MERCER ISLAND - We continue our series highlighting "The Wisest Generation": our elderly parents and grandparents who have so many stories and life lessons to share.
This week, we introduce you to Anne Corley and Bob Lewis, living at Aljoya Mercer Island. Together for 15 years and married for 5, their story reveals two big life lessons: Experiencing other cultures and learning about the world we live in is extremely important. Oh, and- long distance relationships really DO work!
This is the second marriage for both Anne and Bob, and they met while in their 60's on a tour in Mexico. "We got together there, while taking Spanish and looking through ruins," Bob says. Anne laughs and adds, "So we were a couple of ruins that got together!"
But once the trip ended, Anne returned to Virginia and Bob to Mercer Island just outside of Seattle. Still, the relationship blossomed, and they continued to date long distance for ten years! Anne would spend many weeks on Mercer Island with Bob over the summers, and they each made trips to visit each other throughout the year.
Both spoke to the importance of exposing your family to other cultures- and you don't have to be able to afford to travel to do it, Anne says. She invited exchange students into her home while she raised her kids, and she says that proved to be a wonderful way to learn about people all over the world.
Why is learning about other cultures so important? Bob says it's an important reminder that "our" way isn't always the only way. "There's a lot of different ways of people getting along and living- and getting along pretty well in some of these countries," he says.
Anne adds, "If you don't know something about how people in other countries live, especially the ones that are... not first world, you don't have much appreciation for what we do have here."
When I ask them for the key to a happy life, they are quick to answer. For Anne? "Be happy with what you have," she says. Bob adds, "And be flexible and able to change and just roll with the punches... do the best you can, and it doesn't matter what that is."
Other interesting tidbits about these two: Anne was the first woman elected to the city council in her Virginia hometown, and Bob spent many decades in the Mercer Island community as a dentist. Both still love seeing the world and spending time with their families.
Watch the video to learn more!