Selected Works

Article - Politico, January 2017
A Pennsylvania Green House model is hopeful look at the nursing home of the future
Changing Aging Blog, January 2016
How a Houston agency transformed its ageist approach
Next Avenue Blog, July 7, 2015
Blog for PBS Next Avenue, August 14, 2014
Biography (young readers)
"Breaking down obstacles for women, this born adventurer spends her life exploring and studying marine habitats."
--School Library Journal, April 2002

My So-Called Book Tour

Unique Community Award: Escapees CARE

August 28, 2014

Tags: Escapees CARE, Livingston, TX

Helen said her friends there support her not out of obligation "but out of love."

After sharing a bowl of chicken-sausage gumbo and an oyster po’boy along Bayou Teche in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, we reluctantly hit the Interstate heading West. We pulled into Livingston, Texas, later than planned, but were warmly met by folks at Escapees CARE (Continuing Assistance for Retired Escapees).

Escapees, for the uninitiated, are members of a club that offers services and a social network to RVers. As they grow older and frailer, they can move to Escapees CARE. It’s a one-of-a-kind nonprofit that was organized to assist folks who find it difficult to hit the road, but who want to remain in their RV home. They live in a 35-site community and receive all sorts of support, including 3 square meals a day.

One woman we spoke with, Helen, had lost her long-time partner two months after they moved there. She stayed because of the loving support she received, she told me. “It’s even better than family,” she said of the support she’d received from her friends there. “They don’t do it out of a sense of obligation, but out of love.”

Dorothy, 87, tooling around in her golf cart with her tiny Chihuahua trotting alongside, had moved there in 1991. “This is where we belong,” she said. “This is like one big family.”

Executive director Russ Johnson hopes the model will spread. “Baby boomers are retiring,” he said. “We need to think of other ways people can live that are less costly. IF we can keep people healthier longer, that will help the whole nation.”


Bittersweet last stop of the road trip, we were with my sis and bro-in-law.

Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the Ohio Dept. of Aging, was on air with me.

The show on WOSU was live-streamed--Ross took this image on the screen in the studio lobby.

Illinois landscape, on the way to Columbus

Subtext Books--Bruce and Michael in background, with some of Bruce's family

Reading from my book at Subtext Books in St. Paul

Barbara Goldner of Mill City Commons, a Minneapolis Village model

Riding the ferry to Vashon.

Ross enjoyed a night out with Steve Smith--sampling Pacific oysters and wild salmon. Yum.

Wendy Lustbader and I leaving Vashon for Seattle.

Charlene Boyd of Providence Mount St. Vincent and I aboard the ferry to Vashon Island.

Seattle street scene

Derenda Schubert, director of Bridge Meadows

A home in Bridge Meadows.

Sign on old grain elevator in Carlton that will soon be repurposed.

The lovely Ula and Ingrid Lustig

Wonderful to see old Maryland friends Paul and Merry Treanor in Santa Cruz. And notice the line of book buyers! An author's dream.

No surprise: Santa Cruz folks were open to alternative ways to grow old.

Best part of L.A. visit: spending time with our great-nephew Callan and his parents, Christiana and Matt.

Cynthia Friedlob interviewing me for pre-recorded radio show.

Ivy was somewhat mystified by Patrick and Eileen's French bull dogs. Here's Juno.

Former neighbors Patrick and Eileen offered warm hospitality in Phoenix.

Ruins of an Anasazi community in Canyon de Chelly

Bruce Spruce Ranch, home sweet home for a couple of nights

The Pecos River adjoining our campsite

Ivy pretending to be a water dog in the Pecos River

The view from Bonnie's threshold

Birds of a Feather founder Bonnie McGowan

Grabbed a cafe con leche after the radio interview in Albuquerque.

Chiropractic sign off Route 66 in Albuquerque

Ivy won over Molly, who a few minutes earlier was terrified of dogs.

Bunny and Peggy with granddaughter Violet hamming it up.

My old friend Peggy Diehl

One of the most unusual ways to age in community.

Dale Smith, co-host of the Timberlake Event, whose reflections on aging in place are in my book.

Marcia introducing me at the Timberlake Country Club event.

Ivy ready to co-pilot the great adventure

Ivy says no way we're leaving her behind.