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The Last Windrow: Thoughts from a 'silver tsunami' warrior

I'm the beginning of the "baby boom" generation. They now have names for people of my age like the "silver tsunami" or the "silver streaks" or the "balding" generation. True, those words do pertain to me, but I've got lots of company. PineandLakes.com Illustration

It's not nice to trick older folks like me.

I'm the beginning of the "baby boom" generation. They now have names for people of my age like the "silver tsunami" or the "silver streaks" or the "balding" generation.

True, those words do pertain to me, but I've got lots of company.

It doesn't seem so long ago that I could shoot the stem of a bull thistle in half with my .22 rifle from 25 yards away. My eyes were sharp and I could spot a rooster pheasant a quarter of a mile from the highway.

My reflexes were rock steady as I pulled up my shotgun to down a flying goose, and I nailed many a cottontail rabbit for the pot while it was running through the timber.

I could remember a certain turn in a lake's sandbar where walleyes tended to hang out. My mind was a trap for finding a small underwater weed patch where a giant muskie hovered over the bottom.

I didn't need a GPS or any satellite receiver to find my spots. They were all installed on my brain's hard drive.

My doctor called me in for a physical a few months ago. I have always tended to avoid doctors during my lifespan. Other than having my tonsils out at the early age of 12, I didn't see much of a clinic's waiting room.

But, under threat from my wife and brother, I did make an appointment and I sauntered on into the clinic for my appointment.

I have been treated for high blood pressure for the past few years, so I figured I'd get a few suggestions from the doctor as to how things were working. But first, I had to get weighed. My weight has never been normal since I moved off the farm and the daily exercise offered there.

Yes, I'm overweight, but that is the history of one side of my family. So, I blame it on genetics. It's good to have that excuse to lean on.

After I had my weight and blood pressure checked, a young nurse came into the room to visit with me. In the midst of our conversation, she uttered three words. Something like "refrigerator," "dog" and "gymnasium."

I didn't think much about that, but thought it was rather strange that she would say those three words out of the blue.

Then she took out a piece of paper and asked me to draw a clock with the hands showing the time as 10 minutes to 2. What? This was getting strange. But, I humored her and drew a clock with the hands pointing to 10 minutes to 2.

Then she asked me if I could repeat the three words she had spoken a few minutes ago. Well, I got two out of the three and was just about to utter "refrigerator" when she interrupted me by saying, "You did fine on the test."

Test? I was taking a test? Yes, I was.

So, I passed the memory test. My wife says I can't remember anything she tells me. Is she giving me a memory test too? I simply reply that my mind is involved with watching the Twins on TV or I'm in the middle of thinking about the article in the newspaper and I'm not paying attention.

I'm glad my wife wasn't in that doctor's office.

So, yes, I'm getting to the age where people are starting to wonder if my mind's still working. I'm a "silver tsunami" warrior. I can still shoot a goose on the wing and I can still spot a pheasant a quarter of a mile away.

And, I still know when it is 10 minutes to 2 o'clock. Thank you, nurse.

See you next time. Okay?

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