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Posts From Russell Frank

Taking a Stand Against Sitting Still

Taking a Stand Against Sitting Still

Chairs, you might say, are the new cigarettes.

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Calculating Retirement’s Cost-Comfort Ratio

Calculating Retirement’s Cost-Comfort Ratio

In September, the bean counters at the university where I have taught for the past 18 years sent me a letter telling me of an “important opportunity” that I might “wish to consider.”

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Old Gray Hair Ain’t What It Used to Be

Old Gray Hair Ain’t What It Used to Be

A friend of mine thinks I should dye my hair. She dyes hers. It would make me look younger, she says. I have two responses: 1) Why is looking younger a good thing? What’s wrong with looking your age? Don’t

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Sandi Young: Coming Home to a ‘Moonscape’

Sandi Young: Coming Home to a ‘Moonscape’

Back in mid-September, under a brown sky and with ash raining down, Sandi fled the fast-moving blaze with her five horses, five dogs and her downsized herd of 35 goats.

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Ready to Heed That Creative Urge? First Silence Your Inner Critic

Ready to Heed That Creative Urge? First Silence Your Inner Critic

A music-teacher friend once told me that everyone can sing. This sounds like a reasonable enough proposition until we recall how many people insist that they can’t sing.

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Welcome Back to the Wonderful World of Home Ownership

Welcome Back to the Wonderful World of Home Ownership

He thought he’d left the cares of home ownership behind. Then love brought four walls and a furnace back into his life.

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A Whippersnapper’s View of Living Well Vs. Living Long

A Whippersnapper’s View of Living Well Vs. Living Long

I don’t mind turning 60, really. But it’s like being behind in the sixth inning of a baseball game: The situation isn’t critical yet, but one can’t squander too many more opportunities.

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Newlyweds’ gift to their grown kids is an abiding belief that love can last

Newlyweds’ gift to their grown kids is an abiding belief that love can last

When I was in my 20s, my attitude toward romantic relationships could be summarized by an old saying my dad taught me: “Women are like streetcars. Wait 10 minutes and another one will come along.” (This from a guy who

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Honoring Thy Father, And The Grumbling That Goes With It

Honoring Thy Father, And The Grumbling That Goes With It

Near the end of the month my big sister sometimes sends me a friendly reminder: time for another Dad-check. A Dad-check is my contribution to a family fund that supports my father, who’s 95. I wish I could say that

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A Downsizer’s Take on the Stuff of Memories

A Downsizer’s Take on the Stuff of Memories

I used to envy people who could take that sentimental journey back to the old home place. You know, sleep in your old room with the sports trophies still on the shelves and the Pink Floyd posters still on the

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After 76 Years, Ol’ Leadfoot Turns in His Keys

After 76 Years, Ol’ Leadfoot Turns in His Keys

Ol’ Leadfoot has surrendered his car key. My dad got into a little fender bender down in Dallas recently and knew at last, the way an aging slugger who whiffs at a pitch he used to wallop into the cheap

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Confessions of a Middle-Aged, Overeducated Idiot

Confessions of a Middle-Aged, Overeducated Idiot

It’s a great workout, but at my age, I can’t help picturing myself gasping, collapsing and being hauled, half-frozen and ghastly gray, to the ER, where they would know what happened just by looking at me: another middle-aged, snow-shoveling heart-attack victim.

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Piece By Treasured Piece, Family Roles Shift

Piece By Treasured Piece, Family Roles Shift

Here’s a definition of retirement that may not be what most of us envision when we contemplate the blessed moment when we turn in our employee ID badges: Bowing out of the workforce means having the time to take care

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Distance Versus Gravity in a Close-Knit, Far-Flung Family

Distance Versus Gravity in a Close-Knit, Far-Flung Family

It was my dad on the line, obviously distraught. He thought Mom might be having a stroke. I asked if he had called Simone, the woman from the elder-care service we had contracted with last year. He hadn’t thought of

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Sharing Home, Sweet Home

In the long-ago days when I could stay up past midnight, I once found myself on the wrong side of the dead-bolted door of a West Philadelphia row house at 1:30 in the morning. I started pounding. The door shook.

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Spice of Life is in the Salt Mines

The result of this ambivalence about work is a culture where people both complain and boast about how hard their noses are pressed to the grindstone.

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Reflections on the Sweet-Natured Soul

Reflections on the Sweet-Natured Soul

My dad turned 90 this year. He still drives (though if you’re heading for South Florida I can tell you which streets to avoid), still reads the paper and gets riled up about the state of the world (though he

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