Young at heart

Youth doesn't own a monopoly on beauty.

"My neighbor Mrs. Rubado was almost 91 when I invited her to pick raspberries with me," says Lillie Ryan of Chateaugay, New York. "Don't you just love the look of pure enjoyment on her face?"

Mrs. Rubado

"My neighbor Mrs. Rubado was almost 91 when I invited her to pick raspberries with me," says Lillie Ryan of Chateaugay, New York. "Don't you just love the look of pure enjoyment on her face?"

 

Sure, we love cute baby ducks, teacup pigs and precocious kids. But the other evening, 93-year-old folk music legend Pete Seeger reminded me that youth doesn’t own a monopoly on adorability. Pete was on a TV talk show, and after his interview, he gamely plucked his way through Quite Early Morning. He struggled a bit, to be  honest. But you couldn’t help being impressed; he’s 93!

So he finishes the song, the crowd is applauding wildly, the host is trying to talk the show off the air and Pete’s not paying a bit of attention because he’s busily  strapping a capo to the neck of his banjo. He clearly intends to sing  another song whether the cameras are rolling or not.

It was a wonderful, sweet, inspiring moment, the kind of moment we treasure here at Country. It reminded me of this  photo from reader  Lillie Ryan. Lillie  stopped by to check on her neighbor Mrs. Rubado and found her a little tired and short of breath. But Lillie invited her  to pick some raspberries  anyway. “She perked  up, grabbed her favorite tin pail and said ‘I’ll pick berries ’til I die,’” Lillie recalls. “As Mrs. Rubado filled her pail with this look of pure enjoyment on her face, she exclaimed several times, ‘these are just beautiful!’”

So is Mrs. Rubado. So is Pete Seeger and everyone else who forever finds the joy in picking berries or singing one more song. And let’s not forget friends like Lillie who give them the opportunity.

Mary A. Berger September 1, 2012 at 12:52 am

What a sweet story. Sometimes we need to reach out to our senior neighbors, no matter what the circumstances. They may be old . . . but they’re not dead. Good job, Lillie!

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Nancy Whittington September 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm

This brought tears to my eyes. My Mother loved to pick berries also. This beautiful lady in the picture reminds me so much of her. Her hair looked the same and those kind gnarly looking hands are the same also. Mom’s been gone now for 2 years but I still miss her. Thank you for sharing this lovely photo.

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