“If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.” Those in their bonus years, who went to school before “modern” history books, will be familiar with this laconic but also profound observation.  It’s often credited to German Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck – the celebrated 19th century general and political leader who created…

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For nearly two months, we’ve been called to “shelter in place” as part of a public health strategy to beat the coronavirus.  Like most others our family has complied.   At first, I was proud of our compliance, but as time passed, I’ve realized it was a forced change in lifestyle because we didn’t have a…

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Man pushes a boulder up a hill like the myth of Sisyphus

“Fifty years ago, I made a decision to go to George Washington University medical school.  I’ve never regretted it.  Now, having turned 75, I decided it’s time to retire.”  Those were the words of Dr. Robert Greenfield, our family physician since we moved to Annapolis in 1993. Greenfield continued, “I’m so grateful for the opportunity…

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The coronavirus is hitting older Americans harder than any other age cohort.  Older Americans are vulnerable because many have pre-existing conditions that make them susceptible to the disease.  Some infection data show, for example, that a 76-year-old is 20 times more likely than a 36-year-old to die from COVID-19. Many others cannot isolate themselves because,…

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These past three weeks of so-called “social distancing” have, ironically, been some of the most “socially connected” we’ve experienced in our life. Indeed, for those of us in our bonus years, there are lots of folks to connect with, so we’ve been “socially connecting” all over the place – both in time and space. In…

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How old is old? After spending another week in isolation but observing the daily reports of the White House coronavirus task force – and especially the remarkable leadership of Dr. Anthony Fauci (age 79), the public face of the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic – it’s noteworthy that people aren’t questioning the advanced…

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With only three shipping days till Christmas, last-minute gift-buying can be a source of tension.  Some gift-buying decisions are easy.  For example, for young ones, there’s the rule of four: something they want; something they need; something they wear; and something they read. However, gift-buying for friends or relatives in their bonus years can be…

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by Phil Burgess, Unabridged from Bonus Years in the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, December 1, 2019 We bought a new TV last week – a so-called “smart” TV.  In the old days, with dumb TVs, you bought the TV, put it in the trunk, unpacked it when you got home and plugged…

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by Phil Burgess, Unabridged from Bonus Years in the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, November 10, 2019 Last week it was my privilege to get to know Bobby Villares, age 62, and his son, Gabe, age 24 – and to learn about Langton Green, a hidden jewel in our community.  First, the people. …

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by Phil Burgess, Unabridged from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, November 3, 2019 Have you noticed how some individuals and many organizations have a need to do “big” things with their time, talent and treasure?  For example, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg – who has been making the rounds in Washington with a…

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by Phil Burgess, Unabridged from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, October 27, 2019. Tales of the sea abound.  Think of The Odyssey by Homer, Melville’s Moby Dick or, more recently, the nearly two dozen novels by Patrick O’Brien such as Master and Man, depicting sea warriors during the Napoleonic Wars – and,…

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by Phil Burgess, Unabridged from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, October 13, 2019 Most writing about aging holds that one of the great blessings of the bonus years is grandparenting.  Now that we have two granddaughters, with the older turning four and the younger turning two, we share those views. Fortunately, our…

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by Phil Burgess, Unabridged from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, October 6, 2019 Over the past decade, Clint Eastwood has presented a provocative profile for aging – both in his personal life and through recent characters he has played in acclaimed films that depict an aging man adapting to a changing culture. …

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by Phil Burgess, Unabridged from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, September 8, 2019 Readers of a certain age will remember Art Linkletter, the radio and television talk-show pioneer who, for 25 years, hosted the Emmy-winning “House Party” and “People are Funny” broadcasts.  Of his many achievements, Linkletter is perhaps best known for…

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Unabridged article from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, December 27, 2018 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…

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Unabridged article from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, December 14, 2018 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,…

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Unabridged article from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, October 19, 2019 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…

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Unabridged article from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, October 12, 2019 (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…

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