As Time Goes By

I often think about growing older, and that distance I’m viewing is not as far as it once was, which is good because my far vision is not what it used to be. As I contemplate my future, I’m reminded of one of my favorite songs “When I’m Sixty-four” by The Beatles, which captures my thoughts on growing older quite well.

antique valentineWhen I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

I see Carl and me sitting in our garden room (not yet built), gliding in rockers with the next generation of cats and pups piled up sleeping as a soft rain patters on the windows. Perhaps it’s Valentine’s Day, or our anniversary; it doesn’t matter. We’ve exchanged cards that could not express the fullness of our lives with each other. The card I’ve given Carl and signed to be from the cats and dogs brings a special smile. We may be planning a big night out, probably not till quarter to three; we can’t manage those kind of hours now.

I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

old man reading newspaperAs I fix breakfast, Carl is reading me the highlights of the Sunday news or a bit of a new novel. After tidying the kitchen, we take our pup for a walk and check to see about the last of our ripe tomatoes–no weeds because we long ago decided to plant everything in containers. Carl is Mr. Handyman, and I see him puttering about in a cardigan, working on a new project, hanging pictures he’s taken, mounting some new gadget for me in the kitchen. I’ll be cross-stitching as I watch a BBC mystery in the background; I never learned to knit.

Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight
If it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck & Dave

We’re still going to Asheville. We’re walking around, holding hands, breaking into stoop-shouldered dance occasionally. While we won’t have any grandchildren gathered around us, we will be visited by former students, bring by their young ones. I’m working on Chelsea to convince her to name her children Vera, Chuck, and Dave.

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
old couple 1ndicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

Carl and I are that cute old couple still holding hands; he’s the gallant gentleman still opening the door for his lady-fair. One of our favorite television programs is As Time Goes By starring Judi Dench and Geoffery Palmer as lovers reunited in the Autumn of their lives. Carl and I watch and say that is us, only we didn’t have to lose the years in between. Carl definitely has a head start on Lionel’s gruff, but lovable demeanor, and I already nail Jean’s often sarcastic, sometimes irreverent take on life as portrayed bu Dame Judi Dench.



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