Publisher’s Corner: It’s Official, I’m Old!

Well it’s official, I am now a senior citizen, and eligible for all that entails as of July 28 when I turn 65. Other than Medicare I am still looking for the perks of getting old. I have so much more wisdom than I did when I was in my 20s but what I have gained in experience is sadly balanced off by silver hair, melting muscle mass and some short term memory. Old people ( I can say that now) love to sit and listen to the sounds of nature and watch as life slowly moves by on a western breeze. The Cicada started to sing last night. The fireflies are coming out to blink the code of summer. The heat is hard to enjoy, and then I think of winter. Old people don’t like winter ( I can say that now). A doe walked across our lawn the other evening looking for a place to birth her fawn. A call to the Wildlife Rescue Center convinced us to leave her be and let nature take its course. As dusk came we could only hope that mama and baby found a safe and comfortable place to bring life into the world. I bought a large plastic owl with a rotating head for my garden. I am just trying to figure out what look would be the most terrifying to the squirrels who enjoy playing capture the flag with my tomatoes. Our rain barrel is empty as rain has been scarce recently. I had to break out the hose for the first time as the plants and birdbath needed aqua. We have numerous new bird families in the area, and in this heat they will need the water. I understand that the Sustainable Backyard Tour and the St. Louis Heritage Beer Festival were big hits despite the heat. Since I am a Leo I am supposed to enjoy the heat. And I do, most of the time. But when it gets over 95, I stay close to home. Hydration and my Adirondack chair – the perfect prescription for those really scorching days. The heat doesn’t keep the carpenter bees from boring their holes in our back deck covering. Someone before us thought it would be a good idea to use some sort of soft wood for the framing and its easy pickings for carpenter bees. We just saw on Pintrest how to make a bee hotel out of bamboo poles cut into pieces. So that was supposed to be my Father’s Day weekend project. Maybe now a July 4th project. A shout out to all you dads out there. Hope you enjoyed your barbecue and beer. Maybe an avocado in the salad to get some good fats, too. I love avocado. Supposed to be a superfood. I like spinach, too. Just shows I am getting old. Wouldn’t have touched either of those when I was a kid. My dad Chuck liked bread and butter. Any dinner would do, but bread and butter were his, well, bread and butter… He was a master barbecuer, too. Charcoal brought to just the right glow, then the meat on the grill, sizzle, sizzle, a flame pops up but Chuck is quick to douse it with his trusty squirt bottle. That’s the way it went. Sizzle, sizzle, flame, squirt, flame, squirt, sizzle, sizzle, flame, squirt… for an hour or so. We had barbecue chicken a lot and that takes time and just the right amount of (you guessed it) sizzle, flame, squirt. It was an art and he was the Van Gogh of the barbecue. I use a gas grill. Can’t really squirt the flames with water. I just move the meat from side to side when the flames pop up until they burn themselves out. Chuck’s way seemed more artistic even though my attempts are more eco-friendly. So now I am officially old and green! My golf game on Father’s Day summed up this getting old thing. I got an eagle, a birdie, some pars, bogies and a double bogey. Shows I still got it, but how easy it is to lose it. Life is a game of Chutes & Ladders. But then again, without the ups and downs it would all be pretty boring. At least I am still in the game, with friends and family and most of my health left. Excuse me, the next Hallmark movie is coming on.

Grandfatherly Yours, J.B. Lester, Publisher