DO ANY OF YOU REMEMBER the feature on centenarians that one of the TV “news-magazines” aired back in the 80s? As I recall, researches looked for common denominators in the lifestyles of several basically healthy and active people who’d achieved over 100 years of age. What they discovered was rather striking:
First, none of the participants ate restrictive diets. Their diets were surprisingly high in fat.
Next, each centenarian had something he or she looked forward to each day — mentioned were gardening, travel, reading. One was looking forward to a sky-diving adventure (if you can imagine).
Lastly, the group had the capacity to get over loss rather quickly. They did not dwell on sad events. Among those interviewed was a 103 year-old-woman who had just lost her 79 year-old daughter. The researcher felt she would be too grief-stricken to do a scheduled, filmed interview. However, she insisted “the show go on” as planned.
I only mention this because I aspire to become one of these centenarians. And my gardening and cooking enthusiasms might just provide the key.
In winter I look forward to various seed-sowing projects, and also to observing the daily progress of houseplants and bulbs in my window gardens here. Right now I can’t wait to see each morning the progress my vases of forced forsythia and crabapple branches have made. (They are progressing nicely, thank you.)
And when spring arrives, I await with great anticipation for the flowers to emerge from the many bulbs, perennials, and annuals that I plant here each year. Seeing them prosper makes my heart soar to heights that a non-gardener could not possibly understand.
Then there are the recipes I dream up almost nightly. One, involving a salmon fillet bathed in butter, fresh sage leaves and onions, was, to be sure, truly awful when I prepared it the next afternoon. Still, the experience was greeted with joy.
My only downfall, perhaps, is the fact I don’t recover from loss very quickly. I grieve the departure of people, of pets. I even grieve the dead deer, raccoons, and squirrels I pass by while driving. Of course I curse the careless motorists who harm these innocent creatures, too, when I probably shouldn’t.
No, I don’t enjoy the aches and pains which accompany the aging process. But growing older does have its advantages. Even now I’m amazed at the wisdom I’ve acquired after 5 decades of gardening, cooking, and decorating. And these I look forward to sharing with you almost daily — whether, in fact, you want my tips, hints, and directions or not.
Anyway, these are my thoughts on this Tuesday evening, random ideas I’ve been pondering for some time now. Use them as you see fit — they hardly warrant comment!
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