UK IYOP_2013I was thinking thankfulness yesterday. Well, first I was thinking. “Time to split logs for firewood as it’s going to be cold and rainy tomorrow.”

Last month a friend helped me to cut down a huge Escarpment Black Cherry tree that had succumbed to the persistent drought. We stacked the logs down the hill from my house. Now, I began hauling them up to the garage where my chopping block, axe, sledge and wedge awaited. After a few trips, each carrying about all the logs I could manage, I found I was breathing hard and sweating (Well… it was pretty warm and swampy before the cold front moved in).

Never-the-less, it crossed my mind, as it often does, that I’m getting older and need to expect to get tuckered out faster than when I was just 60 or so. Then, I counter with, “Hey! I’ve always breathed hard and sweated after exercise!  Even in my 20’s and during Air Force basic training in San Antonio in August running a mile in under 8 minutes nearly killed me. So, I conclude that I’m doing rather well these days to still be hauling wood and splitting logs. Abe Lincoln, Ronald Reagan and me… not too shabby company.

So being thankful for being as fit as I still am led me to the notion of longevity.  My grandparents, both pairs of them, had five children each. Of those, I have two uncles, in their early 90’s on my mother’s side and on my dad’s side, one aunt, who will be 100 in February. So, that’s sort of a 30% survival rate for my relatives.

Back in blog 32, I discussed a cool web site with extremely, clever animated graphs dealing with longevity (Spiegelhalter, 2008).  One of the charts indicates that 2% of newborns survive to be 98 years old. So my living aunt is one of the very few and so I’m so thankful I’m doing as well as I am on my own personal survival path.

Join us for a real-time discussion about questions raised by this essay on Tuesday from 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. See Discussion and SL tabs above for details. Link to the virtual meeting room:


  1. Blog for Week 32, What Are the Odds? –
  2. Spiegelhalter, D. Understanding uncertainty: How long will you live? +Plus Magazine, 2008.

Miscellaneous Bits – Various Days

  1. International Day of Older Persons.
  2. International Women’s Day.
  3. International Men’s Day .
  4. Universal Children’s Day.

Image Source: UN Photo/Milton Grant of an older person in Havana.