Author Archives: Jacqueline Damian

No easy job disposing of your stuff

How to get out from under a lifetime’s accumulation of STUFF is a problem we baby boomers face as we declutter, downsize or otherwise streamline our lives in anticipation of—well, the final chapter. “We’re all doing same thing—decluttering,” Colleen commented on my Facebook post about the big yard sale my husband and I planned over […]

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Good bugs, bad bugs

Words I never imagined speaking to my husband: “Honey, don’t open the nematodes in the kitchen.” The Priority Mail box of beneficial nematodes, ordered off the Internet, had been sitting in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks waiting for the right conditions. George was about to mix them in water preparatory to using a […]

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Not feeling well? Cue up Internet TV

It’s been a long, slow slog into spring, but I’ve barely been troubled by the cool, rainy weather. I’ve been stuck indoors anyway, with a nagging cough that turned out to be pertussis, aka whooping cough. Whooping cough seems like an illness from the history books—something children contracted in bygone times. But in fact, pertussis […]

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Caregiving: the hardest job you’ll ever have

One day while scanning the thrift store bookshelves, I spotted a memoir titled “Designated Daughter.” Author D.G. Fulford tells of moving home to Ohio to be near her aging mother, serving first as best friend and then, in time, as caregiver. Fulford rejoices in these “bonus years” with Mom, claiming she’s the one who gained […]

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Competitive aging

The huge baby boomer cohort of which I am a part—people born between 1946 and 1964—has always been a competitive bunch. We’ve competed for jobs and spouses, for material possessions (remember the old bumper sticker “He who dies with the most toys wins”?) and, of course, for concert tickets. Now, suddenly, we’re competing on a […]

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Am I unemployed…or retired?

I got back from vacation in Hawaii to learn I was losing my job. The company whose corporate technical magazine I had edited for the past eight years abruptly decided to stop publishing. The issue we had just put to bed would be the last. The job—which was part time and freelance—came to me shortly […]

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For the kittens, grass is always greener outdoors

Every so often you’ll see an old movie on TV—usually a comedy from the 1930s-’50s—that shows the family cat being shooed outdoors at night. Bring in the dog and put out the cat, as The Coasters say in “Yakety Yak.” Oh, how times have changed. Nowadays, most people keep their cats inside. Not only do […]

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Betwixt and between: redefining ‘old’

In 1980, when Ronald Reagan was campaigning for president, I remember telling my mother that I thought he was too old to run. Reagan was 69 at the time—Donald Trump’s age, as it happens. Mom, who was then in her early 50s, disagreed and so, apparently, did the electorate. Reagan went on to inhabit the […]

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So you want to live in Hawaii?

You know you’ve had a successful vacation when all you can think about when you get home is how cool it would be to live there. We recently returned from Kauai, the northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain, with killer head colds and daydreams of moving. It was our first trip to Hawaii and we […]

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Of ravioli and rice pies

In the kids’ calendar of holidays, subtitled “What’s in it for Me?”, Easter and Christmas ran neck-and-neck. Christmas brought piles of presents, while Easter delivered mounds of candy in a colorful, handled basket, courtesy of the Easter Bunny. Somehow this rabbit was also associated with eggs, even though we knew this was an anatomical impossibility […]

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