Friday, June 22, 2012

Planting Seeds and Growing Lives

How does your garden grow?  I’m not talking about flowers to admire or home grown vegetables to eat. Instead, I’m thinking about the positive influence senior adults can have on the younger generations. Two examples come to mind. This is the week for Vacation Bible School at our church. The parking lot swarms with parents bringing their children for a jam-packed week of Bible stories, crafts, music, and missions. Charles directs the cars in and out each day to ensure everyone’s safety. Then 160 eager faces approach me at the registration table to wait for a name tag. Monday is nerve wracking as I scramble to find each child’s class assignment. As I observe the children’s activities, I ask myself, “Did I ever have that much energy?”  It makes me grateful for those older caring adults who spent hours planting the seeds of God’s love in my life so many years ago when I attended VBS.
For the past ten years, our aerospace engineering company, Consulting Aviation Services, has offered a mentoring program to high school seniors interested in engineering and aviation. Charles is very eager to pass along his vast knowledge in the field of mathematics and aviation to the next generation.  Numerous students have earned course credit and valuable experience as they worked on projects for our company. All of our interns graduate high school with highest honors and go on to advanced studies in college. Planting seeds in the fertile ground of the next generation reaps a fruitful harvest and makes our lives richer and more rewarding.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Married100 Years (almost)

“How long have you been married?” It’s a question that we’re asked quite often, usually by someone who doesn’t know us and is much younger than we are. In order not to disappoint the questioner who is expecting us to answer 45 or 50 years, Charles usually responds with a twinkle in his eye, “Around 100 years!”  Everyone has a good laugh as we explain, “It’s all in how you add up the numbers.” 
Charles – 44 years to Mary before she died + 16 years to Frieda = 60 years of marriage.
Frieda – 22 years to Talmadge before his death + 16 years to Charles = 38 years of marriage. 
It adds up to 98 with only two more to go before we hit 100.
We celebrate our anniversary this week and feel truly blessed for the sixteen years we’ve spent together. I was in need of a liver transplant when we promised to “love each other in sickness and health.” There were no guarantees for the future even after I received a donor liver. So as June 8 rolls around each year, we are amazed at the grace and goodness of God. A garden stone on our front porch is engraved with a song verse written by John Lennon, “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be. God bless our love.”