So, you have lived here in good ol' Montgomery County your entire life and now have reached those glorious "golden years." Perhaps your mind is not quite as sharp. You're starting to forget a few things. And your brain is overwhelmed from hearing about politics, racial strife, terrorists, COVID-19, etc. It never ends. Therefore, to keep your mind sharp and preserve your sanity, try the following suggestions:
1. DRINK COFFEE: Orange juice and Raisin Bran for breakfast? Naah . . . You need a strong shot of caffeine to get you going when you stagger out of bed. Then pop a Krispy Kreme doughnut in the microwave for 10 seconds . . . might as well get a sugar high, too. In a few minutes, you'll feel like a teenager again . . . and oh yes, sip the coffee slowly so you don't have a heart attack, and DO NOT WATCH ANY NATIONAL NEWS. You have no control over any of the IDIOTS who are in the news, so why ruin your day?
2. WATCH THESE FIVE MOVIES: Hoosiers, The Wizard of Oz, High Noon, National Velvet, and Forrest Gump. That's all you need. You can relive your school days, remind yourself there is no place like home, recall what true courage is and remember that "life is like a box of chocolates . . . you never know what you are going to get." These movies will improve your mental attitude and outlook on life.
3. READ A BOOK: Any book. And not from a tablet or a screen . . . a REAL book with pages that you can hold in your hand. Reading keeps your mind working. My Dad told me one time, "if you don't use it, you'll lose it." I am pretty sure that he was actually referring to something other than my brain, but you get the picture.
4. PET YOUR DOG: My dog agrees with everything I tell him. He never argues or complains. All he asks for is a pat on the head and a few kind words. If all of your friends forsake you, your dog will stay by your side . . . faithful and true to the very end. Studies have proven that petting a dog lowers your blood pressure. Buying dog food is cheaper than being hospitalized with a stroke . . . right? Make your grandkids pick up the dog doo-doo while you are house-training it. Kids love puppies, and you can tell them it builds character.
5. MOW YOUR YARD: I mowed with a push mower for over 40 years. It was good exercise, but I decided to fork over some big bucks and buy a John Deere riding mower. A person can relax and do a lot of thinking on a mower. My wife said I look like Forrest Gump mowing the football field. After three or four hours of mowing a lot down the road . . . "I'm tired . . . I think I'll go home now."
6. HAVE MILK AND COOKIES: Each evening after supper, I sit in my easy chair and eat eight Lorna Doone shortbread cookies and drink a glass of milk. It reminds me of my visits to Grandma Dale's house. And every once in a while, I get out my 1959 Topps baseball cards or old photos and recall those times when I was an 11-year old kid and had no worries. It's good for your mind to remember those carefree days of youth. I try to forget the times I shot my brother with my BB gun, and hit my sister in the head with a golf ball and knocked her out . . . and a few hundred other minor mistakes.
7. FIBER: Have you ever had hemorrhoid surgery? NOT FUN . . . I had two of these wonderful procedures 25 years ago (caused by sitting in my Sheriff's car while on patrol and eating fast food). After the second surgery, I joined the "Metamucil Generation." What does fiber have to do with your mind, you might ask? Well, you will have PEACE OF MIND knowing that you will not be laying there naked as a jaybird on some cold metal operating table some day, with a nurse staring at your rear end and a doctor coming at you with a scalpel in his hand and an evil smile on his face . . . Two tablespoons of Metamucil in large glass of water every day . . . Trust me.
I am 72 years old. I am in better health and have a better disposition than I did 30 years ago because of the above listed habits. I may die tomorrow, but at least I will be happy before I kick the bucket. What about you? Go ahead . . . grab that second Krispy Kreme. Tell your spouse the dog ate it . . . and by the way, I am no doctor. I just took enough psychology classes in college to be dangerous.

John "Butch" Dale is a retired teacher and County Sheriff. He has also been the librarian at Darlington the past 30 years, and is a well-known artist and author of local history. He writes a general column that appears in The Paper on Fridays and a local sports column on Tuesdays.