Living 50 Plus Magazine February/March 2022

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Steps away from Rhodes Ferry Park and the Tennessee River, our Wilson Street building is perfect for those who want a more independent lifestyle, but may want access to the services at Riverside Senior Living. Studio, One Bedroom, and Two Bedroom Models individual climate control, private bath, ample storage, full kitchens, housekeeping and laundry services, three chef-inspired meals daily, social and recreational activities, relaxing garden areas

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Why turn to MarMac Real Estate?

If you’re thinking about selling your home. Maybe you’re retiring, downsizing or a major life event has made you consider a move. MarMac Real Estate has unique training and experience in helping home buyers and sellers in your situation.

Why ask a MarMac Real Estate REALTOR® to assist you? MarMac Real Estate understands that the decision to sell can be difficult.

MarMac Real Estate can draw upon a network of other professionals focused on 50+ customers.

Selling a home can be an emotional time, potentially involving other life decisions. A MarMac Real Estate REALTOR® understands the issues facing older adults. By taking a no-pressure approach, we can help you navigate your choices and may be able to suggest alternatives that help you stay in your home.

It’s important to have a network of professionals, and that’s exactly what we’ve built over the years. Whether it’s tax counselors, financial advisors, or estate planners who can help you understand the financial consequences of selling your home, to trade contractors to get your home prepared for showings, estate sale organizers, and senior moving specialists - we’re connected to those that can help you.

We take the time needed to make you feel comfortable with the complex selling process. A MarMac Real Estate Professional understands the demands a sale can make on you, and works hard to minimize them. They will tailor the marketing process to your specific needs and be there when you need them. MarMac Real Estate will be with you throughout the entire process. A MarMac Real Estate REALTOR® is interested in looking out for your best interest through all aspects of your transition, not just the sale of your home. We’ve invested the time and resources to be knowledgeable before, during, and after your transition.

Mark Moody

Broker / Owner 256-466-4470


MarMac Real Estate can patiently support you through each step.


Visit us at HOW TO REACH US For story ideas or comments: Bruce McLellan 256-340-2431 For distribution questions: Rebecca Braun 256-340-2414

For advertising questions: Baretta Taylor 256-340-2370 For website questions: Daniel Buford 256-340-2408 Published by Decatur Daily Tennessee Valley Media

ON THE COVER: Members of the Crewe O’ Ye Crooked Goat, also known as the pirates, follow the maxim of member Kathy Manning. She says, “You’re never too old to be part of a crewe.”

Photo illustration by Jeronimo Nisa and Stephen Johnson 4 Decatur Living 50 Plus


Finding ways to build daily structure can make the transition to retirement go smoothly. By METRO NEWS


rofessionals typically look forward to retirement and the freedom that comes with it. The notion that commuting and deadlines will one day be a distant memory is enough to make anyone excited for retirement. But when the day to leave the daily grind behind arrives, many retirees admit to feeling a little anxiety about how they’re going to find structure. Retirement is a big transition, and Robert Delamontagne, PhD, author of the book “The Retiring Mind: How to Make the Psychological Transition to Retirement,” notes that some retirees experience anxiety, depression and even a sense of loss upon calling it a career. Some of those feelings can undoubtedly be traced to the perceived lack of purpose some individuals feel after retiring. Without a job to do each day, people can begin to feel useless. Overcoming such feelings can be difficult but finding ways to build daily structure can make the transition to retirement go smoothly. · Find something to truly engage in. Professionals who truly enjoy their work tend to be fully engaged, so it’s no surprise if such individuals have a hard time adjusting to retirement. Some may suggest volunteering can help fill the void created by retirement, but researchers with the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College have found that only those individuals who are truly engaged in their post-retirement volunteering enjoy the psychological benefits of such pursuits. So before retirees dive right in to volunteering as a means to creating structure, they should first exercise due diligence and find an opportunity they’ll find genuinely engaging. · Embrace the idea of “bridge employment.” “Bridge employment” is the name given to the trend that has seen retired individuals take on part-time or temporary employment after they have retired from full-time working. COVID-19 has no doubt skewed post-retirement working statistics since the World Health Organization first declared a pandemic in March 2020, but a 2019 survey from the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute found that 27 percent of pre-retirees with at least $100,000 in assets planned to work part-time in retirement. Even part-time work can provide enough daily structure to help retirees feel as though each day is not just a free-for-all.

accounts to find local community groups that cater to their interests. Even if it seems hard to believe, plenty of retirees are seeking to create structure in retirement life, and social media can make it easier to find such individuals in your community. Structure and retirement may seem like strange bedfellows. But many retirees seek structure after calling it a career, and there are many fun ways for seniors to create more organization in their lives.


· Make a concerted effort to be more social. Volunteering and working are not the only ways to create structure in retirement. A concerted effort to be more social can help retirees fill their days with interactions with like-minded individuals who may be experiencing the same feelings. Join a book club, a local nature group that goes on daily or semi-daily morning hikes or another local community organization. These are great ways to build structure and meet new people. Retirees can create social media

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focuses on quality of life for seniors By MICHAEL WETZEL Living 50 Plus


enior citizens in Morgan, Lawrence and Cullman counties don’t have to look far for free legal services, answers to Medicare questions, transportation assistance, prescription drug discounts and meals. The North Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments, NARCOG for short, utilizes state and federal money to provide those programs. Probably the most popular service NARCOG provides is through its Area Agency on Aging’s nutrition program. The program distributed 51,089 hot congregate meals, 130,811 home-delivered meals and 70,735 frozen home delivered meals from Oct. 1, 2020, to Aug. 31, 2021. That is 252,635 meals served in the three-county area in 11 months. Volunteers and staff members make the deliveries throughout the week. At Turner-Surles Community Center in Decatur, for example, food prepared in Trinity is brought in each weekday. Some of the food is served to clients at the center. Other food is packed each weekday beginning at 9:30 a.m. onto individual plates for delivery to homebound seniors. “We want our food to go out no later than 10 (a.m.) so it’s warm but it’s not too early,” said Carol Rea, the nutrition site manager at Turner-Surles who works for Morgan County’s Commission on Aging. NARCOG serves as a clearinghouse to provide seniors with information on programs available to them. “When it comes to Medicare programs, most seniors don’t know that our (State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP) has unbiased counselors who help them select which programs are most effective for them individually,” said NARCOG spokesman Justin Graves. Graves said that during the open enrollment period from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 last year, SHIP counselors in Morgan, Lawrence and Cullman counties served 1,938 individuals in person and over the phone. “The estimated monetary value saved was nearly $1.25 million,” he said. “These savings allow seniors to use their money for other needs they may have.” NARCOG’s Aging and Disability Resource Center partners with area farmers markets to offer another food program. It allows residents 60 and older to receive vouchers for $30 worth of fresh fruit and vegetables at their local participating 6 Decatur Living 50 Plus

Carol Rea, right, and Kathy Helton prepare food for homebound seniors at Turner-Surles Community Center. [JERONIMO NISA/DECATUR DAILY]

farmers market. Graves said the Morgan County-Decatur Farmers Market is a partner in the program. “This is a very popular program with our seniors, and our phones are staying busy signing people up,” he said. “Not only does it help local seniors, but it puts money in the pocketbooks of the local farmers selling at the markets.” The program is income based and the number of vouchers is limited. For more information, seniors can call the NARCOG office at 256-355-4515. OTHER SERVICES NARCOG recently hired a full-time attorney to provide simple legal services to seniors at no cost. “It focuses on wills, powers of attorney, elder abuse, fraud and housing,” Graves said. “We don’t handle any criminal cases.” Another Area Agency on Aging program is the Alabama Ombudsman, which monitors long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted-living homes. “The ombudsman ensures the seniors’ rights are protected and that they are properly cared for in these facilities,” Graves said. NARCOG works with the state Medicare patrol to prevent scams that could adversely affect seniors. The Alabama Cares program provides resources to caregivers through NARCOG, also. Graves said the senior discount prescription drug program remains popular. He said seniors can receive prescription medicine at lower costs if they sign up for the program. For seniors wishing to continue to work, the Senior Community Service Employment Program is a community service and work-based training program for older workers that provides useful services and “fosters individual economic self-sufficiency through training and placement into unsubscribed jobs.” Graves said participants in the program work an average of 20 hours a week. FOUNDATION GRANTS The NARCOG Foundation assists seniors in having handicapped accessibility products in their houses. “In today’s market, the costs can exceed $40,000 to have

wheelchair ramps, grab bars installed in hallways and in the bathroom,” Graves said. NARCOG Executive Director Robby Cantrell said the agency is always looking for funds for the program. “Unfortunately, typical grant funds are not available to help families retrofit a home for handicapped accessibility,” he said. “But I would like to get to a point where we could use the NARCOG Foundation to help families who need these types of renovations.” Cantrell said the foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that aids older adult and disabled clients to meet the unmet needs of other programs and services. “One hundred percent of the funds donated are used for client assistance,” he said. Cantrell said a Hartselle man diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, was able to take advantage of the handicap accessibility funds. He said a safe room was added inside the man’s residence. Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long said the commission’s partnership with NARCOG enhances the quality of life of everyone in Morgan County. “They provide transportation for seniors to make doctor’s appointments,” he said. “We have been in the middle of a serious pandemic for nearly two years. But these individuals still have medical appointments and dialysis routines to attend. NARCOG provides a valuable service across the county.”

NARCOG bus driver Claude Stevenson loads meals onto his bus at Turner-Surles Community Center. [JERONIMO NISA/DECATUR DAILY].

NARCOG and the county’s senior centers work hand-inhand to provide transportation and meals to the seniors. Eight Morgan senior centers served by both agencies are Eva Nutrition Center, 3824 Eva Road; Falkville Nutrition Center, 1076 Culver Road; Hartselle Nutrition Center, 406 Nance Ford Road; Lacey’s Spring Nutrition Center, 10139 Alabama 36 E.; Union Hill Nutrition Center, 11 Union Hill Loop Road; Neel Nutrition Center, 6950 Danville Road; Somerville Nutrition Center, 16 Senior Lane; and TurnerSurles Community Center, 702 Sycamore St., Decatur. Seniors needing service are encouraged to call 256-3554515 or visit the NARCOG office at 216 Jackson St. S.E., Decatur.

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Decatur Living 50 Plus 7




ndividuals work hard to save enough money to purchase their homes. And the hard work doesn’t end there. Once homeowners settle into a new home, they may set their sights on renovations that suit their individual needs. And even when

8 Decatur Living 50 Plus

buyers find a home that needs no such work, maintenance requires homeowners’ utmost attention. All that hard work is perhaps one reason why seniors may be a little reluctant to downsize as they advance through their golden years. In addition to the sweat equity homeowners put into their homes, all the memories they’ve made within their walls can

make it harder to put a home on the market. Downsizing is a difficult decision that’s unique to each homeowner. Seniors who aren’t quite certain if downsizing is right for them can consider three key factors to make a decision that’s in their best interests. · Cost: Perhaps no variable affects senior homeowners’ decisions to

downsize their homes as much as cost. No one wants to outlive their money, and downsizing to a smaller home can help seniors reduce their monthly expenses by a significant margin. Even homeowners who have long since paid off their mortgages can save substantial amounts of money by downsizing to a smaller home or even an apartment or condominium. Lower property taxes, reduced insurance premiums and the need to pay for fewer repairs are just some of the ways downsizing can save seniors money. · Space: Many people love the extra space that single-family homes provide. But seniors can take a walk through their homes and see how many rooms they still use on a consistent basis. If much of the home is unused, seniors can probably downsize without adversely affecting their daily lives. · Market: The real estate market is another factor to consider when

deciding if the time is right to downsize. A seller’s market can help seniors get the biggest return on their real estate investment, potentially helping them make up for meager retirement savings. For example, home prices skyrocketed across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, making that a great time for sellers to put their homes on the market. Seniors selling to downsize may capitalize on such spikes since they won’t be looking to turn around and buy larger, equally expensive homes once they sell their current place. If the market is down and seniors can withstand the work and cost a little longer, it may be best to wait until things bounce back in sellers’ favor. Downsizing requires careful consideration of a host of variables. No two situations are the same, so seniors should exercise due diligence to determine if downsizing is right for them.

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Decatur Living 50 Plus 9




randparents introduce their grandchildren to all types of new hobbies and skills. There are plenty of opportunities to open kids’ eyes to the world around them. One of the more useful lessons grandparents can teach their grandchildren is how to cook.

Grandparents can encourage children who show early inclinations in the kitchen, but also help reluctant learners to develop some basic cooking skills.

10 Decatur Living 50 Plus

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Knowing how to cook is a vital skill that can help children become more independent and ensure they know how to survive later in life on their own. So many young adults go off to college without the ability to do more than power up a microwave or boil noodles. Ordering takeout all the time is expensive, and frozen dinners often lack the nutrition of homemade dishes. Learning how to cook a variety of foods at an early age can lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating and fun in the kitchen. Grandparents can encourage children who show early inclinations in the kitchen, but also help reluctant learners to develop some basic cooking skills. Here are some ways to make cooking something kids can look forward to. · Involve children in meal planning. Get input from your children about what they might like to see on the menu. While

there may be some items that are expected, including comfort foods like mac-and-cheese, grandparents and parents may be surprised at how mature their children’s palates can be. Maybe they’ve heard about a dish on television or learned about a specific ethnic cuisine at school and want to give it a try. · Watch cooking shows together. How-to cooking shows and competitions appear on both cable and network television. Kids may enjoy watching Gordon Ramsay mentor young chefs; Robert Irvine help to renovate a failing restaurant; or Ann Burrell assist self-proclaimed “worst chefs” shed those monikers. Cooking shows can introduce kids to food-related terminology and get them heated up about cooking their own meals. · Ask for help in the kitchen. Tailor cooking activities to youngsters’ ages. Little ones can begin by adding and stirring ingredients. As they get older,

children can segue into chopping or even mixing foods on the stove. Many kids like being taste testers and offering advice on whether a food needs more spices. By middle school, many kids have the wherewithal to plan meals themselves and cook them from start to finish. · Be adventurous. Introduce kids to various flavors by not only cooking various dishes at home, but by dining out at different restaurants. This can encourage kids to appreciate different cultures and cuisines. Learning to cook is a vital skill. Lessons can begin early in childhood and become more extensive as children age.


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Decatur Living 50 Plus 11


Ronnie Dukes stays on fast pace at 73 By MICHAEL WETZEL Living 50 Plus


Ronnie Dukes, 73, estimates he’s run between 44,000 and 48,000 miles since taking up the sport in 1979. [JERONIMO NISA]

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onnie Dukes vividly remembers crossing the finish line in his first road race. The year was 1979, and the race was the inaugural River City Run, a 10-kilometer race, now in its 43rd year. “The feeling I had when I crossed the finish line was something I had never felt before,” said Dukes, 73, of Decatur. “It was something I achieved all by myself. I had always played team sports, and there you are a part of a team concept. The joy I felt when I got through was unbelievable.” And in step with the fictional movie character Forrest Gump, Dukes said, “I just started running and kept on running.” He has now logged between 44,000 and 48,000 miles of running, he said. The retired director of marketing and public relations for Pepsi-Cola Bottling in Decatur said he had seen running as almost a form of punishment as a high school athlete. He said when he was in basic training for the Army National Guard at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, it was more of the same. “Running from here to there, everywhere we went, then to stand around and wait,” he said. “If I ran, I wanted it to be because I was trying to catch a ball or after I hit a ball.” He said that all changed when his co-workers at AmSouth Bank in Decatur, Sonny Craig and Mike Washburn, decided to start a 10K run as a community fundraiser. Craig and Washburn, the race directors, urged Dukes, then 30, to represent the company in the race. “I was athletic and loved to play basketball and softball (as an adult),”

he said. “They talked me into it, and I started training in early 1979 to prepare for that run.” He said on race day, the 6.2-mile run became a 5-mile race when an escort vehicle inadvertently missed a turn and shortened the distance. “After that race, running became an addiction for me,” Dukes said. “I just thoroughly enjoyed getting out and running. It became part of my life. I enjoy it, and have enjoyed it ever since. I continue to run. I have had ups and downs running. It has done a lot for me. I have a whole new set of friendships, people who run. It’s like a running family.” Dukes, who graduated from Decatur High School in 1966 and Alabama in 1970, said running does not just benefit him physically. “I called it my PMS of running — physically, mentally, spiritually,” he said. “It keeps my cholesterol balanced. You can’t lose weight just by running though. You have to exercise and watch what you eat. Eat to live, not live to eat. It has helped me mentally. I realized anything you do you need to do it as a passion. Do something you enjoy doing that is not part of your daily life. With this COVID pandemic, mental (weariness) is becoming more of an issue. I believe it is developed in part through stress. Running helps ease the stress.” He said early on he would run with headsets listening to music. “Then one day I didn’t wear it and I started noticing everything,” he said. “I was observing things I had not seen while running with my headset on. The spiritual thing came to me. “I started seeing the beauty in things along the route I was running. I started seeing God’s creations (along

Ronnie Dukes stretches before his morning run at Point Mallard. [JERONIMO NISA]

the Point Mallard Park running trail) and then started thinking about how my running is comparable to my spiritual life. Running has done a lot more for me than I have done for running. I saw the parallels in my life and thank God for the blessing I have the ability and opportunity to run.” “When I started running in 1979, there weren’t many road races in the area,” he said. “Now, there are about 50 a year.”

He said the running pioneers of the area, including Michael Poovey Sr., Phillip Parker and Jim Worthey, got the running events started and “it has escalated from there.” He credits Jon Elmore of the River City Runners Club for helping organize countless races in the past three decades. He said early on he traveled to Birmingham, Mobile, Tupelo, Mississippi, and Tennessee to participate in races. He’s even packed his running shoes on trips to New York and the Carolinas. “I’ve been fortunate to get into the New York City Marathon three times,” he said. “It’s very tough to get in because it’s a lottery system.” He ran the NYC event in 1998, 2006 and 2018. He was among 65,000 people running the 26.2-mile event in 2018, he said. “I ran in the New York when I was 70,” he added. “It’s such a special event. People are lined up cheering you along the entire route. Entering Central Park and seeing the finish line is just an unbelievable experience.” More recently, he ran a 75.4-mile relay run from Greenville, South Carolina, to Asheville, North Carolina, in the Ville to Ville Extreme Relay

last September. Dukes ran with team members — his son Matt Dukes, Elmore, Jay Vaughan, Michael Poovey and Keith Rutherford. Dukes said when he turned 40, he planned to either parachute out of an airplane or run a marathon. He decided on the latter. He selected the Chickamauga Marathon in Chattanooga. “I knew I had to up my game to do that kind of distance,” he said. “It was such a wonderful feeling when I finished that.” He said running longer races became a habit. “Now every 10 years — 40, 50, 60 and 70 — I have run a marathon in those years,” he said. “But I think I’m finished. I don’t think I will be running one at 80 years old.” He admits he wants to have personal record times every time out, but it’s not the top of his priority list. “I want to finish in the top in my age division, but my No. 1 goal is to finish,” he said. “Our goal in life is to finish. It’s what you have in your heart and soul. Just go out and be the best you can be. But it is about living life and finishing. There are difficult challenges in life. You have to overcome them. Just like the hills and dips in running. It’s a parallel in life.”

Ronnie Dukes says he’s learned to appreciate the beauty of nature on his runs. [JERONIMO NISA]

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Ronnie Dukes believes running benefits him physically, mentally and spiritually. [JERONIMO NISA]

At his peak, Dukes said he ran about 50 miles a week. He’s now at about 20 miles weekly. As he has gotten older, Dukes said he no longer can run pain-free. He was forced to take about five months off of running in 2008 because of knee surgery, and a back surgery in July 2011 sidelined him for nine months. “I have a sign that says pain is temporary and results are forever,” he said. “I like to live by that.” But he admits it takes longer to recover from the small pains. “If I have to stop running for a while, for a bad hip for a few weeks, it’s harder to get back into it like I could when I was 40. Now the little discomforts are a little more defined. They stay with you a little bit longer,” he said. “My doctor tells me to listen to my body. “It’s important we don’t push ourselves over that limit. What’s important is to be out there and enjoy the time you have. One day we’re going to cross that finish line. That is what God has encouraged me to do. He has shown me the way. He has a path for me. I am running that path.” ENJOYING CAMARADERIE His running buddies help keep him feeling young, though, he said. “I’m fortunate to run with people who are a lot younger than me,” he said. “They treat me as one of them. I appreciate that.” 14 Decatur Living 50 Plus

One of those runners is Vaughan, 43, of Decatur. Vaughan said Dukes is an inspiration to the entire group that runs a few mornings each week. “We have a big group that runs and it’s a great way to start the day, especially with Ronnie,” said Vaughan, director of business development company BlueHalo in Huntsville. “He’s a great man. He’s been an inspiration to me for many years. He’s told us to run your run and don’t worry about competing against the others. He’s taught me so much from a leadership standpoint and a spiritual standpoint. “I’d love to be able to run and do what he’s doing when I get his age. He’s been a role model across the board to so many people. He’s always positive and is interested in the growth of the community.” Dukes smiles when he thinks about the growth of the running community in north Alabama in the 40-plus years he’s been active. Dukes has been married to his wife Vicki for 48 years and they have two grown children (Matt and Meg) and four grandchildren. He said he is fortunate to have had two dedicated and loving parents who taught him to have compassion for the community and others. His late father, Bill J. Dukes, served as Decatur city councilman, mayor and a state representative

across 38 years. His mother, Juanita, just turned 92, he said. Eleven years ago, the Mental Health Association of Morgan County began the Bill J. Dukes 7K@7 Run as a fundraiser. “It’s kind of funny. The only running my dad did was for political office,” he said. “Now he has a race named in his honor. My father was a big advocate for mental health.” He said Matt finished ninth overall in the 2021 7@7K race. He credits longtime Lawrence County High School cross-country coach Stanley Johnson and Decatur High cross-country coach Rick Doke for introducing running to young people. “We are seeing more and more young runners and especially females in area races,” Dukes said. “We have some excellent, state championshipwinning high school teams in our area. What they have done for instilling running into our young people is amazing. I am so happy to see young people get involved in running.” Johnson said Dukes and Pepsi have supported his teams during the past 31 years he’s coached. “He’s been a big part of our success in Lawrence County and it’s hard to say what kind of impact Ronnie has meant to races and runners across north Alabama,” said Johnson, 60. “He’s always been one of the tools that helps the area running clubs.” Johnson said because of Pepsi’s support over the years, many students have received college scholarships to run cross-country. “Ronnie and Pepsi never said ‘no’ to me when I needed sponsors for our races,” he said. “He’s one of my mentors.” Dukes said he believes everybody has an addictive gene in their body. For some people, that addiction is drugs and alcohol. “Some have an addiction and passion to exercise, to bike, to golf, work in the yard,” he said. “It’s so important to keep active, especially as you age. It’s important to listen to your body.”

Caitlin Fite 256-466-0756 Real Estate done right. Call Caitlin Fite.


2114 Central Parkway, Decatur, Alabama 35601 Decatur Living 50 Plus 15



hey’re eye-catching, often exotic and always call to mind a bygone era. Classic cars are undeniably unique and their unrivaled automotive appeal has inspired legions of fans. That appeal also has compelled many to try their hand at classic car restoration. Restoring a classic car can be a rewarding hobby, particularly the first time a vehicle emerges from 16 Decatur Living 50 Plus


its owner’s garage and hits the open road. Car buffs interested in restoring a classic car of their own can consider various factors before they lift the hood on this challenging yet rewarding hobby. TIME AND MONEY It’s hard to know if a classic car restoration will cost owners more time or money, but restoration novices should expect to spend a lot of both as they work to restore a ride to its former glory. estimates that a

restoration done by a professional shop can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000, and that does not necessarily include the cost of the vehicle. If the financial commitment raises an eyebrow, perhaps would-be car guys and gals should look away from the estimated time it takes to restore a classic car. CarsDirect notes that it can take around 1,000 hours for DIYers to restore a classic car. The excitement of restoring a classic car can quickly wear off if owners don’t have enough time and/or money to keep the project going at a steady pace. THE CAR Some car buffs may already envision which type of car they want to restore. Some may want to restore a classic Ford Mustang like the one they drove in high school, while others with a flare for automotive history might want to restore a 1930s classic. Whatever your preference, make sure you find a car that won’t bust your budget. Even the initial cost to purchase the car from a local salvage yard can be deceiving. Some cars might only be affordable because they’ve experienced such extensive damage that the cost to restore them will be especially high. It’s good to know what you’re looking for as you begin to scour newspaper classified ads or visit local salvage yards. But allow yourself some room for flexibility in regard to the type of car you’re

willing to restore. That can ensure you aren’t breaking your budget right away or overcommitting yourself to a project that may prove beyond your range of abilities. Online car forums can be great places to get some insight into restoration, especially for beginners. THE PROJECT In addition to determining which car to get and how much time and money you can realistically devote to the restoration project, car enthusiasts must determine which tools they’ll need, where they’re going to work on the project and the availability of discounted parts. Discounted parts can help offset considerable restoration costs, so access to a local seller or salvage yard can be a significant advantage. The internet has made finding parts easier, as resources like can be invaluable. A place to work also is a must-have, so garages may need to be outfitted to make projects more enjoyable. Tools also can be costly, though CarsDirect notes that different steps in the process require different tools. That can make it easier to spread out the cost of buying new tools. Classic car restoration can be an engaging hobby. Novices are urged to learn as much about restoration as possible before they decide to fully commit to this potentially rewarding endeavor.

Thankful to our communities for calling and keeping us busy through 2021! Our families appreciate YOU!


Shane Jones, President

Decatur Living 50 Plus 17

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et-related damage can occur when pets are angry or happy. Boisterous animals may scratch or claw at furniture and floors. Some animals may climb or chew. Woodwork and furniture can be damaged by pet paws and teeth, but that’s not where it ends. The following are some potential pet-damage problems and how to avoid them. MARKING Many animals use scent markers to establish their territory and communicate with other animals. As a result, both male and female pets may spray urine in certain areas of the house. While it may not eliminate the problem immediately, making sure to neuter or spay cats and dogs can reduce the likelihood that they’ll mark indoors or attempt to seek out and mate with feral animals they smell canvassing the property. ACCIDENTS In addition to marking, pets that have not been properly trained or were trained and are experiencing a behavioral or medical issue may begin soiling in improper areas, such as outside of the litter box or in the home. Obedience training can head off some issues, but if a medical condition is suspected, consult with a veterinarian promptly.

DIRT, FUR AND MORE An investment in regular grooming can help keep certain damage at bay, states Home Advisor. Regularly brushing and trimming coats, keeping nails clipped and bathing will keep a home fresh and minimize damage. Other pets may not be groomed but require cleaning of cages or other habitats. Bird droppings and feathers can get on surfaces. Cleaning daily or very frequently can help keep a home tidy. PROVIDE TOYS AND SCRATCHING POSTS Pets need an outlet to tame anxiety and energy. If they don’t have suitable outlets, pets may cause damage to a home. Cats will take to furniture to stretch their paws if they don’t have scratching posts or special mats. Dogs, particularly puppies, can be orally fixated. When the urge to chew sets in, unless there are appropriate chew toys, furniture, moldings and other items around the house may become fair game. It is important to note that declawing a cat to prevent damage should not be a consideration. It is a surgery that can cause ongoing health problems. Nail caps can be used as a safe alternative.

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Decatur Living 50 Plus 19

Crewe 2016 C O’ Ye Crooke d arnegie CarnivaGoat participa te l parad e. [FILE s in the PHOTO ]




ressed in tricorn hats, bandanas, frock coats, flowy lace-up shirts and skeleton accessories — the typical wardrobe for a Decatur pirate — members of Crewe O’ Ye Crooked Goat entertain and amuse crowds at the Mardi Gras-style Carnegie Carnival parade every year. Consisting mainly of individuals 50 and older, the camaraderie, creativity and opportunity to give back to the arts attracted many of the 30-plus members to Crewe O’ Ye Crooked Goat, also known as the pirates. “You can be a one-time pirate or you can be an every week pirate. But if you are a one-time pirate, you’re really missing the boat. We have so much fun being together and creating things,” said Steve Reed, chief of the crewe — or captain, if you will. 20 Decatur Living 50 Plus

To find the crewe, keep an eye out for the 14-foot-wide by 55-foot-long pirate ship built around an RV frame. A charter member of the pirates, Reed, who will celebrate his 62nd birthday Feb. 18, became involved in Carnegie Carnival thanks to his wife Mary Reed, a local artist and exhibit coordinator with the Carnegie Visual Arts Center. The Carnegie, a nonprofit arts center in Decatur, founded Carnegie Carnival in 2012 as a way to raise funds. The event, which over the past 10 years transformed into a culturally and economically significant event for the city, has netted more than $900,000. When Mary Reed approached her husband and her brother, Brian Keith, about forming a crewe for the parade, the men responded enthusiastically. The idea for the crewe and the float stemmed from the Reeds’ annual New Year’s Eve party which, for several years prior to the inaugural Carnegie Carnival, centered around pirates.

Kathy Manning and Michael Manley work on Crewe O’ Ye Crooked Goat’s pirate ship. [COURTESY PHOTO]

“We’re always big on set decorations, so for the New Year’s Eve party, Brian and I used an old fence to form the bow of a ship on our back patio,” Steve Reed said. “When the idea of a parade float came up, we took those fence boards and put it on a trailer. It was something creative and fun to do together. We had an absolute blast.” The first ship consisted of old fence boards and cardboard filter boxes on an 8-by-10-foot trailer. The following year, the crewe upgraded to an 8-by-16-foot trailer. After the third Carnegie Carnival, the crewe built a wooden pirate ship around the frame of a 30-foot 1989 RV. “We really needed something permanent we could run around on and act the fools on,” Reed said. Due to structural issues and rotting wood, the crewe rebuilt the ship after last year’s Carnegie Carnival. Every Saturday and Sunday, members gathered at Reed’s Pool Doctors business to re-create the ship. In place of the wood, the crewe used a steel frame and foam painted like wood, which allows more pirates, up to 16, to ride on the ship. Previously, only eight pirates could ride due to the weight of the ship. “It’s quite an impressive ship,” said Michael Manley, a first-year pirate. “It was a good year to join because I got to help build the new ship. Getting to be a part of that and meeting everybody, it feels like I’ve found a second family.” The 56-year-old Manley, a Decatur native who moved back to his hometown in August 2020 after 25 years in Nashville, joined the pirate crewe as a way to support the arts and develop relationships. “When I left Decatur, there wasn’t much of an arts scene. The Carnegie was not even established,” Manley said. “I had been following the Carnegie page on Facebook and knew if I ever moved back here, one of the first things I would do is connect with them. They are my kind of people. Art has been a passion of mine as long as I can remember. The Carnegie has filled such a vast hole in Decatur.”

PREPARING COSTUMES Along with helping to rebuild the ship, Manley, to prepare for the parade, visited thrift stores and ordered pieces online to create his pirate outfit. “The one thing everyone told me I needed was a good pair of boots, especially if you’re going to be walking,” Manley said. Like Manley, Kathy Manning scours thrift stores and sale racks to create her pirate outfits, which now number four. “We don’t wear the pirate costumes you see at Halloween. I pulled together my first outfit out of the costume closet I had for my kids from when they were in plays for the past 30 years. The thrift stores are also a great place to look. Once you start piecing the costumes together, all of a sudden you have four outfits to choose from. We’re just a lot of adults who love to dress up,” Manning said. This marks Manning’s sixth year with Crewe O’ Ye Crooked Goat. While she joined along with her close friends Doug Maze and Penny Linville, the other crewe members were unknown to her. “Being part of this crewe has been one of the best things in my life. I was born and raised in Decatur. I have met people on this crewe, who were also born and raised in Decatur, that I would have never met. I have formed some of my best friendships here,” the 64-year-old Manning said. “One of the things I love is there is no age maximum. You’re never too old to be part of a crewe.” The 2022 Carnegie Carnival, which will take place Feb. 26, includes a children’s parade, a canine parade and an evening parade.

Kathy Manning and Michael Manley install the steel frame for Crewe O’ Ye Crooked Goat’s pirate ship. The crewe rebuilt the ship last year. [COURTESY PHOTO]

Decatur Living 50 Plus 21

Kathy Manning walks with Crewe O’ Ye Crooked Goat during the 2018 Carnegie Carnival parade. [FILE PHOTO]

“I’ve been looking forward to the parade for months. This will be my first real time experiencing Carnegie Carnival since last year was toned down because of COVID,” Manley said. Due to the pandemic, the floats remained stationary while cars drove past during last year’s Carnegie Carnival. No beads, MoonPies or other items were thrown. FULL-SPEED AHEAD Plans for this year’s celebration include typical parades, with floats winding down Bank Street and Second Avenue, said Kim Mitchell, executive director of the Carnegie Visual Arts Center. That delighted many crewe members.

“My favorite part of the Carnegie Carnival season are the parades. I like to walk beside our ship as opposed to riding on it because I see so many friends from throughout my life. I love to see how excited the kids get and to see the older people with their family. It feels real good to make sure they get some beads or a MoonPie. It makes people smile and I love it,” Manning said. While Steve Reed enjoys the entire Carnegie Carnival day, he looks forward to the children’s parade the most. “When we get done with the parade, we park the ship at the end of the route and let kids run around on the ship. When you see the absolute joy and amazement on their faces and see their imaginations going, you can’t help but fall in love with it,” he said. “The first time we did the kids’ parade, I thought it would be a hassle. It’s turned out to be one of my favorite moments of the day.” The 2022 Carnegie Carnival schedule for Feb. 26 includes the Carnival Frolic half-marathon at 7 a.m., Mardi Grass bluegrass bands beginning at noon at the Brick Deli, children’s games and art station at 12:30 p.m. at the Morgan County-Decatur Farmers Market, the prince and princess parade at 12:30 p.m., the canine parade at 2:30 p.m. and the Carnegie Carnival parade at 6 p.m. For individuals interested in joining a crewe, Manning offered this encouragement. “Do it. It’s for such a good cause. It does your heart good to be involved and do something for the community. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun,” Manning said. Proceeds from Carnegie Carnival will benefit the Carnegie Visual Arts Center, CASA of North Alabama and Track My Paws.

Crewe O’ Ye Crooked Goat participated in the 2015 Carnegie Carnival parade. [FILE PHOTO]

22 Decatur Living 50 Plus



big advantage of retiring is having more leisure time to travel, and millions of seniors capitalize on that free time every day. Seniors spend more on travel and leisure than any other demographic, according to the United States Census Bureau. The international travel agency Virtuoso says the average retiree spends nearly $12,000 a year on travel. Even though they have the money and time to get away, the global pandemic has made it harder to join the jet set. However, a renewed wanderlust spurred by an increasing number of people having been vaccinated against COVID-19 is driving travel interest once again. Additional booster shots also have assuaged some fears about travel by ramping up virus protection even further. Seniors who want to get away all over again can take note of the following safety tips so they can stay healthy as they hit the road. CHECK WITH THE AIRLINE If air travel is on the horizon, confirm with the carrier if any safety precautions have been implemented. Most airlines still require passengers to wear masks. Proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test may be required as well. Confirm with the airline if any seats on the aircraft are deliberately left empty to maintain social distancing. Travel during off-peak hours Mid-afternoon and early evening tend to be busy travel times. No matter how you’re traveling, avoiding crowds can reduce infection rates. If possible, travel in the early morning or late at night when fewer people will be out.

Some simple planning can help seniors travel safely during the pandemic.

CONSIDER VACCINATION Seniors were among the first groups of people to be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The travel resource Go Backpacking says vaccination is now one of the primary requirements for entering destinations around the globe. If you have not been vaccinated, now may be the time to discuss the vaccine with a doctor. CHECK INFECTION RATES Avoid destinations with high infection rates. The World Health Organization offers daily counts of cases on their Coronavirus Dashboard. Visit to learn more. PACK ACCORDINGLY Along with the usual travel gear, bring along hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, masks, and disinfecting sprays. Wipe down common touch points in hotel rooms, like doorknobs and remote controls. DINE OUTSIDE Many people have safely returned to indoor dining. But if you want extra protection, ask to be seated outdoors at restaurants. Try to limit time spent in other public places if they are crowded. That includes bars, clubs or even museums. Some simple planning can help seniors travel safely during the pandemic. Decatur Living 50 Plus 23


OUTDOORS to ease stress and lower heart rates MAKE GOOD USE OF FREE TIME BY ENJOYING NATURE



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he great outdoors beckons people of all ages. Fresh air can be hard to resist, and the benefits of spending time outdoors are so numerous that it behooves anyone, including seniors, to answer the call of nature. According to researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, human beings benefit both physically and psychologically from spending time in nature. Such experiences can reduce stress and help lower heart rates, potentially decreasing individuals’ risk for cardiovascular disease. In addition, the Forest Service

notes that spending time outside in green spaces has been linked to a lower risk of depression. Seniors who are retired or even aging empty nesters who are still in the workforce can make great use of their free time by venturing into the great outdoors. The following are a handful of senior-friendly outdoor activities that provide a great reason to get off the couch and take in all that Mother Nature has to offer. · Hiking: Hiking provides a great workout and an ideal opportunity to spend time in an idyllic setting. The U.S. National Park Service notes that hiking helps individuals build stronger muscles and bones, improves their sense of balance, has a positive effect on heart health, and can decrease the risk of certain respiratory problems. Hiking is an especially attractive outdoor activity for seniors, as many parks feature trails with varying degrees of difficulty, ensuring there’s a trail for seniors whether they’re seasoned or novice hikers. · Water aerobics: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that water-based exercises can be especially helpful individuals with chronic diseases, a category many seniors fall into. The CDC notes that one study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology found that improves the use of joints affected by arthritis without worsening symptoms. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also notes that swimming can lead to improved health for people with diabetes and heart

disease. Seniors can reap these benefits by going for a dip in their own backyard pools or a local body of water, such as a lake or ocean. Many swim clubs also offer discounted memberships to seniors, making these another great and affordable way to reap the benefits of swimming. · Fishing: Of course not all outdoor activities need to make seniors huff and puff. Fishing provides a great reason to get outdoors, and many individuals devoted to fishing report feeling less stressed after a day spent casting for their favorite fish. Individuals who consume what they catch also can benefit by improving their diets, as the American Heart Association notes that consuming certain types of fish has been linked to a lower risk for heart disease and obesity. · Volunteering: Local environmental groups often sponsor cleanups at parks and waterfront attractions like beaches and lakes. Volunteering with such organizations is a great way to get outside and give back, and working with like-minded individuals can be a great way for seniors to meet new people. In addition, a national study sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service in 2019 found that 88 percent of Senior Corps volunteers who initially reported a lack of companionship reported a decrease in feelings of isolation after volunteering. The opportunities for seniors to enjoy the great outdoors are endless. Taking advantage of such chances can benefit seniors in myriad ways.

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he notion of relaxing on a beach all day in one’s golden years is still a retirement dream for millions of adults across the globe. But many individuals also harbor a desire to keep working after retiring. Whether it’s a volunteering gig or a part-time 26 Decatur Living 50 Plus

job retirees are looking for, certain qualities can make an opportunity uniquely suited to a post-retirement job. · Flexibility: Retirees may be looking to contribute to their communities or simply earn a little spending money, but they will likely still want the freedom to travel or spend time with their families whenever they


Things to consider before downsizing your home


he decision to downsize a home is often bittersweet. Many couples who downsize their homes do so after raising a family. A home might be filled with memories, but downsizing a home helps couples save more money, and that financial flexibility often allows men and women to more fully enjoy their retirement. Bob McMillan, Broker points out there’s more than just money at stake for homeowners thinking of downsizing their homes. The following are a handful of factors homeowners should consider before downsizing to a smaller home. Real estate market The real estate market can be a seller’s friend or foe. Many sellers have a sale price in mind when they decide to sell their home, but the real estate market can be fickle, so homeowners should do their research before putting their home up for sale. Will the current market make it easier for you to get the most for your home, or will you have to settle for less than you prefer? How fast are similar homes in your area selling? When studying the real estate market, it’s also a good idea to study the market for smaller homes. If you plan on moving into a condominium but the market is not flush with properties, you might end up paying more than you want to for your new home, which might negate the savings you can expect from downsizing. Furniture Bob McMillan advises when downsizing to a smaller home, many couples realize their current furniture is unlikely to fit. That means couples will have to sell or donate their current furniture and then buy all new items for their new home. Another thing to consider regarding your furniture is which items you simply can’t live without. An antique dinner table might have been the centerpiece for your family holidays over the last several decades, but there’s no guarantee it will fit into your smaller home. You may want to pass this down to your son

or daughter, but that’s only possible if he or she has the room for it. Before deciding to downsize, consider your attachment to certain items that you may or may not be able to take with you to your new home and the emotional toll that selling such items might take if you’re left with no other options. Proximity to family According to Bob McMillan when downsizing to a smaller home, many couples move out of the suburbs and into cities or towns with more ready access to culture and restaurants. While that accessibility is great, grandparents may find that it comes at the cost of less time with their grandchildren. That’s a steep price to pay for doting grandparents, and it may also impact your children if they frequently rely on grandma and grandpa for babysitting. Before downsizing, consider if you’re willing to move further away from your family. If not, you likely can still find a smaller home in close proximity to your current home and any nearby family members. Medical care Many older men and women must also consider the effect that moving may have on their medical care. Downsizing to a home in the country may make it harder to maintain contact with your current physician, and rural areas typically have less medical practitioners than more densely populated towns and cities. In addition, if you have been visiting the same physician for years, you may not want to move and have to start all over again with a physician who is unfamiliar with your medical history. Consider how much maintaining your existing relationship with your physician means to you, and if your next home will provide the kind of access to medical care you’re likely to need. Downsizing a home is not just about moving into a smaller property. To ensure you’re making the right decision, many factors must be considered before downsizing.

Find the Perfect House


choose. So flexibility is something to look for in a post-retirement job. This is what makes consultant work so attractive to retirees. Inperson hours may not be required of consultants, who can then offer their input while visiting their grandchildren or traveling the world. · Socialization: Though the ability to work from home can make it easier for retirees to earn some extra money, some seniors aren’t concerned about their finances but want to work so they can get out of the house. In that case, look for a job that offers the opportunity to socialize and meet new people. Socializing as an older adult is a great way to fend off loneliness. In addition, one study published in 2007 in the journal of the American Public Health Association found that social support networks have a positive effect on cognition among older adults. So a post-retirement job that enables retirees to socialize could delay or reduce the severity of age-related cognitive decline. · Engagement: A job seniors find engaging also is more likely to provide the types of benefits seniors are looking for in post-retirement work. For example, researchers at Boston College’s Sloan Center on Aging and Work found that seniors who find a job or volunteering opportunity truly engaging are more likely to benefit psychologically from those experiences than those whose post-retirement work is not engaging. If seniors find themselves simply going through the motions with their postretirement work, they can look for opportunities that they can be more enthusiastic about. · Pressure-free: Regardless of what retirees did for a living prior to calling it a career, chances are they dealt with work-related stress. In fact, the American Stress Institute reports that 83 percent of workers in the United States suffer from work-related stress, while Statistics Canada reports that 62 percent of Canadian workers say work is their main source of stress. After a lifetime of confronting workrelated stress, individuals who want to work in retirement should look for pressure-free opportunities. This is an important quality, as the ASI indicates that stress has been linked to increased rates of heart attack, hypertension and other disorders. The right post-retirement job may differ from what individuals looked for during their careers. Various qualities can combine to make for a post-retirement gig that benefits seniors in myriad ways.

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any IRA and retirement plan limits are indexed for inflation each year. Although the amount you can contribute to IRAs remains the same in 2022, other key numbers will increase, including how much you can contribute to a work-based retirement plan and the phaseout thresholds for IRA deductibility and Roth contributions. HOW MUCH CAN YOU SAVE IN AN IRA? The maximum amount you can contribute to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA in 2022 remains $6,000 (or 100% of your earned income, if less). The maximum catch-up contribution for those age 50 or older remains $1,000. You can contribute to both a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA in 2022, but your total contributions cannot exceed these annual limits. CAN YOU DEDUCT YOUR TRADITIONAL IRA CONTRIBUTIONS? If you (or if you’re married, both you and your spouse) are not covered by a work-based retirement plan, your contributions to a traditional IRA are generally fully taxdeductible. If you’re married filing jointly, and you’re not covered by an employer plan but your spouse is, your deduction is limited if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is between $204,000 and $214,000 (up from $198,000 and $208,000 in 2021) and eliminated if your MAGI is $214,000 or more (up from $208,000 in 2021). For those who are covered by an employer plan, deductibility depends on income and filing status. If your filing status is single or head of household, you can fully deduct your IRA contribution in 2022 if your MAGI is $68,000 or less (up from $66,000 in 2021). If you’re married and filing a joint return, you can fully deduct your contribution if your MAGI is $109,000 or less (up from $105,000 in 2021). For taxpayers earning more than these thresholds, the following phaseout limits apply. If your 2022 federal income tax filing status is:

Your IRA deduction is limited if your MAGI is between:

Your deduction is eliminated if your MAGI is:

Single or head of household $68,000 and $78,000

$78,000 or more

Married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)

$109,000 and $129,000 (combined)

$129,000 or more (combined)

Married filing separately

$0 and $10,000

$10,000 or more

CAN YOU CONTRIBUTE TO A ROTH? The income limits for determining whether you can contribute to a Roth IRA will also increase in 2022. If your filing status is single or head of household, you can contribute the full $6,000 ($7,000 if you are age 50 or older) to a Roth 28 Decatur Living 50 Plus

IRA if your MAGI is $129,000 or less (up from $125,000 in 2021). And if you’re married and filing a joint return, you can make a full contribution if your MAGI is $204,000 or less (up from $198,000 in 2021). For taxpayers earning more than these thresholds, the following phaseout limits apply. If your 2022 federal income tax filing status is:

Your Roth IRA contribution is limited if your MAGI is:

You cannot contribute to a Roth IRA if your MAGI is:

Single or head of household

More than $129,000 but less $144,000 or more than $144,000

Married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)

More than $204,000 but less $214,000 or more than $214,000 (combined) (combined)

Married filing separately

More than $0 but less than $10,000

$10,000 or more

HOW MUCH CAN YOU SAVE IN A WORK-BASED PLAN? If you participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, you may be pleased to learn that you can save even more in 2022. The maximum amount you can contribute (your “elective deferrals”) to a 401(k) plan will increase to $20,500 in 2022. This limit also applies to 403(b) and 457(b) plans, as well as the Federal Thrift Plan. If you’re age 50 or older, you can also make catch-up contributions of up to $6,500 to these plans in 2022 (unchanged from 2021). [Special catch-up limits apply to certain participants in 403(b) and 457(b) plans.] The amount you can contribute to a SIMPLE IRA or SIMPLE 401(k) will increase to $14,000 in 2022, and the catch-up limit for those age 50 or older remains $3,000. Note: Contributions can’t exceed 100% of your income. If you participate in more than one retirement plan, your total elective deferrals can’t exceed the annual limit ($20,500 in 2022 plus any applicable catch-up contributions). Deferrals to 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, and SIMPLE plans are included in this aggregate limit, but deferrals to Section 457(b) plans are not. For example, if you participate in both a 403(b) plan and a 457(b) plan, you can save the full amount in each plan — a total of $41,000 in 2022 (plus any catch-up contributions). The maximum amount that can be allocated to your account in a defined contribution plan [for example, a 401(k) plan or profit-sharing plan] in 2022 is $61,000 (up from $58,000 in 2021) plus age 50 or older catch-up contributions. This includes both your contributions and your employer’s contributions. Special rules apply if your employer sponsors more than one retirement plan. Dewayne Eddy is a financial adviser in Decatur and registered principal of Provident Wealth Solutions/LPL Financial. He can be reached at




RICK HENRY Rick Henry’s paintings fill the walls and the ceiling of his home studio. [JERONIMO NISA]

By BRUCE MCLELLAN Living 50 Plus


ick Henry reached a crossroad in 2004. “My kids were gone. They went off to college and then went off and got married. I had some free time,” the Southwest Decatur resident said. In his early 50s at the time, he began thinking about what he’d do to stay busy, especially with retirement from a management job at ITW Sexton about a decade away. He had enjoyed recreational sports while raising his family and said, “It’s probably things like racquetball and running that kept me busy then.” However, sports had started to wear on his body, making them impractical. That left an opening for a passion he hadn’t pursued for a long time. “When I was young I just sketched a lot. I woodworked.” He decided to return to art.

Rick Henry painted this view of Paris’ roofs from his hotel window during a vacation in the French capital. [JERONIMO NISA]

“I picked up a paintbrush and started to paint,” Henry said. “I’m pretty much self-taught. “I’ve been doing it for like 18 years.”

Now 72, Henry regularly has artwork displayed in the Carnegie Visual Arts Center’s annual Embracing Art exhibit, and he has two paintings hanging in the home of Decatur’s mayor. Decatur Living 50 Plus 29

When Rick Henry paints in his home studio, he always sits on a chair that belonged to his great-grandmother. The table on the left is where his grandchildren paint. “I use that space to encourage them to paint and to appreciate art,” he says. [JERONIMO NISA]

Two paintings by Rick Henry hang in the home of Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling. One is of the city’s historic railroad depot (top) before its renovation, and the other (left) shows a portion of Bank Street that still has rails and bricks in the roadway. [COURTESY PHOTO]

30 Decatur Living 50 Plus

“What makes Rick’s paintings unique to Rick is that they are a reflection of his experiences,” said Mary Reed, exhibit coordinator at the Carnegie. “He’s a fan of the blues, and he’s got one painting that I love that is Microwave Dave. “His works are from his own life experiences.” The two paintings by Henry that Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling has purchased include one of the city’s historic railroad depot before its renovation and another of the section of Bank Street with bricks and rails in the roadway. Bowling was sitting at a table while dining at Simp McGhee’s when he spotted the painting of Bank Street on the wall and asked restaurant owner Christy Wheat if it was for sale. It was.

Rick Henry’s paintings fill the walls and the ceiling of his home studio. [JERONIMO NISA]

“We were thrilled to be able to get it,” Bowling said. “It’s a lovely piece of Bank Street, and it was done by Rick, and that makes it even more special.” Before becoming mayor, Bowling had done business with Henry at ITW Sexton and also knew him because both belonged to the Rotary Club.

Bowling said Henry has a personable and calm demeanor, “kind of cool, or maybe hip. With this, I can see that in his art, and I enjoy that. And I enjoy having art from someone local that I know.” Although Henry has sold many paintings through the years and has some on display at Josie’s restaurant

downtown now, his motivation for painting isn’t to make money. He says he “would be a starving artist if that was the case.” He paints for pleasure. “I don’t like doing commissions because that creates stress in itself. ... I’ll paint landscapes. I’ll paint people. I’ll paint animals,” he said.

These are some of the pieces that Rick Henry has painted of New Orleans scenes. [JERONIMO NISA]

Decatur Living 50 Plus 31

“It’s kind of whatever I want to do. “I don’t paint for other people. I paint for myself.” He says he’s probably given away more paintings than he’s sold. “My problem is … I have a hard time letting go of my art. I had a friend tell me that. That’s probably why I don’t sell a lot.” Henry has found painting has benefits other than providing a pastime and occasional sales. “It’s a good stress reliever. You can just sit down and start to paint and just kind of lose track of any stress you have.” Born in Massachusetts, Henry was raised in West Virginia. He received a degree in education from West Virginia University but spent his career in management after coming to Decatur in 1976 with his wife, Mary Beth, to work for what was then Sexton Can. He stayed there for 37 years. He rented studio space on the

second floor of a building on Bank Street for about 10 years until 2020. Now, he has turned a building behind his home into a studio where many of his paintings hang. He said when he’s in a working mode, he spends two or three hours a day painting, which is less than when he had the studio downtown. “When you have a studio at your home, you have plenty of distractions,” he said. “You walk out and say, ‘This yard needs to be cut.’” His preferred medium is oil on canvas. “I was just drawn to it. Oil seems to be something you can sit down and pick it up the next day.” He feels it’s harder to stop and then resume a painting if using acrylics or water colors. In addition to his own painting, Henry helps out at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center every six to seven weeks when exhibits change. “Every time they have a new

display, there’s three or four of us who volunteer, and we help hang it.” His advice to others with a nest emptying or retirement looming is “they just need to find something they enjoy. I’ve had friends say ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do.’ ” He said it’s important to find an activity before reaching retirement. He has seven grandsons ranging in age from 1 to 16 and has space set aside in his studio where they can work on art projects when visiting. “They deal basically with acrylics. … It’s easy to clean up. They don’t make a mess. It’s fun to see them do stuff.” Mary Beth is retired from Morgan County Schools. The couple has three grown children. Their oldest son, Michael Henry, lives in Priceville. Daughter Megan Youngblood teaches at Walter Jackson Elementary in Decatur, and youngest son Matthew Henry lives in New Orleans.

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Enterprise, LLC Enterprise, LLC

Used Motor Vehicle Dealer Used Motor Vehicle Dealer & Collision Center & Collision Center Specializing in Restorations,Candy, Pearl, Flakes,

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Graphics, Motorcycle Painting and RVPearl, & Boat Repair Specializing in Restorations,Candy, Flakes, Graphics, Motorcycle Painting and RV & Boat Repair

2406 2406 Beltline Road Beltline Road

454281-1 454281-1

256-778-0705 3953256-778-0705 Highway 67 • Somerville, AL 35670

454282-1 454282-1 3953 Highway 67 • Somerville, AL 35670

Specializing in European Specializing in European and other foreign cars and other foreign cars


454279-1 454279-1

256-712-5596 256-712-5596

454280-1 454280-1

3711 Florence Blvd, Florence 3711 Florence Blvd, Florence

256-353-9997 • Decatur-Hartselle-Madison Locations 256-353-9997 • Decatur-Hartselle-Madison Locations

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454275-1 454275-1

1202 Hwy. 31 NW, Hartselle • (256) 751-1050 1202 3v1e.NW, 751-1050 117 Hwy. 2nd Av SW,Hartselle Cullman • (256) 739-5888 117 2nd Avve. SW, Cullman • (256) 739-5888


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Decatur Living 50 Plus 33

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(other major brands available) featuring Havoline motor oil NO APPOINTMENT (other major brandsNECESSARY available) NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY

Common side effects of medications and supplements The following are some common side effects of medications and supplements



ealth professionals recommend a bevy of medications to their patients when they the benefits of such remedies outweigh the possible risks. The same can be said for vaccinations and other health therapies, such as vitamin and mineral supplementation. While supplements and medications are safe when taken as directed, they still have the potential to cause some unwanted side effects. Over-the-counter medicines, prescriptions or even herbal dietary supplements can cause side effects. WebMD notes that most of these effects are minor and may only be a temporary inconvenience. But some side effects may be more serious. Recognizing common side effects may not make them easier to confront, but it can give people an idea of what to expect. WebMD, the DNA testing firm Sequencing and the healthcare services research experts at Sehat report that the following are some common side effects of medications and supplements. STOMACH DISCOMFORT Since most drugs and supplements need to go through the gastrointestinal system to be absorbed, stomach discomfort, constipation and nausea can occur. This is one reason why experts typically recommend taking antibiotics, which can cause indigestion and diarrhea, with food. The vitamins and minerals in multivitamins also can cause stomach discomfort. Non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs may cause the formation of gastric ulcers and stomach bleeding when taken for extended periods of time.

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DROWSINESS Drowsiness is often associated with antihistamines, anti-tussive (cough) medicines and muscle relaxants. Drowsiness can be exacerbated if medications are mixed with alcohol. SKIN RASHES AND DERMATITIS Some topical medications, supplements and other medicines may lead to rashes or itchiness. A rash may be an indication of an allergic reaction. Severe allergic skin reactions may warrant cessation of certain medications and such side effects should be discussed with a doctor immediately. Vaccines also may cause pain or itching at injection sites, but that irritation tends to recede quickly. CONFUSION OR RESTLESSNESS Medications such as decongestants may increase blood pressure and contribute to confusion, restlessness, and even insomnia. Decongestants, when taken in high doses, also can cause an intoxicating high, which is why they are so heavily regulated. WEIGHT GAIN Certain medications, particularly those that adjust hormone levels like contraceptives and many anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications, can lead to weight gain. Medications and supplements are often the most effective way to help individuals confront issues regarding their physical and mental health. However, if any side effects become bothersome, individuals should speak with a healthcare provider to find out if there is an alternative or if the medication should be discontinued.

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SERVE BREAKFAST IN BED this VALENTINE’S DAY Those who want to impress their sweethearts this Valentine’s Day and start the day off right can prepare the following recipe for “Strawberry-Glazed French Toast with Sweetened Sour Cream”. By METRO NEWS


erving breakfast in bed on Valentine’s Day is a romantic way to begin this day that has become synonymous with affection and romance. Of course, pouring a bowl of cereal and bringing it upstairs won’t have the same impact as whipping up a homemade breakfast. Those who want to impress their sweethearts this Valentine’s Day and start the day off right can prepare the following recipe for “Strawberry-Glazed French Toast with Sweetened Sour Cream” courtesy of Betty Rosbottom’s “Sunday Brunch” (Chronicle Books).

Strawberry-Glazed French Toast with Sweetened Sour Cream SERVES 4  8 1-inch-thick bread slices, cut from a country or peasant loaf (see note 1)  2 cups half-and-half  4 egg yolks  3 tablespoons light brown sugar  1 tablespoon vanilla extract, plus 1/2 teaspoon  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon  3 tablespoons unsalted butter  1/2 cup sour cream  1 tablespoon granulated sugar  1/3 cup strawberry jam or preserves (see note 2) 1. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and bake until dry and very lightly browned, about 8 minutes per side. Watch carefully so that the bread does not burn. Remove the bread from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 200 F. 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the half-andhalf, egg yolks, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan (a 9-by13-inch glass baking dish works well). Add the toasted bread slices and soak them 4 minutes per side. Remove to a large plate or platter. 3. Place a large, heavy frying pan over low to medium heat. Add about 2 teaspoons of the butter, or enough to coat 36 Decatur Living 50 Plus

the bottom of the pan lightly. When melted, add enough bread slices to fit comfortably in a single layer. Cook slowly until the slices are golden brown and crisp on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a baking sheet and place in the warm oven. Repeat, adding more butter to the pan as needed until all the bread slices have been sautéed. 4. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, granulated sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. 5. When ready to serve, spread each toast with a thin coating of strawberry jam and top with a dollop of sweetened sour cream. Note 1: The best bread for this dish is an unsliced loaf of good-quality peasant or country bread, preferably one without an extra-hard crust. One that is rectangular, rather than round, is more convenient, but either will do. Cut off the ends of the loaf, and reserve for another use. Then slice the bread into 1-inch-thick slices. If your loaf is large and the slices seem large, cut them in half. Note 2: You can try other jams, preserves or marmalades. Cherry, raspberry or peach preserves and orange marmalade are other possibilities.




cheesecake recipe can be useful on any special occasion, and especially so on Valentine’s Day. For many people, cheesecake is not cheesecake without the addition of ricotta cheese. While ricotta is included in savory dishes like lasagna or manicotti, it is at home in desserts like cheesecake as well. Ricotta means “recooked” in Italian, and its production involves reheating the whey left over from making other cheeses, like mozzarella. Its texture is like a creamy/grainy, thick sour cream. Ricotta is included in this recipe for “Ricotta Cheesecake With Coffee and Chocolate” from “Nick Stellino’s Family Kitchen” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons) by Nick Stellino, but it is not the only flavorful ingredient in this decadent dish. Coffee liqueur, chocolate and lemon zest add to the complex profile - which only get more pronounced if you prepare this cake a day in advance.

Ricotta Cheesecake With Coffee and Chocolate (TORTINO AL CAFFÈ E CICCOLATO) SERVES 8 TO 10  1 cup graham cracker crumbs  2 tablespoons butter, melted  2 tablespoons sugar, plus 1/2 cup sugar  2 lbs. ricotta cheese, drained of excess liquid  8 eggs, separated  1/2 cup cream  1/4 cup espresso or extra strong coffee, cooled  1/4 cup coffee liqueur  1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest  1/2 teaspoon salt  1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels Preheat the oven to 325 F. Make a graham cracker crust by mixing together the melted butter with the crumbs, and sugar. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Mix together the ricotta, sugar, egg yolks, cream, espresso, coffee liqueur, lemon zest, and salt until creamy. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the ricotta mixture. Stir in the chocolate morsels and pour onto the prepared crumb crust. Bake the cake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until just set in the middle. The cake will still seem wobbly, but will be lightly browned and cracked around the edges. Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 6 hours or overnight before running a sharp knife along the edge of the cake and removing the pan. Cut into wedges to serve. Garnish with shaved chocolate and strawberries, if desired. Decatur Living 50 Plus 37

38 Decatur Living 50 Plus

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