Caution, speed bumps ahead on the road of life

Caution, speed bumps ahead on the road of life

Understand the signs.

Caution, speed bumps ahead!

No, I am not talking about Caribbean Boulevard. Those bumps should disappear in a few months when the final steps of road building are completed. I am warning you about what to expect when you become either a septuagenarian or an octogenarian. Actually these speed bumps occur sometimes earlier than expected.

At one time in our lives we couldn’t wait to reach the age of 16 and get that valuable license to drive an automobile. The next phase was 21, which might allow you to go into any bar and order a drink after showing your license ID.

Following that, of course, is when you reach the dreaded age of 40. For some reason this seems to bother women a lot more than men and frankly I’ve seen some women, well into their forties, that are absolutely gorgeous.

The next stage was rather difficult for me to adjust to, which is when my baby daughter advised me that she had joined AARP. It seems like yesterday when I first became a member and, by the way, I’m glad I did.

Now here come the speed bumps!

You will suddenly find it difficult to complete a sentence that requires you to remember a place, or someone’s name. A sure sign of this is when you meet someone that you know perfectly well and all you can say is howayah. You know their name but you just can’t seem to bring it up from the bottomless storage device called the brain.

A typical conversation might be like this: “I went to this great restaurant last night with my wife, what’s her name, and had a wonderful time, I think. The name of the restaurant and other details will come back perhaps 10 or 15 minutes later when the conversation is long gone and forgotten. Some people become fearful of this, thinking it is the first step towards Alzheimer’s disease. In some cases it may be, but doctors will tell you that this is perfectly normal for someone your age. I still find it embarrassing but at least I can use the excuse of old age and then change the topic of conversation.

The next speed bump could probably be solved by the Department of Transportation. I have noticed that many curbstones on streets and especially in parking lots seem to have been moved so that my car bounces over them whenever I try to get somewhere. The curb stones have been there for years and I see no reason for moving them closer but I guess that’s something else I will have to adjust to. I noticed that other drivers have a bad habit of sneaking up on me on either side of my car and then getting angry when I cut them off. What is wrong with these people?

My house isn’t that big but suddenly it seems bigger because I have to walk twice as far as I normally did before this speed bump occurred. I will walk all the way across my house to reach the kitchen and then stand there without a clue as to what reason I was in the kitchen. The cure for this, I am told, is to go back to where you started from and take the trip all over again, during which time your memory will return. You will look stupid but at least you’ll get what you came for.

Music that we seemed to love so much in the past has turned to “boom boom, screech screech, your mother, etc.” Don’t try to figure out the lyrics; they won’t make any sense to you, either. I have always been a devotee of the comic pages. For some reason I just don’t get the humor in most of them. I still read them faithfully and a few do pop out and make me giggle a bit.

Most people who know me for many years know that I have always been kind of a technical guy. I built my own two-way radio systems as a child and always kept up with the latest in electronics. I earned my living that way.

Now I am totally lost in this new world. Example: One day I tried to answer an incoming call by tapping on my iPhone screen. It didn’t work so I tapped it again. Suddenly all I got was a huge number “3” taking up the entire screen so that I could not enter my secret code. I tapped some more trying to get back to where I was and received a warning that I could not use my phone for 59 minutes. Luckily I was able to get one of my grandchildren involved who immediately solved my problem. Thank you, Sienna.

The other day my wife decided that she needed to replace our 13-year-old car. We set out and bought a much later model from the year 2011. Between the two of us we have yet to figure out what all those buttons and touchpad things are for in the car. They must have some valuable purpose and perhaps someday we will be able to use some of them. This is turning out to be a major speed bump.

Stay tuned. I will keep you advised as I age.

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