“I’m Growing Older, But Not Up”
Sometimes I find myself in a conundrum when thinking of Sally’s and my circa 16,000 days spent together, (pre and post wedding), beginning in the late 1970s. Above and beyond our jobs, and time spent being spouses and parents, we’ve found time to fit in camping, historical, amusement, family and friends, sports, concerts, and just relaxation vacations to occupy many days, nights, and weeks of our 43 plus years together. We’ve also hosted kids from other parts of the country, who have come to our city for various reasons, and met their families too, and have tried hard to roll out the Red Carpet as best we could to make them feel welcome in our home and community. We’ve met wonderful people who were in the same groups with us as our children were involved with activities before they grew up and left the nest to begin their lives in their jobs, and start their own families.
We’ve been fortunate to be involved with class trips as chaperones, fans, a teacher and coach, and we’ve been blessed to have met even more great people who were also on those excursions. We’ve been involved with many of our children’s local school and community activities, which brought us together with so many other parents who shared the same reasons for being in each of those groups and situations.
During those many years and numerous journeys, we’ve seen sights, seen family, met new friends, shared amazing moments together, all resulting in many smiles, laughs, sometimes tears (of joy), and many amazing memories. We can’t fathom a guess as to how many.
Post-retirement hasn’t yet transformed Sally and me into Snowbirds, even though winters are not fun anymore at our age. We’d like to try getting away short-term avoiding part of the winter cold, the snow removal chores, wrapping in blankets, and heating the house. We probably won’t become six months north/six months south, or even nine/three, but maybe a month away after the holidays would be a nice break from the frigidity of our area. Until then, we’ll continue to take mini-trips to concerts, ballgames, and visits to see family.
The VFTB has touched on the topic of this narrative before, but since then, our involvement in activities has grown, and we haven’t seemed to have slowed down. On the contrary, we seem to have gotten a little more intense in how we enjoy our experiences. As we’ve aged during our years together, I often wonder how it looks and sounds when we attend sporting events, concerts, etc. We let ourselves go, in our dress, in vehicle decoration, and most times in voice. We’ve always tried to become immersed in the activity with which we’re enjoying, but I sometimes wonder if, people look at us and ask themselves, when are these fogies going to grow up and act their age?
Having said that, and showing my loyalty to being a Jimmy Buffett Parrothead, I revisit lyrics from one of his more popular songs, titled, Growing Older but Not Up, where he sings:
“I’m growing older but not up
My metabolic rate is pleasantly stuck
Let those winds of time blow over my head
I’d rather die while I’m living than live while I’m dead.”
Sally and I are definitely growing older, but not growing up, yet. It’s my hope we never will. We love singing along at concerts we attend. We’ve belted out: Margaritaville, Rocket Man, Piano Man, Sweet Caroline, Hotel California, and Don’t Stop Believin’ with the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Elton John, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, The Eagles, numerous tribute bands we have heard in Cleveland, on the Floating Stage in Bemus Point, and with live entertainment bands in local Richmond, VA and Nashville, TN taverns. We love cheering/high-fiving when the “Guardiac Kids” (formerly Indians) come from behind or walk-off to another victory. We were very vocal at all Jon’s sporting events, cheering on any and all of his teams/teammates from his t-ball through college years of playing. We were loud applauders at any/all of the band, orchestra, and/or choral concerts with which Chasy, Chris, and Jon were connected. We were loud and proud when Jon took his oath to serve and protect. It’s safe to say that we don’t always put decorum before our emotions when we attend certain functions and events. I’m also very loud while with my fellow Browns Backers of Jamestown, NY at Waddington’s Tavern during football season.
Point is, anyone thinking we don’t act our age, and need to grow up, are right in some circumstances and settings, but I’m very happy we can still, at our ripe old “middle-ages” of 69 and ?? (Love ya, Sally), get excited, get up, sing as loud as we can, and enjoy ourselves like most people of all ages we’ve met in concert halls, outdoor venues, and stadia as we go here and there enjoying sporting events and music programs.
To prove my sentiments in this narrative, one need only read the words tattooed on my left arm, the same words ending the refrain of Jimmy Buffett’s Growing Older but Not Up, “I’d rather die while I’m living, than live while I’m dead.”