Loving Long-Distance Grandparents Celebrate Grandparents Day

My grandparents were a big part of my life, even though they lived an eight-hour drive away. My parents have lived even farther away from most of their grandchildren. According to AARP’s 2012 grandparent study, we are not alone: 43 percent of grandparents have to travel 200-plus miles to see the grandchildren who live farthest from them. It was a challenge, but we spent most of our vacations with my grandparents. They also wrote us letters, and we talked regularly …

A New Boomer Grandma’s Tips for Buying the Right Stuff

Only two weeks till I become a first-time grandmother – and I desperately need some baby basics. I’m told that the must-have item these days is the Pack ‘n Play. That’s what we used to call a playpen, children, but now it’s a “play yard, complete with options like “micro-fleece newborn napper station, changing table attachment, night light (!), music player (!!) and detachable toy bar. As someone who came of age in the ’60s, may I just say: Shoot me now. …

Blessings Near and Far: A Lesson in Honoring Elders

We arrived with jasmine garlands and two rosettes folded out of Thai baht. We slipped off our sandals and felt the cool, smooth tiles beneath us as we walked toward a woman sitting on her front porch. The woman was my friend Fon’s 90-year-old great grandmother, Chid. Fon had invited us – my friend Jess, my boyfriend Joe and me – to go to the beach, a few hours south of Bangkok. But first, she asked, could we stop to …

Road Trips the Right Way

I love road trips. I’ve been crazy about them ever since the days when my parents loaded my two sisters and me into the Pontiac station wagon and went off to visit relatives or take a family vacation. On Sundays we would go for long family drives, and I always secretly wished my dad would aim the car toward the unknown and we’d be off on an unexpected adventure. Flying will never hold the anticipation and joy the highway does …

George Takei’s Take on Hiroshima, From Devastation to Rebirth

Many people know George Takei as Mr. Sulu from TV’s popular Star Trek and most recently as a social media guru and host of the AARP-produced YouTube series “Takei’s Take.” But the Los Angeles native also has ties to Japan, where he lost an aunt and a cousin after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, wiping out the port city on Aug. 6, 1945. Eight years old at the time, Takei was incarcerated with his parents and …

How 17 Siblings Scored a $20 Million Jackpot

Can you plan to win the lottery? Judging from the amazing story of the Endreson family’s $20.1 million bonanza in the New Jersey Lottery, the answer just might be yes. The family’s lottery pool - originally conceived by matriarch Flossie Endreson, who died in 2004 at the age of 85 – finally paid off big when her 17 surviving children won the Pick-6 Lotto on a quick-pick game board purchased for $1 at a 7-Eleven in Fork River, N.J. >> Get travel …