Popping Up Like Toast

Nov 3, 2019 | 1 comment

My thoughts exactly!

Our early-morning-over-coffee discussion today deviated a little from the “normal.”  Maybe it was the extra hour of sleep that came with the changeover to Standard Time.  Or maybe not.  Certainly, we didn’t “pop up like toast” as Nyel used to describe my method of greeting the day when I was working.  Twenty years of retirement have resulted in a more leisurely approach to the wake-up alarm.

No… I can’t really account for the reason we began to talk about a line in the Toby Keith song, “Don’t Let the Old Man In.”
Ask yourself how old you’d be

If you didn’t know the day you were born

We grappled with the concept for a while and concluded that we have no idea how to answer that question.  It’s not like most of us ever have stopped along the way and said, “Oh!  So this is how it feels to be sixteen!  Or forty-two or seventy-six!”  When I’m extra tired, feel achy or lacking in stamina, I’m much more inclined to wonder if I’m coming down with something — not thinking about my 1936 birth date.

Twyla Tharp, 2015

Our conversation turned to a recent PBS News interview with the amazing dancer/choreographer/author Twyla Tharp.  She was talking about aging and urged us all to stand straight, breathe deeply, and stride on out — not to hunch over and diminish ourselves by standing shorter and walking with cautious, shuffling steps.   Not exactly in those words — but that’s what I got out of her discussion.

Tharp is seventy-eight.  She spoke at my son Charlie’s graduation from California Institute of the Arts in 1978.  I remember thinking that she was a great choice for commencement speaker — “edgy,” I thought,  as was the entire atmosphere of Cal Arts.  I don’t remember her words — only that she received an Honorary Degree at the ceremony that year and that she seemed the same age as the graduates she was addressing.

Good Morning!

But, back to those lyrics.  They actually say the day you were born — not the date.  I was born on a Friday and, as we all learned from Mother Goose:  “Friday’s child is loving and giving.”  If I didn’t know I was born on a Friday — heck even knowing the day — that’s a far cry from my perception of myself!  But, no matter.   I know what those Toby Keith lyrics mean and I couldn’t have expressed the ideas better myself!

Heady thoughts for five in the morning — even with that extra hour of shut-eye.  Time for another cup of coffee, I say.

1 Comment

  1. D Joy Howell

    oh dear, Wednesday’s child is full of woe … ! 1940 I have missed keeping up with your delightful writing and diverse topics! And in recent photos of your Oyster Bay photos you look fantastic!
    Dear Sydney, I am missing Jim and Sandra desperately. Currently the James Howell Foundation is in the beginnings of publishing a monograph for James Newman Andrews Howell. Author, Dr Alistair Rider, prof. of Art History at St Andrews, Scotland has written twelve not on the mark chapters for the James Howell book to be published by Circa Press, London. Currently a writer familiar with Jim’s work, Karen Schiff, and I meet on Skype for an hour just about every weekday to discuss and correct his pages.
    Not for the book – but something that is an itch I have to scratch:
    …In Jim’s flight log book you and Morgan and Sandra are listed as being aboard a few times. Am I making this up: Jim had a Martin guitar and played with buddies – you flew somewhere to see/hear them. (I know that a few of these guys went on to become the Kingston Trio). I am curious about all of this mainly because Jim did not ever speak of The K Trio to me. I overheard Jim and Karen talking in Karen’s back yard with Rory and Sandra in 1994. I would love to hear about his any moments you recall – flying or otherwise. With adoration, Joy


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