Life Lessons, is a 2019 project highlighting the life and times of Wisconsin Seventh-day Adventist Church members who are 90 years of age or older, and still actively serving and loving Jesus
Former Wisconsin school teacher, Lola Luttig, turns 92 this June. Her little house is nestled deep in a beautiful valley, just above her watercress spring, on a road that bears her family’s name. But while Lola may be out in the country, it doesn’t keep her from getting around. She’s always driving her red Jeep around Richland Center and, during Wisconsin camp meeting, her little purple golf cart can be seen zooming around Camp Wakonda.
Lola acknowledges she wasn’t always as fastidious about her health as she is now. In 2008, she broke her hip and, during her bedridden recovery, had an epiphany. “There’s nothing wrong with my mind,” she recalls. Feeling impressed to call an herbalist to see if he was still doing classes, she discovered that, not only was he still in the business, the classes were half price. Before she knew it, she was signed up and taking classes. More than interesting, the classes were also transformative.
When our reporter/photographer, 19-year-old Anthony Isensee, met up with her, she was eager to impart advise about nutrition, mission, and how young and old can form more meaningful relationships. Here’s Lola — a mother of one son, grandmother of five, great grandmother of one, in her own words.
On Diet and Exercise
“Food is what builds our body. There’s no use in thinking otherwise. We have to be willing to not only read what it says in the Bible but be willing to eat and live that way. It’s also very important not only to eat properly, but to realize how near to the end we are.
“I take two cloves of garlic every day. … Take at least a teaspoon of processed tomatoes — that takes the smell away! … I drink soup every morning since it gives me lots of water. … If you walk 1,300 steps a day, that’s the same as if you walked for two miles. I got me one of those gadgets and pinned it to me [to track my number of steps].”
“I travelled to 60 countries, seven with Wisconsin Academy. Only until you travel to foreign countries do you really realize how fortunate we are to be here in theUnited States to have religious freedom. When I was in Hungary, the [church] officers had to go to the state police to get the keys for the church. They (the members) hadn’t been in church for five years. They got the keys on Friday and had to return the keys on Monday when the state office opened, or they’d be fined heavily. … There is an overwhelming need for assistance throughout the world.”
Advise to Seniors
“Get involved in raising grandchildren. … A senior citizen always needs one or two close friends, and also a non-Adventist friend, so you can get them to come to church. If each one can gain one, what a difference that would be.”
On Youth Finding Wisdom
One thing every teenager should do is to find an elderly person and become a friend to them. Find a retired person, not someone involved in their work. When someone tells you they need you, they want you, it does something to your body. It’s a joy to me to see that someone wants my company.”
Debbie Michel, associate director of Communication, with Anthony Isensee, Wisconsin-based freelance photographer and filmmaker.
Photo credit: Anthony Isensee