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‘The older I get, the better I was. No fear.” T-shirt worn by a gray-haired/bearded man in a Spokane cafe. BE A CHAMPION: The population is aging in such a way that within the next couple of years, people 65 and older will outnumber children 5 and younger, according to a United Nations world population report.
Even after four decades in practice, Sacramento, Calif., family law attorney Hal Bartholomew, 66, has no wish to retire. “It’s disappointing to talk to someone who can’t wait to retire,” he said. “I really enjoy what I do.”
In 1976, when Betty Rollin wrote about her breast cancer in “First, You Cry” the memoir was seen as revolutionary. Rollin wrote openly about losing a breast. Compared with memoirs of the present, Rollin’s book seems downright demure. I recently read Julie Powell’s 2009 book “Cleaving.” She’s the author who cooked her way through Julia Child’s recipes and landed a bestseller and a movie – “Julie and Julia” – describing the experience.
Mitzi Judd felt burned out after a long career in hair design, so she began working at golf courses. But at a golf course in Spokane’s climate, she said with a chuckle, “you get fired every fall.” So now, at age 60, she is taking classes in the computer technology required to run her own business. She plans to open hair salons in active-living apartment complexes for older adults.
As baby boomers approach their golden years, they are embracing wellness and wine – two things that don’t always go together. While a glass of red wine a day may reduce the risk of heart disease, many boomers are drinking a lot more and not realizing they are increasing their potential risks for other serious health problems, ranging from alcohol abuse disorders to chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, liver disease, pancreatitis and certain cancers, said Dr. Robert Huebner, acting director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s Division of Treatment and Recovery Research.
They could have chosen an easier cause to embrace, these three Spokane women. Perhaps ending world hunger or stopping nuclear-weapon proliferation. Instead, Kelly Hunt, Mary Huntington and Jill Williams chose as their cause universal health care for every United States citizen. Their hopes go way beyond Obamacare. So it’s no surprise they’ve been called socialists.
On Dec. 13, I started a “10 items a day for 1,000 days” project. Every day, I get rid of 10 items in our house. Some I throw away and others I give away. My strategy is simple: I pick one drawer, one cupboard, one closet, one file and begin. At 10 items, I stop, no matter how tempted to continue. Our house isn’t ultra cluttered, but after 23 years the stuff has piled up, hidden away in drawers and closets. And the garage! Oh my.
WASHINGTON — Members of the sandwich generation – caught between supporting elderly parents whose assets are nearly exhausted and adult children without jobs – might find some relief come tax time. The bottom line is, who’s a dependent? Your kindergarten-age son, your adult daughter, her grandparents, or maybe an elderly uncle or aunt?
Cynicism, compassion fatigue and lethargy can make it difficult to find a cause as you age. How to find one anyway:
In the 1950s and 1960s, some young baby boomers heard Italian, Irish and German accents in their grandparents’ homes or while visiting with the grandparents of their buddies. These grandparents were immigrants who settled in the United States in the early-to-middle 20th century. They arrived here mostly from Europe, according to a recent U.S. Census report.
I know clichés like the back of my hand and I’ve always thought that people should avoid them like the plague. That’s why I am happy, at this point in time, to know that, going forward, two distinguished word gurus are thinking outside the box and, at the end of the day, fighting the good fight to keep the English language free from hackneyed phrases that I can’t wrap my head around because, after all, it is what it is.
You don’t know what you got till it’s gone. The U.S. Postal Service announced this week that Saturday mail delivery of first-class mail will be phased out by summer. When I lived temporarily in Chicago last fall during my sabbatical, my neighborhood was bereft of post offices, and I used “postal stores” that charged outrageous fees to mail packages. When I returned to Spokane, I felt a renewed appreciation of the handy post office across the street from the newspaper building. Esquire magazine recently published a long story on why the post office system still rocks. Here’s an excerpt:
To paraphrase the old saying, even middle age isn’t for sissies. Money’s often tight, it’s harder to find a new job, your eyes and ears seem to get worse with each passing year. That’s the bad stuff. Now for the good: ways to make little details of your life easier and less expensive. Trust me, I’ve been getting older for a long time now. I’ve learned a lot. Here are some things I’ve figured out.
Everything about the baby boom generation has been big: their numbers, their ambitions, their impact on society. But there’s one thing about the boomers that’s starting to get smaller: their homes.
In the ninth grade, in 1967, I dropped out of Libby Junior High School, because a girlfriend said I could get out of school sooner if I went to her school. So I faked being pregnant to drop out. My dad had died when I was nearly 5 years old. My mom was still alive, but no adults even questioned my pregnancy story or asked if I needed follow-up care.
In late August, baby boomers (and others whose teen years were spent in a haze of marijuana smoke) seemed to get the comeuppance they had long feared: A study suggested that early and frequent pot smoking resulted in depressed intelligence scores well into adulthood. But a new analysis suggests that in assigning blame for the lower IQ scores they found, the authors of that study may themselves have gotten caught in a haze of confusion.
What mortgage meltdown? While millions of Americans have suffered the angst of lost homes, equity and pride, nearly a third of the nation’s homeowners have no mortgage at all, according to an estimate released by real estate website Zillow.
Welcome to Boomer U. In this new Monday section in The Spokesman- Review, we’ll track the trends that will follow baby boomers into older age. We’ll introduce you to Inland Northwest people living the trends – or chafing against them.
Boomer bits. That was the original name for this column. Thank goodness for alert Spokesman-Review copy editor Ruth Reynolds who reminded me that “bits” can sometimes be slang for “parts.” And I don’t mean car parts. So this no-name column will feature boomer statistics and studies and other items of interest, as well as boomer-related social-media eruptions and some upcoming events of interest to readers. In other words, bits of information.