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SE PT EM BE R2 02 1


By Jan McCanless


ne of the news magazines I subscribe to had a blurb this week about Lake Leelanau, in the upper peninsula of Michigan. That’s the place my family went to every summer; as I explained before, my dad couldn’t take the summer heat of Florida, and went in search of cooler temps. He found it in northern Michigan. The article went on to tell about the delicious cherries found in the area. Every roadside stand had fresh cherries, and on our way up to our cabin we would often stop by the side of the road and watch the cherry pickers. This was before we had tv, so we had to watch something! They


or others taking care of elderly parents at home, our father’s story may provide some valuable lessons. Five years ago, Dad was a mess. Today, he has turned things around. He’s in much better shape, despite being five years older. Here’s what the situation looked like five years ago and the advice he’d give himself

were so good, nothing quite like Michigan cherries. Then, the article went on to describe the huge sand dunes at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park. They were like mountains to me, huge things, and the challenge was to see how easily you could climb one. Not an easy task since you sank down into the sand a little bit, and the higher you went, the tougher it got. But once at the top, oh what fun to slide down, never mind the mouthful of sand one got on the way down. A terrific feeling of freedom and exhilaration. We generally stayed until the Labor Day weekend, when it was time to go home and start a new school year. That was not fun and exhilarating - - - to me.

To this day, I enjoy the outdoor adventures, and have thoroughly enjoyed watching the summer Olympics this year. I can’t help but admire the athletes and their prowess at these games. Imagine the work and practice it took to get there, and wonder if they had as much fun as I did sliding down those sand dunes. Looking at the divers and swimmers really was enjoyable, and I can just imagine myself doing a graceful swan dive off the 16’ board into that beautiful clear water. Okay, so I thought I would try it, I mean, how hard could it be anyway? I just pretended in my mind, I was sliding down that huge sand dune toward the bottom. You ever do a belly flop off

a diving board? I’m here to tell you, it ain’t fun! For one thing, it hurts like the dickens, for another, a snootful of pool water is not cool. Back to the Olympics. I am so proud of team USA for their outstanding performance, and every time I hear the National anthem played and see our flag raised, I get goosebumps on top of goosebumps. I am definitely hooked on that feeling, and I haven’t had so much enjoyment out of sports, since sliding down that sand dune - - - even if my brother pushed me.

back then now that he sees how things can be better. We know all too well how stressful it can be taking care of elderly parents at home. Hopefully, seeing how the situation can improve will offer hope to caregivers, but also serve as a useful example for aging parents to consider.

When You’re Taking Care of Elderly Parents at Home and Things Are a Mess

him. We started noticing he was closing off rooms and spending most of his time in just a tiny section of the home. His outfits seemed to be limited to one or two items. Dad always liked wearing neat button-down shirts and chinos, but we learned later that his shoulder hurt too much when doing laundry and

Five years ago, we felt like we were failing at taking care of aging parents. Dad seemed to be going downhill. Each time we visited, he had retreated a bit more. He was trying to manage his big house all by himself and it was clearly exhausting

Continued on page 3


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e all love puppies and kittens, problem is, they grow up! Then the changes come, the chewing, the whining, the barking, the scratching of the furniture, etc, etc. But thank God, after a while, they settle down and begin to change into. adulthood. Did you ever wonder what goes on in the mind of your dog? Well, I’m going to tell you. As of this moment, think of me as your dog, and what I am thinking to myself as the day starts. First, it’s six o’clock in the morning, I’m sound asleep and cozy as hell in my bed, when all of a sudden I hear the jingle of my leash, and my owner say in that stupid high pitched voice, “Time to go potty!” Geez, it’s six o’clock in the damn morning and I don’t HAVE TO GO POTTY YET!! Just because you get up early as a lot of old people do, doesn’t mean I have too. I’ll let you

know when I have to go! But here comes the leash and up I have to jump to go Potty! Oh great, it’s raining out, just what I need after a cozy bed, a cold shower to snuggle up in. Damn it’s cold! All right, all right, open the damn door and let me in, I went Potty, okay? Get the towel and dry me off for crying out loud, I’m freezing my tail off! Oh, more of that stupid high pitch talk, “DOES THAT FEEL GOOD?” Oh yeah, just great, first you wake me, then you soak me, then you freeze me, and now you’re doing the rhumba all over me, just great, can’t wait till the next time! Enough! What’s for breakfast?, smells like bacon, yummy. No, oh no, not that same old dry pebbles again, where the hell is that bacon smell coming from? Oh, I see, it’s on your dish, how ‘bout you eat these pebbles and I eat the bacon for once, huh? Yeah, lot’s of luck with that. Well thank God that’s over with, looking forward to going back to bed for a while. What? A walk, are you kidding me? I don’t feel like a walk, it’s six thirty in the morning, for crying out loud,

what are you losing it? Oh dear God, put some sense into this woman will you please? Yeah, yeah, I’m coming, looking so forward to it, whoopie doo! Geez, slow down a little will ya? These legs are about one tenth the length of yours, and you’re old, remember? Oh God, why wasn’t I born a cat, they just sleep all damn day and get praised for it. They also get those little gourmet cans of food that have a real smell to them, and moist, instead of the broken up cement she gives me that’s dry as a bone, I wish it was a bone! Come on, enough with this walk already, let’s go home. Ahhh, at last, it’s soap opera time, gimme that bed and leave me alone for a while. …….What’s that noise, oh no, the vacuum, so much for the nap, well it’s almost dinnertime anyway, maybe it will be something good for a change. Maybe she made a nice meal for daddy and he’ll give me a little on the side. Yea, daddy’s home, let me jump on him to show him how much I love him. Oh here comes the nightly routine, scratching me on the head, over and over. There’s more of me behind the head!!! Continued on page 10

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Five Years Ago Dad Was a Mess continued from page 1 ironing. So, he started spending most of the day in pajamas and wearing tracksuits when he had to go out. Then we started noticing small injuries such as bruises and cuts. It turns out he’d fallen numerous times, which only came out when he ended up in the ER twice. At the last ER visit, we learned there were many problems that Dad had been trying to cover. He was not only hurt physically, but very confused when we met him at the hospital. It turns out he was making significant errors with his medications. He had mixed in old pills that had since been replaced with new ones. And, he was taking two medications with potentially harmful interactions. Finally, he had the timing and dosages mixed up on a few. We had started wondering if he was developing Alzheimer’s, but it turns out his medication problems were to blame. Additionally, Dad had never really gotten used to cooking for himself or eating alone. With his confusion and exhaustion, this had become even more difficult. So, he was going out with friends to lunch a couple times per week and living mostly on leftovers and snacks. He still drove out to meet his friends at a nearby spot, but otherwise felt uncomfortable driving any further. Therefore, he stopped most outside activities and stayed home a lot. He’d neglected to follow up on a doctor’s recommendation to see a specialist because he wasn’t sure how he’d get there.

What Changed: Five Years Later Once it all came out in the open, we tackled the issues together as a family. I reassured Dad that we didn’t want to take away his control, or force him into a nursing home. But, we did not want him to be living in misery. My sister and I took time to talk to him and listen to his worries, and understand what had been going on. Though he was a bit guarded at first, he opened up and began to see we had his interests at heart. We all decided we needed a plan going forward. I contacted EasyLiving and a care manager came out to meet with us. With

her complete assessment, we had a plan in place to help Dad. What was eye-opening was how much his quality of life had truly been suffering over the past several years. And, how little it took to fix many of the issues and make things better for him. It was definitely eye-opening for Dad too. The care manager suggested numerous creative solutions, many of which cost little or nothing. She helped Dad see the benefits of getting some help to prevent a bigger crisis than the ones he’d found himself in thus far. And, she helped us get things in place and make sure it all went smoothly. There were occasional stumbling blocks, so it was so valuable for us and Dad to have someone we trusted to help throughout. Here’s how Dad’s life looks now:

The Plan=The Results • Dad uses Lyft Concierge for the freedom of getting rides on demand. His home caregiver also runs errands and takes him to scheduled doctor’s appointments once/week, but he loves the freedom of calling for a car when he needs it. He started going back to his favorite evening theater events since he doesn’t have to worry about night driving. Three years ago, he sold his car. • Dad’s caregiver buys groceries for him weekly and cooks him several meals. She eats a couple with him and also freezes some tasty, healthy options for later. He also has Shipt for grocery delivery, but he found he liked having company for some home-cooked meals. We worked with EasyLiving to find the right caregiver, and he loves her cooking. • We got a complete medication review done and Dad’s doctor was able to reduce some medications. Dad gets his medications delivered from Medicine Shoppe in med packs so it’s easy for him to manage. • The care manager helped us rearrange the home to make things more accessible and safer for Dad. He can now easily reach everything he

needs on a regular basis. We removed a bunch of trip hazards and cleared pathways. We added some grab bars in the bathroom and a raised toilet seat. Dad uses the bathroom with a walk-in shower, which also has a nice bench seat he can rest on if he feels tired. She also convinced Dad to get an emergency call system, which of course gave us peace of mind. But, surprisingly, it gave him even more. Dad’s caregiver helps with laundry (ironed shirts again!) and keeping the house tidy. We make sure to arrange regular maintenance and check in, so Dad’s not tempted to do tasks where he might hurt himself.

Added Benefits • Between eating better, being on the right medications, and having a better home and personal environment, Dad has more energy. He picked back up some of his old outside

activities, especially with the ease of getting around. We also recently got him an Alexa Show and he now loves video chatting with his grandkids. He uses it to listen to daily news briefings and history podcasts. He wasn’t so sure about it at first, but now he’s really enjoying what he uses it for so far. • We also feel more prepared for whatever lies ahead. When we did the assessment, we went in and reviewed the legal and financial situation with Dad’s advisors. We simplified some things and he updated all his documents. The care manager helped us organize his disparate medical records. Now, if he ended up in the ER, we would be prepared. We also have a trusted team who can give us advice and set up more services when needed. This means more than you can imagine if you’re taking care of elderly parents at home.

September Crossword


1. Originates in 6. Gentlewoman 10. Forearm bone 14. Circumscribe 15. Beige 16. Close 17. Crop up 18. By mouth 19. Birthday or cheese, for example 20. Type of dolphin 22. Eye layer 23. Be 24. Sleighs 25. Dry riverbed 29. Perceptiveness 31. Median 33. Piece of fried bread 37. Relating to cats 38. Ventilate

Down 39. A spear with three prongs 41. Indigenous 42. Implore 44. A pack of playing cards 45. Anxiety 48. Made a mistake 50. Nonclerical 51. Not professional in skill 56. Plunge 57. Snack 58. Expensive fur 59. Not odd 60. Away from the wind 61. Threesomes 62. Lease 63. Forsaken 64. Affirmatives

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1. Generous slice of the pie 2. Novice 3. Send forth 4. Fog 5. Inscribed pillar 6. Strong and proud 7. Astride 8. Forceful and extreme 9. Christmas season 10. Unrefined 11. Depart 12. Nude 13. Districts 21. Demanding attention 24. Wearing footgear 25. Drift 26. Anagram of “Rave” 27. Sandwich shop

28. Pearlescent 30. Recipient 32. Regarding 34. Docile 35. Ear-related 36. Make out (slang) 40. Vibrating effect 41. Made of baked clay 43. Found at the end of a pencil 45. Birch relative 46. Unsophisticated 47. Donated 49. Covered with a layer of dust 51. A Freudian stage 52. Unusual 53. Nile bird 54. Blackthorn 55. Untidyness


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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.

Nancy Panko is a regular contributor to Trail Tales. In this issue, she shares a story that reminds reader of the tragic events that interrupted so many lives on September 11, 2001, twenty years ago this month. If you’d like to share your story in this column, text or call 980-621-0398. Instruction on how to obtain a free electronic version of this story is posted on the blog hosted at

What a Difference a Day Makes


© 2021 by Nancy Panko

was getting ready to go to work and was in the kitchen eating the last of my breakfast. It was a gorgeous September day in north central Pennsylvania, with clear blue skies, brilliant sunshine, and leaves at the tops of the nearby mountains just starting to turn. The television was on and regular programming was interrupted by a news bulletin to say that at 8:46 a.m. an airplane had crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. My heart skipped a beat. The telephone rang twice in succession. I answered twice to first speak to our daughter and then our son who both asked the same question, “Where’s Dad?” “In New York City.” “Have you heard from him?” My answer was the same each time. “No, but I’m going to call Phyllis next. As soon as I hear anything I’ll call you.” Upon disconnecting from the kids, I dialed the phone to call George’s assistant. My eyes were glued to the television

screen as the phone was ringing at Woolrich, Inc. Riveted in front of the breaking news, I was no longer interested in breakfast or work. I watched and listened as the reporters speculated as to why a plane would or could hit such a prominent building in lower Manhattan. My husband was in the city on one of his routine business trips. Phyllis answered. I told her what happened. George’s staff in Woolrich turned their television set on in the break room. Phyllis assured me that when she reached him, she’d have him call me. Minutes later, George was on the phone. Phyllis had told him what happened. Although he was in Manhattan, news from the lower part of the city hadn’t yet reached him. While we were still talking, at 9:03 a.m., I watched as the cameras trained on the buildings captured a second aircraft as it flew into the South Tower. All major networks covered the incident and, by this time, everyone knew it was deliberate. I cried out, “George, New York is under attack. You have to get out. Get the car and, please, leave now.” “Nance, I can’t. I’m standing here in the lobby of the hotel. We’re getting reports from an officer at the desk that all the bridges and tunnels are being closed. I couldn’t leave

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if I wanted to.” “Did you check out already? Rooms are going to be scarce.” “I did, but they’re assuring me a place to stay tonight.” “What are you going to do now?” I asked. “I’m going to keep what client appointments I can and go to the credit group meeting we have scheduled this afternoon. I’m not sure how many people will show up under the circumstances. I’ve got to stay busy or this will drive me crazy.” “If you can, call me later. I’ve heard on the news that all the cell towers are shut down.” “I will. Yes, all cell towers are down. The desk clerk tells me that they’ll inform guests as soon as the NYPD has opened up an exit route. Right now, only emergency vehicles are getting into the city. I have to go so someone else can use the phone. Love you, bye.” I had immense relief that he was safe and even more relief that the hotel made sure he wouldn’t be spending the night on the street. I guessed that being a client of thirty years has its perks. However, I had an ominous feeling that the attacks were just beginning. I faced both the TV screen and the window looking out over the valley through which the West Branch of the Susquehanna River flowed. It was eerily serene considering what was happening to the east of us in New York City. Around 9:10 a.m., immediately after I got off the phone with George, I saw an unusual sight. A large passenger plane passed over our valley heading west. I thought it odd because, although we were in the flight pattern, planes were usually at a much higher altitude. I glanced back at the TV set broadcasting news bulletins from New York City and reports of aircraft all over the nation being grounded. I looked back at the plane flying over our valley getting smaller in the distance. I had a strange

sense of foreboding. Was it my overactive imagination? At 9:37 a.m., hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the western side of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. killing fiftynine aboard the plane and one hundred twenty-five military and civilian personnel inside the building. Three attacks on our nation in less than an hour. We were definitely under siege. How many more people were going to die today? The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed at 9:59 a.m. TV cameras caught it all. Evacuees, onlookers, and reporters ran for their lives. People fleeing the site were covered from head to toe in grey ash. I thought of our friends who worked in those buildings. Were they safe? The media began to report conversations heard by Air Traffic Controllers from the cockpit of one of the hijacked planes. Family members at home were talking to loved ones on the aircraft with messages of love and final goodbyes. Passengers told family members they were attempting to take back United Airlines Flight 93 in the air over Pennsylvania. In an emotional conversation with his wife, Todd Beamer uttered those famous words to his fellow heroes, “Let’s roll!” In response to the resistance, the hijackers deliberately crashed the plane into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:07 a.m. killing all aboard. Investigators learned that Flight 93’s original mission was to crash into the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. I couldn’t stay at home alone to think about everything happening and my husband being stuck in the city so I went to work for a few hours. The office was subdued. Patients were calling to cancel their appointment stating they were too upset to sit in a Continued on page 8

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Estate Planning in the COVID-19 Era By: Jazmin G. Caldwell, Partner at Brown & Caldwell Attorneys, PC - Elder Law & Estate Planning Solutions of the Piedmont


uring this past year, we have all faced the turmoil and heroic events of the COVID-19 pandemic. As 2021 began, we saw new hope with the COVID19 vaccines and the application to the local communities around us. Many of us have lost family members, friends, and community members to the pandemic; but we have also had moments where we have seen kindness and heroism in the face of this pandemic. Now we are facing different variants of the COVID-19 virus, some that are or are not affected by the vaccine. We know what is most important is the health of our families; but we also must realize that this is also a chance to make sure all of your affairs are in order. Realistically, you, your family, or your friends might contract the coronavirus and one of the most devastating events could occur. Moreover, COVID-19 has changed the face of how the estate planning documents operate.

1. Advanced Healthcare Directive/ Living Will This document is used when a person is incapacitated and is near death. The thought of extraordinary measures (i.e., ventilator and/or life support) was only thought of when a person was passing away or in a coma or persistent vegetative state. In these cases, the patient was near death and there was no

hope of survival. However now, the ventilator and life support have become life-saving measures and protocols for those suffering from the effects of COVID-19 virus. - How does this affect my wishes in my advanced healthcare directive/living will? A person who has decided they would prefer a natural death, meaning no extraordinary measures to keep them alive in their time of death; is not the same as do you want to receive a ventilator or life support should you be fighting COVID-19. There was a situation where a patient decided in her living will that she did not want to have a ventilator and/or other extraordinary measures to extend her life. The problem was when she was admitted to the hospital due to the coronavirus, the hospital staff would not allow her to have the ventilator or life support to help her fight the COVID-19 affects. However, on this document she made the directive that allowed her healthcare power of attorney to override her decisions and make other decisions for her when she was unable. Her healthcare power of attorney was able to override her decision not to receive a ventilator and/or life support, and she did receive these life saving protocols.

2. Healthcare Power of Attorney This document allows you to appoint a person to make ALL healthcare decisions for

you when you are unable. This document also allows you to make limitations on your healthcare agents ability to make certain healthcare decisions, including artificial hydration and feeding; and other general medical decisions. This document can be used to relay a directive that in the event that you contract COVID19 you specifically authorize or authorize your health care power of attorney to allow the doctors to utilize the ventilator and/or life support to save your life, as a part of the treatment. 3.Durable Power of Attorney This is generally one of the most important documents you will ever create because it operates while you are still alive. However, you are appointing an individual, you trust, to make decisions for you involving all aspects of your life, except healthcare. This includes real property transactions, banking transactions, gifting; everything except healthcare. Even though the durable power of attorney is unable to make healthcare decisions, they may have to make decisions about paying health care bills, if you are unable. If you have contracted COVID-19 and you are admitted to the hospital for an extended period, you will need to still meet certain obligations such as mortgage payments, utility payments, credit card payments and other debts. If you planned ahead and created this document to appoint someone to work on your behalf, then you do

not have to worry about those obligations being met while you are recovering.

4. Last Will & Testament The need for this document has not changed, generally, due to the pandemic. If anything, the pandemic has made the need for this document more urgent. The worst-case scenario is that this document is not created before your untimely death. This would cause your estate assets to have to be distributed based upon the North Carolina Intestacy Statute. This means you have no control over who receives your personal property and real property. The Last Will & Testament allows you to control, not only who you want to receive a distribution from your estate; but also, to control who is appointed as an Executor of your estate (the person who administers your estate). There are many other decisions and directives you can make in your Last Will & Testament; and to further decide if you need something more, such as a Revocable Living Trust. This article and its subject matter is not to alarm you into making estate planning documents. Isn’t it a better idea to be proactive and plan for events that you are unable to control? You can have peace in knowing that you can control the decisions and directives in your estate planning documents. Being proactive is the best preparation. See our ad.

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A Little Dose of Humor

Married Four Times

D The local news station was interviewing an 80-year-old lady because she had just gotten married for the fourth time. The interviewer asked her questions about her life, about what it felt like to be marrying again at 80, and then about her new husband’s occupation.. “He’s a funeral director,” she answered. “Interesting,” the newsman thought... He then asked her if she wouldn’t mind telling him a little about her first three husbands and what they did for a living. She paused for a few moments, needing time to reflect on all those years. After a short time, a smile came to her face and she answered proudly, explaining that she had first married a banker when she was in her 20’s, then a circus ringmaster when in her 40’s, and a preacher when in her 60’s, and now in her 80’s - a funeral director. The interviewer looked at her, quite astonished, and asked why she had married four men with such diverse careers. After a brief moment of silence... She smiled and explained, “I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go.”

Short Funny Quotes... Doc Brown to Marty McFly in Back to the Future 3: “Whatever you do Marty, do not go back to 2020.” My Dad suggested I register for the organ donation scheme. He’s a man after my own heart. My English teacher said I should read more. I put the subtitles on the TV. Did you know men use 9,000 words a day and women use 30,000? The trouble is by the time men get home from work they’ve used up their 9,000 and women have only just started using their 30,000. When you choke a smurf, what colour does it turn? Just burned 2000 calories. Nothing worse than charcoaled brownies. Losers sometimes triumph. Just ask the second mouse to the mousetrap. No matter how much you push the envelope, it will always be stationary. Police quickly solved the issue of the stolen luggage. It was an open and shut case. I failed my driver’s test today. The instructor asked me “What do you do at a red light?” I said “I usually check my emails and see what people are up to on Facebook.” My doctor said I had to watch my weight because obesity ran in my family. I said no one runs in my family. How embarrassing is it when you’re swimming at the beach and a piece of seaweed touches your leg and you scream like a shark bit you? I named my toilet Jim. That way I can say I go to the Jim every morning. I was raised as an only child. It really annoyed my sister. What did the ocean say to the sea? Nothing, it just waved. Did you sea what I did there? Shore. My Dad said money can’t buy happiness. So I bought him a Happy Meal. Why did the chicken cross the road? To social distance. There’s no I in team, but there’s 4 in Individual Victory. On a scale of 1 to stepping on Lego, how much pain are you in? This is my step-ladder. I never knew my real ladder. Slugs are snails that have been through divorce. Yep, she got the house. Doctor: “I’ve got good news and bad news for you.” Patient: “Give me the good news first.” Doctor: “ You’ve only got 24 hours to live.” Patient: “ Oh my God, what’s the bad news. Doctor: “I was meant to call you yesterday.”.


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emember when you were young, and everything was “rosey” in your eyes? You played with your friends, had birthday parties, visited grandma and grandpa, rode ponies, and went to the beach? They were wonderful days. The world looked so nice. Then, as you got older, you started to see things in a little different light. Things started to get a little sterner, a little harder, and nowhere near as pleasant as years before. More time passes, and now, as an adult, you really see things differently. You see things like hardship, poverty, war, crime, sickness, a whole darker side of “The Rose” you once knew. You learn to adjust, and make decisions on things that affect your life and family. You find that some were good decisions, and some were not so good, but that’s life. Time passes, and over the years you start to accumulate knowledge and experience, and you become a little wiser each year. You’re able to look at things differently than you had before. Some a little differently, and some quite differently.

You’re able now to examine and judge things with a knowledge and experience you didn’t have before when you were young, and you feel kind of good about that because it makes you feel, well, more well rounded and adult. But it’s not until you get old, or older shall we say, that you really see things a whole lot different than all of the previous stages you’ve been through. You look back on some things and wonder why the hell you got so mad at some things, that now seem so foolish to you. You learn to let more slide, instead of making a big deal of it. You learn, that the most important thing of all, is love, for family, friends, and yes, even strangers. It reminds me of that great song by Nat King Cole. The song was “Nature Boy”, and this child told him, “The greatest thing, you’ll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return”. What a profound line that is. So, you work hard all your life, and some of you invest your money, and save, and build up that bank account for the “golden years”, and

that’s all well and good, but the one person you didn’t love, was yourself! You were so busy saving money for “the children and the grandchildren”, that you never treated yourself and your spouse to that one vacation you always wanted to go on, or that special car you always wished you could have, whether it was a new one, or one of the oldies that held so many memories for you and you wife, or husband. No, you couldn’t spend money on that, you had to save it for “the kids”. Well you know what, “BULLCRAP!”. You get one chance around in this world, and you can’t take it with you. And you know what your kids are going to do with that money you leave them?,they’re going to take a great vacation to all the places you wished you could have gone, and for sure buy that car you always wanted! So wake up, and SEE REALITY!. Enjoy life while you still have it. I’ll tell you the truth about something. My wife and I will be married 57 years

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this November. We worked together most of our life, had tough times, and some really good times. Never squandered our money foolishly on dumb things, but never invested it either, and yes, things are a little tough right now, but I’ll tell you the truth, we may not have money to leave the kids, but there isn’t a day goes by that more than one smile come across our face from all of the great memories of the things we’ve done, and places we’ve been. Every time they show someplace on television, we say, ”been there, been there, done that”, and we crack up. That’s what life is all about. Look through those wise eyes of yours, and “SEE WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU”, and do it! Make memories for yourself and your spouse while you still can, and enjoy what you have left, then go out and buy one of those great license plates that say, “SPENDING MY KIDS INHERITANCE, AND LOVIN’ EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!”.


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What a Difference a Day Makes continued from page 4

dental chair. Everyone seemed to be moving robotically just trying to get through the day. As soon as I got home, I emailed my friend Jay who worked at the World Trade Center. “Please contact me. I’m worried about you,” I typed. I awaited word from family members of others. After a fitful night’s sleep, I answered the phone at 8 a.m. when George called saying the NYPD had opened one lane of the George Washington Bridge for traffic leaving the city. He would be home in about four hours. I offered up a prayer of thanksgiving and began to plan a meal of comfort foods. We were going to need comfort. On September 12, 2001, American flags were flying from every house and business in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. The national news showed the same phenomenon from coast to coast. The nation was united in shock, grief, and mourning. Citizens pulled together and stood shoulder to shoulder with a profound sense of patriotism. In later days, the nation got details of Firefighters, EMTs, Law Enforcement Officers, and ordinary citizens who did extraordinary things to save lives that day. The passengers who valiantly fought hijackers for control of Flight 93 were among these heroes.

Epilogue: On September 14, our son called to say that there was no news from his friend Martin who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald in the North Tower. The family was hoping that he had survived but the odds were not in his favor. The reporters had begun interviewing survivors and family members who had spoken to their

loved ones inside the burning buildings. Cantor Fitzgerald could not account for six hundred fifty-eight of their nine hundred sixty workers occupying floors 101 through 105. When American Airlines Flight 11 flew into floors 93 through 99 of the North Tower, the Boeing 767 was traveling at four hundred seventy miles per hour. The craft measured one hundred fifty-six feet from wingtip to wingtip and carried 10,000 gallons of jet fuel. After the initial impact, a shock wave radiated up and down the building shaking the huge structure. We prayed for a miracle that Martin would be found safe. Three days later, I received an email from my friend, Jay. He recounted that he watched as the second plane hit the South Tower. His building was evacuated and everyone ran for their lives as the buildings collapsed and spewed thick gray ash over all of lower Manhattan. He walked for hours, eventually crossing the George Washington Bridge on foot along with hundreds of others. Once on the Jersey side, he called for someone to pick him up and take him home. Thank God, he was spared. Hearing that my friend Amy was safe at home after the attacks on New York City was another huge relief. Amy was eight months pregnant. She and her husband were eagerly looking forward to being first-time parents. She worked at American Express across the street from the World Trade Center in a job she loved in the city she loved. On the morning of 9/11, Amy

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was thinking about her ninea.m. meeting as she crossed over the West Side Highway via the pedestrian bridge. She was startled by a loud roaring noise and began to see white papers falling from the sky. Everyone began to run, including eightmonth-pregnant Amy. She made it across the bridge into the atrium and joined up with a friend. Grabbing Megan’s hand tightly, Amy took charge and led her through the streets to the water’s edge a few blocks away where they could clearly see black billowing smoke pouring from the North Tower. They were told that an airplane had hit the building. At that moment, the growing crowd at the dock seeking to escape the inferno heard another low-flying jumbo jet. They watched in horror as it banked and plowed into the South Tower spewing fuel and flames throughout the damaged floors. It was then everyone knew New York City was under attack. Amy and Megan found seats on a crowded ferry. Amy insisted that the crew give her a life jacket. She told me that all she could think of was Pearl Harbor. She was convinced that the ferry boats would be attacked next. If she was wearing a life jacket, she reasoned, at least she would float enabling someone to save her and her unborn child. The two young women had no idea where this ferry would dock, they just knew they had to get away from the carnage. When the boat pulled into a berth at Hoboken, it discharged hundreds of passengers and returned to the New York side to retrieve more. The two women found their way to the New Jersey Transit and boarded a train heading west. As they rode in silence, the women checked for cell service. As soon as they could, they called their frantic family members to meet them at the station. Amy related to me that it was a tearful, joyous reunion but, that night, she could not begin to close her eyes. The aftermath of an intense survival mode adrenaline rush had worn off and anxiety had set in. She had to turn on every light in the house to feel safe enough to sleep. One month later Amy delivered a healthy baby boy. It was almost a year before she went back to work in the city. Everything had changed. Not one employee could sit on the side of the office to look out the windows facing east. Where the once majestic World Trade Center Towers

stood was a deep, dark pit in the earth. Many people in the office found themselves breaking into tears from the mere proximity of what remained as a result of evil perpetrated upon our nation that glorious fall day in September. Workers still combed through the debris looking for evidence of those unaccounted for. One day, I got a call from my son that Martin’s wedding ring had been found in the rubble. His wife identified it from the inscription inside. Martin’s family finally had closure. After reading the National Transportation Safety Board report some years later, my husband and I determined that Flight 93 had been the aircraft I saw flying above the West Branch of the Susquehanna. It was not my imagination. This nation had gone from living in freedom one day to living in fear the next. The United States of America was forever changed. About Nancy Panko: Nancy is a retired pediatric RN and author of two award-winning novels: Guiding Missal - Fifty Years. Three Generations of Military Men. One Spirited Prayer Book and Sheltering Angels. Nancy is a fiction author who explores the topics of faith, family, patriotism, and miracles. Panko is a sixteen-time contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul. Also published in Guideposts, Woman’s World, and Cary Living magazines, Nancy is a member of the Cary Senior Writing Circle, The Light of Carolina Christian Writers, and The Military Writers Society of America. Nancy is one of seventeen American authors who share their memories in a new book, “9/11 That Beautiful, Broken Day.” 9/11 That Beautiful, Broken Day can be purchased from https://amzn. to/3i7WO58. All proceeds from online sales will be donated to Military Missions In Action (MMIA) a local non-profit organization dedicated to assisting disabled veterans and active-duty military and their families. https:// Nancy and her husband migrated from Lock Haven, Pennsylvania to Fuquay Varina, North Carolina in 2008 to live near their two children. They have four grandchildren and three granddogs. They love being in, on, or near the water of Lake Gaston with their family. Visit Nancy’s website, . contact Nancy at gnnpanko@ or send a note to Nancy at P.O. Box 1857, Concord, NC 28026

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Tomato Zucchini Casserole

Summer Fruit Brunch Pizza



1 ½ cups grated Cheddar cheese

2 teaspoons canola oil 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced 2 tspns chopped fresh rosemary ¼ tspn ground black pepper, or to taste ½ tspn salt

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese ½ tspn dried oregano ½ tspn dried basil 2 cloves garlic, minced salt and pepper to taste

¾ cup fine bread crumbs

1 ½ Tbspns water 1 prepared whole wheat pizza crust 1 (8 oz) round Brie cheese, thinly sliced 1 cup fresh raspberries 1 fresh peach, sliced ¼ cup chopped fresh basil



1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly butter a 9x9-inch pan.

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly oil a pizza stone or a baking sheet.

2. In a large bowl, combine Cheddar, Parmesan, oregano, basil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

2. Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion in the hot oil until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add rosemary, pepper, and salt.

2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced 5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced ¼ cup butter 2 Tbspns finely chopped onion

3. Arrange half of the zucchini slices in the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese and herb mixture on top. Arrange half of the tomatoes, and top with another 1/4 of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers. 4. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions, and cook until soft and translucent. Stir in breadcrumbs; cook until they have absorbed the butter. Sprinkle on top of casserole.

3. Transfer onion mixture carefully to an electric blender, add water, and puree gently. Spread puree on prepared crust. Top with Brie cheese, raspberries, and peach slices. 4. Bake in the preheated oven until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly, 6 to 8 minutes. Top with fresh basil.

5. Cover loosely with foil, and bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake until the top is crusty and the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Dessert Nachos

Summer Afternoon

1/3 cup peanut butter


1 (12 fl oz) can frozen lemonade concentrate 1 (12 fl oz) can passion fruit frozen concentrate 6 fluid ounces light rum 2 limes 4 cups crushed ice 1 orange, sliced into rounds 4 maraschino cherries

Directions: 1. Chill 4 glasses in the freezer for several hours until outsides of glasses are frosty. Meanwhile, prepare both frozen concentrate juices in separate pitchers, using only 1 1/2 cans of water to fill instead of 2. Refrigerate both juices. 2. Before serving, fill each glass with crushed ice. Divide rum evenly between the glasses, then add passion fruit juice and lemonade in equal amounts. Finally, squeeze half of a lime into each glass to top. Stir. Garnish with fresh orange slices and cherries if desired.


2 Tbspns confectioners’ sugar ½ cup chocolate chips 2 ½ cups mini round corn tortilla chips ¼ cup miniature marshmallows ¼ cup sweetened flaked coconut

Directions: 1. Preheat your oven’s broiler. 2. Combine the peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the mixture until the peanut butter melts, about 1 minute. Place the chocolate chips in a separate microwavesafe bowl; melt the chips in the microwave, about 1 minute. 3. Arrange the tortilla chips into an even layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle the peanut butter mixture and the melted chocolate over the chips. Scatter the marshmallows and coconut over the chips. 4. Place under preheated broiler until the marshmallows begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot.


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 Thanks and we look forward to seeing what you’ve got cooking!

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Our Health

4 Easy Activities to Get Seniors Moving


t’s a well known fact that exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Besides helping us to stay at our ideal weight, it also strengthens cardiovascular health, improves bone strength, increases flexibility, and keeps our muscles active and efficient; it even helps provide oxygen to our brain! These effects aren’t limited to just the younger population, though; no matter what age, exercise should be an important part of one’s daily routine. This includes senior citizens, who should partake of exercise for all the reasons listed above, in addition to the fact that exercise helps fight against osteoporosis and diabetes, can assist in the fight against some types of cancer, and can even help to reduce pain caused from arthritis. Of course, exercise must also be adapted for age, and senior citizens should try to avoid high-impact exercise that can cause more pain to their joints or unnecessary stress to

their bodies. Senior citizens should also consult with their physician and physical therapist before attempting any new exercise routines. Here are four great ideas to get senior citizens moving in a low-impact and enjoyable way!

by doing simple exercises, like trying to stand on one foot, or getting up and down from a chair without holding on. These are measurable exercises, as well, and with practice, progress can easily be noted!

Senior Citizen Yoga

Water-based Workouts Swimming is an incredible, full-body exercise that offers a low-impact way to get a cardiovascular workout. However, pool exercise isn’t just limited to swimming laps; walking laps in the shallow end of the pool, partaking in low-impact water aerobic classes, or even using a kickboard to slowly make your way around are all great ways to enjoy exercise in the water!

Balance Activities Maintaining balance is an important feat for senior citizens, as it helps to prevent later falls. Senior citizens can hone their balance skills

Yoga isn’t just for kids anymore! Many gyms and community centers now offer senior citizen yoga, or chair yoga. A slow-moving, chairbased practice, this type of yoga is specified to senior citizens and individuals with low mobility, and is a great way to stretch, get strength training, and work on balance and posture!

Strength Exercises Strength exercises are vital in fighting against osteoporosis and other bone-related

illnesses, and are absolutely something that senior citizens can partake in. Seniors should consider using small hand weights or resistance bands, and should work together with their doctor or physical therapist to create a routine that’s sustainable, targeted, and individualized to their health and mobility! As you can see, there are many options of senior citizens who want to take steps toward creating better health and maintaining it in the long run! Again, we encourage any senior citizen who is interested in introducing exercise into their routine to consult with a medical professional before attempting these exercises independently. We hope to see everyone getting their heart rates up soon!

WHAT GOES ON IN YOUR DOG’S HEAD continued from page 2 How about scratching the rest of me for a change? Yeah,yeah, what a good dog I am, oh please scratch my backside, I can’t reach it. Well, so much for that, he’s walking to the dinner table, yippie! What’s for dinner, what’s for dinner? PEA SOUP?!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!! Where’s his gun, I’m gonna kill myself! Here it comes, more wonderful, delicious, PEBBLES!!! I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to bed. What, oh God, it’s potty time again, I think I want diapers! Either they “Pottytime” me to death, or my teeth are floating by the time they get around to letting me out, I wish I had that control over them! And so the day goes, day after day, and people think a dogs life is just wonderful, I’d love to trade for a day!! Well, that’s pretty much


what goes through the head of your dog each day. Maybe the next time he or she looks into your eyes you should think about what they go through, and be more considerate, they do still give you unconditional love remember, and also remember that a dog is “man’s best friend”, and DOG SPELLED BACKWARDS IS GOD!, WHAT DOES THAT TELL YA? So you say, how is it that I know so much as to what goes on in a dog’s head? Well, they don’t call me “PAW PAW” for nothing!

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HAVE YOU HEARD? now incorporating that type of testing to get a better understanding of your challenges. A Functional Hearing Assessment is what we call our Ear to Brain testing. After confirming your hearing difficulty is not due to a wax impaction, you will complete a cognitive Lorin S. Oden Au.D., FAAA screening. Certain cognitive Doctor of Audiology skills, including memory, executive function and or the past several months processing speed, play a we have been discussing big role in our ability to the correlation of audition understand speech in the and cognition. We hear with our presence of background noise. ears but listen or process what A key component in our we hear with our brain. I have Functional Hearing Assessment thought for years our hearing aid is the FDA-approved technology has far surpassed our Cognivue. Cognivue is not an testing…until now. IQ test or a list of questions. I am proud and pleased to It is a simple automated announce that I have completed assessment that takes about 10 the CogniHear Program and minutes to complete. Recent have received my certificate. research indicates that treating After completing the online hearing loss can slow down or training and passing the potentially even reverse certain necessary testing, we are now a aspects of cognitive decline. certified CogniHear provider. Cognivue helps us to develop So what does that mean for a hearing treatment plan that you? We have always tested meets the needs of your ears the peripheral auditory system and your brain. to determine if your hearing After we determine the loss is medically or surgically softest sounds you can hear, correctable. However, the otherwise known as the majority of the folks we see “beep beep test” and evaluate are not candidates for medical your understanding of single intervention for their hearing syllable words in quiet, we problems. Most everyone test your sound preferences complains of understanding using loud tones and recorded speech in the presence of conversational speech. This test background noise, yet most allows us to understand which hearing healthcare providers do sounds are uncomfortably not complete this type of testing. loud for you and how long Our understanding of you can tolerate being in noisy speech in complex listening situations. Your sensitivity environments requires earimpacts your willingness to to-brain processing. We are wear hearing devices, which


ones we choose and how we program them. We will then have you repeat recorded sentences presented at a conversational volume from the speakers in the soundproof booth. Background noise will also be coming from the speakers at a slightly softer volume than the sentences. This test measures how well you can understand speech in a realworld environment and how much listening effort was required. This information helps us recommend the best treatment options for you, including hearing aid selection/programming, wireless accessories, and auditory rehabilitation. We want you to hear the difference properly programmed hearing aids can make, so we use Real Ear Measurement to fit and program hearing aids to ensure good audibility for speech. Then you will go back into the booth and we’ll repeat the Hearing in Noise Test. You will be pleasantly surprised when word recognition goes up and listening effort goes down! After a detailed discussion of the results of your Functional Hearing Assessment, we will work together to develop your

“Hearing Treatment Plan, which will include the “Five Keys Communication” auditory rehabilitation program. We will recommend the best hearing aid technology for your hearing loss, listening needs, preferences, and lifestyle. We are here for you each step of the journey. As your health, hearing, and lifestyle change over time we will reevaluate and adjust your plan as needed. Hearing aid adaption rate is overall low and many who invest in hearing technology don’t wear their devices as they should. We want to make a change and with this testing in place we know we can make a difference. If you are interested in scheduling a Functional Hearing Assessment, give Jamie or Diane a call at 804633-0023. Check us out on Facebook and our website: www.hearingsolutionsofnc. com. We are still working through some of the kinks of this new procedure so be patient…we know we can make the difference. Jane, Cheryl and I 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

Sud o k u

Puzzle Answers

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Our Finances

Lessons Learned from a Schoolmarm: By Theresa pierce


y teaching journey started the day I started school. I was a keen observer. I can still name most of my favorites: Mrs. Nelson taught me to listen to children. Mrs. Skinner taught me to sing. Mrs. Mosley gave me my first part in a play. I am glad I chose to become Miss Parker and then Mrs. Pierce. Elementary School: Give children choices. Middle school: Life is hard when you are 13. Be patient. High school: Choose to teach. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Model your classroom after the really good ones. Learn from the bad. Community College: Make the poster. Run for office. Student government is a lot like real life. College: Some things will be decided for you. In the end, you might be pleasantly surprised at how it all works out. Student teaching: Share the stage. There is plenty of room. Lots of supporting actresses have won awards. Year 1: Don’t quit. It really is the hardest year of your career. Year 2: Good people weren’t born that way. They overcame a great deal. You CAN learn from their mistakes. Year 3: Yes, you have to have a job but your family comes first, ALWAYS. Your babies are your most important students. Year 4: Write thank you notes. Send cards with newspaper clippings. Year 5: I finally get what people mean when they say, “it takes five years.” Year 5.2 Go to your student’s ball games, dance recitals & choir performances. Take your own children. They will have some new experiences. Year 6: When you teach a student to read, they can learn anything. Year 7: Use up your sick days. Your littles need you more right now. (see Year 19) Year 8: Yes, you are busy but read a page a day. Chapters and books will come later. Year 9: Give away snacks, deodorant, personal hygiene


products. Be THAT teacher. Year 10: Excellent principals lead by example. Year 10.5 One bad evaluation is not the end. Year 11: Read, travel, and BE an interesting person. Year 12: Don’t keep repeating that cute bulletin board. It looks dated. Year 13: Enjoy summers. Read that book. Have lunch with your friend. Recharge. Year 14: Compliment often. Speak life into your team. Year 15: Field trips and realworld experiences increase test scores. Year 16: Teaching reading doesn’t stop in elementary school. Year 17: Don’t judge a child who is not prepared. You don’t know what their morning was like. Give them a pencil and paper. Ask friends to donate supplies. They become part of the school village. Year 18: Rather than drop off your students for specials/ extras, sit down snd learn alongside them. I remember my first computer class. “Power up.” The button was in the back. Year 19: Be generous but save some sick days. I was able to retire a little early. Year 20: Volunteer. (My history docent life is now fulfilling my teaching outside the classroom.) Year 21: Take every opportunity you can to travel. Professional development opens doors. Year 22: Apply for the grant. Someone will be awarded. It might as well be you. Your students will be the winners. Do it for them! Year 23: When people are having fun, they are also learning. Year 24: Selfadvocate: Get the masters and the boards. Take classes. I joined Toastmasters. Year 25: Share all that you learn. Everyone is at different levels. Teach other teachers. That

lesson you are so proud of today will be yesterday’s news. A lot can be accomplished when we let others in on our beta tests. Year 26: No is a holy word. Yes is also a holy word. Maybe might mean yes. Year 27: Support your colleagues. Find a Study Buddy. Year 28: Eat the homemade dessert in the workroom. Martyrdom is highly overrated. Year 29: High schoolers like centers and activities too. Year 30: As you start to caregive for elders, you will learn how to balance work and life on a whole new level. Year 31: You are never too old to dress up in a costume.

Year 32: Stay in your lane. You know by now what your strengths are. Year 33: Let some things go. Don’t wait till you retire to clean out. Year 34: Celebrate everybody and everything. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, silly days, milestones, and steps in the right directions. Year 35: You can do things you never dreamed possible. Retirement: All of it was worth it. Be GLAD you did not quit. Thank everyone. Sit back and watch new teachers bloom. Young teachers have always inspired me! The classroom is not yours anymore. The students and friendships will stay with you, always. Signed, A teacher one day ~ a schoolmarm for life.

Theresa Parker Pierce is a historic docent who volunteers with the Rowan Museum and NC Transportation Museum. A Toastmaster and retired educator she enjoys storytelling, reading, and writing.

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Cabarrus Senior Savvy September 2021  

Celebrating Life After 55

Cabarrus Senior Savvy September 2021  

Celebrating Life After 55

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