Dear Abby: My husband, who is retired, now prefers to talk exclusively to people under 21. He says he is “mentoring” them, though I haven’t seen any indication of this.
He says he has no interest in talking to people our age, so when we get together with our friends, who are mostly our age, he says practically nothing. When I asked why, he said he prefers to impart his knowledge to younger people. I have suggested that he volunteer with younger people, but he wasn’t interested — he just wants to hang out with them.
I’m not sure what to do. He seems depressed if they don’t respond to him in the way he would like. Mostly they show little interest in being with him. What, if anything, should I do about this? It has been going on for more than two years now.
— Concerned in the Midwest
Dear Concerned: I feel sorry for your husband. He may avoid companions his own age because they remind him that he, too, is getting older. It’s no wonder young people don’t respond to him. I can imagine few pastimes less appetizing than socializing with someone who “imparts knowledge” by talking down to them. They might find him more appealing if he asked them questions and listened to what they had to say.
Consider talking to him about your concern that he is socially isolating himself from contemporaries, because the longer he continues, the less welcome he will find himself. However, until he comes to that realization and decides to fix it, do not expect anything to change.
Dear Abby: My husband and I are proud parents of two adult daughters. They both graduated from a local university. Our rule was if they were to complete their education locally, they had to continue to live at home.
Now, our goddaughter “Justine” is in community college and planning to transfer to a four-year college next semester. I was told recently that she’s been trying to convince her boyfriend to get a place together. Justine’s parents would prefer she remain at home, but won’t fight her if she moves in with her boyfriend. I’m pretty sure they’ll continue to fund her education as best they can until she graduates.
We have been contributing financially toward our goddaughter’s education. My husband and I feel that it’s a waste of money just so they can “play house.” She has a good relationship with her family and can come and go as she pleases. I’m afraid they will run into money issues and use the money we give her to live on instead of for school, which is not OK with me. Plus, I don’t think I should do any different for her than I did for my own children.
I’m afraid if I let her know how I feel, it will strain our relationship — perhaps even the one we have with her parents. Should this be my concern or should I let it go?
— Her Godmother
Dear Godmother: It’s time for an honest conversation with your goddaughter, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you included her parents. Explain that you would be uncomfortable subsidizing her if she lives with her boyfriend because it’s not how you raised your children. You have already contributed generously to her education.
Where to see the Wildflowers
Wildflower or Wildfire Hikes at Sonoma Regional Parks in April 2018
For directions and registration information, go to: parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov/Play/Calendar
April 8, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Spring Wildflower Walks: North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park: Explore the park’s spring wildflowers and the rich biodiversity. Search for blooms beneath the majestic redwoods, along Matanzas creek, amidst beautiful oaks and throughout open meadows as we climb the north slope of Sonoma Mountain. Enjoy lunch and breathtaking views from the Bennett Valley Overlook on this 5-mile hike.
April 14, 2018 from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Wildfire Ecology Hikes - Hood Mountain Regional Park: How are the parks recovering from the Sonoma County wildfires? Join a Regional Parks naturalist on 7-mile hike in Hood Mountain Regional Park.
April 14, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Spring Wildflower Walks - Taylor Mountain Regional Park - Petaluma Hill Road Entrance: Enjoy surprising stories and fascinating facts about nature’s blooming treasures as we search along the trail for spring wildflowers and spectacular scenery.
April 14, 2018 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Spring Wildflower Walks: Creekside Wildflower Walk -Crane Creek Regional Park: Explore edible, medicinal, useful and wondrous wildflowers. Spot remarkable blooms and discover their stories on this fun and informative 3-mile walk with a knowledgeable naturalist.
April 21, 2018 from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Spring Wildflower Walks: Serpentine Secrets - Tolay Lake Regional Park: Join Regional Parks and the Sonoma Land Trust to experience spring’s riches at Tolay Lake Regional Park and discover rare, diverse and abundant displays of native wildflowers. Learn about California’s serpentine soils and their important and unique relationship with native wildflower species. Enjoy amazing views of San Pablo Bay and beyond on this 6-mile, semi-strenuous hike through open, rolling grasslands. Bring a hat, sunscreen, plenty of water and a picnic lunch.
April 28, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Wildfire Ecology Hike - Sonoma Valley Regional Park: How are the parks recovering from the Sonoma County wildfires? Join a Regional Parks naturalist on an easy to moderate-level 3-mile hike in Sonoma Valley Regional Park in Glen Ellen.
April 29, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Spring Wildflower Walks: From Wildfire to Wildflower - Sonoma Valley Regional Park: Explore this unique botanical hotspot, observe splendid spring blooms, and discover the fascinating relationship between wildfire and wildflowers. This park was profoundly affected by the October 2017 Nuns Fire. Expect to see the park respond with an abundant and diverse display of wildflowers this spring — a beautiful reminder and charming celebration of nature’s resilience.
Wildflower and Wildfire Hikes at State Parks in Sonoma County in April 2018
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
For directions and registration information go to: sonomaecologycenter.org/events
April 8, 2018 from 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Join botanist Ann Howald of California Native Plant Society‘s Milo Baker chapter to tour areas of the park that burned in the October wildfires. The walk’s emphasis is on recovery of trees and shrubs that burned, and to look for wildflowers–possibly ones that follow fires and have not been seen for decades.
April 22, 2018 from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Join Botanist, Peter Warner, in this Earth Day Sugarloaf exploration! Fire is a powerful, rejuvenating force in California plant ecology. On this leisurely walk, with some elevation gains and losses, well observe and discuss the various effects of fire and its chemical by-products on the flora (and fauna) across several different habitat types, including grassland, oak woodland, and chaparral.
April 14, 15 and 28, 2018 from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Join park naturalists and/or Sonoma Ecology Center staff to learn how to interpret fire landscapes at Sugarloaf that burned in the recent wildfires. Come see the land recover. We will be assessing burned trees, learning how to interpret fire-affected landscapes, and watching for special “fire follower” wildflowers. Discussion questions include: Why did this happen? What does it mean? How do we prepare for it happening again?
Jack London State Park
For directions and registration information for Jack London hikes, go to: jacklondonpark.com/jack-london-future-events.html
April 7, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Wildflowers on the East Slope Trail: It’s been a three years since the Eliot Loop Trail opened with the help of the Bay Area Ridge Trail and the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District. Join us as we discover an array of wildflowers that bloom along the trail while enjoying the fantastic views! We will expect to see carpets of California Poppies and Lupines at the top and a variety of wildflowers along the Sonoma Ridge trail. Join Park naturalist John Lynch as we take a moderately paced 12 mile nature hike to explore the wildflowers and anything else we find along the way.
Earth Day Wildflower Walk and Hike
April 21, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (walk) and April 22, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 1:30 (hike)
This Earth Day weekend revel in the beauty of spring with either a wildflower walk or hike. These outdoor adventures will be led by naturalist John Lynch and focus on the interconnected web of nature at the Park. Saturday discover the wildflowers along the Wolf House trail on an easy short walk or on Sunday, take an intermediate 4 to 8 mile hike, we’ll go where the wildflowers are best, on back country trails to discover a wider variety of wildflowers. With both you can expect to see Canyon Delphinium, Chinese Houses, Golden Fairy Lantern, Lupine, Popcorn Flower, Mules Ears (2 varieties) as well as the birds, reptiles and other plants that make up the eco-system of the Park. Our hikes are slow-paced so allow plenty of time, bring cameras, binoculars, poles, plenty of water, snacks and wear sturdy shoes. Be prepared for uneven ground.
Read all of the PD's fire coverage here