Max, at 94, Embraces Winter

I recently got a hold of a self-published book called Getting to 94; Aging with Max and the Seasons. Inside, Max Schwartz and his daughter discuss unique wisdom and activities adapted for each month of the year. This photocopied book of wisdom is dedicated to “the instinct in all of us to ‘choose life.'”

In December, for example, Max reminds us that having a small notebook with you at all times can prove helpful, especially when holiday shopping. If you make note of where you parked, you cannot get lost.

For winter exercise, Max recommends cleaning the house and working on home-based projects. “Working hard enough means you are tired in the afternoon and glad to be able to just rest.” A tip: he uses his dishwasher to air-dry his dishes.

On cold days, Max likes to bake scones, mandelbrod, and lemon tea bread, to be consumed with hot liquids. Tip: preheat the cup; that keeps your beverage hot.

For gift ideas, Max says a visit or a phone call is the best gift he could receive. He also remembers getting coupons from his children offering to take him out to lunch, to help with paying bills, and to shop together.

On to January, Max discusses this time of optimism (“another year, another chance”) as well as fear. Max practically addresses how to confront fears of confronting winter weather, getting lost, missing medication, etc. His tip: “Train yourself to remember, by stating things out loud. Years ago, when I noted landmarks along my driving routes, I’d say them aloud. That way it seemed to register in my brain.”

Together, these small strategies for coping and making life meaningful, help one to live in sync with the seasons and embrace aging. Thank you, Max, for sharing your wisdom with us.

For copies of Getting to 94; Aging with Max and the Seasons, by Joan Baronberg and Max Schwartz, contact Joan at

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Meika Loe

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