Aging like widowhood was something I knew could happen, would happen. But I must admit, both took me totally by surprise.

When the Big W happened, life as I once knew it disappeared. It seems nothing lasts forever, and although I felt like it should … the world wasn’t about to stop. So if I didn’t want life to leave me behind licking my wounds, my only choice was to put on my big girl panties and create a new one.

For a number of years, I filled my life with family, grandchildren, church, work, tennis, exercise, travel, writing and friendships. I sailed right along, not thinking much, just doing, and although life hadn’t turned out exactly like I planned, I was doing okay.

The Big A, on the other hand, crept up slowly. The wrinkles got deeper, the body sagged, shrunk and teetered. The hair thinned and the mind wandered. Not a pretty picture! The me that once was, wasn’t!

Then, as my body experienced a few impediments to playing tennis and my work was losing its charm, my grandchildren were growing, going away to college, getting jobs and moving away. Grandma wasn’t at the center of their lives anymore. My re-invented life was slowly shifting, slipping away.

So now I find myself  back where I started … life as I once knew it fading away. Time to put the granny panties on and reinvent.

At this point I’m not quite sure what that looks like. I have pared my work week down, am doing some volunteer work, continuing to exercise, and write and am planning a couple of trips. But I must admit, the doing has lost much of its attraction.

Next month I’m traveling to Spain to walk the last 100 miles of the El Camino. That walking will provide a time to just BE … To BE away from the maddening crowd and into the countryside … To BE Still … at one with nature and with God.

It is my hope that in that BEING, the new life I seek might finally be re-born.



{February 12, 2016}   A Small Town Treasure

Photo Oct 19, 2 34 53 PMWhile the artsy town of Ashland, OR with its breathtaking outdoors, beautiful Lithia park and renowned Shakespearean Festival was always on my must do list … Jacksonville, OR wasn’t even a speck on my radar. And little did I know that after visiting both towns this past fall, this small, former gold mining town would be the one to steal my heart away.

Life feels different in Jacksonville, simpler, slower. Deer roam freely on the highways, byways and city streets. Open markets, food co-ops, organic farms, cattle ranches and wine vineyards are in abundance. Exploratory hikes, leisurely walks, neighborly chats or naps in tree-hung hammocks are the order of the day. Historical buildings and Victorian cottages house quaint eateries and businesses, while a trolley tour shows visitors the sites. And every year the town plays host to the Britt festival (an outdoor music and art venue featuring world-class artists of all genres); as well as a city-wide three-day garage sale.

An eclectic population of approximately 3,000 shares space in this small town.  The ’60s are alive and well, with hippies seen along the streets chatting, playing music and sleeping. It is their presence that is part of the charm there.

Traffic is minimal and with Ashland just a short 20 minutes away and Medford right around the corner, there is much to keep one occupied and entertained. Add mildly changing seasons and an opportunity for an invigorating change of pace abounds.

All in all I found it a unique and interesting place, not only one to visit, but perhaps one to reside in one day.









et cetera