Dreaded Diseases and Attitude
A Blockbuster Reader Story and Alex and Ronni Show

A TGB READER STORY: Finding Your Tribe (OR Notes On Losing A Local Poetry Contest)

By officerripley

We keep hearing these days that if we're lonely, we just need to "find our tribe," i.e., individuals with whom we can feel we have at least one thing in common.

And although there's sometimes truth to the old saying, "If you're unhappy, don't bother moving to a different place; you take your problems with you no matter where you go," I think it sometimes does make a difference where you live and you might have more luck finding your tribe in another area.

As my previous story here pointed out, I'm an old lefty/liberal, childless-by-choice woman living in a very conservative area and unable to move since Husband refuses. So I've made an effort by volunteering, trying meet-up.com and other groups (no churches since I'm an atheist).

But seem to keep running up against the fact that in this area, the women in my age group who come the closest to what I think might be my tribe all seem to be highly educated and professional, and my earlier submission described my lack of success with joining, to name just one example, a local feminist group who only takes those with degrees or who are getting degrees.

So since they say that art can help with emotional stress, I submitted three entries to a local poetry contest run by the local progressive newspaper.

In addition to loving these poems I wrote and how good it felt to speak from my heart, I admit that I was also hoping that one might get published as an honorable mention.

And, too, that some of the local, elderly, liberal, professional women I used to know mostly through working at the local university might notice, remember that I exist, contact me, and invite me to one of their private book clubs (or something). Then I might've found my tribe, yay!

None of mine were accepted, however; and looking at the winners and the list of honorable mentions, they all appear to be degreed, professional people.

The newspaper said all names were removed before the judges read the poems and I believe them; I don't think any favoritism was involved. What I am starting to think is that maybe those who all along have told me that it's always better to be as highly educated as possible are right. In this case anyway, the poetry by the highly educated was deemed the best.

So finally I arrive at: what if you do manage to find your tribe but you're not allowed in? Or rather, the fact is that there is no tribe at all for some people?

I think that might explain at least some of the sadness of some of the elderly: they never found a tribe and it's too late now (especially if you no longer drive).

So I think I need to finally stop wearing myself out trying to find my tribe anywhere other than online; I'm too old to keep getting my hopes dashed. As Donovan put it, "I may as well try and catch the wind."


I share your lament about finding your tribe. And I do agree that we can find our tribe on the Internet. At least that's the only place I have found mine.

I have outlived my original tribe of friends who shared my beliefs and with whom I could speak freely. My neighbors are only interested in their grandchildren or stories of their past that no one cares about. My local friends are busy with careers or family and I rarely see them. So I open my PC each morning to see what my friends online have to share.

I am liberal and a non-believer so feel free to join my tribe. Oh, right! You have already by being a follower of dear, Ronni.

You're in my tribe, too.

I DID get the fabled degree(s) but not till my 40s and 50s, so I too well remember the unofficial class system you describe. I enjoyed the process a lot but I am, myself, exactly as smart as I ever was--less smart than some, more smart than some. It matters less than I expected.

I, too, have lived in areas where it was clear who was "in" (a small group who knew each other for many years) and who was "out" (everyone else). It stung. Boy, do I feel your pain!

Having a choice about where you live helps a LOT but it's not everything. Don't you wish somebody prepared young girls for the fact that, career or not, husband's usually more lucrative job dictates where the family lives? Nobody does, and this happened to me, too.

So keep looking locally, but in the meantime, you (like me & Darlene) have your Internet tribe.

Oh I am so fortunate. In my ‘70’s now, I have found a new tribe. I’ve no degree but I’m accepted anyway. My husband and I have lived in a seniors oriented building for 10 years now, and among the residents, I and three other friends have been connecting weekly for a walk, weather and circumstances permitting, followed by a coffee or what have you. Hey Actually now the group now includes an old friend of mine so now there are 5 of us.
For sure it’s a sanity break in which we talk about things that range from current events to outright silliness.

I feel as if I have found an on-line sister in you. Despite having two degrees, they've really not gotten me far as they aren't the, "right" degrees.

I've always had trouble finding my people. I recently post on our area Next Door app a call out to others who wanted to come together in friendship for the purposes of learning, socializing, etc. Lonliness is such a pervasive feeling these days

I had about ten people who responded, but they were very clear about not doing anything that might create an expectation of "more" interaction. What??

I, too, want to be with people who are interested in diverse ideas and activities. I am willing to entertain opinions that differ from mine.

I don't think it's your "lack" of education that keeps you out of groups. To me you sound the most "educated" of them all. I think people have just gotten comfortable sitting in their comfy chairs and engaging on-line with people of their own ilk. It's why, in part, our country has become as divided as it is.

In the meantime, know that there is a community of women who hear you and send you love. So happy that Ronni offers stories like yours.

I have degrees but haven' always found that helps much. What I have found is Human Design. It is yet another system of looking at who we are from the point of view of your DNA. It includes your astrology, the Kabbalah, I Ching, and modern Quantum Mechanics. I am not pushing anything here, but this system has given me insight that has eluded me for my 72 years of searching. I found that I am a Projector; only 20% of us are this type. We need to be recognized and invited before we are successful at something. This is very different from the Generator type which makes up 70% of the population and would appear to be the "norm." They are guided by a body/sacral energy on how to make decisions and they have a lot more directed energy that is sustainable than do we Projectors. A lot of things fell into place for me when I learned this. For people like me, place makes a huge difference to our happiness and finding our tribe. Check it out There is lots of information on the Net now about it. Enjoy this day.

I too am grateful, passionately, for this tribe here.

In other ways, my good fortune landed me in high liberal-land, where there is little to no discrimination or marginalizing of people. It still exists here, mostly having to do with wealth and clan-forming on that basis, but can be ignored and avoided. I think it's the structure of capitalism and its elevation of monetary standards as one's worth that majorly causes divisions among people.

Close friends live in the NW and elsewhere, so connections and new friends for me are found via classes and gatherings like meditation groups or volunteering opportunities at the senior center, art workshops, public events like lectures and walking dogs for a shelter. Others could be made by volunteering (anywhere!) or using "Meet Up" to find those like-interests.

Thank you for

I also have been searching for my tribe for 70 years. Anyone in the Ventura, California area? I have degrees, but that's not so important to me. The older I get, the more important finding my tribe seems.

Ten years ago I moved from Seattle to Phoenix and it took several years to find my “peeps” and a few good friends. One I found through joining a Scrabble group on Meet Up. Another was found for me when the aunt of my son’s school friend called and said she knew that her friend and I would hit it off! As strange as that sounded, I took a chance and went to lunch and we became fast friends!

I found most of my tribe through volunteering for a cause I was committed to, gun violence prevention. No one ever asked if I had degrees .., seems ridiculous to me. I tried a book club once but they were not for me, until this year when I joined one at our 55+ community we moved into and it’s great. I still only have very few very close friends, which is normal, I think. I lost my friend I met at Scrabble through cancer, and still miss her. Getting involved in local politics -even in a red state- might be a good entree to making friends who share your values!

Well, I enjoyed your statement. I have friends who are far more educated than I and they
don't have squat, and I have friends with no education whom have been very successful.
I, too, decided not to have children. I (and we) have relocated many times. Yep, you attract
the same friends each time, and with email and the new long distance rates one can "take
it with you". Our generation seemed to be attracted to hobbies and clubs, both of which
seem out of favor against the cell phone generation. At the later stages of life, there is less
to have in common; we all have personal baggage. I no longer worry about friendships, they
happen in spite of the way I am.

My God, what's a degree anyway!! I know that it's a "ticket", a "pass", an "entrance fee" to some groups or organizations. As an IBM manager "in the field", I never looked at the person's background … I wanted to know who he or she was -- and what they stood (or sat) for. The interview was all I ever needed … and the ones that were the most nervous, initially, were usually the best candidates for hirin'. (Unfortunately, I needed my degrees to even be considered for employment at IBM -- I was already 34 years of age.)

You belong to a "tribe" -- right here and now!! We just don't get an official membership card, but you can tell by their comments if they are worthy of becomin' a "member of the tribe"! (Funny, as a Jew, I remember when I was young my parents would identify another Jew as a "member of the tribe"!) Organizations that use a "college degree" as an entrance fee -- are missin' out on some of the truly wonderful and intelligent people in this world.

I must admit that as a nonagenarian, I joined Facebook -- I had refused to join up until we moved from a 24-year stint in Mexico (San Miguel de Allende). There are some FB folks that have thousands or hundreds of "so-called" friends. I have been extremely particular who I accept as "FB friends" and have made some new and interestin' new "pals" -- but also, I have "un-friended" quite a few!

Glad to have met you, "fellow-tribesperson" ...

You mention "no churches--I'm an atheist", but I wonder if you have tried your local Unitarian Universalist church/fellowship/society. UU embraces agnosticism and atheism, as well as those who may have fallen away from traditional religion. I was raised UU, so 20+ years ago, when I moved to a new area, recovering from the loss of two family members, I turned to the women's group at the UU fellowship for solace. My friends in the area have primarily come from UU. The book club which I attend also arose from this group. Most of us probably have a degree(s); however, it is not something which is discussed nor felt to be of any importance. If you want to find fellow "lefty/liberal" folk, this is a great place to start!

Found my tribe through a Facebook group called Elder Orphans.
What is an Elder Orphan? We are aging alone without support of family. No spouse, no children, parents deceased. We may have siblings, nieces and nephews, or cousins, but they are estranged or unavailable.

We are a resilient and independent group and when we meet another EO there is usually an instant rapport and understanding of the issues we deal with.
I started a Portland Oregon Elder Orphan Facebook group. We meet monthly for lunch, and occasionally for a movie or visit to the art museum. Those of us who live close to each other often have dinner together.
Never thought I would find my new best friends through Facebook.💕

This year the company I founded celebrates sixty years of business in Oregon! I was 30 (now 90) with two young children, and no child support. But, I DID it, and went on to a successful life. Soooo... I am interested in business, especially small business. Anyone else out there like me?

But, as to friends... we connect when we sense a certain spark in someone. Many of my long-time friends are gone, so I have to make new ones. But, that is life... and living.

I second the recommendation for Unitarian thinking, and also senior centers, as a great way to meet, and share friendships.

I have done some volunteer work and occasionally have met some interesting people but I can’t replace my old friends who have died by doing volunteer work. So right now Google who is always around is my best friend.

I understand what your saying, "finding your tribe" ..... I "grew" mine. Gave birth to six beautiful smart kids, staggering the births, last one left the nest when I was 58. Gave me a purpose, a reason, an idenity. But as I found out, they're not my friends, nor should they be. I am also a artist, albeit on and off, now furiously On ...trying to find my art "tribe"online.
Searching has worn me out. I am 74yr, 5 months and 20 days old. Post stroke, and various other fun physical stuff....throw in the mix a radical, ("What was I thinking?") move from Seattle, to Georgia..(thats a story in itself) I'm also Catholic living in a Baptist Retirement Community. (I'm the only Catholic here) I think it was easier to find friends when I could drive. We are such a mobile society.
I'lI finish by saying I'm ultra Liberal and have loose lips, ie; can't keep my opinions to myself.
Wonder what my chances of finding my tribe here are?
Been following Ronni for years, think I'll hang around . Good People here.

I am in the Ventura area, long time fan of T.G.B. and a passenger vacationing on the ship
"This End-up". I wanted to get my B.A. because I thought it would be a ticket to a whole new me - but it wasn't . I cannot imagine why a group of intelligent people would want to hear about someone's educational background, nor why one would want to join one that did require such credentials.

Should Ronni want to send each or either of us contact information I would be gald to meet you, Judith.

Another child-free, liberal, agnostic/atheist-leaning TGB reader here. Although I have degrees (one earned in my mid-40s), I have not found that they are the key to finding a tribe, although that may be more the case in a college town or one where high tech rules (I live in a smaller city outside Seattle). I'm a quintessential introvert which probably has a lot to do with not needing tons of social interaction; my husband is, too, so we're a perfect match!

I'm 82 and think that maybe physical (dis)abilities begin to have more influence over one's social life as we enter our 80s and beyond. My husband (89) cannot see well in the dark and has some balance issues so cannot navigate uneven ground. It's challenging to drive at night and just generally harder to make the effort to get out and do stuff in my experience. For some elders, there are financial issues as well. We may think about going out to dinner, but it's just easier (and cheaper) to eat something simple at home. Obviously, we won't meet new people doing that.

There are the outliers, of course, who are summiting mountains and starting new companies in their '70s and beyond, but that's probably not representative of most. I love cats and have volunteered for a cat rescue/rehoming nonprofit since 2011. Unfortunately, I may be forced to give that up before long, since lifting 10-14 lb. kitties into upper-level cages is no longer something I can easily do--another tribal link gone.

Online I'm on Next Door, Quora and FB although I don't use FB as much--I still lack confidence in their ability to safeguard personal data. I never miss reading TGB and feel like I have more in common with the "TGB Tribe" than I do with my neighbors in our 55+ community, many of whom seem content to live in Trumpistan. I'm SO not!

Officer Ripley....Oh this post spoke to me big time!

Widowed, 72, no children, liberal, democrat and atheist. And I live in a very red and religious area of a mostly red state. I’m also not college educated, but well read and informed and use critical thinking skills. I’m here because I knew people and I like the weather and after my husband died, I wanted to leave a colder climate.

My saving grace are two friends who think exactly like I do and one more who does, but is not as adamant about her feelings. So I guess a tribe of 2 or 3 is better than none.

I joined a local atheist group, but there were only 10 or so people who showed up and they were all young ...way young.

There is an Unitarian Church about a 45 drive away, but the membership is small.

I came from Asheville NC and that might be a place to consider moving if you want to move. I’d consider going back, but it’s more expensive and I have friends here now and I love my new home.

I follow many like minded blogs on the internet and it has been a life saver for me...knowing that there are others out there...many I believe, just not here.

There may be an liberal progressive group on Facebook for older people. I may check this out myself.

I never though from the 60s progress in human and civil rights, that we’d fall so far back now to the dark ages.


What snobs, what idiots! Give me a loving, wise heart, give me somebody who, if they can, will stand up and put their boots on and do what needs to be done each day, even find a ray of joy therein. Give me somebody who loves to laugh, and isn't afraid to shed their tears when that's what's up. And definitely give me somebody who doesn't give a damn whether or not you have a degree, or X number of dollars in the bank, belong to a certain club or whatEVER. These degree snobs can't be the ONLY people around you..............can they???? Damn. I've got a degree which means nothing, less than nothing. Anybody who has the idea that you need a degree to enjoy each other's company isn't worth bothering with. Isn't there a meditation group? Art group? Spiritual group? Seems like they are usually pretty wide open. Hey, how about starting a blog called "Degree Free?" Ha ha. And may you have the last laugh!!!

I enjoyed reading your two columns and certainly can relate about the feeling of not “fitting in” and not having a tribe. I have one more handicap than you have: I was born in another country, became a citizen, but still have an accent (English is my 3rd language,) and that put many US people off. Blogging has been a life saver for me. I read about Ronni ten years ago and started my own blog. At the beginning of my husband’s Alzheimer’s disease we traveled and I was able to meet several blogging friends, in Norway, Paris, New York, New Orleans, San Francisco and even St. Petersburg, Russia. Many of them have become on-line friends. You may find some blogs of interest to you. Taking pictures, thinking about what to write, writing, etc., keeps me engaged.

Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease, also for the 24/7 caregiver – it has a way of keeping people away. We lived near Atlanta and moved to Nashville but keeping the GA house. Both large cities in red states and I am very liberal, non-religious, 79 years old. My husband died 7 months ago and I still don’t have any friends here, but I keep busy clearing and moving out of GA. After Alzheimer’s where I felt like a prisoner, I am enjoying the freedom to be by myself. The UK and Holland are starting to have programs to help seniors with isolation and finding friends – it is a problem everywhere. I live walking distance from two large universities but the attendees are too busy to talk to a senior! But I always feel surrounded by friends when I visit Ronni’s blog. There have been many suggestions for you in the comments, I hope some will be helpful to you.

Thanks so so SO much for all the kind comments, everyone and thanks, major thanks, all the thanks in the world to Ronni for posting it! Ronni, we all love you! Anyway, I was feeling really down when I submitted this and then began to feel bad about bringing others down with me as well, so your kind comments mean. A. Lot. Hugs to all.

I did recently find a local meetup group for gals over 60 & glory be, there are some people like me in it; so hopefully that'll become a comfort as it goes on. If I can get my physical health a little better, I'm thinking about volunteering for a local liberal candidate. (I love volunteering at the local library but the other volunteers seem to be even more introverted than I, so the 2 attempts I made at friendship never went anywhere. Oh well.)

Thanks again, everyone!

Officerripley, I am so glad to hear about your volunteer plans. I was going to suggest that, at least in part because I am interested in it myself.

When I posted above, I was recalling my "tribeless" 8-year stay in a previous state. I forgot to add that when we were (finally!) moving away, I learned--by the goodbye parties and general fuss that was made--that I had somehow morphed into being part of the tribe. But I never felt it when it would have mattered. And by the time we were leaving, I was over it and didn't care! So *that* happens.

Keep plugging away. I sense from your tone that you will succeed, and soon.

The smartest resident in the IRL where I volunteer is 101 years old.

Born in Holland, her mother taught her to design and create original women's hats.

No degrees. Self taught.

Great storyteller, sense of humour.

On the other hand, one of my former uni professors would walk into the classroom, stand there and jingle his pocket change throughout the three hour class. A class which was required. Oh no. Every Monday night.

His teaching style was -no style - read 100 pages of this dry nothing to do with the day to day realities of high school teachers... Then write a paper.

Now and then one of us (working teachers who busted their butts driving downtown to this evening class) would suggest discussing a REAL classroom issue, such as Billy took out a lighter and fired up his hoodie strings.

JIngle Prof looked like a deer in headlights.

What page in the text dealt with this issue?

No page. Zero page.

Jingle prof had the degree.

But unless it was in the book, it didn't exist.

Officerripley I like your style.

There is so much in the post and comments that I relate to on a visceral level. I have been an outsider all of my life, never believing that I fit in anywhere. Of course, that always left me with the feeling that I was less than anyone else. For 50 of my almost 75 years, I have struggled to come to terms with who I really am.

It took me all those years to recognize that I'm not above or below anyone else, that my self worth doesn't depend on others, that if I keep on showing up, I will eventually be accepted, that volunteering for something I believe is important, is a wonderful way to find other like minded people.

I like what Francine had to say about the "Projector's" and found it resonated positively with me. I could see myself in that category, Thank you all for sharing your comments. I do feel part of this tribe, even if I only share occasionally.

Have you ever looked at a Unitarian Universalist Congregation known as UU. Most of the tribe is lefty, agnostic, atheist, Or following there own path. There are some theists but probably a minority. No one checks your degrees at the door. I found one in Virginia where my neighborhood was all conservatives.
Made friends, got involved in social justice stuff. Poetry and art are loved.

Sounds like a family to me. Wouldn't it be great if we could all meet up and form our own tribe? Meanwhile we can still be pen pals.

Thanks for this important topic, the "tribes" we belong to, finding them, and maybe not being included in the ones we think we should belong to! I would in no way fit into the tribe I was born into anymore. Like Nana Royer said, I found the Unitarian Universalists just right for me these days...and within that congregation there are certainly smaller sub-tribes. When I first attended, I thought everyone was already "belonging" with everyone, but gradually I found people just like me. And my challenge now is to see how accepting I can be of those who aren't part of my tribe!

Ditto on many people's recommendations. What's this crap about degrees? Some of the most boring, unimaginative, tedious and limited people I have ever met have had Ph.D.s. Give me a break!

I got a "mature women's discussion group" going by trolling for members in meetup and nextdoor. It was an interesting experience to see how many people didn't even read the description completely! After much emailing back and forth, an initial meeting of 10 women was reduced to 4 by the second meeting, and has stayed there. It is VERY rewarding and we have just decided to meet every 2 weeks instead of monthly because we like it so much.

I've always been an outlier, due to a number of factors that I won't bore you with. I realized long ago that I would never be part of the in-crowd and created my own standards. I am comfortable with being alone, but not all the time, and with feeling close only to one or 2 people at a time. But then I am a born introvert. Fortunately I love cats, who are very good company! One of the major disadvantages of getting old is that both cats and people seem to be dying more rapidly.

I would be aware of how you approach people, though. I wonder if you have an underlying expectation of failure or rejection that people pick up on. Just cast your bread upon the waters and see which fish rise to eat it, and don't be in too much of a hurry to get to know them. Good luck.

I'm reading this one day late and "Wow!" This certainly hit home. After reading the comments, I agree w/ Elizabeth Rogers about the impact/influence of physical (dis)abilities being more of a factor in isolationism. We downsized and moved an hour away from a major hospital due to health problems. During the past 3 yrs. I've lost very long-term dear friends. That has had a tremendous impact because we could always depend on one another to share thoughts & feelings; as well as confident that we would fly to wherever in the country if needed. So there is this huge gap which I know will never be refilled. But I have accepted that. I've suffered from peripheral neuropathy due to chemo 18 yrs. ago. My feet are extremely painful & it's difficult to drive. I'm grateful I have only one major health problem. However, my husband is going blind, has AFIB, lacks good judgment, memory loss, blah, blah. He can't drive. Can you imagine? We spend lots of time driving to & from medical appts. Our adult children are not part of our lives due to circumstances beyond our control. So here we are. I absolutely cannot leave my husband alone. Therefore, our lives are very, very different but we are gradually adjusting & managing to accommodate. I too am so grateful to have found blogs that are interesting. Ronni's is the first I ever began to read & that has led to my now reading bloggers from everywhere. So terrific to keep in touch w/ others this way. Wonderful to be able to hear what people I'm in sync with have to say. Otherwise, I do believe my new lifestyle would be extremely painful and lonely. I have to thank Ronni's blog for launching my love of following certain contributors and keeping me "on my toes." (ha ha).

I can really relate to this.

My tribe is online only. I have two degrees, very liberal in that I believe in all of the constitution and bill of rights, not just the 2nd amendment. Not religious but kinda spiritual.
Not too many like me around here.

It is nice to read all the comments here and know that others feel the same way.

Thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts.

I agree with those who say we have an amazing tribe right here on the TGB reservation—a tribe of mostly outsiders, atheists or agnostics, introverts, liberals, all of us pretty old. We’ve been there, we have life experience, we know stuff.

We all tend to drop things, many of us are plagued by runny noses and incontinence. We share a need for naps, have trouble communicating with our doctors, have non-Alzheimers memory lapses. We share our problems with Medicare and prescription drugs. Falling is one of our greatest fears and both heat and cold are problematic. Many of us, perhaps most of us, live alone. Others have spouses who may either be supporters or heavy responsibilities.

We may not all have advanced degrees, but we’re all smart and good at expressing our thoughts and opinions (we’re very opinionated). We seem to like each other and get along quite well. If that’s not a tribe, I don’t know what is.

As I remarked to one of my last long-term friends just last week “I no longer have a group.”
This blog and the comments mean a lot to me; helps so much to know there are like-minded folks out there.

Oh my, so many voices that echo my experience must mean I am not as weird as I have been thinking I am. It has been a long and winding road to become someone who I actually like — and who has so much privilege and possibility. I have a loving partner, good neighbours, and, due to all the changes in the last few years of my life, no real sense of belonging.
How does this happen to an educated, well-travelled woman in her mid-sixties? Multiple interests in many topics — conversation, movies, music, literature, women’s history, psychology, and a variety of activities — hiking, swimming, golf, cycling, kayaking, yoga, etc. So why am I not meeting/ connecting with other women?
It has never been easy for me to make really close friends, but I have always been able to fit in to an assortment of groups. Since retirement, I haven’t had the energy or the patience for groups or group activities. I long for one or two close friends to share long walks and deep talks with and yet how does one wade through the superficial interchanges that group chatter demands to find the people who speak one’s language?
Living in isolation is not the answer. Avoiding meetings, outings, social activities, and online conversations like this are definitely not going to create any chance of meeting those who I might truly connect with. So, here I am, listening to each of you speak and feeling more engaged than I’ve been in awhile. Strange how we seem to be so far apart from each other in a geographical sense, and so close in experience/ mindset. Wondering if any of you live anywhere close to the west coast of Canada and the beautiful Vancouver Island?

Do you live anywhere near Victoria?

Ronni, I took your advice and read officerripley's "story" and all the comments. They just added to my feelings of gratitude for the various tribes I belong to. The most important one has been the UU church here in Ames, IA. I belong to a "sub-tribe" there called WOW: Women of Wisdom, whom I lovingly call the Old Church Ladies gab group. Most of the dear people who take me places (can't drive any more) and include me in social plans are part of the group or the lager congregation. My husband recently died. They took over all the planning for his Celebrtaion of Life, including Officiating, Special Music, catering the reception, etc. Wonderful.

Another tribe are my friendly neighbors in the 55+ Co-op where I've lived for three years. The women of our Caring Committee served a lovely dinner for my late husband's family after the CoL service. You should see the stack of sympathy cards! There are quite a few liberal minded folks here, as well, so finding a close friend or two here has worked out well.

Four years ago, a UU friend and I organized a Low Vision Support Group for Ames. That's my third tribe - people who are coping with vision loss.

I'm just so grateful and fortunate to have all of the above in my life. I'm living "Midwestern" while my heart is "No. Californian" so I guess the Universe is compensating. Though I have 4 fabulous daughters, only one very busy daughter lives nearby, so having a large family is no guarantee of tribal life in aging.

Of course, I appreciate your online tribe very much, Ronni. Keep on keeping on.

I'd like to comment, but, per usual, wisdom and knowledge have been beautifully shared already. How I'd love to meet each and every one of you. This group is something of a dream come true for me. Thank you for all that you are and that you share.

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