My friend Annie Peoples sent me an email this week. It says more in a few words than pundits could write in a thousand. I hope you too will find these are good thoughts to live by.


A 92-year-old man, who is fully dressed each morning by 8, with his hair neatly combed and his face perfectly shaved, moved to a nursing home today.  He is legally blind and his wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After several hours waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled when told his room was ready.  

As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, an aide provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet curtains that had been hung on his window.  

"I love it,” he said, with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old receiving a new puppy.  

“But Mr. Jones, you haven't gotten to the room yet." 

“That doesn't have anything to do with it,” he said.  “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.  Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is  arranged. It’s how I arrange my mind.”

“And I already decided to love it,” he said.  “It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up.  I have a choice — I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with parts of my body that no longer work, or I can get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.” 

“Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away just for this time in my life.”

Who can argue? Who can dispute that old age is like a bank account — you withdraw from it what you’ve put into it.  

Now’s the time to deposit happiness in your bank account of memories. And to remember these five simple rules: 

1. Free your heart from hatred.  

2. Free your mind from worries.  

3. Live simply.  

4. Give more.  

5. Expect less.   

 And then …. have a nice day, unless you already have other plans.


Afterthought: a happy moment, witnessed by a local pal.

“As I was driving through Kennebunkport a few days ago, I saw a group of ducks in front of me, waiting on the curb.

So I slowed down, to let them cross the street safely.

And they did…..right in the crosswalk!”