Here’s the category that holds together some disparate elements of life in one’s later years. Problems and their resolutions, pain and its consequences–but also the down-to-earth pleasures that can grace the days of an older person. Pleasure and pain may exist side-by-side, here and in life!


“Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen”

First it was Ken who entered hospice. Then Kent. And just yesterday, the news came that Bill has been placed under the care of a local hospice program. In each case, this later stage in personal and medical care has followed years of the quiet agonies that come when dealing with disease. What has struck me in each of these cases is how family members have worked out of sight of most of ourMORE...

In the dark

Ever experience total darkness? The kind where you literally can’t see your hand in front of your face? I’ve had experiences like that—in remote settings in another country, the inside of a cave and in my own home during a widespread power outage. I remember realizing that I couldn’t rely on my otherwise dependable eyes to help me determine where I was. Until the momentary panic dissolved, I feltMORE...

Sensory travels

  This blog is not about inhaling the glorious odor of Helix Phalaenopsis orchids in Vanuatu. Instead, I’m going to invite you to see how your senses can help you travel to the limits of your sight, hearing, smelling, touch, taste, balance/movement and body awareness. Each sense can also take you deeply into what is close at hand. Each connects to your brain’s memory centers, joining past toMORE...


Ordinarily, you and I would think of “teething” as a remnant from our earlier parenting or pet-ownership days, when Little Ashley and Bergdorf were cutting their baby teeth, incisors, canines, bicuspids, molars, wisdom teeth or fangs. Recent experiences, though, have made me wonder whether teething might also describe the vagaries of tooth-related matters in my later years—when my adult teethMORE...

Just in case….

In these times, anxiety dogs me at almost every turn. When I feel that way it helps to be prepared for some of the possibilities that tempt me to overthink danger. Being ready for sudden difficulty with “just in case” knowledge and skills. I know I’m not alone—after its initial publication in 1999, The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook has grown into a series of over a dozen titles. PerhapsMORE...

An older man gives thanks

Although our culture is already rushing towards Christmas, I’m sticking with the delightful prospect of celebrating Thanksgiving first—reflecting on the thoughts and actions of being thankful at this stage in life. Consider what follows here as the thankful thoughts of an older man. Perhaps someone not unlike you…? To set these ideas in context, you should know that I’m very happy to be an oldMORE...

(Involuntary) Simplicity

In his classic Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life that is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich (Quill Books, 2010), social scientist and visionary Duane Elgin speaks eloquently about the possibilities of choosing to live simply. Hidden within the book and implicit in his further writings, though, is the idea that lifestyle simplicity may also be involuntary for many of us. At some time in theMORE...

Renewing old congregations

  If you’re an (older adult) leader in an (older adult) congregation, you want your congregation to stay strong and vital. Here I’d like to share with you the possibility that your congregation could continue to exist—even thrive—precisely because of the presence and passions of older members. To say that another way: Just as fullness of years is possible for each of you personally, so thisMORE...

Spirituality and chronic illness

  For several years I’ve been working with an occupational therapist on the question: How could spirituality re-emerge as a vital part of this profession? This entry examines one part of that search: How might chronic illness diminish a person’s spiritual self? (Also implied: How might spirituality help diminish the debilitating circumstances of a chronic illness or disability?) SomeMORE...

Hypochondriac or hyped self-care?

We senior citizens are besieged with too many well-meaning health warnings and directives! From TV commercials and pop-up ads for new pharmacological wonders to the omnipresent reminders from our friends at AARP, there’s more than enough information about how we can avoid large problems and take care of what ails us. This deluge of information can help and harm me. On the one hand, I soak upMORE...


Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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