Younger people laugh at older folks who sit around and talk about “the good old days” or the days that have gone by. Why do we who are older talk so much about those good old days?
It’s not that these aren’t good days (though they may be good in far different ways), but I think it is because our minds are filled with so many images and memories that our brains have filed away over oh-so-many years and the young don’t have that wonderful gift!
I have recently joined a gym and for the first time in my life, I have a trainer who has worked with me for the last four weeks (I have two more to go!). It has reminded me of things gone by. Why? Well, I used to be rather athletic. I played lots of sports, even up until I was nearly 50 years old. I used to be able to run, jump, pump iron and all sorts of activity without hurting. Now? Well, not so much. The aches and pains have left me reminiscing of things gone by, like my youth.
I used to be able to eat like a horse and never put on a single pound. My folks even said that they never had to have a garbage disposal when I was teenager because there never were any leftovers. I used to look in the mirror and see a young man starting back at me with nary a wrinkle at the corner of the eyes or mouth. No longer.
Do I begrudge that? At times, if I am to be honest. I wish I could do all those things again without hurting…when I could run forever and never even seem to breathe hard. Now, well, it doesn’t take much.
The photo today is of an old trailer/wagon that also made me think about how all things age…even the universe is getting old at the same rate as I am. It is the nature of the game, isn’t it? Hopefully, along the way, we amass a fortune of wonderful memories that we can look back on and think as I do, “What a wonderful life it has been!”
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in a bizarre incident in 1982, a truck exploded in the Salang Tunnel in Afghanistan, killing an estimated 3,000 people, mostly Soviet soldiers traveling to Kabul.
The Soviet Union’s military foray into Afghanistan was disastrous by nearly every measure, but perhaps the worst single incident was the Salang Tunnel explosion in 1982. A long army convoy was traveling from Russia to Kabul through the border city of Hairotum. The route took the convoy through the Salang Tunnel, which is 1.7 miles long, 25 feet high and approximately 17 feet wide. The tunnel, one of the world’s highest at an altitude of 11,000 feet, was built by the Soviets in the 1970s.
The Soviet army kept a tight lid on the story, but it is believed that an army vehicle collided with a fuel truck midway through the long tunnel. About 30 buses carrying soldiers were immediately blown up in the resulting explosion. Fire in the tunnel spread quickly as survivors began to panic. Believing the explosion to be part of an attack, the military stationed at both ends of the tunnel stopped traffic from exiting. As cars idled in the tunnel, the levels of carbon monoxide in the air increased drastically and the fire continued to spread. Exacerbating the situation, the tunnel’s ventilation system had broken down a couple of days earlier, resulting in further casualties from burns and carbon monoxide poisoning.
It took several days for workers to reach all the bodies in the tunnel. Because the Soviet army limited the information released about the disaster, the full extent of the tragedy may never be known.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: During the time of the Spanish Inquisition, Pope Innocent VIII condemned cats as evil and thousands of cats were burned. Unfortunately, the widespread killing of cats led to an explosion of the rat population, which exacerbated the effects of the Black Death.