It was freezing this morning at dawn.  A few coals in my little Waterford box nurtured a small fire that quickly pushed back the morning chill and I began to plan my day which was shaping up to be a day on the road.

The sun was blazing in a sky that poets dream of and which were marred only by the contrails of stratospheric jet airplanes leaving behind their spidery webs catching nothing in them, conjuring up mythical scenarios of secret missions to make this country save for democracy or hauling freight or diplomats or soldiers or maybe it’s simple proficiency flying to stay current according to regulations.  One can only hope that their catalytic converters are purifying their exhausts and not adding to the growing ozone problem my caused by my four cylinder VW.

I had a short list to do, but the destinations on it were miles apart on a kind of irregular triangle.  So I climbed into the cockpit of my four cylinder VW and shot off down the interstate, leaving no visible contrail, to go see yet another doctor.  This time it was a podiatrist.  

My big toe, which I have always been proud of, was feeling funny.  It began while on a hiking vacation and has not gone away.  I explained how it was feeling and he shook his head knowingly as he told me he had seen my X-Ray which showed some joint deterioration, which, he added, would cause exactly the kind of thing I was describing.

I looked at him and asked if he was speaking of arthritis and he said, bingo!  He said I have what orthopedic people call “boomeritis”.  It is caused by this huge generation of older people who just won’t act like old people and therefore cause their joints to wear and tear more quickly and become breeding grounds for that ubiquitous joint disease – arthritis.  He said that I was going to have it anyway and that activity just makes it show up more, ah, colorfully. (A word of clarification: I am actually a generation ahead of the Boomers.  A pioneer, so to speak.)

Similar conversations have occurred with other doctors about my thoracic spine, my right shoulder and my left elbow.  Conversations with these people always end with a reminder that all this goes with the territory.  Mr. Spock said to live long and prosper.  He didn’t say anything about living long painlessly.  Anyway, I am sure Dr. Crusher would have passed her magic wand over the joint in question and made it all better now.  Cortisone can do pretty much the same thing for a while but so far it’s not that bad.

Next on the list was to get the left headlight bulb replaced.  I’m tooling down “95” to get to my favorite auto service station in Auburn.  The trees are trying to turn and have not yet made the full change, but it’s early yet.  It was a fantastic day for a ride even on the interstate.  With the headlight replaced I headed to my favorite barber shop which was back in the other direction.  On such a beautiful day I do not complain of driving through some of the most beautiful countryside in the world.  

Yes, I do have my hair cut.  For the past couple of years I have managed to keep it out of my ears myself but it had gotten out of hand and about three weeks ago I went to see Bill the barber and confessed that the mess he was looking at was my handiwork.  He laughed and agreed to handle it.  I asked him how much and said – Nothing.  I said, It’s that bad?  He nearly choked on his laughter.  Today I made amends and paid the going rate and we are on the track to being well groomed.  Well not too much so.  I am, after all, a crotchety old guy with arthritis.  A little raggedness fits the role.   I have to look the part.

I believe i’ve got it down pretty good.

1 Comment

  1. definitely, a pioneer.

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