Skip to main content

What's in a number?

Published January 29. 2011 09:00AM

Olive Riley of New South Wales, Australia became an active blogger at the age of 107 until her death at 108. Her "Life of Riley" blog inspired many people.

Pierre Jean (Buster) Martin, at age 102, claims to be the United Kingdom's oldest employee as a van cleaner and walked the 26-mile course in the 2008 London Marathon in 10 hours.

Winifred Pristel, 70 years old, from Seattle, Washington, holds two World Records in Powerlifting. She started lifting competitively in her 60s and at age 68, set world records for her age in the bench press at 176.2 pounds and 270 lbs. in the dead lift. At 70, she still works out three days a week, despite struggling with arthritis and joint issues.

Jennifer Figge, 56, of Aspen, Colorado, was the first woman to swim the Atlantic from Cape Verde Islands, Africa to Trinidad.

Arthur Winston worked for Los Angeles Metro for 72 years and only took one day off during his entire career and that was for his wife's funeral. He retired at the age of 100.

Linda Koehler of Effort, woke up on her 60th birthday, realizing she is now the age she remembers her grandparents were as being really old people and can't think of anything she has ever inspired, except maybe heartburn in her husband.

She has not climbed Mt. Everest, (afraid of nosebleeds,) swam the English Channel (she likes swimming only in water 86 degrees and above) or run the Boston Marathon (she'd rather sit and watch mold grow on leftover mashed potatoes in her refrigerator than don a pair of running shoes.)

But she did eat three wonderful meals that day, (one of which included lobster tail, her favorite,) and she trekked through the vast antique jungles of Adamstown, cited as the Antique Capital in the USA.

"It was quite an accomplishment," she is reported saying afterward. "I dickered $8 off an 1850 pewter plate and visited several new bathrooms."

A friend of mine asked me if I ever fudge my age.

Nah. What's the point? It's written all over me. I've got gray roots, gravitation has taken over certain body parts and I'm wrinkly.

Someone once said, "There's always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it. For example, I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt." Amen!

But I really can't believe I'm 60.

Jennifer Yane said, "Inside every older person is a younger person wondering 'What happened?'"

That's me. Where have the years gone? One minute I'm shopping for my wedding dress and the next thing I know I'm shopping at Weis Markets on Tuesdays because it's Senior Discount Day.

But according to the media, 60 is the new 40. So while my birth certificate substantiates my birth years, society tells me I should think "40." I'm supposed to be at the age now where I really concentrate on eating right, exercise and have fun, fun, fun!

I'm all about the fun, fun, fun part.

Mark Twain said, "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

I hear it all the time that age is just a number. It's all about attitude. Me and Patti Labelle are singing, "I'm feelin' good from my gray head to my orthopedic shoes, Know where I'm goin' and I know what to do, I tidied up my point of view, I got a new attitude."

It's that new attitude that's going to help me cope with that number 60 which signifies the age of retirement is fast approaching and Social Security is just over the rainbow, and if the latest report is correct, will run out in 2035 when I'm 84. But I'm planning on being like Arthur Winston and retire at 100. (Is that like the new 80?)

"You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing," said Michael Pritchard.

Well Michael, then I plan on doing a lot of laughing!

I got a chance to do that on Saturday when I went out with a few of my gal pals for lunch and we laughed so much I felt like I was 10 again.

Renee told us how she was scheduled for a colonoscopy (a common occurrence for those over 50 and up) and the doctor's office called the day before to remind her of the do's and don'ts.

"The nurse told me that for the procedure I would have to take my shirt off but I could keep my pants on. I tried very hard to picture just how he would be able to do a colonoscopy with my pants on," said Renee.

Of course we howled because that picture was just too funny!

She finally had to ask the question, "Are you sure I would keep my pants on for a colonoscopy?" And the nurse said, "Oh. I thought you were just coming in for an endoscopy. Yes. You will have to take your pants off."

Which reminded me of something I read about women getting older and when visiting the doctor's office, you're always on your back with either your arms or legs up in the air.

Bette Davis said, "Old age is no place for sissies" and Charles M. Schultz said, "Once you're over the hill, you begin to pick up speed," which reminds me of this quote, "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside with chocolate in one hand, glass of wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOOHOO, what a ride!'"

And if "Life is like a roll of toilet paper ... the closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes," I'm going into my 60th year, (now the new 40,) planning to have fun, think good thoughts only, learn to laugh at myself, and count all my blessings.

Classified Ads

Event Calendar


October 2017


Upcoming Events

Twitter Feed


Faith Alive UMC hosts ‘Revival on Purpose!’

40.804927, -75.656958

Faith Alive UMC, 678...

Pumpkin social in Tamaqua

40.7986307, -75.9683447

Zion Lutheran Church...

Feed the People hosts Halloween celebration

40.830215, -75.88356

Feed the People is h...

STEP-Up Tamaqua to meet Monday

40.798347, -75.970851

STEP-Up Tamaqua will...

Reader Photo Galleries