Patience or Old Age

Written By Galen White

I guess there is somethin’ to be said for havin’ patience, and I know I need more’n what I’ve got. Sure seems like it’s taken a long time for me to gain the little I have today, though. It’s kinda like time; sometimes it’s fast, sometimes it’s slow.

You see, when I was young, time seemed to drag along; it took forever for things to come about. For example, there were at least three or four months between the first day of December and Christmas Day. And it took years before I could drive or shave like my dad.

Of course, dad put me on a tractor when I was around five years of age. There was a good 10 to 12 inches between the bottom of my foot and the clutch and brake, but all he wanted was for me to keep the steerin’ wheel from spinnin’ free. I just sat there and kept the tractor movin’ in a straight line. Of course, I wanted to drive to Homer or Arcadia, anywhere would be somewhere to me! Besides, the cows were only interested in the hay we were puttin’ out so my drivin’ the tractor didn’t impress them in the least.

I couldn’t wait to shave, either. I remember bein’ so envious of my dad as he boiled water and poured it into the sink, dipped his brush into the hot water and then into the cup that held his shavin’ soap. Whippin’ up a good lather, he’d apply a warm, heapin’ helpin’ of lather to his face, let it set a spell softenin’ up the facial hair, and then use his double edged razor to remove the beginnin’s of a healthy beard.

Yes, sir. With all the things I wanted back then, it seemed to take me years to accomplish. Today, just the opposite is true; now that I’m much older, time seems to fly by quicker’n a sheep can shake its tail. Anything, good or bad, seems to arrive within the blink of an eye. On the other hand, when I think I’m makin’ good time drivin’ somewhere, I look in the mirror and some kid in a sports car is tryin’ to pass me.

That reminds me of what my brother, Buddy, once told me. He said he was ridin’ with dad one day, and for whatever reason, dad seemed to be drivin’ slower than usual. Of course, it could have been that Buddy was just in a hurry. Anyway, in an attempt to make dad speed up, Buddy kept lookin’ over his shoulder and out the rear window. Finally, dad asked him what he kept lookin’ back for. Buddy replied, “there’s a peg-legged man pushin’ a wheel barrow who keeps tryin’ to pass us!” I’m not sure if dad thought that was funny or not, but Buddy said he sped up.

I guess it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say I’m not as anxious to do things today as I did way back when. Christmas Day now seems to come around at least three or four times a year, and shavin’ is a chore I’d rather not be bothered with. In fact, there are quite a few things that once achieved, I’d now prefer to do without. Like havin’ someone say “yes, sir” and “no, sir” to me. When young, I wanted that respect. While I appreciate the respect, I have mixed emotions hearin’ it today. However, it does sound good when comin’ from a youngster ’cause it says to me he or she had good raisin’.

Wouldn’t it be nice if things happened quicker while we are young, and unfolded slower as we aged? After all, we are strong, agile, and have stamina when we are young. We could handle whatever the world hurled at us back then.

On the other hand, maybe it’s better the way it is. At least today, I’m findin’ that I have more patience than when a youngster. The patience I have today still ain’t enough, and I’m workin’ on gettin’ more. Come to think about it, maybe patience ain’t nothin’ more’n old age. And that’s somethin’ I want more of too……, old age.



Galen WhiteGalen White has written articles for several papers in North Louisiana and is now retired.






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