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I’ve recently noticed something occurring in my life that I hadn’t anticipated, at least not yet. Perhaps some of you have had a similar experience. If you haven’t, and your luck holds, you will. And maybe you won’t like it any more than I do.

I shiver to think that it may be a recurring feature from here on in.

Recently, a couple of my older friends, men, independently told me about the first time they caught the eye of a young woman and were delighted and flattered until the realization dawned that any flirting was not directed at them but another, younger, person beside or behind them. In fact, I read the story of this very thing happening to a blogging acquaintance in Washington only a couple of weeks ago. I suppose that as boomers age this could be a pandemic in the making. Maybe about half of you are of the opinion that the awakening is long overdue, I don’t know. Anyway, this isn’t my version of that story. Not yet anyway.

During the last twenty-five or so years of working on the job I’d been accustomed to people misjudging my age. I’ve typically been pegged as some five or seven years younger than I actually am. I am pleased to report that this has continued and carried over to our lives in the Dominican Republic, where I can lose as many as seven or eight years on a good day.

But an interesting thing has happened in the United States. It seems that once people learn of my employment status (“retired”), all sorts of filters and assumptions come into play. Many Americans seem to anticipate, in no particular order, grandchildren, a lack of exercise, opposition to taxes, not much of a sense of adventure, an element of physical decline and a general inclination to repose more and engage less.

To the extent that this is true, I suppose it’s a good thing to realize. More importantly, it’s pretty important to not allow the odd preconceptions of others to unduly shape my own, at least about something so near and dear as me.

In any event, we’re planning to depart for an extended road trip as described during the shakedown trip to Canada earlier this month. We’ll visit West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, more or less. We plan to spend a couple of months at this before adjourning to the Dominican in October.

Help us out. What do you know about in those states, that should not be missed?


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