The gifts of LIFE and LOVE

I am inspired by older adults who are active and enjoying life. As each year passes, I find myself studying those people who are typically happy and content, because I want to be like them at all stages of life—don’t you? Many older adults have figured out the secret to living well, which includes pursuing passions, cultivating friendships and doing the things they’ve always enjoyed.

In this issue, we focus on “Seniors Living Well” and have included helpful advice and opportunities for the golden years. We also honor several older adults by sharing their stories. 

We’ve also tucked in an update from the Romance, Ark. post office, a sweet love story and a supper idea for Valentine’s Day. Chef Don Bingham gives recipes for delicious food that can be nestled on a Valentine’s Day charcuterie board. He also checks the chocolate box with a Chocolate Regal Heart Torte.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I encourage readers to let the people around you know that they are appreciated and cared about. In my experience, even the smallest consideration is meaningful in this fast-paced life.

One thing I love about my job is that I meet two to three dozen people each month as I explore potential articles, and one gentleman in this issue was a delightful new acquaintance. Joe Rantisi of Maumelle is 76 and only started running marathons at age 59 after facing prostate cancer. He is still running and working full-time because he loves the challenge and the people he works with. His mantra is, “You’re never too old to start.”

We’ve also included our annual 501 Basketball Team, which consists of 44 outstanding teens from the Central Arkansas who are standouts because of on- and off-the-court achievements. Some of them have the mantra “You’re never too young to start” and have been playing basketball since elementary school. For these elite players, being part of their high school team is deeply meaningful, and they are passionate about the game!

Levi Gilbert and Mark Oliver wrote the bios for each of these 45 student-athletes, and I was encouraged as I read them. Most of these students have maturity beyond their years, and they recognize their influence on younger students. Although most are seniors, many see the big picture: that their time in high school is fleeting, with more responsibility just around the corner, so they want to give their all at every game.

One day, the youth featured in this issue will be senior adults, looking back on their teen years and hopefully thinking with pride about the honor of being named to our exclusive 501 Basketball Team. 

Today, we congratulate this year’s team as we also acknowledge the important role that senior adults play in our families and communities. It’s important to “live well” and “love well” at all stages of life.