On Aging

None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm. ~Henry David Thoreau

Passion makes life livable. Enthusiasm defies years. Ironically, when I think of enthusiasm, I think of my grandfather. He is a man of endless enthusiasm, sometimes to the chagrin of his wife. Whether mowing the lawn, doing bookwork, driving grain truck, or taking a coffee break, everything is done enthusiastically and to the best of his ability. I fall far short of these ideals but have taken after him in at least one area of my life.

I mix cereal. It started innocently enough. I tried putting two kinds of cereal in my bowl to diffuse the sweetness of sweetened cereal. Breakfast at Grandpa’s always had my grandfather eating from his container of mixed cereal, while the rest of us opened new boxes of Fruit Loops or Basic 4. Grandpa enthusiastically explained to us grandkids all the benefits of mixing cereals but none of us were ever brave enough to try his five-way blend. These memories came back to me when pulling my large container of mixed cereal from the cupboard this morning. When the container gets toward empty, I dump in another box of cereal, put the lid on, and give it a couple of spins to thoroughly mix the contents. Age brings out incredible practicality in people.

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