying to control all that outflow. But, have you ever tried to tear just one small section of paper towel off the new roll with just one hand.?  It does not work that way.  With the four feet of paper towels, you can now bring this situation under control. You are not ready to start your day yet. There is coffee where you don’t want coffee and it is clothes changing time.  I wish I could tell you that this happens only once in a while, but this is not as much fun as when you started eating the breakfast of Cheerios. Most probably if I had sat at the breakfast bar and concentrated only on drinking that first bit of coffee or eating that bowl of cereal this would not happen. But I used to be able to multitask simple things such as eating and watching stuff outside of my window.

So, you daredevil youngsters go right ahead and do all those foolish things. One fine morning as you attempt to jump out of bed, the body is going to speak to you. It is going to let you know, it is time to pay what is due.  Welcome to the world of the Itis boys.  Arthur Itis and all his friends are there to keep you company from now on.  Trust me, I know. Ken White COB mountainman

Comments are not available on this story.