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41 Years and Still Talking

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Imagine the scene:  you’re standing in the midst of rolling green hills covered with blueberry bushes. The sound of bagpipes drift through the air.  Occasional laughter and happy voices bubble up.  It’s nearly sunset and a picnic dinner just beyond the bushes beckons you away from foraging.  But you’re back at the bush, trying to find the “best” berry ever.

This I how I spent a recent evening.  And my competitive edge would not be subdued as I quickly noticed that some berry pickers were more efficient than me.  Their quart boxes filled up more quickly than my pint!  What was their secret?  I spied on an older gentleman who clearly knew the efficient method of berry picking.  After a while, we began to chat and I forgot about my lack of berry picking competence.

His name was Leon and he was a native Vermonter in his 70’s.  I was impressed to hear he still owned a thriving locksmith business.  And he had experienced many forms of employment over the years: teaching, farming, and politics.

But one constant had remained for him: his wife.  I asked him what advice he would give after being married for 41 years.  Without hesitation, he replied, “Share responsibilities, laugh, and talk.”  I was thrilled to hear such sage yet simple advice.  Especially the “talk”!

So the next time you’re blue berry picking (or reflecting on why certain relationships last longer than others!), think of Leon’s words.  Healthy, long lasting relationships require direct and honest communication.  Good luck talking!

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