Page 1



Jan McCanless


t’s interesting, the images we conjure up in our minds about holidays. Say Thanksgiving, and instantly, you picture a roasted turkey. Say Christmas, and the answers will vary. Some folks think of a special gift they received, some picture Santa Claus, others a tree, it varies from person to person. Say Christmas to me, and I immediately think of

By Margaret Thompson-Shumate

Chorus: “Come and see what’s happening in the barn I’ve seen nothing like this since I’ve been on this farm Those strangers camping out there – have a baby in their arms Come and see what’s happening in the barn”

my grandmothers Christmas tree village, that she and my Aunt Alda put up every year under their tree. It was a glorious, fascinating village, complete with ice skaters, dogs out for a walk, lit up houses,and quaint churches and other structures. As soon as I hit the front door of Nonna’s place, I’d head for that village, moving the skaters around, the miniature people, I’d play with that village


n the 2014 Christmas season I wrote a Christmas skit. I performed the skit for my church congregation that year and every year since, as well as for some other holiday gatherings elsewhere. I based my idea for the skit on the lyrics and above quoted chorus of a great unusual song which gives tribute to Jesus’ birth. My church congregation is rather small, so I didn’t want to go to a lot of expense for costumes and props for a fifteen minute production. As I planned to be a cow and narrator, I called a local costume company to check on a price for a cow outfit. The price they quoted to me would have bought a week’s worth of groceries, so I told them thanks – but no thanks. I got busy searching for things I would need. I borrowed a cow bell to

all day, and every time I went over there during the holidays, there it would be, everything in it’s place, ready for me to play once again. Now, there were nine of us cousins on my dad’s side of the family, and I don’t know how the older ones felt about it, I fell somewhere in the middle of them, but, to me, and the younger ones, that village was magic! Christmas eve brought all of

wear around my neck from my neighbor Chris. Another neighbor, Donna, loaned me a cowboy hat with black and white cow spots on it. My son-in-law Garrett still had his black college graduation robe which he graciously gave to me. I visited a thrift store and purchased a shirt with black and white designs on it for $2.00. I cut the shirt up into many, many circles of different sizes and decided to pin them all over the robe rather than sew them on. This was quite a labor of love, but well worth it in the end – even though one of my church members jokingly commented that it was the first cow she had ever seen with Zebra spots on it. Well anyways, they were black and white. Now my outfit was complete and only cost me $2.00. My cow name was Caldonia




20 17

us together, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandma, and Aunt Alda. After a dinner at the groaning dining room table, including some of Nonna’s legendary macaroni and cheese, and maybe some chocolate cake for dessert, we’d all go into the living room, and open gifts. Everybody there got something, nothing elaborate, and maybe not even expensive, but, it was a remembrance, and Continued on page 2

and I began my story by explaining to my audience that according to legend, on every Christmas Eve since Jesus’ birth, God gives all his animal creatures a special blessing – the ability to talk. Caldonia had just run up the hill from the barn and was panting and just about out of breath-moos. She said she was just minding her own cow Continued on page 2


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The Gift That Keeps Giving


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 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


What’s Happening In The Barn? continued from page 1 business when a handsome, gray donkey nearly swept her off her hooves. He said his name was Hercules and that he was a holy donkey. Caldonia told him she had heard people say, “Holy Cow” before but never, “Holy Donkey”. He explained he had been carrying a sweet young woman named Mary on his back. She and her carpenter husband Joseph had come from the city of Nazareth to Bethlehem because of some kind of tax order from Caesar. They were very tired and had stopped for rest. In addition, Mary was just about to give birth to their first child. The Innkeeper told them that the Inn was full but they could stay in the barn with me, Caldonia, and the other animals. Caldonia told Hercules they could use her trough for the baby’s bed and that if they needed any milk – well she was the one to see. Several curious baa-ing sheep

popped in with their shepherd and said they had followed a beautiful bright star that had perched itself over the barn. One of the sheep named Sigrid told about how they were grazing on this quiet night when suddenly an angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were “scared to death.” Then the angel told them not to fear and gave them instructions and a star that led them to the barn to witness the birth of the Christ child. So, there we were Caldonia (me the cow), Hercules (the holy donkey), Sigrid (the scared sheep), Coretta (the head chicken), and all the others joining together and singing praises for Jesus’ birth and His holy name. At the end of the skit, Caldonia turned and spoke

A Happy, Warm Fuzzy To You All continued from page 1 we had a wonderful time. All in sight of that wonderful, glorious village she had. Paper, ribbons everywhere, a lot of laughter, full tummies, it was marvelous, and what I always thought Christmas should be. I never had a sister, and, my brother Gregg was always into ‘guy’ things, but, I have a cousin, Shari, 3 years younger than me, and, the closest thing to a sister I have, and she too enjoyed that village. We sometimes would spend the weekend together, at Nonna’s , and we lived fairly close to one another, so, it seemed natural that we would pair up. Between Shari and I, that village was well played with. After my grandmothers death, I wondered whatever happened to all those figurines, the skaters, the houses and churches, I hated to think they were collecting dust in someones attic, or worse yet, given away to someone outside the family. What a tragedy, I thought!


to the congregation saying, “Oh! And by the way – the next time you are in awe of something or maybe smash your finger in a door, just yell out the Christian curse words – “HOLY COW!” And think of your friend Caldonia and that most special Christmas Eve a long, long time ago”. This Christmas season, please remember the true meaning of why we celebrate and keep Christ in Christmas! Close your eyes and envision that glorious event that happened in that barn with Caldonia and all her friends and praise His holy name. I wish a very Merry and Blessed Christmas to everyone and all your loved ones, especially Senior Savvy staff, writers and readers. I hope to be back with you in print in January, 2018. Holy cow! I can hardly wait!

Years went by,and finally I was able to find out that Shari had gotten the village, and I was overjoyed. To think her young grandchildren are now enjoying it, makes me smile. Memories like this are priceless, and it brings home the message to me that Christmas need not be about a lot of gifts, expensive catered meals, but, it is about family, love, being together to celebrate a wonderful and meaningful day. Thinking about Christmas should give you a warm, fuzzy all over, and that’s my special wish for you this holiday. May you have love, family, and a warm, fuzzy!

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Our Health

Remember the Good Ole Days?

Louanne Stanton


am 54 years old. I know the age group of the people that read this newspaper are between the ages of 30 and 97… if you fall outside of that range, please call and let me know so I can formally apologize to you. When I think back to the Holidays of my childhood, they are filled with sweet and simple memories. We did not receive gifts all year long. Receiving one big gift and one necessary gift was the norm. There were years when we received more and there was a year we received less. There were six of us kids, so we all chose carefully what we wanted on our lists, so our gifts would complement each other and there was no chance of duplication on games or dolls. One of the most memorable Christmases I had was the year my parents had ordered our entire Christmas from the Montgomery Ward catalog. It must have been shortly after home delivery became available, or it was a year my mom needed to save the time and just ordered over the phone…Well, this year, Montgomery Ward did not keep up their end of the deal and when Christmas Eve arrived, the gifts did not. My mother and father tried everything they could think of, but there was no getting those gifts in time. I like to think I get some of my creativity from my parents, because they had a stroke of genius with their response. After we had gone to bed , my mom and dad took the time to go through the catalog late that

Christmas Eve and cut out each gift they had purchased that had not arrived. They then hung each picture on a piece of Ribbon and put them on the tree. There was nothing else to do except eat the pizza we had left out for Santa and wait for us to get up at our usual time of 4:30am. We jumped out of bed and all headed down the stairs! The excitement we had was quickly curbed when we saw just a couple of gifts under the tree. Surely, we couldn’t have ALL made the naughty list…what in the world had happened? Then dad stepped up and explained that Santa ran out of time and could not deliver our gifts until the next day, and he knew we would understand so he just left pictures of what we were going to receive. We were disappointed, but we all patiently waited as dad passed out each picture one at a time and we oohed and aahed over each one. There were a couple of gifts from grandparents, so we played with those and wondered how Santa was going to deliver the gifts the next day. What a Christmas it was when the UPS man brought boxes and boxes the next day! That represents the good ole days to me… With the Christmas season fast upon us (it has been here since before Halloween) we need to take some time to remember the good ole days. The times we remember family, friends and those who took the time to make our Holiday special. Sometimes when we think of the past, the memories turn painful and we don’t want to think about them, because they make us sad. But I encourage you to find a friend to tell stories to, grab your grandkids or great grands and tell them your

favorite story about Christmas. When you share your stories and feel those emotions, those emotions are then allowed to pass. And the pain will be able to pass as well. But if you choose to keep that pain in, you will have to keep it. Sharing the emotion of the story is one way that helps you work through it. I teach a Grief Recovery Class and the tools we learn to use help ease that pain from the past. Pain that comes from the unresolved grief from may different losses in our life. It may not be a death of a loved one, it may have come from a divorce, a broken relationship, loss of independence, loss of health…

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or one of many other types of loss. I am humbled to help people recover, which simply means to feel better, from their loss. If you find yourself in a position where you would like to learn more, call me, email me and we will talk more. It would be my honor to help you, or help someone you love. And if you have no one to share a story with, call me…I would love to hear one of your stories from the Good Ole Days… Louanne is a certified Grief Recovery Specialist who does group grief classes as well as one on ones. You can contact her by calling 980-521-4661 or going to her website


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. Once a week we hike the path that meanders through restored oak-savanna and farmland along Adams Creek. On every walk we share stories about our past and consider dreams for the future. In late September 2016 we constructed a wooden frame shelter to house print versions of those stories; we called them Trail Tales. The modest enclosure is located at the head of the preserve. We plan to make those stories available to readers of Senior Savvy on a monthly basis, no hiking gear required.

Heidi Thurston returns to the Trail Tales column this month with a beautiful holiday story, “Christmas, Peace, and a Soft Green Dress.” Instruction on how to access an electronic version of the story is posted on the blog hosted at Enjoy this installment.

Christmas, Peace, And A Soft Green Dress

© 2017 By Heidi Thurston


he aroma of the Christmas goose drifting from behind the kitchen door, mingling with the scent of pine from another quickly closed door. Coats and boots dripping with melting snow falling on my feet and the hallway runner. Large mysterious packages quietly slipped through a door behind which nothing but velvet darkness lingered. A soft green wool dress swirling in a darkened hallway and patent leather shoes reflecting white silken knee socks. These were all part of a very special night in Copenhagen in 1945, the first Christmas Eve after World War II had ended. We had left our apartment earlier and with armloads of gifts, my parents and I had eased into the


warm seats of an awaiting taxi and watched the holiday lights reflect on the black exterior of the moving car. As the auto rumbled through city streets, we observed hurrying crowds bustling from store to store with last minute errands, while others, like ourselves, were carrying gifts wrapped in bright Christmas paper. All were dressed in warm coats and mufflers and everyone was headed for the homes of family and friends in order to share with them this exciting evening. This was THE big night and it all began with the new dress, sewn from soft green wool, embroidered in red and white holiday flowers and made especially for me for this occasion. The very feel of the gown, as it fell softly around my knees, held promises of a wonderful time at my grandmother’s home where we would be joined by my father’s mother, his bachelor brother and maiden aunt. Traditionally, Christmas Eve began with amber-colored sherry, sparkling in antique, crystal goblets and the bell-like clinks as five adults toasted. A smaller glass, bubbling with red

soda tickled my nose, and helped heighten my festive mood. Grandmother had studied cooking in France. On this night, she served succulent goose, mouthwatering red cabbage, tiny potatoes browned in butter giving them a caramel look and a tempting aroma. When all was devoured, it was my turn to help in the kitchen. With a starched, crisp, white apron wrapped around me, protecting the new green dress, I stood on a small stool, chest just above the counter, and beat the metal whisk until small peaks swirled from the ice cold, heavy cream. This would be smoothly blended with nuts and rice into the rich, traditional Danish dessert topped with cherry sauce. After my part of the holiday meal was over, I would sit on the kitchen hot-box” filled with musty newspapers and country-fresh straw, where previously the dishes had been kept warm. Seated, I sang Christmas songs for my grandmother while she prepared steaming hot coffee for the adults and warm, delicious cocoa for me. Then, after what seemed an eternity, my father and uncle would call from behind the sliding doors leading into the previously closed living room. As the pocket doors squeaked back into the walls, a dark fir tree, shining with lighted candles, gold and silver ornaments saved from years past was now reflecting in my bright eyes. My grandmother and my father took my hands and joined my mother, uncle, and great aunt, and slowly circled the stately tree. Old Danish hymns rang out in bass, tenor, and one small soprano voice while thin tinsel strands fluttered from the fragrant branches like silver rain. Later, as a feeling of peace fell on the room, I sat on the smooth

oriental carpet, family and presents all around me, and watched the flames in the coal stove sputter against the glass window. At the age of five I was too young to know that someday the green woolen holiday dress would become an important part of my memories. I would recall that this was a time when the tiny kingdom, the home of Hans Christian Andersen and The Little Mermaid, had again returned to a fairytale land; coming out from its long years of darkness and into the lights. The presence of the Nazi regime would be gone, but not forgotten; the King would resume his daily ride along the streets near the harbor, and my mother and grandmother would again take their Sunday stroll through the walking street in the inner city. I would remember this time, as I still do, with a warm heart and recall that this Christmas Eve in 1945 would forever symbolize for me peace on earth and good will toward men. About Heidi Thurston Heidi Thurston was born, and spent her early years, in Copenhagen, Denmark. In her late teens she immigrated with her parents to the United States where she met and married her husband, Chuck Thurston, an author, playwright, and columnist. Heidi an accomplished author in her own right, worked as a journalist, a feature story writer, weekly columnist, and reporter for The Evening Times, in Sayre, Pennsylvania. She is the recipient of several awards from the Pennsylvania Press Association and has had a number of stories published in various periodicals. She is the author of a published novel, “The Duchess, The Knight & The Leprechaun.” The book is available at Heidi resides in Kannapolis with her husband. The couple have two sons, and a daughter; seven grandchildren and three great grand-daughters.

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Our Faith



never thought I would write this Christmas story. It is not my intention to make any reader sad during their Christmas holidays. But it is my intention to share why I say, “bah humbug.” Bah humbug is an expression used when someone does not approve of or enjoy something that other people enjoy, especially a special occasion such as Christmas. Some of my personal feelings about this are the commercial aspects of the holiday as opposed to the real reason for the season. Christmas decorations are being put up earlier and earlier every year. Bah humbug! The December stories I’ve written in past years were always about true holiday happenings in different chapters of my life. I would say that a large percentage of my happy adult Christmas times were between 1965 – 1992 when my husband, Joe, was still with me and our two daughters. The years, “BJ” (before Joe) were 1947 – 1964. The best part of those years were based on the real “reason for the season”… the birth of Jesus Christ. My church activities were what Christmas was really all about. We did not receive or give numerous expensive gifts as folks do in today’s


But my main desire was that I could make everyone happy! There were these special family celebrations with Joe’s family at his old home place and my family at my mother’s house. Planning, cooking, and transporting large amounts of food from one place to another Linda S. Beck was one of our main activities until our parents passed away. world. We drew names and were Because I had the largest house and most free time, my siblings told how much could be spent began to bring their families and on any gift. food to celebrate at our farm. I actually only remember Unfortunately, times changed three gifts from all those years. Each of my adult daughters now once again when my health began to fail and Joe became ill. own one of these three gifts Joe’s death and the marriages and the other one is still in my possession. I have written about of both daughters had left us those gifts before and that is not with many good memories of the time spent raising those what this story is about. girls. Their 4-H activities had Then there were the 27 been special occasions of Christmases spent with Joe which included those memories group dinners, contests, and the importance of serving others. We of our three years before our provided food for some hungry first daughter was born. At families, flowers, gifts, and other that time Christmas took on community services such as a new importance… our goal programs at nursing homes. was happy children! And There were the times of although those were happy caroling, going to church, times as a family, they could hayrides, and other fun activities. be very stressful, expensive, In those days we would ride and physically exhausting for around looking at Christmas me with my increasing health decorations, attending parades, problems.

and taking part in various community Nativity scenes. Now, Nativity scenes are frowned upon as if the birth of Jesus is no longer the reason for the season. “Bah humbug,” I say. Lack of transportation and a church home has left a hollow spot in my heart that also results from several more deaths of family members, and broken relationships. Our family has grown now as my grandchildren became adults and now one step–granddaughter and her husband have presented me with twins (a boy and a girl… great-grandchildren just before I turned 70 years old.) God has continued to bless me with numerous friends who are willing to help me in many ways. Since many of them are older than I am and have their own health problems, they do have limitations and I do my best not to impose upon them. There have been so many changes and I have always said holidays can be celebrated when the majority is available. It is most important that we remember to give of ourselves more than taking from others. It is indeed more blessed to give than to receive!

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Our Health


Lorin S. Oden

Au.D., FAAA Doctor of Audiology


s 2017 draws to an end, Beth, Jane and I have some very exciting news. After a very long process of finding just the right person, we are pleased to announce that Jamie Webb has joined our team at Hearing Solutions of North Carolina. Don’t worry Beth is not leaving, but she definitely needed some help. Jane and I have been keeping Beth very busy so Jamie, working part-time as our Patient Care Coordinator, is assisting at the front desk; scheduling patients, answering the phone, working check-in/check-out and completing reminder calls. Jamie was employed in a medical office before her two children Sutton and Lucas were born. She joins us with first-hand experience of the effects hearing loss has on the family dynamics, as her mother currently uses hearing technology. In addition to her two children, Jamie lives in Salisbury with her husband John. Beth, Jane and I are pleased to have her as part of our team. We know you will like her as much as we do. On another note: The

American Academy of Audiology, North Carolina held its annual conference last month in Durham. Conference topics included; cognitive ability and its effect on hearing and listening, tinnitus, cochlear implants for children and Medicare coding requirements. I always find it difficult to sit for so long, but completing 9.5 hours of continuing education and talking with colleagues is always beneficial. Additionally, Alan Desmond, Au.D gave a wonderful presentation on “The Dizzy Patient”. Dr. Desmond is the director of the Balance Disorders Program at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and a faculty member of Wake Forest School of Medicine. He is the author of several books on vestibular function and serves as a representative of the American Academy of Audiology at the American Medical Association. We see most of our patients with complaints of dizziness, while providing audiological services at Pinnacle Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy. Primary care physicians will refer patients for an otolaryngologic (ENT) evaluation when there is a complaint of dizziness. Due to the fact that the vestibular portion of the inner ear shares fluid with the hearing portion (cochlea) of the inner ear a hearing evaluation is also scheduled before the patient is seen by Dr. Whitaker. Dizziness, vertigo and balance disorders (light-

headedness or unsteadiness) affect millions of people each year. The balance and vestibular systems are complex. The inner ears of balance interact with the brain, eyes, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, muscles, joints and nerves in the legs. If any of these systems are not working properly you can have balance issues. Most people with any form of a balance issues will state they have “inner ear”. But as you can see from the list of body systems that must be working properly, it is not always the “inner ear”. At the conference, Dr. Desmond shared his “Practitioner’s Guide to the Dizzy Patient”. Its initial intention was to help those in primary care make the proper referral for the dizzy patient. I picked up a copy for myself and one to share with Dr. Whitaker. I find it very useful as there is educational information for the patient as well in the booklet. From a choice of eight descriptions, the patient is instructed to select only one statement that best describes their symptoms. With 70% accuracy, his short form questionnaire can lead to a diagnosis and suggested treatment options. I am excited to incorporate this information into the care we provide to the community. After attending the annual conference I am reminded of

Jamie Webb

Patient Care Coordinator

the definition of audiology and the role we have in the medical community. The central focus of the profession of audiology is concerned with all auditory impairments and their relationship to disorders of communication. Audiologists identify, assess, diagnose, and treat individuals with impairments of either peripheral or central auditory and /or vestibular function, and strive to prevent such impairments. So if you need to schedule an appointment, give Beth or Jamie a call at 704-633-0023. In addition, as you develop your 2018 schedule, we are available for presentations. We wish you a very happy, healthy holiday season and 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

December Crossword


1. Anagram of “Cabs” 5. Mooch 10. Immediately 14. Whimper 15. Circa 16. Killer whale 17. Mathematics 19. Den 20. Hairpiece 21. Chose 22. Wards (off) 23. Baffle 25. “Smallest particles” 27. Commercials 28. Improved 31. Harangues 34. Surpass 35. Conceit 36. Away from the wind 37. Exotic

38. Catch 39. At this time 40. Pepperwort 41. Mucky 42. “Unchoose” 44. Wander aimlessly 45. Distend 46. Love unquestioningly 50. A jet of vapor 52. Leaves out 54. Beer 55. Chick’s sound 56. A respiratory disease 58. Historical periods 59. Cattle farm 60. Rhythm 61. Nobleman 62. Hello or goodbye 63. Probabilities

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1.Offspring 2. Oddity 3. Array 4. Wager 5. University buildings area 6. Assists 7. Shower with love 8. Pieces of advice 9. And so forth 10. Earnest 11. Exceed 12. Corrosive 13. Sailors 18. Grasps 22. A young horse 24. Head 26. Not now 28. Be 29. Quaint outburst 30. Motherless calf 31. South African monetary unit

32. Maguey 33. Newsflash 34. Relating to elections 37. District 38. Lather 40. Cause surfeit through excess 41. Fen 43. Pass by 44. An unexpected problem 46. Windlass 47. Despised 48. Homeric epic 49. Vermin 50. Hurried 51. South American country 53. Not stereo 56. Brassiere 57. Nigerian tribesman



A Little Dose of Humor Sharing Is Caring

A young man saw an elderly couple sitting down to lunch at a fast food restaurant. He noticed that they had ordered one meal, and an extra drink cup. As he watched, the gentleman carefully divided the hamburger in half, then counted out the fries, one for him, one for her, until each had half of them. Then he poured half of the soft drink into the extra cup and set that in front of his wife. The old man then began to eat, and his wife sat watching, with her hands folded in her lap.

Overreacting Early one morning, my husband, who works in a funeral home, woke me, complaining of severe abdominal pains. We rushed to the emergency room, where they gave him a series of tests to determine the source of the pain. My husband decided not to have me call in sick for him until we knew what was wrong. When the results came back, the nurse informed us that, true to our suspicions, he was suffering from a kidney stone.

The young man decided to ask if they would allow him to purchase another meal for them so that they didn’t have to split theirs. The old gentleman said, “Oh no. We’ve been married 50 years, and everything has always been and will always be shared, 50/50.”

I turned to my husband and asked, “Would you like me to call the funeral home now?”

The young man then asked the wife if she was going to eat, and she replied, “It’s his turn with the teeth.”

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A police officer said to a motorist, “What were you doing? Your car was zigzagging like crazy!” “I’m learning to drive.”

With an alarmed look, the nurse quickly said, “Ma’am, he’s not THAT sick!”

Because I had forgotten the dates for a number of my friends and relatives’ birthdays and anniversaries, I decided to compile a list on the computer and have the dates highlighted on screen when the machine was turned on. I went to a number of computer stores to find a software program that would do the job, but had no luck at the first few. I finally found one where the clerk seemed experienced.

“Without an instructor in the car?” “Oh, yes. It’s an online course.”

Self Righteousness Two elderly, excited Southern women were sitting together in the front pew of the church listening to a fiery preacher. When this preacher condemned the sin of stealing, these two ladies cried out, “Amen, Brother!” When the preacher condemned the sin of lust, they yelled again, “You preach it, Reverend!” And when the preacher condemned the sin of lying, they jumped to their feet and hollered, “RIGHT ON! TELL IT LIKE IT IS! AMEN!” But when the preacher condemned the sin of gossip, the two got very quiet. One turned to the other and said, “He’s quit preaching and now he’s just meddling.”

False Advertising

“Can you recommend something that will remind me of birthdays and anniversaries?” I asked. “Have you tried a wife?” he replied.

The State of Consciousness What is “Consciousness”? That annoying time between naps.

You ARE Unique Always remember you are unique... Just like everyone else!

It’s All in the Name

Seen on the door of a repair shop:

If your name is on the building, you’re rich...

WE CAN FIX ANYTHING! (Please knock on the door—the bell doesn’t work.)

If your name is on your desk, you’re middle-class... If your name is on your shirt, you’re neither of the first two!

Side Effects

A man brought some prescription tablets and started cutting off the edges. Do you know why? He wanted to avoid the side effects.

Christmas Decorations


By Margaret Thompson-Shumate





As the spirit of Thanksgiving still lingers and the approaching Christmas and New Year holidays invade our thoughts and actions, I thought this would be a good time to extend a very special recognition to a very outstanding figure. He’s not too tall – not tall at all In fact, he’s short and dumpy And you may notice that near his middle He appears to be quite lumpy His nose is dwarf, his eyes do twinkle They seem to hide his many wrinkles The snow white hair and beard he wears Hint, however, of past season cares But you would never, ever know By the warm bright smile he shows And the never ending sounds of …. Ho, Ho, Ho Some say he is a spirit Others claim he is real He’s always whatever YOU decide And what your heart really feels He’s your friend and mine Never measuring TIME So, I would most humbly suggest That you honor his special request... “Let the spirit of Christmas live in your hearts throughout this special season and continue throughout each year. Be cheerful and unselfish in thought, word and deed!

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

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Apple Walnut Stuffed Pork Roast

Favorite Old Fashioned Gingerbread

5 cups coarse dry breadcrumbs

Ingredients: 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup butter 1 egg 1 cup molasses 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup hot water

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan. 2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses. 3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared pan. 4. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving.

Ingredients: 5 tablespoons butter 1 apple - peeled, cored, and chopped 1 small onion, chopped 1 celery stalk, diced 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1 cup unsweetened applesauce 1 1/2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste 1 (3 pound) boneless rolled pork loin roast Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Peppermint Brittle

2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the apple, onion, celery, and walnuts, and cook 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Mix in the applesauce, water, and breadcrumbs. Cook and stir until the breadcrumbs have absorbed the liquid. Season with cinnamon, kosher salt, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.

Ingredients: 2 pounds White Chocolate 30 small Peppermint Candy Canes

3. Unroll the pork roast, and place in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the stuffing mixture over the roast. Arrange any excess stuffing around the roast. Roll the roast so that the fatty side is on top, and tie with kitchen twine. 4. Bake 45 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

Directions: 1. Line a large jellyroll pan with heavy-duty foil. 2. Place white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave on medium setting for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir occasionally, until chocolate is melted and smooth. 3. Place candy canes in a plastic bag, or between two pieces of waxed paper. Using a mallet or rolling pin, break the candy canes into chunks. Stir peppermint into melted white chocolate. Spread evenly in pan, and chill until set, about 1 hour. Break into pieces by slamming pan on counter.


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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Our Community

Couple Brings Seniors Helping Seniors to Cabarrus & Rowan Counties


ixie & Dale Gentle are excited about bringing a different kind of home care to the area. As the name implies, all of their caregivers are seniors themselves, active seniors who are dedicated to a common mission: to keep seniors in their homes as long as it is reasonably possible. Along with traditional home care services like transportation to appointments or shopping trips, light housekeeping, meal preparation, and medication reminders, they will also work in the yard and provide straightforward handyman services, because these are among the first activities aging seniors find that they are no longer able to do for themselves. When asked about the qualifications of their caregivers Dale said “Really, the most important thing we look for is someone who genuinely cares about others. Most of our caregivers come to us after caring for a family member, giving them added insight into the burdens other seniors face as they age. They might not mind a little extra spending money, but they do this because they find fulfillment in bringing joy and enhanced quality of life to others. More often than not, our caregivers develop genuine, long-lasting friendships with the people they assist.” He went on to say “We are passionate about our mission. We want to do everything we can to make life easier for our seniors and their families. We strive to serve them

with compassion, and in a way, that preserves their dignity.” When asked about his role in the company Dale said “I view my primary role as a sort of matchmaker for seniors. For every senior facing certain challenges to maintain their independence, I feel like there is a caregiver who would be a perfect match to face those challenges with them. Our caregivers commonly spend extra (unpaid) time with their new friends because they genuinely enjoy their company, and they are not in a hurry to be somewhere else. This is one of the ways that having a senior caregiver makes a profound difference in the lives of those seniors under our care.” Pixie comes to this mission from 30+ years as a Physical Therapist and Rehab Director. She has worked in nursing

homes, assisted living facilities, and memory care units. Dale has been involved in community service for many years, and his Rotary club has been strongly committed to fundraising for cutting edge Alzheimer’s Disease research. They have both been active in supporting the effort of all the Rotary clubs in Cabarrus County to earn the designation of a Dementia Friendly Community from Dementia Friendly America. But they say the thing that really makes this a calling for them is their personal experiences caring for family members. In Dale’s case it was a brother who moved in with him while the ravages of a terminal illness took hold while, for Pixie, it was

when she moved in with her father during his losing battle against cancer. Seniors Helpings Seniors of Cabarrus & Rowan Counties is open for business. The websites are and If you know someone who is in need of assistance, or if you are a senior who would like to provide that assistance, you can email them at or call them at (704) 720-0631.

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Puzzle Answers


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Our Health

A Gift That Keeps on Giving to Others by Katrena Allison Wells Faith Community Nurse for Woodleaf United Methodist Church


he holidays often evoke a plethora of emotions, particularly for those who have lost a loved one. Tears are often mixed with laughter at holiday gatherings. For many families, organ and/or tissue donation enables families to find a silver lining within the storm of loss, providing a ray of hope for many others. Over 116,000 Americans, 2,280 from North Carolina, await a life-saving transplant. Twentytwo people die each day waiting for an organ. Myths about organ donation abound – perhaps we can all learn something we did not already know about this important topic.

Did you know…. • There is no age limit for organ transplantation – even people in their 90s have been organ donors. Your health and the condition of your organs matter more than age. • You can sign up to be an organ donor regardless of your medical history. Did you know that people who are infected with HIV may now be eligible to donate to someone who has an HIV infection? The transplant team has the latest information regarding eligibility requirements for donation, which may change over time. • Most major religions in the United States support organ donation as an act of love and generosity. Go to organdonor. gov and search for the article entitled religion and organ

donation to see statements of major religions regarding organ/ tissue donation. • Signing up to be an organ donor does not decrease the quality of care you receive before death – the healthcare team’s priority focuses on your health until the time of death. • There is no cost to donors for organ or tissue donation. Five million people living in North Carolina have registered as a potential donor, and 95% of Americans support organ donation. However, family members who are unsure of a person’s wishes if he/she should qualify may find the decision to be difficult to make. Talking with your healthcare power of attorney (if you have one) and those closest to you regarding your wishes to donate organs/ tissues may help make the decision easier.

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Here are a few ways to sign up to be a potential organ donor: • Sign up to be a donor with your license renewal with the DMV. • Complete an advance directive, indicating that you wish to be a donor. • Go to the national registry at and register to be a donor. • Print paper donor forms, complete, and mail to the national registry. I wish to extend a huge thank you to any of you who made the decision to donate someone’s organs/tissues after his/her death. Your heartfelt gift made a lifechanging, lasting difference to others. Sources: Donate Life America, CHS Advance Directives Training: Organ Donation by Jesse Roberts and Kate McCullough

If your faith community is interested in a health program, please contact Pam Hurley at Pamela.Hurley@


Big Elm

Rehabilitation & Living Centers 1285 West A Street Kannapolis, NC


Five Oaks

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



Concord Parkway

Avante at Concord

2452 Rock Hill Church Rd Concord, NC 28027

515 Lake Concord NE 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.

Brian Center

Concord Place

Health & Retirement 250 Bishop Lane Concord, NC

Senior Living 1501 Zion Church Rd East Concord, NC 704-782-1100


Transitional Health Services of


1810 Concord Lake Rd. Kannapolis, NC



Trinity Oaks Campus

728-820 Klumac Rd.

704-637-3784 704-633-1002

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Cabarrus Senior Savvy November 2017  
Cabarrus Senior Savvy November 2017  

Celebrating Life After 55