But I'm seeing a lot of sad stuff lately. The hospital was the big sad stuff: people dying, people crying, that sort of thing. Kind of to be expected.

But also sad was McDonalds in the morning, where old people congregate these days now that the corner diner is gone. Eavesdropping on their conversations, there seems to be a frantic desire to do something useful, anything. I heard a woman go on for several minutes about how her grandson wanted her to bring him a Subway sandwich for his lunch at school. I swear, it was the high point of her day: what he likes, what he likes on it, etc.

Then there were the men, talking about maybe going fishing, maybe doing some yard work, maybe planting something. The sense was that none of it was very pressing. Just something to do so that tomorrow when they meet for coffee, there'll be something to say.

I love being a writer even more now, because I'll never be a bored-stiff McDonalds denizen.

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Comment by J. F. Juzwik on April 17, 2009 at 5:19am
That's the truth, Dana. As long as there is something new to learn or to try, boredom can't possibly occur. I 'retired' about 5-1/2 years ago (thanks to my son), and I spend my days teaching my grandchildren, walking, reading and my true love - writing and creating. Even though I may not technically be 'retirement age' as of quite yet, I do need a nap every day (LOL), but that's okay. The manuscripts wait for me. I believe it is up to us to keep our minds active and keep in touch with the various generations. And, it's never too late to take some kind of class. Doesn't even matter what it's for; just something you enjoy doing or finding out about. Very important.
Comment by Dana King on April 17, 2009 at 3:39am
I've seen the people you're talking about in MCDonalds; also in the American Legion bar in my home town. THen I see my parents--82 and 77--who are busy all day. I think a lot of people allow their working lives to fall into ruts: work, eat, watch television, go to bed. After a few years or returement, they realize the television shows are geared toward much younger people, and there's only so much TV anyone can watch, anyway. So what do they do? They're 70 years old, parts of their bodies hurt they didn't even know they had twenty years ago, and finding new interests is hard. It's something we all need to guard against in ourselves. Writing and reading are great ways to keep mentally active, so most of us here are probably in pretty good shape. I think the two biggest things people can do to keep from winding up like this is to have friends of many ages, and to always maintain a love of learning. Learning never gets old.
Comment by Jon Loomis on April 17, 2009 at 2:22am
That would explain the teabaggers, then.
Comment by B.R.Stateham on April 17, 2009 at 2:13am
Peg--you're running around with a fast crowd there, kid. Slow down. Write a scene where an old retried ex-Marine decides to single-handedly take out the entire Gambino crime syndicate. That should lift your spirits!

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