3rd Act Magazine – Spring 2019

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Natural Legacy

Skagit Valley’s Samish Bay Cheese is a Labor of Love






PLAY It’s not Just for Kids

MOVING CLOSER TO YOUR KIDS How to Make it Work for Everyone

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Proudly managed by Integral Senior Living, Seattle communities offer ISL’s signatureprograms, programs, Proudly managed by Integral Senior Living, ourour Seattle communities offer ISL’s signature ® ® activities, Elevate culinary experiences and Generations memorycare careprograms, programs,each each including Vibrant Life ® ® including Vibrant Lifeare activities, memory No matter where you in life’s Elevate journey,culinary home experiences is meant toand be aGenerations place of comfort, enjoyment and a familiar, helping to promote an adventurous lifestyle meaningful experiences our communities. helping to promote an adventurous lifestyle andand meaningful experiences at at our communities.

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MESSAGE from the publisher

Switching Entitlement For Enlightenment


hat a privileged life most of us lead. Within the last 100 years—the lifespan of anyone reading this magazine—the world has exploded in comfort and industry: No more reading by candlelight, stoking the fire to turn up the heat requires only turning a dial, water comes out of the tap, waste goes down the drain, and none of the horsepower we use to go from place to place requires hay. And that’s just the low-tech stuff. But all this convenience comes at a price. We are drowning in plastic. Plant, animal, and insect species are disappearing at an alarming rate. Our climate is changing. Earth scientists tell us that we have entered a new point in history: the Anthropocene (the age of humans). Human-caused changes to nature are rapid and alarming, yet it seems that many of us are “fiddling while Rome burns.” Comfortable with the likelihood that we won’t live to see the worst of it, we fail to take action where we can make a difference. We can do better—and we must do better with the time we have left. In her article, “Drowning in Plastic” (page 32), British Columbian

writer Cathy Kuntz shows us how we can shake our dependence on single-use plastic. We can help birds and insects by returning more native plants to our yards and in “Going Native” (page 44), we give you a list of beneficial plants for your Pacific Northwest garden. In “Going Green with Your Green” (page 16), Talking Real Money radio host Don McDonald introduces us to investing in mutual funds that focus on environmentally responsible firms. Eating organic is not only good for our health, it’s good for insect and planet health, too. In this issue you’ll meet organic food pioneers Suzanne and Roger Wechsler, who, at almost 70, continue to craft delectable cheeses at their Skagit Valley organic dairy, Samish Bay Cheese. It’s easy to downplay the urgency with which we need to act. It’s easy to feel entitled to living with conveniences we’re accustomed to. But it’s time to set aside our entitled ways for the greater good. In this issue we offer specific actions we can take to help our planet and all its inhabitants. Let’s do it! The world is depending on us, and our grandchildren are, too.

“We can do better—and we must do better with the time we have left.”


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

OU R VI SI ON 3rd Act Magazine endeavors to inform, inspire, and entertain older adults. Our stories and articles challenge worn-out perceptions of aging and offer a dynamic new vision: Aging is good, let’s celebrate and embrace this stage of life, and let’s age together with confidence. PU B LI SH E RS Victoria Starr Marshall David Marshall EDITOR Victoria Starr Marshall COPY EDITOR Julie Fanselow ART DIRECTOR Philip Krayna WEBSITE Philip Krayna ADVERTISING Victoria Starr Marshall, Carolyn Hultz DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION David Marshall COVE R PH OTO Mark Gardner WRITE TO US 3rd Act Magazine wants to hear from you! Email your comments, ideas, and questions to info@3rdActMag.com or mail to 81 Canal Lane, Brinnon, WA 98320 3rd Act Magazine is published quarterly by Oshi Publishing, LLC. The opinions, advice or statements expressed by contributing writers do not reflect those of the editors, the publishers, or of 3rd Act Magazine. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior consent of the publisher. It is your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, opinion, advice, or other content contained herein. Oshi Publishing, LLC makes no representation and, to the fullest extent allowed by law, disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied. The content published herein may include inaccuracies or typographical errors. Copyright 2019 Oshi Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. Oshi Publishing, LLC, 81 Canal Lane Brinnon, WA 98320 · 360-796-4837 Email: info@3rdActMag.com For subscriptions and additional information, see us online at www.3rdActMag.com.


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contents FEATURES 10 O H, THE CHANGES WE’VE SEEN How the world has changed under our watch (and a look to the future). JENNIFER JAMES


28 38


It’s time to say no to single-use plastic. CATHY KUNTZ


Skagit Valley’s Samish Bay Cheese is a tasty labor of love. ANN HEDREEN


Plant choices to nurture our bees and butterflies. ANGELA MINOR

ARTFUL AGING 8 AGING WITH INTENTION Don’t forget to save your story. LINDA HENRY

14 NATURALLY PASSIONATE Environmental activism, one student at a time. DORI GILLAM



Bearing witness to life and death. PAUL BOARDMAN


Human composting as a new option. CONNIE MCDOUGALL


Back to the past for greener ways to clean. GEORGIA HUBLEY



A sure cure for nature deficit disorder. MICHAEL PATTERSON

32 Aging with Confidence

spring 2019

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60 LIFESTYLE 16 MONEY Investing in sustainability. DON McDONALD


YOUR KIDS Why (and how) to do

it sooner than later. JUDY RUCKSTUHL WRIGHT


Traveling in style–and with a smaller footprint. ANN RANDALL


An e-bike adventure in Rome. KAREN WHITE-WALKER


Take time to enjoy and protect our national parks. JULIE FANSELOW


Friends get an inkling to help untimely tinkling. AMY EDWARDS

WELLNESS 20 U NDERCOVER EXERCISER What’s that happening under the sheets? JANET RAYOR


FOR KIDS Feeling cranky?

Time to go out and play! KELLIE MOELLER

24 W HAT’S A DIDGERIDOO? A musical alternative to combat snoring.




advocate for better health. DR. ERIC B. LARSON



tasty seasonal favorite. NANCY SCHAAF


Natural Legacy

Skagit Valley’s Samish Bay Cheese is a Labor of Love

Go Native



Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong about the World and Why Things are Better than We Think By Hans Rosling Reviewed by Robin Lindley Challenge yourself with these word puzzles.







Art meets nature in visual and performing arts around Seattle. MISHA BERSON

PLAY It’s not Just for Kids

MOVING CLOSER TO YOUR KIDS How to Make it Work for Everyone

3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

Cover: Samish Bay Cheese farm manager Jim Morgan. Photo by Mark Gardner

Carver Lived Here, Too Savoring as usual your splendid publication, 3rd Act, I noticed the reference to Port Angeles’ famous writer, Raymond Carver (“Joy to the World,” Winter 2019), whose only claim to fame was (at least according to columnist Robin Lindley) having “died in Port Angeles in 1988.” Might I remind readers that Carver also lived and wrote in Port Angeles. —Gretchen Houser

Ain’t That a Shame The article “Never Too Old to Rock n’ Roll” (Winter 2019) left me “feeling sad” and “left out” —and those aren’t the names of songs the writer failed to mention. I only identified with one of the six categories, and my buddy Jack Ring and I were known in high school as the bebop kings. Maybe I skipped out the day of all those jolts of life-giving juice. — Jim Winzenburg

Feeling Satisfied I love the wisdom of Eric Larson as well as his research. I am 76 and enjoying life more than I did in younger years. My life has all been positive as I reflect on the past, but this era is particularly good! My days are open to new adventures and some travel. I enjoy teaching gentle yoga and walking outside. I have a long list of a variety of books to read this year. And my family and close friends are healthy and happy. Can’t ask for more than that! —Wendy Townsend

talk to us! by mail: 3rd Act Magazine, 81 Canal Lane, Brinnon, WA 98320 by email: info@3rdActMag.com Please include your name, city, state, and phone number when possible. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. www.3rdActMag.com


Save Yourself Now Stories and Words of Wisdom are Worth Passing Along BY LINDA HENRY

Linda Henry writes regularly on topics related to aging, health care, and communication and is the co-author of several books, including Transformational Eldercare from the Inside Out: Strengths-Based Strategies for Caring. She conducts workshops nationally on aging and creating caring work environments. Her volunteer emphasis is age-friendly communities.


A FAVORITE STORY of my grandmother’s concerned a young man who was strolling down the alley adjacent to our yard. When he looked over and saw a white object sitting in a swing, slowly rocking back and forth, he uttered a loud expletive and took off running. The figure in white was my grandmother wrapped in a sheet, waiting for our family’s Halloween party to begin. I still laugh out loud just remembering her telling it. Rick Moody, editor of AARP’s Human Values in Aging newsletter, was sitting with Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (author of From Age-ing to Sage-ing) when Reb turned to him and said, “You know, there is really only one great question in life. It’s ‘Are you saved?’ Not in a theological sense,” he added, “but in a computer sense.” What is your story? Have you been “saved” in the sense of “downloading” your life experiences to the great “hard drive” of future generations? There are many levels of storytelling. Some stories are simply a recitation of something that happened, while others reveal a belief system or set of values. My “ghost” story reminds me of how important having fun together at every age was to my family. Stories are gifts we choose to give. They offer healing and connect and inspire us; they are our legacy. It’s not uncommon for siblings to remember their story differently. While Doug believed that limited financial resources meant that only he could go to college because he was the male, his sister Ann recalled only her disinterest in further education. Stories are not only for others; they are for the storyteller as well. For some of us,

3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

recounting our story becomes more important as we age. We want people to remember us for who we are and not just be defined by our jobs or accomplishments. We also want others to understand our values, beliefs, and the differences we may have made in others’ lives. For the storytellers among us, I offer the following suggestions that others have found to be helpful. There is no right way to tell your story. Organize your past into childhood, teen, adult, and elder years and incorporate information people often overlook. For example, what was the main advice your parents or grandparents gave you, either verbally or nonverbally, and how did that play out in your life? Sue’s mother’s advice was to believe that she could do anything.

A New Guided Life Journal This Life of Mine, just out from Sasquatch Books, gives people a place to share their life’s stories and memories, guided by prompts based on themes like love, family, and purpose. The author, Anne Phyfe Palmer, is the owner of Seattle’s 8 Limbs Yoga and a memoirist who became passionate about passing down one’s legacy after she lost her grandfather and realized how many details about his life she didn’t know.

Consequently, Sue embraced new opportunities. Not all advice is positive, of course, but both positive and negative stories become teachable moments for our children and grandchildren. Reflect on the various stages of life. What gives you the greatest joy? What makes you happiest? What have you learned about life? What would you do differently? What are you lifting up and sending away? What are you thankful for? What other messages do you want to leave for others? If you haven’t already begun capturing your story, resolve to begin now. Who knows what you will learn about you?


Aging with Confidence

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OH, THE CHANGES WE’VE SEEN The World We Entered, The World We’ll Leave BY JENNIFER JAMES

As we age, there is an urge to feel we will time our dying well. As my mother would say, “The world is going to hell in a handbasket anyway.” My mother had lived through two world wars, a depression, immigration, poverty, domestic violence, and the death of two husbands. But she was quite sure she had lived at the best of times. Many elders think the same thing because that thought makes it easier to leave. Looking back over our decades reminds us of how we have lived. We can imagine the future even if we don’t get to be there. Cultural anthropologists, like me, want to know more about what is ahead, so we study the beliefs, perceptions, and rituals of the past and present. In particular I wanted to understand what happens when change challenges a country or tribe’s culture. Understanding changes in culture and society involves


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

art, literature, language, psychology, sociology, technology, philosophy, and more. To order so much data, I think of the four corners of a jigsaw puzzle. With those corners, even without a picture on the box, we can compose the puzzle edges and maybe fill in the rest. The four corners of this cultural change puzzle are technology, economics, demography, and culture. Society changes a lot when it discovers a new technology, whether it’s a new wheel or a new engine. There is a natural workforce shift, because agriculture and the internet require different skills. The shift changes who is hired, who earns money, and who has power. New workers often change demographics: who we encounter, at work and at home. Workers, management, and communities have had to adapt rapidly in recent decades because technology has forced


our economy into a competitive global marketplace. Psychologist Abraham Maslow tried to make sense of our Societies accommodate shifts in technology and an ambivalent cultural reactions to the push of technological increasingly diverse workforce, grumbling but willing, in change. In 1943, he published his hierarchy of human order to survive. But cultural beliefs about the way things development built on human needs. The bottom level of ought to be are harder to change if differences are too visible. his pyramid were the things we need to survive: food, water, We might welcome new cuisines, music, and dances, but shelter, and reproduction. Meeting these needs only required hesitate when confronted with gender, skin a basic reptilian brain and extended family “Some cultural color, body abnormalities, or unfamiliar bands of hunters and gatherers. religious fashions. Ambassadors in ethnic changes are easier The next level up, as tools made survival dress are usually respected, but maybe not more probable, were groups able to subsist than others, but on horticulture, agriculture, and eventually as neighbors. too often, gut A traditional group may learn to tolerate the energy sources of coal and oil. Security newcomers but resist seeing them as feelings challenge needs could be met by forming communities, fellow citizens. A tribe or class that feels it common sense.” building forts, storage, and organizing for is losing power often becomes fearful and battle. The group, not the individual, was clings to stereotypes and intolerance. And this isn’t new: essential for stable survival. Death before dishonor defined The invention of the forklift truck freed women to move both masculinity and femininity. heavy items, eliminating the strength differential but not As people felt more secure and lived longer lives, Maslow’s the traditional belief that women are weaker. next level up was a movement away from the traditional When certain types of intelligence and skill became more domination of the self by the group. As Americans began energy efficient and more valuable than brute force, people to feel safer after World War II, new ideas and questions perceived as “weaker” could compete. At the University of about relationships, leisure, and personal identity gained Washington medical school, where I taught in the 1970s, credence. Hungry people have little time to ask themselves there were seven women in a class of 100. Now it is 53. such questions. Well-fed people can worry about eating too The same is true for today’s law schools. much or whether they are happy, known, even loved. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

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Stability at one of Maslow’s levels is the gateway to the levels, but all of us move up and down depending on our next. As women and minorities entered the workforce and fears. proved their merit, it opened many minds to different ways The top level of Maslow’s original human development of being. Americans, in particular, as an immigrant nation, ladder was “self-actualization.” Essentially, be all you can be. began to shed the crippling fear of small human differences. Find yourself, find a soul mate, love your inner child, find your These ancient anxieties, connected to the once legitimate passions and purpose. Our generation was given a gift—the fear that small family bands had of strangers, did and still time and direction to ask deeper questions about life. If a do allow wars, slavery, the harassment of minorities, and well-stocked fort (or many fancy bigger forts) is not enough, domestic abuse. then what is? Who gets stuck and why? If we can make a group “the other” or “them,” we can kill We seem surrounded by what Buddhists term “hungry them. If success—in our new techie diverse workforce— ghosts,” a euphemism for empty suits stuck at the survival requires higher levels of social and emotional intelligence, stage of human development. No amount of money seems then the cultural fabric has to be unraveled and to satisfy their hunger or increase their civility. rewoven. These tensions and battles are still They prove Maslow’s conviction that humans “It was the being played out around us. to feel safe, that they belong, and that best of times, it need Try tracing how your own comfort levels they are loved before they can move toward have adapted over your lifetime. The 1950s was the worst self-actualization. brought the beginnings of racial integration, Before his death in 1970, Maslow offered one of times, it the 1960s fostered individualism and feminism, more level of human development, a new top was the age the 1970s recognized the rights of the disabled his pyramid—transcendence. He defined of wisdom, it for and homosexuals, and the 1980s introduced it as the ability to find meaning beyond self. children’s rights. Animal rights rose to the fore was the age of Commentators and philosophers continue to in the 1990s, and human rights in general— foolishness.” ask: Are we connected to all living things? Is including the right to healthcare—gained the most moral path a belief in quality of life for –Charles Dickens, attention in the 2000s. And in our current everyone and everyone everywhere? Where are A Tale of Two Cities decade, we’ve seen a focus on immigration we, given that people are currently scattered at and race relations (again) and transgender rights. Looking every level of this human development hierarchy? ahead, the rights of workers and prisoners may find new What can I offer for your future? The path we have been footing in the 2020s. Have you gotten stuck at any point? on, since the first upright primate, is that of civilizing our Some cultural changes are easier than others, but too feral instincts. Civilization can be defined by access to often, gut feelings challenge common sense. Seniors have information, acceptance of diversity, and alternatives to experienced racial, gender, and ethnic myths crashing violence. The Masai in the Serengeti have satellite access down around us throughout our lives. It is understandable to the internet. For a few years, an African American that some of our acquaintances and leaders—especially was president. Our grandchildren accept the value of people losing cultural, economic and political power—have communication, counseling, mediation, treaties, and retreated to tribalism or nostalgia for a cruder, simpler time. international organizations. Civilization will continue to Poverty and war also push people back down to Maslow’s progress aided by our new dependence on a global market. At the most basic level, only a stable shared global economy base survival level. If we still live with anxiety it may be because of the will fulfill enough human needs. Try not to mind the absurd zigzags of cultural adaptation. normal disorientation of rapid movement through Maslow’s Two steps forward and one step back is the usual dance of hierarchy. We have lived through the most extraordinary cultural life. Turn to the wisdom teachers who, from the era of technological, economic, demographic, and cultural development in history. People in agricultural economies had earliest records, have agreed that true wisdom is kindness. more than a century to adapt to the strains of the Industrial In your last decades, if you are otherwise safe, your future Revolution, but we have had only decades to adapt to our is to be kind to yourself and all living things. global technological and economic web. It is easier to accept a cell phone or solar panels than to ask, “Who am I? Who have I been? Who do I respect as a human being? Am I mortal?” (Or my favorite, “What’s it all about, Alfie?”) You know where you are among Maslow’s


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

Jennifer James has a doctorate in cultural anthropology and a master’s in history and psychology. She was a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington Medical School. Jennifer is the founding mother of the Committee for Children, an international organization devoted to the prevention of child abuse worldwide.



Aging with Confidence

PegasusSeniorLiving.com spring 2019

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Albatross swoop and cruise next to the pitching and lurching boat, unfazed by the stormy seas. Their graceful aerobatics accentuate the rough ride of their observers: students from Tacoma’s Pacific Lutheran University who are being tossed about on deck. The students are on an environmental literature expedition led by writer, photographer, and PLU professor emeritus Dr. Charles Bergman. They’re on their way to Antarctica, crossing Drake Passage—one of the roughest bodies of water in the world—in their refitted scientific research vessel. Chuck Bergman has led over 35 environmental literature expeditions, with his wife Susan Mann accompanying him on many. It’s important to him that students and others experience the natural world and understand that they have the power to help protect it. Over 20 years their “study-away” classes have traveled to Uganda, where they assisted Dr. Jane Goodall in the release of 17 African Grey Parrots to the wild; explored the reaches of Africa, South America, and Antarctica; engaged in a quest to observe all 18 species of


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

Susan Mann and Chuck Bergman

penguins in their natural habitats; and left a lasting impact on over 800 students. At 71, he continues to lead these trips with even greater urgency: “We wonder what the world will be like for our grandson, who is two years old. In 50 years, will there be penguins, polar bears, or coral reefs?” he wonders. Susan adds: “If we don’t address what’s happening with the natural world now, we won’t have a planet to inhabit.” Try explaining that to your grandkids! If Bergman and Mann’s kind of adventure offers a more active commitment than you envision for yourself, you are not alone. But if you’ve wondered what you can do to become more environmentally active, Bergman offers a simple


solution: “Work on what you care about. You don’t have to save the whole planet; just take a step.” Mann—who has a master’s degree from Antioch and is an executive coach and consultant—recently took part in a training through The Climate Reality Project where she spent three days working with former Vice President Al Gore and world-renowned climate scientists. She now gives free presentations on climate change and how to build a more sustainable future. This spring, the couple head to Peru and Ecuador, where Bergman will lead a group of PLU alumni and friends on another environmental literature expedition. The group will read and talk about issues impacting Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands while visiting these ancient and fragile destinations. “I make time every day for a dose of nature,” Mann says. “It could be a long walk by Puget Sound, a few minutes enjoying the sunset, working in the garden, or watching birds fly overhead.” And they don’t have to be albatross flying anywhere near Antarctica! Dori Gillam is a speaker and writer on positive aging. She’s worked for Sound Generations (a local non-profit serving older adults) and AARP. She is a speaker for Humanities Washington, facilitates Wisdom Cafes throughout King County, and is a member of the Age Friendly Seattle Task Force.

Get Involved! Volunteers are on the front line of environmental activism. Here are a few organizations Chuck Bergman and Susan Mann recommend. Many have local chapters: • Climate Reality Project climaterealityproject.org • Earthwatch earthwatch.org • Natural Resources Defense Council nrdc.org • The Nature Conservancy nature.org • The Audubon Society audubon.org Follow Chuck Bergman at charlesbergman.com Follow Susan Mann at susanmann.com

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Going Green with Your Green BY DON MCDONALD

WHILE WE CANNOT KNOW anything with 100 percent certainty, Earth’s climate is unarguably undergoing dramatic changes. Record-breaking summer heat waves, ice-free passages through the previously frozen seas, more brutal storms, and rising sea levels are plaguing the planet. While there is some politically motivated disagreement about the primary cause of these changes, climate scientists almost universally agree that carbon dioxide is at geologically historic levels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a body of 195 member nations established to assess the scientific evidence, and they’ve determined that greenhouse gas emissions—driven mainly by economic and population growth—are now higher than ever. This has led to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide that are unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. But we have successfully faced similar problems in the past. Think back to the 1970s. The United States was facing another environmental crisis. The air was unbreathable in many cities. Entire lakes were on the brink of death. Rivers were poisonous sludge flows. We were running out of oil. Overpopulation threatened possible famine. How did we respond? We faced the threats head on and spent billions cleaning our physical environment. “Put your money where your mouth is” is a phrase we use to call out hypocritical behavior. If you are convinced that human behavior is damaging our environment, you can now, literally, put your money where your mouth is (or where your beliefs lie). It’s called sustainable or environmental investing. Over the past decade, some mutual fund firms have created portfolios that allow investors to focus their funds in companies that take a more environmentally responsible approach to doing business. Most mutual funds of this type are referred to as ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) funds. These offer portfolio managers a bit more leeway in


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

their corporate selection criteria and don’t focus solely on environmental issues. In the past, sustainable investing options haven’t been particularly compelling, with broker commissions and high annual fees. In addition, most funds are actively managed portfolios of just a few stocks, increasing the risk for investors. But just last year, Vanguard entered the fray with two new exchange-traded funds featuring an equity index fund with environmental, social, and governance screens applied to eliminate those firms that exhibit irresponsible behavior. These new Vanguard products accomplish a couple of things: First, Vanguard’s expenses are dramatically lower than the others. For example, Vanguard ESG US Index ETF (symbol: ESGV) charges just .12 percent per year. Compare that with the Putnam Sustainable Leaders (symbol: PNOPX) with a 5.75 percent up-front commission and an annual fee of .99 percent. Then there is the volatility reduction that diversification tends to provide. Putnam’s fund recently owned just 65 stocks, while the Vanguard ETF holds over 1,500 stocks. One early adopter of the sustainability model was a fund company called Dimensional Funds (DFA). More than 10 years ago, DFA decided to take its passive approach to build science-based portfolios and apply a patented set of screens to shift capital from companies with the worst sustainability scores toward companies with the best scores. These screens focus primarily on greenhouse emissions, but also factor in several other environmental and social variables. The sophisticated nature of Dimensional’s investing approach and sustainability metrics combined with massive diversification and low fees make the DFA Sustainability funds some of the better options for environmentally and socially responsible investors. However, due to the special investor requirements of DFA funds, they are only available through a select group of registered investment advisers. To find a list of advisers near you, visit dfaus.com/ individual. The host of the nationally syndicated Don McDonald Show for over 20 years, Don now co-hosts Talking Real Money with Tom Cock on Seattle’s KOMO radio Saturdays at noon (talkingrealmoney.com). Don also publishes the investing magazine, real investing journal (realinvestingjournal.com).


Don’t miss a single issue! (But you can still order back issues if you did.) WINTER 2019

What We Hold Dear

Time to Take Charge A Dementia Diagnosis Sparks Action

Happiness Why We Get Happier with Age

Art Without Borders


Parting with a Home You Love

HOUSE SHARING An Option Worth Considering

How Long Will You Work?


It’s Never Too Late to Date

A City for Everyone

Seattle’s Quest to be Age-Friendly

Affirming Our Shared Common Values

10 Wisdom for a Grandson

Modern Matchmaking


FALL 2018

It’s Not Just About the Money

Raising Grandkids It’s on the Rise

The Sublime Work of Seattle Artist Alfredo Arreguin

NEW LEASHES ON LIFE Loving Homes for Senior Dogs

TRAVEL Stretch Your Comfort Zone

TASTEFULLY YOURS Holiday Treats Made Easy

TRUSTWORTHY CHARITIES Tips on Making Smart Donations

PROSTATE CANCER Primed for a Fight



TRIPPING HAZARD A Bad Day for a Good Dog


Art and Adventure A Recipe for Long Life fe

Reimagining Home Vibrant Living Choices Abound

Small-Space Decorating

That Will Make Your Heart Sing

MEDICINAL MUSICALS Your Brain on Show Tunes

GET HEALTHIER By Digging in the Dirt

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The Aging of



in the Sun

Take Flight

Will Boomers Change Aging?

Coming into Our Own

Everyday Heroes Are All Around Us

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Time, Talent, and Treasure

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Is it Time for a Few New Parts? FOR A HEALTHIER BRAIN Savor a Sunset

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Sex & Dating After 50 RETIRED! Now What?

ROAD TRIP TIME Places to Go, Things to See


NEVER GIVE UP Alene Moris’ Lifelong Activism

COHOUSING The New Communal Living

Reimagine Home for the Holidays

Tita Begashaw coaches the Tee Hee Hee Laughter Group at Harborview Medical Center.


MAMMA’S MANNA Old World love

CULTURAL CONVERGENCE The changing face of caregiving

OCEANS AND HUMANS The legacy of John Delaney

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spring 2019

| 3rd Act magazine 17

Moving Closer to Your Kids You’ve retired, and you’re enjoying life: You’ve had time and opportunity to arrange your home, cultivate your friendships, establish your routines, and savor your pleasures. Your kids and grandkids live an airplane ride away, but you get together almost often enough. You’re comfortable, and your community holds decades of precious memories for you. Why on earth would you pick up and move closer to your family? Because if we don’t plan for our own future, we will probably find someone else doing it for us. This is why many mature, forward-thinking people are completely changing our lives to move—and why we’re doing it while we’re “young-old” and have the energy to establish full, gratifying new lives for ourselves. One woman who worked in two nursing homes and one retirement community saw scores of people enter nursing home care “because they insisted on staying in places that had become completely unsuitable for them,” she says. “I also have a lot of younger friends with elderly parents who refuse to leave their home of decades. These friends, at the peak of their careers and often with teenagers, find themselves having to drop everything and fly about once a month to take care of Mom after she fell down the stairs, or Dad after he hurt his back shoveling snow.” Worse, these people may learn that their determination to “stay put” still lands them in a nursing home with no choice about it. One man moved near his son, daughter-in-law, and two young grandsons so he and the boys could become closer, and so he could help their parents with child care. Another woman had moved frequently with her late entrepreneur husband. Well aware of the challenges of making friends and establishing a full life in a new community, she decided she could make a move more successfully while “young-old,” rather than waiting until she truly needed help.


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

Ways to Make it Work Well for All of You

A couple who moved halfway across the country to be closer to their grandchildren simply explained, “This is the best thing we can by Judy Ruckstuhl Wright do right now.” One social worker who had worked in aging services knew that the older he got, the more likely he would need help to organize and supervise care. Who better to do that than a child with whom he was close? Another couple moved near their daughter who had proclaimed, “Mom and Dad, I want to take care of you when you get old!” Let’s face it: Short-term, this move may not benefit you. It’s to make life easier for your family. Longer term, it will benefit you because at a time you may need help, your family will live closer and know you more deeply. And if you never need help? The worst thing that can happen is that your family will live closer and know you more deeply. Here are some ways to love your new environment and life, before and after the move. GETTING READY

Have “the talk.” If you haven’t done so already, discuss the possibility with your children. Most of us have difficulty considering new ideas that aren’t ours, so don’t be surprised or disappointed at an initial lack of enthusiasm. Give them time to think about it. If you and they are not very close emotionally, you can point out that this is an opportunity to get to know one another better. Start decluttering. There are many books and articles to help you. Start now so you can take your time, thinking about both the big things (extra furniture) and the small (boxes of photos and memories). Bless everything that leaves and wish it well in its new surroundings.


Figure out the costs. Moving is always expensive. Calculate how much money and time you’ll need to get it done, then double or triple it. (It can be like remodeling, only worse.) Since recurring expenses and medical catastrophes really eat away at your nest egg, moving into a smaller place closer to family may help you stretch your money. Do your research. Explore online to find living options in your new community. If possible, focus your search within a mile or two of your family’s home. Every time you visit, invest a bit of time in looking at housing options. Start following social groups and volunteer opportunities online. Say goodbye, for now. If we don’t plan When you start telling your for our own future, local friends and contacts about your plans, they won’t we will probably like the idea at all. Talk about find someone else how you’ll stay in touch. doing it for us. Many people plan visits at This is why many least once a year, and some mature, forwardhave standing phone dates thinking people with their closest ones. Have business cards printed with are completely your cell phone number and changing our lives email address, even before to move. you have a residential address. (And don’t change your cell phone number.) Send-off lunches or other events take a surprising amount of time and are very important to cement your friendships. Some friends may decide to drop you—and you’ll know that they are acquaintances, not friends. Take it easy on yourself. Get help with packing and all aspects of preparation. When you actually move, you will be exhausted, grieving about what you are losing, and anxious about the future. Don’t try to make a marathon drive or catch a red-eye flight.

Aging with Confidence


A few boxes can wait. More important than speedy unpacking, get to know your neighbors and neighborhood, and get help if you need it. Spend time with your family. After all—they are why you moved! Find your niches. Within the first week, sniff out somewhere you can engage in one of your favorite pastimes. Join or just show up. Start collecting names and contact information of people you meet doing things you like to do, give them your card, and take the initiative to invite them for lunch, a movie, a game of pool, or whatever. Volunteer for an organization doing something you value. There’s no better way to feel part of a community, or to meet people you enjoy. Treat yourself—in moderation. A glass of beer or bite of chocolate can help ease moving stress, but don’t overdo the alcohol or food because you feel bored or lonesome. Get to know your family. Figure out new things to do with your grandchildren, if you have any. One woman started teaching her grandsons to cook, because their single mom didn’t have time. Your children’s friends may have parents who are “friendship material.” Ask for introductions. Set boundaries. Decide how much babysitting, transportation, and restaurant-treating you want to do, so that you don’t feel imposed upon. And invite your children to set explicit boundaries with you, too—for instance, whether they like drop-in visits or would prefer that you call or text first. Expect it to take at least 18 months before you really feel at home. By then, your transition will feel like an adventure, not a tribulation, and you’ll be proud of your “old dog” self for having learned so many new tricks! Judy Ruckstuhl Wright retired and moved to Seattle three years ago to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren, after 30 years in the Kansas City area. She volunteers for three organizations, has a large friendship circle, hosts for Airbnb, and does freelance writing. She can be reached at judyRwright88@gmail.com.

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| 3rd Act magazine 19

Photo by Peter Shaw & Kristen Denney Photo by Peter Shaw




do undercover exercise. Sometimes it is so undercover that even I don’t know about it. No, really, when I wake up in the chilly morning, I ask myself, “Why should I get up?” The answer is almost always, “To pee!” So I do that and then leap back under the covers. That is the best time for undercover exercises. First, I lay nice and flat under those warm covers. That gets me in the mood to stretch through one ankle and then the other. My ankles are flexed, so I push long through my heel which invites my whole side slowly to get involved. My cat thinks this is very interesting, which gets me more interested. Then I bend my knees and stretch away from my head through my knees. I do this with my knees-out-in-frog pose, railroad-track pose, and cross-my-body-and-hopenot-to-die pose. Without moving my feet, I push through with one knee, then the other, or, if I’m feeling lucky, both at the same time. Then I pull out the big guns. Okay, they are just my toes. And they aren’t that big, but they can cause a lot of pain! I turn my long legs out, flex my ankle opening my toes up, and then point and curl my toes. I continue this as my legs slowly turn inward. Then I pretend to pick up marbles with my toes. My physical therapist says this will strengthen my arches. On my belly, I stretch my leg away from my head until my leg has to come up, then I alternate. My sheets are tucked in, so the sheets resist my legs coming up. I have tried this with sheets loose and bunched and became a picture of


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

bondage. I know what you may be thinking. “Kinky!” Please don’t. Falling to the floor with sheets tied around your feet, hair akimbo, teeth unbrushed, and Pooh pajamas twisted isn’t pretty to even the weirdest kinkster. Now I am ready for the big finale. It is circus time! On my back with feet planted on the bed and knees bent, pointed at the ceiling, I stretch my knees away from my head, which makes my pelvis come up in the air. “She flies through the air with the greatest of ease.” Well, it is just my pelvis going up and down, but it feels pretty goofy to the cat who has decided to climb on my belly! This makes for a great knee exercise. Without the cat it is still good, though sometimes this means she is peering under the covers and trying to go through the bridges I’m making. Then I get to the big hoopla: I lift my pelvis and place it flat, the headlights of my hip bones straight across horizontal, but closer to my right side, then to the left. Then I change to placing it down with my hip trying to touch my shoulder! I feel like a vamp, allbeit, a very awkward vamp. Can-can music rolling now, “Da-da, da-da-da-da, da-da, da-da-da-da! Da-da, da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da!” Before I know it, I’m up! But keep this to yourself. Nobody else knows except for my cat and she’s not talking! Janet Rayor is a professional singer and former stilt-dancer who leads Rouge, a Parisian ensemble with accordion, violin, and piano. She teaches “Juicy Joints Aerobics” at Bitterlake Community Center in north Seattle when she is not singing or exercising undercover! Follow her fitness blog and videos at rougemusic.com/knee-too




3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

We all remember when our mothers, fed up with having us in the house, told us to “go out and play!” Play is not just an essential part of development for children. It is an important source of health and longevity for adults, a way to connect with others, fuel creativity, and assure emotional well-being. Have you found yourself a little bit grouchy, or staying in the house more and more? Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, told the Washington Post that adult play deprivation can reveal itself in many ways. “We might get cranky, rigid, feel stuck in a rut or feel victimized by life,” he notes, adding that to get the best rejuvenating benefits of play, we need to make it part of our everyday lives, “not just wait for that two-week vacation every year.” Is there something you loved to do when you were young that you simply haven’t had time to do in years? Perhaps you were into art, sports, or social activities with others. Researchers say that incorporating regular play and activity into our daily routines can mean a boost in longevity. Playtime has been found to speed up learning, reduce stress, enhance productivity, increase life satisfaction, and build bonding and communication skills with others. Opportunities abound for mature adults to get out and play. For over 42 years, the Seattle Parks Lifelong Recreation program has been serving the community with vibrant adult programs that focus on physical activity, social engagement, education, arts, creativity, and healthy lifestyles for people 50 and up.


Brenda Kramer, manager of these programs, says, “Whether someone is looking for creative fitness classes or wanting to learn something new, we serve adults of all abilities and provide a variety of options, including learning and social activities in 26 community centers across the Seattle metro area. Through recreation classes, special events, or the many day trips we offer, our participants are exploring new places and learning new skills.” Kramer adds that activities go beyond an extensive line of fitness classes. “People can learn to kayak through the aquatics program, hike local areas through Sound Steps, or take one of our popular day trips to fun destinations around the area. Our social activities give participants opportunities to enhance their aging experience and build lifelong friendships.” An important aspect of play is that it includes more than one person. Joining others and building camaraderie around play creates social connections that keep us healthy as we age. According to the National Institute on Aging, research shows a strong correlation between social interaction and health among older adults—while social isolation is a major risk factor for loneliness, depression, and even early death. “Some people are really proud of completing a half marathon for the first time, or developing an unexpected new skill,” says Cheryl Brown, who also works in Seattle’s Lifelong Recreation



You can find out more about Seattle Parks Lifelong Recreation Programs by visiting seattle.gov/parks and searching for “Lifelong Recreation.” Most communities offer similar programs for older adults. Check your city’s website for details.

program. “All of our programs take place in community, where people meet others who have similar interests and they develop new friendships that keep them happy and active. We design programs to serve adults of all abilities, whet her t hey are physica l ly active already, just starting out, or even with certain disabilities like early onset dementia, in addition to Rainbow Recreation and culturally relevant activities for immigrant communities. Our focus is to improve wellness, build community, and provide plenty of

opportunities for play.” Playtime and learning add quality of life through greater contentment and health. Fun is for people of all ages. It adds joy to life, relieves stress, supercharges learning, and lets you engage with others. It keeps you feeling young and energetic. Mother knows best, so take time to go out and play today. Kellie Moeller has worked in the senior housing industry in the Northwest for more than a decade. With an insider’s view and a passion for serving seniors, she gives a fresh perspective on aging.

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Aging with Confidence

spring 2019

| 3rd Act magazine 23


A Didgeridoo IN THE BOUDOIR Harvard University’s Ig Nobel Prizes—not to be confused a noisy, restless snorer do to avoid being kicked awake with Nobel Prizes—encourage research projects that during the night? initially make you laugh, then inspire you to think. A Along comes a study devoted to didgeridoo playing as few years ago, a ground-breaking study on obstructive a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Say what? sleep apnea won an Ig Nobel for exploring an unexpected Yep, the didgeridoo—that long, tubular wind way to combat snoring. instrument developed thousands of First published in the British years ago in northern Australia—has Medical Journal, this investigation found its way to the boudoir. Before into an alternative to prevent snoring you start singing Tie Me Kangaroo was a bit of a sleeper at first. Down, Sport, which does indeed After all, there are any number of have a verse about the didgeridoo, CPAP breathing devices with masks consider this. that can give snorers relief, even if In faraway Switzerland, a bloke some of them have a look reminiscent named Alex Suarez had been of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence suffering with sleep apnea. The CPAP of the Lambs. Plenty of apnea sufferers was not his friend, and he was in BY ANNIE CULVER and their sleep mates can’t tolerate anxious pursuit of an alternative. CPAPs, though, and bedroom This martial arts instructor had a windows everywhere continue to rattle from snoring student who played a didgeridoo during a class break. vibrations. As he watched how the instrument affected his student’s Provent is an alternative prescriptive treatment for breathing, Suarez was intrigued, so much so that he began sleep apnea that calls for no mask or apparatus—just little, researching. He claimed he and some of his students disposable stickies that cover the nostrils to change one’s experienced less daytime sleepiness and snoring by breathing pattern. Unlike CPAPs, however, insurance isn’t playing the instrument. likely to pay for Provent. And it doesn’t come cheap. University of Zurich researchers caught wind of Suarez’s Aside from surgery, CPAP, Provent, muzzling chin efforts, worked with him to test his hypothesis, and found straps, or an overabundance of mouth guards, what can it to be true. The didgeridoo study later drew attention



3rd Act magazine | spring 2019


from TV’s Dr. Oz. The Mayo Clinic even featured it in a book of home remedies. Researchers believe that playing the didgeridoo exercises and strengthens the snore zone at the back of the throat where the base of the tongue meets the soft palate. A didgeridoo workout of about 30 minutes several times a week curbs snoring considerably, according to many who’ve tried it. Before you chase after your first didgeridoo, you might like an update on Suarez, who’s engaged in a new study, this time with an American university. His goal is to develop custom training to go with a medical didgeridoo, which Suarez says won’t focus on sound and will be more than 90 percent effective for sleep apnea. He’s now less enthusiastic about musical didgeridoos. “Nobody knows anything of the right therapy content,” Suarez says. The Asate Medical Didgeridoo, as Suarez calls it, may be available in the U.S. soon. To get updates on the product launch, email contact@asate.com. Annie Culver developed a knack for unearthing oddball characters and improbable events as a staff writer for various newspapers. In the early 1990s, she went to work for websites where she wrote sassy essays aimed at women, then shemorphed into a writer for several universities in the Northwest. She retired in 2016, yet still enjoys freelancing.

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Aging with Confidence

spring 2019

| 3rd Act magazine 25


Eight Ways to be an Activist Ager BY DR. ERIC B. LARSON

Dr. Eric B. Larson is vice president for research and health care innovation at Kaiser Permanente Washington and author of Enlightened Aging: Building Resilience for a Long, Active Life (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).


As a physician and researcher, I’ve noticed an attitude among people I call “activist agers”— t hose who are proactive about bui lding resilience and avoiding illness as they age. It’s an approach that says, “I take action on my own behalf. I’m a problem solver. I don’t give up in the face of difficulty. I embrace opportunities to make matters better for myself and those around me.” Our generation seems to hold this outlook in spades, with our long-lived interest in selfactualization and activism. Think of all the change we have instigated over the years in areas such as politics, education, the arts—and certainly in health and health care. I knew a group of women when I was in medical school in the early 1970s who formed the Boston Women’s Health Collective. They published Our Bodies, Ourselves—a charter for the burgeoning women’s health movement. They pushed back against paternalism in Western medicine. They were true revolutionaries for a self-care movement, where patients started taking more control of their health, making care decisions based on their own values. After five decades, is our generation still taking charge of our own well-being? My experience tells me some of us do and some don’t. But those who are proactive are more likely to live well into their 70s, 80s, and beyond. So what does it take to be an activist ager? Here are eight behaviors I’ve noticed:

3rd Act magazine | spring 2019


They set a high priority on healthy lifestyle—

staying physically active, engaged, and avoiding tobacco, unhealthy foods, and too much alcohol.


They consciously try to keep stress to a minimum. When stress inevitably happens,

they manage it through prayer, exercise, meditation, or other activities that enhance selfawareness and promote relaxation.


They keep a careful eye on chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, or high cholesterol. They

partner with their doctors to track and manage symptoms. They don’t succumb to “magic bullet” promises.

4 5 6

They pay close attention to preventing illnesses and injuries. They get flu shots, for

instance. They do all they can to avoid falls.

They’re feisty in their relationships with care providers. They come to appointments with a

list of well-formed questions about their concerns. They ask lots of questions about prescription drugs: What are the benefits

and risks? The side effects? Could exercising more or eating better make this drug unnecessary?


They resist over-treatment and overprescribing. They pursue “Goldilocks” care

instead: Not too little, not too much. “Just right” means balancing health care’s benefits against its harms.


They prefer “shared-decision making”

in situations where there’s not enough scientific evidence for doctors to give individuals clear-cut “yes” or “no” recommendations. (Examples: Should I have prostate cancer screening? What about breast reconstruction following a mastectomy?) They appreciate doctors who provide tools and processes that encourage patients to ask lots of questions, to weigh pros and cons based on their own values, and to communicate their choices. In the end, being an activist ager may not suit everyone. For some it may even seem antiestablishment. Fortunately for many of us, that’s a stance that feels quite familiar.


Aging with Confidence

spring 2019

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WHAT I GET PAID TO DO by Paul Boardm an

I work as a celebrant for one of the oldest funeral homes in Seattle. I remove bodies. I do cremations. I assist and participate in ceremonies: funerals, memorials, inurnments, and burials. I get paid for ministry I feel very happy to do. I get paid to pause. To enter sacred time. “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalms 46:10) The interrupted time of death is sad but delicious. I even love the subversiveness of the funeral motorcade, the motorcycle cops stopping all those people in cars—pausing them—to honor the dear one, the stranger who got away. I am in slow time with these people. When I drive the hearse, the motorcycle authorities put their hands up to usher me through red lights, stopping time! I get paid to bear witness—to be a voyeur? —to others’ Big, Profound moments of loss and change. When the casket gets lowered into the earth, when the handfuls of dirt are sprinkled upon the urn in the ground, when the green button is pressed that pushes the body into the furnace to be cremated—these moments are so cavernous, they echo. Prayers are said, the loss is measured, campaigns are staked out as to how to survive. I get to hear their stories.


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

I get to hear the bereaved count the ways that the departed has blessed them. I get to help the bereaved bless the lost one by remembering them. I get paid to help others grieve. My ministry is presence, and to be sure-footed for the unmoored. I give practical assistance. Sometimes I press “play” on their music. Or turn up their mic. Or light their candle. Sometimes, I sweep up the cookie crumbs after their reception. I get paid to hear stories. “Every life has a story” is the tagline of my funeral home and ain’t it true! I yearned to be close to stories. Now I am soaked in them. I get paid to help others remember their loved one well. Drawing a bead on someone’s story doesn’t feel like work. Neither does trying to understand how they loved well. Or what dark cloud was in their sky. I get paid to cry. It is absolutely not professional, and I don’t think anyone has ever seen my tears. The stories, the auspicious moments, the rituals, the sadness, the elations, the love, the sheer awkwardness of us humans in our extremity— it’s enough to make a grown man weep. Pretty much close to every day. I get paid to feel. I get paid to play music.


To hear music. To create the soundtrack of that person’s life. Play Samuel Barber’s Agnus Dei as loud as you can take it. Please. Amen. I get paid to see wonderful but dizzying American subcultures. The Hmong slit chickens’ throats and drip blood into the grave. A digital Chinese Buddhist chant box keeps a daughter’s ashes company through the night. Before viewing a cremation, Vietnamese mourners kneel and pray on white sheets I spread over concrete. I lay petals and light palm oil into a Hindu patriarch’s casket. An AfricanAmerican preacher from Georgia exhorts the bereaved to be comforted, in his beautiful, strong voice. I hear an altar call at the graveside by a white, fundamentalist preacher. I see the lovely, solid farewells of Latter-day Saints. The ubiquitous spiritual-but-not-religious say creative goodbyes and vanilla, lame goodbyes. I get paid to bless the babies. To pray over their bodies, boxed and wrapped. Then, after they are burned, I measure the ash into angel urns or pendants. I get paid to be reminded that I too shall die. Sometimes my service is humble. I remove the dead from their last place, from where they fell out of life. I touch the bodies of the dead every day. It’s my memento mori—that I, too, shall go to be with the majority, that I, too, shall take my dirt nap. I am taught to number my days—to bless my days by living them and loving them. In death care, I have never felt more alive.

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Paul Boardman is a writer and interfaith funeral chaplain and celebrant living in Seattle. He grew up in Tokyo and is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary. His work has been featured in The Good Men Project, Gravel, P.S. I Love You, and the ICCFA funeral trade magazine, and in the anthologies Just a Little More Time, We Came to Say, and We Came Back to Say. He is seeking a publisher for his memoir.

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spring 2019

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Artist vision of future Recompose facility

A GREENER WAY TO GO HUMAN COMPOSTING HELPS PEOPLE LIVE THEIR VALUES EVEN IN DEATH BY CONNIE MCDOUGALL Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. That old prayer has new meaning as Washington stands ready to become the first state in the nation to allow human remains to be composted into garden-variety soil. The process, called natural organic reduction, is an alternative to conventional burials and cremation. Washington’s legislation also permits alkaline hydrolysis (water cremation), which dissolves remains in a pressurized vessel using heated water and lye, a method that’s been used since 1888 and is already approved in 16 other states. State Sen. Jamie Pedersen, a Democrat from Seattle, introduced the bill into the 2019 Legislature, and he notes that both methods are safe, effective, and far more environmentally friendly than conventional means. “The world has been reshaped by technology yet the only ways we can dispose of bodies are thousands of years old—burn or bury,” he says. “My general view is that this is a universal experience we all must face. It can be an uncomfortable conversation to have but I think it’s good to have options.” Pedersen’s bill faced little organized opposition, and he predicts other states will take notice. “What surprises me is how this has


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

Katrina Spade and Dr. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs Photo courtesy of WSU Communications

captured people’s imaginations,” he adds. Human composting is the brainchild of Katrina Spade, the CEO and founder of Recompose (its website is recompose.life). She and her team hope to offer their service starting in 2020, pending the legislature’s action as well as working out regulations on issues like where and how human compost can be distributed. Spade got the idea about a decade ago while in grad school studying architecture. When her 30th birthday prompted thoughts of mortality, she started researching systems for the disposition of remains. A friend told her about a practice called livestock mortality composting. “It composts animals and turns them into soil. This has been done for years and is perfectly safe,” she says. “A light bulb went off for me. I love green-burial options, but you need a lot of space for that. Natural organic reduction, or recomposition, is a solution for urban areas.” Here’s how it works: Remains are placed in a vessel, surrounded by wood chips, straw, and alfalfa. Strategically www.3rdActMag.com

combined with oxygen, microbial action heats the material to between 120-160 degrees. In 30 days, everything, including bones, becomes soil. Artificial substances, such as titanium hips, are screened out. The process is appropriate for most people, except in the cases of death from a highly contagious disease or radioactive pharmaceuticals present in the body. Supporters call this method gentle, respectful, sustainable, and spiritually satisfying—a return to the earth as nourishment. The environmental advantages to both natural organic reduction and alkaline hydrolysis are obvious, says Spade. They both eliminate toxic chemicals present in embalming as well as the production of greenhouse gas in cremation. “We estimate that a metric ton (per person) of carbon dioxide could be eliminated if natural organic reduction is chosen over conventional burial or cremation,” she adds. Then there are cost savings. “Conventional burial can run from $8,000-$25,000,” she notes. “Green burials may cost $6,000, and while direct cremation is cheap, around $1,000, it also produces greenhouse gasses and does not include a service,” Spade says. “Recompose hopes to offer the month-long composting process and a funeral service for $5,500.”

The process has been proven safe and effective following a rigorous study at Washington State University utilizing the remains of six donors. One of them was Briar Rose Bates, an artist and lifelong gardener from Vashon Island who died in 2017 at the age of 42 from melanoma. Her friend, Katrina Morgan, testified in support of the bill before the state Labor and Commerce committee. “I remember Briar’s reaction when I said that it was possible that she could be composted,” Morgan recalls. “She said ‘Is that really possible? Because that would be perfect.’” Morgan put her friend in touch with Spade, and Bates became part of the study. “She wanted to be first,” Morgan says. “She wanted to actively contribute to the creation of this option for other people who have the same values that she carried.” For Spade, the journey has heightened her reverence for life. “I find the more I work in death care the more joyful I am,” she says. “There’s an awareness of what a gift it is being alive.” Connie McDougall is a former news reporter and current freelance writer of nonfiction and personal essays. A lifelong student and proud English major, she has pursued lessons in flying, scuba diving, tai chi, Spanish, meditation, hiking and, most recently, Zumba.

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Aging with Confidence

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We have all heard about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch— the plastic mass twice the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean. Most of this 617,000 square-mile vortex of floating trash is food-related plastic, everything from discarded fishing nets to water bottles. We have become dependent on plastics, and now we are drowning in them. This plastic island is a painful reminder of our impact on the world. It’s easy to push this image out of our mind, to think, “That’s not my plastic in the ocean. I recycle.” But most plastic isn’t recycled, and scientists say that of the 8 million tons of plastic ever produced, most of it has become waste. The continent of floating plastic should come to mind each time we enter the grocery store, pack lunches, and purchase take-out food. Every time we put produce in a plastic bag at the grocery store or buy overpackaged products, we are contributing to plastic pollution. Many of us grew up with sandwiches wrapped in wax paper, cola and milk in glass bottles, and groceries carried home in paper bags. We survived without plastic then, so we should be able to do so now. It’s time to change the way we do things—time to end our obsession with single-use plastics and save our rivers and oceans. It’s not impossible, but it will require commitment. PLASTIC THROUGH TIME It’s difficult to imagine that plastic was once celebrated as protector of nature. Pool balls were among the first plastic


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products, produced as an alternative to ivory from elephant tusks and introduced in 1869. Over the years, plastic replaced horn, bone, tortoiseshell and, as it evolved, steel in cars, wood in furniture, and paper and glass in packaging. Plastic is inexpensive, easy to manufacture, versatile, and waterproof. We produce and consume it without limits—and until recently, we didn’t think about how it is damaging the natural environment and ourselves. Now it’s time to reduce how much plastic we use. Here’s how: TAKE ACTION – 7 R’S TO SHAKE OUR DEPENDENCE “Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot (in that order) is my family’s secret to reducing its annual trash,” says Bea Johnson, bestselling author of Zero Waste Home. (To make it seven, we can add “rally” and “readapt.”) What began as a blog has turned into an international movement toward waste-free living. Johnson has created a shopping kit whose items looks very familiar to those of us who grew up in the 1950s and ’60s. Her alternatives to plastic food wrapping and storage include glass jars, stainless-steel containers, cotton and burlap produce bags, and fiber shopping bags. We can come full circle. And let’s not blindly believe that recycling is the solution. It should be our last resort. REFUSE AND REDUCE Say no to single-use plastic. That means being prepared to turn down plastic bags, straws, utensils, water bottles, produce bags, and garbage bags. Scientists estimate that it takes from 450 years to forever for plastic to break down in our landfills. Many communities have turned away from single-use plastic shopping bags, and Seattle became the first major city in the U.S. to ban plastic eating utensils and straws (though that scarcely puts a crimp in the staggering number of straws that Americans use every day). Pay attention to product packaging and let it dictate your shopping decisions. Consume less. REUSE Saying no means having alternatives handy. Carry a stainless-steel straw, reusable utensils, and a hot/cold travel mug. Invest in reusable glass or stainless-steel containers for storage and lunches. Bring your own container to restaurants for takeout or leftovers. Buy food in bulk, using refillable bags, glass jars, or recyclable paper containers. Use cotton and mesh shopping and produce bags. Purchase or sew your own cloth bags for produce, bulk dry food, bread, sandwiches, and nuts. You can even make your own reusable cloth shopping bag from a T-shirt. Use empty pet food bags for garbage or re-use grocery, bread, and chips bags. And

Aging with Confidence

pledge to never to buy plastic bottled water. If you don’t like plain tap water, buy a water filter for taste or a carbonation machine for bubbles. RALLY Take action. Sourcing organic produce and meat used to be difficult. Not anymore. Voicing our concerns regarding plastic packaging can change things. Consumer choices mean voting with our dollars. Some big-box stores like Costco are working to reduce their use of plastics, and asking retailers to reduce plastic packaging and boycott plasticpackaged products can move them forward faster. Contact your local elected leaders, urging them to support not just plastic bans but plastic alternatives. Vote for candidates committed to protecting and improving our environment. Encourage your friends and family to make changes regarding their plastic use. Challenge them to reduce consumption of single-use plastic by taking National Geographic’s Planet or Plastic Pledge. READAPT The kitchen is a plastic hotspot, so start there. If you do nothing else to reduce your single-use plastics, buy a supply of French canning jars. Bea Johnson’s family owns 100 of them. They eliminate foil, plastic wrap, wax paper, and ziplock bags. They are dishwasher safe, have lids attached, and rubber seals prevent leaks. Jars can also be used to store bulk food, pack snacks, and freeze leftovers. Large stainless-steel containers are ideal for bigger items like meat, fish, and poultry. Swing-top bottles are spill proof for oils and vinegars. Jars can bring order to your kitchen shelves. Learn how to make your own reusable food wrap with beeswax. Share the love and give it as gifts. Innovations like bioplastics and ocean-cleaning technologies are all a step in the right direction, but they do not address the real problem: plastic consumption. If we change the way we shop and store food, we change the garbage we produce. Readapting means trying something new, changing our daily habits. Grow your own food. If you don’t have space, join a community garden. ROT If your city doesn’t offer green bin services, compost natural materials like food scraps, cardboard, and clothing. Build a worm compost bin to handle your fruits, vegetables, cooked foods, tea bags, and coffee grounds. Paper bags, paper straws, and wooden stir sticks are better than plastic ones. Certified compostable bags are better than biodegradable ones, which can still leave tiny pieces of plastic.

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San Francisco


RECYCLE—THE LAST RESORT The plastic industry first came up with the solution of recycling in the 1980s. But most recycling infrastructures in our cities are inefficient. Only one fifth of the world’s trash is being recycled. Until recently, many Western states sent much of their recycling to China. However, China has now placed heavy restrictions on importing foreign garbage and no longer accepts “impure loads” of garbage that recycling facilities could not recycle. Look up your local curbside collection rules to learn what goes where. (A few examples from King County: greasy pizza boxes can go in the food-waste/compost cart; Styrofoam cups and dirty diapers must go in the garbage.) PLENTY OF GOOD NEWS There is hope. San Francisco implemented a ban on plastic carry-out bags in 2007, and more than two dozen communities in Washington state have done the same. Boston is using a combination of taxation and bans to address its plastic problem. Nudged by the Strawless in Seattle campaign, companies like Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Alaska Airlines are listening to their customers by phasing out plastic straws. In 2002, Bangladesh was the first country to ban plastic bags. Countries like China, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Italy, and Tanzania realized that plastic bags were clogging their drainage systems and contributing to deadly floods, so they, too, have banned thin plastic bags. Rwanda and Somalia have banned plastic bags altogether. The United Arab


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Emirates banned all plastic bags except oxo-biodegradables because of pollution and the threat to camels. The European Union recently voted to ban a range of single-use plastics such as cutlery, plates, and straws. Bans will push manufacturers to come up with more environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic. It’s time for each of us to commit to taking at least one firm action to reduce single-use plastics. We can demand that manufacturers redesign plastics to be non-toxic, sustainable, biodegradable, and more easily recycled. We can demand that stores use less packaging. But the best thing we can do is take a bigger step: eliminate plastic from our grocery carts and our kitchens. Scientists estimate that the amount of plastic in the oceans will outweigh all the world’s fish by the year 2050. Plastic or fish? It’s our choice. As a freelance writer, Cathy Kuntz finds inspiration in the wilderness, waters, and people of the West Coast. She is passionate about stream-keeping, fly-fishing, and writing personal memoirs. Cathy helps people celebrate their lives and legacies by creating unique photo memoir books. Learn more at CottageWordsmith.com.




Money For Life If you’re like most retirees, one of your greatest fears is running out of money.* At The Retirement Solution, we work with you to create a financial plan that will help meet your needs and objectives—even if you live to age 100—so you can sleep soundly. Call to schedule your FREE, no-obligation consultation today and begin to free yourself from financial worry, knowing how your financial needs will be met for the rest of your life!

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Color Me Green

Good Enough for Mom—and for the Planet, Too by Georgia A. Hubley “Feel like company this morning? I made pumpkin bread,” my neighbor teases. I must confess, I’m easily bribed and one of those “pumpkin phanatics.” I love pumpkin during all seasons. “I’ll make a pot of coffee. See you in an hour. First, I must give this place a lick and a promise,” I tell her as I end the phone call, realizing that I sound more and more like my mom every day. And I vowed that’d never happen to me. However, I’m grateful some of Mom’s creativity and cleverness has rubbed off on me. Her words of wisdom still ring in my ears: “I can get more cleaning done in 20 minutes after someone calls and says they’re coming over than I can in a week.” Indeed. Mom’s lick-and-a-promise cleaning method worked: Clean it fast, with the promise to go back and do a thorough job later. Her lick-and-promise feats were managed by no moving of furniture or anything at all, with no one the wiser. All accomplished by swift swipes of a cloth or feather duster, quickly mopped up spills, and wide swaths to the floors with a dust mop or manual carpet sweeper. Yes, among the robot and super tornadostyle power vacuums, they still make manual carpet sweepers. Mom abhorred dirty windows and mirrors and her “miracle cleaner” of vinegar and water made cleaning them an easy chore. Always handy was a spray bottle of her solution: 4 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar and 4 cups of water. I marvel at my streak-free mirrors and windows after I spray a few squirts of this mixture and dry the glass with sheets of crumpled newspaper.


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Before my neighbor and I sit down to chat, drink coffee, and munch on warm pumpkin bread, I can’t resist showing off my gleaming streak-free entryway mirror. “Mom believed the secret ingredient was in the newsprint,” I tell my friend. “Well, I’ll never have gleaming windows or mirrors at my house,” my neighbor chuckles. “I read the news on the Internet.” My neighbor is pleased when I tell her to help herself to the old newspapers in my recycling bin. As I grow older, I’m beginning to realize my mom was intuitive and ahead of her time. Her use for vinegar and water in today’s society is considered the “green” thing to do. Even though I’m thriving and surviving in this high-tech, high-speed electronic age, I can’t give up the tradition of having the newspaper delivered to my doorstep. I’ll continue to follow in Mom’s footsteps. For my mom, the trailblazer, color me green. Georgia Hubley’s writing credits include the new Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop humor anthology Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now...Before We Forget, Woman’s World, the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, and many others.


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AGING 2019 AGINGEXPO EXPO 2019 Saturday, May 4 • 8am–4pm



Pierce College Campus Central

Saturday, May 4 • 8am–4pm Building * Puyallup, WA 98374


Pierce College Campus Register atCentral

Building * Puyallup, WA 98374 www.AginginPuyallup.org

Register at www.AginginPuyallup.org

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to learn about the new realities of aging and toopportunity make the most ofabout the the new Don’t miss this exciting to learn of longevity. realitiesgift of aging and to make the most of the gift of longevity.

Aging EXPO 2019 celebrates May as Older Americans EXPO 2019 celebrates May as Older Americans honoring the many ways older adults make a Month byAging Month by honoring the many ways older adults make a differencedifference in our community. The 2019 theme, Connect. in our community. The 2019 theme, Connect. recognizes that older adults playplay a key Create. Contribute recognizes that older adults a key Create. Contribute role in therole vitality our neighborhoods, networks, andand lives. in theof vitality of our neighborhoods, networks, lives.

Eric Larson, MD Eric Larson, MD

Jennifer Kulik, Silver Kite

Jennifer Kulik, Silver Kite

day’s highlights speakers Eric Larson, a leading The day’sThe highlights includeinclude speakers Eric Larson, MD,MD, a leading expert in the science of healthy aging and author of Enlightened expert in the science of healthy aging and author of Enlightened Aging: Building Resilience for a Active Long Active awardAging: Building Resilience for a Long Life Life andand awardwinning founder of Silver Kite Community Arts, and CEO, Jennifer winning founder of Silver Kite Community Arts, and CEO, Jennifer Kulik who will discuss how important play is in understanding, will discuss how important play is ininunderstanding, Kulik whomemory and cognition and its importance all stages of life. memory and cognition and its importance in all stages of life.

Aging with Confidence

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Natural Legacy

Gooch’s Natural Foods Markets. Eventually, she headed up to Seattle and joined the team at Larry’s Markets. Roger Wechsler, who grew up roaming the forests, ponds, and beaches of Oyster Bay, Long Island, caravanned out to Seattle with some friends in 1969 and never looked back. He got a job managing the Capitol Hill Co-op (now the Central Co-op), and went on to specialize in wholesaling organic produce around the Northwest. He fell in love with the upper Samish Bay Cheese is a labor of Skagit Valley, and when a 35-acre farm came up for sale near love for organic food pioneers Bow and Blanchard, he decided to try farming too. “Roger and I would see each other at the natural foods Suzanne Wechsler’s father loved picture-pretty fruits and trade shows,” says Suzanne. vegetables. If he was going to sell an apple at one of his “And I was calling on Mrs. Gooch’s,” adds Roger. Southern California produce stands, it had to be a “When Roger invited me to visit him in Skagit, I BY ANN perfect apple. As a little girl, Suzanne watched him drove down Chuckanut Drive from Bellingham…” HEDREEN pick them out at the wholesale markets. But by the “…And she fell in love with the area before she fell PHOTOS BY time she graduated from high school in 1968, she MARK GARDNER for me,” finishes Roger. had made what was, in her father’s eyes, a radical When they learned that a 180-acre organic dairy decision: She would eat only organic foods. In those early farm just up the road from Roger’s place was for sale, they days of organic farming, that meant choosing apples that couldn’t resist. They purchased the farm and began teaching tasted good, but weren’t pretty. themselves the cheese business. A year later, they got married. A few years later, Suzanne left California in her VW bug “There’s farming, and then there’s dairy farming,” says and moved to Minneapolis, where she landed a job managing Suzanne. “We didn’t know anything about cows or making a health food store, organized an organic food buying club, cheese.” and started an indoor greens business. Soon, she was doing Thankfully, they found Jim Morgan, who knew the TV segments on healthy foods. In the early 1980s, she moved farming side of the dairy business. Twenty years later, at 70, back to Los Angeles and went to work for the legendary Mrs. he is still their farm manager.


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Clockwise from left: Roger and Suzanne in the farm cheese shop with their award-winning aged Ladysmith; Jim Morgan with the farm’s milking Shorthorn cows; Roger hanging yogurt for Greek Yogurt and Labneh; Don Chandler packing cheese for wholesale orders; Judy Clarke and Suzanne in the farm cheese shop.

“Jim is the most physically fit of the whole staff,” according to Suzanne. “You do have to be physically fit. We don’t have a sit-down job.” Suzanne and Roger are both 69. Over their decades together, their business has grown from making cheese and selling it at farmers markets around the Pacific Northwest to a newer identity as a “destination farm,” featuring a thriving retail business, a café, and tours of their state-of-the-art, 3,000-square-foot cheese-making building, which is powered by 163 solar panels. They are a showcased stop on the BowEdison Food Trail, which also includes Bow Hill Blueberries, Edison’s Breadfarm Bakery, Blau Oysters and, informally, Taylor Shellfish Farms on Chuckanut Drive. Their 20 employees range in age from their teens to late 70s. When asked about their open-door policy to hiring people of all ages, Suzanne tells the story of a Bellevue businessman who had retired and relocated to the Skagit Valley, but soon decided retirement wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. He applied for a job at Samish Bay Cheese. That was six years ago. He’s still there, at 70-plus, fulfilling wholesale orders after several years of managing the farmers markets. Roger and Suzanne have spent their lives immersed in the organic food movement, which is now a nearly $50 billion industry in the United States. Samish Bay is best known for its distinctive Ladysmith cheese, which has been described as “a cross between queso fresco and ricotta salata.” They see their legacy as not just supplying the region with good, Aging with Confidence

Samish Bay Cheese is open 363 days a year. Hours very according to season, so check samishbay.com or call 360766-6707 for an update before you go. Once you’re there, look for a copy of the Bow-Edison Food Trail map.

nutritious cheeses, but “building healthy soil,” explains Roger. That’s their way of not only supporting other farms in their beloved Skagit Valley, but also doing their small part in the face of the climate change crisis. Suzanne has a Samish Bay Cheese cookbook in the works, which she hopes to publish this fall. She also holds a degree in early childhood education, which has inspired another dream: She’d like to establish an onsite garden for children who visit the farm, giving them the chance to get their hands in the soil. Roger says “kids love it” when he introduces them to the farm’s calves, lambs, and piglets. As for the far future, their four adult children—an astrophysicist, an artist/curator, a software professional, and an electrician—love visiting the farm, but they don’t aspire to take it over. For now, that’s fine with Roger and Suzanne. Their third act is all about making the most of the business they have spent 20 years lovingly building into what it is today. Ann Hedreen is a writer, filmmaker, and the author of Her Beautiful Brain, winner of a 2016 Next Generation Indie book award. Ann and her husband, Rustin Thompson, own White Noise Productions and have made more than 150 short films and five feature documentaries together, including Quick Brown Fox: an Alzheimer’s Story. Their latest film, set in Peru and inspired by Ann’s great-uncle, is Zona Intangible.

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The Dirty Dozen

Fruits and vegetables to avoid unless they are organic

Eating organic is good for our health and for the planet, but eating all organic can be tough on some budgets. The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. They put out “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists, which list the produce with the highest and lowest levels of pesticides. Here is their updated “Dirty Dozen” list and comments. If you buy nothing else organic, buy these organic whenever possible. Percentages refer to non-organic samples.


ith spring comes the reemergence of farmers markets. To find one near you, the Washington State Farmers Market Association website (wafarmersmarkets. org) has a map-keyed list including dates, hours, and local market websites.

Strawberries One

Nectarines Nearly 94

Pears Tests found several

Celery More than 95

third of samples contained 10 or more pesticides.

percent of samples contained two or more pesticides.

pesticides in relatively high concentrations, including insecticides and fungicides.

percent of samples tested positive for pesticides.

Grapes More than 96

Cherries An average of

Spinach Almost all

percent tested positive for pesticide residues and contain an average of five different pesticides.

five pesticides were detected. The potentially cancerous pesticide iprodione, banned in Europe, was found in 30 percent of the samples.

samples (97 percent) had relatively high concentrations of permethrin, a neurotoxic insecticide.

Sweet Bell Peppers They can contain

Apples 90 percent

Peaches More than

Tomatoes Nearly four

Potatoes Spuds have

of apples had detectable pesticide residues, and 80 percent tested contained diphenylamine, a pesticide banned in Europe.

99 percent had detectable pesticide residues, with an average of four different pesticides.

pesticides were detected on the average tomato samples tested. One sample contained 15 different pesticides!

more pesticide residues by weight than any other crop. One pesticide in particular, chlorpropham, makes up the bulk of pesticides detected.


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fewer pesticide residues than other Dirty Dozen foods, but the pesticides tend to be more toxic to human health.


helping you helping you live well your way live well your way Providing quality home care that Providing quality care Providing quality home home care that that supports comfort and independence. supports supports comfort comfort and and independence. independence. Personal Care Personal Care Personal Care Meal Preparation

Nurse Delegation Nurse Delegation Nurse Delegation Home Health

Transitional Care Transitional Care Transitional Care Hourly/Live-in

Meal Preparation Meal Preparation Errands & Transportation Errands & Errands & Transportation Transportation Companionship

Home Health Home End of Health Life Care End of Care End of Life Life Care Respite Care

Hourly/Live-in Hourly/Live-in

Companionship Companionship Light Housekeeping Light Housekeeping Light Housekeeping Care Dementia/Alzheimer’s

Respite Respite Care Care

Dementia/Alzheimer’s Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care Care


Aging with Confidence

| 3rd Act 41 800.775.6380 spring spring2019 2019


ASPARAGUS Although you can eat it all year, asparagus is beloved as a harbinger of spring. It is the first veggie that sprouts in a home garden and—with a harvest season of March through June—spring is the only season when the freshest asparagus appears in grocery stores and farmers markets. According to the Washington Asparagus Commission, our state’s asparagus crop is second only to California’s. More than 23 million pounds of asparagus were harvested here in 2018, with an economic impact of $50 million for growers and packers. Eastern Washington’s warm sunny days and cool nights, its abundance of natural water, and the mineral-rich volcanic soils provide perfect growing conditions for this veggie. Bright green asparagus is an ideal side dish in springtime. Not only is this a tasty vegetable, it is a nutrient superfood. Asparagus is high in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-tumor phytocompounds. It has the highest folate content of all veggies, plus Vitamin K, antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene along with minerals like manganese, zinc, and selenium. Asparagus is low in calories at just 40 calories per cup, and it is among the foods highest in carbohydrates


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Spring’s King Vegetable

that ferment in the large intestine, keeping the gut healthy and improving the absorption of nutrients. We enjoy asparagus grilled, roasted, baked, braised, pureed into soup, BY NANCY SCHAAF or raw in a salad. Although it’s fantastic in a variety of recipes, asparagus doesn’t need a lot of fuss. Just sauté asparagus spears and serve by adding a few minced herbs to melted butter. One good choice is fresh chives. The bite from the chives goes well with butter flavored with a little lemon. This chopped herb can be sprinkled on sautéed asparagus spears or added to any asparagus recipe. The fresh taste of lemon works great with asparagus. Squeezing lemon juice over the spears is delectable, since citrus brings an intensity to asparagus. Or try the herb lemon balm, as its citronella aroma pairs well with other spices and seasoning. Lemon balm is a great addition to any asparagus recipe that contains egg since its flavor complements both foods.


Grilled Washington Asparagus Ray’s Boathouse – Executive Chef Paul Duncan INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. fresh asparagus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon shaved parmesan 2 teaspoons kosher salt ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper ¼ teaspoon lemon zest 6 basil leaves (sliced thinly) DIRECTIONS:

Wash and rinse asparagus thoroughly, trim the end 1/2-inch inch of the stem. Place the asparagus into a mixing bowl, add oil, salt and mix well, let stand for 2-3 minutes. Place the asparagus on the grill at medium high heat, then allow the asparagus to get color from the open flame; this will give a unique charred flavor. Once color is achieved on one side, flip the asparagus over and repeat. When cooked but still al dente, remove from heat and place on a plate or platter. While still warm add parmesan shavings, lemon zest, and pepper. Finish with fresh basil and serve.

Dill is often used in pickling asparagus, and adding some chopped fresh dill to butter before tossing with steamed asparagus spears is a delicious way to combine the two flavors. Dill is an herb that doesn’t overpower the fresh taste of the vegetable but adds a subtle flavoring. Black pepper is an obvious choice for seasoning asparagus as it goes with almost every savory food. The herbal quality of asparagus is greatly complemented by the citrus and pine notes from black pepper. Its spicy heat creates a delicious flavor. It is best to grind the peppercorns just before sprinkling them onto the asparagus spears. Because asparagus spears contain numerous benefits for well-being, it’s an ideal veggie for a healthy diet. In the supermarket, look for a flat blue rubber band surrounding the bundle of Washington asparagus spears. With a shorter transit time from grower to market, Washington-grown asparagus offers fresh flavor and better quality—and your purchase supports local growers and packers and their families while adding a welcome bit of spring to your table. Nancy Schaaf is a retired registered nurse and educator whose articles have been published in numerous national magazines. Nancy enjoys writing, traveling, riding motorcycles, and exercise classes.

Where are you getting your financial education? Is it costing you money? NEWSFLASH: It doesn’t have to! The Society for Financial Awareness (SOFA) is a nationwide nonprofit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation, formed in 1993, whose mission is to improve financial literacy … one community at a time. SOFA provides free, on-site education to organizations, church groups, senior communities and associations on over 30 financial topics. Contact Kristen at 425-615-1114 for details and to book your free educational workshop today! Check out our list of financial topics at https://www.sofausa.org/education/seminars

Aging with Confidence

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Writing in the New York Times Magazine, Brooke Jarvis shared these alarming statistics: “The population of monarch butterflies fell by 90 percent in the last 20 years, a loss of 900 million individuals; the rusty-patched bumblebee, which once lived in 28 states, dropped by 87 percent over the same period.” The article’s title—“The Insect Apocalypse is Here”—signals the seriousness of the situation. Habitat loss and chemicals are two scourges of the insect world. The good news? We can help the bugs survive, starting with what we choose to plant in our yards. NATIVE PLANTS

Goıng Natıve



n environmental crisis of epic proportions is occurring just outside our backdoor, but we must look closely to see it. Our universe of insects is quietly and quickly disappearing. Entomologists have long understood that the web of life which supports all creatures on Earth will unravel without insects. Those pesky bugs we complain about are the most common living species on the planet. There are 1.5 million known species, and together, these insects exceed three times the number of all other animals combined. Yet, in typical human fashion, we undervalue their abundance. We want to eradicate insects; we attack them with pesticides. We overlook their contributions to our food supply, clothing, medicine, soil health, scientific endeavors, nutrient cycling, intricacies of ecosystem balance, and beauty. Upon their fragile bodies rests the weight of life’s taxonomic hierarchy.


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“Whether in the backyard of a downtown residence or acting as a border or hedgerow along a working farm in the countryside, native plants provide a myriad of benefits to both people and the natural world,” says Nelson Salisbury, senior ecologist and geographic information specialist at EarthCorps and chapter botanist for the Central Puget Sound Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society. “They provide food, shelter, and other resources for pollinators. Nonnative plants or cultivars do not provide the same resources and benefits as native plants do.” Some other reasons to go native: • Established native plants require less water, maintenance, pesticides, and fertilizers—thus helping defeat the chemical culprit of insect decline. • Insect-eating birds and many insect species are more successful with a higher density of native plant species in an area. (See “Ecologists Have this Simple Request to Homeowners—Plant Native” by Adam Cohen, Smithsonian.) • Native plants generally sur vive in local conditions—including the rough winter we just had—better than non-native ornamentals. • Some non-native plants become invasive, degrading habitats and compromising wildlife and the biodiversity necessary for healthy ecosystems. Salisbury continues, “Many invertebrate pollinators then provide an important source of fats and proteins back to the food web. Birds in particular rely heavily on insects that are attracted by plants. Many studies have shown that increasing


the number of native plants directly contributes to increased bird abundance and diversity. Using native plants to create a pollinator friendly garden helps to increase the overall biodiversity of our region.” HOW TO GROW NATIVE FLOWER POWER

The Pacific Northwest contains hardiness zones 8b to 9a. (For specifics, visit planthardiness.ars. usda.gov.) Native plants matching the zones and the characteristics of individual landscapes have a greater chance to thrive. Salisbury shares the following guidelines for creating an environment to save the bugs. “Creating a garden that supports and promotes native birds and insects begins with careful planning. Map out your site, and make note of important features and conditions such as light availability, soil moisture, height restrictions or view corridors, and any existing vegetation that you would like to retain.” “Consider plants that will bloom in succession throughout the growing season,” Salisbury adds. “Overlapping bloom times provide a continuous progression of nectar and pollen resources from

spring through fall. Aim for at least three species blooming at any given time. It is important to select plants that will work well with the conditions of your site: Choose the right plant for the right place!” Insects are the fuel for intricate ecosystems across the planet. As Jarvis wrote in The New York Times article, “Bugs are vital to the decomposition that keeps nutrients cycling, soil healthy, plants growing and ecosystems running. Only about 2 percent of invertebrate species have been studied enough for us to estimate whether they are in danger of extinction, never mind what dangers that extinction might pose. When asked to imagine what would happen if insects were to disappear completely, scientists find words like chaos, collapse, Armageddon. (An insect’s) role is mostly invisible, until suddenly it’s not.” So when bee colony collapse disorder or fewer swallows returning to Capistrano cloud our thoughts, remember that a mysterious connection of strands weaves the native plants in our backyard to the larger web of life—and native flower power can collectively make a difference, one yard at a time.

Angela Minor has lived, traveled, and birded the U.S., Caribbean, and seven European countries. A former teacher and small business owner, she writes for travel publications including Blue Ridge Country, Smoky Mountain Living, and Ft. Myers Magazine; serves as field editor with Birds & Blooms and as “Park Watch” Beat Writer for 10,000 Birds; and authors the Bird Watcher’s Digest state park birding series. In addition to Nelson Salisbury, Julie O’Donald and Jane Ostericher shared their expertise for this article.

“Creating a garden that supports and promotes native birds and insects begins with careful planning.”

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Native Specıes Starter Kit For the hardiness zones 8b to 9a in the Pacific Northwest, our experts recommend the following native species to start attracting birds and insects.


• Yellow monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus). Blooms March through August. One- to three-foot bush or can be spindly. Attractive to butterflies. • Seablush (Plectritis congesta). Blooms early. Dense cluster of bright pink to white flowers. Special value to native bees. • Farewell-to-spring (Clarkia amoena). Blooms June through August. Pink and purple showy cup-shaped flower. Special value to native bees.


• Nodding onion (Allium cernuum). Blooms June through August. White or pink clusters atop a leafless stalk from bulbs. Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies as a nectar source, and beneficial insects that prey upon pest insects. • Western columbine (Aquilegia formosa). Blooms May through August. Hundreds of nodding red and yellow flowers over two- to three-foot bush. Hummingbird favorite. • Oregon sunshine (Eriophyllum lanatum). Blooms June through September. Yellow sunflower heads on sprawling mounds 4-18 inches in height. Attractive to butterflies, special value to native bees.


• Bitter cherry (Prunus emarginata). Blooms white and pink in April and May followed by small red fruit. Multi-stemmed or single trunk reaching 30 feet tall. Attractive to and larval host for several butterflies, special value to native bees, nectar source, berries for birds (especially Evening Grosbeaks). • Vine maple (Acer circinatum). Blooms March through May followed by red fruit. Dramatically colored flowers, and bark, can reach 40 feet with 25-35 feet spread. Attractive to birds and butterflies, larval host to latter. • Shore pine (Pinus contorta var. contorta). Blooms April and May with cones following. Mid-sized tree up to 50 feet, grows well in groves and as hedges. Nuts attractive to birds, nesting cover.


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019


• Poverty oat grass (Danthonia spicata). Blooms May through July. Delicate green at top of perennial bunchgrasses. Attracts butterflies and moths, acts as larval host. • Tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa). Blooms yellow in June. Delicate stalks in clumps. Bird forage, larval host. • Roemer’s fescue (Festuca rubra). Blooms yellow from April through September. Field perennial. Attracts birds, serves as structural host plant.


• Orange honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa). Blooms May through July. Large, dense terminal clusters of orange and yellow flowers. Running vine up to 18 feet in length. Hummingbird favorite, special value to native bees. • Hairy honeysuckle (Lonicera hispidula). Blooms May and June. Usually pink, can be white to rose and purple with yellow tinge, red fall berries. Loose twining shrub from three to twenty feet. Flowers attract hummingbirds as nectar source, berries attract birds. • Trailing blackberry (Rubus ursinus). Blooms white and pink March through July. Vine-like perennial groundcover. Highly sought after by birds, special value to native bees and bumble bees, nesting material for native bees.


• Red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum). Blooms white, pink, or red in March and April followed by blue/black fruit. Four- to ten-foot erect shrub. Nectar source for bees (special value to native bees), butterflies, and birds. • Western serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia). Blooms white April through June followed by blueish berries. Four to 15 feet tall by six- to eight-foot wide perennial. Multiple uses (nutritional and medicinal), attracts birds and butterflies, larval host plant, special value to native bees. • Evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum). Blooms pink bell-shaped flowers March through May followed by purple/ black berries. Two to six feet tall with shiny leaves. Birds and mammals eat berries, special value to native bees. To choose the most compatible plants for your environment and find more options: • Washington Native Plant Society (wnps.org) • King County Native Plant Guide (green2.kingcounty.gov) • “The Native Pollinator Habitat Restoration Guide” (earthcorps.org) • Xerces Society (xerces.org), for invertebrate pollinator conservation www.3rdActMag.com

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Paris Light How to Travel Abroad with a Sustainable Future in Mind STORY AND PHOTOS BY ANN RANDALL

Paris. Global epicenter of culture, fashion, and art. Site of the 2015 Paris Agreement committing 195 countries to combat climate change. Paris— which adopted its own 2020 goals to reduce its energy consumption by 25 percent and nitrogen oxide levels by nearly half. And more suprisingly, to increase its urban agricultural output, since food production generates 40 percent of the city’s carbon footprint. In Paris for a week last October, I wondered how I could be an eco-tourist embracing the city’s laudable eco-goals. Were there responsible tourist practices that would still let me enjoy the culinary, historical, and shopping delights of the City of Lights? I discovered there were, and I found a delightful slice of Paris I would have otherwise missed. I also learned useful eco-tips for future travels, and I was able to mitigate my trip’s environmental impact even before I left home with plenty of focused research and some helpful smartphone apps.

Velib Public Bikes


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

Greener Transportation My flight from Seattle spewed 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide into the ozone according to the website co2.myclimate. org, so offsetting my Paris transportation footprint was my first commitment. Jet-lagged on arrival, taking a taxi from the airport to my accommodation would have been the much easier choice. But pre-trip research

provided precise instructions for catching a train from the airport into the city, including where and how to buy tickets. I intentionally booked an Airbnb accommodation close to Metro stops and within walking distance from the Gare du Nord train station. Many websites and tourist maps explain how to navigate the Paris Metro system and buses, but given the upbeat weather during my stay, I was able to traverse the city by walking and on two wheels. Velib’ Metropole, the city’s best-known public bike-sharing system, operates a fleet of over 14,000 distinctive bikes available for pickup and drop-off anywhere at 1,200 docking stations throughout the city. Several additional startup companies have expanded the city’s public bike fleet, and Lime’s electric standing scooters offer another alternative. I’m not a confident urban biker and the last time I rode a scooter was in elementary school, but if I stuck to neighborhood streets and urban walkways, both proved to be useful modes of transportation when I got tired of walking. Bio-Dining France already makes some environmentally healthy food consumption choices for its visitors. The country prohibits the cultivation of crops with genetically modified organisms. Organic food (called bio in France) can be found in specialized bio grocery stores located throughout the city. Vegetarian and organic restaurants and teashops are ubiquitous. And there’s that 2020 goal of increasing urban agriculture. Was it possible to navigate the gastronomical delights of Paris largely patronizing food outlets with green practices? My starting point was the City of Paris website’s link called Sustainable Tourism. It promotes Merci, a store within walking distance of my apartment; Café Pinson in the Marais, a 100 percent organic restaurant; and Violetta et Alfredo, a bio tea and pastry salon with a playlist of opera music near the Follies Bergere theatre. Merci happened to already be a favorite Paris haunt of mine with its moody coffee shop lined with used books. This time I discovered that its basement restaurant, La Cantine, has a farm-to-table seasonal menu and donates its www.3rdActMag.com

Bleu de Cocagne Boutique. Above, Bio-grocery store.

profits to local charities protecting women and children. My lunchtime meal there was both environmentally responsible and philanthropic. Before leaving home, I’d downloaded the free smartphone app FairTrip, a crowdsourced guide to global sustainable tourism. The app promotes restaurants, accommodations, and activities that meet its guidelines which include respect for local heritage; benefit to the local community; environmental water, waste, and energy management; fair wages for employees; and a short food supply chain. Paris is a FairTrip hotbed of recommendations including several I frequented in my Airbnb’s neighborhood. To support the city’s urban farming initiative, I walked to the Bastille Sunday Market—a colorful outdoor tradition in the shadow of the Bastille Monument with over 100 stalls of fruits and vegtables, cheese, meats, breads, pastries, fish, and Aging with Confidence

non-food items. While grazing through a box of strawberries picked hours earlier and deciding what to cook for dinner, I enjoyed an entire morning among street musicians and Parisians going about their Sunday tradition of buying baguettes, haggling over cuts of meat, and tastetesting cheeses. Sustainable Shopping Paris is a city that encourages eco- and budgetfriendly hours doing nothing but people watching and admiring the artistic windows of small shops. I limited my shopping to organic or fair-trade stores, which is how I found Bleu de Cocagne Boutique, a tiny shop selling only organic, indigo blue clothing dyed with woad leaves grown in France—the oldest dying technique in the world. Storie, a shop I found on the FairTrip app, sells handmade fair-trade items and emphasizes living wages and recycling. I was happy to spend euros there on a handwoven scarf. Even the high-end Galleries Lafayette Paris Haussmann (worth a stop to admire the interior architecture) now sells a line of clothing called “Go for the Good”— organic, vintage, and up-cycled clothing that meets environmental specifications. CONTINUED ON PAGE 50

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Strolls on the Green Side On the first Sunday of each month, Paris shuts down the Champs Elysees to cars and encourages Parisians to walk or cycle its length. Promenading the most famous avenue in the world was not only a pleasant Sunday afternoon, but I supported the city’s goal to reduce emission levels. Likewise, I spent a few hours strolling the scenic Coulee verte Rene-Dumont, a nearly 3-mile urban walkway. Similar to New York City’s High Line, it was converted from an old elevated railway line, tunnels, and trenches, and it features linden and hazelnut trees, flowering plants, and benches. Make Room by Recycling A used book from Merci, tins of organic tea, that handmade scarf, and a bottle of French organic wine (from the Bordeaux region where 60 percent of the vineyards are organic) took up more luggage space than expected. I could buy another bag, or I could jettison articles. Fortunately, France has a history of recycling dating back to the 16th century and now recycles 65 percent of its waste. A book from home was re-homed at a used bookstore. I discovered Oxfam France stores, an organization taking donated goods which are sold to support Oxfam’s health and climate change initiatives. La Relais places charity clothing bins throughout Paris for

donations. The one in my neighborhood was an easy drop-off for items I’d packed with intent to donate at trip’s end. My Paris ecoexperiment was revealing, even for me—a seasoned traveler. I’ll be checking to see if my next destinations are among the 195 signatories to the Paris Agreement (the U.S. withdrew in 2017) and I’ll do pre-trip research to learn more about their efforts. When you travel, make a commitment to search out and support local, environmentally sustainable businesses. While there’s an entire genre of tourism advertising responsible travel to unspoiled environments, authentic eco-tourism should be more than a travel destination. It should be a mindset no matter where one travels. One of several cafes at Merci

Ann Randall is an independent traveler and writer who loves venturing to out-of-the-way locales from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe. A former educator, she now observes international elections and does volunteer work in India. Her articles have appeared in online and print publications and she blogs at PeregrineWoman.com.



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Aging with Confidence

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Pedaling in Rome Means Peddling in Pain In Rome, it’s only by suggestion that have any clue exactly what those odds those speeding maniacs known as are?” Italian drivers heed yield and stop We both enjoy a laugh and that’s signs. Yet knowing that, what do we two the last time today that even a hint of a stupido senior citizens sisters do? Hop smile will cross our fear-stricken faces. on bikes to explore the sights Old World brick and BY KAREN of Europe’s “Eternal City.” cobbled stone streets are WHITE-WALKER Sure, we have a guide intriguing to look at, but ILLUSTRATION BY and we’ll be on e-bikes, but trust me, they’re traps— ROBIN LINDLEY something is terribly missing regular death traps! The on this excursion—the other six riders minute a little water drips on them who are supposed to be joining us. All (think terrified tears), they become are no shows. The wimps. dreadfully slick. Rome may as well “I’m sure it was the ad claiming it’s a swing open its hospital doors and have once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says us bike riders steer straight into the Mary. “They probably figured they’d emergency room, because it’s only a never live to tell about it.” matter of time, especially given Mary’s “Oh Mar y,” I counter. “I hate and my advancing ages. But we know of pessimism, but I greatly respect the seniors who won’t even drive a car built laws of probability. By the way, do you like a tank because it isn’t safe enough.


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

Life-threatening endeavors; they’re so subjective. Don’t think our guide’s startled, doubtful expression escapes us when he instructs us to mount our bikes, but not before he sprays us and our bikes with something. We think that something is holy water, probably blessed by the pope, because no ordinary, everyday priest will do. It had been a mere 60-plus-plus years since the last time Mary and I were on two-wheelers, which makes climbing onto these bikes more like an act of God. Well, we still believe in miracles, so after many attempts, we are off and pedaling—wobbling like we’re soused. (We wish!) Cars start honking, pedestrians are scrambling out of our way, yet some dopes are www.3rdActMag.com

darting straight in front of our paths— oblivious to the bells we’re frantically ringing. But it’s not their fault—poor jerks. You could have that thing implanted in your cochlear and still barely hear the ring. City buses practically kiss Mary’s and my saddle bag hips—the only things sticking out from the side of our bikes. And oh, those seats! Let’s just say that the last standing virgin should steer clear of these bikes. I ask you, how much can one appreciate and internalize Rome’s exquisite sights—the Vatican, Fontana di Trevi, the Spanish Steps, and the Pantheon—when you’re petrified, sweating, hot, and hurting? The presence of armed guards with machine guns is highly disconcerting, but not as much as having to weave in between vehicles that could all qualify for the Indy 500—right speed, wrong country. Mary and I are both mentally and physically exhausted, and suddenly I have this urge to shout out something I’m certain the guards have never, EVER heard from anyone before—“Shoot me!” But with age should come wisdom and restraint, because some people might take you verbatim. Besides, the real reason that I don’t plead with them is that I don’t know how to say those two little words in Italian. Obviously, Mary and I have lived to tell about our harrowing romp in Roma. The crazy part is that we would probably do it again. The not-so-crazy part is that we will do it before we hit 80—maybe. I don’t know why, but suddenly the following lyrics are popping into my head, and I’m proclaiming them as a theme song for all senior citizens: We are the champions, my friends And we’ll keep on fighting ’til the end…

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spring 2019

| 3rd Act magazine 53

America’s Best Idea

Crater Lake National Park

How we can enjoy and protect our nation’s natural treasures BY JULIE FANSELOW


allace Stegner once said that America’s national parks are “the best idea we ever had,” and they often feel like our own big, extended backyard. I remember waking up one morning in Rocky Mountain National Park—where it had been raining for days—and impulsively driving to Utah, where I was hiking in Arches National Park by evening. Becky Lomax, author of the newly released Moon USA National Parks book, grew up visiting Mount Rainier National Park and lives now in Whitefish, MT. She recalls a time she and a friend were in Glacier National Park, camping near a basin with two good-sized glaciers when the full moon rose. “Those glaciers just lit up,” she says, and the glittering spectacle continued as the moon moved across the sky. When the moon set, the Northern lights came out, capping a truly unforgettable night. But will we still have glaciers to marvel at 20 years from now? Although the National Park Service has been around for more than a century, these ancient landscapes feel more fragile than ever. Climate havoc is one challenge, and the recent government shutdown meant added damage to sensitive parklands (along with big revenue losses). 3rd Act asked park experts what we can do to help preserve our national parks legacy—and we also sought tips on less-crowded parks to explore.


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

Becky Lomax Photo by Cynthia Dearing

Show Some Respect “It starts with the government,” says Kurt Repanshek, founder of the National Parks Traveler website, but lately, both the parks and their employees have been disrespected by officials in Washington, DC. Make sure elected officials know you value the parks and want to see them protected. We individuals bear responsibility, too, and Lomax says we can better minimize the workload we put on park staff. Take a reusable water bottle (because recycling requires human and natural resources) and pack a bag to stash garbage when you hike—yep, even scraps of toilet paper and apple cores. If something doesn’t grow in the place you’re visiting, it ought to be packed out. “Grandparents have such an opportunity to teach their grandchildren ‘leave no trace’ responsibility,” Lomax notes. Consider visiting parks in slow seasons to have a less-crowded experience. Repanshek adds that spreading out visitation can help lessen the need for new roads, parking lots, and lodges. www.3rdActMag.com

Parks to put on your radar With far smaller crowds than Mount Rainier and Olympic, North Cascades National Park offers experiences both handy (along U.S. Highway 20) and remote. Lomax suggests taking the Lady of the Lake boat from Chelan to Stehekin, where you can camp or sleep in comfort at North Cascades Lodge. Both Repanshek and Lomax recommend Lassen Volcanic National Park in California for its near-Yellowstone-like thermal features and a trail to the top of dormant Lassen Peak, which last erupted in 1917. From Lassen, it’s easy to pick up Crater Lake National Park in Oregon on the way back to Washington. And both also like Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota for beautiful badlands scenery and abundant wildlife. “It’s where Theodore Roosevelt found his conservation genes,” says Repanshek, who has just finished writing a book about the restoration of bison to the American West. Repanshek also recommends Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota for fascinating geology, bison viewing, and Lakota heritage. “It’s that whole blend of natural and cultural resources, and it has one of the best campgrounds I’ve seen in the country,” he adds. In addition to the 60 national parks, the system includes hundreds of other units ranging from national historic sites (like the downtown Seattle unit of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park) to national monuments. In the latter category, Repanshek recommends Dinosaur National Monument, “which really is national park quality,” with wild rivers and incredible landscapes on the Wyoming-Utah border.

Dinosaur National Monument

Bumpass Hell volcanic thermal area Lassen Volcanic Natioal Park

Julie Fanselow lives in Seattle. Her books include Traveling the Lewis and Clark Trail and Idaho Off the Beaten Path. Read more from her at surelyjoy. blogspot.com.

Catch a Deal Only about a quarter of the more than 400 park units charge for admission, and they’ll be free on four more days in 2019:

Sunrise over Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

• April 20 (the first day of National Park Week) • Aug. 25 (the park service’s anniversary) • Sept. 28 (National Public Lands Day) • Nov. 11 (Veterans Day). Lifetime passes are just $80 for ages 62 and up. Get details on all the parks and passes at nps.gov.

Aging with Confidence

Mt. Shuksan in North Cascades National Park reflections spring 2019 | 3rd Act magazine 55


A Walk IN THE Park

Nature offers benefits to people of all ages



3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

riffith Park, an oasis in the sprawling Los Angeles metropolis, is where I go to escape into nature— and these days, I often take my 2-year-old grandson Eamon along. We recently found ourselves on a secluded path near the Fern Dell entrance that emerges a quarter of a mile later near a children’s playground. The path follows a modest stream surrounded by a startling explosion of lush and exuberant tropical vegetation. The habitat evokes in me a sense of magical realism as though I’m slipping into the imagination of Gabriel Garcia Marquez—a world of exotic greens with enormous elephant ear leaves and Dr. Seuss-like trees with bizarre tufts and snaking branches. It is a place of natural wonder. Eamon and I held hands as we explored the magical landscape. We walked in silence, and Eamon was unusually quiet and still. Can a 2-year-old be contemplative? I commented quietly that I really liked this place. Eamon whispered in response, “Yeah. I really like this place.” Something about being cloistered in this natural setting made us feel good . . . made us feel happier! And I know it made us both healthier. People have long recognized this phenomenon, intuiting that nature has some kind of mystical healing power—and scientists have been working to verify these benefits and figure out what causes them. What does contact with nature actually do for us? Perhaps it’s simply soothing to get away from what Wordsworth called “the fever of the world.” Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School found that people living near green space reported less mental distress. Dutch researchers found a lower incidence of 15 diseases in people who live within a half mile of green space. These diseases include psychological conditions like depression and anxiety, but also physiological conditions like heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and migraines. Richard Mitchell, an epidemiologist at the University of Glasgow, was skeptical until he did his own large study and confirmed that people who live near parks and other green spaces had lower rates of death and disease. Interestingly, Mitchell found that just being close to nature was enough. People benefit from parks and green spaces even if they don’t use them, and lower income people seemed to gain the most benefit. For city dwellers, Mitchell found, being close to nature is a great social leveler. Proximity to Griffith Park enables Eamon and me to indulge in what the Japanese call “forest bathing,” shinrin-yoku. Formal forest bathing in Japan involves www.3rdActMag.com

trained therapists who guide guests through the sights, sounds, and scents of a forest. But anyone can forest bathe by simply spending time in the woods. A Japanese study found that forest walkers showed a 16 percent decrease in cortisol (a stress hormone), a 2 percent drop in blood pressure, and a 4 percent drop in heart rate. Study leader Yoshifumi Miyazaka believes that our bodies relax in pleasant, natural surroundings because we evolved there. It’s only been in the last few centuries that humans have become clustered in artificial urban settings where we can suffer from “nature deficit disorder.” Some research suggests that inhaling aromatic compounds called phytoncides increases the number of natural killer cells that support the immune system, fight infections, and reduce inflammation. David Strayer, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Utah and avid backpacker, has experienced significant changes in his own brain after three days in the wilderness. “My senses recalibrate,” he says. “I smell and hear things I didn’t before.” Strayer’s hypothesis is that being in nature changes the balance of activation in the brain, ramping up certain networks while dampening others. He is conducting experiments to see if people’s brain wave patterns change

84252 Living Care Comm WW_3rd Act Ad Aging with Confidence

when they are in nature. Korean researchers have shown that urban settings and nature scenes activate different regions of the brain. Cityscapes tend to trigger the amygdala and fight-or-flightor-freeze brain networks. Natural scenes activate areas associated with empathy and altruism. One brain state associated with nature is awe. Awe is an interesting emotion. It stimulates a sense of personal humility in the face of natural wonder and grandeur. Awe diminishes our sense of self and contracts our ego while connecting us more deeply with . . . something larger. The first astronauts who were able to glimpse our planet Earth from outer space say it was a transformational experience. Perhaps the awe we feel in nature frees us from petty personal concerns and connects us to the larger flow of natural life. Whatever the mechanism, my moments in nature with Eamon are golden, and I believe they’re essential for both of us. The embrace of nature and the squeeze of a grandchild’s hand reconnect me with the awe and wonder of being alive. Michael C. Patterson, founder and CEO of MINDRAMP Consulting, writes extensively on the art and science of brain health and mental flourishing. He is an educator and consultant who previously managed AARP’s Staying Sharp brain health program and helped develop the field of creative aging.

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Incontinence Inspired


We didn’t set out to save the world—we just wanted to keep our pants dry.


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019


Cathy and I had worked together for almost two decades and had co-owned a successful technical writing company for 13 years before we ever talked about incontinence. That changed one morning when I called her in frustration. I’d been lifting weights at my local gym, and I’d leaked urine while doing heavy squats. Cathy confessed to being increasingly annoyed by occasional urge incontinence. We grumbled over the available “solutions” on the market, which led to more grumbling: about the lack of resources in general for active women, the infantilizing of older people in the media, and the realization that no one had prepared either of us for the possibility that we could pee on ourselves at any moment as we started to age. We vowed that we could do better. Taking advantage of a lull in our writing business, Cathy and I began talking to more women and researching what it would take to create a solution that met the needs of the women we knew. That research turned into a fledging business idea, then into a viable one, which we named WeWarriors. (WeWarriors was not our first choice—you would laugh if you heard some of our early ideas for names.) The more we learned about urinary leakage and its effects on one in three women worldwide, the more we realized how debilitating and isolating it can be. What we first thought was an effort to meet our own needs really turned out to be about empowering all women. So many events out of our control can shrink our lives. A new baby keeps you home alone when you most need reassurance that you are doing a good job. Children grow up and leave, and you lose touch with fellow parents who shared in your battles with teenage will. You retire, even if just from an office setting, and stop having daily conversations with people of different

ages, religions, or politics. Your spouse dies or moves to skilled care, and you no longer go dancing or out to dinner. And each time your world shrinks, you leave yourself more vulnerable to decline. We realized that fear of incontinence is often enough to keep someone from joining a new club, stopping to chat with a new acquaintance, or even walking the dog farther than a few blocks. Urinary leakage, even mild, can further shrink your world. We wanted to help women expand their worlds, so we began asking questions: If we could make something that gave women renewed confidence, what would it look like? What if we created a solution that really addressed women’s health? What if we made something that was soft, simple to change (even away from home), clean, discreet, easy to reuse—and that saved people money? Could we make our products in the United States? If so, could we pay workers a living wage? Could we make a profit and still be able to give back to programs that empower women? Every question helped us further define our convictions about the solutions we wanted to offer, and the company we wanted to create. We also wanted a product that wouldn’t contribute to daily landfill use. We initially thought of that goal as separate from helping women. As we’ve gone down this path, however, we now realize that eco-friendly products and empowering women are intertwined. Our customers want to take care of the Earth as well as themselves. They are active, vibrant, aware, and willing to forgo a little bit of convenience every day for a long-term reduction in their carbon footprint. Just like us, they want to keep their pants dry. And together, we will do our part to save the world.

“If we could make something that gave women renewed confidence, what would it look like?”


(Puzzles on page 64)

Aging with Confidence

Word Parts 1. Injury (in + jury) 2. Restart (rest + art) 3. Poetry (poe + try)

Amy Edwards is co-founder of WeWarriors, a company making incontinence solutions for women.

4. Wardrobe (ward + robe) 5. Massage (mass + age) 6. Dampen (dam + pen)

What do they have in common? 1. They are all names of angles. 4. They all have branches. 2. They are all famous paintings. 5. They all have keys 3. They are all yo-yo tricks. 6. They are all types of olives.

7. Margin (mar + gin) 8. Sundry (sun + dry) 9. Manhattan (man + hat + tan) 10. Endear (end + ear) 7. They all have teeth. 8. They are have grades. 9. They are all marsupials. 10. They all have titles.

spring 2019

Homonyms 1. Through, threw 2. Allowed, aloud 3. Guest, guessed 4. Praise, prays 5. Pour, pore 6. Pi, pie 7. Symbol, cymbal

| 3rd Act magazine 59



and nature are fast friends. In fact, art essentially evolved from the natural world. Consider the pre-history cave paintings in Europe, the music inspired by bird songs and other natural sounds, and the still lives of flora and fauna in classical paintings. Many modern visual and performing artists are well aware of the value of nature—and the ecological perils we face from climate change and the extinction of many species. In an infinite variety of ways, their photos, plays, musical compositions, and other artworks reflect (directly or indirectly) their love and concern for the environment we all share. Here are some examples of such creative expressions offered this spring in public shows around the Puget Sound region: You are On Indigenous Grounds: Places/Displaces. This Seattle Art Museum exhibit is an acknowledgement that the ground we walk on was once inhabited by the indigenous people of this region, people who had a different, often sacred relationship with the lands they occupied. According to the museum, the artists in this show “use traditional a nd contempora r y v isua l expressions that acknowledge t he interconnectedness of humans and the land and the BY MISHA critical need to protect the Earth against degradation. Traditional art forms like basketry, wood carving, and weaving are storehouses of memory, marking ancestral origins and movements across the landscape. New forms of storytelling in painting, printmaking, and video create new spaces for justice and understanding.” April 6-June 28 at Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., Seattle. 206-654-3100, seattleartmuseum.org Urinetown. Imagine that a 20-year drought has devastated a city’s water supply, and citizens can only use public facilities owned by a greedy corporation. That sounds more plausible than it might have back in 2001, when this Tony Awardwinning crowd-pleaser (on its way to Seattle’s ACT Theatre)

romped on to Broadway. Spoofy and spirited, the comic tale satirizes the musical genre (with jests at Les Miserables and other well-known shows), while posing some hilarious (and timely) questions about citizen action, corporate responsibility, and environmental degradation April 6-May 26 at ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle. 206-292-7676, acttheatre.org Because It Rains. How do architecture and design interact with climate? More specifically, within places that rain a lot (sound familiar)? Laura Bartunek, an associate architect at the Seattle-based firm Olson Kundig, won a special travel grant from the American Institute of Architects to study how people have worked with water in their designs. Bartunek investigated five major rain events in Florida, New Mexico, Kauai, London, and Norway, and spoke with architects as well as meteorologists and other experts on precipitation. Bartunek’s show at the Center for Architectural Design documents her findings in a display of illustrations and stories that may challenge and inspire how we relate to weather. Through May 25. The Center for Architecture & Design, 1010 Western Ave., Seattle. 206-6679184, cfadseattle.org Lover of Low Creatures. Velocity Dance Center presents this world premiere, deeply BERSON personal solo performance piece by local dancer-creator Neve Mazique-Bianco. In words and movements, she relates her coming of age as a mixed race (Sudanese Nubian and Scottish American), physically disabled child growing up in a forest on a river. Mazique-Bianco evokes her childhood rapport with the natural world, with friendly animals and butterflies, and her interaction with the darker forces she encounters on the path to adulthood. May 9-12. Velocity Dance Center, 1621 12th Ave., Seattle. 206-325-8773, velocitydancecenter.org




New manifestations of an age-old romance


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019

Misha Berson writes about the arts for The Seattle Times and many other publications, and is the author of four books, including Something’s Coming, Something Good: West Side Story and the American Imagination (Applause/Hal Leonard).


Aam’halait, ca. 1860, Tsimshian, maple wood, abalone shell, paint, 9 3/8 x 9 x 3 in. Gift of John H. Hauberg, 91.1.47. Photo courtesy of the Seattle Art Museum

Aging with Confidence

spring 2019

| 3rd Act magazine 61


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019



Factfulness Offers an Optimistic View of the World BY HANS ROSLING


eyore is Winnie t he Pooh ’s donkey friend, a reliably gloomy and pessimistic companion. My inner Eeyore tends to overwhelm me when I consider our broken world: mass violence, poverty, climate crisis, tyranny, corruption, and more. Even many of my much smarter friends share this melancholy in what seems to be a dark time for democracy, justice, and compassion. But Dr. Hans Rosling, a Swedish physician and statistician, proclaimed that the world is much better than we think. In his widely acclaimed book Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong about the World and Why Things are Better than You Think (Flatiron Books, 2018, with coauthors Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Ronnlund), Rosling martialed facts that show remarkable improvements. Rosling—who died shortly before the book’s publication—stresses statistical evidence that reveals global progress by many measures, such as the halving of the number of people in dire poverty in the last 20 years, longer life expectancy worldwide, increased education of girls (even in the poorest countries), many more literate adults, greater access to safe water, voting rights for women in virtually all countries, and on and on. He also notes a remarkable decrease in terrible things such as legal slavery, child labor, contagious diseases, and the death penalty. Rosling urges that we embrace an attitude of “factfulness,” the “stress-reducing habit of carrying only the opinions for which we have strong supporting facts.” In advancing this approach, he describes 10 human instincts that distort our perspective and blind us to progress. These instincts include a focus on negative

developments (Eeyore embodies this view), an East-West or binary world perspective, fearfulness, overgeneralization, a single perspective, a sense of urgency, and more. Fear not. Rosling wrote, “There’s no room for facts when our minds are occupied by fear.” Factfulness has been touted as “life changing” by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who shared free versions with college graduates in 2018. And former President Barack Obama called it “a hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases.” Critics have found Rosling’s book too optimistic about major threats to humanity such as climate change and economic inequality. Rosling concedes that we must continue to worry about five major threats including climate change as well as a global pandemic, financial collapse, World War III, and extreme poverty. And alas, much of the progress he documents in developing countries was achieved by growing dependence on fossil fuels. Rosling’s writing is engaging and lively on complex and vexing issues, and it may quell your inner Eeyore—to an extent. I read Factfulness with some skepticism, but I agree with Rosling that our beliefs are often based on emotion or fear or downright ignorance, and we’re all better off if we learn to adjust our perspectives, recognize truth, and base our opinions on facts.

Fear not. Rosling wrote, ‘There’s no room for facts when our minds are occupied by fear.’

Aging with Confidence

Robin Lindley is a Seattle-based writer and attorney, and the features editor for the History News Network (hnn.us). Email him at robinlindley@gmail.com.

spring 2019

| 3rd Act magazine 63

GAMES for your brain Exercise your brain and have some fun with these puzzles designed to stimulate different cognitive functions.

Word Parts (easier)

The word menace is defined as “a threat.” In this game, however, we don’t supply the definition of a word, but of its parts. For example, given the first clue “male adults,” plus the second clue “the highest card in the deck,” the answer is menace (men + ace). 1. The opposite of out + verdict deciders ____________ 6. Water barrier + writing instrument ____________ 2. Take a breather + Mr. Linkletter ____________ 7. Deface + alcoholic beverage often mixed with tonic ____________ 3. The Raven author + to make an effort or attempt ____________ 8. Nearest star + devoid of moisture ____________ 4. Wally and Beaver’s dad + attire for a judge ____________ 9. Male + bowler or pill box + darkened skin ____________ 5. Sunday church service + how old you are ____________ 10. The final part + organ of hearing ____________

What do they have in common? (harder)

Each question contains a list of several items. Can you figure out what they have in common? 1. Acute, right, and obtuse


7. Zippers, combs, gears, and saws


2. Night Watch, Water Lilies, The Starry Night, and American Gothic _________________

8. A report card, a slope, an elementary school, and meat


3. “The Sleeper,” “Around the World,” and “Walk the Dog” _________________

9. Wombat, wallaby, possum, and kangaroo


4. A tree, a bank, and a library


5. Locks, typewriters, and music


10. A book, a property owner, a song, and Queen Elizabeth


6. Gaeta, Spanish, and Kalamata


Homonyms (hardest)

Homonyms are two or more words that are pronounced the same way but have different meanings and/or spellings. In this game, we supply definitions, and you must not only provide the homonyms, but SPELL them correctly as well.

1. In one side and out the other; and, propelled something into the air.


2. Permitted; and, audibly, not silently or in a whisper.


3. Visitor; and, estimated or conjectured.


4. To express approval or admiration; and, appeals to God.


5. To cause liquid to flow from a container; and, a tiny opening in the skin. ______________________________________ 6. 3.14159; and, a dessert often filled with fruit.


7. A figure or character that represents something else; and, a percussion instrument, usually made of brass.


8. One rank lower than a brigadier general; and, a piece of corn.


Reprinted with permission from Nancy Linde, author of the best-selling books 399 Puzzles, Games, and Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young and 417 More Games, Puzzles, and Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young. She is also the creator of the website Never2Old4Games.com, which is used by many senior-serving organizations in the U.S. and Canada.


3rd Act magazine | spring 2019





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Janet goff of Port townsend, WA tells the story of her search to find a safe and natural way to treat osteoporosis.

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In each of these studies, participants also took Calcium and Vitamin D3 supplements

In each of these studies, participants also took Calcium and Vitamin D3 supplements



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