Thursday, September 12, 2013

If I were 90.....

     I get the privilege of spending lots of time with my 92 year old grandparents. I love them. I love to hear their stories. Sometimes we forget that they were young and vivacious and did something other than watch Fox news. Now, what intrigues me is what 80+ year olds talk about.  I used to work at an insurance office across the street from Leisure World retirement home. I had many elderly folks walk in the door for business. I can truly say that I enjoyed the conversations. I would play a little game as they began to talk. I would visually try to smooth their wrinkles back and see what they may have looked like when they were younger. I then would listen to their life stories and get to know what memories lasted for them. It was intriguing. As I sit weekly with my grandparents and hear their stories, I have realized that when you are 90, there is a common thread of what memories are the most important and what really mattered in your life. 


     I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the story of how my grandpa caught this fish in Hawaii. I know the very details and the emotions involved. His face lights up as he recounts the events of the day. 


     The hunting trip to Alaska...another story that I can recount like I was there. I know that the meat was delicious. I know that you had to field dress it and get it off the land quickly. There were rules to follow. The country was amazing. The air was crisp and full of life. I love the way his eyes beam just like they are in this picture after he retells the story. Each time like it is the first time. 

     Rarely does he talk about his career. I hear about certain people he worked with but not about the millions he made, and lost, his cars and other material posessions. No. I hear about adventures and life being lived. He LOVED his hikes to the top of the highest peak in Utah on several occasions where he signed his name in a ledger in an old mail box at the top. (someday I want to climb it and see if his name is still there) He had gentleman duck hunts in the south where they wore suits and had waiters bring them gourmet meals in the field. He played in a big band at the Rainbow Rendezvous in Salt Lake with some famous musicians when he was in high school. He was and is a fantastic Sax player. I love these stories. My grandmother has the same good stories of playing in the creek in Pine, AZ and life in the mountains. It is still her happy place.

     This makes me think, If I were 90, what stories will I be repeating to my grandchildren? What will I have to tell? What will be important to me? I can tell you, it will NOT be about posessions. It will be about family and experiences. 

     I tell my children all the time, life is made up of experiences. Don't let them pass you by. Get out and see life. Don't spend your life on auto pilot letting it live you. It will be over before you know it. You never know when illness strikes and you have missed the opportunity for adventures. Make them happen now. 

     The outside magazine for this month is inspirational. Get a copy. I have devoured it! I read several passages to my children and husband tonight at dinner and now my hubby is deeply immersed in it's pages. The basis is "get outside" at all ages and LIVE! 

     As Tate and I spent a couple hours on a bike ride yesterday, we went to 4 different neighborhood parks. The neighborhood is packed with little kids and the saddest part was that in 2 hours, there was not one child outside playing! Not even in their yards. I didn't even hear kids. It was 3:30-5:30. Where are the kids? The weather was perfect. Are they all in classes, playing video games inside? What? It made me sad to think that they were missing such a beautiful day. We saw a turtle sun bathing by the lake and chased several ducks into the pond. We went down slides and crunched leaves. I had several "important" sticks in my purse when I came home. We rode our bike to the store and bought dried ice to play with at home. There are lots of cool things to do with dry ice and and soap. Hours of fun. It was a nice day. Some days are rushed. Somedays we can ride bikes. We should ride bikes more often and spend less time with scheduled classes. 

    Today Tate made mud pies in the garden. Mud pies are always fun.
 We found this very cool guy on the pepper plants. Biggest caterpillar I have ever seen. Super cool find for Tate. Just think, we would have missed it if we were inside playing computer games. 

    We all need to get out and live life. Life should be less scheduled, less confined, less boring. We work too hard to buy things we don't need. Kids are much happier, and adults, playing in the dirt and water. 

    Make memories now so you will have a great story to tell your grandchildren. I would hate to have to listen to boring stories over and over again from my grandpa. I am so thankful he has some good stories to tell!


Mary said...

AMEN! my favorite days are parks and sand. sun and fun!

Carri@ourhomeandhospitality said...

I wholeheartedly agree. I'm in the process of gathering stories and experiences from friends and family. Each story received is put in our family Value Binder, where we collect stories that teach us how to be a better person through hard work, forgiveness, friendship, etc. Let's embrace the experiences of those who came before us and create wonderful experiences of our own to pass on to others. Great post!

Dyan said...

I totally agree. I think my favorite times are when my kids come in all sweaty and dirty. I know they had a great day. Dirt washes out of most clothes and if it doesn't than no big deal. Let them play and be kids.

GrainCrazy said...

Love this great insights. My Dad has a picture just like this with a marlin. I have said the very same thing with kids playing outside. I have gone on walks at all times of the day. I see so few children playing outside it is a sad thing. I am glad you are making the most of life. :)