This is a message I wrote out for my sons, and then decided to share.
There was a time when working on my Model T’s was easy for me. No need for second thoughts, no need to measure twice to adjust once, I was at one time ‘ripped’ and could easily lift up to perhaps 200# and carry it across the shop, or no need for a creeper just wiggle underneath and curl to fit, and I also had eyes like a hawk that could catch the finest detail! Yes, this IS a once upon a time story
I kept collecting and tinkering, my T’s ran like a Swiss Watch, yet putting off certain things until I could ‘have the time’ to really go through them right. In the past few years Steve Jelf became an inspiration and role model in his ability to putter and I could see the day coming for me where I too could enjoy that pace. Last summer was a partial ‘taste’ of what could be, and this summer was going to be an off from my desk job for the summer, putter and get to all those half-done things.
So far in the last few days I’ve discovered that I can’t see a danged thing anymore, progressive eyeglasses or not…the body can’t get under the car either with or without a creeper…I can’t use the grinder to get right in on final size and now have to walk it in no matter how much light I focus on the stone…that I’d better reach for two cotter pin sizes---the diameter I think and the next diameter smaller…that I need to ‘tag’ things when I take them off as I wound up with an extra 5/16” nut on a small car project and took hours to figure out where it actually went… as to the think twice, I spent a good deal of time finally shortening the headlight wire set on the Hack, got it all dressed nice and curved just so and then buttoned up---went to pick up the missus and immediately on walking past it on coming home noticed that I had laced it through the hood clip hole and NOT the smaller hole at the front of the wooden hood shelf ( I had taken the hood clips out to straighten the forgings and redo the springs---note to self---no two concurrent small projects in the future). Since I also had the old radiator off of the car decided that that old crank handle sleeve will never free up no matter how much it practices ‘safe-sex’ filled with Kroil…and then on sorting through the spare crank handles was too blind to see where the hole for the return spring slipped in and that cost me ½ hour standing out in the sun looking for reflections…and then when I went to take the old ratchet pin out discovered its one of those spring clip things and the spring had become rusted and embrittled and a sneeze broke the spring steel off so had to drive that out and no spare so got lazy and decided to use a ground down shoulder bolt in there and a mechanically deformed nut to keep it in place. Then on trying to get the hood clips back on the rails found that those original springs were a tad too small OD wise and would be cantankerous so dumped the spring box on the floor, sat Indian style while I found 4 compression springs of about the same spring rate and length, but a slightly bigger OD…and then found that I couldn’t stand up!
All of a sudden it dawned on me…those days of being the most aggressive defensive lineman at high school, all of those pretzel stretcher as a varsity wrestler who just had to take Division at all costs as to record…the guy who cork-screwed his over the fence swing style in high school baseball, you know, the guy that lived in the whirlpool bath after practice and games…the guy who took to jumping out of things others would think twice about while in the military…the guy who use to lift those heavy things and waltz them across the shop… were now catching up to me…this body is near plumb wore out and I may feel 35, but the body now knows it is in its mid-60’s no matter what I tell it to do!
The message is don’t put off what you can do today while younger, those simple tasks just get so much more complicated later. On the other hand, I’ve found Aleve and while it doesn’t help the eyes much…it works wonders on the other stuff and ‘puttering’ about, the garage ceiling has a winch and it is time to actually use it where possible…to check it twice before buttoning up…and if your goal was to ‘putter’---well that’s OK too, it just takes you 4 hours to do what use to take an hour…I can’t wait for the next time I have to change a Clincher or a hub!
The face that stares back in the mirror while
shaving in the morning gradually becomes unrecognizable.
I know the feeling. I'm 49. When I was 20 or 21 in the Army, I injured my ankle and have had arthritis in it ever since. It used to come and go and as long as I didn't stay on it for long periods, I could walk with no limp. If I was on it for long periods, I would have to limp and sometimes even use a cane for a day or two afterward. Something has happened to it all of a sudden back about April of this year. I can no longer walk with out a distinct limp. Even being on it a moderate amount results in SEVERE pain the next time I have to get up and walk. While it used to take only a day or two to recover from that, it now takes 2-3 weeks to recover from just a day or two of standing on my feet. I can longer do many of the home projects I used to, and still need to do. Days without a cane are far exceeded by days with a cane. This week is the first week I've gone without a cane since volunteering to run the boiler at the Old Threshers Reunion in NC for 2 days the week of July 4. I go to another doctor tomorrow for a second opinion. 1st one said my ankle was shot (His exact words) and there wasn't much he could do. Hope Dr. number 2 has better news.
Don't feel bad George... In 2005 I weighed 499 lbs! Had stomach bypass surgery (not a lap band either) and immediately dropped to 214! Finally no more weight struggle. Since then, osteo-arthritis has kicked my ass, rather, both shoulders, one elbow, carpal tunnel twice, and am now scheduled for a bi-lateral (that's both at the same time) total knee replacement on 9-25-13. Creepers are out, but I keep stick magnets and claw grabbers all over the shop. I try not to use brass or stainless fasteners in case I drop one. The vacuum with a wand helps too LOL!
Even today the 3 pedals on the T raise heck with me... Mite be time for something with an automatic and power steering! Then theres the boat issues and antique motorcycles too... Need to keep a helper on call! ws
So far I've been pretty lucky physically (shedding 35 pounds probably helped). My dad always had bad knees due to high school sports, but fortunately I was too unathletic to be on any teams, so I escaped that kind of damage. I do find, though, that reading the instructions is sometimes tough. The printing seems to keep getting smaller and smaller. And I always tell people that when my ship comes in and I'm rolling in dough I'm going to hire somebody to follow me around and keep track of what I do with things. Is this something new, or have I always had CRS? I don't remember.
As Buddha said: life is suffering. You're born, you suffer, you die, and then the sh*t starts all over again. Enjoy life while you still can, and when the time comes that you can't enjoy it anymore, don't try to prolong the suffering.
George, whatever age we are we will all experience this and more if we live long enough.
Hey, at least you don't have CRS yet . ( Can't Remember Shxt )
Say Hi to your lovely bride & kids for me.
YOU"VE GOT THAT RIGHT,GETTING OLD(ER) IS
NOT FOR SISSIES, I"VE BEEN LUCKY, NEVER IN
THE HOSPITAL AND ONLY FELT THAT WAY IN THE
PAST COUPLE OF YEARS. My eyes are going so
CAPS WORK BEST. Only 79 now I think (CRS)
HaVe A gReAt DaY.
I suppose I used to talk about getting old, until the doctor told me it wouldn't happen without a lung transplant, and the transplant isn't a cure but might extend my life. I now know that I would have been dead four months ago. I feel good now but still have problems with rejection and I will be going into the hospital for something called RATG. Kind of a chemo treatment for three days. Every day new faces come into our therapy center pulling their oxygen tanks with the hope of a transplant. It seems like everyone has a different story. Many of them are very sad.
I'm 62 now and I feel stronger, lighter and more flexible then I did years ago, thanks to diet and exercise! I will probably look forward to complaining about old age if I get there! God Bless all of us.
Years ago my kids got me a tee shirt that said "Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened". Just remember that it's tough to get old but it beats the alternative!
As I referenced in a thread asking about a hand lever,I am haveing troubles to.Me being 46, my 79 year old dad gets around better and does more than I can.
I honestly feel like the fact I cant do things that I want to or need to do without hurting like a ######### is just as bad as the pain.
Pain medicine.Just legal drugs that most take to get high.
I cant take most of it.makes me loopier than I allready am.
But I have got to get some knowledge of my hip problem and what to do.
My eyes,didnt have any trouble till about 2 years ago.Now I carry the dollar store 2.5 magnafier readers in my pocket.
My grip in my hands,is about a joke.I cant hold much of anything.You would not want me filling moonshine jugs or handling dynomite.
Duck tape and a broom handle is your friend when you drop stuff.A glob of duct tape on the end of the handle will pickup most light objects.
Getting old is something all of us will do if we live long enough.
I am just so glad I was able to do some traveling like going to the Henry Ford and to Chickasha before I got in this shape.
NEVER put something off if you can do it now.Later may not be as glamourous as you think it will be.
If a son or daughter wants to travel somewhere for a week or 2,encourage them to.tell them to have fun NOW,while they can.
I remember saying when I was working,"Man I cant wait till I retire I will"- fill in the blank.
Well I have been retired going on 8 years,and it has had it's bright moments but it aint what I expected it to be.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a handsome and well preserved body.But rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, WOW !!!! What a ride!
Amen George. Went on the patch yesterday for lower back pain. Pills just didn't work that well any more. The steroid injections help but they wear off too quickly. Visits to the ole work shop get shorter and less frequent. I guess at 74 it's not to be unexpected.
Ed, that has been my motto for several years now.
The only bit that doesn't age is that 6 inches between your ears.
Charlie...... that's called Alzheimer's.... HUH ?
My brain says YES My body says NO!!
Seven surgeries in ten years, including two spinal-fusions and a new knee. None of that was any fun, but I thank God for doctors who know how to make these repairs. On the other, other-hand, I get up each morning feeling like I've just been run over by a truck, usually because I sprained something in my sleep.
The other day, I took the Model T to the library and met a bunch of nice folks in the parking lot who posed for pix with the funny hats & 'staches. One of them asked me to demonstrate crank-starting instead of using the electric starter—and unfortunately, she was pretty. Well, I knew that was going to wind up hurting me and sure enough, it did. But I'm an imprudent, stubborn cuss and figure the less I do, the less I'll be able to do. Did you know Ben-Gay comes in a roll-on, now?
From one old guy to another!
George - Next time please use larger letters so I can see them!
So true. I needed to rehang the heat shield under my modern last weekend and had every problem George mentioned.
First - I had to extend the jack stands so I could fit under the car.
Second - I had to get a brighter light.
Third - I could barely hold the drill in place while making a new hole for the screw.
Fourth - I had a hard time focusing my eyes to find the hole I drilled.
Fifth - It took me three tries to get the right size socket
Sixth -I dropped the bolt four times before I got it in the hole.
Seventh - It took me 2 hours instead of the 30 minutes I expected to take.
Seventh - My wife asked if I had taken a nap while working on the car.
Aw you all are sissies! Life gets better with age!!!
At least that was what several told me when I was young!
I read each and everyone of you all's comments here on George's post. I think I could have written them myself. I stopped and thought..."Damn are we ALL in the SAME clothes?
I have saved many of my cars until I retired and I'll bet so have MANY of you guys!
We need to stick together encouraging each other on and know that you, George, ARE NOT ALONE!
Joe in Mo.
I'm in the club too. Left hip and right knee replaced. Both rotator cuffs are gone and there isn't enough "fabric" left to stitch together. Doc says they look like threadbare jeans. I also have the added complication of Meniere's Disease so the equilibrium is whacked. BUT, I don't let that stop me from trying. I have long accepted that things will hurt more as I age. I'm 61 and living life to the fullest here in Ecuador
OH NO !
We are beginning to sound like a bunch of old folks discussing their ailments and operations.
Let's blame George for starting this one !
I've enjoyed the comments
Misery loves company, right George :-)
I'll be 68 in Oct. I'm training new mechanics to fix my car for me.
I sometimes have to leave the table at breakfast in the local diner when the topic of conversation is "what doctor and for what are you going to today" and "did you have a BM today?".
Thought i was alone in being too old for anything anymore.
Get up and move all you can. Three miles in 30:49 this morning. Passing on the Marine fitness test for ages 46+ is 33:00. Sometimes I get it under 30:00, passing for ages 40-45. The goal: Under 29:00, a passing score for half my age. Couldn't run three miles at all a few years ago, so started by only walking. You have to ease into it.
I'm not as fast I used to be either...I inherited my fathers micrometer eyeball and can tell at a glance what size any screw, bolt or nut is...but now I take two different sizes of wrenches or sockets with my just in case. Still don't have much trouble getting under the T (gravity still works) getting up again can be a trick sometimes.
I can tell you that Steve Jelf is right though, losing weight has helped a lot with my mobility. I walk 2.5 miles every day, just to get the ol cardio up and going at a goodly bit. I don't run nor feel the need to, just walking does the trick.
God gave me a limited number of heartbeats and I'll be danged if I'll use them up running!
Use 'em or lose 'em.
There are better ways to use them.
I guess we've all become musicians, 'cause whenever we get together, there's an "organ recital"!
Steve Jelf is my hero.
I'm 68 but when I grow up I want to be just like him!
I have a friend who is, to my utter disbelief, now 59 years of age although he looks much younger. He worked for the Ventura Star as an editor and when they moved away to another town in 2008, he stopped working.
He is the thriftiest person I have ever known, claims to live off less than $1K per month. He was renting but in 2010 he bought his $330K midtown home outright, in cash, just because he had it in the mattress. He has no TV, no cell phone, no computer (goes to the library), pretty much never drives his car (a 1971 Datsun 240Z), buys at the 99 cent store and thrift stores exclusively, and spends his days walking and bicycling. In fact, he got my lazy behind off the couch and took me on an hour walk, three times a week, up until I had my recent accident and messed up my knee.
He walks about 5 hours a day at a fast pace, everywhere, and rides one of his bicycles. We have a nice bike lane from Ventura along the beach to Ojai, a 40-miles roundtrip, and he does this several times a week in addition to walking. This guy is as fit as it gets, not an athlete, but without an ounce of excessive fat and without health problems. One wonders why . . .
As my hiking partner says, your body doesn't give you anything. You have to earn it. If you want to be healthy, you have to feed it good, and exercise it.
My prognosis is much better since I've lost a pound a week for 44 weeks. Friends and medics were concerned, as I didn't know why I was losing weight. Meanwhile, I've had spinal problems.
As soon as I get round to it, I'm gonna' get fat from writing a diet book. I have never counted calories, just tried to avoid sugar, as my parents had type 2 diabetes, and three of my six brothers and sisters have it. When my GI Dr. asked what I was eating, I told him, and he said to eat more. I went home and counted calories, and sure enough, I was getting only about 1,000 per day. For the last month now, my weight is bouncing around 176-178.
My real secret to losing weight: boredom. Unconsciously, I picked a nutritious combination of food, and repeated it daily. Repetition leads to boredom, and boredom means you don't look forward to the next chance to eat, so you gradually eat less.
Please don't tell anybody my secret until my book is published....
There is only one true way: http://www.breatharian.com/.
Where did you find 3 miles of space to run?
Right in front of the house: About .75 mile west to Country Club Road; south two blocks (.5 mile) to Chestnut avenue; east one mile to 91st Road; north two blocks to the cemetery corner (Birch Avenue); and west to home (about/.25 mile).
Kep -- Space is everywhere in Kansas.
Steve, are you saving up for new knees as part of the deal?
Just got this email again. Not trying to make news, just passing the water..
When to drink water and why
Heart Attack and Water - I never knew all of this! Interesting.......
Something else I didn't know ... I asked my Doctor why do people need to urinate so much at night time. Answer from my Cardiac Doctor - Gravity holds water in the lower part of your body when you are upright (legs swell). When you lie down and the lower body (legs, etc.) seeks level with the kidneys, it is then that the kidneys remove the water because it is easier. This then ties in with the last statement!
I knew you need your minimum water to help flush the toxins out of your body, but this was news to me. Correct time to drink water... Very Important. From A Cardiac Specialist!
Drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body: 2 glasses of water after waking up - helps activate internal organs, 1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal - helps digestion, 1 glass of water before taking a bath - helps lower blood pressure, 1 glass of water before going to bed - avoids stroke or heart attack.
I can also add to this... My Physician told me that water at bed time will also help prevent night time leg cramps. Your leg muscles are seeking hydration when they cramp and wake you up with a Charlie Horse.
"Life is a one time gift"
RD, when I started several years ago I was a little apprehensive about the knees. So far it hasn't been a problem.
I think having to go at night may have something to do with age, too.
Where there's a will............
This great foreign commercial sums it all up why we do what we do when we get old....
http://joshspector.com/2011/02/13/now-this-is-a-great-commercial/?utm_source=fee dburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+JoshSpector+%28JoshSpector.com%29&u tm_content=Yahoo!+Mail
What a beautiful little movie! You go, old guys...