My mom always said that she intended to live until she was 120. It’s the length of days that God gave mankind after Noah’s adventure in the ark.
She would have been so excited to hear that Klamath is now a Blue Zone pilot community. Family and friends from the East Coast to Texas and up and down the West Coast would have been referred to see Dan Buettner’s TED talk about living to be 100.
Christmas presents would be The Blue Zones, Thrive, and The Blue Zones Solution. I’ll read all three soon, knowing that she would have me order them for her the moment she knew Klamath was a pilot community.
Mrs. Lane would have her own take on the Power 9, too.
1. Move naturally: I’m not sure how often she told me to look up and move more slowly. From toddlerhood, I was known for putting my head down and running. I believe that if you meet an obstacle you should knock it down; Mrs. Lane believed that if you are looking carefully you will see the obstacle and avoid it.
2. Know your purpose: Mrs. Lane was convinced that God gave every person a purpose in life. If she gave you a task, she explained how it could be completed and how that task fit into the larger scheme of the work being done. In a word, Valeree Valentine Brown Lane was purposeful.
3. Down shift: She loved a manual transmission, but she also took time to decompress from the concerns of life. I’m not sure how she was able to keep her composure, but she had a way of reminding herself that it was the current moment that mattered.
4. 80% rule: Mrs. Lane was never one to make her children clean their plates. Over-indulgence wasn’t necessary to appreciate food or any other component of life.
5. Plant slant: My mom really loved fruits, vegetables and legumes. Mom’s memory is associated with yellow tea roses in my mind, and my best friend knows that a bowl of pinto beans makes me feel nostalgic.
6. Wine at 5: I never saw Mom drink wine, or any alcoholic beverage. Prior to my joining the family, she enjoyed whiskey. When dehydration became an ongoing issue, related to Alzheimer’s, she told the doctor that I never gave her anything worth drinking. Personally, I was a teetotaler until recently. I haven’t developed a taste for wine, but enjoy whiskey and a good Bloody Mary.
7. Right tribe: Mom knew you were born to a family, but you create your own circle. I know she felt closer to those she had prayed for and with than some of her blood kin. She knew where and to whom she belonged.
8. Community: To Mom community was larger than where she lived. The whole world was her concern. Wells needed to be drilled in Africa, Jews needed to reach Israel from Russia, and there are hungry children in Appalachia. She fully lived the example of knowing your place and making a difference.
9. Loved ones first: The Bible tells us to love our neighbor as our self. That’s powerful and hard to accomplish; I fall short every day. Who are our loved ones? One of my most vibrant childhood memories is of Mom making wooden cradles and sock dolls for children in Mexico. Seems like there were more than 100, and she demonstrated a love and concern that others did not.
I know Mom is busy with activity in eternity, but I believe she would be proud of Klamath. She’d want us all to make the best of an opportunity given with the expectation of improved health for the community.
Am I Blue? Absolutely.