After continuously hearing the phrase “As we get older ...” for nine-plus years, I rather unhappily announce the transformation officially happened Saturday at 2:33 p.m.

This realization took place in the freezer aisle of an El Campo grocery store somewhere between the frozen hams and fresh beef with no witnesses.

Despite this lack of corroboration, I’m rather certain the inability to stand up straight coupled by difficulty walking, near exhaustion from grabbing coffee, bread, pasta and a few other items that give health nuts the hives while  unable to remember half the “musts” on a forgotten list provide ample evidence.

I hope all you forewarners are happy.

Yes, you told me and, no, I’m not willing to accept this situation and hobble on with the daily obstacles.

I’d yell and scream about it, but I haven’t been able to manage any real volume in years.

Running away from the fact is out too. The general public, however, may be disappointed as the odds of me somehow managing to trip over flat ground and wind up doing an inadvertent cartwheel before sticking a genuine “spread eagle” landing for a perfect 10.0 score is almost guaranteed.

Banging our historical newsroom table in frustration is out of the question – there’s just too good of a chance I’d break something.

For full disclosure purposes, the newsroom table is a slab of granite about four inches thick. I intend to use it as my official hurricane shelter should things ever get bad enough in El Campo that bricks start flying through the air.

No doubt, it would not be what broke.

However, I’m beginning to wonder if I must accept this new title begrudgingly seeing how I now refer to my start date at the newspaper as “when Jesus was a small child.”

One reporter here started work at the Leader-News about 10 months before I did. Another may not have been born when the article “Introducing our new reporter” came out featuring a photo of yours truly city style.

That style vanished somewhere in the years in between, a “Zmena myšlení” or “zatácka” as my Czech buddies would say or “cambio de mentalidad” for those who prefer Spanish.

Somewhere along the line, the assorted pieces and parts of Shannon broke down or, some would tell you, they never worked completely right in the first place.

But it just seems wrong to realize “Holy Geritol bottles, Batman. She’s freakin’ old” in a grocery store aisle.

Ought to be something a bit snazzier, don’t you think?

Either way, I suppose I should go find a red hat or start lining up the mimosas.

I’ve already got the AARP membership.




– Shannon Crabtree is editor & publisher of the El Campo Leader-News.

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