We don’t age … we just mellow gracefully

A couple of weeks ago I quietly celebrated another birthday; thankful for so many things, including being in fairly good health and ...

A couple of weeks ago I quietly celebrated another birthday; thankful for so many things, including being in fairly good health and to be blessed with a great family and a bunch of old and new friends and truly amazing characters who have all brought spice and joy to my life. When people ask me how old I am, I casually pass it off as being over 40 with 31 years of experience

Like so many others who have been around for a while, I feel so fortunate to have lived in Ponoka and Alberta for over 60 years, and to have enjoyed the freedom and encouragement of seeking the countless opportunities of education, work, play, and an active family life along the way Now after more than 40 years of being employed in some super jobs, I am lucky enough to be a semi-retired pensionable senior, who has mellowed quite a bit, but is still hanging in there and loving every precious minute

Over the years I have always had a great deal of respect and admiration for all those who have and continue to serve in all areas of employment, while raising their families, fought for our nation and are ardent supporters of their hometown communities. Hopefully during those Golden Years everyone is able to sit back in comfort and share the fruits of their labour, the love and joy of family and friends, and the ongoing benefits that all Alberta and Canadian citizens so rightfully deserve.

One of those big bonuses for a happy and comfortable life after work has been available since the late 1940s and that has been our right to receive pension compensation, based on the years of service in our jobs and according to our age. Pensions of course have grown over the years as wages increased but for those who worked just as hard and retired many decades ago, their pensions have remained the same, and many of our proud citizens have found it tough to keep up with the ever increasing cost of living and health care in the 21st century. Hopefully they will always be supported in their aging years by added income supplements and benefits.

Even though many of us over the years have already reached our pension point, I was quite concerned the other day when the provincial government announced sweeping changes will have to be made in the future of our public pensions because of an aging population and a looming crisis due to surging costs and unfounded liabilities of billions of dollar. They claim by 2015 our Old Age Security plan may quite well go the same way as Ottawa, which recently raised the eligibility age to 67 from 65, with a hint of some reduced benefits somewhere down the road.

I am sure many of us were impressed by how our reigning PC government has handled the devastating aftermath of the 2013 spring floods and continues to pay billions of dollars to those Albertans who have suffered and lost so much. Premier Alison Redford and her charges have also vowed to reduce some of the top heavy administrative positions in the government services section but then again still continue to pay them hefty compensation packages after they have been supposedly fired and will never have to suffer from any changes in their pensions and perks after politics. It is vitally important the powers to be get their own fiscal house in order before they start disrupting the future of ours. The “Alberta Advantage” must always be made available for all ages, both now, and long after all the election boxes have been put away.

Funny facts whether we like it or not

• Most dust particles in our homes are made from dead skin. I always knew I was doing way too much housework.

• We burn more calories sleeping than we do watching television. I was told to cut out the snacks but then again I usually fall asleep in the middle of the show.

• Apples, not caffeine are more efficient at waking you up in the morning. Might keep the doctor away but certainly won’t cure that early a.m. hang-over buzz.

Good luck to editor George Brown on his new newspaper adventure in Saskatchewan.

It might be getting a little nippy at night but we can put the sweater away by noon, and I refuse to read the Farmer’s Almanac forecast just yet. Just keep on enjoying this great Indian Summer and have a great week, all of you!

— Hammertime