Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Over the Hill" ...


Marlene Terry
Life goes by so fast that for most of us getting older is hardly noticeable. That is it's hardly noticeable until we see a photo of an extremely aged person and suddenly realize it's a photo of us.
Or the hints we get that something has changed when we try to repeat an action we've done many times before and it's much more difficult than we remember or impossible to do.
That's when we begin giving in a little, and succumb to things like riding ONLY the bikes that are outfitted with those over-sized (comfortable) seats, hanging on more frequently to railings and willing arms that help to stable our progress up and down stairways and watch others participate in favorite activities instead of participating ourselves.

The truth is being "Over the Hill" is a given for every one of us, like it or not. And no matter how fit we keep ourselves or how young we feel we are, there is going to be the day when we are reminded in a "in your face" way, where we are in life and we'll have no choice but to adapt.

Take the trip we took last summer to a nearby amusement park.
Back when they were young, it was always a tradition in our family that every year our kids got to go to Lagoon. And I took them, not only because they looked forward to it and could hardly wait to go, but because I felt the same way. (Click on Under the Nut Tree tab to see a "blast from the past" photo and tale).

I'm one of those "ride the rides" geeks. My entire life it's always been a favorite thing ... and the scarier the better! And along with the cheers and encouragement of my kids, I even bungee jumped one year. That's why the humbling that took place that day, came as a big surprise.

Granted it had been years since I enjoyed the rides at the park with my now grownup kids. But in my mind nothing had changed.
So for the first part of the day I amused myself riding the mini roller coaster, merry-go-round, etc. with my grandchildren, and waited for the afternoon to come and the BIG rides ahead.

By then it was no secret that the rotation, bumps and up and down motion of even the kiddy rides was more severe and troubling than I remembered. But I paid it no mind and went along with the group toward the Flying Aces.
"Great place to start" I thought as the sight of those large mock aircraft came into view.

Now it's important for you to understand that the Flying Aces is a wonderful ride. Not scary at all but a soothing, fly high journey around a center pole, that allows you to steer with a rudder and obtain the height you desire at will. ... Nothing at all to worry about.

Or so I thought!

Here's the problem: The Aces are up off the ground a few feet.
Piece of cake, right?
All you have to do is open the door, grab hold, place one foot inside and pull yourself into the seat.

... Suffice it to say the most embarrassing part was when the ride operator, seeing my inability after several attempts to even get my foot up that high or propel myself through the door by a "jump up and crawl in" method, rushed to my side with what is called (and printed with big letters on the side) "The Grandma Stool."

... Oh I survived the humiliation all right, even when an much older man (in his 80s) jumped into his craft with hardly any trouble at all. I also loved the fact that my kids pretended not to notice the struggling old lady who was definitely over the hill and maybe even on her way down the other side. 
... Made it a lot easier for her to realize where she was in life and ... sometime in the future, of course ... I'm just sure she will adapt!  

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com.