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Elderly wisecracks (01/13/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns
Don't burn bridges. You'll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river. The white-headed, the eccentric, and the curmudgeon are often the butt of tasteless jokes, accusing them of "senior moments" and senility. Oh well, time wounds all heels - their day is coming.

A guy who continues to dish out the sarcastic, dry humor, with his geeky, deadpan expression, Woody Allen, likely a pariah of the senior actors guild, blathers, "I've often said, ‘the only thing between me and greatness is me.'" He tears me up!

The old saying goes, "You're never too old to learn." At least there's one good thing you never grow too old for! It sometimes seems like the golden years are tarnished. With a speck of polish and plenty of TLC, one can make it through those latter years by looking upon them as blessings and not a curse. It's all what we make them. I have a couple ideas: If life throws you a lemon - duck, or never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.

I've always dreaded the day when people would start to address me as "Dear." It was worse than that! All in one day, while running errands, I was called "Ma'am", "Dear" (twice), and "Miss." (Was the guy thinking "old maid?") "It's not what others call you that matters; it's what you answer to that counts," was said by either Oprah or Maya Angelou. (It's not that I'm forgetful - my head is reeling from overload.) You might conclude that you're leading a boring senior existence when you find yourself taxing your imagination to come up with respectable New Year's resolutions. I'm guilty. I had to pledge not to bring home any more throw pillows in the new year. I won't continue to spook my granddaughter with my deep, gravelly-voiced imitation of Louie Armstrong. No more ODs on Tazo Chai Tea followed by afternoon naps and hallucinations.

I am finally giving in to the advice of a neurologist by not bending over, vowing to wear my gripper stick like another appendage. I kid you not! When I first addressed my chronic back pain by seeing a specialist, her solution was simple, if not ridiculous! "Don't bend over."

An active grandma, fussbudget about messes, and a habitual "do-it-yourselfer", I was expected to refrain from bending over! There are very few tips that are of any use. If you fall down, pick something up while you're down there. Let someone else do it. Haha! Wear a body cast. Never allow your grandkids in the house. Pop pills so you don't know that you're in pain. All pretty lame suggestions.

Life is just a bowl of cherries, but it's foolish to wallow in the pits. Don't ever allow your regrets to outnumber your dreams. I guess I'd rather wear out than rust out. Speaking of marriage, a successful union depends on two things, #1, finding the right person and #2, being the right person.

There seem to be more and more mugs on Willard Scott's Smuckers jars than ever nowadays. All you have to do is reach 100. One hundred-plus could very likely get you on a five-generations picture in the local newspaper. (Refrain from asking, "Who in heck are these people?!)

As we age it's pertinent to have our eyesight checked regularly. Think of how many times you've signed something when you couldn't see to read the document and were too proud to say anything. You know, they always say, read carefully anything that requires your signature. Remember - the big print giveth and the small print taketh away!

There are times in life when you'd be better off not to act your age. As you live and learn, you learn to live. Don't apologize for making a fool of yourself - it's a dead giveaway! Carpe diem!

Janet Burns resides in her hometown of Lewiston, where she is now receiving the senior citizens' discount at Wiens Food Center. She can be reached at patandjanburns@embarqmail.com. 


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