Some incredibly dear people to me have reached a beautiful-mellow stage of their ‘vintage’ years. As I think of them I realize that they are at their most incredible stage of life. The height of wisdom and unselfish love, that is free of the insecurities and mental battles of wills and egos that us younger folks grapple with, is strong and pure. They have such a laser sharp conviction of their thoughts and purpose. This doesn’t happen with everyone of course. But for those who have a solid faith in God as their time-tested default mechanism these later years are the sweetest. Their faith has been tested by going through the furnace of affliction, troubles, loss of family and friends, physical difficulty and sickness. Oh, how I don’t want to waste a moment of this precious and valuable time of being in their presence – whenever possible. The cloudy notions of what is important and what is not in our younger and middle years are made indelibly clear when the clock ticks faster and faster. Things come into focus and the precious stuff I get to listen to – I want to walk around with a tape recorder!!! There is no amount of money or possessions that can surpass these treasures. Their words of encouragement mean the world to me. So this day I honor my time-tested dear family and friends in my heart and hold their wise words and actions close to me. Thank you Lord for the life lessons you have taught me through these dear souls.