Our first destination after Riverside was Big Bear Lake. We hadn’t been there it in 50 years. Our drive up into the San Bernardino Mountains was an abrupt reminder of the risks of ad hoc touring. Soon after starting off, we took a wrong turn and had to work together as a pilot/copilot team to navigate back on track. Next we detoured to a foothill valley heralded by a regional guidebook for its scenic apple orchards and hospitable roadside cafes. Both promised features proved a bust. The prolonged drought and high temperatures had parched the orchards. The cafes and their parking lots were crowded with weekend tourists, besides serving inferior, overpriced fare. This forgettable day ended in a colorless chain hotel in Big Bear Lake Village. But we accepted these setbacks as a cost of adlibbing. There are no guarantees when you make it up as you go along on the road.

Introduction & Invitation (May 15) Bob is bullish: “Congratulations. I’m already a fan and new subscriber of your blog. The snappy prose has an infectious quality and the focus on Agile Aging is most welcome as I klutz my way forward.” Bearish Chuck is not convinced: “Why would we be interested in something about growing …

NAVEL-GAZING Sometimes we wonder if an ordinary individual – leaving aside emperors and prophets – can truly have an historical impact. Eliza Tibbets is proof positive. In 1873, this Washington D.C. suffragette and spiritualist, recently relocated to the West Coast, implored a friend back in the national capitol to send young trees for her Southern …

I’m getting a kick out of rethinking senior travel. And definitely not as merely a slow-motion version of travel-as-usual. My target is a thorough redesign, customized to suit our elder interests and capacities. Why, where, when and how to travel are all on the drawing-board. With imagination and ingenuity, I’m confident we can create senior …

Helen Dennis is a nationally prominent specialist on retirement planning. Her experience and expertise can be glimpsed on her website: www.HelenMdennis.com. In response to my question about retirement-preparation readings, Helen has been kind enough to recommend a half-dozen titles: Don’t Retire, REWIRE! by Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miner. Project Renewment: The First Retirement Model for …

In your most private moments, what do you think about aging? Does advancing seniority fill you with distaste, or with relief? Apprehension or contentment? Are you grinning or grimacing?

What image of aging first pops into your mind’s eye? More memory-making with the grandkids? More midnight shuffles to the bathroom? A lengthening shelf of unpronounceable pills? A closet-full of business attire dry-cleaned for schlepping to Goodwill?

Have you dreams deferred or nagging irritations? A Danube cruise? Elusive words on the tip of your tongue? Performing with the Community Players? Being nibbled to death by ducks?

Like most of my peers, I’m aware the aging glass is both half-empty and half-full. We have to take the sour with the sweet. But it’s my impression that we tend to over-emphasize seniority’s downsides. If that’s correct, this reflexive pessimism exacts a high price. Not only can it impair our mental and emotional health. It can also neglect and undervalue seniority’s rich offsetting opportunities, passions and pleasures. This blog is dedicated to helping rebalance the scales. I want to make the case for a positive approach to growing old.