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Mealy peaches and stink bugs (10/17/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns
Need I say more! I figure that when (if) a person makes it to their golden years, theyíve earned the right to complain, voice their jaded opinions, and otherwise whine when necessary...not that anybodyís listening.

Iím falling apart. An insulting bald spot has appeared on the back of my head. My hair is too short to cover it up. Years back, I wouldnít have left the house. A rumor is bound to start that I had brain surgery. From top to bottom Iím flawed! No one would guess that I have a cotton ball taped to the end of my toe. Itís a donít ask, donít tell situation.

Iím no longer young. It doesnít take much to trip our triggers these years. We still put on our best jeans and sweatshirts and go on frequent outings. Grocery shopping is a biggie! Pat and I have it down to a science. We go in opposite directions and each grab the usual. Weíve learned to read labels and compare prices. Less isnít necessarily better. Too much sugar; lacking fiber; low fat but check the carbs!

We miss having a grocery store in Lewiston. It served our needs well. It seems the people who complain the loudest about that seldom or never shopped there. Your loss, people; most residents these days donít have the slightest devotion to the town, or the least bit of concern or interest in decisions made on behalf of us townspeople. Many pop out of the woodwork only when a scandal seems to be brewing.

Thereís a certain degree of deception and self-deprecation in coming home with mealy peaches from produce aisles. It happens in the best of stores. At breakfast, I cautiously bite into one that is respectfully colored and firm. Yuck! It rolls around in my mouth like a piece of soft mud. Now what? Patís solution is simple Ė donít buy them anymore. A can of peaches, no sugar added, ended up in our shopping cart yesterday.

Pet peeves of the witty, the occasionally wise, and the weary-bodied: I think chewing gum in church is rude and disrespectful. I get cranky when I need a clerk to help me find something when Iím shopping and thereís no one around. It drives me up a tree when I see litter along the roadways and sidewalks (only not so much of that because most people are in too much of a hurry or too lazy to walk.)

Iím old. Iíve lost all patience for some things. I donít mind telling anyone that I think Christmas in July and Halloween and Christmas in September is beyond stupid Ė itís disgraceful! Special occasions that once were momentous, nurturing, and meaningful in their simplicity are hardly recognizable in the expensive and lavish displays of this glitzy society. What about Thanksgiving? Do we work that in somewhere between Veteranís Day and Hanukkah?

It seems as if a colonoscopy is a right of passage into the social security bracket. One might as well go through with it. If the doctor doesnít nag you about it, your spouse certainly will. Then thereís the test of endurance, as you attempt to enjoy more time outdoors. The bugs go marching one by one! Hurrah! Hurrah!

Itís bad enough that we are advised to lift up mattresses and bedding to check for bedbugs in motels. Now this! ALERT! Stinkbugs are on the move in the U.S ! Resembling beetles, theyíre hitching rides from who knows where, and are infiltrating some coastal states. The good news is they donít bite or spread any diseases. The bad news? They send forth an obnoxious odor. It seems the best way to fight them is to vacuum them up. Oh, bother!

As we are continuously reminded, we seniors have our moments. Make every moment count. There is much more goodness in the world than evil Ė we just donít hear about it.

Keep the faith.

Janet Burns is a lifelong resident of Lewiston. Reminiscences of her hometown as it once was conjures up happy, carefree times. She can be reached at patandjanburns@embarqmail.com

 

 

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