TODAY'S PAPER
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LifestyleRetirement

My Turn: I'm still humming along after all these years

I came out of the factory new and shiny. No dirt, scratches, no dents. Low mileage and ready to take on the world: Potholes, curves, crowds, snow, sleet and rain and anything thrown at me. Standard equipment was all I came with. No options, no defects.

I set out to make my mark and establish myself as a force to be reckoned with, to a degree, not actually knowing where my life would take me. All I needed was drive.

I have encountered countless people as I cruised along the highway of life. Along the way I acquired a few dents and scratches and was towed to the shop a few times for repairs and tuneups. My color has faded, and there are a few cracks in my exterior as well as my interior. I’ve had a few parts replaced or rebuilt but still continue to rack up the miles.

My suspension is little squeaky, and my headlights a bit dull, but I still move forward.

My maintenance costs have increased over the years, but that’s to be expected. Some just to keep me on the road, others to rework my body and operating systems.

I’ve consumed plenty of fuel over the years and always tried not to ingest anything detrimental to my performance. Really don’t want to clog my fuel lines. That can be dangerous and costly.

The memories I’ve accumulated are good, very good, excellent … and bad, very bad and horrendous. Fortunately, the good heavily outweighs the bad. The people I’ve met throughout my journey are responsible for all the good this life has given me along the way — and I thank them.

I’ve been taken good care of myself, and I am at an age when one can be considered an antique. That said, I prefer terms such as "vintage" or "classic," and to some extent "seasoned," although I’d rather not be compared to something of a culinary nature.

Retirement has decreased my daily excursions, and I don’t travel in the fast lane too often, though I still manage to pass others from time to time.

I’m still active; I haven’t been parked and forgotten next to the barn with a tarp thrown over me. I can still shine with a little effort. A good cleaning and buffing, and I can be very presentable. Throw in an air freshener, and I’m ready to roll!

I’d like to believe my value is increasing, but to some it doesn’t matter, just as long as I can continue to carry on.

I’ve started to occasionally bump into things, but I haven’t caused any significant damage … yet. And I do turn around and look when I'm backing up!

So here I am. Running down the highway, listening to my favorite tunes with my girl by my side. Hope I don’t run out of gas for a long time.

Life’s been good to me so far.

Nick Connolly,

Selden

YOUR STORY Letters and essays for My Turn are original works (of up to 600 words) by readers that have never appeared in print or online. Share special memories, traditions, friendships, life-changing decisions, observations of life or unforgettable moments for possible publication. Email act2@newsday.com. Include name, address, phone numbers and photos if available. Edited stories may be republished in any format.

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