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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Nadine from Prudential's new ad

I have become a big fan of Nadine, Prudential’s 65-year-old retiree who happily proclaims “I don’t know how much money I need, but I know whatever I have I’m going to live within.” She certainly speaks for me and many of my fellow Boomers who are approaching retirement age without enough savings to maintain our current lifestyle.

The first Boomers started turning 65 last year. Over the next 18 years, 10,000 Boomers will turn 65 every day. (more…)

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We just joined our son Andrew for the annual Walk for Epilepsy down on the National Mall. Several thousand people came from all over the country to attend this boisterous show of support for their family members and friends who are fighting for normalcy in a life challenged by seizures.

My son had his first grand mal seizure when he was 8 years old. He was playing dodge-ball in gym class, fell, and hit his head. This trauma induced a full body seizure in front of Andrew’s terrified young classmates.
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According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans today are evenly divided between the “pro-life” and “pro-choice” camps. Last week’s rollercoaster fiasco involving the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood has reignited the abortion debate, at the same time that insurance covering contraception is being blasted by the Catholic Church as an infringement on “religious freedom.” (more…)

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Mt. McKinley glacier

Last June, Peter  and I made our first trip to Alaska in celebration of our 35th anniversary. My stepdaughter, Alex, joined us for the second week of cruising down the Inside Passage and provided invaluable research to guide us. For those of you who have not yet been and want to go, this post is for you. (For those of you who have already been to Alaska, please comment and share your own recommendations!)
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Margaret and Denis Thatcher (photo credit: Martin Cleaver/AP)

There is a scene in the new movie “Iron Lady” which made me cry. When Sir Denis Thatcher asks Margaret Roberts, the daughter of a grocer to marry him, she tells him that she cannot be a typical wife who stays home washing tea cups. His immediate response was that her passion for a political life is exactly why he wanted to marry her. This unusual proposal took place in 1950 Britain, when few women were working, let alone in Parliament.

This historic partnership, which began when Margaret and Denis married in 1951, enabled Margaret to become a barrister and Britain’s first female Prime Minister. Throughout her political career, Denis remained fully supportive as both Lady Margaret’s husband and full-time father to their twins. The movie portrays Denis as a man well before his times, one who was comfortable being married to a strong, successful woman.
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I have always loved Halloween. When I was a kid, I would dress up as anything I wanted to be, no matter how unrealistic.  This included everything from ballerinas to President of the United States. When my kids were growing up, we continued to live vicariously by hosting parties to bob for apples followed by neighborhood trick-or-treating in bright colored costumes with outstretched arms holding UNICEF milk cartons.

This annual celebration of ghosts and scary creatures is not religious, and is enjoyed by all families with children. Halloween provides a benign outlet for horror fantasies.

Less benign is the horror creeping into American families by conservative politics. (more…)

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My father, Dr. E. Karl Bastress

As we paid tribute to Steve Jobs who died this week at 56, I spent some time remembering my father who died at the age of 59. I have thought of my Dad many times over the past 23 years since his death, but more so these days as I have now reached the age he was when he died.

It is somewhat sobering to reach this particular milestone. I revered my Dad and the legacy he left behind. After growing up as an only child, he raised 4 children with my mother, and another 2 children with my step-mother. He imbued in each of us the value of education, hard work and being considerate of others.
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