Bonus Years

Aging is about embracing life’s experiences

Pessimists abound.  Especially when it comes to aging. During the holiday period, I was reading a magazine piece on aging where the theme was “so much behind us; so little ahead.”  That caused me to recall another’s definition of “old” as when you cross the tipping point, with fewer years going forward than you’ve already…

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Annapolis man turns his setbacks into a comeback

Last week, Mary Sue and I were ringing bells for the Salvation Army’s red donation kettle located at City Dock by Zachery’s jewelry store in downtown Annapolis. That’s when I first met Steve Rice. Like many others that brisk Monday morning, Rice dropped a contribution into the kettle. As I said, “Thanks a lot, sir…and…

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You can’t separate a boy from his toys, no matter his age

I’ve known Bill Lesko for more than two decades. But not really, I discovered. Last week, I found out why: Lesko and his partner, Martha Fox, a retired elementary school math teacher, are always on the go. Lesko is always interesting – beginning with his six-years of volunteer work to restore and crew the SS…

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Thanksgiving, fall’s finale, is just around the corner

Thursday next is Thanksgiving – first proclaimed by George Washington in 1789 and formally established as a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. None of us should need a special day to count our blessings or express gratitude. Still, Thanksgiving is a special American celebration – dating back to the Pilgrims’ landing in Massachusetts…

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Don’t wait till it rains till you start building the ark

Many in their bonus years will remember Michael Landon – the American TV actor (also screenwriter, director and producer) known for his role as Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza as well as starring roles in Little House on the Prairie and Highway to Heaven.  Landon, who passed away in his early 50s, once said “Whatever…

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The need for transition assistance happens at all ages

(The 50-seat Light House Bistro is more than a restaurant. It is also what some people call a “social enterprise” — a business enterprise that has social goals embedded in its business objectives. [Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette file]) Several months ago, I discovered the Light House Bistro at 202 West Street, along with several…

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Looking after aging mother transforms lives of caregiving sisters

I’ve just seen life from the inside out, a view that can only be conveyed by storytelling. That was my first thought as I finished reading Melanie Merriman’s Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging, winner of American Book Fest’s Best Book Award in the Autobiography-Memoir category and a Caring.com…

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A mission to repair the world does not end with retirement

Places like Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, North Carolina are names familiar to most of us – especially after their recent bashing by hurricane Florence. But if you travel about 300 miles to the west of these well-known coastal communities – to the foothills of the Blue Ridge – you will find Lenoir, a North Carolina…

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Bonus years travel comes in many sizes, shapes and destinations

Remember the late 1980s film, “Trains, Planes and Automobiles” – the comedy in which Steve Martin and John Candy struggled with each other’s foibles, challenging weather and nearly every mode of transportation to make it home for Thanksgiving? I thought of this several times during the past two weeks as Mary Sue and I joined…

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Renaissance woman finds new calling in her bonus years

The American author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, told us that “Vitality exists not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.” For a living example of “Fitzgerald’s Law,” journey down to Annapolis Maritime Antiques on Severn Ave. in Eastport.  There, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday afternoon beginning at 2:00, you…

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Retirement, for some, is an opportunity to keep on serving

(Dick Libby, of Annapolis, officiated at the Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan at Washington National Cathedral in 2010, 50 years after he had been ordained there as an Episcopal priest. [Capital Gazette]) Poet Robert Browning talked to us about “…the last of life for which the first was made.” For some, the link between the first…

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Downsizing to a condo does not require downsizing memories

This past week I crossed paths with one of the most interesting women I’ve met in a long time.  Her name is Anne-Marie Baikauskas (pronounced by-KAWS-kiss).  She lives in Heritage Harbour, an active 55+ community in Annapolis which includes a community center with many community amenities and social events.  Baikauskas lives in a mid-rise condo.…

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Only a genealogist thinks a step backward is progress

The Maryland State Archives, located on Rowe Blvd. just west of College Creek, is the central repository for what the law calls “state government records of permanent value….” including birth and death, marriage and divorce records, last wills and testaments and records of the history of Maryland – from the earliest times of Lord Baltimore…

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Retirement can be an experience with many chapters

(Photo Credit: In 2017, Craig Sewell, longtime chef and owner of A Cook’s Cafe in Annapolis, announced his retirement after 15 years. [Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette file]) Annapolitan Craig Sewell is, to my way of thinking, a poster boy for the way many of us will spend our bonus years: in serial retirements that…

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Good literature tells truest truths about death and dying

Last December, just before Christmas, I read a retirement story in the Capital about Michael Parker, a US Naval Academy English professor, due to step aside after 38 years on the Yard. A notice that someone is about to retire always catches my attention. However, buried in the Parker story was an added attraction: It…

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Senior leadership, know-how can be a big asset for non-profits

(Image: Peter Cooper, left, and Dale Moeller, members of the 2015 class of the Watershed Stewards Academy, completed this rain garden to handle runoff from the parking lot of their church, Woods Memorial Presbyterian in Severna Park. [Pat Furguson / Baltimore Sun Media Group]) It was 7:30 on a Thursday morning a few weeks ago…

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Annapolitans turn a lifelong calling into a later-life mission

(Image: Annapolis residents Jim and Karen Wilder, pictured in 2014, aim to launch a new enterprise that reflects not only their culinary calling but also their commitment to creating opportunities for people with disabilities, translating a lifelong calling into a bonus years mission. [Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette file]) Last week, while attending the annual…

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