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Life’s Curveballs

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Life always throws you a curveball. Just when you think you have it figured out — pop. You hear that sound.

I like Clint Eastwood. And of late, Trouble with the Curve is a favorite movie of mine. I’ve watched it several times and smile through most of it. It’s a real “feel good” movie for me.

And the life lessons scattered throughout the movie from the perspective of Clint’s character, Gus are not lost on me. Having passed my mid-sixties and entered into my late sixties, I can sympathize and empathize with Gus. Life’s experiences are not to be taken lightly, but life itself must be taken seriously.

Time is fading

Time is fading and so are the physical attributes. Our eyes are weaker, ears are fading, and let’s not forget the brain. Okay, let’s not talk about the brain. Bottom line, the body wears out, and even though we might slow the process, it still happens.

I’m fortunate to still have excellent eyesight with correction — 20/15 and 20/20 with my glasses on. And since I’m near-sighted, I see as well without my glasses at distances of up to eight or ten feet. Beyond that, it gets blurry, quickly.

I admit I can’t hear the high-pitched tone that made the rounds a few years ago. That part of my hearing is gone and not coming back. I do notice background noise more, too.

My Mother-in-Law’s Story

Some years back, my Mother-in-Law always complained about the high level of background music on the television. I didn’t understand because it was not that way for me. Then life and age happened, and now I know what she meant. While younger, my ears filtered out most of the background noise and I heard the dialog perfectly. That has now changed. I have to pay close attention to the dialog because the music is so loud.

They say, “Growing old ain’t for sissies” and I can now attest to that. I do worry about the last few generations, though. If you haven’t noticed, we now have several generations of “whiny babies” complaining about every small struggle of an “unfair life.” How will they react to the real hardships of aging?


I don’t think my generation was anything special, but it was different. I was not unusual in getting my first paying job at twelve. Granted it wasn’t hard work, but it required discipline. After school every day and all day on Saturdays. Then at fourteen my first summer job working at a gas station.

Pumping gas, checking oil and tire pressure for customers at the pump islands was normal. We even fixed flats and sold a few accessories. I worked at stations the next two summers, too. Different places, but same work. Then after graduating, my first full-time job was, you guessed it, working at a busy service station on an Interstate highway.

I don’t remember ever having time to stop and contemplate the “unfairness” of life. Those around me and I just worked. That was expected, and we did it, no questions asked.

We seem to have lost some of that: not all young people, but many.

Let’s Compare the Sixties to Now

Compare today’s generations to the Sixties and Seventies.

  • No draft for military service.
  • They don’t know the reality of war on television every night. Having friends and family killed overseas.
  • They never knew a time without cheap computers (In 1995, a new Dell desktop cost $2500 and is now $499).
  • Cell phones arrived and only cost $29.95/month for 80 minutes. Overages were murder.
  • No texting.
  • No Internet.
  • No cable or satellite television. If you were lucky, you lived where you could get all three channels. Most people received two.
  • No NFL Super Bowl. Oh wait, that’s still around, but we watched for the game. Now they watch for the commercials.
  • No cameras everywhere. Yes, we had Brownie Instamatics and Polaroid cameras, but not the same as today’s phones.
  • No streaming music.
  • No streaming videos. That’s right, no YouTube.
  • No eating out multiple meals each week. My family ate out four times a year. On each person’s birthday and that person picked where we ate.
  • No Avacado Toast

Well, you get the idea. Times are so much different and I believe, better for the most part.

What are your thoughts? I’m interested.