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KEEP MOVING


Get a pet: While former workday hours may not have been suitable for keeping a pet, there’s time now. Dogs give their owners a reason to get out and walk every day. Even without that permanent commitment, pet lovers can foster animals on a temporary basis. Cats don’t demand exercise, but they’re still good for entertainment they, and the owner stays busy looking after them. (“Dogs have owners; cats have staff.”) Take a walk: No dog? Walking is the most basic exercise,


and when done with others, it becomes walk-and-talk time, a double benefit. It’s much easier to stick to a routine when regular time is already set aside. Try yoga or tai chi: Either activity provides a special


incentive to get moving, and both can be easy on joints. Work with someone who can make an appropriate plan. Swim: Swimming is easy on the body but still provides


healthy motion and aerobics. Just as importantly, it’s fun. Dance, dance, dance: Ballroom, salsa, zumba, line, or


square—enough choices? Dancing is more enjoyable than ordinary exercising, and just as beneficial. If no organized classes are nearby, elect the best dancer in your group and start your own. Get out and dig: Gardeners probably planted flowers and


vegetables even before retirement, but it’s now reasonable to try specialties like Bonsai trees or orchids, a butterfly garden or a fairy garden (the miniature set-up that can be planted outside or indoors in a framed “garden plot”).


REACH OUT


Want to be a ham? Amateur (ham) radio operators make friends around the world, learning about new countries and cultures without leaving home. Good news—gone is the requirement that the new operator must be proficient in Morse code to get a license. Local clubs provide information to get started. Create a family heirloom: In recent years, genealogy has


become a popular pastime. It’s a time and labor-intensive study, but it can reveal fascinating personal stories to families, as a friend learned by following her great-great- great-grandfather’s California Gold Rush journey. Photos and information from her own trip will be part of a detailed family history, an invaluable gift to lucky family recipients. Write a book: Many grandparents want to write a children’s


book based on a favorite family story. Or perhaps it’s a mystery novel centered on a family ghost. As they say, “just do it”!


FOCUS ON FOOD


Form a cooking club. Organize a group of foodies for a regular schedule of lunch or dinner dates and take turns cooking. These might start with each family’s traditional foods, then switch to vegetarian. There’s no limit to menu ideas. Rather not cook? If the group prefers eating out, area


restaurants offer plenty of choices. Breakfast and lunch shouldn’t be overlooked—it’s usually easier to linger longer at these meals than at dinnertime, allowing more time to catch up.


The House & Home Magazine 63


Dogs give their owners a reason to get out and walk every day.


Don’t forget picnics. This area of Virginia is full of pleasant


picnic spots: parks and nature trails, boat launch ramps and beaches, historic home sites. County maps help to locate likely places. No picnic table? Set up folding chairs or stay in the car and enjoy the waterfront or forest view as you munch.


TOUR BY COUNTRY OR COUNTY


Travel: Travel is a common wish for retirees, and if income allows, choices are truly endless. If a foreign country is chosen, learning the basics of a new language should be on the to-do list. Vacation: Smaller budgets can still bring the many pleasures


of seeing new places. With friends, map out a vacation route that allows each person to include their special interests. Nature-lovers want to visit parks, gardeners seek botanical gardens, birders find unexpected additions to their bird-list, and history buffs note every site or marker. As each person shares each interest, all gain new appreciation. And of course, expenses are also shared. Siblings and/or cousins can do such a trip as an annual reunion.


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