Boomers and Their Busy Boomer Lives!

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When I woke up this morning it was chilly and rainy outside. Then I looked out east and boom! what an amazing sunrise!

But even the nicest places on earth can be ruined if you aren’t getting along with your significant other. That’s why it’s so important to manage your ‘closeness’ so you can both be happy in retirement! 

Writer Meryl Baer says, there are all sorts of reasons people love the place they live. She enjoys her current hometown because of the ease of walking and cycling around town. In this week’s post, she lists the Ten reasons I love my walkable community. 

pink love sunsetWriter Carol Cassara says, many boomers who are otherwise living fulfilled lives, face problems with waning libidos. She explains over at Heart-Mind-Soul, there’s no need to deny ourselves the pleasure of a vibrant sex life, not when there’s a new book by boomer and midlife sex expert Walker Thornton that offers practical advice to anyone who would like to invite desire back into their life. Carol reviews Ms. Thornton’s book here.  And to give love equal time, she offers her simple secret to love

DMVAccording to Tom Sightings, in Beaten by the Bureaucracy, sometimes it’s hard to appreciate what the government does for us, even if you’re a liberal. He tells the story of changing his driver’s license and car registration after he moved to a new state. What’s the solution? “Don’t move to a new state!”

Rita's gardenOver at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide, Rita R. Robison, a consumer journalist, gives us a report on her bountiful garden. Robison, who went on vacation for a week, found that special something that gardeners dread finding when they return: “Surprises From My Garden.” 

Just published my memoir of moving to this beautiful rural place in southern Colorado to get a ways off the grid and finally truly enjoy life!  Please take a look!

 

Journey Back to Self, Finding Home…

richard gereI saw a great profile of one of my favorite human beings last Sunday on CBS Sunday Morning. Richard Gere has been a bit of a guru for me ever since he found me at exactly the right moment, in the midst of a tremendously depressing afternoon in the summer of 2004. From the television, he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hang on, it all changes.” That was enough for me, and he was so right!

Richard now works as an advocate for the disadvantaged of the world. He recently played a homeless man in his film “Time out of Mind”, twelve years in the making. He also works to bring attention to the terrible plight of immigrants worldwide: People without a country.

I find Richard has a knack for asking the important questions, questions like, “Where am I safe in this world?” and “How did I end up here?” And then he said, “We’re all about our stories…”

fe truth I have been focused on lately is how so many of us seem to find a way to return to our original or true self through the chaos that midlife can be. For example, the constant questioning of how I ended up so unhappy with my life at age 49, led me to rediscover who I am, and what I needed to accomplish before I died.

I see now I was in search of a new sense of home and comfort within myself. I was looking for my place in this world.

What did I love and want more of in my life? What parts of my life did I need to jettison RIGHT NOW? What voices in my head were leading me to unhappiness, and which ones were wise and compassionate?

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Finding the right voices to listen to has led me to this place in rural Colorado, where the birds sing me awake each morning, and…

“the sun pours in like butterscotch and sticks to all my senses.” Thank you Joni!

How did this happen? How did I end up here, feeling so fortunate?

It’s a long story, one I can now share with you in my new memoir!

Enjoying a Celebration of Never Moving Again!

moving Day June 2014Today marks two years since we left our perfectly nice home in suburbia for the adventure of a lifetime. It may not sound like such a big deal to move to small town USA to build a custom solar home in the southern Colorado foothills, but it was for us at age 60!

We moved to Walsenburg on June 17th 2014, to sleep on the floor of this hundred-year-old rental, moving in the next day and staying there for 13 months while our new home was forming far too SLOWLY 20 minutes west of town at 7,000 feet. Mike worked as the contractor and purchaser of all things when we found the builder was not taking competitive bids, but just hiring his local friends.

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Then on July 30th, 2015 we moved into our new home, HOME AT LAST!

For weeks after that move we just sat and stared out the window, mesmerized with the awesome views out our front windows, too exhausted to do anything else. We finally made it to our goal after many, many challenges and so many days of absolute stress.

Why did we do it? Our trip to Pueblo yesterday answers that question quickly. Being in cities always ruins my day. We need to go there occasionally to buy certain things, but the stress, the heat, the traffic, the bad air and bad manners of other drivers always convinces us we will never live there again!

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We have no patience with cities anymore, and why should we when we have a magnificent place where we can escape them?

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Today we will drink a toast to surviving all these many changes and challenges, and also to never moving again! Instead we will try to get our patio finished this summer, enjoy the great wildflower displays everywhere, the cool mountain breezes each evening, and offer encouragement to others who have found their new home in this small slice of heaven.

Want to learn more about our experience of moving from the city to the country to live a quiet, relaxed life? Check it out here!

What’s not to love about this lifestyle?

The fog just engulfed our hilltop. I’m listening to The Poozies, another incredible group of musicians introduced to me by our first friend here, Bob the landlord.         If you love Irish and Scottish music, you will love them! I’m baking banana bread while I write this.

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Cloudy with occasional glimpses of the mountains!

So what’s not to love about this lifestyle?

The past few days have been wonderful for me. At our writing group on Saturday I met a new member who made my day! She’s been a major player in the Aspen arts scene for the past forty years, but burned out on that and is ready for something completely different. She warned me about telling too many about this beautiful place, so keep this under wraps, OK?

I have also found an exercise class I like for “older women.” It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for, so I bought a membership at Two Peaks Fitness. After winter and my post-construction slump, I need to get moving NOW! I hike up the hill behind us a few times a week and explore my new neighborhood. At 7,000 feet hiking is quite different than our old neighborhood in Fort Collins. Slowly but surely….

I am finding so many friendly people lately, especially in La Veta, and I’m finally feeling some sense of belonging here. Such a nice feeling!

 

IMGP4761And then there is my home life. This photo is a good summary.

Everyone’s happy and getting along here!

I am filled with gratitude that I can now live like this forever.  Please go learn more about our move from Fort Collins to here in my new memoir!

“Our deepest human longing is for BE-longing; for belonging to our true selves, for belonging to all others…belonging to the whole universe…and belonging to that unfathomable mystery …”                                                   GRATITUDE with BROTHER DAVID STEINDL-RAST

Why we love snowstorms in Colorado!

We’ve been sitting in a snowstorm here at 7,000 feet in southern Colorado for the past four days. I loved it! I wrote about this and it seemed like everyone responded with, “That sounds horrible to me!”

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This is exactly how horrible it is. When the snow clears and the Sangre de Cristo peaks emerge from the clouds, we are surrounded by incredible beauty. This is our view to the south today.

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This is our view to the west as Mount Mestas emerges from the storm.

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Besides the stunning views following a storm, we have now received two and a half inches of precipitation, about one-sixth of our total annual rainfall, leading to fields of spring flowers like Indian paintbrush, lupines, penstemon, or these lovely wild iris:

IMGP3670I took these photos last June, west of here in a high mountain meadow. The same can be said of the photo in the header of this blog, an amazing spread of spring flowers which only appear when we get some hardy spring snowstorms!

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In conclusion: If you want the rainbow, you must have the rain…

Passive Solar Heat & the First SNOW!

IMGP4415Monday night was exciting up here! We saw first sleet and then snow falling, and it snowed all night.

As some of you may know, I’ve been recording precipitation data for the CoCoRAHS project since 1998, at the seven addresses I have lived at in that time. Yesterday’s reading was particularly difficult because of high winds and drifted snow, although I did record almost an inch of precip!

Let me put it this way, it was difficult getting out of the house on Tuesday morning. Some places there was almost no snow and it was a foot deep elsewhere. We live on a county road so they took care of the road plowing.

And our solar heating has been working great! For example, outside we got down to around 20 degrees last night and inside we were around 60 this morning, but as soon as the sun started coming in, we jumped up to 66 quickly. We do have supplemental electric heat, which we use sparingly, and I also have hot flashes, which help a lot!

IMGP4413The sunset was beautiful here last night, a constant reminder of why we choose to live up here!

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