Nelson author at peace with the aging process

'Despite the suffering and hardship of their lives, despite the losses that come with aging, it became evident to me that seniors create love and connection. They do this with admirable intelligence and economy.'

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Author Lee Reid presents stories and slideshow from her book about creative aging and the lives of West Kootenay elders to public libraries. Photo: Growing Home: The Legacy of Kootenay Elders Facebook

At the age of 71, Nelson author Lee Reid found herself suddenly curious about how others were managing to face this scary but inevitable thing called “aging.” As a former counselor Lee decided that she would do this by interviewing the elderly in her community. Her interviewees were not in despair or in need of help like most visitors to a counselor’s office, and so Lee was pleasantly surprised to discover that many elders were embracing aging with a positive outlook, courage and creativity.

Reid found that the elders with the most positive outlooks were those who were connected to nature in some way. Many had a deep connection with their land and gardens. She interviewed a bee keeper, a wildlife rescuer, and many gardeners. She profiles 17 seniors all with wonderful stories about what keeps them strong and happy in the face of loss and limited lifestyles due to aging.

Reid did not initially intend to turn these inspiring stories into a book. She viewed aging as a wolf at the door and wondered how others her age might be taming theirs. “When I began the interviews with elders, I didn’t realize that their stories and my book would become love stories about aging and seniors,” Lee says. “Despite the suffering and hardship of their lives, despite the losses that come with aging, it became evident to me that seniors create love and connection. They do this with admirable intelligence and economy.”

Lee Reid will be at the Revelstoke Library Wednesday, September 27. She will talk about aging and her book Growing Home: The Legacy of Kootenay Elders from 6:30–7:30 p.m. From 7:30–8:30 p.m. she will talk about “growing a book from scratch” for writers and would-be writers. Drop in for free to one or both parts of this wonderful presentation!

Lee Reid. Photo: contributed

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