Living the life of an old crone

In my writing class this week, we were assigned a prompt to write about how to be a successful crone – you know the  little old lady who lives alone but can totally take control of her  life: her finances, her social life, her living situation, her everyday activities. I liked that prompt and wrote this:

I came into my age of croneness when my husband of over fifty years became ill and died. It all happened very suddenly and hit me very hard. I had to make a million decisions without him almost right away: getting used to living without him, traveling without him, sleeping without him, not cooking for him, working without him. And I especially missed having our intellectual work-related conversations. That he couldn’t participate any more left me more than alone and lonely. It left me without the love of my life.

I also had to learn to manage my financial life even though Bob called me innumerate. I formed relationships with our financial advisor and tax accountant, made the decisions to sell my house, find a new place to live, and most of all take charge of our things which meant getting rid of most of them. It’s now over two years since I’ve done all that and one thing is for sure: I don’t miss any of the stuff I threw out in the trash, sold, or gave away – especially the heirlooms that my young family members happily shipped to their homes. I even look at what I have left and think I could have gotten rid of more. I also know his death gave me the power to take charge and control my life as I live it. I’m free of any restrictions whatsoever.

I live in a retirement community where a lot of women are like me – widowed, alone, and in control. Most of us could care less about hooking up with another man – especially one who is old and sick. My son asked me if I ever wanted to get married again, and I said absolutely not. I would like a man friend to converse with once in a while, but that’s about it.

That doesn’t mean I love where I live, but I do love most of the people I live with. And I feel fortunate that I’ve picked a place close to my old hometown, Manhattan Beach, where I lived since nineteen seventy-one. I told my son that I go to Ralphs in Manhattan Beach to shop and he was shocked that I’d waste so much time driving. I said I liked driving along the pretty coast route to get there and then he understood. There was no way he would try to take away the choices I’ve made living and trying to enjoy my life – even choosing a pretty road to drive.

Of course I’m fortunate to be able to drive even though I’m in my eighties and to still have all my mental faculties. So many people where I live are mentally disabled – even people younger than me. I was also very lucky a few months ago to survive an accident that threw me on the ground and cracked my head open. The doctors kept checking to see if I still had my mind. And yes. I had my mind and a practically uninjured body – not one broken bone. So I took charge of my recovery such that now I am totally back to normal, walking many thousand of steps a day, and writing and reading and socializing as I always did. Yes, I was lucky. Especially that I can still live independently and manage and take charge of my life. All while being an old crone!


I’d love it if you’d leave a comment below and tell us about your old crone pursuits. Let’s share with each other!


  1. Joyce Goldberg says

    Love this. Being independent and in control of your life makes for a good “old age.” You’re doing a swell job with it…for sure.

  2. I enjoyed your crone column. I turn 74 in September, am widowed for over 20 years. I found your column on Eppch postings. I live alone, downsized to a patio house 4 years ago, it’s about 10 minutes to my oldest son and his family. My other son moved here about a year after I did. I recently tried a dating site, really just looking for someone to do things with. I am now realizing I should just join a woman’s travel deal. Not interested in remarrying or living with anyone. I had both knees replaced in 2020. Unfortunately I have wet macula degeneration in both eyes, so when my drivers license expires in 2024, I can only hope my eye doctor tor will let me drive to the grocery store, etc. I failed the visual at DMV in 2019, my sight was legal enough, with a letter from the eye doctor, to renew my license. I wear a cochlear implant, having lost my hearing over 30 years ago. I am doing pretty good, just became an avid bird watcher this year, with bird feeders, you get bonus squirrels, all 5 of them . Looking forward to more of your fabulous writings.

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