Opinion: Getting stronger every day


Commentary by Ward Degler

I’m getting stronger. But I still wear myself out showing off. By that, I mean eagerly doing something I used to do, like mowing the lawn, weeding the flower bed.

This morning, I moved my potted plants outside. This is a back-and-forth exercise I’ve done every spring. There are two large pots that I use a dolly to move, and there are several smaller pots.

Outside in the spring. Back inside in the fall. No biggy. Until today. I finished the job and collapsed into my chair. I haven’t moved since except for a mandatory trip to the bathroom. My body is calling me names every time I move. Every muscle has a complaint.

This is still recovery from surgery I had five weeks ago. I’ve had surgery before. Appendix out in 1954; hernia repair in 1956. A couple days of loafing around and I was good to go.

Not this time. This time I feel every bodily movement. Everything hurts. I seriously couldn’t figure out why it was taking so long. Was there something special about this surgery? Was this something that required a specialist to fly in from Switzerland? I hear they only take the most serious cases.

I couldn’t find an answer, no matter how hard I searched. Until my wife quietly pointed out that I am considerably older today than I was back then.

“Considerably” is a word that short-changes reality. I won’t disclose my actual age, except to say we were in the middle of the Great Depression when I was born. Farmers still plowed with horses, and a quarter could buy you two candy bars, a pack of gum and an ice cream cone.

I suppose I shouldn’t complain, though. I’ve lived long enough to appreciate the good things in life. A comfortable home, food on the table, a car to drive, family and friends. And health.

Like I said, I’m getting stronger. And it’s been a long time since I bought anything with a quarter.