Joe’s Journal

An old timer faces fall

Ramblings from an old scribbler
Wed, 10/19/2022 - 7:00am

    It is fall. You know that.

    The leaves pepper the lawn, and pine needles cover the drive like a raggedy blanket. Thanks to last week's storm, the forsythia blooms which once stood tall in the breeze are starting to droop.

    I am afraid it is time to think about doing the usual fall chores. Take out the screens, stow the porch furniture, and take down the garden. You know the drill.

    I stopped at the local auto parts store and bought a new spark plug for the snow blower I borrowed last year after mine bit the dust. I probably should make sure it will crank before we get our first dose of the white stuff.

    Number two son, who is slowly easing into the role of the family dad, called to remind me to siphon the old gas out of the tank and put it in fresh.“Nothing will foul up a snow blower like old gas," he said.

    I almost answered “OK, Dad.” But I didn’t. Of course, I knew about the perils of using old gasoline, but I wondered if the passing years portend a reversal of the family roles.

    Last week, it was the 52nd birthday of my blessed daughter. She is an unconventional soul who attends an unconventional church. Despite its quirks, it is a merry band that seems to be more Christian than most, as they feed the homeless twice a week. I am proud of her.

    When we chatted, she noted that if she is 52, I must be getting on towards 82. She said I didn’t look 82 but wondered what 82 looks like.

    Yes, I am closing in on 82. Like many friends, I suffer from TMB (too many birthdays).

    I once had a friend who was 103 when he died in an auto crash. His kids wondered if they should have taken his car keys away when he turned 82.

    Well, I am not ready to become car keyless, but I am slowing down.

    After working in the yard for a couple of hours, a 15-minute nap on the couch is welcome. And nothing will put me to sleep quicker than the televised rumble of political pablum passing as “Breaking News.”

    Day after day, they remind us we are nearing the end of an off-year political election campaign. It is a strange campaign where candidates are judged not for themselves but for their affiliation/support/allegiance to the candidates who ran for president in 2020 and may run again in two years.

    Like me, both the presumptive presidential candidates in 2024 suffer from TMB. You do the math.

    Democrat Uncle Joe was born on Nov. 20, 1942. MAGA Republican DJT was born on June 14, 1946.

    When Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1984, he was 69. After serving two terms, he was 77. He was slowing down.

    It was not surprising. The president has the most stressful job in the world.

    If you don’t believe me, look at some problems on his desk. Around the world, you have the war in Ukraine that every week threatens to get very, very complicated, as the use of nuclear weapons is a possibility. There are Chinese problems on the horizon, and heaven knows what the nut job in North Korea will do. India and Pakistan are always at odds, and both have nukes. The Middle East is always in turmoil. Currently, they are turning down production of the oil we all need to heat our homes and fuel our cars.

    On the homefront, no matter who is at fault, the next president will have to face inflation and weather events that threaten to change our geography, alter our business and personal lives and break the bank.

    The next president must contend with the flood of political/economic refugees flooding our southern border, and the bad guys who use the refugee torrent as cover for their bad deeds. Despite claims to the contrary, there are no easy answers.

    On top of all this, political experts, the alleged smart guys who pretend to be in the know, ignore actuarial tables that tell us that age matters.

    Until Nov. 8, the nation will focus on races up and down the ballot. Right after that, we will begin the 2024 presidential race.

    The two leading presidential candidates have strong and passionate supporters. But, do we really want to entrust the fate of the nation, and the world, to someone like me who suffers from TMB?

    Is it time to start thinking about who could be walking into the on-deck circle?

    Don’t forget to register to vote. And remind your friends and neighbors, too.

    Your vote counts.