Jul 18, 2017

10 Things About Life's Fourth Act

The Third Act is the catch word for passing 50 years of age. Back when the phrase became all the rage Boomers were getting nearer to that part of their life.  Someone came up with the idea that boomers would bring a new "younger" feeling to what was once thought of as the beginning of old age. We wouldn't call that stage old anymore.

I could tell you things about my Third Act but if you have been reading my blog or even websites that deal with aging, you will understand what it is all about. I always thought of that part of my life as a time of choosing and reinventing myself. On most website this stage of life is defined as the period after 50 years of age until death. I don't think that is true. I think that the Third Act is just an older young. The next act is when we are truly old. We are living longer now and a Fourth Act needs to be added.

I know because I am entering the Fourth Act. If someone that is an expert defines that part of our life to fit a particular time frame that is all well and good. But the truth is we all come to that place on our own. I think that there are people that decide to skip the Third part and move directly to the Fourth. It is all about when you are ready for what is next.

My family and my husband of 79 all went white water rafting on Sunday. It was a big workout for everyone. They had had the best time of their whole life and, I think, felt more alive than ever before. A little danger does that. In the midst of all this joy and laughter my husband commented that it was the first time he had felt old...as though he could not do what was demanded of him.
My husband is the one with the red cap.
His three granddaughters are directly in front
and in the middle on the right side of the boat.
My son-in-law is riding the bull...his feet tell the whole story!

I could see it in his eyes. The truth is he was asking himself the question, "Would I even want to do that again?" I think questions like that are a sure sign that it really isn't what we can do...it is what we think we can do or even what we want to do. We are entering a new stage of life.
I took this picture as they floated by.
The giant dog kept an eye on the
parking lot where he was sure they
would be soon!
I would really have liked to do
that but I just didn't want to!

: This grandmother stayed in a park nearby the river and took care of a giant dog that dragged me to the bathroom where he layed in my stall and stuck his head under the wall so he could stare and the lady in the next stall. It was all so classy. He then took me past the hot dog stand and back to the river where he pooped and peed and went promptly to sleep. I read. It wasn't easy but it was still a lot if fun and I laughed at myself a lot! That dog tested my metal!
I am sure you have notice that this has been on my mind. I have come up with a list of ten things I am experiencing that are different. This is what I see:
  1. I have experienced in a very active 3rd Act, but now I make choices to either quit or cut back on things because that is what I want to do for reasons that are personal.
  2. I notice that there are things about my physical condition that affect my daily life.
  3. I might be developing Type 2 diabetes. 
  4. I won't or can't walk or move as fast as I once could. I still walk many miles a week though.
  5. My posture is changing.
  6. My family has told me that I are not in charge. I like that a lot.
  7. We make our funeral arrangements even though there is nothing wrong. My family was shocked and amazed...after all we are going to live forever they think.
  8. Since I am a woman over 75, I will not need a mammogram.
  9. I personally have experienced a wonderful feeling of enjoying the now. I am more focused and introspective than ever.
  10. I feel excited about arriving at this place and look forward to seeing life from a front row seat. Even watching the next generation do what I so enjoyed, gives me great pleasure. 
If you are one of the chosen few that arrive at old age, you should rejoice and dance in the street. It continues to be quite a ride.

If you can add to this list, I would love to hear your comments. What Act defines you?


Jul 17, 2017

Best Senior Blog Award....A Possible Award...Me?

Best Senior Blogger Award
SeniorHomes.com has nominated Retire in Style Blog for their 2017 Best Senior Living Awards! Since 2011, SeniorHomes.com has been featuring top websites, products, and organizations that help seniors lead healthy and vibrant lives.
One of the ways our site can advance is through your popular votes. There are just 6 days to vote for Retire In Style Blog. We would appreciate all the support we could get.
Please take a moment and cast your vote for us here. We really appreciate your time and efforts!

I have been nominated for the best senior living award by Senior Homes.com. That is a big thing in my world. Why? Well, here is the deal. I write for my readers, old or young and I do not seek attention. I belong to Women of Midlife and that group of ladies has been great supporters. But other than that I just go skipping along through life. The little blurb looks like this:

Retire In Style- In her blog, Barbara uses her own personal retirement to explore larger issues. While her posts often feature personal anecdotes, they delve into topics like global warming and the role of technology in people’s lives at the same time.

Of course the contest is almost over but you can still drop by and vote for me (if you think the blog is the best). I would like that.


Jul 13, 2017

How Important Are You?

The Exchange Library my
husband built for our neighborhood

Are you the mayor or the president or a CEO? Are you the leader in your neighborhood or a important volunteer with a charity? Are you important? If you feel important, why is that?

My husband and I were visiting yesterday about how empowered we feel in our little world. In a former life we were in positions that made us recognizable to people that we did not know. I suppose that is part of being important, although it depends on why that is true. The wanted posters come to mind.

But now we just are doing what we do to live in peace with our neighbors and maybe make their life a little better because they know us. But we don't serve on committees or dig in the public flower beds. You would not know us for that reason.

I really didn't realize how empowered I felt until we received a letter from our neighborhood association president that was pretty nasty. The letter was necessary but the wording was not. It was offensive. Our big crime was not being at home more. Things kind of back up when we are gone for a long period of time. We took care of the problems within a week.

We both looked at each other when we read the letter and said in unison "Does he know who we are?" Then we laughed because...well we really are not anybody important. However, when you get to know us, you will understand that we feel like we deserve your respect whether we do or not.

So, how important are you? Do you feel empowered?

Have a wonderful day.


Jul 8, 2017

Spooky Technology Knows about My Road Trip

Yesterday began at our local French breakfast place. We were going on a road trip to a winery up the Columbia near Biggs Junction across the river. I had not told anyone we were going and our oldest son/family was joining us for the day. We knew the way because we live here. We had not opened maps or even looked at my iphone that morning

It was misty (liquid air we call it here in Oregon) and overcast. The restaurant was full even though it was early in the morning. We carried on a quiet conversation and our granddaughters either colored or read.

We left by two door and as my husband and I approach our car, my iphone buzzed and a notification came up. It said:
"It is 116 miles to the winery." 
Nothing else. Chills went down my spine. HOW DID MY PHONE KNOW WHERE I WAS GOING????

All sorts of things went through my mind but nothing even made sense to me. Why would it do that?

Travelogue of our day...was my phone listening to us all day?

The winery we were headed to is called Maryhill Winery and sits next to the Maryhill Museum. The name came to be because a man named Sam Hill built his version of a castle on the dry, windswept hillside in the eastern part of the Columbia Gorge on the Washington side and named it for his wife.

But the version of that story we alway heard was much different and is enough to draw people to the castle for the story alone. The truth is it is now and always has been a museum.

I seems Sam Hill invited Queen Marie of Romania to visit the site and she dedicated the castle as a museum. Gossip repeated to this day had it that Hill was romantically involved with the queen. It was (and still is) gossiped that she arrived, took one look, told Sam Hill she would not stay and went home! If you saw where it is located you would be with the queen. In reality the story is much different but a romance gone wrong is more fun to tell. Here is the story told in a newspaper article:
Queen Marie of Romania and Sam Hill

On November 3, 1926, Queen Marie of Romania (1875-1938) dedicates Maryhill Museum of Art. The Queen is a friend of Maryhill builder Sam Hill (1857-1931) and is in the United States on a 50-day visit that dominated newspaper headlines. Accompanying Queen Marie are her two youngest surviving children, Prince Nicolas (1903-1977) and Princess Ileana (1908-1991). The museum is to be housed in Hill's half-finished mansion overlooking the Columbia River gorge near Goldendale in Klickitat County.
To this day when someone does something foolish we say "What in the Sam Hill?" Interesting huh?
Our morning started with a green misty sky.
My granddaughter play in the waters of the Columbia (Celilo Lake) near the site where Celilo Falls and native American encampments has always been. Celilo Fall disappeared when The Dalles Dam was built in in 1957. The famous Celilo Falls was lost for all time. The native Americans had fished at the falls for 11,000 years and The Lewis and Clark Expedition has records of their activity in their journals. The people still live in a village close to the falls and fish in the river under treaty rights with the government.

The Gorge hillsides turn brown and arid very quickly as we
travel east of the Cascade Mountain Range

The intersection a Biggs Junction. We turned left toward N. 97.

Sam Hill built a replica of the Stonehenge in remembrance of the
men lost in WWI...the war to end all wars. It is located east of the museum.

Maryhill Winery
The beautiful Columbia Gorge from the deck of the winery. This looking East.
I was raised in the eastern part of Oregon. This dry landscape feels a lot like home. But, as we traveled back west again I was grateful for the cooler air and the green trees. I felt at peace with the world.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Jul 1, 2017

Is This Normal?

I often wonder at the joy that my family brings my husband and me. Because we hear most frequently about the problems and heartache that families endure, I wonder...are we normal?

This is a big week in our family and has been for more years than I can count. But this week it is even bigger and better.

Our grandson is home for the weekend with our beautiful granddaughter-in-law and THEY ARE SLEEPING IN OUR HOUSE! He is in the Marines so we are extra thankful to have him home. And...she is pregnant with our second great-grandchild.

Holy moly, it seems like a dream too good to even come true. We woke us this morning and there they were sitting on our couch. Before long our daughter and husband walked in the front door and we all had breakfast crowded around my round table.

Day after tomorrow our son and his family will fly in from Dubai. We will have a picnic that evening and our youngest son's wife (the professional photographer) will take a picture of us all. There will be twenty or so of us. We have been taking the group picture since the olders were the youngers.

So is this normal?

Have a wonderful 4th of July and GOD BLESS AMERICA!

9 years ago

5 years ago.
4 years ago.
4 years ago
3 years ago 
2 years ago


Jun 22, 2017

Have You Noticed That the Sky Is Bluer?

If you believe that global warming is a myth, do you feel free to pollute more? I wonder.

What were you thinking and doing before "global warming" became a catchphrase for political purposes? Did you even pay any attention to what was going on and how things looked?

We drove big cars, burned coal in our stoves and furnaces, took no notice of what industry was doing to our rivers and lakes. We scatters papers on the sides of roadways and in our National Park. Humans were wasting our earth resources at the speed of light. Back when we thought our earth was so big that nothing we did could harm it, did we even think about what we were doing?

That is how pollution crept up on us and began to kill our planet one small drop at a time. The world went into denial because doing anything would be very hard. The sky was really not blue anymore was it?

The other day I took a good look around. The sky was blue...it was amazing how pure the air looked and felt. We took a road trip yesterday and our roadways are not littered with trash. It is so much better than it was back in 1970 when the EPA was created by President Nixon. What happened? What did we do?

I think it was all the little things and some big things that made the difference. In my world that is what I saw.

For example, back in 2010 we were selling a RV because the price of gas had gone to above $3.00. In trade for that RV, we took a trailer house and a pick-up that was almost 30 years old. In the end we did not get that vehicle because the owner realized that he could get a lot of money from the government to simply not drive it ever again. It was a huge polluter. It used enormous amounts of gas so it needed to be taken off the road. It needed to go away. Could that be what happened; people quit driving old polluting cars?

In Portland we have a lot of rain so that does clean the air at the cost of the land underneath of the rain. Even here we could cut the pollution with a knife at some times during the year.

So people here in Oregon have quit using fireplaces with dampers that emitted smoke all day long in the winter. That was a problem here in Oregon. We buy cars that are either more efficient or are running partly on gas and partly on batteries. Industries are doing their part too. Coal is not a go to source for driving industrial engines anymore. Our state passed a bottle bill and high schoolers were hired to clean the sides of the roads in the summers. We use prisoners to do that job too. Volunteers clean our beaches yearly. Could that possibly be helping?

When we went south in the fall the smog in the air in Los Angeles made the city invisible. California has placed so much emphasis on clean gas in past years. Is that what is happening?

The air in Phoenix was visible for 50-100 miles away. Have they done things to make it better?

 Even though the trend has been downward since the beginning of of this study in 1990 we are getting better and better at living in such a way that we are polluting the earth less.

President Obama's leadership and tough regulations made us bite the bullet and do what is right in a lot of ways. Could this be the beginning of the new "normal"? Might that have turned the tide?

Nationwide the statistics look like this:

I feel hopeful that the American people will do the right thing in spite of our current leadership. I just want people to quit "crapping" the earth up. That is all anyone can ask.

Oh, and I don't care about a belief system that denies problems based on religious dogma. No God want us to pollute this beautiful planet.


Just a thought.