The Old Coot is in a hurry!

The gun has sounded! The race is on! That’s how fall hits me every year. It causes panic, an obsession to do all those “summer” things that will soon become impossible: the bike ride to Binghamton I promised myself this year, the canoe trip from Apalachin to Sayre, the hike up the Bridal Path to the top of Mount Lafayette in New Hampshire. Or, to be more realistic, more walks to Hickories Park to read (and doze) on the riverbank in a folding, canvas recliner.

It’s the exact same panic old coots feel every day, all year long. We’re in a panic to the things we love before Office of the Aging shows up with two deputies and an ambulance to take us away (for our own good). (And, as a service to the community). We’ve got about as much patience as a 5 year-old kid, three days before Christmas. Except, the kid can’t wait for time to pass; we can’t wait for it to slow down. Weeks fly so fast it doesn’t even register. Months, and even years, tick off like the second hand on a clock. Every one of our conversations involves a “time correction.” – I bought this car two years ago. Sorry, six years ago.” – “Last month I  had a hole in one! Oops, that was three months ago.” (And, it wasn’t a hole in one; it was a one putt green).” Everything has to be multiplied by three to get the correct amount of time that has passed. Five years ago, my multiplier was two. Sorry, fifteen years ago, my multiplier was two.

Get out of our way! Or, get run over. We’re in a hurry. You’ll spot us all over the place – flying kites in the park – swinging on the swing set behind the elementary school (in my case, sitting on a board I brought with me so the rubber sling seat won’t pinch my hips like a vice and leave me lame. (Who designed this torture apparatus anyway? Someone who never swings, I’m sure). Some of us go to extremes, parachuting out of airplanes, running marathons and tri-athalons, biking from New York to California (either peddling or sitting on a Harley).