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We Aren’t Getting Older – We Are Maturing !

No - that's not me. It's Dad on Nicholson Island at 92. I want to be as adventurous as he was when I reach that age. Photo by Terry Sprague

I had an epiphany this morning. It came as I was putting on my pants…..or, trying to. Hopping crazily on one foot, I danced around for several minutes, once falling against my wife who managed to steady me while I guided my foot into the remaining pant leg. I am getting older, or as Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr always said, “We are maturing.” I should have realized this several years earlier at Main Duck Island when I bravely tried to jump from a moving boat onto the dock, instead falling backwards against a piece of steel and cracking my coccyx. For two weeks I could sit only if I used one of those inflatable rings. I can’t do all the things I used to when I was younger. I can no longer do hand springs around the high school gymnasium or wrap my leg around my neck, or pick up small items with my toes or do belly waves. Now and again, I have to check my bucket list and toss out things like parachuting and bungee jumping. It’s what we do when we become older – you forget the things you can no longer do, painlessly, and concentrate on those things we can still do. And that’s what I do, but I often reminisce about those days and that in itself is very satisfying. I no longer do environmental site visits to rocky highway construction sites due to arthritis in my feet, but Advil and I can manage about 15 kilometres on a good surface. I have enjoyed my life thus far, having milked cows, assisted a veterinarian with an autopsy on a dead calf’s stomach, driven large farm machinery, been on a small research boat in wind resembling a small hurricane, eaten cow’s tongue, accidentally gotten high on Jimsonweed, tried marijuana (second hand smoke drifting in from an adjoining motel room in New Jersey), worked for a daily newspaper………I even interviewed Dolly Parton once, in 1972. Who else in the County can claim that?  Long time ago and all I can remember is that she had lovely hair. Point is, I got a lotta livin’ to do yet and a lot of things yet to experience. Have always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon. That sounds innocuous enough. Think I’ll try that, once I struggle into my shirt.

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About the Author: Terry Sprague became interested in nature at an early age. "Growing up on the family farm at Big Island, 12 miles north of Picton, on the shore of the beautiful Bay of Quinte, I was always interested in the natural world around me. During my elementary school days at the small one-room school I attended on Big Island, I received considerable encouragement from the late Marie Foster, my teacher in Grades 6 through 8. Her home was a short distance from where I lived and through the years she was responsible for developing my interest in birds. The late Phil Dodds, a former editor with the Picton Gazette, also a great nature enthusiast, suggested I undertake a nature column - a column I have submitted weekly since 1965. The column has since expanded to the Napanee Beaver and the Tweed News. Life has been good, and through the years I have enjoyed working with such nature related agencies as Glenora Fisheries Research as a resource technician, Sandbanks Provincial Park as a park interpreter and Quinte Conservation as a naturalist and outdoor events coordinator. As a nature interpreter, currently working from my home office, I now create and lead numerous interpretive events in the area and offer indoor audio/visual presentations to interested groups. Could one who is interested in nature have enjoyed a more exhilarating period in the work force?" Terry's website is www.naturestuff.net

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  1. Sedona says:

    Yes, that is it – getting better! Age is just a # . We are blessed to be here. Your Dad looks great and has on a nice T Shirt too!

  2. Borys Holowacz says:

    Exploring nature is just so beautiful at times.

    Seems your butt pain detracted from that particular moment.

  3. Terry says:

    If there is any humour in chipping your tail bone at all, it has to be in the kayak tour I was involved in at Bon Echo the following week. I was in excruciating pain and to the point of deliberately flipping the kayak over to get relief. Just as we rounded a corner, I spotted a portage, and lying on the dock was a young lady, face up and totally nude. I yelled at the top of my lungs that this was an emergency and we were coming in. She quickly covered herself up with a large towel as I passed by, and flopped myself onto shore writhing in agony. What was funny was the rest of the group bobbing around in the waves around the dock, presumably hoping for a stiff breeze to come up. I gotta write a book!

  4. Kathy Felkar says:

    I always think of getting older as getting better,,,just not sure better at what!

  5. Louisa says:

    I’m trying not to laugh at the line about cracking your…I know it couldn’t have been funny at the time. As you say, bungee jumping may be out now, but the hot air balloon ride I highly recommend…and not to worry, someone will be handy to assist you into and out of the basket :-))

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