I’d like to take a minute and talk about growing old…It’s something many people do…

and if you’re lucky in this life…you’ll, one day, grow old too.


Some say getting old is hard and they don’t really want to do it.

I say getting old, like any part of life, is all in how you view it.


Sure getting old means I don’t walk as effortlessly or as fast as I walked before….

but that means I get to lean in and hold on to Deborah a little more.


I might not see as well as when I was young

and when someone speaks…I might not hear every word

but, then again, I have seen so many wonders….and so much beauty I have heard. 


I might not get up from the floor as gracefully as I once did

and some days it seems impossible to bend

but getting old is the only way to have old memories…and old friends. 


A look in the mirror tells me I’m not as young as I once was

and there are days I wish these wrinkles and spots on my skin would scatter

but getting older also makes me realize…those things…don’t really matter.


Even on the days I wonder if my wrinkles are turning into cracks…

I remember I raised a family…

I’m retired

I am happy…

It’s my time to relax.


For I have gained the wisdom of my years

I know more than I ever thought I’d know

I’ve been lucky to be around …to watch my children and grandchildren grow.


I could go on and on about the benefits of growing old…for there really its no cap…

but after thinking and writing for a while now…I think I’ll take a nap.


Before I do let me remind you to celebrate getting old.

It’s a part of life, I guarantee, you will not want to skip

Just be careful how hard you celebrate however…

after all…you wouldn’t want to break a hip!

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His question was a simple one…if the truth be told.

The answer…not so simple: 

What’s the best way to grow old?


He received a myriad of responses.

Some said the best way to grow old is wealthy

others said where the weather’s warm

still others mentioned healthy


Some said they would like to grow old with dignity and grace

others merely wrote: with a smile on my face


Some said they’d like to grow old in the house where their children grew

others thought that wisdom would help to see them through…


In reading all the responses…he felt extremely blessed

but one answer he discovered stood out from all the rest.


One couple did not mention money, 

or health 

or any kind of weather

In answer to the best way to grow old…

they simply wrote: 



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We have four grandchildren in our life and we love they came our way.

We remember when each was born…as if it was yesterday.


When they were merely babies we held them in our arms

and through the years we’ve been enchanted and captivated by their charms.


It’s fun to look back wistfully to a time when they were smaller

because over the years…we’re not sure when…they’ve all grown so much taller!


We use to kid with them when they were younger…oh how the kids would fuss

When we’d put our hands on their heads and say…

“You’ll never be taller than us!”


Well…the first grandchild grew taller than Nana years ago, 

followed by the second 

then the third…

and Nana smiled as each one overtook her…without saying a word.


But the other day, reminding us how time often passes in a blur,

Nana noticed our youngest granddaughter is now looking down on her.


Nana, who once carried all our grandchildren easily across the floor

in the blink of an eye, or so it seems, is shorter than all four.


(I probably would be more sympathetic to Nana…to this growing reality

If I didn’t realize that all too soon…they’ll also be taller than me!) 


Of course we know that’s the way it goes…the way the years are supposed to pass

still in our wildest dreams we never expected…the years would pass so fast….


But as I see Nana and our grandchildren now standing side by side

I have to smile when I think how much we’ve enjoyed the ride….


So the fact they are taller than Nana…

is not something we bemoan

because we have enjoyed every minute 

of every hour 

of every inch 


that they have grown….

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A funny thing about growing old (which happens to all of us equally)

is that our hearts and minds keep telling us we’re young…

but our bodies don’t always agree.


Take Deborah and I for instance…in the 30 odd years since we were engaged

while our hearts have grown a little younger…it’s our bodies that have aged.


It appears however young our hearts feel…our bodies like to tease.

We don’t see or hear as well, we’re getting shorter and we both have faulty knees.


Our young minds want us to do things…and they are often quite persistent

but when we ask our bodies to perform…they can be quite resistant.


Oh, our hearts and minds generally win out…usually get their way

but our bodies tend to be upset and scold us the next day.


Another funny thing about growing old (this is something worth shouting about!)

When you find someone to grow old with…you learn to help each other out.


When I don’t see or hear something…Deborah’s assistance I enlist

to tell me what just happened…to show me what I missed.


When Deborah is too short to reach something…or if it’s too high for her to see

She doesn’t fret…she doesn’t stew…she just calls on me.


If my knees give out…if I should fall…and land upon my seat

I know Deborah will be right there to help me to my feet.


Yes, it seems as we grow older…another fact we can’t ignore

when one of us is able to do a little less…the other helps a little more


And we know from past experience…a truth we happily proclaim

whenever they are needed…our friends and family will do the same.


Which means with all this love around us 

we can grow old with no regrets…

allowing our hearts and minds to stay young…


no matter how old our bodies get.

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One look at this photo…I see I’m missing some hair

and if I’m not mistaken my eyelids have slid

although it’s really quite difficult for me to know

because I don’t see as clearly as at one time I did.


My hearing is going, which I don’t understand

and I ask this with as much confusion as vigor…

How am I able to hear less now that I’m older

when my ears have gotten bigger and bigger?


And don’t get me started about my memory

for hardly does there come a day…

When…wait!…there…it happened again

I forgot what I was going to say…


But when I put the photo down and walk through my house

my misery quickly comes to and end

For wherever I look I see reminders and remnants

of a life filled with family and friends…


Reminding me as I get older

Something I long ago ascertained…

Not to concentrate on the things that I’ve lost

but instead…


on the things that I’ve gained.

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On their morning walk the other day the wife said something that perked up her husband’s ears

She asked if he realized they’d been taking these walks for almost 30 years.


And it got the husband to thinking of all the wonders they’ve seen in 30 years.

All the moments shared together…all the laughter, joy and tears…


30 years watching the neighborhood change…as people come and go

30 years getting caught in the rain…but never in the snow.


30 years of sunrises…each one a new surprise.

30 years of clouds and colors stretching endlessly across the sky.


30 years walking to the water…listening to the birds…smelling the morning air

30 years of dolphins, pelicans and eagles…waiting for them there.


30 years of watching people change…as they made this walk each day.

30 years of friends who have passed…while others moved away.


30 years watching their children grow…and then their grandchildren too.

30 years watching their lives unfold and relishing the view.


30 years noticing how they too have changed…how they now move a little slow

30 years of aches and pains and wrinkles…nonexistent 30 years ago.


30 years of walking…sharing hopes and dreams and fears…

And the husband wondered how it went so fast…these amazing 30 years.


Then he turned…saw his wife’s smile…and instantly…he knew

She was the reason for his 30 years of wonder…

She made each walk seem brand new.


And when the wife saw the husband’s smile

to herself she whispered his name

for as she thought about the last 30 years

she couldn’t help but feel the same.




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Deborah found the leftovers

(the ones I thought I stored in the fridge)

in a cabinet the other day

and we chuckled at my ‘senior moment’ as we threw them all away.


But it got me thinking…there was a time I remembered everything

a time when my memory was much stronger….

I knew getting old was inevitable…

I just thought it’d take a little longer.


I have forgotten where I put my glasses.

How did these keys get in this drawer?

I have forgotten, as I search for something, 

what the heck I’m searching for…


But just when I begin questioning 

if my memory is dwindling like a fire’s fading embers?

If at my age am I forgetting now

more things than I remember?


It is then I remember riding my bike as a child…

how Grandma’s death made me so sad…

It is then I remember splashing through puddles after a rain,

playing football with my dad.


It is then I remember friends from high school…

flying kites high in a summer breeze

It is then I remember trying to catch the falling leaves from Autumn 

as they cascaded from the trees.


It is then I remember moments with our children and grandchildren… 

yes, when I stop and think on it a while

there are so many moments I remember… 

so many memories that make me smile.


Sure, I might forget a few things every now and then…

and sometimes the storage of leftovers is misbegotten….

but I am blessed, in life, that I remember 


far more things than I’ve forgotten.



We were in line to enter an RV show in Tampa 

when I suddenly became aware

that of all those standing in line with us…

we were the youngest ones there.


But as the line slowly moved ahead 

and I watched people file in through the doors…

everyone seemed a little younger 

than they were a few minutes before.


Smiles lit up their faces…

they strutted with a new rhythm and beat

They seemed to have a little more energy…

and walked a little lighter on their feet.


And we felt too…


Flitting from camper to camper 

on our mission to research and explore

we felt less like 65 year olds…

and more like kids in a candy store.


Everywhere we turned there were campers…

campers of every variety and type

and all around us was music and singing…

why they even had Scottish bagpipes!


The three of us in our group ran from one camper to the next…

we knew pacing ourselves was the key…

even though we saw so many campers…

there were so many more to see.


We stopped for lunch to eat some corn dogs

each displaying our own corn dog eating technique

and just like when we were children…

a little mustard remained on our cheeks.


We spotted a new vintage camper 

and for a moment time seemed to move slow

as we sat inside her in silence…

imagining the places we’d go.


As I watched the three of us walking to our car…

I had to smile for I had no doubt

that no matter how much older we grow every day…

there’s a child inside us who's itching to get out…


And I thought perhaps we should let them out more often

let them loose…take them out for a spin…

and I wondered how much younger we’d all be


If we unleashed more often…our child within.

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