On Oct 29, 2013 I will be 95 years old. I know there are a lot of people older than I am – but I’m only speaking for me. Folks, that is nearly a century. I had always thought of a century as being a lot of years. But time has a way of going by so quickly. Just like yesterday, I remember when I was a child who ran and played in sand piles, made mud pies, climbed trees, played house, just lay in the grass and watched the puffy white clouds roll by in the sky…not a care in the world. In fact, I had no idea there was a world out there. It was such a carefree life. I wonder if the children have that same carefree life that I did. This part of my life seemed to last for quite a while. But I finally grew up and had to begin to accept responsibilities. But I liked the feeling of being grown up. The school days were great, with all the friends and learning about things I had never dreamed of. I had a lot of friends and we all had a lot of fun – good clean fun. There were no drugs or violence – so we could go and come and not be afraid. Fear was not in our vocabulary. That big old “bull” that would get out sometimes and get between my home and school was my biggest fear. We had a lot of boyfriends – but we usually stayed in groups. Maybe they might call us “gangs” today – but we were just a fun group of friends. It seems as if part of my life did not go by so fast. But once I married time began to just fly by. Then World War II came along and parted families. It was a hard time. There were a lot of necessities that we gave up for our war effort. Our lives were uprooted but we made the best of it. There was real patriotism in this country which I haven’t witnessed since. America was wonderful after the war – everyone was getting home and getting settled in jobs, building homes, and having children. It was a wonderful time for our country. I’m so glad that I lived at this time. There were not a lot of material things for a while – but there was this feeling of patriotism and hope and love that we all experienced. It is a feeling that sends tingles down my spine now. Our county doesn’t quite live up to the standards that we had then. We were busy for several years with our children. Didn’t they grow up fast? By the time they quit stepping on your toes they were bringing children home to do that. Then there was that first grandchild – not great ones and some have great-great. Where did the time go? I never thought about getting old – not until I saw that big marque at church that said “Happy 95th Birthday, Miss Pearl – We love you.” Well, I’m beginning to realize that at 95 you don’t do exactly all the things you think you can – but I still try. I don’t know if I will hit that 100 mark – but I’m so thankful that I have lived in these times and if I’ve learned one thing – it’s that a century is only a short time. I’m thankful for every day of my life and with God’s help I hope to still enjoy the short span left.