Link to the Later Bloomer Blog

August 2020

Happy Birthday to the 20th Century's Most Extraordinary Explorer!

{ Not seeing images? Read this email in your browser. }
Polar explorer Matthew Henson

Matthew Henson was born to Black sharecroppers on August 8, 1866, a year after the Civil War’s end. At age 13, he walked to Maryland where he found work as a cabin boy on a ship bound for China.

He led a life of adventure and adversity, loyalty and betrayal, recognition and obscurity that took him to the Arctic’s frigid reaches and back. Many people, if asked, would tell you that Robert E. Peary “discovered” the North Pole.

But there’s a good chance that Matthew Henson deserves that accolade and he achieved it at age 43.

Read more about his astonishing life and even more surprising legacy here -->

August Celebrations

August 3, 2010: Happy Birthday to! Yup, it has been a decade since I started blogging about people over age 40 who've done phenomenal things. At first, I posted every week. Then life became exceedingly complicated and I wrote when I could. Now I'm starting again, because it's never too late.

August 8, 1866: Black polar explorer Matthew Henson was born on this day. READ MORE

August 10, 1948: Happy Birthday, Sue Monk Kidd! She published her famous novel The Secret Life of Bees at age 53. Before she embraced her calling as a writer of fiction and the sacred feminine, she was a nurse and minister's wife. READ MORE

August 15, 1912: What's a celebration without Julia Child? She didn't publish her famous cookbook until 49. Before her first television show, the studio burned to down with her original cookbook and all her notes. Yet at 51, Julia Child debuted right on time. READ MORE
Rest in peace, precious one.

A Personal Note

I've been quiet and exhausted for the last three months. Sorry I haven't written. While cities burned and a pandemic raged, my focus narrowed to one precious creature, our kitty Leto.

In April, he was diagnosed with a disease so rare that even the specialists threw up their hands. They said a compound made from Japanese pagoda tree blossoms might help him. (Not cure him. We knew he was terminal.)

It sounds like a fairy tale, where a magic flower and a kindly witch save a beloved child. And at first it felt that way. My husband Dave and I took turns giving Leto the magic potion almost around the clock. He fought like a warrior prince and rallied.

But after a while it stopped working and Leto's beautiful spirit started to fade. Dave and I decided to have the heartbreaking conversation about euthanasia. But maybe tomorrow.

That night at bedtime, I went to sing to Leto as I'd done for weeks. When I saw him, I knew something was wrong. Within minutes, his big heart stopped. I sung to him while his beautiful spirit slipped away. And I cried. I cried for him. I cried for everything.

And I feel guilty about not caring more about what was happening in the world these last three months. About not doing more about it. About trying to save one small creature and knowing I would fail. About failing.

I share this with you in case you've felt the same. As this pain lessens (it will never leave), I'm acknowledging that other pain. I'm searching for what I can do to make one small difference in the world.

And accepting—there is a time for every purpose under Heaven.

Be well,

Debra Eve (photo)Thanks for reading! I'm Debra Eve, proud late bloomer and possessor of many passions.

At, I've written about more than 80 people in the arts, humanities, and sciences who followed their creative passions later in life. You can also find Later Bloomer on Instagram and Facebook. And you can access a free self-study course based on the work of Julia Cameron at The Imaginarium.

You're receiving this email because you signed up for Later Bloomer's monthly-ish newsletters.
Mailing Address
Later Bloomer Unlimited
Mira Valle Mobile Home Park
Ojai, CA 93023

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp