Pages of Life — Numbers must be wrong

Submitted photo

We just celebrated my 79th birthday. I can hardly believe the number. I do not feel old. I feel like I can do anything! Then... I remember, these numbers say I am not a spring chicken anymore.

But these numbers must be wrong! My head says it's true, but my heart says, (as our Great Granddaughter 4-year-old Lydia, used to say when things wasn't right, "Dat's not wite!") I still have plans of what I will do 'someday'. Now it seems someday has come too fast.

Recently my husband was clicking through YouTube listening to different music. He came across Toby Keith singing, and with Clint Eastwood doing the scenes.

We had just saw a Clint Eastwood interview and he was asked, "How do you now, in your 90's, keep going?" He replied. "I don't let the old man in." I hope you can watch it on YouTube. This is the title of the song they presented. "Don't let the old man in."

Since David and I are seeing our numbers going up, we were emotional about the song and watching the actor we have followed since the days of Rawhide where he portrayed Rowdy Yates. He was around 30 years old at the time and we have followed him ever since then.

I was thinking over my life and there are so many happy memories over the years. How do you tell a whole life of memories in a few paragraphs?

It seems like it wasn't so long ago I was a little country girl, and along with my cousins, living a happy, secure, life. There was never a worry or danger like there is now. Our time was spent climbing the slat walls going up to the window into our corn crib, playing in the creek below our house, making tree houses, and all the work and fun things country kids grow up doing.

Then there were the school years, and our little country school, Herring School, South of Fulton, where I attended all 8 years. kids walked from all around. Some came from quite a distance. At the most we had twenty kids and we all thought we were cousins. I don't recall any fighting; we were just one happy little family.

In my mind I can still smell all the lunch buckets lined up on the shelf above the coat racks. We would trade around at recess and lunch. One of the most popular trades was the homemade bread toast, with cow butter baked in, that the Wilkerson kids brought. We would trade anything for that toast!

I could write a book on the memories of those school years, as well as each phase of these life's seasons. The picture is of me in the first grade at school.

In the blink of an eye, it seems I met the love of my life and then was a married woman at the age of 15... David and I were both known for playing and singing country music. Although we were raised many miles apart, God, through our music, brought us together. David was born in Bluffton, Mo., and me here in Fulton.

My Aunt Abbie Akers played a part in our meeting as she told a band leader, Seth Bradley, you should hear my niece sing. He invited me over, and after that invited me to sing with them at the Modoc in Rhineland, and at the Rooster Creek show in Fulton.

A little later someone was starting a band and because of hearing me on the radio show, came and hired me to sing. Seth had been giving me $2.50 to sing, so I was offered $5.00 by Mr. Browning to join the band he was building. (I can hear you laughing now.)

He also hired a handsome young guitar picker (David) to play and sing in his band. David didn't even have his license to drive yet, but he borrowed a car, brought his guitar, and came through the backwoods to our house, to sing me Johnny Cash love songs.

Some of the happiest times in both our lives probably all revolve around the births of our three sons. I loved wearing those maternity dresses we had back then, and all the excitement of planning for our baby, never knowing if it would be a boy or girl.

Our sons were, and still are, all you could hope for. They worked hard on the farm, hunted, played music, and always made us proud. Neighbors and church people always complimented us on the boys. They are still all active in their churches.

Every hill David and I used to see was a challenge to climb, but now we have had to make some adjustments. These days we ride and enjoy our new hobby of taking pictures. We have spent most of our lives together... (We celebrated 63 years last month). We hunted together, laughed, and cried together, as we have seen too many people, we love, leave. We can't change the sad times, but it is all in this thing called living. Now here we are, Senior Citizens, in the winter season of life, I suppose.

We are realizing more than ever that each day is a gift from God. We know time is closing in on us and 'our days are numbered', (Job 14: 5-7) ...but there are still a lot of pictures out there, and memories to be made.

In the song it says, now how old would you be if you didn't know the day you were born? Maybe that is what I should focus on. Keep on living, and planning, and just forget about those big old numbers.

  photo Dorothy Kleindienst