A few weekends back, Gene and I went four-wheel riding through Snow Shoe, PA, with my parents. Out of respect for my mother's upcoming birthday, I won't tell you how old my parents are. I'll just tell you that I am almost 37, and that my parents were 33 when they had me. You figure out the rest.
Part of our mission was to test out the new side-by-side by parents just bought for our four-wheeler vacation this summer. This was their solution to how all the kids could go riding when we are in West Virginia.
There are many, many things I love about the people who raised me. As we drove all over the mountains together, two of their admirable qualities came to my attention: my parents live their life to the fullest, and they have their priorities in line.
My dad jokes about how he's not leaving any of his money behind, because he worked hard his life so that he can enjoy it -- and I love that mentality. If I were in need, my dad would never tell me, "Too bad, Denise, I need to buy a new four-wheeler," but at the same time, he's not agonizing over the stock market and pinching pennies so that he achieves some status through his wealth. He balances perfectly between generosity and enjoyment. My parents aren't irresponsible by any means, but they also believe they are on this earth to live and love each other and their families.
I can only hope that Gene and I will have the health and ability to run around, splashing through mud puddles with our kids and grandkids when we are 70. Oops, I mean, when we are older...