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Margaret Thompson-Shumate


ome one! Come all! It’s that time! As most bears know, late November and early December is when we hunker down to hibernate for several months. Cold weather and food shortage are the main factors for this annual necessity. I just learned that during hibernation bears do not drink, eat or experience bodily

functions. Ain’t God good! He has got us all covered (humans and animals) with a wonderful protection plan (no open enrollment periods needed)! I also learned that it is not a smart idea to disturb a bear during these months. He or she may just decide to break the rules and have you as a special gourmet meal. Well, I’m in my recliner now. I am covered with

my favorite warm afghan and sipping on some hot cinnamon apple cider. I plan to travel down memory lane once again and visit the neighborhood where I grew up. Did you know that there are many memories inside your heart and soul and that they will last forever? This is true and you can enjoy them at any time! Therefore, I am hoping to do just that while

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I am hibernating. Wow! It must be nearing Christmas time because I am sitting on the side of my bed in my house on East Fisher Street and writing out my wish list for Santa. Roller skates are at the top of my list. I really want a pair so that when summer comes along, I can join my friends Continued on page 2

Jan McCanless

holiday, but now, instead of a h, Christmas! Was gift list, I make a ‘grateful’ list. there, is there, a time so All the things I am truly gratewonderful! Remember ful for, most of which are the as kids how excited we got, real meaning of the day. For couldn’t wait, and it meant no instance: school, of course, probably the I am truly grateful Mary best part of the holiday. said Yes to the Holy Spirit, for I always had my list prewithout her, there would not pared for Santa, hoping for a big have been a Christ child. I am “haul”. In the innocence of my grateful to Joseph for accepting childhood, I never gave much the responsibility of raising Jethought to the real meaning of sus, and fostering his piety and Christmas. Christmas Eve service tenderness. was a ‘fill in’ until we could I am eternally grateful to all get home and take part in my the people who share my DNA, parents big blowout party they and call themselves ‘family”. hosted every year. They are my raison d’etre. My how times change. My friends mean a great Somewhere in my middle teen deal to me, my church, my years, I became a true Christian, spiritual family, without them, and Christmas has never been I am nothing. the same for me. I still love the My country, and my govern-


ment are the best in the world. True, our government could stand a little tweaking, and I sometimes, alright, often times, question the sanity of some elected officials, it’s still the best system I know of. If you don’t agree, then please pray for discernment, so that you too can feel this way about our country. You, my readers, are the reason I am here, and boy oh boy, am I grateful for you. Now, let me give you my wish list for you and all people everywhere, for this holiday season. First off, I wish you peace -the peace that passeth all understanding. Peace on earth, what a wonderful joyous thought, and my fervent wish for all. I had a son who spent 26 Christmases around the world, attempting to

keep and maintain peace. He has the medals to prove it, and I know he wants it too. We all do. Good health to all, there is nothing like it, is there. With good health, you feel like you can do anything! If you are in need of healing this year, then, I hope and pray you have it. Do the best you can, with what you have, for as long as you can. We can do no other. Happiness, may it always touch your life in some way. You make me happy, just being you, keep it up! I know one thing, I’m too young to be this old, but, I’m making the best of it in every way. I pray that you will do the same, and while you’re at it, have a wonderful, joyful, healthy, happy and peaceful Christmas!


Christmas Trail Tales A Little Dose Visit Our Website: Recipes Series of Humor

The Meaning of Christmas


From Our Readers

Great American Publishing Company Publishers of Senior Savvy

Published monthly as an information service for those 55 and over The publication of advertisements in Senior Savvy does not constitute endorsement by Great American Publishing Co. or contributing senior centers. Signed columns are the opinion of the writers and not necessarily the opinion of the publishers. If you need medical, financial, or other advice, seek this advice from a qualified professional in the appropriate field. Publisher Cindy Hart Graphic Design Sandra Ketchie Advertising Sales Cindy Hart For information concerning advertising, call 704-213-4718 If you are interested in having a story or article printed, please contact us at: Great American Publishing Co. 125 Midsail Road Salisbury, NC 28146



Calling All Bears continued from page 1 at the cement basketball court beside A.T. Allen School on East Innes Street. Some of the neighborhood kids go there on Saturdays and have a great time skating, laughing, and making memories. I am probably just asking for that one big thing because I know that with four brothers and sisters, Mom and Dad’s budget is limited. Mom, however, bakes cakes and makes candy to sell which helps make our Christmas as special as possible. Just now, I can smell the wonderful aroma of a cake baking in her oven. It’s probably a pound cake or perhaps a fruit cake. I am seeing bags of homemade mints in all colors of the rainbow lined up on the kitchen counter just waiting to go home with a fortunate buyer. My mother, Grace, is such an excellent cook and works so hard, especially at this time of the year. I don’t see how she does it. Thank you Lord for the talent you blessed her with along with her generous and loving heart. My dad has just arrived with a huge candy cane (at least a foot or more) that he bought

didn’t want to miss a single word at Fred Ayash’s store on East of Ms. Ellie’s lessons. Oh, what Innes Street. He never gets wonderful times! I am still in too excited about Christmas, contact with some of the class, but he always brings home but sadly some have left us for a the candy cane, places it in a better place. cloth bag, breaks it up with a My dad usually gave my hammer and dumps the results brother and me each a quarter in a Christmas candy dish for to put in the offering plate. He us kids to enjoy during the warned us that we had better holidays. not spend these quarters at the As I grew older, I learned Smoke Shop on South Main that Christmas is a really Street on the way home. In special time to celebrate addition to tobacco products, the love of God, family and this shop sold awesome friends. It is a time to create chocolate malts in white pointed memories that can last paper cups that were out- offorever like the ones I am this- world delicious. Sometimes, experiencing and sharing we kids would be able to do with you now. Becoming a extra chores for people during Christian, I also realized that the week just to earn quarters Jesus is God’s perfect and for this treat after Sunday school. indescribable gift to us all. I first began to learn all this Mother was not very happy when as a young girl while attending we indulged because she thought Sunday school class at the First it would spoil our appetites for lunch. Never bothered mine! I Methodist Church located always liked eating dessert first downtown. Our house was anyways! What a surprise, right? only a few blocks from the Oh, no! The telephone church so it was convenient is ringing and disturbing my for us children to walk there hibernation memory lane trip. for services. I loved Sunday The caller had better be glad that school! I can still see our I can’t attack or bite through the teacher, Ms. Ellie Rone. She is an awesome teacher and one of receiver. I leave you with a timely, the kindest people you could sincere note. Please read and ever know. All of a sudden, ponder this quote by the famous I’m back there in class and seeing some of my classmates. writer, Truman Capote: I see Judy J. and her sweet, “Of course there is a Santa Claus. disabled and wheelchair It’s just that no single somebody Could do all he has to do. So the bound brother, Allen. Judy is talking to Ernestine C. and Lord has spread the task among us all. That’s why everybody is Santa Claus. being pestered by Robin C. I am. You are.” and Vernon C. Holt G. and Theda B. are trying to get in I wish wonderful and blessed on the conversation and are Christmas holidays to all Senior also informing me that they Savvy readers, writers and staff. have saved me a seat on the Always remember that Jesus is the front row of the class, which reason for …well, everything!! is where I preferred to sit. I

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Our Health

Is ISOLATION the cause of your DEPRESSION? Submitted By Amber Phillips Senior Center Program Manager Rufty-Holmes Senior Center


he National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) indicates that more than 6.5 million Americans aged 65 and older are dealing with depression on some level. For some, such feelings did not appear until late life due to facing a loss of independence or increased disability due to the aging process. Isolation-induced depression is one having a lack of social interaction. Psychology Today notes that social isolation can occur by choice, be more permanent in nature, or result from other circumstances beyond the individuals’ control. Due to staggering numbers regarding the growth of older Americans, seniors are not getting the treatment they need for such a potentially debilitating mental health condition. Many older adults equate depressive feelings as a normal aging when in fact Growing older does not mean that a person should be sad. Many senior adults prefer to keep their depression and sadness to themselves due to what close friends and family will think of them. The Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research indicates that social isolation can lead to loneliness then a variety psychiatric disorders such as depression, personality disorders and brain-based conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Social isolation can impact a senior’s physical health too. An increase in cardiovascular disease (ie atherosclerosis, hypertension, coronary artery

disease, stroke, heart attack, and cardiac failure), increased risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity, abnormal activity in the endocrine system, reduced immune system function, and increasing the risk of conditions. Social isolation can potentially mean the difference between life or death. Isolation has been connected to an increase in stress, decreased immunity, which can make it harder for the body to fight off serious life-threatening conditions. The impact of isolation can be attributed to our relationships with others which affect our life choices, and we are more willing to take positive actions toward our health and wellness if we have someone to answer to.

expecting anything in return can provide several positive health benefits such as an increase in self-esteem and less psychological distress. ~Increase physical activity20-minute sessions conducted three times per week can make you feel happier. Consider the following physical activities: walking outdoors, exercise classes, water classes or open swim, dancing, yoga or tai chi, and golf.

and lunch meats) red meats, sweets, high-fat dairy, butter, and potatoes. Try a depressionlowering diet by eating more fish, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and olive oil.

~Modify Your Diet-Foods that have been associated with depression include processed meats (salami, sausages,

To find out more regarding isolationinduced depression read more at isolation-induced-depression-inseniors/

~Seek Outside Help-cognitive behavioral therapy can often help ease depression in seniors because its goal is to help the person overcome negative thinking patterns that often make them feel worse.

Tips of Preventing and Relieving Isolation-induced depression ~Make social interaction a priority-actively look for ways to spend more one-on-one time connecting with others. ~Regularly Engage in Mentally Satisfying Hobbieshaving a purpose in life can extend life expectancy in older adults. Consider the following hobbies: reading or listening to books by your favorite novelist, gardening or landscaping, woodworking, crocheting, painting, playing with new cooking recipes, learning a new language. ~Volunteer Your Time-Doing things for others without

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From Our Readers

The Carolina Thread Trail weaves a path through time and terrain. My friends and I discovered a natural surface trail segment in the Buffalo Creek Preserve. We often hike the path that meanders through restored oak-savanna and farmland along Adams Creek. Over time we have explored numerous other trails in the Carolina Piedmont. On every walk we share stories about our past and consider dreams for the future. In late September 2016 we constructed a Little Free Library to house print versions of those stories; we called them Trail Tales. We make those stories available to readers of Senior Savvy on a monthly basis, no hiking gear required.

Vivian Hopkins is a new contributor to this column. Her story, Hiking the Gold Hill Rail Trail invites hikers and readers to explore one of the best kept secrets in our area, just in time for the holiday season! Instruction on how to obtain a free electronic version of this story is posted on the blog hosted at Enjoy this installment.

Hiking the Gold Hill Rail Trail

© 2019 by Vivian Hopkins


here is much to say about persistence. I must say thank you to my dear friend, Vincent Vezza, who manages the Trail Tales column, for his patience in a year-long wait for me to write this article. I met Vincent and his hiking friends at Gold Hill on a day when they came to explore and hike the Gold Hill Rail Trail. The Gold Hill Rail Trail is a protected rail road right-of-way developed by the Land Trust for Central North Carolina in partnership with the Historic Gold Hill and Mines Foundation, Inc. It was one of the first rail trails developed along an abandoned rail line in North Carolina. The entire length of the trail is


now entrusted to the historic foundation and is a part of the seventy-acre, Gold Hill Mines Historic Park in eastern Rowan County. Only a short part of the original rail line has been developed into a hiking trail. Combining that distance with the mining roads and greenways through Gold Hill Mines Historic Park we have created a trail that spans just over three miles through the park’s historic sites and landmarks. Cyclists can also enjoy riding the trail with mountain or hybrid bikes. Hiking maps are available at Montgomery Store in the Village of Gold Hill or download the map from the website at www. If hiking or cycling isn’t your thing, enjoy a fun day exploring Historic Gold Hill with family or friends. The wooden sidewalks with rustic storefronts echo of another place in time. You’ll be greeted by smiling, friendly faces and warm, country hospitality. Come pull up a chair alongside me around the big pot-bellied

wood stove in E.H. Montgomery Store or shop for antiques, handmade jewelry, pottery, original artwork, ladies’ apparel, and more in the unique, quaint shops of the village. Enjoy a cup of coffee or cold soda while relaxing at Montgomery Store or head over to Mama T’s Restaurant for lunch or dinner. After your meal stop in next door to enjoy a glass of wine or a cold mug of craft beer at Morgan Ridge Vineyard Tasting room at Gold Hill. (The vineyard is a short 10 minutes away and is well worth the six-mile drive from Gold Hill Proper for an extended visit and wine tour.) Visit on a Friday, and stick around for our bluegrass music at Montgomery Store at 7pm. The weekly open bluegrass jam brings musicians from far and wide, including novice players, international musicians and Grammy Award winners. The nostalgia of the old store and the entire town is the perfect cultural setting for the gathering. Gatherings like this is how I grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Being a musician myself and having been born into a family of musicians with a father who was a luthier (builder of fine crafted string instruments) I feel I’m doing my part to keep the music tradition alive.

So, you might ask, how did I end up in Gold Hill… While still in high school my family moved to the area due to my father’s work. Being uprooted and separated from my lifelong friends back home in Wilkes County, the Rowan County library became my friend. When the Gold Hill Mining Office (previously located in Gold Hill Mines Historic Park on St. Stephens Church Road) was destroyed by fire in the winter of 1969-70, it got my attention. With an interest in continuing my education in the study of history, geology and earth sciences, I started researching the gold mining history of the region. I was quite shocked on learning the local history through archived newspaper articles that referenced the fame of Gold Hill. Thus, began twenty years of researching North Carolina’s gold history. By 1989 the Gold Hill community had an interest in hosting a celebration to share the community’s cultural history. I became involved in the event promotion and following its success, the committee saw the benefit of creating an organization to preserve the cultural history of Gold Hill. The rest is history. For this writer, the music and the area history are the glue that brings it all together. From folks experiencing their first visit to Gold Hill, some by accident, some by visiting family, some are involved in a destination wedding at the park, or Continued on page 8

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Our Health

I’m sorry, I didn’t know By Louanne Stanton


he sky changed from a summer blue to a muted autumn blue on September 15. Most years I don’t notice this, because I am busy living life. This year however, I was on my loveseat with my foot 3 feet up in the air and staring out the window each day. On September 1, I had had a motorcycle accident and broke my ankle. So I sat helplessly on the couch, staring out the window of my home and watched the blue sky each day. I’m sorry, I didn’t know how much an injury messed with your head. I’m writing this article for the adult children of the savvy seniors, rather than the senior savvy’s. As I have watched my mama get older each year, I think I have expected more out of her than she is able to give. And I apologized to her for that. I had no idea when you have an injury or an illness how debilitating it can be emotionally, physically, and even socially. I am a very busy woman (smile) and enjoy my mobility immensely. I am self-employed so I go to peoples homes and help them with insurance, I do grief work so I have grief classes as well as counseling sessions one on one with people, I run errands, I take care of my household and my nine dogs. So when I was injured and had to be immobile for a few weeks, it did a number on me. I thought, I have all of this time now to write articles, and to catch up on my emails,

and to make phone calls for the upcoming Medicare season but I did none of those things. I sat there and healed. I did read 7 books and watch an incredible amount of Netflix. But, I had no idea that it was so time consuming to heal your body. So to all of you people out there that have had injuries that have an illness that keeps you down, I get it now. And I want the adult children of seniors to try and have a little bit more empathy and compassion for your parents when they experience an injury or an illness. Because it’s not just an injury or an illness, it is a personality altering event. My daughter came home to take care of most things while I was immobile and that was hard to watch her do the things I normally do on a daily basis. It was hard on my family not to have the attention I normally give them or the many chores I had to allow others to do for me. And the strength I thought I had, was not there. So that was hard too... I came out of this experience with a few epiphanies. Number one. Be kind to someone who has had an illness or injury that has them homebound. Number two. Be kind to yourself when you are injured or ill. It takes time to get better and sometimes it is ok to binge watch shows for hours on end. Number three. Eat better and strength exercise. You never

know when you have to drag yourself around. Number four. Offer to help someone when they are down. Don’t wait for them to call you, because they won’t. Number five. Thank those who do help you and show your appreciation when you get back on your feet. I am back on my feet now (literally) even though I still have recovery ahead. I am back doing the things I took for granted and I now appreciate being able to drive myself to my

appointments. I can have coffee with friends again and I will now be exercising at the senior center with their great programs. I made the commitment to myself that I would be more aware when someone is ill or has an injury to help them and offer to see them through their down time. I am thankful my injury was relatively minor, and I was allowed to learn such an awesome lesson. And I am thankful I saw the sky change this was beautiful.


By Jerry Genovese

From the days when we were children, through the teens and adult years, We’ve always wished for more and more to look better than our peers. For fancy cars and clothing, big houses with a pool, For rings of gold and diamonds, “most expensive” was the rule. To make us look successful, to appear that we are smart, So we could feel important, from the ”common” set apart. And then one day you realize, ‘round December of your years, That what was so important then, has been replaced by fears. You understand, life’s near the end, your day is soon to come. And when it does, these things will stay, you’ll not take even one. Except for your life’s history, the record of your deeds, The way you treated others, verses how you filled your needs. Were you good or were you evil, were you kind or were you mean. Was your life stained with deceitfulness, or was it proud and clean. That’s when you will realize, who the wealthy really are, They’re those that DO have much to bring, to the judge behind the star. So the next time that you wish for “things”, to add unto your shelf, Think first about your ”record book”, and improve upon yourself.

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A Little Dose of Humor

Mom’s Letter to Santa

Dear Santa, I’ve been a good mom all year. I’ve fed, cleaned and cuddled my two children on demand, visited the doctor’s office more than my doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground and figured out how to attach nine patches onto my daughter’s girl scout sash with staples and a glue gun. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son’s red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I’ll find anymore free time in the next 18 years. Here are my Christmas wishes: I’d like a pair of legs that don’t ache after a day of chasing kids (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don’t flap in the breeze but are strong enough to carry a screaming toddler out of the candy aisle in the grocery store. I’d also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy. If you’re hauling big ticket items this year I’d like a car with fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn’t broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone. I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting, “Don’t eat in the living room” and ‘Take your hands off your brother,’ because my voice seems to be just out of my children’s hearing range and can only be heard by the dog. And please don’t forget the Playdoh Travel Pack, the hottest stocking stuffer this year for mothers of preschoolers. It comes in three fluorescent colors and is guaranteed to crumble on any carpet making the in-laws’ house seem just like mine. If it’s too late to find any of these products, I’d settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container. If you don’t mind I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family; or if my toddler didn’t look so cute sneaking downstairs to eat contraband ice cream in his pajamas at midnight. Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the chimney and come in and dry off by the fire so you don’t catch a cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don’t eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet. Yours Always...Mom. P.S. - One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

was an eternal optimist, while Billy Martin was a doom and gloom pessimist. Just to see what would happen, at Christmas time their Dad loaded Billy the pessimist’s room with every imaginable toy and game. For Bobby, the optimist, he loaded his room with horse manure. That night dad passed by the pessimist’s room and found Billy sitting amid his new gifts crying bitterly. “Why are you crying Billy?” dad asked. “Because my friends will be jealous, I’ll have to read all these instructions before I can do anything with this stuff, I’ll constantly need batteries, and my toys will eventually get broken.” answered Billy, the pessimist twin. Passing the optimist twin Bobby’s room, his dad found him dancing for joy in the pile of horse manure. “What are you so happy about Bobby?” he asked. To which Bobby, his eternal optimist twin replied” “There’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”

All I Need to Know I Learned From a Snowman * Hold your ground, even when the heat is on. * Wearing white is always appropriate. * Winter is the best of the four seasons. * It takes a few extra rolls to make a good midsection. * There’s nothing better than a foul weather friend. * The key to life is to be a jolly, happy soul. * We’re all made up of mostly water. * You know you’ve made it when they write a song about you. * Accessorize! Accessorize! Accessorize! * Avoid yellow snow. Don’t get too much sun. * It’s embarrassing when you can’t look down and see your feet. * It’s fun to hang out in your front yard. * There’s no stopping you once you’re on a roll.

Christmas Dinner Prayer Aaron, a seven-year-old boy, was asked to say the prayer for the Christmas dinner. The family members bowed their heads in expectation. Aaron began his prayer, thanking God for his Mommy, Daddy, brothers, sister, Grandma, and all his aunts and uncles. Then he began to thank God for the food. He gave thanks for the turkey, the stuffing, the Christmas pudding, even the cranberry sauce. And he thanked God especially for the pie and ice cream. Then Aaron paused, and everyone waited ... and waited. After a long silence, the young fellow looked up at his mother and asked, “If I thank God for the asparagus, won’t he know that I’m lying?”

What To Give An Optimist And A Pessimist for Christmas

The Martin’s had twin boys, Billy and Bobby. They only resembed each other in looks. If Billy felt it was too hot, Bobby thought it was too cold. If Billy said the TV was too loud, Bobby claimed the volume needed to be turned up. Opposite in every way, Bobby Martin


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Our Health

Warning: Tai Chi May Have Beneficial Side Effects By Mike Simpson

By Mike Simpson

the doctor is trying to achieve with the medicine is not the here is a certain type medicine’s primary use. of commercial we see The ever-present possibility a dozen times a day of potent, negative sideon television: medicine ads. effects is a reality medical Regardless of the drug they are providers and their patients advertising, the theme is pretty must deal with constantly. much the same: as we watch, Every prescription written for attractive, smiling people have us must take into account our fun with loved ones and friends own unique physical issues: in bucolic settings, always perhaps we have another carefree and casual (and the health concern that precludes weather is always perfect); the use of a certain medicine. all the while a pleasant voice The prescriber must consider drones on in the background the way a drug may interact about the wonder drug these with other drugs we are taking. folks have taken to treat the Other potential health impacts debilitating illness they had are also part of the mix: some been suffering (colitis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, psoriasis, medicines inhibit other normal activities, such as going into depression, etc., etc.)—the direct sunlight, eating certain drug that has given them back foods or drinking alcohol. These a normal life. If we listen to the spoken words carefully, though, realities expose the manner in which our society has come we will invariably hear a list of to depend to a great extent on the medicine’s potential side chemicals for our health, and effects, some of which sound a that the potential side effects lot worse than the disease this of drugs are an unavoidable product is meant to treat. consequence of a medicated There are legal reasons population. behind describing these There is another kind of “side possible side effects. After all, effect” we don’t often think there is supposed to be truth in about that can also impact our advertising. If a pharmaceutical company wants you to buy their health. Many times health care providers “prescribe” physical medicine, it must reveal every activities for their patients and possible result of using that physical activities also have medicine. The biggest takeaway side effects. from this type of advertising, Norman waited after his water however, is that virtually all drugs have potential side effects aerobics session to speak the instructor. “I want to tell and many of those side effects you how much I appreciate are extremely negative. your class,” he said. “My To be sure, medicines can chiropractor kept telling me I’d also have positive side effects. get relief from my sciatica if I’d The first drug used to inhibit just started taking warm water male baldness was actually exercise. He was so right! The intended to lower high blood only problem is, my wife tells pressure. One of the new, me I smell like chlorine when heavily advertised diabetes medicines also promotes weight I come home. But I don’t care. I hardly ever get legs cramps loss. There are any number anymore.” of drugs physicians prescribe The truth is, most “side “off label,” that is, the effect


effects” of the physical exercises prescribed for patients are not as pernicious, long-lasting or devastating as the potential side effects of medicines. The negative side effects of physical activities are more likely to be shrugged off by the patient as being expected and not that consequential. Warren, who was advised by his cardiologist in the mid1990s to take up a meaningful exercise program, became a long-distance runner. “Over the last twenty years, running has caused me some issues: shin splints, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and torn calf muscles. I don’t care though. I lost forty pounds when I started running and permanently got rid of my hypertension.” In the same way that some side effects of medicine can actually be positive, so physical exercise may also have benefits that go beyond the primary, intended purpose. That is, just about every physical activity has unintended benefits—positive side effects. Further, there is probably no physical activity

that has more unintended health benefits than Tai Chi. Most of us perceive Tai Chi as merely a (very) slow series of movements intended to help its practitioners find some inner serenity. Tai Chi is often referred to as “meditation in motion.” Beyond calming our souls in the midst of our extremely hectic society, however, scientific studies over the past several decades have documented a multitude of beneficial “side effects” experienced by those who regularly practice Tai Chi forms. Markham Heid, writing for the online edition of Time Magazine, April 28, 2017, said: “Tai Chi is a richly researched exercise, with health improvements ranging from better blood pressure scores to a sharper mind.” He describes a series of health studies conducted over the course of a dozen years at the University of California Los Angeles that found Tai Chi Continued on page 8

December Crossword


1. Napped 6. Grumble 10. Corrosive 14. Stogie 15. Smell 16. An abandoned calf 17. Devotee 19. Algonquian Indian 20. Grant 21. Precious stone 22. Wander 23. Killed 25. Mobile phones 26. Twirled 30. Old person 32. Asserted 35. Impassive 39. A framework of steel bars 40. Breakdown

Down 41. High level of respect 43. Impulse 44. Heavy 46. D D D D 47. Deli item 50. Not outer 53. God of love 54. Eastern newt 55. Kleenex 60. Relating to aircraft 61. Instructions 63. Fraud 64. Frosts 65. Finally (French) 66. Story 67. T T T T 68. Hockey footwear

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1. Anagram of “Cabs” 2. Vitality 3. Auspices 4. Agreement 5. Threesomes 6. Bamboozle 7. Slowly, to a conductor 8. Rats 9. A formal high school dance 10. Recognized 11. Christmas song 12. Something to shoot for 13. Considers 18. A wise bird 24. Contribute 25. Spasmodic laryngitis 26. Droops 27. ___ du jour = Meal of the day

28. Forearm bone 29. Causing irritation 31. “Smallest” particle 33. A thin porridge 34. Tropical American wildcat 36. Provisions 37. Chills and fever 38. Not more 42. Building 43. Hotel 45. Main course 47. Monster 48. Betel palm 49. Small goat antelope 51. And so forth 52. Rituals 54. Modify 56. Drop down 57. Couch 58. Module 59. Feudal worker 62. S


Our Health Warning: Tai Chi May Have Beneficial Side Effects continued from page 7 contributed to lower rates of insomnia, depression, illness and inflammation. Strangely enough, practicing Tai Chi also seems to help other medical treatments work more effectively. Heid quotes UCLA professor Dr. Michael Irwin: “We’ve seen improved immunity to viruses and improved vaccine response among people who practiced Tai Chi.” The past forty years has seen the emergence of Tai Chi forms that are specifically intended to deal with certain health issues and distinct groups of people. Perhaps the best examples of these forms come from the famous Tai Chi for Health Organization founded by the legendary Dr. Paul Lam. It’s estimated that 5,000,000 people worldwide practice the first form Lam developed, Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention. Subsequently Lam and his

colleagues created Tai Chi forms specifically for targeted populations: cardiac patients, diabetes sufferers, memory care patients, osteoporosis sufferers and rehabilitation patients. While there are some similarities among them, each of these Tai Chi for Health forms is distinct and intended specifically for uniquely afflicted individuals. There are two remarkable qualities, however, all these forms share. First, they have almost no negative side effects. “My back was sore the day after I started practicing Tai Chi for Arthritis,” said 70-year-old Neal. “I complained about it to my wife and she reminded me that I had learned a brand-new way to stand and that I had repeated the motions for more than two hours straight. No wonder my back was hurting. But it didn’t stop me from

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practicing the next day.” Second, all Dr. Lam’s forms are abundant in producing beneficial side effects. In May, 2015, Senior Planning Services, a California agency specializing in healthcare for older adults, reported a lengthy list of positive side effects experienced by individuals who started practicing Tai Chi for their skeletal problems. They write that, in addition to broad physical improvements (in mobility, pain reduction, fall reduction, improved posture, muscle tone and range of motion), Tai Chi practitioners also experienced a greater sense of well-being and relief from depression. They conclude: “Studies also show Tai Chi can be beneficial for people with Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and stroke. A 2014 study even showed that Tai Chi benefits us on the cellular level, which could slow the aging process in general.” None of these results would surprise Lucy, a petite woman who joined a Tai Chi for Arthritis class in September, 2018. She was recovering from hip replacement surgery and her orthopedic doctor recommended Tai Chi as a way to regain full articulation

of her joints and cut down on the need for pain medicine. Arriving on a walker for her first session, Lucy gradually, steadily improved, doing away with the walker and the cane that followed it—along with her look of uncertainty, which was replaced by a joyous, confident smile. Within a few weeks she approached the instructor at the end of a session and said, “By the way, my migraines are gone. I’ve had them nearly every day all my life—until I started practicing Tai Chi.” Medically, it’s likely there will always be a need for powerful medicines. It seems quite likely as well that we can diminish, avoid and perhaps reverse our dependency upon these drugs if we will focus on healthful physical activity. And the exercise program we can recommend most highly is Tai Chi—ironically because it has the most side effects. Dr. Mike Simpson holds five teaching certifications from the Tai Chi for Health Institute, including Tai Chi for Memory, Tai Chi for Rehabilitation and Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention. For information about TCM, TCR or TCA, contact Dr. Simpson via email ( or by telephone (336 918-0108). You may also contact him for links to information discussed in the article above.

Hiking the Gold Hill Rail Trail continued from page 4




some, who like me, who just happened to be dropped here unexpectedly, there’s always that comment, “What is this place?”. So, whether our visitors today come to Gold Hill to hike the Gold Hill Rail Trail or to experience everything else that is Gold Hill, it’s all a part of the exploration. In the nineteenth century, a lot of folks arrived here by train on that same Gold Hill Rail Trail. But today all modes of travel are acceptable and we look forward to having you come for a visit. You just have to get on the trail that brings you here!! By the way, our Christmas in the Village weekend is Dec 6-8th! It’s sure to get you into the holiday spirit!

About Vivian Hopkins – Vivian Hopkins is Vice President of the Historic Gold Hill and Mines Foundation, Inc. and is a member of the North Carolina Humanities Council’s Road Scholar Speakers Bureau. Her program, “If Picks and Shovels Could Talk”, is endorsed by Dr. Brent Glass, Director

Emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. She also currently serves as President of the North Carolina Bluegrass Association. She is a musician, freelance writer and author. Her books include “Your Guide to Gold Hill Mines Historic Park and the Gold Hill Rail Trail”, “Gold Hill Ghosts and Other Legends”, “The Haunting of Morgan Manor and Other Gold Hill Ghost Stories”. She is currently writing “A Pictorial History of Gold Hill and the Gold Hill Mining District”. The book will include over two hundred photos of Gold Hill historic sites and the mining industry as well as chapters on churches, homes and families of the nineteenth century. Vivian enjoys trips home to the mountains, writing, playing music, and hiking. As a visual artist she enjoys painting scenes that she encounters along the trails wherever they may take her. You can reach Vivian by email at You can also email her through the historic foundation website vivian@ or by mail at P.O. Box 1857, Concord, NC 28026

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Traditional Christmas Cheese Ball

Christmas Breakfast Sausage Casserole

1 1/2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened 1 (2.5 oz) package thinly sliced smoked beef, chopped 1 (2.25 oz) can pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped

1 pd ground pork sausage 1 tspn mustard powder 1/2 tspn salt 4 eggs, beaten 2 cups milk 6 slices white bread, toasted and cut into cubes 8 oz mild Cheddar cheese, shredded salt and black pepper to taste


1 1/2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened 1 (2.5 ounce) package thinly sliced smoked beef, chopped 1 (2.25 oz) can pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped

Directions: 1. Mix the cream cheese, beef, olives, onion, and Worcestershire sauce together in a bowl until evenly blended. Keeping the mixture in the bowl, scrape it into a semi-ball shape. Cover, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. 2. Place a large sheet of waxed paper on a flat surface. Sprinkle with walnuts. Roll the cheese ball in the walnuts until completely covered. Transfer the cheese ball to a serving plate, or rewrap with waxed paper and refrigerate until needed.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs Ingredients: 1 (12 fl oz) can or bottle chile sauce 2 teaspoons lemon juice 9 oz grape jelly 1 pound lean ground beef 1 egg, beaten 1 large onion, grated salt to taste

Directions: 1. Whisk together the chili sauce, lemon juice and grape jelly. Pour into slow cooker and simmer over low heat until warm. 2. Combine ground beef, egg, onion and salt. Mix well and form into 1 inch balls. Add to sauce and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.


Directions: 1.Crumble sausage into a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat until evenly brown; drain. 2. In a medium bowl, mix together mustard powder, salt, eggs and milk. Add the sausage, bread cubes, and cheese, and stir to coat evenly. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight. 3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 4. Cover, and bake 45 to 60 minutes. Uncover, and reduce temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until set.

No Bake Peanut Butter Pie Ingredients: 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar 1 cup peanut butter 1 cup milk 1 (16 oz) package frozen whipped topping, thawed 2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts

Directions: 1.Beat together cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. 2. Spoon into two 9 inch graham cracker pie shells; cover, and freeze until firm.


Do you have a favorite recipe that you’d like to share with our readers? If so, we’d love to have recipes that are easy, healthy and are smaller in proportion – just right for someone cooking for one or two. Please send your recipes to OR drop them off at the front desk of Rufty Holmes Senior Center to Cindy Nimmer. Thanks and we look forward to seeing what you’ve got cooking!

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The Meaning of Christmas


ust a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room, and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree. He placed his finger over his mouth so I would not cry out. “What are you doing?” I asked. The words choked in my throat, as I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement, TEACH THE CHILDREN! I was puzzled: What did he mean? He anticipated my question, and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree. As I stood there bewildered, Santa said, Teach the Children! Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that a now-a-day Christmas has forgotten! Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it on the mantle. Teach the Children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round,

depicting the everlasting hope of mankind. All the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man’s thoughts turning toward heaven. He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. Teach the Children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of that promise. He then reached into the bag and pulled out a CANDLE. Teach the Children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness. Once again he reached into his bag and then removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. Teach the Children that the wreath symbolizes the eternal nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection. He then pulled out from his bag an ornament of HIMSELF. Teach the Children that Santa Claus symbolizes the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December. He reached in again and pulled out a HOLLY LEAF. Teach the Children the holly plant represents immortality. It

represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent blood shed by Him. Next he pulled out a GIFT from the bag and said, “Teach the Children that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift. Teach the Children that the wise men bowed before the holy babe and presented Him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We should give gifts in the same spirit as the wise men.” Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree. Teach the Children that the candy cane represents the shepherd’s crook. The crook on the shepherd’s staff helps bring back strayed sheep from the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother’s keeper He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. Teach the Children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior’s birth. The angels sang ‘Glory to God in the highest, on earth,

peace and good will.’ Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL. Teach the Children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of a bell, it should bring people to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return. Santa looked at the tree and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, “Remember, teach the Children the true meaning of Christmas, and not to put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One who is, and I bow down and worship Him, our Lord, our God.” Source:

The Best Age for YOU to Retire By Mike Korbey

Commissioner for Communications


ou may be trying to figure out what the most beneficial age is to say goodbye to your colleagues at the office. This is one of the most important and challenging decisions you’ll make in your life. When you decide to retire affects not only you, but it could have serious, long-lasting consequences for your family members, too. The answer is not the same for everybody, and I’m going to share some information that can help you make an informed decision based on your own personal situation.

If you delay receiving your Social Security until age 70, the monthly amount is 32 percent more than you would get at full retirement age. From a Social Security standpoint, you can start getting lower benefits as early as age 62, or you can delay retirement up to age 70 for your maximum monthly benefit amount. For example: Let’s say your full retirement age for Social Security benefits is 66, and your monthly benefit at that age is $1,000. Here’s what your monthly benefit would be, starting at different ages:

* Age 62 = $750 * Age 63 = $800 * Age 64 = $866 * Age 65 = $933 * Age 66 = $1,000 * Age 67 = $1,080 * Age 68 = $1,160 * Age 69 = $1,240 * Age 70 = $1,320 At age 62, your benefit amount is about 25 percent lower than your full benefit at age 66. If you delay receiving your Social Security until age 70, the monthly amount is 32 percent more than you would get at full retirement age. From 62 to 70, that comes to a monthly increase of $570 or

$6,840 a year. When to retire is a personal decision that you should base on factors such as your current cash needs, your health, and family longevity, whether you have other retirement income sources, and of course, your anticipated future financial needs and obligations. Remember, the average retirement will last for about 20 years, and Social Security benefits are typically adjusted annually for inflation to help maintain your standard of living. For more information, visit

TenderHearted Home Care provides professional, affordable, and caring in-home living assistance for seniors.

We help families by taking time to understand their loved one’s needs and then customizing a care solution for their budget. Call us today to schedule your free in-home care assessment or just to talk to one of our eldercare advisors.

Caring Companionship, Bed/Wheel Chair Transfers Bathing, Dressing & Grooming, Incontinence Care Light Housekeeping, Laundry & Linen, Pet Care Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s & Dementia Care Meal Preparation, Medication Reminders, Running Errands

** Mention this ad and receive a 25% discount on your first visit. **

225 N Main St, Suite 406 • Salisbury, NC 28144 • Ph. 704-612-4132 Fax: 888-878-3396 www.


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Our Health

Ring in the Holiday Season with a Hearing Test for You and a Loved One!

Lorin S. Oden

Au.D., FAAA Doctor of Audiology


ddressing hearing loss isn’t just about what you hear—it’s about how you feel and function. Jane, Beth, Jamie and I are encouraging people of all ages to get their hearing tested this holiday season. Studies show that when people address hearing loss, it can have a positive effect on their home life, self-confidence, relationships, mood, overall health, job performance, and even income. It safeguards quality of life by helping people maintain an active, healthy lifestyle and stay socially and cognitively engaged. Learning the status of your hearing health and addressing hearing loss are important to the quality of life. Gen Xers and youthful-minded baby boomers are, in fact, developing hearing loss in greater numbers. And as older Americans are putting off retirement and staying in the workforce longer, the ability to hear your best is becoming all the more important.

Luckily, the vast majority of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. And today’s state-ofthe art hearing aids are better than ever. The latest technologies make it easier to hear people and sounds from all directions. Today’s hearing aids are designed to help you understand in noisy places, like crowded restaurants. Many styles sit discreetly and comfortably inside the ear canal or behind the ear, making them virtually invisible. Perhaps best of all, they’re wireless, helping people of all ages stay connected to their smartphones, home entertainment systems, and other prized electronics— but most importantly, connected to life. So go ahead. Ring in this holiday season with a hearing test. Whether its conversation and laughter around the dinner table you enjoy most, or watching a movie or football game together on the television; let the latest hearing aid technologies help you hear your best and stay connected with family and friends in the new year. Remember, a diagnostic hearing evaluation, when completed by an audiologist (me) is covered by your insurance. So give Beth or Jamie a call at 704633-0023 to schedule your appointment today.

5 Ways That Addressing Hearing Loss Can Make for Happier Holidays and a More Promising New Year Addressing hearing loss really can add to quality of life – during the holidays and year round. Here’s what getting a hearing test and using professionally fitted hearing aids, may do for you: 1. Strengthen ties with family and friends. Healthy relationships rest largely on good communication. In one Better Hearing Institute (BHI) study, more than half the respondents said using hearing aids improved their relationships at home, their social lives, and their ability to join in groups. Many even saw improvements in their romance. 2. Raise your spirits. People with untreated hearing loss often feel angry, frustrated, anxious, isolated, and depressed. But research shows that when they use hearing aids, many become more socially engaged, feel a greater sense of safety and independence, and see a general improvement in their overall quality of life. 3. Lead you to feel better about yourself. An important perk of using hearing aids can be enhanced emotional well-being. Research shows that when people with hearing loss use hearing aids, many feel more in control of their lives and less self-critical. One BHI study found that the majority of people with mild and severe hearing loss felt better about themselves, and life overall as a result of using hearing aids. 4. Keep your mind sharp. Studies out of Johns Hopkins linked hearing loss with accelerated

cognitive decline in older adults and found that seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time. BHI studies found that many people with hearing loss report improvements in their cognitive skills with the use of hearing aids. 5. Unleash your earning potential. Hearing your best at work helps you to be your best. One study found that using hearing aids reduced the risk of income loss by 90 to 100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 to 77 percent for those with severe to moderate hearing loss. And people with hearing loss who use hearing aids are more likely to be employed than their peers who don’t. Remember to visit our website at www.hearingsolutionsofnc. com for more information and like us on Facebook. Jane, Beth, Jamie and I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season. We look forward to seeing you soon. For more information or to schedule a hearing evaluation, contact Dr. Lorin S. Oden at Hearing Solutions of North Carolina, 464 Jake Alexander Blvd. W., Salisbury, NC 28147 704-633-0023

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Our Community

Brian Center

Health & Retirement 250 Bishop Lane Concord, NC



Concord Parkway 2452 Rock Hill Church Rd Concord, NC


Caremoor Retirement Center Independent Apartments & Assisted Living 4876 Caremoor Pl. Kannapolis, NC


Five Oaks

Short Term Rehab and Skilled Nursing 413 Winecoff School Rd. Concord, NC


We would like to extend warmest wishes to you & your family throughout the Holiday Season. This page sponsored by the caring folks at the long-term care facilities listed on this page.

Concord Place

1501 Zion Church Road East Concord, NC


Transitional Health Services of Kannapolis 1810 Lake Concord Rd Kannapolis, NC 704-933-3781

NC State Veterans Home Salisbury 1601 Brenner Ave. Bldg 10


Trinity Oaks Campus 728-820 Klumac Rd. Salisbury, NC 704-637-3784 704-633-1002


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Cabarrus Senior Savvy December 2019  

Celebrating Life After 55

Cabarrus Senior Savvy December 2019  

Celebrating Life After 55

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