In Memoriam — Al Martinez: More Than a Life Well-Lived

His voice was deep; his soul was too. His humor made you rock with laughter; his insight rocked your world. I never got to squeeze Al Martinez’s hand or give him a hug, though I often wanted to. We lived six hours apart, but when we talked by phone, Al, who died Jan. 12, was in my living room, sitting next to my desk. We laughed at each other’s jokes and exchanged sometimes thoughtful, sometimes silly emails about the topics …

Away From Home for the Holidays

I looked out at the setting sun, and twisted the ring Pop Pop gave me, the one I always wear on my right hand. I forgot the candles. I cannot believe I forgot the candles. It was the first night of Hanukkah, and I had failed. I was without candles, matches and a menorah. But more importantly, I was without my family and friends. I felt fortunate to be traveling in Thailand, where I’m studying for the year (so very …

The Town of Boomer, W.Va.

People in the boomer generation, those born between 1946 and 1964, are celebrating the 50th birthdays of their youngest members in 2014. To mark this event, AARP asked Washington, D.C.-based photographer Jared Soares to explore Boomer, W.Va. To get to Boomer, follow the Kanawha River southeast from Charleston, West Virginia’s capital city, for about 30 miles. With a population of nearly 600 people, Boomer rests on Historic Route 60, part of the Midland Trail National Scenic Highway. In the early 1900s, the town saw rapid growth when Boomer …

Millennials Continue to Struggle for Success

Part of the promise of the American Dream is that each generation will do better than the last. Has that happened with our adult children, the millennials? Well, “yes and no,” reports the U.S. Census Bureau. Our children are better educated as a generation, yet more are living in poverty and they have lower rates of employment.  “Young Adults, Then and Now,” released last week by the Census Bureau, examines the nation’s current 73 million young adults, 18 to 34 …

Wreaths Salute Veterans and 150th Anniversary at Arlington National Cemetery

As the holidays draw near, volunteers with a heart for military veterans are gearing up for a special salute — National Wreaths Across America Day on Dec. 13. The observance, held every second Saturday in December to remember and honor vets nationwide, will have added significance at Arlington National Cemetery, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary. The plan is to lay wreaths on the 230,000 graves as well as at the cemetery’s John F. Kennedy memorial/gravesite, the Mast of the …

True Love and Dementia: Revisiting ‘The Notebook’

If you’ve sobbed through The Notebook, we’d probably be friends. It’s true. A quick Facebook search reveals that dozens of my friends — of different ages, genders, hometowns, etc. — have liked the page for the movie, now a good 10 years since its premiere. Although I haven’t clicked like on the fan page, I do like The Notebook. It’s hard to resist the love story of Noah and Allie (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams), as told by an older …