Fall always spurs the urge to travel for me, even now when the physical reality of traveling is constrained by limits aging brings. Adding insult to possible personal injury, the age of covid brings new strictures involving testing, retesting, and sometimes downright unpleasantness aboard planes. The need to get somewhere seems to be replacing the desire to explore for many of us. 

The urge to travel, to go “somewhere else” is widespread among us humans. I ‘ve always loved seeing new places and working on projects in other countries when I could – in Turkey, England, France, and the South Pacific. I know I was fortunate to have had those opportunities. But what is on the travel horizon now is one we can only contemplate with wonder.

Space Travel! We have seen the first civilians go into space.  In future decades, space travel will grow, become more accessible, will be within the grasp of many. 

If you were young today, do you think you would want to go to outer space? Why or why not? Are there places you visited that bring welcome memories to mind? Where? What makes those memories so special?  Is there someplace you’d love to revisit?

Let’s enjoy vicarious travel together this month!  Tell us right here.

Worried at 74? Yes for my grandson growing up in a world where Russia, China, other Asian countries and Middle East enemies are forming an alliance with America as the target.

I have at least 25 bottles of water because my water smells like a sewer and the plumber suggested bottled water. My friend’s mountain retirement cabin may be in the path of our numerous wildfires, as river waters dry up from our drought.

A COVID mutation named DELTA is filling up our hospital beds with unvaccinated patients, while tornados, hurricanes, earthquake are shaking up cities throughout the world.


I am aware of all the dark overhanging clouds, but the sun still shines through my windows and I refuse to bend in fear, especially with situations that are out of my control. My condo is filling up with house plants and I decided to paint my desk white and move it under the window. I am still writing and thought it would be a great move to have the sun beaming down on me and the plants on the window sill.

I know what is out there but I am not living in fear of tomorrow. I am a stage 4 lung cancer survivor, in a never ending quarantine, but I am grateful to be here and to have this time with my grandson.

I love being the gardener! Now in the drought it has to be much reduced but I really take care of the vegetable gardens. The family is next door and have loved and devoured potatoes, green (string) beans, tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, romain lettuce, spring onions and rhubarb. The cooks love the herbs: mint, oregano, basil, thyme and rosemary. I’ve been wondering if there might be a way for those living in senior centers to get a little plot of soil, or a good-sized pot in which to grow a tomato plant, or several lettuces, or bell peppers. 

The exercise of bending to the ground is so useful and getting one’s fingers in the soil is liberating if you let it be.
Wherever you are in the USA I think you can still plant potatoes to be pulled between Thanksgiving and Christmas unless you get awfully early cold snaps. 

I can imagine half the residents of a Senior Center might become gardeners. They might meet and talk with local folks who used to be gardeners for their stories, memories and ideas. If many become gardeners, what to do with the food could be an interesting conversation and family might love the idea of holiday gifts to support gardening: gloves, trowels, clippers, watering can, aprons, books.

Wishing you all the best of luck with this project.

Many of us reach a point when moving from independent living on our own is no longer in our best interest. I reached that point a few months ago, and did a lot of exploring to find the right ‘senior living’ community for me.

But, I went about it in a way I can’t recommend, in hindsight. I was most interested in the actual living quarters, the activities provided, the food, and the kind of people who would be living there. I assumed something I had no right to assume! Maybe it’s reasonable to assume that a large facility, non-profit, serving 200-300 people would have a doctor on call during daytime hours, weekdays at least, but that proved not to be the case. And, because I needed respite care for two weeks after an eye procedure I learned the hard way. Hard to believe, but they were complying with legal requirements for a skilled nursing center, when they only had a medical doctor on site, one day a week!

I developed a stiff neck during my first week of respite, and wanted some medical attention. I had no tylenol with me for the pain, but when I asked for some, I was told to ask my daughter to bring it to me, or go to a hospital!!! IN independent living, a resident of this facility is totally on their own to provide for their medical care. They certainly cannot rely upon this once-a-week physician to do that.

So, if you or a loved one has need of a continuing care facility, here is an important set of questions I now think it wise to ask up front:
1. Do you have a physician on the premises five days or seven days a week? If so, what are their hours? Do you have back-up physicians on staff who can assist with urgent medical conditions that really don”t reach 911 proportions, where going to a hospital emergency room is not indicated?
2. Do you have nurse practitioners on the premises 24/7 who are able to prescribe minimal pain relief, like tylenol for example for an urgent situation, even in the middle of the night?

I maybe able to arrange for my own medical care outside the institution itself now that I know, but I sure am glad I found out before I signed a contract to move in permanently without knowing.

The weird thing is that I made this mistake four years ago, when I was also looking for a senior living community. I found one I loved: food, pool, activities, living quarters. I simply assumed that the medical facility was great also. It wasn’t! I chatted up a person who happened to be a 90 year old physician living there who told me about flaws in the medical system that remained uncorrected, even after he made suggestions what should be done to improve patient care.

So, if you do not know people who can speak highly of the institution you are considering, here’s something else you can do. Go there. During mealtime. Sit down and chat with residents, and ask THEM what they think of the medical care in that facility. Due to Covid restrictions I was not able to do that this time, but it is very informative.

Ask the right questions!