Another day…another dollar…

A man I worked for many years ago used to say that at the end of a rough day.  If he said it once, he said it a thousand times.  He is optimistic and quite a nice fellow.  No matter what happens, he has a good attitude and he does his best.  He has been through some stuff, too…he was in World War II, his youngest son was murdered at a young age, he built a couple of businesses up from nothing, was very successful, and had a reputation for fairness that was unmatched.  In short, he is one of my heroes.

He semi-retired, at age 86, only to start something new…making violins…from scratch…yes, that’s what I said!  They are beautiful and he makes every single piece.  He is a pattern-maker by trade, you see.  The last time I heard, he had made 25…One of which was played by Charlie Daniels and another by Doug Kershaw.

In short, J Fred Lytle is amazing.  He was married for about 68 years, has 8 children, and I am not sure how many grands and great grands…last I heard on the great grands there were 25, but I do believe there has been at least one more since then.  He is now 93 years and still going…

My parents, also my heroes, are retired (although they are not the age of Fred), as well…and they, like Fred, never stop.  I have heard my mom and dad say they have no idea how they found time to work, they are so busy now.   My parents took up woodworking, as well as card making and other neat new projects, as well as gardening and keeping up with a 7-acre place in the country, which they have always done.  They love to travel, but they do things a bit differently…They LOVE to camp.  So…when my parents, both artists in their own right, and both photographers, decided to take their extended vacation to Alaska., they did it the only way one could possibly expect of them…they drove and camped…yes, the WHOLE way!

They have traveled the US over, but never to Alaska or Hawaii.  When their opportunity came to take this vacation, my mother was 64, my dad, 69.  My mother took awesome photos, they saw things most of us will never see, and had the time of their lives…They were gone for 3 months.  They came for a visit on their way back home and dad said it was tough getting used to the dark at night again.  He said that when they got up to Alaska, he didn’t have to use a lantern once.  Oh yeah…and today, they have been married for 52 years!

Still another one of my heroes is my sister.  She is a nurse, has bought an amazing house, and adopted a rather high maintenance dog.  But that doesn’t get her down.  She is doing things her way, as well.  She decided she wanted to do things most people don’t.  Last year, she went on her first great adventure…Walking rim to rim of the Grand Canyon.  She is truly unbelievable.  And the other amazing thing?  Our Uncle went with her…Yes, they walked rim to rim of the Grand Canyon together.  What an wonderful time for them to get to share!

She is not retired…Her next big feat?  Running a marathon.  She is up for it and very excited.  What will she choose to do next?  Who knows, but I do know this…she isn’t slowing down any time soon!

Speaking of my Uncle, he is a doctor.  BUT, he has taken up pottery making now that he is close to retirement.  So what, you say?  Well, turns out, he is incredible!  He has made some outstanding pieces and they are stunning!

So, what can we learn from these fascinating people!

Life is too short and there is NO time to waste…when you are tired of doing something or just don’t enjoy what you are doing anymore, reinvent yourself!  Make the most of every minute…don’t settle for second best…always strive to learn something new… never give up, indeed, be the best you can be…ALWAYS!


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By suggesting reading and alternative therapies, we are not attempting to diagnose or treat any illness. Our suggestions are merely that, based on personal experience and research and should, in no way, be a substitute for medical advice.
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