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AGING: Humor's important as people get older

Most of my aging acquaintances, peers if you prefer, enjoy humor. One recently mentioned a couple would-be bumper stickers aimed at us oldsters: Florida -- God's Waiting Room (Arizona would fit our group and friends better). Snap, crackle and pop...

Most of my aging acquaintances, peers if you prefer, enjoy humor. One recently mentioned a couple would-be bumper stickers aimed at us oldsters:

Florida -- God's Waiting Room (Arizona would fit our group and friends better).

Snap, crackle and pop in the morning -- ain't my freaking Rice Krispies. I actually do hear that snap, crackle and pop when I take my first steps in the morning, and we don't have any Rice Krispies in the house.

Mary Berg, NBC Prime Timers Club Hostess, said on a trip that she thinks it is okay for older folk to talk to ourselves. Do you think my knees are talking to me?

As we often hear and agree with, growing old isn't for sissies. But humor makes whatever is bothering us go away, even if only for a little while, whether it be dealing with anger, loneliness, sorrow or whatever. And after that bit of humor lifts our spirit, our spirit doesn't sink back down to that former level. And in a group, one laugh often generates another one so our spirit keeps edging upward and better. We don't dare let ourselves shy away from group opportunities. Groups that have members with a sense of humor, that is.

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I don't want to miss any of that humor, especially when it fits me to a "T." One wag said, "You're old when burning the midnight oil means staying up past 9 p.m." I realize that a lot of folks from my generation would deny that. I can't!

One of the subjects that comes up again and again at my morning coffee group is ladies -- often wives -- with which most of us have first-hand experience. Two issues with those ladies: Their capabilities as shoppers and packing the car for vacations. Seems that many wives who do the shopping may go in the store for one item and come out with several because they were on sale. Home storage shelves begin to sag with the evidence. As one member said, "Those who say that you can't take it with you have never seen my wife coming back from a shopping trip or our car packed for a vacation trip."

It was reported that some fellow sitting in a hotel lobby was heard to say, "My wife is an hour late, she has either been in a traffic accident, been taken ill or she's shopping. I hope she isn't shopping."

A former president of Harvard, A. Lawrence Lowell, was asked when he was 70 at what age he intended to retire. His answer, "When I'm ready to retire, Mrs. Lowell will tell me." He's not the only fella who is boss in his family (when he is away from home, that is).

My coffee group's (all male) humor is more apt to have the male outguessing the female, although any married man knows that doesn't happen very often. One of the fellows the other day said, "You never know how much a human voice can change instantaneously until a wife quits scolding her husband and answers the telephone."

Well you can see how important it is for me to have a coffee group with members who have a sense of humor. I need all the help that I can get. A concluding statement that says it all -- "We don't stop laughing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop laughing."

Don't do it!

Bernie Hughes, Ed.D., is a retired educator who resides in Superior.

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