3rd Act Magazine – Summer 2021

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Play! Dori Gillam Doesn’t Know How to Act Her Age

Fun is Par for the Course

Golf has No Age Limit

Love in the Time of COVID A Late-Love Story

RECONNECTING MEMORIES Tips for Improving Your Recall


A FEAST FOR NORMALCY It’s Time for a Garden Party

The Importance of Community Christian Retirement Living— There’s something different here

It’s never too late to live your best life. Call us at 206-546-7565 to make that happen.


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MESSAGE from the publisher

Playtime Playtime begins precisely at 4 p.m. at our house. It doesn’t matter how engrossed I am with what I’m doing, or how important I think it is, or if I’m on a deadline. It doesn’t matter whether it’s raining or sunny, or even how long of a walk we took earlier—our 11-year-old Australian Shepherd will interrupt me with a ball, a Frisbee, or a stare down. She won’t take “no” or “not now” for an answer, and neither should we. It’s time to play! After more than a year of being cooped up and kept apart, we need to liberate our inner kid. Being playful is healthy, it’s fun, and a little silliness lightens moods and reminds us not to take ourselves, or anything else, so seriously. “Someday we’ll laugh at this,” was the mantra of Dori Gillam’s

parents Ralph and Cara Wright. And when it comes to living with a glass half full, Dori is the poster grandma. In her story, “Dori Gillam Doesn’t Know How to Act Her Age” (page 28), Ann Hedreen writes that according to Dori, “When you grow up with parents who continually create an atmosphere of ‘this is the way life is and we’re going to have fun, we’re going to make the most of it,’ a positive attitude is in the air you breathe.” We’ve put on our play clothes for this issue—from love and dating, to discovering Washington’s scenic byways, to taking up golf or improving your game, to just some downright silliness—and you’ll find plenty of ways and encouragement to exercise your play muscles this summer. Just one example: With more of us vaccinated, have you thought about hosting a gathering of friends and family? Our food columnist Rebecca Crichton serves up, “A Feast for Normalcy” (page 56), with suggestions for a fun and easy garden party. With this issue we’re also launching a new column, “The View from Here,” where different contributors will share their experience of aging, giving us insight into what each decade may bring. We begin with an essay by Morna Murphy Martell (page 12) on living life in her 80s. This issue of 3rd Act is a veritable playground of fun. We invite you to come play with us.

After more than a year of being cooped up and kept apart, we need to liberate our inner kid.


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

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, Kajsa Puckett, Brieanna Hansen Encore Media Group DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION David Marshall COVER PHOTO Ernie Sapiro WRITE TO US 3rd Act Magazine wants to hear from you! Email your comments, ideas, and questions to info@3rdActMag.com or mail to 81 Canal Lane, Brinnon, WA 98320 3rd Act Magazine is published quarterly by Oshi Publishing, LLC. The opinions, advice, or statements expressed by contributing writers do not reflect those of the editors, the publishers, or of 3rd Act Magazine. Copyright ©2021 Oshi Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. Oshi Publishing, LLC, 81 Canal Lane Brinnon, WA 98320 · 360-796-4837 Email: info@3rdActMag.com For subscriptions, advertising rates, and additional information, visit us at www.3rdActMag.com.



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Locations in Seattle, Mercer Island, Renton, and the Eastside

Locations in Seattle, Mercer Island, Renton, and the Eastside summer 2021 | 3rd Act magazine


At Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community, we’ve always viewed each day as a gift. An opportunity to thrive. To experience something completely different. We believe that freedom from the restraints of an ordinary lifestyle allows people to continue leading extraordinary lives. With this belief firmly held, we’ve taken the extraordinary step to transform our community into eliseo. This transformative moment began in 2010 with the addition of our Emerson Wellness and Clark Aquatic Center, followed by our Edwards Plaza, Arneklev Gardens and The Chihuly Family Art Center, and now will culminate with the expansion of our beautiful campus — a process that’s already underway. In addition to 91 all-new, Independent Living residences, you’ll discover inviting common areas and amenities, as well as a full calendar of social, cultural, educational and volunteer opportunities to promote lifelong learning and an engaged community. Contact us at 253.331.2291 to learn more about our expansion opening in 2023 and to gain priority benefits by reserving now! With a new name and limitless possibilities ahead of us, we’ll continue to inspire everyone to rise higher. Join us and together we’ll all reach beyond the possibilities.





ACT MY AGE Dori Gillam's playful approach to life and aging is a model for us all. ANN HEDREEN


Finding late love in a time of COVID. ROBERT HIRSCHFIELD



COURSE Golf has been booming


during the pandemic. Here’s how to get your game on. JULIE FANSELOW

46 AWE AND PERIL A glorious


and sometimes challenging Pacific Northwest RV adventure. HOLLIS GIAMMATTEO




Living life in my 80s—the beat goes on. MORNA MURPHY MARTELL


It's good to reminisce about the past. DR. ERIC B. LARSON



A leftie calls out right privilege. ANNIE CULVER

60 O N THE TOWN Fresh air, a little exercise, and public art. MISHA BERSON

Aging with Confidence

summer 2021

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52 W WO





We interview therapist Aysha Morgan on the importance of daily physical activity.

20 R ECONNECTING MEMORIES Tips for improving your recall.



KEEP MOVING ExcerptZin E. Fandel

from her new book, On With the Butter!, on staying young at heart. HEIDI HERMAN

36 SO, HOW DO YOU FIND LOVE? Considerations when


Wake up your brain and have fun doing it with playtime.



When nothing else worked, CBD gave me my life back. DEBBIE VAN STRATEN


A FEAST FOR NORMALCY The sun and flowers are out and with vaccinations in arms it’s time to gather again.


seeking romance at "a certain age." PRISCILLA CHARLIE HINCKLEY


(OR 90) Find happiness, joy,

and purpose doing what you love. JACK BERNARD



Redefining life after retirement. DANNA WALKER

50 A DAY (OR THREE) AT THE BEACH Traveling Washington's

41-mile Hidden Coast scenic byway. ANN RANDALL


A passion becomes a joyful pension. SANDRA LEE



Play! Dori Gillam Doesn’t Know How to Act Her Age

Fun is Par for the Course

Golf has No Age Limit

Love in the Time of COVID A Late-Love Story

RECONNECTING MEMORIES Tips for Improving Your Recall


A FEAST FOR NORMALCY It’s Time for a Garden Party

Cover: Dori Gillam, age 69, will tell you that she doesn't know how to act her age because, "I've never been this age before!" Her playful approach to life holds valuable lessons for us all. Photo by Ernie Sapiro


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021


FAITHFULLY Marianne Faithfull,

1960s icon, ages with honesty. AD BERGSMA

59 LEARNING TO SEE It can be difficult to escape the confines of our time. VIVIAN MCINERNY

IN EVERY ISSUE 62 BOOKS My Last Eight Thousand Days: An American Male in His Seventies By Lee Gutkind REVIEWED BY ANN HEDREEN


Challenge yourself with these word puzzles.

Needed Resources for Caregivers Thank you so much for this wonderful and “energetic” resource! My sister and I are caregivers for my father in Kennewick, and for my mother here in Poulsbo, respectively. We deal daily with life issues around Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and comorbid symptoms. It’s a HUGE responsibility for all of us, and I have found all the resources listed in 3rd Act to be a supportive inspiration. —Kay Jensen, Poulsbo

My Mom, My Hero I read about you (“Some older adults are rejecting lives of leisure—on purpose,” Christian Science Monitor March 2021) and thought of my mom, who is nearly 70. My mom is the most amazing lady who overcomes everything and has never given up on me despite my poor choices and personal struggles in life. She helps care for my two nephews, my 92-year-old grandmother, and still runs the nonprofit that I founded from prison, which helps those released from prison and the families of the incarcerated. Thank you for sharing your story. —Joel Alexander, Monroe

Untangling Retirement I retired from more than 50 years of employment quite possibly the same time this article (Untangling, Fall 2020) was written. I wondered if I could really do it, being such a workaholic. One of my first ventures was to complete my many unfinished knitting projects. I was on a roll, completing many and tearing out others, repurposing yarn, and teaching myself new techniques. I knit every day. —Janie Dawes (city not provided)

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



Puget Sound // WA New Home Ownership Option for Active Adults (62+) is Coming Soon


hen the Village Cooperative looks to develop a new housing community for active adults, they carefully select the area using a whole host of data points. But these communities don’t serve data points, they serve real people. That’s why they are so excited about their communities in Puyallup and Olympia that are now being planned for construction. What is a senior cooperative? This home ownership option lives very different from a singlefamily home, townhouse, condo or assisted living community. When people decide to live here, they’re not only wanting to get rid of the oversized house that requires too much time, effort and money to maintain, but also to live better, to have closer ties to their neighbors and families, and to have the little luxuries they deserve without the worries of maintenance

or expensive “surprise” repair bills. The Village Cooperative offers a unique building design, management style and ownership structure developed specifically for active adults (age 62+). Instead of buying a home outright for $450,000 or more, Village Cooperative owners purchase an equity share, typically around $190,000 and then a monthly share of the operating expenses of about $1,800 (based on the size and location of the home) that covers all maintenance outside and inside the Aging homes, withincluding Confidencereplacing your light bulbs.

Architectural rendering of the Village Cooperative

The value of this equity share increases in a predictable way, appreciating at 3 percent for every year that members live at the Village Cooperative. “The fact that the equity goes back to our member-owners with an annual equity increase, and the monthly payment includes all maintenance costs for much less than a local apartment’s rent, makes this a 'no-brainer' for many people,” says Steve Von Schmidt, Marketing Director for the company. “Plus, the safety, security and convenience we offer gives the peace of mind active adults need with the social opportunities they want.” While it’s not a new concept, it is new to this area. In fact, senior housing cooperatives have been around for over 40 years, primarily found throughout the Midwest. “As a national leader with 40 locations in 10 states either operating, under construction or planned for construction this year, we believe that, with all the amenities and at such a great value, this is the best option available in the market for active seniors,” says Von Schmidt. Pre-construction reservations are already being taken for the Village Cooperative of South Sound (Olympia) and the Village Cooperative of Puyalup. Homes are selling quickly, so now is the time to cash out of your house and move-in to a carefree lifestyle. Call for details or to attend a free information seminar or webinar. Personal appointments are also available. Village Cooperative of South Sound ( O l y m p i a )

Phone: (360) 350-4828 Village Cooperative of Puyallup

Phone: (253) 387-7600

summer 2021

For more details, visit: villagecooperative.com

| 3rd Act magazine



Come Play with Me 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.


As a little girl, I loved to play games. I still do. Long hours were spent playing Monopoly or other boardgames. At the weekly family game night we took turns planning the special snack to serve with the evening’s selected game and in the summer, after dinner, we and our neighbors would spend the evening until dark playing croquet. “Playing” was such an important part of my life. Now as an adult, I realize that it gave me an opportunity to see people differently, away from their normal, everyday roles. What memories do you recall from your early play experiences? What do you enjoy today? Most of us would agree that playing is critical to the growth of our children. However, what we sometimes forget is how important play is for adults as well, no matter our age. As George Bernard Shaw reminds us, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” So, what are the benefits of play? “What all play has in common,” says psychiatrist Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, “is that it offers a sense of engagement and pleasure, takes the player out of a sense of time and place, and the experience of

3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

doing it is more important than the outcome.” And, according to Lynn Barnett, a professor of sports, recreation, and tourism at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, we play because it is therapeutic. Playful adults have the ability to transform everyday situations, even stressful ones, into something entertaining, Barnett states. The study she co-authored found highly playful young adults—those who rated themselves high on personality characteristics such as being spontaneous or energetic, or open to “clowning around”—reported less stress in their lives and possessed better coping skills. “Although highly playful adults feel the same stressors as anyone else, they appear to experience and react to them differently, allowing them to roll off more easily than those who are less playful,” she says. Unfortunately, too many people stop playing between childhood and adulthood. In their recent article on the benefits of play from Help Guide, authors Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, Jeanne Segal, and Jennifer Gurbin tell us that play is a source of relaxation and stimulation, fuels imagination, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and emotional well-being. It also relieves stress, enhances brain function, stimulates the mind, improves relationships and connection to others, and keeps us feeling young and energetic. As we emerge from the pandemic and are able to spend more time with others, what are you looking forward to doing? Will you come play with me?


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learned I was silly at eight years old. My parents worked hard on our little farm and at other jobs. They had neither the time nor inclination for children, so I was raggedy, unkempt, and that year had ringworm and a shaved head. All in all, a grubby child. My fourth grade teacher, Ms. Fowler, did not like grubby children. The first week of school a cardboard schoolhouse appeared on the classroom wall with a window for each student. Each window had a photo of one of us and a shutter that was open or closed. As we entered the room Ms. Fowler inspected us. If we failed, our door was


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

closed. My door was closed the entire year. That year I frequently ended up alone in the hall, which I enjoyed. So, I would laugh. I wasn’t particularly noisy, just a silly giggler. As an adult I can link my behavior to a defense to calm anxiety. I learned that being silly was a secret power that I could safely use even when I was alone. My mother liked to criticize me but as an adult I got tired of it. So, whenever she started to go negative in public, I would put a napkin, scarf, or purse on my head. I guessed her embarrassment at such a silly daughter would be stronger than her need to point out my faults. I was right.

Silly is regarded as both negative and positive by definition—mindless, loopy, frivolous, soft in the head, dippy, dotty, laughable, and childish are some synonyms. I think of silly as a twinkle, a refusal to take things seriously, especially small things. As a parent, serious things were dangers to health, or possible prison. Everything else could eventually be laughed at. As an elder everything short of death has a funny side. Just like laughter, appropriate silliness is good for our health. Being silly indicates confidence in who we are and a kind of innocent pride. Being silly with friends creates bonds, memories, and trust. If we are unafraid to be silly, we can diffuse tension, keep perspective, and allay anxiety in a group or alone. There are many ways to express our inner silliness, here are some of my favorite: • Music and dancing: Certain music brings out the silly in most of us, whether it is the “Hokey Pokey” or “Help Me Rhonda.” The Beach Boys and the Beatles helped me clean house. Jules Feiffer cartoons


taught me the dance to morning. Louis Armstrong’s version of “It’s a Wonderful World” always makes me smile. • Living in technicolor: I surround myself in color—clothes, pillows, socks, hats, art, nails, and cars. During COVID I covered my grey Subaru with round, magnetic polka dots in lavender, aqua, pale yellow, white, and light green. I claimed my grandchildren did it. • Emojis: I like using emojis and cartoons in texts because silly is whimsical. • Art: Creativity is an important element of silliness. Clay, paint— any medium—lets us bring our identity to the surface. This is why children love art and only give it up when they feel they have no talent. Any art show reveals lots of silliness and people buy it. • Language: There are so many silly words, don’t give them up! My favorite kind are onomatopoeias, which means words that sound like what they describe like bark, chirp, fizz, zap, and plop. A dear friend made up the word “tickitypoo” for good feelings. Our President says, “malarkey,” and there are other silly words like bamboozle, collywobbles, scrumptious. My favorite is “wabbit,” which is Scottish for exhausted. • Children and animals: Grandchildren, especially when they are little, can help you be silly, or remember what you loved to play with or do as a child. Yes, make soap bubbles! Animals, especially Aging with Confidence

baby animals, are an endless source of silly. YouTube is full of silly animal videos. I think of puppies when I’m at the dentist or before any possibility of pain. • Sex and love: Yes, even sex is silly because kissing and such is awkward and messy. I often find myself giggling during sex because it is such fun, but I have had to explain myself. • And more…: Once, while doing research at a jail the incarcerated women showed me how to make grilled cheese sandwiches with an iron. They were required to iron the uniforms and did it in a shared common room. They saved the bread and cheese that came with every meal, made designs on the bread with various devices, and had hot pocket parties. Good silly is not noisy nor rude; think of it as mischievous. Still, silliness can irritate some people. I have found some men, from my father onward, to be sensitive to public silliness. It may be that silly creates embarrassment. Personal history increases or decreases our tolerance of silliness. The best silliness is when it helps everyone around you, from family and friends to a nurse or a clerk. You will feel it pop on, unbidden, to lighten the moment. As I look back, I know that the laughter in the hall and the emotional release of silliness I learned in fourth grade helped me have a very happy life. When you diligently practice turning your twinkle lights on at home, they will be available for the rest us. I can imagine Forrest Gump might say, “Silly is as silly does.” 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. Jennifer is the founding mother of the Committee for Children, an international organization devoted to the prevention of child abuse worldwide.

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summer 2021

| 3rd Act magazine 11



On my 18th birthday I cried because it suddenly hit me that I would continue to get older and no longer be hailed by people as a whiz kid, which I knew I was. On my 35th birthday I cried again because, in spite of a fascinating career in journalism, I saw I would continue to get older and hadn’t yet accomplished half of what I’d once dreamed. On my 60th, 70th, and 80th I just shrugged because by then I had accepted the fact that getting older was a lot better than quitting the wonderful, challenging world I lived in. What I’ve learned in 83 How individual we years—life goes on. It’s all are. I now live in an sometimes beautiful, often apartment building for seniors in California, and frustrating, deeply sad, as we pass in the halls we maybe boring, too often or nod or just go on tragic, but somehow always smile by. My neighbors are old very interesting. folk from various parts of the world, all with rich histories that are hidden from me but still show in their eyes. Some full of sorrow, some full of joy, some full of dismissal. Most inscrutable. Is this really the third or final chapter for Ed, the artist on the first floor? He turned 94 last


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

month, and on his birthday Emily, his lovely gal aide, baked him a cake. We sneaked in, with our masks secure, and gave him a small surprise party, some funny gifts, balloons galore. Shoshana, whose apartment is next door, is in the hospital with shingles. I call and she sounds hopeful they’ll send her home soon. Tatiana down the hall takes an exercise class on Zoom with us twice a week and then, when I see her in the hall, we nod, and she practices her halting English on me. Vickie, in spite of her failing eyesight, makes me gorgeous greeting cards for every occasion and refuses to take payment. Then there is Faye, who we call “the Wraith,” because almost every day she startles us as she wanders quietly through the building, and the garage, in her bathrobe. What I’ve learned in 83 years—life goes on. It’s sometimes beautiful, often frustrating, deeply sad, maybe boring, too often tragic, but somehow always very interesting. The alternative to life is silence, no one to talk to, no books to read, no politics to make me crazy, no sunshine most days, no emails from friends who are also survivors of this long trek. Then there are so many wonderful memories of those who have gone before me. It’s not their loss that haunts me as I have accepted that people drop away. It’s a tearful smile they bring to my lips when I say their name or talk about them with others who knew them. Often, I hear a song on the radio that brings them back to me, vivid and alive as we once were together. Beloved people whose presence in my life brought me immeasurable joy. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world. A journalist for much of her professional life, Morna Murphy Martell spent 15 years with The Hollywood Reporter as a weekly columnist and TV critic, then relocated to be their NY Bureau Chief and Broadway Critic. A film critic for five years with Shooting Magazine, she has also written for numerous entertainment industry trade magazines. Presently she is the theater columnist for Not Born Yesterday senior magazine and writes once a month on live theater that is, sadly, now only available on a virtual stage.


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summer 2021

| 3rd Act magazine 13

HAVE FUN AND KEEP MOVING The Secret to Staying Young at Heart

Scandinavians embrace the philosophy of less pressure, less stress, and more time for enjoying life. True to that attitude, in 2018, Heidi Herman’s 93-year-old Icelandic mother, Ieda, undertook a challenge to have 93 new experiences before her 94th birthday to prove you’re never too old for something new. Stories of Ieda’s adventures are inspiring, and spark the desire to live life with a sense of adventure. In her new book On With the Butter! Spread More Living Onto Everyday Life, Herman taps into that desire and lays out practical strategies and resources that anyone can access to achieve more activity in our own lives. On With the Butter! comes from the Icelandic expression Áfram með smjörið, which means to keep moving or forge ahead. That’s the encouragement it offers through inspirational stories and useful how-to lifestyle challenges for readers in each chapter. The chapter “Being Playful” challenges us to look at life with a fresh perspective. Here’s an excerpt: What does the phrase young at heart mean to you? For some people it means staying current with fashion trends, for others it’s about focusing on physical fitness, and for some it’s a mindset of happiness and joy. When the Chicago Tribune asked a dozen people older than 63 what being young at heart meant to them, their responses ranged from “a way of life that is active, hope-filled, giving and unburdened by regrets” to “living on your own terms and trying new things.” There isn’t a universal answer to the question. For me, being young at heart means embracing life with exuberance, being optimistic, and never being afraid to play. For children, playing is the most natural thing in the world.


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

It’s what we did, almost unconsciously. As adults, after years of work, routine, and responsibility, we sometimes forget how to play. But even if the pure joy of having fun is a distant memory, you can choose to start playing again, right here and now. Getting older doesn’t mean we should stop having fun. We can decide to cut loose, be silly, and just live in the moment again, like we did when we were kids. We all have our own idea of fun, so there’s no right or wrong activity. The important thing to remember is that true play can be anything we do for the sole purpose of relaxing or having fun. Do you remember playing hand clapping games like Miss Mary Mack? Did you ever walk to the water’s edge to skip stones? Or spend hours doing tricks with a hula



Herman goes ziplining with her mother Ieda, age 93, near Vik on the southern coast of Iceland.

hoop, or jumping on a pogo stick? When we were children, these activities were part of everyday life. As adults, we often have to remind ourselves that it’s okay to play, laugh, and joke around and that, in fact, it’s healthy. Too often we avoid play because we’re self-conscious about looking silly, especially as we get older. But rarely if ever do we look at, say, an older couple on the dance floor and think they look silly. We’re more likely to smile and nod, thinking I want to be just like that. I’m often a vendor at Scandinavian festivals, where I have a booth with a backdrop featuring a Viking ship and a head-in-the-hole photo stand. Festival participants have photos taken with their heads on a Viking’s body, standing in front of a classic longboat. I designed it with children in mind, making sure the hole for the head was about four feet off the ground. I never imagined how many adults would jump behind the board to have a photo taken. Even though they have to squat to peer through the hole, they don’t hesitate. They’re often laughing as they finagle the awkward pose, and the pure childlike joy on the faces of people playing make-believe brings a smile to my own face every time. I’ll never forget the time an elderly woman insisted on a photo and her family members helped her from a wheelchair and supported her as I took a photo for them.

Aging with Confidence

I love knowing that playing doesn’t have an age limit. Even into her 90s, my mom followed her impulses to engage in silliness and playtime. She used to say she couldn’t be expected to act her age because she’d never been that age before and she might as well just have fun. Most people were surprised to learn her age, which could have been because of her agility and how physically active she was, but I think her constant playfulness deserved a lot of the credit. When she was 89, we visited an open-air museum, the Árbær in Reykjavik, and Mom remembered many of the pieces in its toy collection from her childhood. As we left the museum, she gasped and pointed to several pairs of stilts leaning against the outside wall of the building. Before I could even guess what might happen next, she rushed over, pulled a couple of them upright, and hopped up to get her right foot on the peg. Within seconds, two museum employees appeared out of thin air and supported her on both sides. They looked nervous, but she had a huge grin on her face as she took a couple of wobbly steps. The surrounding crowd didn’t concern her, and neither did the fact that she was wearing her “church clothes” and two-inch heels. Of course, people stopped to watch, but based on the big smiles on their faces, I don’t think anyone thought she was silly. I think her playfulness was heartwarming. We can all make time for play, with the only goal being to laugh and have fun. Don’t be afraid of letting that inner child out. If you’re out of practice, don’t worry about it—the more you play, the easier it becomes. Before long, playing will be as spontaneous as it was when you were young. Opportunities to have fun are all around us. Practice spotting the stilts in life and you’ll never be bored. On With the Butter! by Heidi Herman Copyright 2020. Reprinted with permission from Hekla Publishing, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Buy your copy of On With the Butter! on Amazon today to keep reading. To learn more, go to www. heidihermanauthor.com.

summer 2021

| 3rd Act magazine 15

Ask the Experts: Physical Therapist Urges Us to Get Moving Again


here’s no denying it—the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll this past year on our overall mental and physical health. To keep ourselves and our communities safe, we adopted new daily routines and reinvented socially distant hobbies. For months, by necessity and mandate, we stayed mostly homebound, and our daily physical activity dropped precipitously. Engaging in daily physical activity to preserve mobility and keep our bodies strong is critical. But for some, it’s not just the pandemic that’s impacting our ability to move. If pain and mobility issues are keeping you from moving more, or as much as you should, then it’s time to add physical therapy to your wellness routine. According to Aysha Morgan, physical therapist at Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed) in Canyon Park, now is the perfect time to start. But, if you still aren’t comfortable with in-person therapy, most therapists offer virtual visits that can be done in the comfort of your home. We asked Morgan the affect this past year has had on patients she’s working with, and her recommendations to help us get our bodies moving more frequently and comfortably. How have the pandemic and social distancing mandates taken a toll on our bodies? Our bodies need regular physical activity to stay healthy.


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

I’m seeing a deterioration of mental and physical well-being due to the limited options for physical exercise and physical activity during the pandemic. This more sedentary lifestyle is taking a toll on our health and mobility. To be clear, physical activity is the overall movement of the body and muscles that requires energy. Physical exercise, however, is a planned, structured, and repetitive movement to improve physical fitness. Too little of either one negatively impacts everyone’s health, and the impact is even greater and more difficult to recover from when you are older. What are the most common injuries or areas of concern you are seeing right now? I am seeing an increase in knee, hip, and leg issues in my older patients. I’m also seeing more injuries from falls and balance problems. What simple, at-home movements do you suggest for folks who are looking to improve their strength and balance? Most importantly, do at least one exercise a day to work key muscles but start slow—and vary what you do. If you walk, for example, vary your daily route with different slopes or steps to better balance and strengthen a variety of joints and muscles. Here are some examples of balance and strength building exercises you can do at home:



Sit to stand from a chair (Use dining chair) • Begin by sitting upright on a chair with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. • Reach out with your arms and lean forward at your hips until your bottom starts to lift off the chair. • Move your body into a standing upright position, then reverse the order of your movements to return to the starting position. Tip: Don’t let your knees collapse inward during the exercise. Only lightly touch the chair and don’t fully sit until you have completed 10 repetitions.

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Stand to stand (using the back of a chair for support) • Begin in a standing upright position with your hands resting on the back of a chair in front of you for support. • Bending at your hips then your knees, squat down as far as is comfortable. Tip: Keep your arms relaxed during the exercise and maintain your balance.

Assisted Living • Memory Support • Respite Stays Call today to schedule a tour: 206-207-0212 sriemer@vashoncommunitycare.org • vashoncommunitycare.org


Single leg balance and leg strengthening • Begin in a standing position with your kitchen counter at your side. • Lightly touch your countertop with one hand, if needed. • Lift one foot off the ground in front of your body, transferring your weight to the other leg. When you are balanced, take your hand off the counter and slowly lower your foot to the floor and repeat on the other side. Tip: Maintain your balance and keep your back straight during the exercise.

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Make an appointment with a physical therapist to discuss what movements would be best for strengthening areas of concern with your body and for reducing pain. And get moving!

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Aysha Morgan is a physical therapist at Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed) Canyon Park clinic. She is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist in physical therapy. PacMed is a multi-specialty medical group with nine neighborhood clinics in the Puget Sound area.

Aging with Confidence

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summer 2021

| 3rd Act magazine 17


The Power of Reminiscing About the Past BY DR. ERIC B. LARSON

Dr. Eric B. Larson is a senior scientist at Kaiser Permanente Washington and author of Enlightened Aging: Building Resilience for a Long, Active Life (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017). A version of this story originally appeared on Beingpatient.com.


As we age, memories of long past events become more important, especially with each passing decade of late midlife and old age. Studies show that when centenarians are asked to reminisce on past events—especially, to cite their enjoyable or most meaningful events—the trove of events they recall involving their first 20 years of life vastly exceeds the previous 20 years. It’s as if our minds lay down vast amounts of earlier-in-life events that get embedded deeper and stronger into our brains’ circuitry. It is clear to anyone who speaks frequently with older persons that many delight in the telling—and retelling—of these experiences and relationships of their past lives. Since the time of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, wise people have realized that reminiscing is not harmful, but helpful, and that as we age, people think a lot less about their future and more about their past. This is not unhealthy but simply a feature of aging. People shouldn’t be denied this pleasure. This can be challenging for many younger persons, and even spouses of older persons who themselves are old, who may find it tiresome to hear the same stories repeatedly. Think of the challenges faced by busy attendants in long-term care or other facilities where older persons live. But it is important to acknowledge that with time, our memory develops into what one eminent memory specialist, the psychologist Douwe Draaisma, calls a “nostalgia factory,” which may bring great pleasure to our lives, especially the older we become. I believe in our everyday life as we have conversations with older persons, including

3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

persons with mild to moderate dementia, engaging in reminiscing is pleasurable and worthwhile. People reminiscing brighten up with a listener who appreciates their memories and is interested in their stories. And in turn, it’s meaningful for families to learn as much as possible from their parents and aging relatives about their family’s past, especially in a time when we are so mobile throughout the life course. As a dementia researcher I find this a source of immense pleasure. My wife will often hear me say after a home visit or (nowadays) telephone visit, “I just heard the most amazing story about

this (guy, older lady) … who grew up … or moved with his family to escape persecution or find a better life. …” These reminiscences are often the high point of my day. The bottom line: Many people in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease who might otherwise be totally confused can have a day, or many hours in a day, when they suddenly and out of nowhere recall with great detail important times and delight in sharing them with a child, close relative, friend, or caregiver. In interviews for my research, I hear family members report that it was as if their father or mother was back to normal and I’m asked why they can’t be like this all the time. Sadly, that’s not possible. But there is something indelible, presumably in memory centers involving the hippocampus, that stays with us throughout most, if not all, of our lives. We should strive to treasure the miraculous ability of the brain to hold onto the past as well as it does.


Not Available at Newsstands!

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Everyday Wonder

Fun is Par for the Course

Become a Citizen Scientist

Dori Gillam Doesn’t Know How to Act Her Age

How to Bring a Sense of Awe Back Into Your Life

A Late-Love Story

Embracing Aging

How Do You Feel About Getting Older?


Golf has No Age Limit

Love in the Time of COVID


Beating Alzheimer’s

Washington Rhinestones


Holiday Giving




A FEAST FOR NORMALCY It’s Time for a Garden Party


Tips for a Better Night’s Rest

CONQUER YOUR SWEET TOOTH You’ll Feel Better and Age Better

TAKE A SUNDAY DRIVE Day-Tripping in Western WA




Painting Made Easy

Downsizing Your Holiday Meal




We’re In This Together A Once-in-Hundred-Year Pandemic Challenges and Changes Us

The Costume Makes Me Ageless

Live Like You Mean It


Don’t Let Age Limit You

Brain Power

Join the Golden Age of Lifelong Learning

Still Clowning Around at 73

A Whole New Place to Retire

Start Your Year Off With a Laugh

3 Washington Towns Worth Considering



Social Justice with Social Distancing

A Tough Job Just Got Harder


Cope with Unwelcome Change

AGING WITH PRIDE GenPride serves LGBTQ Seniors

STROKE PRIMER Know the Signs

THE OTHER BOOM Retirement Living Options Surge

Resolve to Cultivate This Healthy Habit


FINDING JOY Try These Practices




Together Forever Why We Get Happier with Age It’s Never Too Late to Date

Parting with a Home You Love

HOUSE SHARING An Option Worth Considering

Aquarius Will Boomers Change Aging?


Modern Matchmaking


The Aging of


50 Ways to Thrive


A QUILT OF HEROES Renewing the Fabric of America

Life as Poetry

Art Without Borders

The Sublime Work of Seattle Artist Alfredo Arreguin

NEW LEASHES ON LIFE Loving Homes for Senior Dogs

TRAVEL Stretch Your Comfort Zone

The Pleasure Bond

Tess Gallagher on Creativity, Vitality, and Resilience

NO BAD BREAKS Bone Up on Osteoporosis

FEAR AGING? You’re Not Alone

TECHNOLOGY WE LOVE It’s Not Rocket Science

Sex & Dating After 50 MICROBUS TO MOTOR COACH Living an RV Retirement

NEVER GIVE UP Alene Moris’ Lifelong Activism

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summer 2021

| 3rd Act magazine 19

Reconnecting Memories

You have endless mental storage capacity. Reconnect facts that have gone astray so they'll be available next time. BY CHARLES E. KRAUS


ou know how you keep getting messages that your devices, your iPhones, your laptops, want to install updates? Well, from time to time the hard drive in your memory bank needs updating, too. You forget the name of the grade school you attended for about six months when your family was living with Grandma. Fortunately, your brother remembered. It was Lowell School. You can thank him and let it go at that, or here is a better idea. Reclaim the memory. Place it back into your head. Update your mind. Reconnect facts that have gone astray so they'll be available next time. Information Gone Missing It’s on the tip of your tongue. You knew it a minute ago. Such frustrations aren’t partial to the aging brain. Everyone


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

experiences “senior moments,” even teenagers. Think back to school days. It was time for the big test. You’d studied hard, felt ready, but no, you simply were unable to recall the name of the country, city, historical figure, scientific theory ... the answer to an important question. Ridiculous. You’d gone over the material just the night before. You turned in your paper and walked out the door. Ten seconds later, the “missing” answer gushed from your memory bank like water cascading down Niagara Falls. How Your Memory Works Memories are connected to one another. That is why hearing a song from the past can set off a train of recollections. You are transported to a particular location, perhaps where you first heard the tune. You recall a

boyfriend or girlfriend—the two of you dancing as the song plays. Remember shopping at the record store. A favorite disc jockey. Your transistor radio. Suddenly you’re taking a nostalgic tour of your teen highlights. It’s like surfing the Internet without paying for Wi-Fi. When a fact or thought gets planted into long-term memory, it forms connections or links with older, established memory files. Most of these associations are sequential. Logical. Shoe-sock-foot chains of detail. Each bit of information has multiple storage locations. Your brain backs up everything. For example: The new dog is named Winston. This fact is passed around in your mind. Think of memory as a room filled with file cabinets. Winston details have ended up in many folders. One contains everything you know about dogs. Another is exclusively about the dogs you’ve owned. There’s one about pet names. Also a file containing dog stories. Famous dogs (think Lassie Come Home.) Boy, your filing system is bulging. Finding Missing Information Having difficulty recalling the name of someone you knew when you were a child? Make a list of the mental files where it might show up. Begin your


search. Where did you first meet? Consider the places the two of you used to hang out, the things you used to do together. What was his house like? Recall his parents, his siblings. Your mutual friends. Zero in on consequential memories. A celebration, a disappointment, an argument involving the two of you. Exploring these recollections gives you an opportunity to find links to the name you are seeking. It’s like hearing a song that launched numerous recollections. One memory opens up the door to many others. No immediate results? Sleep on it. You’ve stirred the memory pot. Overnight, the process might float the desired information into consciousness. Detective Work If details refuse to surface, they may be available from the more obvious sources—friends, family members, libraries, and of course, Google. Once hunted down, stick your findings back into your head. You have endless mental storage capacity. Whenever you come across “lost” data, memorize it anew, but this time, place the information into more accessible files. Re-Cementing Your conscious effort to implant a memory mimics the natural procedure. However, it does nature one better. There is nothing random about your effort. You decide where the data should reside. Intentional memorization enhances your ability to retrieve the material. Let’s go through the process. An example: You forgot the name of a book. We’ll use Catcher In The Rye. Somehow, you forget the name of the book. Fortunately, your sister provides the missing title, and you want to make sure you’ll never forget it again. Here is what you do: Aging with Confidence

Building Stories Rule: Create vignettes, mini-narratives that contain the facts for information you wish to plant in your head. It is easier to remember a story filled with visual images than one lone detail. Imagine J.D. Salinger seated in a field of rye typing his manuscript. Visualize a catcher’s mitt on Holden Caulfield’s hand. He’s standing behind Salinger, looking over the author’s shoulder. You’re in this scene, attired in a catcher’s mask. Did you know the novel sold more than 65 million copies? You finish reading the copy you’ve been holding and toss the book out of the window into a field of rye filled with 65 million copies of Catcher In The Rye. By mistake, your flying tome hits the author in the head. You make eye contact with Holden and the two of you share a laugh. Make your stories interesting, preposterous, funny, exciting—memorable. Next time you want to call up the name of Salinger’s book, tell yourself: I was having difficulty remembering the title, phoned my sister, and she provided the missing information. I decided to reenter the name into my memory. I saw myself wearing a catcher’s mask. Holden had the mitt. Salinger was out there in the field typing away. Field of what? Oh yeah, Rye. Catcher In The Rye. Envision the book flying through the air and bopping J.D. on the head. Catcher In The Rye has been reentered into your mental filing cabinet. It has been embedded in a set of episodic story elements, links, associations that will make it easy to recall the next time you’re interested in discussing literature. Based in Seattle, Charles E. Kraus is a writer, entertainer, and memory improvement teacher. His most recent book, You’ll Never Work Again In Teaneck, NJ (a memoir) is available in local libraries and on Amazon.

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Call 888-754-8798 ext.1 https://ddetf.wa.gov summer 2021

| 3rd Act magazine 21



COTTAGE LIVING Safety, serenity, and amenities abound by Sue Rowell


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

Summer is here and it’s so good to see the flowers blooming, the grass growing, and hear the birds chirping. Good, that is, unless you find it difficult to pull the weeds in the garden, mow the lawn, and wash the windows to see the birds outside. Maybe you’re starting to think about moving to a home that will handle those things for you so you can spend more time relaxing and enjoying the season. “I needed to move and I wanted a place that gave me independence, but also the assurance of assistance as I age. I also wanted a place where my little dog would be happy,” says Page C. Page chose one of the independent cottages at Quail Park of Lynnwood where

the landscaping, housekeeping, home maintenance, and more are taken care of for all residents. “We are surrounded by trees so there are a marvelous number of birds to watch,” she says. “The staff is absolutely wonderful! They are so friendly and were calling me by name within days of my arrival. I have dietary issues and the chef was willing to answer my questions and give me alternatives, which was very nice. Also, the food is pretty darn good!” Cottages are fast becoming the perfect option for older adults who still want to live in a single-family home, but realize they need more support as they age, and don’t want all the work their current home requires. Moving into one of the spacious, 1,616 square foot cottages at Quail Park of Lynnwood means there won’t be as much to downsize. Their 2-bedroom, 2-bath homes—with a garage— include all utilities, chef-prepared meals, housekeeping, linen service, cottage maintenance, landscaping, activities/events, and more for just one monthly fee. “We love living in our roomy cottage that is filled www.3rdActMag.com


Cottage Living at Quail Park of Lynnwood offers: Simplicity and Freedom Do as much, or as little, as you choose. You have the option of cooking in your full kitchen with stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops, or enjoying a meal in one of two restaurants or the pub. There are also two bistros where you can enjoy complimentary coffee and treats. with light from the many windows and offers all of the comforts of home,” says Kathy A. Quail Park residents join a vibrant community with fun and interesting people to socialize with. And for those who don’t need quite as much space, Quail Park also offers beautiful apartments with multiple floor plans to choose from. “It’s a great move when you find yourself looking at getting older and worry who will be around to care for you. Here you have the assurance of several levels of care, plus a fun place to relax into,” says Page. Adds Kathy, “Quail Park offers a feeling of safety and being part of a greater community.” A senior living community like Quail Park is actually one of the safest places to live because of the continual sanitation practices and the fact that the COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to staff and residents. Tours that follow current COVID-19 precautions are now available. “Come and take a tour,” Page says. “I think you’ll be impressed with the quality of services, the roominess, and the overall attractiveness of the place. It makes a wonderful new home!” Aging with Confidence

Opportunities to be Active Spend time in the heated, indoor pool enjoying water aerobics. Or, have the Physical Development Director plan an exercise routine for you in the gym. You can also join in one of the daily exercise classes such as Zumba, tai chi, qi gong, or yoga. Don’t forget to bring your putter for the putting green! There are also fun outings to places such as the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and the Ballard Locks (to name just a couple). Social Connections Join one of the group activities such as book club, poker, choir, BINGO, trivia, happy hour, or the men’s group. You can also enjoy a film in the movie theater, or attend a church service in the on-site chapel. The live entertainment—musicians, educational speakers, variety shows—are can’t-miss events! Access to Care Weekly blood pressure checks are available free of charge. And, in case of an emergency, care staff is available 24/7. Additionally, if you no longer drive, transportation to doctor appointments is provided at no charge.

Quail Park Communities Serving Western Washington Quail Park of Lynnwood

Quail Park Memory Care Residences of West Seattle

Call today for information 425-329-6591 QuailParkofLynwood.com

summer 2021

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One Hen Two Ducks The W

e underestimate the power of play. Play is an essential human activity. Play promotes growth, development, and well-being throughout our lifespan. Play is just as important for grandma as it is for her grandchildren. My friend and MINDRAMP colleague Roger Anunsen experienced the profound power of play in early 2001, the day he began a new job as activity director for an assisted living community. Roger was a successful public interest lawyer for more than 25 years, specializing in protecting family farmers who faced foreclosure. He earned a reputation as a lawyer who rarely refused a case and was even known to accept old railroad ties or bags of hazelnuts as payment. But the need was too great and the burden of too many cases caused him to burnout by age 50. He had worked himself too hard, spread himself too thin. Roger became immobilized, lost his passion for the law, lost his practice, and fell into a downward spiral. In the midst of this crisis, Roger’s wife suggested he consider a part-time job driving a van for an assisted living community where, as she put it, there would be lots of “Nanas.” Roger had loved his Nana


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

who died in her 90s. He applied for the job and was hired. When the community’s activity director suddenly quit, Roger was given the job. On his first day he faced a row of Nanas sitting motionless in their chairs waiting for him to lead a “Sit & Be Fit” class. “What do you do in Sit & Be Fit class,” he asked. Without comment, the ladies simply began working their way through well-practiced routines. No one smiled. No one made eye contact with Roger. As the class wore on, he by Michael C. grew restless and thought to himself, “My Nana wouldn’t stand for this.” Patterson As the final robot-like routine ended, Roger blurted out, “Repeat after me. One Hen.” Silence. Roger tried again, “Repeat after me. Like an echo. One Hen!” The silence was broken when Lucy Buntjer took a breath and whispered, “One Hen.” “YES!” He continued. “One Hen, Two Ducks.” He pointed at Lucy. She repeated the nonsense. “One Hen, Two Ducks.” As Roger progressed to “One Hen, Two Ducks, Three Squawking Geese,” a few others joined Lucy in the call and response. Chins raised. Eyebrows lifted. Eyes came to life. Mouths creased into tentative smiles, followed by broad grins and laughter. Roger had everyone’s attention. The game was on! Roger was playing with his new Nanas. Human beings are hardwired to play and suffer when denied the opportunity. Why? Because play is adaptive, it promotes behaviors that help us to survive and thrive. It is important that play is inherently pleasurable. Positive emotions trigger expansive and inclusive behaviors that develop our physical and mental capabilities. In 1998, psychologist Barbara Fredrickson developed what’s known as the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. The theory notes that when we feel threatened, our mental field narrows to focus exclusively on solving the perceived threat. But when we feel safe, contented or joyful, the scope of our mental attention expands. When happy, we are more willing to engage in the kind of exploratory behavior that leads to learning and the development of physical and mental skills. Play puts us into a state of mind that is conducive to stimulating brain plasticity and positive growth of our brains. While we accept the need to play when young, we sometimes forget that play and adaptive development continues to be

Power of Play


One Hen, Two Ducks One hen Two ducks Three squawking geese Four limerick oysters Five corpulent porpoises Six pairs of Don Alversos tweezers Seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array Eight brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt Nine apathetic, sympathetic, diabetic, old men on roller skates with a marked propensity toward procrastination and sloth Ten lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep who hall stall around the corner of the quo of the quay of the quivery, all at the same time.

thousand Macedonians in full battle array.” Roger’s playful game roused their slumbering minds. These older minds needed regular stimulation to gradually replace the negative mindset of hopelessness and despair with a positive one that welcomes the pleasure that accompanies meaningful engagement and exploration. Roger built on his unintentional experiment with “One Hen, Two Ducks” to develop a multi-faceted program of mentally stimulating activities for older adults that he calls MemAerobics. The playful environment engendered positive mindsets and positivity stimulated engagement, exploration, and development that not only benefited them, but had a ripple effect on the entire community including staff and the residents’ loved ones. The spirit of play, is contagious. Regular play was critical in pulling Roger out of his funk. And, through playful exploration and invention, Roger and the residents discovered a system for reactivating and reengaging mature minds that had begun to decline. The effectiveness of Roger’s MemAerobics program was verified in a random controlled clinical trial conducted by Western Oregon University and published in 2003. MemAerobics became one of the cornerstones of MINDRAMP’s current brain health work with older adults. Through playful engagement, Roger created a positive, multi-domain, brain-healthy environment. He enriched the lives of residents where he worked and completely transformed the culture of their community. And, along the way, he healed himself. Michael C. Patterson, founder and CEO of MINDRAMP Consulting, writes extensively on the art and science of brain health and mental flourishing. He is an educator and consultant who previously managed AARP’s Staying Sharp brain health program and helped develop the field of creative aging.

important for older adults. The need to think creatively—to respond flexibly and adaptively to inevitable change—is critical to our ability to adapt to the challenges of advanced age. The aging process is fraught with wrenching transitions. If we get stuck in our ways, these transitions can overwhelm us. To flourish in adversity, we need to remain flexible, creative, and open to change. Play provided two important benefits for Roger’s Sit & Be Fit students. First, the silliness and surprise of the nonsense activity was a wake-up call for minds that had fallen into a kind of chronic slumber. Boredom and lack of stimulation had caused their grey cells to shut down. They were stuck in a dangerous, downward spiral of debility. Then, suddenly, their minds were being tickled by the sound and imagery of “Seven Aging with Confidence

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Dori Gillam Doesn’t Know How to Act Her Age All could benefit from adopting a little of this Seattle native’s playful approach to life and aging BY ANN HEDREEN PHOTO BY ERNIE SAPIRO


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021



weeks after Dori Gillam’s 65th birthday, she broke her arm and herniated three discs in her neck. For 12 weeks after, when people saw her turquoise neck brace and arm in a sling, they’d ask, “What happened?” “Cage-fighting,” Gillam would say. They’d chuckle. Then she’d add, “Just kidding. What really happened was I was pole dancing, and the pole broke right out of the ceiling.” She would watch as amusement turned to flustered confusion. And then she’d say, straight-faced, “You’ve never heard of a 65-year-old pole dancer?” Finally, she would tell them the truth: “I fell. On the sidewalk.” Fans of Gillam love this anecdote. “She motivates me to live life a little lighter,” one friend said. “She just knows how to be.” To which Gillam would say that it all goes back to her mom and dad: Clara and Ralph Wright, who were married for 70 happy years and both lived to be 95. When times got tough, Ralph and Clara liked to say, “Someday we’ll laugh at this.” And then Ralph would add, without a missing a beat: “So why don’t we start now?” Optimism—it was the secret sauce that flavored her parents’ long and joyful lives. Gillam says it’s because she is “her father’s daughter” that right after her calamitous sidewalk fall she was “cracking jokes with the EMTs as they were loading me into the aid car.” Later on in the ER, she and her brother were “running George Carlin and Richard Pryor lines, right along with the doctors.” A few years later, Gillam broke her wrist right before a long-planned seven-day hike on the Inca Trail. She had trained hard, and thought she Aging with Confidence

might be able to do it with her wrist in a cast, but it swelled painfully at high altitude. Instead of flying home, she stayed in Cusco and had “a lovely week chatting with shopkeepers and locals, taking photos with llamas, alpacas, and scores of children, and touring several other ruins, and even a condor rehabilitation center,” all while attending Spanish language immersion classes for four hours a day. When you grow up with parents who continually create an atmosphere of “this is the way life is and we’re going to have fun, we’re going to make the most of it,” a positive attitude is in the air you breathe. Ralph and Clara died one month apart in 2008. Gillam was one of their primary caregivers during their last seven years, an experience that profoundly shaped her attitude toward her own aging. In one of Gillam’s favorite photos of her dad, he is roller skating, at 85, at his nephew’s birthday party. After a year upended by the pandemic, the outcry for social justice following the death of George Floyd, and a fraught election and frightening aftermath, talking to Gillam about how and why she stays positive was like drinking a big smoothie full of vitamins I didn’t know I needed so badly. No, we can’t laugh off a year like the last one, but we can laugh in spite of it. No, we can’t pretend it was easy, or that we liked being isolated from friends and family, but we can point to what we learned—Zoom!—and what we got used to—masks!—and even a few unexpected benefits— who’s had a cold lately? Or the flu? Who’s walking more than they ever did? Or snowshoeing, or bicycling? Which brings us to Gillam’s

signature line, the one that greets you on her website: “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” Gillam says a lot of her friends like to tell her, lovingly, that her inner age is set at about 16. “Not that I’m childish or foolish, but that’s just the way my brain operates, the way I interpret and extrapolate.” She’s fine with 16, even though she sometimes wishes she could be more like her dad, who always said that on the inside, he was forever 25. The advantage of being a teen inside is that you “don’t have too much trouble playing and seeing how healthy it is to play,” says Gillam. On her post-pandemic wish list is a visit to Montreal, where an installation of adult-sized swings at a bus

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stop is charming every passerby who tries them out. She may be a teenager at heart, but Gillam is widely known and loved in the Northwest for her work in the arena of aging. She has worked for Sound Generations, AARP, and Bayview Retirement Community, and writes frequently for 3rd Act Magazine. She is a frequent speaker on a wide range of aging-related topics, from resilience to retirement to end-of-life planning. She facilitates hundreds of “Wisdom Cafes,” first in partnership with the Northwest Center for Creative


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

Aging and later with the King County Library System. The Wisdom Cafes are small-group conversations among older adults, on topics ranging from creative aging to mortality to ageism. I asked Gillam how older adults can effectively confront ageism in younger people. “For anyone who already is in your life, start asking them more questions about what it’s like to be 14 or 24. And check your own ageism, because it cuts both ways.” In other words, she says, if we don’t want to hear “OK, Boomer” put-downs, then we’ve got to let go of phrases like “entitled millennials,” because “everyone has gifts of the head, heart, and hands, and if we look for what people can do, instead of what they can’t do, no matter their age, we’ll have a better conversation anyway.” This ties into another of Gillam’s favorite conversational topics: The legacy that each of us leaves around our own attitudes toward aging. “If you spend your life grumbling about how everything’s changed, if you spend your time talking about how much everything hurts, or what you can’t do, you’re teaching people that this is what aging looks like.” On the other hand, “are you saying, ‘Hey, there’s always something more fun or interesting to learn, there’s always something out there you can grab hold of.’ And that’s part of resilience, too, which of course I’ve learned from my parents.” For Gillam, her own attitude adjustment habits include an hour of comedy per day—30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. Anything goes, from YouTube

videos of the Marx Brothers, Carol Burnett, and Trevor Noah to funny pet photos on Instagram. Pre-pandemic, she was a frequent volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, building homes in Zambia, India, China, and Central America. And she looks forward to more Habitat builds because, as she wrote in a 2017 3rd Act article about volunteer vacations, “volunteering to help someone—or further a cause—while traveling is a refreshingly addictive combination. When you help someone while learning something new, you are energized.” Which takes us back to the importance of play, because some people might not think breaking bricks or bending rebar is what you’d call “play.” “I love it when people find their third acts, or fourth acts, or fifth acts, because that’s part of what keeps us having fun—and I won’t say keeps us young, because we’re all still aging— but it keeps us vital and interested.” As she explains, it’s not so much about play versus work, or retirement versus “re-wirement”—it’s about having “something to look forward to, something to do, something to believe in, something to love, and something to laugh about.” The people who “have those things in their lives, those are the people who are the most fun to be with.” Like Dori Gillam. Who, by the way, was the winner of Sound Generations’ 2020 Lifelong Learning Award. Congratulations, Dori. Keep on learning, because we’re learning from you. Ann Hedreen is an author (Her Beautiful Brain), teacher of memoir writing, 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. Ann recently completed a second memoir, After Ecstasy: Memoir of an Observant Doubter.


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Aging with Confidence

summer 2021

| 3rd Act magazine 29


without pain

Nothing worked to control my pain fromfibromyalgia. Then I tried CBD. By Debbie Van Straten Two miles from our home near Seattle I pleaded with my husband, “Turn around. I can’t do this.” Moaning in pain, my vision blurred as my pain scale hit an 8 and threatened to end our 2,000-mile road trip. Angry nerves fired, burning throughout my body. My chest filled with heartache. My husband and I were on our way to California to help our newly homeless family. They were victims of the worst wildfire in California’s history and we longed to hug, console, and support them. I released my car seat to recline but it was blocked by a treasured antique, a third generation, Grandma Rickliff heirloom chest. It still wore its original stain and smelled musty. Each drawer had separate keyholes trimmed with cord-like rope, hand carved out of wood. I longed to see


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

my sister-in-law’s face and resettle the chest into a world where they had lost everything, except their lives. Sobbing, I screamed, “Who am I?” Slowly, over 26 years, fibromyalgia changed me, making me a stranger to myself and my husband. The disorder caused widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied with fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. Prescription drugs and pain relievers never worked, and I feared the side effects. Yoga proved helpful, but I couldn’t afford the time for desired results. When a massage therapist laid hands on me, the positive effect was often immediate, but the euphoria proved fleeting. Just days before the trip, I began experimenting with CBD-active terpenes (with no THC). Now, with my thinking obscured, my husband thought for me. “Why don’t you

double the CBD?” he asked. Why hadn’t I thought of that? The directions were to increase the dose until the CBD became effective, perhaps another dose would work. I pulled the tincture from my purse and gently squirted a lemon-flavored second dose under my tongue. With the limited studies I had assessed, I doubted it would work. I thought of it a bit like snake oil, but I had nothing to lose. It was the role of the dice. We continued on our journey south. I noticed a difference after about 30 minutes and was able to stop shifting and rest as the pain was alleviating. When I opened my eyes, I focused on the scenic beauty of Oregon. As we rolled into our hotel in Medford, golden light warmed the car, and I gently started stretching out my muscles with little pain. No, I did not want to go dancing but I was moving, my pain levels were tolerable, enough so that we walked to a quaint Chinese restaurant for


dinner. Before turning down the bed I dosed myself with another dropper of CBD. By morning, my pain levels were down to a two or three. I remained comfortable for the remainder of the trip. I had my life back. One and a half years later, my pain is controlled, and I enjoy most activities. I climb stairs without limitations, and I can stand for prolonged periods of time. I am seldom edgy from pain, and I can function at a computer. One more thing happened that I didn’t expect. My sleeping patterns changed. I was falling asleep effortlessly and remaining asleep throughout the night like during my childhood. It was a revolutionary experience, clearly not a placebo effect. As I continue to benefit from CBD, I have studied and learned a great deal. All CBD products are not equal. The Food and Drug Administration is in the process of determining

One and a half years later, my pain is controlled, and I enjoy most activities. One more thing happened that I didn’t expect— my sleeping patterns changed— I was falling asleep effortlessly. guidelines for CBD. Until they do, we need to assume responsibility for what we are using and it’s important to educate ourselves. Here is a little of what I’ve learned and some tips and places to start:


Only Purchase CBD from a Reputable Source: If you live in Western Washington, most Washington State licensed cannabis

Aging with Confidence

stores are very knowledgeable about their products and can be an excellent source of information. Most pharmacies carry CBD products and pharmacists can help identify known drug interactions. CBD products do not require a prescription. The Internet can be a valuable resource to compare and purchase products. Remember that only doctors and pharmacists can offer medical advice or suggest products for specific ailments. It is always important to check with your doctor before starting any hemp- or cannabisderived product.


Get a Certificate of Analysis: When purchasing any CBD product, always ask for a third-party Certificate of Analysis (CoA). A third-party CoA means that the product has been reviewed by an independent laboratory. Look specifically to see if the product has been tested for pesticides and heavy metals. If a brand cannot provide a third-party CoA, move on.


Always Review the Label: We’ve all been told how important it is to read the labels. When buying CBD products, it’s essential. Look for an expiration date, the amount of CBD/ Phytocannabinoids, and check for other ingredients.


Check THC Levels: THC is the chemical responsible for marijuana’s psychological effects. Federally legal CBD products can contain from zero up to 0.3% THC. Washington State products can contain higher levels, which may not be legal in other states. It is important to know how THC affects you, especially if you plan to operate a vehicle, or if you have balance issues. Start with zero or

very low THC. I always choose a product that is 100% THC-free.


Consider the “Entourage Effect”: While CBD and THC are the primary cannabinoids that can produce a therapeutic effect, the “entourage effect” theory posits that a combination of chemicals, especially terpenes, play a key role

Quality is important. Generally you get what you pay for. It is true of many purchases and, certainly, CBD. in helping to realize the plant’s full therapeutic benefits. Terpenes are organic, aromatic hydrocarbons that can be found in thousands of plants around the world. I use a product with more than 40 terpenes to achieve homeostasis.


Quality is Important: Remember, generally you get what you pay for. It is true of many purchases and, certainly, CBD.


Safety First: It bears repeating— check with your doctor before starting a hemp- or cannabis-derived product, especially if you are taking other medications.


Try, Try Again: Finally, if you do try CBD, be patient. If it doesn’t work, try a different brand. If your pain is local, try a topical. Although both tinctures and capsules are good for overall pain, tinctures allow more flexibility for dosing than capsules do. After a lifetime of leadership in senior communities and hospice, Debbie Van Straten is now a published author. Her stories on aging define elderhood as a stage of life as unique and special as childhood or adulthood. She lives in Bremerton, Wash.

summer 2021

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Calling Out Right Privilege

“Lefties Have Rights, Too!”

Aristotle, Goldie Hawn, Bill Gates, Spike Lee, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg wouldn’t appear to have much in common. How about Sergei Rachmaninoff, Babe Ruth, Jimi Hendrix, Nikola Tesla, and Mother Teresa? BY ANNIE I’m pleased to be part of their clan—the CULVER lefties, that is—even though I’m ashamed to say none of us has ever done much to speak out about our plight. As members themselves, you’d think former President Barack Obama or the late Senator John McCain might have taken up the cause and articulated our needs. So, dear friends, even if you don’t qualify as one of us— according to Scientific American, only about 15 percent of the global population does—you can still join in. There’s ample opportunity to ponder your strategies before International Left-Handed Day, which isn’t until August 13. Ok, the 13th falls on a Friday and 2021 might not be the best year to join a movement like this, but just think of all those lefties around the world who’ve been forced to become righties (Harry S. Truman, for one). Resist Right Privilege! Start asking lefties about their challenges. Read about it in The Lefty Notebook: Where the Right Way to Write is Left, loaded with anecdotes, quotes, and advocacy with ample room to make notes. You’ll learn that lefthandedness is neither “a neurotic choice made by anti-social


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

individuals” nor “the result of poor toilet training.” Admittedly, left-handers are much more likely to be dyslexic. When left is right and right is left, things can go awry. Yet lefties also are less rigid and controlling, according to The Lefty Notebook, and more artistic and intuitive. I nt u it ive br i ngs to mind a Seattle bank teller who remarked on my lefthanded check endorsement recently. After acknowledging he, too, is left-handed, we discussed whether he’d encountered anything unusual about lefties. “When one comes into the bank,” he said, eyes widening, “a whole bunch of lefties typically follows.” Imagine a sudden swarm of lefties descending on a lone bank teller. As you develop newfound curiosity about lefties in your life, you might like to honor them with a gift or two on their special day. There’s still plenty of time. Whatever you do, get over those so-called left-handed compliments, though. Lefties Only in Alabama sells “Lefty Pride” T-shirts. TeePublic in New York offers every T-shirt imaginable, including “Make Left Handers Great Again” and “Lefties Have Rights Too,” as well as shirts for lefty football players, guitarists, bassists, bowlers, fencers, table tennis players, even one for lefty pediatric nurses.



Another TeePublic T-shirt expresses a major challenge for lefties: “I’m Left-Handed and I Hate Your Scissors.” That calls for homage to Fiskars, longtime maker of left-handed scissors and tools functional for both left- and right-handed users. Just search “Lefty” on the Fiskars website. For a lefty of any age who lacks the proper scissors, this is a good choice. Immerse yourself in San Francisco’s Lefty’s, a world where you’ll find sentimental signs as well as lefty kitchen utensils such as a glass measuring cup that doesn’t force metric measurements on lefties. Overcome that Right Privilege! It isn’t a mental or physical deficiency when lefties can’t make efficient use of a measuring cup, ladle, can opener, or the occasional ice cream scoop. They simply lack the proper (no, not “right”) tools. If you’re still wrestling with your Right Privilege, maybe retreat to the shore of Lefthand Bay, Alaska, for a bit of mindfulness meditation? Or kick back and listen to the popular blues/rock group in Seattle called Left Hand Smoke. Ben Mish, lead vocals and piano for the band, says the group changed names several times before they decided on the lefty moniker. “Band names are hard,” Mish notes, adding that he and his brother Will, who plays lead and rhythm guitar, came up with

the name. Ben is a lefty. Will holds the neck of the guitar with his left hand. “I think initially we were thinking about the left-hand motion while I’m playing harmonica and my brother’s left-hand motion while playing guitar. You could describe that motion as smokin’,” says Ben. That lefty smokin’ motion apparently works—Left Hand Smoke now has 10 albums. He doesn’t recall ever playing a gig on Left-Handed Day, but Ben Mish says Left Hand Smoke is receptive to the idea and adds that an outdoor show is planned for August 22. Check out lefthandsmoke.wordpress.com for updates. You also can ponder an uplefting future imagined by a shopper who’s quoted in The Lefty Notebook: “I can see a day when a 90-degree angle is known as a ‘left’ angle; when a moral, virtuous person will be called ‘lefteous’; and when a box standing on its bottom will be ‘up-left.’” Is it time for leftovers yet? 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 and enjoys freelancing.

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summer 2021

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Julia & I n the i e v o L Late D I V O C Time of


e met during COVID. Amid death and seclusion, love happened. It was on one of those end-of-the-line dating sites, where women of a certain age float hopes of meeting their forever soulmates. No one under 5’8” need apply. I am 5’5” but Julia is shorter, still. Julia’s profile included kudos to Yeats and William Carlos Williams. I am a poet. Any tributes to luminaries of my marginalized tribe opens a romantic spigot deep inside me. I am 81, Julia 77. Our romantic spigots had suffered considerable rust in recent years. What did Julia see in me? My white beard often takes on a lugubrious cast. My white hair tends to fly straight out, as if in a shameless imitation of Einstein. Julia has attentive dark eyes and blackened hair thick with overspill. I was turned on by her politically exotic disclosure that one of her relatives in Russia had married Molotov. “Molotov, like in the cocktail.” Our sudden leapfrogging into romance was partly the result of the pandemic. The shadow of looming death and immobility filled us


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

with a strange sense of urgency. We began corresponding in late March 2020. My Manhattan was in lockdown. COVID cases and deaths were beginning to tax our hospitals. Julia, a diligent news watcher from Oak Park, Ill., was attuned to calamities. She herself lived through a major one (her husband succumbed to brain cancer after a 15-year struggle) and was horrified to discover that I did my writing by the Hudson BY ROBERT HIRSCHFIELD River in apparent defiance of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s pleas to New Yorkers: “Stay Safe, Stay Home!” I said in jest, “I am still breathing normally in this locked down city.” But with our fondness growing, I worried wryly about actually dying (an improbable notion) before meeting her, before two of my new poems could surface in Mudfish, a literary magazine in which the great John Ashbery was published. “I worry,” Julia wrote, “that you are not taking good care of yourself, that you are being taken over by this fatalistic idea about being a poet.” The poet explored flight possibilities. Southwest


still had its empty middle seat policy in place. My elderly friends, pandemic hermits, were horrified. Eight months would pass before Julia and I had our Purple Rose of Cairo moment when I appeared at her door in Oak Park, exiting my (computer) screen so we could physically inhabit each other’s lives. Seeing her, I inappropriately panicked. “I think I lost my pills,” I said. “Oh my God!” Julia is a doctor’s daughter. I searched my backpack. I found my pills. We made love. The absence of embodiment caused inevitable distortions. We’d peer forlornly at each other like shut-ins. Julia was always complaining how green Zooming made her look. Which was true and which led to my tiresome quip: “Don’t always say that. Everyone will want what you have.” The kind of quip an old husband would say to his old wife. I was amazed at how easily familiarity, even domesticity, vines around an absent presence. The two of us initially exchanged the obligatory scripture stories of upbringing and found overlap. Julia’s mother was a classical music devotee who sidelined her, turning her attention to her younger sister and her love for opera. My mother, an Orthodox Jew—horrified by my early heresies— chose to cozy up to my younger brother and his devotional tendencies. Julia’s rebellion took the form of folk music and moping. Mine was mainly confined to moping. I discovered writing only in my late teens when I read it was the occupation of unhappy people. Early on, when Julia sang The Weavers songs we both loved as adolescents, hitting the high notes with longing and vulnerability, I felt something new and tender emerge from the old words. The eight days we spent together in Ernest Hemingway’s Oak Park was like being tucked away in a security zone surrounded by a sea of infection. I was struck by how quickly we get accustomed to whatever new container “normal” comes in. Julia and I sat and chatted as casually as we had previously sat and Zoomed. We cooked and ate. I went out and shopped. We argued and made love. Like everyone our age, Julia and I are old hands at the various deaths COVID has to offer. We have seen loved ones die, places from our past

Aging with Confidence

die, cherished illusions about stability die. We have a perspective. But every day time moves us closer to its outer limits, and COVID still controls what moves in time. Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson are lifeboats in the water. But even after vaccination, questions remain about the duration of protection, about the way the virus has disrupted economies, psyches, the paths back to the old grasslands of stability. “Let’s go somewhere,” Julia will say when we talk. The furthest we’ve gone together is Lake Street, a few blocks from her house. “Sure. Where to?” “New Mexico.” On my double-stacked mattress, I just smile when Julia laments the many miles that separate us. I remember, when we first began our strange journey together, telling her of Kunal Basu’s short story, The Japanese Wife. Long before email and commercial air travel, a Bengali man and a Japanese woman begin corresponding. They fall in love. They decide to marry in absentia. Their love

Our sudden leapfrogging into romance was partly the result of the pandemic. The shadow of looming death and immobility filled us with a strange sense of urgency. for each other grows. Their intimacy lives in their letters. They never see each other, but they see into each other. It’s a gift to be seen into. I will sometimes ramble on about the scrumptiously dreary, oddly funny films of the abstract Swedish director Roy Andersson, whom I love. “You are a snob,” Julia will say quietly. I can only laugh. It is true. But why am I thrilled like I have been complimented? Where is my ordinary combative impulse when slighted? Why am I sequestered by affection for this woman? Sometimes the truth doesn’t hurt. Even in this time when the hurt of betrayal is everywhere. Robert Hirschfield is a New York-based writer and poet. He has spent much of the last five years writing and assembling poems about his mother's Alzheimer's. In 2019, Presa Press published a volume of his poems titled, The Road To Canaan. His work has appeared in Parabola, Tricycle, Spirituality & Health, Sojourners, The Moth (Ireland), Tears In The Fence (UK), and other publications.

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So, How Do You Find New Love When Older? And some tips for when you do.


Almost everyone I know—of any age—watched Bridgerton on Netflix at least once last winter. It’s all about love, and we do love that. A lot. We need and seek connections from the time we’re born—someone to hold us, love us, comfort us, and entertain us. That never goes away, especially during a pandemic. “I think a lot of people put the big picture in perspective and realized that they hadn’t been prioritizing their personal life and don’t want to go through another pandemic alone,” says Ali Migliore, co-owner of Simply Matchmaking in Seattle. Simply Matchmaking serves clients from 21 to 89 years old. In the last year, Migliore says people have become “a little more grounded in who they are, and what they’re looking for, and whom they’re going to spend their last chapter of life with.” Of course, there are extra precautions involved in meeting someone during a pandemic. Masks and distancing are part of a first date, unless it’s virtual. Maybe there’s a COVID test before a first kiss. Migliore, who previously created carefully choreographed, in-person dates, incorporated technology and CDC guidelines into her work. Some of that will continue post-pandemic. “It’s pushed us to get more creative and give people more options. A lot of people have enjoyed virtual dating,” she says. “Some people don’t want to spend a lot of time driving to a first date. Others hope they never do another virtual date for the rest of their lives—they want to meet in person.”


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

As viral risks diminish, we can go back to worrying about all the other concerns that come with romance at “a certain age.” Some are physical, and there are solutions for those. Your physician will be happy to help you deal with erectile dysfunction, vaginal dryness, or a leaky bladder, among other uncomfortable conditions. Make an appointment and ask. Women who gave birth may have been left with scar tissue that causes pain during sex. There’s actually physical therapy for that, which both makes sex better and gives you a funny story to tell your friends later. Get a referral from your doctor. Then there are worries rooted in our psyche. As one woman told me about a new romance, “OMG, he’s the oldest person I’ve ever dated. And I’m the oldest person he’s ever dated, too.” “What if” fears can swirl around in our brains. If you wouldn’t dream of wearing a bathing suit in public You deserve ever again, for instance, the idea whatever you of abandoning the camouflage want. Have an of clothing is more unnerving open heart and than erotic. It’s enough to make an open mind. you crawl back into a batch of brownies and an old Hugh Grant BY PRISCILLA CHARLIE HINCKLEY movie. Don’t do it, though. You might miss something wonderful. Talk with your partner, or potential partner, about things that worry both of you. If that feels too difficult at first, talk with your friends, or even a therapist. They’ll be supportive and could have helpful ideas. And here’s a suggestion for women who want to hide some extra pounds: When it’s time to get physical, borrow one of his shirts and appear wearing only that. It’ll make you look and feel adorable. Finally, consider the reasons you want to date and who you’re looking for, then go out and enjoy the search. Look for someone to expand your vision of what’s possible. You might fall in love, possibly get married, or simply find a companion to share dinner and adventures. As Migliore says, “You deserve whatever you want. Have an open heart and an open mind.” 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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summer 2021

| 3rd Act magazine 37

ON THE JOB AFTER 65 (OR 90) Find Happiness, Joy, and Purpose Doing What You Love BY JACK BERNARD

Retirement is a tricky subject. For most of us, it’s different than it was for our parents. They were conditioned to see retirement as a goal and “65” that magic age. It was going to be their reward for years of hard work and sacrifice, their golden years of rest and relaxation. My parents were part of that generation. But it was a different time. Goals and lifestyles were modest, and life expectancy was 62 (1950) as opposed to 78 (2015). Social Security, combined with savings, went much further than it does today. It was a rare mindset that viewed those years as an opportunity to use the experience and wisdom of years past to expand on personal achievement—but that’s no longer the case. Today, it isn’t unusual to continue working into our 70s and 80s, well beyond that magical 65. Frank Lloyd Wright did some of his best work in his 90s. Warren Buffett, at 90, is still at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway, and Norman Lear is producing entertaining TV at 98. But it isn’t just the rich and famous that find satisfaction by continuing to work. My neurologist/geneticist friend Tom Bird, 78, continues to do research and mentor young scientists at the University of Washington, and several law school classmates in their 80s have thriving practices, as do a number of writer friends who are creating new and exciting work. My friend Bob Gandt writes fiction and nonfiction. In 2015, he co-authored the book, Mastery: A Mission Plan for Reclaiming a Life of Purpose, Fitness, and Achievement. The book begins by stating the obvious: “For a huge number of seniors, the sweet dream of retirement has become an empty promise. Millions have resigned themselves to a slow, insidious erosion of their power and self-esteem.” Gandt’s recommendation is to stay engaged, to reengage, or find a new “mission.” Engagement or reengagement can take many forms. One of the simplest is to forego

Jack Bernard has enjoyed several careers. Now a freelance writer in his 80s, "retirement" is not part of his lexicon.


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021


retirement. If you love the work you do, keep doing it. Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” It sounds trite and over-sentimental, but it’s hard to disagree with. Employment law is changing. Today, state and federal anti-discrimination laws protect older workers, allowing them access to new job openings and preventing their dismissal based on age. There are still jobs that mandate retirement at a certain age. The Federal Aviation Agency, for example, orders the retirement of commercial pilots at age 65, an exception rooted in compromise for the protection of the traveling public. And while this may mean the end of a highly satisfying career as a commercial pilot, there are many years ahead and opportunities for second or third careers. We only get to go around once, so the biggest decision we have to make is how we want to do it. I left a large Los Angeles law firm because I was unhappy. If I had stayed, I could be living comfortably in Beverly Hills but would be miserable. We make choices all through our lives. Some are difficult. Many have uncertain outcomes. All have some degree of risk, but finding joy requires action and openness— especially in your third act. Find that thing, as Nike says, and Just Do It. I feel lucky to still be active in my 80s. At 60 I started a new career in the nonprofit world and a decade later took over the management of an NGO Aging with Confidence

(non-governmental organization) in Vietnam. At 75 I transitioned to freelance writer, where I’m my own boss, set my own schedule, and come and go as I please. I work because I love what I do. Like many in the time of COVID-19, I miss the travel that has always been part of my life and livelihood. Hopefully that will change soon, but it isn’t a burden to “shelter in place” when you enjoy what you’re doing. Having interviewed many people, famous and not-so-famous, it’s clear that passion and purpose is the key to survival and happiness as we live out our third act. The people I know who are the happiest, no matter what their age, are those who love what they do. They are grateful for the satisfaction and purpose. If, like an airline pilot, you can’t continue in the job you love, pursue something you’ve always dreamed of doing. Develop a new skill. Become proficient in a language, write a book, or play a musical instrument. When Bob Gandt talks about “mastery,” he’s not talking about tinkering around the edges. He’s talking about staying vital and alive, active and engaged, as if that new endeavor is a new profession. I have friends who are lawyers, doctors, writers, bookstore owners, restaurateurs, salespeople, legislators, and tradesmen who continue to work well into their 70s and 80s because they find joy in what they do. There’s a Jimmy Buffett song called “It’s My Job” that tells the story of a street sweeper

Morgan Freeman, 83, shows no signs of slowing down; Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic Guggenheim Museum was finished six months after his death at age 92; Warren Buffett is still at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway at 90.

who finds joy in his work. Here’s the refrain, “It’s my job to be cleaning up this mess And that’s enough reason to go for me. It’s my job to be better than the rest And that makes the day for me.” I leave you with this: The Rolling Stones are all in their 70s. Paul McCartney is 78. Dame Judi Dench is 86. Goldie Hawn is 75. Bob Woodward is 78 and Carl Bernstein 77. Lesley Stahl is 79. Robert Redford is 84. Tony Bennett is 94. Morgan Freeman is 83. And President Joe Biden is an energetic 78. All still engaged and working. Unlike perishable foods, we don’t have pull dates. We can still have fun and be productive as workers well into these later years. We all need to find joy in our lives. It provides the endorphins that enable us to thrive and survive. Sometimes, joy is right in front of us, in the job we can’t imagine giving up or in the book we always intended to write. Maybe what gives us joy is life as we’ve always lived it. That could just be the thing Jimmy Buffett is suggesting when he says, “that makes the day for me.” Jack Bernard is a freelance writer based in Seattle. He is a former Marine Corps and commercial airline pilot with a BA in English from the University of Washington and JD from the University of California, Berkeley.

summer 2021

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Work, Work, Is That All You Do?

For decades I happily defined myself by my job. Would my postwork life be as meaningful? By Danna Walker It’s not cool these days to say work is your life, which should be a tell that, in fact, work is everyone’s life. All we do is work, and now work is co-mingled with home more than ever before. Where I live, near Washington, D.C., your work is your essence—virtually no equivocating on that. The answer to “What do you do?” is quick to fall from people’s lips, whether or not the question is even asked. These are waters I’ve been swimming in for several decades now, as a reporter, writer, editor, academic, and consultant. See how easily those categories spew forth? They’ve been a particular accomplishment for someone who skated by in high school with a C average and ended up with a PhD. Without paid work, the difficult trajectory that last sentence reveals wouldn’t have happened. My life wouldn’t be my life—the one I’m now looking back on, post-work. As a woman, especially, work meant almost everything to me. Mine is the first generation in which women had free and open access, supposedly, to any job. I believed it, hook, line, and sinker, and it’s a good thing, too, because I didn’t know my expectations of a long, rewarding, and well-paying career were unusual. My first job meant I could throw off the influences of my parents and a suffocating South, where my currency had been limited mostly to social pursuits. With a job came the measurement of myself in the marketplace. If you didn’t cut it, you were out, and I wanted to cut it. It meant


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

I took my place beside people I admired, in a profession, journalism, that had a higher purpose. Once I got a taste of that, I was determined to make it. So determined that when I left the small town in Louisiana where I got my first reporting job to go to Dallas to look for a new one, I gave notice on my apartment. If my one-week job-hunting effort failed, I had no backup plan. I had one friend to put me up in Dallas, and I only needed one job. In one of those moments in life that you realize later could have gone entirely another way, I got one. At my new journalism position, I was exposed to people from all parts of the country, including some who had gone to Ivy League universities, and traveled out of the country. I was a bit wide-eyed, to say the least, but they inspired me and the requirements were exacting and demanding. If you didn’t cut it, you were indeed out, and I wanted not only to cut it, but to go further, to see how I would fare on a bigger stage, in bigger cities. I became an autonomous human being who began to understand art, literature, and food. I was relied on and promoted, and I was inspired by my colleagues who introduced me to such things and helped me envision that I could increase my education and expectations. I had colleagues, mentors, and friends who transcended my past. I was trusted to do the job, walking among peers at the U.S. Capitol, riding on Air Force One, and eventually teaching what I had learned. Of course, like most every woman my age, I experienced sex discrimination. As I’ve written before, I got paid less than a man with my same experience at my first journalism job. I was told by male colleagues that my second, higher-paying job came because I was a woman. I was once a writer for Charlie Rose and subjected to his attentions and toxicity, which I ignored, and one of my later bosses was a bully and ageist. I had few women role models until much later in my career. While those things influenced my development, it was the actual production of work that defined me—and, of


Work. course, the hard cash that came with it, allowing me to make my own decisions in the world. That might seem like the most basic achievement to many, but not someone with my background and in the era in which I grew up. I retired from “work” just recently amid a global pandemic and an unprecedented national outcry over racism. Both things directly affected the work I did daily in news and consulting. It has been hard avoiding the feeling I’m abandoning things when I’m needed most. Plus, how will I answer the “What do you do?” question? But I’m learning to be OK with no longer being defined by work. While, as I say, work expanded me, it had begun to shrink me, too. And that might be a good sign. Mightn’t it be encouraging that after a lifetime in a profession, you grow beyond it? Yes, having a lot of free time can be scary. What do I do right now, in this moment? Could I have gone on to do something better in the marketplace? Do I have regrets? How do I define myself now? But I think it’s a good sign that one is able to take that leap with the idea of possibility, with a confidence that agency achieved through meaningful work brings. Last June, Jon Stewart told The New York Times his life became much richer after leaving The Daily Show, which he had molded into the cultural touchstone that it is. “It’s as if I’d been walking around with a little toilet paper roll cardboard tube over my eyes, to the point where I thought that was the view,” he is quoted as saying. “It was black

Aging with Confidence

and white. But then you take them off your eyes and go, ‘Purple!’ I found it liberating.” Yeah, like that. Of course, there’s also the point of view of Dutch virologist Peter Piot, who said this after COVID-19 nearly killed him: “… My tolerance levels for nonsense and bullshit have gone down even more than before. So, I continue calmly and enthusiastically, although more selectively, than before….” Leaving work, even a calling, behind isn’t literally surviving a deadly illness, but after 45 years of it, continuing calmly, enthusiastically, and more selectively—with less bullshit and more purple—is just the way forward I’m going for. Danna Walker worked in journalism and communication for 45 years, sometimes holding down four professional roles, and as many email accounts, at once. She now writes and teaches occasionally, mostly online from her home in Kensington, MD, outside Washington, D.C., where she lives with her husband, Bill Trott, and Schnoodle, Rinny. She has two grown children and is working on a memoir. This essay originally appeared in CoveyClub.

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Fun is Par for the Course Golf has been booming during the pandemic. Here’s how to get your game on. BY JULIE FANSELOW

Alf Larson of Brinnon turned 101 this spring and has no plans to stop playing golf.


Renee Bryant once had little use for golf and had never played the sport, not even in gym class. But after 20 years of marriage to an avid golfer, she had a change of heart. “I’m an old hippie, so my opinion of golf was it is for snobs and elitists, and I wanted nothing to do with it,” says Bryant, 68, who lives in Port Orchard. “But because I love my husband very much, for his 60th birthday in September a couple of years ago, I took some golf lessons.” She signed up for four sessions with Kyle Larson, the assistant golf pro at McCormick Woods Golf Club. “I didn’t think I’d be particularly good at it, but I thought I’d be good enough eventually to at least enjoy playing with my husband,” she says. “It helped a lot to have someone as good and patient as Kyle to teach me and give me some confidence.” Now Bryant and her husband, Thomas Blume, look forward to another summer playing together on the tree-lined fairways at McCormick Woods. Blume is still working, so he and Bryant like to play twilight golf. “When he gets home and it stays light until 9 o’clock, we pack up the clubs and go out,” she says. “We might play two or three times a week.” Golf is an ageless sport. Just ask Alf Larson (no relation to Kyle), who will turn 101 on May 31. Alf was sidelined from the game this past winter

3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

because—for the first time in 25 years, due to the pandemic—he and his wife, Willa, were unable to travel from Brinnon, Wash. (where they live spring through fall) to their snowbird home in Indio, Calif. But Alf says he’ll be back at Rancho Casa Blanca next winter, ready to hit the links twice a week. Although Alf first learned golf while a student at Washington State University, he rarely played until he joined a Port Angeles golf club as he neared retirement. Soon he was golfing regularly and his game kept getting better and better, hitting his eighth career hole-in-one just a few years ago. “When you get a hole-in-one, it’s really just a lucky shot, but it’s still fun,” Alf says, modestly. And fun is the operative word for most older golfers. Bryant says her first round at McCormick Woods was “very intimidating,” even after lessons. “I couldn’t hit the ball very far consistently,” she recalls. “But I just had fun, you know. It was great being out there and every now and then you hit a good ball and think, ‘Whoa, I can do this.’ And then your next stroke, you hit it 10 feet” and grumble. “But everyone I talk to says, ‘Well, welcome to the game of golf.’” “The really fun thing for me has been feeling myself get better the more I play and figuring some things out,” she says, adding that she’s playing “close to bogey golf now.” (A bogey refers to finishing a hole just one stroke over par.) Kyle Larson says it’s important for would-be golfers to think about why they want to play. “Is it social? Do you just want to go have fun and have a drink and hang out? Or do you want to be competitive? Because it’s obviously a big difference.” Don’t be afraid to use whatever advantages you can claim as a newbie, whether that’s using the forward tee box or teeing up your ball on every shot. In addition, he says it’s important to be forthcoming about any physical conditions that might affect your flexibility. A good instructor can help you work around lower back or knee pain, for example, without exacerbating the condition. Most people who are in reasonably good shape can play. Larson says he has helped some people with cerebral palsy and mobility issues take up the game. “You just have to know how those injuries are going to affect the golf club,” he says.


Get Out & Play Rates below are per player for weekdays in summer. Most courses have club rentals available, too, and bigger courses offer a full range of lessons, club fitting, and other services. For more information on places to learn and play golf, check out Washington Golf at wagolf.org.

Battle Creek Golf Course Marysville battlecreekgolfwa.com Ideal for players of all abilities, Battle Creek has an 18-hole championship course ($35 plus $16 for a cart) and a separate nine-hole Par-3 course ($9 plus $10 for a cart) that is perfect for beginners and casual players.

Cedars at Dungeness Sequim 7cedars.com With sunny Sequim weather and five sets of tees for differing skill levels, Cedars at Dungeness is home to the Washington Senior Open. Watch out for the crab-shaped sand trap! $25 for 9 holes plus $14 for a cart; $45 for 18 holes plus $18 for a cart.

Crossroads Par-3 Bellevue bellevuepgc.com Got an hour? You have time to play a Par-3 course. Crossroads at Bellevue Golf Course has nine holes ranging in length from 63 to 107 yards, so it’s a good place to get started or work on your short game. $12 fee includes as much golf as you care to play that day, with free club rentals available.

Green Lake Pitch & Putt Seattle (206) 632-2280

Cedars at Dungeness near Sequim is among the many scenic courses available to golfers in the Pacific Northwest. Photo by William Wright.

Aging with Confidence

Many Seattle golfers of all ages learn the game at this Par-3 course at Green Lake. During the pandemic the course has required same-day tee times, made by calling (206) 632-2280. People 65 and up and 17 or under play for $8. Everyone else pays $10.

McCormick Woods Port Orchard mccormickwoodsgolf.com Five tee boxes at each hole mean golfers of varying abilities can enjoy a round together at this scenic course. Greens fees vary, but seniors 60 and up can generally play 18 holes on weekdays for $32, plus $17 per rider for a cart.

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Fun is Par for the Course

Below: Cedars at Dungeness near Sequim is among the many scenic courses available to golfers in the Pacific Northwest, with a sneaky crab-shaped sand trap and views of the Olympic Mountains. Photo by William Wright.

Above: A few lessons with Kyle Larson helped Renee Bryant of Port Orchard learn to golf in her 60s, despite never before having played the game. Photo by Thomas Blume. Right: Pacific Northwest golfers look forward to another summer of play after a pandemic-driven boom in 2020. Photo courtesy WA Golf.

As Bryant’s experience shows, golf’s reputation as an elite, expensive sport has changed. Occasional duffers can find many inexpensive places to play— though getting tee times has been a challenge during the pandemic (see sidebar)—and frequent golfers will find a course membership cost effective. Lessons are a good idea for most novice golfers, and after four to five sessions, “you should be getting the ball in the air consistently,” says Larson. If private lessons are beyond your budget, look into group classes offered at many golf courses and local parks departments, including the popular fivesession Get Golf Ready program.


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

Golf gear can be expensive as a new set of clubs can run hundreds of dollars, “and you want to get the right stuff,” says Larson, especially since new lightweight clubs are much easier to swing than the steel-shafted models you may have in the garage. But it’s fine to buy clubs a few at a time or rent some to see what you like. Don’t be afraid to use your old clubs—or borrow a neighbor’s neglected set—and piece together a set of new clubs as your interest and funds allow. Wherever you play and whatever gear you use, remember to have a good time. No matter how well you play or how poorly, golf is an ideal way to spend time outdoors, have fun with other folks, get some exercise, and enjoy all that summer has to offer. Julie Fanselow is dedicated to living large with a small footprint and writing to make sense of these times. She lives in Seattle and is a frequent contributor to 3rd Act. Read more from her at surelyjoy.com.






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“Glorious, stirring sight!” murmured Toad. … The poetry of motion! The real way to travel! The only way to travel! Here today—in next week tomorrow! Villages skipped, towns and cities jumped—always somebody else’s horizons! O bliss! O poop-poop! O my! O my!” —Kenneth Grahame, from The Wind in the Willows (Chapter 2: “The Open Road”) It was love. There were all the symptoms: heart leap, saucer eyes, quickened breath. My wife was supportive, agreeable, even. It would take a while to settle on the details, though. Such adjustments in a marriage require clear communication. Within a year, we brought Fern in. She was not Fern at first. She was our quasi-custom built, 2,000-plus pound, sage green Vistabule teardrop trailer, crafted by a family-run RV and trailer company out of St. Paul, MN. Kitted out with all one needed: a rear galley with gas stove top, sink and running water, nine-gallon water tank, and solar panels that would allow us off-grid travel to remain secluded in or tormented by nature for up to 10 days. Most wonderfully, and one reason we chose a Vistabule,


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is that she featured a front-facing picture window. Her design was retro, yet her engineering up to the minute. We would have much to learn like finding campgrounds without hook-ups, thus avoiding the near ubiquity of RV encampments, memorizing which of the six keys did what, and backing up the trailer—this, a lifelong trial. Our preCOVID trips with Fern were a panacea, giving us stretches of simplicity, self-reliance, and the freedoms, albeit metaphoric, implicit in motion.

During With some trepidation we set forth in July of 2020. What would travel feel like with COVID-19 restrictions? The usual pleasures of a romp—coffee stops in tiny frontier towns, restaurants happily discovered, serendipitous encounters, souvenirs—that used to define tootling pleasure, forbidden, now. What was left but the peculiar satisfaction of miles unspooling, and the achievement of getting “there?” Our Plague Itinerary: Iron Creek Campground in the Gifford Pinchot, Mount St. Helens, Rainier, Wash., Astoria, Ore., and South Bend, Wash.—the latter two a consequence of misfortune.


Opposite page, from left: Air strip camping in Painted Hills, OR; Winnie takes the wheel; Fern’s comfy interior. Above: Ready to star gaze; at right, Made up and ready for morning coffee.

It would be the Astoria-South Bend leg that signified the tone and tenor of our pandemic trip. Along the pencil-thin Route 30, the trail blazed by Lewis and Clark toward Astoria, Sauvie Island appeared in the river on our right, reminding us of the layered histories peculiar to our region. In Astoria, after the usual electrifying search for parking, we embarked toward lunch. The tedious dance of on-again, off-again masking recommencing, we explored the town, and felt ironically confined in the outdoors. Anticipating a straightforward 20-mile drive north to Seaview on the Long Beach Peninsula, I felt optimistic about finding a campsite while it was still light. I remembered that odd, rambling Sou’wester Lodge, and between its warrens and the ubiquitous KOAs, surely there would be a place to stable Fern. Perhaps a hot meal and a beach stroll later. Seaview’s main drag had not changed, but what had changed was the town’s bustle. It had gone from sleepy to high alert. Every conceivable accommodation swarmed with tourists. Every conceivable lot or campground up the road toward Leadbetter Point State Park was packed; the requisite pandemic six-feet mandate shrunk to six inches. Earnestly freaked by that, and the absence of options, we headed north on 101. Willapa Bay surrounded us with sea-flattened grasses on either side. Formed when the Long Beach Peninsula partially enclosed the estuaries of several smaller rivers, it

Aging with Confidence

is the second-largest estuary on our coast. It features 15,000 acres of oyster beds that provide both habitats and filtering systems. The Bay’s oysters are world famous. But the windscrubbed vastness made dinner and sleep feel very far away. Between Chinook and South Bend, we passed We would have only a smattering of much to learn like vehicles. Dark now, with finding campgrounds no plan, with dinner, at without hook-ups, best, chips and a shot of thus avoiding the bourbon, we crept toward near ubiquity of South Bend. A disquieting RV encampments, parallel—awe and peril. memorizing which of There is a plethora the six keys did what, of websites to prove the and backing up burgeoning appeal of RV the trailer—this, a travel, many dedicated lifelong trial. to listing and locating free camping. Our app indicated a puzzling possibility in South Bend, which upon honing-in revealed itself enclosed with barricades, and further made impassable by the trench around its periphery. The town was dark and deserted. Dispirited, we drove around, and spotting a parking lot on the river adjacent to a café, hesitated and wondered it if was legit. At that point, it didn’t matter. The dog had to pee. I had to pee. It was 10 p.m.

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Quick cuppa in the ferry line.

had unleashed protests and riots. Cities were burning. Swaths of forests in three states, too. Apocalyptic fires seemed a theme. Plus, it was an election year. We were in territory politically adverse. So many yard signs. So many overheard conversations. So much tangible despair. It was less a getaway than a field trip.


We parked; I squatted. I felt, as I had not for a long time, our vulnerability as traveling women. While settling in—opening the galley for access to the sink and running water (at least we’d brush our teeth) making up the bed, pouring the whiskey—we discovered that our lot was the Robert Bush Park, and that beside Fern loomed a cement model of “The World’s Largest Oyster” inviting us to ponder South Bend’s shellfish industry. Might this bode well? I remember the unease attending this part of our journey. Tensions hung in the air. George Floyd’s murder that May

The country is increasingly open now for travel. We plan a June tootle, free then, perhaps, again to indulge the wandering spirit, unencumbered by fears of yard signs and plague. But what shall we make of these past few years—our country’s divisions, the interminable pandemic, the unequal distribution of suffering, the festering legacy of race? Will ours be a before and after narrative, or a litany of dissolved illusions? Will we create a new category—Empathy Travel? Or Reverence and Reverie? Perhaps Poop-Poop. O my, O my indeed! 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.

ONE OF THE 10 BEST BOTANICAL GARDENS IN THE U.S. —USA Today, 2020 Immerse yourself in nature at Bloedel Reserve, a world class experiential garden and forest reserve. Stroll groomed trails winding through 150 acres of woods, meadows, and sculpted gardens, some with spectacular views of Puget Sound. On Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from downtown Seattle. Advance tickets and masks are required for entry. Get all the details and book online at: bloedelreserve.org/tickets.

Check out Our Calendar at 3rdActMag.com For noteworthy virtual events and activities around the Puget Sound.

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2021


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A Day (or 3) at The Beach

Washington Beach Towns are Ready to Welcome and Delight You BY ANN RANDALL

Washington’s Scenic and Recreational Highway Act was signed into law in 1967. Today, 29 state routes have earned the designation, ranging in length from 12 to 572 miles, showcasing some of the most exquisite scenery and memorable cultural and historic sites the state has to offer. Over the next few issues of 3rd Act Magazine, this column will travel some of the lesser-known state scenic byways, exploring their nooks and crannies, while transforming their miles into multiday road trips or Sunday drives.

Biking the beach at Ocean Shores with rented electric bikes.


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Hidden Coast Scenic Byway

Our inaugural excursion travels the land of the Quinault, Copalis, Chehalis, and Chinook people; land also serving as a flyway stop for thousands of migrating birds traveling between continents. Its communities have played host to three disparate celebrities, Pat Boone, Kurt Cobain, and John Wayne in a car-chase scene. And it contains two state parks and a pair of wildlife refuges. The 41-mile Hidden Coast Scenic Byway may be short in length, but it is surprisingly long on variety. The route’s south terminus is the intersection of Emerson Street and U.S. Route 101 in Hoquiam. From there it heads west, then north up the coastline. First stop is the two-mile roundtrip Sandpiper Trail adjacent to Hoquiam’s westside airport. A combination of easy pavement and boardwalk leads visitors into the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge, one of six major Pacific coast estuaries. While it's worth a leg-stretching stroll any time, in April and from July to September, two dozen species of shorebirds visit on their annual route between Alaska and South America. In the 1960s, speculators promoted Ocean Shores as a California-style development where lots could be purchased for $595. Pat Boone was a resident, sponsoring celebrity golf tournaments on the town’s course. Kurt Cobain worked maintenance at the Polynesian Inn Resort in the mid-80’s. Today the town is a pricey retirement haven and remote workplace for urban escapees with plenty to do for visitors. As a 60’s heyday attraction, the city dredged two lakes and a linked 23-mile freshwater canal system. Those canals, now lined with homes, private docks, and criss-crossed by bridges reminiscent of Amsterdam, provide leisurely opportunities to ply the waterways in kayaks, canoes, and electric boats rented from the Ocean Shores Boat House. For land exploration Electric Beach Bike Rentals offers easily rideable electric fat tire bikes and tricycles, peddle bikes, and surreys. Walkers can stroll the town’s 1.5-mile trail in Weatherwax Preserve and the beach at Damon Point State Park. Golfers can test their mettle against ocean trade winds on the 9-hole front and back course. And anyone interested in the area’s history and science can learn about it at the Coastal Interpretive Center. When hunger or thirst strikes at the end of an active day, Ocean Shores is home to Galway Bay, the Pacific Northwest’s biggest Irish pub, and Elk Head Brewery. Driving north, resorts and campgrounds ranging from homey operations to large resorts with dining and spas front the byway. Occasionally, evergreens part for views of the

Aging with Confidence

Clockwise from top: Galway Bay Irish Pub; Seabrook food truck plaza; Ocean Shores canals. Photos by Ann Randall

Pacific and beach access turnout roads. Historic Iron Springs Resort in Copalis Beach began as an early 1900’s therapeutic sanitarium offering mineral water cures. Today, its eclectic bluff cabins offer expansive views of the surfs and tides. The walkable ocean front planned community of Seabrook has a town square of retail businesses ranging from a high-end wine store to outdoor clothing and eateries cooking up Latin cuisine and craft pizza. Pacific Beach lays claim to the westernmost main street in the continental U.S. and a community institution, Wacky Warehouse. Wandering among the store’s boxes of used books, cassette tapes, clothes, and containers of screws and nails, you’ll discover take-home treasures and, tucked into a corner, the local radio station. The Museum of North Beach in Moclips exhibits props from the John Wayne movie McQ, whose car chase scenes were filmed on the nearby beaches. A few miles north is Taholah’s Quinault Cultural Center and Museum, which features historical artifacts and art of the Quinault Nation. Hidden Coast Scenic Byway ends here at Cuitan Street on the banks of the Quinault River, its northern terminus on the land of the byways’ original inhabitants. Ann Randall is an independent traveler and writer who loves venturing to out-of-the-way locales, from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe. A former educator, she now observes international elections and does volunteer work in India.

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A Little to the Left of Disobedient I have collected a wealth of experiences simple act helped to move me from during my 70 years. Two traumatic victim to a victor! I was healed. This experiences—my 10-year-old son was person’s hurtfulness was just the killed by a distracted driver, and my motivation I needed to create a source of 20-year-old son died of head injuries income that would bring joy, laughter, from a skateboard accident—taught me and success to me, and turn my passion to become strong and resilient. into my pension. The four, wellBY SANDRA LEE seasoned ladies of Old Women, And through my journey of grief, I discovered that life Wine and Wisdom were born. still surprises and delights. Phenomenal Allow me to introduce you to situations, people, and opportunities these ladies: Chardonnay Noway is continue to lift and inspire me. I revel authority challenged. ChaCha Chablis in time spent with my living son, Paul, is a “pole-fessional” dancer. Zin E. my daughter-in-law, Tara, and my two Fandel “zsins” every chance she gets. grandkids, Addy and Zac. My life moves And Petite Syrah is not petite in body, forward, just differently. And I have so mind, spirit, or soul. They, and I, have much more living to do. no interest in aging out, rusting out, In my late 50s I needed a job, any job or tiring out. Each has a little bit of my I could find. The “any job” I found had personality in them. I have them say me working alongside a bully co-worker and do outrageous acts of absurdity, and who made me her designated target. secretly think how much fun I would I quit three months later because of have by becoming more like them—a health challenges—a result of constant little to the left of disobedient. I’ve abuse by this horrid, pathetic woman. launched a line of cards, bookmarks, Who knew this woman would become jewelry, kitchen accessories, and a blog the inspiration and seed for a joyous, that can all be found on my website, creative journey? www.oldwomenwineandwisdom.com. I decided to create a humorous, Next, I hope to manifest ongoing ugly caricature of this person. She was illustrations and captions of my hunched over, angry, ugly, cranky—you humorous ladies in magazines and get the picture. I called her Laracelli— newspapers, create an animated sitcom, I bet you can guess who inspired the an “Ask Zel Duh” opinion column, and name—and then I ceremoniously whatever hasn’t come to mind, yet. shredded and deleted her image. That I am in awe of what life has to offer


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me at this age. Inspiration showers upon me frequently and has brought unlimited moments of laughter, humorous insights, creativity, “oh my goodness!” moments, and profound wisdom. I am inspired by life’s serendipity and how perfect situations just seem to show up in the right place, at the right time, and with the right people. My “Tiara Tart” friends and I

have been together, through thick and thin, for more than 25 years. Wearing a tiara and scarf or feather boa when we gather is encouraged, and there’s always a lot of laughter, support, chocolate, food, and wine. My friends are important to me and provide immeasurable inspiration for my “ladies.” I am so grateful to have these fun-loving, positive people in my life.

I love being 70! I live my life at full throttle. I continue to mature gracefully and look forward to new adventures. All of my past experiences have made me who I am today. As one of my greeting cards declares, “When You Dance with God, You Don’t Get to Lead.” If our dreams don’t scare us, we aren’t dreaming big enough. Let our mantra be, “This, or something better.”








Zin E.withFandel Aging Confidence

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I Hope to Grow Old Faithfully BY AD BERGSMA


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

Mick Jagger’s image evolved from a defiant rock ‘n roll troublemaker to being eternally youthful. His former girlfriend Marianne Faithfull abandoned the pretense of bubbling with vitality. After barely surviving COVID, she will release her 21st solo album: She Walks in Beauty. Why do I feel that Faithfull offers a more hopeful view of aging?


In the Netherlands, The Rolling Stones — Unzipped exhibit at the Groninger Museum offers a chance to revisit our youth, the time when life seemed more sparkling, adventurous, and relaxed. Nostalgia serves a psychological function. It unifies the sense of self, even as time changes us dramatically. It connects who we were with who we are, and helps us to determine who we want to be. If we focus on Mick Jagger to answer the last question, we may contemplate his future. He too will die one day, but in my mind it seems more likely that he will conceive a child with a beautiful model, or announce another world tour where he energetically bounces around the stage, repeating the gestures of his youth. The man who announced that he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life singing, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” appears to be doing just that. His vitality is admirable, but he also seems to embody stagnation. Jagger’s former sweetheart Marianne Faithfull offers a mirror image of aging. A few years ago, at age 71, she posed with her walking cane for the cover of Negative Capability. The title of her album refers to an idea from romantic poet John Keats, who spoke of the “negative capability of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” Just as Keats recommended, Faithfull seems to have buried self-consciousness about how she might come across to outsiders and describes the experience of aging openly. Her recent work has been received very favorably by critics. She offers a trip down memory lane, and rerecorded the song which first made her famous: “As Tears Go By,” one of the first songs Jagger and Keith Richards wrote together. Aging with Confidence

A young Mick Jagger, lead singer of the Rolling Stones, and Marianne Faithfull were famous sweethearts; Faithfull’s album She Walks in Beauty.

In 1964, her voice is sweet, the song lightly scratching the surface of melancholy. In 2018, Faithfull’s voice has the scars of experience. She has dealt with mental breakdown, miscarriage, anorexia, attempted suicide, abortion, years as a homeless drug addict, and breast cancer. Her raw, broken voice is accentuated on the album by the dark tones of the piano, guitar, and violin. For me, the new, imperfect version is undoubtedly more beautiful. Faithfull’s lyrics touch upon aging, isolation, and loss. Her song “Born to Live” mentions that, “We’re born to die, no one to blame / We’re born to love, we’re all the same.” She knows what to do: “Pray for a good death, one for me and one for you.” In interviews she explains that she has learned to be herself and to be honest. “Send me someone to love / Someone who could love me back.” The backup choir lets us know that Faithfull is finally ready for love. Faithfull bemoans and endures the impossibilities that come with aging. After unexpectedly surviving COVID-19—and being in intensive care—she tells us she was “in a dark place. Presumably, it was death.” She also describes how the lingering effects of the illness still affect her, including fatigue, memory, and her lungs. “Oh man,” she says, with a sigh, “I wish I’d never picked up a cigarette in my life.” COVID may have robbed her from the possibility to

record another album, but not of the negative capability to experience and produce beauty. The icon Mick Jagger is vibrant, seemingly unbothered by age. The icon Faithfull shows us the scars of wrong choices and passing time. She shows the honesty of someone who has nothing to lose. Her music makes you believe that pain, suffering, and decay are easier to endure than stagnation: “I know I’m not young and I’m damaged / But I’m still pretty, kind and funny / In my own particular way.” Carl Jung put it like this: “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” I eagerly await the release of She Walks in Beauty, whereas I would only listen to a new release of Jagger and company to assess if it would match the miracles they delivered in the last century. He who dares to grow old has the better future. Ad Bergsma studied psychology and cultural anthropology in the Netherlands, and works as a science writer, happiness researcher, and lecturer. He has written 18 popular books on psychological subjects, such as Happiness at Work. His English papers on happiness and aging can be found on his website at grootstegeluk.nl

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My mother was a wonderful hostess. She was among the cadre of suburban post-WWII wives who decorated their homes with modern furniture and bold colors, attended museums and live theater, and experimented with continental food different from the Eastern European food they had grown up with. When she died, I snagged a slim hardback cookbook from her


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kitchen. The book, published in 1957, was Thought for Food: A Cookery Book for Entertaining Occasions, by Cecily Finn and Joan O’Connor. It is a quirky, witty cookbook that reads like a mash-up of the culinary and conversational musings of Dorothy Parker and Norah Ephron. For instance, under the category “Occasions of Love” you find “Dinner for a New Love, an Old Love and an Old Love’s New Love.” The “Aim,” which means the goal of the meal, perfectly toned, includes one detailed sentence requiring careful reading: “Very complicated. Putting it as simply as


possible, we would say: to flaunt your new love before your old love and at the same time, and in the nicest possible manner, to show your old love’s new love that, were your new love not so much more attractive than your old love, you could, if you so desired, bring him to heel again with the flick of an eyelash.” Don’t try finding the book as it’s long out of print. But an Internet search for Cecily Finn will turn up the 2020 novel, Miss Cecily’s Recipes for Exceptional Ladies, by Vicky Zimmerman. This is a lightweight, chick-lit, food-focused romance, in which Kate, about to be 40, is food-obsessed and seeks true love. She diverts herself from heartbreak and overeating by volunteering to demonstrate cooking to the senior residents of the Lauderdale House for Exceptional Ladies. There she meets 97-year-old Cecily Finn—yes, the author of Thought for Food—and the two bond,

despite Finn’s sharp tongue, depressed attitude, and disapproval of Kate’s choice in men. This is a story about the value of books, food, and friendship. In one more serendipitous discovery, we learn that Vicky Zimmerman, who usually writes under the name Stella Newman, is actually Cecily Finn’s granddaughter. In an interview at the end of the book, she apologizes for making her good-natured, kind grandmother into a “spikier, more irritable” character in the book. I’m pretty sure my mother never cooked from this book, given its pristine condition. But I am sure she relished the smart and funny take on food and events. Rebecca Crichton taught cooking to seniors and others, and she can reel off food ideas and recipes for any part of a meal or event. She believes in easily prepared, healthy, and taste-filled food that delights and satisfies.

In the style of Thought for Food, I invite you to

A Festive and Ritualistic Post-Pandemic Outdoor Gathering for Qualifying Participants “If we don’t have each other, we go crazy with loneliness. When we do, we go crazy with togetherness.” —Stephen King


This is not your usual gathering. The combination of garlic and creativity makes for a potent mix. Presuming we are fully vaccinated, and steadfastly mask-wearing in public places, we will gather to hug heartily, drink abundantly, and eat voraciously. Invite those with a sense of fun and a bit of gallows humor to this event. Keep the sanitizer handy for messy eating and greeting.


A long or round table—think Tuscan feasts in villa vineyards—strewn with branches and fresh flowers in Mason Jars, battery-operated candles, plenty of compostable and eco-friendly plates, flatware, cups, and napkins.

Aging with Confidence


Le Grand Aioli • Garlic mayonnaise • Roast chicken, cooked fish, or seafood • Fresh veggies from farmers markets or your garden

Method • Garlic Mayonnaise: Scratch recipes abound online or you could just buy a few jars from the store. There are many commercial versions, not as good as homemade, but adequate. Have enough to slather on everything. • Fresh herbs: Mint, parsley, basil, dill, and cilantro. When you are done with the garlic, chewing on parsley or mint might remove the flavor. (I say, why bother? You shouldn’t have invited anybody who doesn’t like or can’t handle garlic!) • For those who won’t or can’t tolerate garlic (poor souls!) offer Greek yogurt with cumin, lemon or lime juice, and a mixture of chopped fresh herbs. Or good quality plain mayonnaise will do. (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

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• A variety of purchased or homemade cookies: Shortbread, ginger snaps, chocolate chip, Snickerdoodles • Array of toppings: Lemon curd, fudge sauce, homemade preserves • Fresh berries: Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries Process: Choose topping, spread on the cookies you like, top with berries. Consume.

A short, but safe, distance from the table designate a space where, over the course of the gathering, an amorphous structure is created from branches and other burnable materials supplied by participants. Its many arms and other protuberances will be decorated with masks and other pandemic-related paraphernalia, and completed with an artistic wrapping of TP. (Admit it, you have a year’s supply stashed at home.) Tap into your inner teenager for this. At the appointed time, the well-fed participants gather to declare whatever helps them to feel unburdened. Written statements can be added to the blaze. Someone with a penchant for barbecue lights it up. Watch in wonder and sing whatever songs of merriment and liberation that you remember: “Happy Days Are Here Again,” “Freedom,” “Celebration.” *Intended to be ceremonial and celebrational, only. Please continue to wear masks as directed by the CDC.

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

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y high school science teacher back in the 1970s was a geeky guy who loved tech and sci-fi. He once asked the class to imagine the future. Students talked excitedly of flying cars, robotic maids, and picture phones! He wanted us to consider the computer. At the time, computers were about the size of a VW bus and used only by global corporations for tasks none of us understood or cared to understand. But he insisted that in the not-toodistant future, most jobs would involve computers. “Just think, girls,” he said. “One day, you might use computers to cook for your husbands.” I groaned. Loudly. His vision of our future sucked like the ‘70s. He wasn’t a bad teacher, just a traditional man of the times. The lesson stays with me as a reminder of how difficult it is for people, no matter how earnest, to escape the confines of their times. Few people are true visionaries who can imagine a better world and make it happen. Most of us just grumble and stumble along. There are those rare moments when a single event seems to

Aging with Confidence

shine a spotlight on society’s darkest corners, illuminating institutional racism or inequity or misogyny in the glaringly unflattering light it deserves. More often, illumination comes slowly. Instead of a quick flip of a switch it’s more like the slow turn of the earth toward the sun until it finally dawns on all of us. As soon as we can see, we claim we always knew what was there. And on some level I suppose that is true. Like the accidental lesson in sexism I learned in that science class, I didn’t know what I didn’t know until it was laid out, blatantly obvious, before me. And then I immediately jumped in to shame the teacher for being such a bumbling dimwit. Other girls in class agreed. One determinedly contrary boy said he didn’t want to work, and we girls should count ourselves lucky that we could stay home and cook. Shame, I thought, he was just trying to muffle the roar of our newfound girl power. I was strong. I was independent. I was stupidly smug because, honestly, I still didn’t get it. I say that because my main takeaway from the computers-are-our-future lesson was to refuse to learn to cook.

Nobody puts Baby in a kitchen! I also resisted typing class. Nobody puts Baby in a secretarial pool! Thankfully, the typing teacher pointed out that knowing my way around a keyboard might also be useful if I wanted to be a writer. I was grateful a few years later when I landed my first job in a newsroom where grizzled old reporters struggled to hunt-and-peck out stories on typewriters—electric typewriters because it was a modern newsroom. Six months later, all the typewriters were replaced by computers. I thought then of my science teacher’s seemingly far-fetched prediction, and I realized he got it partly right. In the half-light before the dawn, he foresaw the shadow of technological advances while I’d focused solely on shifting gender roles. The truth was, neither one of us saw the big picture in sharp focus. Everything looked blurry. But we at least tried, both of us searching the horizon with eyes wide open, eager to usher in the change. Vivian McInerny is a career journalist. She’s working on a collection of related personal essays about traveling overland from Italy to India at age 18. Her first children’s book, The Whole Hole Story, will be published in 2021 by Versify, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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expressions in areas that allow you to meander as you take them in on self-guided, or volunteer-guided, jaunts. Olympic Sculpture Park Since it opened to the public in 2007, this welcoming and award-winning nine-acre greenspace, a project of the Seattle Art Museum, has become a prime attraction for tourists and local strollers alike. Located at the foot of Belltown, and the south end of Myrtle Edwards Park, the once-contaminated industrial site formerly owned by a gas company has been redesigned, ecologically conserved, and beautifully landscaped. It showcases both the gorgeous natural views of Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier, and (on a clear day) the Olympic Mountain Range, as well as an array of world-class artworks (most permanent, though some on temporary loan from other collections). Broad paths make the park accessible to visitors of all abilities. As you wander along the 2,200-foot paved walkway, the winding path reveals different sculptures every 30 feet or so. These works, created by leading artists from the 1960s to As we go to press, some Seattle museums and art galleries the present era, can be quite dramatic. are gradually opening their doors to visitors in restricted Alexander Calder’s “Eagle” is a compelling, red-hued, numbers, and with COVID-19 safety protocols in place. abstract version of America’s most symbolic bird. Teresita Hopefully there will be more opportunities for Fernández’s “Seattle Cloud Cover” is a sculptural patrons to visit the Seattle Art Museum, Bellevue Arts BY MISHA bridge that displays images of “changing sky Museum, and other local fine arts institutions come discovered in nature and art.” And Spanish artist BERSON summer. Jaume Plensa’s towering “Echo” is a white sculpted But the mild weather opens the door to spend more time head more than 45 feet tall that looks like a serenely enjoying ourselves in the fresh air. And what better season monumental marble bust. (It is actually made of fiberglass to visit some of the many outdoor public art installations in coated with marble dust.) Washington State? One can build a walk around art displays The Olympic Sculpture Park is open daily, from 30 in numerous areas, or even plan a full-day trip around an art minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Guided outing—with no admission cost. tours are offered several days a week, and dogs on six-foot Public artworks are bountiful in our region. They are leashes are allowed. commissioned and funded by state, county, and local More information: www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/ governments, as well as private institutions and individual olympic-sculpture-park art patrons. Seattle alone has more than 400 permanent

Urban Art

Al Fresco

pieces of art on public display throughout the city. It was actually one of the first cities in the United States to adopt a percent-for-art ordinance, a program that specifies that a percentage of eligible city capital improvement project funds be set aside for the commission, purchase, and installation of artworks in a variety of settings. You will find listings and photos of public projects on the websites of many Washington counties and municipalities. Here are just a few of the most noteworthy, walkingfriendly outdoor collections of sculpture, murals, and other


3rd Act magazine | summer 2021

Bellevue Arts Commission Art Walk Not all Eastsiders realize that Bellevue’s downtown boasts a wide range of public art, much of it of recent vintage. A civic art map, in fact, lists more than 100 pieces supported by public funding and local corporate and business underwriting. Spread across a wide swath of downtown, the map points to statues, murals, and stone etchings, as well as indoor works on paint, canvas, and other materials. Some of these works are on display, outdoors or inside, at the Meydenbauer


Center, the Westin, the Bellevue Arts Museum, and the Bellevue Library. For more details and a downloadable map visit: www.visitbellevuewa.com/things-to-do/arts-and-culture/ public-art-walk/. Downtown Puyallup Outdoor Art Gallery The city of Puyallup in Pierce County is widely known as the home of the annual Washington State Fair. (Yes, the one traditionally serving up those delicious scones, along with a slew of nationally known pop and country music acts.) It was also the first city in the state of Washington to receive an AARP/World Health Organization “AgeFriendly City” designation for optimizing opportunities for people of all ages. One of its all-ages attractions, year-round and at no cost, is a streetside outdoor art gallery featuring permanent and rotating sculptures from professional and amateur artists creating in a variety of media. Some of the works draw on traditional and modern Native American artistry, like “Rising,” by Louis and Sandie Nadelson. It is an arching form of a whale, constructed of recycled metal inspired by images of Orca whales as depicted by Northwest Native Americans. In another vein, the charming “TA DA” by Oregon sculptor C.J. Rench is a balancing act of two playful

X-shaped stainless steel figures. And Lance Carleton’s “Fat Tire #7” is in the form of a bicycle constructed of recycled steel. The artist says it is definitely not a “Do Not Touch” piece, and viewers are welcome to “climb aboard.” Puyallup’s Arts Downtown consortium offers live, self-guided and phone tours. For details visit: www.artsdowntown.org. 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).

Opposite page: Olympic Sculpture Park from Elliot Bay. Photo by Jaume Plans. This page: Alexander Calder’s “Eagle,” just one of the stunning sculptures—with equally stunning views—at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle.

Aging with Confidence

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BOOKS My Last Eight Thousand Days: An American Male in His Seventies BY LEE GUTKIND REVIEWED BY ANN HEDREEN


hen Lee Gutkind hit rock bottom, he started digging. He found grief, he found shame, and he found a way to understand his own life story. Gutkind, the founder of Creative Nonfiction magazine, has written more than a dozen nonfiction books on subjects ranging from motorcycle culture to organ transplantation. He taught creative nonfiction for many years at the University of Pittsburgh, and is now a professor and writer-in-residence at Arizona State University. In My Last Eight Thousand Days, he finally turns his storytelling skills on himself—not to catalog his achievements, but to probe his own intense discomfort with aging. Gutkind begins his story on the morning of his 70th birthday, with the blare of his alarm clock at 5:30 a.m. Things have not been going well lately, he tells us. His mother, to whom he was very close, died five days before his birthday, two of his best friends died not long before that, and his decade-long romantic relationship just ended. But that’s not all. The premise of his latest book project, which he had been researching and writing for five years, had abruptly fallen apart when his hero-subject was exposed as a fraud. And just to ice the cake, he’d been putting on weight. After the first chapter, I thought: Is this what I need to read right now? In the middle of the pandemic? But Gutkind’s deadpan, self-deprecating, dark sense of humor began to grow on me, precisely because, as he wrote this book between his other projects and over the course of several years, it began to grow on him. He realized that he was learning not to take himself so seriously, and as he did, he became not only more comfortable in his own skin, but also more likable—as a narrator, a character and, to his own


(Puzzles on page 64)


Backwords 1. War/Raw 2. Tops/Spot 3. Nuts/Stun 4. Tide/Edit

5. Tool/Loot 6. Smart/Trams 7. Tort/Trot

Double Trouble Hints 1: d; 2: e; 3: l; 4: m; 5: d; 6: o; 7: h; 8: i; 9: a

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wonderment, as a human being interacting with other human beings. The title comes from an article Gutkind came across by Joe Coughlin, the director of MIT’s AgeLab, in which Coughlin posits that our lives can be roughly divided into chunks of 8,000 days, from birth to 21, from 21 into your 40s, from there to 65. And if you make it past 65, “there’s a 50 percent chance that you will live to 85. Or another 8,000 days, more or less.” Gutkind, who just turned 76, is well on his way to claiming that lucky 8,000-day bonus. As Gutkind examines his past, we witness a gradual transformation of his views on aging. He realizes that being the artistic loner he has always imagined himself to be—back when he had the emotional support of his mother, wives, and best friends—is no longer going to work now that they’re gone. He needs to make new friends. He needs to figure out how to do that. It’s humbling. But it turns out to be… fun. Who knew? And important. Gutkind’s final description of himself: “An aging man, but not an old man; a vital man, not a defeated or tired man… I am not the old Lee Gutkind anymore; I am, rather, the new, albeit older, me.”

Topynyms 1. Hamburger 2. Canary 3. Marathon 4. Manila 5. Olympics

6. Sardine 7. Brussels sprout 8. Hollandaise 9. Tuxedo 10. Fez

Double Trouble? 1. Down (downstairs, downtown, downfall, downsize) 2. Ear (eardrum, earmuff, earphone, earache) 3. Light (lightheaded, lightweight, lighthouse) 4. Man (manhole, manhandle, manpower, manslaughter) 5. Draw (drawback, drawbridge, drawstrings) 6. Over (overcoat, overcast, overboard, overdose) 7. Hard (hardship, hardwood, hardware, hardheaded) 8. In (indoor, infuse, inhale, inmate, install) 9. Air (airbrush airliner, airport, aircraft)


Aging with Confidence

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

Backwords (easy)

All the answers in this game are semordnilaps—words that spell a different word forward and backward, such as faced and decaf. (Give yourself a gold star if you noticed something special about the word semordnilap!) 1. Forward it’s a state of armed conflict; backward it’s uncooked.________________________________________

5. Forward it’s an auger or chisel; backward it means to steal things during a riot or war.___________________________

2. Forward they’re spinning toys; backward it’s a small stain on a shirt or tie.____________________________________

6. Forward it means intelligent; backward it’s another word for trolleys._______________________________________

3. Forward they are tasty seeds such as almonds; backward it means to astonish or shock.________________________

7. Forward it’s a civil wrongdoing; backward it’s a mediumslow gait for a horse._______________________________

4. Forward it’s the movement of the ocean; backward it means to correct written material.____________________

Toponyms (harder)

Toponym is just a fancy word for a place name. In this game we have a group of words that were derived from place names. For example, did you know that the French phrase serge de Nîmes, which means “a sturdy fabric” from Nîmes” (a city in France) is where the word “denim” came from? 1. Ground beef named after a city in Germany.___________ 2. A small yellow bird named after a string of islands off the northwest coast of Africa.__________________________ 3. A race of 26.2 miles named after a town in Greeece. ________________________________________________ 4. A stiff paper for file folders or envelopes named after the capital city of the Philippines._______________________ 5. Worldwide sporting event named after the tallest mountain in Greece._______________________________

6. A very small, oily fish named after a Mediterranean island near Italy.________________________________________ 7. A small leafy green vegetable named after a city in Belgium._________________________________________ 8. A rich sauce named after the Netherlands.____________ 9. Men’s formal wear named after a village in upstate New York._______________________________________ 10. A brimless hat named after a city in Morocco. _______________________________________________

Double Trouble (hardest)

Compound words are made up of two smaller words, such as hayloft or watchtower. In this game we give the second half of some compound words. You must identify the one word that precedes each of them to make a compound word. For example, given the words weed, coast, and sick, the one word that makes each a compound word is “sea” (seaweed, seacoast, and seasick). If you’re really stuck, there are hints for these in the Answers on page 62.

1. Stairs, town, fall, size.___________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Drum, muff, phone, ache. _______________________________________________________________________________ 3. Headed, weight, house._________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Hole, handle, power, slaughter.___________________________________________________________________________ 5. Back, bridge, strings.___________________________________________________________________________________ 6. Coat, cast, board, dose._________________________________________________________________________________ 7. Ship, wood, ware, headed._______________________________________________________________________________ 8. Door, fuse, hale, mate, stall______________________________________________________________________________ 9. Brush, liner, port, craft.__________________________________________________________________________________ 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 299 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 2021



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