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Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Mason Michaelis

One of my most inspirational memories from my years in working with Seniors began when I met Elaine.  She was 85 when we first met, and she had lived in the same house all her life.  She was born at home in the house that was homesteaded by her grandparents. When she got married, the newlyweds moved into the home with her parents and lived together until the elders passed.  Elaine and her husband raised four sons and two daughters in that same house.  They farmed and raised cattle, and the homestead provided for most of their needs with gardens, dairy cows, and chickens.  I met Elaine when she decided to move away from the homestead.  None of her children or grandchildren wanted to live there, and she had recently been widowed. Between the overwhelming maintenance and loneliness, she knew it was time.


Can you imagine the decades of memories and the accumulation of paraphernalia collected by four generations of family?  It was all there in the house, the basement, the attic, the barn, and the multiple machinery buildings.  But Elaine understood that she could homestead a new life that would take her forward in an environment of comfort, safety, and dozens of new friends.  She brought a few beautiful antiques that had a life span of more than 150 years.  She brought pictures and special collectibles.  But her wisdom was that the material things were not essential for her new life; it was the presence of love from her beautiful family that had created the homestead, not the buildings and furnishings.  She laughed when she told me her family spent more time with her now because there were no more chores to do!  Elaine continues to be an inspiration.  We can let go of the past and plan for a future that allows us to be free. 

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