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By Monty Siekerman
Want to live longer?
Briefly, here's what I have learned from my 87-year-old temporary roommate who has the mental, physical, and emotional ability of a guy who is 60.
1. Don't smoke or drink alcohol, but everyone knows that.
2. Eat well and in moderation, include fresh fruits and vegetables.
3. Stay active. Health professionals say walking is the best exercise, don't need to take up boxing or have long workouts at the gym, just get up and go daily.
4. Have a routine that keeps you physically and mentally alert, don't give in to lounging in bed all day.
5. Become interested in something outside of yourself. It's easy to fall into the trap of complaining about your aches and pains. Read, watch TV, and converse about something such as politics (no lack of subject matter there, I'm talking Trump here). Get involved in community service and you'll feel good helping others and be less self absorbed.
6. Be religious. Faith goes a long way in helping you have peace, satisfaction, happiness in life no matter what your age. Attend services and give money regularly.
7. Health issues will arise, so take your meds on schedule. Go to health professionals when there is suspicion of a problem, don't delay.
8. Brush your teeth regularly, bathe, wash your hands often. Maintain an appearance you are proud of. Watch where you walk to avoid falls.
9. Get a pet. They provide companionship, something to care for, reduce stress.
Heredity has a lot to do with longevity, as well. But you didn't choose your parents, can't do much about that; however, there are several things that can make your life linger and happier, as I've mentioned.
10. Maintain a positive attitude. It's easy to fall into the trap of negativity with the health of you and your friends, world news, lack of money, weather. Look for a silver lining in everything.
11. Grief, major and minor, strikes us throughout life and can damage health. Take care of yourself, learn the stages of grief, work through the stages as best you can, give yourself time to heal.
It's not always easy to do what "should" be done, but make up your mind today to try.
My temporary roommate, a friend of 50 years, had a fire at his home three months ago. He'll be living with me a few more months while his possessions are cleaned of smoke and the structure is repaired. Maybe I'll learn more from him by the time he leaves. Giving him a warm, convenient place to stay has been beneficial to me as well. I just might live longer.
I'm looking forward to " advanced years" or "old age," whatever you want to call it, but there is no need to hurry the years.