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Another Day in the Country

If I live to be 100

© Another Day in the Country

Living that long has not really been something I’ve contemplated very much. When my Aunt Anna was in her early 90s, we used to tease her about making it to 100. Her terse comment, with her famous smile and gracious style, was always, “I have no need.” 

I agree. Long life is not the thing to be most coveted. Rather, it is quality of life on a daily basis. 

That said, fourth graders at Centre Elementary were thinking about living to be 100. Just imagine how far off that seems to these 9- and 10-year-olds. Statistics tell us that for their generation, it is doable.

Their teacher put the question about living to be 100 to the class and then displayed class members’ handiwork on a wall.

One young chap said he thought he probably would be bald. His accompanying artwork was quite good at showing a rather distinguished-looking bald man. 

One of the girls drew a picture of a very lovely older woman. I wasn’t surprised at the artwork because she is one of my best artists in class. I was secretly pleased, however, that her work in art classes carried over into other classes.

She said that if she were 100, she would hope to have met Patrick Mahomes.

“I hope to travel.” she wrote, “I hope to have kids. I hope to be a grandma.”

Another said she wanted to “be a lawery in Florda.” A worthy goal, a good job, and a good place to pull that off, if it will still be the place I read about in the news 90 years from now.

One of the boys drew a picture of a quite husky man with a crew cut and beard. On the front of his shirt it read — like a T-shirt logo — “I’m 100.” His ambition was to “travel to every state in the world.”

“What I dream of doing is being an actor and having a six-pack,” another boy said,

I had to look at his artwork for clarification. It wasn’t a six-pack of beer, thankfully. The picture showed a tan guy with a very good physique.

Now that’s a worthy goal for reaching a hundred, I thought. Good luck!

Another of my good artists in class had done a drawing worthy of a logo and declared that by the time she was 100 she wanted to have a farm, be smart, and have children and a husband.

One of the pieces of work I was extra interested in, mostly because he’s related to me, was Clayton’s art. Clayton is my cousin’s grandson. He’d drawn a picture of an old guy with gray hair and a dark tan. I assumed that meant he was an outdoors kind of guy, even at the ripe old age of 100. The name he put at the top was “Grandpaw Clayton.”

The explanation of his hopes and dreams as a 100-year-old man was a good one: “An accomplishment I want to make when I am 100 is to not be grumpy.”

That’s a worthy goal for all of us. Whatever life hands to us, let’s strive to practice being positive.

We know we can’t control everything that happens, but we can control our response to situations at hand.

Aunt Anna was a role model for all of us in her family. Her life had not always been easy. As a young girl, she was taken out of school because there was a crisis in her uncle’s family and someone needed to care for his children. 

From then on, there seemed to be one crisis or another where the very efficient Anna was needed. This young woman with a thirst for knowledge and education never ever had a chance to go back to school.

Still, Anna never stopped her quest for learning and always was trying something new.

My mother remembers an older sister as being an avid reader.

“Anna read once about how all the nerves of your body are connected to the soles of your feet,” Mom told me, “and she’d run her feet back and forth over the rolling pin on the floor as she read.”

Anna lived to be 108.

The Centre fourth graders got an early start on their bucket lists for living to 100, but it’s not too late for any of us. We’ve got some good years left. We’ve got ourselves another day in the country to learn some skills, improve our attitude and try something new.

Last modified March 1, 2023

 

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