Gift of the Maasai:
A Problem-Free Philosophy

When I turned 50, I had already celebrated 30 years of marriage and raised two sons and a daughter. Both boys had graduated from Penn State University, and their sister followed their footsteps to Happy Valley. We were a family of Nittany Lions. With my kids grown and out of the house, our septic tank was happy, and I knew there was food in the refrigerator. I missed the excitement of our teenagers and the mom-to-son and mom-to-daughter talks, but after college graduation, the kids settled about half an hour from the nest, so all was good. Even though I felt extremely fortunate to still be part of their lives, and would ultimately be involved with their spouses and our six grandchildren, my life was changing dramatically . . .

The Flying Nest:
Feathering My Empty Nest, Naturally

The road to my Empty Nest has been paved with lessons that taught me resilience, patience, and gratitude. I am a wife and mother to four amazing children, as well as a daughter, sister, and aunt. Through all of my roles and experiences, I have discovered that the key to being happy and healthy comes from one’s lifestyle choices. As a result, I’ve learned to become my own health advocate, and that’s how I’ve discovered the strong healing powers of “superfoods,” herbs, homeopathy, flower essences, acupuncture, and the power of touch. I can trace my path to a healthy lifestyle back to my first pregnancy, 25 years ago. In an attempt to cleanse my body and provide the best possible environment for my baby, I began to change the way I ate. As I drifted toward natural and organic foods, I realized that good health was really more than just what I put in my mouth. I began to understand that in caring for our bodies, we all have choices to make—choices that also affect our minds, spirit, and environment. It’s up to us, then, to make a difference in our personal quest for a healthier life . . .

Room to Spare:
Turning Your Home into a B&B

Q: When is your child’s room not your child’s room? A: When your child is 29 years old and she moved out of the house almost 7 years ago. Unless you consider the date of her departure for college—then you can make that 11 years ago. I confess: I’ve been eyeing our daughter Amie’s bedroom, where I dust knickknacks several times a year, and, before she and her husband arrive periodically from California, I also wash the bedding (our cat Oliver’s favorite sunny spot to sleep and shed his fur). Other than that, the room has remained untouched—a shrine, if you will. And, lately, I’ve been contemplating the room’s many other potential uses: storage space for our own stuff? guest room? Maybe even extreme makeover, then B&B listing? Wow! Once I began thinking about it, the possibilities seemed endless . . .

Real People Empty Nesting
Julie Longacre: Artist, Poet, or Both?

When Julie Longacre paints, she is compelled to write poetry. When she writes poetry, she is drawn to her easel. As she explained in a recent workshop, “The creative crossover [is] painting a picture with a poem or discovering the poetry of a painting. Both art forms are examples of a creative expression, channelling one’s emotions through words or art.” Despite her medium, though, Julie finds a way to express the beauty and joy she finds in living. And, in her empty-nesting years, she has found her experience of that joy and beauty more rewarding than ever because it gave her the opportunity to indulge in painting or writing without interruption . . .

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Empty Nest: A Magazine for Mature Families

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