Weekly Feature Articles
Good health, enough wealth, long life, happy families—the stuff that dreams are made of. But most Americans' lives fall short in one or more of these areas, and often it's the midlife years (40s to 50s) where things start to go haywire. If you're one of the many, many people who feel that just when they got the hang of the game, the rules completely changed, read on.
What's different about money management at midlife?
Counter-culture revolutionary that I’m not, I am nonetheless always on the lookout for media that has been produced outside the mainstream. The catchall term for such media is “indie,” though such a mass grouping for what is actually a very diverse market is woefully oversimplified. But you get the idea:
Nutrition and weight loss, two hot topics you can't avoid. Pick up any magazine or newspaper, listen to any news show, talk to any doctor, friend, or co-worker and the topic is bound to come up. Oddly, for all our interest in nutrition and weight loss, Americans have never been heavier. Fad diets abound but don't seem to work. How about a new diet—a new diet that's been around for centuries? A diet that lets you eat normal food, is tasty, filling and can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure? Sound too good to be true? Well, the Mediterranean Diet is all of these things.
Sitting by a garden pond, watching bright fish weave their way through tangles of lilies while listening to sounds of rushing water—does this sound good to you? When we moved into our house we inherited a fish tank and found out just how nice it was. Unfortunately, the tank resembled a moonshine bathtub. So we have decided to give the fish a new home. Planning the pond has been fun, but there are a lot of things to consider before you start digging.
When we were expecting our first child, I started talking with my wife about homeschooling—which I now prefer to call unschooling. She agreed, and we have never regretted it. Raised to be independent learners, both children did well on their college entrance exams and are now away at college.
Working at home, I was able to help with our children's unschooling. I read to them—I am eternally grateful for the public library—and played with them. We sang, danced, built a house, hunted for turtles, crayfish, mushrooms, and learned to keep honeybees together.
I’ve gardened for years, both flowers and vegetables, and am a Master Gardener. My passion, though, is selecting, growing, and enjoying cultivated daylilies. Daylilies (hemerocallis lilioasphodelus, Greek for 'beauty for a day') are so named as each bloom lasts one day, yet the plants may be loaded with blooms, opening over several days, if not a couple of weeks. Daylilies come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They generally range from about 12” to 46” tall and have blooms from about 2” to 8” across! Colors include cream, pink, peach, wine, almost black, red, orange, yellow, and variations and combinations of those colors.
"In a poem, the secrets of the poem give it its tension and gift of emerging sense and form, so that it’s not always the flowering in the poem and the specific images that make it memorable, but the tensions and physicality, the rhythms, the underlying song.
The high spots of a poem could be said to correspond with the bloom in the garden. But you need the compositional entity in order to convey the weight and force of the poem’s motion, of its emerging meaning.
One day in late May I looked out the window and saw an enormous thick cloud of bees in front of our barn. What should I do?! Shut the windows and cower? Call the exterminator? Call the nearest beekeeper? I called the nearest beekeeper. (He was just in the next room.) If you haven't got the beekeeping bug, you might not be pleased to have a swarm of bees in your yard, but to my family, it means honey!
Due to the stupidity revealed in this story, our names have been changed to protect our identities. My husband, Ed, will henceforth be referred to as "Herb," and I will be "Sally." Herb and I are experienced hikers. We've read A Walk in the Woods.
When my husband suggested we buy a goat, I talked him out of it. From all I'd heard, a goat would be more trouble than it would be worth. They escape all the time. They eat everything they shouldn't. They get into all kinds of trouble. I knew a woman who had a goat that was always getting out and loved to climb on cars, leaving roofs and hoods covered with hoof-shaped dents. What would we do with a goat anyway?