Breland: Time moves on, but very slowly

Published 1:14 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

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“Time moves slowly and will not change much in the later years of one’s life,” is a saying I used to hear. It continued, “life stays about the same and there are very few problems to bring worry.”

The thought is, as we age, one can sit in their rocking chair, rock and let time slowly pass by. Maybe time was like that in the past.

My grandfather, who lived to about 89, would go outside and sit in the shade of an oak tree for long times. When he still lived at his own house, he had chickens and they would come and hop up in his lap as pets. He enjoyed them.

When he visited our house, he would also sit outside and listen as the highway traffic went by. Sometimes listen to us children playing. As long as he was able, he would also walk a mile to the store and walk back home.

My dad, who lived to 87, would sit in the outdoor yard swing and enjoy being outside, listening to the birds sing and enjoying the breeze. He was a true outdoor person, even in wintertime as he would sit in the sun to stay warm. He was also active physically and walked a lot until much later in life.

Speaking to mostly older folks — did you ever feel any busier? Times have changed and very seldom do we see anybody sitting outside every day enjoying nature. Even encouraged to stay at home because of COVID, we stay busy.

I keep waiting for things to slow down — but they haven’t — and my “rocking chair” is virtually unused! I admit I do use my recliner more now than in the past.

“Problems” still present themselves for all ages, one after another, calling for our attention. I am feeling time-changes more and more as I see many lifestyles going in different directions.

Before I started home after being in town for the day, I thought about a couple of items I needed so I stopped at the store, put on my mask and went inside. I expected no problems, since almost everything was available.

It was time for a new filter for the AC/heating unit. When I put in a filter, I write the date of the next change on the base with a felt-tip pen. I can check the date and get a new one.

There were two long shelves on the store counters with all kinds and sizes of filters, standing next to each other with the numbers in order. I start searching for my number – and it didn’t seem to be there. I finally found one and it was bent. I found another one – but I usually get a package of two. Since one will last three months, two are enough for half a year.

Did everybody need this size and they stayed sold out, or did they only keep such a small supply because so few were required?

I also looked for some batteries, size 312 and if you also use that size, you know why they are so needed. Several battery racks filled with almost any size one could possibly use — but no 312s.

I found a pair of shoes I liked and searched for a size 7. They have it in several colors and sizes, but not in a 7! Same in many places. Does every woman wear a size 7? I searched for a new computer printer to buy and not one I wanted was available at any place I shopped. I finally ordered one and got it within a week.

I don’t usually order things because I would like to keep real stores open. Maybe the system of ordering online has taken over and stores aren’t replacing some items — and some stores are quietly closing.

As I thought about my little shopping spree, a pattern emerged in my mind. Almost anything for which I search is usually scarce or not available.

It made me wonder if I was a “regular” or an “irregular” shopper — or weird or too much like everybody else? Is the changing of times causing these things?

Or maybe now is the “time” for some of us to adopt the old-fashioned lifestyle of pulling out our rocking chairs and rocking!

Bob Ann Breland can be reached by email at