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27 posts from September 2009

What do you say when you have terminal cancer?

In Michigan, most everybody knows the name Ernie Harwell who had been the longtime play-by-play announcer for the Detroit Tigers.  He has always epitomized the profile of a really good guy.3871377818_9b19a55045_t

In his 90's now and still active, he shared that he has terminal cancer.  His end date is in sight.  What's his reaction.  His attitude?  Is he feeling sorry for himself?

Baby-boomers, especially those in the first wave born between face questions about their mortality and about all the health conitions that bring them closer to death.  Friends of mine in their 50's and 60's are having heart attacks and strokes, are being diagnosed with cancer and are having stents put in coronary arteries.

How would you react to that kind of situation?

Here's how Harwell reacted:

"I really feel good. I've got a great attitude. I just look forward to a new adventure," Harwell told the paper. "God gives us so many adventures, and I've had some great ones. It's been a terrific life. Of course, the best thing that ever...

Baby-boomers: What do you want me to tell God when I see him this morning?

I wonder how many baby-boomers--those born between 1946 and 64--find going to church an important part of their lives.

In a few minutes, I'll hop--actually, it might be closer to a stumble--into the shower to get ready for church.  Going to church has been something I've been doing since I was a baby which would take me back to 1946. 

Growing up in northern Michigan, going to church was something my single-mom always felt important.  3871377818_9b19a55045_t It was a place where she could go to me with God and see some relief and some hope from the ups and downs of her daily life.  I grew up in a church that was part of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod which means that it was always focused on Jesus Christ and the eternal hope that he offers.

The service was always the same and after a period of time, the sermons sounded the same.  I found myself trying to fit the words into what was happening in my life at any given point in time.

I never seemed to reach the point of a close personal relationship with Jesus that's talked about so much these days.

As a member of the first class of baby-boomers, I find myself needing to clarify where I want to put my attention.  I've tried jobs.  There's been politics and a bunch of other stuff.  It all leaves me empty. 

Only thing left is my faith in God.  Will I see him this morning?  In the Bible, he says he will be there?  The question is will my eyes be open enough to see him.

Can any baby-boomers relate?


My Sunday online newspaper reading

Here's my online newspaper reading, our first Sunday without a daily newspaper in our household:
  1. Michigan Legislature's budget failure affects local units of government:  Lansing State Journal has decent story about how the legislature's failure to pass a state budget with revenue sharing amounts is affecting nearby units of government.  The projected size of cuts for local townships and cities is given.
  2. Mid-Michigan Physicians practice to take docs from Blue Care Network:  Lansing State Journal writes about the closing of Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Michigan's HMO on Creyts Road and how many of the docs and other employees are joining the large group practice Mid-Michigan Physicians.
  3. National health care bill includes end-of-life planning:  Detroit Free Press story appears to be an apologetic for the U.S. House federal health care bill which would pay doctors to help patients plan for care as they face the end of life.  Story emphasizes all the money that would be saved by not having to pay for unnecessary care. 
  4. Prosecutors and prison officials fight over release of prisoners:  Detroit Free Press writes about prosecutors who are saying that the Michigan Department of Corrections officials who are releasing dangerous felons as a means to save the state money.  This is worth a read and sharing some reaction.
These are the stories that I read.  I glanced at other headlines.  Overall, I was pretty unimpressed by what the Lansing State Journal offers online.  Is it less than I would get from the actual paper?  To compare, I might buy a Sunday paper.  Would the coupons pay for the paper?

LINK: Are you ready to pay a premium for web access to local newspaper content?

The well-being of government at all levels is directly related to the health of the news media, I passionately feel.  Check out this Twittered link from Dave Poulson who teaches environmental reporting at the Michigan State University School of Journalism.  

It's an online story from the American Journalism Review about how newspapers are looking at providing full web access to their newspaper if viewers pay a premium that would be above the price for what's charged for home delivery or in a newspaper box.

I need to read the whole piece carefully. 

How much would you be willing to pay for online access to the local paper?

Thanks for sharing the link David.


How many baby-boomers still get a daily newspaper?

It's a nice almost fall Saturday morning here in mid-Michigan with the sun shining and the temperature approaching a degree of warmth.  However, this is the first weekend where I have a major change in my routine.

We stopped getting a daily newspaper.  In our case, it's the Lansing (MI) State Journal.3871377818_9b19a55045_t

All my adult life I've gotten a daily newspaper and on some days more than one.  Living here in mid-Michigan, I would quite often collect my newspaper from the porch and then get a Detroit Free Press or Detroit News during the morning and then occasionally get a USA Today.  Well, no more.

I grew up reading newspapers and loving it.  Whenever my mom would travel, as a kid, the first thing I'd ask for was a newspaper from wherever she traveled to.  That never changed much over the years.  Growing up in northern Michigan, it was a ritual on Sundays to stop at a curbside newspaper box and get a Detroit paper, first a Detroit Times and when it closed, either a Free Press or News.

These days when my son flies home from Washington D.C., he always brings a Washington Post and I love reading it.

Times have changed.  The news in our local paper has gotten thinner and thinner.  For a long time, we could justify getting it because of the coupons.  Take them to the local Meijers and you could double them.  They would pay for the paper.

Even the quality of the coupons has lessened and have become harder to use.

We paid more than $100 every six months for the local paper.  We finally decided that money would be better spent elsewhere, like with our internet service provider.

A question:  How many baby-boomers who grew up with a newspaper, kept getting it as adults, but have found local journalism lacking and have canceled the paper?  Do you miss going to the front porch every morning?


I am now a 63-year-old baby-boomer

This past Monday I turned 63 years-old which makes me a charter member of the demographic group described as baby-boomers. 

3871377818_9b19a55045_t I'm on an aging journey with lots of others who were born between 1946 and 1964.  It would be too easy  to just shrug it off and say it's another chapter of my life and not give it much thought.  But, I know that with more life behind me, than ahead, I can't do that.

I've struggled at times since I retired more than four years ago from my day job as a state of Michigan employee.  It has forced me to look at my life and where I've been, where I'm at right now and where I want to be in the future.

I know that I have to live more intentionally than I have in the past.  To do that, I need to be sure where I want to put my efforts.

I want to use this blog as a place to share this sorting out process with others who may be going through the same thing or who can see it happening in the future.

So stay tuned as I share this part of my life and a journey where my choices are getting fewer.

I'd welcome comments from others who are, who have or who will experience the same thing.


Super-wife and I say "yes" to movie "Julie and Julia"

One of the nice things about being baby-boomer retirees is the ability to make a spur-of-the moment decision to see a movie which is what we did today.

Julieandjulia We took a stab in the dark by going to see "Julie and Julia."  Our connection to the subject matter, famous cook Julia Childs and a wannabe Julie Powell was tenuous at best.  If being a foodie meant being regular watchers of the Food Network's "Diner, Drive-ins and Dives" then that was us.

Walking out of the movie, we both had a smile on our face and acknowledged that we liked the story and the way it was portrayed with two women being connected through a cookbook.

I was never good at book reviews and certainly not at movies.  Usually, my main criteria is liking the story. 

It was a mashing together of Julia Childs as she started her cooking career during the late forties and 30-year-old Julie who felt a special kinship to Julia through her famous cook book about french cooking. 
She decides to get closer to her cooking mentor by cooking every dish in Julia's cookbook and then blogging about it.

The task was gigantic, but in the process Julie found her identity and gained a ton of notoriety for her efforts.

Would I like to see it again when it comes out on DVD?  Definitely.  Good story.  

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