Excellent piece, Bev! Totally agree and am also outraged at the missed opportunities. But I have to tell you about a couple I met a few years ago. They were retired, happily living in an airstream pulled by a pick-up, and they migrated across the Midwest and the Southwest following the seasons: AZ in winter for rock-hounding, Central CA for picking lettuce, Las Vegas, NM for the gems & minerals shows, and so on. I sat by a river in a KOA campground and spent hours talking to them about their adventures. They were in their late 70's. My point is, some folks look forward to retirement for this very reason—to travel, see and enjoy their country, meet new people... and so forth. It ain't all bad! Thanks for your excellent essay! :D

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