58 Things I Love About Getting Older

Today is my fifty-eighth birthday.

1. self-acceptance

2. increased contentment

3. grey hair = natural highlights

4. less hair on legs (for real!)

5. hands look capable and have that cool, veiny look

6. already having most household stuff you need

7. long-term friendships

8. less striving

9. having nothing to prove to anyone but oneself

10. Early Bird specials: an evening out and you still have a full evening left at home!

11. getting up early to enjoy the morning quiet
12. forgetfulness means arguments are shorter and less frequent
13. visits from our grown kids
14. senior discounts (although 55 is NOT a senior)
15. the realization that age truly is just a number (55 still not senior, though)
16. wisdom showing up, whether you sought it or not
17. encouraging younger folks on their journey
18. comfort >fashion (to a certain extent)
19. giving oneself the privilege of not finishing a book you don’t like
20. online courses in subjects you find interesting
21. learning for the sheer joy of it
22. gratitude to and for others
23. remembering all the times God has been faithful
24. diminishing fear
25. knowing how to cook
26. trying new things when you want to and not trying them when you don’t
27. courage – how’d we get so brave?
28. growing faith
29. prioritizing becomes second nature
30. wearing less makeup takes less time and looks better, too
31. going to bed at 8:30 if you want to
32. feeling less competitive with others of your gender
33. realizing you have a boatload of skills you’ve picked up over the years
34. passing those skills along to others
35. freedom to say no to buying stuff to keep up with the Joneses
36. realizing you have no desire to keep up with the Joneses
37. realizing you don’t even notice what the Joneses have, anyway
38. looking forward to that first cup of tea each morning.
39. but that second cuppa – Heaven!
40. letting go of clutter with no remorse
41. realizing you kind of like yourself, warts and all
42. having plenty of silverware

43. still needing more Fiesta ware, though.
44. long car rides with a long-time spouse
45. freedom to enjoy a life that is not perfect
46. freedom to love fully, with no reservations
47. knowing that, no matter what, things will get better
48. granny panties – cotton, comfort and coverage
49. no more monthly
50. everyone you meet reminds you of someone you already know and probably love
51. appreciating the little things more than ever
52. fewer freakouts over trivial BS
53. reaching age 50 and telling AARP you don’t want their stupid card
54. letting your freak flag fly
55. the colors I like > Panetone’s Colors of the Year
56. even if I like the same colors for twenty years
57. realizing life is not a contest and finding joy in cheering on others
58. deep and abiding gratitude to God


Karen’s pantry

Time for a break.

We are ALL moms!

I recently read an article on the four types of moms you see at Target. Every one of them had little kids.

Really? How about the older moms who lie awake at night and pray for their wayward adult children? The moms who have ached and agonized when their beloved children have suffered the hell of divorce, or illness, or whatever else life hurls at them as grownups. What about the moms who have poured out their lives for their families and are having a hard time adjusting to a newly empty nest? The moms who grieve because their kids are caught in addiction and they can’t fix it for them. The mom whose kid is in jail? We are all still moms! In fact, we are black-belt moms. We are moms with decades of courage, building strong, flexible mothering muscles. We have calluses on our knees from praying for our precious kids. And guess what? We still love being moms! We love our big, grown-up children just as much as we did when they were small enough to ride in our shopping carts. only now we get to enjoy them as peers, too.

Oh, how I love young mothers! I am such a fan of good mothering I can hardly stand it. On many occasions, I have whispered to a stranger in public, “Good job, Mom” when her child is pitching a fit and she doesn’t back down and give in. It thrills my heart when I see a loving mom (or dad) ignore the embarrassment of a child’s public misbehavior to take the opportunity to build their character. My heart is always to encourage and love on younger mothers. But girls! Don’t be so shortsighted as to believe you will only be a mom until your little one is a big one.

I have a beautiful daughter I look square in the eye, and two handsome sons I have to reach up to hug. They are the light of my life and they always will be. I would lay down my life for them without a second thought. I hurt when they hurt and I rejoice with their every victory. I am so proud of them I could burst, and my gratitude for them knows no bounds. I like them. I enjoy them.

I may not wipe their noses anymore, but there are still times I have the privilege of drying a few tears.

We are ALL moms. Enjoy the little-kid years, sweet girls, but don’t kid yourself into thinking motherhood gets easier. It changes, it gets different, but it is never ‘easy’. The main thing that changes as the years go by is you. You will get stronger, and love even more. Motherhood is a precious gift for those of us who are profoundly blessed with that privilege. I do not take that gift lightly. Don’t you either, okay?

If you are worn out to the back teeth and need prayer or a hug or a few minutes alone, ask an older mom for help. It is our privilege to help you; in fact, it’s one of the reasons we are here. We get it! Our hair may be grayer and our bodies softer, but we are still moms and we understand your struggle better than you know. If your own mom is, for whatever reason, unable or unwilling to be that ‘mom’ you need, by all means find yourself a second mom.

PS: You are doing a great job!


It’s just me.

I’m a middle-aged wife and mom, full-time homemaker, part-time library lady and owner of a small — very, very small — home-based business. I have spent the past thirty years learning everything I could about making a home and serving my family the old-fashioned way: simply, inexpensively, and creatively.

Little did I know, when I first married into this frugal family, that the very practices that made me roll my suburban eyes would one day make my rural heart sing.

This is my life on our little village homestead. I hope you enjoying coming along and spending time here with me.