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Forty years ago I walked nervously up a curving metal staircase, across an empty lobby, into a darkened theater. I found a seat with a shadowy, scraggly bunch at a nightclub table in the cold room. Blank-faced and terrified, we all stared up at the bright stage and the six empty bentwood chairs.

Chances are, when you see older folks walking a dog while wearing headphones, they’re not listening to Beyonce or Jay Z. They’re listening to a book or a magazine article, maybe a podcast that they borrowed from the local library. Many listeners don't even have to leave home to borrow the ma…

Part of our family lore includes the story of my 90-year-old grandmother, who bought a skin cream promising to erase her wrinkles and rejuvenate her skin, making her look decades younger. She followed directions on the lotion's package for about a week, examined her face closely in the mirro…

Here's one of the problems with being retired, semi-retired, about-to-be retired, "redundant" as the Brits say, just plain old: Your skin starts feeling like cardboard and looks like one of those topographical maps we made out of starch in grade school. There are unexpected peaks, pores clog…

Just so you get the picture, I am struggling through six or seven scientific papers about how our aging skin is helped--or not helped--by certain "miraculous" potions which are endlessly advertised these days. But what's my husband doing? He has a computer, too. While I have spent the last t…

Years ago, when I was a college student, I had a part-time job reading for a blind guy. He was a law student and my job was to read him "constitutional law". He'd set up a recording device so he could re-listen to the documents I read and study them later. I read the U.S Constitution a coupl…

Within the last month a friend of mine in Porter County read the new Donna Tartt book, “The Goldfinch,” “The Luminaries” by Eleanor Catton, “The Significance of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert, “The Secret Scripture” by Sebastian Barry, and “The Tennant of Wildfell Hall” by Anne Bronte. Mea…

This is a shout-out to anybody out there who raises goats for meat. I'd love to hear anything you have to say. Recently Washington Post writers mused that goat meat might be the next big thing to hit the marketplace, following beef, chicken, and pork.

Around twenty years ago two tough little old ladies were having dinner and drinks in Crown Point, Indiana, talking about the good old days and the bad old days. "Think how much fun it would be," said one to the other. "You'd get your own director's chair, you'd have dinner every night with m…

Grandparents worry about everything. Even when we're focused on Toys for Tots, by the dawn’s early light we fight dangers lining their paths to adulthood: giant trees might fall, lightning might strike, markets can crash, bandits, measles, bacteria, hormones, and, along with everything else:…

Got a couple more this morning: Unsolicited Forwarded Emails. These rotten screeds, forwarded from I've-Found-The-Truth-Central, depress me. My problem is that I think I should read them. What if this family member is ill? What if someone sprained an ankle? What if a long-lost cousin got a g…

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