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Friday the 13th

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By Mary Carton | Aug 23, 2018

Last month, I had one of those historic milestone birthdays. It was also on Friday the 13th. I’m not a superstitious person, but somehow the two just didn’t seem to be a good combination. I had to watch every step I took that day. Look down not up.

Somehow though, I don’t feel any different. I’m already retired sort of. I’m getting Social Security, and only working one day a week at the Laboratory at Eliza Coffee Memorial. I’m building the dictionaries in our computer system for resulting the tests we do, plus the reference laboratory we use.

I’m also working a couple of days at the Colbert County Reporter. So technically I am retired sort of as of September 5, of 2017, so turning 65 shouldn’t be a big trauma in my life.

Since I had back surgery at twenty-one and a knee replacement at age forty-seven, I already have a lot of aches, pains, pops, and creaks. My neurosurgeon told me one time that I had the chart of an old woman.

Ages that really bothered me for some reason, was turning twenty-five, thirty-two, forty-two, fifty-five and sixty-two. The big five-o, didn’t bother me. The big six-o, didn’t bother me.

Turning sixty-two was the roughest. I was trying to figure out why. Maybe it had something to do with being eligible for Social Security.

A former co-worker of mine came in complaining that all of a sudden, her Bible class stopped calling her “Nelda,” and started calling her “Miss Nelda,” not “Mrs. Nelda.” I teased her about it for a little bit, that they were just being respectful. She was a year older than myself.

Then it happened to me. All of a sudden, I was no longer “Mary,” it was “Miss Mary”! Is there a certain age that a woman gets that Miss is added in front of their name? It doesn’t happen to the guys, they get to keep their first name intact. Why?

Thinking back, it seemed to have started around age fifty-five for both of us. Maybe that’s why fifty-five bothered me. It was that Miss in front of my name. Just call me plain “Mary.”

One benefit of turning sixty-five is getting that senior discount. About sixteen years ago, I got together with a group of my high school classmates at a fast food restaurant for supper. I’m the last one in line and as I put my tray down on the table Pam grabs my ticket and exclaims you didn’t get it either!

She was the only one in our group who was given the senior discount. The youngsters at these places don’t ask, if you look old, you get the discount. Maybe that’s another reason turning sixty-two bothered me.

Levi and Blackie have stopped looking for Patches every time I come home. They knew I took her off, and she was supposed to get out of the truck when I got home.

It was several weeks before they decided she was no longer coming back. I still look for her laying in the middle of the road waiting for me to let her back in the yard.

I’m getting over a case of food poisoning from a local restaurant. I had a salad, and apparently, they didn’t keep the lettuce at the correct temperature, nor cleaned it properly as almost 70 folks were sick with a norovirus.

It wasn’t as bad as the bacterial food poisoning two bucket disease I had in college. I don’t remember the ambulance ride to the infirmary, nor the first two days I was in there. First, I was afraid I was going to die, and as it progressed, I was asking, “Please Lord, put me out of my misery.”

Hummingbirds are really hitting the feeders, since lack of rain has caused a lack of flowers. Migration apparently has also started.

It’s been like a kamikaze raid around the six feeders I have up. I’m making a few more ant moats out of detergent caps, and will be putting up a few more feeders as soon as the caulk dries. I’ve been seeing a lot of Gulf fritillary butterflies on my zinnias, and a few monarchs.

Corn has tasseled out and started t dry, soybeans are knee high in wheat stubble, and cotton is blooming, as fall gets near. My area has seen less than an inch since the monsoon we had during the Helen Keller Festival in June.

The W.C. Handy Music Festival had very nice and pleasant weather for its ten-day run. Usually the temperatures are close to triple digits.

This year, the headliner concert was a reunion of Fame Recording Studios artists Candi Staton, Willie Hightower, Travis Wammack and Mickey Buckins, and others, with guest Christine Ohlman, the “Beehive Queen.”

I caught the tail end of the Spring Valley Fire Department rodeo, their main fundraiser. The last day was at the church of legendary Percy Sledge for a special tribute by his son Howell and children.

The best rendition of “How Great Thou Art” I’ve ever heard was song by Howell Sledge and Christine Ohlman. I didn’t get to record it at last years tribute, but got one this year.