How Old?

A young child asked a woman how old she was. She answered, “39 and holding.”

The child thought for a moment, then said, “And how old would you be if you let go?”

Seven Ages of Man

6 weeks–all systems go
6 years–all systems “No!”
16 years–all systems know
26 years–all systems glow
36 years–all systems owe
56 years–all systems status quo
76 years–all systems slow

R.M. Cornelius in The Rotarian

Seven Ages of Man – Alternative

The seven ages of man: spills, drills, thrills, bills, ills, pills, wills.

A Silent Prayer

Lord, thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and
will some day be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must
say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from
craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful but
not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of widsom it seems
a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest Lord, that I want a few
friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to
get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are
increasing and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years
go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of other’s
pains, but help me to endure them with patience. I dare not ask for
improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cock sureness
when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the
glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a saint – some of them are
so hard to live with –but a sour old person is one of the crowning
works of the Devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected
places and talents in unexpected people. And, give me, O Lord, the grace
to tell them so.

— Anonymous


Over 65: Of all people that ever turned 65 in the U.S., half of them are still alive. We expect by the year 2020 we will have 100,000 people who are 100 years old. Economists and social and health planners say we’re going to be loaded by this tremendous debt of old people.

But the other side of the coin is that these old people are going to be healthier. The next generation’s elderly are the joggers, swimmers, dieters, and low-cholesterol people. They’re the ones that have yogurt and salads for lunch. — former United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop

USA: While there has been no increase in life-span since Moses pointed out the 70 or 80 common to most, there has been an increase in life “expectancy” in recent decades.

Statisticians estimate that by 2040 there will be almost 90 million Americans over age 65. This compares with roughly 30 million today.

Life expectancy and other demographic trends will have a profound impact on health-care costs in the future. Here are a few developments to keep in mind:

1) Life expectancy. About 200 years ago the average life expectancy in America was 35 years. A child born today can expect to live to be at least 75 years. In a short 200 years the average life expectancy has more than doubled. The National Institute on Aging projects that in 2040 the average life expectancy will be 86 years for men and 92 years for women.

2) The senior explosion. About 66 percent of all the people who have lived beyond 65 in the entire history of the world are alive today. The over-65 now constitutes 12 percent of the population and by the year 2000 the over-65 group will represent one-fifth of the total population.
3) Political muscle of seniors. The growth of senior political activism will have significant ramifications of future health-care policy decisions. How much of an impact? Consider this: The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) now has over 30 million members.

Smarter Than Parents?

Author Ken Dychtwald notes that if AARP were to become an independent nation, it would be the thirtieth largest nation in the world. Every year some medical care issue can be expected to be high on the list of AARP’s legislative agenda.

It’s been said that teenagers all go through a stage where they feel “smarter” than their parents.

Now consider Jesus. While still very young, since he was perfect, he no doubt was smarter than his mother and foster father. He certainly astounded the teachers at the temple, didn’t he?

But did he take advantage of this? No, but the Bible informs us he “continued subject to them”.

Youths today can learn a great deal from his example.

Baby Boomers

Age is catching up with the baby boomers–the third of the population born between 1946 and 1964–but many aren’t ready to admit it. A survey of more than 1,200 30-50-year-olds finds that most (76%) are convinced that they look younger than their actual age. Most (73%) also believe that people who were 50 a generation ago looked a lot older than do today’s 50-year-olds. The Louis Harris Poll, financed by Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp., maker of Renova skin cream, also found:

* Concerns. As boomers get older, 66% worry about gaining weight, 30% worry about losing hair, 28% worry about losing hair, 28% worry about getting facial wrinkles and 24% worry about getting gray hair.

* Signs of Age. When judging people’s age, most boomers (58%) are influenced by facial wrinkles or brown spots. Lesser numbers are influenced by gray hair (46%), excess weight (37%) and hair loss (34%).

* Gender. More than a third (37%) of boomers think men age more gracefully than women; 22% say women age more gracefully. Most (77%) think women worry more than men about an aging facial appearance.

* Good wrinkles. Most boomers (56) think facial wrinkles can be assets for a man “because they indicate experience and maturity.” But only 44% believe that wrinkles can be assets for a woman.

The typical boomer, the survey finds, thinks middle age begins at 41. Older boomers have a much different view of middle age than do younger boomers. “If you could stay one age forever, what age would it be? the survey asks. Boomers in their early 30s tend to wish they could have stayed in their 20s. The favorite age cited by boomers from 45 to 50 is “45 or older.”

U.S.News & World Report, July 29, 1996.

Desire to Live

An old grandmother, in her late eighties, decided to move to out of the country.

As part of the preparations, she went to see her doctor and get all her charts. The doctor asked her how she was doing, so she gave him the litany of complaints — this hurts, that’s stiff, I’m tireder and slower, etc., etc., etc.

He responded with, “Madam you have to expect things to start deteriorating. After all, who wants to live to 100?”

The grandmother looked him straight in the eye and replied, ….”Anyone who’s


The preacher, in his Sunday sermon, used “Forgive Your Enemies” as his subject. After a long sermon, he asked how many were willing to forgive their enemies. About half held up their hands. Not satisfied he harangued (someone subscribes to!) for another twenty minutes and repeated his question. This time he received a response of eighty percent. Still unsatisfied, he lectured for fifteen minutes and repeated his question. With all thoughts now on Sunday dinner, all responded except one elderly lady in the rear.

“Ms. Jones, are you not willing to forgive your enemies?”

“I don’t have any.”

“Ms. Jones, that is very unusual. How old are you?”


“Ms. Jones, please come down in front and tell the congregation how a person can live to ninety-three and not have an enemy in the world.”

The little sweetheart of a lady teetered down the aisle, very slowly turned around & said, “It’s easy. I just outlived them all.”

The Duration of Life

God originally determined 30 years as the ideal span of life for all animals, including mankind. The donkey, the dog, and the monkey considered it much too long, however, and begged God to reduce their years by 18, 12, and 10. Being healthy, vigorous, and somewhat greedy, the man asked to be given those extra years.

God agreed, so man’s years totaled 70. The first 30 are his own and they pass quickly. The next 18 are the “donkey years,” during which he has to carry countless burdens on his back. Then come the “dog years”…12 years when he can do little but growl and drag himself along. This is followed by the “monkey years,” his closing 10, when he grows rather strange and does things that make children laugh at him.

The Duration of Life, from Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

I Want to be a Kid Again

I want to go back to the time when…………

* Decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-mo.”

* Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, “do over!”

* “Race issue” meant arguing about who ran the fastest.

* Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in “Monopoly.”

* Catching the fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening.

* It wasn’t odd to have two or three “best” friends.

* Being old referred to anyone over 20.

* The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.

* It was magic when dad would “remove” his thumb.

* It was unbelievable that dodge ball wasn’t an Olympic event.

* Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot.

Older People Are Not Washed Up

Her name was Anna Mary Robertson Moses, affectionately known as Grandma Moses. She was born on a farm in Washington Co., NY.

Without formal art training and largely self-educated, she began to paint rural scenes at the age of 78.

Her work was discovered in 1939 by Louis Caldor, a New York engineer, who first saw her paintings exhibited in a drugstore window.

In 1939 three of her landscapes were displayed in a private showing to members at the New York Museum of Modern Art among other works by contemporary unknown painters.

In 1940 the Galerie St. Etienne in New York City presented her first one-woman show. Thereafter Grandma Moses had more than one hundred exhibits throughout the United States, over half of which were confined exclusively to her work.

Since 1950 her paintings have been exhibited in Europe as well. Amazingly she lived to be 101!

Next time you think that some old person is washed up and ready for the scrap heap, remember “Grandma” Moses.

Youth is a State of Mind

Youth is not entirely a time of life — it is a state of mind. It is not wholly a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips, or supple knees. It is a temper of will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions.

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fears; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.

In the central place of every heart, there is a recording chamber; so long as it receives messages of beauty and hope, cheer and courage, you are young.

When the wires are all down and your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then and only then have you grown old.

— author unknown

My Children Are Coming Today

My children are coming today. They mean well. But they worry.

They think I should have a railing in the hall. A telephone in the kitchen,
they want someone to come in when I take a bath.

They really don’t like my living alone.

Help me to be grateful for their concern. And help them to understand that
I have to do what I can as long as I can.

They’re right when they say there are risks. I might fall, I might leave
the stove on. But there is no challenge, no possibility of triumph, no real
aliveness without risk.

When they were young and climbed trees and rode bicycles and went away to
camp I was terrified. But I let them go, because to hold them would have
hurt them.

Now our roles are reversed, help them see. Keep me from being grim or
stubborn about it. But don’t let them smother me.

— Nellie Renoux

Ramblings of a Retired Mind

I was thinking about how a status symbol of today is those cell phones that everyone has clipped onto their belt or purse. I can’t afford one. So, I’m wearing my garage door opener.

You know, I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people didn’t like me anyway.

I was thinking that women should put pictures of missing husbands on beer cans!

I was thinking about old age and decided that old age is ‘when you still have something on the ball, but you are just too tired to bounce it.’

I thought about making a fitness movie, for folks my age, and call it “Pumping Rust.”

I have gotten that dreaded furniture disease. That’s when your chest is falling into your drawers!

I know, when people see a cat’s litter box, they always say, “Oh, have you got a cat?” Just once I want to say, “No, it’s for company!”

Employment application blanks always ask ‘who is to be notified in case of an emergency.’ I think you should write, “A Good Doctor!”

Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do — write to these men? Why don’t they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen could look for them while they deliver the mail? Or better yet, arrest them while they are taking their pictures!

I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older. Then, it dawned on me, they were cramming for their finals. As for me, I’m just hoping God grades on the curve.


Am I Getting Old?

Just a note to say I’m living, that I’m not among the dead.
Though I’m getting more forgetful and mixed up in the head.
I got used to my arthritis, to my dentures I’m resigned.
I can manage my bifocals but, gosh, I miss my mind!

For sometimes I can’t remember when I stand at the foot of the stairs
If I must go up for something or have I just come down from there?
And before the fridge so often, my poor mind is filled with doubt.
Have I just put food away, or have I come to take some out?

So if it’s my turn to write you, there’s no need for getting sore;
I may think that I have written and don’t want to be a bore.
Just remember that I love you and wish that you were near.
Now it’s nearly mailtime so I must say good-bye, my dear.

Here I stand beside the mailbox with a face so very red!
Instead of mailing you my letter, I have opened it instead!

Doctor’s Visit

Thought I’d let my doctor check me
Cause I didn’t feel quite right
All those aches and pains annoyed me
And I couldn’t sleep at night.

He could find no real disorder
But he wouldn’t let it rest
What with Medicare and Blue Cross,
We would do a couple tests.

To the hospital he sent me
Though I didn’t feel that bad,
He arranged for them to give me
Every test that could be had.

I was fluoroscoped and cystoscoped,
My aging frame displayed
Stripped, on an ice cold table,
While my gizzards were x-rayed.

I was checked for worms and parasites,
For fungus and the crud,
While they pierced me with long needles
Taking samples of my blood.

Doctors came to check me over,
Probed and pushed and poked around,
And to make sure I was living
They then wired me for sound.

They have finally concluded
Their results have filled a page,
What I have will someday kill me;
My affliction … is OLD AGE!

— author unknown

Elderly Prayer

Lord, Thou knowest I am growing older. Keep me from the idea that I must express myself on every subject. Release me from the craving to meddle in everyone’s affair. Keep my tongue from the recital of endless details of the past which do not interest others. Seal my lips when I am inclined to talk about my aches and pains. They are increasing with the years, and my love to speak of them grows sweeter as time goes by. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong. Make me thoughtful, but not interfering; helpful, but not bossy. With the wisdom and experience I’ve gained, it does seem a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends left at the end. So help me to pray more, talk less. And beyond all this, let me continue to flourish spiritually and bring forth fruit to Thy glory even in old age. Amen!

— author unknown


What ever on earth, can a grandma be for?
She’s older than dirt, with one foot out the door.
And what can she know about living today’
When nothing is done in her old fashioned way.
Oh sure, she’s sweet, and you love her a lot.
But in terms of real life, what’s an ol’ grandma got?

Well listen, my sweetie, you might be surprised
To find that your grandma’s a youngster disguised.
She still has her dreams, and her values intact,
She’s just a bit wiser, yes dear, that’s a fact.
Experience has put a few lines on her face.
And that’s how she knows, what its like in your place.

I know this idea may seem baffling and new.
But honey, your grandmas “Been There, Done That”, too.
So when your young life isn’t going as planned.
Talk to your grandma – she’ll sure understand.
She’s got lots of love and good counsel to give.
And she’ll be on your side for as long as you live.

— author unknown

Senior Discount

Today at the drugstore, the clerk was a gent.
From my purchase this chap took off ten percent.
I asked for the cause of a lesser amount;
And he answered, “Because of the Seniors Discount.”

I went to McDonald’s for a burger and fries;
And there, once again, got quite a surprise.
The clerk poured some coffee which he handed to me.
He said, “For you, Seniors, the coffee is free.”

Understand — I’m not old — I’m merely mature;
But some things are changing, temporarily, I’m sure.
The newspaper print gets smaller each day,
And people speak softer — can’t hear what they say.

My teeth are my own (I have the receipt.)
and my glasses identify people I meet.
Oh, I’ve slowed down a bit — not a lot, I am sure.
You see, I’m not old — I’m only mature.

The gold in my hair has been bleached by the sun.
You should see all the damage that chlorine has done.
Washing my hair has turned it all white,
But don’t call it gray — saying “blonde” is just right.

My car is all paid for — not a nickel is owed.
Yet a kid yells, “Old duffer — get off of the road!”
My car has no scratches — not even a dent.
Still I get all that guff from a punk who’s “Hell bent.”

My friends all get older — much faster than me.
They seem much more wrinkled, from what I can see.
I’ve got “character lines,” not wrinkles — for sure,
But don’t call me old — just call me mature.

The steps in the houses they’re building today
Are so high that they take — your breath all away;
And the streets are much steeper than ten years ago.
That should explain why my walking is slow.

But I’m keeping up on what’s hip and what’s new,
And I think I can still dance a mean boogaloo.
I’m still in the running — in this I’m secure,
I’m not really old — I’m only mature.

“The Outside’s Changed A Bit” (The freedom of growing older)

When I was in my younger days,
I weighed a few pounds less,
I needn’t hold my tummy in …
In order to impress

But now that I am older,
I’ve set my body free;
There’s comfort of elastic …
Where once my slim waist used to be.

The inventor of those discount shoes
My feet have never forgiven;
I have to wear a nine now …
But I used to wear a seven.

And how about trim cut slacks ..
They’re sized by weight, you see,
So how come when I put my size on …
The crotch is at my knees?

Now I need to wear these glasses
As the print is getting smaller;
And it wasn’t very long ago …
I knew that I was taller.

Though my hair has turned to silver
and my skin no longer fits …
On the inside, I’m the same old me …
Just the outside’s changed a bit.

Modern Grandma

In the dim and distant past
When life’s tempo wasn’t fast
Grandma used to rock and knit,
Crochet, tat, and baby-sit.

When her kids were in a jam
They could always count on gram.
In an age of gracious living,
Grandma was the gal for giving.

Grandma now is in the gym,
Exercising to keep slim,
She’s off touring with the bunch,
Taking clients out to lunch.

Driving north to ski or curl,
All her days are in a whirl.
Nothing seems to stop or block her,
Now that grandma’s off her rocker!

— author unknown

Mother Goose and middle age

Jack and Jill
jogged up the hill
their breath came
faster and faster

Before the top
they made a stop
narrowly averting
a myocardial disaster

Jack tried to be nimble
he tried to be quick
He shot hoops with young guys
and ruptured a disc

Oh where, oh where
has my estrogen gone?
Oh where, oh where can it be?

I was once young and fair
Now I sprout facial hair
Oh hormones please come back to me

Poor Mrs Fifth
Was not feeling nifty
Eating her low-fat swiss cheese

When she was twenty
she used to eat plenty
and never gained weight
round her knees

Middle-aged Mervin
went to the surgeon
to affix to his scalp
some new hair

but when he awoke
he looked worse than a joke
and he wished that
he’d left his head bare

I wrinkle I crinkle
I no long twinkle
How did this come so soon?

Just yesterday I was thirty-one
I’m fifty-four next June

Stock market, stock market
I’m down on my knees;
You’ve got to recover
I’m begging you, please.

I’d gotten used to easy cash
my wife and I had quite a stash

Stock market, stock market
please go higher
If you crash we can never retire

do you take me for a fool?

People, when they’re fifty
don’t retire as a rule

My Affliction

Thought I’d let my doctor check me
Cause I didn’t feel quite right
All those aches and pains annoyed me
And I couldn’t sleep at night

He could find no real disorder
But he wouldn’t let it rest
What with Medicare and Blue Cross
It wouldn’t hurt to test

To the hospital he sent me
Though I didn’t feel that bad
He arranged for them to give me
Every test that could be hand

I was fluoroscoped, cystoscoped, and telescoped
My aging frame displayed
Stripped upon an ice old table
While my gizzards were x-rayed

I was checked for worms and parasites
For fungus and the crud
While they pierced me with long needles
Taking samples of my blood

Doctors came to check me over
Probed and pushed and poked around
And to make sure that I was living
They even wired me for sound!

They have finally concluded
Their results have filled a page
What I have will some day kill me
My affliction is OLD AGE!


A row of bottles on my shelf
Caused me to analyze myself
One yellow pill I hope to pop
Goes to my heart so it won’t stop,
A little white one that I take,
Goes to my hands so they won’t shake.
The blue ones that I use a lot,
Tell me I’m happy when I’m not.
The purple goes to my brain,
And tells me that I have no pain.
The capsules tell me not to sneeze,
Or cough, or choke or even wheeze.
The red ones, smallest of them all,
Go to my blood so I won’t fall.
The orange ones so big and bright,
Stop my leg cramps in the night.
Such an array of brilliant pills,
Helping to cure all kinds of ills.
But what I’d really like to know,
Is what tells each one where to go?

— author unknown


  1. Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know “why” I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.
  2. Philosophers are right: life is cyclic. Trouble is, there’s only one rotation.
  3. I don’t mind getting old, it’s the side effects I hate.
  4. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened.


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