North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Serving others leaves little time to feel old


We are nearing the end of June. But don’t let the weather fool you. One day it is too hot. The next we have rain. I have a pile of shoes beside my bed, because I can’t know until morning what I will need. I think I’m safe in putting away my snow boots, but not sure.

Maybe I’ll use them to water my geraniums. They are not letting the weatherman bother them. Bright red, pink and white spots are showing up in front of my little house. One day is too hot, the next relieves me of hauling the hose around the yard. There are always pluses and minuses. I’m happy whatever happens.

My daughter Karen and husband Roger stopped to say they were making their first trip over the new temporary bridge this morning. They have probably used the old one a thousand times in the last thirty years. Roger’s parents left Seattle for Bellingham many years ago. His mother is now a widow. They make many trips north, as so many others do. Families move around. Nothing is static.

I have been lucky. Only one of my children is not close. My son, Charlie is north of Spokane.

I’d like to see him more, but it’s not bad. The cell phone in my pocket keeps him close at hand. My three girls are in this area. The farthest is at Southcenter. We all talk a lot.

I like to think I’m doing pretty well on my own. Most of the people I know are. We are involved in one activity or another that leaves little time to get old and cranky. Probably at no other time in history has there been so much to do at an advanced age. You don’t have to look very far to keep busy. Volunteers are in demand everywhere. Just ask at any senior center or service organization. You won’t have time to get old.

Some serve when they aren’t expected to. We’ve had a great one in the Stilly Singers. As people age, driving becomes a problem, and sometimes we come up short of a carpool. One of the best has been a big gruff pussycat named Wayne Dorman. His wife, Elaine, was a long time member of the Stillys. She had a beautiful high clear voice and loved to sing. She also had severe difficulties, having lost a leg to diabetes. Her life became very difficult. Wayne would not sing with us, but took care of her and kept her going for years. He used his RV to carry others as well.

We lost Elaine awhile back. Thought we’d lose Wayne, too. But he kept right on carrying us around to sing. He has been a blessing.

Now his eyes have failed, so he has his daughter, Cindy, driving for him. Wayne is a retired Seattle police officer, and was part of the Seattle motorcycle drill team for many years. He’s been going the extra mile for others most of his life. He’s one great guy. I’m glad to know him.



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