As someone who is moving into the outer fringes of what we may reasonably call “old age” – I will be 70 on 5 April 2019 – I have already learned some valuable lessons, all of which will apply to some and some of which will apply to all. For whatever it may be worth, the following is what I have learned so far. Pick and choose the lessons that are relevant to you.
o Old age need not advance gradually
With me, I began to move into the exurbs of old age in a single week, perhaps even a briefer time than that.
In late August of 2012, I was returning from a 3-week trip to Wichita, KS, to see relatives, what few I have left in my family of origin. I was jammed into the back seat, just forward of the tailcone, of a small Embraer jet on a flight to Denver to make connections
This “Skeptic’s” column tackles a subject that is both delicate and volatile: suicide. People who have known me for a fairly long time are well acquainted with a time in my life – during the time in Boston at Harvard and later at Seattle University during the equally ill-advised quest for the MDiv -- when I was undergoing episodes of very severe, quite arguably pre-suicidal, clinical depression. So – for the benefit of those people, for “my mariners, souls that have toiled and wrought and thought with me” – I want to emphasize that the following column does not describe me as I am now. Quite the contrary. I am not in crisis. I am not depressed. I am not afflicted with suicidal ideation – a term I came to know all too intimately during the “winter of [my] discontent”. So those of you
As of today, it has been 17 years since two Boeing colleagues, whom I will call Roger and Ted, and I traveled on Boeing business to Salt Lake City to spend a few days working at the small Boeing engineering office there. We had flown in the previous day, 10 September, and spent that day walking around the city, four-wheeling around the rough terrain surrounding the Lake, taking a hair-raising drive up into the front range of the Wasatch Mountains, visiting the Mormon Tabernacle, and strolling around Park City, before going to dinner at a local steak house. Next morning, 11 September, I turned on the TV in my room to watch the news as I got dressed. I was mildly surprised at being greeted by what appeared to be a picture of the World Trade Center towers burning. I say only “mildly surp