People watching has become a very interesting thing to do. I got started by parking in front of the Casey’s store. I had stopped to get a slice of pizza and a cold drink. Since I don’t want to eat as I drive, I’d turn on the car radio, roll down the windows and eat while the pizza was hot and delicious.

It has become a habit to watch the people come and go; probably they wonder why that old lady is just sitting there.

I began comparing now-a-days to back when I was younger and newly married. There weren’t any self-service filling stations or convenience stores back then. When these places became available, we soon accepted them and now we couldn’t live without them.

I remember when there was a sign on the window saying “No Shirt. No shoes. No Service.” That sign isn’t needed anymore. I observed many men slip on a T-shirt when they got out of their vehicle.

I’ll list some of the things I noticed this summer. There are many men, young and older, wearing a beard. Some are full bushy and long, while others were trimmed. Some only had goatee chin whiskers or a mustache. The percentage of men with hair on their faces was higher than I realized.

Now-a-days, when it comes to hair styles for men, anything seems to be OK. They vary from long braids and pony tails, bun on top to shaved bald. Now hair styles for women seem to be highlighted by color. I’ve seen all colors of the rainbow. The hair ranges from long to pixie short, pulled up in a bun or held back by assorted head bands. I can’t stand hair hanging in my eyes. I don’t understand how some can wear it that way, always pushing it back behind their ears.

Other things I noticed were clothing. Whatever happened to knee-even skirt hems or the blouses that covered cleavage. Now it’s holes in jeans and many bra straps showing. I’m not saying the new styles can’t be attractive, it’s just different than what I grew up with.

I now realize why Jim would rather sit in the car parked out front or on the bench in Walmart while I shopped. He always said people watching was more fun than shopping.

I smiled when I’d see a child come out with a treat that I’m sure Grandma or Grandpa got for them. They were happy and smiling as they held the adult's hand.

I’m pleased to see people holding the door for others, smiling and friendly. The age of customers ranges from youngsters to seniors finding what they need.

I also thought it sure would be boring if we all dressed and looked alike. I also thought it is wonderful that God knows and loves us all.

I could tell about many other things I’ve seen such as tattoos, ice, drinks, cigarettes, lottery and clean restrooms. I saw out-of-county and out-of-state tags on all kinds of autos — some clean and shiny or covered with mud. When I saw hood ornaments and fancy hub caps, it reminded me how Jim enjoyed fixing his car.

I saw in the August-September issue of the Older & Bolder news that September is National Senior Center month. In 2007, the National Institute of Senior Centers designated the entire month. I invite you to call (785) 628-6688 and reserve a meal and the fellowship of other seniors. Help us celebrate this month.

Next week I will be at Kansas State Fair and I’ll continue to people watch. Hope to see you there.

Opal Flinn is a member of the Generations Advisory Group.