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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Do You See Signs Of Aging?

By Daris Howard

“Do you see signs of aging?” the advertisement asked. I looked in the mirror. “Me?” I laughed. “Never!”

In preparing to go on a trip to Peru I started searching through all of my old stuff to find a birth certificate for a passport. I came across a my high school senior picture. I laid it aside as I continued my search. One of my teenage children came wandering into the room and picked it up. She looked at it – it showing my state wrestling champion build, and then she looked incredulously at me. “Is this you?” I smiled and nodded. She looked at the picture once more and then at me again and with shock in her voice asked, “What happened?”

I finally found the birth certificate and took it with me so I could stop by the post office and get my passport application finished. I drove my children to school and we were listening to the radio. The announcer told us that he was going to play a “golden oldie”. The radio started softly playing, “…how deep is your love…” and I was humming along, remembering my Junior Prom that had that as the theme song, when one of my children said, “Can you believe what they sang fifty years ago? And what a pathetic name, ‘Muskrat Love’.”

The day wore on and I needed to pick up my ten year old daughter from the middle school. I ran in to an acquaintance there and we visited. As my daughter and I turned to leave the woman looked at my daughter and said to me, “It’s nice to see grandfathers like you that are so involved in the lives of their grandchildren.”

My family does a lot of theatre and we had a dress rehearsal for one of our plays. My daughter is always kind about doing my makeup since, when I put it on, it looks like I was trying to adhere it to my face with a four inch brush in the back seat of a car while driving over a washboard road. As she gently applied the make-up, she said, “I like doing your makeup, Dad, because I can easily see your age lines to draw them in.” I took a deep breath, swallowing my pride, and she scolded me, “Don’t frown so much, it makes them too deep and I draw them too dark.”

I finally got to the post office to do my passport. The official looked at my birth certificate. “We can’t use this, it’s too old. You need a modern one with the appropriate seal.” She was just handing it back when she glanced at it again. “Besides, I think the date on it’s wrong. According to this you’d only be in your forties.”

As I was putting my memorabilia away, I came across a picture from my wife’s and my wedding day. “Is that Momma?” my five year old, Heather, asked. I told her the woman in the picture was indeed her mother. “She’s pretty!” she exclaimed. She then called her three year old sister over. “Look, Elli, Momma was a princess.”

I smiled at their delight in discovering how pretty their mother was on our wedding day. Then Heather turned back to me and asked, “Who’s the guy with her?”

I told her it was me. She looked at me incredulously, then back at the picture, again at me, then back at the picture, then she laughed, unable to believe it was me. “Oh, Daddy, you’re so funny!”

I saw the ad from the magazine and looked at it one more time. “Do you see signs of aging?” I glanced at the two pictures, my senior picture and my wedding picture. “Well,” I said to myself. “Maybe just a little.”

(Daris Howard, award-winning, syndicated columnist and playwright, is author of “Super Cowboy Rides” and can be contacted; or visit his website at


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