Sunday, October 10, 2010

Secrets of a Long Life

I've had some time to think about the older members of our society that I've met lately - at the Honor Flight event, at the grocery store, just in passing... And I've been asking them questions: What is your tip for a long-lasting marriage? What are your hobbies? Tell me about your life...

And I've found a few things they seem to have in common (no surprise to those social scientists, I suppose!)

By and large, those who worked hardest earlier in life - the mill workers, farmers, gardeners, wood workers, etc - have the softest hands. Their skin is like that of a newborn baby's. So soft, and by that point, callous-free somehow. You never want to lose that feeling - it is the symbol, I think, of a long life, well lived.

Almost all of those I've talked were in their mid-70s, 80s, and 90s and so many of them talked about their gardens, their puzzles and taking a walk every day. They talked about their wives (most I met have been men of late, not sure why!) and their old friends from past days. They talked about other hobbies as well: wood-working, sewing (for the ladies usually,) trying to get out to watch their great-grandchildren's ball games, making new friends and new memories every day. Refreshing the old memories from before. They remembered so much...

What stories they have been able to tell! I hope to save some of those stories - for myself, my children, and maybe to share a few on here in this blog. It seems that in gardening, cooking, reading, and playing games with my children, I am on a good track for a long, fruitful life. Or at least I hope so. I plan to keep asking questions and listening to their stories, so they can live on - even when they're gone...

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