Retirement: Meet the Loopers (and the Bloopers)


Strawberry farm

A post by writer Jena C. Henry:

Empty Nest- ✔

Retirement Party- ✔

What’s Next

For 30 years you and your spouse groaned when the alarm clanged on dark mornings. You herded the kids to school, rushed to work, and then orchestrated evenings of dinners, chores, and activities. The years blinked by and now you are spending your mornings sipping coffee, and surfing the internet. You both happen to look up at the same time and you wonder, “I was so excited about retirement. Is this all there is?”

Yes- unless you find new ways to play together. I think we women understand that we have to be open to ways to enhance our vitality and zest. Whether we are single, or with a partner, we want to remain active and confident. Many retirees like to play golf, tennis, or cards. For others, play means gardening, cooking or volunteering together. Some of my friends took a pottery class and crafted new dinnerware for their home. My hubby and I tried ballroom dance classes, funny how the antics of four left feet can make you laugh. We stopped the cha cha but learned that we enjoyed exploring other ways to be healthy and fit together.

Sometimes you need to push your boundaries. Let me introduce you to my friends, the Loopers. They set off last year to circumnavigate the eastern part of the United States. They fitted out a forty-five-foot trawler and are seaing America via the Mississippi, Gulf of Mexico, Intracoastal Waterway, St. Lawrence Seaway and other rivers.

Loopers is the term for those who are completing this Great American Circle Loop. What an invigorating adventure for them so far. From alligators, to Thanksgiving with 50 other sailors in a marina, to docktails at sunset, they are playing and adventuring together. Here’s their blog.

I would also like you to meet the Bloopers (blooper is a baseball term for a weakly hit ball.) There are many Bloopers, as I call them, in America. These folks share a bucket list goal of visiting all the major league baseball parks. That’s thirty stadiums of perfectly mown grass. If you attempt this, you and your spouse or friends can bond over travel and sports, to say nothing of sharing hotdogs, beer, and even cheeseburgers with pizza slices instead of buns.

What piques your interest? For my husband and me our day can be as simple as walking the dog, followed by a trip to the new high tech car wash and a stop at the best ice cream stand in town.

Go play! You will feel younger and happier in your retirement. What’s on your bucket list?

Jena C. Henry is a positive and committed volunteer, encourager and enthusiastic bon vivant. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Akron. She and her husband Alan are retired and live in tropical Ohio. They enjoy their two grown children, family and their darling dog. See Jena and her husband, above, at a strawberry festival in Florida.

Jena is the author of the series, The Golden Age of Charli. Book Two, The Golden Age of Charli-BMI, just came out. Charli’s adventures continue as she faces too much of a good thing! Here’s the Amazon link. 


book 2 cover


13 responses »

  1. I love this post! I would be a “Looper” if I could!” – But, hey, come to think of it, way too stressful that navigating the oceans on a boat, it is! Okay, so I would fly from destination to destination if I could (but, hey, the “great recession” did a number on our retirement resources, so that is out, too.)

    So, cross out the Jet Set, as this former “Yuppie” (well, not exactly) couple, became upwardly mobile, and now are soaring downward. No, no. . . not as in some terrible crash on some inhospitable barren land, but, rather zoning in on our frugal (did I say VERY frugal?) retirement nest.

    Hey, forget the Yuppies, what about the earlier “Hippies”? Okay, we weren’t Hippies, but could we raise our own chickens and grow our own food? Might help with our grocery bills, since there are a lot of us who did not end up as Woopies (Well-Off Older Persons)!

  2. Woopies! Love that! You are right- I have lived through many names from hippies and onward. Fortunately, I have enjoyed each step of the journey. You are right about the perils of the ocean- water is too deep, too shallow, too rough- but then there are dolphins. Sounds like you are having a great life- maybe give the chickens a try!

    • Yes, a great life, but lots of rough waters! But, as you say, there are the dolphins! You bring up a very important issue. That is, how do couples who now find themselves together in retirement find fulfilling things to do together? Where do they begin? What do they, in the end, find?

      My husband and I had many, many years working at home together, different work/enterprises and some joint projects. But, this being together at home for so much of the time together, makes retirement a “snap” in terms of how to adjust.

      In fact, when the great recession happened, and my husband couldn’t work out of the home the same way (he was an organizational consultant based at home and traveled a lot, too), I began to really miss our “old life” together. So retirement will be a re-experiencing of a fond living arrangement!

      Got your book, and am ready to relax and enjoy a nice evening or two finding out what happens to Charli and Pud.

      • Thanks phyllisr for your thoughtful- and entertaining!- comments. Do you remember the jump rope song- “Johnny and Susie sitting in a tree- K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Susie pushing the baby carriage?” So we all know what to expect for the first half or so of our lives, but the jingle doesn’t continue! What happens after the baby carriage? Thanks for sharing about your life- I like your “old life” and your “fond living arrangement.” Even though parts of retirement have been an unexpected challenge- I do try to be thankful for good health and a bountiful life! All the best to you! (And I hope my book makes you smile!!)

      • phyllisr- also menat to tell you that my Looper friends made it to Charleston and have been there about a week!

  3. Yes, your book is making me smile!! I’m about half way through right now. I keep thinking maybe Pud shouldn’t come on quite so suddenly strong in the amorous department (although we are happy for these encounters!! :), and maybe just take it just a bit slower- we women sometimes take a moment or two to warm up! I thought it was hilarious that in a passionate embrace the lights around the restaurant suddenly came on like a spotlight on the two of them! And, Yikes! Shampoo instead of lotion around the eyes (ugh and ow!!) I’m having fun reading your book. Don’t know what will happen, but if Charli could just kind of get into Pud’s passion for golf in some way (not take it as deficit to their relationship), and Pud, could just start to stare into the eyes of Charli’s relationship desires, well all could be so very well, I would hope! But, back to the book. . .:)

  4. So nice to hear some feedback from you- and you are giving me some good things to think about. Glad you are having fun reading it- I loved writing the encouraging story of Charli and Pud. One thing- the book is a series, so their relationship continues to develop- and I will keep your ideas in mind. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Great to hear from you!

  5. I am glad that this is a series! I have a real problem with getting involved with the characters in a novel (I actually don’t read fiction too often, but I swear it happens to me all the time), and then, finding out from the author, that she is not planning on writing a sequel, much to my dismay! I’m now more than 3/4 through your novel, and I see the relationship between Charli and Pud is getting much better, much to my delight! I admire Charli’s perseverance, steadfastness, and patience within her relationship with Pud. I also think that she likes wine just as much as I do! And, yes, many, many smiles throughout! Looking forward to the next “chapter (book!) in their lives and continuing to get to know Charli and Pud!

  6. Thank you again so much for your delightful comments. yes, book 2 has just been released, Book 3 heads to the editor soon and I am starting to write book 4. So, I am keeping your comments in mind as I write Charli’s latest adventures. Thanks again- glad you enjoy wine! (Although that changes a little for Charli in Book 2).

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