Never Too Old (ms)

I have an aunt who somehow has managed to dodge the heavy hand of Father Time. She is in her nineties and still gets around to do a lot of the things that seem to tire out some men and women one-third her age. The last time I saw her she had finished making from scratch a few dozen pierogie that very morning. For those of you who may not know, these classic delights are time consuming to prepare and a good ballpark is about a morning to whip up a batch.

Now, this work thing is not new for her. She started working as a child around the family farm. Later on she got married and the kids just kept on comin’; I believe she had five. No matter, after three who’s counting. There were always more kids at the dinner table than lived in the house but that didn’t matter. If you came to the door, family or not, you were fed and it was good eats as I recall. Course there was all the other work to do around the house and even though the kids shared some of it the bulk fell mainly to her. She never backed away from it but went right toward it.

When you approach life in that manner it becomes an ingrained habit after a while. You do not shirk your duties, you meet them head on and tussle with them until you’ve beaten them soundly.

My aunt is one of a passing breed, the kind that thought work was what you did. The folks from her generation had few mechanical devices like automatic clothes washers or furnaces that kicked on automatically each morning nor were there electric mixers, electric knives, electric blenders. Even if they were available many from that generation could not have afforded them at least at the time when they needed them most, when their families were growing.

I recall complaining mildly to myself the other day when the power went out here at The Ranch and I actually had to tend to a few things without benefit of electricity. My word! For my aunt that would have been no problem. She would have figured out something and no one would have gone hungry, or cold or want for conversation. Her generation knew how to do stuff, you see, something many of us have forgotten.

I admire my aunt for being who she is and for the journey she’s taken. It was never really easy for her but she stuck with it dealing with the problems of the day and moving on from there. I have a great deal to learn in that regard for like many of my generation and later I have become accustomed to the niceties of life and should they disappear I would be traumatized. My goodness no Facebook, no email, no television; what on earth would I do?

Oh, and if someone suggested hard work leads to an early grave I would say maybe they’re right but I would also mention my aunt, in her nineties, and say maybe they’re wrong.

–Mike Stevens

~ by admin on September 5, 2011.

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