August 24. 2021
“It’s not how old you are. It’s how you are old.”
I have a number of friends well up in age, some over a hundred years old. I recently got an article from the Central Indiana Council on Aging that included the following story. It reminded my of many of my fellow seniors who stay happy and active.
Taking Time to Thrive at 105
Ask Alice McGinnis, who turned 105 this summer, about the secret to her longevity.
“I never get in a hurry,” she says.
Today, Alice likes to listen to books on tape. She could write her own book, given all she has experienced and accomplished. But throughout her life, Alice has been determined to look forward and not back.
Never Stop Learning – After her husband of 51 years, Hobart, passed in 1986, Alice found new ways not just to stay busy, but to thrive. She was in her early 70s when she took art classes at the high school in Salem, Ind. Her specialty was painting landscapes and flowers, a skill she loved to show off in her own note cards that she would mail to friends and family.
In her 80s Alice took a literature course offered through Indiana University and earned a B+ in the class, which she proudly described as demanding. Inspired, she joined a local group of storytellers who met monthly at the library to share and critique their writing.
Impressed with Alice’s skills and insights, one of the members asked her to help edit a book he was writing. The published work, The Hole, credits Alice’s efforts in its acknowledgements. It is one of her cherished honors.
Well into her 90s, Alice continued to live by herself in her house, tending to the garden, the yard and the kitchen. She also found time for crossword puzzles, card games and dominoes, a daily journal and, of course, painting.
Remaining Independent with Support Services – At 99, with her health and vision declining, Alice moved to Indianapolis to live with her daughter, Mary.
Through Central Indiana Consel on Aging (CICOA), Alice got connected to in-home support services that have helped her maintain a level of independence and optimize her quality of life. Alice receives daily meals and personal care assistance, which allows Mary valuable time to attend to her own needs, also.
Marking a Milestone – There is one story Alice loves to share.
Alice and Hobart often drove from Salem to Louisville, Ky., a trip of about 40 miles. Crossing the Ohio River from Indiana into Kentucky, they could see an old railroad bridge. In 2014, the dilapidated structure was replaced by a new pedestrian bridge, and Alice vowed one day to cross it.
Never in a hurry, on her 100th birthday Alice climbed aboard a golf cart and, accompanied by 75 family members and friends walking beside her, made her bridge crossing. She was a local celebrity that day, basking in the attention from the Louisville-area media.
“It matters not how long we live but how.”
Philip James Bailey
Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round
or listened to the rain lapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight
or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
Do you run through each day on the fly?
When you ask “How are you?” Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed
with the next hundred chores running through your head?
Ever told your child, “We’ll do it tomorrow.”
And in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die?
Just call to say “Hi”?
When you worry and hurry through your day,
it is like an unopened gift….Thrown away…
Life is not a race. Take it slower.
Hear the music before the song is over.
Patience in the present, faith in the future, and joy in the doing
Sam Cohen, father of 3 and faithful husband for over 40 years, unexpectedly drops dead one day. His lawyer informs his widow that Stu Schwartz, Sam’s best friend since childhood, is to be executor of the will. The day comes to divide Sam’s earthly possessions, over a million dollars’ worth. In front of Sam’s family, Stu reads the will:
“Stu, if you’re reading this, then I must be dead. You’ve were such a good friend for so long, how can I ignore you in this will? On the other hand, there are my beloved Sophie and my children to be looked after. Stu, I know you can make sure my family is taken care of properly. So Stu, give what you want to her and take the rest for yourself.” Stu then looks at the survivors and tells them that, in accordance with Sam’s instructions, Stu will give fifty thousand dollars to Sam’s widow. The rest he is retaining for himself.
The family is beside itself. “This is impossible! Forty years of marriage and then *this*?! It can’t be!” So the family sues. Their day in court arrives, and after testimony from both sides, the judge gives his verdict: “To Stuart Schwartz, I award fifty thousand dollars of the contested money. The remainder shall go to Sophie Cohen, widow of the deceased.”
Needless to say, the family is elated, but Stu is dumbfound. “Your honor, how can you do this? The will made Sam’s wishes quite clear: ‘Give what you want to her and take the rest for yourself!’ I wanted the lion’s share! What gives?”
The judge answered back, “Mr. Schwartz, Sam Cohen knew you his whole life. He wanted to give you something in gratitude. He also wanted to see his family taken care of. So he drew up his will accordingly. But you misread his instructions. You see, Sam knew just what kind of a person you are, so with his family’s interest in mind, he didn’t say, “Give what you want to her and keep the rest for yourself.’ No. What Sam said was, “Give what YOU want to HER; and keep the rest for yourself.”
Q: What do you instantly know when you see a well-dressed husband?
A: His wife is good at choosing his clothes.
Howard came home from work one evening and there was his wife Miriam in the kitchen crying out loud.
“What’s the matter, darling?” he asked her.
“I just don’t know what to do,” said Miriam. “Because we were eating in for a change, I cooked us a special dinner – but the dog has just eaten it.”
“Don’t worry,” said Howard, “I’ll get us another dog.”
Sign spotted in a toilet in a London office block:
TOILET OUT OF ORDER. PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW
Stan was having problems in English class, so his teacher decided to stop by on her way home to speak with his parents. When she rang the bell, Stan answered.
“I’d like to talk to your mother or father,” she said.
“Sorry, but they ain’t here.”
“Stan!” she said, “what is it with your grammar?”
“Beats me,” he replied, “but dad sure was mad that they had t’go bail her out again!”
When a man opens the door of his car for his wife, you can be sure of one thing:
either the car or his wife is new.
Hi Mom. Can I leave the kids with you tonight? You’re going out?
Yes. With whom? With a friend.
I don’t know why you left your husband. He is such a good man. I didn’t leave him. He left me!
You let him leave you, and now you go out with anybody and nobody. I do not go out with anybody. Can I bring over the kids?
I never left you to go out with anybody except your father. There are lots of things that you did and I don’t.
What are you hinting at? Nothing. I just want to know if I can bring the kids over tonight.
You’re going to stay the night with him? What will your husband say if he finds out?
My EX husband. I don’t think he would be bothered. From the day he left me, he probably never slept alone!
So you’re going to sleep over at this loser’s place? He’s not a loser.
A man who goes out with a divorced woman with children is a loser and a parasite.
I don’t want to argue. Should I bring over the kids or not? Poor children with such a mother.
Such as what? With no stability. No wonder your husband left you.
Don’t scream at me. You probably scream at this loser too! Now you’re worried about the loser?
Ah, so you see he’s a loser. I spotted him immediately.
Wait! Don’t hang up! When are you bringing them over?
I’m not bringing them over! I’m not going out!
If you never go out, how do you expect to meet anyone?
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
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