For widows - yes there is love after 70

My purpose in writing and publishing this newsletter is to share information with singles ages 50-80 that informs, entertains, educates and inspires them to embrace this life with which they've been dealt.

But for me it's more than that. It's about the friendships I have with so many of you, although most of you I've never met in person over the 10 years I've been writing it. Some I know so well I often predict accurately the gist of what your comments will be when you respond to a topic.

So, it's very special when I meet one of you face-to-face. Such was the case last week when Pat, a widow and grandmother, age 70, from Shickshinny, Pa., visited me and Greta at Tutor and Spunky's, my Dana Point, California deli, that I've owned for 23 years (www.TutorandSpunkys.com). Pat was with her friend Julie, a recent widow.

But Pat didn't arrive at the deli via her favorite form of transportation. She came by car instead. Let me explain.

Pat met Len in 2004 on BikerKiss.com. That's right, BikerKiss.com. Len is five years younger than Pat. She explains, "I went to that site as sort of a joke-a girlfriend had just bought a motorcycle. I laughingly told her that she should find me a nice guy with a bike that would like to take me for a ride on Sunday afternoons. She suggested I post my profile on Biker Kiss and I did, never dreaming that I would actually meet someone.

"Len and I emailed back and forth for a while, then met for lunch, and talked for three hours. On our second date, we spent a day together at a Victorian town about halfway between our homes with lots of talking and laughing. On the third date, we met again for lunch which turned into dinner also; then he wanted me to meet his family and the rest is history."

For the last six years, Pat and Len have traveled across the USA and Canada by motorcycle. Every summer they take an extended trip.

I asked Pat how she and Len keep their respective sanity when traveling so intimately together for days on end.

Pat said, "For us it's a matter of laughing a lot, even when things are not going as smoothly as we would like. For example, we were low on gas in Nevada at the intersection of Extraterrestrial Highway (not joking) and US 6, in a ghost town. From the map it looked like there would be something there since it was an intersection with a U.S. highway. There wasn't. The nearest town was 50 miles away. We had a guardian angel, a kind-hearted young man drove 100 miles roundtrip to get gas for us. We had water, a shady spot to sit and there was a breeze, so we just waited.

"Many people would have placed blame about being low on gas. It turned out to be a good day after all. Beside the laughter-which we do a lot of- everything tickles us. We respect and like each other in addition to being in love."

Pat added, "At our age why get nit-picky about things? This is our time and both of us realize how lucky we are that we met someone to share things with. Len loves sharing the travel, gorgeous scenery, and freedom of riding with me.

Pat feels that people over 50 need to accept each other's habits. "You have to accept people as they are-unless they are abusive, have an addiction, that sort of behavior-otherwise, count your blessings and realize that you're not perfect either. If you can't do that, walk away."

Last summer, Pat and Len's bike broke down in Nova Scotia; it couldn't be fixed. They ended up taking a two-day bus ride to Bangor, Maine, so they could eventually get back to Pa.

In 2006, Pat, and Len took a 26-state, 67-day, 14,000-mile trip from Pennsylvania to California and back. On a motorcycle!

Pat says this year Len is keeping their destination a surprise. She's guessing, but she doesn't know for sure.

© 2010, Tom Blake

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Tom Blake is an expert on dating after 50. He has appeared twice on the "Today Show" and has written more than 500 columns on dating and relationships. His "Single Again" column appears in The Orange County Register in southern California, is read worldwide and is often featured on msn.com. He is a professional speaker. He spoke at the national AARP convention in San Diego in 2002, and in Chicago. His book, Middle Aged and Dating Again, is a humorous account of his first year of dating after his third divorce. His second book is Finding Love After 50: How to begin, where to go, what to do. His latest book is titled How 50 Couples Found Love after 50. To ask a question or receive Tom's free weekly column on middle-age dating and relationships by e-mail, click on www.findingloveafter50.com or E-Mail.

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