1. What’s the best thing about growing older?
I think the best thing about growing older is my sense of growing patience and acceptance of the things that I cannot change or have influence over. I think it’s because the older I get the more I see the bigger picture and I’ve learned not to sweat the small stuff. I’ve realised that life is hard enough as it is without trying to fight for the things that I can’t ever win. It has become easier to pick my battles as I’ve got older, which is backed up because I’m more patient and can let most things ride now.
2. When did you first feel like a grown up?
I first felt like a fully-fledged grown up when my daughter moved out to go and live with her boyfriend earlier this year. All the emotional stuff that went along with that made me question a lot of things, and one of the things I realised was that Kevin and I are older now than my parents were back when we got married.
3. Chocolate cake with white icing or white cake with chocolate icing?
I don’t like chocolate cake so I would opt for white cake with chocolate icing. I can take the icing off then!
4. What’s the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you?
When I was a child I belonged to the Church Lads and Church Girls Brigade, and once a month we had a parade service at my church. This one Sunday I realised I was late and so I jumped on my bike in my uniform to ride there. At the time, we lived at the bottom of a half-mile long hill and the church was approximately another mile away once the hill levelled out. I was in a panic because I was late and I had missed my breakfast and so I perhaps set off a little bit faster than I should have, and I nearly fainted about half way up the hill. I stopped my bike opposite some old-folks’ bungalows, and was leaning over, trying not to be sick or pass out, when an old lady came out from one of them to come to my aid. She helped me off my bike and into her house, and she gave me a drink of brandy (which was disgusting to my 12 year old palate!) but all the while she had her arm round me and was comforting me as we went. She made my lie down on her settee and she rang my Dad to come and fetch me. I remember her being very kind and soothing, and the best bit was that the reassured me that God was watching and wouldn’t mind if I didn’t make it to church that morning because at least I’d tried.
5. What’s something you learned from your grandparents?
I learned how to bake from my Dad’s mum, my Gran. She was always in the kitchen whenever we visited, and she always had several batches of cakes and buns on the go every Sunday. She taught me the basics of how to mix, what to look out for at each stage of putting a cake together and most importantly she taught me how to fix things when it went wrong.
From my Dad’s Dad, my Grandpop, I learned that anything worthwhile is worth working hard for.
6. Wednesday marks a sad day in the history of planet earth-9/11…what’s something you do (or can do) to bring peace to your little corner of the world?
I believe peace comes as a product of understanding and forgiveness, and so my contribution to that is to work with children in my community promoting those concepts.
7. Share a favorite quote, scripture, or song containing the word peace.
“The peace of the Lord which passes all understanding, be with you and those you love from this day forward, ever more.”
8. Insert your own random thought here.
It is impossible to post on 11th September and not mention the anniversary of the day the Twin Towers were brought down. As a Brit, I cannot possibly understand fully the impact this act of terrorism has had on the American nation, but as a fellow human being my heart is with all those who still mourn and grieve the loss of loved ones. It has been twelve years now and clearly the pain is as raw today as it was then. I pray that one day those who grieve and mourn will find a way to move on with their lives with some sort of sense of peace and healing. Healing isn’t the same as forgetting, and I believe the people of the USA should always remember that day.