Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

The older on gets, the fewer opportunities one has, and the fewer decisions one has to make. I had the opportunity to run for  President when I was 21. I had all the qualifications, except the want to and money. I made the  decision not to follow that path. I could have been a good Pres, don't you think?

I helped put on a roof for an 84 year old man last week. Said he was done with climbing. Climbing on roofs is not exactly what I need to be doing with bad knees.  I had just heard about a local up at the lake that fell off a short ladder cleaning gutters. Janice made the suggestion I call the 16 year old grandson to do the climbing. He's handy as pockets on a shirt. I thought the cowboy boots on a tin roof were a poor decision. You cannot  tell a 16 year old anything. One day  he'll have to make the decision about climbing, cowboy boots not withstanding.

I briefly watched part of a Saturday football game. Some guy got hit so hard his helmet came off. He bounced up and ran, not trotted, back to the huddle. I used to do that. Ole man time made the decision for me to stop that nonsense years ago.

Tom Marvel, and old cowboy friend and horse trainer, once told me that every horse has so many "cuts" before he "loses and step" and the cow wins. He trained and used his competitive horses wisely. He got the best from them and retired 'em to the relative ease of ranch life. He had to make the decision to stop competitive riding and become a trainer and teacher...and treat himself like one of his horses. Putting oneself out to pasture is hard.

Every potter has so many pots in the hands before they just don't work like that anymore. They make the decision for you. The decision to make 10 pots or 30 in a day  will be made for you by your hands. It brings new meaning to the old addage "Them that can't do, teach." Us old farts have all the knowledge. Pass it on. Someone will pay to learn what you know about pottery.

My buddy Glenn Carson lives and breaths fly fishing. When will he decide not to wade out into a swift running river to chase the wiley trout? Probably never, I don't imagine stepping in a hole and filling your waders up with water makes swimming any easier as you get older. Guess you'll fish from the bank, huh Glenn? That, or move South, get a big bass boat and live on the lake. Decisions suck.

Brother Bob flies airplane, and just turned 70. He's a much different pilot than he was as a young man. At 30, he'd  take off  in a lightning storm...or just go drill holes in the sky as a "stress reliever".  It took a few white knuckle experiences to bring him around. Now all he has to do is make the decision when to stop flying. Knowing Robert, it be when he can't get in one or can't pass the physical.

Here's my list of No No's
No ladders over 8 ft.
No physical labor in 100 degree heat, or below 20.
No chain saw operations by myself
No trying to move the immovable. If it looks heavy, find help or get the tractor.
No running, skipping, hanging upside down. (that's an easy one)
No staying up all night playing music.
No flips off the diving board.
Tell yourself no, if in doubt about an activity that may hurt you. Risks are for the stupid.

We were all ten feet tall and bullet proof when we were young. We had thousands of opportunities, and decisions to make. The older we get our viable opportunities and decision we make about them become fewer...and easier to make.

"No I don't want corn on the cob, I ain't got no teeth"!  No brainers, as it were.

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