Are You Actively Engaged or Passively Detached?

Sunrise in Puerto PenascoRecently my husband and I went to Puerto Penasco, Mexico. Formerly, a small fishing village, it is now becoming a destination for tourists and American expats. It was wonderful to spend time on the beach looking for sea shells and watching the 200 or so pelicans, herons, and egrets fish and sun bathe along the rocky coast. After a week of relaxation, I was ready to come back home.

We discovered my husband has a friend who retired to Puerto Penasco with his wife about 15 years ago. (Thank you Facebook.) They were wonderful hosts, showing us the town, including the back roads and byways first time visitors rarely see. [Read more...]

Arts and Crafts in Retirement

Crafts in RetirementRetirement is a time to explore new interests and develop new activities. wants to inspire and offer suggestions of creative activities to engage. Actually arts and crafts is a huge topic with many different options available.

There are a number of reasons that arts and crafts are so important and popular in retirement. In generally, these are activities that can be started and stopped mid stream. While there are many A&C that cost a lot of money to learn and engage, most are reasonably priced. Many A&C can be started with minimal learning to begin. Yet, there is opportunity to grow as you want to expand. Most A&C have a community of others who enjoy the activity. Many groups are formed locally, but with the Internet, everyone can find people who share the same interest.

Arts and Crafts offer many benefits as we get older. They keep the mind active. They help with coordination, eye/hand dexterity. Most arts and crafts allow for creativity, both in the product that is produced, but also in problems solving when things don’t go well. They allows people to use their imagination [Read more...]

Travel in Retirement and the Ick Factor

Puerto Penasco MuralsThe world is an amazing place to visit. One of the aspects that keep retirees from seeing much of it is the Ick Factor.

On the last day of our New England trip with our grandchildren, I wanted to walk the Freedom Trail in Boston. Meandering through the center of this historic city, the trail is a living museum of the colony and transition into becoming a country.

Shortly after arriving, my 14 year old grandson made it perfectly clear he didn’t like Boston at all. As I looked around the city through his eyes, I saw the mentally disabled, homeless and throngs of people compressed in a small area of high rises. I understood why he may have been less than thrilled.

After we returned home, my husband was telling his friends about our upcoming trip to Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), Mexico. Their first reaction was, “Why would you want to go down THERE?”

I’m fully aware that many people don’t want to see the ‘under belly of the world.’ My husband refuses to go to India and I can understand his reluctance. For many baby boomers who were raised in the saccharin cradle of suburbia, travel to congested cities and third world countries doesn’t have much appeal. [Read more...]

Painting is About Persistence

TheMenu_Sedona Cafe_2013It happened again this week. I was at the spa at the community center talking to a neighbor about my love of painting people. He replied that he couldn’t paint people. My thought was, “Of course he can paint people.”

Let me back up a bit. If you’ve followed my blog you know that I have strong feelings about people being creative as they get older and that painting like any other endeavor takes practice and patience. I put down paint brushes when I was ten years old and didn’t pick them up again until I was in my late 40′s.

I started painted people when my red haired grandson was 18 months old and have been smitten with painting people ever since. While I still enjoy painting my grandchildren, most of my recent portraits have been of older men. [Read more...]

More Travel Tips with Older Grandchildren

Travel with grandchildrenWe recently returned home from spending two weeks in New England with two of our grandchildren, ages 10 and 14. It was the first time we’d been to New England for all of us.

We stayed for one week in North Conway, New Hampshire, a quintessential small England town and one week in Newport, Rhode Island. A large part of our time was spent exploring the area, mostly nature and history. Although, we did take one day to drive to Vermont to indulge in Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at their factory.

There is no guarantee that any trip is going to be as enjoyable as the fantasy during the planning stages. We all had our ‘moments,’ but ended the time together feeling that the trip was a success. We will all take away wonderful memories. [Read more...]

Dealing with Grief and Loss

Retirement Travel to Dominican RepublicI had intended to write more about our trip to the Dominican Republic. I may write further about it later on. This blog is about loss. I’m always intrigued by how the universe likes to teach lessons.

On of the interesting things about getting older are fat fingers. Several years ago, I couldn’t remove my wedding ring, had it cut off and enlarged. The ring consisted of three diamonds. With the new sizing, it flopped to the side when I typed, which I do all day long. So, I stopped wearing it, except when we go on vacation. [Read more...]

Travel Tips with Older Grandchildren

Moose head from New HampsWe’ve been lucky to travel with our two older grandchildren in the fall for the last two years.  They go to a year round school which has a two-week break in the fall, our favorite time to travel.

We did driving trips to Colorado last year, Steamboat Springs and Durango the year before. This year we wanted to fly to New England spending one week in New Hampshire and the other in Newport Rhode Island.  Since it was a new experience to fly with them, I wasn’t sure what documentation we needed.

Bring Learning into Your Home

Books important for Retirement LeisureReading is one of the most popular retirement leisure activities.  If you’re like me, it doesn’t cost anything by visiting your local library.  I’m also lucky that we have a book exchange out our community center.  But, I also have a confession to make.  I struggle with leisure reading.  For years, I was a prolific reader and always had my nose in a juicy novel.  Through my twenties and thirties, I carried a list of the top 100 classic books to read.  In fact, I read most of them.  Then most of my reading shifted to material that was work related. [Read more...]

Where are Baby Boomers in Overseas Travel?

Since the early 1990’s my husband and I have travelled the world. We’re surprised at how few fellow Americans we encounter. When we do see American travelers, they tend to be either in their twenties or older than 70. With 77 million baby boomers at the beginning of their retirements, why don’t we see them traveling abroad?

[Read more...]

The secret to a satisfying retirement is…

LA FreewaysRecently I was told about a retired couple who moved to Arizona from the Midwest. They’re not exactly happy here, but decided to take a four-day trip to explore California. Yes, I wrote correctly, 4-days to see California. They drove to Sequoia National Park where they remarked, “If you’ve seen one big tree, you’ve seen them all.” From the park, they drove to the bay area, selected Oakland as their place to stay. I actually like Oakland with its earthy, gritty ambiance, but wouldn’t necessarily select it as representative of all the Bay area has to offer. For some reason, they didn’t want to drive the coast, so I’m guessing they drove Interstate 5 down to LA. I know my California friends are rolling their collective eyes, because no one would choose the I5, unless they had to. The last two days were spent ‘seeing’ Los Angeles and San Diego before heading home. [Read more...]