Golly, how does time fly! It just seems like yesterday when all I could think about was to junk my school days and talk my dad into letting me come back to Washington so I could plant lots of wheat and let it grow. At that time, dad had reached the half century mark and I had made it to the ripe old age of 18. The best way to grow old is to not be in a hurry about it. After all, we senior citizens are just kids that's getting up in years. As the old saying goes, "Years will wrinkle the skin, but lack of enthusiasm wrinkles the soul."
I have 12 years of practice on how to be a senior citizen, but so far I haven't made much headway. I have not been to any of the senior centers throughout our county. I hear tell they serve mighty good food at those places and that they are needed by lots of retired folks.
I've been told you can earn a certain amount of money while in retirement, so you can live higher on the hog. There are many weather beaten senior citizens that just love to keep their hands in the farming business. Not for greed, but it's a way of life that's been drilled into them so deeply they can't seem to bow out.
For the elite retirees, there is a special place made for them. My relative's wife, Carolyn Maurer, beat it to Sun City, Arizona when widowed and loves every minute of it. It's a classy place, all right, but the formality and monitored rules would shorten my retirement life considerably.
Some of us just can't adjust to being away from our environment very long, especially in retirement years. A lot of us retirees also inherited the ability of enjoying our nesting place, minus the migration pattern. I'm a four season guy who likes to soak in all the seasons that rotate themselves year after year. It's good to leave home for short periods of time; it makes you appreciate the returning road home.
This fall, nostalgia went through me while standing lonely-like in a field that had been emptied by combines and trucks. A sniff of fall air was drifting over the stubble field. The stinging rays of the sun warmed one side of my body, while the north side of my sun-tanned rib cage felt a little chilly.
All the sensation I got out of harvest this year was a trip to the warehouse office to see what my share of the crop would amount to. Driving past those tall elevators reminded me of by-gone harvest days when I used to take in the last load of wheat for the day. Sugar would then scoot on home to slosh herself with water by standing under an outdoor shower. From there, she had to run into the house and get supper on the table. It hit me that Sugar will never repeat those many harvest scenes again.
There is no future by living in the past, but remembering the bygone days is a blessing we should all be thankful for. It gives a person the instinct to reach out for another day to add to his autobiography.
"Senior Citizens" Kick-Back Country, page 93
"...standing lonely-like in a (stubble) field"