ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

70 is the New 70

Updated on January 1, 2013

70 is the New.... What?

I'm seventy. Yep, somehow it happened. And the theme of my birthday and of my year is "Seventy is the new seventy." What I mean is that how I and my contemporaries will do our seventies is new. We are making it up as we go along. And remember, we are the people who made up the 1960s!

From what I see of my friends and family who are into their seventies, many of them are healthy and creative, whether or not they have slowed down some, in one way or another. They are writing books and websites, doing art and activism, teaching gardening, you name it. Sadly, I do also have friends who have serious mental or physical health problems. I am grateful every day that both my husband Kelly and I are healthy, active, and as creative as we've ever been.

It seems to me that every generation creates the world anew. It's maybe just a bit more flashy with us. Our seventies are not going to be much like our parents' seventies. We are different and the world is so different.

Money? Not too many of us have tucked away whatever amount the financial gurus say you need for a secure retirement. But then, as old hippies, my husband Kelly and I have always done more with less. We'll just keep on with that.

Onward ho! And I hope I'll be back later to write about 80 and maybe beyond. Hey, Grandma died in her sleep at home two days after her 100th birthday, with all her marbles.

Photo credit: My husband Kelly took this picture of me at seventy. Other photos on this page are from my collection.

I Owe My Life to Pearl Harbor

Paradoxical...

I was born nine months and two weeks after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. My father, a specialist in the Far East, knew he would soon be going off to war, and my parents decided to see if they could start a baby before he left.

My father told me this story when I was about twelve, and much as I hated to think of my parents doing you-know-what when I was that age, I have appreciated knowing it.

Some News Events I Remember - Since this picture was taken when I was about three

I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, and I remember the crowds and the cold at Truman's inauguration when I was six. I remember Stalin's death in 1953. I used to spread the newspaper out on the living room rug and read it while resting on my elbows, and I have a visual memory of where on the rug I put the paper when I read about Stalin.

In the summer of 1963, I went to Sierra Leone, West Africa, on a workcamp with a program called Crossroads Africa. The people were wonderful, and I got home to D.C. one day after Dr. Martin Luther King's famous speech "I Have a Dream" at the March on Washington. I'm sure I would have gone if I'd been there.

I was in college at Stanford that November when President Kennedy was assassinated. I remember exactly where I was sitting in my dorm room when a friend burst in with the news. We were all in total shock for months. I remember the 1968 assassinations of Dr. King and Robert Kennedy but not in such vivid detail. They didn't startle me or my friends in the same way.

Vietnam: I can't count the ways it touched us. I am just enough older than most of the guys who went that I don't know anyone who died there. I had courageous Quaker friends who did humanitarian work in Vietnam during the war.

Landing on the moon. I was a grad student in Berkeley and went over to the house of some friends who had a TV.

So many other wars.

I had stayed in touch with Isa Johnston, one of my African friends, and even visited with her in England in the late 60s. She went to Idi Amin's Uganda some time in the 70s with a church service program, and I never heard from her again.

Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima. These touched me especially because my grandfather Chester Snow was a physicist who helped to invent the bomb at Los Alamos. My mother and I lived there with my grandparents while my father was away at war. I learned to walk there. I'm certainly a child of the nuclear age.

Having grown up in the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall was a particularly joyous moment. I don't know why I have it associated with my husband's office in our house in Ashland, Oregon. I imagine we had the radio on in there.

The attacks of 9/11. I had just been on the East Coast the week before, rare for me, and it made all the news coverage that much more vivid.

I am remembering a lot more news events but this is enough. If I don't watch out, I'll be writing a whole history of the key events since 1942, right here on Squidoo.

The Sixties: My Folks Paid for My LSD Trip as a College Graduation Present - And then I went to Berkeley...

The sixties... I was near the thick of it, though staying home reading more than running around demonstrating. Graduated from high school in 1960, graduated from Stanford in 1964 in Anthropology. My senior year at Stanford I took an excellent course called The Human Potential, taught by the wonderful futurist Willis Harmon. He may have been the first to popularize that phrase.

He was part of a research team exploring the effects of LSD, with the okay of the government. (I later read that the CIA had a hand in this.) Anyway, I mailed my mom some research papers, and as a graduation gift she and my stepdad paid the fee for me to be in the LSD program. I think she was a bit dismayed when I had a full-blown mystical experience, as she was a lifelong atheist.

But for me, the day soon after graduation when I took LSD was one of the defining events of my life. Soon after, I became a Quaker. The powerful sense of Divine Love for all of us has been a core value of mine ever since.

I went to Berkeley that fall, with the goal of being an anthropologist. But I fell in love with a man who was saving up to go live in Europe. I joined that plan, worked and saved money myself, and we went off and lived in southern Spain. Funny to think of how little that cost.

He and I broke up after we returned to Berkeley, and I got my Master's of Library Science. And so ended my 1960s.

Meanwhile, my husband-to-be was also in Berkeley, though we didn't meet then. This book listed here is a book Kelly just compiled and published, of his photos of that era.

San Francisco's Psychedelic Sixties: A Photographic Trip with Kelly Hart
San Francisco's Psychedelic Sixties: A Photographic Trip with Kelly Hart

As a young man in the San Francisco Bay Area, Kelly Hart took his camera everywhere, fascinated by capturing the uniqueness of specific moments of time and place. The images change from black and white to color midway through the book, and he captures the psychedelic aspect of that era through time exposures where action may be blurred.

 

Forty Years Married to the Same Guy - He's my best friend.

When I met Kelly Hart in 1971, he was a long-haired hippie living in a converted school bus, growing a huge garden in a greenhouse he made from a parachute, and living by doing carpentry or odd jobs. Kelly was a photographer and filmmaker who later got a patent on a method of animation he developed. He was a musician, too, playing sax and piano. His bus was parked on a friend's land near Jenner, on the California coast.

I was a children's librarian in nearby Santa Rosa. I had a smaller garden but it didn't matter because I soon moved in with him. When his two-year-old daughter came to live with us for a spell, things were crowded. But it worked out, and throughout her childhood, she spent time with us. Having a part-time kid turned out to be about right for us and we didn't have any more. I was already concerned about world population.

I quit working full time but worked for the same library system as a substitute librarian. I later went back to work full time, and became head of the Sebastopol branch.

We bought an old summer camp, Sunshine Camp, with two of Kelly's sisters and their husbands, and we had a family commune there for most of the 70s. The other two marriages ended, and Kelly and I roamed Mexico for several months and then later moved to 70 acres in the mountains outside of Ashland, Oregon. There we raised llamas, and I wrote books about them and Kelly made training videos about them.

Later, we moved to Olympia, Washington, where we continued our publishing work and outfitted a Grey Line Hawaii bus to be our next home. In 1996, we hit the road in that and fell in love with the tiny town of Crestone, Colorado. There we built an earthbag house (that's a link to my lens about it here on Squidoo).

I thought we might live happily ever after there. I was back to work as a librarian. But no, wanderlust struck again. We sold the house to friends and moved to Mexico (another Squidoo lens) for about five years. Then we returned to Crestone, where we now live. Maybe this will be our happily-ever-after spot. Who knows?

A Passion for Organic Gardening

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring came out in 1962, and I read it when I was home from college on vacation. I couldn't believe what I was reading, but I couldn't ever forget it either. I had grown up in a gardening family, and I became devoted to organic methods. This is a small part of an organic garden Kelly and I had in Ashland, Oregon.

It's Not Easy to Blow Out Trick Candles - I Got Them, Though!

By the way, the top I am wearing consists of a crocheted seven-pointed star I found on Etsy and then sewed onto a t-shirt I had.

Computers and the Internet Completely Change the World - And My Little Corner of It

I remember in the 1970s hearing our library director talk about getting a word processor and wondering on earth why he needed such a frivolity. Soon enough I had my first Kaypro and was writing my first book, Living with Llamas. The two-person publishing company that my husband and I launched with the publication of that book in 1985 completely transformed our work lives. That book went through several editions, and you can read the stories in its current incarnation, a free PDF at my site on llamas.

When the internet came along, I loved it right away. And I still do. It has truly transformed so many aspects of communication and global connection. Sure, it has its dark sides but as a librarian I love information and finding things out. As a visionary, I love creating the future together with others I meet online.

Some of Our Websites

Hartworks is the name of our business, and I started doing websites back in 1998 with hartworks.com. For a complete list of our sites, see that site. I'll just list a few of our main ones here. The first two are mine and the last one is Kelly's.

Three of My Dog Videos

Some of My Videos about Mexico

Two Other Women Write About Being 70

At Seventy: A Journal
At Seventy: A Journal

The first time I read this book, I wasn't even 60! Just re-read it recently. Vitality and love of life are good at any age.

 

I'm Pretty Much the Same as Ever... And I AM Going to Do Something New!

I'm not really different from the person I've been all along.

Actually, my life is still very similar to what it's always been. I'm still writing a lot. The new thing I am going to do this year is write a novel.

I savor each moment more than in my youth, and I expect to keep on doing that.

Please note that if you click through to Amazon.com from here and if you buy something, Squidoo and I may share a commission, at no cost to you. Clicking on some of the other links might also yield me some commission. I appreciate the income, as it enables me to spend time doing writing like this.

I hope I have made turning 70 sound a little more fun than you might have thought... - What do you think?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 3 years ago

      @tonyleather: Thank you, Tony! (And I did finish the novel I started on my 70th birthday.)

    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      What a great lens!

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 4 years ago

      @anonymous: What fun to hear from one of my closest childhood friends this way!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Glad to read this, Zana! You have filled in some gaps in my knowledge some of the most important experiences you have had over the past 60 years--since we were pretty close. Best wishes to you and to Kelly.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Yes, you did! Thanks

    • lbuben profile image

      lbuben 5 years ago

      I think 70 is the new 60 :) You don't look 70. Happy Birthday and thanks for sharing.

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      Happy Birthday! What a wonderful article on being 70! Blessed by a Squid Angel!

    • profile image

      mumsgather 5 years ago

      You ARE an inspiration! Happy Birthday and Good Luck with that novel!

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @Joan4: We've sure lived through some amazing times.

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @WhitePineLane: Thank you!

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @SteveKaye: Nice to know how many people here on Squidoo are in my age group!

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I'd forgotten the turquoise oatmeal, but I did like food coloring!

      Yes, I intend to finish the novel.

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      Happy Birthday! And congratulations on your Purple Star! I greatly enjoyed reading this lens about your memories and your life.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow! Having known you for 65 years (as little sister), I am so moved by this post. At every stage of my life -- and of many others', I know -- you have provided such a fantastic role model. Not necessary by pointing to a particular path for others to follow, but by showing how your optimistic and creative energy opens up so many paths. In third grade, that involved, e.g., making turquoise oatmeal on snow days...then, in young adulthood, you were "alternative" ahead of your time. And your adventurous, collaborative, and romantic marriage to Kelly, 40 years now, has been a whole other role model. Now, at the gates of old age, you are showing that this terrain has its own beauty and adventure. I pray that we will celebrate your 100th together! All my love, Marcia p.s. Be sure to finish the novel.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Congratulations on celebrating your 70th birthday. In less that two years, I'll be there, too. Right now I feel great. Yesterday and today I walked to the Post Office, which is a 3-mile round trip.

    • profile image

      WhitePineLane 5 years ago

      Happy birthday and congrats on your purple star! The best lenses are the honest, personal ones, and this lens definitely fits that criteria. Lots of fun to read - I love your joie de vivre!

    • profile image

      Joan4 5 years ago

      Happy birthday!! Indeed your historical memories are about the same as mine. We are almost the same age. I enjoyed reading about your life!

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @Nancy Hardin: Thanks for your blessing and glad you enjoyed it. I figured a lot of other gray-hairs could relate to a lot of the historical events.

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @grannysage: Glad you like it. I am full of fears at times, still have some PTSD scars from way way back. But when I really want to do something I find a way. I could never do what your sister does. That's cool about your mom, I am not skiing.

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @marsha32: I have always had uneven energy, since my teens. Thought about discussing it in the article but figured I had covered enough. I take a nap daily, and sometimes two... always very short, and they really pick me up. If I can't for some reason, I am a bit of a zombie for an hour or more usually.

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @EMangl: LSD opened some doors that have made my life richer but actually I have no interest in taking it ever again, agree it might be too much now. It's a lot of work to integrate massive visions....

      I DID start my novel today and that has a lot of the feeling of colorful days!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Zana, I admire you and your husband for living your life the way you want to. I like the historical tidbits you put in and how they did or did not affect your life. Congratulations on your 70th birthday, hope you enjoyed it! I sure enjoyed reading about your life. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @BarbaraCasey: Thanks, Barbara, all round!

    • NYtoSCimjustme profile image

      NYtoSCimjustme 5 years ago

      I love this! It's funny, I just turned 47 yesterday, and throughout my life I always saw people in their 60's and 70's as 'old' like my grandmothers - hardworking, solid, old fashioned values, housewives, mothers, never once did I picture them as college students travelling the world and taking LSD trips. :) It's enlightening to me to see what a 'close minded' bubble my vision of your generation has been, and all of the doors yours has opened for mine, and the ones to come. Thanks for a beautifully written account of your life... and your loves - I truly enjoyed it.

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @NYtoSCimjustme: Thanks for saying that, it's very interesting and VERY much like the pictures I had of older people as I grew up.

      BTW, I did leave out a few of my loves, before I met Kelly!

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @AlleyCatLane: Thanks! I think everyone has had fascinating parts.

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @anonymous: That's exactly why I wrote it, to help others see how aging fits in with living.

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @LisaDH: I think the reason the LSD experience was so powerfully positive had a lot to do with the loving, caring researchers, who had themselves already experienced it and were ready to give a helping hand as needed.

    • profile image

      grannysage 5 years ago

      Oh wow, what a grand adventure you have been on and continue to live. I love the story, every part of it. My older sister is also 70 and she is much more energetic and fearless than I, at 60, could ever hope to be. She has made several trips to the Middle East where she volunteers as a human rights monitor in Palestine. Yes, being 70 today is much different, although I know my mother learned to ski at 60. Congrats on the Purple Star.

    • profile image

      marsha32 5 years ago

      Both in quilt guild and the sit n' sew at the quilt shop I am in awe over the women and all the energy they have! Until they started talking about their age I wouldn't have even known they were already in their 70's.

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      What a wonderful read :)

    • EMangl profile image

      EMangl 5 years ago

      happy birthday, have a colorful day - but without lsd, it might be too much now :-)

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 5 years ago

      LOVE the title... and the stories. Congrats on the Purple Star!

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      What a fascinating life you have led! I look forward to reading about your next decade and the one after that. Happy Birthday and congrats on your purple star.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Such an interesting life you have had! This was an inspiring story and I don't feel so bad about turning 60 next year - thanks! Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 5 years ago

      Enjoyed your article!

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 5 years ago

      I loved reading about your life and all your memories of significant events. I especially found the part about LSD to be interesting. When I hear the word LSD, I immediately imagine drug addicts in the gutter, but it sounds like your one experience had a positive impact on your life. I wish more people would celebrate each new year of their life as you have, rather than dread it. I went skydiving to celebrate my 40th birthday and am trying to think of something equally adventurous to do for my 50th. And by the time I reach 70, well, who knows?

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Boudn to be some good stories!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for filling in a few more gaps about your life that I wasn't able to ascertain last week. Can't wait to hear more over the next 30 years!

    • prikazen profile image

      prikazen 5 years ago

      Great info, thanks for sharing :)

      Carpe Diem

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @anonymous: How nice! But I think you'd better be YOU when you grow up! Hmm... but do we even HAVE to grow up? I'm not sure if I will get around to it... Zana

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I *love* this, Zana! I am so inspired by you, your story... your life! I was gonna say "I want to be you when I grow up," but the truth is, I wanna be you NOW! :-) *blessed*

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @MelanieMurphyMyer: Your response brought tears to my eyes! So glad to help you connect with your parents' generation. And thanks very much for the nomination.

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @candy47: Well, I did leave out a few yucky parts!

    • MelanieMurphyMyer profile image

      MelanieMurphyMyer 5 years ago

      I absolutely love this page. For some inexplicable reason it nearly made me cry - so odd when that happens - when I feel moved and touched but don't quite know why. I think maybe it's because this authentic, honest glimpse into your heart and life really made me feel connected to my parents' generation in a new way. I very much admire your attitude! I recently received my first Purple Star, along with the new quest to nominate someone else for one - my nomination will be this lens. :)

    • profile image

      candy47 5 years ago

      What a wonderful journey for you to share :)

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @writerkath: Don't be so sure I have more guts, we all have our various challenges and you may have dealt with things that would terrify me!

      Yep, I've always thought it funny that they paid. I don't remember the exact amount but it was quite a bit. From my point of view, it turned out to be a great investment.

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @Paul Ward: Thank you! Appreciate the blesssing!

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 5 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Written with warmth, Blessed with pleasure,

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 5 years ago

      What an amazing, incredible adventure! You have a lot more guts than I do! Beautifully told story! And I love the thought that your folks paid for that LSD class! How funny that must seem today!

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @Scarlettohairy: Thanks! Glad you liked it.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Wow, what a great journey you're living! I love your matter of fact way of telling us about it all.