Green Peace: The Healing Power of Parks for Young and Old

One of my very best friends died three years ago. He happened to be my grandfather, who was 96 years old. He was ready. It was time. But it wasn’t easy. I missed him. It took me months to delete the calendar alert I’d set up to ping me every day at 11:20 a.m., a reminder to stop what I was doing and “Call PO9,” short for Pop Pop. (As a kid, when I was learning to write, I accidentally addressed …

Remember When Kids Went Outside to Play?

Close your eyes and think of one of your greatest moments in childhood. For me, one is falling through an ice-covered pond on a subzero day – then trekking two miles, climbing snow-laden fences, pant legs frozen above my knees, feet cold and numb, and my heart pounding with the wonder of discovery. That day I learned a new boundary, one I’d later break again and, as a result, learn even more. Stay Informed: Sign up for the AARP Livable Communities Newsletter Many of …

Take Him Out to the Ball Game

Joe Price had just rolled back into town, looking weary but still possessing the excitable manner of a guy who might burst into song at any moment. He had just completed half a year on the road visiting 104 minor league baseball parks in 40 states, where he had sung America’s national anthem to start their games. It was a labor of love and academic duty. Price, who is 64, is a professor of religious studies at L.A.’s Whittier University, …

Other Earth-Friendly Days

Don’t get me wrong:  as a lifelong environmentalist, I think that Earth Day (April 22) serves an invaluable purpose both as a celebration of our wondrous planet and as an opportunity to draw attention to the many serious – literally “life threatening” – challenges facing our natural environment.  The only problem with Earth Day is that it’s a single day once a year, while our responsibility to the environment is 24/7, every day of the year. The good news is …