bird-mobile

By Jeannie Prinsen Images of retirement living appear everywhere: posters in the drugstore, “Golden Years” magazines, cruise ship commercials. They often feature senior couples in crisp white-and-tan clothing strolling on the beach, their matching silver coiffures ruffling in the breeze. One picture I saw shows a man giving a piggyback ride to his female companion – […]

by Judy Allen The act of leaving the nest is a bit traumatic for everyone involved. I had the opportunity to observe the process in microcosm one summer when a Robin family built a nest between a light and a down spout on our back yard deck.  Baby birds emerged from pretty blue eggs, and we grew attached to our little bird […]

I was in a room with a bunch of young pastors-in-training, and commented to a friend that I could feel the testosterone in the air even though there were a number of women present. “That’s not testosterone you’re sensing,” he told me. “It’s ambition.” As I observed the body language among the group (so many […]

Editor’s note: Deb Malcom Lawrence, friend of The Perennial Gen, sent us this prayer penned by an anonymous nun in the 17th century. She said she’s loved it since she was in college, and we can see why. It is an apt prayer for those of us at midlife and beyond. Thanks for sharing it […]

tricycle

Before my eight-year-old daughter would leave for her dad’s house every other weekend, I would kiss the palm of her small hand, curl her fingers into a fist, and tell her to put the kiss on her cheek when she missed me. What I didn’t realize was that she tried keeping her hand closed all […]

Thanks to our friend Melinda Schmidt for sharing this beautiful poem by Jayne Relaford Brown with us.   I am becoming the woman I’ve wanted, grey at the temples, soft body, delighted, cracked up by life with a laugh that’s known bitter, but, past it, got better, knows she’s a survivor— that whatever comes, she […]

young-woman-fly

By Jamie Janosz The last time I was told to focus on the end product rather than my present, all-consuming pain, I was giving birth. Somehow sending my first and only child off to college 18 short years later feels a lot like that. And, no epidural this time either. This college-sending-stuff is hard, and […]

by Beth J. Drechsel One weekend we dropped our younger son off 400 miles from our house at his new job. My husband and I spent the drive home discussing what was ahead of us. We knew what had been written about empty-nest syndrome; the loneliness and loss, maybe even depression, experienced by parents after […]

I started my forties looking too often into the mirror and getting tangled up in my thoughts – my goals, my shifting identity, my disappointments, my hopes. As I leave this decade behind, I find myself focusing less on me and more on how I might, bit by incremental bit, make the world more whole. […]

By Amy Loos Three kids, 17 moves and 27 years of marriage and we are almost there. We have one more birdie at home and then we will be empty nesters. I am so looking forward to a day where the kitchen counters stay clean, the fridge is full for at least a weekend and […]