I used to take my legs for granted. My eyes too and my hearing.
I actually needed a comb and I could shop for clothes in a normal men’s wear store, and not a big and tall store. (I’m still not tall.)
I could run up and down stairs. I could get by with a few hours of sleep after burning the candle at both ends. And I could eat what I wanted and never put on a pound!
Of course, that was three or four hundred years ago. When milk came in glass bottles and Elvis Presley hadn’t discovered Brylcreem yet.
I was not only slim then, I was taller. I’ve lost two or three inches in height over the past 25 years or so. I haven’t actually lost the inches, I’ve just relocated them to my waist.
When my wife is asked how tall her husband is, she answers: “four foot seven.” But, of course, that’s when I’m lying down. Boy! What an exaggerator she is. Four foot, maybe, but not four foot seven.
Now that I’m a senior, each day, I seem to discover something missing that I once took for granted. It doesn’t take me long to brush my teeth because I don’t have as many teeth as I used to. But I have spares, so I guess I shouldn’t worry.
I don’t have the mobility I once had and always took for granted. But, I have a walker to help me walk and a scooter to ensure that I can scoot. But it’s not really the same; I can’t do stairs with either of them!
I can’t take the newspaper for granted anymore either. Home delivery, I mean. Two or three times a month, the paper doesn’t arrive in the morning like it should. When I phone to complain, I get a recording telling me the press is down or another excuse. On any one of those days, the heading could have read: “World Ends Today” and I would have missed it!
I’m ashamed to admit I take my wife for granted. I don’t give it much thought when I put on a clean shirt - a shirt that was dirty and wrinkled a few days ago, and now is clean without a single wrinkle. My wife does tons for me that I don’t really notice or take as my due. Still, she lets me stay. I guess I take that for granted too!
I take tomorrow for granted. I make plans for tomorrow. Save for tomorrow. Talk about tomorrow like it’s already here. I sometimes live for tomorrow, but there’s no guarantee I’m going to arrive there.
My wife says if I continue to leave my clothes lying around, she can guarantee I won’t arrive there.
When I fly in an airplane, I take it for granted that I will arrive at my chosen destination. I’ve never met the pilots of the plane. I could pass them on the street and not even know them. I put my life in the hands of total strangers, which means I take strangers for granted too.
When a light turns red, I take it for granted the traffic will stop so I can go forward on the green. I even take for granted that my car will start each time I turn the key in the ignition. And I’m indignant if it doesn’t!
I guess living in the free world, and especially in North America, we take life for granted - or at least what we consider life. Three meals a day with snacks in between; Gas, oil or electric heat, a refrigerator, a stove with an oven, a television, a radio and a stereo; And now there’s the Internet, fax machines, voicemail, cellphones and digital cameras! It’s hard to keep up with what we take for granted these days. But it sure is good to have so much to take for granted.
In other parts of the world, starvation and privation are taken for granted. So are disease and suffering.
I think we should stop each day and thank the good Lord for the many things we take for granted and make our lives easier. But, then again, perhaps we take Him for granted too.
Well, I guess we’ll all keep moving along taking all the new things that seem to pop up every day for granted. But we can’t take all things for granted for all time.
For instance, I went in search of the old chip wagon recently. You know, those carts that went from corner to corner selling hot-to-touch fries, shaken into a cone of brown waxed paper and then showered with vinegar and salt.
There wasn’t one to be found! They say the good die young.
SEPTEMBER 2009 - VANCOUVER ISLAND
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