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May 20, 2010

People I Have Met And Admired

Her name was Virginia. She would get a temporary job when her fun money was dwindling.
The rest of the time she traveled to exotic places and stayed active. She enjoyed white water rafting, kayaking, snow and water skiing to name a few of the active sports.

When I met her she began work in a lab at a plant I worked in. I was a quality control supervisor and the lab was in the same department. She was the best lab technician we had seen. When she was at work, she could accomplish an enormous amount of work and keep her concentration at top working level.

A few months after Virginia started working at the plant, I decided I wanted to be like her. When the Christmas holidays drew near, I decorated the huge dry erase board in the open area outside the different departments. On the board I wrote in huge letters "Yes, Santa, there is a Virginia!"

Virginia left that job after about a year so she could continue her travels to distant lands. We all missed her after she left. She had opened our minds to what could be.
Virginia was eighty-three years old when I met her and she had more energy and personality than people half her age. I still have many years to go before I am that age. I fear I won't ever reach that level of living each day to the fullest potential. It is because of Virginia that I have a zest for life and an appreciation of the knowledge and experience of the senior citizens I meet. Happy travels, Virginia, wherever you are.

44 comments:

LadyFi said...

I love people with this wonderful zest for life! Hope to be a Virginia too when I get older.

Momma Fargo said...

What a neat post!

I left an award for you on my blog earlier today.

Ms. Anthropy said...

83!!! How impressive! That woman had to be an inspiration.

Rock Chef said...

83? Wow! I love people like that. As I often say, age is a state of mind!

Brian Miller said...

how very cool. and she made an impact in your life, i f hope she reads or otherwise knows...

Dave King said...

Clever post and a great character.

Mr. Stupid said...

Wow. Its amazing how people live their lives to the fullest. I am glad she impacted your life.
Smiles:)

tony said...

My Mate Bob From Bacup is 74 & has the same energy.It bucks all the trends when you see the old folks getting on down with the kids!

Jeanie said...

I know a couple of "Virginias" and they really are inspiring. Thank you for sharing the story of this great lady who will never be old. She sounds like a great person to know.

Ocean Girl said...

My mother-in-law is my Virginia. She is 92.

DJan said...

I have many Virginias in the Senior Trailblazers, not quite in their eighties, but one fellow will turn 80 this year!

Sassy Pants Freckle Face said...

That is my Grandmothers name,.. Oh How I love the older generation! <3 Lovely story :)

Shanel said...

she sounds like my kinda lady:)

Only You said...

I always admire people like that, all the more so because I feel I am not like them...I am still in touch with my elementary school teacher who is now in her early 70s. She has osteoperosis (sp) and a rare bone condition, but she said it is not stopping her from living life. She travels to South America, Alaska, Africa, etc., and sends my son postcards of her posing with polar bears and llamas. Like you, I feel lucky to have her in my life. It is never too late to learn from them. (Clearly, they believe it is never too late to learn!)

Ina in Alaska said...

WOW! As the post progressed it was really cool how you added Virginia's age at the end!!! I play tennis on Friday mornings with a group of very accomplished senior ladies who are in their 80s. They have not slowed down either, they travel like crazy and they are not cruise passengers either, they hike, and are so active. What an inspiration. I agree with you, dear friend, that they are examples of the best to come! xoxoxoxo

Ina in Alaska said...

Oh and PS 2 of my senior tennis ladies are undergoing chemo and they STILL SHOW UP to play!!! AMAZING WOMEN!!! xoxoxo

Betty said...

This is something I strive to be as well. That is pretty impressive, for an 83 year old to be so "spunky"!

Sassy Pants Freckle Face said...

You have been awarded in my cyber space!!!

-Don said...

What a cool tribute to a soul that stayed so young and fresh her entire life. Sweet! ...and inspirational.

-Don

LL Cool Joe said...

Good for Virginia! My mother-in-law is 75 and boy does she live life to the max!

Kristina P. said...

She sounds perfectly delightful!

Robert the Skeptic said...

Wow, just finding ANYONE who will employ an older person now is an accomplishment!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Virginia was EIGHTY-THREE when you MET her! I LOVE that!!!!! What a wonderful story. She's my kind of lady.
jj

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

very cool story indeed...I hope I can be that active (and have the funds to travel like that) when I am her age

Cinner said...

Here is to all those Virginias in the world, that make us smile and enjoy our lives. truly inspiring lady. My Mil is 84, golfs and bowls, had back surgery a year ago, and she just keeps herself busy, Her cousin is 84 and when they get together, they make me think they are about 40, they are so much fun, and we laugh all the time. I am the old one when I am with them...gotta love them. loved this post, glad we have people like this in our lives.

Ronda Laveen said...

When I worked in dialysis a few years ago, our lab tech, Joann, was just like Virginia. She is in her mid-70s...doesn't travel as much but boy can she put out the work at a level of quality. Amazing role models.

Suldog said...

MY WIFE and I have met folks 30 years our seniors (we're both past 50) who make us feel positively ancient. We're ready for naps and they're pushing to go someplace else and do something different. It always amazes us, and we have the sneaking suspicion we won't suddenly find ourselves with added pep and vigor when we hit retirement :-)

steveroni said...

I know someone who will be age 77 Tuesday, and he has that zest for life, that enthusiasm which is admired by me--hey, it IS me--grin!

Have you ever SEEN such egotistical pride in a Peep?

Thanks for your "lady" story, it gives me something to stay awake for.

deb said...

Well I'm inspired too. Wow.
I want to be like that . I hope she is still travelling and enjoying every gift of day.

Brosreview said...

She sure knows how to live her life.

lisleman said...

I have a problem with the idea of normal in describing people but Virginia at 80+ was not normal. But then what is?
She does sound like an inspiration.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

It sounds like she is one of those people who leave a lasting impression on those she's had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with. She reminds me of my neighbors who are twice my age but they still seem to find the time to walk their dog. They have a zest that I don't. Maybe I'm just plain lazy!! :)

Hugs!!

Debbie said...

What a great post! We could all benefit from a little more Virginia in our lives.

gayle said...

For some reason the older ones seem to have more energy!!

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

I'm 50, but I feel 83. I need more of Virginia in me. I wonder if she bottles the essence?

CC said...

wow! I hope that is me one day :) :)

Unknown Mami said...

I'm so glad you shared this. Thank you.

Berni said...

Wow somebody special alright.

Jeni said...

I knew a Virginia-type too! It was a lady who belonged to our church and lived to be 102 years old! Dagmar was quite the incredible lady. She had worked in New York City for many, many years and when she retired and her husband died, she moved back to this area and into the house where she'd grown up. She was active -extremely so -cooking, baking, attending all the various church functions and also, always dressed to the nines too! (Including spike heels! Well into her 90s! I haven't been able to wear shoes like that and balance since my early 50s!) Mentally, very, very active too up until almost the very end of her life. To be able to live alone and function the way Dagmar did -I'd love to be able to do that! I already know I couldn't possibly come close to matching your Virginia though.

secret agent woman said...

I met a woman like that on a barefoot cruise in the West Indies. She was pretty astounding.

intomystic said...

She sounds like someone we ALL should meet. She really knows how to live life to the fullest.

Hilary said...

Wow.. wonderful tribute to an incredible lady. You're lucky to have known her.

Mrs4444 said...

That's awesome. My mom is like that, too; it's awesome. I hope I'm as active as she is when I'm in my 80's.

Eileen said...

Very nice!
The best lessons I've learned in life were from those that knew how not to waste it!
I love inspirational stories like this!