On The Road To Grandma’s House

Let us not forget the stories that Grandma can share with her grandchildren as they get older. Those are stories and experiences that a grandchild has missed. It is a time of the past that has lead to today.

Grandma visitYesterday, I learned that I would be a grandmother of a little baby girl in March of 2012.  This was very exciting news.  Then I began to think about events of the past and the future.  There are many stories and nursery rhymes about grandchildren on the road to grandma’s house.  I remember skipping road and going down the street to see my grandmother.  Then there was the ride into the hills to visit my grandmother from my Dad’s side of the family.  We lived in a very small town so neither trip took very long, but was fun.  I looked forward to those times, as many of us did.  The smell of fresh baked pies and family get together is still clear in my mind from those days.  The one thing that I do not remember is a visit to our house from my grandparents.  Have times changed?  I believe that they have.

Today there are single boomer grandparents living in the city.  Some of us are waiting to move into senior citizen retirement apartments.  Others are living in 55 communities and enjoying the good life.  A Lot of grandparents are attending events at their local senior center in order to stay active and social.  Many boomer grandparents are traveling to see the world at a late age.  Then there are those that are unable to travel due to illness, the economy or the necessity to keep working in order to make a living.

Some grandchildren live with their parents in the grandparents home.  Others may have grown children that live thousands of miles away.  As a boomer, can you relate with this?  Grown children sometimes expect the grandparents to visit their homes because it is more convenient for them, due to busy times in this generation.  Travel can be costly for parents and grandparents.  It is not as easy to skip rope down to Grandma’s house.

There are grandparents living in assisted living facilities.  I wonder just how many parents bring their children there to visit with Grandma.  I do hope they come on a regular basis.  There is nothing that can bring a smile to an older person’s face than the sight of a child.  That Grandma would enjoy a hug from her grandchildren.  There is something very special between grandchildren and grandparents.  The bonding is important to keep the family spirit alive.

Even though many grandparents are learning modern technology in adult classes, it is wonderful to have that grandchild that can help Grandma to learn.  Let us not forget the stories that Grandma can share with her grandchildren as they get older.  Those are stories and experiences that a grandchild has missed.  It is a time of the past that has lead to today.

Yes, it is important to take the road to Grandma’s House.  It is important to allow the bonding to take place.  Grandma’s house may not be as it was many years ago in story books.  The house may be different.  It may be larger, smaller, brighter or sometimes even darker than those we have read about.  Pies may no longer be cooking in the oven because times have changed.  The importance of grandchildren and grandparents bonding has not changed.  Boomers and boomer children let us keep that alive.  Take the time to take the trip on the road to Grandma’s house.

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Originally posted 2011-10-06 13:35:56.

The Boomer List

The Boomer List - Mary Ann and Robert
The Boomer List – Mary Ann and Robert

While at LifeAT50+ in Boston Mary Ann and I stood in front of a green screen for a photo and then was handed this photo.  It was kink of interesting, but what is “THE BOOMER LIST”.

Several of our friends were asking about THE BOOMER LIST also so I contacted Jen Reeves with AARP and received a press release about THE BOOMER LIST which explains everything.

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — 2014 marks an important shift in American culture, as the last of the baby boom generation will turn age 50 by the year’s end. To mark this momentous occasion, AARP today announced it is partnering with renowned American documentary filmmaker and photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders to present The Boomer List, a comprehensive look at 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom from 1946-1964. The Boomer List will come to life later this year as an American Masters documentary film on PBS, a companion book, and an exhibit at Washington, D.C.’s Newseum, a museum that blends news history with up-to-the-second technology and is one of the city’s top attractions.

OK so it’s a documentary movie, thus the movie poster overlay on our photo above. What a great way to advertise a movie – give people a movie poster with them in it, to share with the world like I am doing here.  Wow, very cleaver.  Good move AARP!

The Boomer List documentary will highlight notable figures including music legend Billy Joel and novelist Amy Tan, author of “The Joy Luck Club,” and will debut in fall 2014 on PBS’s award-winning American Masters series. Viewers will gain insight into the Boomer generation through intimate interviews and portraits by Greenfield-Sanders that focus on exceptional achievement, struggle and identity, telling the story of extraordinary Americans and the history they lived through and often created. Film subjects will illuminate the important movements and changes that shaped the world during the baby boom years. Topics will include the environment; arts and entertainment; science; civil, LGBT and women’s rights; law; politics; public service; sports; the military and technology.

Well this could be interesting, but celebrities are not the only ones who lived through what we lived through.  I guess they couldn’t interview each one of us Boomers could they. That would take a long time.

Additionally, the 19 large-scale boomer portraits will be part of a nine-month exhibition at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., highlighting newsworthy people from the baby boom generation. “The Boomer List: Photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders” opens Sept. 26, 2014, and will be on display through June 2015. Throughout the exhibit’s run, the Newseum will host a series of special programs and events that explore how boomers changed the world and the legacy they leave for future generations.

I wonder it their portraits will also have the movie poster overlay?

The Boomer List is the latest initiative announced as part of AARP’s yearlong program, Boomers@50+, which is sponsored by Consumer Cellular and celebrates this influential generation. This multi-platform initiative provides opportunities to reflect on how boomers have changed the world and to ask the question, “What’s next?” AARP will highlight The Boomer List as a central element of the celebration. To find out more about the baby boom generation and the events that shaped boomers’ lives, visit www.aarp.org/boomers.


The Memory of A Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Story

Today I was blessed to be able to share a story with a young lady about one of my Christmas trees from years ago.  There have been trees in my many years.  I remember one as a child that will always stand out in my mind.

My Daddy went out into the country and dug up a very small tree.  He brought it home. He then filled an old tin coffee can with soil and planted the tree in it.   My mother put an old white sheet around the bottom for the skirt which covered the can.  Then we popped popcorn in a skillet.  Yes, I did say skillet not a bag or popcorn maker.  With cake coloring it is amazing how you can change the color of popcorn.  After the popcorn cooled, my mother made strings of it by using a sewing needle and tread.  We wrapped that around the tree.  I make a paper angel and attached it to the top.  We painted a few pine cones that we had found and hung them on the tree with safety pins.  Since my Daddy was very afraid of fires, he attached one string of lights only which we could turn on just briefly.

As we received Christmas cards we attached them to the tree.  This was a special tree.  As a child, I was very proud of it.  My sisters sent presents from the big city of St. Louis for me.  They lay underneath and of course I had to shake them a time or two before Christmas morning.  Do you know, I can not even remember anything about gifts that year but I will always remember the tree.

When Christmas was over my Daddy some how planted that tree in the front yard of our little rented house.  He had a green thumb and loved to keep a beautiful yard.  It was always mowed, had flowers, and a couple of wonderful shade trees.  Each year that little Christmas tree grew bigger and bigger.  He would trim it and keep it in beautiful shape.

When I was pregnant with my first child, he took a picture of me and my mother standing in front of that magnificent tree.  I still have the old black and white picture.  It is dear to my heart.  That has been many years ago.  It is a memory not of a gift but of one small something of good that I can remember my father doing for me on Christmas.

This holiday some may have beautiful large trees, lots of lights, fancy ornaments. and many gifts.  Some trees may be real and smell of pine.  Other trees may be artificial.  Others may have no tree at all.  Know matter if there is a tree or not, just remember that Christmas is about the love that we carry in our hearts.   Like my Daddy who kept the little tree alive, my wish for you is that you keep the LOVE alive in your heart so that you can cherish that memory.   May you always cherish the Memory and hold it near to your Heart!

Smartphone Features for Baby Boomers

Smartphone apps help empower Boomers to better manage health situations. There are thousands of apps that empower Boomers to take control of their health. As Boomers use smartphones for life-management tools sales are expected to soar.

I found my smartphone easy to use and now understand it’s features and how it will help me in my daily life. I think Boomers will continue to discover the benefits of smartphones and find them useful like I did. As we get older using technology will make life easier and more manageable.

I had gotten used to my plain cell phone with the big buttons and no extras, not even a camera.  I thought that phone served my needs in retirement perfectly.   That was before about a month  ago at the Verizon kiosk at Costco when I picked up the latest Android phone, the “Charge” by Samsung with 4G.   I now see the advantages of having a smartphone.   So do a lot of other boomers who are buying smartphones in large numbers.

With only a month of experience of using my Droid, here are some of the applications (Apps) I like the best.  There are many more to be discovered and many will be developed.

1. GPS – Believe it or not I did not have a GPS device before.  This is my favorite feature.  I was thinking GPS was only useful for trips, but I use it all the time.  I used it to locate a restaurant, a friend’s office, a utility company office,  a house in a far off neighborhood and more.

2. Car Locator –  A GPS related App helps you find your way back to your car.   Can be used to find your way back on a hike, to the cruise ship and many more uses.

3. Gas Buddy – Again I thought this was for trips, but it is useful even in your own neighborhood, showing you the price at your local stations.   On the road, it is even more helpful.

4. Internet Access –  Now I don’t need to purchase the local Internet access when staying at that condo at the beach.  I will have Internet access when visiting the mother in law for long visits, waiting around for appointments,  getting there early when meeting someone.

My smartphone helps me stay connected to my business.

5. Travel Apps.  I think the travel apps will have the helpful and enjoyable app features for me.  Some Apps I have discovered are: Tripadvisor , Google Maps, Places, ShipMate will track your cruise day by day

6. Bar code scanner with Google Market let’s you check prices on anything with a bar code anywhere.  Easy to use.

7. Slacker Radio and Pandora are great music apps.  No more paying for this stuff.  Available and easy.

More useful apps I have heard of are: Eye Reader to magnify and illumine small print,  Instant Heart Rate and Epocrates app is a resource for drug information.  Smartphone apps help empower Boomers to better manage health situations.   There are thousands of apps that empower Boomers to take control of their health. As Boomers use smartphones for life-management tools sales are expected to soar.

I found my smartphone easy to use and now understand it’s features and how it will help me in my daily life.  I think Boomers will continue to discover the benefits of smartphones  and find them useful like I did.   As we get older using technology will make life easier and more manageable.

Boomers Mothers Day

Boomers Mother Day

Mothers Day is a time to remember that special Mom.  There will be folks taking their Mothers to dinner at the best of restaurants.  Florists will be busy as children head out to get Mom a plant or flowers.  Some younger mothers will receive home made items from their small children.  Then there will be Moms like me. I will never forget my mother and today I understand the meaning of the word Mom.  Now admit it boomer ladies, we were a challenge in our early years and then some of us became Moms.

Dr. Spock and his best selling book helped me along the path of motherhood. I was only nineteen when I had my first child.  I will list a few things just to see if you can relate.  Experiences and memories are priceless you know.

  1. Child birth equals agonizing pain that goes away as soon as you hold the baby in your arms.  It is replaced with a feeling of love that can not be described in words.
  2. Diaper changing can be quite the challenge, especially if it is a boy baby, or one has not experienced the sensation before.  After a few hundred changes, it becomes as easy as lacing your shoes.
  3. Then baby grows to fit in the high chair.  What fun it was to see my little girls REFUSING  to open their mouths unless, I played; Zoom, Zoom, here comes the airplane, with the baby spoon.  Actually though, a mom gets used to having baby carrot spit on her favorite blouse.
  4. Bosses usually expect young moms to call in late for work. I know that you know that is a joke, right?   Some of us got up three hours before work time to get a head start on getting the child ready to go to the baby sitters. It was another learning experience when my three year old decided that she was not going.  The battle was on to get her dressed.  I won!  Well, not really. She sat down in a mud puddle on the way so we had to go back home and relive the  scene again.
  5. Then came grade school.  I really enjoyed it when I received a call from the teacher.  The teacher let me know that my highly intelligent borderline gifted child missed turning in her home work.  My little girl told the teacher that a big wind came up and blew her papers down the sewer drain as she was catching the bus.  There was just one problem.  There was no big winds that morning and no sewer drain.

Middle school years brought another challenge.  Our neighborhood had yearly large item trash pick up day.  It was a eye opening experience to come home from work and look out my kitchen window.  The back yard was decorated with chairs, couches, tables and lamps from all over the neighborhood.  Now, who says that children do not have lifting power in their younger years?  At least they paid attention in gym class.

Then came high school. We experienced the first pimple, the first date, learning how to drive, the first automobile, the shaving experience, wild music, tattoos, jeans with holes, how to over do make up, but mom so in so’s mom lets them attitude, MTV, and the first teenage party. Then there was the swinging door thing on the refrigerator and messy teen age bedrooms.  Oh, and how about those looks when you said no?  Wow, what experiences!

I love my children and every memory that I have of them. They made me laugh, they made me cry, and they gave me a reason to live.  I am proud of the learning experiences that they gave me.  They both like to live, love, laugh and learn.  They are both unique in their own ways.  Even though they are grown, they will always be my little girls.  So if you have a mother this week, let her know that you care.  If you have a child let them know how special they are to you!  Let us just spread the love around and enjoy the moment!  Mothers are special!  Children are special!  All in all they help our hearts to sing.

Boomer Story: New Toys for Who?

Today I turned 62 so I decided to go outside to Best Buy to check out the prices on computers.  Now it has been a few years since I was in that store and it is just up the street from me.  My oh my how things change.  I saw the sign that said computers so I headed out that way.

Nothing looked familiar to me.  The big fat computer screens are now skinny and come in all sizes.  Some have towers and are small. Others don’t even have towers at all.  Now for the mouse.  Well some didn’t even have a mouse and some computers had lids on them.  So I started reading.  Each part appeared to be sold separately with a lot of different prices and names.  Then some of the computers looked like small hand bags and I was not sure what that was all about.  Anyway I knew right then that I needed a sales representative.  She was very nice and answered all my questions.  The only thing though, I am not sure if we were talking the same language because it seems there has been a lot of new terminology put in to the new computer world.  She did her best though and I thanked her but decided I had better wait on buying until another day.

Then I moved on to cameras.  I wanted just a little small type to hook on this old computer so I could take a recent picture of me to put on Face Book.  I am here to tell you, I have never seen so many different cameras in all my life.   Now right away I saw this was not going to be an easy task either and could wait until another day.

I looked around.  All the young folks seemed right at home in the store.  They knew just what they were looking for and a lot more.  I felt like an old moth ball that fell out of a storage bag and could see that I had a lot of more learning to do before purchasing.

Since the store was starting to get a bit crowded I figured I should just move on and come visit these folks on another day.  Anyway I headed for something that I recognized, a can of computer spray cleaner that cost $9.99.  I was proud of my selection and headed to the cashier.  Now I was in for another experience.  First I had to stop and stand by a man until he let me know what cash register that I could go to in order to check out.  Finally, I was at the proper place to pay for my can of spray.  The cashier was very nice but he was out of small bags.  Anyway I just figured that people buy the big stuff in a store such as this and that was not a problem for me.

So the next time I go out to check out computers and cameras I am asking my grandson to go with me.  That way I figure I will have a good guide to direct me in the right direction.  In the mean time, I have used my can of computer spray cleaner but had to even read the directions on that.  What a world it is out there folks.  Things are really changing.  Now I am sure if I keep an open mind and be willing to listen and learn, I’ll make it in the new world of electronic devises.  I hope things don’t change too much more before I get there the next time or I might even consider purchasing on line.