Ronni Bennett, 1941-2020
I Am Back and Ready

Election Day

This morning finds me with an overwhelming anxiety. I have been up for hours, and have reached for my phone three times to call one of the only people I know who could understand, empathize, and validate the terror I am feeling about the state of the world and more so, the state of our country. Ronni and I have spent COUNTLESS hours talking about health care, Social Security, Medicare, taxes, global warming, education, equality... well, you get it. Recently, however, our conversations had changed to the basic difference between right and wrong. We discussed that this election has drawn a moral line in the sand. We are no longer living in a time where we can discuss basic policy (am I insane to admit there are times that I miss W?) but instead, a time where we are deciding the fate of our country.

I promise that the future of this blog will not be one draped in political agenda. Ronni felt so strongly about this election — please VOTE.

– Autumn


Thanks for sharing. A great way to avoid stress and anxiety is by working out, staying active. Our site has a curated list of the top recumbent bikes for seniors these holidays. Feel free to click on our name and take a look.

Thanks again for sharing.

Goodbye all. Really hoped Autumn and music would continue for another while. Now truly alone...

Not related to this post or the election...

It's approaching Thanksgiving now and I just came back to acknowledge my gratitude for Ronni and all that she has done for us with this life of hers and this blog.
May you all be well and safe and constantly aware of the richness of this life, even now all locked down. <3

I was so hoping Autumn would continue at this place we all called home for so long. I guess, as MC posted, it really is goodbye ☹️

It's Thanksgiving day here in the U.S. Thinking of Ronni and in her honor, I will be listening to Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant.

I am so thankful for Ronni's words all these years.

Although we don't have Thanksgiving here in Australia, this year in particular I think all of us here are giving thanks for Ronni and her friendship and writings.
While Peter has done the work on his music column, I've always enjoyed all your comments on that and Ronni's other columns. And as Annie said, listening to Alice's Restaurant is the appropriate remembrance.
I hope all of you are keeping safe and well for now, and next year will be better.

Missing Ronni's blog so much. I haven’t seen any signs of a new one from Autumn. Am I just not knowing where to look?
Miss the camaraderie of like minded people and being able to express such relief that soon trump will be gone and a calm and decency have surfaced...
Hope someone sees this.....

Hope everyone had a good and safe Thans

Now that the election and Thanksgiving are past us, when can we expect you to write, Autumn? Please bring us up to date on events after Ronni's passing. We, her many friends, have lots of questions and would like to hear from you.

What Lutie said! I still check every morning hoping...then sorrow.

I have been waiting for instructions about how to continue to get As Time Goes By. I thought the blog was going to continue after Ronni's passing, but I have not received any notifications.

Anyone else?

Regina B

Regina B, the blog is still here and we can make comments. There just won't be any new posts with Ronni gone. Perhaps Autumn will occasionally post, but I don't think that was ever the plan. If, as a community, the readers want to continue to make comments, there is a list on the side of the blog that shows new comments. That's how I found yours. Hope this is a bit helpful. I know we are all sad to no longer have Ronni's take on the world.

Autumn, where oh where art thou???

Perhaps at some point Autumn will explain the situation with this blog so we won't need to speculate. I've just assumed she was in mourning and possibly taking care of matters associated with Ronni's passing -- all that can come up relative to business and possessions.
Hopefully she or others in her life haven't encountered the virus, her computer hasn't crashed or she hasn't lost the blog password!

I figured our patience was the kindest thing we could offer. That said, I guess we can continue to enjoy each other's company here by discussing various topics of the day, focusing on what it's really like to be old -- always mindful of how Ronni wanted us to conduct ourselves.

What do we do after someone we care about dies? I remember only too well my reaction to news unexpected of different friends death. Then there was all that transpired after my husband's sudden death -- how I coped, what I did or didn't do. The seemingly strange things that happened, along with tears and laughter.

Politics weighs heavily on my mind and like many of you there's much to be said with all that's going on. I miss the pithy comments and incredulous reactions Ronni might have had now, but she did seem to be trying to restrain herself from writing more on that topic by introducing other matters on her mind.

There's that January 5th runoff election in Georgia that could make a difference in the Senate. Still, I think Ronni wouldn't have been able to avoid commenting on some of the unbelievably craziness now, along with the concerns until our newly elected President is actually inaugurated and in the White House. Then what will happen?

Health care is a matter concerning all of us as does what goes on with Medicare.
Social Security funding certainly will continue needing our attention.
These are topic issues we can continue to share and talk about here along with our flukey daily life experiences that are overlooked or abused in the media.

There are those instances of language used that serves to disparage older people. Oh yes, the continuing examples of age discrimination in the work place. You know as well as I do the many other issues Ronni introduced that impact our lives as we age.

What would she have to say about these Covid-19 vaccines and distribution hierarchy -- any issues associated with trials in the aged population, for example? Can we ignore this raging virus as we approach the holiday season and the toll it's taking? For those who celebrate this season whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, both, or other, will the holiday be different from others remembered? What gifts do we aging folks most appreciate receiving or give to others?

Of course there has to be a mix of humor that helps keep us all sane. We need some music, but Peter's not here. Oh yes, and the unusual videos, the cute animals.

I could write a lot more but so could you. Autumn can easily step in at any time with whatever her thoughts and plans may be, which may even a bit different from all this. In the meantime dear friends, what should we talk about ?

Stopping by, hoping for music, so sad.
Dear Autumn,
We are worried about you and your family. Please let us know, even if it is just to say goodbye. These are very hard times for all of us so we will understand.

Going back over Autumn's post on Ronni's death, she stated this: "We all will feel the pain of this loss for a long time to come, and although 30 years her junior and far from a writer, I will continue to make TGB accessible, and comments are always welcome." And while she did a post on the election, all she guaranteed was that she would continue to make TGB accessible for comments, NOT that she would continue to write the blog. Also, considering she is 30 years younger than Ronni, I'm assuming she is working full time, along with being the executor of Ronni's will (an incredibly time consuming job even with all the prior work Ronni put into it).

All this to say that while we are all still mourning Ronni's death and the weekly contact with her via her blog, I don't think people should be waiting every day for a post from Autumn.

Good point, Christine. It is up to us to continue our comments here.

The good news is that the COVID vaccine is on its way and maybe we will all be vaccinated by summer. Life has changed so much in these past 9 months so it will be interesting to see how we go forward once the vaccinations are complete.

Christine and dkzody...

Well said.

And I agree. That was my interpretation of Autumn's comments as well.

It must be very hard for the many who so relied on Ronni, to have her disappear just at the point when the world around them is so stress-filled and uncertain.

Someone mentioned that they were considering starting a Facebook group for those of Ronni's followers who most miss the social aspect of her blog. That sounds like a good idea and a possible healing path for those who are feeling alone and lost.

Sympathy to everyone at this difficult time...

Thats basically how I interpreted what Autumn wrote also and have had no expectation as to whether or when she might write here. I think this blog’s actively continuing, especially with current timely topics, may well depend on followers here writing. Certainly reference to previous writings of Ronni on many issues of aging, among others, could be linked at times as still pertinent such as on age discrimination which persists.

A Facebook page might well be appreciated by many who use that social media site and they could certainly do so, especially if there are no bloggers among them. I ceased activity there long ago. I seem to recall Ronni recently wrote of having finally reached a point of such disillusionment with the management she, too, had parted company with FB or intended to do so which I remember my commenting on.

There are numerous topics about which I’m interested and I expect many of you have some too. Maybe we should just introduce some of them here and one or another might catch sufficient interest that many might want to discuss. Then we could move on to another subject — always following the high expectations Ronni had for info shared, supportive documentation for facts, etc.

I find whats happening with vaccinations for this virus of interest, so many different ones, the distribution sequence, etc. and wonder what others thoughts are for instance. Some of us may feel strongly in favor of getting the vaccination regardless, others may be more hesitant. Are their realistic concerns? I expect more information will be forthcoming once administration begins which can influence and reassure all about being vaccinated. What sources for direction do we consider reliable that we may consult — Dr. Fauci, CDC, family physician, other?

Hi everyone. Well, this is funny. I thought the comments stopped on November 9, and only just figured out, after checking in periodically to see if there were any new posts (sadly, no), that I needed to "turn the page" to load more comments. Duh. So rather than being disappointed, I am delighted to find that some folks have been leaving comments. I completely agree with Joared's suggestions, but I also think that continuing in any way close to what Ronni was able to do is a Herculean task for someone to take on. There is no replacing her --- I think of her, and miss her, often. I wonder if there are any other ways to continue the "conversation"? I guess as long as people leave comments, a conversation of sorts can continue. And I think Joared's idea of raising topics is a good one.

So, regarding Covid vaccine, I'm not sure it's something I'll have to contemplate for many months. Based on expected rollout, I'll be near the bottom of the list to receive it. That's good, since by the time I get it there will be months' more data available -- and bad, since it means I'll be in lockdown probably until late Q2 or even Q3. I'm fortunate in that my sister is a (retired) scientist, with a number of friends' who are virologists/epidemiologists. So I think I would hear if they thought there was a reason NOT to get it. Right now, I assume I will get it as soon as it's offered to me. It is shocking to hear stories about folks dying of Covid, and with their dying words continuing to claim it is all a hoax. I am very sad about the state of our nation.

In terms of other topics, I would be interested in hearing anyone else's suggestions about things to consider when moving residences as an older person. I am house-hunting (although it may be a few years before I actually move) and am trying to get it right, because I think my husband and I only have one move in us. Long ago I first found Ronnie's blog when I read her post about things oldsters should consider in buying a house -- the one that sticks with me is to get a bedroom on the ground floor, because one day you may not be able to climb stairs, and without a bedroom on the ground floor you may end up sleeping in the dining room. So, if anyone one else out there has any tips/suggestions/things you wish you'd done differently/locations to recommend, I'd love to hear about it.

Meanwhile, wishing all of you the best through the holiday season and beyond. Stay safe out there.

Patty, about the house hunting, I would suggest you look for one level, no steps to get in or out of the house nor steps inside the house. We do have a step down family room in our house, but it is manageable. Definitely a walk-in shower. Lots of lower cabinets in your kitchen so you aren't climbing on a stool to get things from upper cabinets.

I like a garage attached to the house so I can bring my groceries right into my kitchen.

I would suggest something small enough to keep up on your own, just in case you can no longer afford housekeepers. I would also recommend a yard so that you could get outside in times like this pandemic. Our yards have been my lifesaver during this year.

Try to fill your house with lightweight furniture that is easy for you to move to clean around.

You’ve made some realistic points about the pandemic’s viral vaccination. FWIW vaccinations are going to be introduced within days to seniors in my city’s several nursing home communities — Los Angeles County California.

The suggestions described for moving to your home sounds really good to consider. You may be able to find archived blog posts Ronni wrote about and comments. I had the idea in the back of my mind for several years to consider if I would need to move. Unexpectedly my husband died so I was on my own. Both partners might want to consider if the house and where they move to is desirable if they’re left alone.

The one floor plan with 1 or 2 restrooms, additional bedroom(s) for guest(s) if live-in help possibly needed in future, laundry equipment, garage — little if any steps into and through the house — these are all desirable features I think.

I have wanted a location within close proximity to my home, for a variety of basic needs like a grocery, medical doctor(s), hospital, dentist, transportation if temporarily or permanently needed, personal hair care shop though changed for now due to pandemic. Community or city senior centers beneficial for a variety of socialization and activities are desirable. Many have changed to virtual contacts since this Covid-19 virus, staying at home for safety.

Thanks for all the house suggestions! Thinking of all of you out there. Hunkering down for an expected snowstorm here.

The vaccinations have begun here in Fresno. The medical staff at all of the hospitals were vaccinated on Tuesday with the caveat that they would have a few days off the see how they do. I have heard the next group will be nursing home residents as we have had many cases and deaths related to COVID here in the San Joaquin Valley.

There is talk that teachers and school personnel should be in front of the line, too, so that the kids can go back to school in person. I would go for that.

As for us older folk, we have been told to wait to hear from our medical provider as to when to get our vaccine. Much like it is with the flu vaccinations. We get an email as to when and where the vaccines will be administered and we just show up. All the paperwork is taken care of because they have all of our records.

This morning I delivered a care package to a former student (class of 2000) as her whole household has been infected with the virus. She has worked so hard to keep her family safe as her elderly dad with heart problems lives with them. I say elderly, he's the same age as me!

Patty-in-New York, hope you're weathering that snow and wondering what you're encountering in that city Ronni loved so much. I also wonder what some others are experiencing in the U.S. and elsewhere? It's not winter everywhere.

dkzody, the virus is really clobbering California but other U.S. areas aren't immune either, we're just among the worst. Hard to keep track of everywhere unless some from other states and countries might choose to share here and even bring up other matters of interest.

There seems to be some interest surfacing now in comparing the two Covid-19 vaccinations.
I expect we'll all be paying close attention to what can be learned from those studies.

Our President-elect increasingly is using unifying language which our country so needs to hear. Perhaps the spirit of the season will bring us all closer together.

I wonder how all have or will be celebrating these holidays? Hanukkah ends today, the 18th. A week from now will be Christmas. Any celebrations in my household are virtual if my family and I are to have visual contact. I wonder if everybody went all out for their usual preparations before and during Hanukkah, or will in preparation for Christmas? Do some celebrate both holidays as my neighbors used to do?

I'll be alone. Yesterday I ordered prepared items from a local family-owned deli I used at Thanksgiving for the first time. Maybe too many won't chastise me for not cooking. Does everybody else cook for these special occasions? For me, it's quite unlike my younger years or even when it was just my husband and I. Is there a cutoff age when cooking ends up on the backburner, or is it more a matter of a person's physical condition? I expect another factor is that some of us like to cook more than others do.

What are the different experiences this year from previous years for so many of us?

Our kids did not come for Thanksgiving and probably won't come for Christmas. We all live in lock-down areas of the state, and to be good examples to others, we are adhering to the rules. I believe if our national leadership had done things right from the very beginning, admitting that this virus is dangerous and needs to be taken seriously, we would not be where we are today.

For Thanksgiving dinner, we had grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. It was a fine meal and one we enjoy. For Christmas, I too, have ordered a complete meal from a local bakery. Just learned that a place where we love to get food, again locally owned, has take and bake chicken pot pies. I'm going to pick up a few and share with some of our sick friends as well as have some for us, for after all, it is Christmas.

I don't get TGB in my email, just check out the site. I didn't see any posts except for the sad one of Ronni's passing. I thought I would try one more time today, Christmas Day. All the comments were almost overwhelming but I've read every one. Thank you Autumn for being here for us. I, too, was wondering about Ronni's leaving just before the election. Did she, by any chance, die in her sleep before deciding to take the pills?
Whatever happened, her memory and influence will continue to be a blessing for us. The suggestions to keep on commenting is a good one. Let's hope the vacines will work and be available to all as soon as possible. I wish all of you a Healthy New Year.

I want Ronni's take on what happened. I want my rage turned into righteous anger.
Don't get why legislators are praising Capitol Police; videos indicate they were complicit.
Thankful for Georgia. Hopeful for some normalcy. Scared there are still four Trump flags visible from my porch.

I have been reading Joared's blog. She is an eloquent essayist. Wish she could post here or that commenting was available on her blog. Just a quick search and you'll find her. Worth the effort.

Thank you for your comment MC. My sole purpose in posting here is to try to help sustain activity on TGB as Autumn establishes how she is able to proceed with this blog. Hopefully, an increasing number of readers here will contribute to that process, remembering RB's sometimes suggestion, "Talk among yourselves." when she was unable or had nothing to say.

Isn't that what we have found here, a connection with one another? How do we sustain or build any relationship? We talk (or write) with one another. It's up to us to sustain TGB along with whatever Autumn's future direction may be, which, I think, is what RB would most wish would occur.

Others have introduced topics RB wrote eloquently about, even referring to some of her previous posts as with the most recent comments about single bloggers with no children -- as many older people are. That was what RB believed her situation to be at the time she wrote that piece. We can each add our comments on whatever topic one of us might introduce on any given day. Commenters have shared so many interesting ideas with far superior language to my own that I've read here through the years. There's no reason why that cannot continue.

I want to make very clear that I definitely and whole heartedly want to support Autumn here for whatever her TGB plans may be, likely long-discussed with RB whose judgement about the future of this blog I highly respect.

Incidentally, commenting is available on my blog but I have had to moderate comments due to trolls and spam so there can be a delay before publishing, as a consequence of my rather erratic blogging.

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