3rd Act Magazine – Summer 2022

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My Grandma, My Hero A Life Well Lived Inspires Purpose and Change

Welcome to Elderhood Embracing Ritual To Honor Our Third Age


Map to a Purpose-Driven Life

THE BEAUTY OF AGING Reject Ageist Messaging


How to Stay Cool When It’s Hot



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MESSAGE from the publisher

Things Change “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” —Henri Bergson, French philosopher

We never know when someone is going to step into our life and change it. Years ago, a stranger visited my office to share a magazine he published titled, The Senior Guidebook. I was a tourist map publisher headquartered in La Conner, Wash., with a national organization of franchisees. He was looking for a buyer and thought I was a good candidate. I was not interested. I sold my map company two years later and “retired.” Three years after that—grappling with my own aging and retirement—I wondered if he’d ever sold his magazine. He hadn’t, and five years after an unexpected person stepped into my office, I became a magazine publisher. Launching 3rd Act Magazine, now in its seventh year, unquestionably changed my life. And my husband’s, too.

Change often comes as an event (be it personal or global) and can be experienced as a tragedy, a gift, a challenge, or an opportunity. However it comes—like it or not—we know change is something we can count on. We can resist it, we can deny it, or we can embrace it. In this issue, we explore change that is thrust upon us and change we choose. We consider how to be braver, more resilient, and more intentional in response to life’s inevitable changes. In her column, “Embracing Change” (Page 8), Linda Henry gives us 10 coping strategies for meeting the moment—large or small. Ann Hedreen’s story, “From Flower Power to Third Act Power” (Page 32), applauds ThirdAct.org’s effort to reignite our generational passion to facilitate change. And in “The Beauty of Aging” (Page 36), Priscilla Charlie Hinckley investigates how our standards of beauty were formed, and how to confront and change our internal ageist attitude toward how we look as we grow older. Change is never easy. Even when it’s positive. Let’s challenge ourselves to think of the discomfort change causes as growing pains. And remind ourselves that, “to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”

In this issue, we explore change that is thrust upon us and change we choose.


OU R VI SI ON Now, more than ever, older adults are viewing their retirement as a “Third Act” in their lives: A time for reinvention, connection, and engagement. 3rd Act Magazine is a bold, fresh, lifestyle magazine for older adults in the Puget Sound region. Our stories and articles challenge the worn-out perceptions of aging and offer a dynamic new vision: Let’s celebrate and embrace this stage of life, and age together with confidence. PU B LI SH E RS Victoria Starr Marshall David Marshall EDITOR Victoria Starr Marshall COPY EDITOR Tina Potterf

ART DIRECTOR Philip Krayna WEBSITE Philip Krayna

ADVERTISING Dale Bohm DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION David Marshall COVER PHOTO Sky Bergman 3rd Act Magazine wants to hear from you! Email your comments, ideas, and questions to info@3rdActMag.com or mail to P.O. Box 412, 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 3rd Act Magazine. Copyright ©2022 Oshi Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. Oshi Publishing, LLC, P.O. Box 412 Brinnon, WA 98320 · 360-796-4837 Email: info@3rdActMag.com

Yours truly, 1978


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

For subscriptions, advertising rates, and additional information, visit us at www.3rdActMag.com.


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Let’s use meaningful ritual to mark elderhood as something to aspire to instead of dread. JEANETTE LEARDI

A Life Well Lived Inspires Purpose and Change

Welcome to Elderhood


Embracing Ritual To Honor Our Third Age

Map to a Purpose-Driven Life


THE BEAUTY OF AGING Reject Ageist Messaging


How to Stay Cool When It’s Hot

COVER: Sky Bergman grew up in the

loving embrace of her grandmother’s kitchen. At age 100, her grandmother, Evelyn, became the catalyst for Bergman’s life change from professor to filmmaker. Photo by Sky Bergman



My Grandma, My Hero



3rd Act magazine | summer 2022


Embracing ever-present change. LINDA HENRY


How the power of cultural beliefs fuels cognitive dissonance. JENNIFER JAMES

Thirdact.org aims to reignite the activist power of a generation. ANN HEDREEN


How we look is not what we’re worth. Challenging the ageist definition of beauty. PRISCILLA CHARLIE HINCKLEY




The arts remain a powerful way to connect with others, pass the time, and process change. JULIE FANSELOW

A way to recenter when things aren’t going your way. STEPHEN SINCLAIR Being forgetful need not lead to fretful. DR. ERIC B. LARSON, MD, MPH


America’s approach to brain health is demented. MICHAEL C. PATTERSON



60 22


Change has her in a pickle. ANNIE CULVER


Making music for the soul at Centrum, a nonprofit arts center. MISHA BERSON


At 85, this reluctant retiree would rather "do" than "be." BOBBI LINKEMER


Creating a personal mission statement for the rest of your life. CHRIS PALMER


What about your life are you most afraid to change, and why? HOLLIS GIAMMATTEO





44 R EV IT UP!

Whidbey Scenic Isle Way: A magical culinary road trip. ANN RANDALL


A lesson on climate change from a kayak trip on the Mississippi. DAVE ELLINGSON


My grandmother hero and the inspiration of a life well lived. SKY BERGMAN


Strategies for staying cool when a summer heatwave strikes. CONNIE MCDOUGALL


Exceptional athletes go for gold at the Washington State Senior Games. MARK WOYTOWICH

Aging with Confidence

Yes, you can achieve a life-changing fitness milestone. MIKE HARMS Just move more: The benefits of increasing physical activity. STEPHANIE IRVING


Easy, cool dishes for hot summer days. REBECCA CRICHTON


Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, by Oliver Burkman REVIEWED BY VICTORIA STARR MARSHALL


Challenge yourself with these word puzzles.

summer 2022

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LETTERS Thanks, from a Lifelong Learner Motivated to send Dr. Jennifer James a letter, I’ll also include thanks to you for your great magazine. Every issue has so much to enjoy and/or ponder, and gives me insight into this life I lead. I feel like such a slow learner, or maybe it’s lifelong learner? Yes, that’s better! Anyhow, thanks for adding to the quality of our lives, especially in this age of isolation. —S. Felt, Bothell, WA

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

Pet Loss Sympathy Your reflections on losing Oshi (“Losing Oshi: The death of a beloved pet can be devastating,” Spring 2022) struck so close to home. It was a beautiful tribute to your beloved Aussie. We said farewell to our own Aussie, Maggie, in March 2020, just before the pandemic closed everything down. She was almost 16 and a half; we felt hugely lucky to have her with us for so long. About a year later we welcomed a new Aussie puppy into the family, and already I worry about losing him. As you wrote so beautifully, this bond is love in its most innocent and purest form. Many thanks for sharing your loss, and your love of Oshi, with the 3rd Act readers. —Judy Howard, City Not Provided

I love the magazine and did not want to miss out on renewing my subscription. When I read about losing Oshi (“Losing Oshi: The death of a beloved pet can be devastating,” Spring 2022) I thought, oh, maybe it’s hard right now to get things done, I’d better just renew and not wait. The grief is unbearable, and I lasted a week before getting another dog. I cried every time I saw a stranger with a dog that reminded me of my beloved Lily. But each person handles it in their own way. It all takes time. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Volunteer with Results.org Thanks for the reminders of going beyond our habits and trying new things, including writing (“Our Aging Story Creates Us” and “The Write Stuff” in 3rd Act’s Spring 2022 edition). For me RESULTS (results.org) fits the bill—always something new, since we volunteers are working with Congress to battle hunger and poverty. Sadly, plenty of work to do with 4 million children back into poverty since the Child Tax Credit was not renewed. RESULTS helps volunteers of all ages speak and write to their members of Congress and newspapers, resulting in better lives for millions in our country and around the world, while challenging volunteers to stretch and make a difference. —Willie Dickerson, Snohomish, WA

Navigating Aging from Seattle to San Diego My older sister told me about your magazine. She lives in Seattle, I live in San Diego. When we chat on the phone, she will often refer to one of your articles. We are both seeking ways to enrich our “senior-ness” with balance and grace. As a senior nearly 70, I appreciate your work to enrich our aging lives and share information on navigating the aging process toward wisdom, dignity, acceptance, self-love, and bliss. —Dolores Burns, San Diego, CA

talk to us!

by mail: 3rd Act Magazine, P.O. Box 412, 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.

—Lorraine Kuniyki, Seattle, WA


Fraud Prevention

Tip-Offs to Rip-Offs

The Top-5 Robocall Scams Targeting Washington State Phone Lines The numbers are in, and they’re headed in the wrong direction. According to new statistics from the Federal Trade Commission, Washington consumers lost more than $135 million to fraud in 2021, nearly double the amount lost in 2020. The barrage of automated telephone solicitations or “robocalls” we get on our home and mobile phones seems to be never-ending. In fact, robocalls coming into the U.S. have more than doubled to nearly 50 billion calls a year. To make matters worse, experts estimate that up to half of these calls may be attempts to defraud consumers – and Washington state has been hit hard by this massive increase in unwanted scam calls. To help consumers better spot and stop emerging robocall scams, AARP is partnering with the State Attorney General’s Office, BECU and Nomorobo to provide real-time access to the top calls flooding Washington state phone lines. Visit aarp.org/TipOffs for early warning reports on actual calls making the rounds in your community. You’ll have an opportunity to listen to each call and better familiarize yourself with the scammers’ latest pitches before they have a chance to dial your number. Be sure to visit aarp.org/TipOffs often as we’ll be regularly updating the material! Please also take a moment to share the information with your family and friends. The better we’re all able to recognize a scam pitch before we’re in the con-artist’s sights, the better we’ll be able to protect ourselves and our money.

Presented by: Aging with Confidence

summer 2022

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Embracing Change BY LINDA HENRY

Linda Henry writes regularly on topics related to aging, health care, and communication, and is the coauthor 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.


If there is one certainty in life, I believe it is change. It can be thrust upon us, or we can choose it. Either way, it is always present. It is not a onetime event, notes Britt Andreatta, an internationally recognized thought leader who creates brain science-based solutions for today’s challenges. Rather, it is a journey. Making something different, replacing, substituting, transforming, exchanging are all ways of viewing change. However we characterize it, many of us are uncomfortable with any kind of change. Some would even suggest that we are hardwired to resist it. All of us have experienced considerable changes in our lives, both personally and as a society, due to COVID. Although we are into our third year of the pandemic, it continues to impact us and may do so well into the future. Many of us continue grieving the world we have now lost. Even far away events occurring in the Ukraine and other areas can affect us all, directly or indirectly. Professionals working in the arena of change management, both at the personal or corporate level, tell us that facing change can bring a wide range of feelings from hope and excitement to anxiety and anger. Years ago, I recall crying for hours as we began our drive to another state and a new job. Although relocating was our choice and a good decision, I had no idea how much the prospect of making that change would affect me. I wish I had a greater understanding of its effects at the time.

3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

So, how might we cope to the changes in our lives, big or small? Consider the following: • Acknowledge what you are feeling. You may experience shock, feel disoriented, or even angry before you can accept a new normal and move on. When COVID hit and the death toll began to rise, I was surprised at how angry I felt when I heard the stories of those who lost a loved one, when I was unable to see my family or attend church in person. It took me some time to realize that I was reacting to the changes around me. • Identify those things that you can and cannot control. • Take time to care for yourself. • Substitute positive feelings for negative ones. Recalling how you felt when you received a promotion, began a new job, or welcomed a new baby into the family can help soften the negative ones. • Ask for help when you need it. • Be in the moment. Identify and focus on what is most important to you. • Plan for how you will face future changes. Recall how you coped in the past. • Strive to maintain some normalcy. • Incorporate some stress-relieving activities. • Count your blessings. It seems to me that embracing change means both acceptance and appreciation—like looking at two sides of a coin. On one side is accepting what life may bring, both the good and bad. On the flip side, it is appreciating new beginnings. Examine your coin. What do you see?


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We live in a world where cultural beliefs often dominate reason. Many beliefs, about the way things ought to be, are embedded in our minds as children before we learn to think for ourselves. These customs, traditions, assumptions become so much a part of us that we rely on them even if they conflict with what we can see and hear. Cognitive dissonance is a psychological theory that when we hold a belief that defies new information it causes anxiety, confusion, even anger. What is good to eat? How can gender be fluid? Who to avoid or hate? Even when family members, neighbors, and politicians promote ideas that can literally lead to death,


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

The discomfort of cogn itive dissonance can be relieved by blame an d denial, seeking confirmation, or the ha rd work of real growth and change. Which w ill you choose?

we want our group, our faith, to be right and the “other” to be wrong. The current mayhem surrounding so much of the news—COVID, climate change, sexuality, and the tragic Ukrainian war—grows from giving credence to false cultural stories. As a cultural anthropologist I have tried to find answers to some of the current cultural conflicts. I want to understand who can adapt to fast

changing realities and who cannot. Why is common sense, for example on vaccines, not common practice? Why is education under attack? Two possibilities—the speed of change and the distortion of our once more commonly shared news. We are inundated with both “fake” news and fake information. The sheer speed of the technological revolution and www.3rdActMag.com


globalization underlie this distortion. They make essential education and adaptation harder because we are being set adrift in a new world and fear being left behind. Threats to our long-held traditions leave us swimming in a pool of social anxiety. As our community links fray—due to the mobility of both work and families—we lose the shared stories we once learned working and playing together. Where our geographical backgrounds once created guides to a way of life, we are now being pushed to form our own communities online, defying geography and heritage. As social animals we are unprepared for the loneliness or outsider status that comes with not belonging to a village. So, we reach for shared stories, even bizarre cults like QAnon, to belong to something bigger for protection and comfort. There is a temptation to not learn new information or think about new realities. It is easier to see some changes as a threat to long-held assumptions and find like-minded people for support. But sharing beliefs that defy reality doesn’t work, as sooner or later cognitive dissonance will tear them apart.

As a child I remember not understanding why common sense was not common. Why would a person hit a child, an animal, or anyone outside of a boxing ring or war? My dad had been middleweight champion of the London Police Force and never missed the Friday night fights. But why would two men beating each other up be worth watching? Now boxing is disappearing as a sport replaced by smaller, albeit more violent, versions because brutality is an instinct linked to our reptilian brain. It will always be there, as part of our DNA, despite the cognitive conflict. Americans worry that men are becoming too soft at the same time we extol emotional intelligence. Cultural beliefs that served an earlier period remain, even when they begin to work against survival. Big game hunting was once a marker of success. A good hunter could feed more wives and raise more children. It was considered heroic, a fair fight. Baiting bears with Twinkies or shooting giraffes with highpowered guns seem the opposite. An ambitious female gatherer could feed the community when the hunt failed. How big a pantry or closet now provides security? I was 10 when I lost faith in our church. My brother was an altar boy, but not me, because I was a girl. I had to wear a hat in church, but he didn’t. In fact, I couldn’t do much at all except clean and cook for the potluck suppers. I asked Father Franklin why I could not be like my brother when Holy Mary was so important. He laughed and said, “Jenny, there are not enough immaculate conceptions to go around. You can be a mother or a nun like your aunt.” I had thought

about these options. To be a mother you had to sin, and nuns could not have children. Racism is the harshest example of our inability to give credence to the social reality that is America. The George Floyd murder in 2020 revealed again our public and police bias, similar to the Emmett Till torture and murder 65 years earlier. It took until 2022 to make lynching a crime. Norman Rockwell’s illustration, “The Problem We All Live With,” shows hatred on the faces of high school girls as six-year-old Ruby Bridges is led into an elementary school by four U.S. Marshals in 1960. As a speaker I asked audiences what they thought about that painting, and would they spit at Ruby? I collected these responses: “I would be angry because it was wrong then to force integration and it would be wrong now. I believe it is right to be racist.” “I’ve changed. I used to be more racist, but I gradually changed. They needed to wait until the time was right.” “I realized when my biracial grandson was born and my competent team leader at work was Black that I was once very wrong, and I have regrets for some of my behavior.” Only the last comment resolves the intense cognitive dissonance that supports racism. There are many destructive traditions that are no longer connected to survival, and it is worth thinking about those you may hold. Someone who doesn’t look like you may have once been a member of a marauding tribe thousands of years ago, but it is unlikely now. It is a fear of violence that is still in our DNA. Whether it is a long-held political (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

Aging with Confidence

summer 2022

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preference, who you would welcome as a family member, or religious garb used to display your identity, ask yourself why do I feel this way? Cultural beliefs are currently splitting not only America but our world. Leaders may hesitate to change their beliefs because social power requires some infallibility and continuity is safer. A political leader can disrupt an institution as basic as a democratic election or start an irrational war, and be supported by their citizens, because it is deemed patriotic. When Black athletes began to play basketball was it because they suddenly improved? Why are sports mascots changing? We are left having to sort things out by ourselves or seek to join a group that will tell us what to think. Sorting out what is true or not is hard work. When educators want to teach students how to think for themselves parents may become suspicious. Communities are beginning to outlaw certain classes, subjects, books, even words. Think through the last century of who deserves respect or life when you see a “Black Lives Matter” sign. Before 1900, in California, there was a 25-cent bounty for killing a Native American. Women were not allowed to vote until 1920 and Native Americans not until 1924. The first labor unions were formed in 1935; child labor laws were adopted in 1938; Chinese received civil rights in 1943, and the Civil Right Act of 1964 ended segregation and discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Americans with Disability Act passed in 1973 (signed


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

into law in 1990), but the Equal Rights Amendment failed state ratification in the 1970s. Same-sex marriage was codified in 2015. What group is next? The direction of change is obvious as more and more groups are defined as deserving of protection. Switzerland passed animal rights in 1978. Children still have limited rights in America depending on the state. Capital punishment still exists in some states. Many American civil rights are defined by legislatures and governors. Check your response to some of these timelines. When did you first decide your position? Do you know why? Have you changed your view in the last decade? Do some cultural issues make you anxious? Try replacing certainty—if you have that—with curiosity. Can you argue both sides of a belief? If you think you might be missing something talk to a friend who disagrees with you. Stay optimistic about the resolution of most cultural conflicts. The basic markers of civilization have grown over the millions of years we have been identified as human. We are more able to communicate and more connected in love, work, and play. We have expanded education to include everyone throughout their lives. We have developed in the last 100 years more alternatives to violence, albeit our failures painfully confront us now. History reassures us that we are on a path of increasing civility. To be civil is to be kind. One of the few traits that all cultures agree on is kindness. The philosophers of all the ages define wisdom as choosing to be kind. We can make the same choice. Jennifer James has a doctorate in cultural anthropology and master’s degrees in history and psychology. She was a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington Medical School.

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Bless Them, Change Me How to recenter when things aren’t going your way BY STEPHEN SINCLAIR


magazine magazine| summer | summer 2022 2022 Act Act 3rd 3rd

A few years ago, I was sitting in a meeting when a latecomer burst into the room. After apologizing for his tardiness, he explained that all but one lane on the highway had been blocked off and he’d been stuck behind a car that was going so slowly they were holding up traffic. He recounted how he’d laid on his horn but stopped as soon as he saw that it wasn’t doing any good. Instead, he took a deep breath and said, “Bless them, change me!” After we broke for lunch, I asked him what exactly he meant by that. He explained to me that after years of often losing control when confronted by people not behaving as he wanted them to, he was taught to just accept them and the situation, even if they were wrong, and to ask God to bless them. At the same time, he was told to ask that he be changed in such a way as to make this possible. In the time since then, when I’ve observed people behaving badly or I find myself all in a huff about some slight done to me, I remember this adage and say out loud, “Bless them, change me.” I always get immediate relief, which then allows me to step back from the situation, thus giving me the opportunity to evaluate what’s going on. Usually, when I find myself starting to judge others for their behavior, it leads me to wanting them to be discovered and somehow punished for their transgression. I distance myself from them and make them out to be less than human. Some acts are indeed wrong or hurtful and a person committing them needs to be taken to task for them. If they are illegal and someone’s been harmed, the perpetrator needs to pay the consequences. However, what I’m talking about is just the day-to-day bad behavior and annoyances caused by thoughtless people. But who am I to judge others? I don’t know what’s going on with them. I don’t know what factors have led them to behave as they are in that moment. In the Christian Gospels, Jesus is quoted as saying, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” In the Dhammapada, a collection of sayings of the Buddha, it is written that hatreds do not ever cease in this world by hating, but by love, and that we should www.3rdActMag.com

overcome anger by love, overcome evil by good. The Hebrew Bible has many instances of the bestowing of blessings upon others as an act of mercy. In Deuteronomy, the Torah imagines God saying, “I put before you the blessing and the curse, life and It is hard for us death; therefore, choose life, that to accept the you may live.” God fact that, often, we are powerless is equating curses with death and to change other blessings with life. people. The Bless and live! only thing we In the Black can change is Christian community, ourselves. But, one often hears, how, exactly, do “Blessing is a we do that? blessing.” What is meant by this is that through the act of blessing others we, ourselves, receive a blessing. It is hard for us to accept the fact that, often,

we are powerless to change other people. The only thing we can change is ourselves. But, how, exactly, do we do that? In her book, The Myth of Closure, therapist and researcher Pauline Boss writes: “... the only window for change lies in our perception … once we realize we have the power to shift our view, we’re able to adjust it to one that is less laden with guilt, anger, or the need for revenge.” There it is, then. We can change how we look at things, how it is we perceive what has happened. People of faith can ask the Divine Source to do that for us, to help us be less reactive. All of us, believers and nonbelievers alike, can use whatever resources available to help us learn to perceive things differently and to find the ability to change our response to those things. I will always be grateful to the young man who shared with me how he transformed his anger and impatience into a blessing, and in the process, changed himself.

Stephen Sinclair lives in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Earlier in his life he enjoyed a career in show business while working out of New York and Chicago. A career as an ordained Unitarian Universalist parish minister and a hospital chaplain followed. Most recently, he worked with the homeless, and is a weekly volunteer visitor at the Monroe Correctional Complex.

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Aging with Confidence

summer 2022

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The forever changing seasons remind us that nothing stays the same. We can embrace life’s inevitable changes or fight against them. During my time working in senior living, I’ve witnessed how adapting to change with courage and resilience allows us to grow and be powerful. Over the past two years senior living communities—and the people who live in them—have weathered many disruptions and life changes. The COVID-19 pandemic changed our day-to-day lives overnight, from freedom and simple pleasures to ones of fear and uncertainty. Unsurprisingly,


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

staff and residents have supported each other through it all. And due to our ever-present, resilient human spirit, senior communities are thriving again. At Quail Park of Lynnwood, COVID’s challenges and

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changes have created bonds and friendships that will last a lifetime. We’ve cried, we’ve relied on each other, we’ve laughed, we’ve prevailed! I don’t know where else staff and residents could have forged such fantastic relationships over the past two years. The media harshly criticized senior community living during the pandemic, yet the critics weren’t in the communities—at the heart of it all—to see how we banded together in adversity and met the moment. Consider Mrs. Peterson. One of our newer residents, she didn’t initially choose to make a move but her circumstances required it. She tripped at home, fell, and lay alone on the floor for six hours before her son found her. She had a short stay in the hospital, followed by two weeks at a rehabilitation facility. It was determined that, for safety and socialization, living at home alone wasn’t the best choice any longer. She moved to Quail Park of Lynnwood. It was frightening at first. Especially after hearing all the negative information about community living. But what she discovered were people just like her. People with fears and courage. People choosing to band together and thrive through all the changes. She discovered that she enjoyed the delicious and nutritious food, physical therapy, exercise classes, housekeeping, transportation, and fun activities/ events. The challenges of life, just like the seasons, will continue to evolve and change. We’ll get through them together if we approach them with courage, resilience, support, and friendship. www.3rdActMag.com

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Turning Bombs into Trees

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Our New Normal

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Orthodontics for Every Age

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Turn Bad Habits into Good



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3 Washington Towns Worth Considering


Social Justice with Social Distancing


A Tough Job Just Got Harder


Cope with Unwelcome Change

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STROKE PRIMER Know the Signs

THE OTHER BOOM Retirement Living Options Surge

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Parting with a Home You Love

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orthwest weather has a fairly boring, and geriatric medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “They may be if pleasant, reputation: Temperate, getting by okay in their regular routines, but except for a few 90-degree days in the summer, maybe a short stretch of cold in the extreme weather is outside of that.” winter. The main complaint has always been about It’s not just about discomfort. During last clouds and rainfall. But not last year. summer’s heat wave in Washington state, at least Between June 26 and July 2, 2021, the Pacific 100 people—mostly older adults—died from Northwest experienced record-breaking hot heat-related illness. temperatures. On a day when it was 106-degrees At the time, Dr. McCormick saw patients who in Phoenix, Seattle hit an all-time high of 108, with had come through the emergency room at Seattle’s some cities east of Lake Washington Harborview Medical Center. “It’s always BY CONNIE recording 110. Near Forks on the Olympic busy but there was a noticeable increase McDOUGALL Peninsula, it rose to a scorching 118. in patients. We saw lots of people of all We’re just not ready for that kind of heat, ages, but older people are especially vulnerable,” but we should be if hot weather becomes more he says. “They came in with heat exhaustion and common. With fewer than half the homes in the heat stroke, including prostration, where people Seattle area equipped with air conditioners, many just can’t move. With body temperatures of 104older residents struggle to stay cool. People in or 105-degrees, they clearly were not able to cool retirement or assisted-living communities likely themselves, so we put them in an ice bath, and have air-conditioning as well as well-being checks gave cold fluids via a tube down the nose and into from staff. “But a solid majority are not in a care the stomach. Getting temperature down a couple setting and are home by themselves,” says Dr. of degrees is all you need to get out of the danger zone.” Wayne McCormick, division head of gerontology


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022


Older adults are at higher risk for a number of reasons including a lack insulating fat under the skin, a decreased ability to regulate body temperature and hydration levels. They also may be taking medications like diuretics that can cause dehydration. But age isn’t the only criteria, explains Dr. Scott Lindquist, a practicing physician and an epidemiologist with the Washington State Department of Health. “Kids under the age of four are also vulnerable, as are people with underlying conditions such as heart and lung conditions, and obesity,” he says. “It’s about being able to withstand extreme temperatures. With an increase in temperature, the heart beats faster, it’s harder to breathe, so underlying conditions are a major factor on how someone copes with heat.” Fortunately, there’s plenty we can do to stay comfortable and safe during extreme weather. “It’s not easy to treat once the body overheats so it’s all about prevention,” says Dr. Lindquist. For starters, know the symptoms of overheating, especially dehydration. “Look for lethargy, a lack of energy, a dry mouth, thirst, dizziness, a decrease in or concentration of urine. A sure sign of dehydration is weight loss,” he says. “It’s not like flipping a switch,” says Dr McCormick. “It sneaks up on you. You may feel a little crummy, then really crummy, and it keeps getting worse until it’s a medical emergency.” So, a priority is avoiding dehydration at all costs. “It’s critical to drink fluids throughout the day,” says Dr. Lindquist. With hydration taken care of, find ways to cool the body. Having air conditioning is obviously a plus, but sitting in front of a fan with a wet towel over the shoulders can help cool the body, says Dr. McCormick, “as long as you compensate for the evaporation of sweat by drinking more fluids.” A tepid shower also cools the body. If it’s cooler at night and you can do so safely, open windows to let the hot air out. Another option for some folks is to visit a local cooling center. Dian Ferguson, executive director of the Central Area Senior Center, welcomed hundreds of people during last summer’s heat wave. “It started off slow but as it got hotter,

Aging with Confidence

more people came in,” she recalls. “Our dining area is our largest room and has air conditioning. We offered water, Safeway donated ice cream and other groups gave us box fans.” It was so comfortable, some people stayed until they closed at 6. “We had a section for card players, a quiet section for book readers, an area for knitters,” she says. “It’s a good place of refuge and people make friends here. I always say the center is like a Boys and Girls Club for adults.” Keri Pollock, who works for the geriatriccare management practice Aging Wisdom, has another method to beat the heat. “I put a pillowcase in a Ziplock bag in the freezer then pull it out at bedtime. It might sound funny, but it really works. We also advise our clients to avoid using the stove or oven during a heat wave and rely on the microwave or foods that don’t need cooking,” she said. “Eat salads and melons that have a lot of water in them and make water tastier with lemon or lime.”

With fewer than half the homes in the Seattle area equipped with air conditioners, many older residents struggle to stay cool. Fortunately, there’s plenty we can do to stay comfortable and safe during extreme weather. Pollock also suggests organizing a “go bag” in case you have to leave home due to a heat emergency or any unanticipated event. Contents should include lists of contacts, including doctors, medications, important papers, device chargers and personal items, such as a change of clothing, glasses and other essentials. Another idea: Prepare in the off season. “Have a working fan, and if you have air conditioning, make sure it’s in working order before demand is high so you don’t have to wait for service,” she adds. Perhaps most important, friends and family members must check on older loved ones. Pollack believes “If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that we need that community.” Connie McDougall is a former news reporter and current freelance writer of nonfiction and personal essays. She lives in Seattle.

summer 2022

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Forgetful Need Not Lead to Fretful BY ERIC B. LARSON, MD, MPH

Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, is the author, with Joan DeClaire, of Enlightened Aging. He is the founding principal investigator of the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study, ongoing for about 30 years. ACT recently was awarded a $55.6 million expansion grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Everyone knows the feeling of having walked into a room and not remembering why we went in there, or running into a longtime acquaintance but struggling to remember their name. Our brains are constant hives of activity, and sometimes the hive is stressed to the point of forgetting seemingly simple things. But age-related memory changes are common and expected, in the same way our physical abilities are expected to change as we get older. Most 80-year-olds can’t run as fast as someone in their 40s! It’s worth remembering—no pun intended—that not all cognitive changes are created equal. Forgetting a name or why you walked into a room is less serious than missing several mortgage payments. Even moderate memory problems can be offset with creating consistent routines, keeping lists, and planning for social situations, including having a handy, practiced response if you do forget a name so you can gracefully keep going, rather than becoming paralyzed with embarrassment or worry. Age-related changes generally occur gradually, and may be heightened by life stressors, depression or anxiety, complex situations and competing demands, or general health including medications. People who were more highly functional in the past may not see any noticeable changes in their daily activities, but they may start feeling that something isn’t right long before others notice. When should you consult your health care team? Good question! The recent addition of cognitive testing in the Medicare annual wellness exam has been a welcome development. Clinicians are gaining experience in determining if


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

everyday memory problems are early signals for Alzheimer’s or other dementias. If you’re concerned, tell your doctor. An ongoing primary care relationship is valuable in assessing whether change is cause for concern. Cognitive testing can sort out whether our brains are performing in a way that’s expected given our age and level of functioning. For those noticing a decline, testing can help identify ways to compensate by building on abilities that are still intact. Extensive

cognitive testing is not always appropriate, and even following such testing, your doctor may say, “Come back next year and we’ll see what’s changed.” What is helpful for anyone While there are no “magic bullet” medications that prevent or reduce severity of cognitive decline, many lifestyle factors have been shown to affect dementia risk. Making positive lifestyle changes can support both heart health and brain health. Healthy lifestyle behaviors include exercise, diet, sleep, staying active mentally, maintaining social ties, and finding meaning in your life. Recognize that some degree of cognitive decline is to be expected. Tracking it over time can give you a sense of control, and help determine when to consult your doctor. Plus, it’s really challenging to predict an individual’s course of cognitive decline—we can only work with where we are today. Live with it like any health-related concern, and know that this is— as poet Mary Oliver describes it—“your one wild and precious life.” Even if it gets worse, today is a day to be lived. www.3rdActMag.com

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America’s Approach to Brain Health is

Demented “I thought I did everything right, and I still got dementia! What of daily living, and compromised executive function. As did I do wrong?” Whitehouse and George point out, our civilization does a lousy The answer, of course, is that it’s not your fault. Not entirely. job of learning from past mistakes. We can’t seem to figure out The development of what we call dementia is not under your how to share resources in a way that keeps the entire planetary personal control. You may be able to control some aspects of organism healthy. We systematically poison the air we must your own behavior, but you exist as part of a larger breathe, we pollute the water we must drink, and environment, as part of a complex set of ecosystems. BY MICHAEL C. we remove nutrients from the food we eat and turn PATTERSON And our ecosystems are ailing. Our stewardship of them into addictive poisons. We embrace beliefplanet earth is demented. Our political and economic systems systems that are fantastical and self-destructive. Are these not despoil the very environments that should sustain us and keep symptoms of dementia? us healthy. Until we control our systemic dementias we will There is now a wealth of scientific evidence that systemic, continue to suffer unnecessary personal dementia. environmental problems like poverty, pollution, deforestation, These points were brought powerfully into focus when I read wealth inequality, and inequal access to education and health the book, American Dementia: Brain Health in an Unhealthy care contribute to cognitive decline and dementia. We know, Society and spoke to the authors, Peter Whitehouse and Danny for example, that elevated levels of lead in our drinking water George. They present a powerful argument that America’s cause a lifetime of significant damage to the cells of our body, approach to the so-called Alzheimer’s epidemic is caused including brain cells. Our drinking water is gradually destroying primarily by demented policies, practices, and institutions. our brains. But, because of demented political and economic Keep in mind that the symptoms of dementia include factors and ill-conceived budgetary priorities, government and memory loss, a diminished ability to conduct the activities industry have done little to address the problem. Dementia is


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022


What can be done? the price we pay when profits are prioritized. The same is true for air pollution and industrialized We must clean up the environments that sustain us. For farming. The rich and powerful are driven by profit margins starters, we need to recognize and cherish the miracle of life on more than for concern about the health and well-being of their earth. As far as we know, LIFE, in all its glorious and exuberant customers—the people of our world. We have taken much too diversity, exists nowhere in the universe but here, on Mother long to address the damage caused by our reliance on fossil Earth. Life is precious, fragile, and fleeting. We must recognize fuels. As a result, our brains are subjected to high levels of that our demented lust for growth, control, and enrichment pollution and the multiplying disruptions caused by global threatens to destroy the very environment that sustains the heating. possibility of life. What kind of country sacrifices the health and well-being We exist because of the unique and delicate balance of of its citizens to create obscene wealth for a handful of people? immensely complex natural systems found only on our home A crazy country, a country suffering from planet. We are a part of this life, not above it, dementia. not in control of it. We will not heal ourselves Systemic, Whitehouse and George suggest that this environmental by mastering and conquering nature, but by recognizing that we are a manifestation of craziness—this American dementia—is driven problems by the ascendance of “hyper-capitalism,” a nature and can only prosper by strengthening like poverty, maniacal form of capitalism that is obsessed our connections to the living world. with growth, and values nothing but everJust as we must learn to live in harmony pollution, increasing profits. The health and well-being with the natural world, we must also learn to deforestation, of the many are sacrificed to increase the coffers cooperate with our own species. We forget wealth that Homo sapiens are social animals that of the few. Hyper-capitalism walks hand-in-hand with inequality, and survive and thrive only through cooperation “neoliberalism,” the political and economic inequal access and collective action. We must resist systems of philosophy that believes in the power of thought and action that divide us and cast life to education unfettered and unregulated markets to solve all as a constant battle between rugged individuals. and health care To achieve this level of cooperation, we need to problems—in spite of historical evidence to the contrary. Neoliberalism casts big government as create governments and institutions that value contribute to the enemy and glorifies rugged individualism. our interconnectedness and serve the greater cognitive decline good, as opposed to catering to the interests of It fears the cooperation and collective power and dementia. a power elite. of labor unions and democratic elections. It pursues a divide-and-conquer strategy. We need to end poverty. With all the vast The term “neo-libertarianism” might better describe the wealth we produce, it is crazy that millions of children are kind of political poisons that began infecting government starving, that vast numbers of our fellow beings must live in during the Reagan era and metastasized during Donald squalid and unhealthy conditions. We must make education Trump’s administration. The adulation of a single authoritarian available to all. We must give everyone equal access to quality medical care. white male was complemented by hatred for any kind of perceived government “interference” with personal freedoms. These societal dementias cannot be solved by individual Government programs that sought to protect the people from behavioral change and lifestyle modification alone. To counter pollution, poverty, and wealth inequality were dismantled. The these grand, systemic dementias, we need collective activism cultural trends toward democracy and equality were violently and a commitment to building just and democratic institutions. threatened by the protectors of autocracy and white supremacy. We must prioritize the greater good and cherish well-being of all forms of life on planet earth. The idea of education for all was replaced with policies and practices that promoted anti-intellectualism, a mistrust for Michael C. Patterson is a consultant and coach who science, and an erosion of our very ability to distinguish the uses brain and mind sciences to optimize well-being across the lifespan. Michael and his MINDRAMP difference between truth and lies. colleague Roger Anunsen have recently launched the Our country went crazy. The physical and intellectual toxins MINDRAMP podcasts, Live Long & Live Well. You can subscribe to the podcasts at www.mindramp.org or this systemic dementia produces relentlessly damages our directly at mindramp.buzzsprout.com. brains and confuses our thinking.

Aging with Confidence

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condo and moved across the country to live with one of my daughters. After 35 years of living alone, I was suddenly occupying space with two other people and two dogs in a city where I knew no one. The world became a place we didn’t recognize with a new vocabulary to describe it. Words like quarantine, PPE, ventilators, mask mandates, virtual schooling, vaccines, daily briefings, misinformation, disinformation, rising cases, rising deaths, food-delivery apps, social distancing, and hand sanitizing entered the lexicon. People found their own methods of coping, some healthy and productive, some not so much. As we all struggled to cope with COVID, I was also trying to adapt to being “retired.” I didn’t feel retired. As I unpacked my computer and set up my tiny office space in my new home, I immediately got back to work. No longer having to deal with clients and their books, I began to write my own. The subject was aging, which I was facing firsthand. I had questions, so I looked for answers. I researched, reviewed my own experience, interviewed other older people and experts, and sat at the computer for hours every day. And so passed 2020.

Reluctant Retiree BY BOBBI LINKEMER

I never really expected to retire. It just wasn’t something I looked forward to or planned for. I thought I would keep on working forever, or at least until I fell off my chair. Eventually, I developed three criteria for when I would stop working: when there was no work, when I could no longer do the work, or when I no longer wanted to work. All three conditions occurred simultaneously—a perfect storm— and that is when I (euphemistically) took down the shingle. Dissolving my one-person business was a rather understated process. All I had to do was close my bank accounts and take down my website. After 30 years, I thought there should be a little more drama associated with this major life transition. Perhaps I should have sent out a news release or, at the very least, a personal note to my clients. But I did neither of those things. I simply stopped what I had been doing and cleaned out my files. It was a bit anticlimactic to say the least. Racking up Points on the Stress Scale

While I was contemplating what to do next, COVID hit, and my world flipped on its head. Suddenly, I was stuck at home in greatly changed circumstances. Not only had I closed my business, but I had also sold my


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

How to Get Through a Pandemic

After 35 years of living alone, I was suddenly occupying space with two other people and two dogs in a city where I knew no one.

The pandemic continued, and so did I. I finished the book, wrote a proposal, found a publisher, began marketing, and made it through 2021. By 2022, things had slowed down a bit. By then, COVID had morphed into the Delta Variant, which gave way to Omicron. The death count was up and down, with older people and the unvaccinated especially at risk. Vaccines became available, which half the country took advantage of, while the other half did not. The first half fared fairly well; the second half did not. In the meantime, I turned 85. Identity: What I Do vs. Who I Am

For my entire career, I have defined myself by what I do, rather than who I am. For years, I had been a book coach, ghostwriter, and editor. When I stopped being those things, I felt adrift. True, the basis of all those labels was being a writer, and that has not changed. So, I guess the part of me that strings words together to create prose has not really “retired.” Being 85 will be quite temporary. Next year I will be 86, then 87, each number signifying a more advanced age. Assuming I live into my 90s (a bold assumption), the word old will take on new meaning with each passing year. There is no way to get around that reality. Like every other species on this planet, we are born, we stumble through life—each in www.3rdActMag.com

our unique way—and we die. Strangely, it is not dying that troubles me; it is the slow fade of my physical and mental vitality—if I am fortunate enough to live into my later years—or worse yet, succumbing to the speedier decline brought about by illness or an accident. Choosing to Go With The Flow

Millions of people have grown old since the beginning of time. Yet, for each of us, aging is a singular experience. How well we handle the inevitable changes that come with this stage of life is a choice— a choice we have the power to make— I have the power to make. I can choose to be miserable about each passing year and physical change, or I can adapt to the natural flow of life. That seems to be the only sensible approach to living well now and for as long as I am here. Bobbi Linkemer has been a professional writer for more than 50 years. She has written 28 books, coached many aspiring authors on how to write and publish their books, developed and taught writing courses, and written on a wide array of subjects for print and electronic media. Her most recent book is How to Age with Grace: Living Your Best Life in Your 70s, 80s, and Beyond, available now at Amazon and HenschelHaus Books.

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Aging with Confidence

summer 2022

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Welcome to


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022


Celebrating a birthday, graduating from school, getting married, or holding a funeral, we’ve all witnessed or participated in special festivities or services that recognize the transition from one stage of life to another. Whether they are religious or secular, public or private, elaborate or simple, all rite-of-passage occasions have one thing in common: They create meaning for any of us who take part in them. Basically, a rite of passage says three things about someone’s life: They have achieved certain skills and qualities (the past) that entitle their move to a new stage of existence; they are taking on a new identity (the present); and they will now have one or more new roles to play in relationship to others (the future). It’s easy to see how these three realities apply in different stages from Childhood through Adulthood, and even at the last day of life. All stages, that is, except one: moving from Adulthood to our later years, known as

In a society that has created rituals celebrating different life stages, why not hold rites of passage honoring our later years? by JEANETTE LEARDI

the ageism that’s ever-present in our culture tells us that there are no more doorways to enter until that very last one, called death. According to Ron Pevny, director of the Center for Conscious Eldering and author of Conscious Living, Conscious Aging, “Modern society knows little about the stages of growth of the human psyche, and even less about the stage called Elderhood with its potential for growth, fulfillment, and service. So ageism is pervasive along with lack of any kinds of acknowledgement of the contributions of older adults, largely because the cultural norm is that upon retirement, our time of meaningful contribution is mostly over.”

Elderhood Elderhood. Somehow, modern Western culture as a whole hasn’t created a formal recognition, or ritual, for that period of development. And sadly, there is a reason for this.

How Ageism Denies Elderhood If we think about our lifespan as a one-directional path we take through various doors at different times in our lives, we can certainly remember a nebulous time when we felt we were stepping through the doorway between Adolescence and Adulthood. However, Aging with Confidence

Retired psychotherapist Connie Zweig, Ph.D., author of The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul, would agree. “Because we live in an ageist society,” she explains, “we tend to believe that young is good, old is bad, strong is good, weak is bad, independent is good, dependent is bad, and quick is good, slow is bad. As a consequence, we don’t acknowledge the profound value and contributions of older adults.” Unfortunately, older adults may internalize this feeling of uselessness to the extent that after passing through

the Adulthood doorway, their pessimistic attitudes about aging can affect their behavior and even their health. Research studies done by Yale psychologist Dr. Becca Levy and her team, described in her recently published book, Breaking the Age Code: How Your Beliefs About Aging Determine How Long and Well You Live, have shown that older adults who hold negative views about aging may increase by 50% their likelihood of developing dementia and even cut their lifespan by an average of 7.5 years. And that’s not good for body, mind … or spirit.

A Community of Witnesses Just as graduation and marriage ceremonies provide a sense of legitimacy for these life stages, shouldn’t arriving at Elderhood have its own social form of recognition for such an achievement? In fact, shouldn’t Elderhood itself be something all of us should aspire to rather than dread? It’s one thing for a life passage to be meaningful to ourselves alone, but its meaning is intensified when a ritual that marks its occurrence is shared with others. The process of exchanging a former identity with a new one can be challenging for us because it can be hard to predict what awaits us on the other side of the aging “door.” Recognizing our vulnerability by doing so in the supportive presence of others is a plus. Zweig explains that “it helps to be witnessed in this process, so that our new identity is valued and confirmed.” (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE) summer 2022

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Being present during a rite-ofpassage ritual can transform the witnesses, too. Imagine a beautiful ceremony during which children, young adults, and middle-agers watch their grandparent or parent being honored by the rest of the family for that person’s accomplishments, values, and future goals. Instead of thinking it’s a bad thing to be old, those members might actually look forward to that stage of life. Now imagine families everywhere holding Elderhood ceremonies—and in the process, ridding our culture of the ageism and discrimination that pervade it.

A Three-Step Ritual For a rite of passage to be meaningful, it needs to address what a person is experiencing. “Change is always happening,” says Zweig. “How can we allow change to change us? By taking the three steps of a rite of passage: Letting go of an outworn pattern, stepping into uncertainty, and emerging renewed.” Think about the fact that in order to become a butterfly, the creature has to cast off the characteristics of a caterpillar, enclose itself for a period of time in a cocoon, from which it emerges with a new body—including wings. Or, as Pevny puts it, “A rite of passage at any life stage helps people shed old skins that no longer fit, as snakes do when they grow out of their old skins.” And in between the shedding of the old skin and the growing of a new one, there’s a time of pause to reflect on exactly what it all means. Acknowledging this pause is the purpose of ritual. There are many forms an Elderhood ceremony can take. What’s important is that the more it reflects the individual being honored, the more significant it will be. Should you decide to hold such a ceremony, Pevny offers a structure that can be adapted and personalized:


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

1) Invoking the presence of the Sacred (however the Elder’s community names it). 2) The Elder speaking of what they want to heal or let go and then doing a symbolic act, such as placing some symbol of their letting-go in a fire. 3) The Elder speaking of the strengths and positive qualities they have exhibited up to now that they feel are important to take into the future. 4) The Elder sharing a vision for what a fulfilled Elderhood can look like for them. 5) The community acknowledging the Elder’s strengths and potential for thriving and serving in the community. 6) The community welcoming them as a new Elder, and offering them some symbol of Elderhood, such as a special shawl. Pevny also suggests including inspiring readings and music/songs throughout the course of the ceremony.

The Right to a Rite In the end, we should realize that, as average life expectancy increases, Adulthood can be followed by decades of living in a stage that fosters a different kind of wisdom borne from years of experience, and with it come newer social roles to assume and ways to contribute. “Throughout history,” says Pevny, “it is the Elders who have been the conscience of the community, reminding the younger generations of the importance of honoring, valuing, and protecting all in the community now, and leaving a healthy world for generations to come.” As Zweig explains, “We celebrate Medicare birthdays. But a senior is not an Elder. Elder is a stage, not an age. … And a new stage requires a rite of passage.” Older adults have a right to passage. Isn’t it about time we create rituals that honor it?

Jeanette Leardi is a Portland-based social gerontologist, writer, editor, and community educator who has a passion for older adult empowerment. She gives popular presentations and workshops in journaling, memoir writing, ethical will creation, brain fitness, creativity, ageism, intergenerational communication, and caregiver support to people of all ages. Learn more about her work at jeanetteleardi.com.

The ageism that’s everpresent in our culture tells us that there are no more doorways to enter until that very last one, called death.




and social events offer greater opportunities to expand skills, make friends, and engage.


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Living in an independent living environment purposely built for active agers can make your life easier, prolong your health and vitality, and grow your social circle— it’s a lifestyle choice that prioritizes wellness. If you are considering making a move to an independent living community, set a goal to transition while you’re still active and without the stress of a health crisis or illness. This usually means sooner, rather than later.

about their overall wellness are more resilient. During the pandemic they became more tech-savvy, using smart devices and technology to stay connected and engaged. For some, volunteering or sharing knowledge with others is a way to tend to occupational wellness needs and spark necessary mental stimulation to stay sharp. Community clubs, staff support,

Are you moving enough? Low mobility can lead to increased loneliness, especially if you fear coming out of your home and neglect social engagement with others. At Cadence Living, our proprietary IN•TUNE™ Fitness uses state-of-the-art technology to provide personal instruction with a network of fitness instructors and on-demand and live workouts. Team members support community competitions where residents celebrate their fitness achievements. Residing in a purpose-built independent living community will enhance your overall peace of mind and happiness. We invite you to stop by to tour our beautiful apartments at Cadence KentMeridian. Isn’t it time you lived your best life?

Is moving to an independent living community right for you? Here are a few questions to ask yourself: Be honest, how well are you managing your stress levels? Are you happy and content in your current living environment? If your stress is high and you are unhappy or lonely, your emotional wellness can impact your physical health and the energy you have for selfcare such as maintaining healthy eating habits and physical fitness. Adults living in purpose-built communities like Cadence Living report being happier, less stressed, more physically active, and more social. How would you rate yourself on being curious and interested in lifelong learning? Do you make good use of your free time? Active agers who are curious and vigilant Aging with Confidence

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A MODERN AGING COMMUNITY A MODERN AGING COMMUNITY (253) 534-8140 (253) 534-8140 CadenceKentMeridian.com CadenceKentMeridian.com 25035 104th Ave. SE 25035 104th Ave. SE Kent, WA 98030 Kent, WA 98030 Cadence Living®® operates by state and local health guidelines. Cadence Living operates by state and local health guidelines.

summer 2022

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We must search for what we want to become. None of us has an immutable essence. One way to shape who we become—a way to rewire our brain’s circuits and neurons to forge a bolder, more intentional, and more purposeful life—is to write a personal mission statement and deeply reflect on it. It’s never too late to bring more intentionality—more purpose, character, and meaning—into your life. You benefit from struggling to write your personal mission statement as opposed to simply tossing ideas around in your head. You are contemplating the kind of life you want to design, create, and live, and then writing clear and inspiring answers to such big questions as, What is my best life? Where do I belong? What are my values? What deeply matters to me? What do I believe in? What is my purpose? I have one chance at life, so I must have an accurate map and compass to help me lead a life of purpose, joy, and meaning, and with the fewest possible regrets. The purpose of my personal mission statement, below, is to be that map and compass—my true north. I will be the best person I can be, so I can die feeling at peace and with few regrets. My Personal Mission Statement As I approach the end of my days on this earth, I appreciate I’ve had a good life and have much for which to be grateful. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. wrote, “Alas for those who never sing, but die with all their music in them!” I had the chance to “sing.” I worked hard and gave life my best shot. I recognize I’ve been lucky and privileged, enjoying unfair social advantages over others because I’m white and male. I agree with whoever said that the purpose of life is a life of purpose. Living with purpose makes the world a better place and benefits others, while also helping me feel fulfilled. Therefore, I will embrace a purpose-driven life, not a comfort-driven life.


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022


I will nurture new identities. Of course, I will still focus on my family and on my role as a husband, father, and grandfather, but I will also build my identity as an author, teacher, speaker, community member, volunteer, health advocate, aging advocate, and death and dying educator. As I face mortality, I will find joy in designing the meaning and purpose of the last phase of my life. It is my responsibility to find my path and live my own unique life. I will spend my time on what matters to me. I am what I spend my time on. In historian Will Durant’s formulation, I will become what I repeatedly do. Greek philosopher Heraclitus wrote, “Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become.” Author Annie Dillard wrote, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” As New York Times columnist David Brooks advocates in his book The Second Mountain, I will climb a “second mountain” that focuses on what matters. He distinguishes “eulogy virtues” from “resume virtues.” To move from “resume virtues” to “eulogy virtues” is to move from activities focused on the self to activities focused on others. I will work for the greater good. I will give my life meaning and fulfillment by contributing to matters larger than the self and more enduring than my life. William James said, “The great use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it.” I will give my life significance by devoting myself to challenging and worthy tasks. As a result, I will have something worth living for—what the Japanese call ikigai (“reason for being”),

Aging with Confidence

linked to finding meaning and being optimistic. I will adopt a growth mindset and seek an abundance of growth experiences. Growth experiences give my life significance and meaning and are the keys to a fulfilled life and a life of learning. T.S. Eliot wrote, “Old men ought to be explorers.”

It’s never too late to bring more intentionality—more purpose, character, and meaning—into your life. If I’m living well, I will always be doing something hard. Philosopher and activist Bertrand Russell said, “When striving ceases, so does life.” And Nietzsche believed that embracing difficulty is essential for a fulfilling life. He famously asserted, “What does not kill me makes me stronger.” Poet Goethe said, “If you want to make life easy, make it hard.” In Adams Grant’s formulation, I will be a “giver,” not a “taker.” I will benefit and help other people. I will strive to make the world a better place. I will be benevolent, farsighted, and generous. I will create a meaningful legacy that will survive me and be my gift to the future I will not see. I want “my memory be for a blessing”—a beautiful Jewish expression. I want to leave more than just money. I hope to ripple into the future, just as my parents have rippled through me. (Rippling is psychiatrist Irvin Yalom’s word for passing on parts of ourselves to others. Yalom says it helps to reduce the dread of death.)

I will undertake activities that strengthen my relationships with others, especially with family, friends, and neighbors. I will nurture camaraderie and goodwill. As author Ken Blanchard puts it, I will “catch people doing things right” rather than focusing on mistakes and errors. I will cut out all nonessentials from my life and everything of little consequence. I will minimize my use of social media, which can be toxic and dystopian. I will practice “digital minimalism” as described in Professor Cal Newport’s same name book. I will have time for high-quality activities, including reading books, writing books, having conversations with friends, and learning to dance and play tennis. I will be “indistractable” (author Nir Eyal’s word). I will pursue a reverse bucket list. Every year, I will jettison obligations, possessions, and relationships that don’t advance my life goals. I acknowledge that I am a beginner in many areas of life. I will relish the role of being a student and lifelong learner. Scientist and author Isaac Asimov said, “The day you stop learning is the day you begin decaying.” I will appreciate the distinction between “doing” and “being.” I will relish the chance to watch a bird, admire a flower, and enjoy the moment. Chris Palmer is an author, speaker, wildlife filmmaker, and professor. He is currently writing a book on death and dying, is a hospice volunteer, and runs an “aging well” group for the Bethesda Metro Area Village in Maryland. His new book, Finding Meaning and Success: Living A Fulfilled and Productive Life, provides a roadmap for creating your own personal mission statement and more. It is available on Amazon.com.

summer 2022

| 3rd Act magazine


Thirdact.org aims to reignite the activist power of a generation

One f ine June day, I did a dangerous thing. But I was not alone. Not even close. There were thousands of us, that sunny BY ANN HEDREEN Sunday, who left our homes and headed to Othello Park in South Seattle. We carried signs. We carried anger. We carried grief. We wore masks. For three months, we had kept our distance from other people. But this was a moral and ethical emergency. It had been 12 days since George Floyd’s death. Our neighborhood march, officially titled the “We Want to Live March for Black Lives and to End Violence,” was one of countless peaceful protests that took place all over the world that Sunday. We were many months away from vaccines (though we didn’t even know that; we thought it might be years), and we knew far less than we know now about how COVID-19 spread. Every single person present on that day had to seriously weigh the risks of being in the streets with


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

so many people. And every single person who showed up had done that reckoning and decided it was worth it. And many of us were not youngsters. We knew we were at higher risk of illness and death from COVID, but we also knew the power of taking to the streets. 3rd Act Magazine now has a powerful namesake friend in the nonprofit world whose mission is to tap into that power. Founded by Akaya Windwood and Bill McKibben, ThirdAct.org plans to put our generation’s energy and experience to use, as we face the enormous challenges of climate change, racial justice, economic inequality, and immigration. As Windwood and McKibben wrote in a guest essay in the New York Times, “we need older people returning to the movement politics they helped invent.” It is time, they say, for “experienced Americans” to “grow into a wave if we’re going to defuse the challenges facing us.” ThirdAct.org is already organizing people over the age of 60—via affinity groups, issue campaigns, and location groups (there is a Pacific Northwest group in the works)— www.3rdActMag.com

to “muster political and economic power to move Washington and Wall Street in the name of a fairer, more sustainable society and planet. We back up the great work of younger people, and we make good trouble of our own.” As Windwood told Third-Acters who gathered on a recent Zoom call, “Let’s partner well. We’re never alone. We’re always connected. And take a breath.” There’s really not a moment to spare, when you think about what is happening to our planet and our country, from the burning forests of the West to actual book burnings. And though there is still reason to be cautious about gathering in large groups, if you’re healthy, vaxxed and boosted, and you’re gathering outside, which the book burners certainly are doing, there’s nothing like people in the streets to bring attention to what matters. There’s also nothing like putting your money where your mouth is—and that is something many older Americans are more able to do now than during the protest era of their youth. According to the Federal Reserve, Baby Boomers and their elders hold 70 percent of the country’s wealth. (Millennials account for five percent, and Gen X for 25 percent). One of Third Act’s first direct actions is to protest the investment of four major banks in fossil fuels development by urging bank and credit card account holders to sign a pledge to close their accounts or cut up their cards if their bank(s) are still funding fossil fuel projects at the end of 2022. Another current focus is to work with partner organizations to get out the mid-term vote in

The idea of

toss-up states by sending out handwritten postcards. If, like lullabies as a me, you wonder if all those postcards you and your friends root source wrote in 2020 made a difference, studies show thatof indeed they did. The percentages may look tiny (.4 percent, .07 compassion— percent), but keep in mind that many races in 2016 and 2020 a deep well we hinged on hundreds or thousands, not millions, of votes. can go back to, my When I took my first look at the ThirdAct.org website, reaction was, “Oh no. Don’t makeat meany hope.” Last in year at time this time, I was so full of hope I could barely sit still. But this our lives, when year? After Omicron, wildfires, storms, Russia’s invasion of weextended want or Ukraine, and two more deaths in my family (not from COVID, but likely hastened by the stresses on hospitals need to cultivate caused by the pandemic), after all of that, I’m not so quick to compassion— hope anymore. But I would like to learn to hope again. And powerful. maybe the kind of collective actionis Third Act is calling for is exactly what I need. What we all need. As Lisa Verhovek, who is on Third Act’s Pacific Northwest coordinating committee, put it, “We’re malnourished” after two years of living with the pandemic. We need the “food for the human spirit” that is connection and community. “We can’t do this work frantically, with our hair on fire.” BY ANN HEDREEN PHOTOGRAPHY BY writing, Ann Hedreen is an author (Her Beautiful Brain), teacher of memoir HANNAH REYES MORALES and filmmaker. Ann and her husband, Rustin Thompson, own White Noise Productions and have made more than 150 short films and several feature documentaries together, including Quick Brown Fox: An Alzheimer’s Story. She recently completed a second memoir, After Ecstasy: Memoir of an Observant Doubter.

Facing page from left: Boomers lead 1960s Vietnam war protest; Boomers at the 2017 Women’s March in Seattle. Above from top left: ThirdAct.org co-founder Akaya Windwood; co-founder Bill McKibben (photos courtesy ThirdAct.org); protesters marching in Seattle.

Aging with Confidence

summer 2022

| 3rd Act magazine


Giving Way


ur granddaughter, at age four, had been dealt a blow. Beloved and central her whole life thus far, with the arrival of a baby sister—an event unasked for—her world tilted. She would recede behind the couch or the parental knees, her expression toggling between bafflement and betrayal. One evening, she was overheard to ask, “How do you make someone dead?” Ever patient, ever loving, her father replied, “I will have to think about that,” and most probably, he meant it. Oh, the torments change brings to all. Post-The Holidays, we decided to


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022


change our way of eating, and shift to eating lighter and earlier and less. Having agreed enthusiastically, I toppled quickly from acquiescence to resentment. “Food like love is a deeply emotional matter,” Julia Child declared upon some occasion. But what did this portend? My days are organized around the various pursuits involving food. There is the grand joy of breakfast—an egg scramble with vegetable sauté, the dill sprinkle, the lustrous yogurt plop. Then espresso and a cookie. At the table, thanks are given, literature consumed, hunger slackened.

Food—its acquisition, preparation, consumption, and storage—is a means of working against the scary forces of change. One day I clocked my food related activities at four to five hours a day, excluding grocery shopping. Foregoing all that presumed liberation from “The Hassle,” so we signed up for a meal service, a very good one as far as these things go. The food was sustainably sourced and recyclably packaged. It was pretty to behold. It was vegan and arrived pre-dawn. But I quickly realized that the removal of “The Hassle” left a void. I liked the planning and shopping and cooking. www.3rdActMag.com

I have the time to do it and this revelation led to further thought—the effort expended on these tasks accrues to reverence. I, a human animal, require food; therefore, treating this need with care—joy, even—shows reverence for a thing so basic as to be held in disregard. What would be gained in turning that over to our meal service, however good and wholesome? A memory blooms: A meditation retreat in the California desert, in silence, but for dharma talks. Ruth Dennison, savior of stray and injured animals, Prussian in person and tone, a pioneering Vipassana teacher, a pop of color in the dessert’s dun palette. She is a weather of joys and stern reprimands. Trailed by an array of dachshunds, Ruth sweeps into her halls—dining, meditation. Reveries of gratitude occur reliably at lunch. Our days are stripped of all distraction; food is the day’s one exclamation mark. The main meal, lunch, bifurcates the sameness and the silence. After the mindful shuffle toward trays, the slow advance through the serving line, the claiming of one’s place, it is all one can do not to fall upon one’s food. But we must wait for Ruth, her sweeping entrance with the dogs, the dreaded panegyric. The room roils with feeling: impatience, fortitude, rage. Stomachs writhe in the tension between craving and restraint; stomachs wait. Finally, Ruth sweeps, and begins, “study the food in your bowl; this leaf of lettuce; this tomato,” and continues, “sun and rain have given us this food,” and unbelievably goes on, “you are being fed the air; you are ingesting sky.” Something shifts. Avarice and impatience give way to curiosity, which expands toward grace and gratitude. The moment, a prison, is now merely space, a space of breath, of breathing. Aging with Confidence

Ruth finishes, and leaves. We watch her, breathe out as one, and slowly start to eat. Now, these 30 years later, this moment presents itself before the advance on my morning scramble. It can be argued that such awareness can effect change. It could be argued that reverence for the humble arts invites a pause in which to reflect on what Thich Nhat Hanh termed “interbeing”—the sun, rain, earth, seed, tomato, bits of these that linger on the tongue. We discontinued Thistle and reengaged “The Hassle” of preparing our food.


—its acquisition, preparation, consumpution, and storage—is a means of working against the scary forces of change.

When we moved into our home some 20 years ago, the living room walls were the color of butternut squash, and I thought myself enchanted. Six long years of not living in the living room followed before I realized that the color and the layout of the room were horrid. A remodel, boldly embarked upon by my irrepressible wife, and a changing of the color guard followed. Still, I hand-wrung, afraid of change. Similarly in the garden, unknown stuff abounded and bloomed, and there, too, I feared doing harm to what seemed so deliberately established. I engaged experts to teach me what was what,

and how to tend. It was as if I had to hold my breath and tiptoe, undeserving of my castle. My role was one of taking care rather than taking possession. Recognizing the disproportion of my fear, I tracked down some knowledge and became Master Gardener, enrolled in a landscape/horticulture program, started a gardening business. Never underestimate anxiety as a great motivator. The butternut squash gave way to a calming shade of blue called Glacier Stream. The garden, too, utterly transformed into a wonderland of ferns, bulbs, flowering shrubs, and trees, a veritable park from what had truly been a hodgepodge. This is all a long way from the betrayal sustained by our little granddaughter wrestling with the enormous change befallen her but speaks to the inexorable nature of change. I am happy to report, as the months unfolded, betrayal made room for her curiosity, which in turn bloomed into mirth—mirth and affection. But, oh my, it was from brokenness that love began to flourish. Change sought, change inflicted. One connotes hope and aspiration; the other, torment, ruin, blame. We stand under its great canopy, gazing up into falling blossoms, in thrall to movement. One morning, The Atlantic asked its readers this: “What about your life are you most afraid to change, and why? Send us an audio clip, no longer than three minutes.” Go. A practicing Buddhist for more than 30 years, Hollis Giammatteo has sought experiences that challenge her practice, from teaching writing to working with the elderly. She co-founded The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, and was a resident playwright for The Rhode Island Feminist Theatre. Giammatteo has published in a variety of magazines and her memoir, The Shelf Life of Ashes, was released in 2016 by She Writes Press.

summer 2022

| 3rd Act magazine




3rd Act magazine | summer 2022



n 1965, a group of 13-year-old white girls sat in a Home Economics class, ready to learn the secrets of personal care. The day before, as a prelude, our teacher had shared an amusing story of her father calling her his little quarterton. Today we would find out how to wash our hair, wear the right clothes, and maybe get some cosmetic advice. Waiting for Miss Fraser to arrive and share more realworld math problems about weight, I read a magazine article describing how important it was—once you were suitably married, of course—to leave your make-up on while you slept. After all, said the writer, “you wouldn’t want him to wake up and see you without it.” Yikes. To this day, I can hardly go out of the house without at least some eyeliner and mascara. We can throw blame at the multibillion-dollar cosmetic and skin care industries, but standards for female beauty began long before facelifts and mass marketing existed. For centuries, youth and beauty were paramount to a woman’s success in the world. Catch a man’s attention, marry, make a home, have babies. There were very few other options. The beginning of modern era marketing messages simply jumped on that reality and magnified it on a mass scale. Those of us over 60 grew up with advertising that wasn’t even slightly subtle about it. One of my gag-worthy favorites, for toothpaste, showed an attractive woman building a spider web. The caption read: “There’s another woman waiting for every man—and she’s too smart to have ’morning mouth.’” Let the competition begin! As women began to take their rightful place in the world, we continued to be indoctrinated into a cultural belief that how we look is what we’re worth. In fairytales, the youngest, prettiest, sweetest girl always wins over the older, uglier (less youthful), meaner (more assertive) sisters/stepmothers/ queens. Entering the real-life workplace, we continued to compete instead of collaborating with each other. Author and activist Ashton Applewhite puts it this way: “Society’s obsession with the way women look is less about beauty than about obedience to a punishing standard—and power. When women compete to ’stay young,’ we collude in our own disempowerment. When we rank other women by age, we reinforce ageism, sexism, and patriarchy.” Brandy Sebron-Kelley was born in Kansas in 1940. “One of the most terrifying things that happens as you age, especially as a woman, is that you are judged differently,” she says. “I went to the store and bought some new eyeshadow; I’d decided to wear makeup again. Then I wondered about it. I’m not trying to be 16.”

At a very young age, Sebron-Kelley had learned what white people expected of Black girls, and how to play a role to be safe and successful. Being pretty and speaking carefully were essential. “My first teacher talked to me about how to be a lady. Little bows in your hair, how to be nice, how to speak to people. You were taught that you had to be better than anybody else in order to get what you deserved,” she says. “But you had to be careful or you’d be told you were trying to act like a white person.”

Forever Young Brandy Sebron-Kelley (left) 82, and Verona

Ryan, 89, fully embrace being older and reject ageist cultural standards of beauty.

When Sebron-Kelley was in third grade, a new elementary school—for white kids only—opened near her home in South Park, Kansas. At eight years old, she was chosen to testify in a desegregation lawsuit. She was a tiny girl with a big white bow on her head, surrounded by adults. “I ended up going to the white school. We were bullied. It was so scary, sometimes you’d go to church and talk about how to save yourself from lynching,” she remembers. Sebron-Kelley was not only brave, she was also an A student who played classical music on the piano. That made her an anomaly to white men, and she quickly learned how to make that work for her as she went out into the world. “One of the most educational periods in my life was when I was hanging out with gay men in San Francisco,” she says. In her late 20s at the time, she helped others to put on an act of their own. “I was dressed in a fabulous outfit by a gay executive so I could be his beard at a big corporate event. I did it for his friends, too. They respected me, and it gave me confidence.” So what happens when young women get older? How do we change the internal narrative—put there by ageist (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

Aging with Confidence

summer 2022

| 3rd Act magazine


(CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE) messaging—that we are no longer as interesting, attractive, or relevant? “Start with yourself,” says Applewhite. “All change starts within. We can’t challenge bias unless we’re aware of it. Look at your own attitudes toward age. The minute you see a prejudice in yourself, then you start to see it around you.” Pay attention to your moments of unconscious bias, too. For example, it’s really not a compliment to say, “You look great for your age!” Think about it and stop at “great.” Verona Ryan, turning 90 this year, embraces being older. “If you like who you are, that’s part of being happy. What makes you happy makes you beautiful; it will show on the outside. Stay on top of things so you know what’s happening with your body and what’s going on out there in the world.” Ryan was a runner-up for Sweetheart of Sigma Chi in her college days. As a young wife and mother, she read “ladies’ magazines” full of articles telling readers how to look and what to do. “Everything that was written in those magazines was more or less taken as gospel,” she says. Today, Ryan says, “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good, but it’s the attitude you have about it. Don’t feel like a failure if you don’t measure up to a standard

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that someone else has set. I immediately think they’re just wanting to make money when they advertise that we should look a certain way.” When women broaden their friendships to include mixed ages, says Applewhite, it’s powerful to talk about the forces that are lined up against us that want us to compete, to judge each other. “Older women can remember what it’s like to be young, and how hard it is,” Applewhite says. “And younger women can realize how much of our youth we squander in worrying about losing it.” Sebron-Kelley recently celebrated her 82nd birthday wearing sparkling blue nail polish and a lot of jewelry. “Adorn yourself in ways that make you happy,” she says. “Accept that you’re in another dynamic age group.” Then, as she was leaving for that day’s adventure, she adds, “I’ve been an ’actress’ all my life, but the part that’s real is this arrogant, intellectual, crazy, wild, humorous woman who’s in her ’80s and isn’t ready to die yet. I want to live to be 100.” Priscilla Charlie Hinckley has been a writer and producer in Seattle television and video for 35 years, with a primary interest in stories covering health and medicine, women’s and children’s issues, social justice, and education. She enjoys taking a lighthearted approach to serious topics.

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freedom to talk about it. The way people treat each other is so good. There is no inappropriate joking or language. I’m very grateful for the atmosphere here.”

The Benefits of Living in a Faith Community During Retirement When it was time for Beth and Bob Fuhriman to move into a retirement community, there was no question where they would go. Beth had often visited older relatives living at CRISTA Senior Living and been impressed with the excellent care they were given. And, as retired missionaries, a faith-based community was ideal for the Fuhrimans. Many choose CRISTA Senior Living because it is a Christian community, others simply because of the extra special something they feel when they visit. “I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been asked by prospective residents, visiting family members, and even vendors making deliveries to one of our campuses ’Something is different about this place. What is it?’,” Senior Director of Residential Services at CRISTA Tim Graves said. “All of the staff

Aging with Confidence

at CRISTA Senior Living are truly called to the mission of honoring and serving seniors in our communities and that makes for a very different atmosphere.” In addition to the caring staff, Beth values the opportunity to live next door to people of faith. She said, “We learn from each other as we each share our faith journeys. There’s a wonderful

Not only does she enjoy fellowship with other Christians, living at CRISTA Senior Living gives Beth the opportunity to continue ministering to others. She is on the Missions Committee, attends a weekly prayer meeting, plays the piano for people who gather to sing hymns on Sunday afternoons, and is part of the lay chaplain group available to residents. Other residents volunteer to help lead church services for those living in assisted living or memory care, help with worship during weekly services held by the chaplain on staff, and pray specifically for King’s Schools students who are educated on another part of the campus that houses CRISTA Senior Living. “Life is very full here,” Beth said. “I appreciate being nurtured in my faith and sharing it with others. I recommend visiting and seeing the place for yourself.”

CRISTA Senior Living is home to seniors 55 and older, with two campuses located in the Puget Sound and customized to suit your lifestyle. Cristwood, our Shoreline campus, is a Christian Life Plan Community, with apartment living options for independent lifestyles, to assisted living and memory care. Crista Shores, our Silverdale campus, offers apartment living options for an independent lifestyle and assisted living on the beautiful Dyes Inlet waterfront.

If you would like to speak to one of our senior living experts, please call us today at 206-546-7565, or visit cristaseniorliving.com.

summer 2022

| 3rd Act magazine


AGE IS NO Exceptional athletes go for gold at the Washington State Senior Games STORY AND PHOTOS BY MARK WOYTOWICH


BARRIER Sprinters fly toward the 50-meter finish line as though shot from a cannon, legs kicking high. Their sudden burst of speed is a stunning and wondrous sight. Michael Waller of Federal Way, 64, claimed the second fastest time last year in the 50-meter dash at a blazing 6.93 seconds! I take photos for the Washington State Senior Games (WSSG), the largest Olympic-style multi-sport event in the state for anyone 50 and older. There’s little doubt WSSG attracts the best senior athletes in the state. The top three winners—gold, silver, bronze—in every event qualify for the National Senior Games, held every other year. Up to 400 medals are awarded each year, yet the majority of the 2,000 or so athletes who attend won’t earn a medal. “The Senior Games have always been about building connection and community for me,” says Dianne Foster, WSSG board

3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

president and track and field commissioner. “It may be seniors competing, but they have spouses, kids, and grandkids in the stands. I see it more as a family event.” Indeed, Foster has enlisted both her mother and sister as volunteers at track and field, one of the Senior Games largest and most wellattended events. Doing the possible “It just feels good to feel good,” says Fran Melzer, 82, a WSSG multi-medal winner and three-time national gold medal champion in women’s hammer throw, an extremely demanding event. “I was not an exceptional athlete in high school, other than gymnastics when I was younger. I stopped everything to be a mom and raise my kids and didn’t even try a sport until I was 57 or 58 and my kids were grown.” Melzer has been a WSSG board member and volunteer since her mid-60s.


From left: Father-son polevaulting duo Philip, 70, and Chuck Milliman, 89; Three-time national gold medal hammer throw champion Fran Melzer, 82; participant doing a standing broad jump; Barbara Johnson, 74, holds up just a few of her medals.

“For me, this is about feeling joy, feeling physical,” she says. “It’s not about medals. I set goals but if I don’t reach them, it’s not the end of the world.” Modest, soft-spoken Barbara Johnson of rural Elma, Wash., practically owns the gold medal in women’s 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter races. Some years she also runs the 10k road race and competes in as many as nine separate swimming events. At 74, her drawer is filled with so many medals it’s a challenge to open it each year to add more. Yet, it’s the rhythms of family and simplicity that sustain Johnson’s legacy of champion performances. She’s active with church Bible studies and leads a local hiking group. She cooks, bakes, and reads to her two great-grandchildren in a quaint wooden farmhouse built in 1919. Her favorite exercise? Riding her bike on the backroads to a tiny lake, then swimming across it in the summer.

Aging with Confidence

Hundreds of fellow athletes and spectators at Tumwater High School Stadium grew silent last year as Leonard Krause’s name echoed from the speakers. He had just secured his fourth gold medal in the men’s discus throw. Only moments before he had risen from his wheelchair, walked into the throwing box, coiled then unwound his torso, letting fly a 21-foot, 7-inch throw to a roar of applause. Krause was 100 years old. He didn’t start competing until he was 80. For supreme athletic ability, you don’t have to look any farther than the soccer fields of Lacey, Wash., in early August, where as many as 26 men’s and women’s teams from as far away as Texas and California battle for first place in the WSSG Soccer Tournament. I have never seen women of such unstoppable caliber move so fiercely as they run back and forth to make that winning goal. Sweat-soaked and grass-stained, their faces are flush pink when it’s finally over. Beaming,

they share laughter and tears as they hug teammates and fallen foes equally, with a “long day, leaving it all on the field” mixture of exhaustion and intensity. “Best feeling in the world,” says a 62-year-old competitor from California, trotting off to claim a clean towel, bottle of cold water, and a gold medal for her flight home. Breaking barriers Some athletes get to set the world on fire—or at least their own towns or cities. The Port Townsend Drizzle was the first women’s team to compete in what was previously an all-male basketball tournament. For two years they were the only women’s team at WSSG and, because rules do not permit men versus women in any sport, they had to divide up and play themselves. Frustrated, in 2017 the Drizzle team members made a “lonely hearts” personal ad video seeking the company of other women for basketball thrills. (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

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From top left: Robbie Wheat sprints towards the finish line; Going for the goal at a WSSG women’s soccer tournament; Leonard Krause, 100, secures his fourth gold medal in the men’s discus throw.

In It to Win It

The Washington State Senior Games, now in its 26th year, take place every July through August throughout the greater Olympia area. The games feature more than two dozen different sports, including pickleball, bowling, tennis, golf, disc golf and volleyball. All events are open to anyone age 50 or older, with competitors grouped in ascending age brackets of five years (50-54, 55-59, etc.) Registration to compete costs $35, plus a $10 per-sport fee. Scholarships enable anyone to compete for free. Additionally, volunteers are sought every year to help stage events. To learn more, visit www. washingtonstateseniorgames. com or call WSSG President Dianne Foster at 360-7018129 or email dianne@ washingtonstateseniorgames. com


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The ad worked and the next year, a newly formed women’s team joined from Olympia. A year after that, another began competing from Aberdeen, Wash. Today, Drizzle team members are widely acknowledged for opening the WSSG basketball tournament to more inclusivity, as well as some raucous, good-natured humor. Personal best Few athletes capture the WSSG spirit of acceptance and camaraderie as much as Chuck and Philip Milliman, the pole-vaulting father-son duo from Sequim, Wash. Chuck, who turns 90 in November, is a veteran marathon runner, has climbed all the major peaks in the Northwest, and runs his age every five years to raise money for nonprofits (at 80, it took 23 hours; 85 took a bit longer, 35 hours). Son Phil, 70, got them both started in pole vaulting. It helps, of course, to live next door to each other with a full-size vaulting pit installed

in your backyard. The Millimans share more than 100 gold, silver, and bronze medals between them, including more than a dozen National Senior Games gold medals in pole vaulting and the 4x100-meter relay—Chuck’s “action on the side,” as Phil refers to it. What makes them exceptional athletes and the kind of people I aspire to be comes down not to accolades and awards, but to a very livable philosophy that extends outward from oneself to others. “I compete against myself,” Phil says. “That eliminates envy. When I get out there, I work to be the best I can be.” Adds his dad, “I try to do that with everything, and with everyone I meet. Be at your best and you’ll bring out the best in others.” Mark Woytowich is a writer, photographer, video producer and author of Where Waterfalls and Wild Things Are. He lives in Potlatch, Wash., with his wife, Linda. Reach him at his website, www.wherewaterfallsare.com or by email at eyefive@hctc.com.



From “Murph” to Mont Blanc Find Your Challenge BY MIKE HARMS

One of my favorite things about being a personal trainer is that I get to be part of my clients’ fitness journey. When someone achieves a life-changing fitness milestone, frequently they share some common traits. They envision a meaningful goal. They train consistently. They reduce injury risk. Last, but not least, they celebrate the journey. What calls you? “It seemed so daunting at first. But then we trained for it.” That’s how Janet summarizes The Murph Challenge, honoring Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a U.S. Navy SEAL who received a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery. “Take our time. This is why we’re here.” That’s the daily mantra recited by European travel expert Rick Steves, while he trekked the Tour du Mont Blanc through France, Italy and Switzerland. Janet is my client. Steves is my neighbor: We’ve never spoken, but we sometimes wave during walks through our lovely Edmonds hometown. Janet chose “Murph” to commemorate her 67th birthday. Murph consists of a 1-mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, and finishes with another 1-mile run. All while wearing a 20-lb vest. Janet faced an additional challenge: An arthritic shoulder would make 200 push-ups extra hard. She also considered herself a weak runner. Murph includes two, mile-long runs. Steves was 66 last fall when he hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc, a multi-day trek that circles Western Europe’s largest mountain. As an added challenge, Steves blogged that he and his three companions were “total novices” at long-distance hiking.

Train consistently Janet practiced her Murph exercises 2-3 times per week for six months. She turned running into a strength by gradually increasing her distance. She even entered her first 5K and won her age division! Steves and his girlfriend, Shelley, eased into training with walks around Green Lake in Seattle. They progressed to more challenging routes like Mt. Si.

Aging with Confidence

Minimize injury risk and maximum fun Janet and I include balance training in her workouts. Steves cites daily stretching as one of his top trail tips. Janet accommodated her arthritic shoulder by performing push-ups on a slight incline. We modified her pull-ups with an assistance band. She wore a weighted vested during specific training sessions, but not during her actual Murph. Steves cheerfully blogged that his group “cheated a bit” on the 110-mile Tour du Mont Blanc, by hiking “the best 60 miles in six days,” then “catching local buses through the less exciting parts, and letting a ’sherpa service’ shuttle our bags” to each day’s final destination.

Celebrate your journey and keep moving! Steves calls the Tour du Mont Blanc “the best hike of my life.” He told Outside magazine that he’s got a “bucket list” of future treks, including the Dolomite trails in Italy. Janet has a bucket list, too. She wants to hike every trail in the revered 100 Classic Hikes: Washington. So far, Janet has completed 70 hikes … and counting. She has three more planned this summer. Mike Harms is an author, personal trainer, and owner of Muscle & Hustle gym in Seattle.

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Rev It Up! W

e all know we are supposed to exercise but as we begin to stiffen with age or injury, sometimes just the word exercise sounds exhausting and sends us reaching for the remote. So why not reframe it? Don’t exercise. Just move, more. I’m a trail runner who ran my fastest 100K when I turned 60. And you want to know a dirty little secret? I don’t exercise. I just move. For miles. With friends. On trails. It is pure joy. Okay, there are some moments when it’s really hard, but it’s always, in the end, a joy. If it weren’t, I wouldn’t run that far. When my husband asks me what I’m doing, I never, ever, ever say “I’m exercising.” That sounds so unpleasant. I’m going for a run with Betsy. I’m skiing with Robyn. I’m going for a bike ride with Rebecca. There are so many ways to keep your body healthy without going to the gym. My husband who sits in a cockpit three days a week keeps his body taut by being farm fit: fixing fences, bucking hay, and chopping wood. My 85-year-old mother-in-law loves to mow the lawn. When we offered


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to find Oma a kid-down-the-street to take on the chore, she refused. “It makes me feel good,” she says. My octogenarian father—who’s been fighting Parkinson’s for over two decades—has kept the debilitating disease at bay gardening. The other day he built a garden gate with my brother, walking up and down his steep yard, hauling bamboo, and “measuring twice, cutting once.” You don’t have to go to a gym, get a health club membership, or wear Lululemon to work out. You just have to move more than you did yesterday. “When we are moving, we are improving, when we are sitting, we are rotting,” says orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kevin Stone, orthopedic surgeon at The Stone Clinic and author of Play Forever: How to Recover from Injury and Thrive. The Mayo Clinic concurs. Sitting for 8 hours a day—with no physical activity—incurs the same risk of death as obesity and smoking. And we know what the Surgeon General says about smoking. Attitude, Dr. Stone professes, is a big part of maintaining a healthy body. Dr. Stone prefers to “encourage patients to see their BY STEPHANIE IRVING injuries as a reason to get fitter, faster, and stronger,” and to see themselves as athletes-intraining, not patients in rehab. Don’t wait for old age or injury to be your wake-up call to action. You can start to boost your energy and your well-being at any time. If you start to move more today, your body will be fitter, faster, and stronger than you were yesterday. And so will your mind. “Simply moving your body has long lasting protective benefits for your brain that can last for the rest of your life,” says Wendy Suzuki, a neural scientist at New York University in a recent Ted Talk on the “Brain Changing Benefits of Exercise.”

We can’t all be ultramarathoners. But we can all move more.


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Exercise is the most transformative thing that you can do for your brain because, according to Suzuki, it helps you literally grow a bigger brain at any age. And, she adds, one workout alone improves your mood, your ability to focus your attention, and your reaction time for up to two hours. Looking for more than two hours of bliss? Sure, ultra-runners might be bathing in the bubble bath of a dopamine-infused brain, but Suzuki assures us that you don’t have run hundreds of miles to get these effects. According to Suzuki’s research, you simply need to get your heart rate pumping a little faster for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, three days a week to give your mood, memory, and attention the boost it needs to protect your mind and your body from an onslaught of diseases and change the trajectory of your life for the better. It doesn’t matter your age. People 75 and older who

Aging with Confidence



have been diagnosed with dementia can benefit from increased activity. “While you’re not going to cure these diseases, it will take longer for these diseases to take effect. Think of exercise as a supercharged 401K for your brain,” says Suzuki. Simply start investing in your body today by moving more than you did yesterday. Take an extra walk around the block, maybe include a set of stairs or two. Consider adding a little power salsa to your vacuuming. Or change your attitude. Look out your window. The grass is growing. You are an athlete-in-training; the lawn is your gym. Rev up that lawn mower. Rev up your life. Stephanie Irving is an avid trail runner who competed in the Ultra Trails du Mont Blanc 100K last year. She raises sheep on her farm in Trout Lake, Wash., and is the executive director of Helping Hands Against Violence in Hood River, Ore. She was formerly the senior editor of Sasquatch Books’ Best Places series.

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Whidbey Scenic Isle Way: A Magical Culinary Road Trip There are three portals to Whidbey Scenic Isle Way. Two are ferries crossing Puget Sound and Possession Sound and the third, a bridge sitting 18 stories above Deception Pass. All of them drop you onto an island where the agricultural bounty, farm-to-table food producers, and ethos for rural preservation join forces for a perfect summer culinary get-away. To fully appreciate the island’s bounty, begin near its midpoint at the 522-acre Greenbank Farm. Built as a dairy operation in 1904, by 1970 the farm had also become the largest loganberry producer in the United States. Today, the land with its iconic red barn, out buildings converted to retail and offices, and the original homestead are owned and maintained by the Port of Coupeville and administered by a trust. Two community gardens (one for veterans and one solar-powered) and a demonstration native plant garden speak to the farm’s community and environmental operating values. The former loganberry fields overlooking the Cascade and Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound are lined with trails open to the public and their off-leash dogs, if the red flag is flying. Greenbank wines, cheeses, and pies, as well as other locally sourced foods, are sold on the premises. South of Greenbank, historic Bayview Corner is anchored




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The island’s slogan is, “It’s the shortest distance to far away.” STORY AND PHOTOS BY ANN RANDALL

by Bayview School, built in 1909, and the Bayview Cash Store and Community Hall, both built in 1924. The two-story, white clapboard Cash Store building and grounds were renovated by a local nonprofit in 2004, and today they house local businesses as diverse as a taproom, bicycle shop, and the Bard Boutique, which supports the popular Island Shakespeare Festival. Next door’s Bayview Farm and Garden is nirvana for plant lovers. Inside is an expansive general store selling books, seeds, garden implements, clothing, jewelry, and gifts. Outside their garden experts will help you select a native plant souvenir. Make sure to drop by the Flower House Café or the next door Whidbey Doughnuts to chow down on food and libations from their locally sourced menus, best enjoyed on the decks and patios of Bayview Corner. Also take time to walk through the stunning Golden Chain Tree Laburnum Arbor and check out the Victorian greenhouse. Whidbey’s ethos of agriculture and community mindedness is evident at The Goose Community Grocer, a mandatory next stop. At face value, it appears to be a large



grocery store specializing in organic and locally sourced foodstuffs. It is that, but also a thriving nonprofit run by Goosefoot, the same organization that renovated Bayview. The store has reinvested into the community, awarding more than a million dollars in grants to organizations such as the Whidbey Homeless Coalition, the Veterans Resource Center, and the Master Gardener Program. Its also developed partnerships with local famers and food producers to promote food resiliency on the island, offering free workshops and events to bring islanders together. By shopping at The Goose, you not only support local farmers, ranchers, wineries, coffee roasters and bakers, but also arts and social services. Many of those food producers and family farmers also sell directly at the island’s four farmers markets, each open on different days of the week, from spring through early fall. For a particularly worthy farmstand stop make your way to the one at South Whidbey High School. Part of the South Whidbey School Farms K-12 project, all South Whidbey schools have at least one community garden onsite where students learn to

Clockwise from the top: Bayview Farm and Garden; delectable organic and locally sourced foodstuffs are available at The Goose Community Grocer; a local farm stand in South Whidbey.

Aging with Confidence

cultivate food used in the school lunch program, at events, donations to food insecure families, and for sales at the farmstand. Whidbey is endowed with winemakers and distillers who source their products locally whenever possible. Comforts of Whidbey Winery, Spoiled Dog Winery, Dancing Fish Vineyards, and Whidbey Island Winery grow maritime grapes on their estate vineyards. Blooms Winery is a winery and a bistro serving a farm-to-table menu. Mutiny Bay Distillery and Whidbey Island Distillery turn out artisan liqueurs and whiskeys. While Whidbey’s wines and distilled products can be found on local menus and store shelves, far better to drive a scenic backroad to a tasting room located in a restored barn or former boathouse and meet the friendly, local makers. The island is flush with remnants of its agricultural history. Ebey’s Landing Historic Reserve is a whopping 19,333 acres of preserved central Whidbey Island. Its part of the national park system and the nation’s first historic reserve. Visitors learn about land that was farmed for centuries by area Native people who settled there to grow root crops like bracken fern and camas. Today the reserve is dotted with privately owned farms, many of them homesteaded in the mid-1800s and still in the family, and others farmed by graduates of Whidbey’s Organic Farm School. Touring Ebey’s rural roads, you’ll pass farmstands selling squash, honey from local apiaries, eggs, onions, carrots, and potatoes. The island’s slogan is, “It’s the shortest distance to far away.” The Whidbey Scenic Isle Way’s official 52 miles can be driven in an hour. Doing that means you’ll miss the sense of being far away. But a full exploration of its 169 square miles of agrarian and community values will feel as though you’ve dropped through a magical portal. Learn more at: www.whidbeycamanoislands.com. Ann Randall is a freelance writer, organizational consultant, and independent traveler who loves venturing to out-of-the-way locales, from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe. Retired from a career as a teacher and union organizer in public education, she now observes international elections, does volunteer work in India, and writes regularly for 3rd Act, Northwest Travel & Life, West Sound Home & Garden, Fibre Focus, and Dutch the Magazine.

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The Great Outdoor Classroom by DAVE ELLINGSON

My friends thought I was crazy when I launched my kayak 10 years ago for a 2,350-mile adventure from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. My inner Huck Finn had dreamed of this journey since I was a boy living on the banks of “Big Muddy,” and that day was the beginning of my dream come true. I was on sabbatical from my college teaching career, and my focus was studying the environment. What better way than to launch my boat into nature’s ultimate classroom, the great outdoors? Long before printed books, Native peoples learned from the first book—the natural world. Elders shared stories that explained natural phenomenon like the changing of the seasons, and myths probed how the world was created. The skies were a grand


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screen on which epic tales were told. Creatures, great and small, were the instructors. The poet Mary Oliver captures the essence of this pedagogy writing, “Instruction for living. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” The flow of the river, its twists and turns, become my curriculum—fish and fowl my teachers, locals, “river angels.” I learn many lessons and this pastor/professor becomes the “paddle pilgrim.”

Ten years later at 74, I decided to do some graduate study in my favorite stretch of the Mississippi River, its headwaters. Spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, and peaceful quiet call me like a school bell to come and learn. Launching from Lake Itasca in Northern Minnesota in early June, I paddle with friends Ellen McDonah and Jim Lewis, who have each paddled the entire Mississippi. Expecting warm days and cool nights, we are astonished by record, 100-degree heat. Lesson one: “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” At its start, the Mississippi is not mighty but meager. Rather than drag our boats in the shallow water we decide to launch downstream in one of the larger lakes near Bemidji, MN. While on the water we enjoy the pristine wilderness. Then each night at camp, we are


besieged by clouds of mosquitoes. As the heat persists, we experience the river getting lower and lower. Each day we witness—in real time— a mini-Grand Canyon being sculpted in mud banks, exposing holes where muskrats, otters, and beavers once lived.

Long before printed books, Native peoples learned from the first book— the natural world. Climate change is a daily subject in our learning laboratory. As our boats scrape the river bottom, we are experiencing, firsthand, the effects of humans on the environment. Looking down into clear water, I am delighted by a parade of fish below my boat. A thick forest of reeds creates a safe nursery for young pike, suckers, and walleye to mature. Looking up, I see eagle fledglings learning to fly and fish. Trumpeter Swans, with eight-foot wingspans, demand a pause in my paddle to simply savor their beauty. This is my classroom. The headwaters, their home. As a native Minnesotan I am proud of its visionary, “Clean Water, Land & Legacy” amendment to the state constitution, which sets aside three-eighths of one percent of sale tax dollars to fund projects to enhance water, land, arts and culture, parks and trails, and environmental and natural resources. The people of the land of 10,000 lakes value, enjoy, and protect its outdoor classroom.

Aging with Confidence

Here are a few of the lessons from the Great Outdoor Classroom: Native peoples teach us about caring for creation and living sustainable lives in harmony with Mother Earth. Environmentalists show us both the resilience and the fragility of the amazingly diverse and interconnected natural world. Animals call us to treat them with love and respect as friends in a healthy and balanced co-existence. Creation inspires us to ponder life’s deeper meaning, savour the moment, and think about the longterm health of our planet and its inhabitants. Perhaps my favorite teacher is a 9-year-old Ojibwe girl named Naomi. She is a member of the Water Protectors, an environmental group seeking to stop the building of an oil pipeline through their tribal lands. Standing by her “holy waters,” she asks me, “Where will the animals live?” Where, indeed? Naomi’s question is a plea for responsible stewardship of the “father of waters” and mother earth. I am teaching my grandson, William, to kayak. On a recent paddle when I say, “It’s time to head back to shore,” he responds, “Let’s keep going.” We all have challenging and wonderful homework to do! Dave Ellingson is a Lutheran pastor, master gardener, former distance runner, and father of five grown children. You can listen to his podcast at: https:// anchor.fm/davidellingson. He lives in Edmonds, Wash.



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summer 2022

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I grew up in my Italian grandmother’s kitchen as she chopped, grated, salted, peppered, and stirred. If you’ve ever felt comfortably held, fed, or heard, that’s what it was like to be around my grandmother’s table. She shared her love through cooking. Since early childhood I’ve cherished our time in the kitchen together, where she would enchant me with her wonderful cooking talent, wisdom, laughter, and love. My foray into filmmaking began as I set out to film my grandmother Evelyn—then in her late 90s—create her magic in the kitchen. As with any good cook, her recipes weren’t written down. It was always “a pinch of this and handful of that.” I wanted to capture her recipes and preserve her stories and memories of our precious time together. As I approached my 50th birthday, Evelyn was also approaching a major birthday milestone—100 trips around the sun. It was then I noticed a real disconnect between my perception of growing and being older, and what the media was depicting. I felt bombarded by negative stereotypes


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portrayed in media and advertising about aging, yet was enclosed in this bubble of love that emanated from my incredibly alive, almost centenarian grandmother as she cooked, laughed, STORY AND worked out at the gym, and lived life PHOTOS BY to the limits. SKY BERGMAN I filmed my grandmother at the gym just before her 100th birthday because I thought no one will believe she still works out. When I asked her to share a few words of wisdom it became an epiphany moment for me. I thought: I am approaching 50 and here is my grandmother who is going to be a hundred in a couple of days. I need to find other older adults like my grandmother, people who can show what a life well-lived looks like. It was just the first flickering of an idea, a beginning that would morph into purpose. I never thought I would become a filmmaker. It happened because I wanted to tell a story, beginning with love of my grandmother. I have always believed that if you have a passion for something, you can make it happen. And that the more personal a story, the more universal the message. Although I am a professional photographer, I knew nothing



about filmmaking. I knew nothing about sound, and had to rerecord several interviews due to rookie mistakes. I knew nothing of funding a project like this, so I got creative. My house has lots of bedrooms. I set up an Airbnb and funded the film by renting rooms in my home. Instead of saying why, I told myself, why not? Just go for it! I spent the next four years interviewing 40 people—75 and older—with a collective life experience of 3,000 years. The common thread among all the wonderful people I interviewed was their sense of purpose. Living with purpose is the drive that keeps us going and feeds our curiosity. Our sense of purpose can change over time, depending on our life circumstances. For me, creating

a film about older adults changed mine. Interviewing the incredible people for the Lives Well Lived film gave me the courage and inspiration to take the leap and pursue my third act. A f ter a t h i r t y-yea r university career teaching photography, I decided to retire this past December. My colleagues asked me, “Why are you retiring so young when you are at the top of your game?” I realized that I had fulfilled my teaching career and decided to look through a different creative lens. I’m well on my way to publishing a book that tells more about my journey, the stories of the people in the film, and about how you can have a life well lived. I have also found my new passion: creating films and projects that inspire and foster intergenerational connections. Why focus on connecting the generations? I was very lucky to have my grandmother in my life, yet realize many younger people don’t have a positive connection with an

Aging with Confidence

older adult, and as a result we are seeing a rise in ageism. To combat any type of “ism,” the first step is to cultivate a conversation and a connection—to truly see, hear, and value a person who is different from you. I am fortunate to have a platform to foster inter– generational connections. For the past four years I’ve been working with high schools, universities, and Senior Planet members (part of AARP) across the country using the Lives Well Lived film as a catalyst to connect generations. After viewing the film, students and older adults are paired up and given questions used in the film as a starting point for a conversation, creating a bridge between students and older adults. As they take turns interviewing each other, each gains a deeper understanding of the other, and share their knowledge and wisdom about life. This connection, understanding, and common ground creates lasting, authentic intergenerational relationships. To date, these intergenerational projects have involved more than 500

Facing Page: Sky Bergman’s grandmother, Evelyn, creates magic in her kitchen. Above: Evelyn, 100, works out at the gym, sparking the idea for the documentary Lives Well Lived; Sky filming a segment of the film; Sky and Evelyn.

students and older adults—combating stereotypes and ageism one story and one connection at a time. We have a generation of older adults who’ve lived through the toughest of times, and now a generation coming of age during the toughest of times. If we can find our common ground by creating intergenerational connections— especially in times of social unrest and isolation—we can help one another find a better tomorrow. Sky Bergman is an award-winning photographer and the former chair of the Art & Design department at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. Lives Well Lived was Sky’s directorial debut. She is currently working on two new short films that encourage intergenerational connections and a feature length film that celebrates love. Learn more at www.skybergmanproductions.com.

summer 2022

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A New Age for the

How creativity and community have flourished in spite of—perhaps because of—the pandemic by Julie Fanselow No one who was alive in 2020 will forget how creativity flowered during the pandemic’s early weeks, even as we dwelled in some of the deepest uncertainty any of us will ever face. Families gathered rocks to paint with messages of hope. Opera singers began serenading their neighbors. With so much newly found free time, many of us thought we might learn to draw or write or play an instrument, perhaps via tutorials on YouTube. Music and poetry became sources of solace and solidarity, even when streamed on Zoom. More than two years later, with COVID-19’s path still unfolding, the


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arts continue to be a powerful way for us to connect with others, pass the time, and process all that we’ve been through. Here are several stories of how the arts have helped us navigate the unexpected challenges and opportunities of this historic era. A world of possibility Jennifer Kulik is the founder of SilverKite Community Arts, a Seattle-based organization with a big portfolio of projects that bring active arts experiences to older adults. In March 2020, SilverKite was in the middle of delivering 29 different intergenerational programs and

between 50 and 70 arts workshops per month with senior living communities, community centers, and libraries. “It felt like the bottom completely dropped out,” Kulik recalls. The pandemic’s arrival came less than a year after Kulik was diagnosed with breast cancer, so she was already primed for a fight. SilverKite was quickly able to begin online programs with libraries, and did more than 400 of those during the first two years of the pandemic. With its partners including local libraries and Sound Generations (previously known as Senior Services), SilverKite has resumed in-person programming at some venues, including the Lake City Community Center in Seattle, where watercolor classes and folk dances have drawn eager participants, even if masks were still required this spring. One of SilverKite’s most interesting COVID collaborations came to fruition more than a year into the pandemic. Kulik had been a Fulbright Scholar in Singapore a decade ago and in 2020,


one of her contacts there reached out to ask whether they might collaborate online. With funding from the Seattle Public Library, SilverKite presented an eight-week series of four workshops in summer 2021 with older adults and guest artists in both countries, exploring collage, movement, storytelling, and drama together across a 15-hour time difference and more than 8,000 miles. Les and Libby Cohen of Seattle had lived in Singapore from 2006 to 2013, when Libby taught at the National Institute of Education and researched an arts high school there. Before a friend alerted the Seattle couple to the SilverKite workshop, they were avid fans of the arts but hadn’t done many hands-on arts activities. Les, a retired engineer, says the experience helped them renew ties to Singapore’s culture they forged while they were abroad. Gordon Sata heard about the workshops via volunteer work he does with his wife at Kin On, which supports Asian American elders in Seattle. “I’ve never really done anything artistic, so this was a stretch, but I thought it was interesting and I thought meeting people from Singapore would be even more interesting,” says Sata, a Boeing retiree. Sata created a collage depicting how eyes became such a center of focus as everyone masked up to avoid getting or spreading COVID-19. Because the workshops happened at a low point in the pandemic as the Delta variant emerged, they gave participants an opportunity to enjoy a welcome distraction and make lasting connections. “We’ve developed deep relationships among the group,” adds Libby, noting that everyone stays in touch via a once-monthly Zoom meeting and messaging regularly through WhatsApp. Sata says he and his wife had completely isolated for the Aging with Confidence

first 15 months of the pandemic, “so it was a release and something to look forward to on a weekly basis.” Music made easy In some ways, pandemic-induced privacy has made it easier to try new things. Maybe that’s why when King County Library System (KCLS) announced a series of play-along ukulele classes in April 2020, “we opened it up to a hundred people and a hundred people signed up,” recalls organizer Michele McLaughlin, a librarian at the Federal Way branch. That spring, the branch was supposed to hold the grand opening of a new makerspace stocked with arts and crafts supplies, a 3D printer, and musical instruments including a dozen ukuleles. When the pandemic canceled that idea, McLaughlin says she remembered thinking, “What does this new world look like? How can we still offer programs to the community? What’s possible on this Zoom format that nobody knows yet, but we’re all going to get familiar with?” One answer was “Wednesdays with Wes” online ukulele classes with local musician Wes Weddell, who had previously taught in-person classes at the library. Once a week in April 2020 and again that fall, participants logged onto Zoom and played along with microphones muted as Weddell taught basic strums and chords for such songs as “Lean on Me” and “Yellow Submarine.” From the tiny Zoom boxes, it was apparent that a wide range of ages took part—probably most middle aged or older, even though McLaughlin is the teen services librarian at Federal Way. “I’ve been in this building for 24 years and it was such a new thing to think that people were enjoying this program from all over—not just King County, but all over Washington,” she says.

Get Your Arts Groove On

Have a look at these websites for the latest information on inperson and online arts-related opportunities. Many classes and events are free due to generous funding support.

• EdmondsCenterfortheArts.org • King County Library, kcls.org • The Memory Hub

• Seattle Public Library, spl.org • SilverKite.us

• SoundGenerations.org • TaprootTheatre.org

During the pandemic, KCLS has also partnered with the Frye Art Museum, SilverKite, and other organizations to hold a wide range of online programs, ranging from poetry writing to paint-and-sip sessions. Indeed, one of the pandemic’s lasting legacies is how, with geographic and transportation limitations removed, people are now free to learn, play, and create from wherever they are. That has been a boon for everyone from families stuck at home to older folks who no longer drive. But it’s also good to get back to being in person, and when Federal Way holds its annual Make Music Day on June 21, Weddell will lead an ukulele class at the library. “I’m excited. We’ll get to see Wes in person and touch the instruments together and we’ll figure out how to set the room up in terms of physical distancing,” says McLaughlin. Will people wear masks? Will they be able to sing as well as play? Stay tuned. After all, many of us gleefully unmasked in the summer of 2021, only to see new variants emerge and mask requirements return. (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

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| 3rd Act magazine


Clockwise from top left: SilverKite Community Arts founder Jennifer Kulik; Sun Cho (seen at left) first learned to paint in her 60s and she eagerly took up her brushes at age 89 when watercolor classes resumed at the Lake City Community Center in Seattle. “I’m a beginner again,” she says. Also pictured here: May Takahashi (center) and Penny Beane, and some of Sun Cho’s work. Photo by Julie Fanselow; eyes especially hold our attention when the rest of our face is masked, as explored in this collage by SilverKite workshop participant Gordon Sata. Photo courtesy Gordon Sata; Taproot Theatre’s online Z-Improv class puts the fun in Zoom. Here, participants pretend they’re on a cruise ship water slide. Photo courtesy Taproot Theatre


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

Playtime for everyone During the pandemic, we’ve learned to expect the unexpected and adapt to changing conditions. Older people had a lot of experience improvising before COVID-19 came along, and we’ve all gotten even more practice over the past two years. Improv is a specialty of the folks at Taproot Theatre, so it’s no surprise they were ready to adapt to COVID conditions. For more than a decade, the company has offered improv classes for people with early-stage memory loss and their care partners, both at its home stage in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood and elsewhere. When the pandemic started, Taproot was quick to pivot to virtual versions of its popular programs. The pandemic may have scuttled the company’s 2020-2021 main stage season, but its “Re-Ignite the Mind” classes have continued without interruption since spring 2020. Recalling how she and collaborator Rob Martin approached the challenge, Taproot Theatre co-founder Pam Nolte says, “Neither one of us had ever done Zoom before, so at that point we said, ’Is it worth trying?’” They decided it was and, with a federal paycheck protection grant and other funding, they took the dementiafriendly classes online. “We were amazed how well it worked,” says Nolte, adding how quickly “what was an unknown became an essential.” Another lesson of the pandemic has been how, for a variety of reasons ranging from cognitive decline to inadequate Internet access, not everyone can take advantage of online experiences. But many people can, and Nolte and Martin have found new ways to help participants play and enjoy social interaction. One www.3rdActMag.com

game involves passing silly faces to one another, just as they might in an in-person circle; others take advantage of the Zoom “boxes” as boundaries to break through. “We’re able to do that affirmation, we’re able to get that laughter going, we’re able to bring the fun,” Nolte says. The sessions also include check-ins at the start and end of the class. Many participants and the teachers often arrive less than fully ready to engage, but Nolte says the sessions nearly always prove energizing. This has been especially true for friends, family members, and other care partners for whom the classes offer a new way to relate to their loved ones. Although Nolte has become a fan of Zoom and believes it will remain part of Taproot’s programming for people who can’t travel, “there is no doubt that when in-person becomes available, it is the go-to, the best way to hold any class,” she says. Taproot hopes to bring its inperson classes back this fall, and other plans include collaborations with the newly opened Memory Hub adjacent to the Frye Art Museum on Seattle’s First Hill, the Gathering Place in Greenwood, and the Southeast Seattle Senior Center. Nolte says the pandemic has given her an opportunity to ask, “What is it that enhances our lives in difficult times? What are the ways we can reach out? For Rob and myself, being able to come and play, that’s what improv is all about,” says Nolte. “We have to be nimble, but that’s the job of improvisers.” Take it outside Out of necessity, the pandemic has also taught us the joy of doing more things outside, whether it’s sharing a meal or enjoying music. Gillian Jones, associate executive director of the Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA), says that several months into the crisis, when assisted living centers continued to be Aging with Confidence

locked down “and people were dealing with isolation, we asked, ’What can we do to brighten their days?’” That was the inspiration for Window to the Arts, a series of pop-up concerts during the summers of 2020 and 2021. Whether people listened through windows or in open-air courtyards, the sweet sounds spread joy to everyone from cooped-up residents to stressedout care workers. The performances were also a much-needed source of income for some musicians who had lost most of their work due to COVID. Jones says that at first, “we thought of it as a temporary situation,” yet ECA staff soon realized that “performance doesn’t just have to be on a stage in our theater.” Expanding this idea of outdoor outreach, the Edmonds Center launched a series of concerts in its parking lot last summer that it plans to continue. ECA is slowly returning to inperson indoor events, and its acclaimed dementia-friendly programming will be back this fall, giving people with memory loss and their care partners a chance to enjoy many arts-related activities together. “One of the takeaways for our team was how important it is to talk with the community,” Jones says. “The relationships we had with the community and local artists really came into play, just being open to find a way we could creatively address problems. I feel like we’ve come out stronger on the other side.” And that’s a sentiment that resonates for most of us: The pandemic has shown that we are more agile, creative, and resilient than we ever thought we could be. It’s been a tough two years, but that is a good feeling. Julie Fanselow, a frequent contributor to 3rd Act, lives in Seattle. This article was written with the support of a journalism fellowship from The Gerontological Society of America, The Journalists Network on Generations, and the Silver Century Foundation.


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Beat the Heat— Just Chill it!

Easy, cool dishes for hot summer days BY REBECCA CRICHTON


e used to say that we never needed air conditioning in the Pacific Northwest because we only had hot weather for a few weeks a year. And even those days weren’t that hot. That was then. Recent years have shown us the fallacy of that belief. It gets hot earlier, stays hot longer and continues to set records for temperatures that are not just uncomfortable, but dangerous. My enduring memory from deciding to ignore the heat was during my annual fervor to be an Urban Farm Wife. I was determined to make cherry jam with a good friend in my kitchen in Victoria, B.C. The temperature was predicted to be in the 80’s—unthinkable back


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

then—so we ignored it. We started out early, doing just fine, using our little cherry-pitters to discard the pits, collecting the sweet juices and flesh in large bowls. We were splattered in cherry juice and beginning to feel the heat by midday. At one point we decided to just strip to our waists and continue the project. Anybody inadvertently arriving might have thought they had wandered into a Gauguin painting with dark-haired Island women. That’s what I told myself, anyway. Given the past few summers, I have vowed to not turn on the oven or stove top when the temperature is over 75

degrees. Even with air conditioning, eating light and cool is a good choice. Frozen might even be better. The Northwest provides an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available at farmers markets and many organic grocery stores. It is easy to stock up on ingredients for salads and spreads that combine summer’s bounty with proteins to round out a meal. Consider cooking and storing some of the grains like quinoa, wheatberries, and barley that can add protein and fiber to whatever else you serve. I think of precooked lentils as a super food that can even go into smoothies for more nutrition. While you can buy prepared foods at many of organic markets in the area, consider a few special recipes that you can be made early in the day or assembled at the last minute that will dazzle guests with cool choices. And you won’t have to remove any of your clothes unless the idea appeals to you or others close to you! Rebecca Crichton is executive director of Northwest Center for Creative Aging and presents programs on that topic in the Seattle area.


Essence of Summer— Fresh Tomato-Lime Soup Ingredients • 2–2 ½ lbs. mixed ripe organic tomatoes (some yellow, red, orange, heirlooms, etc.) • Fresh tarragon (approximately 1 Tbsp. leaves) • Lime juice (juice of 1 or 2 limes) • Salt and Pepper) Directions • Cut tomatoes into chunks, add everything to processor and process until soupy. Chill and serve, or serve immediately. • You can also add the uncooked kernels from one ear of corn, cut off, to the processor. • Check the flavors to balance the tart and salt and the amount of tarragon you like. Serves 4

Tomato-Strawberry Gazpacho

Ingredients • 1 lb. fresh tomatoes—rinsed and quartered • 1 lb. fresh strawberries • Lime juice (juice of 1 or 2 limes) • Handful of fresh basil leaves (2 Tbsp. chopped) • Tbsp. strawberry balsamic or regular balsamic vinegar • Salt and Pepper Directions • Cut tomatoes into chunks, remove stems from strawberries, and add everything to processor and process until soupy. Chill and serve, or serve immediately. • Check the flavors to balance the tart and salt and the amount of basil you like. Of course you could have this with vodka as a drink or a bit of vodka in the soup as a starter! Serves 4

Aging with Confidence

The Minimalist’s Gravlax

Five-Minute Sorbets

This recipe and variations are based on Lynn Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift’s wonderful book, The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper.

Pineapple-Ginger Sorbet

Ingredients • One ¼–½ inch piece of fresh ginger peeled (or use 2-4 frozen crushed ginger cubes) • One 16 oz. bag frozen unsweetened pineapple chunks or 4 to 5 cups home-frozen pineapple or other fruit • ¼ tsp. almond extract* • Pinch salt • 5 Tbsp. sugar (or to taste) • Juice of ½ lemon or to taste • 3 Tbsp. water (or other liquid, OJ, fruit juices) Directions • With food processor running, drop ginger through feed tube. Process for 1 second. • Add pineapple, a few chunks at a time. • Finish with almond extract, salt, sugar, lemon juice, and water. • Continue pureeing, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. • Process until sorbet is smooth as cream. If too stiff, add another tablespoon of liquid. • Serve immediately with some fancy cookies of your choice. Other flavor combinations: • Raspberry-Peach • Tropical fruits (mango, passion fruit) Tricks worth trying: • Swirl in ½ c. heavy cream or coconut cream to keep it vegan. *Rossetto Kasper suggests using ¼ teaspoon of almond extract with fruit and in baked goods. It adds a wonderful taste element to any number of baked and fruity desserts.

by Mark Bittman Ingredients • 1 cup salt • 2 cups sugar • 1 bunch dill, stems and all, chopped • 1, 2- to 3-pound fillet of salmon, pin bones removed Directions • Mix together the salt, sugar and dill. Place the salmon, skin side down, on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Cover the flesh side of the salmon with the salt mixture, making sure to coat it completely. (There will be lots of salt mix; just pile it on.) • Wrap the fish well. If the temperature is below 70 degrees, and it is not too inconvenient, let it rest outside the refrigerator for about 6 hours, then refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours more. Otherwise, refrigerate immediately for about 36 hours. • Unwrap the salmon, and rinse off the cure. Dry, then slice on the bias. Serve plain or with lemon wedges, capers, sliced sweet onions, crème fraîche, sour cream, or a light vinaigrette. Serves 4 to 6, depending on what part of the meal you are using it for. For Danish Mustard sauce, use ½ c. Dijon or whole grain mustard, add chopped dill and a Tbsp. of brown sugar or 1 tsp. maple syrup There are excellent prepared tzatziki sauces, including a vegan tzatziki at Trader Joe’s.

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| 3rd Act magazine




Scouting for a quick dinner fix at Trader Joe’s, there it was—a refrigerated section of cheeseburger burritos with dill pickle relish. “How would that taste?” I mumbled with a scrunched-up nose. Just a week later, a couple of family members raved about a dill pickle salad they’d each bought on trips to Costco. What’s with the sudden surge in dill pickle delectables? The first was burrito heresy. Although this novelty didn’t taste half bad, the vote on the home front was one-and-done. The lure of the pickle salad, with family endorsements from women in their 60s, could be a sign that tastes for retail purchases continue to change. Some evolutions would’ve been unfathomable years ago. Take nonfat sour cream or meatless meatballs. How could any type of cream be considered nonfat? Or meatballs be meatballs without meat? Yet oxymoronic nonfat sour cream and meatless meatballs don’t get a shrug from today’s grocery shoppers who have health in mind. Eggs used to come from chickens raised in coops. Back then chicken feed was anything goes (because chickens weren’t particular about what they ate). Today, many varieties of eggs are from free-range hens, pasture-raised, and sustainably farmed with regenerative practices. Wait! There are also eggs from cage-free, vegetarian chickens—similar, if not the same. Even dog treats today are labeled sustainable and hypoallergenic, including those with crickets or grubs. Soft drinks have some mighty sharp marketing strategists, too. Fit Soda, surprisingly, comes in a root beer, vanilla float flavor. For a couple months now, on the top shelf in my fridge—daring me to pop it open— is a 12-ounce can of an organic, sparkling, ginger-lemon, apple cider vinegar beverage that insists it only has a tablespoon of vinegar. What possessed me to buy it? Will I be scared into dumping it without ever tasting it?


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

Once you start thinking about how modern-day marketing continues to evolve (thanks to Metropolitan Market for details of some of the items included here), it’s tempting for a boomer to choose new products with glib and even defiant names like Fatso Peanut Butter and Counter Culture Coffee’s “big trouble” variety. Discerning what’s authentic and what’s not is a little like that Dr. Seuss classic, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose,” Dr. Seuss wrote. “You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go...” And that led me to discover changes that don’t have much to do with what you’ve just read, although the topics might sound familiar. For instance, at last the U.S. Postal Service recognizes that well-mannered people send thank-you notes by what’s called snail mail. This past Christmas, USPS added a postage stamp in beautiful gold cursive script that says, “Thank You.” Then there’s the head scratcher that deserves a hearty guffaw, demure snicker, or a tsk, tsk, if you’re so inclined. Visit either Saks Fifth Avenue or Nordstrom and you’ll discover they now sell vibrators, among them one that’s a bit startling. The Crave Vesper Vibrator Necklace—with its Yves Saint Laurent signature—is quite the unexpected fashion statement. It’s described as sleek, quiet, with four speeds. (No returns permitted, though.) “The concept of a vibrator that looks like a necklace is a stroke of genius!” was how one reviewer described this pricey rechargeable jewelry that comes in silver, rose gold, and gold. How were Saks and Nordstrom convinced to step beyond their comfort zones and align with sex toys? Get jiggy with what’s considered a burgeoning lifestyle industry, folks. Nordstrom calls it the Intimacy and Sexual Wellness Section. All this is a quantum leap from a cheeseburger burrito with dill pickle relish. Maybe it’s time to break out the dill pickle salad. Annie Culver developed a knack for unearthing oddball characters and improbable events as a staff writer for various newspapers. In the early 90s, she went to work for websites where she wrote sassy essays aimed at women. In recent years, she morphed into a writer for several universities in the Northwest. She retired in 2016, yet still enjoys freelancing.


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summer 2022 || 3rd 3rd Act Act magazine magazine winter winter2020 2020

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Making Music for the Soul at Centrum I have always loved to sing. As a child beautiful place—and in a welcoming, with my mother, dueting on “The nonjudgmental atmosphere. Eensy Weensy Spider.” In grammar That place was Centrum, the school chorus. Later, playing a small nonprof it arts center located in role in a student production of The a converted military base in Port Music Man. And in the coffee house Townsend, Wash. Centrum hosts many where I strummed on a guitar programs for writers and other BY MISHA and crooned folk songs with my arts practitioners throughout BERSON high school friends. the year. But what beckoned As an adult journalist and teacher, to me was their participatory summer I was delighted to interview some music programs. They were like wonderful jazz singers and lecture summer camps for teens and adults, about their contributions to the field. but promised a full immersion into But for a very long time, I only rarely music for several days or a week, with raised my voice in song. instruction from seasoned professional Then, in my 50s, when my husband musicians and instructors. formed an ad hoc band with a few It takes some courage to pipe up and fellow middle-aged friends, the singer sing out in front of others. But I took in me awakened. And eventually I was a leap and signed up for Vocal Works, fortunate to discover a place in Western a five-day program at Centrum that Washington for passionate amateurs revived my love of vocalizing. I stayed like me to learn and share music in a in a former barracks with women who


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

Centrum’s summer workshops welcome instrumentalists and vocalists of every age and ability. Photos courtesy of Centrum.

ranged in age from their teens to their 70s, and in experience from dedicated musicians to more casual singers like me. I took classes in jazz and folk during the days, jammed with musicians in the evenings, and on the last night heard our teachers perform a joyous concert. www.3rdActMag.com

There was a wonderfully inclusive, friendly vibe there, and I made some good music friends. I also got great tips on singing from some enthusiastic instructors including the Grammywinning vocalist Rhiannon Giddens, who with her sister Lalenja Harrington taught us traditional African American folk and blues tunes. Since then I have been back to Centrum for another Voice Works workshop, and a more challenging but also rewarding jazz camp. And I highly recommend the experience to anyone who would enjoy the

fellowship with other musicians, in a lovely sylvan outpost, and with a lot of encouragement. Attendees can choose between

staying onsite in individual or double rooms in the rather spartan barracks, or arranging for their own housing (definitely in advance) in Port Townsend’s many hotels, inns, and Airbnbs. There is a mess hall at Centrum that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner—for those who sign up for a meals option—as well as a coffee shop and a bistro for drop-in eating and drinking. And at the end of each session, there is a bonus: a weekend of music by the teachers (many of them respected recording artists) in Port Townsend’s array of restaurants and clubs. It’s fun just to stroll along Water Street, the main drag in PT, hearing music pouring onto the street from so many directions. Workshop participants get in free; others can attend by buying passes, which sell out fast. In addition to Voice Works, there are other Centrum workshops that welcome instrumentalist s and vocalists of every age and ability. This summer’s lineup of sessions is scheduled to take place in person, with some remote options. Check out the latest COVID requirements, and get registration, fees, and other information, at www.centrum.org or by calling 360-385-3102. Here is this summer’s lineup of sessions: June 28 –July 1: Voice Works July 3–10: Fiddle Tunes workshop, for bluegrass lovers. July 25–31: Jazz Port Townsend, for jazz buff instrumentalists and singers. August 1–7: Acoustic Blues Workshop, for instrumentalists and singers who love the blues. September 7–11: Port Townsend Ukulele Workshop, for enthusiastic strummers. Misha Berson writes about the arts for crosscut.com and many other media outlets, teaches for the UW Osher program, and is the author of four books, including Something’s Coming, Something Good: West Side Story and the American Imagination (Applause/Hal Leonard).




You’re a Good Man, CHARLIE BROWN APRIL 20–JUNE 19, 2022 “Freshly delightful. A continuous pleasure.” —The New York Times

JUNE 8–AUGUST 7, 2022 “ABBA-solutely fabulous.” —Daily Mail

VillageTheatre.org Box Office (425) 392-2202 summer 2022

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BOOKS Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals BY OLIVER BURKEMAN REVIEWED BY VICTORIA STARR MARSHALL “Cause I’m a wo—man, I can bring home the bacon. Fry it up in a pan And never let you forget you’re a man. I can work till five o’clock. Come home and read you Tickety Tock. And if it’s lovin’ you want, I can kiss you and give you the shiverin’ fits.” I have never forgotten this Enjoli perfume jingle. As a young woman with children in the 1980s, it greatly influenced me. I believed I really could have and be it all: Work and career, be a perfect mother, perfect homemaker, a siren for my husband, and have time to do it all. Worse, I believed I should expect all this perfection from myself. I just had to manage my time better. There were plenty of time management gurus (all men) telling us how to do it and I read and practiced Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, and especially How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I carried How to Win Friends around like a Bible and even took Carnegie classes and seminars. Oliver Burkeman is an award-winning feature writer for The Guardian and wrote a weekly productivity column, “This Column Will Change Your Life.” In Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals Burkeman, who now refers to himself as a “recovering productivity addict,” tells us that all these productivity tools and technology work; we can now accomplish more than ever. But time is a vacuum and time gained becomes time crammed with evermore busyness, leaving us unfulfilled, exhausted, and burned out. Four thousand weeks is the total number of weeks we have if we live to 80, and Burkeman wants us to think about time management through the lens of our imminent mortality. Four thousand weeks of life—4,000 Saturday nights, 4,000 lazy Sundays, 4,000 Monday mornings—is, as Burkeman puts it, “absurdly, terrifyingly, insultingly short.” We are never going to be able to do it all in a single lifetime. This means every choice we make on how we spend our time is both an affirmation and a sacrifice. “Any finite life—even the best one you could possibly imagine—is therefore a matter of ceaselessly waving goodbye to possibility,” and “once you no longer need to convince yourself that you’ll do everything that needs doing, you’re free to focus on doing a few things that count.” So, the question we each must answer in our lives is “what counts?” At my current age, if I’m lucky enough to live to 80, I’ve calculated that I have approximately 800 weeks of life left. If I see my kids and grandkids one weekend a month—more frequent than I currently am—that’s 200 more visits. That can either be depressing math, or it can motivate me to think about how I want to spend my time. It puts me back in the driver’s seat. Four Thousand Weeks is just what I needed to read right now. It feels like a hall pass. I highly recommend it.


(Puzzles on page 64)


3rd Act magazine | summer 2022

It starts with a letter 1. Kmart 2. Q-tip 3. C-Section 4. T-Bone 5. D-Day 6. J. Crew

7. O-Ring 8. U-Haul 9. E. Coli 10. Y Chromosome Initial Reaction 1. P. T. Barnum 2. H. G. Wells

3. W. C. Fields 4. e. e. cummings 5. A. A. Milne 6. I. M. Pei 7. J. C. Penney 8. J. D. Salinger 9. T. S. Eliot 10. M.C. Escher

T Plus Three 1. Trix 2. Toto 3. Tang 4. Tutu (Desmond Tutu) 5. Tart 6. Tofu

7. Teal 8. Toga 9. Tojo 10. Tick


Aging with Confidence

summer 2022

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

It Starts With A Letter (easy) All of the answers in this game start with a letter, as in X-Ray, I Beam or V Chip 1.

Discount store chain formerly known as S.S. Kresge Company._____________________________________________________________


A brand of cotton swab.__________________________________________________________________________________________________


Surgical baby delivery.___________________________________________________________________________________________________


Cut of steak also called Porterhouse._____________________________________________________________________________________


June 6, 1944.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________


U.S. clothing retailer with a popular catalog.______________________________________________________________________________


Well-known joint or gasket that caused the space shuttle Challenger disaster.______________________________________________


Do-it-yourself moving equipment company.______________________________________________________________________________


Some strains of this bacterium can cause serious food poisoning.____________________________________________________

10. Genetically, this separates the men from the women.______________________________________________________________

Initial Reaction? (harder) Many people, such as O. J. Simpson and B. B. King, are known by their first and middle initials. How many people can you identify from their lesser-known, full first two names? 1.

Phineas Taylor, American showman.______________________________________________________________________________________


Herbert George, English science-fiction writer.___________________________________________________________________________


William Claude, American comedian and comic actor.______________________________________________________________________


Edward Estlin, 20th-century American poet.______________________________________________________________________________


Alan Alexander, English children’s author._________________________________________________________________________________


Ieoh Ming, Chinese American architect.___________________________________________________________________________________


James Cash, American department store founder.________________________________________________________________________


Jerome David, reclusive American author.________________________________________________________________________________


Thomas Stearns, American-born poet, author of The Wasteland.____________________________________________________

10. Maurits Cornelis, Dutch graphic artist inspired by mathematics and geomet.__________________________________________

T Plus Three (hardest) All of the answers in this quiz are four-letter words that begin with T. 1.

This breakfast cereal is for kids, not rabbits._______________________________________________________________________________


Dorothy’s dog.__________________________________________________________________________________________________________


The astronauts’ favorite drink.___________________________________________________________________________________________


A South African cleric and 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner.__________________________________________________________________


Having a sharp or bitter taste.____________________________________________________________________________________________


Basically, this food is made from coagulated soy milk.______________________________________________________________________


A blue-green color.______________________________________________________________________________________________________


Roman garment.________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Prime minister of Japan for most of World War II.__________________________________________________________________

10. Insect responsible for Lyme disease and tularemia. ________________________________________________________________ Reprinted with permission from Nancy Linde, author of the best-selling book 399 Puzzles, Games, and Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young, 417 More Games, Puzzles, and Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young; and On-the-Go Games and Puzzles 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 | summer 2022



The Joy of Connection O U R F A M I LY S E R V I N G Y O U R S

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Our Activities Directors prioritize the creative when plannin

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14 locations thePuget Puget Sound including Burien, Issaquah & Fairwoo 14 locationsthroughout throughout the Sound including Auburn, Auburn, Burien, Issaquah & Fairwood Locally-operated • Family-owned • Since 1975 Locally-operated • Family-owned • Since 1975