by Janice Parker Schneider
My father always said, "A rocking chair will kill you!" He meant we should never stop being active. He lived what he talked!
He walked 7/8 mile every day of his life till Prostate cancer took his life at age 93. Even then, he took no medicine of any kind, ate red meat, ate real butter, drank whole milk, ate baked goods daily, and a lot of candy... preferably chocolate!
He was at his correct weight for his height and fully enjoyed his retirement years. He read a lot, walked a lot, loved talking to people in the Senior complex where he and my mother lived. How I loved to call them on the phone and hear his familiar voice say, "Good morning!" I wish I could do it again!!
For me , retirement did not mean inactivity, though I am disabled due to various problems with my back, crippled leg and joints. I do as much as I can do... every day!
Some days I can walk up in the big field near our house. We take our two dogs, who explore the small animal trails in the tall grass, follow exciting scents everywhere, and run five miles compared to our few!!
I find my life is very full. I sew doll clothes for little girls who don't have the means to purchase store-bought clothes for their little play-babies.
I love to bake; my kitchen has two ovens and two sinks! So I bake several times a week, giving the results to shut-ins, or people who are ill and can't do it themselves, or neighbors who don't bake, or need cheering up. I fully enjoy packing a basket with fresh warm Cinnamon rolls, and taking them to someone who does not expect them, but who can really make good use of them.... e.g. a young mother with small children, and a new baby, who helps run a big greenhouse with her husband, or a young family who just lost a baby, or a family who just moved into our neighborhood. There is always someone who will appreciate my efforts in the kitchen!
I remember a slogan years ago that started out saying , "Nothin' says lovin' like something from the oven"....I firmly believe that!!
Baked goods, especially those baked with yeast, bring a feeling of HOME and COMFORT, and a sense of feeling that all is right with the world, no matter how topsy turvy things really are.
When I hear retired people say they are bored...I wonder WHY!! I don't have time to be bored!!
My days are the same length as theirs are....but I choose to fill them to the brim with all the things I love doing.
Each of us has a gift for something....some people can see a broken fence around someone's yard, and offer to fix it. Someone else might notice a step that needs repairing, and the homeowner is too elderly to do it himself.....a hammer and some nails, and perhaps a new board might be all that is needed.
Spread a little sunshine with random acts of kindness, and soon you won't notice how 'bored' you are with retirement!
If you think of others, and their unique needs, you won't notice yours!!!