- Last Updated on 08:07 AM 12/04/13
- BY Doug Ford
I reached a milestone last week, one more than 55 years in the making.
No, I didn’t celebrate my retirement, as I’m only 58-years-old and contemplate many more years at The Gazette-Virginian.
No, no, no, I didn’t get engaged, and I didn’t win the lottery.
Are you ready for this — a young man behind the counter of a fast food establishment was the first to offer me a free, senior citizen drink, which I gladly accepted.
Granted, I’ve been eligible for such freebies for several years.
But, it never occurred to me to ask for them, not out of pride but simply forgetfulness, which I guess is why the conscientious and energetic employee thought of offering the free beverage in the first place.
As I slide gradually from middle age to the brink of older adulthood, I will encounter many more milestones.
I’ve long since celebrated my 18th, 30th, 40th and 50th birthdays, with my 60th birthday not too far away.
I just attended my 40-year high school reunion a year after my 35th college reunion, and more people are calling me “sir” or “Mr. Ford” than before.
That’s simply a gesture of respect in my humble opinion, like my circle of friends in Richmond affectionately calling me “gramps.”
Hints of gray are beginning to make themselves known in my ever-shrinking hairline, but I haven’t considered shaving my head entirely.
I’ve made a few compensations for age, including not climbing onto my roof to clean my gutters of leaves, rather paying homage to MacGyver by attaching a broom head to a long pole to sweep leaves off my roof.
I’ve long since accepted the fact I’m unable to do many things I was capable of doing in my youth, like tumbling and flipping head over heels.
I don’t bury my speedometer the way I did when I was barely out of college, and I don’t like to drive at night, perhaps due to my old eyes.
The elderly are held in higher esteem in many cultures other than our own, and the wisdom that comes with age is something we should all consider.
Considering my membership in the baby boomer generation, I’m sure employees like the one who offered me my senior citizen drink recently will have plenty of opportunities to repeat that kind gesture in the future.