Roger Alford

An elderly gentleman was out for a drive with his equally elderly and hard-of-hearing wife the other day when a police officer pulled them over.

“Let me see your license,” the officer said to the husband.

“What’d he say?” the woman asked in a loud, shrill voice, not wanting to miss any of the conversation.

“He said he wants to see my license,” the husband said.

“Where are you going?” the officer asked.

“What’d he say?” the woman yelled, her voice high and piercing.

“He asked where we’re going,” the husband said, before turning back to the officer and explaining, “We’re on our way to our home in Atlanta.”

“Lawdy,” the officer said, “the meanest, most contrary old woman I’ve ever known lives in Atlanta.”

“What’d he say?” the woman shouted.

“He said he thinks he knows you,” the husband said.

Did you, like that elderly lady, ever listen to a conversation that was so interesting that you didn’t want to miss a single word? That was the way it was when I was a kid and my aunts and uncles would gather around the dining room table. Long after they had finished their meals, they’d sit there and talk about the good ol’ days and how things used to be. I just couldn’t get enough of that.

I suppose every generation tends to be nostalgic about bygone days. But you probably know that the Bible calls on us to make the most of the day and time in which we live.

“Say not thou, ‘What is the cause that the former days were better than these?’” (Ecclesiastes 7:10).

I suspect the Lord wants us to do our best in the here and now so that when we grow older and look back, we do so with great nostalgia, that we tell stories of our childhoods and our working years that hold a younger generation spellbound.. And I suspect the Lord wants that younger generation to listen to those stories and conclude that they’ll do their best to equal or even surpass the experiences of the previous generation.

If days gone by seem better to us, then we need to do our part to make the days in which we now live better.

Let’s do everything we can to make some memories this year so that we can sit around the dining room table in our old age and talk about it.

Let’s hope a younger generation will sit there spellbound, listening.

And, if we’re fortunate, there’ll be an elderly woman who sees the laughter and asks in a high, piercing voice: “What’d he say?”

Reach Roger Alford at (502) 514-6857 or

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