Learning how to appreciate the older things in life

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 20, 2006

The older I get, the more I appreciate older things: old houses, for example, with big, inviting porches and a certain charm newer models don't have. I think of old books that have brought me pleasure again and again.

And I enjoy older businesses here in town, where the floors have a familiar squeak and the folks know you by name.

Interestingly enough, the older things get, the more valuable they often become. The butter churns and spinning wheels of yesterday that have survived into the 21st century can likely fetch a pretty penny on eBay these days (I'd sure rather have one of these than a half-eaten peanut butter sandwich, I can tell you that. Some people will buy anything.).

I have quilts my mother and her friends at the Honoraville Senior Center have sewn by hand. I know I will treasure them for many years to come.

A vintage photograph of my grandmother, decked out in true &#8220Gibson Girl” style, her dark hair swept into a pompadour, dressed in a lovely lacey confection from a century ago, is another personal treasure.

The sentimental value such things have for me? As the commercial says, &#8220Priceless.”

A precious older lady, Irene Holland, who has since passed on to her heavenly reward, was at our church one evening. There was a discussion about having an &#8220Old-Fashioned Day” with everyone bringing some antique or collectible to share with the group.

Miss Irene piped up, dimples in full evidence, and quipped, &#8220The only antique I have at home is Jim Paul (her husband).”

Let me assure you, Miss Irene was a real treasure. What a blessing it has been to know wonderful people like her over the years – &#8220antique humans” who have brought wisdom, humor and love into my life.

Nowadays, I have a &#8220genuine antique pussy cat,” my dear old Ginger, who has lived in three states, several apartments and homes and logged in quite a few miles on the road during her 18 or so years.

Like some of her older human counterparts, Ginger's hearing is gone; she seems a tad forgetful at times, a little grumpy at other times. She doesn't move with the feline grace she once possessed.

Still, she's my old darling, the one who used to routinely steal my lipsticks and any other cylindrical objects she could get her little paws on.

I remember how she loved to play &#8220string” with Benny's mom, and was – and is – happy to cuddle up on chilly nights with any warm body willing to let her.

&#8220If Charles Manson showed up, Ginger would say, ‘Welcome, come on in and let me sit in your lap,” Benny will say with a wry grin.

As I grow older – and, alas, grayer, and rounder, and more forgetful – I am glad to have people and pets who still appreciate and love me and, perhaps, even treasure me.

Among those folks I have come to treasure is our own Regina Grayson, who is taking over the reins of editorship at The Lowndes Signal and The Luverne Journal.

I am so proud of the good job this hometown girl has done for us and I know it will continue. And Regina – we'll always have New York!

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at angie.long@greenvilleadvocate.com.