Act Your Shoe Size Not Your Age

So we’ve all heard the analogy “act your age… not your shoe size” right?  Well this trio stands that analogy on it’s head with their rendition of Billy Jean by Michael Jackson.  Who says you can’t have fun once in a while eh?  This troupe of Seal Beach dancing seniors brings down the house.  Enjoy!

Speaking of dancing, did you know dancing is a great form of exercise whether you’re in your 20’s or in your 80’s?  WebMD says that dancing can be one avenue to better health.  That’s right, dancing can help you burn excess calories, work your muscles, strengthen your core and make you feel great!  See you out on the town.

Assisted Living Documentary

50 Inspiritational Motivational Thoughts quotes and memes 34 300x300 Assisted Living DocumentaryEver wondered what it’s like living in an Assisted Living Facility (ALF)?  Dick Weinman, professor Emeritus at Oregon State University pulls back the curtain in a new assisted living documentary entitled “The Thin Edge of Dignity”.  Dick say’s “It takes a village to accompany the elders on the final journey of life.  But in today’s fragmented and mobile society, families no longer live together in a single household.  Once it took a village… Today it takes an ALF.”  This no-holds-barred exposé is an emotional roller coaster, and gives us a view that few outsiders get to see.

Boomers, I sense this is a call for a mobilization.  One of Dick’s goals is for a “cultural shift in long term care” and after watching this assisted living documentary you may want to join the brigade.

“An independent man of 80 years, disabled in a traffic accident, who strives to maintain his independence enclosed in the world of dependency of an Assisted Living Facility” – Dick Weinman

The Thin Edge Of Dignity – By Richard Weinman

Mr. Weinman, was an incredibly active broadcaster until injured in a tragic 2005 auto accident.  Dead at the scene, he was resuscitated and “put back together”.  He currently writes a column for AARP Oregon aptly entitled The Thin Edge of Dignity.  Dick’s column is a bi-monthly column featuring “an independent man of 80 years, disabled in a traffic accident, who strives to maintain his independence enclosed in the world of dependency of an Assisted Living Facility”.

Let us know what you think of Richard (Dick) Weinman’s Assisted Living Documentary in the comments below.

Choosing the Right Hospice

11035798 04a3e21f0c q 150x150 Choosing the Right HospiceThe decision to start hospice and trying to choose the right hospice is not an easy task. For many, there is an an overwhelming sense of sadness when this decision is made. However, most people soon realize what a tremendous help hospice can be to a patient and family members.

The importance of choosing a suitable hospice is critical for you and your family.  Many physicians will make recommendations for hospices and most hospitals and insurances groups operate their own divisions of hospice.  You have the right to choose any hospice you want, and your doctor must respect that right.

Commonly Asked Questions About Hospice:

  • What is hospice?
  • Are all hospices the same?
  • How do I decide what is right for me?
  • Who pays for hospice?

Hospice is a compassionate service for those with a life-limiting disease or illness.  The focus of hospice is comforting, not curing, the patient through pain management, medical care, and emotional and spiritual support based on the patient’s wishes and needs.  The patient’s loved ones will also receive support from hospice services.

If you are looking for the best hospice for you, ask the nurses and doctors within your care team and at the potential hospices you are reviewing what services would be provided for your specific needs. You need to make sure that you are asking these questions so that your treatment and the support you and loved ones will need is a good fit for you.  The care that you receive should be tailored to you and your needs.  If an individual hospice cannot provide this, then it is not the right choice for you.

Talking to local aging services, hospital staff, and charities can also assist you with your search to find the right hospice.  No one should force you into a decision; they should only offer advice.

In the midst of your research, contact several different hospices, such as Notre Dame Hospice. if you are in the Louisiana area.  They can give expert advice and answer the questions you may have about hospice care for you.

The Benefits of Hospice Care

For many, there are a plethora of benefits to choosing to undergo hospice care.  One of the main benefits is that the patient receives a robust care package. This is something that other care settings cannot always deliver.  In addition, there are more specialists  to deal with the terminal diagnosis of the patient.  The caregivers who work for the hospice company are specially trained to deal with the illnesses of the patients in their care.  They are able to tackle issues of grief and help patients and families work through these, as well as educate everyone involved about the death and dying process.

Some patients and families will seek out hospices because they can obtain additional care.  This means regardless of holidays, weekends and night shifts; they can still get the care that they deserve and need.  Hospices offer people dignity and tender loving care when it is needed most.   Having constant access to expert care and hospice facilities provides comfort to families and individuals who need additional support.

Hospices can also lessen the financial burden to those who are struggling to pay for medical care.  Insurance and Medicare usually pay for medical care, medication, and equipment related to the hospice diagnosis and treatment.  Be aware, there are things that Medicare won’t  pay for once a patient is on hospice.

  • Treatment to cure a terminal illness
  • Prescription medication to cure a terminal illness
  • Room and board- Medicare will pay for short term inpatient or respite stays in a facility if the hospice team determines that it is necessary
  • Emergency Room, Inpatient Facility Care, or transportation by an ambulance

Remember, when hospice care is chosen, it means that the patient no longer wants to treat their terminal diagnosis and the focus becomes “comfort care”.  Any hospice patient has the right to stop hospice care at any time.

How Much Water To Drink Daily?

water glass How Much Water To Drink Daily?Ran across an interesting tidbit while pursuing Facebook this morning.  A little piece on the importance of water to your heart health seemed important enough to pass along, and we encourage you to share with friends and family.  The Mayo Clinic says that water is a principal component in the human body, and is vitally necessary for normal bodily functions.  We set out to help answer a basic question for you; How much water to drink daily?

“Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.” – The MayoClinic.org

How much water do you need daily?

Evidence is mixed on this and there is no hard data to support a set number of glasses per person.  We’re all different sizes, shapes and have different needs depending on our human state.  The general rule of thumb is that you should drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day (at least).  Interestingly some agencies claim that total fluid intake (water and other fluids) should exceed 3 liters for men and 2.2 liters for women.  That’s a lot of fluid… Are you getting enough?  How efficiently are your bodily organs functioning if you’re not taking in the fluids that your body requires? (I know these are tough questions.)

“The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.” – The MayoClinic.org

Did you know that drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body?  Here are some interesting stats about the benefits of drinking water during your day and/or evening:

Best times to drink water

  • 2 Glasses of water after waking up – helps activate internal organs
  • 1 Glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps digestion
  • 1 Glass of water before taking a bath – helps lower blood pressure
  • 1 Glass of water before going to bed – avoids stroke or heart attack.  (There is no evidence to support this theory circulating online – though intuitively we believe it could be important for overall health.) Additionally water at bed time can prevent night time leg cramps. When your leg muscles cramp up, many times they are seeking hydration.

If you’re looking for some tips on how to motivate yourself to better hydration, HealthDigezt.com published a nice article entitled 10 Easy Ways to Drink More Water Daily.  2 of my favorites are #5 Replacing soda, juice and coffee with water (even though I’m a big-time water drinker, I still need my coffee), and #8 Hydrate when you exercise (always).  The benefits of hydrating with water throughout your day (and into your evening) cannot be overstated.  Do yourself a favor… Drink a glass of water today!  Check that… Drink at least 8 glasses of water today!

Photo: Flickr/Carol VanHook

Movie Review: Land Ho!

url Movie Review: Land Ho!I’m jaded when it comes to movies.  Throughout an entire show, I’m waiting for something to go wrong, or a twist in the plot I never saw coming.  A movie can be rolling right along with a feel-good story line, everything is hunky-dory and then- BAM!  Someone cheats, dies suddenly or the aliens descend to take over the planet.  So, I don’t watch many movies, except for the 8-10 year old boy genre that my kids like.

So, I take great pleasure in sharing the movie review for “Land Ho!”, directed by Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens.  It is one of the best “grown-up” movies I have seen in quite a while.  Set in picturesque Iceland, former 60 year old brothers-in-law Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson) and Colin (Paul Eenhoorn) set off on a journey to explore new frontiers and reconnect to their youth (and each other).  Mitch is a loud and unabashedly female-approving older man.  Colin is a reserved and soft spoken Australian gentleman who is more interested in a person’s intelligence than her assets.  The audience is privy to intimate conversations about aging, marriage, divorce, kids, and of course, women.  I felt like I was sitting at the kitchen table with my grandfathers, getting a fly-on-the-wall view of things they would say if I were not around.

I won’t tell you how it ends, but I’ll let you in on a secret, I was smiling the whole time. And giggling and laughing out loud. And sometimes embarrassed to be hearing such intimate thoughts from two older men I had come to love in a grand-daughterly sort of way.

The Icelandic setting is gorgeous- filled with ocean cliffs, geysers, and natural hot springs, I’m ready to purchase a plane ticket.  The film is able to relate to audiences from mid-20’s to the golden years with its honest insight and celebration of the two.  There is even a dance club scene with glow sticks for the truly young at heart.  The film is set to be released August 1, 2014 in major cities and I give it two “Senior List Thumbs” up.

Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging

Since the snake-oil days of  the wild wild west, self-proclaimed health experts have been hawking advice and “products” on an unsuspecting and somewhat gullible public.  The difference between then and now (besides the coon-skin hats) is that today we have the tools and resources to help snuff these folks out.  There still any number of snake-oil salesmen around but they’re pretty well disguised these days.  You’ll know one if they’re touting the latest “fad” diet like The Sleeping Beauty Diet Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging, the Grape Fruit Diet, or the Baby Food Diet (yes this is a real diet).  You’ll also know one if their approach is extreme and/or one dimensional.  We believe healthy aging isn’t just about one thing… It’s about taking care of, and being aware of our physical AND our mental being.

Besides wacky diets and bad advice online, there are some great resources out there to help us age-with-grace and in good health (both mentally and physically). We’ll pass along a few ideas in the coming weeks, but this week we’re focused on our favorite books about healthy aging. If you’ve read any of these, be sure and give us a review or an opinion in the comments section.  In addition, if you have any recommendations on books our readers should be aware of, please let us know!

Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging

1.   Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging51J7G1h6yyL. SL110  Top 5 Books On Healthy AgingAcclaimed best seller Dr. Andrew Weil provides sensible advice to aging adults in an oldie-but-a-goodie titled; Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well-Being Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging. In the 2007 version (a good one), Dr. Weil’s advice combines traditional and non-traditional medical advice to help us age in good health.  Highlights include advice on eating right, nutrition and the anti-inflammatory diet, exercising right, and a solid background on the aging process in general terms.  “Weil wants us to be sensible about growing old… He argues that we should not fight aging.  There’s no winning that war.  Instead, we should concentrate on aging well.”   (The Washington Post)

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2.  Aging Wisely: Strategies for Baby Boomers and Seniors Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging is Dr. Robert Levine’s book about aging that includes both mind and body in it’s approach.  Dr. Levine is the former chief of neurology at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut and a retired clinical professor at Yale University.  Dr. Levine believes that we are responsible and need to be in control of our own lives.  Interwoven is the element that maintaining a positive attitude allows us to age well.  Dr. Levine reminds his readers that aside from illnesses and random events, healthy aging is up to us.  “Dr. Robert Levine’s book provides a prescription for aging wisely and with dignity. Brimming with anecdotes, and written in an interesting and clear manner, it’s good medicine for those of us who want to make the rest of our lives the best of our lives.”  (Jan Cullinane, best-selling author of The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement)

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3.  Although the title says otherwise, there are many things in this top book on healthy aging that applies to both sexes.  A Man’s Guide to Healthy Aging: Stay Smart, Strong, and Active Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging.  Authors Edward Thompson Jr. and Lenard Kaye examine “what’s next” after middle age, and offer a man’s perspective on healthy aging.  In this book the authors focus on mind and body approaches to healthy again, with a strong bend toward mental health and the role it plays in men as they grow older.  “Covers almost everything you need to know, but might be afraid to ask, about keeping fit mentally, physically, socially, intellectually and sexually through the decades.”  (Wall Street Journal)

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4.  The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging is a book about embracing the aging process and taking it in.  Author Joan Chittister is a Benedictine Sister of Erie, PA and has written over 50 books (many of them receiving accolades and awards).  Chittister herself on writing The Gift of Years; “The thing most wrong about this book is that I may be too young to write it.  I am, after all, only seventy.”  This quote alone offers the self awareness and perspective worthy of consideration for our top 5 books on healthy aging.  Among other things the book contains 40 or so essays on subjects like adjustment, sadness, regret and success.  The author also offers advice on allowing yourself to become active in ones golden years and using that time to connect with yourself and with others.  “Perhaps you have to be in the second half of life to know how truthfully and helpfully Joan Chittister speaks.  We live in a first-half-of-life culture, which makes this wisdom all the more necessary—and all the more wonderful.”  (Richard Rohr, author, The Naked Now)

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5.  New York Times best selling author Michael Gurian (author of The Wonder Boys) takes us on a journey along newly defined dimensions for our second half of life.  The Wonder of Aging: A New Approach to Embracing Life After Fifty Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging divides our second act into 3 stages;  The Age of Transformation (from our late forties to around sixty), The Age of Distinction (from sixty to seventy-five), and The Age of Completion (the final stage of our journey).  His philosophy is to emphatically embrace life after 50 and he inspires his readers to go out and get it (what ever their “it” is).   Author Michael Gurian is described as a philosopher, a family therapist, a corporate consultant, and a bestselling author of over twenty books. “The Wonder of Aging is a very important book.  It is filled with practical tips, solid science and stories that will inspire and motivate you.  With 11,000 people turning 60 every day, we can no longer avoid talking about aging… So we might as well embrace it with wonder.”  (Daniel G. Amen, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Use Your Brain to Change Your Age)

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Best List Of Senior Discounts For 2014

best senior discounts 282x300 Best List Of Senior Discounts For 2014We had such a tremendous response to our 2013 list of senior discounts  that we wanted to update that list and make it even better!  Based on your feedback and a little homework, we compiled a new “Best List Of Senior Discounts For 2014″.  There’s still a number of great places to go to find stores that offer senior discounts, like AARP, AAA, and About.com.  If you have suggestions that we missed or corrections (these things can change from time to time) please let us know below!

One additional resource to keep in mind is The Senior List Facebook Page.  We regularly post discounts, scam alerts, and other great information there.  Also, it’s another great place for our community to interact and share together.  If you haven’t “liked” our Facebook page yet, please join us! (Look for our Facebook widget just to the right of this article.)

Best Restaurant Discounts For Seniors:

Applebee’s: 15% off with Golden Apple Card (60+)
Arby’s: 10% off (55+)
Backyard Burger: free drink with purchase
Ben & Jerry’s: 10% off (60+)
Bennigan’s: discount varies by location (60+)
Bob’s Big Boy: discount varies by location (60+)
Boston Market: 10% off (65+)
Burger King: 10% off (60+) plus additional discounts on coffee and soft drinks
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co: 10% off for AARP Members
Carrabba’s Italian Grill: 20% off on Wednesdays to AARP Members
Chick-Fil-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee (55+)
Chili’s: 10% off (55+)
CiCi’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Denny’s: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members (55+)
Dunkin’ Donuts:  AARP members receive a free donut with the purchase of a large hot coffee (at participating restaurants)
Einstein’s Bagels: 10% off baker’s dozen of bagels (60+)
Fuddrucker’s: 10% off any senior platter (55+)
Gatti’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Golden Corral: 10% off (60+)
Hardee’s: $0.33 beverages everyday (65+)
IHOP: 10% off (55+)
Jack in the Box: up to 20% off (55+)
KFC: Free small drink with any meal (55+)
Krispy Kreme: 10% off (50+)
Long John Silver’s: Various discounts at locations (55+)
McDonald’s: discounts on coffee everyday (55+)
Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+)
Outback Steakhouse: 15% off AARP members for meals Monday through Thursday (alcohol excluded)
Papa John’s: 25% off (55+) for online orders. Enter the code “AARP25″ when placing your order
Shoney’s: 10% off Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+)
Steak ‘n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday (50+)
Subway: 10% off (60+)
Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off (62+)
Taco Bell: 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+)
TCBY: 10% off (55+)
Tea Room Cafe: 10% off (50+)
Village Inn: 10% off (60+)
Waffle House: 10% off every Monday (60+)
Wendy’s: 10% off (55+)
White Castle: 10% off (62+)

Best Retail and Apparel Discounts For Seniors:

Banana Republic: 10% off (50+)
Bealls: 20% off first Tuesday of each month (50+)
Belk’s: 15% off first Tuesday of every month (55+)
Bon-Ton Department Stores: 15% off on senior discount days (55+)
C.J. Banks: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
Clarks: 10% off (62+)
Dress Barn: 10% off (55+)
Goodwill: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Hallmark: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kohl’s: 15% off (60+)
Modell’s Sporting Goods: 10% off
Rite Aid: 10% off on Tuesdays & 10% off prescriptions
Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday (55+)
The Salvation Army Thrift Stores: Up to 50% off (55+)
Stein Mart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month (55+)

Best Airline Discounts For Seniors:

American Airlines: Various discounts for 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
Continental Airlines: No initiation fee for Continental Presidents Club & special fares for select destinations
Southwest Airlines: Various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
United Airlines: Various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
U.S. Airways: Various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)

Best Car Rental Discounts For Seniors:

Alamo Car Rental: Up to 25% off for AARP members
Avis: Up to 25% off for AARP members Best Western: 10% off (55+)
Budget Rental Cars: 10% off; up to 20% off for AARP members (50+)
Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off (50+)
Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members
Hertz: Up to 25% off for AARP members Holiday Inn: 10%-30% off depending on location (62+)
National Rent-A-Car: Up to 30% off for AARP members

Best Activities & Entertainment Discounts For Seniors:

AMC Theaters: Up to 30% off (55+)
Bally Total Fitness: Up to $100 off memberships (62+)
U.S. National Parks: $10 lifetime pass; 50% off additional services including camping (62+)
Regal Cinemas: 30% off Ripley’s Believe it or Not: @ off one-day ticket (55+)
SeaWorld Orlando, FL: $3 off one-day tickets (50+)

Best Cell Phone Discounts For Seniors:

AT&T: Special Senior Nation 200 Plan $29.99/month (65+)
Jitterbug: $10/month cell phone service (50+)
Verizon Wireless: Verizon Nationwide 65 Plus Plan $29.99/month (65+)

Best Hair Cut Discounts For Seniors:

Great Clips: $3 off hair cuts (65+)
Super Cuts: $2 off haircuts (60+)

If you’re interested in getting the very best deal you can, the best thing you can do is just ask the question… “Do you offer any senior discounts?”  Hey, a penny saved is a penny earned!  We’ll continue to update this list with the help of our readers like you. Remember to add your “2 cents” in the comment section below.

Photo Credit: 401(K) 2012 via Flickr

Best Places To Retire For Less

SavannahGA Best Places To Retire For Less

Best places to retire for less

If you’ve been following our posts recently you know we published a list of best beach towns to retire in America.  This list is admittedly biased to towns out west (hey we spend a lot of time out there), but each of these beach communities is wonderful in it’s own right.  The Motley Fool recently published a short-list of friendly boomer cities where retirees can live it up for less.  In their best places to retire for less, the Motley Fool included 3 sleepers… Savannah Georgia (love it), Tulsa Oklahoma (interesting choice), and Omaha Nebraska (this works).  I wouldn’t have thought about the latter 2, if not for some of the context provided.  In addition, I like the criteria used to make the recommendations.  Here’s what these fools (it’s Motley Fool for heavens sake) took into consideration when looking a the best places to retire for less.  We also threw in a few suggestions of our own.  If you’re looking for the best places to retire for less, you should consider the following criteria as you map out your own retirement plans.

When thinking about retirement cities, consider the following criteria

  • Cost of Living (including state income tax rate, sales tax rate, and cost of living compared to the average COL)
  • Cultural Amenities and Offerings (like museums, parks, theater, and public squares)
  • The Employment Rate (a nice barometer of economic stability)
  • Is there a University/College near by?
  • Are there senior care facilities, and/or home health agencies adequately serving the area?
  • Is it close enough to your kids, your grand kids, and/or your close friends?

For another great list of affordable retirement cities, check out the folks at Grandparents.com.  They also published a list of the “6 Most Affordable Places to Retire“.  Another nice resource to check out is Sperlings Best Places.  They provide demographic info for cities that you may be considering as a retirement destination.  If you have other criteria used in making a retirement living choice, let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.

Photo: Wikipedia/Spyder_Monkey

Happy Independence Day 2014

What Is Independence Day?

“Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States of America commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain (now officially known as the United Kingdom). Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.” (source wikipedia.org)

us flag small Happy Independence Day 2014Here’s hoping you have a great 4th of July weekend, and you enjoy your Independence Day with friends and family.  Around these parts, we’re celebrating with a morning 5K run, later a community parade, and even later socializing with friends.  Rounding out the night is a big community firework show that is sure to encourage the dogs to pee on the carpet, and shake and shiver all night from the exploding madness.  Keeping this theme in mind, I thought we’d pass along a top 10 safety list for your pets on this especially LOUD holiday.  Brought to you by our friends at petMD, here are the “Top 10 4th of July Pet Safety Tips” for your reading pleasure.

If you’re up for inspiration, here’s a link to a poem that my husbands great grandmother wrote upon setting foot in America (via Ellis Island).  The poem is entitled “Momoire” by Kate M. Gehrke.  It includes this wonderful passage about her coming to America:

“But most of all I think about the crossing of the ocean. To a new world – I had always known -But only by its name.  A world so different from the old, And still so much the same.  For here I met the people from Russia And the Baltic Sea, From Bohemia, the Rheinland And from Saxony.” – A passage from Kate Gehrke’s “Memoire”

Happy Fathers Day 2014

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.” ~Mark Twain, “Old Times on the Mississippi” Atlantic Monthly, 1874

fathers day1 Happy Fathers Day 2014Wishing all of the dad’s out there very special wishes on this fathers day!  Here’s hoping you have a great day surrounded by family, or hearing from those most special to you.  This isn’t the only day I think about my own father, but it does force me to reflect more than I normally do.  More than anything, I think about all of the lessons I learned from my dad without knowing they were lessons.  Maybe that’s the magic of fatherhood.

A Successful Man (author unknown)

That man is a success – who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of
children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.

Have a special memory of your father or father figure? Share it below!

 “He didn’t tell me how to live; He lived and let me watch him do it.” – Clarence Budington Kelland

best dad Happy Fathers Day 2014