Growing Old?

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Forum topic by degoose posted 10-07-2009 11:01 PM 1379 views 1 time favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7233 posts in 3352 days

10-07-2009 11:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip wooden mallets

I thought some of you would like to read this…..

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.

I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.

She said, ‘Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?’

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, ‘Of course you may!’ and she gave me a giant squeeze.

‘Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?’ I asked.

She jokingly replied, ‘I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids …’

‘No seriously,’ I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

‘I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!’ she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this ‘time machine’ as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, ‘I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.’

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, ’ We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die..

We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.

The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do.. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.’

She concluded her speech by courageously singing ‘The Rose.’

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.

When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they’ll really enjoy it!

These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.

REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give..

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

‘Good friends are like stars….....You don’t always see them, but you know they are always there.’

To all my friends here on the Lumberjocks website… the ones I know and the ones I have yet to meet,

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

21 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3575 days

#1 posted 10-07-2009 11:21 PM

Wow Larry That’s great. If we can all remember this we will have Joy and give Joy. Thanks for sharing this great story. So everyone out there Hi Beautiful or Handsome . Your projects are always like candy I can’t wait to have more. And your stories are like music you bring joy to our hearts and heads.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3500 days

#2 posted 10-07-2009 11:39 PM

Wonderful story, Larry. “God Bless Us, Everyone..” comes to mind…

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3443 days

#3 posted 10-07-2009 11:45 PM

Fantastic story. The Peter Pan story comes to mind and my wife says I will never grow up. Thank GOD.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3306 days

#4 posted 10-07-2009 11:46 PM

That is one of the best stories and philosophies of how to live your life. I think we can all relate this to ourselves or someone we know. Many of us will have a passion for woodworking that will stay with us until we are in the grave…and I strongly believe that being passionate about any interrest or hobby will keep a person mentally young.
I have friends that have no hobbies or interrests whatsoever outside of their meaningless jobs…and their spare time is spent in front of the TV or some other mindless pasttime. These people cannot wait to retire, and for what? To spend even more tiime being bored?
When we have a passion such as our woodworking ( or any interest) that drives us to spend every available moment pursuing it..we can consider ourselves very very fortunate.
Where does motivation come from? Some have it and some will never discover it’s beauty and rewards…

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3820 days

#5 posted 10-07-2009 11:46 PM

A simple thanks seems somewhat inadequate but sometimes simplicity conveys all that is truly necessary to be said.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3339 days

#6 posted 10-07-2009 11:55 PM

great story ,
great friends ,
great life .

oh….. and hi handsome to you too .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3689 days

#7 posted 10-07-2009 11:59 PM

after the day i’v had rained off again and then being shafted for a job i did for a client that story makes me think why i try and help people sometimes

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3430 days

#8 posted 10-08-2009 12:05 AM

a woodworker and a philosopher… you are truly a Renaissance Man!
Thanks for sharing that… for those of us in “middle age” – I define “old age” as “2 yrs older than I am at any given time”... works for me.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3332 days

#9 posted 10-08-2009 12:39 AM

Wonderful story Larry. As people age some, like Rose, get wiser and others just get older. We often get caught up in what we are doing and what we want and often forget how important our human relationships are. It’s great to have such a nice hobby as woodworking, but we need to remember to spend adequate time with our spouses and other family members and not become so obsessed with our projects that we forget the needs of those close to us.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 3411 days

#10 posted 10-08-2009 12:45 AM

We can learn soooooooooooooooo much from Rose’s (and others) life experiences. As adults we tend to take life for granted. We need to learn from the Rose’s of the world and start living life like our children, they enjoy every step, every sound every breath they take.

Live, Love and Laugh!

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View Packman's profile


70 posts in 3861 days

#11 posted 10-08-2009 01:34 AM

Wow ….. excellent story. I think all of us have met a Rose somewhere along our own life’s path. Not all of us have taken the time that you did to stop, listen, learn, and share. Larry … both you and Rose are an inspiration to all of us.


-- Handcrafted by RJ Paquin - Yooper

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3323 days

#12 posted 10-08-2009 01:54 AM

Be the Rose. Sounds like my mom. Sounds like me – at least the part about giving up beer for Lent and the whiskey almost killing me ;) I love that quote.

Gosh, Larry… so sentimental.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4216 days

#13 posted 10-08-2009 02:04 AM

Great stuff! Thanks, Larry.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3556 days

#14 posted 10-08-2009 02:04 AM

Thanks Larry. That is so true sometimes we all need a swift kick in the pants to get us back on track. This little quote just put me back on track. Thanks for the post.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4075 days

#15 posted 10-08-2009 04:00 AM

wow…that is great…going to print this one and share it with my students!!! thanks…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

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