Fall has arrived in the southwestern Colorado mountains where I live and, as expected, it has been spectacular.  It’s dwindling now and nearly over since we’ve had a couple of snows and some pretty low nighttime  temperatures, some dipping down into the 20’s. For whatever reason, I either become slightly depressed or really restless as this season slowly ebbs into winter.

Very recently, a friend of ours suddenly had to have a pacemaker put in when his pulse rate unexpectedly dropped to 32.  As men usually do, when we first communicated after he was home from the hospital, he treated the whole situation as nothing to get excited about. But he did say something that really caused me to sit down and think. As we were discussing aging bodies, he said, “We should start out old and grow younger. Wouldn’t it be great to live, laugh and love again?”

Last night we watched Hurricane Matthew as it began to roll into Florida and they showed a picture of St. Augustine.  And I remembered  the very first time in my life  I put my feet into an ocean, I was 21 years old and it was at night. On a long road trip to Miami Beach, we decided to stop in St. Augustine to sleep and I was so fascinated that we went down to the beach in the dark in shorts and I excitedly waded into the ocean up to my knees in the quiet warm water lit only by moonlight.  I fell asleep that night listening to waves gently lapping on the beach outside our hotel window. What a wonderful memory that was!  And how odd that it took something so horrendous to provoke that particular memory.

Our middle grandson’s birthday is today and the night he was born is another great memory.  His mother went into the hospital in labor,  so my daughter and I and our first grandson,  nearly two years old, went there in late afternoon.  Our husbands came together when they got off work.  My daughter-in-law’s mother was in the same hospital recovering from surgery, but she was there beside her daughter, along with my son.  My daughter-in-law is from a huge Italian family, so people just kept arriving and pretty soon, we had chairs all up and down the hall of the maternity floor.  It became a huge gathering until my son finally stepped out of the birthing room alone and said, “It’s a boy!”  Fall turned to winter that very night when the first snow of the year 1990 appeared. And that boy is now a fabulous 26-year-old man.

It seems we have lost quite a few people this fall, some old, some young and some in between.  So, it’s nice to sit in the glorious fall sun, look at the beauty around us and think about the fun things we used to do when we were young and plan the things we’ve yet to do as we age.  My grandkids all live out of town now and the one who was almost two on this date 26 years ago, tragically left us when he was 21.  He’ll always be the most wonderful memory of all.






About jtzortman

Author of "WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW" - A Grandparent's Journey Through Grief, first place award winning novel "FOOTPRINTS IN THE FROST" and award-winning novel "SNOW ANGEL". Contributing author to anthologies "Felons, Flames & Ambulance Rides", "American Blue", "Recipes by the Book: Oak Tree Authors Cook" and "The Centennial Book of The National Society of Daughters of the Union 1861-1865". Numerous articles, poems and short stories published since 1990. Charter Member of the Public Safety Writers Association and member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Winner of ten writing awards. I live in a quaint Colorado mountain tourist town with my husband and Siamese cat. When deeps snows blanket the terrain and spectacular views from my windows, it becomes the perfect spot in which to write.
This entry was posted in aging health, Colorado, elderly readers, fall, family, grief. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to THE WAY WE WERE

  1. Dac Crossley says:

    Dang! You said it better that I could. Autumn really depresses me.

    Being young again? I remember all that angst . I’m pretty relaxed being where I am. From Walt Kelly we have: “Just being alive is the best deal you’re gonna get. And the good thing about it is — you’re not gonna be stuck with it forever.”


    • jtzortman says:

      Like you, there are certain things in my youth I wouldn’t want to experience again, but I thought it was a wonderful idea. 🙂 I, too, am happy where I am in life right now and try to enjoy every minute of it.


  2. Memories may not make us young again. But savoring them shows us the value of life and may help us enjoy and utilize the time we have to better advantage.


    • jtzortman says:

      I totally agree with you. But it’s funny how that comment about starting out old and growing young made me stop and remember some of the fun times of the past. I absolutely think we need to enjoy the time we still have, as well.


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