And Then It Is Winter

Ward Tanneberg (with unknown author submissions added in blue)

Time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.

It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.

But here it is ... the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise. How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

I remember seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like. But here it is ... my friends are retired and getting grey ... they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me.

I see the great change. Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day. And taking a nap is not a treat anymore, it’s mandatory! Cause if I don’t on my own free will, I just fall asleep where I sit.

And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did.

But at least I know, that though the winter has come and I’m not sure how long it will last. When it’s over on this earth, it’s not over. A new adventure will begin.

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done and things I should have done. Indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have done. It’s all in a lifetime.

So, if you’re not in your winter yet let me remind you that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly. Don’t put things off too long.

Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not. You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past.

Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.

Remember it is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold or silver. Lastly, consider the following:

  • Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, yet the youngest you’ll ever be. So, enjoy this day while it lasts.
  • Your kids are becoming you.
  • Going out is good. Coming home is better.
  • You forget names. But it’s okay because other people forgot they even knew you.
  • You realize you’re never going to be really good at anything.
  • The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don’t care to do them anymore.
  • You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than in bed. It’s called pre-sleep.
  • You miss the days when everything worked with just an “on” and “off” switch.
  • You tend to use more four-letter words: What? When? What?
  • Now that you can afford expensive jewelry, it’s not safe to wear it anywhere.
  • You notice everything they sell in stores is sleeveless.
  • What used to be freckles are now liver spots.
  • Everybody whispers.
  • You have three sizes of clothes in your closet, two of which you will never wear.

Old is good in some things: Old songs, old movies and best of all, old friends. Stay well, old friend.

Submitted by Tom Wynkoop, Waynesboro (Penna.) Area High School Class of 1962.


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