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OUT TO PASTOR: So THIS is old age

The other morning I got up.

At least, I tried to get up, but the bones in every part of my body had organized a labor strike against me. 

As I lay there groaning over these bones, I did not realize how many bones I had in my body.

I’m sure some bones in my body shouldn’t be there, and I’ll have to ask my mother how they got there.

The only problem is, she’s in a nursing home with dementia.

If I thought my bones were creaking when I was lying in bed, the bones were screaming a lot louder as I rolled over and got up.

As I wobbled out to the kitchen, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, “Well, old man. What’s it like getting old?”

Even at this stage in life, my mind is active, and I had a very quirky response to that question, but fortunately for me, I did remember not to mention it.

I wobbled over to the table and sat down for breakfast. After breakfast, I went to my office with a fresh cup of coffee, sat in my chair, and started thinking about my grandfather.

I now understand why he walked the way he walked. If only he were alive now – I could walk along with him.

I now regret all those years of making fun of him and my father as they get old. At the time, I never thought in a million years I would get as old as they were. But time has a way of changing your opinion about many things.

My wife came to the door of my office and said, “Do you remember your doctor’s appointment for today?”

I didn’t, so I got out my planner, and right there it was in plain sight, in my own handwriting, my doctor’s appointment for 10 o’clock.

Jotting things down in your planner so you don’t forget something is great, but my problem is I forget to look at the planner.

Maybe this is the reason my bones were creaking this morning. They didn’t want me to see the doctor because they knew I would tell him about my creaking bones, and he might do something about it.

I recently had a birthday and not sure which one because, throughout my life, I have had so many birthdays that it’s hard to keep up. But this year, that birthday was a landmark in achieving old age.

I never knew what old age was, but now I’m beginning to comprehend it a little bit more.

At the doctor’s, I complained to him about my creaking old bones and asked what I could do. He looked at me, smiled an old doctor’s smile, and said, “That’s the benefit of getting old and not dying. Just exercise more, and it will all go away.”

I hope I live long enough to see him when he is my age, so I can laugh at his creaking bones.

As we drove home, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage looked over at me and said, “Well, old man, what did the doctor have to say?”

“He told me,” I said with a rather sour smirk, “that I need to eat more Apple Fritters each day. That will take away the pain in my bones.”

Looking at me and not smiling, she said, “For your information, we will have broccoli for lunch today.”  Then she snickered one of her silly snickers.

If only I could remember to forget certain things, I wouldn’t get into so much trouble. I just put on a fake smile, hoping she was joking.

My creaking bones are the least of my problems, at least for today.

Looking at her, I sweetly said, “Why don’t we go out for lunch today? We can go to the restaurant of your choice.” She agreed, and we both smiled, and she pulled up at her favorite restaurant.

I don’t have a favorite restaurant; I just like a restaurant to serve food.

But not so with The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Nine out of ten restaurants that we go to, she doesn’t like. This is one thing I have not yet forgotten, so I let her choose the restaurant.

We got seated, ordered our lunch, and had a wonderful time together. The only problem with eating out with her is she always orders broccoli. We were finished eating, and the waitress brought our check. I smiled at her and reached into my pocket for my wallet, and much to my dismay, it was not there – I had forgotten it.

Just when you think you’ve got a problem solved, it turns out quite different.

“My dear,” I said as sweetly as possible, “I forgot my wallet. Do you mind paying for lunch today?”  

That was the most expensive lunch I’ve ever had.

As I was thinking about this I couldn’t help but remember what David said. “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long” (Psalm 32:3).

What I take away from this is, when I keep silent about my age there other things that are going to give away my secret.


Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone is (352) 216-3025, e-mail is, and website is

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