Today, I find myself reminiscing about times gone by. Perhaps it’s the warm Spring weather or the sudden bloom of the season that I am reminded of my youth. When I was a kid, and by kid I mean somewhere in my twenties, I rode various motorized toys. I rode dirt bikes when I could get my hands on them; for a while three-wheelers were all the rage and so I naturally had to have a couple of those; and for a short time I had a Honda Odyssey. If you’re not familiar with the Odyssey it was like a one person dune buggy but with all-terrain tires. I was partial to Honda so all of my toys were, of course, red and all of them went very fast and made lots of noise.
Back then, we frequently had family ‘get-togethers’ at Grandma’s house. She lived in a small farming town in southwest Oklahoma. I would often load up my current toy and haul it out to Grandmas for these ‘get-togethers.’ We had a large extended family with lots of cousins and uncles and aunts and nephews and nieces. We’d take turns all afternoon racing up and down the street and around the block. One time Grandma even took the Odyssey out for a spin and rolled it over. This wasn’t that unusual for my Grandma, though. I remember thinking what fun it was and how cool it was to have these toys that everyone could enjoy.
Now twenty-some years later, I have neighbors who have four-wheelers and go-carts and they race them up and down the road all day long. They’ve worn an off-road trail around their yard that brings them within fifty feet of our house. And, every time I hear the roar of one of them starting up I want to reach for my shotgun. I don’t want to shoot the rider but I find myself speculating as to the exact kill-shot of a four-wheeler.
Strange how our perspectives change with time. What was once big fun is now all noise. I wonder which of Grandma’s neighbors was gritting their teeth and waiting for the day to be over. I wonder if I was ever viewed along the sites of a twenty-gauge barrel. I do not wonder, but am sure, that I am lucky to be alive.
So this Summer when you’re out playing with your toys, tuning up your boat or motorcycle, or washing your car with the stereo cranked up all the way, be considerate of old people. We don’t have as much patience as you might think and some of us don’t have a lot to lose.
Until next time, silence is golden and Light is right.