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Sandy says; I see the future more clearly these days.

Byline: Sandy Quadros Bowles

COLUMN: EDITOR'S BLOG

I see the future more clearly these days.

And it can be awfully blurry.

I have officially joined the bifocal generation. Yes, my eyes are so bad and the problems so contradictory - I can't see far away to save my life and up-close print all too often resembles shivering fruit flies - that one simple pair of glasses no longer does the trick.

With 50 around the corner and having worn glasses since I was 11, I am actually a late bloomer to this bifocal business.

Last year, my doctor said I was on the brink of needing them. This year, my test results pushed me over the brink.

So I am now sporting a new pair of glasses - designed by Joseph Abboud, no less. They cost more than two months' rent on my first apartment, but when you wear them all the time, they have become a fashion necessity. Just ask Tina Fey.

That may explain all the big designer names - Jimmy Choo (he designs more than shoes, apparently), Vera Wang, Kate Spade and Giorgio Armani, to name a few.

Then there are celebrity lines: Randy Jackson (hey, dawg, at least he wears glasses!), Hilary Duff (has she ever worn a pair in her life?) and Joan Collins (see Hilary Duff question.)

My favorite line, though, is Garfield. Yes, the lasagna-loving cat has a line of human eyeglass frames. Maybe Garfield needs specs, but my cats can spot an ant on the floor two rooms away, so they're good.

My bifocals and I are making our way through this brave new invisible-line world where what you see depends on how you hold your eyes.

The top of the lens allows me to see far away, which my fellow drivers appreciate. The bottom lens helps me read close up, which I do pretty much my entire life, between computer work at the office, computer fun at home and, when all else fails, making a dent in the pile of books I hope to finish before I die - or my poor eyes completely give out.

Using bifocals requires coordination, never my strongest suit.

So if you see me leering at what I think is Brad Pitt with a tan but you know is actually a rusting yield sign, feel free to push my glasses up the bridge of my nose a bit.

But please don't laugh too loudly: You, too, could someday sport Garfield bifocals.

So here's my question of the week: Was there a specific moment or event that made you realize you were getting older?

Answers can be added to the comments section of my blog on onthecommon.com or e-mailed to me at sbowles@telegram.com.

* * *

I hear that Spencer's Volunteer Day in July had an enthusiastic turnout of residents who did a great job.

That's the good news.

But this turnout was apparently quite small.

And that's the troubling part.

Of course, it's easy to understand why. People are busy today.

And in the summer, when perhaps the pace is a bit less hectic (or at least the heat forces us to move more slowly), people want to savor time with family and friends before school starts again and the hamster wheel starts spinning.

But volunteering for a few hours to pick up trash, clear brush and do some general, light spiffing up would make a great and fairly quick family project.

And cleaning up brightens a town, which in these days of wall-to-wall gloomy news can help residents feel a bit better about things.

Most communities have some volunteer-oriented days and/or activities, and I encourage you to join in.

As for Spencer, the next Volunteer Day is Aug. 16.

Think about it.

Sandy Quadros Bowles is the editor of OntheCommon.com. She can be reached at sbowles@telegram.com.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Aug 7, 2008
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