Crow’s Feet: Life As We Age started as a publication on Medium when editor Nancy Peckenham invited writers "to explore the many facets of growing old and learn how to help ourselves, our friends, or our parents navigate through the river of life."
Nancy's goal was to shake up ideas about what it means to grow old. She asked writers to reflect on a range of issues, including how ageism affected them and how to work with parents or partners who show signs of dementia. She also invited life-affirming stories, ones that challenge the idea that a 65-year-old can no longer dare to dream.
Since day one, the publication grew steadily.
Nancy welcomes a little sun during a stopover at Cold Bay, Alaska, en route via ferry to the Aleutian Islands in June 2019.
Nancy’s path to creating Crow’s Feet began after she moved to Maine to care for her 100-year-old mother in an assisted living residence where she made friends with the residents.
She got to know the men and mostly women -- from age 60 to 100 -- and saw how they broke the crude stereotypes of "old age." Nancy also saw up close the challenge of coping with memory loss. Frustration at her mother's collapsing memory faded as they sang along with Bing Crosby or recounted family history. Nancy started writing about this world, about her mother and about the choices we make as we age. Looking at her own life in her early 60s, she created Crow’s Feet. Within a few months more than 100 writers were sharing their own experiences with aging and the idea of putting their writing in a book was born.
This collection of original essays and poems features thirty writers who explore their own fears of aging and how they came to embrace the freedom of their final decades.
Posing nude, having a boyfriend at 80, or riding horseback through the mountains inspire some of these writers, while others are content to plant fresh flowers, hug their grandchildren and enjoy the gift of time. Staying active and healthy is an important theme woven through the book.
From a poem that exposes the destructive power of ageism to an essay full of joy for being older and wiser, readers will be inspired to re-think their own plans for the second half of life.
If you are thinking about how you're going to navigate through your 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond, you will find a companion in the pages of this book with pieces by award-winning writer Julia E. Hubbel, British writer Ann Saddler, humorist Roz Warren and author Beth Bruno.
The volume features the best stories in Crow’s Feet: Life As We Age, a publication on Medium. It is edited by Nancy Peckenham, the founder of Crow’s Feet and a former CNN executive producer, documentary filmmaker and local news reporter who enjoys shaking up old ideas about what it means to grow old.
Order your copy of CROW'S FEET: LIFE AS WE AGE from Bookshop.org, a network of independent bookstores (On Amazon and Barnes & Noble, too.)