DEAR HARRIETTE: My mother is getting up in age. She is doing well, but I worry about her because she lives on her own and I live hundreds of miles away. We talk regularly, but if I miss a day or two, she is on the horn calling and trying to figure out what I am up to. On the one hand, I am grateful that she is aware enough to be "in my business." Several of my friends who still have their moms are dealing with dementia and other illnesses. But I also feel like I need to manage our interaction. I love my mother, but I do not want to give her blow-by-blow details of every aspect of my life. How can I keep anything to myself without hurting her feelings? -- In a Corner, Washington, D.C.
DEAR IN A CORNER: It is true that you are blessed that your mom remains of sound mind as she ages. Since she appreciates talking to you regularly, do your best to check in every few days. Ask her questions about her day. Show interest in her schedule. This will get her to talk about herself. Be sure to listen closely. You can also give her a highlight of your life each time you talk. Tell her that you want to share highlights so that she knows what to expect. Choose upbeat stories that she can share freely with her friends, stories that will keep her excited, motivated and connected to you -- without being every detail of your life.