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  • Writer's pictureJane Leder


Even though winter is not officially here until next week, sections of the country have already been blanketed with totals higher than all of 2019. Climate change, anyone? Here in the midwest where my home state of Michigan has morphed into one of the militia capitals of the country, the weather has been "milder" than normal but dark and gloomy just the same. I'm actually wishing for a white Xmas (well, sorta') with a dusting of snow shimmering in bright sunshine, giving me the chance to wear the new prescription sunglasses I picked up last week. (My husband isn't a fan, but what does he know?)

With the advent of winter, this year comes with the hope that we may have the "magic" vaccine that will eradicate or at least tamp down the spread of the Coronavirus. The distribution that started this week is hitting snafus (What did we expect from our current government?), but there is the promise of a new administration and a gang that can shoot straight. Speaking of shooting, we seniors can look forward to being rewarded for our decades of service by being one of the first groups to get the vaccine once front-line doctors, nurses, other hospital staff, and then those men and women living in nursing homes roll up their sleeves.

I hear a fair amount of complaining these days not only about the Pandemic but about the challenges of aging. Sure, we will get the vaccine soon enough, but the challenge is whether we can walk from the car to the hospital or pharmacy without our knees buckling or our backs going out in the middle of the parking lot.

Still, most of the sassy seniors I know have a hearty sense of humor and a large dose of self-effacement. We can laugh at ourselves and at all of our physical and mental woes. I was buying a bottle of champagne last week, and the salesperson asked me for my ID. Okay, I had a mask on but give me a break!

"You're kidding, right?" I said.

"That's store policy."

I handed him my driver's license. "Here you go. I'm seventy-five and old enough to be your great grandmother." The youngster behind the counter turned red; I held my head high and strutted all the way out of the store even though my abductor muscle was killing me after a tough yoga class.

I remember as a young woman looking at older women and believing that I'd never be old, that my skin would remain taut, my face free of wrinkles, my memory intact. Surprise! I think about the time I wasted feeling insecure or bored or pessimistic about the future. I remember when I was in my forties and a friend commented that I didn't have a stitch of grey hair and that was skin was flawless. Instead of graciously accepting the compliment, I fretted about the minuscule flab between my bra strap and underarm.

But I digress. It's a lifesaver that with the vaccine we women (and men) over 60+ (That seems SO young!) will have over a ninety percent chance of escaping the Coronavirus that has killed 310,000 Americans and counting.

With that shot in the arm (actually, two,) we get a reprieve. So, let's make the best of it!


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