Sunday, August 3, 2008


At times, it is easy to get “all wrapped up in ourselves.” Especially as we grow older. We begin to worry about all of the things that are wrong with us, as well as with the world around us.

Too often we old geezers arise in the morning and begin checking ourselves out for any possible new aches and pains or other ailments. Instead of looking for the sunrise we turn on the TV and watch the world news, where we too often find more things that steer our thoughts toward the negative.

Get a group of us together, and you’ll likely get the whole load. About the only way for an individual to get attention early at such a meeting is to be the one who is in the poorest health. Or the one who takes the most and costliest medication. Or the one who has had the most complicated and/or life-threatening surgery. Lacking any of these qualifications, one can only hope to find willing listeners by being able to inform the gathering of a good universal home remedy for a common ailment.

After all of the prevalent medical conditions have been addressed, and only then, the talk may turn to the financial. Any rise in taxes makes a popular subject. Any increase in rent, or the costs of electricity, water, sewer, or garbage pickup are popular subjects. Any cheerfulness arising from a boost in Social Security payments is usually doused quickly by talk of an increase in Medicare costs. Without going into a lot of detail, some will admit that the low interest rates currently earned by their retirement investments have not exactly brightened up their Golden Years.

And nothing gets the attention of the entire assembly more quickly than does a hint from a trouble making prankster, indicating that there is a rumor making the rounds that there will soon be a sizable increase in the cost of TV cable service.


I watched the old man
As he trudged down the road
With his thin shoulders stooped,
His aged back badly bowed.

The clothes on his back,
Shabby and far from new,
And the soles of his cheap
Shoes were badly worn through.

I wondered about
Just what places he’d been,
What joys has he’d known, and
What great sights had he seen.

What problems faced him
As he traveled life’s trail?
Was he hounded by fears
That he would always fail?

Was he nagged by thoughts,
Doubting he’d ever cope?
Did each sunrise fail to
Give him new rays of hope?

What had prevented
Him from gaining great wealth?
Had he been hampered by
A lifetime of poor health?

Was it just bad luck
That, day after long day,
Good breaks eluded him,
And never came his way?

Did he ever know
The love of a good spouse,
Or the comforting sound
Of children ‘round the house?

His face left no doubt
How the old man did feel.
He looked hungry, so I
Staked him to a warm meal.

He thanked me as we
Ate and talked for awhile.
Finally, I saw at
Least the hint of a smile.

The clouds parted. The
Sun brightened my own day.
Suddenly my own aches
And pains melted away.

My own troubles seemed
Trivial, now, and small,
Almost as if I had
No real problems at all.

I counted up all
The blessings sent my way,
Said a short prayer of thanks
For the gifts of that day.

We never know quite
What the future will bring,
But that one day made me feel
Wealthy as any king.

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