Monday, October 29, 2012


Yesterday was my birthday.
I sincerely thank everyone who sent me a card, an email message, or a Facebook message.
The messages help highlight the whole day.
It's good to feel popular, even if it is only for one small part of one short day each year.

Another highlight of the day was the birthday card from my wife, which I spotted on the kitchen table yesterday morning.  It was pretty funny so I scanned the cover of the card to share it with you below:
She had snapped a photo of me as I worked to saw off a broken limb on a beautiful maple.

The inside of the card indicates that even if I hide I will still get older. 
This is, of course, true.
 It's one of the cruel truths of the universe.
As you age even gravity becomes your enemy. 
The bounce in my step gets heavy and the skin on my face sags. Where did these jowls come from?

The physics law that states "a body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest" comes under question after age 65 or so. 
The law can be shortened and restated as "an old body in motion longs to be at rest."

I disagree with people who rave that age is "just a state of mind." 
Sure, attitude has a lot to do with it.
In fact, it may have a great deal to do with it, but denial of the physical state of things doesn't help.

So as I embrace getting older, I also embrace exercising regularly, eating lots of fruits & vegetables, eating good meat, taking good vitamins, eating healthy dairy products, and staying gluten free and sugar free. 

I like to make people of all ages smile when I do my Farm Heritage Program. Up to this point I've done nearly 500 shows for over 19,000 children and adults. For me it's important to keep my mind active by writing and performing my stories and by meeting new people who tell me new stories. 

I like performing for children, whose enthusiasm and questions always lift me up. 
And I like performing for adults of all ages because the experiences they share with me before and after the show make me laugh and grow wiser. 
At historical societies and assisted living facilities I meet and talk to active men and women who are in their seventies, eighties, and nineties. Some are even over 100 years old! They tell me stories of their lives on farms, in cities, or in small towns. Sure, I can't claim to remember it all in detail, but they are fascinating people.

I'm not working on any tricks to stay young, but I am working on ways to stay alive.
I think one key is to keep planning for the future, even though you need to have plans for the end, as well.
My plans for the future include continuing to write as long as I can. In my Farm Country Tales series, which is about a family on a small farm in 1950, I have over twenty titles planned, only four of which are completed at this point. I don't write to glorify the past or lament the loss of the so-called "good old days," but I write to preserve the heritage of the very small farm with short books that are entertaining and accurate. The twenty titles of the Carlson Family follow their farm activities from January through December, 1950.

I have several novels planned, too, but I intend to keep writing stories, and I'm hoping that seeking the details for the large number of stories I plan to write will keep me living and enjoying the world around me.

Even if my work can't keep me young, maybe it will serve to just "keep me"for a time. 
And if it "keeps me" with my dear wife beside me, for what more can I hope? 

May you all live long and prosper.

Please take the time to comment below, if you wish.

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