... And then it was winter. Time has a way of moving way too quickly and catching you unaware of the years gone by. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was young, just married and beginning my new life with my wife? But somehow it seems like decades ago.

Where have all the years gone? I know I’ve lived them all. I do have memories of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams. But this winter of my life has caught me by surprise! How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go? And where did my youth go? I remember seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me, and that winter was so far off. I could not even imagine what it would be like to be “old.” But, here it is.

Many of my friends are retired now. Some are in better and some in worse shape than me. But I see change — age beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d be. And taking a nap is not a treat anymore ... it seems mandatory! Well, at least I enjoy it more during the winter months when our pets want to cuddle up next to me and keep me warm.

Do I have regrets during the various seasons of my life? Yes. There are things I wish I hadn’t done, things I should have done, but there are many things I’m happy I’ve done. So, if you’re not in your winter yet, let me remind you. It will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in life do it quickly! Don’t put things off too long! Believe me, life goes by quickly.

Do what you can today, because you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not! You have no promise that you’ll see all the seasons of your life. Live for today and say all the things you want your loved ones to remember. Hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in years past! Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after you. Live it well! Do something fun! Be happy! Have a great day! Bottom line: Those of you older readers consider the following:

~ Going out is good, but coming home is better.

~ You forget names, but it’s OK because other people forgot they even knew you!

~ What used to be freckles are now liver spots.

~ It seems as though everybody’s whispering.

~ You have several sizes of clothes in your closet some of which you probably will never wear again.

~ But some “old” things are good: old Songs, old movies and books. But best of all, old friends. At least I know that though the winter has come (but I do work at trying to stay as close to fall as possible), and I’m not sure how long it will last this year. This I know, that when it’s over on this earth, it’s not over. I’m going to begin a new adventure!

Stay well my friends. And remember (because of my age, I don’t remember who said this), “It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.”

— Email Allen Stark at amsstark@msn.com.

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