My brothers and I eventually left home to start our own families. Pop continued to have his garden. He and Mom would do the weeding. Actually, Mom did the weeding by using her hoe. Well, this one summer day, she went up in the late afternoon to hoe six rows of corn. She finished and was wiped out. For the first time in her life she said that she knew she was old because she felt her body couldn’t recover as fast. This was unlike previous years that she could come home from working at shift at the Pepperridge Farms layer cake division, cook up a big meal for the men in her family, and then go up in the garden and hoe until dark. Oh no, those days were over forever.
I’ve often thought of my Mother’s realization of the day she knew she was old. I thought, “When would be my day of reckoning?” I think yesterday was the day. I have fourteen Pampas grass plants around my one acre of property here in beautiful Sussex County, Delaware. The time to trim the dead grass from last year is early spring. It is now early spring. I was waiting for a mild day so it wouldn’t be so torturous. Yesterday was such a mild day although the wind were high.
Wednesday I attacked the Pampas grass surrounds the generator on the border of my property and my neighbors the Murphys. That was a BIG job. My body paid the price with aches and pains for a few days after that. Yesterday, in spite of the 30 MPH gusts of wind, I decided to attack the Pampas grass adjoining my back deck and my other neighbor’s fence. For over two hours, I cut, fought, and bagged the dried tan grass stalks. At the end of two hours I was exhausted. I don’t know if it was because I was fighting the constant heavy winds or just all that bending over for sustained periods of time. All I know is that I was totally EXHAUSTED. I am still exhausted. Even after going to bed early last night (9 o’clock with is really early for me), I am still exhausted. I am telling you, I am WIPED OUT.
Maybe this is it. Yesterday I passed the Rubicon. I think I entered into the next phase of my life. For several years now the face I see in the mirror every morning is of some old man. Couldn’t be me. I blamed the haggard appearance on whatever stressful situation I went through the previous day. However, overtime I realized that the same tired, haggard face has been looking at me for years now. It gets harder and harder to take a good picture. This is something else my Mother has told me. “The older you get, the more you will find it is hard to get a good picture of yourself.” Oh how true. Those good pictures are getting harder and harder to come by.
But back to this exhaustion I am feeling now. I have three more Pampas grass bushes to trim. I really don’t know when I’m going to get around to cutting them back. Right now my whole body is aching, especially my back. All I can think about is lying down on my bed, reading a good book, and drifting off to sleep. I’m updating my blog now which I didn’t do yesterday because I was so tired. I have company coming over for dinner tonight. I want to be at my freshest and wittiest with my guests tonight. The only way I can accomplish that goal is to take a nap now. I remember something an old boss used to tell me “Getting old isn’t for sissies.” Well, I’m no sissy but I am getting old. Gone are the days where I could work all day and stay up most of the night and get up early the next day and do it all over again. Ah youth, it is indeed wasted on the young. I am now knocking on the door of Old Age.