The Blondes and I were able to take a quick trip to visit my family in Florida last weekend. Although we (as a family) rarely employ the divide and conquer philosophy, this time a busy schedule necessitated it so Ashley Grace and Matt stayed in Nebraska to hold down the fort. It had been more than a year since I had been back to visit, and at age 90 and 91 my grandparents no longer travel out to see us. So, we traded the Beef State for the Sunshine State for a few days.
I was blessed as a child to grow up within walking distance of my grandparents, and my Grannie and I have always been especially close. When Matt and I made the decision to get married, one of the biggest reasons why we chose to move back to the farm in Nebraska was so that our children could grow up rural America and be near a set of grandparents. I know that my girls will cherish the relationships that they have (and will continue to develop) with all four of the grandparents that they are blessed with!
It is no easy task to attain the age of 90 and 91—so what is the secret to living such a long and full life?
- Love—After more than 60 years of marriage, the strong partnership that they have attained has kept them moving forward and emotionally energetic. They, quite literally, live for each other and provide an example of dedication to one another that both fascinates and inspires me.
- Activity—As avid walkers and bird watchers, Grannie and Dedaw give new meaning to staying healthy and in shape. They walked 109 miles around Lake Okeechobee to celebrate their 70th birthdays more than twenty years ago. Quite befitting to their devotion, they ended the eight day trek with a celebration kiss… Up until the last two years, they have continued to stay incredibly physically active walking upwards of several miles a day. As young children, my girls always looked forward to visiting with Grannie and Dedaw so that we could go for long walks looking for birds and alligators.
- A Balanced and Healthy Diet—I have no memories of my grandparents ever being on a diet, but I do remember always being served well balanced, healthy, and home cooked meals at their house…Simple, good food was always what Grannie put on the table. As children of The Great Depression, Grannie and Dedaw were always thankful to be able to put meat on the table at dinner time and would tell us tales of eating macaroni and cheese for several days a week when no meat was available during their childhood. As a beef farmer, it is hard for me to imagine not having access to meat, but I live in a very different world than they did upward of 80 years ago.
Being around Grannie and Dedaw always reminds me to be thankful that I have never been hungry and have many choices available to me as I cook dinner for my family. I chose to cook beef most nights because I like the way that it tastes, and I know that it is a great basis for a healthy meal. I love the fact that it is as nutrient rich as it is delicious…
Did you know that one three ounce serving of beef provides the following…?
48% of your daily Protein needs
41% of your daily Selenium needs
37% of your daily Vitamin B12 needs
33% of your daily Zinc needs
25% of your daily Niacin needs
20% of your daily Vitamin B6 needs
19% of your daily Phosphorus needs
17% of your daily Choline needs
12% of your daily Iron needs
10% of your daily Riboflavin needs…
All of these great nutrients packed in one piece of great tasting and satisfying beef! Beef provides a meal that I feel good about serving to my family…Hopefully, 50+ years from now, my girls will be reminiscing about my long life that was filled with love, good health, and great food!