So I've been thinking about life in the fast lane.
On the whole, I favour the slow route. Let me give you an example. Jon's been researching windows. Ours are ninety years old and like everything else in our house they bear little resemblance to modern versions. Those in the front bedroom are not only non-standard in size, but leaded and set into a stone arch. Try finding one of those at Home Depot. So every few years Jon works up the courage to watch DIY videos in hope of figuring it how to replace those on the second floor so that he doesn't have to carry storms up and down an extension ladder. What he learned yesterday was fascinating, if somewhat discouraging. Apparently the wood in our current windows was cut from trees fifty to a hundred years old; it is dense and long-lasting, as contrasted to new wood frames with the much younger and lighter wood that is currently being harvested. And that, friends above fifty, is why so many new wooden items seem to break down faster than what you expected. Because they do. You are not imagining it. One of many cases where old is decidedly superior to new.
Now while it remains to be seen whether young people will acquire the starch of old ones, I do believe that maturity is a value-added attribute. Friendships in particular benefit enormously from slow growth; every year together reinforces shared memory (though you will remember that memory ain't exactly perfect). Nonetheless, much time spent together grows a friendship, even setting up shorthand as it does in a good long marriage. One summer Mom, Jon and I found ourselves staring at the Peterborough locks on the hottest day that year and discovered that none of us had actually wanted to come; we had all obliged the other two. Lesson learned. Now Jon and I know to ask each other the question "Are we going to Peterborough?" before we commit to an adventure.
The value of age is never more apparent than in old dogs. Molson, Maureen's beloved Aussie shepherd, had the lovely temperament of one who had lived long and well. He had only one flaw, which he shared with other old dogs; they never live long enough.