Archive for December 2011

MERRILL M SHAW, 1915-2011

Dec 29th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Senior Citizen Editor, Sharon Shaw Elrod, lost her father on Tuesday, December 27. He was 96 and died a natural and peaceful death from left ventricular heart failure. He asked for her on the 22nd, so she flew to be with him and her sisters for his last days. She was privileged to participate in palliative care for him in his home in Arizona. Following is the obituary the four daughters wrote for him:
Our dad, Merrill Shaw, died on Tuesday this week (December 27). Dad wrote his own obituary, but it only told about his accomplishments, not who he was as a person. So here is our obituary for our dad. Dad was born on a farm, raised on a farm, and went to a country school in a horse drawn wagon. Dad didn’t talk about his childhood much; his dad died when Dad was 16. Dad was the oldest of four boys, and life was hard for Dad and his entire family.


Dec 28th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

This is one of those days that falls between Christmas and New Year’s Day. For seniors, retirees and others not in the work world, it is just another day off, a day to do pretty much what we like. It is a privileged day, this, and those that lead up to New Year’s eve and day.

This day, is much like the others we have come to enjoy and sometimes take for granted. It is a holiday, but really is only one more in a string of holidays that we are able to do whatever we wish.

Not everyone is so fortunate, even some who are retired are still caught up in trying to make ends meet, and are holding down part time jobs to make a living.


Dec 27th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Sonoma County Calls Seniors The Sonoma Country Tourism Bureau asks…”do you speak Sonoma”? Sonomads are seniors prone to wander around the county in search of new adventures. Corkhopping? What’s that? It is the delicious act of wine tasting at multiple wineries.  And a Forkscrew.  Ever heard of one of those?  It ends up being a […]


Dec 27th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

There are fewer days between Christmas and New Year’s Day, but, for the most part, there is also less to do to be ready. Selecting what to wear, vowing to be safe and cautious, swearing to limit the amount of spirits to be consumed, making last minute “good wishes” calls. That’s about it, unless you are hosting an occasion, which will mean a completely different set of “to dos.”

The Days Before provide for time to be adequately recovered from the Christmas celebrations to put on a whole different costume in readiness for a new year. We speak figuratively here of “costumes.” What we wear, we find as we grow older, is really less important than who we are and how we choose to present ourselves. It is no time to be foolish. It is time to have a good time, but to do so with a posture of appropriateness and a spirit to be shared with and by all.


Dec 26th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors Enjoy Bumble Bee and Surprise Since my wife and I now spend most our year in Arizona, I thought that I would share with SCJ readers a few “weird names” of towns in this state.  California has the longest list of names, and Texas and Pennsylvania comes close. You may never have an opportunity […]


Dec 26th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Some are allowed an extra day to share in the spirit of the season. Because Christmas this year fell on a Sunday, the day is extended beginning with a half day off on Saturday, all day on Sunday and a full day on Monday. What that has a tendency to do is to treat it much like presidential holidays that are observed now on Mondays. It lends itself to those who travel having extra time to travel or to enjoy those who do.

The day after carries no official symbolism, but is granted amnesty by those who are fortunate enough to work in arenas that allow for time off. The irony is that theologically, while some quit the day as soon as midnight on the 25th arrives, the three wise men haven’t even really made much headway toward the scene of birth, celebrated on the 25th, but not consummated until Epiphany, twelve days later.


Dec 25th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Reflect, for just a moment, what it took to get here. It took 364 days of living, breathing, and preparing for this day. We really didn’t know we were about such a task, but we were. For coming to this day, and the few that remain in this year, takes a “heap ‘o livin.” It takes meeting every day with expectation and strength to make those days count.

And now, we are finally here. Without being conscious that we were making ready for this day, we were. For our bosoms long for what this day brings and means. Our hearts need to be refueled with kindness, thoughtfulness, generous love, consideration for others, a spirit that keeps our attitude rich with compassion and sensitivity.

In order for the year past and the year to come to have any value and significance at all, we will have needed to be about the very


Dec 24th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Finances

Last week SCJ began a two-part post on the ten best cities to retire in the United States, chosen by AARP.  Their examination included over 350 cities.  They looked at financial data, including property and sales-tax rates, median housing prices, cost of living and tax rates on pensions and Social Security.   AARP also included recreation, […]


Dec 23rd, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Travel

So you’ve been to Georgia, huh?  No, not that one, the one near Azerbaijan.  Seniors can take in a Tran-Caucasus Odyssey with Road Scholar for 14 days in May or October in 2012. Doesn’t that sound like a true adventure!  On this trip you can delve into the wildly diverse cultures and landscapes of the […]


Dec 23rd, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

It is one of those remarkable winter days when the sun is out, the leaves still spin from tree to earth, the temperature is reasonably inviting, the crisp air is refreshing and everything, including your pets, urges us to be out of doors. Out of doors: literally, away from walls, no longer confined, tempted to be childlike and roll in the leaves.

So why not, before the afternoon shadows grow longer and the day’s beauty is stolen by the coming of night, and the sun quits its daily chores. Why not spend the day, or as much of it as you can, on yourself? And, if you are so inclined, invite someone along who will enjoy sharing the rich loveliness of an afternoon with you. Take along a thermos. Fill it with something hot or cold, whatever your pleasure. Slip a few home-baked goodies in your satchel. Sit under a mighty tree, smell the world about you, take in the magnificence of a winter’s day.