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By Tom Blake
A week ago, my partner, Greta, and I were sitting at our desks in our home office. Out of the blue, Greta said, “Do you realize we’ve been together for 20 years?” Her comment hit me like a rock.
Of course, I knew we’d been together for 20 years, but when she mentioned it, I stopped what I was doing and thought about those 20 years and how fortunate we were to have met each other when we did.
And whenever I hear the words “20 years,” I always think of the great Bob Seger song, “Like A Rock,” because of a verse in the song that begins with the words, “Twenty years now, where’d they go?”
I imagine most adults recognize “Like A Rock.” For years, it was the background music for the Chevy truck commercials.
And if people grew up in Michigan, as I did, they likely knew who Bob Seger was. He was born in Lincoln Park, a Detroit suburb, and attended Ann Arbor High School. He was close to our age (Seger turned 74 on May 6), so he represented our generation.
Greta continued talking, as if in a stream-of-consciousness: “When I met you, I was 57, you were 59. I’d just gone through a tough divorce five years before. Didn’t want to date, although I’d had a few dates. Walked in the neighborhood or on the beach alone. . . . I mostly worked, teaching special-needs children, plus four nights per week, home-taught severe special-needs children . . . felt like I was doing something important. It took all my time. Thought my dating life was over. How wrong I was.”
She paused, smiled and then continued: “I never dreamed when I went into Tutor and Spunky’s, your Dana Point deli, on June 24, 1998, and ordered a freshly squeezed carrot juice, that my life was about to change. You walked around the counter and said, ‘Would you like to have dinner with me?’ Wow, what an incredible 20 years it’s been.”
I interjected, saying, “The key to our happiness . . . in my opinion . . . is our thoughtfulness toward each other. We’ve shared homes, travel . . . lots of it . . . and families. Three weeks ago, you were blessed with a fourth great-grandchild. We’ve shared each other’s retirements. We’ve shared sad times, losing friends and family members. And now, we’re sharing growing old together. How blessed we’ve been.”
At that point, I went to YouTube on my computer, pulled up “Like A Rock,” and turned the volume high. We toasted to it, with a glass of our favorite Chardonnay, Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve, the same wine we both ordered on our first date, three days after meeting, at the Claim Jumper restaurant on La Paz in Laguna Hills.
Words to the 20-years verse from Like A Rock:
“Twenty years now, where’d they go? Twenty years, I don’t know . . . Sit and wonder sometimes, where they’ve gone . . . And sometimes late at night . . . When I’m bathed in the firelight . . . The moon comes callin’ a ghostly white. . . And I recall . . . I recall…Like a rock, standin’ arrow straight . . . Like a rock, chargin’ from the gate . . . Like a rock, carryin’ the weight . . . Like a rock.”
Then I said to Greta, “I received an email today from Chris Anastasio of San Clemente. Anastasio wrote, ‘I am now 85; Tina and I have been together for 15 years. It’s amazing how fast time flies.’ I wonder if other people age 50 and older reflect on their last 15 or 20 years. Regardless of what we think about past years, we must make the best of our remaining years. We’ve got to keep moving, keep writing, stay active and interact socially with our friends and family, regardless of what fate deals us. We’ve got to be, like a rock.”
Senior Singles’ Meet and Greet May 22
On Wednesday, May 22, from 5-7 p.m., the new owners of Tutor And Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point will resurrect the Senior Singles Meet and Greets that were once so popular there. Tom and Greta Blake will host the event.
The event isn’t only for single seniors; all adults—single, married or in relationships—may join. There is no charge. Appetizers will be served. Beer and wine are $3. Location: Tutor and Spunky’s, 34085 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point. 949.248.9008.
Tom Blake is a Dana Point resident and a former Dana Point businessman who has authored several books on middle-aged dating. See his websites, findingloveafter50.com, vicsta.com and travelafter55.com. To receive Tom’s weekly online newsletter, sign up at findingloveafter50.com. Email: email@example.com.