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Fifty Years Ago

Fifty always seemed like a huge, distant number when referring to age. Now that that number has been in my rear view mirror for more than ten years, fifty still seems huge. Only now, it is a distant digit referring to events from my youth. 
The OMG moment for many Boomers is verbalized with “that happened FIFTY years ago?”
The youngest Boomers are now 55 years old, so they/you were 5 in 1969. They/you probably don’t remember much from that year. But the oldest Boomers were 23, just really starting a life and maybe a family. Your memories from fifty years ago are probably quite vivid. Or hazy, depending on your recreational habits at that time. 
I am between those two mileposts, so my memories of 1969 are clear. But I still can’t believe that was fifty years ago. 
So what happened in 1969?
Without doing any of my usual research for this blog, I can tell you from memory that two very significant historical events happened that year: Woodstock and the moon landing. 
Neil Armstrong took one sma…

Pop-Up Advice

I have written first drafts of my blog posts on my iPhone for the past few years. An idea will hit me, I type in a few notes while the idea is fresh, then finish it later.
Sometimes an idea-starter I wrote days, weeks or months ago will pop up on my screen and I won’t remember what sparked the idea.
I just saw this ...
If you’re struggling to make a living with your art, don’t give up on the art; modify your revenue stream.I know that sounds corporate. You know me well enough to know I’ve found my place in the corporate world without crossing too many of my artistic or ethical lines.
Sometimes bending a few of your own rules helps put food on your table while you do what you really want and create the art and the life that you really want.
... I don’t remember what inspired that particular advice. It might have been an intended response to a friend’s Facebook post. Several artsy friends and acquaintances are frustrated by the challenges of making a living in the arts. Should they compr…

Where Did That Dream Land?

Boomers my age grew up watching the greatest competition in human history: the Space Race. There were only two teams: the Russians and the Americans. The playing field was the Moon and the stands were chairs in our living rooms, set randomly in front of televisions. The first season lasted more than ten years. 

Every launch prior to July 1969 was a regular season game leading up to the Big Game. That game’s first half was a lunar landing, the halftime show was a walk on the lunar surface; the second half was the safe return of the 3-man team. 

The Americans won. 

It is hard to believe that first moon walk was fifty years ago, specifically July 20, 1969. I remember watching it live on a black-and-white TV on a Saturday night.I took pictures of the TV, and I still have them.Somewhere.If I find them, I’ll post them.
That one small step continues to be a giant leap for all of us.One day, some political leader will have, and express, the vision that John Kennedy had.I hope that leader is Ameri…

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Have you ever clicked on a retirement website, just once, just out of curiosity?  A Best Places To Retire site? Or an Active Adult Community link someone shared on Facebook?  If you have, then you suddenly see many links, right?  Yay technology!

Many of the links point to developments designed for people 55+. Amenities often include no maintenance properties, single level floor plans, recreation facilities, hiking trails and golf courses. A lot of these places are in the Carolinas and Florida. 

My retirement strategy for years has been to stay where I am when I decide to retire. I’ve lived in Maryland for thirty five years and I mostly like it. Living in the DC suburbs means I’m less than an hour from all that the capital of the free world has to offer, like wide open spaces, historic monuments, awesome museums and a highly-regarded cultural and entertainment scene. In addition, I’m only three or four hours from the ocean or the mountains or Manhattan. I experience all four seasons here…

Does A Farm Have Chairs?

Babies were born, adults died, careers were launched.  The weather ranged from sunny and hot to cloudy with torrential downpours. Tens of thousands were expected, but half a million showed up, many traveling great distances to get there. 

The infrastructure was totally inadequate, probably because organizers couldn’t contemplate such an enormous success. Not enough restrooms, not enough food, not enough medical resources, not enough parking. 

Yet five decades later, Woodstock remains one of the most memorable and significant events in music history, helping to launch a complete change in the direction of music and culture. 

This August 15, 16 and 17 marks the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock.  That is hard to believe. Time flies. 

There was supposed to be an anniversary version of the festival this August, held at the Watkins Glen, NY (near the original site), but the cancellation was announced on the day I started to write this. 

I am not surprised it was cancelled. Mildly disappointed, …

Making It On the Jar

Following that long-standing tradition pioneered by Willard Scott, the Today Show regularly salutes people who are celebrating their 100th birthday and beyond. Their name, city and picture appear on a Smucker’s jar label graphic and the show host often quotes the celebrant’s aging wisdom. 

Although I have more than thirty years to go, I plan to make it on the jar. I’m already planning my 100th birthday party. My guest list includes some people of my age who might not make it that long, as well as friends and family who are a couple of decades younger than me. 

Some of the people who make it on the Smucker’s jar claim the predictable reasons for their longevity: eat well, exercise, don’t smoke or drink. 

Others make more creative, fun claims:
A nightly martini for fifty years. 
Eat chocolate every day. 
Laugh a lot. 
Always eat desert first. 

I have plenty of reason to believe I’ll make it to 100. My mother and her three siblings were born in an era when life expectancy was 70, yet they all ma…

But We Had So Much More To Talk About

Backing up a bit from my last post, Pennie is the other friend who died this year. We were friends for over 35 years. 

We used to meet for dinner or lunch several times a year and spend hours laughing, whining, creating crazy business ideas and solving the world’s problems. 

She got married and moved to Colorado more than twenty years ago. We kept in touch and I enjoyed reading about the life adventures she shared with her husband and the new entrepreneurial and artistic ventures she started. 

I wanted to see her again and to meet her husband. I kept putting off potential trips to Colorado because there would always be time. She’d always be there, right?

Then last fall she and hubby decided to retire to Florida. A surprise and not a surprise. Ok, another place to visit her. 

One day last month I stumbled on a new post on her Facebook page. A photo of Pennie and a cat and the dates 1952-2019. At first quick glance, I thought her cat died. Then I looked at the first number again. Wow. It was…