Written a decade ago as I turned 70
Don’t you just love it when something occurs in your life and it suddenly dawns on you – I’m getting old. Of course we all know we are getting older but there always comes an event to confirm it.
Now take me for example – I will be 70 next year. (now remember, this was more than 10 years ago) I don’t think I look 70. I’m still reasonably trim and have a full head of hair. I think I look better than o lot of 70 year olds I see walking around. I live with my cat, keep a nice home, blog, write poetry.
Sure shit happens. As far as health is concerned I sincerely believe that we get up in the morning and everything works until one morning we get up and something doesn’t work. That’s the way life goes. Last November I was fine until over a weekend I went blind. Needed surgery to restore my vision. Another evening I was watching TV until I was suddenly in pain. Kidney stone.
Still, while we know our chronological age it sometimes takes an event to put you in your proper place.
Yesterday I went out my front door and spotted it – trouble.
My car had a flat tire. Right front. Damn.
I have been procrastinating about tires since January. Since I only drive locally and not on high speed highways I have been nursing the baldies along. I’ll get them next month.
Well I had a flat. Of course I am not a member of AAA. That’s for sissies and girls. I know cars and I maintain mine well.
So now I have a flat.
Ok. I will change the tire and head off to Tires Plus for four new ones.
It’s a plan.
Thinking about changing the tire I realized I haven’t changed a tire since 2004 and before that 1995. So its been a while. No matter.
I am man. Me can change tire!!
So it’s approaching the 90s outside yesterday morning with lots of humidity. I go to the driveway, block the wheels, set the emergency brake and take out the necessary tools and the donut spare.
I am surprised at how heavy the donut feels. First indication you are getting old.
Next I need to loosen the lug nuts. Hahaha. The Goddess of the Elderly is laughing at me. Loosening lug nuts was never difficult before. Are they making ‘em tighter now? Sweat begins pouring over me from the exertion and the heat. Damn these lug nuts!
I tell myself “I can loosen these!!”. I go back in the air conditioned house and get a towel to protect my hands while I exert maximum pressure on the lug wrench. Slowly the nuts begin to loosen. More sweat. Heavy breathing. Veins in my neck are bulging. Stroke time. My lower back is beginning to hurt. Ok – lug nuts are loosened.
Next jack up the car. Just rotate the jack handle to the right and the car goes up. Right. Easier said than done. It used to be so simple. They don’t make jacks like they use to!!
Get the car high enough to remove the tire. I thought the donut was heavy. The tire and wheel seems to weigh a ton. More sweat. My back aches.
Take a break in the house. I can’t believe this is so difficult!
Back outside. Put the donut on the car. Can’t lift it from a deep knee position. Can’t get up from a deep knee position. Bend over from the waist. More back ache.
Jack the car up to just the right height so the wheel and the lugs line up perfectly. Quick, put a lug nut on with fingers. Get the lug nuts on.
Another break. Jeez it’s hot out there. Sweat drenching everything.
Back outside. Tighten the lug nuts. Pulling on the back again with the lug wrench. Getting really sore. Let down the car. Donut is low on air since I haven’t checked it in five years.
Quick shower and dry clothes. Shorts and underwear soaked with sweat.
Quick to the gas station. Put air in Donut. Drive to Tires Plus.
Must be giving away free tires. Two and a half hours later I sitting in my recliner. Stiff as a board. I can barely move.
Heating pad. It’s gonna be worse tomorrow. It is.
I have come to realize in very stark terms what I used to be able to do so easily can now only be done with extreme difficulty if at all. I am now officially old.
I told my daughter of my adventure last evening. She yelled at me.
You old fool! What are you doing changing tires??
This morning she bought me a AAA membership.
I am officially forbidden to change a tire again.