Middle Age: the worst years of your life

A woman looking out of the window at night.

I read an article the other day that said happiness occurs during two phases of our life.  The 1st is in our 20’s and the 2nd is  during our 70’s.  In other words happiness is shaped like a “U†and the worst years are during middle age (40-60).  They were at a loss to explain why, but had several theories.  Being the sage I am, I can easily explain.  During your 20’s nothing bothers you and, of course, if you have no worries you are happy.  During your 70’s you are retired and “don’t go to work no moâ€.  Now what could possibly make you happier?   I bumped into a friend the other day (Amos Mongo) that has been retired for 13 years.  I had not seen him since.  He looked better than the day he retired.  Of course I could tell he had aged somewhat, but his eyes were brilliant and full of life and mischief.  He stood straight and tall and told me his health was very good, playing a lot of golf and traveling.  I guess now I have to stop yearning to be 30 or 40 again and start looking forward to my 70’s.  This 70’s thing had better work for me.

Just like most of you, I have started to worry a little about tax time, which seems to be fast approaching.  In the past, I have always used Turbo Tax by Intuit and that software has always been well written and easy to use.    The problem is that it keeps getting more expensive.  So this year I decided to try Tax Cut.  It cost half as much.   I’ll let you know how it turns out.

The yard received it’s winter dose of fertilizer and weedkiller the other day.   The night after I put it out, I was awakened by this persistent noise.  Turns out, it was my grass growing, with the howling of weeds dying mixed in.   In years past, I have been disappointed in the part that kills weeds.  I’m looking forward to better results this year.  Yea, I believe in the Tooth Fairy also.  I’ve got to get a better attitude.  I guess Jerilyn hide it someplace ‘cause I can’t find it.

Jerilyn’s youngest grandson, Brandon stayed a few nights with us last week while his parents took his older brother, Chris, to Knoxville to tour the University of Tennessee.  Chis’ application to attend UT has been accepted and they wanted to see what it looked like and assess the teaching staff and course offerings.  This has to be an exciting time for Christopher and his family.  It has been several years since Brandon (age 13) has stayed with us.  He is a delightful and active young fellow and we enjoyed his stay.  I was standing in the garage one morning as Jerilyn escorted him down the driveway to the bus stop.  He had his backpack on, filled with books and stuff, and my thoughts wondered back to when my kids were that age and catching the school bus in front of our house.  Life is full of wonderful and pleasant experiences.  How can we not remember them.   I’m sure, to Brandon, it was a place to stay until his family returned, but to Jerilyn and I, it was a chance to enjoy youth one more time.

Tonight, my son Rusty and I, along with Jerilyn’s grandson Chris & his friend Trent, are headed off to the University of Virginia , in Charlottesville, to watch UVA play North Carolina University.  We are expecting NC to wipe the floor with UVA, but the experience of attending a major conference game will be fun.  I am looking forward to spending some quality time with Rusty and Chris.  Chris will be 18 on the 27th and will be heading off to college in the fall.  He has already visited UT, as mentioned above, and is leaning toward going to school there.  There is a possibility of rain & light snow in Charlottesville tonight.  Hopefully, that will not happen.  The game starts at 8 and is 3 hours away, so we will be getting home around 1:30 a.m.  Luckily, Chris is on spring vacation and Rusty can take some time off, but I have to get up and go to work in the morning….no, wait, I’m retired!

We vote in our State Primary today.  In Virginia, you have a choice of voting on the Democratic ticket or the Republican.  Normally, I would vote on the Republican ticket, but McCain already has it locked up, so I will vote for the Democrat I would like to see on the ticket.  The polls are predicting an Obama win.  I’m wavering on my vote, but I’m leaning more toward Hillary since I want to see a woman president in my lifetime and she appears to be as qualified as anybody else running.

I had to replace two large springs that help when we open our garage door.  We drove up to the door the other night, pushed the button to open the door and drove in, closing the door as we exited the car.  As I was walking around the front of the car, we heard this big “bang†that sounded like a grenade had exploded in the garage.  As we prepared to hit the floor, we realized that something had broken.  Further inspection revealed the broken spring.  A trip to Ace Hardware the next day cost $33 (to obtain two new springs & the necessary cables).  The helpful assistant told me that he has heard of people being killed by broken garage door springs.  I could image the damage they would inflict if they hit someone, so I have devised a way to prevent that from happening.  The new springs say they will work for 10,000 openings.  This house was built in 1978, so maybe their time was up.  Now, I need to replace the two springs on the other garage door, but have decided instead to install my new safety device and wait for the big “Bangâ€.   I cannot imagine a company making these doors without some kind of safety device installed.  Maybe, the newer doors have something.  If you are interested in installing my safety system on your doors, let me know.

You can find my blog at:   http://tommyhale.blogspot.com/  or my pictures at:  http://bipolar66.smugmug.com

I hope you’re enjoying whatever season it is in your part of the world.  Thanks for reading my weekly missive.


“Paradise is here or nowhere: You must take your joy with you, or you will never find it.” ….O.S. Marden