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Column: Keep your mind and body active

I sent a birthday card to a special lady who turned 91 years old. She is more like a 40-year-old than 90. Ginny is always on the go. She enjoys camping, traveling, reading, gardening, taking photos, compiling a scrap book for each trip, walking and hiking to name a few of her many hobbies and activities. She has a butterfly garden in her back yard.

I think of a family friend who passed away when she was 94. She was a classy dresser and never paid full price for her wardrobe. She went shopping every nice day she didn't have something scheduled. She did it for excercise not for buying something unless it was on sale and really marked down.

It brought back memories of an old neighbor of ours on the farm who passed away at 106 last summer. She was a one-room-school teacher all her life. Nine years ago her daughter moved her to Fargo in an assisted-living apartment. She was so unhappy after a month. She missed her old friends, shopping and cooking her own meals. She called the manager of her old apartment and hers was not rented yet. Without telling her daughter, she called the moving company, moved back to the small town, had the utilities put back in her name before she talked told her daughter who had been on vacation.

I listened to Willard Scott on the early news when he sent congratulations to seniors over 100 years old. One man was 102 and he still drove in Los Angeles. Another couple from Seattle were 102. They had been married for 10 years, saying romance never ends. People honored that day came from the north, east, south and west but all gave the same advice: keep your mind and body active. It maybe a new hobby, going back to school, reading, playing cards, traveling, babysitting, tutoring, biking, golfing, volunteering or surrounding yourself with positive, upbeat people both young and old. Always remember to have a good laugh every day.

So for those of us in those "rusty years" a reminder, spring is coming. Get off your duff and start peddling. It's good for your mind, body and soul.


Baked fish

10 oz. package broccoli, steamed and drained

4 fresh fish fillets (cod or hadock), washed and patted dry

1 can cream of broccoli soup

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons bread crumbs

1 teaspoon melted butter

Place broccoli in baking pan. Top with fish. Combine soup and milk.

Pour over and sprinkle cheese on top. Mix bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over cheese. Bake in 450-degree oven for 20 minutes or until fish flakes. Yield: 4 servings