Growing Old Disgracefully…Part 1 of many


“Tweep..tweep….tweep..tweep..tweep” said the bird sitting somewhere hidden by the spring wardrobe of blossom worn by the trees…..the little old lady edging carefully along the uneven sidewalk paid no heed…and possibly didnt hear the song so prized by residents of a small plains town…..a song prized because it meant that finally the winter was over! For the next six months, the complaints wouldn’t be about the cold, they would focus on the heat, the humidity, the storms that never made it into town but split and went around it…they could forget the bone chilling, lung aching, shattering cold of the North American winter – for a few months at least.

Mary had lived in this town all her life…until recently she’d driven an old, but impeccably maintained Town Car sedately through the streets, but never much further than that unless she needed to go out of town to see the doctor. Late last year, her eyesight had finally started to fail to the point where her optometrist (who’d known Mary since he’d gone to school with her son back in the ’50’s) spoke to the sheriff (who he’d also gone to school with)about her starting to become a ‘liability’ to herself and other road users….privately of course.

In turn the sheriff had spoken to Jessie (who they’d all gone to school with) at the DMV and a ‘computer generated’ letter had been forwarded by mail to Mary asking her to turn her licence in….now Mary had no option but to walk the half mile to the store, or to rely on friends and relatives to take her further afield……

For the next few months, Mary, who was in her late eighties by then, became a common sight around town…walking slowly and unsteadily back and forth to the store…she could only carry a couple of things home each time, and the store didn’t ‘do home deliveries’. It wasn’t until the end of fall, when the weather had already ‘turned cold’ and the nights were below freezing with the days not much better, that people started to wonder about Mary and talk amongst themselves about when the last time they had seen her…..Jade around the corner from the store reckoned she hadn’t seen her in a couple of months, Peter at the gas station hadn’t seen her pass for a few weeks, but he couldn’t remember exactly how many, the people at the store…the new girls at the checkouts, they didnt even know her…, in passing one day at the Senior Center, one of the other oldies happened to mention that no-one seemed to have seen her to the sheriff who had helped deliver the food that morning for a big lunch.

The sheriff groaned…he thought that might mean only one thing….that maybe something had befallen her and she either wasn’t well or…might have even died……so he and a deputy went around to Mary’s house, uncertain of what they might find….

To be continued………



In the words of J K Rowling..... ” I just write what I wanted to write. I write what amuses me. It’s totally for myself. ” if you enjoy what I write, I'm delighted...if you don't...then I'm delighted..... I'm a retired business manager chasing storms and weather in Australia and the USA, photographing anything that takes my eye, and catching up on my reading from the last 23 years. I've finally got the chance to share my thoughts with the world.
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