About Us

We, Jane and Ellen, the creators of this blog for women who are close to 70 (a bit younger or a bit older or exactly 70), are amazed that we have reached this landmark, and wonder about the range of experiences of other women at our stage of life. We are old friends who met in 9th grade and have seen each other through 60 years of development and change. We’re fascinated now by this new and often exciting, sometimes challenging, time of life. Jane who lives in Texas turned 70 in July. Ellen is cautiously approaching her 70th birthday in March at her new home in upstate New York. We really look forward to hearing your stories.

54 Responses to About Us

  1. Jan says:

    I would like to subscribe to your blog. Is that possible? If so, please add my address!

  2. Sheila Reid says:

    This blog is lovely and I will sign up and also look for your book, at Amazon. I turned 80 in June but am not retired and I go on as I always have. I’m a visual artist with works that have been exhibited in or collected by in 33 museums in 13 different countries. But artists don’t retire, we just keep on working till the end.

    I’ve just finished 15 years as a caregiver because my husband had Parkinson’s. That stopped all my exhibition activities but I did continue working on a series of 400 collages that I call ‘Plenitude’. And I wrote a book called ART & CREAKY BONES that contains illustrations of 70 of those collages.

    It’s a book that explores why and how a creative activity is so good for us. It encourages people to begin painting or writing or dancing or any past time that keeps them in better shape and happy. Painting or writing or any creative activity is also a great way to make new friends and remain socially active. So it’s such a wonderfully satisfying aid to anyone who is lonely. It get’s you out of the house and keeps you active.

    My book received 6 awards for Aging, Inspiration and Art, so I was really excited to learn that there’s so much interest in creative activities because they can bring tons of joy to your life. And they make getting out of bed in the morning a great pleasure. Bravo for this blog. It’s great!

  3. Lanie says:

    Hi, thank you for this blog and the opportunity to share thoughts on this stage of life. Like Melanie I turned 70 recently and also am having trouble “wrapping my head” around that fact. I live in Australia where working up to and beyond 70 is very unusual so I keep quiet about my age at work and luckily for me hair colour aids my ” disguise”. I was dreading turning 70 – feeling that it was all going to be downhill from here, but very unexpectedly I felt an enormous sense of freedom and liberation (not sure exactly from what) when the day actually came. I guess we all feel “younger” than our age and outer selves declare.
    I look forward to reading all the inspiring posts you have gathered here and can’t wait to read your book too, to find ways to explore and navigate this decade and beyond. You all make it seem much less scary. I love the energy of so many of you (wish I had more of it) – something I have seen in American culture very often. My sister lives in the US so I visit regularly (in more normal times).

  4. Melanie says:

    I just found this site, and I just had to write my feelings on approaching my 70th birthday in 3 weeks. I am so excited about reaching this milestone! I am having a problem wrapping my head around the fact that I have reached this age, because in my mind I’m still 18! I am excited to start the 8th decade of my life and for all the next decade has in store for me. Age is just a number, it’s how you feel on the inside that matters most, and I have no intention of ever feeling “old”! I am entering this decade in better shape than I have ever been. I am healthier than I have ever been. I am ready for whatever is out there for me!

    • Blog Mavens says:

      Melanie, welcome to to 70Candles.com and to your 8th Decade!
      You sound like an energetic and optimistic woman. Those qualities will continue to serve you well.
      We wish you all the best as you create your future, and hope you’ll share your experiences with our 70Candles! community.
      Jane and Ellen.

  5. Janice B Hayes says:

    I turned 70 two wks ago. My kids knew I wanted to celebrate, and they threw a great party for me! It was wonderful. My oldest best friend (5th grade) surprised me by standing behind my large, tall brother and everyone but me knew she was my Surprise. I hadn’t seen her since our 50th HS reunion. I’m also retiring at the end of Dec. I don’t have deep pockets like many ladies so I’m not planning any fancy River cruises. My grandchildren live a few minutes away and my daughters-in-law are awesome! My plan includes part time work and helping my daughter with her copious amount of laundry . Apparently I am very good at it.

  6. Cynthia says:

    Please put me on your email list. I turned 70 in January and we are in the midst of selling our home and moving to another state to be closer to our children and especially our young grandchildren. It’s exciting, but also difficult to downsize and part with so many things at once. I know that they are just things and the happy memories they are part of will always be with us, but it’s still hard. So happy to have found this blog!

  7. Bettie says:

    I would like to join this blog.

  8. My friend Ernie Harburg, President Emeritus of the Yip Harburg Foundation, has asked me to help him disseminate a powerful quote from Abigail (Mrs. John) Adams in a letter to her husband on March 31, 1776. Ernie is interested in bringing it to the attention of activists, influencers and intellectuals whom it may be inspiring to.  Perhaps the quote will be useful to you in your writings.

    The source is “Familiar Letters of John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams” (1875), edited by Charles Francis Adams, p. 147.

    Ernie has sent the quotation out an International Women’s Day greeting.  His email message can be read here:  http://jsnyc.com/season/AbigailAdams3.htm.

    Ernie is son of E.Y. “Yip” Harburg, the lyricist known as “Broadway’s social conscience” and co-author of “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon” and many more. Ernie is Chair Emeritus of the Yip Harburg Foundation (https://yipharburg.com).  He is reachable at: e@yipharburg.com.

    Abigail Adams wrote:

    “I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And by the way, in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors.

    “Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could.

    “If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.

    “That your Sex are Naturally Tyrannical is a Truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute, but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of Master for the more tender and endearing one of Friend.”

    Thank you for considering this. I will be eager to learn if it is useful to you.

    Best wishes,
    Jonathan Slaff

  9. Doris Jean Shaw says:

    I got up this morning and could not figure out why the coffee was not perking. I touched the pot and grounds poured out on me. I had put in the filter and the coffee but I had forgotten to put in the basket. I tried to filter the coffee that had dripped only to discover I had forgotten to put the pot back. OK I did what any self- respecting coffee drinker would do, I went back to bed. It was alright since I had gotten up at 4 AM. I had a do over.

    Doing good so far.

  10. Sarah Ryan says:

    I turned 70 in April and was working part-time looking forward to spending quality time with my grandchildren and great grandchildren. In May I was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer so my introduction to my eighth decade has been very different from what I planned. I am finishing up radiation treatments, after undergoing chemotherapy and surgery. I have met some great people because of this interruption in my life plan. Looking forward to the rest of my life with joy and gratitude. Happy to have found your blog.

  11. Myrna Courtney says:

    I’m happy to find this site. I’m finding that being in my 70’s, widowed 11 years and currently having health problems, can put a damper on the active, very full lifestyle I’ve enjoyed. I need to turn my head around, enjoy memories of my husband and family, travels and adventures, and get on with the next phase. Staying social, staying healthy and staying in the loop is my new priority. I will not fall down the rabbit hole of depression and loneliness that can pop up when you live alone and your body is telling you it’s time to slow down. Time to put on my Big Girl Panties and see what’s next! I look forward to the stories here!

  12. Jennifer Schinkel says:

    Turning that dreaded number in about 3 weeks time, but have decided to backwards instead of forward… So, come Jan 25 I will be 68 again… Whew! My children want to celebrate, but I ask, “celebrate what exactly?” No desire to go down that road… An old high school friend turns 70 next week, and another in April, and a fourth in May. We are all planning to see what we can do to defy societies expectations of us… One plans to swim naked in the Caribbean, another just moved to a bigger house, I dream of buying a farm and starting a cider company, and the fourth is trying to up her present reading average from 365 books a year… In any case, we never discuss health (we might have reason to, but don’t bore the others with it), we send silly letters to one another and we generally feel the same inside as we did when we were 16. (and we don’t look in mirrors much any more). Keep positive, get rid of the negative people in your life (or if you can’t get rid of them, do what you have to and then get out of there), find fun things to do, travel a lot if you can, keep driving, garden and keep cooking…all the best to you all in 2017….

    • Blog Mavens says:

      We hope you’ll see how tame that “dreaded number” can be when you face it squarely with that positive outlook. Enjoy your birthday celebration and new adventures ahead.
      Jane and Ellen

  13. Lucy says:

    Lucy here again….I meant one complaint…that you didn’t include sex in your book.
    I am not complaining about sex at all….at all.

    Just wanted to clear that up. 🙂

    • Blog Mavens says:

      You’re right.
      We issued a mea culpa on page 16 of our book, about overlooking sex in this edition.
      We said, “The research is clear that, in the words of Karl Pillemer, ‘the spark changes,’ but it is not extinguished. And it is clear to us that this is a topic we want to explore much, much more. Stay tuned!”
      Jane and Ellen

  14. Lucy says:

    Just purchased your book, 70 Candles.

    Love it….I feel more alive than ever in reading blogs, etc.
    Yes it can be daunting but so exciting too.

    One complaint and you did refer to it….SEX….we still are sexual beings.
    I am 68 and I have a partner…and I am having the best sex of my life…
    I do think it is because some of our parts don’t work as well as they used to..therefore, you have to do so many other things and become inventive and foreplay can go on a long time…which he and I love….all because the main act is not the main goal. It is glorious.

  15. Consuelo says:

    Hi, I copied the article “Thriving at Age 70 and Beyond” and had it on my unread email for several weeks. I finally read it and found your blog cited in it. I subscribed and I am looking forward to read about the experiences of others 70 somethings.
    I will be 70 in a year and have been retired for 8 years. Have been doing lots of traveling and now looking forward to welcoming my first grandchild. However, it is still hard to truly “enjoy” retirement. I feel, from time to time, that I need to be doing something more, have a purpose, not just enjoyment. Any thoughts?

    • Blog Mavens says:

      Hello Consuelo and welcome to our blog!

      You’ll see as you look through entries here, that many woman feel as you do.
      If you choose the topic “what do we do with our time?” on the right hand margin, you’ll be able to read the vast array of activities that women have chosen.

      Our book, 70Candles! Women Thriving in Their 8th Decade further describes these sometimes perplexing moments and the kinds of decisions women make.

      We wish you good luck as you seek your purpose, and hope you’ll keep us posted on your progress.
      Jane and Ellen

  16. Anita King says:

    I came upon your blog when reading a book a friend gave me. The title of the book is “70 Things to do when you turn 70.”

    • Blog Mavens says:

      Yes Anita,
      We enjoyed writing our short chapter in that book. Our recommendation of “things to do when you turn 70” was to gather with others. We still believe that.

      70Candles! Gatherings continue, as you can see on the Gatherings page of our blog. Perhaps a group will form near you some time in the future. Or maybe you’ll consider starting one yourself…

      In the meantime, welcome to our blog!
      Jane and Ellen

  17. Anita King says:

    Oct 9th I will turn 70. I am now retired (4 years) and a former co-worker sent me a book to read. 70 Things to do when you turn 70. I have enjoyed it so far. I came upon the reference to your blog and thought I would check it out. Since I retired I have been trying to keep myself busy in this small city I live in. I have traveled some, once in 2013 to Ireland and the summer of 2015 to London, Salisbury, Oxford and then to France to Normandy and then on to Paris. I went with a college class of nurses. I am not a nurse but they let other go on the trips and it was so much fun. Unfortunately my finances do not let me do this every year. I would love to find other ideas and things to keep me active and alert.

    My mother lived to be 92 but suffered with back problems and macular degeneration and then dementia. I hope to avoid these for as long as possible.

  18. Miriam says:

    Found your blog in Jane Brody’s 75th birthday article in the New York Times today. I’m older (85), have had a stroke, exercise every day, try to walk 1+1/2 miles daily, do my own grocery shopping, and am doing well. Now can ride the subway by myself so I’m busy enjoying New York: theatre, movies, lectures, friends, eating out, etc. I know how lucky I am that I can live in this great city and afford to enjoy it. Thanks for this blog — I’ll be a regular reader.

  19. Susan Adelle says:

    Hello Jane and Ellen –
    Downloaded your book and that led me here. I just became semi-retired, and will turn 75 in September. I am wondering how I want to utilize the open space I now have – for the first time since I turned 16! Finances dictate that I continue working part-time forever, but I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing.
    Your stories (upon entering your book) moved me to feeling like I finally have a bit of a road map – and I thank you for that. Bookmarking this site now, with the greatest pleasure.

  20. Mary Lou says:

    Really love this idea! I looked for a ‘follow’ link and couldn’t find it. Am I missing it?

  21. Blog Mavens says:

    Here’s the link to a wonderful article about aging and our book, written by Jane Brody for The New York Times. It appeared on-line and in print in the Science Times section


  22. Hi Jane , Ellen, t y for u stories

  23. Norma says:

    So glad I found your blog! Turning 70 on Feb 3, 2016. Depressing but grateful.

  24. Ann Roberts says:

    Hi there – What a joy to have found your blog:) I recently retired and have gone back to University to undertake an MSc in Applied Social Science. My MSc dissertation is grand-parenting and releasing the flow of love across the generations. Woo Hoo. I will be applying for a PhD to start next September and my research topic will be exploring the challenges and opportunities for our generation.
    I am 64 and care three generations. My mum -in law is 92, my father who is 91, and my step mum who is 84 with Dementia. My second husband and I have four adult daughters between us and three grandkids.
    A year ago, when I was still working, I ended up being ill from what the doctor labelled Carer Stress. I had not been ‘signed off’ for over thirty years so this was a real surprise and I did not even realise that I was a carer! It was battling with the care system to find the right support for my step-mum, combined with clearing the family house to sell to fund the care home, that pushed me over ‘the edge’

    I feel our generation are a wonderful resource for the well-being of our families. My husband ( 69) and I have our pension, are fit and healthy, love being grandparents and have the potential to live another 25 plus years. We want to be active and involved.
    So appreciate you being there, would love to join in and seek your engagement with my research.
    Ann Roberts

    • Blog Mavens says:

      Ann hello,

      Glad you found our site, and hope it is useful in your studies.
      Be sure to take a look, as well, at our book, 70Candles! Women Thriving in Their 8th Decade. It addresses the topics you mentioned.

      We welcome your thoughts and any questions you come upon. Perhaps our readers can be of help.
      Good luck with your project.
      Jane and Ellen

    • Julianna Lancaster says:

      Dear Ann
      Social Science is what I want to study now that I am soon entering my 70th year. Why? because it had always interested me and currently seriously thinking about opportunities for people who have great deal to give. Hence I found this, 70candles web site and your blog. Like most people I imagine, I too have been through all that you have written about and feel the same way about the future – though in my case I am alone. My husband died 17 years ago. Sadly I too feel that I could live another 25 years and I wouldn’t mind enjoying life a little more but the question is how best to keep usefully occupied and at the same time benefit others.

      I live in London UK and wondered if you would be interested in getting in contact with me. I have so much more to share but don’t want to take up space here.

      I have never looked at such a sight before (not very good in doing things routinely) but I will look at it to see if you respond favorably and take it from there.

      Jane and Ellen – you are providing a very useful service. Keep it going. Thanks Julianna

      • Blog Mavens says:

        Welcome to 70Candles Julianna,

        We’re pleased that you find this site useful.
        As a women interested in social sciences, perhaps you’d consider leading a discussion group in London based the the themes summarized in our book, 70Candles! Women Thriving in Their 8th Decade.

        I’ve been leading conversations in book groups, at Senior Centers and in Independent Living communities in Texas, and have found that women in and near their 70’s do indeed enjoy talking about themselves in this era of their lives. The energy in the room is electric!

        You might well come upon some ideas for your future studies…you will certainly find the experience heartwarming and inspiring.

        Let us know if you try this.

  25. Sandra Pieterse says:

    Hello all you beautiful ‘young’ ladies! I have just discovered this blog while lying in bed trying to sleep. Wow, what inspiring stories.

    I turned 70 in March, however, in my mind I am still 47! I retired at the end of 2013, but told my students that I am only ‘refiring.’ The ‘refiring’ process is, however, taking too long, ladies!!

    But I have learnt that Grace and Goodness and Gratefulness are wonderful companions. Contentment another good friend. And Peace…inside and out. I look in the mirror and see reality. The important thing is: what do people see? Do I reflect the real me? These are questions I think about when I go for my daily walks…everyday about 5 – 10 kilometres!

    Then I realise: yes, I have peace and tranquility and joy and faith. Why? By the grace of God I am healthy and I will grow ‘older’ gracefully. SoaringSandra, sassy seventy, here I come and I am and will be blessed to be a blessing!

    Love to all sweet and super and soaring seventy year young ladies.

  26. Barbara Kelly Ryden 1958 says:

    Read about you in the newletter. What a great idea. Anxious to spend
    time reading the stories. Wonderful that Evelyn Konrad ’46 was on the
    same page.
    My best to you both

  27. Rosie says:

    I’m hoping to reach the age of 70 in August and I’m scared. It’s really old. Of course, I’m grateful to still be alive but being old in the western world isn’t the bees knees.

  28. Just starting out my blog. You have done a wonderful job with yours. Any advice?


    • Blog Mavens says:

      Marilyn hi,

      The best advice we were given when we began was, “If you build it, they may not come.”

      There’s much to be done to spread the word about your blog…
      You need to post often, and address topics that matter to your audience.
      Tell us more about what you envision.

      We are grateful to our readers, who now feel comfortable talking to each other on 70candles.com

      Thank you for your compliment and good luck with your effort.
      Jane and Ellen

      • Marilyn says:

        The writing is the easy part. Key words and phrases and letting people know it is there is the hard part. Also, learning how to use analytics is a task. But, In the first week plus, the site has been visited 82 times. I don’t know if that is good or bad, but I will use you for role models. Thanks so much for the prompt response. And my son congratulates you on being part of Huffington Post. He says that is a real accomplishment. Check in if you have a moment and tell me what you think. I am sure you have little spare time, but who knows what you might see that I don’t. Marilyn

  29. sue lucas says:

    I can’t believe I’ve found this site, is it really what it seems, how do I join in? being 71 and no husband, retired nurse practitioner with I hope lots of life left, please respond to my comment. suelucas321@yahoo.com

    • Blog Mavens says:

      Welcome Sue!

      It’s easy to get involved…Just write some of your thoughts/feelings about your life experiences/ views on being 70+ or respond with a comment to the many threads we have going now.

      We will post your story..long or short…and you can just stay tuned and chime in whenever you like.

      Happy New Year to you,
      Jane and Ellen

  30. NIKI says:

    Hello Jane – I’m a native Texan – married and left for 30 years and came HOME in 1990. Felt like I’d died and gone to heaven!

  31. Lynne Spreen says:

    Hi, I haven’t seen any new posts from your site in a while. I found out about the blog after reading Retiring but Not Shy. Hope both of you are well.

  32. Ione Barcus says:

    Thank God, I am not alone!
    I knew there were active, intelligent, aging, seeking women out there who haven’t given up in this quest for happiness and the fulfilled life!
    I have bookmarked this site and plan on becoming a regular visitor…I have found someone to talk to.

  33. maggy simony says:

    Found this blog Googling Nora Ephron–her book, I Can’t Remember Anything, is next selection for my book club here in Florida. I’ve not gotten there yet, but evidently it is in part about Nora turning 70. I turned 70 in 1980.

    Turning 70 for me was the only decade birthday that I dreaded. Just seemed as if it was the end of life. When long time friends (a married couple I’d known for more than 30 years) invited me to go along on a trip to Yugoslavia–Del had checked and there was no single supplement for this trip–I did just that. It was just the kind of travel tour I like–go to one place, stay there and take day trips.

    So I simply got out of the country! On my actual birthday, March 14, we were on a cruise to some island off the coast of Dubrovnik. Claim of that island (as is claimed in several European locations) was that it was where the Moslem armies were stopped centuries ago, from taking over all of Europe. En route to the island we had lunch, a couple bottles of champagne the whole shipboard dining room sang happy birthday–mostly in Yugoslavian.

    There were a couple other day-trips that stand out in my memory. One to a sleepy country, seemed like vintage WWI, on the top of a mountain–Montenegro–reached by hair-raising bus trip. Endless hairpin turns. The other was (and I can’t guarantee the spelling) Medugorje which is a Catholic shrine something like Fatima. People from all over the world making pilgrimages with severely handicapped children seeking a cure. I’m neither Catholic nor even particularly religious–but it is a moving experience to share.

    Whether it was that shrine experience, or just getting out of the country to a place that was still unique in 1980, I came home completely restored to my usual attitude on life. Malaise over! Since then have had two decades of enjoyable living, have published a few books–most recent about the pop culture of sociable bridge called Bridge Table or What’s Trump Anyway?–and just launched a blog only a month after this 70 Candles blog was launched, on January 1, 2011. Mine is about bridge with a sub-topic Nonagenarian Notions about all the 90-year old bridge players. My motto is, for a long and happy old age, it’s better to have played bridge badly than never to have played at all.

    • Niki says:

      Wow! What a story! So Maggy Simony – are you still playing bridge? The only bridge I play is trying to walk across the one-lane country bridge before I meet a vehicle coming or going! Would sure like to stand in the middle a few minutes and gaze at the hills and the water tumbling over the rocks but seems people are driving faster, not paying attention to anything but their cell phones, and have no compassion for walkers! I’m 72.

    • Chasing says:

      But Maggy, turning seventy in 1980 would make you over 100, not ninety!

    • Paula says:

      Hello, I live in Marin county in northern CA
      I want t learn bridge. Suggestions?

      • Blog Mavens says:

        Hello Paula!

        Here in Texas the best place to learn bridge is at local Senior Centers where they offer instruction at any level, with lots of hospitality.
        Any places like that near you?

  34. Anna says:

    I just happened to click on this website and I really like it. I just turned 59 and I am looking down that road that you, Ellen and Jane are traveling. I am married to a man who is 9 years my junior. So in 10 years I will be retiring and he will still be working. I think it’s wise to plan who you will live your life in retirement especially if you are in good health. This is a second marriage and I started having my children later in life, so I don’t have any grand children at this time. I am hoping they find someone they love and get married first.
    I do plan to travel with my husband. we have not travelled very much. We have worked and continue to pay for two kids in college. One daughter has 1 year left and the other has 3. Rather than put that money for our retirement, my husband prefers to pay for the kid’s college. Go figure??
    I plan to continue working part time -just a few hours a week after I retire.
    I enjoy cooking, gardening and yoga. Hopefully I will be healthy enough to enjoy my retirement years.
    I have relatives in Massachusetts and will enjoy the summers there. Jane I live in Texas.

    • Blog Mavens says:

      Anna, yes -looking ahead to ways to spend retirement years is a topic important to all of us. Thanks for your note.

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