How Long?

Today is an important day in my life; I officially become an octogenarian. How long is eighty years? I now know. I can look back over my life and see how I have been blessed with good health, good friends, a good wife, three caring daughters, eight extraordinary grandchildren, and a wonderful family, five generations before and after me. And now I look to the future and ask myself, “How long?”

How long can I order and plant bulbs for the next spring?

How long can I jitterbug with my Arranger?

How long can I double-date with my granddaughter and the young man in her life?

How long can I hit a backhand down the line for a winner?

How long can I haunt the garden centers for new plants to put in my garden?

How long until I finish my SciFi novel?

How long can I play my favorite song on my baritone ukulele?

How long can I listen to the bird symphony in my garden?

How long can I walk a mile every day?

How long can I dig and water and prune and weed, ignoring a sore back?

How long can I sit and listen to one of the great violin concertos?

How long can I have a grandson over for Sunday dinner?

How long can I get down on my knees to pray, to give thanks for these blessings?

I don’t know how long I will be able to do these things that bring me such joy, but I am going to do my best to keep at it.

About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in Stallings, NC with his wife, in close proximity to six of his eight grandchildren.
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19 Responses to How Long?

  1. For dear John on this amazing day. Happy Birthday with our love…Ulysses-Alfred Lord Tennyson (last verse)

    Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and though
 we are not now that strength which in old days
 moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
 one equal temper of heroic hearts,
 made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
 to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


  2. Cathy says:

    Congratulations and Many Happy Returns!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pete says:

    Happy birthday. I am blessed to have such a wonderful brother. Much love to you on this very special day.


  4. Christina says:

    Congratulations , that is a great achievement, I hope you will continue to enjoy all the things you love, some of which I can’t do now and I’m quite a bit younger than you. Have a wonderful day.


  5. Congratulations,. and here’s to many more active and happy years!


  6. FlowerAlley says:

    Happy Birthday JV. You just keep right on going, one precious moment at a time. You’re living right.


  7. Happy birthday John! Thank you for this thoughtful and thought provoking post. I hope the answer to all of your musings remains, “As long as you enjoy it.” I hope this has been a special day for you and your beloved arranger .


  8. Pauline says:

    I hope you enjoy many, many more Happy Birthdays in the future. Keep on planting and planning, you are as young as you feel!


  9. sueturner31 says:

    Happy Birthday and many many more. It’s all in the mind keep planning your garden, keep buying your plants, sow more seeds, and enjoy your family. Looks like you have a lot of love around you…. x


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