Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lucille Perkins Robinson, a Spunky Senior With Her Hands Full

Lucille Perkins Robinson

Life isn't always easy. Lucille Perkins Robinson can testify to that. She's had her hands full for quite some time. In her own words, here's some of what she does and has done, which truly qualifies her as a Spunky Senior:

Pamela Renee LeJeune

I take care of my comatose daughter, Pamela Renee LeJeune, and have been for the last 9 years.


I take care of a husband who seems to have hit an all-time low in depression since our daughter, Sheryl Ann Bourque, died on

Sheryl Ann Bourque

June 6, whom I had taken care of for the past year and a half.

My husband was already depressed because of being diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago. 

Further back I began college at age 35, took up education grades 1-8 and taught middle school for a couple of years before getting certification in special education and taught resource which is drawing special ed children out of regular classes for an hour each day, 10 years.

Before that I've worked as a machinist threading pipes of all lengths and sizes, a waitress at a truck stop, and mostly a mother rearing 6 children.

I've also served the Lord since I was about 9-12 [one of those years] and have had interesting things happening to me down through the years. When my mother died when I was 8, I didn't cry. When my father died in the 1970s, I didn't cry. When my daughter died in June, I didn't cry. I was filled each time with unbelievable calm and faith that all would be well.

From 12 years ago - I'm the short one in the middle. Ted is the one in the back [this is before all the problems started.] Patrick, my 3rd child is standing to Ted's left, then going on around thus, next in line is Robin my 2nd child, Angela my 4th child, Perry my 1st child, Sheryl my 6th, and Pamela my 5th.

I'm of old fashioned beliefs that sex should come after the wedding ceremony and not before, that children should not be allowed to disrespect or sass their parents, that children should be taught to handle money, should be taught what life is all about before they hit the age to quit school and bum around [although I wasn't successful with 2 of my six children where this idea is concerned].

I love to garden, crochet, sew [don't do well making clothes], paint pics when I can lay them out without fear of them being damaged while drying. Wish I could go swimming more often and travel more.

Lucille Robinson

Please leave a comment for Lucille to welcome her here at Spunky Seniors.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Spunky Ginger Simpson Gets An Unexpected New Lease On Life

Ginger Simpson

My plan was to share pictures of me doing something "daring," but the pictures of me parasailing at 700 feet in Hawaii some years back are stowed in the attic.
Instead, I'm going to share something some of you may consider mild.  
I just returned from six weeks in Alaska, a trip I never expected to make and one that changed my life.  

Visiting Ekluta Cemetery Spirit Houses
of Alaskan Native Americans

For the past three years, my health and energy level had declined beyond belief.  I spent most of my days locked in the house or in bed because I had absolutely no interest in going anywhere or doing anything.  

Her greatest fear -
2 1/2 mile one-way tunnel
to get to cruise

From the Glacier Day Cruise

My friend and hostess in Alaska is an FNP and specializes in hormone replacement treatment.  She and I had discussed my condition prior to making the trip, and a two day hospital stay right before my departure caused fear that I would have to cancel my plans.  For my dear husband's sake, I pushed on, and we went.  

20 feet from a moose in
her friend's backyard.

After we arrived, Ann ran blood tests on both Kelly and I.  Neither of us had much more than a measurable hormone level and after reading up on the topic on interviewing other satisfied "patrons," we are now the proud "owners" of rice-sized pellets implanted beneath the skin on our hips.  This process has been around since 1939 but has been secreted away to keep the drug companies rolling in dough.  I'm happy to say that I've decreased my RX dependency by three pills and a big monthly expense.  The pellets will need to be replaced every four-five months for me and five-six months for Kelly, but it's an investment I'll gladly make. I know I sound like an advertisement, but...

I cannot boast or emphasize enough how this changed my life.  I've rediscovered I have one and regained the zest I'd lost.  I won't be entering any cross-country marathons or leaping hurdles, but the fact that I can even imagine them amazes me. *smile*  My husband presented Ann with flowers to show his appreciation for her giving him back the wife he married.  My skin, hair, and attitude have improved, and we just made an offer on a house for a future I doubted I would have.   

With Hubby at Cook's Statue,
Cook's Inlet, Anchorage, AK

I guess if you can't consider my pictures as evidence of spunkiness, maybe you can refer to me as "frisky." Okay...TMI, I know, but I can't contain my glee at living life again and loving it.  
My husband has renewed energy, has lost inches and is gaining back some of his lost muscle mass.  

Best of all, he smiles and winks at me.  Love it!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Spunky Songster Karen Walker Belts Out About Being a Senior

Left to right:  Marti Brandtner, Karen Walker, Jeanne Brown

When I hear the word “senior” I still think of old people. Then I remember--I’m a senior now, having just turned 62. It’s mind-blowing to me. But the funny thing is, it’s as a senior that I’m getting to do something I’ve wanted to do since I was a small child--be in a girl group. It’s called Sugartime and we perform at retirement communities, hospitals, nursing homes, and at special events. Our mission is to bring music to those who can no longer get out to hear it. Here we are singing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.”
It’s a blessing in so many ways. How many things do you do that bring you joy but also bring joy to others? We sing songs from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. Most of our
songs have choreography, so we get to wear hats and canes and feather boas. Our audiences seem to love us and we sure love singing for them.

Spunky Songster Karen Walker

The message here is, it’s never too late to go for your dreams. Who knew that when I fractured my ankle in seven places in early 2006 and could no longer folkdance (a major passion of mine) that singing would not only replace it, but become such an important part of my life in retirement?

I’m living proof that when one door closes, another appears. You just have to remain open to the possibilities. And keep dreaming.

For more on Karen, see

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Easy Rider Randall Lang Explains His Motorcycle Addiction

I am now and have been, for what seems an eternity, a motorcycle rider.  From the first time I sat on the back of a classmate’s Honda 350 Super Hawk, helmetless and clinging desperately to the driver to avoid slipping off of the back of the seat, I was hooked.  Until you have experienced the freedom of motorcycle travel, it is difficult to understand the addiction.  And although it was several years before I was able to get my first motorcycle, the desire for one never left me.

In 1971 my first real pay check went to help pay for a new four cylinder, 75 horsepower, 700 pound beauty with chrome fenders and exhaust pipes that wrapped like chrome snakes beneath the frame of the machine.  Over the next 20 something years I logged 15,000 miles of bug-eating while experiencing lead butt, unexpected  rain storms, clueless drivers, flat tires, and a myriad of other unpleasantness without ever losing the enthusiasm for the ride.  Eventually my ol’ hoss surrendered to deterioration and antiquation, becoming resigned to a dusty corner of the garage because I didn’t have the heart to scrap it.
 There is an exhilaration that goes with feeling the warm, fresh air against your skin.  Going from a warm hilltop to a chilly, fog-laden valley sends a tingle through your body that is hard to explain.  On the breeze are the scents of mint, blossoms, pine and other natural aromas, admittedly accompanied by shots of road kill, diesel, and dairy farm.  But it is the endless variety that makes the journey colorful.  Those who travel in cars (cagers), breathing chilled, recycled air and listening to artificial sounds are truly missing the depth of experience that is out there for the taking.
One of the few benefits of age is that mortgages get paid off, children complete their education and get jobs, weddings get paid off, and finally the big house is sold to be replaced by a smaller, more efficient, and less tax-burdensome accommodation.  When you stop writing checks to everyone else, you get to buy toys.  Nice, comfortable, sexy toys that almost make getting older worthwhile. As my years wind toward their inevitable end, I include among my toys a machine that is as powerful, luxurious, and high tech as the mind of man can create.  I can now travel many miles over many hours in comfort, yet still experience the sensory delights that the outdoors has to offer. 
Next time you see one or a couple of ‘spunky seniors’ cruising by on a nicely equipped motorcycle, you can be sure that they’re diggin’ it. You are cordially invited...

Randall Lang