Age · Baby boomer · My Thoughts

Baby Boomers, Here’s A Must Read!

Older woman in orange flowers - Baby boomers

Baby boomers, how are we going to handle our 70s and 80s and beyond? Do those numbers strike dread and fear in your heart? If so, I have a book that might help! Garrison Keillor’s book, Serenity at 70, Gaiety at 80: Why You Should Keep on Getting Older, grabbed me because of the title. Serenity at 70? Gaiety at 80? My baby boomer heart knew he might have some answers for me.

On my next birthday, June 27—just a couple weeks away—I turn 69! Therefore, I face my last year in my sixth decade, and seventy looms ahead. My husband is 81, turning 82 in September, so we qualify for this book and the topics Garrison addresses with his usual sharp wit and consideration.

Why I Bought This Book

Lin and Larada Miller, 10th Anniversary Picture. We are Baby Boomers!
Lin and Larada

After purchasing this book for us, but before we read it, Lin and I had a heartfelt conversation about him buying a greenhouse. Sounds like a simple topic. Before this conversation, any time he discussed it with me, I responded positively. His garden graces our backyard, and it is gorgeous! So a greenhouse seemed like a logical addition!

One afternoon, he stated with strong yet controlled emotion, “We need to talk about the greenhouse.” I wondered about this because we had been talking about it off-and-on for months, but I heard something different in his voice this time.

“How do you feel about it? I’m 81 years old. What if I buy it and never get to use it?” he queried, looking start into my eyes.

I knew my response had to match the seriousness of his question.

“I think it’s a brilliant idea, because you’ve researched it for months. Also, you’re not the type of person to buy anything impulsively, so I know you will use it.” His hidden implication of his death caught me off guard.

He had more to say: “But what about Kathi’s greenhouse? She bought it and never got to use it. Is that an omen?” Kathi is his deceased wife who died of melanoma and a dear friend of mine.

Again, I knew my response had major implications!

“We can’t sit here, waiting to die just because we’ve hit a certain age that many think is over-the-hill. We have to keep pursuing our passions until we die. Buy it!”

From that conversation and an advertisement I saw for Garrison’s book, I bought this book, thinking he might have thoughts on the subject and he did!

Importance of “Prairie Home Companion”

When talking to Baby boomers, most connect Garrison Keillor with “Prairie Home Companion,” and to understand Garrison’s book, here’s an explanation:

A Prairie Home Companion is a weekly radio variety show created and hosted by Garrison Keillor that aired live from 1974 to 2016. In 2016, musician Chris Thile took over as host, and the successor show was eventually renamed Live from Here and ran until 2020.

The show is known for its musical guests, especially folk and traditional musicians, tongue-in-cheek radio drama, and relaxed humor. Keillor’s wry storytelling segment, “News from Lake Wobegon,” was the show’s best-known feature during his long tenure.”

While at Colorado State University from 1982 to 1986, one of my best friends followed this radio show religiously. I’m sad to say I never did, but she talked about it often, so I knew about Garrison’s humor and wit and the woes of Lake Wobegon.

Researching, I found his radio shows on YouTube:

Enjoy! I plan to some forty-plus years later!

Several years ago, I bought a poetry collection book, Good Poems, that Garrison edited. I loved this lively collection, but didn’t remember the reason for the collection.

“Every day people tune in to The Writer’s Almanac on public radio and hear Garrison Keillor read them a poem. And here, for the first time, is an anthology of poems from the show, chosen by the narrator for their wit, their frankness, their passion, their ‘utter clarity in the face of everything else a person has to deal with at 7 a.m.'”

Fast forward to 2009, some friends invited me to see Garrison in a theater at the Popejoy Theater Complex in Albuquerque, and what an entertainer he is—songs, poetry and stories filled the evening with background music! Laughter, too!

Why, As a Baby Boomer, I Loved This Book

This short 96-page tome delighted me from the beginning with a seventeen-page preface—a sizeable piece for such a small book. Immediately, his response to our world today captured me, “Not My Problem,” or NMP. He added, “I’m no longer from here,” and later repeats he’s a tourist here now. What freedom, and that’s one interesting, continuous message throughout the book.

The simple format of four chapters adds to the mystery of the book: 1) The Deadly Precipice, 2) The Rules of the Game, 3) A Night in the ER and 4) Legacy Is Posterity’s View of Your Posterior and One Posterior Looks Much Like Another. In each chapter, Garrison addresses key age-related topics in a stream-of-consciousness manner, like we were sitting on the sofa with a drink and talking about aging.

Peppered throughout the book, he shares personal poetry and limericks. I just noticed one of his limericks decorates the cover of his book:

“Old folks like Lena and Ole

Choose to dance sprightly and slowly

And thus stay upright

But the gentle delight

They find is quite joyful and holy.”

Above all, I truly enjoyed how Garrison identifies key simple events in his life and how they changed everything: an insightful teacher directed Garrison out his class into another that matched his talents and moved him forward toward his life’s goals. I laughed at how he got into the radio business for forty years, which changed his life. Also, I marveled at how a trip to Nashville changed the direction of his radio show.

Throughout the book, he references his relationship with his wife and their major differences and wonderful compatibility and the influences of his hometown of Anoka, Minnesota, his family and the church.

While reading, I laughed often at this light-hearted book, full of wit about the age I am in and headed towards, then I would spin quickly because of a thought-provoking passage where I knew his truth about aging was my truth. “Old age is foreign territory and you should enjoy it as you would if you’d picked up and moved to Paris.” Garrison Keillor, “Serenity at 70, Gaiety at 80: Why You Should Keep on Getting Older,” (2021): 52.

Finally, Baby boomers!

In addition, Garrison’s book helped me laugh at this phase of my life, step back and be thoughtful and consider it with warmth and acceptance.

Let’s end with his humor:

“The five stages of aging are: nameless dread, the crisis of bad news, self-pity and disgust, a revelatory experience, and then contentment and maybe even happiness.”

Garrison Keillor, “Serenity at 70, Gaiety at 80: Why You Should Keep on Getting Older,” (2021): 42.

So, Baby boomers, what do you choose? I choose happiness.

What are your thoughts on aging, Baby Boomers? Garrison Keillor?

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~Do you listen to podcasts? Here are three podcasts with interviews about my new book & some Flippo stories:

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~Have you bought a copy of Flippo’s biography yet? Believe it or not—it’s been two years. Go here for your hardback or paperback: or at Amazon.

~For me, it’s Christmas all year long! Here’s a variety of Christmas greetings from Flippo & Neeca, featuring his song, “When It’s Christmas Time in Texas”:

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~What happened to you in 2020-2021 during the coronavirus pandemic? Do you care? Are you on a spiritual path? Do you want to heal from the horrible effects of the pandemic of 2020? Visit my website to find out about my new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? and my other five books and three cookbooks:

Age · My Thoughts · poetry

What Crept Up on Me?

Age crept up on me!

Baby boomer with a purpose: my new motto! So, each month I will feature something to do with being a baby boomer. Let’s look at how age crept up on me during the pandemic.

So who are the baby boomers?

Baby boomers (often shortened to boomers) are the demographic cohort following the Silent Generation and preceding Generation X. The generation is often defined as people born from 1946 to 1964, during the post–World War II baby boom.

So, where do you fit in the generations? Here’s a chart with the age of the person as of 2022:

As a younger adult, I thought by the time I was sixty+ I would have figured it all out. I also felt life move at a nice cadence for most of my adult life; however, the adage, “Time speeds up the older you got,” has become a reality! Did the pandemic and its hyper focus on the tragedy we experienced speed time up?

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, I wrote this poem, and I didn’t include it in my new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better?

Age Crept Up on Me!

Age Crept Up on Me

August 12, 2020

Only yesterday, I was 16

            It seems

You may laugh

            My age shows

                        In wrinkles

                        Years lived

                        Dyed red hair to hide the grey

                                    With white

                                                Escaping near my eyes.

Something happened!

            An acceleration

                        Of time




Is it a side effect of the coronavirus?

            Too much time on my hands?

                        Pondering my existence

                                    In uncertain times?

I remember 18

            High school graduation

                        Four in my graduating class

                                    Started kindergarten together

            Trinidad State Junior College

                        Fifty miles from home

            Anxious about my future

                        And how my dreams

                                    Would play out.

I remember 20

            Newly married

                        With life and dreams

                                    Spread out before me.

                                                Hopeful and positive

I remember 30

            Divorced and devastated

            At the university        


                                    Starting over

                                                With dreams of being a teacher.

I remember 40

            In sexual trauma treatment

                        For incest

                                    Uncovering and recovering from

                                                Childhood pain

                                                            And dashed dreams.

I remember 50

            Celebrated at

                        The National Square Dance Convention

                                    In Oklahoma City

            Serenaded at our After Party by

                        Jerry Junck

                                    Mike Hogan

                                                Lanny Weaklend

            Still dreaming

                        About possibilities.

I remember 60

            Mom had just died

                        A feeble celebration in Branson

                                    With Bub, Lin and Jackie.

            My dreams diminished by the pain

                                                            The loss.

Yes, you see

            I’m not 16

                        But 67!

I look in the mirror

            And recently


                                    Age crept up on me.

In that mirror

            I see years



I received no warning,

            No alarm.

                        I see an older woman,

                                    A matured lady,

                                                A seasoned Larada.

Where did the years go?

            Fast living

                        A rich life

                                    A multitude of adventures

Yes, age crept up!




                                                Without warning.

So be aware

            It can and may

                        Happen to you!


Will it happen to you? As you walk through your wondrous life, slow down and note those beautiful serendipities God showers on each of us. Another special adage, “Slow down and smell the flowers” could become our new motto as we travel through this day, this month, this year! Make 2022 a marked special year!

What are your thoughts about aging? Where do you fit in the generations—which group? Can you chronicle the highlights of each decade of your life and glory in the wonders of it?

Be sure and leave your comments below so we can talk about this idea.

~MY FIRST AUDIOBOOK IS AVAILABLE: Go to Audible to buy my first audiobook, Let Me Tell You a Story

~Do you listen to podcasts? Here are three podcasts with my interviews about my new book & some Flippo stories:

~Buy a copy of Flippo’s biography on my website: or at Amazon.

~Here’s Christmas greetings from Flippo & Neeca, featuring his song, “When Its Christmas Time in Texas”:

Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? meme

~Visit my website to find out about my new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? and my other five books and three cookbooks:

My Thoughts · poetry

Can You Be More Than a Poet?

I love writing poetry–it’s the expression of my heart and soul, but I write prose also. So can you be more than a poet? A writer? A wordsmith? An Author?

I’m all of those and more! Are you?

Here’s my most recent poem–enjoy!

art artistic blank page book
Photo by Pixabay on

The View Down and The View Up

Larada Horner-Miller

The view down is different today!

At exercise class
sitting on my mat cross-legged, I looked down at my belly.

Recently, I lost fifteen pounds;
the bulge of my tummy has shrunk!
I love the loss!
My tummy doesn’t stick out like before.
The shrinkage is good!

Having just turned sixty-five.
I see my body changing,
delightful yet sad!

Arthritis cripples several fingers
and my thumbs.
Once I had straight lovely fingers,
hands I loved to view.
Now I see my mom’s and grandma’s hands
crooked and achy,
where mine used to be.
I still wear beautiful turquoise rings;
pain screams through the beauty.

My right knee hints of hurting today.
I have a brace I keep handy
just in case.
Arthritis too!

As I age,
the worst part so far–
I pee my pants
when I cough
when I sneeze
when I laugh too hard.
Thankfully, pads ended years ago
when my period stopped.
I celebrated.
Now I have returned to pads
for protection
for safety
for security.
I fear an inexplicable puddle.
Will Depends be in my future?

keep my body nimble, limber and moving.

meaty conversations
keep my mind nimble, flexible and alive.

Facing this next phase of life,
I wonder?

I want to meet and greet
the elderly Larada.
I want to accept her limits,
to challenge her mindset,
to embrace her idiosyncrasies.

I don’t see me as a feeble ole lady
wearing nylons rolled up to my knees
wobbling unsure.
I will continue to wear hot pink and leggings
wobbling with style and grace.

I want to redefine being
a Senior Citizen.
I have “Hot Tamale” red spiked hair
instead of gray.
I saw the gray and white coming
and opted to hold onto my youth.
And besides,
I’m a red head at heart,
because of my red headed father.IMG_2678

I’m young at heart.
I’m trim today
because I have to be.
Echoes of family genetics
keep me steadfast.
My maternal grandmother and her sisters
overweight German stock.

I have a life partner
that shares my attitudes.
We travel and enjoy life.
We laugh. We talk. We dance.
We start many days with a rousing Cribbage game.
He’s older than me
I watch his wise ways
of handling these changes.

I have dear friends and family who encourage me
to be the authentic Larada God created me to be.

The future is bright.
The day is calm.
Serenity overflows.

I like all of me
the helpless baby I was
the energetic five-year-old
the obnoxious thirteen-year-old
the sixty-five-year-old crone
I honor each one and their influence on me today.

Yes, years bring wisdom
a strong knowing

I’m ready
for God’s next phase
a new uncharted adventure

The view up at this glorious world graces my day.
A verdant green forest of pinon pine
A luscious purple mesa lit up at sunset
Cholla cactus in full fuchsia bloom
My fifteen-year-old Siamese cat who struggles
with feline diabetes yet meows his love to me

Summer newness exploding in our garden
with anticipation
and joy

The view down
into my soul
I like what I see!
The view up
out of my world
reaches to the clouds and back.

I’m ready!

I would love to hear your thoughts about aging–is 65 the new 45?

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