Sunday, May 7, 2017

Keep Moving: And Other Tips About Old Age

author Dick Van Dyke
published by Weinstein Books

I have just finished reading this book and I feel great! I've got the genes and I'm going to make the most of it. I'm a mere 77 this year, born in 1940. I come away from this book written by a favourite actor, Dick Van Dyke who has reinforced in me the fact that you need to "Keep Moving" whether by memories and thought, dancing and exercising or just exercising your brain. These are brought home to me every day since Mom turned 100 Dec. 23, 2016 and my Dad turns 100 May 27, 2017, living in their own home and yes, they dance. They have a stuffed musical bear that sings; my Dad grabs the bear and Mom and away they go. Oh, his cousin also turned 100 in January, 2017. So yes, I have the genes. But now after reading "Keep Moving" I have the instruction book, so to speak.

While I was at Mom & Dad's last December, in fact right up to and after Mom's 100th birthday, she was reading this book. I was fascinated, because she doesn't read a lot of books. She kept telling me, "I'm really enjoying this book." With that in mind, when I came back home, I bought 2 of them, one for myself and one for my 94 year old neighbour, my lifeline and pal who I have shared so much history with since moving to northern BC and meeting her my first day only to learn that our lives have crossed many times in the past. We don't believe in growing older without a lot of laughter. She loved this book, and passed it on to our friend, and one of which we share our so-called "support group", and she is enjoying it, too. We all have problems of one kind or another, but when we all get together it's a wonder Tim Hortons doesn't throw us out for disturbing the peace, we are laughing that loud. So, Dick Van Dyke, one of my favourite actors and entertainers, you have done what you set out to do. Made a believer of me and my friends.

All that personal stuff aside, (I only included it because it shows just how much we enjoyed the book and follow the theme), this is a remarkable book on living without aging. The rest of the title is "And Other Tips and Truths About Living Well Longer" and certainly fills the bill. Now in his nineties, Dick Van Dyke is enjoying life as much and maybe more. He is still active, sings and dances and refuses to feel "old". I very highly recommend this book to everyone. Not just us "old folks" who are really 'way ahead of our predecessors for many reasons. Laughter, friendship, walking, exercising mind and body (crossword puzzles are great for keeping the mind active), all this and more will keep us young. So many memories in this book from the past and forming today as well. His advice to keep making new memories, don't just sit around, move or go out as much as you are physically able and ignore what you are not physically able, take up new interests you are capable of, music, jokes, laughter, friendship, all will keep you young. This isn't to say that Dick hasn't had his share of sadness having lost two life partners in his lifetime. His memories of these two women are fresh and young, and fortunately he has found his partner, his wife, who though younger is very much in tune with him. He has children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren he is proud of and enjoys. This book also brought back the work he accomplished that I grew up with, the sitcoms, the movies, who could forget "Mary Poppins" nor can I forget "Bye Bye Birdie" one that you don't really hear that much about any more, but I remember it. I didn't realize that he was in the airforce during WWII, at the young age of 18. So many famous entertainers did go to war, and some lost their lives. This is a heart-warming book, nostalgic but not lessening in its message. Be young, age is just a number. I enjoyed every bit of this book as well as his conversations with other favourite performers. I still love the Dick Van Dyke show, as well as the other later ones. A very likeable man who I hope will be with us a long time yet.

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