Perhaps you’ve heard the Tim McGraw hit, “Be Humble and Kind,” and while many of us strive to be both, we often fall short. I know one person who is always humble and kind, and she is so humble, that she will not agree with my assessment, although she is too kind to tell me I am full of it!
At age 71, Tia helps make our community a better place. She is that behind-the-scenes mover and shaker that doesn’t like the spotlight, but she likes to get things done. Here is a short list of the things she does as a volunteer to make our community be well, and herself be well.
- Volunteers at the elementary school to mentor children (for 5 years, she did the same at the high school)
- Organizes a low country boil every year to raise money for our county’s Imagination Library chapter. Dollie Parton started the Imagination Library in 1995 to foster reading in preschool children in her home county in Tennessee. Each enrolled child receives a specially selected book each month. The program was so popular that in 2000 it was expanded to other communities who wanted to partner with the Foundation and provide local support. To date the Foundation has provided over 1 million books to kids in countries around the world. In our little corner, 1,115 children received a book in the month of October. Follow up research shows that the program improves childhood literacy.
- Serves on the board for the Hart Beat Running Club; an organization that coaches children on how to be physically active through running and competing in local events and prepares those who want to run cross country in middle and high school.
- Serves on the board and organizes the volunteers for the Clothes Closet, a non-profit group that provides clothes at a discount and then uses the money for a food pantry for elderly adults.
- As member of our Friends of the Library (our library was the 2016 Library of the Year in the state of Georgia…quite a feat for a small town!), she worked to bring The Piatigorsky Foundation to our community for a yearly classical music concert. The goal of the foundation is to make classical music part of life for communities throughout the U.S. that would not otherwise have the opportunity to hear such amazing performances. Here is Tia with violinist, Qing Li, and pianist, Paolo Andre Gualdi, at the October 10, 2017 concert.
On top of all that she spends plenty of time with her husband, Bob, and with her 3 children and 8 grandchildren.
So, it is obvious that Tia stays busy but her physical activity is limited to walking, gardening, and household chores. She has had asthma for 69 years, and while she would love to play tennis or pickleball with her friends, she finds it is hard to do those things “when I can’t breathe!” She doesn’t complain and she has found alternative ways to be active every day. She eats healthy; lots of fish and chicken and veggies, and doesn’t eat out very often so that when she does eat out, “it is more of a treat than an everyday thing.” She loves to cook and is always trying new recipes and finds an enthusiastic audience for new dishes by her husband.
When asked what challenges she has faced as she has gotten older, she replied, “it is easier, not harder!” What makes it easier? “Sharing life with her husband who shares her love of God, family, food, and exercise!” Losing her father and brother at early ages, makes her live every day as a gift. Her closing words? “Life is just darn good!” The closing verse of Humble and Kind sums up this special friend:
Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you
When you get where you’re going don’t forget turn back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind
(written by Lori McKenna)
For more tips on how to be well after 50 check out Chris Rosenbloom and Bob Murray’s book, Food & Fitness After 50 available at Amazon.