Gary Reeder
I gave up trying to guess someone's age
Monday, February 11, 2019, 16:34

I have older men come in that I would guess their age at mid 80s due to them moaning and groaning and talking about their many ills and find out they are only in their mid 60s. But they have talked themselves into believing they are "old men" and that is it.

I have a couple of health problems but I will be damned if I will whine and make other people uncomfortable with my problems. Yesterday it was 30 degrees with sunshine but a biting cold wind in the upper 40 mph range but I forced myself to get out and split about half a cord of wood. I didn't want to do it but I look at it as a challenge. There have been times that I would give WB's left nut just to take a nap on a cold winter afternoon. But I can't do that. That is giving in and I won't do that.

So old age is, for the most part, what you allow yourself to be tied down to. I respect John Taffin, who in his mid 70s still goes hunting Buffalo and Elk instead of sitting on his duff watching TV. I respect Jim Taylor who, in his 60s sold everything and traveled halfway around the world to take on Africa. Neither of these men were forced to do this. They could have sat on their butts in a warm house watching football games but they didn't give up.

At almost 90 my Dad still got out every day and did things around the place. I can't remember seeing him sitting on the couch when he could be outside doing something. When he was in his early 70s he and I would go hunting even on the coldest days rather than stay inside where it was warm. Sometimes when it was below zero and we were waiting for some ducks to come in to our local lake, he would look at me sitting there beside his and ask, "not ready to give up, are you?" Even though I was freezing my butt off I was damned if I would let him see me give up.

So I try my best to be like my old man and not give up. Kase and I hunt a lot together and there are times when I would love to tell him, "go ahead, I will stick around the house", but I can't do that. It is hard sometimes when the joints are stiff and painful but if I am lucky I will live to be like one of those "old gentlemen" that come into the shop. They are stooped and walking slow but they haven't given up. They are sort of my heroes.

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