Dating a still-married man

On life and love after 50 eNewsletter

Like a rubber ball (bouncy, bouncy)

October 14, 2022

By Columnist Tom Blake

Dating a still-married man, while enjoying the domestic side of life (bouncy/bouncy)

Let’s say you’re 60 or older and single again. You might be divorced or in the process of getting a divorce. Or perhaps you’re a widow, or a widower. You admit you are a bit lonely, so you’ve decided to put yourself out there into the dating world in hopes of meeting a compatible mate.

You are committed to getting off the couch and out of the house to focus on interacting with friends and meeting new friends. Perhaps you are considering online dating.

You don’t want marriage, just someone you’d enjoy being with. Someone who shares your values and interests. You’ve managed to have a few dates, but no one has clicked yet.

And then someone comes along who adds a little spark to your life. You think that perhaps a relationship could evolve. It’s hard because you find yourself comparing that new person to your ex and they don’t have all of the qualities that your former partner had.

Dating a still-married man

You’ve had some interesting conversations with the person, which have revealed a small red flag or two. Take, for example, Jane (not her true name, changed by request), who emailed, “Four months ago, I met Bill (not his true name either) online. He’s been separated for two years from his wife of 26 years.

“On our first date, the hours flew by. We had fun conversation and seemed to connect. Afterward, he emailed saying he had a great time, and our interests were similar.

“I wrote back expressing two concerns based on our discussion. One being that he is from Canada (his company transferred him to the USA) and his family lives 16 hours away by car. What would happen if he got homesick and wanted to move back there to live?

“And second, his marital status: I would be dating a still-married man, separated for two years. What is really going on there?”

These two issues trouble me a bit but he and I discussed them.

“He assured me that he’s here to stay, that his family is in full support of his being here and his divorce is pending because he owes his attorney money and that was all that was needed to get the ball rolling.” Hence, I’d be dating a still-married man.

While Jane mentioned that she intended to proceed slowly with Bill, she rationalized that she too was once in the same position: separated, heart ready to move on, but a legal system that can take a long time to finalize a divorce.

Jane added, “I have seen his divorce papers, so I know he’s working on the final stuff, and he was truthful with me. I gave him a chance because I had someone take a chance on me while waiting for my divorce to be final. So that concern has been eased a bit.

“We’ve had an awesome four months together. He helped me with remodeling my townhouse and he met my family. We spent a weekend away exploring galleries and hiking. We enjoy our downtime after work and making dinner together—enjoying the domestic side of life.

You bounce my heart around

“Then, suddenly, the rug was pulled out from under my feet. Now he’s telling me that his head says one thing but his heart another, that there is a wall up. Apparently, he was hurt as a teenager by a relationship and again when he arrived in the states. It’s taken him six months to get over his latest heartbreak. He thinks if people must work at a relationship, it’s not the real thing.”

Jane rationalized again, stating: “He is bewildered and confused by his feelings, due in part to a lack of senior dating experience. This guy hasn’t ‘found’ himself yet.

“I must let time take care of things. I like him, but only he can find himself. He feels bad that he hurt me. His being in my life has been a positive thing; I experienced how wonderful it is to have someone REALLY treat me like a woman, which I haven’t experienced in a very long time.”

I hear what Jane says, but Bill didn’t treat her like a woman for long. She feels he backed off because of “a lack of senior dating experience.” What the heck does that have to do with it?

Rather, her situation reminds me of the 2004 book “he’s just not that into you.”

Seniors who choose to date again need to trust their instincts and keep their expectations in check. I think Jane needs to get on with her life.

Remember the Bobby Vee hit song “Rubber Ball” that was popular 61 years ago in 1961? Jane fits that mold. Perhaps if he finds himself and bounces back into her life, she’ll avoid becoming a rubber ball by ensuring he is only true to one woman (she).

Here’s the second verse:

“I’m like a rubber ball.

“Baby that’s all I am to you (bouncy, bouncy) (bouncy, bouncy)

“Just a rubber ball

“Cause you think you can be true to two (bouncy, bouncy) (bouncy, bouncy)

“You bounce my heart around (you don’t even put her down)

“And like a rubber ball, I keep bouncing back to you.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=rubber+ball+song+1961&view=detail&mid=8D216B6F768D19ACD98B8D216B6F768D19ACD98B&FORM=VIRE0&ru=%2fsearch%3fq%3drubber%2bball%2bsong%2b1961%26qs%3dUT%26pq%3drubber%2bball%2bsong%26sk%3dAS1MT1%26sc%3d10-16%26cvid%3d4FB1FE07EB77432F8FC2BB34149EE72A%26FORM%3dQBRE%26sp%3d3″

Popular 2004 book, “he’s just not that into you”

Close encounter with a future king

2009 Casablanca Valley Wine country brochure

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

By Tom Blake columnist

September 16, 2022

Close encounter with a future king and queen consort

On March 1, 2009, Greta and I flew from Los Angeles to Santiago, Chile, to begin a three-week land tour of South America. Because we were unfamiliar with Santiago, we booked a tour guide named Mauricio Yanez Mora to pick us up at the Santiago Airport and transfer us to the Orly Boutique Hotel, where we would stay for three nights.

We also scheduled Mauricio to show us around the city on a half-day tour the following day.

Greta and I were so impressed with Mauricio that we hired him to drive us on a day trip to view the Casablanca Valley wine country and the port city of Valparaiso on March 3. Valparaiso is 75 miles from Santiago. (See the brochure from 2009 above).

Our first stop in the gorgeous Chilean countryside was at Emiliana, an organic winery, about an hour west of Santiago. The autumn leaves were starting to turn; the scenery was breathtaking. 

There were only a few other visitors at the vineyard that morning. We walked 45 minutes around the grounds, seeing geese, roosters, hens, and other birds, which ate the bug pests, instead of the winery using pesticides. There were llamas around the vineyard. We were able to sample some wines in the wine shop.

When we returned to Mauricio’s car, he discovered his car battery was dead. The winery had no battery charging equipment. Mauricio borrowed a phone and summoned a truck from Valparaiso to fix the battery problem. We’d be on our way in a half hour or so.

And then, a bizarre event occurred that startled Greta, me, and Mauricio as well. Seven green and white police motorcycles came into the vineyard with lights flashing and flags flying, followed by two army trucks, also with lights flashing. The motorcycles and trucks turned in our direction. There were three sharpshooters standing in the back of each truck, holding high-powered rifles and machine guns.

The three of us looked at each other. Had we done something wrong? Were we going to jail? Would we be victims of a military coup? The trucks and motorcycles passed within 20 feet of us and in less than two minutes, they disappeared into the vineyards. They appeared to be looking for someone in hiding.

Mauricio asked the vineyard employees what was going on. We were relieved to hear that it was merely a security check by the police and military in advance of a visit to the winery by Prince Charles and Camilla from the U.K. who were visiting the vineyard on March 5. Apparently, Prince Charles’ hobby was organic farming.

Not to be political, but I didn’t care that Prince Charles and Camilla were visiting the winery because I wasn’t a big fan of Prince Charles at that time.

Before long we were on our way to Valparaiso, a bit relieved that we weren’t in handcuffs in the back of an army truck. And, Mauricio’s car had a new battery.

Fast forward to last week, September 8. The airwaves were filled with the news that Queen Elizabeth had died. Prince Charles became the new king, King Charles III, and Camilla became the Queen Consort.

Upon hearing the news, Greta and I looked at each other. I said, “Think about it, 13 years ago, we missed having a nearly private encounter with a future king and queen consort in an organic vineyard in Chile. Not many people can say that.”

We both smiled. In our travels, we’d come upon some firsts for us. Among them, almost seeing Prince Charles and Camilla at a Chilean Winery in 2009 and being at the ABBA Museum in 2013 in Stockholm on the museum’s opening day. Events like these are rewards of travel.

Now, Emiliana is the largest organic vineyard in the world. In 2021, more than one million cases of wine were sold.

If you are traveling to Santiago, Chile, and want an incredible tour guide, contact Mauricio. Read the below review about Mauricio. I am confident this is the same Mauricio who drove us around in 2009. If you book him, remind him of this story at the Emiliana Vineyard in 2009. He probably now has a spare battery in his trunk. 

Link to Mauricio’s review

Senior non-romantic love

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

by Tom Blake columnist

September 2, 2022

For seniors, none-romantic love can be as important as romantic love

A woman Champ emailed: “Your eNewsletter two weeks ago reminded me of the long relationship I’ve had with my friend Bill, who I affectionately call, ‘Misterbill.’ I’d be curious what you and the Champs think about my longtime senior platonic friendship with this much younger man.

“As of this month, Bill and I have now known each other for 10 years. We met through one of the dating sites, Plenty Of Fish or Match.com, I forget which one it was. We had our first date on a scorching August day in 2012. It was on a Tuesday; he was coming from a job and was a bit grimy and sweaty – he does handyman work and construction.  

“I didn’t mind the grime, he had already warned me, and he was quite nice! A welcome change from the duds I had been meeting. He had a sense of humor and a nice dimpled smile. He was 44 and I was 61—a 17-year difference. He thought I was 51. (That was when I was lowering my age by 10 years on dating sites and easily getting away with it. Not sure I could get away with it anymore!)

“Bill thought I was seven years older and told me he always liked older women…yeah, heard that before! But eventually, I told him my actual age. He still didn’t mind the bigger age gap.

“When we met he was just three months out of his marriage and he told me it was in the divorce process. We had some similarities in that he had been married at 18 or 19 – and like my daughter, his two daughters were young adults already and out of the nest.

“We loved dogs, the outdoors and he had a good sense of humor. But that’s pretty much all we had in common, plus our lifestyles were SO much different, due to our ages and living situations.  

“Bill has always had his own business as a handyman and he works alone. He made very little money, and his wife for the most part didn’t work, so he was their sole support. At one point they lost the place they were renting and had to move into his parents’ house when his girls were young.

He was still living there when we met because he was never going to make enough money to afford to live on his own, and he needed his parent’s property for his business storage–tools, machinery, junk cars, etc. He is also a welder.

“We got along well and dated for a few months. I realized he was not going to be the forever man for me because we were in totally different places in our lives that didn’t mesh.

“We have never been intimate except for kissing…although he did sit in my hot tub with me, naked…with no fooling around (but he wanted to!) because I didn’t want it to get to the sex part when I knew it was going nowhere. Hence, the dating ended after a few months, but we kept in touch. He still wanted a relationship; I still wanted a friendship.

“The two main problematic issues were:

#1. Living arrangements if we became a couple, and he had a passion for off-roading and rock climbing with his 4-wheel drive vehicles, which he did about every weekend with a club and went out of state to do often. With my developing arthritis issues, I wouldn’t be able to do those things and didn’t want to do them.

“#2. There was no way I would live in his father’s house (his parents were still alive and living there, and they were messy/hoarders). Or, if he came to live with me in the house I was renting, I was afraid I would end up supporting him for the most part. Plus, he wouldn’t have been able to put his work stuff and cars, etc. on the property I was renting. I thought of all the possible angles, and nothing would work.

“Money, and not having enough of it, can sure hold a person back from doing the things he or she wants.

“Then there was the matter of his divorce, which he never got because his business was in both his and his wife’s name and he would have lost it or had to divide things, start over, pay alimony–a big mess.

“We’ve stayed in touch for 10 years. He’s been a good friend. Each time I moved he’s been right there to help me pack when I couldn’t, move plants and some things to my new places, and has done general handiwork for me like building a small corner shelf unit and hanging lights, curtain rods, towel rods, etc.

“I’ve always paid him, though not as much as he’s worth because I have just enough to live on, and I’d either prepare him a meal or purchase him a meal when he was done. This May, he drove me to my storage unit, packed the contents into his truck and brought it back 85 miles to my new storage place, and packed it all back in. I paid for his gas and bought our lunch on the trip back.

“He was out of the state working when I needed my new furniture put together so his daughter Jen – who’s a welder – came over and did it, in three trips. I paid her and also fed her pizza each time because she came over directly after work.

“He now pops over to say hi when he’s working in the area. He was here on Tuesday, brought the ingredients and made pizza for us, stayed and watched a movie then left…though I think he wanted to crash on my couch because I kept having to tell him I was tired and had to go to bed! It took a lot to get him to move off the couch. LOL.

“I invited him to come the next night to have my meatloaf dinner with me and afterward he took me for an evening sunset ride in his 2004 Mercedes convertible and we ended up at his daughter Jen’s house – 45 minutes away.

“OHH! – the night of our convertible ride when he brought me home, as he was hugging me goodbye outside in the cool evening air, he said, “I love you.”  I was a bit stunned but smiled at him and said spontaneously, “I love you too!” 

“Again, what do you think of my longtime platonic friendship with this much younger man? 

Tom’s comment: I think this Champ has managed this relationship perfectly. She had the common sense to not get into a living-together or intimate relationship. And it wasn’t the senior 17-year age difference as much as it was the lack of many important things in common.

And yet, after 10 years, they have remained friends and professed their non-romantic love for each other. They are there for each other; they help each other. That type of senior non-romantic love is priceless.

Michael McLeavy tells of meeting Elvis in a memoir

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

by Tom Blake – columnist

June 17, 2022

In March 2017, I wrote a column titled, “Delivering a Letter to Johnny Cash,” which described a trip my partner Greta and I took to Tennessee to visit the Johnny Cash Museum and Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, and Graceland, and Sun Records in Memphis.

As many of you know, I worked with (and became friends with) Johnny Cash in 1975 and 1976 and wanted to show Greta the places where I had been with him.

A fellow Dana Point resident and Champ, Michael McLeavy, responded to that article. He wrote: “I enjoyed your ‘Delivering a Letter to Johnny Cash’ column and thought you might get a kick out of how I met Elvis Presley, since Elvis was a friend of your friend Johnny Cash.”

Michael and I met for lunch and compared stories about how he met Elvis and I met Johnny, two of Tennessee’s greatest singing legends. Michael presented me with a replica of a poster that pictured Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley together, promoting a March 10, 1956, concert in Armory, Mississippi (photo above)

On April 13, 2017, I wrote a follow-up column detailing how Michael met Elvis.

This February, Michael told me he had just completed an autobiography, which features his meeting Elvis as one of the highlights.

He said, “I purchased your Tutor & Spunky’s Deli. A Dana Point Landmark book and was impressed that you self-published it by using Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Would you consider editing, formatting, and helping me publish my book on Amazon?”

I said, “I admit, as a senior, I have extra time on my hands due to staying at home during the pandemic. Seniors need projects to work on. Projects can keep their minds active and give them a purpose. I’m not a professional editor, but I did learn a lot publishing my book.”

I thought getting Michael’s book edited and published might take me three weeks. So, I said to Michael, “I will do it.”

Three weeks turned into two months. Besides editing the manuscript, building a table of contents, and creating the book’s cover, there were multiple pictures to reformat and other details to address. One blessing: the book turned out to be only 132 pages.

What Now? What Next? Where To? by Michael McLeavy

As I worked on the book, I became fascinated with Michael’s life. He moved to Los Angeles from Scotland in 1965. His primary goal was to meet Elvis. He did that and so much more. He built a successful career in the insurance business.

Michael is an accomplished singer. He has recorded four CDs, which are available on Amazon.

Currently, Michael’s book, “What Now? What Next? Where To?” is available in paperback only. The cost on Amazon is $14.99 plus shipping and taxes.

However, if Champs would like a signed and personalized copy, email Michael at mmcleavy@cox.net with the details. The charge for Champs is $14.25, plus delivery. He will invoice you via his PayPal account, which can be paid via credit cards.

Michael has lived in Dana Point with his wife Linda since 1989.

Will I begin a second senior career helping people as an editor and publisher of books? Perhaps, but not full time as I must leave enough time to keep writing my eNewsletters and newspaper columns. Let me know if you have a book in your future. I’m receptive to questions.

Tom Blake and Michael McLeavy

First date senior sex called The Dance

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

April 15 2022

Tom Blake columnist

Senior women have an answer to request for first date sex. A resounding NO!  Loud and clear!
Senior Women’s answer to first-date sex. A resounding NO! Do you understand me?

This week, when I received an email about “the dance,” I immediately thought it had something to do with Garth Brooks’ incredible song, “The Dance.” As it turns out, it had nothing to do with the message in Garth’s song.

Diane emailed, “I’ve only been a Champ for a couple of years, but I look forward to receiving your eNewsletter each Friday. I enjoy all the banter and great information. The stories are wonderful. I need your wisdom and experience. I have been stumped lately by something I continue to hear about dating. I think you’ve heard it all and maybe you can give me an update.

“I’ve been told I’m behind the times, that my views on dating don’t work anymore and I need to remember it’s 2022. All these so-called experts may be right. The last time I dated was in 1981.

Widow dating

“I was with my husband for 33 wonderful years and have been a widow for more than seven years. In the 1980s, I went on a date to get to know someone, to laugh, to dance, and to enjoy the time together and build a relationship.

“And here’s what I’m puzzled about: sex wasn’t a first-date consideration back then. But it seems to be now. I’ll explain

“I finally decided to try online dating after my friend and my son set up my online account late one evening after I fell asleep. I needed a kick to get moving.

“I enjoyed most of the conversations and went on a couple of coffee meet ups. After each meet up (the same day) I received requests or invites to come over for sex. Now I enjoy the dance (Diane means sex) and would love to get close again but on the first date? In 1981, we were labeled ‘bad’ girls if we took that course of action.


“I asked a few friends and medical experts about this new ‘dance on the first date.’ I was surprised that out of 10 women, nine told me to dance and NOW! Only one said no.”


“So there is part of my dilemma. I want to dance; I want to build a relationship and I am probably a ‘good’ girl. I also know this is probably something not everyone wants to talk about, but I thought the topic is current and of value. We aren’t getting any younger either.

“If you have up-to-date information or views, I will enjoy hearing what you and other Champs think about the first-date dance. I don’t want to feel that a 68-year-old girl gives up. There is so much more life to live. And there will always be new dance steps!”

Tom’s reply:

Thanks for being a Champ and for writing. I think the 9 out of ten women are wrong. Sex on the first date or until you’ve gotten to know a new person is a bad idea. There are too many dangers, including catching a STD (sexually transmitted disease). Some studies have shown that the fastest growing population segment for STDs is age 55 and older.

Plus, you wouldn’t know the person at all. He might be married, in a committed relationship, or be a scammer or a felon. A man who would request “the dance” lacks class and character.

How would you feel if you had sex with a guy and then he never called you again?  You’d feel terrible, cheap, used, etc., and that isn’t a good feeling. So don’t buy into that advice.

You have dignity. Yes, intimacy would be nice but only with a person with whom you are building a relationship. A first-date or second-date hop in the sack isn’t anything more than lust. When is having sex okay? After you’ve established a trust with him.

I think an answer to those men who request first-date intimacy is, “Hey, I enjoy sex, but I need to know a person better than over a few sips of coffee. I’m dating to establish a relationship with someone I’m compatible with. I enjoyed your company. It would be nice to have a few dates and see how we feel about each other.” 

If he balks, then he isn’t the person for you.

Are you behind the times?  Not from that aspect. Are there things for you to learn? Sure, but don’t think you are wrong on this aspect. 

I don’t write much about senior sex; I maybe mention it occasionally but it’s an uncomfortable topic. I’m sure some of our Champs will share their opinions on “the dance,” as you call it. 

Look at it this way: If a man didn’t find you attractive, he wouldn’t ask you over for “the dance.”

Link to Garth Brooks’ singing “The Dance.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNaJG0XJaRE

Senior dating tips. Four ways for seniors to meet a potential mate during the pandemic

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter January 21, 2022

2022 eNewsletter #3

by Tom Blake Columnist

Senior Dating tips. Four ways for seniors to meet a potential mate during the pandemic

Champ Sonia (see her picture above) emailed that she wants to date someone her age or younger. She wrote, “I’ve read your eNewsletters for several years and I love them. I am 63 and would like to date someone my age or some years younger. 

“You are so far away from me, but I would love to participate in one of your Meet and Greet sessions but I don’t know how to do it because of the distance and now the situation with the new covid.”

Tom replied, “Thanks for writing, and thank you for being a Champ for several years. I understand your frustration with the Covid situation, which is affecting senior singles not only in PA, where you live but across the world.

At 63, you should normally be able to meet eligible men within your dating age range (even younger), but Covid has thrown the proverbial monkey wrench into the search.

Even the Meet and Greet sessions you refer to at Tutor & Spunky’s, my former deli in Dana Point, California, have been on hold for two years now. So, don’t get on a plane or a train to come to the Meet & Greets—all you could meet would be meat—as in a pastrami sandwich–for example.

So, you’d be wiser to try to meet someone closer to you in PA or adjacent states, someone who would be within reasonable driving distance. How to do that during the pandemic? In four ways:

1 Try senior online dating. You won’t even need to wear a mask while you’re online. Our November 19 eNewsletter was titled, “Which online dating site is best for seniors?” I’m not an internet dating expert. So, I quoted our Champ Christine Baumgartner, an expert dating and relationship coach. Christine lives in Orange County, California, and calls her business “The Perfect Catch.”

Here’s what I wrote on November 19, 2021 in an eNewsletter, which is on this website.

“When Christine is asked by a client which dating site is the best one, her reply is, ‘This may surprise you. They’re generally all the same.”

To read more about senior online dating, go to Christine’s Facebook page. She’s got great material on there. Or to her website (the link is listed below). Use a site that caters to seniors such as Silver Singles or OurTime (owned by Match.com). Most sites will charge a monthly fee. POF (Plenty of Fish) doesn’t unless you upgrade, but it has a reputation for having scammers.

And speaking of scammers, be careful no matter what online site you choose. There are scammers on every site. They prey on lonely seniors, primarily widows, so there is a risk in online dating. But, by going online, you’d be able to establish a reasonable search radius, say within 50 miles of where you live in PA

2 Get off the couch and out of the house when the pandemic eases. Still take precautions—wear a mask, meet people outside when possible, keep social distancing. If you see a man who appears to be single—no wedding ring, for example—and he appeals to you, be assertive by saying hello or ask him a question like, “Which wine goes best with this salad?”

Be assertive, but not aggressive. When senior singles venture out and embark on a new activity, their chances of meeting a potential mate increase. Here’s a story I heard this week, while on my Stand Up Paddleboard in Dana Point Harbor, of all places.

As I was paddling from shore, a guy on his board yelled, “Hey Tom, I attended several of your Meet & Greets and enjoyed them.”I said, “Did you find a mate there?”“No,” he said, “but I learned from what you often said to us–to get involved in activities we enjoy. So, I took ukulele lessons and met my partner there. We have a lot in common. Thanks for the advice and for having those events.”
I never thought I’d hear a success story like that on a paddleboard! Also, volunteering is a wonderful way to meet people and to pay it forward as well.

3 Network. Ask your friends, co-workers, and acquaintances if they know of someone who is near your age and single and who might be a nice mate for you. And don’t stop asking because as we age, people’s lives change. Some become widows or widowers, and others have relationships end.

4 Attend outdoor classes (when the weather is warmer) such as tai chi, yoga, pickleball, ukulele (or other instruments), and on and on.Bottom line: Make yourself as visible as possible and work on your appearance through exercising and eating right to help you stay healthy. Keep your expectations in check. Don’t go out with the express purpose of meeting a mate.

Instead, go out to enrich your life. Be friendly, have a positive attitude, make yourself likable. Don’t give up hope. We are all in the pandemic challenge together. Be very careful with exposure to Covid and be leery of scammers. I hope we are all vaccinated and boosted.

Keep the emails and questions coming. We have some interesting upcoming eNewsletter topics, including how to deal with a long-distance relationship during the pandemic and even details of a conversation I had with Johnny Cash regarding words Johnny said to me after we left his recording studio together in 1976.

I had co-produced a record album with him at the studio. So, stay tuned, stay safe, and keep on truckin.’

Sonia shared her photos with us today. If male Champs would like to contact her in PA, email me and I will forward your email to her. You never know, you just might have interests in common with this nice woman.

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

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2021 

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, www.travelafter55.com.

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 tompblake@gmail.com with your comments, questions, and experiences. They help other Champs who are dealing with similar situations. 

www.travelafter55.com
giraffes 8 of em
HAPPY THANKSGIVING CHAMPS!

Age is just a number


Age is just a number
On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

June 18, 2021
by Tom Blake columnist


(The article today has been edited for length and clarity)
marjorie and hans
Senior dating at 80+ Marjorie & Hans – Love across the pond
Marjorie, 87, (photo above on left) emailed this week about her senior long-distance romance with a man from Amsterdam, “My motto: be interested and interesting. My passion is traveling and enjoying the visual arts.

“My Amsterdam relationship began in 1998 when my engineer companion and I did a house exchange with Hans and his wife, who lived in Amsterdam.
“Hans’s wife died in 2014. He came to California in 2015. We took a trip together and discovered we were meant to travel together. We have crossed the Atlantic six times traveling in Europe and the USA.

The pandemic has limited us to daily Skypes. Will we travel again at our age? I’m not sure. Hans is 84.” The photo of us above was taken in my 90-year-old artist friend’s home (she is in the middle).

More on senior love


Two weeks ago, the June 4 eNewsletter featured three independent women, Paula, Kathy, and Leslie. Champ Art, Margate, Florida, commented about each woman’s situation. 

But first, a reminder about Paula, age 75, who moves to a new city every two years or so, and renovates homes, and then flips them. We included a picture of her two Bassett Hounds in that June 4 issue. Paula said, “The only way I can do what I do is to be single.”

Art said, “It’s interesting that Paula has not grown roots, and still has that wanderlust feeling about herself. I’m 82 and find meeting (potential mates) very easy, but I would not want to become interested in a woman who has not found a man to call a keeper or a place to call home by the time she is 75.

And Art said this about Kathy: “Her issue, being allergic to most animals, could never work for me. I love animals and have two cats at home.”

Regarding Leslie, age 80, who met her fiance four years ago, Art said, “I congratulate Leslie on her engagement. Her independence is a trait I admire if not carried too far. Leslie has found her way to thrive in a singles world.”

Art added, “When my wife passed in 2007 I thought that I would never know love again, but by learning how to use POF (Plenty of Fish) and putting a lot of thought into my writing, I have been blessed beyond my expectations.

“I am currently dating a 79-year-old woman who lives about a half-hour from my house. We are both vegetarians, both of us love live theater, and we each find the other attractive and fun to be with.”

Even more on senior love

One of our Champs is Tammy La Gorce, the New York Times “Weddings” columnist. This week Tammy shared a column she wrote about two 95-year-olds who just got married.

She thought I’d like the last two sentences from her article, which are quoted below:
“Nobody starts life at 95,” Ms. Morrow-Nulton said. “But we did.”

“I’m not lonely anymore,” Mr. Shults said. Better still, “I don’t think we’ll get sick of each other.”

 Here is a link to Tammy’s story:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/07/style/wedding-bells-for-two-95-year-olds.html?smid=tw-share

P.S. You may be asked to subscribe to the Times’s online edition, for a very reasonable rate.

Part 2 – Champ Larry on Lake Michigan
Grand Haven Sunset Larry
Larry and his daughter on Lake Michigan during sunset
Grand Haven Lake Michigan Sunset – June 2021

Last year, Champ Larry, (above, with his daughter a week ago), contacted me, saying he would be in the Dana Point area and asked if we could meet for lunch. He mentioned that he was retired, single, widowed, living in Florida, and spent summers in a beach city on Lake Michigan.

Having grown up in Michigan, I asked, “Where in Michigan?”
Larry said, “Grand Haven.” I was amazed. I told him that my mom had grown up in Grand Haven and our family had rented a cottage there for a month during several different summers.

“What was your mom’s maiden name?” Larry asked.

“Frances Pardee.”

Larry said, “I knew a man named George Pardee. He hired me for my first job in Grand Haven. He worked for the Peerless Novelty Company.”

I was even more amazed. George Pardee was my uncle. Turns out, Larry was the City Manager of Grand Haven for years, before moving to Florida where he was a City Manager in a beach city there. He and my uncle became good friends.

Larry and I met for lunch and found we had even more in common.
Two weeks ago, he was visiting South Orange County again (his daughter lives here) and we met for coffee for a couple of hours. So, Larry is another Champ who has become a special friend.

Is he single? Well, yes, but let’s put it this way. He seems to have met some nice potential mates in Florida. I’m certain he will keep me posted on what happens in that regard.

Thanks to Larry for sending the photo. I encourage other Champs to do the same thing, along with some biographical information.

Senior Marriage – Will our Champ’s Wedding be in the New York Times?

Will our Champ’s wedding be in the New York Times?
On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – April 30, 2021
by Tom Blake Columnist

Senior Marriage

When Champs share their stories and situations with all of us, positive results can follow.

First, the stories often help people who have had or are currently involved in similar experiences and sometimes predicaments.
Second, when we cast our nets far and wide, unexpected positive results can materialize.

I admit that last week when I sent out my eNewsletter for the first time using email-provider Constant Contact, I was holding my breath. I hoped I wouldn’t screw up with the new format.

I wrote about Ginny, age 80, and her significant other Harry, 87, who are contemplating marriage. Champs were amazing, responding in droves giving “thumbs up” to the new eNewsletter look and Ginny’s and Harry’s story.

One of the first responses blew me away. It was from Tammy La Gorce, the New York Times “Weddings” reporter. She wrote:

 “My Friday wouldn’t be complete without your newsletter. I love the new look! Not sure if you remember me — I’m the NYTimes Weddings reporter. “Ginny and Harry’s wedding would be a great one to feature in our section. Would you be able to ask Ginny if she’d like to be featured and if so, when they’re planning to be married?

  “Here’s a look at my latest column: 
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/16/fashion/weddings/weddings-marriage-utah.html 

I immediately responded to Tammy’s email, writing: “Yes, I remember you. I just heard from Ginny. I know she would love to be in your NY Times column. Hence, I am copying this email to her so you will have each other’s email addresses. “And you have my permission to use whatever you want, if anything, from today’s eNewsletter.

“Too bad you weren’t writing your “Weddings” column in 1968. I was married (the first time) at the headquarters of the Episcopal Church, which was located in NYC at 2nd Avenue and 43rd Street.

“After the ceremony, everyone in attendance walked over to a restaurant named Nell Gywn’s on 42nd Street across from Grand Central Station. We were carrying the altar flowers and lots of people honked and waved at our group. Twas fun. “Let me know if things proceed with Ginny and Harry.”
 
Tammy responded: “Yes, wish I had been there in 1968 but I hadn’t been born!”

Egads, Tammy’s comment reminded me that I was married for the first time 53 years ago. Holy Toledo! I wonder if our Champs can remember when and where they first married?

Ginny and Tammy have touched base. Ginny shared the email she sent to Tammy: “I was surprised and very pleased that you want to write about Harry and me. I think we may have compromised on a November wedding. But I will let you know for sure, as soon as I can get a definite answer from Harry.  Ginny”

I thought Ginny’s comment: “…we may have compromised on a November wedding.” was hilarious. Sounds like Harry isn’t moving too fast to make the wedding happen.

I hope Ginny will keep us updated and maybe we’ll read about her wedding in the NY Times.  

Seniors should never give up on love

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – April 23, 2021

by columnist Tom Blake


Senior Dating: Seniors should never give up on love (and intimacy)

(marriage in their 80s?)

After last week’s eNewsletter was published, Ginny, Delaware County, PA emailed, “I wrote to you two years ago to encourage single senior women to ‘Get out there, have fun, and not give up looking for a good man.’ I’m doing that again today!

 “I met my boyfriend Harry seven years ago. In the first few years, when I or others occasionally brought up the subject of marriage to him, he reminded me and them that he had told me early on to he wasn’t going to remarry. So, I, like some of your readers (Champs), had a big decision to make based partly on the availability-of-men statistics: Stay or leave?” 

Ginny decided to stay.  She continued: “I fell for him (had seen him in church while we were both married). I left that church. 

“Fifteen years later, both of us having recently lost our spouses, we met at the senior center and started dating right away.  “We are active, fun-loving, and healthy, Christians who are very much in love and are looking forward to having a ‘complete’ relationship.   

“Life is full of surprises! Now, at ages 80 (me) and 87 (Harry), he has changed his mind and wants to marry me. We live three minutes apart. We are both widowed after long marriages; he was happily married, me not happily married. 

“To further encourage us to marry, my brother, 74, a widower of eight years, is also ‘tying the knot’ this year with a lovely woman age 69, whom he met two years ago on the Match website.”   

I responded to Ginny: “Why do you think he changed his anti-marriage stance at age 87? Why get married now? The decision ‘to stay or go’ you made, worked out for you. I’m happy you didn’t leave him. “Who will move? What does  a complete relationship mean? “A senior center is a good place for seniors to find a mate.”  

Ginny replied, “I plan on asking him soon why he changed his mind. We are going to have a LAT marriage. I go visit him almost every evening now. After we marry, instead of coming home each night, I will come home the next morning. When I originally suggested this, years ago, he said ‘No way.’ I suspect he wasn’t ready.   

“Harry had been married to his high school sweetheart for 59 years when she died of cancer, after being diagnosed five years before.   

“We will have a senior prenup also. We both have children and grandchildren. Our money will stay separate.  

“What I mean by a senior complete relationship is that now we will be able to have sex. Because of our faith, we agreed years ago to abstain unless married. It was difficult.   

“Eight years ago, at age 72, I was widowed. I decided I wasn’t going to just join women’s groups, so I found the local senior center. It is a ‘happening place.’ I am now on the council there. I first spotted Harry shooting pool. He recognized me right away.  

“Several times later, I checked out the pool room where the men hung out. They were very welcoming to me, and there was Harry. Within a short time of our meeting, he asked me out. He told me many times that he was only looking for someone to have fun with, and I was it. The rest is history.” 

Tom’s ending thoughts: I love Ginny’s story! And wow, a new term for our Champs: ‘A Living Apart Together Marriage!’ (a LAT-M). I hadn’t heard that one before and yet I get it. And I smile at their reason for marrying. Bless you, both.

I hope you like the new Constant Contact format. Thanks for being a Champ. If friends want to be added to our eNewsletter list, they can easily sign up on the home page of my website: 

 www.FindingLoveAfter50.com