Growing Old(er) Gracefully

170223_pickingcherries

[ Picking cherries ]

February 23 – Now this thought may catch up with me later, but I can pretty well say that aging hasn’t really changed my life too much. I can almost hear you laughing a bit, with the grin on your face that says, “Oh, sure, am I supposed to believe that! Look at your white hair and wrinkles here and there! Why aren’t you jumping up from the floor as fast as you used to do?”

Yes, I could go on and on about things like that happening to old people, but I choose to tell it like it is. I still bend over to tie my shoe laces, and I can get up again. We two who used to walk marathons and much lesser hikes don’t do that as much any more, but I have learned to be content with a daily walk of a mile or two along our walking trails

170223_pondgrass

[ Part of our five mowing acres ]

We still mow about five acres in summer and take care of a big garden: tilling, weeding, raking, planting, harvesting, and canning and freezing. Two freezers in the basement are full with all sorts of things like chestnuts from our own two trees we planted when we moved out here from Pennsylvania. There are also many, many plastic bags filled with pears and apples that we peeled and carefully dried in our dehydrator. Frozen strawberries and peaches add a lot to our meals. And as many of you may know, we are vegetarians.

That addresses the physical part of getting older, but how has us affected me socially? I have a hard time thinking of things that are very different because we have so many friends, both old, young, and in-between. Until I went off to college I guess I was not overly friendly because I felt that the other kids had so much more than I did, not realizing living the good life does not depend on material things. When I finally found that out, I gathered friends everywhere because I just did, and still do, like people! What a real blessing each one is to me!

170223_pricechopperfolks

[ Friends at Price Chopper ]

On our shopping day we spend more time visiting folks we know in the stores than we do in shopping. Once in awhile when we don’t need anything, or when we have health check-ups or other business to take care of, we don’t go. The same question comes up the next week when we do shop. “Where were you? Were you sick? We missed you. Don’t stay home next week!”

I am glad and thankful for the good life the Lord has given me and feel that I have had a very blessed time. I have been more than satisfied with our family, with the chance to help others when they are hurting, and need a hug or a pat on the back. We especially enjoy the work we do with the Harvesters’ group who distribute food to those in need. I can’t come up with a time in my life when I was really dissatisfied with life!

170223_gamespuzzles

[ puzzles, cryptograms, Rummi-Kub ]

Besides our work around the house and garden, I have a number of hobbies including these:

  • stamp collecting which I started about 65 years ago (I enjoy passing on some of the duplicates to the kids around and taught that honor in our church work with some of those who wanted to learn)
  • reading (we have so many books that the shelves all over the house are filled to more than capacity)
  • cooking and baking, mostly with the old stand-bys that I have made for years
    crossword puzzles, cryptograms, and sudokus
  • 170223_photobarn

    [ Old barn photographed on a walk ]

    photography (I surely am nowhere near being a professional, but I enjoy nature so much that I can’t turn down a chance to come up with beautiful nature pictures)
  • writing material for our blog which we have been doing since August 2014
  • playing games like Rummikub. We usually play several games of that before going to bed.)

The only thing I would say to others about life and aging is to make the most of what you have, not desiring to have the best of material things, but taking advantage of the many opportunities God gives to us every day to enjoy His bountiful blessings. Use what you have to make those around you happy, and your life will have a real purpose! – CHRIS

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