Last summer a friend of mine posted on Facebook that her mom had a ton of grapes that were ripe for the picking and if anyone wanted them they were free for the taking.
I jumped at the chance for free fruit, manual labor and time basking in the sunshine. My friend let me know that her mom was in her early nineties and would meet me when I arrived and take me out to the vines.
As I pulled into the driveway an elderly woman greeted me at my car and introduced herself as Virginia. I was thinking Virginia looked fabulous for being in her nineties. I grabbed a couple of bags and we made the trek to her backyard. The sun was beating down and I told Virginia I was fine to pick by myself, but she insisted on helping. I must admit I think she picked double of what I had as she was filling the bags so quickly I could hardly keep up. She shared with me that she had picked all she needed for the season and hated to see the remaining grapes go to waste. She talked about the yummy jams and wine she made each year. As a novice canner I couldn't wait until I was making jams and wine, but that is probably a few years down the road.
After we picked about 20 lbs of grapes I gave her a hug, thanked her for the grapes and loaded them in the car. As I was loading the grapes into the car, Virginia invited me in to see her home. Yes, she is in her nineties and still lives on her own. I must admit, I tend to be a person who likes to get a job done and leave, but there was something about Virginia that I knew the visit would be worth the time.
As I entered her home it was simple yet filled with memories. She gave me a tour of each room and shared stories about her life, husband, child, en and grandchildren, showing me pictures of all. It was a home where her children were raised and life seemed so much simpler.
We sat and chatted for awhile and I just kept thinking, she has lived a really good life. A life she seems content with and she was genuinely happy. I couldn't help but ask what her secret was to a happy life? Without hesitation Virginia stated, Always Do the Right Thing.
After she said it, it seemed so simple. As I started playing various scenarios in my head, doing the right thing made life easier.
· If I see a person in need—do the right thing.
· If I have an opportunity to get ahead but it is at the expense of others—do the right thing.
· If I did someone wrong and we need to apologize—do the right the thing.
The list goes on and on and since my conversation with Virginia, I have come across instances where her words have popped into my head. I could make one choice that isn't right or I could do the right thing and in every scenario, doing the right thing was the better choice.
I'm so glad that I took the time to visit with Virginia, to learn about her live and ask her advice. What is the best advice you have received from a senior citizen?
Stephanie L. Jones is a daily gift giver. You can follow her gift giving at www.facebook.com/1makingadifference2. She is also a life coach and motivational speaker at Giving Gal, LLC.