Tag: Baby Boomer Women

A Single Baby Boomer has a Whale of a Time in Victoria, BC

A Single Baby Boomer has a Whale of a Time in Victoria, BC

 

Victoria isn’t just the capital of British Columbia, Canada.  It’s home to some of the most stunning flora and fauna in the world.  Also called the “City of Gardens” Victoria is located in northern North America.  In spite of its northern location, the residents enjoy a temperate climate with winter temperatures ranging from the average daily high and low temperatures of 8 and 4°C (46.4 and 39.2°F), respectively. The summer months are also relatively mild, with an average high temperature of 20°C (68°F) and low of 11°C (51.8°F).  It’s the second sunniest city in British Columbia and drier than most areas in the region due to the rain shadow effect of the nearby Olympic Mountains.

 

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Floral Sculpture outside The Empress

Victoria and the surrounding area are known for its large retiree population. Some 6.4% are over 80 years of age, the highest proportion for any of Canada’s metropolitan areas. The city also boasts the country’s third-highest concentration of people 65 and older (17.8%).  Retirees are drawn to Victoria’s mild climate, beautiful scenery, year-round golf season and easy-going pace of life.  It’s been said of the city that it’s for “the newly wed and nearly dead” according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria,_British_Columbia.

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Sculpture on the wharf

On the ferry trip to the island, I missed seeing my first whale in the wild while talking to a fellow traveler that I spent time with on my Australia and New Zealand tour.  Even though we live on opposite sides of the U.S. we were lucky to reconnect on our travels and talk about traveling together again.  Since I didn’t see the whale I booked a whale watching and Butchard Garden tour with The Prince of Whales before my son, daughter-in-law and I took off for a walking tour of the local sites.  The majestic British Columbia Parliament Buildings which face the harbor are home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.  First Nations, British and Asian cultural histories make modern Victoria a vibrant and diverse cosmopolitan city. Museums, heritage and historic buildings, statues and sites showcase the people and art of the past while stores, such as the Hudson’s Bay Company and the shops in the oldest China Town in Canada and second oldest in North America, offer endless shopping opportunities.

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British Columbia Parliment Buildings
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China Town

When shopping and dining out, the Canadian exchange rate of 80% made all of our purchases even more attractive.  I always make sure I have a credit and an ATM card with me that don’t charge a service fee for foreign purchases and exchanges.

 

Food from all over the world can be found downtown and we happily waited in lines to dine at some superb moderately priced restaurants.  Friday is pizza night for my kids so we headed to Pizzeria Prima Strada which served Neapolitan wood-fired pizza on Fort Street (https://pizzeriaprimastrada.com/). I ordered the Four Season which featured tomatoes, homemade sausage, peppers, anchovies, olives, mushrooms, onions, fresh mozzarella and basil fashioned into 4 separate sections for 19 CAD and glass of wine.  It was fantastic and I had leftovers for breakfast so I reluctantly skipped the gelato.

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The Four Seasons

The Jam Café on Herald Street offers all day breakfast and lunch.  It had many intriguing dishes.  I chose The Charlie Bowl – their version of a hash with a crumbled biscuit, hash browns, diced ham, bacon, corn salsa, peas, green onions, cheddar and sausage gravy topped with two sunny side eggs for $14.50 CAD.  It was a large serving and there was no way I could finish it even though it was delicious. http://jamcafes.com/victoria/menu/.  Saturday night saw us lined up in front of Pagliaccis on Broad Street. (http://www.pagliaccis.ca/). My order, the small portion for of The Sophia ($18 CAD) named for Sophia Loren, had the quote, “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” on the menu.  It had a sauce of Canadian Dungeness & Rock crab, baby shrimp, pine nuts, white wine cream sauce and smoked salmon on fettuccine.  I added a great white wine and a bite of New York Cheese cake.  This time I cleaned the plate.  We ended our culinary expedition at The Fish Store at Fishman’s Wharf.  On a quest for the best salmon, I tried the fry bar deep fried sockeye salmon with twice fried chips and slaw.  The 1 piece basket cost $13 CAD. I’d never had salmon, my favorite fish, deep fried.  It was tasty, but I prefer my salmon without the breading.  I also enjoyed strolling around the wharf and looking at the colorful house boats.  See https://floatingfishstore.com/.

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Fisherman’s Wharf

It’s not too surprising that in the past people believed in sea monsters.  When an enormous whale fin or fluke breaks the water, it’s a sight to behold.  When the creature jumps out of the water or breaches, you experience an adrenalin rush.  A  Humpback Whale gave us our money’s worth on our Prince of Whales Tour by breaching 5 times right in front of our boat.  He put on a show while we clicked away with our cameras and smart phones.  The show lasted almost an hour before we continued on to Butchard Gardens.  On our 3 hour tour, we saw a bald eagle, baby and mother seals, and a variety of sea birds.  I was disappointed that I didn’t see an Orca.  The crew explained that they see fewer and fewer since they’re trapped for entertainment purposes. The crew was trained mariners and naturalists who provided a running commentary and answered our many questions.  I’d recommend this tour to anyone who wants a scenic and breathtaking experience.

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There’s nothing cuter than a baby seal.

When we disembarked at Butchart Gardens we skipped the line thanks to our VIP pass. Over a century ago Jennie Butchart, wife of Portland Cement manufacturer Robert Pim Butchart, began building what’s now one of the world’s premier floral show gardens.  In 1977 their great-grandson, Christopher, introduced fireworks shows featuring aerial and French ground displays accompanied by show tunes on Saturday evenings during the summer.  There’s a Sunken Garden, Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, Mediterranean Garden, Italian Garden, and Concert Lawn Walk all of which are well kept and change with the seasons.  They advertise 5 seasons with Christmas as their 5th with its Twelve Days of Christmas lighted displays.

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The Sunken Garden
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The Japanese Garden
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The Rose Garden

 

So any time of the year Victoria will offer you comfortable weather with beautiful scenery, wildlife and activities.  You can get there by ferry and bring your car, whale watching tours or the V2V luxury cruise.  If you want to fly, you can land at the Victoria International Airport or the Victoria Inner Harbour Airport which is for floatplanes and seaplanes from small airlines with less than 15 passengers and general aviation aircraft.  Helijets also fly from the Vancouver waterfront to Victoria’s  When you add the sightseeing planes to the landings in the harbor there always seems to be an aircraft landing and taking off on the waterfront. http://blog.hellobc.com/four-ways-to-get-from-vancouver-to-victoria/

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Victoria Harbor

This is just a snapshot of all that you can do in Victoria.  Needless to say, I would recommend it as a vacation destination or a side trip if you’re in Seattle or Vancouver.  Not too surprising, summer is a busy time.  If you’re driving from Seattle to the ferry in Port Angeles, WA, a GPS for rerouting and a patient driver are invaluable.  Between my son, the navigator, and my daughter-in-law, the driver, we had a pleasurable drive and enjoyed several podcasts.

 

Another thing I like when I travel with others is when my travel partner doesn’t feel that we have to always do the same things.  While I went on the whale and garden tour, they went to the Vegetoria, a festival for healthy eating, and rented bikes to tour Government House and the local area.  Just because you’re traveling together doesn’t mean you can’t all see what interests you the most and join up for meals and things you all enjoy.

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Government House

Next month I’m joining my sister for a trip to Miami and a cruise to Cuba.  After I drop her off at the airport, I’ll visit the Florida Keys on my own.  I’ll let you know how the rum drinks taste and maybe work on my Spanish in preparation for my trip to Spain.  I’m sure it’ll be a fantástica aventuras.

 

Continue the adventure!

 

Linda Lea

A Single Baby Boomer Attends a Class Reunion

A Single Baby Boomer Attends a Class Reunion

 

Have you ever been to a class reunion?  I can tell you that you’ll go through a wide range of emotions.  I graduated from an all-girls Catholic school, St. Francis High School, which was operated for decades by the Franciscan Sisters and closed in 1977.  I was taught by nuns, priests and a few lay women.  Yes, the stereo types are remarkably accurate.  Here are some of the emotions I experienced before and during the reunion.

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My graduation photo

Amazement – Has it really been that long since I was a naïve teenager?  This was my 50th so it may have been closer to shock.

Excitement – As I aged I felt a need to reconnect with people from my past and this offered me a way to do it with minimal effort.  All I really had to do was show up.  I did call a couple of classmates I hadn’t talked to in years, but other than booking the flight and car and telling my family I was coming, that was it.  I was overjoyed to be given the chance to see so many of my classmates in one spot.

Anticipation – I first heard about the reunion in late winter. It was slated for July so I had time to think about the positives of seeing old friends and then the joy of anticipation turned into…

Anxiety – I’d only seen a few of the people in my class a couple times in the last 50 years.  They had aged, but it always seems it wasn’t as much as I had.  Some were thinner.  I hoped it was genetic.  I was a chubby kid who effortlessly lost weight during puberty and kept most of it off until menopause hit.  Since then it’s been an uphill struggle.  I have few wrinkles due to staying out of the sun, my mother’s advice, and some nip and tuck.  Yes, I believe in being honest, but it had been over 10 years since I did that and gravity had its way.

Delight – When the time for the reunion arrived reconnecting with old friends was fun.  We were past the age of caring about how to impress each other with our accomplishment and those of our children.

Gratitude – Although I was sad we had lost 3 of our classmates, most of us seemed to be in good health with no visible impairments-at least none we wished to share.

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Frannie memorabilia

I found that people who’ve spent years apart can still reconnect when they’ve shared experiences.  When we talked about our time as “Frannies” the years lifted away and we were back in those classrooms talking about boyfriends and learning things we really needed in life and some we never would use.  We did get an education that I feel was superior to the local public school in some areas, but not many real-life experiences.  I guess we were supposed to get those in college or on the job.  Maybe they figured that our inevitable marriage would give us a new protector when our parents weren’t there for us.  It was a very sheltered environment.

 

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Frannies Forever!

 

Besides seeing my old friends and classmates, my after dinner visit to the once forbidden dorms was the highlight of the reunion.  We weren’t allowed there while we were students since we were day students and the life of the boarder was a mystery to us.  Although we attended classes together, fraternization was not encouraged.  We thought it was because we had boyfriends and more contact with the outside world, but the boarders must have had boyfriends since the prom was well attended.  To be honest, they did import boys from the nearby Catholic boy’s school for dances, but most of them were expected to be priests.  I met my first boyfriend, a local boy, at a dance there so males weren’t entirely banned.  I think one of my first real teenage crushes was one of the school’s priests who was from Boston and I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.  There were other places we dared not tread and even the boarders couldn’t go inside the convent.  Our class was the first one in history to not produce a nun, so we were real renegades.  One classmate told of going to the nearby Dairy Dream to smoke and later being confronted by the principal who said she shouldn’t insult her intelligence by thinking Aqua Net hairspray would cover up the smell of smoke.  I’m sure I would have found out more secrets when I was in high school had I not been such a Goody Two-shoes.  I regret missing out on some of the adventures.  I was too concerned about my GPA which dipped when I met my boyfriend.  Ah, the years have taught me so much.

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That’s me-Right Front-Check out the hairdo.

We were sure the boarders were sent there because they got into trouble at home, but that night I found out that for most of them being a St. Francis graduate was a family tradition like it was for my sisters and me.  St. Francis is no longer a school and has been used for many other purposes.  It’s currently for sale, but the dorms remain.  Now instead of climbing the marble steps to the 3rd floor, you can take an elevator.  My friend told me that now she understood why the boarder didn’t have many clothes.  The closets and rooms are tiny.  It’s now air conditioned, but there are still shared bathrooms and a common room. We took our snacks and once prohibited alcoholic beverages to the common room, pulled up chairs and continued to revisit memories and rules customary to Catholic schools in the 60s.  No skirts that didn’t touch the floor when you kneeled down.  Patent leather shoes were supposed to let boys look up your skirt, so even though they weren’t forbidden we were too proper to wear them.

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Boarders-A family tradition

My classmates and I have lived through the technology boom and the Woman’s Movement, which most embraced.  We grieved during the Kennedy assassination and terrorist attacks.  We applauded women in space and more rights for all groups of people.  We endured divorce, single parenthood and death in their families.  In spite of our hardships, we thrived.  Our class produced mothers, artists, educators, business people, writers, nurses and professionals from a variety of fields, some not considered appropriate for female Baby Boomers.

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My class-the class of 1967-I missed this event so don’t look for me.  I wish I could’ve been there.

Out of the 67 students who graduated, 30 attended our dinner, a good turnout for a class our size.  There was a whole school reunion with a Mass and picnic the next day that I couldn’t attend – maybe in 10 more years.  I hope to get together with the women living near our old high school when I return at Christmas and to travel with some.  We may have spent many years apart, but we still have so much in common no matter where we now live.  I appreciate the education we were privileged to get at my alma mater.

Continue the adventure!

 Linda Lea

P.S. Our class president, Carol, brought a book titled Class Reunions can be Murder by Susan Santangelo which told the tale of two friends, Carol and Claire, who with other classmates planned a reunion at Mount St. Francis Academy.  Claire is the name of our Carol’s best friend from high school.  There are other similarities like the name of the school, the marble steps, the dorms and the fact that the school was for sale.  Luckily, no one was murdered during our reunion.

Single Baby Boomers Need a Goal

Single Baby Boomers Need a Goal

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary lists the synonyms of goal as “aim, ambition, aspiration, bourne (also bourn), design, dream, end, idea, ideal, intent, intention, mark, meaning, object, objective, plan, point, pretension, purpose, target…”  Your goal may change during different stages of your life and at times you may have more than one.  Your family, environment, job, health and religious beliefs can all influence what you consider your purpose in life.  You want to be true to yourself, but life has a way of interfering with your plans.  Perhaps you face a health issue and need to rethink your objectives for the future.  You can’t continue working or must rely on others for assistance after a life of independence.  You need to readjust your goals to fit in with your circumstances and ability to do what you need to do.  If you’ve been living life taking care of others, you may now need to focus on yourself.

 

Your physical, cognitive, and mental health depend on you having something to look forward to.  It doesn’t have to be a world-saving goal, just one that makes you get out of bed every morning and look forward to the day.  Some people make some sort of appointment or find an activity to get them out of the house.  If you’re still working and hate your job you may need something that gives you a lift each day like a walk at lunch time so you can enjoy the fresh air, relieve your stress and get some exercise.

 

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Your purpose needs to be something that will improve your life in some way.  It can still be helping other but you should get something out of it like a sense of pride or well-being.  These are intangible rewards and sometimes you need something tangible.  I plan trips to help me achieve my goal of visiting all of the places I want to see before travel becomes difficult.  It’s not the only goal I have in life, but when I’m feeling down or bored, it brightens my day.

Here’s how even this small goal benefits me.

  • It keeps my mind active by researching the places I want to visit, airfares, accommodations and things to see and do while I’m there.

 

  • I keep engaged with family and friends. Planning a trip to visit them is one way to accomplish this, but I also like to take them with me. Sometimes we stay at my timeshare and other times we take a tour or cruise.  When I have a question I can’t find an answer to on my own or want the opinion of someone else, I call someone I know who’s been there or used a service like Uber or Airbnb.

 

  • I also make new contacts when I ask for help or information. At the moment I’m planning a tour with a tour planner for a trip to England where some of my favorite mystery writers got their inspiration for such fascinating characters as Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, and Inspectors Morse and Lewis.  You can find out more about it on my Single Boomer Life Facebook Page.

 

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  • I develop new interests. Every time I start planning a trip I get side tracked while I’m doing research.  I try to keep my mind open to ways I can make the trip more interesting and I explore new areas I find on related websites.  The plan for the British mystery writers trip was born out of the desire to write a novel of my own, my love of British mystery novels and TV crime shows in addition to my desire to explore London, Oxford, Devon and Cornwall.  I was watching a video about Agatha Christie’s home when I found it was near Port Isaac, the setting of my favorite TV show Doc Martin.  I couldn’t find any tours that went everywhere I wanted to go and I wasn’t too keen on learning how to drive on the left side of the road, so I decided to plan one myself.  This opened up many new avenues to research.

 

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  • It keeps me positive and looking ahead to a bright future full of adventure.

 

  • When the time for the trip arrives I’ll have a sense of accomplishment from seeing my plan come together.  I’ll also get to meet new people and explore the places I’ve read about and seen on TV and in movies.

 

  • When I finish the trip I’ll have the memories of a new and exciting adventure. I feel experiences are more valuable to me than material goods.  They never go out of style or break. As Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

 

This is a short term goal, but it’ll keep me entertained and engaged for over a year.  In the meantime, I have goals I want to work toward in other areas such as finding my ancestors in Italy, spending more time with my grandchildren and getting healthy and fit.  My goals change often, but I make them attainable and if I tire of them or just cannot meet them, I move on.  I don’t want to wallow in the fact I didn’t achieve them.  I just make new ones.  I may come back to the old plans when the time is right, but I leave the door open to new ideas and dreams.

 

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Travel may not be your dream but you can apply this principal to any goal.  The point is to find what interests you and set a goal to achieve.  Give yourself a timeline and date of completion. It keeps you motivated and accountable.

 

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Continue the adventure!

 

Linda Lea

 

 

 

Changes to Single Boomer Life

Changes to Single Boomer Life

Dear Reader,

I’m changing my blog domain to just WordPress.  It’ll still come up as singleboomerlife.com but may look a little different.  If you’ve signed up to have it delivered to your email inbox, that will no longer happen but you can just put singleboomerlife.com in the address bar or get to it through my Facebook Page, Single Boomer Life.  I’ll still post on subjects of interest to single Baby Boomer, all singles and Baby Boomer, but not as often.  I have other projects in the works. Hopefully, one will be a book.  Travel is my passion and I want to concentrate on that and will blog on those adventures.  I’ll also continue to post links to websites and blogs written by others that I feel you might find interesting on my Facebook Page.  Please bear with my during the change.  When I imported my data, the photos didn’t come along.  I’m working on that and other issues.

I hope you’ll stay with me during the change and even write some blogs for me to publish or suggest other sites that I can post on my Facebook Page, Single Boomer Life.  I would enjoy hearing about your experiences as a single and a Baby Boomer.

Continue your adventure while I continue mine.

Linda Lea

Single Baby Boomers Celebrate Life

Single Baby Boomers Celebrate Life

Not all single Baby Boomers have families who can celebrate the important events in life with them.  Many don’t even acknowledge their birthdays, saying it’s just another day.  They may say they don’t care if anyone calls, sends a card or recognizes their special day in an email, tweet or on Facebook.   As someone who always had family who remembers them, I know how much it means.  Women seem to be the best at keeping track of friend’s special days, but I have a feeling men appreciate the gesture in spite of what they may say.  As we age, our friends often become our family and are the ones who understand us best.  Here are some ideas for ways we can help our friends celebrate.

 

Mother’s Day/Father’s Day – I mention this first since I’m writing this the week before Mother’s Day.  It’s not just a Hallmark Holiday.  It was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia.  Father’s Day was started to complement Mother’s Day.  Both holidays had versions hundreds of years earlier in several parts of the world.  Since single Baby Boomers often married and started families when they were younger, they have grown children and appreciate being remembered on these special days in some way.  Friends can also help by getting together for lunch with other mothers or fathers who don’t have children or grandchildren living near them.  A friend of mine invited me to share her Mother’s Day celebration.  It made my day.

 

Birthdays – It’s wonderful to have someone recognize your birthday even if you don’t want to think about the fact that you’re another year older.  I now have a large group of friends who throw each other parties, often themed based, for each new year.  It makes us all feel as special as we did when we were kids and gives us an excuse to get together.

 

Housewarmings – When you move to a new home, you want to share your happiness with your friends and family.  I had a small picture hanging pizza and wine party.  It takes forever to get things up on the wall when you have to do it alone.  Having someone else help you get your pictures up straight and well arranged can make all the difference.  Knowing my friends cared enough about me to come over and help decorate made all of the things that bother me about placement and spacing seem unimportant.  Their help made my new house into a home.  A larger housewarming may follow but for now, more friends are invited to my condo for a friend’s birthday party.

 

New Pets – When we’re older, pets become an important part of our lives.  Why not have friends over to meet yours.  It doesn’t have to be a party.  If a friend gets a new pet, welcome them with a visit and even a gift.  You can also offer to pet sit when they go out of town.

 

Career or Job Change – Many single Baby Boomers are still in the job market and make career changes or moves within their company.  This deserves recognition by family and friends because both are stressful and life changing.  They’ve most likely changed jobs before but each time it’s like they’re the new kid at school.  Even if they’ve just received a promotion at the same company, they have new responsibilities and may need someone to listen to their concerns or celebrate the change.  Take your friend out to dinner and show them you understand their apprehension or joy with this new chapter in their life.

 

Retirement – You’ve dreamed about it for years and now it’s finally here.  Work friends may help you celebrate but after the first few weeks they’re usually busy with their work lives and don’t have the time you do to go out for lunch or travel.  Now’s the time to find other friends who can help you celebrate or just adjust to this new time in your life.  I don’t mean you should forget about your other friends just expand your circle to include those with the same interests so you can learn to celebrate this new phase of life with adult “play dates”.

 

End of Life Events – Isn’t it better to celebrate your life or the lives of others with a happy event rather than the traditional wake and funeral?  Wouldn’t you rather celebrate your life while you’re still alive or remember your loved one with a party?  It’s been said that the people left behind need closure, but why can’t a celebration do the same thing?  It’s more uplifting for those left behind.  It can also make the person facing the end of their life more comfortable if they have one last bash to say goodbye and celebrate the great times they had together.

I’m sure you can think of more ways to celebrate life with your friends and family.  Please share them with us here or on my Facebook Page, Single Boomer Life.

If you’d like to be a guest blogger on my site and contribute your ideas and adventures, please let me know.  I would welcome your input and the opportunity to get your point of view on any subject of interest to single Baby Boomer, singles or Baby Boomers.

Continue the adventure!

 

Linda Lea

 

10 Reasons Why a Pet Can be Better Than a Spouse.

10 Reasons Why a Pet Can be Better Than a Spouse.

I was researching a blog on Elder Care when my cat jumped on the couch to drink from her cup.  She has to have her own or she’ll drink out of mine.  I knew writing about Elder Care wasn’t what I wanted to do on a beautiful day on the bay.  After my cat had her drink she left without any questions or requests so I could get on with my writing.  Would I have liked her to sit by me just for company? Sure, if she didn’t want to sit on my warm laptop while I was trying to write.  Is having her in my life the same as having a spouse?  No, but she gives me affection and attention without asking for much in return.  That may sound selfish but as we age we sometimes find we want to simplify our lives and spending time with a pet can be very rewarding for a number of reasons.   You may not agree with them all, but maybe a few will give you laugh.

  1. Pets can help you feel more connected.  A recent study at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University found that young people who had “strong attachment to pets reported feeling more connected to their communities and relationships.” According to survey results, it also made them more empathetic and confident.  It follows that this would apply to all ages and enhances all of your relationships whereas being married often isolates people who spend more time with their spouse than with others out in their community.pet healthy
  2. Pets can keep you healthy.   We all know the benefits of walking a dog but research has shown that owning a pet can also boost physical and mental health. A 2011 study in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology”, showed that “pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences than non-owners on several dimensions,”  According to researcher, Miami University’s Allen R. McConnell, Ph.D.,  “Specifically, pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extraverted, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied than non-owners.”  Research often claims married people live longer healthier life, but in truth never marrieds have a longer life expectancy according to Bella DePaulo, PhD. an expert on singles.

 

 

  1. Just looking at your pet can make you feel happier.  A 2009 study by Miho Nagasawa of Azabu University in Japan found that one’s level of oxytocin (the neurohormone that elicits feelings of happiness) spiked after interacting with their dog even if they only stared into their dog’s eyes.  I know petting my cat makes me feel relaxed and just seeing my friend’s dog, Joy, makes me understand why she named her that.  Your spouse can raise your oxytocin levels too but rarely does a pet cause you the pain a person can trigger with just a disgusted look.

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  1. Pets can help you recover from a psychological crisis.  Support animals have been used to help soldiers with PTSD recover from the horrors and pain they endured on the battlefield.  Many other animals have been found to help their owners in similar ways with just their presence.  Animals trained to be Support Animals don’t lose their temper in a crowd or demand your attention when you might need to time for yourself to sort out your life.  They may not have a shoulder to lean on like a spouse but they can give you unconditional love and support whenever you need it just by always being there.

 

 

  1. Jealousy isn’t a problem.  She may sniff me when I get home, but my cat doesn’t care that I’ve been petting other cats or even a dog.  Other animals aren’t considered a threat to your relationship with your pet like other men or women with whom you might get romantically involved or just want as friends can be to your marriage.  Pets often let other animals share their home but few spouses would agree to that even if you wanted another one.

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Photo credit: russelljsmith via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

  1. They don’t care if you leave them home when you travel.  A pet may care until the pet sitter comes to feed and pet them but it’s not like leaving a spouse on their own.  There’s no silent treatment because they have to stay home.  Pets like to be home and aren’t worried if you’re having fun with someone else.  I do feel guilty at times but my pet is always happy to see me and doesn’t make me feel like I deserted her to enjoy myself while I go off alone or with my friends.  Some animals show their displeasure by making a mess while you’re gone but it’s a rare male spouse who cleans up after himself and few women don’t ask what you did when you were traveling without her.  You never have to explain anything to a pet.

I only want the ears.

Kevin and peeps

  1. Pets don’t care about what’s for dinner.  As long as she has food in her dish and a few treats on the side, my cat is happy.  She doesn’t care that it’s the same flavor every day or if it’s served at the perfect temperature and matched with the appropriate wine.  There’s no need to mix it up with a new recipe or take her out to eat.  She’s perfectly happy with whatever I choose to feed her and seldom begs for anything I eat so I don’t mind sharing every now and then.  If you’re the cook, can you say your spouse will accept this arrangement?

 

 

  1. You’re usually the one in control.  Now it’s been said cats don’t have owners they have staff but any well-trained pet is controllable.  People on the other hand fight to be the one in charge and resent you if you try.  You can always take a dog to obedience school but the only thing close for people is couples therapy and you can’t physically drag a spouse there.  Pets also don’t want control the TV remote.

 

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  1. They can protect you.  Your spouse can deter a mugger or burglar by their presence but well-trained pets are less expensive and don’t have the same sense of self-preservation.  Their first choice is usually to fight when their owner is threatened.  If you walk your dog in the park, it’s less likely you’ll be attacked.  A pet has excellent hearing and can hear sounds you might not, especially if you’re asleep.  They also have teeth and claws and aren’t afraid to use them to protect their families.  Their sensitive noses have been known to sense smoke and gas fumes before their humans and save lives.  They’ve even towed drowning people to shore.

 

 

 

  1. Pets don’t take your covers in bed.  Now it can be argued that even a small pet who sprawls out in your bed can take up more space than its share, but they rarely take the covers and their snoring is usually not that loud.  It’s a lot easier to toss them out of your bedroom than to do the same with a spouse.  Pets may not like it but they’ll forget about it in the morning when you feed or pet them.  Spouses aren’t so forgiving.

 

 

I know I’ll probably be accused of being cynical when it comes to relationships but I’m not a lonely single Baby Boomer living with a cat who will be found dead and gnawed on by my cat.  There are times when a pet can’t give a person the love they crave.  However, a pet will always love you no matter how you look or feel.  That’s not always easy to find in a spouse.  If you’ve found that special partner, you may have won the relationship lottery.  For the rest of us who have either chosen to live alone or live that way through no choice of our own, there are our sweet, lovable pets.

 

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If you have a picture of your special pets, please post it here or on my Facebook page, Single Boomer Life, so we can all enjoy it.

 

Continue the adventure!

 

Linda Lea

I Checked the Grand Canyon off my Bucket List.

I Checked the Grand Canyon off my Bucket List.

I’ve seen it from a plane, but nothing compares to seeing the spectacle that is the Grand Canyon up close.  It reminds us that nature is a powerful force and one we need to respect and conserve.  It seems contradictory that the ravages of wind, water, and fire can create such beauty.  We can harness their forces, but never truly control them.

 

 

I was going to drive to the Grand Canyon but I was offered a discounted tour at my resort, so I opted for this option.  I was able to enjoy a narrated trip with our tour guide, Lynn, and sit back and look at the scenery instead of the traffic.  If you’re traveling alone, I’ve found tours allow me to appreciate the view and learn about the history and facts of the area while enjoying the company of others.  I was the only single on the tour, but I didn’t feel out of place.  I was able to wander off, taking the time to view scenery and shops at my own pace, as long as I returned to the van before it left.  Lunch and the entry fee to the park were covered and Lynn was a valuable source of information about the Park, Native Americans, and history of the Canyon.

 

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We started our journey in Flagstaff and motored across the beautiful, but often barren landscape toward some of the most stunning rock formations in the world.  Along the way, we passed The Painted Desert National Park, a U.S. desert of badlands in the Four Corners area, located on land owned by the Navajo Nation but part of the National Park System.  It’s known for its brilliant and varied colors, including red rock and even shades of lavender.  It was named by part of an expedition under Francisco Vázquez de Coronado on his 1540 quest to find the Seven Cities of Cibola, the Seven Cities of Gold.  After finding the cities weren’t golden, Coronado sent an expedition to find the Colorado River to resupply his men. On their way, they came upon the wonderland of colors.  They named the area “El Desierto Pintado”, The Painted Desert. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Painted_Desert_(Arizona)

 

 

 

Farther down the road we passed the gas station featured in the movie, “Easy Rider”, and some Spanish Mustangs which are descendants of the horses that came with Coronado’s and other expeditions.  We drove by the area near the Little Colorado River Gorge where Nik Wallenda crossed on a tightrope.  Our first stop was at the Cameron Trading Post Gift Shop where I viewed Navajo art at their gallery.  There is also a motel and food is available.  https://www.camerontradingpost.com/shop.html

 

 

 

During the trip, Lynn told us about the Navajo Nation’s traditions and current way of life.  It is a matriarchal society where property in inherited by the women with the grandmothers being the most respected members of their families and their own government.  If a woman divorces a man, he’s left with nothing and must go to a Relocation Area since he no longer has a home.  Since these areas have more up-to-date conveniences, some of the Navajo prefer to live there.  That hasn’t always been the case though since both the Hopi and Navajo have been relocated in the past so their land could be used for other purposes by the government and settlers.  The Native Americans have always fought for their rights in wars and the courts, but in recent times have found that educating their children in business and other areas has helped them create jobs and make money for their tribes.

 

 

These are just some of the bits of knowledge shared by our guide.  She also told us that when it comes to the buying of products at the stands that dot the roadside, it’s preferred you don’t try to bargain unless it’s initiated by the owner.  Another thing she mentioned was that Navajo children are not always named by their parents at birth since their family needs time to get to know them.  They may have several names during their lifetime and if delivered at a hospital a traditional Anglican name may be given by the nurse who helped with the delivery.  There was a time when Navajo children were forced to go attend boarding schools and not speak their language so couldn’t use their traditional name.  That was another dark time among many others in the Navajo history.

 

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Navajo Art in the Desert View Watchtower

 

We stopped at several viewing points to see the spectacular panoramic views of the beautiful sequence of rock layers that have been formed over time by the forces of nature.  There’s rock that’s over 2 billion years old at the bottom of the canyon.  It has been exposed over time by land masses colliding and drifting apart, mountains forming and eroding away, sea levels rising and falling, and the moving water of flash floods running off the surrounding mountains into the Colorado River.  Since it’s located in the desert, little vegetation conceals the geology of the area, so the view from the rim shows all of its splendor.  If you’re interested in the details of how the Grand Canyon was formed go to http://www.bobspixels.com/kaibab.org/geology/gc_geol.htm .

 

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Our guide told us the typical person who most often falls off the rim or is bitten by snakes is a 25-year-old tattooed drunken man.  Dying from heat or dehydration is a more common cause of death in the Canyon but it’s also the site of suicides and plane crashes. See http://www.mygrandcanyonpark.com/falling-to-death-grand-canyon/.

 

On June 30, 1956, The Grand Canyon was the site of a mid-air collision when a United Airlines Douglas DC-7 struck a Trans World Airlines Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation.  All 128 on board both flights perished. According to the book “Blind Trust” by John J. Nance,  the two aircraft approached the Grand Canyon at the same altitude and similar airspeeds.  The pilots were likely maneuvering around towering cumulus clouds, even though Visual Flying Rules (VFR) required the planes to stay in clear air. As they maneuvered near the canyon, it’s believed the planes passed a cloud on opposite sides leading to the collision.  It was thought both pilots may have been trying to give the passengers a better view of the canyon.  This tragedy led to sweeping changes in the control of flights in the U.S. The location of the crash has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

 

 

Many stories have come out of the building of the railroad and the rise of tourism in the Grand Canyon.  The Grand Canyon was the Santa Fe Railroad’s main tourist destination.  Fred Harvey’s Harvey Houses were instrumental in bringing ample food portions at reasonable prices in clean, elegant restaurants to the travelers throughout the Southwest.  Harvey hired architect and designer, Mary Colter, a lifelong single, to build many of the Canyon’s landmark Harvey Houses.  Colter blended Pueblo Revival, Mission Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Rustic architectural styles along with Mexican carved-wood and hand-painted furnishings, and Native American artistic motifs to help create a style widely popular in the Southwest.  It influenced a generation of Western U.S. architecture through the National Park Service and Civilian Conservation Corps for many years.  She once had builders tear down several stories of the Desert View Watchtower because they didn’t place a rock according to her design.  Colter’s buildings on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon included lodges, souvenirs shops, and special lookout points that are on the National Register of Historic Places. See https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/photosmultimedia/mary-colter—indian-watchtower.htm

 

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In 1883, Harvey placed ads in newspapers throughout the East Coast and Midwest for “white, young women, 18-30 years of age, of good character, attractive and intelligent”. The girls were paid $17.50 a month (approximately $450 in 2017 dollars), generous by the standards of the time to start, plus room, board, and gratuity.  The women had a strict 10 p.m. curfew, administered by a senior Harvey Girl who assumed the role and responsibilities of house mother. The skirt of their official starched black and white uniform hung no more than eight inches off the floor.  The hair was restrained in a net and tied with a regulation white ribbon. Makeup was absolutely prohibited as was chewing gum while on duty. Harvey Girls were required to enter into a one-year employment contract, and forfeited half their base pay should they fail to complete the terms of service. This didn’t stop them from marrying though since there were few women in the Old West so marriage was the most common reason for a girl to terminate her employment.  One of the older servers at the restaurant where I ate a Navajo Taco was a former Harvey Girl. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Harvey_Company

 

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A preserved “Harvey Girl” uniform

 

See my Facebook Page, Single Boomer Life, for more stories about the Grand Canyon.  If you delve into the creation and of this natural wonder and the history that surrounds it, you’ll find it’s more than just a giant hole in the ground like so many people think.  The Grand Canyon and its lore make it a destination for all Single Baby Boomers.

 

Continue the Adventure!

 

Linda Lea