Well, another school year has rolled around. I think it is number 35 for Joyce as a teacher. After spending a perfectly wonderful weekend with three of my grandchildren this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I seem to be having a little more difficult time dealing with back to school this go round.

Well, another school year has rolled around. I think it is number 35 for Joyce as a teacher. After spending a perfectly wonderful weekend with three of my grandchildren this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I seem to be having a little more difficult time dealing with back to school this go round.

Four-year-old Emma entered pre-school Monday. Look out world; things will never be the same. After playing and holding this precocious child, I found it difficult to believe that she was about to wander out on her own for the very first time.

My mind drifted back to my first day of school some 56 years ago. I remember looking at a roomful of strangers and watching Mom try to hold back the tears after finally turning loose of my hand. There was a big lump in my throat as she walked out of the door of my first grade class. I held my chin up and refused to cry though it was quite difficult turning loose of someone that had been my constant companion for the first six years of my life.

After dwelling on that event for several moments I quietly returned to the present. I thought to myself that I really wouldn’t want to relive that part of my life again even if the Good Lord gave me the opportunity. Then, I started to ponder just what age would I like to live over again if I possibly could.

A smile comes to my face when I think about the teenage years when I was introduced to rock and roll music and Playboy Magazine. I don’t stay there long because I quickly realize that I wouldn’t want to be a teenager again if my life depended on it. The temptations our youngsters face today make me blush in comparison to the way things were when I was a teen and they were tough, even then.

Social media has opened up a whole new can of worms when it comes to growing up. We didn’t have to worry about Face book attacks; we simply had to deal with school bully face-to-face five days out of the week. There was some peace and quiet on the weekends.

Teens today are bombarded with sexual temptations – from TV to the Internet. For so many young people sex has been cheapened to the point that doesn’t mean any more than a handshake or a kiss on the cheek.

Don’t even want to go there. My prayers are with our young people.

I thought about middle age, around 35 to 40. You’re still young enough to enjoy what life has to offer and you have probably reached your peak as far as your career is concerned. The kids are still home and young enough to enjoy your company. However, there is always the worry and concern about finances and security. The pressures of the job are probably at their worst and on occasions you feel alienated even from your family because work simply takes too much of your time.

Perhaps if you had to pin me down I might say I wouldn’t mind going back to the time when I was head over heals in love with Joyce and we were the only two people on the face of the earth. But then, there were no children, grandchildren and family that are God’s greatest gifts to us.

Frankly, I realize that I don’t have to go back to that time either. My love for Joyce is stronger now than it has been the 34 years of our marriage and we have the privilege of sharing that love with our children and their family.

I am in the process of finishing my first novel. It has given me a golden opportunity to look back at a wonderful time in my life when I was unashamedly in love with the love of life. It has made me realize just what an incredible journey has evolved during my 62 years on this earth.

As I rapidly approach the retirement years I have discovered true contentment. I’m happy right where I’m at this very moment.