Grit Blogs > Red Pine Mountain

Age Is Just A Number

A Red Pine Mountain LogoThanks to the generosity of Purina, I have some exciting posts coming up in the next couple of weeks.  I hope you'll join me for some great information on feeding your animals and for a fabulous giveaway.  But before I start those posts next week, I have something on my mind; namely age. 

Do you ever feel old? Yes, there are those who would call me old.  Increasingly, younger adults call me "Maam" but I don’t feel old.  However, I’m at that age where I’m starting to be targeted for products designed for the elderly and my mailbox is full of ads for adult diapers, hearing aids and more. I don’t feel old. (Okay, so I repeat myself now and then but who doesn’t.)

I decide to take a hike in the woods and think about the meaning of life. No dogs today; the mosquitoes are out in force, the deer flies are biting, and dogs are best left home. I have my camera but my pictures just never do justice to the woods. My best attempt comes up short but here it is.


Hard to believe another summer is almost over and in just a few short weeks, the leaves will be golden.  Another year, another birthday looming. No, I’m not that old. Okay, who am I fooling, I'm old.  In my crone years I suppose.  But I can still hike with the best of them.

I find a log and sit for a while to do some thinking but the deer flies start to bite. I read in a New Age type of book that if I pretend I am one with the bugs, they will accept me as one of their own and not bite me. I pretend.  They still bite. I decide to get moving.

Mountain Man has been hard at work spending days at his job and evenings working on his new firewood station. Now, he’s even older than I, but I can tell you for a fact most teenagers couldn’t keep up with him. It’s exhausting just watching him.


When he’s not home, I climb up onto the platform and I can see for miles. I never, ever get tired of this view.


 I try to get off the platform; realize I can’t swing my body back onto the ladder. Oh, no. I got up here. How am I going to get down? It’s steeper than it looks in the picture but it’s hours until Mountain Man returns. I take a deep breath and decide to jump. My bottom is padded after all and Mountain Man has left mounds of dirt. Here I go. I say a prayer, woosh, I’m down on the ground again. Thank you Lord!

I head over to visit the birds. The Sebastopols are growing every day. I can’t say enough good things about them.  They are amazing geese who do everything together. Where there is one, there are all four.


No longer are my babies tiny chicks.  Now, my Polish hen knows the meaning of bad hair days.  I can sympathize.


Have you ever seen an Appenzeller Spitzhauben? These chickens are so tiny yet they do not tolerate being confined. They are meant to free range and prefer to fly high and roost in trees. I understand. I can’t stand being confined either. Staying inside makes me crazed ... I lose perspective. I don’t see myself in a nursing home spending my days playing cards and eating pureed peas. Not me, I’m not old yet.  Still plenty of time to fly high.


Donkeys on the other hand prefer company. They are always together. Kind of like the geese. Friends forever, inseparable, entwined. 


Time to see Midnight, my Tennessee Walking Horse. I start to mount and every bone in my body aches.  I ask my friend "Why do we do this?" as I try to hoist my short leg over his oh, so wide back.  I plop into the saddle, Midnight sighs and off we go.  We walk around the ring for a while but I'm anxious to do more.  We've been working on getting him to gait.  He knows how to do it, but we don't know how to cue him.  We discover the secret. Tap, tap with the heels, then stick my legs straight out in front and off he goes.

It’s amazing, a blast, like riding on a floating cloud. No posting, no jarring. It’s amazing (I know, I know I repeat myself).  Awesome!  I am lost in delight as we glide around the ring.  The perfect gait for an aging Mountain Woman. My Hoveround horse. I am filled with joy. What a blast!


I shall leave you with a quote from Mark Twain:

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

Mountain Man, Mountain Woman and the zoo can always be found at  

mountain woman
8/3/2011 1:50:36 PM

Ah, Robyn, you are wonderfully young but even more exciting is that you have an 8 year old. What fun for you!!! I miss those days of mothering a young child. My life has changed so completely from when I was in my 40s. I had no idea I'd find myself surrounded by animals on a farm growing veggies and having all kinds of adventures. I think if you have a dream now that is important to you then make steps to follow it and see where it leads you. Each stage of life is so incredibly special and precious. Thank you so much for your kind words.

robyn dolan
8/3/2011 10:27:46 AM

Well, guys, I guess I'm the baby here, gonna be 47 this year. When I look at being 57 once my baby is grown I wonder, "should I really put off all those things I wanna do?". Then I look at my 8yo and think "he keeps me young!". Love your musings. When I look at a polish hen my own bad hair days pale.

mountain woman
8/1/2011 1:38:48 PM

Ah, Diva, 48 is still a baby when looking back from where I stand but it's all relative. Yes, selective everything is a wonderful way to go. Hope you had fun on your trail ride and thanks for visiting me!

mountain woman
8/1/2011 11:00:56 AM

Cindy, funny you mentioned about having to figure out your age when asked. I have to do the same thing. I guess it's not something I really think about until the world at large reminds me. When I moved into MM's dwelling, I discovered he had one mirror over the sink and not a very good one. I decided instead of upgrading, I'd leave it as it is and I really never look in it. I've learned living on the farm there is so much more to life than worrying about wrinkles and the passage of time. Life is a blast and is meant to be savored. Thanks so much for visiting me. I have this vision in my head of having all of you visit the farm some fall and spend time enjoying Vermont and then maybe make a caravan and visit you and Nebraska Dave and Dave and Barbara and the snakes and the other Grit bloggers.

mountain woman
8/1/2011 9:06:48 AM

Dave, My Mother is the same as your Dad. Still goes to the gym every day at age 90 :-) If you finish on your backyard projects and run out of space, you are welcome to use our ranch in the Ozarks for expansion. Thanks for visiting me and I hope you have a wonderful day as well.

muck boot diva
7/30/2011 7:16:38 AM

The Diva is getting old. Turning 48 this 9/11. *smile* BUT -- The Diva really does not care. She will be one of those old women that will take PURE advantage of being old. You know, "selective" everything. As long as it works for me. Learned it from my "Mema" (Grandma from Ireland). So, enjoy old and where it takes you. I will be riding Rosie today -- first time on the trail. When I am done, I once again will be reminded that I am getting OLD. ;))) MBD

cindy murphy
7/30/2011 5:22:55 AM

Mountain Woman is old? I thought being old meant sitting around, making excuses for doing nothing but sitting around because nothing today is as good as it was in the good old days. Sure, the good old days are cherished memories, but to complain that nothing now is as it was back then is to miss out on what today and tomorrow holds. You are definitely not old, Mountain Woman. I have a good friend who just celebrated turning 70 years young, and I know people in their thirties who are old. Talking with another friend the other day, she was surprised I couldn't rattle off my exact age; I had to stop and subtract this year from my birth year to figure it out. Age is just a number, and I never had much of a liking for numbers. I have old days and young days; it's usually the kids who nudge me in either direction. Thankfully, the young days still outnumber the old. Always love reading your blog, and looking at photos of gorgeous Red Pine Mountain. Enjoy your weekend.

nebraska dave
7/29/2011 9:01:12 PM

MW, old? Who says we have to get old? My Dad is old at 87 only because he's 23 years older than me. You see when I reach 87 then 107 will be old. It will always be 20 years older than me. That's my definition and I'm stickin' to it. I'm with Mountain Man. Work hard; sweat out those toxins; go to bed tired. I'm nearing completion of one major backyard project and will be picking up the next one in August. I'm not sure what I will do when I run out of backyard space but that will be in a couple years. It gives me ample time to come up with something. Your zoo is certainly getting larger. You have definitely expanded your flocks and herds. It's a great idea to overcome your goose fears by raising geese. They look as though they are changing your opinion about geese. Have a great picturesque Vermont day.

mountain woman
7/29/2011 2:11:23 PM

Dave, that's the best way of putting it "internal youthfulness and joyful equanimity." I can't say it any better. Thank you!

dave larson
7/29/2011 12:02:18 PM

Hi Mountain Woman - Age! In a culture that seems to worship youth, it can be tough to watch the years pass along, if you buy into all the hype about being young. There is such a difference between being young and being youthful. I do think you have found the answer via our friend, S.L. Clemens. I turn 70 next year, while my body is a little slower and not as strong as it was when I turned 60, I can still lay flagstone, build a house, and enjoy hiking in our beautiful desert. With a sense of internal youthfulness coupled with some joyful equanimity, the days are pretty good. I love reading your reflections and look forward to more. Have a great day on Red Pine Mountain.