‘Just one more time’

To the editor:

On Dec. 26, I turned 60 years old. For some reason, I thought turning 60 was a very special time in my life. I was a little wrong. During the day, when I was having a quiet time, my thoughts focused back over the years.

I thought if, “just one more time,” I was able to pick cherries with my mother off the tree in the backyard. “If just one more time,” I could pick berries that grew wild in a vacant lot behind the house.

“If just one more time,” I could walk down to the canal and spend a day fishing or swimming and during the winter with a tree limb and a tin can, round up a game of hockey. “If just one more time,” I could rake up a pile of leaves and jump and play in them with my dog, Scout.

“If just one more time,” I could climb that oak tree and apple tree down the street. Most of all, “just one more time,” if I could walk over to my grandparents’ on Christmas Eve to sit by Grandpa’s rocker and listen to his tall tales while the smell of Grandma’s baking would fill the air.

Just one more backyard football game after school. “Just one more time,” the sun shining through my bedroom window in the morning and my mother’s sweet voice in the morning, waking me and my brothers up.

“Just one more time,” helping my mother bake apple pies or do some canning. “Just one more time” with the family sitting around the kitchen table on a Sunday, eating some home-fried chicken.

“Just one more time” hanging out with friends who have now passed. Even those chores that I hated as a youngster, “just one more time.”

Turning 60 isn’t so bad. My health is good. My retirement income is very good, and the memories of yesterday are there, never to be forgotten. I ask, “just one more time.”

John Flaute