Life Lessons

As we get ready to go into our fourth month of self-quarantine, at least there are some silver linings. We've expanded our morning walks to almost five miles, and we have developed a very efficient pantry and garage-shelf food storage system. With all of the time at home, Rita has started sorting and digitizing boxes and boxes of old photos. I was able to finish and publish my book on touring the Galápagos Islands , and I should be ready...

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“They say, timing is everything. But then they say, there is never a perfect time for anything.”― Anthony Liccione Well, it seems like half of the country is locked down in self-quarantine while the other half is out rioting and protesting. Nobody is flying to other countries unless they absolutely have to, and many people can't even return to their own nations even if they wanted to. At times like this, what is a sensible thing for a writer to do?...

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I was idly scrolling through FaceBook the other day when I saw a post with what struck me as an uniquely American brag. A young woman proudly stated that she had just spent about two hours in a Target store brazenly unmasked, and had not been asked to leave. She saw this as some kind of personal victory, and a cry of freedom on the level of Mel Gibson in Braveheart. What a strange time we live in, when showing...

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Strange times we are living in. Many people, being forced to spend more time in their homes, are finding their lives completely disrupted. Some are responding better than others, and many couples are finding out things they may not have necessarily have wanted to know about their relationships. For my wife and I, perhaps the biggest revelation of the past six weeks is how little our lives have changed. Our income sources are unaffected, we can still get out and...

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Planning for retirement is not as simple as it used to be. In our parent’s day, it was often enough to consider just downsizing and moving to a warmer climate for your golden years. For our grandparents, it could have been as humble as outliving the mortgage and finally enjoying your home. This generation of retirees however faces an unusual challenge. With increased life expectancy and better geriatric care, people are healthier and more active into their 80's and even...

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I would like to start by thanking all of those readers who responded about my post 'Tis the Season. As you may imagine it was not an easy decision to make public such a personal post on depression. But after hearing from so many people who have similar problems and concerns but have been afraid to talk to anyone about it, I am glad that I posted it. Several of you have emailed or messaged me asking for an update,...

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By any rational criteria, I have a wonderful life. I'm married to a beautiful woman that I've only grown closer to over the last 10+ years. We have been fortunate enough to do a lot of travel and experience some wonderful places. We've hiked the Inca Trail to stand in Machu Picchu, and explored the Galápagos Islands. We have a lovely home in a great location with no mortgage, and we plan to start traveling more soon with the rental...

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As some readers may already have seen in this blog, other articles, or in social media posts, after six wonderful years of living in Ecuador Rita and I decided to move on. Our beachfront condo in the resort city of Salinas has been sold. We have relocated our US property from West Virginia to Tennessee, a state with no income tax on retirement and a more forgiving and temperate climate, and are preparing for a new lifestyle starting in 2020....

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I'm no stranger to Death. I have had to deal with the Grim Reaper on all too many occasions. I watched my older brother drink and eat himself to death before the age of 35 when I was in my 20's. I lost my first wife of 25 years to cancer. More recently, Rita lost a brother, my mother passed this last Thanksgiving season, and there have been at least four in-laws and acquaintances who have left this earth in...

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Ten years ago today on May 3rd, 2009, my life changed. Not that I was aware of it at the time. In fact, I was not aware of much of anything. Mostly I was in a kind of an emotional limbo. My wife of 25 years had finally succumbed to a battle with breast cancer just five months earlier, and although I appeared to be functioning in public, I was still in the last stages of what I came to...

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