On Life and Love after 50 reaches age 26. Thanks to all the Champs for helping to make it happen – August 9, 2019

August 09, 2019

Dateline – Dublin, Ireland

Greta and I arrived in Dublin, Ireland, yesterday. We are on a 30-day trip. The first third of our trip will be traveling by bus with a tour group visiting many areas and cities in Ireland.

Then, in 10 days, we fly to Amsterdam and board a Holland America cruise ship, the MS Rotterdam, for a 20-day trip to Scotland, Iceland and Greenland. I will fill you in as best I can on the trip details in future eNewsletters.

But, in today’s article, I wanted to say thank you to all my Champs. Because of you, my writing career has entered its 26th year; I will explain how you’ve helped.

A woman stated she wanted to be 35 again. The Bob Seger song, Against the wind, was quoted: “Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”

January 22, 2017

As often happens, there were more responses to Part Two of last week's newsletter than to the main message in Part One. Part Two included Rita's statement that she wished she could be 35 again. Champs picked up on that comment and ran with it.

 

Jennifer said, "People can find a happy relationship at ANY AGE, and THEY DO SO ALL THE TIME. Yes, she is getting older, but so are all of the men. The main thing to do is to keep herself as fit and slim as she can. She is not expected to look 35. She is only expected to look as good as she can for her age.

Writing about girlie stuff. How writing about woe-is-me love failures came about and why, after 23 years, I still write about finding love after 50.

December 01, 2016

Note from Tom: This article first appeared in 2008. It was updated in November, 2016.

 

A man who recently started reading this newsletter (2008) is curious. He wants to know why I write about girlie stuff. Girlie stuff? Wow, those are fighting words. I was ready to give him a blast of Artic air but realized his question provided an opportunity to explain to him--and others who don't know--how writing about this so-called girlie stuff started, how it expanded into a second career, and why I continue writing about it, now, in 2016, after 23 years.

 

The man wrote, "Why do you write about girlie stuff? Shouldn't men our age be out playing tennis or golf instead?" 
 
I love questions that open doors to column ideas, which his did. And how appropriate for this week, which marks the start of the 15th year (2008) of writing about finding love after 50, to have a lead in like that? 

 

Attending Greta’s 50th high school reunion. Nostalgic and revisiting the music of the 50s and 60s.

December 01, 2016

I hadn't thought much about last week-end. It was my partner Greta's week-end, her 50th reunion of St. Anthony's High School in Long Beach, California.


She had been on the planning committee and had worked hard making the name tags with pictures on them and had helped with the organizing and decorating.


Her only request of me: show up wearing a nice suit. Of course, I wanted to be there for her, after all, over the 11 years we've been a couple, she has attended lots of my events, including my 50th reunion a couple of years ago. I didn't anticipate that the week-end would affect me.

Dreaming My Dreams by Waylon Jennings is a song that summarizes how Tom feels about his life when reflecting on the passing of his mother.

December 01, 2016

I was overwhelmed by the comments I received from our readers in response to the passing last week of my mom, Frances Pardee Blake. I was reminded of how special you all are--compassionate and caring individuals, bonded by dreams of happiness and a passion for life as we tackle the issues of relationships and aging together.

 

Today's column isn't about Mom, or about me losing a person I loved dearly. It is, however, a little off topic so bear with me this week.

 

I use her passing only as background for a bigger picture: life, the search for happiness, pursuing dreams, the losses and issues we incur along the way, and the importance of friendship. It's about the good in people we don't always see on the surface.

Sept. 14, 2007, AARP Convention, Boston: Senior love at first click was Tom’s panel. Greta meets Maya Angelo

September 14, 2007

Last week, my partner Greta and I traveled to Boston to attend AARP's Life@50+, an expo and lifestyle event. AARP gets bigger and more powerful as boomers cross the age-50 threshold. AARP's membership grew in the last year from 37 million to 39 million. More than 27,000 people attended the gathering, bringing an estimated $24 million into the Boston economy.

 

And much of that money is spent at Boston's restaurants. We had two special dinners out. On our first night, we dined at the Atlantic Fish Company (www.atlanticfishco.com) on Boylston Street in the Back Bay section of Boston The seafood was so good, we finished our doggie bag for breakfast. 

A Photo From Hana. Kris Kristofferson mailed me a signed photo. Why his song, “Sunday Morning Coming Down” has special meaning to me.

October 16, 2016

This column was written September 7, 2007

 

A week ago tonight, my partner Greta and I were in the kitchen preparing dinner. Greta held up a large envelope. "You received a package today from Hana, Hawaii. Looks like a photograph," she said.

 

My first thought was that my sisters, who had just been on vacation in Maui, had sent a photo of the two of them together.

 

"Who's it from?" I asked.

 

"Someone with the initials KK."

Why Newsletter Subscribers are called Champs

October 02, 2016

This week, a woman asked, "Why do you call us Champs?"

 

I said, "Because that's what you are to me."

 

As I read the responses to last week's newsletter--the one in which men aired their dating frustrations--I was reminded multiple times why "Champs" is such an appropriate description of the men and women who subscribe to this newsletter. There were so many sage comments that I can't even begin to include them all. Some will appear in future issues. Several of those comments follow:

Stay - the load out Jackson Browne

October 02, 2016

On life and love after 50 and beyond is often about more than just finding love

 

There are times when finding love after 50 has to take a backseat to other realities of life that arise as we grow older and face new challenges. What does this topic have to do with singer Jackson Browne's song Stay? You will find out in today's column.

 

"You guys are the champs," are words from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician Jackson Browne's 1970s song, "The Load Out/Stay." (Often referred to as just "Stay").

The scare of my life (My life partner Greta gave me permission to publish this story). TGA is rare in humans.

October 02, 2016

Last Sunday afternoon, my life partner Greta and I drove from San Clemente (California) to Marina Del Rey, a few miles northwest of the Los Angeles Airport, for a reunion of three high school classmates from Jackson, Michigan. We were also all graduates of The University of Michigan.  

 

In the summer of 1960, the three of us toured Europe with two other guys for 85 days, living in a VW bus. Below is a 1960 photo of the five of us at the Hofbrau House in Munich. 

"Enjoy Life to the Fullest"

October 02, 2016

On the wall of my office, there is a picture of an old leather jacket, hand-drawn by my childhood friend from Jackson, Michigan, Rick Lenz, inscribed to me with the caption "Old Friend."

  

Rick is a very talented actor, author and illustrator. I am eight days older than Rick. As the years go by, I relish that painting more and more because it reminds me that there is nothing more important than the friendships we build and the experiences we encounter in life.

Being single isn’t so bad

September 17, 2016

Last week’s article on why married people read this column generated a potpourri of comments by singles.

After a very difficult marriage in which she didn’t have the strength to get out for a long time, Donna, Illinois, said that she now sees great advantages of being single.

“Being able to make one’s own decisions and proving to oneself that you can pay the bills and handle life is very good for one’s self esteem,” Donna said. Although she’s had some “psycho dates” in five years of dating, she’s found a person who is nice, “but the idea of commitment or marriage is very scary and not in my vocabulary.”

Couples need to carefully evaluate retirement decisions

August 26, 2016

As people reach age 50, or perhaps a little older, most start thinking about retirement--where they’re going to live, whether they’ll have enough money, how they’ll afford health insurance, and what they’ll have to give up.

Many who thought they were financially secure, have had to rethink retirement options because of the loss of value in their stock portfolios over the years.

Reflections On A 63rd Birthday

November 14, 2002

This past Monday, another birthday rolled by. It was my ninth since the column started, 437 consecutive weeks ago.

When we experience adversity -- like losing a mate -- we seldom understand that down the road our life may be better than before.

Adversity hatched the column.

Moving to a different city or state to find love and tranquility. Test the waters first.

August 04, 2016

Today's column is directed toward singles who think that moving to another city might make them happier and improve their chances of meeting a mate.

Diane tried it. When one Southern California company she worked for went out of business, and the next was sold after working for them for six months, she decided to make a fresh start by moving to Northern California.

Tom Blake – Orange County Register Interview with Chicken Soup's Mark Victor Hansen

August 04, 2016

Friday, March 7, 2003

I had the opportunity last week to get opinions on middle-age and senior dating from one of Orange County's most visible and successful residents.

Mark Victor Hansen of Newport Beach is co-creator of the best-selling series "Chicken Soup for the Soul" (82 million copies sold) and co-author of "The One Minute Millionaire."

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