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Jewish World Review
Sept. 1, 2006
/ 8 Elul, 5766
Tips for good living
My father-in-law has seen something that few people see: 95 candles on his birthday cake.
He lives on his own in a big old house on a small acreage in Ohio.
If you asked him the secret to a long life, he would probably say, "What's that, honey?"
He is hard of hearing. Other than that, he has all his original parts and they are in good working order.
He mows, cooks, drives, saves things, has kept a daily journal for years, has quick reflexes and a phenomenal memory, and could probably whip that Ken Jennings, who had the long run on "Jeopardy!"
And, oh yes, he just got his first cell phone.
He has witnessed the evolution of automobiles, telephones, electric lights, airplanes, and air-conditioned combines.
He has outlasted flappers, gangsters, elevator attendants, streetcar conductors, moonshiners, segregation and the days when a real person used to answer the phone.
He was married for nearly 49 years and has been a widower for nine.
He is a life-long Lutheran, which is why on his 95th birthday we posted "Hub's 95 Theses," or the things we have learned to be true from knowing him.
In the interest of good health and a long life, I share the following few:
Marry a good woman.
Have children late in life; it keeps you young.
Learn how to dance. Especially the polka.
Own a convertible sometime in life. Even if you don't buy it until you're 87.
Let your hearing aids ring; it gives your kids and grandkids something to talk about.
Say "I love you" often.
Tell interesting stories from the past, like remembering Armistice Day, seeing the first transcontinental flight fly overhead and watching FDR's motorcade. It's a good way of teaching history, and makes you an interesting dinner guest.
Ignore the experts eat lots of ham, sausage, bacon and deli meats. Nitrates are the fountain of youth.
A man can never have enough rolls of string, batteries or mouse traps.
Always shop with coupons.
When you mow acreage, it's good to have one lawnmower and nine spares on hand.
Groundhogs: if you can't kill 'em, outlive 'em.
Train your grown kids to check in by phone every night at 9:45. Remind them not to go out after dark.
Watch the Chicago news on WGN every night at 10; it makes wherever you live feel safe.
Never leave home without checking The Weather Channel.
Always lock The Club on your steering wheel.
When temperature is above 70, unbutton your shirt.
When temperature is above 80, take it off.
Dress up for church wear your white loafers.
If you have grandkids over the age of 27 who are single, remind them to get married.
If it bends, creaks or hurts, apply Icy Hot.
A bloody Mary a day keeps the doctor away.
Never miss a high school reunion. Class of '28.
Get one of those unlimited calling plans and stay in touch with friends and family.
Thirty-three years of retirement from General Motors. GM "Good to Me.
Find a ball team (preferably the Reds) and follow them. It helps the loneliness.
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JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Pass the Faith, Please" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.
© 2006, Lori Borgman
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