The Living Desert Palm Springs Zoo

rhino ticket stubs
Ticket stubs featuring the new rhinos at the Palm Desert Zoo
Ticket stubs featuring the new rhinos at the Palm Desert zoo
On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – November 25, 2021

by Tom Blake Columnist


On Monday evening of this Thanksgiving week, Greta and I were sitting on the patio of our Palm Springs, California, vacation home. We were facing west, looking at the magnificent Mount San Jacinto Peak (10,804 feet). I told her how blessed we were to be able to enjoy our time out here.

“However,” I said. “Lately, I’ve been reflecting on our Champs and friends who have lost partners, and others whose health is failing. Plus, the news is depressing with mass shootings and cars driving through crowds, road rage running rampant, and saber-rattling by countries threatening other countries. Not to mention Covid-19. It’s a downer and sad.” 

Greta said, “Yes, there is a lot of sadness in the world. If we dwell on those sad things too much, it will drag us down. But we must remember how fortunate we are, at our age, to have lived such good lives. We need to focus on the positive and enjoy the time we have left together.” 

I had a glass of chardonnay; she had a margarita. We toasted each other. In Palm Springs, we try to relax, exercise, and enjoy ourselves. We are thankful that fate led us to Palm Springs three years ago. 

Greta added, “Think about last Wednesday when you asked me out on a date, which I thought was cute. You said you wanted to show me something. We had some spare time, so we drove out to Palm Desert to visit the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. It was wonderful.” 

I had read that there are two new black rhinos at the zoo. We hoped to get a glimpse of them. The animals are magnificent out there. The zoo is another thing for which to be thankful. The picture on the ticket stubs reflects the new rhinos (black rhinos are gray, not black). The rhinos were camera shy. We did get a glimpse of Nia (pronounced Nye-A) who was across the grass in the new Rhino Savannah four-acre area resting in the shade. We were told that Jaali (pronounced Jolly) was in a barn. 

We strolled through the zoo, seeing several other animals. If you would like to read about our brief visit to the zoo, and see a few animal pictures, click on the link below to our travel website,

On the home page, the visit to the zoo opens first automatically. In total, there are approximately 189 of our trips posted to that site. Greta and I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and hope that the pictures of the beautiful animals will lift your spirits and remind you of the positive things you have in your life. 

Happy Thanksgiving, God bless you all. We are thankful for you Champs. Love, Tom and Greta 

P.S. Please email me at with your comments, questions, and experiences. They help other Champs who are dealing with similar situations.
giraffes 8 of em

Why now is the PERFECT time to date

  Why now is the PERFECT time to date

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

by Columnist Tom Blake

Senior Dating during COVID-19 Pandemic
Christine Baumgarten, Champ and relationship coach, on why now—during the crisis–is a PERFECT time to date:

Christine said, “I’ve experienced the same challenge that people think they ‘can’t’ date right now. And what I’m clear about is, it’s the PERFECT time to date. People can meet virtually through Facetime, Skype, or Zoom. It’s the perfect way to get to know each other without the pressure or concern about getting ‘physical’ too soon.

“Also, one of the biggest complaints is when people meet in person, they don’t look like their picture. Now, you’ll confirm what they look like before you go through the effort to meet in person.

“There are so many fun things to do virtually, with a new person:

*Learn a new dance step – Country Line Dancing, Salsa, Square Dancing, etc.

*Read a book to each other

*Learn a language together

*Learn to play an instrument

*Pick a recipe and cook and eat together – Are you the type of person who needs a recipe (that’s me) or can you just look in your refrigerator and find a three-course meal (that was Tony, my deceased husband).

*Do a craft together – Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn? Does he know how to do something you’d like to learn? If you’re both learning something new, then you’ll get to see how you each deal with learning something new, with all the possible frustrations.

*Give each other a tour of your house (don’t give out your address) just a tour of the inside. Oh my, what will you learn about each other’s lifestyle!

“And as you are ‘doing’ all these things together you can ask the other person questions about his or her life to learn about his traits to determine if you’re a match and if you’ll eventually want to meet in person.

“I brought this point up in a Facebook thread and one person responded, ‘We’ll run out of things to talk about if we can’t meet in person.’

“And my response is, ‘If you run out of things to talk about with someone you’ve just met, then this is confirmation that you are not a match.’”

Comment from Tom: Christine, since you need a recipe to cook, try my Chicken Parmesan I shared with my sister! Ha!

Christine’s website:

Contact Christine at