Features

It's all about the best things in life

... while recuperating, I got to thinking ...

from Don Norris




Jus' foolin' around ...

There is a definite value in being able to do doodles. Artistic value, take-up-your-idle-time value, sharpen your whits' value ...

After all, I'm approaching my 85th birthday, beginning my 86th year. And I'm still alive and kicking. I still write (I'm a semi-retired journalist), done an awful lot in the past eight decades -- but wish I'd done more.

My wife is currently custodian of the Norris household, because last October I was conned into having open-heart surgery. The Doc said something about a faulty valve, which (I understand) was replaced by a genuine plastic replica. I guess I had the choice between a tinker-toy plastic gadget, or using the valve from an animal -- pigs, I understand, are the closest beings to being human there is. Being the grandson of a honest-to-god southern farmer, I'd'a likened to the plastic job, which the doc used anyway.

Well, who wants to oink like a pig, anyway?

They told my wife (a Simmons grad, a nurse) that I'd forget a lot during the recovery, that it would take some six months to get back on my feet. Well, I was up and about two weeks after the cutting -- unbeknownst to the nurses. Nevertheless, I see it's takin' more'n six months to recover. I am, frankly, awfully forgetful.

Up until the operation, I was still an active journalist, and could make a good story out of about nothing. It's been a good life, and now I'm not sure whether it was the operation or old age, but muy mind seems to be slipping some.

I admit, I chase my wife around the house sort of frequently, catch her once in a while. We 'rassell' a bit, sometimes she wins, sometimes I do. Not bad for 85.

But I'm still writing. Sometimes I fear I'm writing too much -- like now -- but someone's got to tell what old age is all about. We elders do have a future, if one doesn't give up.

The one thing that bothers me was started when the docs said I needed a pace-maker, some five years ago. Okay, if it'll prolong life, I said. Trouble is, this new fangled heart gadget in my chest jumps into action when the blood pressure goes up --- and you all know what blood pressure does when a couple is making out.

The stiffness goes out of life, that's what. Nevertheless, she and I do have fun, me more than her, but we have no one to thank -- or blame -- other than all those doctors and nurses at Lahey Clinic. They been keeping me going for some while now. My older brother, a phD, caught Altzheimer's disease at age 78, and died some three years later.

Well, I married the nurse, a smart, frisky, beautiful woman who takes charge whenever I falter. She's good, she's lovely, she's mine.

And that's all I got to say about that.


March 4, 2016


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