Stop grumping and 15 other responses

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

March 25, 2022 eNewsletter #12

by Tom BlakeColumnist

Stop Grumping and 15 other responses

16 Champs comment about last week’s “Three things to avoid after age 70” article

Last week’s eNewsletter quoted a guy named Doug Armey who said that most people after age 70 act and talk old. I didn’t like what he said. Many of you felt the same way. As often happens, our Champs chimed in with concise and sage comments. Here are several of them:

Jacquie, “Today, the 25th of March, I turn 74. I don’t feel old. I’ve had two back surgeries and have bursitis and tendonitis, but I still walk 10,000 steps nearly every day. I also read lots of books and magazines. My brother and sister-in-law are four years and three years older respectively and are always traveling. They also walk often.

“I retired at 70 so I could do more of what I want. I won’t be reading Armey’s column anytime soon.”

Rosemarie, South Africa, “I’m 82 and manage my business and interact with clients every day. Health is 100%. Three times a week to the gym. I have lunch with my women friends. It’s best to keep busy.”

Kaitte, “I remember my mother telling me when I was 32 that I was no ‘spring-chicken’ and needed to settle down. At 44 I had cancer. I was dating a man five years younger. My grandmother told me she wished I’d find a man my age and settle down. I told Granny 40-year-olds now aren’t like they were when she was 40.

“I figured if I was going to die, I was going to live what was left of my life on my own terms and not in a hospital room.

“I’m 70 and feel the same—not living my life by some society rule that says I’ve got to act or be a certain way at a certain age.”

Pat, “I just celebrated the 41st anniversary of my 42nd birthday (83) and am still going strong. I don’t dress, act or think like an old lady. My significant other and I are in our 18th year together and it keeps getting better. It’s all about attitude.”

Tom’s comment: Pat’s story about how she met “Cowboy,” her significant other, a Harley rider, was so refreshing and inspirational, I included it in my 2009 book, “How 50 Couples Found Love After 50.” Her story’s title: “Love on the back of a Harley.” The printed lesson learned from Pat’s story: Open your mind to meeting people with different interests and backgrounds. Expand your horizons.

In Sarah’s email, she used a word of which I was not familiar. She emailed, “I wonder if Armey has found himself thinking/acting/feeling those things and not happy about it…thus, his grumping about it.”

She added, “I don’t see anything wrong with mentioning age…unless one is grumping about itOccasionally, I mention my age, but it’s because I am happy to have achieved it—a badge of honor—sort of like my gray hair. I am proud of that too.”

Tom’s comment: I had never heard the word grumping. It’s not listed in my older dictionaries, but it is listed in some online dictionaries. So, no more grumping from me!

Nigelle, Glastonbury, Somerset, UK, “Hurrah for you, Tom, for speaking up for all 70+ peeps that this Armey chappie has never come across.”

Carol, “Loved your article: it sure hit home. I’m almost 85 and all those things were me…I try to keep doing things, but I don’t ‘drive after dark.’ Your eNewsletters are always good for laughs, even when they hit home.”

Thyrza, “I am pleased you give us your take on the articles published. Who wants to read those unfounded negative reviews of people regardless of age? Armey, who wrote the piece, should learn basic philosophy or logic. One does not make sweeping statements that apply to most people, based only on one’s experiences.”

Diana, “I’m 64 and love every year. Being old and acting old is a choice! I choose to never do either. A fun Friday read.”

Teresa, “One thing never to avoid: if you disagree, speak your mind!”

Terri, 71 and counting, “This Armey guy is all wet and doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Seventy years go by awfully fast. I’m lucky. I’ve got great kids, nice friends, a beautiful home, and men still find me attractive.

“I’m in a relatively new relationship with an accomplished, high-energy man, who is a great travel partner. Mercifully, none of us knows how long we have left. Life is and always has been, what we make of it.”

Larry, Florida, “At age 72, I still flip off inconsiderate dudes, like you described in last week’s column. My friend Liz bought a big-screen TV. We rocked and danced to videos of our favorite musical artists. There was a knock on her door. It was her neighbor politely asking to lower the sound because her teenage daughter was studying for a test.’ We considered her comment a badge of honor. We felt instantly younger. We turned the music down, and still ‘danced the night away.’”

Heather, “I turned 69 last week. I rewarded myself by purchasing three new bikini’s. I love being outdoors and getting Dana Point sunshine. No early-bird dinners for my partner Rueben and me. We love to cook and BBQ. Tricky meals are my favs. If they are Rueben approved, they get put into my “Momma Knott’s favorite binder.”

“Also, volunteering is such a pleasant thing to do; I enjoy doing that as well.”

Larry, California: Another thing to do: “Stay off of ladders.” 

Tom agrees: That’s for sure. It’s tempting when you need an item from that top shelf that can’t be reached without a ladder. But think twice before doing that.

Kathy, “Some of us who were active in our 30s, 40s, and 50s develop severe knee problems in our 60s and 70s. Even after knee replacements, we can’t engage in those activities we used to enjoy. So, Armey, unless you have walked a mile in those knees, zip it.”

Tom’s comment: My sister Pam recently had surgery on one knee. The rehab was painful and lengthy. But, she’s a trooper (and Champ) and has toughed it out and walking well. I admire her tenacity.

Susie, Virginia, “I’m 80. I’ve had a hard time adjusting to living in an age 62+ community. 80 is just a number to me. There is no one living here like me, I have been blessed with good health and good genes. I’m pretty lonely here.”

Thank you, Champs, for your warm, positive, and friendly responses. 

3 things to avoid after age 70

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

March 18, 2022 eNewsletter #11

by Tom Blake

Three things to avoid after age 70

A couple of months ago, an email from popped into my inbox. I had never heard of Quora. I checked it out and discovered that Quora posts multiple blogs on multiple subjects by multiple people.

I signed up to receive Quora’s posts about life and aging. Many of the posts I’ve read so far have been interesting and informative. One post by an author named Doug Armey caught my eye. It was called: What three things should a person avoid once they are past 70 years old?

Armey is likely in his late 60s or early 70s. Regarding his age, he was a bit evasive: “I’m north of the 10th anniversary of my 50th birthday. Somewhere, I’m just not sure.”

Because Armey’s topic was similar to topics we discuss in this eNewsletter, I read his post.

I do not agree with many things he wrote in the article. But, a few of the points he made were helpful. Armey wrote:

First, acting old. Most people hit 70 and suddenly start acting old. They eat early-bird dinners. They don’t drive at night. They can’t go for a long walk. They’re retired but can’t return phone calls. And pretty soon they start looking old and walking old.”

Whoa, hold the horses. I disagree with that paragraph. It’s simply not true. Most people don’t suddenly start acting old after age 70. Perhaps a few people may gradually appear to be aging, but not suddenly unless it’s because of a health issue. I know a lot of people ages 70 and older, into their 80s and 90s, who don’t act old. Their bodies may slow, but that’s not acting, that’s reality.

I’m surprised that Armey didn’t mention that many health issues are beyond a person’s control. For example, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. People who encounter health issues aren’t acting old or looking old on purpose. Often, when a health issue erupts at any age, not just after 70, it’s unexpected and out of the blue. That’s not acting old. Those are the cards with which we’re dealt. And we cope with them the best we can.

And then Armey wrote this: “Instead, forget about your age. Do everything you should have been doing at 40 to stay in good health. Then keep doing all the things that you used to enjoy and slowly gave up. And most of all stop acting old and looking old. Seriously, it’s not a good look.”

Yes, there are some things we can do such as wearing clean, unwrinkled clothes, shaving, getting our nails done so that when we venture out, we look nice.

 And then Armey wrote about the second thing to avoid after 70. He stated:

Second, thinking old. Most people hit 70 and mentally give up. They retire so they can do, well, nothing. They spend hours watching mindless TV and then can’t remember what was even on. As well as what they walked to the bedroom to get.”

Once again, I object. Especially to the sentence, “Most people hit 70 and mentally give up.” That’s not true. Perhaps a few people but not the people I know. This guy Armey doesn’t know our Champs. Single women in their 70s driving solo across the country or towing an old trailer to San Clemente from British Columbia. Women in their 70s on standup paddleboards and walking briskly in the Harbor. And playing pickleball. Others doing horseback riding. He’s preaching to the wrong group of 70-year-olds.

And how about those who turn 70 and decide to work five more years? Hell, I worked at making sandwiches until age 75.

Armey continues with point number two. “Instead, keep your mind active. If you have a job you like keep working. If you retire, then recreate your life into something meaningful. Oh, and turn off the TV. Believe me, you won’t miss anything. And you might just start remembering stuff like what was in the bedroom.”

I agree pretty much with what Armey said about keeping your mind active. My mom Fran was an avid reader. At age 95, she moved into a bigger home because she wanted more room to store her books. She was a NY Times crossword puzzle expert. Her final bridge game was at age 98, one week before she passed away. At 91, she bought a new car and drove it until 95, when her doctor made her give up her driver’s license, which of course, she wasn’t happy about. 

I keep writing my eNewsletters and newspaper articles because I love doing it and doing so helps keep my mind active. Most important, however, it keeps me interacting with people, particularly you Champs.

As far as turning the TV off, Greta and I have the TV on for maybe two hours a day. It’s usually David Muir news at 6:30 p.m., then Jeopardy, and then YouTube TV streaming music like the Bee Gees, Rod Stewart, Abba, and Bob Seger (that’s what we were watching in our 40s and 50s).

Note to Armey: I know what’s in the bedroom, it’s a doggone bed!

Armey’s third thing to avoid: He wrote: “Speaking old. Most people hit 70 and start talking old. They’re always saying, “Oh, I’m too old for that. Or constantly telling you about their aches and pains and how old they feel. And you know what, as they constantly remind themselves, they start believing it.”

Tom’s comment: Contrary to what Armey saysmost people who hit 70 do not start talking old. He states, “They’re always saying…” something about how old they are. Again, that’s not true. Yes, occasionally, people growing older are going to mention something related to aging, but most don’t dwell on it.

When my Paddle Board buddy Russell, and I talk while paddling around Dana Point Harbor, dodging great white sharks, sea lions, pelicans, and dive-bombing seagulls, we occasionally mention doctor visits and the meds we take. (see a photo of us on our paddleboards below).

But we also talk about yachts heading out of the harbor at 10 knots per hour when five knots per hour is the posted maximum speed limit, (and the signs on buoys also state “no wake,” which means slower than five knots, particularly for larger boats). When boats make a wake, most paddleboarders must turn into the wakes, to avoid being hit broadside by a wake that could dump them into the water.

During our 40s, we would have flipped off those speeding boat captains and yelled some profanity at them. Guess what? We are tempted now as well, to get them to slow down. But we usually don’t flip them off or yell. 

On the third point above, Armey added, “Never utter the words, ‘I’m old.’ I don’t care how old you are. And purposely forget when you were born so you can’t remember your age. Then do the things you like and never speak of age again. You’ll surprise yourself and frankly shock others. It’s fun.”

He added, “A friend of mine, who is a bit older than me, has a bumper sticker on his BMW M5 which says, ‘Growing old is mandatory, acting old is optional.’ You’ll age successfully but only as you purposefully forget your age.”

Tom’s comment: How can we forget when we were born when we are asked for our date of birth whenever we have a medical test or medical appointment? If we say, “I can’t remember.” That’s acting old.

Besides, how can I forget my age when my favorite singer, Bob Seger, keeps reminding me in his song, “Like A Rock,” which pops up often on our YouTube TV music channel at night apparently because it’s on our favorites list?

In that incredible song, Seger sings, “20 years now, where’d they go. 20 years, I don’t know. Sometimes, I sit and wonder, where they’ve gone.”

I sing back to Seger, a fellow Michigander, “80 years, where’d they go, 80 years, I do know.” I’ve been blessed beyond belief. Most of my memories are as vivid today, as they were when they happened. I recall them. Like A Rock.”

So, when you hit 70, here’s what you need to do. Point to the sky and say “Thanks. It’s been a great run; I’m ready for more. Like A Rock.”

Link to Like A Rock

Link to Quora

The Courageous 8

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – March 11, 2022

By: Tom Blake – Columnist

The Courageous 8

(Today’s eNewsletter has been edited for length and clarity)

Today I mention eight courageous women whom I admire. Seven are Champs. In the future, we will do more articles on courageous Champs – both women and men– because we have a lot of them who fall under the courageous umbrella.

And what helps me identify these courageous seniors is when they email me with stories, experiences, questions, and thoughts. Here are The Courageous 8:

Champ Devone Austin Texas

Devone emailed this January saying: “I moved from Dana Point three years ago to the outskirts of Austin, Texas. 

“I just turned 63. As a single parent, I got two kids through junior high, high school, and college on my own. They are living with their partners and doing well. My daughter, 28, graduated with a degree in psychology from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and recently from nursing school in Scottsdale. She starts her first job as a RN on 1/31/22 in Arizona. She just got engaged to her college sweetheart.

“My son graduated from UC Santa Barbara. He just turned 31 and lives right on Hermosa Beach, in CA, with his girlfriend. He will be proposing to her in the next three months. He is an area manager for a large corporation 

“I have since bought a home at the Lake, outside Austin in Hill Country and plan on retiring in the next 4-5 years when my house should be paid off.  

I’m open to meeting someone in CA, AZ or around the Austin TX area, as I plan on keeping the house in Texas as a base, where there are no state taxes. I will travel a lot when I retire. I am seeking a partner who is also a strong Christian as I attend church, and God comes first with me.” 

Tom’s comment: Any parent–woman, or man– who raises a child or children on their own gets a gold star from me.


I’ve known Donna for nearly 20 years. Her significant other, Bob, and I worked for the Orange County Register newspaper years ago. I took a photo of Bob, Donna and Greta when the four of us had dinner 17 years ago.

Donna notified me last August that Bob had passed away. She said, “He was a kind and gentle soul. He moved in with me two years ago because he couldn’t take care of himself. Very sad. It was difficult.”

At Thanksgiving time, she responded to the eNewsletter about the Palm Springs Living Desert zoo by writing, “Thanks for the reminder to focus on the positive. That’s how I try to live life.”

In early December she emailed: “I am finishing up my last semester at OCC (Orange Coast College) on December 19. I count my blessings every day, and I have my daughter and friends who have been very kind and helpful, as well as pets to ease the loneliness.” 

I asked Donna last week how she was doing. Donna wrote, “I am okay, taking it one day at a time. I took care of Bob full time for two years while teaching full time, with intermittent stays for at least the last five years when he would be hospitalized and needed help when he got out. He was suffering so much at the end. Holding his hand while he died was by far the toughest thing I’ve ever done, but I wouldn’t change it if I could.

“He had such a zest for life, so I hold onto that and know he would want me to make the most of each day.”

Bob O’Linto, Donna, and Greta – 2005 (photo by Tom whose reflection is in the window)

Tom’s comment: “A simultaneous full-time caregiver and a full-time teacher for two years” explains why I consider Donna to be a courageous woman.”


Jkaren wrote, “I’ve lived 30 years in San Clemente and have been one of your readers for 25 years. 

“We are all blessed to live in America and have our freedom. Instead of retiring I went ahead and refired. My energy level did not waiver. At 62, I opened my 1st shop–Mobile Sewing and Upholstery—and have been serving our community ever since. I fell into repairing wet suits about 15 years ago and love my surfers who call me ‘Granny J.’

“When the pandemic hit, I loved to go to San Onofre Beach to hear the waves and read a good book, which made my days happy. 

“At 70, each summer I’d drive to BC Canada where I built custom tiny houses. Up there, I SUP (Standup Paddle Board) with beavers and wildlife and fish from a paddle board. I had no problem at the border as I’m legal in both the USA and Canada. I was part of the classic car events that opened the Talega community in San Clemente and the Beach Fire restaurant with my ‘67 Corvette. 

“Last year I came back from BC with an old 1969 classic 12ft trailer I’m restoring. The 1990 red Chevy in the picture has been in San Clemente since I moved here. My dad taught me as a kid that busy hands make the heart happy.

Jkaren towing the trailer

“What’s there in life but to live to help others and stay healthy? Granny J” 

Tom’s comment: A woman who drives from Canada to San Clemente in a 1990 Chevy pickup truck towing a 1969 trailer that she is restoring is courageous.


Norma, 84, emailed: “Your classmate Phil (from last week’s eNewsletter) who married Sue and then four months later passed away was in my church group. He liked to talk, which is why I know so much about him. In the spring of 2016, he made a trip around So Cal to see classmates–you were probably one of them. He was looking forward to his 60th class reunion; he talked about it for two or three years. Sad, he did not get to go. I read your email every week.

Tom’s comment: Any person who reads my weekly column at age 84 has great courage!


Joannah is Greta’s daughter Tina’s mother-in-law. She’s a widow now. She and her husband Bob were special. They were kind, gentle, wise, considerate, and caring. That’s what I remember most about them when Greta and I stayed with them at their home in Mt. Pleasant, Utah about 15 years ago. We slept in their converted basement.

A year ago, although Jo was still dealing with having lost Bob, she sent me a hand-written letter of condolence in January 2021, when my brother Bill passed away. It was the only written letter I received. Jo has the same wonderful qualities my mom had, among those was an amazing empathy for others.

She emailed in early February, “It will be four years in August since I lost my sweetheart…this will be my third Valentine’s Day…and it was one of our favorite days! And still is! Gives me a reason to recall many memories of 63 years of Valentine kisses.”

Tom’s comment: “Jo is a lovely woman with the courage to love life and her family, even after her biggest loss. She’s the type of person who makes others around her feel comfortable and important. That’s a heck of a quality to have.


Althea is one of our Champs. She’s had tough issues in her life and yet exudes a positive attitude and often contributes input to the eNewsletter.

For the last 4 ½ years, she’s lived in the Yuba City, California, home of an elderly couple, Sherman and Norma, caregiving them and helping with whatever needs came up, in exchange for room and board.

Althea explains: “Sherman took me in when I was about to be homeless. In exchange, he got someone to be with Norma when he’s away on fishing trips, someone to help with meals, etc., and to be here anytime he’s out running errands and away for a few hours.

“Norma’s dementia is still in the mid-stages, and she hasn’t gotten much worse since I moved. Norma can be a handful and she argues a lot and asks the same questions repeatedly…within minutes sometimes.”

Althea emailed an update last week: “I wanted to share my excitement and tell you about my new PAD! (hippie speak).  I drove 1 ½ hours to Placerville on Tuesday and signed the lease on my new place. It’s only going to be $365. a month for rent, – YIPPEE – and had to give a security deposit of $500. I wrote them a post-dated check because my Soc. Sec. money doesn’t go into my bank until the 3rd. I told the new landlord, “Please don’t deposit it until today.

“Then yesterday I called movers for quotes, and I have a 5-star rated company coming to pack me on Sunday, THIS SUNDAY (March 6), and then they will move me on Monday.

“I AM SO PSYCHED. My credit cards will skyrocket again!  But I’ll be in my own place and damn, the bill collectors can try and pry me out of that place! LOL.

“I hope my story gives willpower to women to keep persevering even when things look bleak or hopeless.”

Tom’s comment:  Althea’s story will nudge Champs to realize how fortunate they are.


Geody is a woman of enormous courage and strength. She lives in San Juan Capistrano, Ca. Her husband Richard founded Dana Point Auto Service years ago. He was a classic in Dana Point. One of most recognized people in our small city of 30,000 people. Together they did much for charity.

Geody was Richard’s strength. She was a caregiver to him for the last few years. He passed away in 2021. She continues to manage and oversee Dana Point Auto.

At a recent Dana Point Chamber of Commerce mixer, Greta and I met Geody’s and Richard’s children and grandchildren. What a beautiful family.

Not only does Geody arrive at Dana Point Auto most everyday in the morning, but she personally drove her SUV across the country with only her dog for company to see her daughter and grandkids in Florida, while staying overnight at SUV parks, along the way. To do that solo takes courage. Plus, she’s in her 70s.


Candice Appleby with sea lion pup she rescued by hand

Candice is not a senior nor a Champ. In fact, she’s about half our age. But she’s a woman of courage. Her office is small, about 12 feet by 24” wide. It’s a SUP (stand-up paddleboard). Every day at work, Candice faces the elements: great white sharks, sea lions, pelicans, and often iffy weather.

She’s usually at work by 8 a.m., on the ocean, giving SUP lessons to men and women who are hoping to become accomplished paddle boarders.

She’s one of the best woman paddleboarders in the world, having won several world competitions. 

I personally witnessed Candice’s courage a year ago (and wrote about it in our eNewsletter) when she saw an injured baby sea lion, trying to swim while gasping for air in Dana Point Harbor. Sea lions have razor-sharp teeth. Yet, she lifted the pup onto her paddleboard and had a friend who was with her contact the Marine Mammal Rescue Center via cell phone.

When Candice reached Baby Beach, 20 minutes later, a rescue team was waiting on the shore to whisk the injured pup to its facility in Laguna Beach. I took the picture of Candace with the sea lion at Baby Beach.

Candice is an inspiration to the many senior women and men who take paddling lessons from her (often at 8:00 a.m.).


As I stated above, we will do more columns about our courageous Champs—men and women–as the stories arrive in my inbox.

A senior love story revisited

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

March 4, 2022 – eNewsletter #9

by Columnist Tom Blake

It’s a small and fascinating world: A senior love story revisited

On March 18, 2017, I published an eNewsletter about Phil and Sue, two of my Jackson High School (Michigan) classmates, which included the above photo I took in February of that year. The three of us graduated together in 1957.

Growing up, Phil and Sue were friends but never dated. He once told me he liked Sue since the fourth grade. After high school graduation, they did not see each other until our 50th class reunion in 2007. There, they only talked for 20 minutes. Both expressed that they had been in unsatisfactory marriages.

Ten years went by. Phil and his wife had not lived together for five of those years, but Phil was her caregiver until she passed in 2016.

After Sue was divorced, she also became a caregiver for another classmate of ours.

Phil and Sue lived far apart; he in Palm Springs, California, and Sue near Grand Rapids, Michigan.

After Phil’s wife died, he wondered about Sue. He got Sue’s phone number from Marty, our class historian. He and Sue talked by phone a few times in January 2017.

Then, on February 1 of that year, Sue called Phil to tell him that the person she had been caregiving passed away. Phil and Sue agreed to talk more frequently.

From February 3 to February 6, their phone conversations revealed how much they cared for each other. Phil invited Sue to fly to California to see him.

On February 8, Sue flew to the Ontario Airport (east of L.A), close to where Phil lived. During the next week, their conversations revealed they had always liked each other, and that future time was very precious.

On February 15, Sue said to Phil, “If we are going to get married, why don’t you ask me?”

Phil replied, “OK, I just did.”

Sue went back to Michigan to retrieve more clothing. On February 24, she flew back to Ontario Airport. Her plane landed at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m., Sue and Phil were married at the Orange County Clerk office in Fullerton.

The next day, they stopped to see Greta and me at our Dana Point home, which is when I took the above photo of them. Greta remembers how happy Phil was because he was now married to the woman he had been smitten with since the fourth grade.

Pretty amazing story. It all happened in three weeks. They were like Storybook Children, the name of a song that Nancy Sinatra made popular. (link at the end of today’s article).

However, tragically, four months later, Phil had a heart attack and died.

Sue later remarried her first husband.

A 2022 update on Phil and Sue’s story

This January, I received an email from Norma, a Champ, who wrote, “In your article about Sue and Phil, I suspect there might be something fishy about Sue’s marriage to Phil and then remarriage to her first husband.”

I was baffled by her question. I replied, “Where and when did you read my article about Sue and Phil? I wrote about them five years ago.”

Norma responded, “I read about them in your March 22, 2017, article in The Capistrano Dispatch newspaper. I picked up that newspaper at the train stop in San Juan Capistrano. What a surprise! I knew Phil. He had been in our small church group in Riverside County. Our group members didn’t even know he had been previously married.

“After reading your article, I subscribed to your eNewsletter and read about Phil and Sue a couple more times. I’ve been a Champ ever since.”

I said, “I am dumbfounded. What a coincidence that you knew him. But why did you write me about Sue and Phil five years later?”

Norma said, “Last October, I listened to your online Senior Dating speech to the Alzheimer’s Society. During the speech, you talked about the importance of seniors putting estate plans in order and you mentioned that Phil had died just four months after marrying Sue and hadn’t updated his estate to include her.

“Then, you wrote that you helped Sue get a portion of Phil’s inheritance funds. And later, she remarried her first husband. I thought that was fishy.”

I said to Norma, “When I shared Sue’s plight with my estate planning attorney, Jeffrey Hartman, of San Clemente, he said that under California law Sue was entitled to certain widow’s rights, even though she wasn’t mentioned in his estate. She had accepted in her mind that she had been disinherited. Instead, Sue ended up receiving thousands of dollars.

“There was nothing fishy about Sue’s story. Phil was crazy about her and had admired her for more than 60 years; he would have been thrilled that she got some money.”

Making this story even more serendipitous, I had noticed that Norma’s email was identified as being from East Liverpool, Ohio. I thought her email might be about my dad’s family who grew up there. Dad’s father was well known–a state of Ohio senator. I mentioned that to Norma. She said her family lived two blocks from the Blake’s.

And Norma’s father and my dad had both graduated from The Ohio State University, both majoring in ceramic engineering. I wonder if they ever met? Probably so.

We’re all connected in this world.

Two senior lessons from today’s story

 1. In searching for a mate, don’t forget to attend class and family reunions, weddings, and other social events. One never knows whom you might meet and what adventures are lurking out there for you.

2. Do your heirs a favor. Have a written estate plan, and or a will. Don’t pass intestate (without a will). You don’t want your assets to have to go through probate. Make those documents a top priority as we are all getting older. If you already have those documents, update them often as times and people’s situations change.

Here’s the link to Phil and Sue’s story on my website from March 2017:

And a bonus link to Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood’s song Storybook Children from their 1968 album, “Nancy and Lee.” I’ve mentioned that song in previous articles; I enjoy the song so much, here it is again. Take particular note of Hazelwood’s incredible voice.