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Column

Time keeps flying and things keep changing

It’s official. On July 27, by the grace of God, I turned 79 and launched off toward my eighth decade of living and breathing.

Why, I’m a freakin’ miracle! I’ve lived through wearing and eating dirt and poisons used to enhance the growth and quality of fruits and vegetables; lard; zapping food in the oh-so-hazardous microwave; using DDT; playing dangerous games and with killer toys; firecrackers, caps, and sparklers; biking and skating unprotected by helmets, knee pads, and/or bubble-wrap; and many more hazards.

And yes, I wear each scar proudly.

I was raised and live in the best era ever. I can rejoice in the “way things were” and, at the same time, appreciate the conveniences scientists and inventors have come up with in my lifetime. It still amazes me I had graduated from high school before the BIC ballpoint pen was available to the public. This doesn’t begin to tell of the advances in all fields since then.

My generation learned to read and write cursive while still in grade school, and I’m mighty thankful I can read the special handwritten love messages on my birthday cards and who signed them.

Give me a column of figures to add, and the computer in my brain kicks in. Due to plenty of practice as a kid, the answers usually come out fairly accurate.

My first cell phone was bought for safety while traveling only. In the beginning, simply learning how to call someone was baffling. Learning all the mechanics of any electronic device at once is impossible, but bit-by-bit and trick-by-trick, I have learned (and am still learning) of the amazing things cell phones do.

Each new phone I bought was more advanced than the last. Now it’s with me at all times. My main source of communication with my kids and friends is texting. It is great to hear their sweet voices when they call me on special occasions.

The thought just occurred to me — maybe I should wait until my 80th birthday to reminisce about all these changes, but when you get this far up in age, it’s best to get it down while you can. However, I do plan on whizzing past 80, 90, and full-speed through 100. I wonder if the president of the United States will still be sending birthday letters by 2039.

Old age ain’t for sissies! Jerry is right on schedule regaining use of his brand-new shoulder. By the time he was getting that new joint, my shoulder and arm started acting up. But I was waiting for Jerry’s health clearance before setting up a doctor appointment.

Well, wouldn’t you know, the Friday before my Monday, July 9, appointment, Jer blew out his right knee. We were off to the ER Saturday, and he has been using either a cane or walker since.

I’m screaming, “Aww … come on, Jerry, it’s my turn!” (I can’t quote the exact words I used. A few would be bleeped out.)

I kept my appointment anyway. In the midst of all this, I threw my back out. For three weeks, we balanced our chores with the two workable limbs and one good back we had left between us. We are having therapy and treatment with high hopes.

I’m praying by the time I need a wheelchair, they’re self-driven and voice controlled. “Take me to the dining room” or “Take me to my room,” and wham — delivered. Don’t even need a GPS.

In order to continue writing for the BCR, my new wheels will have to come equipped with a table for my laptop and a side tray for my mouse.

I never did get the hang of using those fang-dangled finger-pads on laptops — I will be sitting on the only pad I’ll be able to “depend” on.

Maybe by then, I could simply send thought waves and, shazam, the words show up on the computer screen. Scratch that idea — my thoughts would necessitate way too much censoring and editing which, in turn, would require the use of my mouse.

On Aug. 1, son Brad turned 50. He’s living in the “good old days” and doesn’t realize it.

At any rate, whatever the future holds for any of us, we can always F-R-O-G.

Note to readers: Earlene Campbell lives by the FROG motto — Fully Rely On God. She lives in Princeton and can be reached at earlenecampbell@rocketmail.com.

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