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The shape of things to come


An individual’s shape is genetically programmed, but lifestyles override what nature intended.

As a child I was small and skinny. Adolescence metamorphosed into tall and skinny, flat-chested with chicken legs.

Adulthood gained slightly more promise — still tall, legs a little heftier.

Now I am old. Not quite as tall since vertebrae are collapsing. We won’t even mention the effect of gravity in my chest area, but the legs are still pretty good — like who cares? It was far more important at age 18 when crinoline skirts made me look like a lollipop on a stick.

What is really upsetting now is my waist; rather total lack of. My body runs in a straight line from under my arms to my feet. While I could never boast of a 16-inch waist, the present circumference makes it hard to zip anything. I do not want, and cannot afford, to buy a new wardrobe.

It isn’t that I am not trying. Four trudging loops around my neighborhood is equivalent to two miles. It would be more beneficial if I could traverse briskly, but stopping and talking to every person coming in the opposite direction slows me down considerably.

I enrolled and started a wonderful exercise routine; $60 a pop was too much, but I can read; now diligently stretch and puff through 45 minutes of floor exercise. This greatly impressed adult grandsons who spend almost as much time at the gym as at their jobs.

“Way to Go, Grandma!”

But with more leisure time, I’ve discovered the joys of Kroger’s Private Collection ice cream, and Pepperidge Farm Cookies (thin and crispy). The better wines on sale makes imbibing a lot more pleasurable than a bottle of two buck Chuck.

The best part of the day is 4 p.m., relaxing with a good book, a glass of red wine, and a few (ha!) morsels of dark chocolate and nuts.

A note to those of you visiting a doctor. A standard question involves alcohol consumption. Be aware whatever the answer, the inquirer always doubles the amount.

Of the contributors to the Wilmington News Journal, I am the least cooperative. Well, what can one expect from a New Yorker? The paper does not do poems. I do. Thus the following:


“Skin, the largest organ of the body

Endowed with impermeable elasticity

Manages, with predictability and a dash of grim tenacity

To thwart the human tendency to expand its physical property.

Then, after decades of tireless dedication,

Skin relaxes and takes a vacation.”

Ann Kuehn resides at Ohio Living Cape May in Wilmington. She says, “I gravitated to Ohio at age 18 and never left” and moved to Sabina in 1987.

Ann Kuehn

Contributing columnist