Deep Old Age

In an interview in Sunday’s NYTimes Book Review section, Philip Roth, now 84, says”…in just a matter of months I’ll depart old age to enter deep old age — easing ever deeper daily into the redoubtable Valley of the Shadow.…”

And that he’s astonished that he makes it to the end of each day.

Got me thinking about aging. I’ll be 83 in a few months.

Looking back, my golden years physically were ages 50-65 or so, in terms of strength/cardio/flexibility adjusted for age. A lot of this had to do with me working on fitness books — stretching, running, weight training — for 20 years, and hanging out, and stretching, running, and lifting weights with my authors. I was serious runner for 20-25 years, swam, surfed, rode bikes and went to aerobic dance classes (usually the only guy in the class).

Then as I got to age 70, things started needing repair. A lifetime of using the body.

I tell people, the good news is that you’re not yet 70, the bad news is that you will be some day. Since turning 70, I’ve had 2 shoulders and 2 knees and one wrist repaired (no metal or plastic parts) + a compound wrist fracture from skateboarding…yes, I know, I know.

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Garden Furniture with Tenon Cutter

I’ve had this tenon cutter attachment for years, just started using it. I just cut down an old wild plum tree and am going to make a garden chair out of plum wood. Fun! I got this from Lee Valley, a great source of carpentry tools.

I recently got the Makita drill — not battery driven, but with cord — from Jackson’s Hardware in San Rafael. It would have been cheaper from Amazon, but at Jackson’s, I get expert human advice. I use Amazon a lot, but also skirt them often. There are other factors to consider when buying stuff other than what’s cheapest.

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