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I’m tired of complaining. I hate it when I sound like a Grumpy Old Man.

I’m fighting the Senior Slide into Assholedom.

Glen, a regular visitor to my gym, is 93 this year and he still smiles and talks with buoyant cheer. He’s a superstar inspiration. The perfect iron pumper with a positive perspective.

Of course that’s negated by mid-70’ish Ron at the soup kitchen who volunteers to help the downtrodden, drug- and/or mental health- challenged souls, then ironically… acts like a classless Soup Nazi who hates the clientele. I don’t get it.  Shitcakes with soup.

I rarely used to swear and there I’ve gone and uttered profanities twice in the first 4 paragraphs.

OMG, the Senior Slide is happening…. I don’t want that on my dance card!

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The real reason I’m fearing the onset of Senior Slide is the weather outside. And my overreaction to the nip in the air.

There are great swirls of pine and fir branches doing sunbathed cha-chas in the crisp breeze outside my window.

And in the distance, across mirrored Okanagan Lake and the valley, the soft, rounded peaks of the undulating hills, thrown up like toss cushions caught in the March winds, are still … STILL… coated with snow, evergreens poking through the whitewash like prickly slivers on my hand.

The symphony of chattering robins and chickadees and flickers is the best streaming music channel going.

It’s March and this is the Okanagan Valley. Spring.

Living in the Okanagan in Canada is the equivalent of living in tropical La La Land or Miami in the States.

The mere whiff o’ nasty chill weather here is usually less reality than an imaginative head trip… kinda like fake weather news.

We know that REAL winter is out there somewhere but we don’t want to see it or experience it.

I occasionally admire the throngs of people that live in New York City or Toronto, those who love big city life, the incredible restaurants and amazing, diverse cultural opportunities- Open Mic nights every day of the week!

Then I remind myself that these “lucky” souls are also burdened with the additional joy of dealing with the Great White North head-high snowdrifts; the regular frustrations of Currier and Ives winter scenes that linger on for 80 days and nights beyond when that furry rodent pops his toothy little face above the ground in early February.

Here in the bucolic interior valley of British Columbia, winter is typically a quick blast of 3 or 6 inches of January snow, followed in short order by deliciously mild, springlike days leading to daffodil, tulip, snowdrop and daphne blooms by mid-March.

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Typically. Usually. Most years.

Not 2017. Nope.

Even our backyard hens are sounding off about the weather like crabby little bitches. We give you eggs every day and this is what you give us in return?, the girls seem to be clucking.

This is where I find myself playing the grumpy old man.

I’ve lived in the Arctic and in northern BC.

I’ve played broomball at -35C on frozen Frame Lake surrounding Yellowknife.

I’ve cross-country skied over snowbound Alberta mountain passes listening to the bass rumble of avalanches in the near distance.

I’ve tasted hard-frozen maple syrup poured over shaved ice during Quebec City’s Winter Carnival.

Yes, I’ve survived and thrived in climates that can kill in a matter of minutes, the sensation of cruel polar air freezing my moustache brush and the alveoli in my lungs.

So, paradoxically, it seems silly and ironic to me that I now whine and whinge whilst the “spring” temperatures outside my window float barely below or around the freezing point.

Is it possible that I’ve lost my thrill of the challenge? Weather or otherwise? What faculty or personal test will I next see slipping away in the fog?

Am I sliding closer to the point of no return where my children decide the time has come to set me on a floating ice island to oblivion?

Is this weather issue the thin edge of the wedge where Assholedom becomes a wolf that demands daily feeding?

I don’t think so. I hope not.

My childish mind wanders onto bizarre weather tangents of apparent nonsense… Is it possible that global warming has been scared chilly with the ascendance of Trump? Are the weather Gods cowering in cold, dark horror like little babies in fear of a nasty tweet at 1:44 am.?

Trump tweet

Sorry, I slipped away there for a moment. See? It’s happening…

Ultimately, my answer to this question of Senior Slide is… I don’t know.

I do know that deeper understanding of ourselves, others, and the world around us comes with experience and seeking to see from the inside and not merely looking in from the outer edge.

Perhaps it’s part of the natural process of growing up, growing old.

Sometimes wisdom is knowing that not every question contains a neat and tidy answer. Wisdom.

I also know that regardless of any “slide”, I’d prefer to tap-dance on the sunny clouds of Pharrell William’s Happy than shuffle in the sewers of Scrooge and The Grinch.

 

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

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