Sunday, January 12, 2020

Liberated Widow's First Date and Other Ramblings

Sunday, 1/12/2020


The last time I wrote to you I was just writing about the books and not about what is going on with me.  Sorry, that is what happens with a passion and project that needs to be spread to have an impact.

So, what IS happening.


OK.  In the video count-down to launch of kindle version of THE JOURNEY CONTINUES, I mentioned that I got a call from a guy a week after Thanksgiving wishing me, "Happy Thankgiving".  He stuttered and was nervous (or pretended to be) and I engaged him in conversation a bit to kind of ease the tension and show him I wasn't going to bite.

I didn't know what to think about this interest in me.  It is over a year and a half since George passed.  Some friends asked me if I would ever want a relationship with a man again.  I told them, "NO!" pretty fast and pretty decisive.

But then this guy called and showed an interest and I started to run through my head the pros and cons.

The guy eventually invited me to dinner and I said I would meet him for coffee so we can get to know each other.

I wanted to meet him at the coffee shop or walk to the shop together.

He refused telling me he wanted to drive me, he was a Southern Gentleman, he said, and that is what he does.

My guess is he doesn't walk that far (1.5 miles).  He lives in my neighborhood and I never have seen him walking, not even to the mailbox.

I wanted to cancel then.  Two alarms went off in my head.  1) I have no interest in a man who is not active as a biker or hiker or weightlifter or whatever.  2) He is making this feel like a "DATE" and I don't want it to feel like a date because I know nothing about the guy.

We bikers are the "young-old" and this man was most likely among the "old-old".   But I thought what harm is it in making a new friend?  Who knows, we may both like x or y or z and be able to enjoy that together.

The day before our coffee meeting, he called to confirm.  Again I tried to get him to meet me at the coffee shop.  He didn't know where it was.   I said, "I don't know you, I would feel more comfortable meeting you there."

He said, "I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't swear.  I don't like women who swear."

HA!  I thought, "I have an out!"  I debated about swearing up a streak right there and then on the phone, I really did!

The night before he was to arrive at my door and pick me up I was tossing and turning and cussing up a storm.  How dare he push down my every protest.

How dare he deliver his book to me and encourage me to read it, and then when I offer to give him one of my books he says, "Oh, I don't have time right now!" and then never ask about my writing, my book, my life, my passions.

"Chauvinist, narcissistic pig," I tossed and turned and ranted on.  (His book was awful, by the way, in desperate need of editing.)

The morning hours before he showed up I worried that he would show up with a button down shirt and flowers.  So when he showed up in t-shirt and shorts I threw up my arms and cheered.  Ha ha.  Later he told me he had planned on a sport coat and his daughter advised him on what to wear.

We went to coffee, we had NOTHING in common... except we both drink coffee.  He doesn't exercise, he hates all people of a faith different than Christian, and he thinks that the Mayor (or was it a governor) that criminalized homelessness was a hero.  I didn't mind debating with him because I really didn't care.  So we had a nice civil discussion.

When we got done he wanted to graduate to a dinner date.  Had I disagreed with him too gently?

I said, "No, I am content with my life and I don't wan to date."  He respected that and said he would not call me again and would leave it to me to call him if I ever wanted to go out to dinner sometime.


Except that now I am wondering... if there really was a healthy, active, person out there who wanted someone to kayak with or walk with or travel to places with...  No sex, I am done with that.  Hormones are kaput.

Which makes me think that in younger years it was all about the attraction.  In my 20's I didn't care if we had anything in common.  In my 20's if I was attracted to them, that was the decision maker.  Back then I might have molded myself into the person they desired.

Whew... I like it better this way!  I love feeling strong about who I am and what I like.  I may be wishy-washy about a lot of decisions, but push my women's-liberation button and I rise up to fight.


In 1920 women got the right to vote in the USA.  100 years later it is time to celebrate and re-educate the girls of today.  My friend Beth and I are going to meet up with the local League of Women Voters and march with our Suffrage sashes in the Martin Luther King walk on January 20th, 8:45 in Liberty Park, Inverness.  If you have the inclination, come join us!  You don't need a sash to show you support civil rights no matter the color of your skin or your gender.


I have not written to you lately because I have been so busy.  First I have my regular life (biking, house, friends, book clubs, yoga, gym, social media) and then I added on top of that some book launch activities and then on top of that I added a couple part-time paid gigs.

I have done some dog sitting.  One time I stayed at a friends home because her rescue dog would be more comfortable with me in the bed.  Sweet little dog and cat, it was an enjoyable stay.

I have a lovely lab that I have been walking.  The owners are snowbirds so this is a winter-only gig.  When my hip hurts me I have used my trike to walk the dog. (Speaking of the hip, I tried physical therapy and they have sent me back to get an MRI of my lower back.  I get that tomorrow.)  

The lab does very well trotting next to the trike and I keep my fingers on the brake because she still likes to stop abruptly and sniff or pee.

Then I got a part-time job helping "Ted".   I have changed his name to protect his identity. You probably won't be seeing pictures of him here like I posted of George. 

Ted has dementia and refuses to move to an apartment with assistance.  I am helping along with another woman to keep him fed and clean and as safe as can be in his home.  

The family feels this is the most humane way to deal with the situation.  Ted is still walking easily and even rides his bike wonderfully, though he has forgotten about the need for bike pants on wedgy seats, so we don't bike far when I take him out.  He stays close to home and the neighbors know where he lives so they help him find his way home.  

Yes, there is a chance he will wander off and we will lose him.  What is the best way to deal with this do you think?  Force him to spend his remaining years fighting for his freedom, or letting him be as content as he can be as long as he can be.

This situation reminds me of the woman named Carol (I think that was her name).  She lived alone, would walk with friends, they and the neighbors and the family knew she had dementia and had gotten lost in the past.  One day Carol just disappeared.  Search parties, blood hounds, no one has ever found her or any trace of her.


Coping with Dementia is holding its 6th Annual Caregivers' Conference on January 22nd.  They have invited me to speak about remaining positive and finding joy in living in spite of dementia.  They want me to show off THE GEORGE tandem.

I will have my books at this conference.  So I you live in the area and were hoping to get a signed copy, stop in!  While you are there around noon, take the dementia bus tour.  It will alter your perspective of the dementia patient.

The very next day I will be the 9th Annual Dementia Care Seminar at St. Francis Cabrini Church, 5030 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill, FL, 9:30 to Noon.  My books will be there too.


It is NOW official.  The audiobook of The Journey Continues - Alzheimer's Trippin' with George is up on Amazon, Audible and Itunes.  

Now, you are probably already on the email list and are notified when I post to this website.  But maybe you can think of someone who would enjoy my books or my on-going journey (in this blog).

If you share this blog with them and they sign up to be alerted when I post a blog (get on the email list) in January, they will receive a free copy of the Audiobook, THE JOURNEY CONTINUES!  They can just click here.

Thanks for all of you who have left a review on Amazon and/or Audible.

Alzheimer's Trippin' with George has 42 ratings/reviews!  It is #4 in sales in one of its categories on Amazon!  Thank you for helping to spread the word.

The Journey Continues has 14 ratings/reviews!   It needs more reviews, and what I am hearing from readers and listeners is that it is better than the first book... except there is too much pooh.  Yes, I agree, too much pooh.  Which incident of pooh should I cut out when I do a second edition?

I am especially looking to get listens and reviews from folks in the UK.  So if you know someone over there willing to listen and give a review of either book, have them private message me on Facebook or Twitter @susanstraley  or email me -- susan_trikes at   I get a lot of junk, so they should put "Request for UK code" in the subject.  I don't want to leave them hanging because I deleted their email without opening it.


Be sure to join the fun in the group at Susan Straley Writes.  Find the post announcing the launch of the audiobook and share it.  I will send you a free code to download The Journey Continues audiobook.  It is professionally narrated in the clear voice of Candace Tuttle.


I did it!  I booked a trip on Southwest Airlines to Arizona.  I had (this fall) planned to fly my trike to Arizona to try that.  But when I was booking the ticket this month I thought I would rent a bike when I got there.  I will try to find something comfortable, maybe pack some padded bike shorts.

We will see.  I have about 9 days in AZ.  I hope to rent a room in a home near my brothers.  I did a search already and I did not find a member of Affordable Travel Club or Evergreen Club in their community.  So it would be an hour to two hour commute by bike each day to their place.  Not a good plan.  There is time.  The trip is in March.  Still time to figure things out.


Did you see that the world traveler by trike, Sylvia Halpern has changed the way she is traveling?  She got electric assist for her trike and loves it.  She can't fly the batteries for the trike to other countries, so she is stuck traveling on this continent.  The biggest change too is that she bought a travel trailer to live in and truck for hauling her trike to places she wants to explore.  You can follow her at Travels by Trike.  Mostly she does videos now on her youtube channel.

The other world traveler that I have found that lives on her trike and also does major cross-country hikes is Kathryn Mossbrook Zimmerman.  Her life too has taken a major turn as she goes through Chemo treatments to fight cancer.  

Change is the only constant.  What turns will our lives take next?  A friend of mine posted a sentiment that hit home.  Sometimes life is like an arrow.  It's got to pull back before it can shoot forward.... or something like that.

I hope you are finding yourself able to flow with what life gives you.  It is the resistance, I think, that makes us miserable at times.  Once we get past that, it's all good.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Vote! Book Cover of the Month!


I hope all of you had a nice time either alone or with family or friends for the holidays.

May you have a great 2020.  One thing is certain, everything will NOT remain the same.  Change is coming.

I will write more soon about life and such, but I wanted to get these two tidbits of news out to you ASAP.


I am hoping to write more to you soon.  First, the Audio book for THE JOURNEY CONTINUES is now on Audible.  The official launch date is January 12th, but I wanted YOU to be the first to know about it.

If you would like receive a free download of the audio book to listen to and you are willing to provide an honest review on two sites: Amazon, Audible, Itunes, Bookbub, Goodreads, or on your Facebook Page, please email me.  The reviews help spread the word about the books to caregivers and other readers.


AllAuthor website has nominated Alzheimer's Trippin' with George for Cover of the Month.  Please give it a vote by clicking the button below.


Cover of the Month

Alzheimer's Trippin' with George: Diagnosis to Discovery in 10,000 Miles

My book has been nominated for Book Cover of the Month on It would be greatly appreciated if you could take a moment to vote.

Vote Now »
Thank you for your support,
Susan Straley

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