A woman Champ deals with life after divorce

     On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter –  February 22, 2019

By Tom P Blake

How a woman Champ deals with life after divorce–loving her Florida life

This week I heard from Lisa, who has been an e-Newsletter Champ for 15-plus years.

Lisa emailed, “Just read your latest e-Newsletter–In Search of That Special Someone. I’m still happy, healthy, and single (after three divorces – despite my happy ending story in your How 50 Couples Found Love after 50.)”

Note from Tom: When I hear from any of the 58 couples who were included in that 2009 book, I ask them for an update on what has happened to their relationship. The reason: the information they provide could become the basis for a follow-up study that would reveal why certain relationships last and others don’t.

And for the relationships that didn’t last, I’d like to know what the people are doing with their lives, and how the loss of the relationship has affected them.

That being said, with the book published 10 years ago, I realize that some relationships ended because of the death of one or both of the partners. I don’t want to make the surviving partner feel bad, but I do care very much how they have coped. So, I asked Lisa, if she’d relate to Champs, what happened to end the marriage, and how’s she’s doing.

Lisa said, “I’m an open book. Here’s the story. Also, I am including at the end of my story a link to an ‘online dating’ article that Champs might find useful.

“I was divorced a year after your book was published. Sadly, he couldn’t keep a job, or, simply didn’t want to work. It placed a lot of pressure on me. I was stressed and miserable. Not to suggest that there weren’t good times early in the relationship!

“He was the one who filed for divorce though. I was served with divorce papers out of the blue one snowy January 9 evening in 2010. Divorced now since September 2010.

“We married in May, 2005, so it was a pretty short marriage. Reportedly, he married me because he loved me, although the divorce was never discussed. It was so odd. Terrible communication to say the least!

“He married again not long after, and not surprisingly, has been claiming ‘happily retired’ ever since. He is six years my junior. His new/3rd wife is 4-5 years older than I. He and I have not stayed in touch.

“I did 18 months of counseling to try to understand my three failed marriages, and, have remained single.

“I had a boyfriend for a couple of years, someone I met on Match.com while we were both in Michigan. He moved back to Alaska. We are still friends with fond memories, and likely no future.

“I focused on finishing up my career, took an early retirement, sold my Michigan home, and moved to Naples, Florida, to get out of the cold. Became certified as a yoga instructor (although enjoy the practice more that the teaching.)

“I am taking a break from the online dating game for now and just living my life, doing things I love, and being the fittest, healthiest best me that I can! Still get ‘a lot of turns at bat’ so to speak, and no complaints or regrets!

“Blessed to be able to be fitness-focused in my daily life, and, take an occasional trip. I also do volunteer work. Loving my Florida life!

“Here’s the link to a great article that mentions so many dating sites I’ve never heard of. It’s also filled with a few true confessions. Couldn’t help feeling it’s share-worthy with our Champs! (It also gives me an upgraded opinion of the Oprah Magazine! Apparently ‘Mature Dating is a regularly published topic there:”

https://www.oprahmag.com/life/relationships-love/a25776713/guide-to-online-dating/

I checked out the article—entertaining and informative.

                            Possible future e-Newsletter topic

In pondering Lisa’s story and her 18 months of counseling to try to understand her three failed marriages. It led me to think, when dating and meeting new people, do multiple marriages on either person’s part matter? Would that be a deal breaker? Red flag? Non-issue? I think that could make for an interesting future e-Newsletter. What do you Champs think? Opinions one way or the other?


Another marriage for Neptune. Should that matter to bride dressed in green?

In Search of That Special Someone

 On Life and Love after 50 e-Newsletter –  February 15, 2019
by Columnist Tom Blake
Senior Love: In Search of That Special Someone
Thank goodness, Valentine’s Day, 2019, is behind us. Frankly, I don’t like to write about it. Never have. The reason: In the 50-to-90 age range, there are many singles who don’t have a significant other and Valentine’s Day reminders can be a bit of a downer.

I don’t want to talk about a dozen red roses here, a box of chocolates there, a romantic dinner in some five-star restaurant, or cuddling in front of a fireplace. For people in committed relationships, they already know that’s the drill on V-Day.

But for many singles without a partner, Valentine’s Day can’t end soon enough. They have other things on their mind. As an example, last week, a very nice single woman sent this email:

She wrote, “I am new to your e-Newsletter and enjoying it. I’m 62, divorced twice and live in Orange County (California). You are my inspiration that there is that special someone out there for me!

“I also heard that you have a Facebook group that might be a good idea for me. I’m also wondering from your years of dealing with the subject if you have some very specific recommendations for dating sites. There are so many out there and I’d rather use a reliable and successful one rather than waste my time and money.”

My reply: “Our Facebook group is called Finding Love After 50. It’s a “closed” group; people must request to join. I keep it closed because there are many people lurking on the Internet and Facebook who have evil intentions, or ulterior motives that would not be beneficial to our group members.

“For example, they might want to promote a cause or a business that benefits only them, or establish contact with our members, only to eventually hurt, defraud, or cheat them. I cannot allow that to happen. I must keep the site safe.

(“Occasionally, a member will post too much drivel, so, I delete those posts. If over-posting continues, I will remove that member from the group–after a friendly warning, of course.)

“I prescreen everyone who requests to join the group. I check out each person’s Facebook page to see what they post, who their friends are, and try to get a feel for, ‘Yup, they’d fit in and contribute to our group.’ If they have no personal information that reveals who they are, I don’t let them in the door.

“You’d be amazed at what’s on people’s Facebook pages. Guns, violence, perversion, distasteful sexual content, extreme political views, and membership in hundreds of other groups, which indicates that the people have no actual interest in what our group stands for.

“You asked about recommendations for dating sites. Let me say this up front. What I said about Facebook misfits also applies to dating websites. Don’t get me wrong, online dating is a great tool for mature singles. It allows you to reach out across city limits, county and state borders and even into other countries. It dramatically increases your chances of meeting ‘that someone special,’ to which you refer.

“Still, you must be very careful and leery when dipping your toes into online dating. There are bad apples looking for vulnerable people age 50-plus and older. Trust your instincts. If something seems ‘not right,’ then it isn’t. Wednesday night, Greta and I saw a TV interview with a woman who got scammed out of her $30,000 of life savings (of which $20,000 was borrowed from neighbors), by a guy she had never met in person. Sounds foolish and very stupid, but it was also sad.

“If you do meet in person, do so in a public place, tell your friends with whom you are meeting, check the person out carefully beforehand, and consider doing a background check.

“Of course, never send or give money to a stranger.

“What sites are best? Match.com still ranks high, in my opinion, but not perfect. I met a neighbor this week who lives a few houses away. He and his woman friend met on Match.

“Our Time is for older people, and again not perfect. Those are two suggestions. I’m sure our Champs will mention other sites as well. Meeting that someone special can happen, however, on any dating site. This book, features the stories of 58 couples who met after age 50 (the title says 50 couples, but it’s indeed 58, which is another story). A few of our Champs are included in the book.

                                       
  Tom’s book is available via his bookstore at https://www.findingloveafter50.com/bookstore

“A woman named Christine Baumgartner is an Orange County relationship coach who is a part of our group. She is a wonderful person and has helped many people in their search for love. She often posts to our Finding Love After 50 group site. Her email is Christine@theperfectcatch.com. Website: www.theperfectcatch.com.

“Christine is leading a panel discussion on Feb 26, 5:30-8:30 p.m., of a woman’s group called WomanSage. I will be on that panel. It will be held at the Center Club, in Costa Mesa, adjacent to the Segerstrom Theatre. That would be a good event for you to attend. For details, go to the website below. Details of the event are on the home page where you see the roses and bottle of champagne. You do not have to be a member of WomanSage to purchase a ticket (www.womansage.org)

“Stay in touch and we’ll help in your search for that special someone.”

I realize that not all of our Champs live close enough to Orange County to attend that evening but people in Southern California would enjoy it.

However, this woman’s situation is similar to millions of other singles across North America. The key to meeting new people, and possibly finding that special someone, is to get out and join new groups. Making women friends is a good way to begin.

An Evening with Rosanne Cash

                          On Life and Love after 50 e-Newsletter –  February 8, 2019

by Columnist Tom Blake

There are two parts to today’s e-Newsletter

Part 1 –  An Evening With Rosanne Cash

Seniors often ask for suggestions on where to go when they’d like a little variety in their routines. For our southern California Champs, I can now recommend the magnificent Chapman University MUSCO Center for the Arts, in Orange, California. Most Champs in other parts of the country have similar venues they can visit.

Greta and I had a senior date night there last Saturday (February 2). It was to see Rosanne Cash in concert. Why Rosanne?

When I first met Rosanne Cash, the oldest daughter of Johnny Cash, she was 21. I was the Director of Marketing for Victoria Station restaurant chain, that specialized in prime rib; most of our restaurants were constructed of boxcars and cabooses.

Victoria Station had hired Johnny to sing train-themed radio commercials and it was my job to work with him to ensure the company’s association with him went well.

In January, 1976, I attended a TV taping of a country music show at the NBC studios in Burbank, California, that featured Rosanne’s dad Johnny, John Denver, Glen Campbell, Roger Miller and Mary Kay Place.

At that five-hour taping, Rosanne and I sat together in the front row; we became friends and have remained in contact—albeit sporadically–since then.

I’ve watched in admiration as she has matured into an incredible, prolific, composer and musician. I’ve observed her emerge from under her famous father’s coattails, and, become established on her own merit.

Her music isn’t solely country, it’s called Americana, which includes pop, rock, blues and folk. Rosanne’s career took off with a 1981 title track song and album called “Seven Year Ache.” She has released 15 albums.

In 2015, she won three Grammy awards for best Americana album, “The River & the Thread.”

Rosanne has had 11 songs that reached number one on the country music charts. She has published four books, her most noteworthy, a 2010 memoir, titled, “Composed.”

Last Saturday, February 2, Greta and I attended an evening concert at the magnificent Chapman University, MUSCO Center for the Arts, where Rosanne and her husband, John Leventhal, performed as a duet. She said the MUSCO has the finest acoustics of any venue in which she’s performed in California.

A guy in the audience yelled out, “That’s what Vince Gill said.” She smiled and said, tongue-in-cheek, “Vince is always copying me.” That brought a big laugh from the audience.

Rosanne sang a breathtaking version of the 1967 Bobbie Gentry song, “Ode to Billie Joe, from Rosanne’s “The River & the Thread,” album, and a hauntingly beautiful rendition of “The Long Black Veil,” from The List album, which was based on a hand-written list of 100 greatest American songs her dad gave her when she was 18. She mentioned she still has that list.

She featured songs from her just-released album, “She Remembers Everything,” saying with emotion in her voice, “This is a deeply personal collection of songs for me.”

At the end of the two-hour concert, after playing Seven Year Ache (see link below), Cash and Leventhal received a two-minute standing ovation.

After the second encore song, “Tennessee Flattop Box,” Greta and I went backstage and were able to spend a few minutes talking with her.

When she noticed us, I held up a copy of my 2006 memoir, Boxcars and Prime Rib. Whatever Happened to Victoria Station? and said, “Remember this?”


 Front Cover: Prime Rib & Boxcars. Whatever Happened to Victoria Station?

“How could I forget?” Rosanne said, “That’s you and Dad on the cover. Didn’t I endorse the back cover?”

I showed her the back cover with her quote.

Back cover of Tom’s book with endorsement by Rosanne Cash (and Bill Walsh and Lynn Swann)

In a bit of an unusual twist, I had her sign the inside front cover of my book, which she did, writing, “To Tom and Greta, with love, Rosanne Cash.”

She said, “I remember you posted the book and my dad’s radio commercials on your Victoria Station ( http://www.VicSta.com ) website.”

I said, “Yup. When you click on the link, after about 5 seconds, you hear Johnny singing our commercials. He sounds as good as ever.”  Note from Tom: If you want to hear Johnny singing the commercials, avoid using the Google Chrome browser (a recent update by them muted the sound). Any other browser works well such as Microsoft Edge.)

I told Rosanne how proud I am of her, and how amazingly talented she’s become. She seemed to appreciate those words, from a friend of her dad’s, whom she’s known for 43 years.


Greta, Rosanne Cash, and Tom on February 2, 2019

It was a special “date-night-out” evening for Greta and me.

Link to Rosanne Cash singing Seven Year Ache:

https://www.bing.com/search?q=seven+year+ache+rosanne+cash&form=PRUSEN&mkt=en-us&httpsmsn=1&refig=69cf1a945b3a4dae9bd3d3b3e7f1368a&sp=2&qs=LS&pq=seven+year+ache&sk=LS1&sc=8-15&cvid=69cf1a945b3a4dae9bd3d3b3e7f1368a

This article appeared in the San Clemente Times Newspaper on February 14, 2019 and the Dana Point Times on February 22, 2019

San Clemente Times newspaper

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Dana Point Times article on Rosanne Cash

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                             Part 2 – New Facebook Page: “Tom Blake Publishing.”

Some Champs have said they’d like to read the e-Newsletter on Facebook so they can comment and interact with other Champs. So, I’ve created a new page just for that purpose. Hopefully, today’s e-Newsletter will be the first one posted. The Facebook page is titled “Tom Blake Publishing.” When you get a chance, check it out. This is not a closed page, anyone can post comments (at least for now) but not post photos. We will see how it goes.

Declutter. Readers respond to last week’s e-Newsletter

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – February 1, 2019

by Columnist Tom Blake

There are three parts to today’s newsletter. It’s a little long, especially part One. But it turned out to be a big topic for lots of us

Part One – Champ responses to the declutter article last week

Carole, Nevada, emailed, “Don’t get a storage unit, just throw it away! My partner Steve had to go thru all this when his wife passed away. She had 400 boxes of books, 3 full sets of China and lots of crystal from Germany—much of it he couldn’t even donate!

“Just get rid of it, donate, whatever! He had storage units ($$) for way too long! He learned the hard way! We still have too much stuff but, it’s not as bad as it was!”

Tom’s response: Carole’s comment reminds me of George Straight’s catchy song, “Give It Away.” (Link to the song at end of today’s e-Newsletter)

Suzanne, Seal Beach, Ca., “I am in the same process you describe. I’m 72 and, after 45 years, still living in the same home that my late husband and I bought as our first home. Our three children have flown the coop and live on the east coast or in northern CA. It’s time for me to clear out and release all the stored ‘things’ that I no longer need or want and consider moving to a simpler abode.

“I’ve taken lots to Goodwill and the more precious and valuable items have been donated to a local charity for their silent auction. It’s hard to step out of the phase of life in which I did it all, gainful employment, frequent entertaining, running a household, etc., to now admitting that I don’t want to take care of all of this anymore.

“Taped to my mirror is this quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Happiness is not found in things you possess, but in what you have the courage to release.”

Pat, Orange, CA, “Last March I started sorting, packing and staging my 3,400 sq. ft house. It is a very challenging chore but for me there is no choice since I have no children, no relatives to do this after I am gone. It is also how I hurt my back…a tri-level home to clean out is a big job and taking boxes down from the third level to store in the garage was very hard on an already challenged back.

“Once I downsize, after the house sells I will have more sorting and packing to do but at least then I won’t have to take the boxes downstairs…I can leave them in the rooms where they are and once all is done I can hire some students to help me load my SUV and take to my new home (at least to the garage there)…the big pieces I will be taking will be done by professional movers…all else will be left for an estate sale!”

Victoria, “When my mother died, thank God my late husband was still around to help me through the mess! She lived over 2,500 miles away, so we took a week to go to her property and pick out the things we wanted to keep. She had recently moved into that house, so thankfully a lot of stuff had already been sorted and discarded.

“But the house was still a 4-bedroom and she was the only person living in it. The reason for having 4 bedrooms?  She needed them to hold all her stuff! (Can you imagine what it would have been like before she began decluttering?)

“I hired an estate sale company. This is the best discovery ever! They go in and clear out EVERYTHING. You get the profits from the garage sale minus their commission (usually around 30%) and costs.  Sure, you could try and sell the stuff yourself, but who has the time and energy for that? That’s why stuff accumulates in the first place.

“Having this experience under my belt, I was faced with a similar situation after my husband died and I sold our huge house a few years later. Again, I packed everything I wanted to move to my new (much smaller) condo and turned the remainder over to an estate sale person. SO much easier than having to deal with it myself.

“My mother (wrongly) assumed I would just take her entire belongings when she died. Kids are usually not interested in the bulk of their parents’ things. The furniture is usually not the more modern style they are looking for and probably too big to fit in most new homes.”

Chris A, San Clemente, Ca., “Boy, did you hit a nerve for me with last week’s declutter e-Newsletter. I just got back from England. This past year, my wife Tina decided—because she spends so much time in England, that she would downsize by selling her 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom home, and buy a much smaller condo.

“She put her house on the market in November, thinking it would probably sell some time after the first of the year. She had a buyer in two weeks. I had planned to go to England December 16 for our previously scheduled trip to South Africa over the holidays. Suddenly, everything changed; Tina went into a mild panic. I changed my flight, and went to England November 16 to help her to start packing and to get rid of 60 years of STUFF.

“Things went from bad to worse. The couple who were buying Tina’s house, ran into problems with the people buying their house. In real estate this is called a chain sale. For two weeks, the phone wouldn’t stop ringing.

“All the solitaires (lawyers) talking to each other, but nothing happening. Now we are heading to South Africa. The morning we are leaving, Tina gets a call telling her to come in and sign the papers. We are thinking that when we get back home in two weeks, all the papers will have been signed, and we can start moving. Wrong. Nothing had been done because of more problems.

“In the meantime, Tina’s moving company wants to know when they can come, and start packing. Of course, while this is all going on, we are packing whatever we can, and getting rid of whatever Tina is willing to give up. On a Monday, we get the call that all the papers have been signed, and everyone is moving on Wednesday.

“Of course, I am due to leave on Thursday, but knowing I can’t leave Tina with this mess, I change my flight by one week. The move takes place on Wednesday, and Tina’s new home is buried in boxes and furniture, that she couldn’t get rid of. Yes, a major downsize. There was no place to sit or lay down. You couldn’t even walk from one room to the next. Forget trying to make a meal, finding a place to eat, or going to bed.

“We spent the first night at her daughter’s house and the next week unpacking boxes and making trips to the Tip (dump) and the charity shop. I was up every morning at 7 a.m. getting rid of STUFF. By 10 at night, when I dropped my 85-year-old body in bed, I was like a wet rag.

“By the end of the week, when I was ready to fly to the States, the place looked reasonably livable. When I got on the plane, I felt like one big toothache. I hurt from my neck to my knees. Tina never got rid of anything over the last 60 years. You are right Tom, better now than never.”

Bruce, antique store owner, Ohio, “You are very fortunate that the kids came to assist and take things, most younger folks today just do not desire much of what we accumulated over the years and there truly is no market for most of it.

“I cannot tell you how many people we get in here (antique shop) trying to sell their stuff, and you should also be aware that there is a business model that has arisen over the last ten years or so just to help seniors declutter—they are called “senior move managers” and they specialize in household downsizing and estate dispersal. I am certified as one; they are all over the country.”

Decluttering is a blessing in disguise
Declutter items in garage ready to be hauled away

Thyrza, “Decluttering is a mental and emotional task, but you and Greta did it. Kudos to her kids, grands and great grands who helped.”

Henry, “Tom, why are your saving boxes and boxes of books? It’s costing you money for the storage that you will never recover.

Tom’s answer to Henry: “These are my printed, new books. Yes, it’s costing money to store them, but it’s only a temporary situation, as they will be sold. Greta and I hope to be rid of the self-storage units by summer (at least one of them).

Part 2 – “Love and BIG HUGS” from Champs Terry and Daeng, a couple since 2006, who live in northern Thailand, three miles from the Myanmar (Burma) border.

In response to the book offer two weeks ago, Terry sent an email with the subject line: “Love and BIG HUGS,” which caught my attention, as I thought love and big hugs are what most Champs enjoy. The email contained two photos. The first photo was of Terry and an elephant:


                 “Love and BIG HUGS” – Champ Terry with big hugger

The second photo was of Daeng and Terry, with a tiger:


Terry’s caption: Two tigers and me

Terry and Daeng are humanitarians; they help the local children, who are opium orphans (children who’ve lost their parents to the disease of opium addiction).

Terry wrote, “We live in the ‘Golden Triangle,’ which is still the 2nd highest producer of illegal opium. Afghanistan is 1st now.”

However, the most surprising thing about their email was it contained an order for 24 of my books.

Terry added, “I am sending six friends all four of your books each for their collections. Autographed books are always wonderful as gifts. The price, four books for $25 including shipping, of your well-written and autographed books is wonderful, also.”

I’ve never had an order for that many books at one time except from Amazon.com.

By the way, the book offer still stands. Email me if you have questions.

Part 3 – Dating News.com, a helpful website for singles who would like to meet a mate 

I was contacted three weeks ago by the dating editor of a website called DatingNews.com. She wanted to interview me to include my story under the “movers and shakers” section of the Dating News website.

I looked at the site and said, “Wow, I need to alert Champs to this site. It has lots of valuable information. You can be added to their mailing list at no cost. Here’s the link to the story they posted two days ago:

Dating News Tom Blake article

Almost forgot: the promised link to George Straight’s “Give It Away” song It’s was his 41st song to reach number one on the country music charts.
(you can click on “Skip the Ad)

George Straight song Give It Away

 

People who email but don’t respond and Champs who don’t let age hold them back

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – December 31, 2018

by Tom Blake Columnist

Happy New Year – There are two parts to today’s eNewsletter. 

Part 1 – People who send emails but don’t respond to my reply

Part 2 – Champs who don’t let age hold them back

Part 1 – People who send emails but don’t respond to my reply

Often, I receive emails from Champs that I’d like to include in future e-Newsletters. I respond and ask the senders a few more questions and permission to use their information and names.

But, for some reason, some people don’t respond back. There are two examples of that today.

The first email was sent by Champ Toni, responding to a newsletter article published in August about a disgruntled woman who blamed men for her dating problems. Toni lives on the west coast, she wrote:

“I was widowed 9 years ago when I was 53. Mike was 48 and died unexpectedly in his sleep.

“I loved my job and as I’m too young for Social Security, I have continued to work. This keeps me busy. I was also fortunate to have joined a grief share group and a singles Meetup group in my area. Not a dating group – just singles getting together for movies, dinner, dancing, bowling, winery visits–activities that are not fun when alone as a single.

“I agree with what ‘disgruntled’ said in your newsletter on several points. In my experience and the women in my circle have also realized, the men require a lot more from the women than the women require of men. For example, a woman’s appearance (age – weight), dating /marriage history, and financial stability are important to men.

“Not all men, but the majority want younger companions. Most want FWB (friends with benefits) and are not interested in a monogamous committed relationship. Because of an estimated ratio at my age of two-to-one women to men– the men call the shots and can take their pick. Bravo for them. And Why not?

“I think more women are ok being single than men. Perhaps that’s because the women took care of the family and the house and they’re finally getting a much- deserved rest and can now do what they want when they want and don’t have to be accountable to anyone.

“Studies show divorced and widowed men tend to date, hook up and remarry faster than the women do. Is it because men want to be taken care of? Are they missing a companion to go places and do things with? Do they still feel the need to prove their virility to themselves and others?

“Several men in our circle of friends say they envy the gals. If we want to go to a movie or dinner, we call up the girls and go out. You seldom see a group of older guys doing this, unless they golf. My one guy friend told me he thought the women dealt with single life much better than men. He says, ‘You ladies like your own company.’ And I agree.

“Speaking for myself, I would welcome another love in my life – I had a great marriage and believe it’s possible again. But, I don’t need another person ‘to complete me.’ I do coffee and lunch dates with a few becoming dinner dates. I’m not so desperate that I’m fixated on dating just to get out of the house.

“I try not to compare dates – and while there is compromise – for me, some things are not negotiable. I’m not into ‘playing house’ or the friends-with-benefits arrangement. It may work for some, but it’s not my thing.

“Being single doesn’t have to be a curse. It can be a wonderful opportunity to learn about yourself and grow in many areas. More singles should learn to depend on themselves and enjoy their own company. They may surprise themselves!

“I had friends putting their two cents into this email. We enjoy your e-Newsletters.”

Tom’s comment: I wrote Toni back and told her I’d like to include her email in a future e-Newsletter and that what she wrote was well stated and nicely done. I asked what her future work plans were. And I wanted to give her two-cents friends credit for their inputs as well.

But, as sometimes happens, I didn’t hear anything back from her. So, I held off using her information until today. I felt that her comments would start the New Year off with some interesting food for thought.

Example number two of people who send emails and then don’t respond when I write them back.

While I was on the cruise, I received an email from a 72-year-old widow named Cheryl. She had seen-in previous eNewsletters-that I had included some bios of single Champs. So, she sent her bio information in along with a nice photo of her in a red dress, but she didn’t mention in what part of the country she lived.

I felt that to be important so that men would know if she lived close enough to them to pursue communication with her. I wrote her back and asked.

She never responded. So, I didn’t include her bio in a newsletter. Perhaps she’ll resend her information with that information in it.

I don’t understand why people put a great amount of time, thought, and effort into writing an email, and then, they don’t respond when I respond to them.

Note from Tom (for the rest of the story, see the January, 2019 titled “Cheryl in the red dress.” She did email; I didn’t get it on board the ship.

Part 2 – Champs who don’t let age hold them back

You may recall Chris and Tina. They married two years ago. They had the longest, long-distance relationship on record, 5,440 or so miles for 14 years, between San Clemente, California and England.


              Champs Chris and Tina –making the most out of life

Champ Chris emailed last week, “Tomorrow (Monday) Tina and I are flying from England (where Tina has relatives) to Cape Town, South Africa, for two weeks. We will be spending the holidays there. It should be an interesting adventure. We will be staying in five different hotels in that area. This includes a wonderful Christmas dinner overlooking the city and Table Mountain. (We have seen the menu and it looks great).

“And, New Year’s Eve will be at a seaside restaurant, where the Atlantic meets the Pacific. We understand you can see where the different color waters come together. We are also going on a three-day safari. NO! We are not sleeping on the ground in a tent. I did enough of that in Vermont, when the kids were little. I want a five-star hotel with a shower and room service.

“Tina and I have been talking about this trip and planning it, for over a year. Hopefully it is everything we want it to be, because this could be our last big adventure. I will be 85 in January, and as some of you know, it gets harder and harder to travel as you get up in years. (Tina is 77).

“So, I want to wish you all a happy and healthy New Year. May it be everything you would like it to be.”

Note from Tom: For an interesting update on Chris and Tina, visit the e-Newsletter on this site dated January 25, 2019 on Decluttering. The link:

Chris and Tina decluttering