Meditations on a Century of Life


I ran across a quote earlier this week that seemed very timely. 

He who postpones the hour of living is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses.
-Horace, poet and satirist (65 BC-8 BC)

This past weekend was my grandpa’s funeral.  He was a calm, hardworking man with an easy chuckle, a houseful of stories, and an unshakeable faith in God.


He was 102 years old, and up until the last month or so, had lived a very full and active life.  He lived alone since Grandma died eight years ago, and still drove his own car.  His family helped with meals sometimes, but he was still very capable of preparing roast beef and potatoes or making a fruit cobbler, and he did cook frequently.  He drove to the local nursing home nearly every day to visit the “old people,” who were all younger than he.   Until the last year or two, he constantly puttered around in his wood shop, so I have many things in my home that he made–heirlooms to pass down.    He made many, many things, including
wooden TV trays




clever pincushions


and one of his most famous creations–many wooden dominoes!  I have two sets.

IMG_0980 IMG_0979

Think of the patience required for those!  Grandma helped with the painting.

Many of these and other projects were repeated dozens of times, since he made one for each family member, and he has a big family!  His three children, ten grandchildren, and 53 great-grandchildren have all been recipients of his creations.   He also had 5 great-great grandchildren, two of whom he hadn’t yet met.

What a blessing to have a grandpa for so many years.  We’re going to miss him. 

I look at the countless things, and the many hours of time that Grandpa gave to others, and I wonder…what have I given?  If I were to disappear from this earth right now, what would others have to remember me by?  What am I giving of myself?  Am I blessing others with my life?

This man, who lived for over 102 years, had more opportunities than most to “postpone the hour of living.” But he didn’t–he lived his days to the fullest.  When he retired from farming, he continued to paint houses.  When he finally retired from painting, he still worked with his wood projects for years.  He kept busy, which I really think may be a part of the key to his long life.

And it makes me ask myself:  What am I doing with my life?  And what should I be doing with it?  Am I living it to the fullest, or am I “postponing the hour of living?”  I have a tendency to simply let life happen and go with the flow.  I also see a tendency in myself to plan and to talk a great deal more than I actually DO.

Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it. 
 -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

I can’t help reflecting on how many things I intend to do but never quite get around to…all the home projects that I plan but never finish…all the people I’d like to visit or call or write to, but find myself getting sidetracked…all the quality time I intend to spend with my family, but find that the time instead gets gobbled by other things.  And I wonder if I am “postponing the hour of living.”  Is my life mostly blossoms that quickly fade or buds that never come to fruition?  Am I missing out on the real fruit?  And if I am, can I change? 

How can we live our lives to the fullest?  Keeping our minds busy and bodies active is vital, but how much is too much?  I see some families who hardly have time to get to know each other because they are so busy.  Filling every moment with appointments and outings is not the answer, surely.  The very thought exhausts me.  We need time for reflection and rest–those are a part of a rich life, also.  Where is the balance?

Lord, fill me with your Spirit, direct my thoughts, guide my steps, make my path straight.  Help me to see you and know you, and show me what you would have me do.  Give me the resolve to follow your leading and the strength to fulfill your plan for me.  Lord, I desire to live a life that is full, that is fruitful, that points others to YOU!  Keep me from time-consuming, worthless pursuits, and direct my hand to the things that make a difference for eternity.  Lord, just live YOUR life in me and through me!



About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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13 Responses to Meditations on a Century of Life

  1. BooksForMe says:

    You really are blessed to have had a grandparents for so long.  That’s really neat.  My experiences with my one grandmother could probably all be counted on my two hands.  Two grandparents were inaccessible to me, in Cuba, and my other grandfather died before I was born! Death inspires a lot of contemplation. Mine continues.

  2. fwren says:

    Your grandpa was my beloved great-uncle ~ we shall miss him too.  Our 3 sons have sets of dominoes that he made ~ they are treasures indeed.  When we drive by his house now, I sure miss seeing him inside the window ~ one day when we were walking by it a few months ago, he knocked on the window and waved us in for a chat.  It was always so enjoyable to visit with him ~ like you said, he had stories upon stories to tell.  Precious memories ~

  3. mcbery says:

    Your Grandpa must have been quite an interesting person. I hope if I live to 102 I can be as active as he was!

  4. lglavy says:

    sniff….He was a special man, wasn’t he?  I too love my grandpa-made heirlooms.  I use my step stool nearly every day!

  5. Hutch5 says:

    what a special man he must have been~ from the picture he looks like such a kind, gentle kind of person…what treasures now to have all those things he made! so sorry for your loss. ❤

  6. LifesStrides says:

    I agree with Amber.  He has very kind eyes and an awesome smile!  It’s so nice to have things passed down through the generations that has been made.  It makes those things all so much more treasured.  I have a side table that my pop-pop made that is still in great condition.  Just needs to be painted. Sorry about your loss.  It sounds like he has a wonderful, big family to keep the memories of him going.

  7. sunshine1939 says:

    Thank you for the wonderful tribute~~~~he inspired everyone who knew him and he will be greatly missed.

  8. Malinda says:

    Morgan and I are snuggling on the couch looking at blogs. When she saw this picture of Great Grandpa, she said “Mommy, I want to see grandpa when we go to Heaven.”  I have been wondering how much she remembers of her Great Great Grandpa and now I know he made a possitive impact on not only the older grandchildren in his life, but also on the little great greats in his life! Praise God that his life and death were great teaching opportunities for explaining the reality and excitement of Heaven!! He will be greatly missed, and I too, will smile when I get out my dominoes made by such a sweet man.

  9. homefire says:

    @Malinda – That is so sweet!    What a blessing that at least one of the great-greats will remember him! 

  10. josaju says:

    What a wonderful story of inspiration.  You are indeed lucky to have not only known him but to share his DNA.  You have probably done more than you think…like the “It’s a wonderful life”.  Little words of encouragement and just lots of things like sharing this story can bless the lives of those you know and make a difference.A wonderful tribute to an exceptional man.Fran

  11. nidan says:

    Wow! Simply wow!

  12. Oh how blessed you were to have a sweet grandpa like that.  The nursing home visits are great, what a wonderful, beautiful attitude he must have had….  Oh that we all take note!So sorry about your loss, I know I miss my grandparents many a day. Thank you for sharing this lovely post.    Bless you and thanks again for the sobering reminders.   ~Amelia

  13. lookin4Jesus says:

    What a nice tribute to your grandpa and how blessed you were to have him so long with good mental capacities. We have had so much mental incapacitation in our families and it is heartwrenching! He was amazing in so many ways!!

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