By Ruth Nowlin
Yep, I am still in the land of the living, and that’s a good thing. Since I last talked with you we have been up and down, around and back again but with thankful hearts we are still able to take care of the place here and the animals that God has seen fit to entrust us with. When discussing these inhabitants of our zoo yesterday I mentioned the sum of expenses so far this year in vet bills, food and other incidentals that are necessary for the care of our animals. One person gasped. Then I just told her, “Most of our kids (not all, praise God) do not come around or call much so we fill the empty spaces with purrs and woofs. They mind better than the kids did back when, too.” Funny, how much can happen in a year. Joel has had another open-heart surgery and recovered: I stayed in bed for almost 6 weeks before having back surgery and now recovered. Just think back in my childhood, he would not have lived and I would probably be walking, painfully, with a cane. Thank God for surgeons. Enough of that. This past weekend we had (the Ackerman High School Class of 1954 . Go Indians!!!) our 60th (unbelievable) reunion. We kept it simple as the ones that attended walked more slowly and carefully and tired our much easier than 60 years ago. For the most part we at around and talked about ‘back then’ and those who have already gone on to a better place than this old earth. We could not even pig out as back years ago stomachs that are picky and watching our figures. Way back then we have been known to kick up our heels to a lively tune. That was back then. It was so good to see these old friends and their guests. Time, you know, has a sure plan for leveling us all. We share some or all of the same experiences and ailments. Some have had knee replacements, hip replacements, heart attacks and surgeries, back problems and surgeries, diabetes, high blood pressure, loss of parents, spouses, and even children. Grief and pain puts all of us in the same human family. But, we have all had such wonderful times! We married, had and raised our children and are now enjoying the fruits of those years in the love of our precious grandchildren and some great grandchildren. Just mention grandchildren and the entire room erupts with the sound of pictures being pulled out and faces beam with pride as each person pronounces that his/her grandchild is the most beautiful, talented, and intelligent child that was ever born. Guess we forgot their parents. But of course all these attributes came directly down from the grandparent. The weekend has passed and here I am playing backward. Life is meant to play forward, however, so I am already looking forward to the next reunion. Better be in just a year or so though. At our chronically challenged age aw well, I intend to be around until I am 100 and drive my kids and grandkids crazy er. As I mentioned at our reunion supper when I was a Girl Scout leader we would sing at the close of each meeting a little song. Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver but the other gold.” How true. I love you all, my golden friends. and that’s life.