We have a friend in Clinton, NC who has just recently celebrated her 98th Birthday. She asked us how many people we knew who were 98 years old and weighed 98 lbs. We responded, “Not anyone.” She is relatively healthy, walks a mile or two every day and still drives her car to church and the grocery store.

We recently made a visit to celebrate her long life. I asked her what she liked to watch on TV. She said, I don’t watch much TV. I read a lot. Her reading includes the Bible, the newspaper and novels”. We made the visit to take her out to lunch in celebration of her Birthday. Our plan was to take her to a nice restaurant but when we asked her where she wanted to eat, she said Wendy’s. I tried to change her mind by suggesting some of the better restaurants in the area. She said, “No, I really like Wendy’s.” “What do you like to eat at Wendy’s?,” I asked. “I like their baked potato and chicken sandwich,” she replied. I said, “If Wendy’s is the place you want to go, then we’ll take you to Wendy’s.

True to her word, she ordered the baked potato and chicken sandwich. After Gloria and I ordered , the total bill came to just over eleven dollars. I kidded our friend about being a cheap date.

While we sat at Wendy’s and shared quality conversation, our friend said that her Doctor had called her son suggesting that it might be time to move his mom to an assisted living facility. All of this conversation was being over heard by other customers at Wendy’s. Gloria and I observed how intently those at close by tables were eves dropping on our conversation. You could see them chuckle when our friend said that she thought she would know when she was ready for an assisted living home. But she was not ready to go now. She went on to say how safe she felt in her apartment and how much support she had from surrounding neighbors and especially her church family.

We came away from that visit concluding that our 98 year old friend still had a sharp mind and a sense of independence. But what impressed us most was her complete satisfaction with simple things. She does not complicate her life or stress herself out with TV and world affairs. She cares nothing for fancy clothes or expensive restaurants or big entertainment. She nourishes her soul with a simple faith, reading the Bible, praying, attending church and enjoying church friends and neighbors. The world around her is complicated and stressful. Yet, she lives content and at peace with herself and with God. There is a lesson in that simplicity for all of us this Christmas Season. Think about it!

In His Love, Charles

The Simple Life