Steve Eighinger

Where did all the years go?

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jul. 19, 2018 10:15 am

When you get to be my age, there are way too many times when you find yourself wondering, "Where did all the years go?"

Summer is a prime example of this.

When I was 10 years old, this time of the year was the absolute best. I'd be up bright and early, round up all my buddies for a full day's worth of wiffleball, riding bikes and other assorted preteen activities. We'd make pit stops at home for lunch and supper, but otherwise "the posse" would ride as one from shortly after dawn until dusk.

Now? There's no "bright and early" to describe the start of any day. If I can get the day going after sitting on the edge of the bed for about 10 minutes each morning I consider it a success.

Where did all the years go?

Summer days as a teenager rarely began before noon. That's when sleeping in became an art form and evenings were either spent with a girlfriend at the local mall or working a part-time job to earn gas money to drive that girlfriend to the mall.

Now? Sleeping in when possible is not exactly an art form; it's a prerequisite. There has to be a formula somewhere that illustrates the higher a person's age is the more hours his head is required to be on a pillow.

Where did all the years go?

During my late 20s, 30s and early part of my 40s summer meant softball -- a couple of nights a week and just about every weekend. That all ended more than 20 years -- and about 100 pounds -- ago.

Now, a rigorous week of physical activity translates into taking the garbage to the curb Thursday nights.

Where did all the years go?

During my 40s and into my 50s, birthday parties -- surprise or otherwise -- were always welcome, even when the number of candles exceeded available space atop the cake.

Now, my wife and family don't even bother with candles, and rarely do we even have a birthday cake. There's usually just a card that says something to the equivalent of "Glad you're still here!"

Where did all the years go?

At 64, I often find myself watching four kids continuing to grow into successful adults. And it's exciting to enjoy grandkids becoming a bigger part of our lives. For the record, Kathy and I will soon get a chance to see grandkid No. 5 when we journey to Ohio for a first hug with young Maddie Jane, who came into our world a few months ago.

In the "old days," I used to make that 600-mile trip back to the north central part of Ohio without batting an eye. Now, Kathy splits the driving with me so I can take a nap.

I'm not sure where all the years actually have gone, but for the most part, I'm glad I have been a part of them.