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When it comes to punctuality, the meaning of the word is foreign to me. In my defense, however, I usually have a very good reason for being late.

Take last month, for example. I’d been having a problem with my eyes burning and itching, so I made an appointment to see my optometrist. When the day arrived, I made certain I was ready to leave the house in plenty of time for my appointment. The last thing I always do before I go somewhere is put on my wristwatch and favorite ring – a Valentine gift from my late husband.

So as I was leaving, I headed to the drawer where I keep my jewelry. My ring wasn’t there! I frantically flung everything out of the drawer until there was nothing left inside but bare wood. I then raced to check the pockets of the clothes I’d been wearing the night before. Aside from a few lint balls, the pockets were empty. Had I, I wondered, set the ring down on the kitchen counter? I checked every inch of counter-space, which was no easy task because the counter is dark granite with specks of different colors running through it. I found nothing but a dried-up splotch of ketchup I’d forgotten to wipe up.

Warily, I eyed the trash container. Did I really want to thrust my hands into a mushy pile of everything from potato peels to discarded oatmeal? Yes! Just as I started to roll up my sleeves, however, it dawned on me that I was supposed to be heading to the optometrist’s. I looked at the clock and panicked when I saw I had only 15 minutes to get there. On a good day, the trip usually takes 20-25 minutes.

I bolted out the door, jumped into my car and headed to my appointment. I arrived eight minutes late.

The optometrist wasn’t my regular doctor, but a woman I hadn’t seen before. She was young, dark-haired and stunningly exotic-looking.

I apologized for being late and explained why. “I feel totally heartsick about losing my ring,” I told her.

She was silent for a few seconds, then said, “You know, I’m going to tell you something that probably will sound really crazy, but I swear it works. I can’t explain why, but it just does.”

She hesitated, as if debating whether or not to say her next words, then finally said, “My grandmother, back in Italy, once told me that if you lose something, to take a tissue, tie a knot in it and then hold it tightly in your hand. The next place you look, you’ll find the item you’re looking for.”

I didn’t want to be rude, but I couldn’t help but laugh. “How on earth can a knotted-up tissue help me find anything?”

She shrugged and smiled somewhat mysteriously. “I have no idea, but it really works!”

I’d heard of a lot of strange things in my life – and, although I hate to admit it, tried many of them, like rubbing half an onion on a pimple and then tossing the onion over my right shoulder, supposedly to make the pimple immediately disappear. All I ended up with was a pimple that smelled like onions. But I’d never heard of the tissue-knotting theory before.

My eyes turned out to be fine, other than being dry. The doctor recommended some drops and said they should help.

I headed straight home so I could continue the search for my ring. The first thing I tackled was the trash, which yielded nothing but...trash...much of which was less than pleasant to dig through. I became more and more desperate by the minute – which was blatantly obvious when my dogs wanted to go outside to do their duties and I followed them out there so I closely could examine everything they did, just in case one of them might have swallowed my ring.

An hour later, after I’d done everything but rent a metal detector, I finally admitted defeat and plunked down on the sofa. Mourning the loss of my favorite ring, I couldn’t help but shed a few tears. Sniffling, I reached for the box of tissues on the end-table next to the sofa. I pulled out a tissue and stared at it for a few moments, remembering what the doctor had told me.

“Don’t be silly!” I scolded myself. “You’ve searched every inch of the house! A tissue isn’t going to magically help you find your ring!”

But a little voice told me I had nothing to lose, so why not try it, just for the heck of it? Shaking my head and sighing, I muttered to myself, “You’re much more intelligent than this!”

Nevertheless, I tied a knot in the tissue and held it tightly in my hand.

I still can’t believe what happened next – and I swear it’s the absolute truth – I immediately recalled that the night before, when I’d taken off my ring, the stones had looked kind of dull, so I’d put the ring into a jar of jewelry cleaner to soak.

I bolted out to the kitchen and opened the cabinet where I keep the jewelry cleaner. Sure enough, there was my ring, now sparkling clean, still lying in the bottom of the jar.

I burst out laughing. And then I called the optometrist’s office and told the receptionist to tell the doctor that the knot in the tissue had worked.

“The knot in the tissue?” she repeated, her tone bewildered. She probably thought it was some new kind of treatment for eye discomfort.

"Yes, tell her exactly that!”

I think now, just to be on the safe side (because I usually misplace either my keys, eyeglasses or credit card on a weekly basis), maybe I should join one of those wholesale clubs and buy a case of tissues.

 

Sally Breslin is an award-winning humor columnist and the author of There’s a Tick in my Underwear! Contact her at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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  • author_first Sally
  • introduction

    She hesitated, as if debating whether or not to say her next words, then finally said, “My grandmother, back in Italy, once told me that if you lose something, to take a tissue, tie a knot in it and then hold it tightly in your hand. The next place you look, you’ll find the item you’re looking for.”

  • publish_date_month May
  • publish_date_year 2019
  • author_last Breslin
  • Column_Title Alive and Kidding
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I suspect most of us have the shared joyful experience of holding a newborn baby closely to us in our arms and feeling its heart softly seeking out and speaking to our own.

The mind-thoughts of an infant may be still unformed, without any context and clarity or ability for expression. But its heart knows things. Its tiny heart-voice is articulate and uncensored, compelling and terribly wise.

I have personally experienced and wondered at these heart conversations with human babies as well as other forms of new young animals – dogs and cats and horses in particular. I have also sensed it from the roots of trees and the petals of gardenias; even from sun-warmed river stones and frost-coated blades of grass; and from seeds that pop alive into a new generation – seen or unseen, planted or wild (bidden or unbidden).

I am quite convinced that all living things (and what in the entire universe is notalive in some measure?) do have this heart energy that allows us to communicate with one another. And, I suspect, we are highly influenced by this energy of the heart whether we realize it or not.

Studies have proven that heart energy – or the heart brain, as it has been called – can be measured up to five times the distance and strength of the mind brain. It’s further been determined that we can control it – or rather the message it delivers – as intentionally and as significantly as we can change our thoughts.

I am particularly intrigued by the research that shows that “appreciation” is the strongest of all the heart-brain messages. Stronger than love or hate ... stronger than happiness or anger ... appreciation speaks the most clearly and authentically.

Not long ago, I regularly morning-walked a neighbor’s untrained, highly energetic young pup. Placing my hand against her heart – focusing my heart thoughts directly onto hers – was often the only way to calm her enough to walk quietly at my side (most of the way). I suspect only the wisdom of our hearts will ever understand the how and why of that. But I witnessed its effect, its truth. And it was brilliant.

Even beyond the “heart” as we quantify it, new and wondrous science is uncovering how older, mature trees pass wisdom on to the younger ones around them – things about survival and health, how to thrive in their prevailing environment; about the sharing of resources and taking care of each other, as well as providing for other life-forms that depend on them.

We know that native American cultures expressed thanks (appreciation) to the game and plant life and water that fed and sustained them. And they lived and slept andwalked as near to and as softly on the ground as possible. Perhaps they knew their hearts could speak their appreciation to the very earth itself in this way. Perhaps the earth expressed its appreciation to them in return.

Howard Thurman – one of the 20th century’s most wise individuals – wrote: “In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair.” Perhaps we can also whisper with our own hearts appreciation for life in all its forms and states of being and experiences.

Because Thurman further observed that “life wears down the edges of the mind.” And perhaps it does. Like shoes after a long journey – becoming uneven at the heels, soles thin and cracked. But then, with the dulling of the brain-mind, perhaps the heart-mind is polished to a new sheen, and made even stronger, and able to let appreciation shine out in all its brilliance, allowing us to experience and express the ultimate appreciation at the ultimate moment of appreciation – as when we were newly born.

I suspect that we should all lead with our hearts at all times – literally and figuratively, thoughtfully and energetically. We should speak through our hearts on purpose. Appreciate through our hearts with abandon. After all, babies and dogs and other living things will be listening.

 

Meet Marti

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  • author_first Marti
  • introduction

     I am particularly intrigued by the research that shows that “appreciation” is the strongest of all the heart-brain messages. Stronger than love or hate ... stronger than happiness or anger ... appreciation speaks the most clearly and authentically.

  • publish_date_month May
  • publish_date_year 2019
  • author_last Healy
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I recently learned about a craze that’s been added to the growing list of body mutilations for beautification. Doctors whittle away and add to all parts of our body. They stick needles into our foreheads, jaw lines, lips, and breasts. Tattoo artists shoot permanent ink under our skin. We
have holes pierced into our faces and various other body parts that are better left unmentioned.

And now, something I hadn’t known about. Have you ever wondered how models and other beautiful people manage to balance on stiletto heels as they strut down runways or walk the red carpet en route to picking up an Oscar? Well, I have.

I, whose duck-like waddle has, on more than one occasion, caused me to slip, and slide off my own flat sandals during the simple act of walking; I, who after four knee surgeries, deal with stairs like a toddler – one two, one two – while grabbing onto the banister; I, who am elated if I safely make it from point A to point B without tripping over low air currents, would really like to know how the beautiful people stand erect, forge ahead and even dance, on five-inch needle-thin mules that make even the ugliest pylons look willowy.

Do I sound bitter? Perhaps, just a tad. Even in my prime, lovely legs and graceful walking were alien to me. As a high-school twirler guys whistled and hooted when I strutted across the football field.

“Stay clear of Laverne,” they’d shout. “Her knock-knees have been known to start fires.”

I once had a guy, in pursuit of a date, compliment me on my calves, which were all he could see from below my hemline. 

“I’d sure like to see the upper part of those shapely legs,” he hinted with the subtlety of a charging rhinoceros. Caught off guard I responded with, “I’m afraid you’d be disappointed. My thighs aren’t nearly as slender as my calves.”

“I’m not an idiot,” he snapped. “Do you really think I thought those slim calves had the strength to hold up that ass?”

But I digress. I mention those things only to explain my rancor and elicit sympathy.

What allows models and celebrities to glide effortlessly on spindly high-heels is collagen. The same collagen used to plump up faces is injected into the balls and heels of their feet. The effect, lasting from six to nine months, helps alleviate the tenderness that occurs when putting weight on the ball of the foot.

Some podiatrists have opted not to use collagen. Instead, they inject patients with fat from their own bodies. I kinda’ like the idea of having fat withdrawn from my butt and thighs, but if they then inject it all into the balls and heels of my feet, I’m in real danger of becoming nine feet tall.

You’ll be thrilled to learn that along with all the other countless bodily assaults that take place during the aging process, after the age of 40 foot padding starts to go, also. I’m having a rough time accepting that I’ll never again be able to wear those beautiful sleek stilettos that I enjoyed when I was young – stilettos that my father accurately predicted would ruin my feet and aid in cultivating bunions and hammer toes. 

I recently purchased a chic outfit for a special function I’d be attending. It cried out for sexy high heel sandals with thin spaghetti straps. I ransacked my closet, but nothing would do, so I drove to the mall where, after rummaging through shoes in five stores, I found precisely what I wanted, and slipped them on. They were perfect. But I couldn’t walk. The heel was so high that my body pitched forward, and the spaghetti straps outlined, squeezed and pinched my bunion and hammertoe, causing sharp, pulsating pain. There would be dancing at this affair so, sadly, those shoes would never do.

Then I remembered my mother’s sage words. “To be a woman of substance you must endure the pain of bras, pantyhose and painfully tight shoes.”

I bought the shoes, made an awesome first impression, then danced the night away.In stocking feet.

 

Meet Laverne

Additional Info

  • author_first Laverne
  • introduction

    I, who am elated if I safely make it from point A to point B without tripping over low air currents, would really like to know how the beautiful people stand erect, forge ahead and even dance, on five-inch needle-thin mules that make even the ugliest pylons look willowy.

  • publish_date_month April
  • publish_date_year 2019
  • author_last Bardy
  • Column_Title Laverne's View
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One of my favorite places to hang out is the public library.

Here in Charleston, South Carolina, the library on Camp Road is less than a half mile from the apartment I share with my daughter. There are many, many perks to being a U.S. citizen, but the free public library system created by Andrew Carnegie is one of the best.

When I lived and worked in St. Kitts I was dismayed that the government did not provide a free library system for the citizens. However, there was a floating library that would visit the islands a couple of times each year.

The ship would dock in the harbor with several thousand books on board that were for sale at low prices. It would remain in the harbor for several days until it sailed to another island.

I would always make sure to write stories for the paper I edited about the library ship's presence. Hundreds of island residents, many of them young people, would visit the anchored ship to make their purchases.

On one occasion, I saw three kids in their teens. They were on board the ship gazing longingly at several Harry Potter books. I told them I asked them what books they planned to buy.

One of them, a muscular 16-year-old with dreadlocks, said, "We want to buy the Harry Potter books, but we have no money." I purchased the books for them and they happily left the ship clutching their precious possessions.

The library provides another world for readers. It provides people with armchair adventures that can open their minds to new experiences, new thoughts and exotic destinations.

Many people use the library as their own private office, using the Internet to set up businesses or write stories for publication. That is one of my purposes for visiting the library.

I also use the library to improve my skills at gambling There are many online strategies for playing dice, poker, the horses, baccarat and even slot machines. Some work and some don't, but it's always fun and a challenge to pursue them.

The employees at the Charlestown Public Library on Camp Road are not only helpful, they have become my friends. I discuss books and DVDs with people like Chris and Laura. They are helpful in getting foreign sub-titled DVDs to me and I am grateful for their efforts.

Recently I borrowed a DVD from the library called Forbidden Games. It was made in France after the end of World War 2 and tells the story of a child from Paris who was orphaned by the war and who was informally adopted by a poor farmer and his family.

The movie touched me deeply. The little girl becomes friends with the farmer's son who becomes her protector. I won't give away the plot – that would spoil it for you – but I highly recommend it as an unforgettable cinematic experience.

Andrew Carnegie may have been a wealthy white entrepreneur that today's politically correct society finds reason to attack, but his gift to the American people of a free library system is one that should make all of us thankful. People around the world envy the United States for
this gift and all of us should treasure it.

 

Meet Geno

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  • author_first Geno
  • introduction

    The library provides another world for readers. It provides people with armchair adventures that can open their minds to new experiences, new thoughts and exotic destinations.

  • publish_date_month April
  • publish_date_year 2019
  • author_last Lawrenzi, Jr.
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“My exercise routine consists of doing diddly squats.”

“I just burned 1200 calories. I forgot the pizza in the oven.”

If you’re a senior and these quotes describe your attitude concerning physical fitness, then maybe it’s time to change and be more like me. My attitude about aging and exercise is very upbeat — I believe that 70 is the new 69.

In some ways, getting old was easier in my parents’ time. Seniors in the previous generation weren’t constantly being pushed to “stay in shape.” If publications 50 years ago contained articles at all about senior activities, they typically covered topics like “Five ways to prepare rhubarb” or “Crocheting is good for you.”

Today, a guy can’t even take a relaxing trip during his retirement without coming across magazine articles like “Senior workouts in motel exercise rooms.” Heck, I get a workout just trying to figure out how to work the waffle maker in the motel breakfast nook.

It’s like, instead of facing peer pressure as seniors to get better at checkers, we feel compelled to do more push-ups than our fellow golden agers.

Today the push for my age group to get in shape or stay in shape is intense. Fitness advice is coming at us from all directions. As one recent ad expressed it, “Being over 50 isn't about slowing down, it's about revving up for your next phase in life.” Sooo, how “over 50” are we talking about?

One physician introduces the topic of senior fitness by asking his older patients, “Does anything keep you from your normal activities?” To which I would respond that nothing keeps me from my normal activities – it’s the abnormal activities that I’m struggling with nowadays.

The push for senior fitness is so ubiquitous that there are now fitness clubs around the country exclusively for adults 55 and over. With an estimated 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, the demand for such clubs is growing.

As one fitness expert observed, “The gym can be an intimidating place for seniors.” Senior health clubs provide a whole host of modifications, even offering personalized training plans.

Senior fitness gyms have trainers and instructors specifically trained to work with older people which I guess means that the instructors speak real loud. Another perk at senior clubs is that instead of doing squat-thrusts to hip-hop songs like “Butt Naked Nasty” by Da Pretty Boyz, seniors can groove on the stationary bike to Perry Como’s “Hot Diggity.”

One offering that is unique to such clubs is a computer simulated driving skills machine for seniors. Sounds like it could be fun, though I’m afraid that my wife and I would still find lots of things to point out that the other person is doing wrong.

One factor in the big push for senior physical fitness is that insurance companies appear to have finally wised up to the fact that it’s cheaper for them to help customers stay healthy than it is to help them recover from the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle. My wife and I recently joined a regular local health club using our insurance provider’s discount program which is a real bargain. I admit that I had some serious qualms about joining since my idea of heavy lifting is whether to tackle an entire apple fritter with my morning coffee or just half.

Plus, I suffer from gymphobia as a result of four years of high school PE classes when I was a kid – an experience from which I only have a few memories, none of which are good. Things like getting beaned in dodgeball, getting snapped with wet towels in the locker room, and getting whacked on the butt with a yardstick by the PE instructor for screwing around — more like physical abuse than physical education.

But I have to say that my initial impression of the new gym we have joined is quite positive. It soon dawned on me that if you want to fit in with the young crowd at the gym these days you need to carry around three items while there: a phone that you constantly check, a water bottle to take a sip from every few seconds, and a small towel to wipe off perspiration.

I must confess that, up to now, I have only used my small towel for a napkin while sitting at the gym’s snack bar slurping a chocolate powerhouse smoothie.

Walking through the free-weights area does make me a bit nervous. Every time someone drops 300 lbs. on the floor with a loud “Boom!” I jump — or maybe it’s just that I’m bouncing off the floor a few inches.

The only equipment I have used during my first few club visits is the treadmill. Running inside is nice on cold, wet days, but I find the treadmill a bit scary when it gets going too fast. My plan is if I lose my balance and fly off the machine, I’ll just calmly get up off the floor, wipe my face with my little towel, take a sip from my water bottle, check my phone, and act like it’s all part of my personalized senior workout.

Meet Michael

Additional Info

  • author_first Michael J.
  • introduction

    My wife and I recently joined a regular local health club using our insurance provider’s discount program which is a real bargain. I admit that I had some serious qualms about joining since my idea of heavy lifting is whether to tackle an entire apple fritter with my morning coffee or just half.

  • publish_date_month April
  • publish_date_year 2019
  • author_last Murphy
  • Column_Title Social Insecurity
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Companion planting is today's garden buzzword for what our grandparents already knew – certain plants are happier and healthier when they grow near their friends. For instance, my Italian grandparents always planted tomatoes with basil. They said the basil made the tomatoes taste better. But companion planting doesn't just go back a few generations; it goes back thousands of years.

The legend of the Three Sisters is based on Native American agricultural lore. The well- being of each crop is protected by one of the Three Sister Spirits. “The corn, the bean and the squash are three loving sisters who must always live together to be happy. The older sister is tall and graceful, the next younger loved to twine about her and lean for strength upon her. The youngest rambled at the feet of her sisters and protected them from prowling enemies.”

The strength of the sturdy corn stalks support the twining beans, and the shade of the spreading squash vines trap moisture, deter weeds, and repel pests like hungry raccoons who love corn but don't like the prickles on the squash stems. The large amount of compost left from this planting combination can be incorporated back into the mound at the end of the season to build up the organic matter in the soil and improve its structure.

Success with a Three Sisters garden requires attention to timing, seed spacing, and varieties. Start by preparing a flat-topped mound about 18 inches across, adding lots of compost to feed the corn for the first year. A mound is used to slow the runoff of water and nutrients. The center of the mound should be five feet away from the center of the next mound.

After the last frost date in spring, plant four corn seeds in a six-inch square in the middle of the mound. When the corn is four inches tall, it's time to plant the beans and squash. First, weed the entire patch. Then plant four bean seeds, one between – and three inches away from – each corn plant to complete the square. Now plant three squash seeds in a triangle around the corn and beans. When the squash seedlings emerge, thin them to the two healthiest plants in each mound.

There are dozens of varieties of corn, beans and squash from which to choose, both hybrid and heirloom. Here are some suggestions for unique heirloom plants that will grow abundantly from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds at rareseeds.com:

Corn - the tall sister: Cherokee Long Ear popcorn boasts beautiful 6-inch ears with bright kernels that come in a variety of colors including red, blue, orange, white and yellow. It is great for popping and perfect for fall arrangements as it is highly ornamental.

Country Gentleman sweet corn is a shoe-peg type, meaning the kernels are not borne in rows but in a zigzag pattern. It was introduced in 1890 by S.D. Woodruff & Sons and has sweet, milky, tender white kernels on 8-inch ears. Baker Creek says this is one of the best heirloom sweet corns.

Beans - the leaning sister: The Cherokee people carried Cherokee Trail of Tears corn from Tennessee as they were marched to Oklahoma in 1839 over the infamous Trail of Tears. This prolific variety has shiny black beans and is useful as either a snap or dry bean.

King of the Garden lima bean grows to 10 feet and yields very large white lima beans over a long season. An old-fashioned favorite since 1883, this bean is terrific in succotash.

Summer squash - the rambling sister: Early Golden summer crookneck is one of the oldest types of squash dating back to pre-Columbus times and has been popular ever since for its great taste and ease of growing.

Striata d'Italia is a nine-inch zucchini with light and dark green stripes. The superb flavor and texture make this variety popular in Italy. Try it cut lengthwise and grilled with a little olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

Growing a Three Sisters garden is a unique way to grow three popular garden vegetables, and a wonderful way to feel more connected to the history of this land, regardless of our ancestry.

 

Lori Rose, the Midnight Gardener, has gardened since childhood and is a Temple University Certified Master Home Gardener and member of the Association for Garden Communicators (GWA).

Meet Lori

Additional Info

  • author_first Lori
  • introduction

    “The corn, the bean and the squash are three loving sisters who must always live together to be happy. The older sister is tall and graceful, the next younger loved to twine about her and lean for strength upon her. The youngest rambled at the feet of her sisters and protected them from prowling enemies.”

  • publish_date_month April
  • publish_date_year 2019
  • author_last Rose
  • Column_Title The Midnight Gardener
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Dear Miss Nora: My husband and I have had many, many ups and downs over the decades. We’ve suffered serious illnesses, sacrifices and near financial ruin. We battled through separations and family troubles (on both sides) successfully. However, through the hard times, I’ve always taken comfort in believing that we were a good team and that our love would conquer all – after all, we’re still together after 50 years!

Since the beginning of our married life I have stashed away a few pennies here, a few dollars there and scrimped and saved where I could in the hopes that one day, we’d be able to enjoy a cruise someplace warm and exotic as a reward for enduring life’s obstacles. It’s been our dream to one day finally put all the strife behind us and enjoy the fruits of our labors  – of which there have been few fruits and much labor. I'm not saying there weren’t setbacks and start-overs to my savings but we finally got there. When I had put enough money aside (with the help of our 4 children), we could finally afford a cruise for our 50th wedding anniversary.

I planned everything. I booked stops along the way, sightseeing excursions, clothing luggage, hotels (two stops and 4 nights off the ship) and made sure that the dream vacation went off without a hitch.

And everything was going well, both of us were young again with excitement. That is, until a few days into our holiday when I noticed that my husband was paying a lot of attention to a single woman on the same cruise. At first, I didn’t perceive that he was slipping away to take her to lunch or to an event … without me! I just thought he was getting some sun or alone time and busied myself with my own interests. I won’t lie, the relaxation and idle time was revitalizing.

However, when I finally came to my sense and the penny dropped, I confronted him about his infatuation. Of course, he denied it and said that he was just being kind to a woman on her own and that I was being unfairly selfish to the both of them! He invited me to come along with them but I refused, I wasn’t interested in sharing my husband with a woman who had contributed
nothing to the struggle to get here but was happily reaping all the benefits.  

I was distraught. I couldn’t believe his insensitivity after all I’d endured to arrange the cruise. I’m afraid I threw in the towel at this point and just left Romeo to his new companion. I ignored them both for the rest of the cruise and have hardly spoken to him since.

Worse, the photographs of our time “together” include several of my husband with this woman at events and outings I didn’t even know they had attended together.

Am I wrong to be so jealous? Am I being selfish as I have been accused? I can hardly speak of the cruise when I’m asked about it – which is embarrassing since I made such a big fuss of it to whomever would listen before we set off. But I just can’t bring myself to recount my disappointment or to air my dirty laundry. I’m completely deflated and for the first time in my married life, I want to walk away and never come back.

Oh, one last thing, my husband is still in touch with this woman through emails. She is careful to address the emails to the both of us but what they are discussing in their exchanges has nothing whatsoever to do with me and clearly meant to keep their infatuation alive. — Done Cruising in Roanoke

Dear Done: Professionally speaking, I’m aware that I’ve only heard half the story and that there are two sides to every complaint, and that in all fairness I should reserve full judgment until your husband is given an opportunity to defend himself (good luck with that, Casanova!), but there are just too many tells in your story for me to think that there’s an innocent explanation.

I’m afraid you shoved, pulled, whipped and flogged this dead horse up the mountain without appreciating that you were alone in your hard work. You were so caught up in the battle that you overlooked how unrewarding the prize would be!

It doesn’t matter that your husband defends his less than chivalrous behavior. His callousness speaks volumes. Chalk this up to lesson finally learned and fill in the rest of your life with selfish pleasures and maybe a volunteer job to keep you entertained. If you choose to remain in your marriage, make sure you reserve days just for yourself. Find a hobby that gives you a long overdue time out.

And stop looking after your husband and his shortcomings. Let him fend for himself. Let him suffer his failures without you coming to his rescue. If he takes the leap to greener pastures, make sure you pack your whip amongst his belongings when he goes. Something tells me his new keeper will need it! 

 

Meet Miss Nora

Additional Info

  • introduction

    My husband is still in touch with this woman through emails. She is careful to address the emails to the both of us but what they are discussing in their exchanges has nothing whatsoever to do with me and clearly meant to keep their infatuation alive.

  • publish_date_month March
  • publish_date_year 2019
  • author_last Miss Nora
  • Column_Title Ask Miss Nora
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I do much of my writing in the most unusual places. Hotel rooms. Restaurants. At work. But I do most of my writing in a waiting room. That’s where I am now. In a waiting room…waiting for a fight.

Of course, that is not the purpose of this waiting room. I’m currently sitting in a waiting room designed to allow visitors to sit and relax and wait while others are engaged in recreation. I won’t get into specifics since none of that matters right now. And usually as I sit and wait, my mind is clear, carefree and mostly functional to the task at hand.

But that is not the case today. Today, I’m expecting a fight. Let me correct myself – make that an argument. I am, after all, a peaceful person.

Still, there comes a time when you have to right a wrong or at the very least, let the one who wronged you know that you are not taking it anymore.

This happened to me earlier in the week. Again, the specifics are not important. But I stood up for someone else who was getting wronged by the very person I’m waiting for. Someone who is close to me. Someone I love.

So I am expecting some repercussions now that I am sitting in this waiting room where my adversary is just a few short yards away from me as I write. This is his place of work, after all. If I were him, I’d say something. But I’m not him, so who knows what will come to pass.
Maybe, by the time I finish writing this, I will be able to let you know. This may not be reality TV, but it is reality writing, and there is no script. I’m winging it as I go. Honestly, I have no idea how it will turn out.

One of the benefits of aging is, you learn a lot. You learn about the world. I have made a career out of seeing some disturbing things in my life – things that most people do not see. Specifics again are not important. What IS important is I have learned much from my experiences. And every so often they come in handy.

I also made a living out of conflict resolution. Even today I frequently still provide that service for customers. I’m used to being yelled at. I’ve been cussed out, threatened and have even had to resort to self-defense on rare occasions. But I have always maintained an air of settling the dispute peacefully first.  A former boss (a one time cop) once said to me, decades ago, you can always resort to brute strength. But that should only be as a last resort. When you are young, you don’t realize wisdom when you hear it. You think to yourself, “oh yeah? Well, if so and so does such and such I’m going to let him have it.” But after many years of realizing the futility in doing that, you learn that the peaceful path is generally the road best traveled.  “Pick your battles” has always been my catch phrase.

But as you get older, you also realize that there are battles you need to choose, and when you choose them, fight them with passion, honesty and resolve.  I never, ever go looking for a
problem, but when one can no longer be avoided then it must be faced.

I have told my closest friends and family that I simply don’t care anymore. I do not care what others may think of me, or how they handle themselves. I do not care if they curse me behind my back or even to my face. I do not lose sleep if others are upset with me. I’m too old to worry about that. I have no superiors outside of my work (except for “She Who Must Be Obeyed” of course) and those whom I see as equals are never and would never do anything to intentionally perturb me.

The fact of the matter is, though, I still DO care. I care a great deal when someone I love, or someone who has perhaps not experienced life the same way that I have, is unjustly faulted. I’m old. I’ve learned. And I’ve learned that there are things worth fighting for. I will always choose the path of peace first. I can take a lot of abuse personally and come back smiling. I will forgive very easily and will also apologize when necessary.

But if I am forced down another road, a road I rarely travel, I have learned enough from experiences in my life to take it.

The argument/fight apparently will not take place. My adversary has made like Elvis and left the building. I am stuck with a feeling that things are unresolved. Maybe they are. But maybe that is for the best. Maybe what was said earlier in the week sufficed.

I hope so. Because again, I would rather travel the road of peace. Because I can always fall back onto the road less traveled.

http://go60.us/meet-sam-beeson

 

Meet Sam

Additional Info

  • author_first Sam
  • introduction

    I care a great deal when someone I love, or someone who has perhaps not experienced life the same way that I have, is unjustly faulted. I’m old. I’ve learned. And I’ve learned that there are things worth fighting for.

  • publish_date_month March
  • publish_date_year 2019
  • author_last Beeson
  • Column_Title Sam's Side
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Begin anywhere. Just two simple words that I read recently, quoted from composer John Cage. And yet, like a message from the universe, they have been weaving themselves in and out of my life for the past several days and weeks.

Begin anywhere. The message shuffles around in my consciousness and circles through my dreams and pushes into things I see and hear and read and am told and must do and want known.

Everything from major work projects to housekeeping tasks seems to invoke the advice: Begin anywhere. Even the latest book I’ve been reading is written in the “en medias res” style (opening in the midst of action, then flashing back to the beginning for context). Begin anywhere, it reasserts.

And then, just today, a friend sent me a video link of wolves in the wild, singing. The focus is on one wolf, alone, who hears the echoing calls of the others. And he throws back his own voice to join in the song. It is not at the beginning of their music. He simply begins at that place where he feels the pulse of their primeval rhythm ... where he senses the wind wants to carry his call along with theirs ... where his heart tells him it’s his time and place. He just begins ... anywhere.

My dog, Quincy, stirs at the sound of the wolf song. It reaches out and resonates with his primitive self, even as he sits next to me, warm, safe, well-fed, on a soft-cushioned couch. I watch his ears twitch, and remember that it was just a year ago that he came to live with me, with eight years of mysterious life behind him, trembling between an unknowable past and an uncertain future. He began a new life in the company of strangers solely on trust. (A life that also included a small opinionated cat who would soon adore him beyond all reason.) And we continue to learn about each other, bits at a time, in foreign languages, by listening to each other’s hearts. All because he agreed to just begin anywhere.

Not long ago, I was writing a story about fairy tales. And in my research I discovered that the traditional beginning of “once upon a time” was a derivative of the German word “Marchen” – which meant, “a little story from a long time ago when the world was still magic” – or “in the old times when wishing was still effective.” (The Germans certainly fit a lot of meaning into a small word.) But as intriguing as I find those concepts, I further discovered that “once upon a time” was also coined to be able to set a story in any time, in any place. It just happens. Like all the best stories, it just begins anywhere.

t seems to me that the best experiences I have ever known in life were those when I just began ... anywhere. When I just stepped into the parade. When I just began singing along with the song – even if I had to “la-la-la” the words. When I joined in the line dance not knowing the steps. When I made a new friend without realizing it, or fell in love with an old dog on faith alone.

I suspect the best bits in life always do happen that way – when we don’t worry about knowing how or where or if we’ve missed the beginning, and we just begin anywhere. And trust in the outcome.

I found that John Cage himself put that thought rather compellingly when he also said: “There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot.”

Begin anywhere.

 

Meet Marti

Additional Info

  • author_first Marti
  • introduction

    I suspect the best bits in life always do happen that way – when we don’t worry about knowing how or where or if we’ve missed the beginning, and we just begin anywhere. And trust in the outcome.

  • publish_date_month March
  • publish_date_year 2019
  • author_last Healy
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April is Keep America Beautiful Month. I’ve been an avid litter-picker-upper for decades, going so far as to humiliate my children when we were out on walks by corralling papers and cups to tote to a trash can. I even worked for the local KAB (Keep America Beautiful) organization for a few years.

There’s one type of litter I won’t collect — flosser picks. I shudder to consider the billions of germs covering each pick, not to mention the bits of actual food that may be clinging. They’re plastic, so can’t be considered. The handles may be a breeding ground for viruses from human hands. So I ignore these bits of debris. Harder and harder to do as they seem to be proliferating as people determinedly seek to improve their health and appearance.

I use real floss, a string of unwaxed nylon (by the way, non-recyclable!). Many versions exist in addition to unwaxed. There’s waxed, dental tape, high-tech PTFE floss, super floss, flavored floss, and then the dreaded, by environmentalists, disposable (ha!) dental flossers or flosser picks.

My dentist and hygienist tell me at every visit, “Keep up the flossing.” And I do, even though not everyone agrees about the benefits of the practice. Those who favor it think, In addition to the potential for reducing cavities and gum disease, flossing makes their mouths feel fresher, cleaner. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is an advocate and even has made public service appearances to encourage the practice.

Flossing seems to have become widespread in the ‘80s. Prior to that time, I can’t remember a dentist pushing the practice nonstop. And late in that decade a variation made its mass-market debut — the flosser pick. Pretty clever. It eliminates the onerous chore of pulling out the floss, cutting it, twining it around your fingers. Plus it often comes on colorful and artistically designed holders.

Therein lies the problem. Flosser picks are so cute, so appealing, thousands are using the tools in any location they find themselves. They then abandon the devices, dropping them randomly everywhere. I happen to see the ones outside. They dot sidewalks, parks, beaches, gutters, streets, playgrounds.

I wonder if our collective dental health has improved significantly with the proliferation of flosser picks. Perhaps they’ve simply become substitutes for cigarettes. Many of us seem to be orally fixated. Since we can’t suck our thumbs in public, we substitute food, gum, nail biting. And cigarettes. Now that cigarette smoking is frowned upon socially, have people switched in flosser picks?

I’ve got to believe that flosser picks are just as much litter problems as cigarette butts. They’re not biodegradable, they’re ugly once abandoned, they can stab toes and soles, and animal health would be threatened should any ingest the flosser picks. In the litter competition, flosser picks are kicking the butt’s domination.

Here’s the kicker: you may pat yourself on the back that you’re using flosser picks even if they create a bit of litter. However, experts say picks aren’t as effective as the old-fashioned string floss. So don’t break your arm congratulating yourself. But DO celebrate Keep America Beautiful Month by insuring if you use flosser picks that you don’t abandon them as litter!

 

Bonnie McCune is a Colorado writer and has published several novels as well as other work. Her newest, Never Retreat, a romantic suspense, was published by Imajin Books. Reach her at www.BonnieMcCune.com.

Meet Bonnie

Additional Info

  • author_first Bonnie
  • introduction

    I’ve got to believe that flosser picks are just as much litter problems as cigarette butts. They’re not biodegradable, they’re ugly once abandoned, they can stab toes and soles, and animal health would be threatened should any ingest the flosser picks. In the litter competition, flosser picks are kicking the butt’s domination.

  • publish_date_month March
  • publish_date_year 2019
  • author_last McCune
  • Column_Title Tunnel Visions
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It's that time of year again. New varieties have been announced for 2019, and these have all won the coveted All-America Selections Award that judges and awards only the tastiest vegetables and easiest to grow flowers.

Just Sweet pepper is a unique snacking pepper with four lobes like a larger bell pepper, only smaller. Not only are the three-inch fruits deliciously sweet with nice thick walls but the plants are vigorous growers (up to three feet inches and fifteen inches wide) that don't need to be staked because of their strong bushy habit. The Just Sweet peppers are exceptionally bright, shiny and a vivid yellow color with a flavor described as sweet with aromatic accents. The judges raved about this pepper: "The entry grew larger plants than the comparisons, with higher yields, but did not require staking at all!" "This is the one taste test that excited the testers - everyone agreed the sweet yellow fruits were delicious."

The adorable Fire Fly tomato is not as small as a currant tomato and not as large as a cherry tomato, but is a "just right" in-between size. The round fruits are super sweet, pale white to pale yellow and less than one inch in size. Delicate, translucent skins offer a mild acid flavor that enhances the sweet taste. The small juicy fruits explode with flavor, perfect for snacking and in salads. Indeterminate plants have good disease resistance, and must be staked or caged as they grow up to six feet tall. "By far the best tasting yellow cherry we have had in any of our trials."

2018 winner Chef's Choice Red

2015 winner Chef's Choice Pink

2014 winner Chef's Choice Orange

"Good early fruit set. Soft, meaty interior flesh with good flavor."

In cold areas, start tomato and pepper seeds indoors six weeks before last frost. Keep the seedlings warm, give them as much light as possible, and water them from the bottom to prevent the fragile stems from rotting. Wait to transplant them outdoors until night temperatures are over 45 degrees and there is no threat of frost. Cold temperatures can cause severe damage to these heat-loving plants. 

How about a lovely flowering plant for the vegetable or container garden with edible flowers and leaves? Nasturtiums give a lovely peppery flavor to salads and sandwiches. Nasturtium Golden Gleam was the last nasturtium to win the AAS Gold Medal Award back in 1933. It has bright golden blossoms that add fragrance and color to hanging baskets, window boxes, containers, or when spilling over a low wall. It makes a good ground cover in beds and does well on a trellis or fence.

Now AAS introduces a wonderful rose colored nasturtium perfect for containers and small-space gardens. Baby Rose nasturtium is a petite-flowered, mounding variety with healthy, dark foliage. AAS' expert judges praised the uniformly compact plants that sported flowers with consistent coloration. Their compact habit means less "flower flopping" with their blooms remaining upright throughout the season. The rose color is uncommon in nasturtiums and contrasts beautifully with the dark-green foliage. Here's what the judges had to say: "Outstanding new compact form opens up many new possibilities for nasturtiums in small space plantings and containers." "The healthy dark green-blue foliage helped highlight the flower color."

Sow nasturtium seeds after the last frost, and cover seeds lightly with soil. Keep soil moist until seedlings appear. If the seeds are spaced three to four inches apart, there is no need to thin them out. Nasturtiums bloom all season long until the first frost.

 

Lori Rose, the Midnight Gardener, has gardened since childhood and is a Temple University Certified Master Home Gardener and member of the Association for Garden Communicators (GWA).

Meet Lori

Additional Info

  • author_first Lori
  • introduction

    The adorable Fire Fly tomato is not as small as a currant tomato and not as large as a cherry tomato, but is a "just right" in-between size. The round fruits are super sweet, pale white to pale yellow and less than one inch in size. Delicate, translucent skins offer a mild acid flavor that enhances the sweet taste.

  • publish_date_month March
  • publish_date_year 2019
  • author_last Rose
  • Column_Title The Midnight Gardener
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Dear Miss Nora:  I'm at the end of my rope. I can no longer tolerate my wife decorating our house with every new fad or trend that comes along. We have a beautiful home and I liked it the way it used to be. However, the last decade or so my wife has gone overboard with themes and crazy designs.

A few years ago, it was wooden signs with pithy sayings about life and table manners all over the walls and on every flat surface that wasn’t already cluttered with other country knickknacks and chickens. I mistakenly tucked a cloth napkin back into the drawer of our dining room hutch once and got scolded for upsetting the décor for my troubles.

There were also creepy life-sized dolls situated in odd places – some standing and some sitting. I don’t mind admitting that it scared the hell out of me one night when I got home from work to find what looked like a child standing in the corner of our front room. We don’t have children. At first, I thought I’d walked into the wrong house!

That fad slowly phased out only to be replaced with worn-out furniture and what I can only describe as junk instead of tables. We used to have a lovely coffee table but somehow my wife got it into her head that a beaten up, half painted trunk would look better in its place. I kept my confusion to myself until I was told off for putting a coffee mug down on it without using a coaster! The trunk looked as though it had been dragged home behind my truck. I refused to worry about the damage a coffee mug would do.

Fast forward to today and I am starting to see metal containers everywhere and chicken wire instead of cabinet doors. We now have lampshades with all the fabric removed to expose a naked bulb! Where on earth are these ideas coming from? It’s as though we moved into a barn.

I almost tripped over a pile of old books on the floor in front of our new and definitely not improved coffee table (read, beat up metal stand) and thought I was helping by putting the books back on the shelf. Oh, how wrong I was. Evidently, a pile of old books on the floor is arty and “farmhouse”, I have been informed. 

I want to stop this madness before I come home one day to find three bales of hay where the couch used to be! Please help me stop my wife from decorating!

— Done with Décor in Denver

 

Dear Done:

Your wife is what’s known in today’s vernacular as a decorating junkie. And you can blame magazines and an entire television network devoted to home improvements for this upsurge in fast passing fads and leitmotifs.

What’s worse, these magazines and TV programs encourage the shabby-chic, country motif, French chippy paint fads to be temporary. It’s out with the old and in with the even older looking before you can count the chickens ornamenting your humble abode! You're outnumbered, bub.

However, stand your ground and rope off rooms that are no-go areas for your wife’s next passion. Let her now that she can do whatever she wants all over the walls, floors and ceilings of certain rooms but that you need a place (or places) to call home too.

I know of a husband who refused to put his laundry in the hamper for weeks, leaving it all over the floor instead and called it art until his wife finally got it and stopped adorning their bedroom with birdcages, pillows and candles. It had gotten so bad that they couldn’t open their bedroom door completely due to hanging cages and shelves of candles obstructing the doorway.

One man's decor is another man's debris. I do sympathize with your wife, though. It’s easy to get carried away and tempted by all the YouTube tutorials and informative television programs available 24/7. You can now become a consummate professional in how to shiplap an entire house in less than half an hour!

Saying all that, don’t get discouraged just yet. There’s good news for partners of the chippy paint loving junkies. Just like all other fads and phases, house decorating will have soon run its course and we will be back to simple, unthemed, ordinary furniture and furnishings again and on to something else equally irrational.

There’s light at the end of your tunnel and it’s not just an Edison bulb attached to an upturned wire basket!

 

Meet Miss Nora

Additional Info

  • introduction

    I know of a husband who refused to put his laundry in the hamper for weeks, leaving it all over the floor instead and called it art until his wife finally got it and stopped adorning their bedroom with birdcages, pillows and candles.

  • publish_date_month February
  • publish_date_year 2019
  • author_last Miss Nora
  • Column_Title Ask Miss Nora
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The cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man on the moon

When you comin’ home son

I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then.

You know we’ll have a good time then

 

I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away

I called him up just the other day

I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind,”

He said, “I’d love to, if I can find the time

You see my new job’s a hassle and kids have the flu

But it’s sure nice talking to you.

It’s been sure nice talking to you”

 

The cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man in the moon

When you comin’ home son

I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then.

We’re gonna have a good time then.

~Harry Chapin

 

My father and three of his siblings built a nursing home when their mother needed more care than they were able to give her. Instead of moving my grandmother to a strange location, they tore down the old homestead, bought the adjacent lots and built a certified nursing and
convalescent home where the house had stood for over a hundred years.

Once built, my grandmother’s bedroom furniture was moved into the new home and set up much like it had been for more than 70 years. She suffered from hardening of the arteries or what might be diagnosed today as dementia. By giving her new living space a feeling of sameness, her transition was flawless. One or more of her adult children remained actively involved in the management of the facility so their visits each day added even more comfort to her remaining years.

Although mentally my grandmother was in and out, but she recognized me –  or pretended to whenever I visited. I have sweet memories of her because she was a kind woman with a softness that permeated the very air she breathed. My visits were never duty calls, but that is not the case with many who have senior relatives living out their days in assisted living facilities.

I remember a long row of aging seniors in wheelchairs sitting, maybe for hours, waiting for someone to visit them each time I went to see my grandmother. I saw the disappointment on their faces when they realized it was me and not whomever they had hoped would walk through the front door. And there was something else, too. I felt pretty sure that they had done the same thing the day before, would do it again the next day and that once again their expectations would be dashed. The people they longed to see rarely, if ever, showed up.

Some of my still-active friends have confided in me that their self-involved grown children have little or no time left over for them. As they are not ready to be put out to pasture, they don’t understand why they don’t hold a more important place in their family. Had they not always put those same children first? They are justifiably bitter about being relegated to the end of a very long line.

“I sacrificed a huge part of my young life for them and for what? Now that they’re grown, they can’t be bothered to call me two or three times a week. They text me from time to time but
mostly using emojis. What kind of conversation is that?”

I hear this type of thing from friends. “My daughter has three children of her own. I know how busy she is because I’ve been there myself when she and her three sisters were growing up. I try not to feel hurt when she doesn’t call or come by, but it’s hard. I never neglected my mother, no matter how busy or tired I was. I guess she was a better mother than I was.”

“I hardly ever see my son. I know he loves me but he’s busy. It would be nice to spend an hour or so with him without interruptions. I wish he’d throw away that damn smart phone.”

“Cat’s in the Cradle.” When I hear that song, I ask myself, what did I teach my children by my own behavior? Should I have spent less time volunteering for the Red Cross, playing bridge or lunching with friends?

Would that have changed their perception of how adults are expected to behave?

The lyrics began as a poem by Chapin’s wife, Sandra, inspired by the awkward relationship between her first husband and his father. Harry said the song was also about his own son and admitted, “Frankly, this song scares me to death.”

It scares us all. But what scares us most is the possibility that we will one day join that row of seniors in wheelchairs watching, waiting and hoping for someone we love to care enough to walk through the door and spend some of their time with us. 

 

Meet Cappy

Additional Info

  • author_first Cappy Hall
  • introduction

    Some of my still-active friends have confided in me that their self-involved grown children have little or no time left over for them. As they are not ready to be put out to pasture, they don’t understand why they don’t hold a more important place in their family.

  • publish_date_month February
  • publish_date_year 2019
  • author_last Rearick
  • Column_Title Puttin' on the Gritz
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Seniors Remarry

Retirement brings adjustments – schedules, routines, time to spend with your spouse, “me” time…deciding how to spend your retirement years…deciding how to spend your day. Whether you’ve been married 40 years or one year, you need to learn how to mesh your lives together – much like newlyweds.

Remarrying as a retired senior is more complicated than marrying the first time when you were young. You built a home, a family and focused on your career. You learned things about life as they unfolded.

As seniors, you bring everything you learned and experienced throughout your life into your new marriage. And there are new issues as it pertains to your new spouse – budgeting, bank accounts, holidays, how much money you’re going to spend on the children, family traditions, property issues, retirement savings, wills, two families loosely joined with different practices (they may not want to be in this new family)…and stepchildren.

My husband and I have children from our previous marriages. My husband’s adult children consistently ignore me, cancel plans with us, and exclude us from activities. My husband makes excuses for them. I feel like we’re living in two camps – me and the three of them. My daughter, a single mother of two children, said when it comes to a parent –  his children and new spouse – the children always win. This is definitely something to think about before remarrying someone who has children.

Also, financial matters are different the second or third time around. Review each other’s credit reports so you know what you’re getting into. After 10 years as a divorcee, Kathy found someone she considered her dream mate. After they married, she learned he had a large debt. Kathy felt deceived and considered divorcing him. They stayed together and worked out a financial plan. Unfortunately, his secret hurt their marriage. Learn from them. Before you remarry, disclose secrets – financial and otherwise – that could negatively impact your marriage.

And make sure you share the same philosophy for handling finances and major purchases, children’s inheritance, monies to spend on children or at least agree how to handle those issues before remarrying. Once married, you will live with things you didn’t take the time to learn about before you signed the marriage license. This can be a source of bickering and frustration.

 

Adjusting to Retirement

Whether you’ve been married for years, are single or retired newlyweds, my former boss said you need to plan for retirement – not just financially, but what’s going to give you a reason to get up in the morning.

After retiring, I worked at Macy’s during the holiday season. I enjoyed having a schedule, working with colleagues and customers, and being part of the working world. While there, I learned two of my colleagues retired, then returned to work within a few months.

One returned to work because her husband said she got on his nerves. The other returned to work because her husband got on her nerves. They didn’t stick around to work on the adjustment part of retiring. Or, maybe this is their adjustment – a way to keep sanity in their marriages and have some time away from their hubbies.

On the other hand, Linda is a stay at home mom/wife. When her husband of 40 years retired, their lives were turned upside down. They began their adjustment period – hers, his and theirs. Her husband’s needs took priority. Linda’s schedule went out the window and so did vacuuming when Mark is home. It still does. He doesn’t like that noise.

Now Linda frequently leaves the house for an hour or two. Mark said he doesn’t know where she goes or what she’s does, but she comes home in a good mood. No, Linda is not fooling around. She’s shopping, reading, visiting family and friends – getting a needed break from 24/7 time with her hubby.

On the other hand, Marie eased into retirement. She worked part-time as a nurse while filling her life with activities – the book club, yoga, antiquing and visiting her children. Her retirement adjustment – there didn’t seem to be one. Her husband retired a few years before her. He spends his time biking, hiking, restoring a classic car and visiting their children. They’re perfect candidates for the AARP magazine cover. They’re healthy, attractive and lead rich, fulfilling lives.

 

Are You Ready?

Retiring is a big adjustment. Remarrying at any age is a big adjustment. Together – they require a lot of compromising and adjustments. This is especially true for second and third marriages.

 

Michele Sprague is not a psychologist, but believes her experiences earned her an honorary doctorate degree in marriage, divorce and remarrying. She wrote "Single Again101," and stories for corporate magazines and newsletters, as well as other publications. (portfolio.michelesprague.com).

Additional Info

  • author_first Michele
  • introduction

    There are new issues as it pertains to your new spouse – budgeting, bank accounts, holidays, how much money you’re going to spend on the children, family traditions, property issues, retirement savings, wills, two families loosely joined with different practices…and stepchildren.

  • publish_date_month February
  • publish_date_year 2019
  • author_last Sprague
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