“If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” — Mae West (Mickey Mantle, Eubie Blake, etc.)

Sometimes one finds inspiration right there on our morning breakfast tables. Such a moment of enlightenment came to me this morning in this newspaper’s annual “Prime Times” section, which arrived in today’s paper.

Usually I’m too busy feeding pills to my dog, swallowing my own, and making sure She is taking hers to scan these supplements (I wouldn’t be surprised to find the we’ve become the poster seniors for Big Pharma); but this day, I did.

I started with an article by veteran writer Terri Hibbard, an old friend who wrote a nice piece on “gentle yoga.”

It reminded me once again that a few years ago, when I was younger and full of new age dreams, I took a full-out yoga class. It didn’t last long; there were too many hangups.

I’ve written ad nauseam about the class, which was full of beautiful young men and women in the best shape of their lives. They stood around me, glistening in sweat and flexing rippling muscles while relaxing to soft Indian music. Up to that moment, I felt strong and poised. Looking around me, I suddenly felt like Bernie Sanders.


Nonetheless, I went through the various routines: downward dog, tree pose and others. Alas, heads turned when my knees made strange music. Ah, the unforgiving young.

I got pretty good at the tree pose, until one morning my tree trunk leg cramped up and I fell forward with a whoosh and a thump. A lovely young thing reached down and offered me a hand up with “Are you OK, SIR?” Goodbye, yoga.

Correspondent Valerie Tucker expertly announced the Aging Well/Living Well Expo on Oct. 7. The expo, to be held at the Sunday River Grand Summit Hotel in Newry, offers a host of interesting workshops. I have avoided “workshops” since childhood, because they summon the image of bearded gnomes sitting around a table with carving tools, making gifts for Santa’s sleigh. Forgive me, I’m emotionally 9 years old. I’m sorry.

“Eyes, Ears and Teeth: How Do They Change As We Age?” caught my eye. I could have written that; I often do. I can tell you that all of my equipment is changing as I age. Some parts of my body have become purely decorative and unresponsive to me. Because of the statin I take, my legs and arms are sensitive to direct sunlight, resulting in legs that look like they’re part of a corpse due to be honored at early Mass.

Ear hairs: I would like to know why, even though my head hair is white, my ear hairs are coal black and as thick as wires; and why, the night after I trim them, they come back even thicker. I mean, if we can walk on the moon, why can’t we solve my black ear hairs?

“Get To Know Your Somali Neighbors” was another topic. That might be fun. I don’t have any Somali neighbors, I’m sure. My neighbors are all white, Iowa and Montana white. If I did have Somali neighbors, I’d surely befriend them. They’re gorgeous people, and the women wear fabulous clothes.


I plan to look into the next article: “Marijuana From Hippies and the ’60s to Legal and Useful Medicine.”

Boy, I could rock that room.

One group I think I can avoid for the time being:

“Preplan Your Funeral.” Really? I can tell you that preplanning my life never worked out. But I have fun ideas on that subject, and they’re all listed in a sealed envelope to be opened at my demise. A few: Contain my ashes in an extra-large Chinese take-out carton, hire The Mormon Tabernacle Choir to sing Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” at the wake, hand out the remainder of the autographed copies of my book “Will Write For Food,” and have my portrait hung on the wall at the Olive Garden in Augusta.

C’mon along, gang. Waiter? Breadsticks on the house.

J.P Devine is a Waterville writer. His book, “Will Write for Food,” is a collection of his best Morning Sentinel columns.

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