Hear! Hear!

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Who would ever have thought that listening to loud music over headphones during the latter sixties and early seventies would have had such a detrimental effect on my hearing? Yes, of course the problem might just be advanced age, but who wants to think of himself as old enough to have hearing problems?

I’m sure I heard warnings about the dangers of loud music–when I turned the volume down far enough to hear the warnings–but I certainly didn’t pay that much attention to them. After all, I was years away from being old enough to have problems.

I’m not sure how old I was when I first became aware that my hearing had deteriorated. The obvious problem was the fact that my (not yet ex-) wife always mumbled.

Nonetheless, I looked at the price of hearing aids at Costco and decided I needed to start saving. The day would come when I would HAVE to do something before I ended up agreeing to something horribly wrong because I hadn’t heard about it correctly.

Saving at that time was a losing battle. So I continued to hear less and less accurately.

Years later I had to admit that the time had come to do something. If I’d ever been self-conscious about having people see me wearing hearing aids, those days were gone.

So I went to Beltone. Maybe not the least expensive choice I could have made, but they have quality products and excellent follow up service. I had to take out a loan to pay the $3000 each for the hearing aids I still use.

I’m concerned that these may no longer be doing the trick. That is to say, I keep asking people to repeat what they say a lot more than I’d been doing.

But my wife and I have determined–thanks largely to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University–to get totally out of debt, and we’re getting really close to doing that. Early next year my car will be paid off, and that’s the last thing we owe any money on. After that, we plan to sock money away into our Emergency Fund for a while.

So it looks like I may have to settle for the current hearing aids until we figure out how to do something about them without going against our financial plans.

If you’re one of the people I keep saying “What?” to, please understand that I’m just a man of age with a problem of age.

How’s your hearing? Any signs of problems yet? How about dropping a comment here to tell us about it.


I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my blogs. On “As I Come Singing”check it out here–I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. Check here for a list.

Best regards,

My Changing Taste in Music

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A few years ago—or has it been ten or fifteen now?—I read an article on the C.F. Martin guitar company’s website claiming that many of today’s baby boomers have lost all interest in loud, electrically enhanced music. They seem to prefer quiet, mostly acoustical music. The kind more commonly associated with Martin guitars, as a matter of fact.

The article made sense. Because I’d paid good money for CDs of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Jimi Hendrix, I force myself to listen to them once every couple of years. If I remember to, that is.

Forty-some years ago I spent hours and hours listening to artists like those—under headphones with the volume cranked up dangerously loud. I didn’t need illegal drugs to enjoy that kind of music. And I didn’t have to roll up the car windows because the music from the next car over at the traffic light was giving me a headache.

But those days are gone. Along with some of my hearing.

I started playing guitar during the “folk fad” of the 1960s and early 1970s, and I’ve never lost my admiration for the acoustical musicianship of the Kingston Trio, Ian & Sylvia, the Chad Mitchell Trio, and dozens of similar artists who didn’t deafen me with unnecessary volume.

I haven’t lost all of my interest in rock, but I never listen to the radio anymore. I couldn’t tell you what singers are popular now or what song is currently number one.

But let me listen to the Everly Brothers or Bread or The Association, and I’m more than satisfied. Even folk rockers like The Byrds continue to appeal to me. And what about the wonderful story tellers-in-song like Jim Croce, Harry Chapin, and Gordon Lightfoot? Their songs from “back then” are still just as enjoyable today.

I also listen to some of the country songs I used to enjoy. John Michael Montgomery, Ronnie Milsap, early Olivia Newton-John. Songs I could understand the words to. Words that made sense. Uh, usually, anyhow.

Has advancing age turned me into a retro fan? Or have I always been one? I don’t care. I like what I like, and I don’t have to justify it to anyone.

What about you? Has your taste in music changed? If so, how?


I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

By the way, “On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I use “As I Come Singing”check it out here–to post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. Look at the list here.

Best regards,