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It is hard to see clearly because my dashboard is so dirty, but my odometer turned 123456 this evening. This is the first time in my life that I ever had a car reach that milestone. First because my cars never got that many miles without crapping out, and second because it is unusual to catch the number occur. Sadly, this milestone happened on a Japanese made car. The best I ever got from Ford was 112000, and the best from my Oldsmobile was 110000. Both of the previous cars went to the junk yard at those mileages. This one will keep going until it reaches 200,000. I wouldn’t be afraid to get in this Jap car and drive to California tomorrow. I would never have undertaken such a journey in either the Sable or the Intrigue at that mileage.

Today, is also the anniversary of my wife Peggy’s entry to planet earth. I can’t tell you her age but if you look at 18 in the mirror you will know. It was a bit trying for her as all birthdays are as we age and near the last one. We tried to make it as happy as we could. Her daughter came to visit, her youngest grand-daughter called to tell her she is having labor pains, and her baby is on the way on her great grand mother’s birthday. Peggy asked who is pregnant, and I had to remind her it was her grand-daughter. She replied, “I didn’t know.” Sadly, that is not the case. Peggy was one of the first to know, she went with her GD to watch an ultrasound, and then went to her baby shower. Tomorrow, it will be the same thing. Peg won’t remember a thing about her first great grand-daughter coming soon.

As my father told me many times “don’t get old.”

Time Gets Better With Age

A good friend surprised me today with this wonderful insight into the development of insight as we age.

Thanks Chuck, I really enjoyed this.


Grumpa Joe, Grampa Jim, and Sis

Time Gets Better with Age

Read it through to the end, it gets better as you go!

I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night”.
Age 5

I’ve learned that our dog doesn’t want to eat my broccoli either.
Age 7

I’ve learned that when I wave to people in the country, they stop what they are doing and wave back.
Age 9

I’ve learned that just when I get my room the way I like it, Mom makes me clean it up again.
Age 12

I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up.
Age 14

I’ve learned that although it’s hard to admit it, I’m secretly glad my parents are strict with me.
Age 15

I’ve learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice.
Age 24

I’ve learned that brushing my child’s hair is one of life’s great pleasures.
Age 26

I’ve learned that wherever I go, the world’s worst drivers have followed me there.
Age 29

I’ve learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it.
Age 30

I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly but just don’t know how to show it.
Age 42

I’ve learned that you can make someone’s day by simply sending them a little note.
Age 44

I’ve learned that the greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater his or her need to cast blame on others.
Age 46

I’ve learned that children and grandparents are natural allies.
Age 47

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on and it will be better tomorrow.
Age 48

I’ve learned that singing “Amazing Grace” can lift my spirits for hours.
Age 49

I’ve learned that motel mattresses are better on the side away from the phone.
Age 50

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.
Age 51

I’ve learned that keeping a vegetable garden is worth a medicine cabinet full of pills.
Age 52

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die.
Age 53

I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
Age 58

I’ve learned that if you want to do something positive for your children, work to improve your marriage.
Age 61

I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
Age 62

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
Age 64

I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
Age 65

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision.
Age 66

I’ve learned that everyone can use a prayer.
Age 72

I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
Age 82

I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch – holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
Age 90

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
Age 92


Right Turn On Red

Our great state of Illinois has a law that allows a right turn on a red light. Many states have the same law. The way I understand this law, a person stopped for a red light wanting to make a right turn, may do so, even if the light is red. The following conditions must exist: there is no traffic coming from the left, there are no cars turning left into your path, it is safe to do so, and you choose to do so. That last part is the part that got my dander up today on two separate occasions.  I don’t always choose to turn right on a red. Today, I got the horn and a shrug of shoulders from the driver behind who thought I should have been moving instead of sitting.

The law seems to be evolving from a choice to a requirement, or at least some drivers believe. When did it change? I have seen some drivers drive right through a red light into the right turn. No attempt whatsoever to stop first.  What wrinkles me is if this is a real law, we should obey it, and it should be enforced. Mayhem would ensue if we allowed all traffic signals and laws to be transgressed. Am I wrong, or am I just too old to understand?

Older and Wiser

Wow! Too many projects, too little time to get them all done. Does that sound familiar? Let me tell you something folks, it doesn’t change with age. As long as a person has his health, and mental faculties, he will continue to want to be a useful citizen of this earth. I had a question last night from one of my Lions Club friends. We touched upon the election in our discussion. He is concerned because he is a conservative in all his views, yet he is questioning about voting for an old man.

He looked at me and asked, “how old are you Joe?

“Seventy,” I replied.

“Do you feel that you have the energy and mental capacity to be president?

“Yes,” was my answer. 

The real question in my mind is whether nature will be good to me, and let me keep my health and energy as I age. I fully intend to stay healthy, and today, I am reasonably healthy, but will I stay that way for much longer? I don’t know, neither do you. Only the Lord knows what is ahead of us. All we can do is, “Remember yesterday, Dream tomorrow, Live today.” 

So what if our current conservative candidate is old? He will select a younger Vice Presidential partner, who will rise to the occasion if it is necessary.  It is also a fact that young men die too. Many of them live a higher risk life style than older men, so their chances of meeting with injury or accidental demise is probably greater. Remember Christopher Reeves, “Super Man,” broke his neck while enjoying his passion, i.e. riding a horse. More recently, Heath Ledger died of too many medicines at one time. To quote a line from the movie “Forest Gump,”

” Shit Happens.”

 Life is filled with stories about people who die when they shouldn’t.

Instead of worrying about a candidate’s age, and his prospects for surviving life, we should concentrate on which political philosophy we want our kids, and grandkids to grow up with. We should be discussing our life values and the reasons that we believe in them.

My parents were staunch Democrats. They made one “X” on their ballot. They believed in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the saviour of the working class. Mom and Dad, lived through the depression, they blamed President Hoover for everything that went wrong with the economy. Yet, when I think about how they taught me to live, they were as conservative as the day is long. They never spoke of conservatism, but they lived it. They wouldn’t have understood what “Green” meant, but they lived more “Green” than any modern citizen does today. Their bottom line philosophies:

“If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it.”

“When you have land, you will always be able to feed yourself.”

Mom wasn’t talking about acres or hundreds of acres, she was talking about a back yard. She made our tiny yard into a farm. She raised vegetables, chickens, flowers, and some grass too.

“Never waste.” Mom knew how to mend socks, shirts, and pants. She knew the value of re-cycling hand-me-downs, and somehow we managed to survive without knowing we were poor.

“Welfare is for people who are worse off than we are.” My Dad would have hung himself before he accepted money from the government. He came to this country with the clothes on his back, got a job, learned English, took abuse from his co-workers, and managed to feed and educate three kids.

If you believe in big government, and the philosophy that Big Brother should take care of you, that’s okay. You should vote for the Liberal.

I happen to believe that the government is way too big, and the National Debt is out of control. If you want to tax me to pay off the debt, okay. If you want to tax me to pay for more social programs, go fly a kite.

I’m voting conservative even if the candidate is 101 years old. He’d be the much wiser choice.

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