By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Placeholder Image
This eyesight thing is starting to get ridiculous. And if the lady from the airport is reading this, I'm really sorry.

But more on that, later.

I've always had excellent vision, and especially prided myself on my ability to see at night.

"Eyes like a cat," I used to boast to my partners when I was working the midnight shift, patrolling the streets of the city where I used to work.

But a few years ago, not long after I retired, Caltrans and cities began to use smaller lettering for their freeway and street signs.

That's the way I explained it to my wife, Donnelle, anyway.

About the hundredth time she told me I needed to have an eye examination, I conceded the point that I just possibly, maybe, did not have 20-20 vision any longer.

Once I visited the eye doctor, he told me my vision had declined slightly, especially at a distance, and a slight prescription would help.

It's an age thing, I guess.

I still didn't require glasses to read, so I threw my new pair of glasses, including one consisting of sunglasses, into my briefcase and forgot about them.

Until we went to the movies, or on a trip, and I realized they were still in my briefcase.

Funny how squinting doesn't help.

As time went on, I became more diligent about wearing my glasses; during the summer, in fact, it was pretty easy to remember to wear my prescription sunglasses while driving.

But then something strange happened.

Caltrans began making their sign letters small again. And blurry.

Of course, my eye doctor had been sending me notices as the months and years went by, starting off as friendly reminders to have my eyes checked, to finally pointing out the number of days since my last appointment.

Kind of like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's current state budget clock, telling us how long we have before doom sets in.

It should have been a sign when the receptionist had to "go to the back" to retrieve my patient file; my optometrist is a good guy, though, and he shortly had me viewing the world pretty clearly once again in a new pair of glasses.

If I remembered to wear them, that is.

Which brings me to my recent trip to the Sacramento Airport to pick up my daughter, Rachel, and granddaughter, Madeline, who were going to visit for a week.

I was wearing my prescription sunglasses, but left my regular glasses at home. When I arrived in the airport's parking garage, I placed my sunglasses on my dash, and promptly forgot about them.

Which is why I was squinting down the airport concourse, waiting for my daughter and Madeline to appear.

If you're familiar with the Sacramento Airport, you'll know that people often wait for those arriving on flights downstairs from the security check area. Knowing Rachel would have Madeline in her stroller, and not be able to negotiate the escalators, I moseyed upstairs.

Where a TSA security guy started to give me the fisheye.

People generally don't wait for arriving flights in this area, but with Rachel's plane having already landed I knew she would just be a moment.

As I was waiting, my son, Kevin, happened to call, but I had to cut him short.

"I'll call you back, Kev, here comes Rach and Maddie."

I was squinting, of course, but I clearly recognized my daughter pushing my granddaughter in a stroller.

As they approached I surged forward, a silly grin on my face, arms outstretched for hugs, my eyes locked on Madeline to see how much she had changed.

I think my first clue was just how much Madeline had changed.

The second clue was the mom speeding up as she passed me, shooting me a mama bear look of warning that made it clear I was a dead man if I took another step forward.

"Sorry, thought you were my daughter," I mumbled, noticing the TSA guy really giving me the fisheye now.

Fortunately, my daughter appeared a moment later, and as she said "Hi," from down the concourse, I clearly recognized her voice, and went into welcome mode.

Of course, my wife has been telling me I need to get my hearing checked...

Craig Macho is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.