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by Abigail Van Buren

Daughter Is at a Loss for Words in Conversations With Dad

DEAR ABBY: My father, a widower, is in his late 80s. He's in great shape, still drives, goes on vacations and volunteers twice a week. He is brilliant, and enjoys cars, gambling and eating.

I promised I'd call him on a weekly basis, but I don't know what to talk to my father about. He's a man of few words, so our conversations are somewhat limited after I ask about his interests. I'd be very appreciative if you or your readers can suggest some topics I haven't thought of. -- STUMPED DAUGHTER

DEAR STUMPED DAUGHTER: How about talking to your father about some of your own interests -- what you have been doing, movies or plays you have seen, restaurants you have tried that he might enjoy, what's going on with other relatives, and current events. If necessary, make a short list of topics from your local newspaper and keep it with you when you call him. And remember, conversations don't have to be long ones -- just interesting.

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