5 products and pastimes that BABY boomers

My husband recently turned old. Well, older. Old enough that since the birthday celebration, we've marveled in disbelief more than once that we've reached the age we have.

"I'm still working on figuring out what I want to be when I grow up," I told him. To which he high-fived in agreement.

baby boomers 

My husband and I have raised a family, kept our wits about us our nest emptied, become grandparents, managed relatively successful careers (so far), successfully stayed together for more than 35 years (so far). We have a mortgage — and PLUS loans we'll pay on til death closes our account.

Grownup responsibilities. Yet on the inside, my husband and I fail to feel like grownups, fail to...

Read More

Boost your bucket list: Volunteer to be a lighthouse keeper, not just lighthouse visitor

Lighthouse lore and lure is hard to resist, which is why many baby boomers have a lighthouse tour or two on their beloved bucket list. Few folks know, though, that you can not only tour lighthouses, but that can keep lighthouses, too.

Meaning, you can take a turn as a lighthouse keeper. Stay overnight at the historic sites. Take your own personal tours up, down, and throughout majestic towers that once guided and cautioned captains and crews as they traversed smooth or stormy waters.

As long as you do a few things in exchange for the exciting experience.

Many of the numerous lighthouses dotting the shorelines of the Great Lakes have volunteer light keeper programs. Some of the programs require a fee while others may be free. The light keeper program of the Tawas Point Lighthouse—located in Lake Huron's Tawas Bay along Michigan's sunrise coast—is one of those that's free. And it's a perfect, picturesque example of how many lighthouse keeper programs work, on the Great Lakes as well as other historic lighthouse locations along our country's coasts.

tawas point lighthouse

Tawas Point Lighthouse has been in operation since 1876 and is located 2.5 miles southeast of Tawas City, MI. The historic 70-foot lighthouse—85 wrought iron steps up...

Read More

Life Reimagined? Call mine Life Reenhanced

cairns

I'm firmly entrenched in life's second act — or is this the third? — and all about me are folks in the same phase of life making the most of the opportunity to rework their lives in order to make it all they imagine it can be.

It's impossible to miss the wave of boomers...

Read More

5 things I do different in an empty nest

My nest was full for a good 20-plus years. Then one by one, my three girlie birds flew away.

It took a while to get used to the empty spaces and absent faces, but I'd say I'm now past the mourning phase and well into appreciating that my husband and I have the place all to ourselves.

Things are different in an empty nest. It's not only the fewer family members kicking about the place, but the activities that happen at home now that make for a wee bit different way of life. To wit, the following.

5 THINGS I DO DIFFERENT IN AN EMPTY NEST

I grocery shop only when absolutely necessary. When my nest was full, I had a regular shopping day. Every single week for a bazillion years, I'd make a list, gather my coupons, then head out the door for the chore I hate most: stocking the fridge, the pantry, the bathrooms and more. I'd walk the grocery store aisles and fill my cart on shopping day whether the cupboards were empty and we really needed food or not. Now that the nest is empty, I shop when the fridge features little more than a few shriveled grapes, a jar of pickle relish, and two bottles of salad dressing that likely should have been thrown away months ago.

We eat dinner in front of the television... a lot. When my oldest daughter was about five years old, we moved our big television (ya know, the one in a massive wood console cabinet and weighing 10 tons and having a UHF and VHF channel changer thingee yet no remote) out of the living room on the main floor where it was visible from the dining room, and into the family room in the basement. Watching television during family dinners did not fit my idea of what family dinners should be. So the TV went down the stairs and conversation between family members became the goal. Every once in a while, we'd have a night featuring pizza and movies, a night when it was okay to sit in front of the TV in the family room while eating. Now that the nest is empty, Jim and I have many nights when it's okay to sit in front of the TV while eating. (The TV is still downstairs, though, as I still consider having it visible from the dining room verboten. Interestingly enough, our dining room features far less actual dining than it did in the past.)

body formI run around the house naked. Okay, I don't really run around the entire house naked, but I do a nude dash from the bathroom to the bedroom to get my clothes after I shower. When my girls were at home, I brought my clothes into the bathroom (not the master bath, which is Jim's... and we don't share a bath... which is one reason we've managed more than 30 years of marriage... but that's another story for another day) before showering, so I could get dried and dressed before even opening the door. I could still do that but I don't. Partially because racing from my bathroom to the bedroom — which involves climbing a flight of stairs — is sometimes the only exercise I get for the day. Plus, as I get a package delivered nearly every single day, I enjoy the challenge of hauling <cuss> before a delivery man appears at the door. (Thankfully for said delivery men, I have never, ever not won the challenge.)

I make my husband breakfast on weekdays. When our children were at home, said children were my primary focus morning, noon and night. Poor Jim never got breakfast on school days unless he was willing to have a bowl of cold cereal — which he hates and I've never seen him eat in all the decades of our marriage — or a bowl of hot cereal, which he hates, too. Those were the main menu options on school days, along with Johnny Cake now and then (carbs were our friend back in the day). Now that the nest is empty — and I'm a work-from-home freelancer — I feel pretty guilty lounging around in my jammies as Jim heads out the door to toil away on bringing in our only stable income. The guilt is compounded if he has nothing in his tummy. So I make him coffee to take with him. And I make him breakfast to take with him, too. Mostly something featuring carbs because though they're no longer our friend, Jim loves carbs. At least he no longer goes hungry on weekday mornings.

And, of course, we eat funnel cake for breakfast, if we want. I admitted this yesterday. Carbs. Grease. No justifications. Enough said.

funnel cake

Today's question:

What do you do different in your empty nest (or hope to do once it empties)?

On age, wisdom, rocking and rolling

Today I'm one year older. I'm also wiser and more sure than ever that I definitely don't wanna die before I get old.

In fact, I hope I get to be as old as these folks — or at least as old as they were when they recorded this video in 2007:

 

My real hope, though, is that I not only get to be as old as The Zimmers, but that I rock and roll just as heavily and heartily as them when I get to be that age, too.

That's my plan, and I'm sticking to it.

Cheers to age, to wisdom, and to rocking and rolling!

Today's fill-in-the-blank:

The best thing about getting older is _______________.