When are the old days?

Time’s passage is familiar.

I understand days, months and years just fine.

Time seems to pass faster the longer I live, but I don’t always understand why people label things the way they do because of it.

When, exactly, does someone become old?

Maybe the answer is physical.

Maybe people are old when their hair starts to go gray, when there’s pain in their knees, when their back bends from the load of time and they don’t have what it takes to straighten it again.

Some of those things happened to me after 30 years.

Maybe it’s when their hands are worn from work, or marked with spots of age.

When their fingers ache from arthritis, too many purple hulls shelled on back porches, or both, are they old then?

Are they old the day they tell their great grandchildren stories from a time when earth was turned with a plow behind an old mule and cotton was harvested with bloody hands?

Maybe the answer is mental.

Maybe people are old when they’ve taken so many trips around the sun their minds push them so far back in their past they sometimes don’t recognize their present.

When I hear people talk about the old days, I’m not sure how far back into the past they go to reach them again.

Does yesterday qualify?

Are the old days the ones when I was a boy who camped beside Claybank Creek in the winter, talked about women and blackened a pan of JiffyPop over an open fire without a worry in the world?

Maybe the old days are the ones we remember with the most fondness.

Maybe we’re old when we say we’re old, or when we feel it.

When are the old days?

When, exactly, does someone become old?

Maybe the answers to those questions are up to who you ask.

This is my answer to today’s prompt from Sue, which is “old.”

7 Comments

      1. It seems to come very easily to you. The funny part is that I also have no idea what to write for tomorrow from my own prompt. When I do my yoga routine, I let a word come to me & then I use it. Guess we’ll have to see what we each come up with.😊

      2. It’s not easy. Ideas are almost never easy for me on my own. Once in a while I’ll have an idea with out a prompt (I have one now I’ve decided to save for a rainy day), but the prompts help. I did the Discover ones as kind of a challenge to see if I could keep up the pace. I hadn’t written anything in a long time before them, let alone regular posts. When you decided to keep them going I decided I’d keep going, too, at least for a while. I appreciate your effort.

      3. Thanks for coming along for the ride. I was in the exact same boat as you. Wrote everyday in April. Hadn’t posted much in the past year. Was inspired again. Didn’t want it to end. Not sure how long I’ll be able to keep it up with gardening & camping hopefully around the corner, but will just go day-by-day for now.

  1. Casey: Thought provoking. As a son of an Alabama Share Cropper born in 1934 I remember picking cotton with my Dad. I remember those plowing behind a mule. I remember my Mother cooking on a wood stove. I remember standing in front of a fire place burning up on one side and freezing on the other. I remember starting to school in a one room school house. On it goes. Do these things make me feel old? No! They help me to appreciate where I have, by the grace of God come from and where I am today. I appreciate so much what I now have. I don’t have to pick cotton, I have central heat and air, my wife cooks on a beautiful electrical stove and I left the one room school house to graduate from a beautiful seminary platform. Indeed God is good! Thanks for reminding me I am not old at 85 but am gloriously privileged.

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