"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Close to the eye, close to the heart

By on September 23, 2019 in Columnist with 0 Comments
Mike Cassidy

By Mike Cassidy


We have some sweet stories in this issue.

And when I say “sweet,” I’m not using it colloquially, as when an athlete hits a home run, the fans might say, “Sweet!” or when a grandson takes a tottering first step, I’ll reward him with a “Sweet!” or when my son-in-law hears us agree to watch the kids for an evening so he and our daughter can have a date night, and he says, “Sweet!!”

The sweet stories in this issue are of people being nice to each other as they find ways to push themselves to new adventures.

Take Marlene Farrell, for example. 

Along with writing the cover story about flower aficionado Mary Rossing, she pens another story about her family backpacking in the rugged Jasper National Park in Alberta.

She could have entertained us with accounts about the mountains and valleys and spaces in between, (a task she leaves to her husband Kevin’s photos) she actually writes like a mom and wife smitten with her family’s cooperation and joy of sharing wonderful moments in nature. 

Writer (and self-confessed doubter) Jaana Hatton follows the enthusiasm of a buddy to try paddleboarding in this issue — and learns not only is it a good sport for the feisty Finn, but it brings her closer to mother nature — and to her friend.

Molly Steere is funny quoting one of her dad’s favorite expressions, and admitting she groaned about it as a kid. 

And now… well, the same words are coming out of her mouth, and her son is expressing the same emotions Molly did.

But that’s the arc of life, isn’t it? As kids, we roll our eyes at our parents, and then as parents, we have to put up with eye rolling from our offspring. 

Molly doesn’t stop at just talking, but makes a habit of doing “larch marches” and offers several suggestions for not-so-tough hikes for the rest of us to enjoy the bright colors of fall. 

Contrast our stories with this: I happened to be cruising around television the other day, and saw an upcoming series called Evil.


Now, maybe Evil will be the hit of the season, perhaps it will be the show all of us will be discussing and dissecting over coffee this fall, maybe it will be the greatest thing on TV of all time.

But, now, I’m the doubter.

From my point of view, we don’t need more evil in our lives. 

We don’t need to see more made-up characters being mean and brutal to each other, with violence and hate lurking in the shadows. 

We don’t need to be more fearful than we already are, to be more distrusting of fellow humans, to be more scared of strange noises in the night.

What we need is be like Marlene, Jaana and Molly, who look at the people closest to them and the world closest to them, and who can say, “I love this time of my life.”

Get away from the made-up drama and find real life among the people and places you love. Enjoy The Good Life.

— Mike

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