How Much Is Safe to Spend?

October 20, 2016
Pray for the best

The question raised in the headline nags at me. Should you save enough to live to 100? The subhead promises that “here are ways to insulate yourself against outliving your money”—everyone’s fear—but the recommendations are almost opposite those I received from my husband’s professional advisors after I became a widow in 2009. Instead, the writer seems to say, “Oh, chances are you won’t live that …

Continue reading

Williamsburg, Perfect for the Holidays

October 18, 2016
Duke of Gloucester Street

If you are looking for the perfect place to celebrate the Holidays, look no further than Colonial Williamsburg. It is the only place I can imagine spending Thanksgiving or Christmas alone; and I know several childless couples who, after searching the country for that perfect place, return to CW year after year. I made my almost-annual visit to Colonial Williamsburg earlier this month. Most of …

Continue reading

Do You Want to Reach 100?

October 13, 2016
Mamaw & Me at 65

“Don’t you want to live to 100?” younger travelers asked me on our recent trip to Japan. They seemed astonished that one might not want to live forever. I wasn’t sure how to answer their question. “If I am of reasonably good health—mentally and physically. If I don’t outlive my friends. If I don’t run out of money. If I don’t become a burden on …

Continue reading

12 Keys to Reclaiming Joy

October 6, 2016
1 Ph 1-92 Ph 1-103 Ph 2.24 Ph 2-45 Ph 2-146  Ph 2-29Advent wreath illuminated by candlelight8  Ph 4-69 Ph 4-810 Ph 4-1111 Ph 4-1312 Ph 4-18

Weekly Meditations to Prepare Your Heart for the Holidays paraphrased from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi With wisdom and discernment, grow in love for others. 1:9 “Love…Knowledge…Discernment” Be sincere and blameless, approving all that is excellent. 1:10 “Sincere…Blameless…Excellent” Seek unity and a shared purpose. 2:2 “Family Unity Matters” Look out for others’ best interests, not only your own. 2:4 “De Tocqueville’s Advice for Widows” Do all things without grumbling …

Continue reading

Searching for Your Happy Place?

October 4, 2016
My Happy Place

Home Alone on Nantucket Are you looking for your happy place? a place where you can escape the memories of your former life as half a couple and build a new life alone? I stumbled upon Nantucket four years after my husband’s death, not even knowing what I was looking for. I did not throw a dart at a U.S. map to pick my destination …

Continue reading

Home Alone at Dinnertime

September 29, 2016
flounder with vegetables

Being home alone still seems new to me, but I am approaching my eighth Christmas without Lev. While I did not choose this lifestyle, I have grown accustomed to it. In those early years as a widow, I couldn’t stand the solitude so I swung between filling the house with people and escaping. I am still seeking the right balance of home alone, home with …

Continue reading

Want to Visit Japan?

September 27, 2016

Some Practical Advice On each trip as a solo traveler I learn more about myself—what I want and what I need. Japan presented special problems—most of which I had not anticipated, but it was immensely rewarding in spite of the challenges. Food Japan was hard—language, food, weather, jet lag, crowds. I wouldn’t dream of tackling it on my own, and in hindsight I might have …

Continue reading

Autumn Anxiety Is Real

September 22, 2016

The Huffington Post headline proclaims, “Autumn Anxiety Is Real, And Treatable.” Huh? I never knew that the onset of shorter days could trigger a definable anxiety disorder. Until Lev died, I never paid much attention to the length of days, the hours of sunlight. Unlike most parts of the country, in South Texas fall holds the promise of a break in the heat, when we …

Continue reading

Obsessing Over Omelets

September 15, 2016
omelet pans

For more than 50 years I’ve cooked omelets–and nothing else–from the original 8-inch French Chef Omelet Pan, designed by the Boston Pot Shop for Julia Child in 1962. My copy of her famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, dated 1963, devotes more than five pages to how to make omelets and what to cook them in. I mastered omelets, and for many years they were our standard Sunday …

Continue reading

“I’ve got rhythm…”

September 8, 2016

Ha! Don’t I Wish? Rhythm was never my gift, and seven years in my school band did not change that. As a bassoonist, my role in ensembles was to maintain the rhythm—the beat—of the music, but I never mastered it. My classmates could pick up a pair of drumsticks and know what to do with them. Not I. Unsurprisingly, I was not a good dancer, …

Continue reading