Saturday, July 3, 2010


The Fourth is over. No more fireworks to look forward to. It's summer doldrums time.
Just because we're widows doesn't mean we've given up on living. We want to have fun but not necessarily expensive fun. So today I'm listing some of my fave freebies. Keep in mind I live in a big city. Life is expensive here but there are also more free things to do. Hope you'll add to the list:
1. The library. Free books, free movies on DVD to check out, lectures, computer classes, story hours for kids.
2. Concerts. The Houston Symphony has concerts in Hermann Park, where you can sit in audience seats under the band shell or "on the hill". They have Shakespeare in the Park, musical theater, and free concerts in smaller parks all over town.
3. Book groups. I belong to two: one sponsored by the Great Books Council and another private group. Membership is free in most groups. Of course, you have to get hold of the book but that's what the library is for. Or you can try a great way to get and give away free paperbacks.
4.Back to the park for picnics. Or have one in your back yard. When my kids were small and it was rainy, we had them on the family room floor. PB&J sandwiches are great picnic fare, and what couuld be cheapter?
5.Some museums have free admission once a week. The Museum of Natural Science has Friday night mixers, a great way to meet other singles.
6. The City of Houston has centers all over town, with free exercise classes, bridge groups, etc. There's also a great dog park, where your dog can meet other dogs and you can get to know the owners.
7. Check out Meet-up Groups online; hiking groups, biking groups, scrabble or bridge clubs (some are free), mall walking groups. If you don't find a group that fits your needs or appeals to you, why not start your own? Ever think of getting a widows' group started?
8. Bookstores, especially independent ones, often have readings along with book signings. Go for the reading; you don't have to buy the book.
9. Take a tour of your home town. There are loads of interesting places here that I've never visited. That's probably true in your home as well. Of if you have seen everything, then visit interesting sites again, with new eyes.
10. Churches and synagogues, besides regular services, often have get togethers for singles or for various age groups, and of course they offer study groups, lectures in addition to sermons at religious services, and volunteer opportunities.
11. Speaking of volunteering, here's a way to give back as well as to meet like-minded people.
12. Finally, a way to volunteer and enjoy free entertainment at the same time. Ushers at concerts, plays, etc. get to see the performance free just for showing people to their seats.

I know we don't have huge amounts of time for some of the activities listed above. We're working, parenting, sometimes caring for our own elderly parents, but remember, our needs are important, too. We need relationships with others, we need to have fun, we need to take care of ourselves. We need to destress by having some fun in our lives. We owe it to ourselves.

I hope I'll here from others of you with more freebie (or almost freebie) suggestions. Let's encourage each other to find something in life to savor.



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