By Kent Mulkey

It’s not unusual to describe a heavy object in tonnage.

But no one has any idea how much a ton is, really. Is 250 tons a lot?

An Idaho agriculture company imports 25,000 tons of avocados to the United States every year. Is that a lot?  

250 tons is 500,000 pounds. About the weight of 8 houses. Or the weight of 100,000 bricks, which is a solid stack of bricks 10ft X 10ft by 1,000 bricks high.

It would take you more than 2 months, working 24 hours a day, a brick a minute to unload that many bricks.

Facts are facts. Images and stories make them come alive. Bricks stacked up in a field do nothing. A house made of bricks keeps the Big Bad Wolf at bay.

There is a grandmother in my town who hiked a trail outside of town 100 times in 2019. It doesn’t sound so impressive until you can see the top of trail from anywhere in the valley and know that the hike is 11 ½ miles. People tried to do it with her. She left most of them in the dust. For 2020, she plans to walk 2020 miles.

My friend Fred, close to age 70, raced his bicycle across the country in just over 12 days at an average of 13 mph, stopping only to nap for an hour or so at a time, eat, and allow his crew to adjust his bike and make sure he was in good health. Uh, I think so!

Then there is Chuck, who at age 90 skydived for the first time since WWII. He is confident that he will do it again when he turns 100. In the meantime, he counsels servicemen returning from overseas who are battling post-trauma conditions. The man has vision and happens to be one of my favorite people ever.

I’ve said it before: it doesn’t matter if your senior community sits on 19 acres, has 300 apartments, wheels on the chairs in the dining room, or a new shuffleboard court. Those things are just things.

What matters is when things turn to life and tell us a rich, colorful story.