As far as I remember, check out time in just about all hotels and motels I’ve stayed has been either 11 AM or noon. These days I think it’s usually noon.

Check out time for human bodies varies quite a bit but it’s roughly about the eighty year mark. Some are off and gone much earlier while others often overstay their allotted time as much as humanly possible. 

There definitely seems to be a final limit somewhere between the ninety and hundred year mark.

All of this may seem utterly irrelevant to you young whippersnappers. It might be about as interesting as me describing the moons of Jupiter. 

I felt that way too in my twenties and thirties. Immortality for me was a given in those days. But then the years rolled on. And here I am looking at all the birthdays I’ve enjoyed.

Youth in the 60s often looked at anyone over thirty as long gone down the river. Being programed and absorbed into the “establishment” looked like a form of death to the young rebels of that time. If they are still around today I wonder what they think of that viewpoint now.

Whenever I watch a movie from the fifties or early sixties I’m struck by the thought that practically all those actors have been and gone.

But in a way they live on in a world of film like old John Wayne movies. The Lone Ranger and Bonanza boys play out their episodes of adventure over and over still today even though they’ve all gone off to that great Bonanza in the sky.

Great singers and musicians seem to live on also long after they’ve departed their bodies. Some artists are remembered for ages. Having made a profound impact on their time here, their fame lingers on.

So many others check out and sadly are way too soon forgotten. It’s as though they’ve never even been here.

Maybe that’s why the Egyptians built their pyramids. They may have sought immortality in solid material forms, mummies and extremely sound structures.

“Hey we were here and this proves it!”

Modern medicine and improved living conditions have greatly helped to extend human longevity over the past fifty years or more. Wanting to stretch it out even more so, some elderly spend close to a fortune on drugs and medical services these days just to buy another month or two. It’s always difficult to simply turn in the keys and move along.

To remain alive, healthy, young and beautiful on into eternity may be a dream everyone shares at one time or another.

I think though that to really experience the joy of living and to share it with others greatly ads to the quality of one’s life. Regrets are but self created heavy chains. Accomplishments, friendships and love are rewards for a life well lived.

It’s very real to me that age is mainly attitude. But the number of years chalked up does have a significance to most people. As in looking at an older car, your first question may be to inquire of the odometer reading.

Time, harsh weather and rough roads traveled leave their marks on your vehicle about as much as mileage.

However, there’s no such disease as old age. There is wear and tare, stress, loss, sadness and loneliness. And there’s the long list of illnesses that can kill you such as heart attack and cancer.

In essence I think one often knows when his or her time is about used up and it’s getting close to check out time.

I must say I’ve had a pleasant stay in this hotel. The amenities were quite nice and the service was good. I enjoyed the food and rest. And I really liked the friends I made.

When my time comes to go I’d really like to stay on but I have a long road ahead of me. Also, there are so many more hotels and motels along the way.

Dan O’Connor can be reached at