“Growing Old is Mandatory
But growing up is optional!” That’s one of the quotes on my coffee mug coasters. Another one says “Aging is mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” There are others too, but these kind of make my point.
Me and the missus went shoppin’ bright an’ early the other mornin’ up in West Kildonan. On the way back we decided to stop in at Kildonan Park for a little stroll (which is the term for seniors takin’ a real walk) around an’ look at the flower gardens while we was at it. It was a nice sunny an’ warm mornin’ for just such an exercise. Well, we’d got around about half way an’ were headed for the flower gardens when I spot a bunch o’ people in the field, all dressed in blue jerseys. Must be some sort of organization or somethin’.
Turns out to be an old timers baseball league. Holy crackers! These folks are even older than me. Well, I HAD to stop an’ watch. They was just getting’ started an’ so they organized theirselves around the field. First up to bat was a little old lady – just a slip of a thing not much bigger than her bat. The pitcher, a big guy, winds up an’ throws the ball, kinda soft-like, loopin’ it up in the air an’ it lands about five feet short of the plate. Ball one. Okay, I got it. He doesn’t want to throw too hard an’ embarrass the batter. Second pitch hits the front of the plate an’ bounces back. Third ball – same thing. The next pitch ain’t no better so she’s gonna walk. WRONG.
By the seventh throw, the pitcher finally hits the strike zone an’ the batter connects. She musta got the ball right dead center cause it went whizzin’ by the pitcher, the second baseman an’ the short stop, landin’ somewheres way out in the field. I shoulda stayed to watch her run but I had to catch up to the missus who was already way down the road sniffin’ flowers.
Well the whole business gave me a shot in the arm about havin’ fun in our dotage. It goes back a little far to remember playin’ for the Black Knights in the Mercantile League way back when, or the burnin’ sensation in my hands from playin’ catch with the likes of Jimmy Robertson an’ Helmut Unruh. So I live with warm memories an’ absolutely NO desire to go play ball, but a great respect for them old geysers who opt for not growin’ up even at eighty an’ ninety years old. If they think they’re still fourteen years old, then that’s what they are. Long may they be fourteen an’ long may they play whatever game they like until they drop dead. At least it won’t be from business pressures. That’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.