Senior Locomotion

Senior Locomotion
© 2018 Mollie McKibbon


My perfume is linament
And I walk most carefully
Because at any moment
I could buckle at the knee.
Stairs are quite a challenge;
Going up I have no speed.
Going down them, I wobble,
Scaring those whom I impede.
Rising from chairs and sofas
Takes time and determined skill,
While I remember fondly
Youthful springing up at will.

elderly man wearing glasses using caneAnd dance which was so graceful
When I was young and complete,
Is more a lurch and stumble
Than light skipping of the feet.
Though my strong cane is stylish,

Carrying it can be a boregreen-turtle-hi

‘Specially when I forget it
And it clatters to the floor.

If perilous my travel

Down life’s rugged trails,
I have some good companions
Among the turtles and the snails.

Mrs. Potato Head

Mrs. Potato Head

Mom used to tell me, “Don’t get old.”  Of course, being 92 at the time, she had experience.  I would just laugh and say, ” Hey Mom, it sure beats the alternative.”  Looking back, it seems to me that Mom was always warning me not to “wish my life away”.   Life certainly zips by.  Here I am, hardly believing it, legally a senior and wishing fervently that someone someday will actually card me.  Huh!  The one time I did get carded I was actually 21, trying to enter a club with my fiancee, his brother and girlfriend.  Unfortunately, I had brought everything I could cram into one of those little bitty sequined bags except my I.D.  How humiliating!  The doorman didn’t believe me and we had to go somewhere else.  Now, I’d be thrilled to be thought younger.

Don’t get me wrong, I like being the age I am.  I’m more relaxed about life and as long as I still kind of recognize the woman in my mirror all is well.  However, every morning it takes me longer to get ready for the world.  I need to assemble myself, much like in that game “Mr. Potato Head” that we used to play when we kids.  Makeup is a bit simpler now.  I don’t bother with mascara or eye shadow.  The shadows I have are natural and well-earned.  Still, it takes me awhile to add on my newest accoutrements – my hearing aids, a partial bridge and my bi-focals.  All is usually well, as long as I haven’t put down my glasses in a strange place.  There in lies the rub.  I even tried one of those chains that people put on their glasses so that they are still hanging around the neck when not in use.  My chain kept chafing my neck and getting caught in my coat collar, so I quickly “lost it”.  So every morning I play my version of Mrs. Potato Head, looking for my various parts in all the wrong places.

On the pro side, as Jimmy Fallon would say, once I’m all intact, I remember that the best part of being my age is having grandchildren, even if I sometimes have to be inventive when I’m not sure of what they are saying to me on the phone.  And I’m forgiven for the odd moment of nostalgia, especially by my husband who remembers the same things I do.  If we both forget a name now and then, no problem.  We can be reasonably sure the person we are trying to remember has forgotten our names too.

The other night we attended Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Radio show at the spacious new theater in Algonquin College.  We both enjoyed it tremendously.  Listening to all those Guess Who and BTO hits we shed forty years in two hours as we zapped back to our high school dances.  The joint was rocking to “American Woman” and “Taking Care of Business”. We loved every minute listening to the sound track of our lives.  The only thing that would have made it better is for someone to have asked us if we were really seniors.  Oh well, maybe next time.