Carroll County Times

A few of my favorite things in the prime of my life

Since I regaled you last month with a few of my "pet peeves," I thought it only fitting this month to let you in on a few of my favorite things, especially those that have great meaning in the prime of my life.

I suspect that what is true of me is true of many of us who are chronologically gifted; that is, our religious faith becomes more important as we face the prospect of a shorter lifespan. Why that is so is difficult to fathom except we often hear that we should be "ready" for whatever lies ahead. For me, my faith has become more important because, over the years, I have witnessed the value of that faith and recognize how it has sustained me until now and will sustain me to the end.


The older I get the more valuable are friends. Whether those friends are my age or younger or older does not matter. What matters is that I can call them friends for they will sustain me in still other ways than my faith. That is, they are more than dinner partners or people with whom I can gossip or talk about nothing — although these too can be valuable assets of people in our lives. Rather, really close friends can help me by talking through important issues, giving advice on all kinds of topics, being with me in happy and sad experiences, letting me know that they care. I can only hope that I am the same kind of friend to them as well.

Of course, as we age, some friends tend to disappear for various reasons. They may die, they may move away, they may become incapacitated and unavailable — all the more reason to cultivate more people as friends as we age. And all the more important to keep connected with family members. In fact, the prime of my life has been the time of important re-acquaintance with many family members. With the writing of Mandy's Story I regained a valuable family relationship with Mandy and Donna and Richard that has meant much to me.


Since I was an only child I never had the luxury of having a close sibling relationship until I became chronologically gifted, and what a marvelous blessing it has been! I now have a "brother" and a "sister" who mean a great deal to me and with them their extended families.

I was always close with Bill, having grown up in the same house with him and my mother thinking of him as a much younger brother herself and a person she could rely on. It just seemed natural that as Bill and I aged with only five years difference in age, we would come to think of each other as brother and sister. And am I thankful! He and his wife, who is like a sister, have helped me in so many ways, even dropping everything to accompany me to the hospital when I've called on them.

Not only did I gain a brother in these later years, but I also have gained a sister from my mother's side of the family. Adele began calling me her "little sister" a number of years ago, claiming that I am the little sister she never had. Although we live miles apart we talk every day keeping each other informed about the nuances of our lives, our goings and comings and doings, and sharing information and stories to better our lives. And recently, still another friend and I have been calling each other sister!

If faith, friends and family form the nucleus of my favorite things as I age, there are a few other important and favorite things that make my prime worthwhile. One of those centers on my writing — writing this column once a month and writing and printing Mandy's Story, which I've written about in a previous column. I guess I have focused on writing almost all my life, in teaching it, in using it in my work life, in writing various histories as an avocation. Writing allows me to give voice to thoughts and experiences that otherwise would have faded from memory. For fun I've even been known to give voice to my dogs' thoughts and experiences!

Another area of prime importance for me has been the availability of time to give to various organizations. Having given many hours of service to my church and to Carroll Lutheran Village when I was younger, I wanted to continue serving organizations that benefit still other constituencies. Those include Carroll Lutheran School and the Commission on Aging & Disabilities as well as a resident committee of the Village. Believing that the chronologically gifted have so much experience to share leads me to urge my fellow "prime-ers" to volunteer where they are needed. And we are needed!

Finally, remembering is one of my favorite things. We are blessed when we have our memories — funny or sad, happy or mournful, praiseworthy or disastrous, even those that are frivolous — covering all aspects of our lives right up to the present. Let us concentrate each day on another meaningful memory as part of our favorite things — as we linger over a hot-fudge sundae!

Hermine Saunders writes from Westminster. She can be contacted via email at