I was privileged to have lunch in this beautiful building yesterday. It is the NIkiski Senior Center in Nikiski, Alaska. It was pouring rain outside, but inside the comfort level was high. I was, by far, one of the youngest persons in the dining area, but it didn’t matter. Laughter, smiles, and listening are fashionable no matter what the age! I sat among some very dear friends and heard stories to make me giggle often.
Needra is one of my very favorite persons. She is 92 and as active and beautiful as someone in their 60’s. She was asked when she and Jim had moved to Alaska. Her response was classic. “1955. We came up for the summer. We lived in a shack on the bluff and it was romantic. Jim ended up finishing up the fishing season that summer and when we left to go to the states to teach, we thought we’d just come back every summer for fishing. Well, the next time we came back, we never left!” One of my other favorite persons, Peggy, came to Alaska with her husband. He had his law degree and was ready to work defending Alaskans. She shared, “He told me he came to Alaska to practice law, not fish. I came up to fish.” Her husband told me a fun story of how the two met, I’ll have to share that one later.
The stories here were only a tiny part of an enjoyable couple of hours. I have to sum up these lights, blessings, and friendships with a word Jim used. Jim reminds me of a super tall, really aged, artistic gnome. When describing the photo of a grandchild, he said, ‘She is charming.’ My blessing experience today was charming. And I am still smiling!