Getting Older Still Ain’t for Wimps
Help Lord! I’m Having a Senior Moment
By Karen O’Connor
Paperbacks both books for $15.95
By BILL DUNCAN
Karen O’Connor knows the secret of aging gracefully is humor and in this twin offering of her new books, the reader will quickly learn that worry never solves anything, but laughter lightens our burdens. The two books are filled with vignettes that can’t help but lighten the reader’s day regardless of age.
In a way, they are two very different approaches to poking fun at growing old. “Getting Old Still Ain’t for Wimps,” title is quoting actress Bette Davis, who said, “Old age is no place for sissies.” Art Linkletter, who had all America laughing with his TV Show “Kids say the darndest things,” took that same quote and wrote his famous book, “Old Age Ain’t For Sissies,” and O’Connor, used the same quote the word “still” and changing “sissies” to “wimps.”
“It takes grit and wit to keep standing when your skin doesn’t fit they way it used to,” she wrote. Or “when you think someone stole your car when in truth your forgot where you parked it.”
Laughter, she said, is a form of medicine for old age and one of the funniest routines is realizing you are old enough to get a ten percent senior discount and that lost and found is a way of life after 50. She tells about a friend named Carol who gave her mother a plaque for her bathroom door that said:
“Please Do Not Disturb. This is the only room I can go into and not forget what I came in for.”
O’Connor lives in San Diego with her husband, Charles, who often is pictured as the straight man in her comic routines. In “Help Lord! I’m Having a Senior Moment Again,” O’Connor tells the story of Charles having a senior moment when staying at a relative’s house. He is awakened and told his car alarm is ringing. He rushes out to check and suddenly remembers his car doesn’t have an alarm.
The coupled has five grown children and no doubt they provided some of her material. She also credits contributions from friends and neighbors, but to their everlasting gratitude, she only uses their first names in print.
For example, in “Getting Older,” she relates the story of Steve who goes out to mail some bills and walk his dog Mindy at the same time, carrying a bag for a pooper scooper. He spies a US Postal Service mailbox along the way deposits what he thinks is the mail only to discover when he arrives home, he is still holding the mail.
O’Connor follows a long line of writers who have used simple domestic occurrences as fodder for humor, including one of the best in my opinion, Debbie Bixby, a Riddle sheep rancher who entertained The News-Review readers with her column for a number of years. Like all Guideposts publications, the book is filled with inspirational material to not only entertain but also give a spiritual twist to day-to-day living. The book was selected by the Book and Inspirational Media Division of Guideposts, founded by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale in 1945.
O’Connor is the author of 40 books, all in this same vein. She is a writing consultant and a much sought after speaker. The theme of her book, she says, is simply “letting go and trusting in God to help you face the issues of growing older.”
Her books can only be purchased from Guideposts. For information about ordering go to www.guideposts.com or write to Guideposts, P.O. Box 5815, Harlan, Iowa 51593.
(Bill Duncan is the editor of The Senior Times, a publication that is enfolded in The News-Review every first Monday of the month. He also writes a weekly column on the Thursday Opinion Page.)