Christmas is a time for gift giving, family gatherings and a time to reflect on the past year. But instead of reflecting on just the past year, I thought about a lifetime.
Hudson resident Ada Cooper Miller is 110 years old. I've been a part of different celebrations of her life in my role as reporter for the Hudson Hub-Times. I've seen her celebrate birthdays, revisit her home on Franklin Street during a Home and Garden Tour and pull the cord to reveal the honorary name of Ada Cooper Miller Lane on the same street. At the event to name a street after her, Frank Youngwerth of "Good Day in Hudson" talked about how much Miller had witnessed over her lifetime. How much the young people from Western Reserve Academy had missed.
Maybe they had missed the invention of the airplane and two world wars, but they had other experiences shaping their lives. I thought about my own life history and how much I have been influenced by my personal unique environment.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was born the same year as me, and the space age defined my generation. We had television shows like "Lost In Space" and "Star Trek" and the "Star Wars" movies to fuel interest in space and science fiction.
We were also the generation of new technology, especially the progress of computers from cards fed into a room-size machine to modern versions no bigger than our palms.
A lot of changes in a short amount of time. A lot of years to reflect upon as 2013 winds down to its completion.
One of the lessons from Miller is not to worry. Miller spent most of her life around flowers in the family business, the Cooper's Flower Shop and Greenhouse. She grew them, arranged them and impacted important events in the lives of others -- whether it was a dance, wedding or funeral.
She said she doesn't know why she's reached the age of 110, and there are no worry lines creasing her face. She lives one day at a time, and she enjoys chocolate. I can relate to that.
In our hectic 21st century lives, maybe we should take a lesson from a supercentenarian and take life a little slower, especially during the holidays. Spend a little more time with family and friends; encourage those facing struggles; lend a hand to someone in need; and give thanks for just about everything.
I look forward to 2014 and expect many changes, but as I've gotten older, and hopefully wiser, I don't fear the changes. I embrace them, savor them and tuck them away as memories, knowing life doesn't often repeat itself.
Enjoy the holidays, and enjoy life.