Woke up this morning with my arthritis-laced left ankle and knee stiff and sore.
Yes, it’s raining as I write this. The National Weather Service office in Blacksburg claims rain will stop about 8:45 a.m.
Not that I put much faith in what the NWS claims. A rainstorm they said did not exist in their forecast or on radar soaked me and my motorcycle Tuesday afternoon as I rode to Roanoke.
Wet conditions prey on those of us who have severe and spreading arthritis. At age 70, arthritis is a way of life. As someone who has broken several bones — some at multiple times or with multiple fractures — those bones are more arthritic than normal.
Added to the causes of this morning stiffness and sore conditions in the left leg is a return to riding my 2009 Harley Super Glide, which requires use of the left leg and ankle to shift gears up and down.
For the previous three months I have used Amy’s Can-Am bike, where the left wrist manipulates a hand-operated “paddle” that changes gears. For the most part, my left leg sat unused on the left rider peg. On a three-wheeler, I don’t even have to put the foot down to balance the bike at stops.
Back to the gym, I guess. Time to get the left leg back into shape. Probably need to get the rest of the body in shape too.
The docs also say my Vitamin B-12 levels need attention. They are low, not seriously low but down enough to need boosting: Another health issue. The issues increase with age, I’m told. That’s why docs end many sentences with “for your age.”
That’s not the only reminder of age — some good, some bad.
I get into movies at half price. My lifetime National Parks pass keeps cash in my pocket when I ride into Shenandoah National Park or other locations that charge a fee that the Park Service wanted to hike to obscene levels but is “reconsidering” the hikes because of virulent complaints by the populace.
Food costs less at many restaurants. The “senior” period on afternoons at Golden Corral buffet is one of the best bargains in the New River Valley.
Several states give large discounts or even waive property tax fees for seniors. Some can qualify in the Old Dominion but most of us at advance age still have to pony up twice a year.
On the bad side, health costs rise, even with insurance. Wife Amy goes on Medicare on July 1 and her health insurance costs will more than double. My Medicare and health insurance costs are, currently, $372 a month and will continue to go up as I get even older.
Home maintenance costs increase as I need to hire people to do what I used handle on my own.
Whoever called this “the golden years” had a sick sense of humor.
But the stiff and sore ankle and knee this morning is a small price to pay for being able to keep doing things I love — like cruising the roads on two wheels — as long as I avoid cows, deer, bears and distracted drivers of those threats on four or more wheels.