This week a couple of things happened that reminded me that I'm not living in the 80s anymore. That to me, was the "good ol' days."

First, I plugged in my order on my McDonald's app, you know the place you go when you no longer cook and you're on the run. I thought, "Well, I could get this and tweak it to make it healthier. I REALLY love their strawberry cream pies, but I think I'll get apple slices, that's a healthier choice." Never mind that the diet pop isn't probably "healthy" but at this stage of the game, you look at which might be better. More sugar or chemicals. I figure growing up with lead paint, metal playground equipment and drinking out of the garden hose, how bad could some engineered sweetener be?

I hit the button to order. I drive to McDonald's forgetting what I had ordered. I pull into the drive-up, grab my bag, and set off on my way again. 

Now, I could talk about the hazards of eating a greasy burger while driving vs. texting while driving, and I'd bet the greasy burger is more dangerous. It ALWAYS requires a napkin and wiping your face, hands, the wheel or something when driving one-handed while juggling something on your lap.

Anyway, I open the bag and am disappointed. McDonald's got my order right. However, I was expecting to see a strawberry cream pie at the bottom of the bag. Instead, I found healthy apple slices. I sighed. Then I laughed. 

At this age, apparently, I have the ability to now surprise myself as well as disappoint myself in one move. I grinned and opened the bag. Not bad, but not as tasty as that strawberry cream pie. (I bet McDonald's will have a run on the strawberry cream pies now, because subconsciously, you've read that too many times!)

The second thing that happened this week reminded me of one of the better times in life. I got a phone call from a classmate about a trip that he'd be making with his dad and brothers. I was glad that they had called, but also sad about the reason for their call. 

When I thought about this family, I was taken back to elementary school when I was fascinated by my twin classmates. I'd never known twins before, other than my great aunts, but they didn't count at that stage of my life. I doubt I even realized that I had twin aunts. I remember the two as being fun kids to be around. 

Fast forward 45 years, and I now know all the brothers as city and county employees and a businessman and the fourth I hadn't seen since 7th grade, but he called me to do this story. I remember that while both of my parents are now gone, they still have theirs, and I'm a bit envious. 

That is the part of growing old that really, really stinks. The generations of wonderful folks that go before us, and just when you realize what a treasure you have, your time is up with them, and that sucks. 

I also watched as their mom sat waiting for her husband to return to shore and appreciated once again the dedication of this couple. They raised four great guys, taught them the needed talent of hard work, and left our community with another generation to be proud of. 

So between, the order at the drive-up and this family story, I'm enjoying the little things. A family who has been part of this community for probably more than a century.  I appreciate the fabric that makes up our little community known as Vinton.

Hats off to families like this one...and to the gal at the drive-up who gets my order right, making me both sigh in disappointment and laugh at the same time.

And here's to getting old. 


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JH May 17, 2023, 2:00 pm Val, you made this a really pleasant, yet truthful and even teachable message. It resonates with me as I and my siblings assist my dad with living on his own still.
Thank-you! I enjoyed it.
GB May 17, 2023, 5:42 pm Beautifly written Val. It tugs at the heart. Thank you!
PK May 18, 2023, 3:50 pm Awesome, Val!! Spent a few moments thinking way back. Remember when we thought things would get better? Ah, youth!!
SM May 18, 2023, 4:24 pm Great story and a tearful one at that.