"Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live." -- Jim Rohn

When I was a child I hated taking medicine. I didn't know any kid who did. Like the time I came down with a fever. Mom tried all kinds of remedies, including a spoonful of castor oil and honey with tea.

When nothing seemed to work, she called the family doctor. Yes, doctors still made house calls back then!

The first thing the doctor did was insert a tongue depressor down my throat and make me say "aaah." I had a hard time trying to keep from gagging let alone say "aaah."

If that didn't start the healing process, I don't know what did. I knew the rest of the routine. More foul tasting pills and bed rest until my fever broke. I should've taken up medicine.

I had the hardest time swallowing pills. Knowing that, mom stayed at my bedside to make certain I did -- no matter how long it took. At times she had to bribe me. Ice cream always worked.

I rarely saw a doctor and only when I had to. I considered myself fortunate.

I used to rib my sister-in-law when she took a handful of pills before dinnertime. I don't do it anymore. Not since I've been taking handfuls myself -- if you consider eight a handful.

Nowadays pharmaceutical companies sugarcoat pills to make them more palatable. But the generic ones still taste the same -- awful.

Although turning 80 at one time seemed unlikely, living to 90 and even 100 is no longer far-fetched! But that likelihood comes with strings attached.


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Watching what you eat and drink and engaging in some form of daily exercise will add years to your life. And maintaining a healthy mental and spiritual outlook will also do wonders.

The city of Concord will host an Age Strong, Live Long Fair from 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Feb. 28, at the Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle.

The program promises to offer valuable tips on health care in addition to screening services and a demonstration on healthy cooking. You don't have to be a senior to attend and admission is free.

A light lunch will be available for $5. Those interested in purchasing lunches are asked to call 925-671-3320 ext. 1. Since only a limited number of lunches will be prepared, reserving a lunch is a must. If the lunch is anything like last year's, it's well worth the cost.

Ask yourselves:

Do you have a loved one who shows symptoms of dementia? Need help in recognizing and understanding its progression? Do you know the "hidden" symptoms of Parkinson's disease? Do you have questions about your medication? What about having to deal with health care directives and durable power of attorney?

Panels of experts will cover all these issues and you will have ample opportunity to ask them questions.

Workshops dealing with hearing and the heart are also on the agenda. Those are sessions everyone should attend as they deal with subjects that impact the well-being of our senior population.

Jewel Frank's session on "Older Wiser Sexually Smarter" sounds intriguing. I'm as curious as anybody to know what he has to say.

The two sessions I plan to attend are Dr. Leonard Chuck's "Make Room for Sugar, Type 2 Diabetes" and Chef Mario's "Beet Salad Cooking Demonstration."

Dr. Chuck is a highly respected doctor who gave up a successful medical practice to devote full time to researching Type 2 diabetes -- a problem that has affected several members of my family.

Last summer my wife and I participated in a cooking class conducted by Chef Mario and enjoyed the session which introduced us to a lot of "new" foods and eating healthy.

I understand those who sign up will each receive a kit containing the same ingredients of the meal that the chef will prepare to take home and try on their own.

Because of the crowd the fair is expected to draw, seating for each program will be limited and will be on a first-come basis. Knowing how popular these symposiums are, I would suggest you cancel all other appointments and arrive early to take advantage of everything that's being offered.

I close with this thought by William James: "Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create that fact."

Eizo Kobayashi is a Concord resident and a member of the Concord Senior Citizens Club. Contact him at transcript@bayareanewsgroup.com.