Posted: August 22, 2011 in thomas t fields jr.
Tags: ,

At 4:29 on the morning of August 5th I was standing on the balcony of my motel room sipping coffee and thinking what a wonderful day it was.  The air was still and warm as I overlooked Lake Hamilton at Hot Springs.  I thought back about my childhood in Farmerville and how our view on life changes as we grow and mature.  In the 1950s, when a person reached retirement age it usually meant that they had one foot in the grave and the other one was not far behind.  Then as I grew older it became apparent that retirement age actually meant a couple of years of enjoyment before heading to the retirement home.  At thirty-nine Desert Storm hit and the softball team that I was a member of played various military teams on a weekly basis.  We went undefeated as we beat the championship team from the 82nd airborne, several air force and army teams, a team from the USS LaSalle inDubai and a weekly match with the Navy Seals.  Average age of our team was thirty-eight and led me to proclaim that at forty there is no longer such a thing as chronological age, it is just a state of mind.   Then as I got older I started to think that there could actually be a fairly active life when we move into “old age”.  

I smiled as I put my coffee cup down and put on my walking shoes.  The day before I had driven to Hot Springsand launched my boat at LakeOuachitato go SCUBA diving and explore some of the islands.  That evening as the temperature dropped to a more manageable 102, I re-launched in LakeHamilton. On the morning of the 5th I went into town and decided to take a short walk on one of the trails.  This trek ended up being a three mile hike to the top of the mountain in the middle of the city.  Then I toured one of the rock shops and got back to the motel just in time to help my friend Steve Post launch his boat before we went on a trip around the lake.  We finished up the evening sitting on the deck of Fisherman’s Warf enjoying the balmy night and talking about going fishing the next morning.

The night was almost complete except for writing this column and I then deciding that maybe the brochures for a retirement home may be a little per-mature. 

At 4:29 on the morning of August 5th I was standing on the balcony of my motel room sipping coffee and thinking what a wonderful day it was.  One minute earlier at 4:28 I turned sixty.  Come on seventy, I dare you to get in my way.


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