Friday, July 31, 2015

Adversity often results in a better life situation

On Life and Love After 50 newsletter by Tom P. Blake

Four lessons arise from today's story

Champ Glen worked for 30 years in Santa Barbara County, in southern California, as a deputy sheriff for seven years, and as a district attorney investigator for 23 years. The majority of his time at the DA's office was spent in child support and parental child abduction, with stints in the bad-check, domestic violence, and elder abuse programs.

Glen said, "I loved my career but was ready to retire and have a change of pace.  My life was turned upside down when my ex left approximately six months after I retired. I was totally blindsided and never saw it coming."

I relate to Glen's story. I was totally blindsided on Xmas Eve 1993 when my wife cleaned out the house, took what she wanted, and filed for divorce three months later.

But, Glen picked up the pieces. He tried on-line dating. He said, "I met Cheryl on-line July 21, 2010, through the dating website Both are 57. 

Each of us was going through a bad divorce at the time and thankfully, Cheryl's girlfriends gave her a subscription to the website. Otherwise, on her own, Cheryl never would have tried on-line dating.

"Since meeting in the summer of 2010, we continued to date long distance. I lived in Ventura, about an hour west of Los Angeles, and Cheryl lived in Huntington Beach, 45 minutes south of Los Angeles, in northern Orange County.

"In February, 2011, both of us sold our homes and moved-in together in Huntington Beach. Over the next 3 1/2 years, we completely remodeled the inside and outside of the residence and made the home ours by getting rid of 99% of the furnishings and items we had from our former lives. In November, 2014, we held an 'open house' and had 70 of our friends and neighbors over to celebrate with us. What a fun day!"

"Our time together is spent during the school year with Cheryl working as an elementary school teacher and me, retired from law enforcement, taking care of domestic duties and volunteering.

"We both love to travel, attend concerts, Los Angeles Angels baseball games, go to movies, work in our garden, dine out, attend church activities/sing in the choir and get together with friends.  

"We're hopeful that in a few years, Cheryl will retire and we'll have more time to travel and decide if we want to relocate to somewhere less urban, either in Ventura County, San Luis Obispo County. or maybe out-of-state like Prescott, AZ. In the meantime, life is good in the OC and we're happy, healthy and content."

I asked Glen if there were any marriage plans in the future.

He said, "No marriage plans in the works or contemplated at this time for either of us. Frankly, our current arrangement seems to work just fine and we're extremely happy with our situation. We both love to travel and spend much of the summer on the road. This year it was two weeks driving through Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands (our 3rd trip to Europe driving). This is a picture of us in front of the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam.

                                             Cheryl and Glen

 "On August 3, we leave for two weeks in Colombia, South America, where we'll visit Bogota, Cartagena and Medellin. A few years ago we spent two weeks driving through Panama and had a great time. We're hoping Colombia is just as much fun (although we're not driving this time!).

How did I get Glen's story? My partner Greta and I were standing under a tent to stay dry at the Orange County Fair when a couple walked up and said, "Aren't you Tom Blake?"

They introduced themselves as Cheryl and Glen; Glen said he had been reading my articles for years. They were at the Fair to celebrate their 5-year anniversary and were looking forward to seeing Willie Nelson, because they are country music fans.

Glen mentioned he had shared his and Cheryl's story with me a few years back; I asked if he'd send me a reminder. Goes to show when people get out and about interesting situations can arise.

Four lessons for older singles arise from today's story:

1 - From adversity in our lives comes opportunity, although at the time we may not realize it. We must recognize that opportunity and do something about it. A better situation may emerge months or years later

2 - Finding love after 50 can happen, but it's up to us to make it happen

3 - Long-distance relationships can work, but at least one person in the couple must be willing to move if the couple wants to live together

4 - By getting out of the house and pursuing activities we enjoy, good things can happen

Part 2 -Facebook group update

Our closed Facebook group - Finding Love After 50 - is up to 300 members and there are now 24 men. There are many sage comments from the members. Heck, I am even learning from what is being posted.

If members feel they are being bombarded by too many emails, they may simply turn off the chat option and then pick and choose the posts they want to read.

To join the group, a person must send a request via the Facebook page and I will approve your request. I have turned down some requests from people who in my judgment are suspicious of their motives for joining. If you see anything questionable, please email me immediately. 

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