Senior Love on the back of a Harley

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – August 12, 2022

By Tom Blake

Patrica and Cowboy
Cowboy on his Harley
On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter   August 12, 2022  

By Columnist Tom Blake    

There are two parts to today’s eNewsletter  

Part 1 – Senior Dating – Love on the back of a Harley  

I received an email this week from a Champ that began, “Hi, it’s Patricia, Chapter 12,” which puzzled me for a few seconds, and then I noticed that Patricia had added the words “Love on the back of a Harley.” When I saw those words, I knew immediately who it was from.  

In 2009, I published a book titled “How 50 Couples Found Love After 50.” The book’s title is slightly off. A more accurate title would have been: “How 58 Couples Found Love After 50.” Eight additional stories were added after the final artwork was submitted. So, there are 58 stories of how senior couples met.  

When I answered Patricia’s email, I signed my email–not as Tom–but as “Chapter 58,” which is the final story of the book and tells of how Greta and I met when she ordered a fresh carrot juice at my deli 25 years ago.  Several of our current Champs’ stories are included in that book, including Patricia’s and Cowboy’s, which is Chapter 12.  

In her email, Patricia wrote, “I wanted to share a fun and unique experience that happened recently.    “My husband, Cowboy, and I moved from Paso Robles, California, to Montana, last year, and we love it. We bought a much nicer house for $100,000 less than the one we sold in California. The cost of gas is at least a dollar less a gallon and there is no sales tax. When you buy new furniture and a washer & dryer, as we did, that makes a huge difference!

“The Paramount TV Series ‘Yellowstone,’ starring Kevin Costner, is filmed here, and my husband and I have been paid to be extras in the show. What an adventure that has been!   “Many people beg to be extras, but they will only hire residents of Montana. I can’t tell you much about it as we had to sign NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) but I can tell you that it’s an amazing and very well-managed production.   

“Season 5 will start airing mid-November, but they will be shooting through January. We may do more days as extras.  “On another subject, we are fully enjoying going over the Rockies on the Harley and doing the ‘Run to the Sun.   “We live just an hour from Glacier National Park, so we are taking advantage of the warm weather and exploring many parts of the park. I’ve included some photos that reveal the spectacular scenery.”  

Comment from Tom: As sometimes happens with stories from Champs, coincidences emerge. Two happened with Patricia’s email. She mentioned Kevin Costner.   The first coincidence: my partner Greta was in a business administration class at California State University Fullerton with him in 1974.

The second coincidence is Glacier National Park. In 1976, my buddy Jack Jarrell and I went camping there with our two women friends. He and I were avid fly fishermen. The general store manager in our campground mentioned a lake about an hour’s hike away at a higher elevation that was filled with hungry native rainbow and brook trout.  The four of us went for it and hiked to the lake. The weather was as perfect that day as the pictures that Patricia included in her email reveal.  

Each one of us caught our fish limits within an hour. It was the most incredible fly fishing I had ever experienced. We decided to take the fish back to the campsite to cook for dinner. Jack’s lady Jan said she had a special recipe for cooking wild-caught trout. We were licking our chops (what we did not know was there was a 4-legged hungry animal nearby which was also licking its chops).

As the four of us were walking back, about 200 yards from the lake, a park ranger on horseback with a high-powered rifle protruding from a saddlebag approached us. He said, “I see you have some fish.”  

I guessed that perhaps he thought we didn’t have fishing licenses. I said, “We all have fishing licenses!”   He said, “This is far more serious than that.”   He had our attention. The Park Ranger said, “Did you see that pile of poop about 25 yards back?” We all nodded yes.  

He said, “Was it steaming?” We all nodded yes.   He said, “A grizzly bear just dropped that 10 to 15 minutes ago. He will smell your fish and be coming after you for them. He’d be happy to kill you to get them.”   The Park Ranger was dead serious. He said, “Toss your fish in the bushes and follow me. I will lead you away from the bear.”

We complied. After a quarter mile, he said, “You’re safe now. I’m leaving. Have a nice day.”   At the campsite that night, we cooked hamburgers over the fire. We imagined that our grizzly buddy was enjoying a fresh fish dinner near the lake.  That’s the Glacier National Park coincidence.   So, Champs, keep the stories coming. Have I told you about the shark encounter on The Great Barrier Reef? Only joking, of course.  

Part 2 – How 50 (58) Couples Found Love After 50  

I’ve got a few copies of How 50 Couples Found Love After 50 in inventory. For Champs who would enjoy a book, the cost is $8.98 which includes taxes, shipping, and a signed book. In 2009, that would have cost $24.00.   You can pay with a credit card via my PayPal account or a check. Email me if you’d like a book at that special price.   Each of the 58 stories concludes with a short “Senior Dating Lessons Learned” section, which provides helpful advice for singles who hope to meet a mate.

For example, in Champ Patricia’s Chapter 12 section, her lesson is: “When senior dating, open your mind to new adventures and activities. Expand your horizons, your reach, and your thinking.”   When Patricia and Cowboy first met, Cowboy rode a Harley; Patricia was a fashion-industry expert. Diverse backgrounds. And yet, they met, married, and have an incredible relationship and love for each other. Ride along with them on their Harley.  
Tom’s book on sale -email me for details

Five Songs

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter –  October 30, 2020

By Columnist Tom Blake

                                                 Five Songs

One of the offshoots of the pandemic is that Champs are tapping into their personal reservoirs of creativity.

Several Champs have mentioned they are working on creative projects. Perhaps it’s because they have more free time than usual. Or, they are reflecting on their lives and what’s really important to them. It’s interesting that several men are working on writing projects such as autobiographies, blogs, or books. Women are painting, gardening, and exercising more.

Patrick Hynes, a native of Australia, is writing a postcard blog that he emails to his friends. It’s titled, “Patrick’s Brief Encounters…Snippets of my life in America.” Working as the Public Relations Director for the Anaheim Hilton Hotel years ago, he met many famous people. Each weekly postcard contains a photo and about 150 concise words. Patrick’s first postcard was about meeting Muhammad Ali. Here’s the photo of him and Ali:

Patrick’s first postcard (July 20, 2020) photo (courtesy of Patrick Hynes)

Other postcards have featured President Reagan, Madonna, Buzz Aldrin, Joe Dimaggio, Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch, Sean Connery (James Bond), and Kobe Bryant.

Champ Pam Peters, San Diego, has created more than 100 paintings during the pandemic. She has created boxes of gift cards that feature her paintings. (By the way, Pam happens to be my sister; she’s the creative one in the family). Here’s one of the 100 she’s created during this pandemic.

                  Come for dinner – Shrimp Provencal

Champ Sandy,
 Sonoma County, California, also paints, “I have been painting more and creating cards from it…just a lot of fun. I’ve been dormant on writing but have started writing in my head again..and I can feel it about to jump out.”

Champ Rick O. is writing about his career as a former professional baseball player. His writing project is temporarily on hold while dealing with several serious family-health issues, which, understandably, take a higher priority than the writing.

Champ Teresa has been creative in a different way, one that has taken time and patience but is changing her life. In the August 21 eNewsletter, I wrote about refinancing my home. Teresa capitalized on the information. How so?

This week, she emailed, ‘Wanted to thank you for the referral to your broker Vanessa Schwartz. My refinance/loan closes Tuesday, a day after my 64th birthday. Yea! I am really jazzed as my monthly payment will be about $300 less than before, allowing me to stay in my home for a few more years after I retire at 70, probably (Italics by Tom). My neighbor refinanced with Vanessa as well. We are both grateful for this opportunity to lower our interest rate and payment. 

“I’m doing a little ‘happy dance’ right now, in honor of your willingness to help a stranger.”

In a coincidence, Teresa and I (and Patrick Hynes) worked for the Victoria Station restaurant chain, eons ago, but we didn’t know each other.

I’ve been friends with Rick Lenz for merely 65 years—we were classmates at Jackson High School, in Jackson, Michigan in the 1950s. Rick is a retired successful actor (played opposite Ingrid Bergman, John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Walter Matthau, and Peter Sellers among others). He has written several books, including his latest novel, which will be published early next year.

Here is my favorite piece of art that Rick has created. This painting hangs on my wall.

                  Old Friend by Rick Lenz

   Check out this creative man at (Lots of wonderful art like this)

Another high school classmate is Carmen (Carm to me), who lives in Barra de Navidad, Mexico. Carm was featured in our May 29 eNewsletter which is posted on the website. Carm is writing an autobiography. He and Patrick Hynes often send me rough drafts of their work for my comments.

Last Friday, Carm sent a draft of Chapter 10, titled, “My Life with Karen.” Carm was a friend of Karen and her husband Charlie, and when Charlie died, Carm spent time ensuring she was doing okay. The relationship grew and they had five special years together before she passed away on August 1, 2019.

As I was perusing Carm’s Chapter 10, I noticed he included a cluster of four pictures of Karen and him. The caption under the photos reads:

Loving her was easier than anything I’ll ever do again.  –-Kris Kristofferson 

That caption blew me away. You’ll see why in a minute.

During Greta’s and my 23 years together, I’ve occasionally mentioned to her that when I pass away, I don’t want a funeral. An upbeat, fun, small, positive, memory-celebration is ok, but only if five songs that express how I’ve felt about her, are played on a video for the people attending. I wrote down the titles of the five songs on an old, tattered, envelope for her to keep in her files.

Three weeks ago, Greta left that envelope on my desk with a written request to put those songs into a word document, so she could access them on her computer desktop (I don’t know why she made that request, perhaps Greta knows something I don’t know!). 

Here are Tom’s five songs (and the links to each)

1) Loving her was easier than anything I will ever do again (written and sung by Kris Kristofferson)

Note from Tom: That’s the same song Carm used in the caption under Karen’s pictures. That’s why I was blown away. I found it hard to believe that a guy I’ve known for 65 years and I picked the same song to honor our partners.


2) If Tomorrow Never Comes (written by Garth Brooks and Kent Blazy, sung by Garth Brooks)

3) Sunday Morning Coming Down (written by Kris K, sung by Johnny Cash) 

4) Dreaming My Dreams (written by Allen Reynolds, sung by Waylon Jennings)

5) Dry Your Eyes (co-written and sung by Neil Diamond)  

Note from Tom: This Neil Diamond video I took on my phone at one of Neil Diamond’s last concerts, August 2017, at the Forum in Los Angeles. It’s not a perfect video as I didn’t zoom in until later in the video. But the sound is terrific. Note the trumpet player solo near the end. He is spectacular. It’s nearly impossible to find videos of Diamond performing this song–he rarely played it in concerts. It was originally written honoring Martin Luther King after he was assassinated. 

Do you have a song that has special meaning to you or to a loved one? Are you working on a creative project?  If so, please share it with us and tell us why it’s special.

Cutting the cable TV cord

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – March 29, 2019

by Tom P Blake 

Cutting the cable TV cord

Cutting the Cable TV cord

At the end of last week’s newsletter, I included a short paragraph about cutting the cable TV cord. I asked if any Champs had done that, thinking the question was a little off topic from the dating and relationship issues we often discuss. I didn’t expect much of a response.
Instead, I was astounded by the number of Champs who shared their experiences of doing just that. Oh my gosh, so many of you are way ahead of the game. You amaze me.

A little background is in order. In 2014, the cost of Direct TV at my home was $120.00 per month and the cost of Cox Internet was $60 per month, for a combined monthly total of $180. Each year since, I watched the cost of those services go up.

At the start of 2019, Direct TV had reached $156 and Cox Internet $80, for a combined total of $236 a month, or $2832 a year. Spending that much on TV and Internet is unacceptable.

Three weeks ago, Greta and I were visiting friends who showed us this cool TV remote control streaming device called Roku. I asked, “What’s that?”

“It’s a way to watch TV without paying for cable service, it’s called cutting the cable TV cord.” My ears shot up like a rabbit’s.

I researched cutting the cable TV cord for a few days, and then ordered two Roku Express devices (one for each TV) from Amazon Prime, for about $31 each, and returned the Direct TV equipment, ending their service. Immediately, we started using Roku, learning the ins and outs. The potential savings: $1,872.00 a year.

The Roku Express (and there are other more expensive Roku options) uses a simple remote control, and a tiny box that is perched in front of the TV. The box connects to the back of the TV via an HDMI cable, which was provided with the purchase.

Roku Express remote and black box

For Roku to work, the TV needs an HDMI slot in the back. I use the same slot where the Direct TV cable box was plugged in. And we had to keep the Internet.

What we’ve learned after three weeks without cable TV:

  1. It’s not just with Roku that you can cut the cable cord. The Amazon fire stick 4k, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Nvidia Shield also work. The prices of those devices vary, depending on the features offered
  1. If you choose Roku, you begin by signing in to and create a free Roku account. You need to give them a credit card number to create the account, in case you want to sign up for any of the premium services offered by different channels that Roku offers. Getting a Roku account is a snap
  1. I recommend Roku users immediately sign up for the free Roku blog and research the blog’s previous articles. The blog is invaluable in providing information on the ins and outs of how Roku works
  1. You must have Internet at home for Roku and other streaming devices to work. Hence, getting rid of the Internet provider wasn’t an option so that expense remains. If someone only wants nearby local channels, a small antenna that plugs into the TV can be purchased for $15 to $30 (I use Amazon Prime). I’ve read they work well in some locations and one Champ told me it won’t work where they live. She said bad weather hurts the reception. There is no other cost besides the purchase of the antenna but try to get some opinions before buying an antenna
  1. The picture and sound quality have improved compared to Direct TV, which was always out of lip sync
  1. With Roku, there is access to many free channels. The Roku blog lists them and explains what’s on each one. However, to watch some premium programs, people pay a monthly fee–like Netflix, we pay $15 for their premium version, but they have cheaper options. However, I had to pay that for Netflix on Direct TV in addition to the $156.00. Since, we were paying extra for Netflix on Direct TV, I don’t consider having Netflix as an added cost with Roku, but for people who don’t have it, there is an extra cost
  1. If you are an avid game-show watcher—thinking Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, for example—and you want the current version, you’ll likely have to use one of the premium channels provided by Roku for $30 (or more per month) to get them. Consider this before taking the Roku plunge because you do lose most of your current local TV programming that you are used to
  1. Watching 60 Minutes on Sunday on CBS has always been a favorite for us. To be able to watch that, I simply signed up for CBS All-Access at a cost of $6 per month. And the basketball March Madness coverage is included in All Access. It’s like having your local CBS channel at your fingertips
  1. One of the paid channels on Roku is Amazon Prime. If you already subscribe to Prime for your shopping, then access to it on Roku is at no cost. It has tons of viewing options. Amazon Prime for shipping is now up to $128 per year.
Before you “cut the cable cord,” do the research. As mentioned, there are other options besides Roku. With us, we purchased a Roku Express system and experimented with it on one TV. Remember: you need a good Internet connection and that HDMI slot in the back of your TV.

If where you live only has sluggish DSL service, this cutting the cord option may not work for you. Or, if you live too far from a city that has TV service, the antenna may not work either. But it sure the heck is worth looking into.
There is a free website called Broadband Now where you can type in your zip code and get a list of Internet providers in your zip code.

You might sign up for one of the premium channels on Roku such as Hulu + Live TV or You Tube TV and give it a test run. You can cancel a subscription at any time. One or the other would cost you an estimated $45 a month and might be adequate for all your needs.

Beware, the cable companies don’t want to lose you as a subscriber and will do all in their power to convince you not to leave them. Like keep you on hold forever. They will offer promotional rates for a limited period to keep you attached to them. Direct TV came back to us and offered $35 per month for a year.

How do we feel about what we’ve done? We are seeing concerts, documentaries and shows we would have never seen on Direct TV. And boy, are we ever thrilled! Not just for the cost saving, but for the programming we would have never seen.

For example, on Roku, I mentioned the You Tube channel (totally free) and the You Tube TV channel, which costs $30+ per month. On the free You Tube channel, we’ve seen concerts by the Doors, ABBA, Neil Diamond, Sergio Mendez and Brazil 66 that have been incredible. On Wednesday night, we watched a Bruce Springsteen video of his Broadway show (Springsteen on Broadway) on Netflix that was incredible with him narrating and occasionally singing. His tribute to his former E Street Band Saxophone player, Clarence Clemons,  was very moving.

I’ve figured out how to watch the sports events I want. So far, we are flabbergasted and thrilled with new-found enjoyment. Not to mention, saving more than $1800 a year. The biggest issue: discovering how to watch the favorite shows, local news, and programs we were locked into.

I’ve read that the biggest group of cord-cutters is in the age 18-44 bracket. So, if those young whippersnappers can do it, so can we. (However, you might need to eat a little senior crow by asking one of them to come over and show you the ropes).

What our Champs said
I am including a few of the comments Champs made. You sent in incredible info. I couldn’t include everybody; here are a few of the highlights.

Trent: “I live in San Diego and we are pretty much held hostage by Cox for our TV and Internet cable service with their ever-increasing rates. We recently opted to go with just Internet and ditched cable. We have purchased the Roku Ultra for one TV and use an older Apple TV on our upstairs TV.

“We subscribed to YOUTUBE TV for $39 per month and it has all the channels you want (local news, network stations, pretty much all the cable stations we had before). If you want Premium channels like HBO those would cost an additional $15 per month. We can share the YOUTUBE TV on up to 6 devices with family and its even viewable from our phone while traveling. The ROKU player was about 50 dollars online and even has voice command. The apple TV also is good and can be picked up for around 100 dollars.

Alex (Tom’s website guru, a youngster, whiz)

“I’m all about the Amazon fire TV stick and the Apple TV. You may want to touch base on Apple’s streaming service, they announced it on the 25th. Rumors are saying it will be great.

Loretta, “Roku is Ok. Not for current events such as nightly or regional news. It’s a decent alternative to paying for boxes. You still need high-speed internet and a good signal. Boosting the internet signal may be needed to have a good experience.

Subscriptions to channels you can’t live without are available. Make sure you have the right length cable to install the device. Take a photo of your internet password so you have it and you are not chasing it down.

Sandra: “Apple TV 4K in CT. I have been off grid for 8 years with a digital antenna and Apple TV. Wonderful selection of programs delivered at your convenience.

Dee, “Partner and I have the Amazon Firestick (2 years now) and take it with us when we travel and must spend time in our room. This way we are not stuck with the hotel viewing offers. At home it is always convenient too and is now connected to the 2nd TV.

“Last summer, I purchased Ron a larger screen Roku (to my initial distaste…why have a bigger TV? I thought), and we both enjoy the ease of it.  We have simple internet connection though AT & T, for which we pay $60 per month, then we have various subscriptions which change depending on our needs or wants of the season.

“Currently we subscribe to Netflix and Hulu in addition to being Amazon Prime members. To me it gives us more control and is less expensive than the Cox TV/Internet choices.”

Terry, Connecticut: “I cut that cable cord several years ago and haven’t looked back. My setup: I have a an outdoor HDTV antenna (screwed to the top of my condo privacy fence and cable snaked through the AC wall opening) for local news and broadcast stations (including 3 kinds of PBS), along with two Roku devices, one for each of my TVs (I like the “box” rather than the stick).

“I have more television/streaming than I’ll ever be able to watch. Paid services via Roku: Netflix, Hulu (the cheap version with commercials) and Curiosity Stream (documentaries, channel by the fellow that created the Discovery Channel).

“ I like movies, documentaries, comedy, and certain TV series. Admittedly, am occasionally transfixed by YouTube (so helpful for DIY research, travel, arts, crafts, and amusing otherwise).

“All together I pay $17.14 a month for Netflix/Hulu, and $35 A YEAR for Curiosity Steam. Cut that cord, folks!  You will save TONS of cash. (However, I will eat cat food before giving up my internet.)

“Service outages sometimes happen when the landline has issues with storms, car taking down a pole, etc.  Every so often I need to reboot the modem to “refresh” the internet connection.  Minor annoyances for the much cheaper cost.”

So, that’s it, Champs. Do your research. What might work in one location might not work as well in another. I hope you save some money.

Finding a mate with similar interests at age 70

March 22, 2019 – Random thoughts on finding a mate with similar interests at age 70

by Columnist Tom Blake

There are two parts to this week’s On Life and Love after 50  e-Newsletter

Part One – This week, Champ Stella emailed, “Tom, finding love after 50 was easy! We were still young enough to do/look/feel decades younger. How about an update on dating after 70? That’s where the problems seem to appear…”

flaf spy glass cover

When I read Stella’s comment, I decided to include a few recent, random, thoughts from Champs on an aspect of dating after 70: Are similar interests critical when seeking a mate?

Art – Florida

“When women have too many litmus tests before even meeting a man, it stands to reason that they are dateless. I have met many women on POF (Plenty of Fish) over a long period of time, meeting at least 25 to 30 of them for lunch or coffee. I have dated Christian women, and Jewish women, and women of no religious affiliation, and formed relationships with at least a dozen of them.

“Six years ago, I met a woman on POF who was Jewish, and I’m Christian, and we have been in an exclusive relationship since our first meeting. She accompanies me to church on Christmas Eve, while I attend church alone every week. We have no conflict with this situation, and I have been invited to Jewish holiday celebrations at one of her children’s home.

“She knows that I vote conservative, while she votes to suit her own choices. Neither of us tries to influence the other, and we enjoy so many other things, such as live theater, travel and dining out, that politics plays no role at all in our lives.

“I suggest that both women and men look for people with similar interests, however, to be open to exploring new interests too. There is a whole world out there, and to try to fit a person into a pigeon hole without even meeting them can only be self-defeating.”

Bruce – Ohio

“People have to decide if not being with someone who doesn’t fit all their criteria is more important than just trying to find someone who they can just relate to and get to know and enjoy life with, regardless of their ability to meet the other person’s requirements.”

Curtis – Wisconsin
“A tender touch, a gentle caress, a warm embrace. It’s said a baby can die if not held and touched. Older people need the same–to feel as if someone cares.”

Mary Ann – California

“People don’t realize that even for folks age 30 and 40 it’s hard to find a quality date, let alone for people over 70.

“At 70, there are fewer men in the single world compared to the number of women. Also, when men get used to their routines, living alone, they don’t believe in marriage or a monogamous new relationship in their life.

“They are getting smarter and have already learned from life that a marriage or close relationship at this age would not be a good investment.

“Women are more emotional and still believe in romantic relationships no matter their age. Most keep looking for Mr. Right, until the end of their lives. At the same time women also are changing. They don’t compromise as they used to do in their young age when the hormones were there.

“To build trust and get comfortable with a stranger takes a long time. We don’t have a long time. My advice to women searching for mates: relax and let happen if it’s God’s will.

“Focus on interests like water color painting or book clubs or whatever makes you relax. I love the attitude of the lady from your article three weeks ago who relocated to Florida and enjoys her freedom being single.

“To people who already have somebody in their life, no matter if it is Mr. Right or Mr. Wrong, keep what you have. At our age, you may have already caught the last senior dating train. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to think about all the issues in later age and for helping us get wiser.”

Part 2 – Question: I’m curious if any of our Champs have installed Apple TV, the Amazon Fire Stick, or Roku, or any other device that can be used on your TV in lieu of cable TV providers. I’d like to hear of your experiences and opinions. Any negatives? Simply hit reply and email your comments with your geographical location. We may do a future column about these devices that can potentially save large amounts of money.

Roku Express remote and box 

In senior dating, do multiple marriages matter when judging a new mate?

On Life and Love after 50 e-Newsletter March 8, 2019
by Columnist Tom Blake
(There are two parts to today’s e-Newsletter)

First, welcome to our new Champs who have signed up for the
e-Newsletter in the last couple of weeks. Our group keeps

Part One – Champs respond to the “In senior dating, do multiple marriages matter when judging a new mate?” topic from last week’s column

I’ve often said, and I’ll say it again today: Our Champs are among the most knowledgeable, open, and cooperative group of mature adults on the topic of senior dating and relationships of any group anywhere in North America. Here are responses from nine Champs (5 women, 4 men) to last week’s newsletter topic:

Mary Lou, “One of my dearest friends has been married five times. His most recent marriage is great, at least it looks that way from where I sit. He seems to have a keeper now (in his 70’s) and they have been married for over 10 years.

“I, on the other hand, have only been married once: 17 years, divorced for 36 years. I was only 20 when I got married, and I believe I did it because I thought I was supposed to. It’s what we did back then.

“Senior multiple marriages don’t matter at this stage of my life. If I met a man with whom I clicked, no matter the number of marriages–or even whether or not he had children–I would be glad for him in my life.

I have no intention of getting married, or, living with someone again. I would, however, happily participate in a LAT (Living Apart Together) relationship, no matter how many times he was married. Perhaps I might feel differently if I were younger; now I don’t see the relevance of the number of marriages. I think the man’s heart, health, intelligence (and ability to drive at night – lol) are way more important.

John, “I understand that the number of times a person was married (multiple marriages) is a factor to consider, but, putting a label on someone early in a relationship also denies both people the potential of finding compatibility with each other.

“It may also find the other person cannot commit to one relationship and then you know the checklist was right, but only then. While no one wants a track record like Elizabeth Taylor (eight marriages, seven husbands, married Richard Burton twice) or Zsa Zsa Gabor (nine marriages), they apparently were willing to take that risk each time to find happiness with someone since happiness eluded them from just being rich.

“We are all unique and have to consider all the factors within a person to decide about a potential mate in senior love instead of selecting relationships simply by a checklist that uses cold facts over emotional acceptance.”

Gena, “The number of prior marriages (even five) isn’t as important as is the full disclosure of such events before a budding relationship turns serious.”

Joanne, “One of my theories: if you fall off a cliff it hurts – don’t keep jumping! I’ve been divorced once, and I learned from it. Don’t need to do that again.

“Too many people don’t get to know the other person well enough to make that kind of decision. I’m seeing someone that I really like. We’ve known each other 40 years. That’s a long time and we should know each other by now. He’s been divorced three times. That is a red flag for me, but we’ve discussed this and both agree the LAT (Living Apart Together) relationship works great for us.”

Bruce, “A person has many relationships in life, especially while single. Some work, many do not, so why worry about it too much?

“Enjoy who you are with at the present time and count your blessings that you are with someone you presently enjoy. If it lasts for a year or many more, then so be it, and count yourself fortunate for the good times you had.”

Jon, “I’ve known two women, both with multiple marriages; one was the president of a singles club, the other was a worker in the cafeteria at the agency where I worked. Both claimed they had been married eight or nine times. Ages were only 40’s or 50’s so I don’t know how they found the time for all that. Once was enough for me, I’ll stick with my dogs (and Sharon).”

Stella, “As we age, marriage doesn’t seem quite as important to some. We no longer have the same goals: establishing a home, raising a family, building a future together. Sometimes, it can be a hindrance financially – think social security benefits, taxes, etc.

“And where is the need? We’re not going to have any more babies. We can do the very same things in a loving, caring relationship as in a marriage.

“Take marriage out as a goal, and you open up endless possibilities.”

Dee “I’ve had five marriages. My current sweetheart and I have just enjoyed our two-year anniversary. We will marry eventually, but now is not the right time financially.

“I do not regret any of my marriages because each one was amazing in its own way. All of them served their purpose and made me a better person. And since my last name begins with the letters ‘Cinque,’ which means five in other languages, it’s appropriate somehow!

“Now I have the best relationship of my life, so I have done something right!”

Jim, “It helps your chances for a successful marriage if you choose someone with the same interests as you. If you like to dance, and the other person doesn’t, guess what? You’re going to be spending an awful lot of time not dancing, while your spouse will be spending an awful lot of time hearing complaints.

“Being available and willing to marry doesn’t make them automatically a good candidate for marriage.

“Sadly, people don’t learn from history. We make the same mistakes over and over, and the behaviors that sabotaged our past marriages, we bring into future marriages. Why are people surprised when they get the same results? Another failed marriage.”

Tom’s only comment this week on the “multiple marriages” topic: Oops. We aren’t going to call them “failed marriages” anymore. We will call them “marriages that ended.”

Part 2 – A pleasant experience and a new Champ

Most websites have a banner across the top of each page that shows that website’s major categories. The purpose: to make navigating that site easier.

My Finding Love after 50 website has eight categories. One of my categories is “Consulting.” I seldom refer to it and frankly it’s not accessed too often by website visitors.

But it’s there because, on occasion, someone will want to talk to me for a half hour or an hour about a senior relationship issue he or she is having, and doesn’t want to make a therapist or counselor office visit.

Most of the time the person simply wants a man’s point-of-view. I do charge for my time, but am told it’s reasonable.

On Tuesday, a woman from the East coast, who was not a Champ, emailed me via the website and scheduled a consultation. Turns out she was intelligent, friendly and pleasant. She had an issue she wanted addressed immediately. We tackled it together in an hour.

In the end, I feel I benefitted as much from our conversation as she did. Plus, she’s become a new Champ and will likely join the Finding Love After 50 Facebook group.

One of the most rewarding things about my writing is when I hear from readers that I’ve helped them, or when I see a couple out and about around south Orange County who say, “You are the reason we met each other, and look, we’re still together.”

Warms my heart.

Dispensing advice in Singapore along the river walk. But did they listen?

The link to the consulting page on my website:

In senior dating, do multiple marriages matter?

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter –  March 1, 2019 
by Columnist Tom P Blake
Senior Dating. Multiple Marriages – do they matter?
In last week’s e-Newsletter, Champ Lisa said she had gone to counseling for 18 months to try to understand her “three failed marriages.”That comment gave me an idea for an e-Newsletter topic. So, at the conclusion of that newsletter, I wrote, “When seniors are dating and meeting new people, does having had multiple marriages, on either person’s part, matter? Would that be a deal breaker? Red flag? Or, non-issue?”

I’m going to go out on a limb here and define “multiple marriages”–for this discussion only–as three or more.

Some Champs shared their opinions.

Lynn, emailed, “Regarding the ‘failed marriages’ issue, I have been married three times, and have viewed each one as a much-needed lesson learned about myself.

“People come into our lives for a season, a reason or a lifetime. It was always important to me to embrace whatever I could learn from the marriage experience and part gracefully and remain friends. I loved that person at one time and love can change.

“It was also important to help my ex’s, to ensure nobody failed—life happens; we control very little. It stings to see so much anger and or hurt when a marriage/relationship ends.”

Tom’s reply to Lynn: “I appreciate your enlightened view on marriage ending. Also, I think Lisa’s definition, ‘failed marriages,’ isn’t quite the right term.

“‘Marriages that ended’ might be a better description. I don’t view my three divorces as failures although at the time they happened I did. They turned out to be blessings in disguise—it just takes time to recognize that.”

Rhonda, two marriages, said, “I find that a future man in my life who has been through some of the same things I have been through to be a plus, while four or five marriages would be a potential red flag.

“I also think a person who has never been married may be a red flag as well. My insight to both of my marriages and what I have learned from them makes me who I am today.

“Experiencing the demise of what once was a seemingly great relationship can help people move forward in some ways. Seeing what didn’t work and what I can do better hopefully will make for a solid relationship the next time around. I see now how valuable communication and true friendship is in a happy couple (like you and Greta).

“I would be somewhat apprehensive to be in a relationship with a man who has no kids. Why? Because I am extremely close to my adult children and I don’t know if someone who isn’t in that same place (at least a bit) can fully understand.”

Champ Kenny wrote, “Potential red flags dating a woman three-times divorced? It would depend on the woman’s intentions/goals in any future relationship. If her sole mission was to remarry for a round four, I’d be running as fast as I could in the opposite direction.

“But on a positive note, Champ Lisa apparently has many great qualities. She seems upbeat, cheerful, super-active and fit while enjoying her Florida retirement lifestyle.

“Not to be judgmental, but I can’t fathom a three-times divorced 70+ age women looking for yet another husband? Better to date casually and if Mr. Wonderful does once again miraculously appear, maybe they should work as a couple into a LAT (Living Apart Together) relationship.”

This past Tuesday night, at the WomanSage panel discussion in Costa Mesa, California, (six Champs attended out of the 44 women guests), Champ Carolyn indicated to me that she would likely avoid any man with three or more marriages.

In my archives, I found a column I wrote on this topic 10 years ago. I picked out what I think are some of the more salient points and am including them here.

A woman named Marjorie had written, “I met a man two weeks ago at a musical theatre performance. I am 63, he is 66. We have been out twice, but we talk every two or three days.

“I have been married three times and think I am a fairly good choice, but he is somewhat reluctant to reveal the number of times he has been married, although I am aware of at least three.

“I haven’t pressed this issue. He has an excellent relationship with his children and grandchildren. It is obvious his most recent marriage was short-lived and bitter. How many marriages before it becomes a red flag?”

I responded: Egad, woman, give it some time! You’ve only been out with him twice, and talked to him, what, maybe five times?

If you press the issue, you may chase him away before you even find out how many times he’s been married. If he’s reeling from a recent bitter marriage, the last thing he wants is to defend himself or talk about it. Why not enjoy the moment and forget about his marriage tally?

Why are you concerned about how many times he’s been married? Are you so intent on getting married again that that’s all you’re worried about?

And besides, Margorie, you aren’t a golden angel yourself, with three divorces under your belt. So, what if he’s had four? That’s only one more than three. If he’s had five or six, now that’s a bit of a red flag, but only if you are eager to get married again.

It isn’t uncommon these days for people our age to have had more than two (or three) marriages. Does that make us tainted? Are we bad people? No. We just lived life.

Were our decisions to marry mistakes? No, they just didn’t last. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember what we were thinking when we decided to marry in our earlier days. Most likely, we thought getting married was the right thing to do. So, we did it.

How about the people who’ve been widowed? They had no choice in losing a spouse. Some have even lost two spouses. Should it even matter how many marriages they’ve had? (Well, if they’ve had four, and all have died under suspicious circumstances, then that might be a red flag).

I’ve had three marriages, and Greta, my partner of 21 years now, (back when this was written, it was 11 years), has also had three. Having the same number of marriages was one of the things we had in common when we were sharing information on the first date, so it was a positive thing that we both had ‘multiple marriages.’

And despite three marriages each, we have the best relationship I could ever hope for (still true after 21 years). We live together but are not married; neither of us feels that it’s necessary (still true after 21 years).

I guess it’s because neither of us would want the number four emblazoned in scarlet upon our chests—but that’s not the reason we haven’t married.

It’s simply: why mess up a good thing?

Also, I’ve never had children. And yet, I’ve got four kids, eight grandkids, and three great grandkids, thanks to Greta. I love them dearly, and I’m pretty sure they appreciate me, so why risk changing that dynamic by getting married?

So, for people “our age,” whatever the heck that means—60, 70, 80, or 90–should the number of marriages really matter? I don’t think so…but when the number reaches four, it’s time to scratch your head. Five or more, well, it depends on the circumstances, so obviously proceed with much caution.

Marriage number one for this Shanghai couple

This column on multiple marriages reminded me of Simon & Garfunkel’s song “Mrs. Robinson,” from the Bookends album, and of course, the movie, “The Graduate,” with Dustin Hoffman. Probably because of these words:

“Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio…Jolting Joe has left and gone away. Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey.”  The link follows:

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 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:”

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? 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

“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 Website:

“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 (

“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.

Cheryl in the red dress and (in part 2) getting rid of clutter

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – January 18, 2019

by Tom Blake Columnist

Editor’s note: There are two parts to today’s “On Life and Love after 50 e-newsletter: 

Part 1- Cheryl in the red dress

Part 2- Getting rid of clutter, that is, decluttering

Part 1 – Cheryl in the red dress

In the November 30, 2018, e-Newsletter, I quoted Champ Jacquelyn, who had sent me this email: “I know this is not a dating site, but it would be so good to allow us to connect with someone here or post a profile of a Champ once a month. I’m 55 and active, but single and very lonesome.”

In that e-Newsletter, I responded to Jacquelyn: We’ve done that from time-to-time. Last week, we posted Larry’s email address with his comments. “Why not send me some of your information for posting?”

When Champ Cheryl saw my comment to Jacquelyn, she responded: “I see you’re not opposed to publishing a person’s information and photo, I’m going to take advantage of your kindness and ‘put myself out there.’  Please consider the following:

“I’ve been widowed for 15 years.  I’m 72, with red hair and blue eyes. I am retired but active in fun social activities, and like to travel, especially on cruises.

“I’m seeking a man with integrity, protective instinct, kindness, intelligent enough to converse, still has enthusiasm and curiosity, and is authentic.

“I lead with my femininity, have a sharp wit, and am spiritual and traditional, with attributes of having respect, loyalty, and devotion; being non-materialistic; and being real.  Attached is a recent photo of me.”

   Cheryl in the red dress

I responded to Cheryl (at least I thought I had) saying I needed to know in what part of the States or Canada she lived because a potential mate would want to know that.

But I didn’t hear back from her. I did a follow up e-Newsletter wondering why some people don’t respond. When Cheryl read that newsletter, she wrote:

“I am the ‘Cheryl’ you wrote about in your newsletter, saying that I never responded to you. I didn’t receive any email from you! I don’t know why, but rest assured that I’m eager to meet someone and would have responded immediately. So sorry for whatever happened.

“I live in Los Angeles, just south of LAX.  And there’s something else I’d like to add – my preference is for a Jewish man.

“Thanks so much; I really appreciate that you took the time to follow up!  You are very conscientious – I will invite you to my wedding!!”

During the time of this exchange, I was writing from the cruise ship where the Internet was iffy. I thought I had responded to Cheryl, but in checking after getting home, much to my horror, I saw my message to her never went. I apologized to her.

She wrote, “Thank you, Tom.  I have no ties here and am willing to relocate, if there are men who are willing to date long-distance for a while, and, use Skype. I also continue to hope that some of your Champs may ‘know someone’ appropriate for me.  As you said, it’s worth a try.  I appreciate your help.”

If anyone would like to email Cheryl, email me and I will forward your email to her.

Lesson learned: As Cheryl said, it’s worth a try. Stay with it because as illustrated in this example, the mistake was mine. You may communicate with someone and not hear back. Don’t assume he or she received your message, whether by email or text. Anything can happen so always follow up until you’re sure.

A perfect example of that: On the ship, I met a couple from Washington state. They told me about a widow friend of theirs, nicknamed “Sam.” I said, let me send her a couple of my dating books. He provided me with Sam’s address, a p.o. box. I shipped the books January 2; they arrived back in my mailbox on January 12, marked: “Return to Sender. Unable to Forward.”

I notified the couple what happened. They found out that Sam had opened a p.o. box when she was first widowed, not wanting to reveal her actual street address. But, two years later, Sam decided to close the p.o. box, perhaps feeling she could safely resume using her home address.

When I found that out, the books were resent this week to her snail mail address. Hopefully, Sam will become a new Champ.

Part 2 –  Declutter project brings Tom’s book offer

Speaking of my printed books, may I seize this moment to talk about them? Greta and I are in a major downsizing and decluttering this New Year’s; I moved my unsold cases of books to a self-storage space. While grunting and groaning doing that, I said to myself, “I need to move out some of these books. I’m going to offer Champs a major price incentive on books.”

Here’s the offer: I will ship autographed and personally endorsed copies of any two books (I have four), including postage and sales tax, to Champs with an address in the USA for $15. That’s like five bucks a book. Check out my bookstore at

If you want this offer, email me at and let me know what books. I will invoice you by email via my PayPal account where you can pay by credit card. I will need your snail mail address, which the PayPal order requires.

I will be happy to ship the printed books (these are not ebooks) to anyone you wish (as gifts, get-even ploys with ex mates—for whatever reason), providing they have a USA address. Shipping books out of the country is too expensive.

Three books would be $20 and all four would be $25, including postage and sales tax. I will need to know how you want me to endorse them. Something like this: “To Jerry, thanks for ghosting me, you ***”

So that’s it for this week. Downsizing and getting rid of clutter are exhausting, but so important!

Senior travel articles should make you happy

On Life and Love after 50 e-Newsletter  – November 9, 2018

by Columnist Tom Blake

My partner Greta and I are on an 82-day Grand Asia & Pacific Cruise. We have just completed 40 days and tomorrow, November 10, we will visit Singapore for two days.

This week, I received this email from a woman Champ, one of my e-Newsletter readers. I did not edit it, this is the way it came in:

She wrote: “Sounds like a trip of a life time, but Tom did you ever think that maybe these wonderful trips that you take and share with us maybe is a depressed feeling for those who cannot take these trips! for many reasons, one for lack of money or health problems, lacking a partner to go with, I know it makes me a little down at times, just a thought for you.”

My response: I appreciate you taking your time to express your thoughts. I am very aware there may be other Champs who feel as you do.

In the first newsletter about this trip, even before we left Los Angeles on September 30, I wrote: “Greta and I are truly blessed in our retirement, to be able to physically and financially afford to travel to distant lands. We do not take that for granted. We realize there will come a day when we can’t. And we also realize that not all seniors can take a trip like this.”

When I blog or write about travels, many Champs and newspaper readers tell me they enjoy traveling with us vicariously. Nearly all say they want to hear about the trips.

The last thing in the world I want to do is make people feel depressed by my writing.

Greta and I worked very hard to be able to travel. She was a special education teacher for 31 years who raised four children as a single mom. I worked until I was 75. So, we feel we earned the right to travel as we do.

And, I just happen to be a journalist. I write for nine newspapers and every week I publish an e-Newsletter at no cost to my Champs. For years, the newsletter was titled “Finding Love After 50” and I charged for it.

Several years ago, I made the decision that I wanted to write about more than just finding love later in life. I wanted to write about whatever I felt I could do a good job on. So, I changed the name to “On Life and Love after 50.”

And when I travel, I can do a good job writing about it because I am personally experiencing it. I think Greta and I represent people in their mid-to-late 70s well, by setting an example of discovering these countries on our own, seldom taking organized tours. We walk, sweat, are aware of our surroundings and try to avoid uneven sidewalks and steps, and understand the different currencies in all of these countries. It isn’t always easy, or pretty how we do it, but we’re out there.

I stopped charging for the newsletter so that people wouldn’t feel they were being shortchanged by not receiving what they signed up and paid for. And if they didn’t like what they read, they could simply unsubscribe, or just not read that week’s edition.

I have received so many positive comments about these few travel newsletters that I’m totally surprised—and inspired to keep writing about this 82-day trip. One week I had close to 40 positive responses.

We have reached the half way point on this trip.

Champ Andree emailed this week: “I love hearing all about your travels. Thank you for sharing and please keep sharing. Have a fabulous time wherever your headed in this terrific adventure. Peace and safe travels.”

Greta at San Pedro after getting off the ship
Greta is happy to be home after 82 days of cruising

Journalists can’t always write about what makes people happy. That’s not a realistic view on life. I hope I haven’t depressed too many people with these tales of our experiences. If anything, I’m trying to inspire seniors to get out and experience life as best they can.

One thing I will say. Not taking a trip because you don’t have a partner with whom to travel is no reason why not to go. There are many single women on this ship traveling by themselves. One is 97-years-old. And there are many women who are traveling with women friends. There are single women in walkers, electric scooters, and using canes. That didn’t stop them; one can only admire their dedication to living life to the fullest, despite their physical challenges.

So, to this woman reader I say this: If I write about a senior dating success story, where two seniors have found happiness together–and you haven’t–should I stop writing about dating successes? Of course not. The same goes for our travels. If you find reading these positive stories makes you depressed, you have a choice: don’t read that week’s issue, or (and I hope you don’t do this), simply stop reading what I write.

I put my heart and soul into my writing, and that’s the way it’s going to be.