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My Top Ten

The Union StaffMarilyn Atkinson
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

My top ten reasons why I’m happy I’ve lived to reach my 80th birthday:

1. Ross, the husband I had for 59-plus years. I’m sorry he isn’t with me to celebrate my 80th birthday. But we spent many happy years and traveled many miles in our motor home and got to see this wonderful country up close and personal.

2. My family. I have a lovely daughter and three great sons, and they’ve blessed me with a wonderful extended family including, but not limited to, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, and if they’ve been in any trouble, they’ve shielded me from it.



3. I have a terrific brother and two wonderful sisters and countless nieces and nephews and, as far as I know, none of them have run afoul of the law. If they have, I haven’t had to put up bail.

4. I have a wonderful network of friends, some I see often, some I see rarely, but all of whom I’m happy to see when we meet. I do have a special friend, but Dot would be embarrassed if I mentioned her name, so I won’t.




5. Hennessy School. When Grace Dolan let me into her classroom as a senior volunteer over 15 years ago, I never dreamed it could be so much fun. Senior volunteer? I wasn’t even 65 years old when I started. I had no idea what wonderful, caring people teachers are. Nor how long and hard they work. Hennessy School, from the top, our principal, Mrs. Eli, to the teachers, office staff, librarian, nurse and custodian, is a cradle of care for your kids.

6. We moved out of Oakland and into Nevada County in 1970 and never looked back.

7. I am still able to travel with my sister and my daughter. We traveled across the country, coast to coast, in my daughter’s motor home. We’ve also sailed to Alaska and have a cruise to Mexico on tap.

8. My computer is still working well, especially when I hit the right keys.

9. I live in a little mobile home, so I don’t have much housework.

10. I have a new leaf blower and it works so well I’ll never have to rake again!

“My Top Ten” appears each Tuesday. Want to share your Top Ten – songs, movies, TV shows, books, whatever? Send your list to My Top Ten, The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945 or e-mail it to


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