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Age-Old Secrets of Being Well and Living Well

By Sandy Schroeder

My father understood well-being completely. Sitting on his favorite wooden bench on his back patio, overlooking the woods and the river, he would smoke a pipe and smile as he talked about life. Later, he would wisely skip the pipe, but he would still have the same twinkle in his eye as he watched the squirrels play among the trees.

The squirrels lived high up in the tall trees that filled the woods behind our house. Dad created special patio feeders and made regular trips to nearby farms to get bushels of dry corn for them.  After he retired, he would work in the garden with my mother, and then sit on his favorite bench, watching the squirrels leap from tree to tree.

Dad earned his retirement. He worked many hours all of his life, and did well. So did my mother. They never said, “I can’t, I’m too busy," or "Let someone else do it.” They both came from large families and helped all of their siblings.

How did they define well-being?

  • Get up every morning and get going
  • Cover all of the bases and pay all of your bills
  • If someone needs help, give them a hand

In their book, life meant you made the most of every day physically, mentally and spiritually.

Eat well – Home grown garden vegetables and fruits were regulars on our table. They grew everything, cabbages, kale, tomatoes, green onions, leafy lettuce, and spinach for starters. Then mom turned them into culinary treats with roasted chicken, fried green tomatoes, cauliflower casseroles and rhubarb tarts.

Make your home your retreat – Dad had a little tool room in the basement, and mom had another for flower arranging. My kids loved going to Grampa and Gramma’s house. They knew there would be homemade cookies and hot chocolate by the fire.

Stay active – When they retired and needed to lose a little weight, they started walking after dinner. Those walks turned into nightly two-mile hikes that kept them trim, securing long lives for both.

Treat everyone well - Weekends were always busy at their house. The dining room table would be set for company, and good smells wafted from the kitchen. Friends and family came for dinner, and then stayed to play cards. If you were anywhere nearby, you might easily be drafted to fill a seat if they needed another player.

Being well and living well were not abstract terms for my parents. They understood how to do just that, and made it happen every day.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Schaumburg, Ill.

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