3rd Act Magazine – Winter 2021/2022

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Our New Normal





Orthodontics for Every Age

HUGS FOR THE HOLIDAYS Celebrating Human Touch

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MESSAGE from the publisher

Redefining “Normal” “These times really are teaching us to look for the cracks where the light seeps in.” —Karen Sullivan (friend and contributor to 3rd Act Magazine)

We plan our editorial calendar about a year in advance. It requires looking into our crystal ball and seeing if we can find hints of topics that will be relevant to our readers months from now. This time last year, we were in the middle of an ugly presidential transition and a huge spike in COVID-19 infections and deaths. But t here was a lso encouraging news that emergency approval of a highly effective vaccine was imminent, and optimism that we would soon be putting this pandemic behind us. A year ago, we decided to devote this issue to exploring how the pandemic had changed us—our “new normal.” The assumption was that, by now, it would pretty much be behind us: Americans would be vaccinated and the virus eradicated. That millions of Americans would refuse vaccination, that even public health would be politicized to the extent it has, never entered my crystal ball realm of possibility.

Yet, here we are, still in present tense. The pandemic is changing and challenging us. A fifth wave of spiking infections and deaths—primarily among the unvaccinated—is sweeping parts of the country as I write this. Breakthrough infections of the Delta variant touch and worry the vaccinated, too. Our world, and how we move in it, requires constant readjustment. Contemplating our new normal became the perfect topic after all, and in this issue our writers have each explored it through their own lens. In her story, “What Will Be Our New Normal?” (page 36), Ann Hedreen mourns her loss of reckless abandon. Julie Fanselow, in “Nothing Like Hugs for the Holidays” (page 32), explores what the pandemic teaches us about the importance of human touch. COVIDrelated deaths have been highest among older people. Jeanette Leardi puts our feelings of vulnerability into perspective with her story, “An Age of Vulnerability” (page 18). But perhaps the biggest story of this last year is the story of our resilience. We are adapting. We are starting to travel again. We’ve reassessed our risk tolerance and maybe notched it up a bit. We are looking at the world and our lives with fresh eyes. And some light seeps in.

Our world, and how we move in it, requires constant readjustment.

3rd Act publisher/editor Victoria Starr Marshall (center) with Vivian Phillips (left) and Marcie Sillman. Photo by Ernie Sapiro


3rd Act magazine | winter 2021/22

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, Brieanna Hansen, Encore Media Group DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION David Marshall COVER PHOTO Ernie Sapiro 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 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.


Find connection and joy IN EVERYDAY LIVING

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Aging with Confidence

Locations in Seattle, Mercer Island, Renton, and the winter Eastside 2021/22 | 3rd Act magazine


3rd Act Magazine





The high death toll of older adults in the pandemic has us rethinking what it means to feel vulnerable. JEANETTE LEARDI

Our New Normal


ity of




An Age of Vulnerability

HOLIDAYS Hugging a neighborhood tree didn’t fill the need for human touch. JULIE FANSELOW


Sillman & Phillips

WINTER2020/2021 2021/22 WINTER





Orthodontics for Every Age

pts. c o m

HUGS FOR THE HOLIDAYS Celebrating Human Touch


COVER: The dynamic duo of Marcie Sillman and Vivian Phillips celebrate their third act with the launch of their new podcaste, doubleXposure. The podcast features interviews with nationally lauded Seattle artists. Photo by Ernie Sapiro

NORMAL? With COVID likely here to

stay, we resume living our lives … carefully. ANN HEDREEN


Retirement communities adapt, innovate, and shine through one of the toughest challenges they’ve ever faced. CONNIE MCDOUGALL


Two dynamic arts advocates reinvent themselves. MISHA BERSON


3rd Act magazine | winter 2021/22


COLUMNS 8 AGING WITH INTENTION Coping lessons from life viewed through the rearview mirror. LINDA HENRY


Emotional Granularity: Using better words to describe how we really feel. MICHAEL C. PATTERSON


My ever-changing new normal at age 99. DORIS CARNEVALI


How to find serenity when change knocks us off course. STEPHEN SINCLAIR

24 E NLIGHTENED AGING Beat depression with social engagement. DR. ERIC B. LARSON




50 54



comes to investing, don’t be seduced by that next new thing. DON MCDONALD

44 MASQUERADE Let’s turn

mask-wearing into fashion and play. ANNIE CULVER

50 A PEARL HARBOR SECRET In 1952, we were planning for a potential U.S. invasion of China. GENE PAROLA


The power of pen and sea. KAREN SULLIVAN


A winter road trip on the Cascade Valley Scenic Byway. ANN RANDALL


AGAIN Cruise, tour, and travel

companies are monitoring, responding, and innovating so we can travel with confidence. HARRIET LEWIS


OTHER Contemplated as a

question, not as an edict. HOLLIS GIAMMETTEO



Seven self-care tips for caregivers. JUDY RUCKSTUHL WRIGHT


ARROW When wounded, don’t shoot yourself with a second arrow.



ORTHODONTICS AT ANY AGE It’s easier and less



years caring for his mother through verse. ROBERT HIRSCHFIELD


Simple and delicious meatless meals. REBECCA CRICHTON

IN EVERY ISSUE 62 BOOKS Crow’s Feet: Life

as We Age, Edited by Nancy Peckenham and We All Know How This Ends, by Anna Lyons and Louise Winter REVIEWED BY VICTORIA STARR MARSHALL


Challenge yourself with these word puzzles.

invasive than ever before to preserve your smile. PRICILLA CHARLIE HINCKLEY

Aging with Confidence

winter 2021/22

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LeRoy Bell Rocks On At 70, He’s Having the Time of His Life

Turning Bombs into Trees


HOW TO GET UNSTUCK Turn Bad Habits into Good


Live Performances are Back


Guard Against Overtreatment

We received more letters and comments on our Fall issue than ever before. Thank you! We appreciate your kudos and encouragement, and it’s nice to know that we are hitting the right notes. —Victoria Starr Marshall, Editor

Skilled Writing Appreciated We have enjoyed your magazine and find that the articles are very well written. The older generation took classes in grammar and writing paragraphs, so it’s lovely to enjoy their work! —Donna Roylance, Olympia, WA

Keep it Up! I’ve been a longtime fan of 3rd Act but don’t see it often enough—especially in the last year and a half. Every time I run across a copy the next couple of hours are taken up with reading it, plus or minus the time it takes to look up subjects and writers on my iPhone for more info. I know that many publications are having a hard time, but I hope 3rd Act goes on for a long time. —Connie Decker, Bonnie Lake, WA Editor: We’re still going strong! Many of our distribution locations closed during the pandemic, so we had to go to subscription and direct mail only. You should start seeing more magazines in the community now that things are starting to open back up.

Quality Over Quantity I love, love, love your magazine! I look forward to each issue and wish for more. But I am content to have four issues a year to not make it less wonderful than


3rd Act magazine | winter 2021/22

it is. I would love to see more in-depth information about “green burial,” which I believe would include composting. Thank you for providing me with such reading pleasure four times a year.

answer to the question, “What do I do?” is that I strive to keep my body, brain, and soul engaged, and to make the world a better place. I hope that is purpose enough!

—Shauna Fitzgerald Editor: We have done several stories on alternative and green burial, which can be found on 3rdActMag.com.

—Diane Kennedy Mathers, Seattle, WA

Road Trip Reading I have recently received my first magazine and boy-oh-boy have I enjoyed every page of it, reading some articles repeatedly. In fact, I took it on a long road trip with a friend who read aloud to me article after article, which led to good discussions making all that drive time so much more interesting. The time seemed to fly by! Thanks again and keep on keeping these good articles coming. —Linda Clauson, Renton, WA

Volunteer with Results Thanks for the issue on PURPOSE, particularly the article that explains how we sabotage ourselves with “inner ageism” (“Our Inner Ageist” by Dr. Connie Zweig, Fall 2021). We “elders” have so much to offer and the ability to make a difference. Volunteering with RESULTS (results.org) to end the worst aspects of hunger and poverty has been an eye-opening journey, working with my members of Congress, and like-minded folks of all ages. What is your plan to stay vital and make a difference? RESULTS welcomes all voices, helping you learn how to matter in this world. —Willie Dickerson, Snohomish, WA

Purpose Enough Thank you for your article by Sally Fox, “Got Purpose?” (Fall 2021 issue). As someone who enjoys the breadth of life, I often feel lacking in that I don’t have one defining “Purpose.” Finding that purpose seems to be the topic du jour of late. In your current magazine, which I enjoy immensely, the topic is referenced many, many times, starting with the message from the publisher. Maybe we can urge people to find their goodness. Now that I’m retired, my standard

Inspiration for the Next Generation I have been a subscriber since 2017, I think. I absolute love this magazine. I find it inspiring, and relative, and worthy of praise. It is awesome! I like it so much that I have shared it with many friends and relatives. But more importantly, I recently shared it with the 2021 summer graduation class at Auburn University. I was asked to be their commencement speaker and found that 3rd Act represented an example of life that I wanted to use as my motivation and inspiration for the class. I pass this along because I thought you might want to know how your magazine is always influencing others and making life a joy. —Nelda Lee, Auburn, AL Editor: Nelda Lee is a retired McDonnell Douglas and Boeing test pilot and engineer who broke records and ceilings. She is featured on the cover of our Summer 2017 issue.

Faraway Fan I enjoyed reading the copy of 3rd Act you sent me. Its contents and layout are as impressive as your home pages online: very attractive, entertaining, diverse, instructive, and therefore, useful. In fact, the energy, the judgment, and the creativity that I imagine was needed to accomplish so much, so well, is not only unusual, but also enviable. —Bill Vernon, Dayton, OH

talk to us!

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



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Cope with Change Using the Rearview Mirror Past experiences can help us meet the challenges of today

In today’s upside-down world, it seems to me that we are existing in what Bridges calls the neutral zone, a time when the old is gone, but the new isn’t fully operational. And whatever that new normal may look like, it is likely to change yet again. The challenge then for us is to learn how to manage times of change. What have we learned from past experience that will help us today? First, consider looking in your own rearview mirror to identify an event(s) that transformed your life. When young, maybe your family moved


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.


Since the pandemic began, who among us has not been waiting for a time when life settles following a traumatic event? We are eager to know how it will look and whether it will last. In his book, Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, William Bridges states that change creates both opportunities and turmoil. Transition is the inner psychological process that people go through as they internalize and come to terms with change. He maintains that there are three stages in any transition—the ending, the neutral zone, and the new beginning. I recently received a phone call from a cousin with whom I had not spoken in some time. “Just checking in,” she said. After discussing the status of other family members, the conversation naturally turned to life during the pandemic. She shared that she’d lost her longtime job, but upon reflection, discovered she likes her new position better because it affords her new opportunities. Our conversation reminded me of how when we look at our lives through a rearview mirror, we often discover how positive change can be. A friend of mine shared the story of a woman (we will call her Susie) whose job was eliminated while she was in the middle of a divorce. It was only later, reflecting on this painful period in her life, that she realized how happy she now was with her new position and remarriage. She was enjoying her new normal.

3rd Act magazine | winter 2021/22

from your home, forcing you to leave friends and school. As an older adult, perhaps you’ve downsized into a smaller apartment, requiring you to move from your neighborhood and close friends. Have you settled into a new normal, assuming life will remain stable? In the case of Susie, her normal changed yet again when her work offered new career opportunities for her and her spouse. Likely, life will continue changing. Thinking of past changes, list the ways in which you managed those transitions. What actions did you take? What would you have done differently? It may well be that our new normal, at least for now, is continuing to live in an ongoing neutral zone. We can’t change reality, but we can develop strategies to make it easier to cope based on our past experience. I plan to look in my rearview mirror to remind myself that I have moved through change with success. How about you? www.3rdActMag.com

Fraud Prevention Fraud Prevention

Tip-OffstotoRip-Offs Rip-Offs Tip-Offs

The Top-5 Robocall Scams Targeting Washington State PhoneLines Lines The Top-5 Robocall Scams Targeting Washington State Phone

The numbers and they’re headed the wrong direction. According newstatistics statistics The numbers are in, are andin,they’re headed in theinwrong direction. According toto new from the Federal Trade Commission, Washington consumers lost nearly $69 million fraudin in from the Federal Trade Commission, Washington consumers lost nearly $69 million totofraud 2020, more than double the amount lost in 2019. 2020, more than double the amount lost in 2019. The barrage of automated telephone solicitations or “robocalls” we get on our home and

The barrage of automated telephone solicitations or “robocalls” we get on our home and mobile phones seems to be never-ending. In fact, robocalls coming into the U.S. have more mobile phones seems to be never-ending. In fact, robocalls coming into the U.S. have more than doubled to nearly 50 billion calls a year. To make matters worse, experts estimate that up than doubled tothese nearlycalls 50 billion a year. To makeconsumers matters worse, experts estimate that up to half of may becalls attempts to defraud – and Washington state has been to half of calls be attempts defraud consumers hitthese hard by thismay massive increase to in unwanted scam calls.– and Washington state has been hit hard by this massive increase in unwanted scam calls. To help consumers better spot and stop emerging robocall scams, AARP is partnering with the To help State consumers better spotOffice, and stop emerging robocall is partnering with Attorney General’s BECU and Nomorobo to scams, provideAARP real-time access to the topthe calls flooding Washington state phone lines. State Attorney General’s Office, BECU and Nomorobo to provide real-time access to the top

calls flooding Washington state phone lines. reports on actual calls making the rounds in your Visit aarp.org/TipOffs for early warning community. You’ll anwarning opportunity to listen to eachcalls call and better familiarize Visit aarp.org/TipOffs forhave early reports on actual making the rounds inyourself your with the scammers’ pitches before they chance dial your number.yourself community. You’ll have anlatest opportunity to listen tohave eachacall andto better familiarize sure to visitlatest aarp.org/TipOffs often as have we’ll be regularly material! Please also with theBescammers’ pitches before they a chance toupdating dial yourthe number. take a moment to share the information with your family and friends. The better we’re all able

Be sure to visit aarp.org/TipOffs often as we’ll be regularly updating the material! Please also to recognize a scam pitch before we’re in the con-artist’s sights, the better we’ll be able take a moment to share the information with your family and friends. The better we’re all able to protect ourselves and our money. to recognize a scam pitch before we’re in the con-artist’s sights, the better we’ll be able to protect ourselves and our money. Presented by:

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Aging with Confidence

winter 2021/22

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y wife Judith and I recently completed our first real vacation in years. It was a road trip that took us from our home in Los Angeles, across the Mojave Desert, through southern Arizona and Utah and into Western Colorado. Our primary goal was to visit Zion National Park and then spend time with close family friends in the small town of Paonia, Colorado. Over 12 days, we drove and hiked through some of the most spectacular geological wonders to be found on planet earth. It was awesome! The drive in California includes long stretches through the Mojave Desert, which is spectacular in its own way, but is much the same mile after mile. To amuse myself, and to avoid being mesmerized by the Mojave, I told Judith about an interesting concept I had just learned, called “emotional granularity.” The term and practice were developed by psychologist and neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD. Dr. Barrett argues that emotions are learned, and that most of us are only taught to identify elementary emotions, like


3rd Act magazine | winter 2021/22

HAPPY, sad, and ANGRY. We are, in other words, emotional illiterates. Dr. Barrett’s groundbreaking work encourages all of us to enhance our emotional intelligence by expanding our emotional vocabulary. The more ways we have to describe subtle differences in emotions, the more ways we can learn to express ourselves, and the better we can interpret the FEELINGS of others. Rather than experiencing our spouse as being simply MAD, for example, we might ask politely if he/she is irritated, annoyed, MIFFED, injured, af fronted, appalled, disgusted, IR ATE , outraged, FURIOUS, or ballistic. The answer will help us determine whether to fight, flee, or freeze. I recognize the need to enhance my own emotional literacy and have started researching lists of emotion words. Some of the more interesting lists include foreign words that have no equivalents in English, such as the German word SCHADENFREUDE (pronounced shaa-duhn-froy-duh), which is the pleasure we feel at someone else’s misfortune. Another favorite is www.3rdActMag.com

the Danish word HYGGE (pronounced hue-gah), which describes the cozy, cuddly feeling we have when curling up in an oversized chair in front of a fire while sipping hot chocolate. Some lists include new words that haven’t made their way into any dictionary . . . yet. MINDRAMP has its own neologism, the word “QUALONGEVITY,” which we created in 2009. It describes the ability to live long and maintain a high level of qualityof-life. Another neologism that caught my fancy is the word “BEDGASM,” the ecstatic feeling we have when we can finally lay down in our own bed after a long and arduous day. Which brings me back to our road trip through the geological wonders of the western Rocky Mountains. Once in southern Utah the scenery becomes consistently STUNNING. Ever y curve reveals new displays of natural splendor. Bare rock faces, dramatic gorges, forested peaks, expansive mountain ranges. Every crest reveals a new jaw-dropping vista. The magnificence of the landscape inspired the poet in me. At every new wonder I expressed my awe with well-crafted phrases like, “Oh, wow!” “Holy shit.” “HOLY MOLY!” Or, more frequently, I simply moaned an ecstatic, “Ooohh.” My wife — remembering the neologism (bedgasm) and wanting to encourage the development of my emotional granularity—remarked that I was having “OOOHGASMS.” That’s good. Ooohgasms! But, even better, we soon realized that we were sharing “AWEGASMS.” The spectacular scenery evoked ecstatic feelings of awe and wonder that resulted in uncontrolled verbal eruptions of “oohs” and “ahhs.” When describing our vacation to friends we tell them we shared 12 days of multiple awegasms. I LOVE our new word. But there is still more granularity to be explored in the FEELING of awe. Awe Aging with Confidence

has multiple meanings. It is defined as a “reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.” Fear and wonder are two very different feelings. The awegasms I had in Zion were of the WONDER kind. The majestic cliffs and the kaleidoscopic hues have a grandeur and magnificence that is humbling and inspiring. Later in the trip I experienced the fear side of awe, as we stood at the unprotected rim of Bryce Canyon and stared past the iconic “hoodoos” down into the valley floor hundreds of feet below. I don’t do well with heights. For me, the AWE inspired by Bryce Canyon included elements of ANXIETY, TREPIDATION, and fear. Wonder and fear mixed again when our friend Madaleine, who is a worldclass rock climber, took us to one of her favorite climbing spots, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River in Colorado. Black Canyon’s “Painted Wall” is the tallest cliff in Colorado, stretching 2,250 feet from river to rim. Only El Capitan in Yosemite and Notch Peak in Utah are taller. As we watched the sun set, the black granite and schist rock face grew dark, ominous, and foreboding. The thought of our friend Madaleine clinging to that sheer rock wall evokes a feeling of “NAWESEA” (awe + nausea). Admittedly, nAWEsea isn’t as good as awegasm, but the word does advance the granularity of my emotional vocabulary. It describes awe, coupled with ANXIETY, queasiness, vertigo, and squeamishness. I can now explain the apprehension and anxiety I feel when my wife walks toward the edge of a cliff to get that perfect photograph. My EMOTIONAL vocabulary is more nuanced. I can express myself with greater emotional granularity, as in: “STOP! I’m going to puke!” Michael C. Patterson is a consultant and coach who uses brain and mind sciences to optimize well-being across the lifespan. Michael and colleague Roger Anunsen have recently launched the MINDRAMP podcast, Live Long & Live Well. Subscribe at www.mindramp.org.

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My Ever-Changing New Normal Age-related changes require constant adaptation BY DORIS CARNEVALI, AGE 99

It makes sense that if one can no longer do something, one changes what one tries to do, or at least how it’s done. But both normal age-related changes (ARCs) and our silent adaptations move into our lives so gradually that we tend not to see the pattern. As I look back on my earlier lifestyle and compare it to the one I have as I approach the century mark, I’m amazed at the simplification that As I look back on has occurred. Both my life my earlier lifestyle and and home environment compare it to the one I now are less cluttered. have as I approach the What remains is still century mark, I’m amazed complicated and involves incredibly demanding, at the simplification that detailed attention, but it’s has occurred. doable (for now). What I wear is dictated by what I can manipulate. For me at 99 it means no buttons, zippers, snaps, Velcro tabs, hooks and eyes, or things requiring tying knots. Difficulties with donning clothing involves even greater detail as ARCs continue to progress. Now, the diameter of neck and armhole openings dictate what my more-rigid arm joints can get into. With multiple layers of tops, at least some need to be slippery.


3rd Act magazine | winter 2021/22

Pulling a rough texture item over an already donned rough texture is really tricky. Sock tops need to be large, but not sloppy, and stretchy enough for weak fingers to pull them over the heel and ankle; forget trying to manage long stretchy pantyhose. Waistlines of any clothing item need to be softly stretchy, with little resistance to weak hands and fingers. Shoes now must be slip-ons (preferably without the use of a shoehorn), but once on must dependably fit and stay in place whatever my feet do. Varying heel heights also are a no-no as they disrupt balance. Other than these demands, there’s free choice with clothing. Any sense of the environment crowding into daily living became quietly but increasingly discomfiting. Somehow symmetry and openness brought serenity. So, using a one small step-at-atime approach, small areas were cleared. What emerged was more opportunity to admire the lines of the furniture and other elements that my husband had so artfully created and built. The grains of the wood glowed and the detail re-emerged. When items sitting on surfaces were thinned out, each one could be appreciated more. And, by changing them with the seasons, or just to be introducing change for change itself, they were newly appreciated. (Note: Dreaded, depressing monotony is constantly and knowingly foiled by ongoing little changes.) I’m even growing five tiny ferns of different varieties. They remind me about being “green and growing,” and they’re the right size for me to handle and move about to different spots. Constant use of the mantras “One thing at a time!” and “Finish what you start” as I’m tackling a project makes me feel not only motivated but proud of what I’m doing—and that’s no small matter these days. The sense of control of small matters and satisfaction with one little job well done feels good. The results from these efforts offer constant visual reminders of mini-successes. This story was previously posted on the Engaging with Aging blog. Doris Carnevali, emeritus faculty of the University of Washington School of Nursing, is author of several books on nursing care planning. In 2017, she launched her blog Engaging with Aging, offering tips and insights on adapting to changes as we age. To date, her blog has reached viewers in at least 109 countries.



your home’s profile. In the algorithms of smartphone real estate apps, posting an Open House makes your home stand out. Our recommendation: Have your agent host an Open House, and in so doing, grow your potential buyer pool. Good luck!


Real estate agents say that homes are sold over the Internet now, with digital offers and signing through smartphones. Our sweet Nana, who is over 90, doesn’t have a computer or a smart phone. When she sells her home, will she be expected to do her signing and closing steps online?



What is the reason for having an Open House these days? They say most buyers search for homes and review photos online, do a tour with their broker, and send offers by email. Is an Open House still part of the selling process like it was years ago? Should we have one?


It’s true! The online real estate marketplace offers an Open House 24/7, providing buyers virtual tours, color photos, and detailed information on thousands of properties at the swipe of a finger or click of a mouse. Yet, even with this incredible technology, there is still value in hosting an Open House when your home is listed for sale.


Your Nana can definitely sell her home without ever touching a smartphone or clicking a mouse. Real estate brokers can cater the entire home selling process around their client’s individual preferences. While a tech-savvy buyer or seller may prefer the speed and convenience of digital A few reasons: First, it is an transactions, there are plenty of folks opportunity for neighbors to tour who still prefer to sign their contracts your home. They will be the most printed on paper, with a pen. When enthusiastic evangelists to their own your Nana chooses a real estate broker, family and friends to buy in your let them know that they will need to neighborhood. Second, there are print the transaction documents and bring them to her for many “unrepresented” DO YOU HAVE A REAL ESTATE signing. This should buyers who have not QUESTION FOR US? SEND IT TO: yet hired an agent, QUESTIONS@SASHREALTY.COM be no problem for the broker to coordinate. but who tour homes as they prepare to buy. The Open Signing in person, instead of digitally, House includes these people in your also has no impact on the ability to potential buyer pool. Third, as potential receive multiple offers, and to enjoy a buyers walk through an Open House, successful home sale outcome!


they provide valuable, live feedback to your listing agent about the home and property. This could be very helpful during sale negotiations. Finally, advertising an Open House in the online real estate marketplace actually boosts

Rebecca Bomann is Founder and CEO of SASH Services, and Designated Broker of SASH Realty. With a background in social work and elder care, Bomann created SASH to provide real estate services tailored for clients’ unique needs. Since 2005, SASH has served clients of all ages, with specialized home sale services for older adults and their families.

CONTACT US AT SASH TO LEARN MORE! www.sashservices.com · www.sashrealty.com 206-501-4375 · 1-888-400-SASH (7274) Aging with Confidence

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| 3rd Act magazine 13


When Life Happens

To assist in my recovery, a social worker recommended a mindfulness art group sponsored by Cancer Pathways and facilitated by the therapist Ginny Rohan. One of the first sessions I attended was titled “The New Normal.” The participants were encouraged to accept the ways in which our In 2016, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer. bodies and abilities had changed and to look at them I’d always said that if I were to be diagnosed with as opportunities for growth rather than grieving a terminal illness, I would refuse treatment. As a what we felt we had lost. We then made visual representations to express where we were in chaplain and pastor, I’ve seen how painful BY STEPHEN that process. therapies can be and how much suffering SINCLAIR I was reminded of this work when must be endured while undergoing them. thinking about how COVID-19 has forever But, in the end, I did opt for treatment because I wasn’t prepared to die. It wasn’t that I had a bucket changed what we’re able to do in our personal lives list of things I still wanted to do. I’d lived a good life, and in our larger communities. When the initial regulations were put into place, I knew they were one filled with all manner of experiences. I wasn’t prepared to die because I wasn’t necessary to halt the pandemic. Later, when most spiritually fit. The last few years of my ministries of the guidelines were lifted, but then reinstated, had been traumatic. I was angry and filled with I despaired. I thought everything was supposed to a sense of hopelessness. I felt separated from the return to the way it was before the pandemic. Slowly I realized that was never going to happen. divine presence. What has helped me deal with this is the first line Chemotherapy and radiation were as awful of the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity as I had feared, but the tumors were eradicated. However the treatment left my body damaged to accept the things I cannot change.” Acceptance and my energy depleted. It also felt like my soul is necessary to come to terms with our new normal. We have no control over what is happening on a and spirit had been injured.

Finding serenity when change knocks us off course


3rd Act magazine | winter 2021/22


national and global level, but we do have control over our response to it. It’s up to us to find ways of living that will once again bring joy and happiness. The longer we live in the past and grieve what we’ve lost, the less of a future we have. I’m reminded of the exodus story in the Hebrew scriptures where, after being delivered from Egypt, many of the Israelites were dissatisfied with their new circumstances. They were apprehensive about the future. Rather than accepting that things had changed, they wanted to return to that place and life that was familiar to them. So, it is with us now. If the past is the standard by which we judge the future, we are doomed. Also, in one of the resurrection stories of the Christian scriptures, the angels ask the women who are at the tomb wanting to see the body of Jesus, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” What an apt metaphor for how we look to the past to ascertain how things should be in the here and now. Our memory of what things used to be like keeps us from adapting to change. The past is dead. The present is alive. Those of us in the winter of our lives are aware of how aging affects us. Our bodies keep changing. Our abilities can become diminished. We don’t feel as vital as we once did. Again, if we wish to have even a bit of serenity, we must accept this. What we can and should do is to discover the new opportunities that ageing provides for growth. If we continue to compare our past self with our present self, we will despair. So let us accept the new normal in which find ourselves. We’ve lived through things just as challenging as the pandemic and we came out stronger, wiser, and more resilient. This time shall be no different.

Are you or a loved one experiencing Depression, Anxiety, or a Mood disorder? Fairfax Behavioral Health Can Help! Suffering from any mental health condition does not have to be a part of getting older. Fairfax Monroe is a specialized inpatient care tailored to the needs of older adults. We offer multiple therapeutic groups including occupational therapy, group therapy, and life skills coaching. LOCATIONS IN KIRKLAND, EVERETT AND MONROE

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

Aging with Confidence

fall 2020

| 3rd Act magazine 15


Making the Best of a Tough Situation BY JUDY RUCKSTUHL WRIGHT

My personal “Middle Ages” brought work at two nursing homes and one retirement community, as well as the decline and demise of both parents and a beloved aunt. These experiences highlighted, up close and personal, the situation of a longterm relationship in which one person loses previously normal physical or cognitive function. Always painful, but some pairs adjusted better than others. Caregivers who adapt best all seem to use the following tactics:

ourselves. It’s time to let go of this pattern! Consider that, in addition to getting the informal help you need, you’re offering others the satisfaction of providing help. Expect a tinge of grief here, too, for two reasons: You’re no longer the help provider, and “things” won’t get done in exactly your way. Consider creating your own personal mini-ritual to release these expectations.


Pay for services: If you are financially comfortable, it’s probably because you worked hard, saved, and spent carefully. The thought of paying for services you’ve always done for yourself may annoy you. This new life situation is the “rainy day” you saved for. Hire out those tasks you least like to do.


Take care of yourself: As your loved one’s most precious resource, you are responsible for keeping yourself healthy. In addition to getting emotional and practical support, do whatever you can to exercise regularly. You don’t need to read an article to know that your stress hormones have increased and exercise can help you manage them.


Let yourself grieve: What a huge loss! Not only of the functioning, companionship, and assistance of the other person, but also all hopes and expectations for the future, free time and travel plans, customary work and activities, probably other, enriching relationships, and so much more. People who cope best give themselves the kindness of respecting their loss and letting themselves grieve.


Seek out support: Fortunately, there’s now a range of resources to help. Googling “Caregiver Resources Near Me” here in our wonderful Pacific Northwest brings up an array of options you never imagined. If you live in Seattle or King County, the King County Caregiver Support Network functions as a screening and clearing house to even more. Here’s where COVID-19 has actually brought an advantage: So many appointments and meetings now take place online, you can save the time and demands of attending in person. You can probably join a group that addresses your specific needs, even if the convener lives on the other side of our continent. Although support groups may never have “been your thing,” they provide a valuable blend of emotional support and practical advice that may benefit you now. Never felt the need of therapy or professional emotional support? Life is now so different and this may be a good reason to start. (Fees for many services are on a sliding scale.)


Accept informal help: Many of us delight in helping others and take secret pride in not having to ask for help


3rd Act magazine | winter 2021/22


Recognize beauty in your life: Beauty comes in all permutations, from birds chirping, to how the chocolate sauce slides down ice cream, to a baby’s smile. Look for it.


Do one act of self-love every day: You are living love in caring for your challenged person. Love yourself, too.

Judy Ruckstuhl Wright worked in nursing homes and a retirement community for eight years, during which she befriended and learned from many admirable residents and their family members. She now lives in Seattle, near a daughter willing to guide her care if and when necessary.


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Passionate Purpose


Everyday Wonder

Fun is Par for the Course

Become a Citizen Scientist

Dori Gillam Doesn’t Know How to Act Her Age


LeRoy Bell Rocks On

How to Bring a Sense of Awe Back Into Your Life


Golf has No Age Limit

At 70, He’s Having the Time of His Life

Love in the Time of COVID A Late-Love Story

Turning Bombs into Trees





Turn Bad Habits into Good

Live Performances are Back


Guard Against Overtreatment

RECONNECTING MEMORIES Tips for Improving Your Recall



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We’re In This Together

Embracing Aging

A Once-in-Hundred-Year Pandemic Challenges and Changes Us

How Do You Feel About Getting Older?

Day-Tripping in Western WA

Live Like You Mean It Don’t let Age Limit You

Brain Power

Join the Golden Age of Lifelong Learning

A Whole New Place to Retire

Holiday Giving






Washington Rhinestones

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

3 Washington Towns Worth Considering


DINNER FOR ONE (OR TWO) Downsizing Your Holiday Meal




Social Justice with Social Distancing

A Tough Job Just Got Harder


Cope with Unwelcome Change


AGING WITH PRIDE GenPride serves LGBTQ Seniors

THE OTHER BOOM Retirement Living Options Surge



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The Costume Makes Me Ageless

Why We Get Happier with Age

Still Clowning Around at 73


Modern Matchmaking It’s Never Too Late to Date

Start Your Year Off With a Laugh


Parting with a Home You Love

Resolve to Cultivate This Healthy Habit

FINDING JOY Try These Practices

A QUILT OF HEROES Renewing the Fabric of America

HOUSE SHARING An Option Worth Considering


50 Ways to Thrive




STROKE PRIMER Know the Signs

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

Tess Gallagher on Creativity, Vitality, and Resilience

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winter 2021/22

| 3rd Act magazine 17

An Age of Vulnerability In a post–COVID-19 society, what must we do to reduce old-age vulnerability to illness and death? The answer may surprise you. BY JEANETTE LEARDI


The past two years have been a radically demanding time for us all. We’ve been wearing masks, socially distancing, getting vaccinated, and adjusting to constantly evolving guidelines—making these changes in our behavior in the hope of emerging from this dangerous period and reentering “normal” life. But how normal will it be, really? Or rather, how normal should it be? Among the many lessons the pandemic is teaching us, one big one is that we must rethink how

3rd Act magazine | winter 2021/22

we view—and treat—the older adults in our lives. People over age 65 are most susceptible to contracting COVID-19. While that age group composes only 16% of the U.S. population, it has suffered 80% of all COVID deaths, 40% of which have occurred among long-term care residents. The fact that older adults are more vulnerable to the effects of the virus is to be expected, given the natural process of aging and the biological changes our bodies undergo as we age. Our arteries begin to harden, we lose brain volume, muscle mass, and bone density. In addition, we’re more likely to have one or more chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and dementia. And regarding COVID, our immune systems become less responsive to outside threats. Clearly, we’re more biologically vulnerable. www.3rdActMag.com


But let’s rethink the concept of vulnerability. Aren’t all people biologically vulnerable in different ways at different stages of life? Surely babies and young children are. But so are teenagers, whose underdeveloped cerebral cortex can make them prone to mood swings, poor judgment, and potentially dangerous impulsive behavior. Young and middle-aged adults are vulnerable, too, to physical and mental illnesses caused by the stresses of sleep deprivation, workplace injury, infertility, and alcohol and drug abuse. The problem with our culture’s perception of age is that while we know there are many positive traits to being a child or an adult, we mistakenly believe that physical deterioration and mental decline are inevitable and are the only conditions elders experience, and so we conclude that there’s no upside to aging. But we’re very wrong. Through diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management, it’s more than possible to maintain relatively healthy bodies in our later years. Plus, there are many psychological assets to growing older. If we keep our brains challenged and engaged with the world, we can develop new skills, increase our emotionally stability, problem solve more efficiently, grow our social networks, and expand our wisdom. We can continue to contribute to society as mentors, leaders, innovators, experts in our fields, and keepers of the flame. THE REAL PROBLEM: AGEISM

There’s only one thing that holds us back and keeps us vulnerable—and it’s not our age. It’s how our culture insists on rejecting aging. We demand that older adults maintain the exact same capacities, desires, and values as people “in their prime.” And so Aging with Confidence

anti-aging messages abound in the form of ads for Botox, wrinklereducing creams, and hair dyes. Old-age jokes fill late-night show monologues that wouldn’t otherwise contain racist, sexist, ableist, or homophobic ones. Older adults are far more likely to experience hiring, training, and retention discrimination in the workplace. As a society, we fear and dread becoming old and do whatever we can to distance ourselves from people in their later years, which can lead us to marginalize and neglect them. Consider how older adults have been treated during the pandemic. Early on, many nursing homes that were struggling to keep infection rates down weren’t provided with enough effective personal protective equipment (PPE). Given the shortages, some media and politicians even suggested that older adults sacrifice themselves so that younger people could survive. And recently, hospitals flooded with unvaccinated patients have been forced to adopt “crisis standards of care” that include age as an independent criterion for deciding how likely a person will survive, and providing the likeliest ones with necessary treatment. THE ANSWER: IMPROVE SOCIETY

As we envision the new normal for a post–COVID-19 world, let’s ask ourselves this: What must we do to reduce old-age vulnerability to illness and death? Taking good care of our bodies and minds is only a fraction of the solution. The main solution to ageing well is found in the determining social factors of race, ethnicity, gender, geography, education, income, and access to adequate housing, health care, transportation, and other services. And most of these are often beyond a person’s individual control. For example, in 2021, women on

average earn 82 cents for every dollar a man makes and are more likely than men to be caregivers for family members. As a result, their lifetime Social Security earnings are less, which can affect how well—or not— they age. People living in rural areas, or making a minimum wage, or having a disability may lack access to reliable transportation, healthy foods, and greater job opportunities. And all of these challenges are compounded for people of color. So much of what older adults experience throughout this pandemic, and throughout life in general, could be prevented in the future by truly understanding how much of the quality of later life is determined by these social, nonindividual, non-biological effects. When it comes to older adult vulnerability, it’s up to all of us to eliminate the widespread ageism that promotes it. We can 1) Educate ourselves about the benefits, as well as the challenges, of living many years; 2) Call out age prejudice and discrimination whenever and wherever we encounter them; and 3) Become role models of empowered aging, whatever stage of life we inhabit. Hopefully, as we responsibly recover from this time of COVID, we’ll also stop fearing and dreading getting older. The only new normal we should strive to create is one that fully embraces, honors, and supports everyone, regardless of age. Systemic ageism should have no place in it. That’s a pandemic worth ending, too. Jeanette Leardi is a Portland-based social gerontologist, writer, editor, and community educator who has a passion for older adult empowerment. She gives popular presentations and workshops in journaling, memoir writing, ethical will creation, brain fitness, creativity, ageism, intergenerational communication, and caregiver support to people of all ages. Learn more about her work at jeanetteleardi.com.

winter 2021/22

| 3rd Act magazine 19

g n i k a e r B the

Second Arrow

Everyone makes mistakes. How many times have we heard that one thrown at us? “Don’t worry about it. Everyone makes mistakes.” But we do worry, don’t we? Because it’s not that simple. It’s easy to say it. Easy to be the one doing the forgiving. But if you’re the one who broke the antique vase, the one who misplaced the car keys and made everyone late, it’s not so easy. I know. I have. Attention Deficit Disorder. I’ve spent my whole life apologizing. “Sorry I’m late.” “Sorry I misplaced that important paperwork.” “Sorry I lost focus in the meeting.” When I’m not sorry, I’m frustrated. Why can’t I, just once, leave the house without having to go back for what I forgot? It’s exhausting, but that’s life. Or so I thought. Recently I’ve made a new friend, and now I know there’s another way. Keoki is a Buddhist, in training to be a Reverend, with a responsibility to counsel those in crisis and the authority to perform weddings. The first time I saw him, he was wearing a T-shirt with a logo depicting two arrows, one whole, the other in the process of being broken by a pair of strong hands. Here’s the life-changing message of the second arrow: At its heart, it’s a simple Buddhist concept. If you’re wounded by an arrow, do you tend to the wound, or do you shoot yourself with a second arrow? Whether it’s a big thing, like a serious injury or the loss of a loved one, or something small like being late for an appointment, we all deal with misfortune. It’s a part of being human. These inevitable misfortunes are the first arrow, the one that comes out of nowhere and wounds us. There’s nothing we can do about that arrow. Once the first arrow has struck, we begin to tell ourselves stories about it. “If only I had done this, or


3rd Act magazine | winter 2021/22

hadn’t done that.” “ I’m such an airhead. It’s no wonder I never married.” These stories we tell are the second arrow, further wounding us when we would be better served by working to heal the damage caused by the first arrow. We need to be wary of that second arrow, even when the misfortune is not of our own making. Sometimes the stories we tell are not about blame, but about the terrors awaiting us in the future. “This injury might mean I’ll never play golf again.” “This headache could be the first sign of the same kind of brain cancer my mother died from.” In the words of 19th century poet John Boyle O’Reilly, “We fear the things we think, instead of the things that are.” We hold the second arrow By W. R. SHAW in our own hands. All too Photo of Keoki by often, we choose to aim it at Grace Beecher ourselves and let it fly, but we can make another choice. We can choose to break it. We can catch ourselves in the act of creating stories, and remind ourselves that they are stories and nothing more. We can let go of, “What if,” and “If only,” and replace them with my friend Keoki’s favorite phrase, “Right now, it’s like this.”

How to Leave Fears and Regrets Behind Forever

W. R. Shaw lives and writes in the Pacific NW. When she’s not writing, she’s often found rescuing rattlesnakes from yards and rural highways.


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Aging with Confidence

winter 2021/22

| 3rd Act magazine 21




In 1970, I missed the first two classes of my junior year in high school because I was getting braces on my teeth that morning. The next day, trying to explain my absence, I struggled to speak through a painful and ugly mouthful of metal. I think I was drooling. Two years later, though, my teeth looked great. That didn’t last. “If you want to retain post-orthodontic positioning, you need to wear some sort of retention for life. That’s a key fact,” says Seattle dentist Dr. Frank Calvo. If you don’t, he adds, “There tends to be a memory, and the teeth will migrate back to where they were.” Dr. Calvo knows that quite well. He also wore braces as a teenager and, like most of us back then, he wasn’t told to continue using a retainer. At 62, he’s doing it all again, this time with Invisalign®. There’s no age limit on orthodontic work, and it’s not just about aesthetics.


3rd Act magazine | winter 2021/22

“Everybody thinks that they just want a pretty smile,” says orthodontist Dr. Greg Vaughn. But misaligned and crowded teeth, he says, “can affect the function of your bite, the wear pattern of your teeth. It can lead to fractures, root canals, loss of teeth, and gum infections.” In their Seattle and Bellevue orthodontic practice, Dr. Vaughn and his wife, Dr. Paola Leone, see patients ranging from five to 87 years old. “There’s no age that’s not the right age to do something that’s important for you,” says Dr. Leone. Orthodontic treatment works by using continual pressure from braces or aligners, over time, to move teeth. Depending on the complexity of the problem to be treated, patients may choose options such as metal braces (smaller and more comfortable than in the past); ceramic, tooth-colored braces; lingual braces, which go behind the teeth; or clear aligners that go over the teeth. Invisalign®, the original clear aligner, is the most common, and there are other brands as well. The orthodontist will determine whether patients are eligible for specific options. Dr. Leone says that most of their adult patients choose Invisalign®; It opens the door, she says, for


people who didn’t want to be treated. “It’s much less intrusive for their life schedule,” says Dr. Vaughn. “There are no food restrictions, and they can take them out for a party.” Also, most people can’t tell you’re wearing them. Key to success with Invisalign® is patient motivation and compliance. The aligners should be worn for about 22 hours a day during treatment and must be taken out to eat or to drink anything other than water. Patients need to brush and floss before putting them back in. Treatment generally takes 12 to 24 months, but it is possible to speed up the movement of teeth. At their practice, Drs. Leone and Vaughn offer photobiomodulation, which uses infrared light to facilitate bone remodeling on a molecular level. “We use it on some of our more complicated aligner treatments,” says Dr. Leone. “Patients are truly grateful for shortening treatment time.” And, she says, that helps increase compliance. Orthodontic treatment is the centerpiece for success in both health and aesthetic results. Before doing cosmetic or restorative work such as veneers or implants, Dr. Calvo looks at the entire picture to come up with the least invasive plan. It often starts with realigning teeth, and for that, he sends patients to a specialist. “We evaluate the current condition,” says Dr. Vaughn. “The dentist will send someone to us and we may have to do something like idealize the space so there can be implants.” When restoration and repair are needed, it can be a team approach between orthodontists, dentists, periodontists, and endodontists. “We’re the quarterbacks,” says Dr. Vaughn. “We’re the guy who pours the foundation for the house. You don’t want to add a beautiful kitchen if the foundation isn’t right, and you can run into problems if the bite isn’t right.” Orthodontic work can prevent costly and painful procedures later on. Kathy Herigstad, of Seattle, had some crooked teeth as a child, but her parents couldn’t afford braces. Seven years ago, at 56, her dentist expressed concern that crowded teeth were causing early signs of gum inflammation and bleeding. And that could lead to gum transplants to save her teeth. “I didn’t care so much about the cosmetics of it, but when it started to become an issue with gum erosion, it was time,” says Herigstad. “I didn’t want to end up in the periodontist’s office and have a lot of expensive work to save my teeth.”

Aging with Confidence

She chose Invisalign®. Her practitioner scanned her mouth, making a 3D impression in a digital format for a custom fit. For the next year and a half Herigstad always carried a small travel kit with a tiny toothbrush, paste, and floss. She also learned to keep her aligner case with her at all times, after wrapping the aligners in a napkin and nearly throwing them away at a restaurant. It was all part of making a commitment, she says. “When you enter into it, it’s like a marriage with your mouth.” She spoke with a bit of a lisp at first, but after about a month, Herigstad barely noticed she was wearing the aligners. Now, at 63, her gums are safe. And the aesthetics are great, too. “It really opened up my smile more. I hadn’t realized how self-conscious I was about that overlapping and crowding of my teeth. It gives me more confidence.” The price for orthodontic treatment can range from approximately $3,500 to as much as $9,000, depending on what needs to be done. And, interestingly, those fees haven’t increased much in decades. “My parents paid the same amount for my braces, in 1972, as my orthodontist charges now,” says Dr. Calvo.


If you’re thinking about dental work, Dr. Calvo suggests that you look at your smile in photos, figure out what you don’t like and want to change, then ask your dentist about options. Don’t hesitate to get a second opinion. When choosing an orthodontist, look for a practitioner who is comfortable treating older adults. Ask your dentist for a recommendation. Be prepared to commit to whatever treatment you choose, including wearing your retainer. The result will be worth it. “It will make you look younger and healthier,” says Dr. Calvo. “And you actually are.”

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.

winter 2021/22

| 3rd Act magazine 23


activity. While many were able to adjust, for some the increase in depression was alarming and clinically noteworthy. These changes have huge quality-of-life consequences for older people.

Lessons About Aging from COVID-19 BY DR. ERIC B. LARSON

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


You may have seen the staggering news that 1 in 500 Americans have died of COVID-19. The numbers are much higher for older people. And news reports tell us regularly that the crowded hospitals, and particularly intensive care units, are filled with COVID-19 patients and leading to delays in acute care. Yet even as pandemic headlines focus on death rates and hospitalizations, we face a less wellknown problem that doesn’t always make the news—social isolation and loneliness that result from how we protect ourselves and others from the virus. One source of evidence about the impact of this isolation, along with ways to prevent or lessen it, comes from a long-running Adult Changes in Thought, or ACT, study at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute and the University of Washington. We recently surveyed our ACT study participants who are all over age 65. Compared to before the pandemic, depression increased on average among survey participants. Respondents reported more loneliness and less physical

3rd Act magazine | winter 2021/22

Preventing COVID depression The good news is that ACT and other studies show there are ways to be resilient to loss of wellbeing that can accompany isolation, no matter the cause. Among the ACT study participants, we’ve seen many people who’ve been remarkable at adapting and finding new ways to build and maintain their social reserves. We can learn from people who are resilient to the shrinking of our social network that can happen as we age and lose friends and family members. A key is maintaining social connections. Another is finding out what activities give your life meaning and pursuing them. One study participant—a longtime widow in her 90s—moved to a senior living community. Her challenges with mobility could have meant social isolation, inactivity, and more sadness. Instead, she exercises everyday with online classes. A former professional writer, she now blogs for a newsletter. This routine keeps her physically and mentally active and connects her with the community of newsletter producers and readers. In my research and in my life, I’ve met many people who have maintained connectedness and meaning in their lives as they age. These include my friend Wendy. When near retirement age, she trained to be a yoga instructor for seniors. On retirement from her job in marketing, she turned that training, plus being a grandmother and other family and community activities she loved, into a rich and meaningful life. Doing and enjoying I’ll leave you with my friend Bob, who in retirement realized a lifelong commitment to helping those in need. He and his wife started a low-cost community clinic, putting hours into a project that started small and eventually grew into an established service for their hometown. I think Bob’s advice for staying active and maintaining connections applies to anyone, no matter your situation or your abilities. He says to ask, “What needs to be done that you can do and that you enjoy doing?” www.3rdActMag.com

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1Available 2When receiving care at Kaiser more information information atatkp.org/wa/medicare. kp.org/wa/medicare.2When 1Availableononselect selectplans. plans. See See plan plan details details for for more receiving care at Kaiser 3 Permanente facilities. Virtual care is offered when appropriate and available. Washington Health Alliance 2021 Community Permanente facilities. Virtual care is offered when appropriate and available. 3Washington Health Alliance 2021 Community Checkup report, Ranking applies appliesto toKaiser KaiserPermanente Permanente Washington’s medical group, Washington Checkup report,www.wacommunitycheckup.org; www.wacommunitycheckup.org; Ranking Washington’s medical group, Washington 4 Permanente Medical to enroll. enroll.Kaiser KaiserPermanente Permanente HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Permanente MedicalGroup, Group,P.C. P.C. 4Free Free with with no no obligation obligation to is is anan HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment renewal. You Youmust mustreside resideininthe theKaiser Kaiser Permanente Medicare health EnrollmentininKaiser KaiserPermanente Permanente depends depends on on contract contract renewal. Permanente Medicare health plan service Health Plan PlanofofWashington, Washington,1300 1300 27th Renton, 98057. plan servicearea areaininwhich whichyou you enroll. enroll. Kaiser Kaiser Foundation Foundation Health SWSW 27th St.,St., Renton, WAWA 98057. Aging with Confidence

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Investing is Evolutionary, Not Revolutionary BY DON MCDONALD

The host of the nationally syndicated Don McDonald Show for more than 20 years, Don McDonald now co-hosts Talking Real Money with Tom Cock on Seattle’s KOMO radio Saturdays at noon (talkingrealmoney. com). He also publishes the investing magazine, real investing journal (realinvestingjournal. com).


Ah, the wisdom of age. It is a powerful advantage we can use to avoid all manner of financial disasters. Our generation can recall the purported “new market paradigm” wrought by advancing technology, which fed an insane increase in stock prices in the 1990s. Subsequent generations did not share the experience of that decade’s “irrational exuberance” and the fiscal hangover we suffered between 2000 and 2009. The latest technology stocks and fiscal innovation have today’s younger investors in their thrall, just as we were enamored with the World Wide Web. In our day it was the dot-coms and collateralized debt. Now it’s meme stocks and cryptocurrency. The ultimate result will be the same: A few big winners, hordes of despondent losers.

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There always has been and always will be the “next new thing.” Innovations and “revolutionary” products fuel much of the financial services industry. However, they have a spotty track record when it comes to building investors’ long-term wealth. There are rarely radical changes in something as old and complex as our global economy. Sure, someone is always tweaking existing concepts or seeking a new way to game the system. Yet, dramatic shifts in the way we trade, bank, or invest are incredibly rare. How long did it take for currencies to develop from pure barter? Only a bit more than 400 years ago, the Dutch East India Company created the first publicly traded stock. Pools of securities, known as mutual funds, are almost 100 years old. Index funds didn’t come into existence until nearly 50 years later. Then another two decades passed before the invention of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Along the way, thousands of other “hot” ideas have come and gone. Few stand the test of time. There have been industries that “couldn’t fail” and then proceeded to do just that. We’ve been pitched hot investing systems that worked right up until they didn’t. Those who have made studying investing their life’s work generally agree that new concepts rarely stand up to real world scrutiny. In a 2015 interview, Nobel Laureate Eugene Fama stated that Wall Street comes up with about five new investing ideas a week. Yet, in his 50 years of research, he has only discovered “maybe five” that showed potential value, “that’s one a decade.” Many parts of our lives may change too quickly for comfort. You can take comfort in the fact that the basics of real investing move glacially. Real investing is still, and likely always will be, a simple process of creating a plan for your needs and risk tolerance, properly—and broadly—diversifying your portfolio, controlling your emotions, and tuning out the noise about the latest new thing.


Aging with Confidence

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I was 76 when I began a project I thought I’d never begin, a cycle of poems on Mom’s Alzheimer’s and my parched caregiving. Eighty-two now, I wonder sometimes if the project will ever end. My first poem, “Alzheimer’s Psalm,” begun appropriately on a winter night, written with an excitement bracketed by question marks. How to remember


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the breakaway planet of forgetting that for years remained happily forgotten? Did I want to remember it? I wasn’t sure. But I felt at times it wanted to be remembered. And ultimately, it muscled my misgivings aside. Sylvia Hirschfield was an Orthodox Jew who every Friday night would light the Sabbath candles, and turn our tiny Bronx kitchen into a room of shadows. I’d sit watching the reflected flames on the wall, stirred by the nameless yearning mystery awakens in children. The ending of that ritual many years

later, after a short season of fading, led to a set of disquieting new rituals. When you lit the Sabbath candles that Tuesday, your elbow driving me away the river we’d both been dragging snapped and broke. By nature trusting and gregarious, Mom disappeared into herself, hiding in silence until some stunning mental quirk would make her blurt, “So that’s what happened, David two-timed Lenny (my younger brother) with his wife and broke up their marriage.” www.3rdActMag.com

Mom always liked David, Lenny’s old friend. She’d feed him, dote on him, rave about him. I adjusted more easily to her memory’s vacancy than to the vacancy of the sweet soul I’d always known. Whenever she spoke of David’s treachery, a blade of ice would puncture me. Poetry, with its wild leaps and symbolic speech, made it possible for me to revisit the fractures of my caregiving years. Her fractures and my own. One cannot touch Alzheimer’s without being touched by it. My trust in life abandoned me as surely as it abandoned her. After publication of my Alzheimer’s chapbook, The Road to Canaan, in 2019, I wrote a poem called “Cheating At Cards”: She slaps down her three shadows on the table and runs off with my shadow. Recalling my mother’s frozen bewilderment when she awoke, I do not take my morning stillness and clarity for granted. Not at my age, which was precisely her age when Alzheimer’s took hold of her. At her kitchen table in Queens, where we used to discuss the state of the world, and the place of the spirit in it, I’d make her tea and set down slices of rye bread for her to slather with cottage cheese. She’d struggle getting the cottage cheese on to the bread. (She refused to let me help.) She didn’t know what to make of the light coming through the window, or of my presence in her midst. Every new moment was a project that tied her in knots. “It’s okay,” I’d try to comfort her. If I expected magic, I got none. Gathering the crumbs to her, she separates one from the other like she’s been separated. Aging with Confidence

Not far from the table stood the fridge. Its spacious interior provided the scant comic relief that sanded down some of the rough spots. On a given day, I might find in the fridge a proliferation of chickens (when she was still able to take herself shopping), her bifocals, her dentures, once, even, a shoe. If some of my Alzheimer’s poems bear surrealist markings, that fridge is the main reason. It was the final nesting place of mom’s procreative energy, the harbor of a demented creativity. The shoe in the fridge is her left shoe. She sideswipes the celery for a clearer view. Poetry bores a hole in time, which every day I journey through. Some days Mom is easier to find than others. Usually, I find her in the desert. Like the people of Israel in the Book of Exodus, she learned more about wandering and dryness than she ever wanted to know. Her scourged vocabulary (mine was a more articulate version of hers) contained no equivalent of a Promised Land. When I could remember to breathe deeply, settle in beside her, hold her, graft my silence onto her, she’d periodically shake herself free from her loop of disconnect. Her face would open a bit, light would enter it. A brief visit. After her stroke, in her hospital bed, I’d sit beside her, searching futilely for words of encouragement. At one point, she looked up at me. On her face, the old brave smile I knew from the old days. “Life’s no fun anymore.” She was, I had to remind myself, an inveterate fun lover. She’d savor good jokes, howl at life’s illusions, eat grapes, and sponge cakes with her sisters.

They’d swap stories of their happy days as immigrants in New York’s Jewish slums when they were young, and growing into their lives as Americans, and nothing had aged yet, and perhaps never would.

Poetry, with its wild leaps and symbolic speech, made it possible for me to revisit the fractures of my caregiving years. In The Road To Canaan, there is the poem, “Towards The Desert,” in which I imagine her disaffection with God: She still reads his book. He’s done something to the characters. Abraham and Isaac are up to their necks in dead insects She is looking for the desert where the Jews were fed with all their different diets. She is hungry for stewed prunes, but would settle for an omelet. I am aware of the irony in remembering Alzheimer’s through an art form that is itself a forgotten relic of generations past. But poetry is the ancient university of memory. Mom remembered Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko for remembering the wartime massacre of Jews at Babi Yar, a ravine in the Ukraine. I remember our difficult journey together. We traveled far. She didn’t know me in the end. I didn’t know myself. I look to the poems to fill in the gaps. 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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AN ANTIDOTE TO HOLIDAY LONELINESS The holidays are a time to be with family and friends to enjoy each other’s company and reflect on the previous year. Yet a surprising number of older adults will spend the holidays alone this year due to a variety of reasons. Celebrating the holidays alone can exacerbate feelings of isolation and unhappiness for anyone, but it’s especially stressful for older adults. This doesn’t have to be. Instead of remaining isolated, many people choose to move into beautifully appointed, modern apartments in communities like Quail Park of Lynnwood, which provides independent living, assisted living, and memory care, or Quail Park of West Seattle, which provides memory care, and are happy they did so. Holidays at Quail Park communities are filled with festive decorations, great food, laughter, entertainment and, most


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importantly, people! Living in a supportive community can help fill spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and environmental needs: • Spiritual: As we age, most people seek a sense of comfort, meaning, purpose, and connection in our lives. These needs can be more easily met in a community of people who share and relate to this life stage. • Emotional: Being able to socialize and talk with others can help prevent or alleviate feelings of sadness and depression. At Quail Park communities, there are ample opportunities to socialize with others such as during a meal in the dining room, at an activity or scheduled event such as a holiday party, or during an outing to look at holiday lights, and more. • Intellectual: With easy access to stimulating activities and conversations, opportunities for continued learning and the pursuit

Festivities, friends, and fun await at Quail Park communities

By Sue Rowell

of lifelong, or new, interests abound. • Environmental: Decorations during the holidays are beautiful and the decorating is done for you! Along with holiday beauty often comes winter weather. No worries. You’ll have someone to rake the leaves and shovel the snow so you can stay warm and dry while enjoying the seasons. It’s not just at holiday time that social isolation is dangerous, and these other needs must be met. Quail Park residents receive yearround support. Consider some of these benefits: www.3rdActMag.com


• Low Maintenance: We take care of the yard work, apartment maintenance needs, appliance replacement, apartment cleaning, and more (like changing your lightbulbs). • Convenience and Enrichment: Residents have easy access to exercise facilities, fitness classes, educational seminars, transportation and entertainment. • Social Opportunities: There are enhanced opportunities to find and connect with others who share your same interests. You’ll enjoy a built-in neighborhood of friends. • Safety: Staff is on hand to ensure that you and your belongings stay safe. If you go away for an extended trip, there are people who monitor for any emergencies, such as a broken water pipe. Your home is protected while you’re away. • Easier Life Transitions: Many people choose to move while still very active and independent. Then, if health problems develop and you need more hands-on care, you’ll be established and won’t have to make a move to an unfamiliar place. Dealing with health issues and a move at the same time is extremely stressful. When you’re settled into a community and experience a health emergency, your friends will be right there to support you. • Affordability: When you tally everything that’s included in one monthly payment (rent, food, utilities, housekeeping, transportation, socialization, entertainment, and all that’s mentioned above), living in a beautiful apartment at Quail Park is more cost effective than you might think. People often liken us to a cruise ship that doesn’t travel–and no sea sickness! We recently expanded our community and offer brand-new apartments with a selection of studio, and one- and twobedroom floorplans to choose from. Come see us! The holidays are a great time to visit, look around, and enjoy our seasonal decorating exuberance. You’ll be glad you did. Aging with Confidence

THE DEMENTIA JOURNEY DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A LONELY ONE – QUAIL PARK CAN HELP Quail Park of West Seattle was designed and built in 2018 solely for those with cognitive decline. We believe it makes all the difference in the world when a community is purpose-built to meet the specific needs of residents. For example: • Every staff member at Quail Park of West Seattle is specially trained on how to meet the unique needs of those living with memory loss. All staff are resident-facing and part of the care team. • Our state-of-the-art community is built for every resident’s comfort, safety, and well-being. Suites, common areas, bathrooms, and activity and dining areas are all purposefully designed to meet the needs of those living with memory loss—even down to décor plants being edible and safe. • Resources such as monthly support groups, counseling sessions, financial planning, movers, and organizers are available to assist families making this transition.

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Nothing Like Hugs for the Holidays

After nearly two years of social distancing, many of us long to touch and be touched By Julie Fanselow “On my walk today, I had a fleeting thought: I may never get to hug anyone ever again. That would be really sad, but it’s going to be true for so many people as ’social distancing’ becomes our credo and our survival mechanism.” Those words were from the first page of a new journal I started in March 2020 amid the first wave of shutdowns prompted by the global rise of COVID-19. Widowed for two years, it wasn’t as if I had been getting much physical contact before the pandemic began. It had already been nearly three months since I’d seen and hugged my far-flung relatives at Christmas. I was not dating, I had no “pod,” and I didn’t even have a pet to cuddle. But as I wrote in my journal, I knew I was


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far from alone in my loneliness. Nearly two years into the pandemic, many things have gotten better, yet we are all haunted by what we have missed—and especially who we are missing. I still grieve the loss of my friend Kelly, a talented pianist who had lived with dementia for several years. Her husband couldn’t be with her as she succumbed to the coronavirus, and it was months before her family was able to hold a memorial service. Of course, most of us had to attend on Zoom, and no comforting hugs were possible. During daily walks early in the pandemic, I enjoyed my neighbors’ nods and waves—and the eye-crinkling smiles we shared from behind our


As a new year draws nigh, may we look with hope toward a future of unfettered hugs for everyone who wants them.

masks—yet I yearned for something more. One morning, rounding the corner in front of at Aegis Living Ravenna in northeast Seattle, I spotted a tree small enough to get my arms around, so I spontaneously hugged it. I repeated the gesture many times in the months to come, sometimes musing that a resident of the assisted living center would look out her window at just the right moment and smile at the sight. Sadly, however, tree-hugging couldn’t give me what scientists say we get from touching and being touched. According to Francis McGlone and Susannah Walker, faculty at Liverpool John Moores University in England, humans have evolved to translate touch into emotional wellbeing. Hugs and caresses stimulate the release of endorphins and the feel-good hormone oxytocin. Touch also helps us sleep better, reduces stress, and boosts our immune response. Human touch is something most of us need. When we don’t have it, we must adapt.

Aging with Confidence

That’s what residents and the staff at Aegis Ravenna and other senior living communities have been doing throughout the pandemic. At the outset of COVID, “there was no touch,” says Chris Corrigall, vice president of life enrichment for Bellevue-based Aegis Living. But as weeks turned into months, “We had to look at the social and emotional wellness of our residents,” he adds, especially when it came to curbing isolation and creatively structuring visits once they were allowed under local health guidelines. The emphasis was on filling the greatest voids in people’s lives, whether through pet therapy, outdoor living rooms and virtual spaces where loved ones could spend time together, or steady doses of daily conversation and interaction with staff. When it was safe to do so, the Aegis communities brought back an acupressure program called “Comfort Touch.” But nothing could beat the first full-on bear hugs once the pandemic eased. Says Corrigall, “As soon as our residents were allowed to have a family member visit them in their apartment,” following all guidelines for vaccinations or negative COVID tests, people have been allowed to exchange hugs. “There’s all this pent-up emotion and wonderful reunification energy that is happening now and it’s been wonderful for everyone,” he says. Animal companions can also provide the same sort of reassurance that, despite much evidence to the contrary, all is well in the world. For much of the pandemic, the nonprofit Animals as Natural Therapy couldn’t allow the human-critter contacts that are at the heart of its programs, though it did offer window visits where people could at least see, if not touch, another living thing. In the summer of 2021, however, the nonprofit was able to resume regular outdoor visits with at least one client, Silverado Bellingham Memory Care Community. “We’ve done a few visits out there where we bring our horses and goats and chickens and rabbits and sometimes a staff member’s dog,” says Lindsey Witus, the mobile team coordinator. “It’s been amazing to see the smiles and sometimes (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

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Nothing Like Hugs for the Holidays (CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE)

tears and so much emotion that comes along with visitors of any kind,” along with memories of past beloved animals that can come flooding back. Adds Witus, “It’s been nice to do the window visits, but there’s nothing that can really replace actually being hands-on.” My own story has taken a few happy turns over the past six months. After a hug-less rendezvous at an Oregon state park for my birthday in 2020, my daughter and I met in Boise on Mother’s Day weekend 2021, and finally shared the sort of warm embrace we’d been denied for more than a year. Then came a lovely summer night at a campsite near the shores of Puget Sound, when an acquaintance of mine, someone

with whom I’d been texting for a few weeks, joined me to escape Western Washington’s record-setting heat wave. “Bring your own tent,” I joked. We bid the sun goodbye and talked for many hours before the night ended with us holding hands and sharing a long hug that hinted at something more. At that moment, though, a hug was more than enough. The lingering pandemic—and modern life in general—continues to limit human connection for many people, an especially poignant fact as we near another holiday season. “At the point we’re able to get back to preCOVID, that’s going to be a wonderful victory for us,” says Corrigall from Aegis. As a new year draws nigh, may we look with hope toward a future of unfettered hugs for everyone who wants them.

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what will be our

new normal? BY ANN HEDREEN


3rd Act magazine | winter 2021/22



here is a scene in the 1982 film The Year of Living Dangerously that haunts me. The movie is set in Jakarta in 1965. Indonesia is in the midst of an attempted coup. In the scene, Mel Gibson (playing an Australian journalist) and Sigourney Weaver (a decoding expert at the British embassy) are driving home from a party when they see a military roadblock ahead. It’s after curfew. It’s pouring rain. They’re going to be stopped and questioned. Mel steps on the gas and smashes through the barriers, as the startled soldiers spray gunfire at the car. But Mel makes it through. He and Sigourney start laughing hysterically as they drive on. The soundtrack crescendos. When my husband and son and I watched the film again this fall, my reaction to this scene was an intense and mournful nostalgia. At first, I wasn’t sure for what, exactly. But then it hit me: I was nostalgic for recklessness. Not that I’ve ever been quite that reckless. But that boldness, that thrill of doing something just slightly crazy, “I miss that so much,” I thought. “I’ll never get to be reckless like that again.” Not because I’m not young, but because of how 2020 and 2021 have changed me. Us. The world. What will be our “new normal” in 2022 and beyond? So many of us would like to know. NPR calls its twice-weekly email digest of coronavirus news, “The New Normal.” One of my favorite podcasts, Krista Tippett’s On Being, has lately featured segments on the importance of gathering and on the importance of solitude. AgeWise King County’s most recent newsletter, which is full of common sense tips for older adults, is titled, Building Resilience in an Uncertain World. Even Morgan Stanley is touting a new podcast called Now, What’s Next? “At any given time in America, one out of five people needs mental health help, behavioral health help, or help with substance abuse disorders. We are now at two out of five and above,” therapist David Johnson recently told me. Johnson, a longtime leader in community mental health, added that “the degree of depression and anxiety has skyrocketed.” His explanation is that the pandemic is “existentially too big a thing to let in too much of the time, and so we have to kind of parse that out, but it sits with us.” The danger is that “if we’re too threatened for too long we begin to operate in that fight, flight, or freeze frame-of-mind, and that is a tremendously anxious thing.” Is this our new normal? Seattle author Jennifer Haupt (In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills) went through “a period of grieving. Grieving the loss of what we had.” Haupt found herself in the spring of 2020 with

a suddenly canceled contract for a second novel and an idea to put together a pandemic anthology, with sales benefitting independent bookstores. Her publisher (Michelle Halket at Central Avenue Publishing) said yes, and Alone, Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of Covid-19, featuring 91 writers, was born. But Haupt’s undercurrent of grief is still there. “My husband and I went to our first concert since pre-pandemic, Rickie Lee Jones, 2nd row, it was great, and the whole audience was masked,” she says. “And I just started crying because I thought, ’I don’t think I’ll ever go to a concert again without a mask on.’” Another new normal? Yes to concerts, but yes also to masks forever? Haupt’s second novel, Come as You Are, is now coming out afterall, in March 2022. The book launch will take place “totally on Zoom,” no in-person book tour, as there was with her first. Zoom, it seems, is definitely part of our new normal. Johnson, who retired shortly before the pandemic after three decades of heading up the mental and behavioral health care nonprofit Navos, is now back in private practice. Like nearly all therapists, he has a waiting list, and he worries about people who are seeking help but can’t get it. So he likes to offer a few simple techniques to reduce anxiety: The first is a simple breathing exercise. “It’s where you do a fairly quick intake breath, hold it till four, and then let it out to eight. That does a few things: It asserts our mastery over our body and our world. Secondly, when we get anxious we tend to over-breathe and we get too much oxygen in the blood. And this deprivation of oxygen brings the oxygen level back to normal. It also is tremendously calming.” The second technique is about how to stop the negative chatter in your head, the “five different channels of self-talk,” as Johnson calls it. “I recommend that people periodically throughout the day decide to just be in the moment. And if you can say to yourself, ‘my world right now is as big as this moment, what do I notice’? And then go through each of the senses. ‘My world is as big as this moment. I notice the sunlight streaming in through the windows’… And then you say—this is the really important part—‘At this moment, there is no crisis. At this moment, there is no emergency. At this moment, there is no disaster. At this moment, there is no threat. I am safe now, I am fine now.’” Many people, says Johnson, may also be feeling anxious about socializing. After long periods of isolation, it’s normal for social skills to get rusty. But this is different. This is not (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

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just one person getting back into the swing of things after surgery—this is everybody, all at once. And many people, especially introverts, are realizing there are types of socializing they actually don’t miss, like large parties where you don’t know anyone, for example. Others have found they liked Zoom more than they thought they would for certain kinds of interactions. What Johnson hopes is that we’ll nurture two qualities he feels he’s seen more of during the past 18 months: resilience and kindness. “I have seen so many acts of kindness where people are helping each other out and my God, all these medical professionals who just day after day after day don that gown and do this work, it’s absolutely heroic.” Resilience may be harder to pinpoint. But older adults might have an advantage here. Though we have not previously experienced a worldwide pandemic, we have weathered other tragedies and hardships, and we have learned a few coping skills along the way. For example, the ability to zero in on what matters most. “When we come into these really harsh places in life, a lot of stuff drops away. A lot of stuff just ceases to hold its importance,” says Johnson. And what is important becomes urgent. “The disparity between whites and people of color in vaccination and in prognosis of health has just been really stunning, and we have to stare at that, and we have to figure out how we do that better.” Haupt said she’s “dealt with depression for as long as I can remember,” and so she understands the importance of having “strategies for just cultivating joy. So for me, that’s what got me back into finishing up my third novel. Because you can’t just sit in that place of darkness.” The joy many of us felt at the prospect of vaccines grew more complex as 2021 progressed, what with the number of people who chose not to vaccinate, and the resultant Delta variant surge. I went from eagerly planning long-postponed trips to reluctantly paring them back. But the few flights that I did make—to Santa Cruz, Calif. and to Washington, D.C., both of them to see friends I hadn’t seen in more than two

years—buoyed me. Not the actual flights (all were uneventful and endurable), but the joy of being with people I love too much to only ever see on Zoom, though Zoom helped when that was the only option. “We have to live our lives,” my friends and I agreed. My 87-year-old father and 86-year-old stepmother said the same thing when they told us they would be heading back to their Arizona home after spending their first winter in Seattle in 20 years. They’re vaccinated, they’ve had their boosters, their various health challenges are going to exist whether they’re here or there. And they have to live their lives. I am hearing many versions of that phrase, especially from our most globe-trotting of friends, who are dusting off their passports and going to Italy, Norway, Spain and Mexico; in two of those cases they’re meeting new grandbabies. But as I listen to people talk about the months ahead, I also hear these phrases more often than I used to: “I’m choosing carefully.” “I’m being intentional. I don’t want to waste time.” “I want to volunteer in ways that matter.” “I want to read thoughtfully.” “I want to work, yes, but only as much as I have to, and/or if I find it meaningful.” Here’s one final bit of advice from David Johnson, regarding living your life, but safely. If you are vaccinated, but you have family or friends who have chosen not to be, here’s what to say when they ask you about, for example, your holiday plans: “I think if we’re deeply respectful we can say, ‘You choose not to be vaccinated, I don’t have to choose to be intimate with you.’” Our new normal may be the opposite of reckless. For quite a while. But when the time feels right again, here’s what I’d like to do: Land in another country without a planned itinerary. What’s your reckless dream?

I thought, “I’ll never get to be reckless like that again.”


3rd Act magazine | winter 2021/22

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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From Survive to Thrive

Retirement communities innovate to meet the challenges of COVID-19 by Connie McDougall

In February 2020, Stuart Brown was out for a run when he heard the news about a deadly COVID-19 outbreak that was sweeping through a nursing home in Kirkland, Wash. It was a terrifying prospect for this chief executive officer of the family-owned business Village Concepts retirement communities. “We immediately went through all of our records to see if there were any connections to that facility,” Brown says. There weren’t any but in an instant, life as he knew it had changed.


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“Everyone was scared,” he recalls. “Residents were struggling with all the restrictions and staff had to go to work, taking care of people, not knowing if they’d be exposed. It took a lot of courage to do that every day.” Ryan Miller remembers having a bad feeling early on about what was coming. As the executive director of Skyline, a Seattle high-rise that offers independent- and assisted-living condominiums, he thought, this one was different. “We’ve had flu. We’ve had norovirus. But I had a hunch about this, and I was uncomfortable having the dining room open and group activities. When we did shut everything down, my staff was ready.” Up north in Lynnwood at the Fairwinds-Brighton Court senior living community, General Manager Jackie Requa-Hall was stunned by the pivot required. “Everything came to a halt. Somehow, we had to find ways to get meals delivered, have garbage picked up and fight isolation. Jobs changed overnight,” says Requa-Hall. “It was all-hands-on-deck, from sanitizing doorknobs to delivering mail. It was a huge change for everyone.”


A 2020 survey from AARP Foundation and United Health Foundation found the pandemic’s consequences hit older adults especially hard: “The widespread impact of COVID-19 and social distancing measures used to prevent infection are intensifying feelings of loneliness, and in some cases, the impact is more pronounced in older adults, particularly among women and those who are low income. More than half of adults 50 and older reported social isolation—defined as an absence of meaningful social relationships—during the pandemic.” How retirement communities met these challenges offers a master class in creativity. At Skyline, Miller says they invested in technology early and often. “For instance, we have people who asked how can we make those tiny computer webcams better, so we got a webcam that sits on a tripod that pans and zooms.” This made for a much-improved online experience, he says. “When it was thought surfaces were an avenue for virus transmission, we used hospital-grade ultraviolet devices to sanitize rooms.”

Leading the Way Clockwise from top left: Ryan Miller, Executive Director at Skyline, meets with a resident; FairwindsBrighton Court General Manager Jackie Requa-Hall, helps sanitize; Stuart Brown CEO Village Concepts.

Aging with Confidence

Skyline even opened its own grocery store. “People were freaked out about going to grocery stores, so four times a week, we had ours open. When we stopped doing it, people wanted it to stay.” At Village Concepts, Brown reports they had to rethink everything. “Isolation was a big issue, so we tried different things. We held hallway bingo games and had happy-hour carts. There were outdoor visits when weather allowed. Of course, we encouraged residents to use FaceTime or Zoom for family visits, but not everyone was comfortable with that.” Requa-Hall says that Fairwinds-Brighton Court also offered hallway activities to break up the daily monotony and loneliness for residents. “We tried exercise in the doorways and did ice cream deliveries, those kinds of things. We also had roving entertainment outside. We have a driveway that goes all around the building so, for people who wanted to take a walk outside at a distance, they could. Residents who had easily accessed windows could visit family that way. We also had birthday and anniversary caravans with families outside in their cars.” Meanwhile, as they grappled with trying to meet the needs of residents, complying with the bureaucracy of state regulations proved to be frustrating at times. Notes Miller about Skyline: “The regulations are written for your more typical one- and two-story facilities. Our courtyards are not on the ground floor, but on the fourth and fifth floors, so it was a struggle. Cookie-cutter regulations weren’t designed for communities like ours where residents are well separated on different floors.” Brown says Village Concepts wanted to bring beauticians in so that “the ladies could get their hair done, but the state regulations said no. If residents wanted to get their hair done, they had to go out, once the salons opened, where there was much more risk of exposure. Let’s use common sense.” Eventually as severe restrictions were lifted, everyone had to adjust, yet again, to changing conditions. “I think we’re just really tired,” says Brown. “There’s burnout and hiring staffing continues to be a problem to this day.” (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

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Even so, the struggle seems to have yielded some positive outcomes to be grateful for. “We’re a lot better at writing policies,” says Brown, with a laugh. “And we know that we can now pivot on a dime if need be.” Ironically, considering the isolation experienced, the crisis also brought people together. “I know my team and our residents better than before,” says Miller. “I’m very much a management-by-walking-around guy anyway, but with the pandemic, every week we had a door-to-door happy hour so we could check in with people. This really helped us know who was doing ok and who wasn’t.” It was also a humbling experience, he says. “To have that kind of trust. Their lives were in our hands and people were comfortable that we were doing the right thing.” Requa-Hall agrees you get to know and appreciate people under such tough conditions. “I felt honored to be part of an amazing team,” she says. “They pulled together to do what needed to be done for our residents and each other. You learn so much about people during a crisis and our staff stepped up, doing the incredible to keep residents engaged and healthy. I am humbled by them and forever grateful. We can

weather any storm that comes our way in the future. We’re a nimbler organization.” Another plus: In spite of the searing challenges COVID-19 poses, there appears to be no rush to the door by residents and people continue to make the move to retirement communities. “We haven’t seen an exodus,” says Brown. “More people are now coming in.” Part of the reason surely is that a semblance of normalcy has returned, thanks to mass-vaccination campaigns and universal mask-wearing. The dining rooms are open, group activities are back, and once again, families and friends can visit. Requa-Hall is optimistic about the future because many older adults value being part of an active, engaged community, something that may be lacking among seniors who live at home. “We’re seeing people choose to move in because of the social interactions they can get here—making new friends, doing new things.” After more than year of the pandemic, perhaps that is the one thing that has not changed. The final lesson on coping with COVID-19 may simply be this: We need each other. Connie McDougall is a former news reporter and current freelance writer of nonfiction and personal essays. She lives in Seattle.

Your new lifelong friends are waiting. At Fairwinds – Brighton Court, the day is always yours. With a variety of classes, activities, and social events, you can play as much or as little as you’d like. Our friendly staff plays friend-maker too, making sure all new residents find the social scene that works best for them. Call and ask about our money-saving special for the month. 6520 - 196th St SW | Lynnwood, WA (425) 374-1830 | FairwindsBrightonCourt.com


3rd Act magazine | winter 2021/22

It’s More Than Retirement. It’s Five-Star Fun.



Happiness & Peace of Mind BY TRACEY HARVEY

Aging is inevitable and most of us will need some form of help or care before we die. The responsibility for this care often falls to adult children who are aging themselves, and may entail a dual challenge of caring for ailing parents’ needs, and the needs of their own family. The parents of most boomers have now reached advanced age, and it’s likely their adult children (you) are noticing a decline in your parents’ health and abilities. Confidence in a loved one’s well-being is integral to their happiness and peace of mind, and yours. So how do we gain that confidence? Too often, a health crisis precipitates a scramble to get in-home help or to find a nearby, quality community with tiered care. This can be extremely stressful and may necessitate settling for a less-than-ideal situation. There’s a better way. Plan and consider making a move before a crisis hits. The most common response I hear from adult children when asked what prompted the decision to inquire about our Cadence community in KentMeridian is the desire for their aging loved ones to be safe, and more socially engaged. The stories relayed generally begin with overwhelm and a need for their parent(s) to downsize, and I quickly learn help is needed with everyday tasks including cooking, cleaning, driving, and remembering to take medication. Nestled in the natural beauty of Washington’s landscape and backdropped by Mt. Rainier, our brand new Cadence community in Kent-Meridian facilitates independence, happiness, and peace of mind. Happiness is a lifestyle richer than just meeting health care needs. Happiness is a team of professionals who support and help pursue joyful passions. Happiness is beautiful, modern apartments, where housekeeping and upkeep is taken care of, with upgraded UV light systems throughout. Happiness is chef-prepared meals every day, and outdoor spaces to linger like the rooftop patio, bistro, and beautiful dining room. Happiness because four-legged friends can move in, too, with the bonus of a balcony in every apartment. And ultimately, happiness in the form of peace of mind. Peace of mind over the well-being and happiness of our aging parents, which in turn brings happiness and well-being to us adult children, too! Why wait? Join our Founder’s Club for benefits beyond what you thought were possible. Tours offered daily. Aging with Confidence


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Much has happened since the 1950s when television’s The Lone Ranger prompted the recurring question, “Who was that masked man?” Thanks to COVID, masks have become whimsical, fashionable, even tuned to the seasons. You can wear Swarovski crystals and rhinestones, or Van Gogh or Monet “paintings” on your face. Just in time for the holidays, there are innumerable Santa masks, as well as a reversible mood mask that says “Naughty” on one side and “Nice” on the other. For better or worse, masks continue to be part of our wardrobes. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has extended the face mask requirement for travelers three times so far. As of this writing masks are required on all transportation networks in the U.S. for those journeying over the holidays. The frustration level over wearing masks has spawned new thinking: Sidestep the psychodrama and turn mask wearing into fashion and play. As he stood in a checkout line at Costco, one fellow wearing a dramatic clown mask said with a shrug, “If we’re stuck doing this for the foreseeable future, we might as well have fun with it.”


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Ellen Kenny’s glam masks (above), handmade of polyester or cotton with sparkling Swarovski crystals, sometimes lace or pearls, have sold by the dozens. Haute couture has even made its way into the mask biz. Clothing designers and artists have hopped on the mask crusade. Among them is Ellen Kenny, a jewelry maker whose masks are popular at Fogue (pronounced like old fogey) Gallery in West Seattle, which displays and sells works by artists over 50. Who’d imagine folks would splurge and pay $45 to $65 on a single COVID mask? Kenny’s glam masks, handmade of polyester or cotton with sparkling Swarovski crystals, sometimes lace

or pearls, have sold by the dozens at Fogue. Her jewelry and mask creations are also featured at Parklane Gallery in Kirkland, on Facebook, Instagram, and surprisingly, at GCG, a boutique cigar shop in the Alaska Airlines terminal at SeaTac Airport. Kenny estimates she’s already made well over 300 masks. Mask making began as an offshoot of Kenny’s fancy skate covers, headbands, and gloves studded with Swarovski crystals that she made and wears as an ice skater. By age 21, she was skating professionally with Disney on Ice, Ice


Capades, and Holiday on Ice. Over the last 30 years, this Lynnwood, Wash., native has taught both figure and competitive skating for all ages at several rinks around the region. Her students—and even some skating coaches—kept requesting she make her eye-catching, crystal-studded accessories for them. COVID opened yet another door for her. Making one of these conversation piece masks can take Kenny three hours or more. She also crafts striking masks with custom appliques for weddings and other special occasions. Online, some mask makers categorize their creations for special events, casual wear, work or school, sports, date night, or a night out. For that special evening, how about a sparkly mask with rhinestones dangling down your face? Or a mask framed in black lace? A trio of fierce Samurai warrior masks offers a more startling look. Those who’d like to be less striking might prefer a mask with Japanese ocean waves. Or tap into your inner playfulness with cartoonish Sonic t he Hedgehog, SpongeBob SquarePants, Ghostbusters, and others. Some of the boldest masks feature messages from ironic or inspirational to the funny and absurd. Aside from the predictable “I’d rather be….” golfing, fishing, surfing, or whatever, are sayings such as “Life is way too short for bad vibes” or “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.” Beer lovers might be attracted to “Save water, drink beer” and “You look like I need a beer.” What might be one of the bravest commands on a mask? “Stay Over There.”

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Annie Culver developed a knack for unearthing oddball characters and improbable events as a staff writer for various newspapers. In the early 90s, she went to work for websites where she wrote sassy essays aimed at women. In recent years, she morphed into a writer for several universities in the Northwest. She retired in 2016, yet still enjoys freelancing.

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Two dynamic Seattle women—a veteran arts reporter and a longtime arts advocate— join forces with a new podcast on the importance of art in our lives BY MISHA BERSON PHOTO BY ERNIE SAPIRO


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arcie Sillman thought she had a great plan for the next phase of her life. After 35 years as a widely popular, on-air arts reporter and host for Seattle public radio station KUOW, she would head to New York City and fulfill her dream to pursue a Performance Studies graduate degree at New York University. Sillman had been accepted by the program and planned to begin a year-long academic sojourn in the Big Apple starting in fall 2020. But months before she was due to head East, the pandemic hit. And her well-laid plan flew out the window. Meanwhile, high-profile Seattle consultant, arts advocate, and communications specialist Vivian Phillips was ready to try something different after decades working for the Seattle Theatre Group and other local arts institutions. In figuring out their next moves, these two dynamic women found that two minds proved to be better than one. And that was how doubleXposure, their unique podcast about the importance and meaning of the arts, came into being. Sillman, who is 66, and Phillips, 68, had known each other professionally for decades. But they grew closer while meeting periodically as advisors to Seattle University’s three-year Arts Ecosystem Research Project. “Our relationship developed,” recalls Phillips, “and when Marcie retired and I was free, we started talking about how much fun it would be to do something together.” The “something” turned out to be their podcast, which launched its first season last June after months of development and design. The podcast features nationally lauded Seattle artists such as choreographer Donald Byrd, author Charles Johnson, and visual artist Barbara Earl Thomas in deep conversation with the co-hosts about many aspects of the artistic experience. According to Phillips, “Every single person we have invited on the podcast has said yes. They are happy to talk to the two of us in their own language. There’s no filter they must go through, no second guessing of how they’ll look and be painted.”

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But no matter how high-quality or interesting a podcast is, attracting an audience for one can seem daunting. According to the Podcast Insights website, currently there are roughly two million podcasts out there jostling for your attention. That is, two million series of spoken word, audio episodes, each focused on a particular topic or theme, and available through streaming apps like Apple and Spotify. Says Phillips, “When this came up I said, ‘Oh, Marcie, doesn’t everybody have a podcast? What’s going to make us special?’ And she said, ‘We don’t have to be special, we just have to be passionate.’ And we are both passionate!” This is a passion project because both of its producers believe fervently in the value and purpose of cultural expression. And they are eager to bring listeners closer to how the arts can reflect and enrich our society, and the innerworkings of the art world. (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

Vivian Phillips and Marcie Sillman at the Inspire Washington’s Candidates Forum at Town Hall, Seattle. Photo by Alexandrea Mielcarek

Above: Marcie Sillman interviews Spectrum Dance Theatre Executive Director Tera Beach. Left: Sillman at Spectrum Dance Theatre Photos by Hilary Northcraft

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songs for a new world “…a collection of shorts, each defined by the epiphany at its heart.” —Variety

the book club play “The show is a celebration for all booklovers everywhere.” —broadwayworld.com

you're a good man charlie brown “Freshly delightful. A continuous pleasure.” —The New York Times

raisin “Pure magic...dazzling! Tremendous!” —The New York Times

VillageTheatre.org Box Office (425) 392-2202


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“It’s a chance to be an advocate,” Sillman says. “It’s a passion for this cultural community and its evolution, its existence, its essentialness. That’s the crux of what we’re doing. I’ve realized more and more over the pandemic that this is what I need in my life.” doubleXposure also provides a platform for the array of skills the women have acquired, professionally and personally. Both are assured public speakers on and off the air, for instance. “Oddly enough my career started in radio,” says Phillips. “I went to work in local Black radio at the age of 19 as a traffic coordinator and continuity director, and went on the air myself in 1977.” And Phillips brought other valuable tools, including many helpful contacts from her years fundraising and doing public relations for the Paramount Theatre, the Hansberry Project, and other organizations, and from her work as a longtime member of the Seattle Arts Commission. She also wasn’t shy about reaching out to one of her consulting clients, Pyramid Communications, for volunteer assistance. “They put together a whole team for us, five people, who helped us with audience targeting. They created our website, our logo. That’s why you hear ‘supported by Pyramid Communications’ on our episodes.” Though anyone can record people talking and call it a podcast, Sillman’s high standards and radio know-how also have been a boon. “When I left KUOW I knew I needed to get a digital editing system, which I bought,” she explains. “Then I signed up with a podcast host site. We record the podcast pretty much wherever we are sitting

while on Zoom. And I learned a new audio system that people from the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) developed for working remotely and getting high-quality sound called Clean Feed.” Though the podcast is not currently a money-making venture, it is surely a labor of love—reaching listeners as far as Europe and Africa. The first season of doubleXposure has featured episodes about art and science, COVID and equity, the future of live theater, and the promising research of using dance as a “healing art” with those afflicted by Parkinson’s disease.

These two dynamic women found that two minds proved to be better than one. And that was how doubleXposure, their unique podcast about the importance and meaning of the arts, came into being. But friendship is also at the core of the project. The duo is aware that their differences in background and perspective—Silliman is white and from the Midwest, Phillips is Black and was raised in Seattle—have enhanced their bond, and their podcast. “It’s been a really wonderful experience to have the ability to move our relationship from social/collegial, to one that is trusting and growing deeper daily,” says Phillips. “We both just summed that up as an important thing for us as we age gracefully, and reinvent ourselves, together.” You can listen to the first season of doubleXposure podcasts by going to the series website at https://www. doublexposurepod.com. 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).


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Left: Gene Parola as a young navy recruit and today.


For some of us, the new tensions with China aren’t new. For all the ballyhoo about President Nixon’s “Opening of China,” that new nation is still a foreign policy issue. I have a vivid memory of the old China—the one that entered the Korea United Nations Police Action unannounced. There are a few of us still around who participated. Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii is a well-known tourist destination. The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park and the boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial are standard stops after the visitor center. And arrangements can be made for those visits at any hotel in Honolulu. Even a side trip around to Ford Island, to the Battleship Missouri Memorial, and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum (formerly the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor) has become a regular part of the Pearl Harbor circuit.


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But one of Ford Island’s secrets will not be accessible. It remains hidden in the memories of those who served in the Special Intelligence Production Unit (SIPU). SIPU was the sort of secret that was allowed in a stealthier era and is still employed by arrogant politicians and willful military. We enlisted men didn’t know why we were ordered to Ford Island, a naval air station. None of our training was aircraft related. But we were not in the “need to know” category. Even with our red, rubber stamp TOP SECRET clearance, we didn’t know what secrets we were to keep, yet. It all became clear on that March day in 1952 when our Commanding Officer, the aging Commander de B. (is his name still classified?) informed us that we were to prepare targets for U.S. aircraft carrier pilots.

The targets were in China. In preparation for its invasion. Throughout the preceding year the Korean War had yo-yoed up and down that peninsula and the American commanding general, Douglas MacArthur, had loudly recommended—then openly threatened—to invade China. His secret decision to cross the Yalu River without political or Joint Chiefs of Staff permission had already prompted the Commander in Chief, Pacific Command (CINCPAC) to put wheels in motion for just such an eventuality. The slowness to reverse his orders for those preparations resulted in the establishment of SIPU six months after MacArthur’s firing by President Harry S. Truman. Hence the oxymoron: military intelligence? Or maybe, the militar y high command, sensing the possibility of www.3rdActMag.com

a Republican president in 1953 and a consequent change in foreign policy, merely allowed the turning wheels to continue to turn. In any case, a dozen off icers and as many enlisted men busied themselves with the 14th Air Force aerial photography of Manchuria— that portion of eastern China that had been held by Japan since the 1930s. Our responsibility was to aid in a land invasion and since no carrier task groups could venture very far north into the Yellow Sea along Korea’s west coast, our area of concern was the narrow strip of territory west of the Yalu River border. Narrow because it had to be reachable by planes from carriers on the east of the peninsula in the Sea of Japan. The photo interpreters poured over the old stereo prints, pretty confident that little had changed in that remote area in the half dozen years since the end of W WI I . B ridg es were still there, both rail and highway ones. Railroad marshaling yards still bundled tracks alongside the main lines, old Japanese military camps were now new Chinese military camps, and tall industrial smokestacks still cast their long betraying shadows. Our in-house pilots received the photos, targets now clearly inked with bold borders. After affixing the photos to a prepared format, they added longitude and latitude coordinates, recommended directional approaches for attacking planes, and assigned weaponry depending on the target’s material and construction. Several hundred copies were printed, three-hole punched and mounted into stiffbacked “gazetteers.” They were

Aging with Confidence

shipped to the carriers. In February 1953 there was indeed an inauguration of a Republican president in Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower. The very idea of a land war in Asia shook that veteran campaigner to the bone. Our gazetteers wound up in incinerators aboard the carriers. By the time I left the Navy in the fall of 1955 the rigors of the Korean War and the reality of fighting a Chinese army there had cooled most of the talk that had engendered SIPU’s creation and its continued existence. Some time that year the name was changed to Fleet Intelligence Unit. I’m told that the personnel still aboard were later integrated into existing Intel units at CINCPAC. A tourist bus can be caught to Ford Island. It will take you to the Battleship Missouri Memorial and on to the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum—both exciting stops. But you will find no trace of SIPU. The beer garden and swimming pool of that era are gone. The building that housed our secrets has been replaced by what an old bos’n mate would call a geedunk dive—a snack bar. And you can access it only if you are military: active, reserve, or retired. But not to worry. There would have been nothing there but memories of those of us who performed dutifully in what might have been another difficult war. Gene J. Parola is a retired cultural historian who served at SIPU. He is the author of The Devil to Pay, a sailing adventure novel, and short stories in Bamboo Bridge: Journal of Hawaii Literature and Arts, Messages from the Universe and Literary Horizons of Hawaii. Lehua, The Romance of a Hawaiian Girl won a first prize as a historical fiction novel.

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A Dr p in the Ocean By my mid-50s I had reached a point of Alaska and down the Inside Passage. where I was working so hard under huge It was scary and joyful and the best stress that I was afraid of leisure, afraid thing I ever did, because it prepared me it would remind me of what I didn’t want for my Third Act. I have found that going to to know—that my marriage was BY KAREN sea opens an elegiac doorway failing. The government agency I SULLIVAN into an unexplored chamber of worked for had been so eviscerated that I was secretly whistleblowing to the the mind. It’s as if the amygdala, the brain’s center of primitive emotion, New York Times about the corruption. becomes mesmerized and no longer Bleakness felt more normal than joy. represses thought snippets, memories, One day I locked eyes with a lynx and occasionally, endless annoying perched on deep snow just outside my song fragments. There’s a tidal free window and watched its furry paws flow in and out between the conscious splayed like snowshoes. I felt nothing. That’s when I realized it was either time and unconscious, until things I hadn’t remembered in years would spill out on to make a change in my life, or time to kill time until time killed me. Sailing dreams overtook me in the long meditative languor of 2005’s Alaskan winter. It wasn’t always so hard, though hardship has been no stranger to me. My whole family died early; my sister in an accident, my mother two years later by suicide in her grief, and my father (later) by cancer. My first husband left me three weeks after my mother’s death and I learned what numbness piled on numbness means. So, in 1978, at age 27 I left my career as a high school science teacher and went to sea as crew on a 72-foot ketch across the Caribbean, where I found something between relief and happiness. I went on to spend the 1980s as a professional captain, but needed to make a better financial plan for my future, so I got a job with a federal agency. Then, at 55, stressed and unhappy, I retired and went to sea again, on a 24-foot sloop across the Gulf


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night watches as I braced tiredly against ceaseless rolling. Oh look, what’s that thought flopping down there? Talk about unguarded moments. The sea bent me to its will through heave and toss, pitch and yaw, a form of sensory overload that when combined with an empty horizon or dark brooding mountains rising up from it, induced an altered state. I felt a nameless gate opening and would shout at the clouds and sing to the birds. For a writer, this isn’t a bad thing. I met my now-husband in Port Townsend, Wash. We had identical boats and lots in common; we kept one boat and one house. In 2011, we sailed to Mexico, then to French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, Tonga, and New Zealand. Returning in 2013, we have since traveled up to Glacier Bay in Alaska. There’s something about doing what you love, with a purpose. It’s balm for overwhelming times. While Below: Stormy weather coming as Karen looks for the landfall at Fatu Hiva, Marquesas, after 37 days at sea. Right Top: Karen tends the halyards while Jim works aloft on their 24-foot sailboat in a French Polynesian lagoon. Right Bottom: Karen and Jim arrive at the Bay of Virgins, Fatu Hiva.


I HAVE FOUND THAT GOING TO SEA OPENS AN ELEGIAC DOORWAY INTO AN UNEXPLORED CHAMBER OF THE MIND. politicians have been arguing for centuries, and scandal and intrigue aren’t going away, bombardment by ads, sensationalized news, shouted opinion, and rude behavior assault us in ways unimaginable decades ago. I found that words well-used have the power to do some good. To me, writing equals thinking equals surviving—and helping others. Another thing—the concept that “the world has shrunk” may be true, and the planet is far more crowded now, but it’s a costly phrase in terms of sustaining a sense of wonder. I dislike it because it implies that my horizons have shrunk. By choosing to go sailing, I’ve reclaimed the pleasure of following a dream, the excitement of exploration, the joy of making new friends in different cultures, and the twin thrills Aging with Confidence

of self-reliance and accomplishment— plus learning more viscerally how big the world really is, by crossing it slowly, at five knots. By choosing to write about this and other things, I have found an unquenchable thirst for big, full-sized days. At sea one can empty the mind, while barely hanging onto the stomach, and watch the birds fly. “Look at that delicate petrel doing cartwheels! How is it not broken by the wind?” The albatross moves its long wings inches above wavetops and stares with soulful eyes. Off-watch in bed, ear six inches from the Pacific gurgling at the hull, one can imagine passing over billions of unseen shelled, finned, and toothed lives of which we know next to nothing. Some crawl in freezing darkness 12,000 feet down; others are near the surface. Some are large, intelligent; others

invisible, microscopic, but no less alive. Some lives span whole oceans as they migrate with the seasons; other lives are confined to a drop of water. It all feeds the sense of wonder that, at 70, will keep me going for a long time. Karen Sullivan is a retired wildlife biologist, former ship captain, science teacher, and spokesperson for a federal agency. Aboard a 120 foot research vessel she helped do seabird research in the Aleutians and Bering Sea. From 2011-2013, she and her husband crossed the Pacific from Port Townsend, Wash., to New Zealand aboard their 24-foot sailboat. She writes for Rainshadow Journal, various magazines, and is at work on a memoir and a novel. Read more of her work at www.karenlsullivan.com.

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Cascade Valley Scenic Byway STATE ROUTE

Appropriately my Cascade Valley Scenic Byway excursion launched with cherry pie and coffee at Twede’s Café (aka the Double R Diner). As fans of the 1990-91 TV show Twin Peaks can tell you, the Double R was a favorite haunt of Special Agent Dale Cooper (played by actor Kyle MacLachlan) who arrived in Twin Peaks, which was actually North Bend, Wash., to investigate the murder of the town’s homecoming queen. When the series and its (limited run) revival in 2017 made Snoqualmie Valley and its environs famous, the grateful town of North Bend declared the day of Agent Cooper’s February 24 arrival, “Twin Peaks Day.” Bookended by Exit 31 on I-90, which skirts the North Bend Premium Outlets and Woodinville’s Highway 522—and reached after running a gauntlet of tempting wineries—the 28-mile Cascade Valley Scenic Byway meanders through bucolic rural flatlands and suburban enclaves. Offering up history, picturesque walks, winter shopping possibilities, and Christmas tree farms, your toughest decision will be which direction to drive it. After the pie repast, I used the downloadable, self-guided North Bend Historic Walking Tour to explore.



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A winter road trip that will warm your spirits BY ANN RANDALL

In the early 1900s the town was a stop on Sunset Highway, the cross-Cascade route predating today’s Interstate 90. Many of its historic buildings served as gas stations, hotels, and restaurants for early motorists navigating Snoqualmie Pass. Just outside North Bend is Meadowbrook Farm, a 460-acre preserve and interpretive center with epic views of Mt. Si. Once the largest hop farm in the world, it’s also a significant site for the local Snoqualmie Tribe. A flat three-mile walk through meadows and wetlands ends at the Marie Louie Project, an art installation honoring the Snoqualmie medicine woman. Painted cedar posts mark the seasonal direction of sunrise demonstrating how the Salish calendar was oriented to natural events like the ripening of berries. If you arrive at the preserve in the early morning or twilight, you might see the elk herd that calls Meadowbrook home. Charming Snoqualmie is rightfully famous for its railroad history. I marvelled at the outdoor museum of railway cars www.3rdActMag.com

located next to the oldest building in town, the stately Queen Anne-style Snoqualmie Depot housing the Northwest Railway Museum. You can “Ride the Rails” on weekends taking a 5.5-mile train excursion between Snoqualmie and North Bend, or if road tripping with grandchildren, take the Santa Train in November and December. The two-hour journey begins in North Bend and ends at Snoqualmie Depot for cookies and hot chocolate with Santa and his elves. Using the self-guided Snoqualmie Historic Walking Tour, I discovered the town’s former theater is today’s Sigillo Cellars and strolled past the building where the fraternal Modern Woodsmen of America once convened. Railroad Avenue is lined with small stores for holiday shopping, while Snoqualmie Falls Brewery makes a warm place to tuck in for a bite to eat and glass of Meadowbrook Farmhouse Ale brewed with hops grown down the road. Snoqualmie Falls provides a jaw-dropping geology lesson about the combined effect of ice, glacial debris, a river, and a 268-foot drop over a granite cliff. The waterfall is a place of cultural importance to the Snoqualmie Tribe, and when threatened with development around the falls in 2019, they purchased the iconic Salish Lodge & Spa to preserve the site. Enroute to Fall City, detour to Fall City Wallaby Ranch to visit their marsupials. A visit requires reservations. Park near the historic Roadhouse Restaurant & Inn to begin Fall City’s self-guided walking tour. While strolling, I learned about the valley’s first phone company operating out of the restored Prescott-Harshman House, and the town’s importance as a river transportation center. The first Saturday in December Fall City gets into the holiday spirit with a market and treelighting ceremony. Before leaving the byway’s rural miles for the suburbs of Redmond and Woodinville, I travelled a stretch of exposed red-brick highway built in 1913, dubbed the James Mattson Road. To find this designated King County Landmark, turn right off the byway on 196th Avenue NE. Ignoring the siren call of Redmond Town Center mall, I navigated to Woodinville where a plethora of wineries, distilleries, and brewpubs awaited. My first stop, however, was Molbak’s Garden + Home, a 60-year-old Woodinville institution. Back in the day its Danish immigrant owners, Egon and Laina Molbak, served Danish Kringle and coffee, a holiday tradition in my family. Today it brims with sights, smells, and plenty of gift and decoration inspiration. I chose Maryhill Tasting Room & Bistro and a glass of its award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon for my final stop. Located in the Hollywood Schoolhouse, the 1912 red brick landmark, built on traditional land of the Duwamish Tribe, served first as a school, then a dance hall, and finally a Aging with Confidence

roller-skating rink before its current iteration. Like the valley corridor I’d just travelled, it had a heritage best savored by making the journey there. Ann Randall is a freelance writer, organizational consultant, and independent traveler who loves venturing to out-of-the-way locales, from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe. Retired from a career as a teacher and union organizer in public education, she now observes international elections, does volunteer work in India, and writes regularly for 3rd Act, Northwest Travel & Life, West Sound Home & Garden, Fibre Focus and Dutch the Magazine.

Top: Fall City Road House Below: North Bend Theatre Photos by Ann Randall

For further information:

• Downloadable historic walking tours of North Bend, Snoqualmie, and Fall City: www.Savorsnoqualmievalley.org • Meadowbrook Farm: www.meadowbrookfarmpreserve.org • Snoqualmie Train Depot/Northwest Railway Museum: www.trainmuseum.org • Fall City Wallaby Ranch: www.wallabyranch.org • Molbak’s Garden + Home: www.molbaks.com • Maryhill Tasting Room & Bistro: www.maryhillwinery.com

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Going Places Once Again Travel in the PostPandemic Era BY HARRIET LEWIS

Since 2019, the world has become a very different place. From one-way grocery isles to plexiglass dividers between restaurant booths, we see evidence of the pandemic everywhere in our daily lives. And nowhere are these changes so obvious as they are in the travel sphere, arguably one of the industries most affected by COVID-19. Thankfully travel and tourism are coming back, but how is the industry changing with the demand for safe, yet immersive, travel? Some of the shifts have been obvious, like masks and sanitizing measures across the board, but what are travelers not seeing? Each piece of the travel puzzle has adjusted in its own way. Guided touring companies have So many of us carefully thought-out adjustments, are yearning to while cruise companies have made travel again, but their own thoughtful changes. There’s no single solution to this problem and how different each country is tackling the COVID does the guided crisis differently. Tourism hotspots, trip and cruise too, need to keep their visitors safe industry look now, and secure while they enjoy their in a post-COVID visit. That means the travel industry’s world? approach must be nuanced and changing with the ebb and flow of current information. I know for a fact our 36 offices around the world are navigating changes daily. There have been some tried-and-true methods to ensure travelers are confident that they can hop on a flight or board a cruise and have an incredible time while staying healthy.

Group Adventures Adjust to the Times Guided tour companies made a pronounced shift toward small group travel to solve the issues of crowds and social distancing. Even before the pandemic became a global problem, travelers that enjoyed guided touring were taking advantage of the “small group” philosophy—


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Traveling with smaller groups allows you to get into closer, more off-the-beaten path locations and attractions. Photos courtesy of Grand Circle Corp/Overseas Adventure Travel

smaller groups allow you to get into closer, more off-thebeaten path locations and attractions. Plus, experiencing the true heart of a country or culture is easier when you can connect with people one-on-one, made possible when you’re traveling in smaller groups. Traveling by rickshaw in Ho Chi Minh City or dining with a Croatian farmer at their home is possible in smaller groups and provide for many memorable and rewarding moments. The small group travel philosophy is proving to be a winning strategy in the post-pandemic era, where many locations and attractions are putting limits on how many people can visit at once. Small group trips also tend to head off the beaten path and away from the larger crowds. With minimal adjustments, these adventures can still immerse travelers in the local culture, all while complying with crowd regulations and social distancing measures. It’s the best of both worlds—being able to travel and travel responsibly.

Cruises Big and Small Make the Necessary Changes Cruise companies have faced a lot of challenges over the pandemic. How do you keep everyone safe and healthy on a ship where close quarters are a given? Cruise companies were early adopters of requiring negative COVID tests to board, and instituted limits on cabin capacity. Small ship cruising have also grown in popularity. On smaller ships, it is easier to make sure that everyone—both crew and passengers—is vaccinated or tested negative for COVID. Cruising is an incredible and relaxing way to travel and it’s great to know that you can travel via ship with confidence, with measures in place to keep everyone healthy, like eliminating buffets, and installing HEPA filters to the air filtration systems. Some small ship cruises have also implemented groups

Aging with Confidence

within the ship, breaking out meals, activities, and onshore excursions into multiple sessions. That gives everyone more space to be comfortable and safe, while having no impact on the actual experience. While group A is having lunch, group B may be headed into the town the ship is currently docked at, already having eaten lunch right before. With these simple and effective scheduling measures, travelers can cruise on small ships and limit their exposure to larger crowds.

It’s a Bold New World, Ready for Exploration For most travel companies, the traveler and their experience is the first thought and main focus when they create a travel itinerary. This is a fact that has only become more and more true as the COVID-19 pandemic wore on. Many businesses, like my own company Overseas Adventure Travel, focus on delivering an incredible experience. Whether it’s catered to the solo traveler or a family group excursion, they need to feel they can rely wholeheartedly on the travel provider they’ve chosen. We’ve seen a great response since returning to operations in July, with 92% of returning travelers rating their trip “excellent,” even with all precautionary measures in place. Having confidence in your travel provider is more important today than it ever has been and the travel industry has risen to the challenge of a new travel landscape. People want to travel. Destinations that rely on tourism want travelers back. And the travel industry is here to provide a great experience for all, while minimizing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Harriet Lewis is a world traveler, philanthropist, and the vice chairperson of Overseas Adventure Travel, whose mission is to provide life-changing experiences around the world—primarily by connecting travelers with locals who live in the areas they explore.

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What We Owe Each Other


ast summer, as wildfires and air quality allowed, we drove our Teardrop to Montana, and that question, what we owe each other, spanning eons and religions, hit me, triggered by the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

A Small State Park Approached by an older man offering to help me pump water, I wondered, did I look that feeble? Resisting sarcasm, I opted to chat. He was driving from Arizona to Minnesota for the fishing. It was bad here. COVID insinuated itself into our conversation. The gist— a suspicion of mainstream news. Take South Dakota, “nothing happened.” “That motorcycle rally?” I asked. “Hoax!” “Vaccines?” “Lies and profit motive.” “Hydroxychloroquine, perfectly effective with regard to timing.”


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Where to begin? What do I know, after all? I am the walking talk of what I read. I shrugged. We walked past his pick-up. In the bed was tethered a cute, yellow raft for his fishing, and this I admired.

Hutterite Corn We arrived in Choteau, 85 miles south of East Glacier. My wife would be off for a weeklong, packhorse-supported hike in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area. I’d remain in the Mountain View Campground with, more accurately, its view of a huge seed-cleaning operation across the highway. An older woman, shimmering, approached. “There is Hutterite corn on the corner of 89 and the hardware.” “Ah, the Hutterites,” I say. “I saw the movie.” I amended, “I mean, there was a documentary.” She praised their corn. In turn, we praised summer, a mainstay being corn.

by Hollis Giammatteo

She said her name was Carole and I said mine. She said, “I won’t remember. I have short-term memory loss.” I laughed. It had been tossed out that lightly. Later, I was sorry that I hadn’t asked, “How is that for you?” Simone Weil believed compassion was manifested with the question, “What are you going through?”

Dot and Scale I was reading Willa Cather’s My Antonia then, and like her narrator, I was enthralled by the land. Each day, I’d drive toward the Rocky Mountain Front on dirt, surfing the sea-scraped, rolling plains. I’d go forth with the dog in my orange tin box, swallowed by scale. Once, four horses stood gossiping in the middle of the road—lovely, curious, affable. They approached. Each in turn stuck a perfectly beautiful head www.3rdActMag.com

“Some Indian legends say that the first buffalo came out of a hole in the ground. When the buffalo were wiped out, there were Indians who claimed the whites found the spot, hazed the herds back into it, and plugged the hole.”

into the car, snorted softly, withdrew. They ambled on. We owed nothing to each other. They were a gift, and I resumed dot stature.

Going Forth I’d laid an expectation on myself, that I go forth, like my wife, into the wilderness. This was fully realized while asking the Forest Ranger if I, alone, female, and entertaining agerelated caution, was safe to go forth hiking. The force with which she responded, “You’ve got to know what you’re doing out there!” Humbly, I took the list of hikes she offered. My wife had left me her can of bear spray. I was not amused. No, I would not go forth to be eaten or mauled. She was with her beautifully guided group; there was spray and expertise aplenty. She was not in jeopardy. This, I told myself, is what we owe each other—not to put ourselves in harm’s way; rather, to take Aging with Confidence

care of ourselves for the good of one another. At the very least, this is what we owed each other.

History A historical marker on Highway 89 indicated a stone that marked a place no longer standing called Old Agency. According to the sign, this bit of land had been “given” to the Blackfeet Indians “with unusual generosity.” The whites permitted the Indians to choose the location of their reservation. The tone of the sign lacked irony. Up the highway, another marker noted that in 1806, the country I was gazing out upon—this vast and undulating grassland bordering the Rocky Mountains from here to Canada and south to the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers—all was buffalo range, the hunting grounds of the Blackfeet Nation. The herds meant everything to them—meat, moccasins, robes, leggings, teepees. The marker says, “Some Indian legends say that the first buffalo came out of a hole in the ground. When the buffalo were wiped out, there were Indians who claimed the whites found the spot, hazed the herds back into it, and plugged the hole.” Flags flew at half-mast everywhere I stopped in Montana. “Afghanistan,” a man pointed out, when asked. I went every day to the Hutterites for corn and tomatoes. I retrieved my wife, both of us ebullient and giddy. I would try to keep the question—what we owe each other—shimmery and living. I thought of a sentence from Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book: “Sometimes people never saw things clearly until it was too late and they no longer had the strength to start again.” We’d been lucky with the smoke and fires. 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.

OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE OLLI-UW invites adults over 50 to explore a variety of short courses offered via remote learning. Learn for the joy of learning, without tests, grades or papers, from the comfort and safety of your own home. We also offer several monthly lectures on a variety of topics. Become a member of OLLI-UW and register for courses today! BELOW ARE JUST A FEW OF OUR EXCITING WINTER COURSES: • • • • •

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alzwa.org/conferences winter 2021/22

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Simple and Delicious Meatless Meals

Eating a plant-centered diet is good for your health and the planet’s, too BY REBECCA CRICHTON


remember the first time I was served a vegetarian “loaf” of some kind as a main dish, circa early 1970s. I wasn’t the only one at the table who found it inedible. We made jokes and concluded that vegetarians and vegetarian lifestyles were weird. As they say, “We’ve come a long way, baby!” Vegetarian options on menus ranging from fast food chains to highend prix fixe meals are now expected, and equally as tasty and inventive as


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their meaty counterparts. This year one of the world’s most acclaimed and expensive restaurants, Eleven Madison Park in New York, went completely vegan. Vegans and foodies of all stripes banged their pans in unison. The reasons for switching to a plant-based diet are many. In her new cookbook, EATMEATLESS: Good for Animals, The Earth & All, Dr. Jane Goodall—famous for her work with mountain gorillas—reminds us that

“Every day we live, we have the choice of what kind of impact we want to make.” She goes on to write that the positive impacts of eating a plant-based diet on our bodies, our climate, and our environment impact is indisputable. How to eat ethically, responsibly, and healthily can play into our daily calculations as we plan our meals, choose from menus, and shop for groceries. The first time a friend said she didn’t eat “anything with a face,” I thought she was kidding. Another friend, happily living as a vegan, says he feels good that nothing must die for his dinner. “No face, no legs, no feet” is my newest criteria for what shows up as a main dish at my table, which is meatless. The fact is, eliminating or reducing meat from our diets has never been easier. Or tastier.


If you can’t let go of biting into a juicy, meaty burger, the newest food choices standing up to health and taste tests are plant-based meat substitutes. Beyond Meat produces ground meat in bulk or burger patties, and several delicious sausage varieties. Impossible also offers beef-like products. In taste tests people can’t believe they aren’t eating meat. These products can include soy, peas, spices, and other ingredients that give the flavor and texture of meat. So, check the ingredients if you have food allergies. The Loma Linda Blue brand of plantbased products (available online) might remind you that Loma Linda, Calif., is home of the Seventh Day Adventists, among the first groups who turned to vegetarian eating and nutritional supplements in the 20th Century. Loma Linda is the only location in the U.S. that made the list of Blue Zone locations. That is, places with a significant centenarian population and healthy lifestyles. Dan Buettner’s bestselling, The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who Have Lived the Longest, describes how healthy eating, close communities, and living with a sense of purpose contribute to a vital life. If you want an easy way to dip your tasting spoon into this whole new world, consider one of the many food delivery services that offer fresh menus with all the ingredients and cooking instructions. Some offer heat-and-eat selections, others are more geared to people who like to cook. Be adventurous! The world of meatless eating has gone mainstream and will contribute to your health and that of the planet. (And you can form a connection with your fellow animals guilt-free.) Before Rebecca Crichton worked for Boeing, taught leadership development, or became executive director of the Northwest Center for Creative Aging, she was a caterer, recipe developer, and food journalist. She has taught cooking to seniors and others, and 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.

Eggplant or Zucchini Putanesca

Two eggplants should feed four to six as a side dish. Four medium zucchini can substitute for the eggplants. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to match your own taste for these strong flavors. Ingredients • 2 medium size eggplants or 4 zucchini • ¾ cup pitted kalamata olives • 3 Tbsp. capers • 3-5 cloves garlic • 1 Tbsp. anchovy paste or ½ can anchovies (or the whole can if you like anchovies)* • ¼ cup fresh basil or 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme or oregano • 12 grape, Campari or 4 small goodtasting tomatoes • *4–8 oz. Feta or Parmesan cheese • Olive oil • Juice of ½ lemon • Salt and Pepper *Eliminate the anchovies and cheese if you want this to be vegan.

Directions 1. Cut eggplants in half lengthwise (same for zucchini), put fleshside down on plate and microwave for 10 minutes. They will be pretty soft. 2. Arrange eggplants or zucchini, skin-side down, on an oiled or aluminum-covered baking sheet and score deeply both lengthwise and crosswise. (The aluminum makes clean-up easy.) 3. Chop remaining ingredients in food processor until chunky. Taste for the balance of flavors that pleases you. 4. Stuff the filling into the vegetable along the scores, pushing it into the spaces, and piling more filling on top. (Making extra filling will give you topping for bruschetta or baked potatoes or other good things.) 5. Drizzle with olive oil. 6. Bake at 400 for half hour, or until bubbly and brown. Serve hot or warm.

Butternut Squash, Kale, and Barley Risotto Ingredients • 2 Tbsp. canola oil • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (or ½ tsp. dried) • 1 cup hulled barley • Salt and pepper to taste • ½ cup white wine or apple juice • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced • 3 cups broth • 1 bunch kale (curly or Tuscan), washed and cut into strips • Grated parmesan for serving (optional) Directions 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees while you add oil to a warm Dutch oven or large oven-proof pot with a lid. 2. Add garlic and thyme, and cook until fragrant (about a minute). 3. Add barley and stir with oil until coated. Add salt and pepper. 4. Add wine or juice, and cook, stirring until mostly absorbed. 5. Add squash and broth. Bring to a boil, stir in kale and cover with lid. 6. Bake in oven until barley is tender and the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 30 minutes. Serve warm, garnished with some grated parmesan.

Black Bean and Corn Salad Ingredients • 1 can black beans, drained • 1 can sweet corn kernels, drained (NOT creamed corn!) • 1 small can diced California Chiles • ½ bunch of green onions – chopped • ½ bunch of cilantro – chopped • Juice of 1 lime • 1 tsp. cumin (optional) • Salt and Pepper Directions Mix together well. Taste for preferred blend of sour, hot, salty, etc. Add hot sauce if desired. Chill and serve.

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BOOKS Crow’s Feet: Life As We Age Stories that inspire joy and defy stereotypes about the last decades of life. Edited by Nancy Peckenham · Reviewed by Victoria Starr Marshall

I was delighted to discover Medium.com a few years ago. If you are not familiar with the site, it’s an online publishing platform for writers—a place where they can publish and promote stories and we (the public) can like and follow our favorite writers. Think of it as Instagram for the literary. You can search Medium by topic to get a selection of essays by individuals, and groups of stories curated as publications. One of the publications is Crow’s Feet: Life As We Age, edited by former CNN executive producer and documentary filmmaker Nancy Peckenham. Peckenham’s mission is to bring “a wide variety of writers together to tell our stories of endurance and adaption as we grow older by the day. It’s a place to speak out against ageism and to share advice. … It’s a place to celebrate our age and to break stereotypes, turn aging on its head.” Bravo! A collection of Crow’s Feet best original essays and poems is now available, offline, in a book of the same title. 3rd Act Magazine readers will find the voice and topics explored familiar and enjoyable. Crow’s Feet offers an expertly curated selection of well-written, honest, and inspiring accounts of living with age. Crow’s Feet: Life As We Age is available on Amazon.com.

We All Know How This Ends. Lessons about life and living from working with death and dying by Anna Lyons & Louise Winter · Reviewed by Victoria Starr Marshall

“One day you’ll eat your very last meal. You’ll speak your final words. You’ll take your very last breath. Your heart will stop beating. Your blood will no longer flow. You will die. You will be dead.” This simple, direct statement—one we all know to be true—begins our journey with Anna Lyons, an end-of-life doula, and Louise Winter, a progressive funeral director, in their new book, We All Know How This Ends: Lessons about life and living from working with death and dying. Lyons and Winter challenge us to look death in the eye, to acknowledge it, and to talk about it. Why? Because, according to the authors, “Talking about death can be life-affirming and lifeenhancing.” Each has shepherded many through dying, death, and grief, learning that everyone experiences life and death differently, and there are many insights to be gained. Combined with essays, poems, and quotes, the authors use a “Five Things” format as in, “Five Things I’ve learned about…” grief, loss, a terminal diagnosis, end-of-life-care, and scores more scenarios—all personal accounts shared by people they’ve served. The format makes challenging, and often heartbreaking, subject matter, easy to read and absorb. An interesting aside is the book was written in the United Kingdom and is therefore based on UK health care and perspective. It’s fascinating to see how the UK differs with U.S. health care and elder care, and frankly, how much more support is available to aging UK citizens compared to our own. This book is a supportive, insightful, and affirming. An excellent guide for the living and the dying. We All Know How This Ends: Lessons about life and living from working with death and dying is available on Amazon.com.


(Puzzles on page 64)


What do they have in common? 1. They are all types of dolls. 2. They all have pockets. 3. They all have tails. 4. They are all dances. 5. They all have crowns. 6. They all have pins. 7. They are all types of fish. 8. They are all slang terms for money. 9. They all use brushes.

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Add it up 1. 5 sides to a pentagon + 202 (area code for Washington, D.C.) = 207 2. 1,941+1,962 = 3,903 3. 50 (U.S. states)+4 (U.K. countries) = 54 4. 88+8 = 96 5. 9+6 = 15 6. 14+20 = 34

It’s a Lulu 1. Bureau 2. Luau 3. "Adieu” 4. Bayou 5. Trousseau

6. Guru 7. Impromptu 8. Caribou 9. Emu 10. Haiku


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.

What do they have in common? (easy)

Each question contains a list of several items. Can you figure out what they have in common? 1. Paper, rag, and kewpie____________________________________________________________________________________ 2. A pair of jeans, a pool table, and a catcher’s mitt______________________________________________________________ 3. An airplane, a tuxedo, and a horse__________________________________________________________________________ 4. Jig, Twist, and Tango_____________________________________________________________________________________ 5. A monarch, Miss America, and a broken tooth________________________________________________________________ 6. Bowling alleys, seamstresses, and hand grenades_____________________________________________________________ 7. Pike, ray, chub, and tang___________________________________________________________________________________ 8. A pen, a newspaper, and a squid____________________________________________________________________________ 9. Clams, cabbage, bread, and dough__________________________________________________________________________ 10. An artist, a dental hygienist, and a hairdresser________________________________________________________________

Add it up (harder)

This game involves simple addition but you have to figure out which numbers to add up. 1 Add the number of sides in a pentagon to the area code for Washington, D.C.______________________________________ 2. Add the year that Pearl Harbor was attacked to the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis_________________________________ 3. Add the number of U.S. states to the number of countries in the United Kingdom __________________________________ 4. Add the number of keys on a piano to the number of days in Hanukkah____________________________________________ 5. Add the number of Supreme Court justices to the length of one term in office for a U.S. Senator______________________ 6. Add the number of days in a fortnight to the number of years in a score___________________________________________

It’s a Lulu (hardest)

All of the answers in this word definition game end with the letter U.

1. Chest of drawers______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. A Hawaiian feast or party _______________________________________________________________________________ 3. Goodbye, to a Frenchman______________________________________________________________________________ 4. A marshy wetland along the Gulf Coast___________________________________________________________________ 5. Collection of clothing and household linens for a bride______________________________________________________ 6. Hindu word for a very wise teacher ______________________________________________________________________ 7. Unrehearsed, spontaneous, improvised__________________________________________________________________ 8. The term North Americans use for reindeer_______________________________________________________________ 9. A large flightless bird native to Australia_________________________________________________________________ 10. A Japanese poem with three lines and 17 or fewer syllables__________________________________________________ Reprinted with permission from Nancy Linde, author of the best-selling book 399 Puzzles, Games, and Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young, 417 More Games, Puzzles, and Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young; and On-the-Go Games and Puzzles to Keep Your Brain Young. She is also the creator of the website Never2Old4Games.com, which is used by many senior-serving organizations in the U.S. and Canada.


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The Joy of Connection


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through industry-leading

focus—to serve those in

philosophies and techniques.

need of memory care.

(425) 903-3392 koelschseniorcommunities.com / Seattle, WA

Call our trusted specialists today.


Creating a village that feels like family.

Village Concepts represents three generations of proud family tradition. We recognize the true foundation of a home starts with the community of people residing there—living, learning and growing together.

Check out our premiere locations in Renton and Burien, offering assisted living and memory care services. Call 1-866-824-1162 or See all 14 locations on our website: www.villa gecon cepts.com

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