Ada — When I was down in Brazil, I went into a shop to practice my Portuguese and buy a Pepsi. I managed to get my request out, and the fellow must’ve understood me because he brought me what I asked for. He then asked me if I was an American. I told him I was and he said he could tell because I was fat. “Gordo” was the word he used, to be specific.
A week later in Paraguay, I’d been speaking at a meeting and an American missionary came to speak to me afterwards. She was a young woman in her thirties. After a bit of chit-chat, she gave me a book about the graces of growing old.
I’ve known for a while that I’m fat. I’ve realized for a while that I’m growing older. It is nice to have both of these things affirmed by honest, forthright strangers. None of it was meant unkindly. They were both quite affable. That makes it all the more special.
There are graces to be had with growing older. I’ve mentioned it in this space before. There are things I can do now with a two-minute phone conversation that at one time would’ve taken me a half day of leg work.
But I also have a greater understanding of life.
Back in the late 1970s, a friend of mine named Darrell Blevins played the guitar.
He still does; I’ve Facebooked him about it. He was the first person I heard play the song “Lyin’ Eyes.” Later, I discovered the Eagles had a version of it too.
It’s one of those songs I hear on the radio. I catch a phrase of it now and then. Sometimes I think about what it means; sometimes I don’t. I sometimes sing along with the chorus when I am alone in the car and don’t have daughters along to embarrass.