When I am an old man...

I will be surprised I made it that far.  If I do. 

It's not that far away.

There's a good chance, I won't.

I will consider it funny to have aches and pains. 

I already do.

I will not whine about being old. 

Or apologize for aging. 

I will consider it honorable and amazing.

I will laugh at myself for being funny looking, and bald, and having ears that stick out.

I will be proud of my past. 

I did a lot, against great odds. 

And against fierce opposition.

I will be skinny and awkward, like when I was a teenager. 

Only with more wrinkles.

I will smile a lot. 

Or not.

I won't say much. 

When I do speak, I will say thoughtful words.

I will bake sourdough bread. 

And home made pies.  

And make cornbread, and tamales.

I will putter in the garden among the bees and hens.

And grow pole beans and zucchinis. 

And grapes, and figs, and peaches.

From my beehives, I will give packages of fresh honey, to nice people.

My curses will be colorful and complex. 

And used sparingly.

And aimed at the self-righteous, and self-important, and smug.

And greedy.

I will learn Spanish.

I will not consider it an insult to say "old". 

Don't whisper "old", or use euphemisms.

Dammit.

I will consider "old" an honorific, respectful, and esteemed.

I will stand proud and crooked.

Like a beautiful, ancient, wizened bristlecone pine.

I will growl like an old lion.

I will tell people what I think. 

If I like them. 

If I don't, they aren't worth my effort.

My favorite shirt will be an old flannel shirt, from Goodwill or a yard sale. 

I will wear it everywhere.

My favorite hat will be a cap I already wear. 

It will be frayed and stained. 

I will wear it everywhere.

My favorite trousers will be an old pair of khakis with side pockets for pruning shears and a pocket knife.

I will wear them everywhere.

I will grow the best tomatoes in the neighborhood.

I will tell young people, stories they didn't know.

About wars they never heard of.

And great minds no one told them about.

I might make them up.

Or not. 

No one could make up a past, as interesting, as the real past.

I will quote Robert Green Ingersoll. 

And Samuel Clemens.

My loyal dog will always be by my side.

He will roll in the grass and be covered in dust.

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