The Charlie Bravo Story

Never get old

It’s a full house at the Casa del Whackos; Alex and her friend Liberty arrived yesterday with their inmates, St Echo of Cardiogram and Lady Maggie the Partially Unhinged, in attendance. That has Mia and Ajax amped into overdrive, so Sandy, Charlie and I have been advised to evacuate the state and agreed to conditions of self-exile on the back porch in advance of Hurricane JoAnn; this agreement brokered and enforced by mom, who is in a unfamiliar(to us, anyway) frame of mind known as Category 5 “cleaning mode”, with winds expected to exceed 150 knots.

Extensive inland flooding is provided daily by Tropical Storm Ajax; I have no idea how a dog marginally larger than a chipmunk has the capacity to pee like a Russian racehorse.

So here we three are, sharing our refugee camp with a battalion of obnoxious hummingbirds who have absolutely no concept of the term “personal space”, or “private restroom”, for that matter. Gauging from the output of these bloated little airborne yaks, you would think that we are filling their feeders with Mirilax instead of sugar water; I only hope that it doesn’t occur to mom that this might might make great fertilizer from above for a miniature garden of some sort, as I would hate to find her out on the porch scraping up the treasure with a tiny rake and shovel. The neighbors are already firmly convinced that we’re not norbal, an opinion for which I have no rebuttal.

We went to a wedding yesterday, and saw faces of those we haven’t seen in quite some time. As I see some of those around me growing more feeble, it drives me to do more and go farther, but I have to wonder: will I regret not doing even more? Or will the memories of adventures past torture me that much more when time and infirmity steals my own ability to roam? “When I was young, I went where I would; now that I am old, another would gird and lead me where I would not”… is it better to have experienced freedom and lost it, or to never have experienced it in the first place?

But opportunity is never lost, and it is never too late, and I can prove it to you with a little experiment. This is the part where I would ask you to close your eyes, but that would be counterproductive, as this post isn’t in Braille, and you would quickly lose interest. So instead concentrate, and think back to your third grade class photo; I’m sure that you can remember the shirt you were wearing, the way your hair was combed, the shape and style of the glasses that you may have been wearing. Concentrate on that picture in your memory. Got it? Good. Now think of the particular smile/smirk that you had on your face at that instant in time:

And I would be willing to bet that you have that same look on your face right now.

And the same dreams and desires still in your heart now that you had back then.

Young people say to the old, “you don’t remember what it was like to have our dreams, our fears, our ambitions”; I would say we don’t have to remember, because we still have the exact same feelings. The problem is that they sometimes get buried in the dirt of everyday life, but I promise you, they’re still there, just waiting for the right turn of the shovel, the proper application of fertilizer, or the most importantly, the perfect amount of rainfall. The truism “hope springs eternal” is not limited to a certain age, we all can (and still do) make a difference.

To quote the last verse of “Thus Quoth the Charlie”…

And this is true of most our fears
What we can’t see consumes our years
That what we dread compares not to what’s in store
Shake and stretch, turn on the light
What’s wrong is wrong, but there’s much more right
O Charlie girl, are there horizons we can’t explore?
Thus quoth the Charlie;


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