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At the dawn of 2020, here are a few bits of philosophy from the life and lips of Maamaw (my mom’s mom) to help us along our way.

If you care enough to take the time to read the instructions, you can do most of what needs to be done from day to day.

When you have a problem, go outside and work a little bit in your garden. In other words, moving your body, even a little bit, usually clears the mind and lifts the spirit.

“My strength is as the strength of 10 because my heart is pure” (actually a quote from “Sir Gaiwan and the Green Knight” that she loved to cite).

When you go out to eat with someone you love, buy food that each of you likes so you can both double your dining pleasure.

Vision takes what others call ugly and transforms it into something beautiful, takes what others call useless and turns it into something wonderful. She did this to a front yard demolished by neighborhood kids.

“Where there is a will, there is a way,” which she once proved by stationing lawn chairs in our front and back yards for resting purposes as she grew older and her energy began to flag.

“No matter how dirty something gets, you can always clean it right up” (a line from “Bruce Almighty” that she embodied literally every day).

You cannot prepare for everything, but the one who prepares usually stands on much firmer ground than the one who never does.

“O, wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as others see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us, an’ foolish notion” (lines from Robert Burns, which she also loved to quote).

Live your own passions, not somebody else’s.

Do your best to make sure you die doing the things you love to do.

The Rev. Eugene Stockstill is pastor of Ebenezer United Methodist Church and Myrtle United Methodist Church in Union County.

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