YESTERDAY I NOTICED that the cover I throw over my grill is getting old and brittle, like me. There is a rigidity that has taken over its former suppleness, like mine. I believe that my loyal spouse gets frustrated at times having to deal with me. I’m not exactly dogmatic, but I am, shall I say, predisposed. I should probably give my mind a good shaking, like my porch rug, just to remove some of the dust and detritus that has accumulated, and maybe dance on it a bit. Then, when you throw in the undeniable reality that I am no longer the sharp-as-a-tack professional that I was in my heyday, dealing with me becomes even more problematic. But I am philosophical about it. I have a place to go to read and think. Sometimes my wife is in the next room, or one of my cats jumps up to lay on my chest, nose to nose, which does make holding a book in front of my face a little harder. Otherwise, I not only don’t mind being alone with my thoughts, I revel in it. Twice now I have read the great novel ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel Garcia Márquez, and in it he says: “The secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude.” I believe that he’s right.