Lately, with so much information in the media on staying healthy and living a full, vigorous life, I started thinking of the folks I know who’ve done just that. Perhaps you’d like to hear a few of their tips?
The first is Nan Lampitt, mother of a dear childhood friend. I’ve spent many a wonderful hour around her kitchen table sipping tea and nibbling her delicious baking. Only at the age of 92 did she reluctantly leave the farm near Marshall where she grew up, to live with her daughter and son-in-law in Kelowna, BC. She’ll be 97 years old this March.
“Only the good die young,” she laughingly quipped before saying how important it was to stay active and avoid anxiety.
“Keep busy,” she insisted, “I’ve always had something to do! And I’m now telling everyone to not worry. Worry is so bad for you and there’s usually nothing you can do about it anyway.” Then, stroking one of her beloved cats she added, “And having pets is really important. Every old folks home should have a cat or a dog, or both.”
Considering I’ve always waded through flocks of furry cats and dogs when visiting her home, I’d expect nothing less.
Next is Maurice Anderson of Ardrossan, AB., who turns 90 this March. He’s lived a life of service to others, working as a psychiatric nurse. A more compassionate, genuine, loving man would be hard to find and I’m honoured to call him family. He attributes his long life to good genes inherited from his Scottish ancestors who instilled in him a strong faith in God. He believes this is key.
“Also, the pace of living when we were young was so much slower,” he and wife of 70 years, Shirley said. “We didn’t rush about like people do now; there was less stress and tension. We worked hard, but took time to rest and enjoy life with family and neighbours.”
Terence Bexson, from Marshall, SK., himself attaining the grand age of 90, also has something to contribute. He’s a renowned horseman in this area and beyond. He’s certain we need to keep not only our body active, but our brain as well. Terence is a living testament to this truth as he still raises Percheron horses; keeping a stallion and 11 mares, five of which will foal this spring, and has likely forgotten more about horses than most of us ever know.
“If you let your mind stop working and just say to yourself, well, I don’t remember that, and let it go— pretty soon your mind ain’t gonna work at all. You’ve got to MAKE it work or you’ll lose it.” Wise words indeed.
Finally we arrive at my dad, Les Row from Marshall. He has confidence that eating nutritious food is vital to good health, and has stayed in fine physical shape by working hard on the farm. Starting each day with lemon water and a brimming bowl of oatmeal, he finishes up with wholesome fare like good, home-grown Charolais beef (SUPRISE) and fresh vegetables.
On the day of Dad’s recent 90th birthday celebration, he came into the house from feeding livestock as usual, changed clothes, donned his cowboy hat and boots, and declared himself to be, “Fine as frog’s hair Helen. Let’s go!”
Much can be learned from those who have lived full, rewarding lives and continue to do so past 90 years of age. Let’s check in with them in another 10 shall we?