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Holiday Stories


Prime Time




VOL. 19 NO. 10 DECEMBER 2019

Happy Diamond Jubilee

Longtime Washingtonians Clarence and Doris Roedell celebrate their 75th Wedding Anniversary Dear Readers: Northwest Prime Time does not typically publish articles noting anniversaries and other life events, but we hope you will enjoy the folksy story of the early life and courtship of Clarence and Doris Roedell, the editor’s parents, who celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary this month.


t was the eve of Christmas Eve, 1944, long, dark months before the end of WWII. A young G.I. and his even younger bride walked the aisle of the chapel at Central Lutheran Church on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Some believed the impromptu wedding to be a triumph, considering the obstacles along the way. But first, let’s roll the story back a few years... “Come on out, it’s the Garden of Eden” So goes Roedell family lore when Clarence’s great-grandmother implored her Dust Bowl stricken relatives to follow after moving during the Great Depression from Iowa to the Nooksack area, a farming hamlet in the far northern reaches of Washington State. Follow they did. Three Roedell brothers had married three Parker sisters—uniting two families with 26 siblings between them. Those families proceeded to have a ton of kids of their own, including Clarence. The ParkerRoedells, along with the rest of the Parker clan, loaded up their cars and trucks and caravanned across the country. The sheer numbers of the Parkers and Roedells made quite an impact on sleepy Nooksack Valley. Clarence’s extended family in the area included dozens of

Despite the hardships, Clarence cousins, 17 of which were “doublethrived in Nooksack, sporting around in cousins,” related on both sides since their fathers were Roedells and mothers Parkers, his dad’s Model A Ford, playing center on the high school basketball team (Gale just like Clarence. (Sadly, Clarence’s Bishop, who turned professional after double-cousins became motherless when attending WSU, played there too), and two of his Parker aunts died before the hanging out with his epic move to Washington.) friends and double Clarence was 12 when cousins. he arrived in Nooksack on the 4th of July 1937. Flag Twirlers & He, along with his parents, Boeing’s Red Barn two sisters, baby brother Meanwhile, and their dog Terry made Doris Scott spent her the trip in a fifty-dollar formative years from Essex and $25 in cash. 5th to 10th grade at the They camped along the other end of the state way (once experiencing in Colfax, a bustling the luxury of a motel while Clarence and Doris during their wheat town in the dealing with the brokenscenic Palouse, a hopdown Essex in Wyoming), courtship, 1943 skip-and-a-jump from eventually arriving in the Washington State University. She camped verdant valley they came to call home. The transition wasn’t easy for any of with the Campfire Girls, watched movies, went to dances and marched as a flag the Roedells or Parkers, but Clarence’s twirler at parades and school games. grandmother, Addie, had come to Doris had two sisters and a brother Nooksack earlier, following her own but spent as much time as possible with mother. Her humble home at the edge of town became known among locals as her two best friends. The three were “Ma Parker’s Hotel” (Judge Harden’s old known to dress alike and it was always place); Addie’s myriad of relatives had a a thrill when one of the mothers would drive the trio into Spokane to pick out landing place at “the hotel” when they dresses, especially for an important event arrived. Bunks were built into the walls like the Junior Prom. of the dining room to accommodate all Before the family moved to Colfax, those kids. they shuffled around quite a bit as her Like most during the Depression, parents looked for work. Doris was born Clarence’s father struggled to find work, on Seattle’s Beacon Hill but moved to taking odd jobs here and there. Clarence pitched in, arising each morning at 6am in her father’s family farm in Valley (north of Spokane) when she was about three. They the unfinished attic that was his bedroom later relocated to Spokane among other to their Swedish landlord, who pounded places, but Doris especially remembers the on the ceiling below with a broomstick, farm where she learned how to milk the calling: “Yunior, time to get up and milk cow to feed the kitty. She recalls the gentle the cows.” Before they found refuge at cow with fondness: “Old Bess wouldn’t that dairy farm, their house had burned hurt anyone.” to the ground, along with all they owned. Life in Colfax was fun for Doris, The kids were temporarily shipped out to despite the hardship of having a fulltime stay with relatives. Luckily, there was no working mother and a father disabled from shortage right in the neighborhood.

mustard gas during WWI. It was a shock when she learned that her pleasant life was about to be uprooted because they were moving to Seattle. Her mother would soon be working as a “Rosie the Riveter” at Boeing’s historic birthplace, the Old Red Barn. “Mother loved working there,” says Doris. “She had friends and was making good money. That was one of the happiest times of her life.” Seattle’s wartime boom summoned thousands of workers from across the country. The Scotts and Roedells were no exception; both families arrived in the summer of ‘42 from opposite ends of the state. The Roedells moved into a brand-new apartment at Yesler Terrace overlooking downtown Seattle (their first home with indoor plumbing); the Scott’s moved to Capitol Hill with the smell of fresh-baked bread wafting in from nearby Langendorf Bakery. Before Doris met Clarence, she met his younger sister, Carol. Both were smalltown kids thrown into big city life at Broadway High, confronted with cliques of girls who wore cashmere sweaters and saddle shoes. The two swiftly bonded and never looked back. High school life didn’t seem as important as skipping class each time a new Frank Sinatra picture hit town, or their jobs at Bartell’s (where they often met old Mr. Bartell, who was known to shake hands with his employees at Christmastime). School certainly didn’t seem as important as the romance that was about to bloom for the not quite 16-year-old Doris. When Doris Met Clarence Doris spent a lot of time at Carol’s and sometimes Clarence saw her asleep on the couch when he came home after midnight from his job. “I thought she was cute,” says Clarence. “I thought he was pretty nice,” continued on page 18


Northwest Prime Time

Active Aging

Remembering WWII

With Charles Robert (Bob) Harmon, Professor Emeritus Seattle University Suzanne G. Beyer

heard, With “Harmon! tears in Cook up his eyes, dinner!” Seattle Bob was University motivated Professor throughout Emeritus, the war to Bob not only Harmon, stay alive, recalls but “to fight “There for the guy were 190 on your soldiers left and in my your right.” company. I He added, was one out “Infantry of 17 who fighting made it.” is done Bob through Harmon, a crawling.” Private First He Class (PFC) fought in Bob Harmon and his wife Virginia, photos by Don Beyer describes a day where the Battle of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge he and one other soldier crawled on and served as one of the Monuments their bellies through the Siegfried Line to behind German bunkers. Men recovering artwork and The army taught the American treasures stolen by the Nazis. military just enough German so they During the Battle of the Bulge could communicate with the enemy. (Dec. 16, 1944 through Jan. 25, After a barrage of Allied fire hit the 1945), Bob lived in foxholes. “We bunker, Bob told the Germans left were constantly scared of artillery alive, “Der Krieg ist verloren” (The and mortar fire.” war is lost). “You have a life to save.” Sometimes he and his men After the war, soldiers returned took over a farmhouse. He recalls to civilian life. Tom Brokaw, in discovering smoked ham in a his book, The Greatest Generation, chimney of one of those houses. noted WWII soldiers came home, With potatoes and carrots he found persevered, went back to school and in a nearby field, he prepared a worked. Bob was no exception. nutritious meal. He also cooked for “Very few people talked about the family, who had been ordered to what they did in the war,” he said. move to the basement for safety. “We were sick of war and there was Harmon was known as a good so much else to do. I wanted to go cook among his unit and often

December 2019

to college on the GI Bill and meet through stories his uncle, Jeff Willis, girls.” told him. But when he returned home to “My uncle played polo on horses Olympia, it helped that he was from with Patton when they were on a military assignment family where in Hawaii. he, along Patton with his dad was a firstand uncle, class polo could openly player,” said share war Harmon. stories. He His uncle admitted also not knowing divulged, if he suffered “Patton was from PTSD, mouthy but felt and cursing General George S. Patton’s cross at Luxembourg American sharing all the Cemetery faces these crosses, his troops who fought n the stories time.” Bob Battle of the Bulge 75 years ago this month helped. He also knows feels he is still transitioning from General Patton’s granddaughter, wartime to the present. who “sang and entertained the Bob has returned to the troops,” he said. battlefields in Europe with Virginia, One of his favorite topics to his wife of 67 years, and their four discuss is the Monuments Men. children. He’s given presentations Towards the end of the war, in at both European venues and to February 1945, Bob was assigned to military academies in the United work with the Arts and Monuments States. The country of Luxembourg Commission. Altaussee, Austria, was and the state of Thuringia, Germany, loaded with salt mines, including have bestowed honorary citizenship Sternberg, Hitler’s special mine, on him in recognition of his efforts where Nazis hid stolen artwork and during the war. He’s visited the treasurers. Bob recalls discovering present-day Luxembourg American not only artwork, but also a Cemetery and Memorial, where on complete library and Australian December 29, 1944, a military burial coins. ground first appeared. When his unit came across Today, white crosses and Stars Michelangelo’s Bruges Madonna, of David on 50 acres bring lasting they were specifically ordered, peace to 5,076 American soldiers. “Don’t touch that!” Most of them died between “We all touched it.” December 1944 and January 1945 Bob said of his military service, while fighting the Germans during “I was a good rifleman in the the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. infantry,” but admits, he didn’t On this hallowed ground, one small develop leadership skills until much white cross inscribed with “General later. Now a leader and military George S. Patton” faces the troops. history expert, he served on the Bob walked among the crosses in history faculty and in administration this cemetery and notes, “The first at Seattle University from 1953 to rays of the morning sun always hit 2013 and earned the distinction of Patton’s cross first.” Professor Emeritus. Bob served under General Professor Harmon, a vibrant Patton’s Third Army, 319th Infantry 93-year-old, still gives presentations Regiment, 80th Division. His and grants interviews – always the knowledge of a young Patton comes educator! v

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December 2019


Happy Diamond Jubilee.................. 1 Writing & Poetry Corner............... 16


Volunteer Spotlight: Jack Irby........... 3 One Warm Coat Drive................... 3 Insurance Discounts.......................13 Library Corner.............................. 19


Olives and Holiday Feasting........... 6 Medical Minutes............................. 8 Cognition & Sensory Loss................ 9 Senior Fitness Tip............................ 9 Genetic Testing at a Crossroads.....12


The Funny Side of Life...................14 Rose and Dawn............................14 Comics & Puzzles.........................15


Remembering WWII with Bob Harmon................................. 2 Making the Holidays Count............. 4 Postcards from Christmas Past... 10-11 Supporting the Bereaved During the Holidays ..................13 Scenes from Childhood A Dummy for Christmas.............16


LET’S GO! Calendar.....................17 Bellevue’s and Trail’s ....................19

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Volunteer Spotlight

Jack Irby

And the Magnuson Park Food Pantry Jack Irby of St. Stevens Episcopal Church got involved with bringing food to the residents of Sand Point Getting food out to the people who most need it would Housing be impossible without the help of enthusiastic volunteers early on. As he explained, “I would bring over boxes of tuna, macaroni and cheese and leave them in a janitor’s closet.” Thus began the growing awareness of the need for more food options for residents of Sand Point Housing, who don’t live close to grocery stores and often face financial and mobility challenges in accessing food. On Wednesday, August 14, people gathered for the opening of the Magnuson Park Community Food Pantry. People entering the pantry receive slips to take an item from each food group, plus shoppers receive vouchers for the Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Market for fresh produce at any of the city’s seven farmer’s markets. Throughout the day, Adam Reichenberger, Youth Education Educator, cooked oven-roasted vegetables and pasta as a demonstration of what attendees of Solid Ground’s Cooking Matters classes might learn how to make. As with any food bank, getting food out to the people who most need it would be impossible without the help of enthusiastic volunteers.

Local Community Seeks Coat Donations Here is an opportunity to help make sure that nobody goes without such a necessity as a coat this winter. Foundation House at Northgate is holding their annual coat drive. Clean, gently used coats, scarves, hats and gloves of all shapes and sizes are welcome. Spread the word to your Lynn Creasy, local One Warm churches, organizations, Coat Drive Ambassador friends and family and bring donations to Foundation House at Northgate from December 3rd to the 21st between the hours of 8am and 7pm at 11301 3rd Ave NE in Seattle. “We are so excited about our upcoming One Warm Coat drive and hope the community will support us. There are nearly 50 million Americans currently living in poverty and struggling to provide a warm coat for themselves or their families. One Warm Coat’s program will make a big difference for our neighbors who need a coat,” said Coat Drive Ambassador and local resident, Lynn Creasy. Each year, hundreds of thousands of gently worn coats are distributed across North America to children, women and men in need through One Warm Coat’s Coat Drive program. “We are so grateful for our Coat Drive Ambassadors, like Foundation House at Northgate. It is because of our incredible volunteers that we have been around for more than 25 years, helping get coats to our neighbors who need them. Thanks to Foundation House at Northgate’s efforts, many people in this community will have a much warmer winter,” commented Jennifer Stockard, President and Chief Executive Officer of One Warm Coat. For more information, contact Lynn Creasy at 206361-2758 or info@ “Thank you in advance for your help and generosity for those in need. Happy Holidays!” says Lynn.


Northwest Prime Time

December 2019

Life Perspectives

Making the Holidays Count Claire Gebben

Yes, holiday gatherings are about the food, but they’re also about the stories. That point was driven home to me during a recent visit with my brother and family. For a few months before their arrival, I’d been working on a family history narrative of our mom, Ruth Ellen Lindsey Patterson. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost twenty years since she died. At my brother’s house last April, I had rummaged through a box of her memorabilia and taken photos of the documents, which gave me enough material to begin cobbling together a narrative about her life. By the time of our family gathering, I had only made it as far as the 1950s, up to the earliest years of Mom’s married life. Even so, with photos stuck into my Word document here and there, the write-up amounted to 30 pages. During our long weekend together, I shared copies with my brother and sister-in-law and with Mom’s four grandchildren. It was especially gratifying to see her progeny, now in their mid-twenties, reading about their grandmother, asking questions and learning so many things about her for the first time.

As the holidays approach, why not take the opportunity for this kind of sharing? Think about stories of the important people and mentors in your life. Depending on your upbringing, it may be a family member, or it may be the significant caregiver(s) who raised you. Think about your own experiences and the stories you might have to tell. Why not jot some things down in advance, or even make a small booklet to share as a gift? If writing things down seems especially daunting, you’re not alone. But here are some ideas to help keep you on track. • Write often – ten minutes every day is better than one hour once a week. Why? Because if you only write once a week, you’ll spend the first half hour trying to figure out where you left off last time. • Be honest! This is part of your legacy. Everyone has failings, and no one is perfect. Include challenges you faced, but also remember to include how you overcame them. • Don’t forget the humorous stories. • Lastly, with the convenience of cellphones, don’t forget to keep one handy at gatherings. When a loved one

Ruth Patterson’s four grandchildren. Claire was gratified to share information about her mother, Ruth, in a memory booklet she is putting together for the family.

launches into a favorite story, it’s so easy to make a video or audio recording, and who knows how that might be valued, now and for posterity? No time to get it done this holiday? Then make a New Year’s resolution to be ready next time around. To that end, why not join or gather together a writing group? I’ve found it’s especially motivating to write with others, and feedback is key to helping us be sure we’ve said what we intended to say. My writing group is organized around member submissions of five pages every two weeks, a very manageable goal. This Christmas, when all the family is gathered, be sure to share what

stories matter to you the most. Studies have shown that sharing what we care about causes others to care as well, which strengthens meaningful bonds and traditions for the generations who follow. v Author Claire Gebben gives presentations on writing about family history, German genealogy, research and more. Her memoir, “How We Survive Here: Families Across Time” (2018), tells the compelling story of the discovery of 19thcentury letters in an attic in Germany, which propels her on a challenging quest to trace and write about her ancestors. More at

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Northwest Prime Time

December 2019

Naturally Healthy

Olives & Holiday Feasting Suzy Cohen

Olives are something I’m fanatic about. I’ll eat any kind, any flavor, any time of day or night! I’m obsessed with them. Olive oil is the liquid fat that comes from the olive tree. It is extremely high in oleic acid, which is known to reduce blood pressure. It also contains a good amount of natural vitamin E, carotenoids and oleuropein. That compound has strong anti-cancer and antiinflammatory effects. Olives are fruits, and both the fruit and the oil have medicinal benefits. The main active ingredient in olive oil is oleic acid, some phenols and squalene. Extra virgin olive oil or EVOO is sometimes referred to as cold-pressed. This type of oil is higher quality, better flavor and lower acidity than plain olive oil. When you see “extra virgin” on the label, that means something good. It means that the oil was mechanically pressed out of the olives, as opposed to using a bunch of chemicals to extract it. When the oil is squeezed and pressed from the olives mechanically, the vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids are not

destroyed. (NOTE – extra virgin olive oil should not be used for high-heat cooking). Olive oil consumption may help reduce the incidence of cancer, including colorectal, uterine, breast, prostate, endometrium, ovarian, bladder, lung and pancreatic cancer. Have you heard of the Blue Zone project? These are areas of the planet where people experience good health and longevity. Could the olive oil be the main reason that residents of Ikaria, Greece commonly live to be over 90 or 100 years old? The most recent news about olive oil is fantastic. Olive oil contains natural phenolic compounds which are strong antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. They also have antithrombotic activity meaning it helps reduce the formation of blood clots, which as you know, block the flow of blood to your brain (and/or the heart). Avoiding clots is the way to avoid stroke. Oleocanthal, a phenolic

component of extra virgin olive oil, acts a little bit like the famous drug ibuprofen! Extra virgin olive oil is like a natural NSAID. New research from March 2019 confirms that eating olive oil just once a week will help lower platelet activation (meaning reduce risk of clots). In turn, this lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. People in this study were all obese. Could olive oil confer even higher benefits in those who have healthier eating habits, a faster metabolic rate and/or lower BMI? More than likely, yes.

The take-home point is that olives and olive oil appear to have strong health benefits to people who are high risk for stroke. Don’t worry about the fat because it’s a healthy fat. One tablespoon of olive oil contains the following nutritional information, according to the United States Department of Agriculture: zero sugar, zero cholesterol, 10 grams of monounsaturated fat and about 120 calories. I believe this oil is among the healthiest natural oils you can consume. I’m not in favor of vegetable oil, rapeseed oil, canola oil or MCT. I do like olive oil, grape seed, avocado, tea seed and pumpkin seed oil. So consume olives and olive oil this holiday season and throughout the year. v

Olive Tapenade This tapenade recipe is notable because it is made with kalamata olives and without anchovies

Ingredients: 3 cloves garlic, peeled 1 cup pitted kalamata olives 2 tablespoons capers 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Place the garlic cloves into a blender or food processor; pulse to mince. Add olives, capers, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. Blend until everything is finely chopped. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature with crackers or crispy bread. Tapenade can last up to a month if refrigerated and covered

...recipe courtesy

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Northwest Prime Time

Heath Matters

Medical Minutes John Schieszer

Smartphone Data May Help Surgery Patients New applications for smartphone data are continually emerging, and the area of John Schieszer surgical care is no exception. In a new study presented at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress 2019, surgeons report that they can describe the impact of certain postoperative events in their patients by capturing data from a patient’s smartphone. “In surgery, we traditionally rely on outcome measures like readmission rates, 30-day mortality and disease-free survival, which are all extremely valuable and will always have a place in measuring outcomes. But sometimes those outcomes fail to capture what really matters to a patient,” said lead study author Dr. Nikhil Panda, who is a general surgery resident at Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical School, and postdoctoral fellow at Ariadne Labs, Boston.


Dr. Panda and his colleagues developed an app that could capture sensor data from the smartphones of patients undergoing cancer surgery. Patients who enrolled in the study were asked to download the app and were told their activity would be tracked following their operation. The research team did not prescribe any specific level of activity. They told the patients to simply use their phones as they normally would. The study found that those with the lowest activity levels had more readmissions or other complications. “Ultimately, we would like to see this research lead to the development of a tool that helps surgeons better counsel patients on the risks of surgery,” Dr. Panda said. “We think this tool will truly help our patients in terms of understanding the impacts of surgery, and aid recovery so they can make decisions that are informed by what matters most to them.” The researchers also see potential in expanding the use of this app to other areas of medicine. For example, a patient’s smartphone sensor data could be used to measure their activity not only after surgery, but also after adjuvant therapy, including chemo-radiation.

Mushrooms May Help Lower Risk for Prostate Cancer Results from the first long-term study of more than 36,000 Japanese men suggest an association between eating mushrooms and a lower risk of prostate cancer. The findings, which were published on September 5, 2019 in The International Journal of Cancer, showed that eating more mushrooms on a regular basis may pack an important hidden health benefit. Mushrooms are widely used in Asia, both for their nutritional value and medicinal properties. Studies have shown that mushrooms have the potential to prevent prostate cancer, said lead study author Shu Zhang. “However, the relationship between mushroom consumption and prostate cancer in humans has never been investigated before." In this long-term study spanning decades, the men were asked to complete a questionnaire related to their lifestyle choices, such as mushroom and other food consumption, physical activity, smoking habits, drinking habits and education. Results indicate that consuming mushrooms on a regular basis reduces the risk of prostate cancer in men and was especially significant in men aged 50 and older and in men whose diet consisted largely of meat and dairy products, with limited consumption of fruit and vegetables. In addition, statistical

Colds may be a thing of the past

ore and more people are saying tried it. Nearly 100% of feedback said the sinuses. Attorney Donna Blight had they just don’t get colds anymore. copper stops colds if used within 3 hours a 2-day sinus headache. When her They are using a new device made of after the first sign. Even up to 2 days, if CopperZap arrived, she tried it. “I am pure copper, which scientists say kills cold they still get the cold it is milder than usual shocked!” she said. “My head cleared, no and they feel better. and flu viruses. more headache, no more congestion.” Doug Cornell invented the Some users say copper stops device in 2012. “I haven’t had a nighttime stuffiness if used just single cold since then,” he says. before bed. One man said, “Best People were skeptical but EPA sleep I’ve had in years.” and university studies demonstrate Copper can also stop flu if used repeatedly that viruses and bacteria early and for several days. Lab die almost instantly when touched technicians placed 25 million live by copper. flu viruses on a CopperZap. No That’s why ancient Greeks and viruses were found alive soon after. Egyptians used copper to purify Dr. Bill Keevil led one of the New research: Copper stops colds if used early. water and heal wounds. They didn’t teams confirming the discovery. Users wrote things like, “It stopped my He placed millions of disease germs on know about viruses and bacteria, but now cold right away,” and “Is it supposed to copper. “They started to die literally as we do. Scientists say the high conductance work that fast?” soon as they touched the surface,” he said. “What a wonderful thing,” wrote of copper disrupts the electrical balance People have used it on cold sores in a microbe cell and destroys the cell in Physician’s Assistant Julie. “No more and say it can completely prevent ugly colds for me!” seconds. outbreaks. You can also rub it gently on Pat McAllister, age 70, received one wounds or lesions to combat infections. So some hospitals tried copper touch Copper even kills deadly germs that surfaces like faucets and doorknobs. This for Christmas and called it “one of the cut the spread of MRSA and other illnesses best presents ever. This little jewel really have become resistant to antibiotics. If you works.” Now thousands of users have are near sick people, a moment of handling by over half, and saved lives. Colds start after cold viruses get in simply stopped getting colds. it may keep serious infection away. People often use CopperZap your nose, so the vast body of research The EPA says copper still works gave Cornell an idea. When he next felt a preventively. Frequent flier Karen Gauci even when tarnished. It kills hundreds of cold about to start, he fashioned a smooth used to get colds after crowded flights. different disease germs so it can prevent copper probe and rubbed it gently in his Though skeptical, she tried it several times serious or even fatal illness. a day on travel days for 2 months. “Sixteen nose for 60 seconds. CopperZap is made in America of pure “It worked!” he exclaimed. “The cold flights and not a sniffle!” she exclaimed. copper. It has a 90-day full money back Businesswoman Rosaleen says when guarantee. It is $69.95. never got going.” It worked every time. He asked relatives and friends to try it. people are sick around her she uses Get $10 off each CopperZap with code They said it worked for them, too, so he CopperZap morning and night. “It saved NWPT8. patented CopperZap™ and put it on the me last holidays,” she said. “The kids had Go to or call colds going round and round, but not me.” toll-free 1-888-411-6114. market. Some users say it also helps with Now tens of thousands of people have Buy once, use forever. (paid advertisement)

December 2019 analysis of the data indicated that regular mushroom consumption was related to a lower risk of prostate cancer regardless of how much fruit and vegetables or meat and dairy products were consumed. Of the participants, 3.3% developed prostate cancer during the follow-up period. Participants who consumed mushrooms once or twice a week had an 8% lower risk of developing prostate cancer compared to those who ate mushrooms less than once per week, while those who consumed mushrooms three or more times per week had a 17% lower risk than those who ate mushrooms less than once a week. Zhang said mushrooms are a good source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, especially L-ergothioneine, which is believed to mitigate against oxidative stress, a cellular imbalance resulting from a poor diet and exposure to environmental toxins. Some Foods May Lower Lung Cancer Risk Along with mushrooms, a diet high in fiber and yogurt is associated with a reduced risk for lung cancer, according to a study by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The benefits of a diet high in fiber and yogurt have already been established for cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal cancer. The new findings, which are based on an analysis of data from studies involving 1.4 million adults in the United States, Europe and Asia, suggest this diet may also protect against lung cancer. Participants were divided into five groups, according to the amount of fiber and yogurt they consumed. Those with the highest yogurt and fiber consumption had a 33% reduced lung cancer risk as compared to the group who did not consume yogurt and consumed the least amount of fiber. “Our study provides strong evidence supporting the U.S. 2015-2020 Dietary Guideline recommending a high fiber and yogurt diet,” said senior author Dr. Xiao-Ou Shu, who is an associate director for Global Health and coleader of the Cancer Epidemiology Research Program at VanderbiltIngram Cancer Center, Nashville, Tennessee. “This inverse association was robust, consistently seen across current, past and never smokers, as well as men, women and individuals with different backgrounds.” Dr. Shu said the health benefits may be rooted in their prebiotic (nondigestible food that promotes growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines) and probiotic properties. The properties may independently or synergistically modulate gut microbiota in a beneficial way. v John Schieszer is an award-winning national journalist and radio and podcast broadcaster of The Medical Minute. He can be reached at

December 2019 9

Healthy Aging

Senior Fitness Tip

Link Between Cognition, Sensory Outdoor Fitness Loss and Social Support Mark Bryant, Functional Aging Exercise Specialist Paige Bartlett, Public Information Specialist, UW School of Nursing de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging

aids can also slow cognitive This year, the de decline in individuals with hearing Tornyay Center for loss. Healthy Aging welcomed Even without knowing if the inaugural Doris treating hearing loss can help Carnevali Engaging with prevent dementia, it certainly Aging Term Post-Doctoral doesn’t hurt. On average, people Fellow, Shaoqing Ge, who use hearing aids waited ten to the center. Ge holds years before addressing their a Masters in Public hearing loss, says Johns Hopkins Health and completed Medicine. While some people her PhD at Duke are hesitant to get hearing aids, University, where she research shows that the sooner spent her graduate hearing loss is addressed, the studies investigating the better. Improving hearing can help complicated relationship prevent isolation and dementia, between sensory loss, and improve quality of life. cognitive decline and Even if individuals decide not social support. to pursue hearing aids or other The post-doctoral Post-Doctoral Fellow, Shaoqing treatments, they can let family position is based Ge, was welcomed by the UW's de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging. and friends know the best ways to around “Engaging with Ge is investigating the complicated communicate with them. Family Aging,” a concept relationship between sensory loss, and friends can make sure to that emerged from cognitive decline and social support. speak clearly, be ready to repeat Doris Carnevali’s blog, themselves when needed, and try to talk in quieter settings when possible. v Carnevali, a 97-year-old retired UW nursing faculty member, writes about her aging experience and strategies she uses for adapting to Find tips on managing hearing loss and talking to someone with hearing loss at the National Institute for the changes that come with aging. Aging website:“I feel the focus of this position, Engaging common-problem-older-adults. with Aging, corresponds to where I really want my research to contribute to,” Ge said. “I don’t think, as a nursing researcher, we need to focus on one particular type of disease, especially in the field of aging.” During her PhD, Ge looked at the relationship between cognitive decline and social support. As she expected, higher social support predicted better cognition. Ge also examined the relationship between sensory loss and cognitive decline, based on data from the Health and Retirement Study, a study of thousands of Americans over age 50. Her work builds on other research coming out in the past few years that suggests hearing loss may increase the risk of dementia. “Now people are treating hearing loss as a potentially modifiable risk factor for cognitive decline,” said Ge. The exact reason for the relationship between hearing loss and dementia isn’t known, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that hearing loss causes dementia. One theory, says Ge, is that the communication barrier causes individuals with hearing loss to withdraw and isolate themselves. That can lead to loneliness or depression, which other research has shown increases the risk of dementia. Ge and her colleagues didn’t look at if hearing aids affected cognitive decline. But she is interested to see if improving hearing through the use of hearing

How should one exercise in environments such as high altitude, cold or hot temperatures? Exercising in high altitude The higher in altitude, the less oxygen you have, and Mark Bryant your heart has to work harder (beat faster). Start slowly in order to get acclimated to the altitude. Start with everyday normal activities the first day; after the second or third day, you could begin with light exercises and slowly build up. Exercising in the cold Make sure you warm up longer than usual. Wear layers of clothing to keep warm, including your hands and feet. Don’t start exercising until you’ve warmed up thoroughly. Check the temperature before going outside – if it’s freezing or below, don’t go out to exercise. Exercising in hot weather Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking water before and between your exercises. Before you start, do a little warm-up, like walking at a normal pace. For some, walking is exercise enough, especially in hot weather. Do not exercise for too long or with high intensity in hot weather. Make sure you cool down after exercise with a slow to mild walk, followed by light stretching. Stay safe and enjoy the outdoors. v


Northwest Prime Time

To My New Old Friends Saralee Perel

I don’t usually save holiday cards, but this one I did. Inside was a handwritten note: “Dear Saralee and Bob, Miss you both always.” It was signed, “Love you.” But we couldn’t read the signature! So, while wondering who was missing me, I thought The mysterious holiday card of old friends I miss, and happened. But that’s no excuse. I instantly came up with Freddi. withdrew from the world, abruptly She and I grew up together in ending my deep friendship with Baltimore. We were best friends. Freddi without one word of Once she reminded me that I explanation. How could I do such a introduced her to the music of horrible thing? Then I asked myself, Simon and Garfunkel. “Dare I risk approaching her?” Old friends. Old friends. Sat on I composed an email, the their park bench like bookends. words of which I changed ten Because of me, we haven’t times. Finally I typed, “I’ve been spoken in 16 years. You see, I was thinking about you,” to which she depressed then. My devastating responded, “I’d love to catch up!” spinal cord injury had just

So, before I lost my nerve, I picked up the phone. Oh – to hear her voice! We spoke over an hour – sharing memories, like our beloved sleepovers when we’d talk late into the night, keeping the lights off so our mothers wouldn’t know we were up. Time it was. And what a time it was. A time of innocence. A time of confidences. “Freddi,” I started to cry. “What happened was all my fault. I don’t have words, other than, I am so very sorry.” “It takes two,” she said. But that was just Freddi being Freddi – kind and forgiving. Too many years were lost. I could have celebrated her new marriage. Or dried her tears when her cherished Siamese cat, Rocky, left this world. We could have loved and supported one another. Like a bridge over troubled water. She said, “It feels like we picked up right where we left off.”

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December 2019

That same day another old friend got in touch; hence I found out who the anonymous stranger was who sent the holiday card! Doug Clark. A dear, dear friend whom I love as much as he loves me. Doug and Bob and I bonded like Gorilla Glue to wood. We used to meet daily at the YMCA. Doug is the sort of person you instantly feel like you’ve known your whole life. Everybody regards Doug as the cat’s pajamas. If I needed help at two in the morning, he’d be the first to show up. “Doug, I love and miss you too.” I am so lucky to have friends who love me and friends who miss me. And now, above all – friends who forgive me. Preserve your memories. They’re all that’s left you. v Award-winning nationally syndicated columnist, Saralee Perel, can be reached at or via her website:

A Christmas Memory S. McCafferty

My college kids were home from college. The dog was so happy! It was a few days before Christmas and the tree I had chopped down from a friend’s ten acres of pines was resting in the garage. I remember that my oldest son brought it in and wrestled it into the tree holder, and then left for a date with the gal he eventually married (and eventually made me a grandmother of two boys. I digress...but then it’s my story, after all). My daughter and my youngest son were home. I was getting ready to leave for a bridge game. “Will the two of you please decorate the tree for me tonight?” They both responded that they would. I cannot remember how the bridge game turned out that continued on page 11

December 2019 11

Christmas Ornaments Tell a Story Suzanne G. Beyer

dangling close by. Thoughts of my A little green and favorite cousin, Cindy, white hand-painted come to mind when I bird sits perched high see her gift of a gold and on our Christmas white crystal Waterford tree. The wood ornament, along with ornament always takes many angels that she a dominant place on loved. Cindy believed the top branch. Mom you can never have gave me the little bird enough angels. in the late 1950s when This Christmas, a I was a teenager. It sparkling golden Eiffel always brings me joy as The Beyer family Christmas tree Tower from Paris hangs has several squirrels clinging to its on our tree, eliciting I think about her and branches. Writer Suzanne claims Christmases past. that her if her husband, Don, who many stories of our Ornaments, like consistently feeds squirrels on the European trip last year. back porch, had his way, there’d photos, serve to tell Decorating trees be live squirrels running around a story. I remember emerged in early 16th playing hide ‘n seek in the tree. when Dad gave me a century Germany as a see-through ornament symbol of Christianity, of a baby in a crib, with the title when Martin Luther brought trees “Baby’s First Christmas, 1982.” This inside and placed candles on them. was when our first child was born. Apples hung on trees were used as “Baby’s First Christmas” takes center teaching tools to tell Bible stories like stage on our tree. The baby Adam and Eve and original sin. in that window is now 37 In the 1800s, nuts served years old and a mother as ornaments and also herself. metal foil streamers. Several squirrels also Remember our “modern cling to the tree branches, day” thin strands called gifts from family members tinsel? Gingerbread to my husband, Don, who cookies, shaped like hearts and consistently feeds squirrels angels, added to the decorated on our back porch. If he tree. had his way, there’d be live squirrels When German immigrants running around playing hide ‘n seek in arrived in the United States, our Christmas tree. they brought their Christmas tree How many folks have a shrimp traditions. Thanks to Thomas Edison, hanging on their tree? Our shrimp is lights replaced candles for safety sake! bedecked in tiny orange beads. Don, As you gather around your a retired fisheries biologist, loves the Christmas tree, share tales behind orange shrimp. He also relates to the each treasured ornament to enhance ceramic fisherman-with-net ornament and brighten your holiday with and a green-painted wood fish cherished memories! v

SOME FUN FACTS: • History shows Ancient Romans and Egyptians cut evergreen branches and brought them into their homes during long winter months. The branches served as reminders that the outdoors will turn green and bright again at springtime. • In the mid-1800s in the town of Lauscha, Germany, glass blowers created hollow shapes which started worldwide interest and distribution of glass ornaments. • In 1848, Queen Victoria of England asked her husband, Price Albert, to put up a tree in keeping with his German heritage. And so, the Christmas tree tradition began in England.

A Christmas Memory ...continued from page 10

evening. But when I was driven home and entered, I was absolutely amazed! There was the lovely tree all decorated. But hanging from its branches were THINGS with notes on them. “Christmas hot dog.” “Christmas spoon.” “Christmas spatula.” “Christmas cookie” and many other kitchen things. Oh, Mama was not too happy! I heard giggling and laughter

from another room. They both entered the living room with such pleased expressions that I had to laugh, though I don’t know where they got their sense of humor. The three of us removed the crazy ornaments and they later helped me decorate the tree. The next year I bought an artificial tree and keep it decorated and covered from year to year. But I still smile at the memory of that special tree. v


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Northwest Prime Time

DNA Testing Kits

Genetic Testing at a Crossroads: Convenience versus accuracy …by Nicole Martinson

At-home DNA testing kits are no longer a new phenomenon but are becoming increasingly popular. Ask friends and family, and you’re likely to come across someone who has submitted their DNA for testing to a company such as AncestryDNA, 23andMe, Living DNA or National Geographic. These tests are able to determine the region your ancestors are likely from, as well as determine predisposition to many traits. Traits tested can vary from genes database that connects users that decide your aversion to with other family members who cilantro to your risk of developing have also used the database. This certain cancers and diseases. You opens the door to happy family can even test your dogs’ DNA. reunions with long-lost relatives By 2019, MIT Technology but has also become a new way for Review estimated police to track down 26 million criminals. customers have In one instance used direct-tolast year, a 31-year-old consumer genetic sample of a suspected testing kits, also murderer’s DNA was known as DTC matched with two genetic tests. relatives who had Tests are not used at-home genetic only sold online, testing and uploaded but increasingly their DNA onto a sold at drug public database in stores as well. search of potential Users receive a family members. By kit containing a examining their family saliva tube and trees, police were Dr. Fuki Hisama, medical return envelope. director of the University of able to identify the You send your Washington Medicine Genetic only male relative in Medicine Clinic saliva sample common as William to a processing Talbott. Talbott was lab, then receive an email with sentenced on July 24 to two lifeyour results. These results usually sentences for the murders of two display your predisposition to Canadians who were traveling certain diseases and traits as to Seattle in 1987 after his DNA well your ancestors’ countries of was a confirmed match to the origin. Many users of these atsuspect’s. This same technology home genetic tests seek out this was used when identifying Joseph information because of curiosity DeAngelo, who is suspected of about their ancestry, while others killing at least 13 people as the are looking for health reasons. “Golden State Killer.” Upon receiving results, some The use of DNA testing companies allow users to upload technology has brought up privacy their DNA onto an online concerns for some users. If you

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submit your DNA to a public database, searching for relatives, does this mean you could expose a family member as a criminal? The terms of service and risks associated with each at-home genetic testing company can vary. As with any product or service, users should read the fine print to decide for themselves if they want to have their DNA tested and uploaded online. Another potential risk of using at-home genetic tests is the chance of misinterpreting a result or getting a false positive or negative result for having certain genetic predispositions. Dr. Fuki Hisama, medical director of the University of Washington Medicine Genetic Medicine Clinic and board-certified in clinical genetics and genomics, said that genetic testing for health reasons is a medical test and therefore is best used when ordered by a trained

December 2019 medical professional in a doctor’s office. Patients usually have to be referred, and genetic tests such as those performed at UW’s genetic clinic are often covered by insurance. Dr. Hisama said that as far as the medical application of at-home genetic testing goes, it’s a bad idea. “The genetic testing typically does not diagnose people with a problem that they have now,” Hisama said. “Instead it’s much more nuanced than that.” Without a healthcare provider to put the results into context of the user’s family and medical history, at-home genetic tests may be more problematic than helpful. Since at-home testing only shows a small portion of a person’s susceptibility to disease, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that health-related genetic testing should be ordered and interpreted by a medical professional. Discrepancies between laboratories used by DNA testing companies may report false positive or negative results, which can cause unnecessary stress and unanswered questions. This leaves the use of at-home DNA testing a complicated mess of pros and cons. Humans are naturally curious about their ancestry and health. Seeking out the information that is said to make you who you are can help with a sense of self and understanding. Users should compare various DNA testing companies closely before making a purchase. If your family medical history concerns you or you think you may have symptoms yourself, Dr. Hisama recommends visiting a genetics doctor to be evaluated. v

For More Information • The Genetic Medicine Clinic at UW Medical Center can be reached for appointment at 206-598-4030 or on their website at • Visit the Washington State Department of Health at and search ‘Washington genetic clinic,’ then click on the first link. • Visit The U.S. National Library of Medicine ( or the American Medical Association ( and search ‘direct to consumer genetic testing.’

December 2019 13

Supporting the Bereaved During the Holidays Grief at holiday time can be the most difficult grief of all. Someone mourning the loss of a loved one may struggle, be overcome by memories of holidays past or try to block out or avoid the celebrations altogether. It’s natural that friends and family want to step in to provide love and support, but just how you do that is important, says Lynda Cheldelin Fell. “Don’t think that you need to fill the person’s every moment with holiday festivities,” she advises. “Grieving can be both physically and emotionally exhausting. They simply may not have the energy to handle all that celebrating.” Cheldelin Fell was inspired to help others through life’s roughest moments after her 15-year-old daughter Aly died in a car accident in 2009. In 2015, she launched the “Grief Diaries,” a 16-volume series of books filled with true stories by people who have experienced loss and heartache and want to offer comfort and hope to those facing similar challenges.

During the holiday season, you can best provide support to the bereaved if you: • Don’t force your agenda on them. Allow the bereaved to set the tone for how they wish to cope with the holidays. Honor their choices. Whether they wish to maintain their normal holiday routine, leave town or ignore the holidays entirely, resist the urge to pressure them to handle the holidays your way. • Don’t avoid them. Your absence will be noticed more than you think. If the griever asks to be left alone, honor their wishes if it’s safe to do so. Otherwise, include them in the festivities and treat them as you would any other significantly injured guest: with kindness, compassion and gentleness. • Don’t pretend nothing has happened in their life. That only creates the elephant in the room and invalidates their sorrow. “But don’t awkwardly coddle them either,” she says. Again, simply treat them with kindness,

compassion and gentleness while reminding yourself that you can’t fix their pain. • Invite them to help you serve meals at local shelters. Serving those who are less fortunate is a wonderful reminder that we aren’t alone in our struggles. • Remember to take care of yourself. If you live or work with the bereaved, their sorrow can quickly deplete your own happiness. Give yourself permission to take time to enjoy the festivities. If you live with the griever, then carve out ways that allow you to celebrate in private. Even small ways can help, such as indulging in a favorite holiday treat or enjoying a night out with friends. “If you think you can’t make much of a difference, I always like to remind people how the power of one moment can change someone’s world. One smile can change a person’s mood. One hug can change their day. That’s everything to someone in mourning.” v Learn more about Lynda Cheldelin Fell and “The Grief Diaries” at www.

Insurance Discounts ...submitted by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Many consumers – and even some insurance producers – aren’t aware that state law encourages insurance companies to provide an “appropriate reduction in premium charges” for drivers over age 55 who take a DOL-approved driving course ( seniors.html). Any discount that applies remains in effect for two years after completing the course. In Washington State, the discount varies from 2% to 10%. Contact your insurer to find out if any discounts are available. The Washington State Department of Licensing offers a list of approved courses that seniors can take online or in person. Once you complete a safe driving course, you’ll receive proof that you completed the class that you can give to your insurer. Another factor that affects insurance premiums that many seniors may not think about is the number of miles they drive each year. After retirement, many drivers’ annual mileage decreases for various reasons. Some people may move to a different area, some may have retired from a job that included a commute. If you’re driving substantially fewer miles per year, let your insurance company know and ask if it will lower your premium. As a side note, according to the Northwest Insurance Council, people over age 55 may also qualify for a homeowner insurance discount because seniors tend to spend more time at home.

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Northwest Prime Time

The Funny Side of Life

Puzzle Wars …by Sy Rosen

I was never reason I pictured her as being a good at putting giant vulture with hands. Marcia: “Summer should try together puzzles. Do you it blindfolded. That was a little challenging for Allatropa.” remember the I then realized I was involved IQ test they gave when you in some strange contest. Maybe this lady was an internet troll just trying were a kid? I did great on the to make me feel bad. There was only one thing I could do – go into verbal section Sy Rosen full grandfather mode and lie like a and terrible on the spatial questions. I did what madman: ME: “I was wondering if you anyone would do – claim the verbal have any good book suggestions. I section was way more important. just finished reading Moby Dick to However, I changed my mind Summer and she really enjoyed it when I realized my five-year-old and loved the metaphor.” grandchild, Summer, was great Marcia: “Yes, Allatropa really at puzzles. She started off with a enjoyed it when she read it to me.” 12-piece Minnie Mouse and put it Okay it was apparent that I was together before I could say Huey, Dewey and Louie. She then quickly up against a pro in one-upsman grandparentship (not the technical moved on to 24 pieces and then to term). Well, two can play at that 48. game: As far as I was concerned, ME: “Did I mention that Summer was a genius and I really Summer is also a great gymnast? didn’t need a second opinion. She does a triple front flip However, I did what any insane that’s amazing. We know she’s a person would do – I checked it out little young, but we’re thinking on the internet. I found a chat Olympics.” room to discuss this and the first Marcia: “A triple is good. correspondences I got were very supportive, saying that Summer was Allatropa can do a quadruple back flip.” obviously very bright. Okay, I admit it. I then went Suddenly a woman named nuts and flipped out: Marcia posted a message: ME: “Summer can actually do a Marcia: “Good for Summer. My four-year-old granddaughter continued on page 15 Allatropa is able to do 100-piece puzzles and I’m sure Summer will eventually get there.” Okay, that was patronizing and condescending. I of course responded very maturely in a slightly exaggerated way: ME: “Good for Allatropa. When I said a 48-piece puzzle, I forgot to mention that Summer does four puzzles at once. So I guess you could say that she’s really doing a 192 piece puzzle. But who’s counting?” Marcia then quickly “There! Now it’s halftime. What do wrote back. She must have you say we all go to the table and been sitting at her keyboard have a nice family dinner” ready to pounce. For some

Plan your day, your way.

December 2019

The ongoing life-affirming adventures of Rose and Dawn

Mystery of the Noisy Neighbors Part II …by Diana Couture

Rose stared at the two cherubic, wrinkled faces looking at her through the crack in the door with fright in their red-rimmed eyes. She had come to reprimand them for their hollering and carrying on but found that she couldn’t be mad at their sweet, innocent faces. “Uhm… Hi…I’m your neighbor next door. I was…uhm…just…uhm… wondering if you were alright. I heard some loud voices and uhm…wanted to make sure all was well,” Rose stammered as she faced the cherubs. “Of course, we’re alright, girlie,” the older looking of the two women snapped. “Did you think I would murder my own sister?” With that the cherubs broke into a cackling, witch-like laugh making them appear much less like the sweet old ladies that Rose originally thought they might be. “There’s nothing going on over here that hasn’t been going on between us for the last 80 or 90 years,” the older of the cackling cherubs offered. “And besides, what business is it of yours, girlie?” Rose felt her face burning. She had to get the upper hand in this conversation. Even though the door hadn’t been opened more than a crack, Rose felt as if a hot hand had come through and slapped her hard in the face. The three women stared at each other. Rose finally got her wits about her and cleared her throat. “Well, I’ll tell you why it’s my business. It’s because I can hear everything that’s going on in your condo in MY condo. And that is very annoying. Can’t you learn to speak more softly and civilly to one another? Does there always have to be harsh words between you two?” The women gawked in confusion. “What are you going on about? We’re never cross with each other. We NEVER yell. We’re proper ladies in this condo. Can you say the same about yourself?” The younger sister nodded in affirmation at the arrow slung by her elder. “Now wait just a minute, ” Rose announced. “I came here with a kind heart and a need for quiet in my home. That’s all. I did not come to insult or be insulted. And look at us. We’re quarrelling and haven’t even properly

introduced ourselves. Let’s start over,” Rose gently suggested. “My name is Rose, and you are…?” The grumpy cherubs opened the front door a little more and stuck out their hands to shake. “We are the Kelly girls. I’m Colleen and this is my younger sister, Dorothy.” Hands were shaken and slight, polite smiles appeared momentarily. “We still don’t know why you’re here. As I said already, we never yell and are certainly never cross with each other.” Dorothy nodded again at Colleen’s statement. “Well, you see…I…uhm..well, I don’t know what to say. You see, I hear your loud voices almost every day. I…I…want to be a good neighbor and I want to ask you two to be good neighbors too,” Rose said shyly. The hackles went up almost perceptively on Colleen’s back. She squared her shoulders and took a lung full of air readying for a stream of unpleasantries aimed at Rose. Just then Dawn walked onto the sidewalk from the parking lot. “Hello Rose. These must be your new neighbors. Hello ladies. I’m Rose’s best friend, Dawn. I hope I haven’t interrupted anything,” Dawn innocently inserted. Colleen lost her momentum and had to revert to the hand shaking politeness of a few moments ago. She secretly wished to be venting her spleen right now but had to play nice. Dorothy just nodded and shook hands. Rose caught Dawn up to speed as quickly as possible to try to end this siege. She wasn’t getting anywhere with these dames and didn’t see an end to the back and forth. While she was painting the discordant picture, Colleen squared her shoulders once again, looking like a volcano about to blow. Rose grabbed Dawn’s arm and quickly made their escape, explaining they had to be somewhere and were running late. The two of them ran down the sidewalk but could hear Colleen sharing some of her thoughts as they retreated. “And don’t come here again unless you have a warrant!” Colleen screamed. Dorothy looked at her sister and said, “Oh dear, Colleen. I think you’ve been watching too many cop shows on TV. These women don’t want to search our condo…Rose just wants some peace and quiet.” v To Be Continued…

December 2019 15

Looks a lot like Christmas? Len Elliott

Across 1. Wearing wedges 5. Benchmarks: abbr. 9. *Queen, e.g. 13. The D in LED 14. Messy pile 15. Soothing substance 16. Thrown for ____ (stunned): 2 wds. 17. Farm measurement 18. Diner desserts 19. ANGEL (three words) 22. Class for immigrants: abbr. 23. No longer working: abbr. 24. German’s exclamation 25. Wall Street event: abbr. 28. HOLLY (two words) 32. Stick out like ____ thumb: 2 wds. 33. + and -, e.g. 34. “So ____, so good” 36. “I’m ____ relate, but…” (expression of bad news): 2 wds. 39. Baron ____ Richthofen 40. *____ Cruz 42. Country singer Steve 44. COMET (two words) 48. Hem and ____ 49. Lieutenant producer: abbr. 50. Tupperware top 51. Balaam’s beast 54. PRESENT (2 words) 57. Second year high schooler, in brief Puzzle Wars ...continued from page 14

back flip while she is doing a front flip.” Marcia: “I’d love to continue chatting, but I am taking Allatropa to a seminar on Chinese Culture and how it affects the European economy. The lecture is in Chinese which is very exciting.” At this point I decided that this ridiculous one-upsmangrandparentship (still not the technical term) wasn’t worth it. And I should just be happy that Summer

60. Café au ____ 61. “Ghosts” writer Henrik 62. Car 63. It’s 79 for gold and 47 for silver: 2 wd. abbr. 64. WWII investment option 65. *Sandwich option 66. Harvest 67. With all one’s marbles, so to speak Down 1. “____ Marner” (Eliot work) 2. Showy publicity 3. Febreze target 4. Throws out of the country 5. ____ record (break it big-time): 2 wds. 6. “Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia ____” (college fight song) 7. “Little Rascals” girl and namesakes 8. Oration 9. Superhero’s wear 10. “The Greatest” boxer 11. ____ v. Wade 12. ____ Moines 13. Roy’s ridin’ pardner 20. Planes, quaintly (anagram of 32-Across) 21. Therefore 25. “Let ____” (move on): 2 wds. 26. One of the Ivies, for short 27. Surgeons’ workplaces: abbr. 29. “Magna ____” (1215 document) 30. Passover meal 31. “Separate Tables” actor David is a bubbly normal five-year-old (with genius tendencies). ME: “Yeah, we’re busy, too. I have to take Summer to a playdate with a few of her friends. They are going to have a burping contest. I will blindfold Summer to make it more challenging, which is very exciting.” v

Two Precious Metals

solution on page 18

34. FDR’s pooch 35. All over again 37. Dining room surface 38. Former senator Hatch 40. Educational institution: abbr. 41. Soon, to a sonneteer 43. Lassies’ boy friends 45. With magnitude, but no direction (anagram of RASCAL) 46. What one leaves behind

47. Ted of “Cheers” 52. Part of an act 53. Transmit 54. Breakfast place with a blue roof 55. Louise or Turner 56. Palindromic pop group 57. Cut wood 58. “____ Town” (Wilder play) 59. “Harper Valley _______” (Jeannie C. Riley hit )

WEEKLY PILL MINDER The weeks fly by And I’ll tell you why: (I am in a position to know)

My pill minder slots Are all empty pots And I filled them just days ago. -- Pat D’Amico

Happy Holidays from Len Elliott

The answer to each clue includes the name of one of two particular precious metals. For example: A person who looks to marry a rich person – gold digger. “Like a Rock” was a hit for – Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. 1. The Lone Ranger’s ride. 2. Name of an Olympic champion baker’s favorite bread ingredient? 3. Seasonal song with the lyric “…it’s Christmas time in the city.” 4. Commissioner of the National Basketball Association. 5. Bygone cigarette brand which once had the slogan “Not a cough in a carload.” 6. A kind and generous person is said to have this. answers on page 18

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Northwest Prime Time

Scenes from Childhood

Writing Corner

A Dummy for Christmas

Complaints Roy Brewer

…by Ariele M. Huff

children the anxiety of waiting for I grew up in a small morning. As we were opening town called Enloe in the the presents in 1956, I noticed 1950s. Enloe was situated a rather large box under the in the great black land tree for me. I didn’t know prairie of Northeast what it was, but the size of it Texas. Cotton compared to the other gifts and livestock drew my extreme were the town’s interest. When it was livelihood. There passed to me and I were 12 children in opened it, to my great our family born over surprise I found a Jerry a span of 24 years. Mahoney doll! My I was the 11th of Roy Brewer and Jerry Mahoney sister Maurine had 12 and the “7th purchased it for me. Son.” Because of the I was thrilled beyond imagination. age differences, the older siblings had moved away from home and were more Later the next day my brother Clydean arrived from Texarkana like aunts and uncles. For Christmas, all the older siblings and he had a package for me – it was another Jerry Mahoney doll. Not only came home for the celebration. We did I have an embarrassment of riches, didn’t have much in the way of gifts, but we had lots of food prepared for days I had an embarrassment of which to choose – obviously I couldn’t keep ahead by my mother. For Christmas both, but I didn’t want to reject one gifts we received store bought clothes; over the other. we usually wore clothes made by my My sister Maurine was a teacher mother, sometimes from the cloth of and a deacon in her church. As was printed flour sacks. We also received her nature, she graciously helped me nominal toys or games. out of the dilemma by saying she could But all the kids dreamed of use the doll in her classroom and in more elaborate things that we never her Sunday school classes. expected, things that we saw in the On that Christmas day in 1956, annual Sears Christmas catalog, the I couldn’t find my voice much less “Wish Book.” throw it. v In 1956, one of the things seen in the catalog was a Jerry Mahoney After leaving Texas, Roy Brewer served five ventriloquist doll. I watched the years in the U.S. Navy, then did a stint in Paul Winchell TV show. He was a VISTA. He graduated from the University ventriloquist and I was fascinated by how he could make the dummies talk. of Puget Sound (now Seattle University Law School). He and his wife Cathy have lived in Ventriloquism is commonly called the Des Moines area since 1967. His book “throwing your voice.” Although “Seventh Son, A Northeast Texas Boyhood,” I never expected to receive a Jerry Mahoney doll, I mentioned this wish published in 2018, is about his adventures and misadventures growing up in the 1950s to some of my older brothers and in rural Northeast Texas in a family of 14. sisters in hopes that someone might Along with the family stories, Roy describes think I was worthy of it. the changes in the economy, culture and It was our family custom to open politics that marked the 50s. gifts on Christmas Eve to spare the

Opposite to common belief, complaining is not a personality flaw. Arguably, constant complaining is. However, unless you are Ariele M. Huff an angel, your inner grumbling lets you know you are not “grievance free.” Calling them “grievances” feels nicer, right? At 70, I’ve been engaged in constant wrestling matches with: Medicare, insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, labs, computer connected businesses, credit card providers, car rental agencies, lawyers, cashiers, mechanics and the list goes on. Most seniors tell me they can relate. Part of being older seems to bring increased pressures from these kinds of services. Yes, we elders are likely to use more services, more health care. And we might be prone to fatigue or confusion, to doubting ourselves. This invites the common business strategy of throwing at us extra steps to complete, more hoops to leap through, more questions to answer, more communications to respond to, less courtesy and more disrespect in hopes we’ll give up. And, many of us do—relinquishing things we’ve worked for, paid for and need. Complaints are our friends— they just need to be communicated well. Voila, the writing instructor has some suggestions. 1) Start any situation like this by making the assumption that the person/people/business on the other side of the phone, letter or email is on your side. This is especially

Ariele Huff

Poetry Corner

project feedback. They enjoy reading, often to each other. Northwest Prime The couple loves Time Columnist animals and all their pets have been Ariele Huff is rescues. Early in their a writer, editor and marriage, Brad and writing teacher who has Ariele traveled a lot thousands of published as she was editor of articles and columns as two trip magazines well as 21 books. For and a longtime travel clients, she edits books columnist. Now and marketing materials Ariele and her husband, Brad, making their home and has taught on a dancing it up in matching outfits on the Washington wide variety of writing Coast, they walk, talk issues and genres, as well and beachcomb. “I love connecting as some classes not related to writing with others through columns, being (Processing Loss; Get Rich, $tay Rich; Ancient Healing Methods for Modern able to share what I’ve learned— especially if it’s something I learned Stress). “By four, I knew how to read the hard way. My readers, students and and write—first published at twelve.” clients are my best teachers, and writing She met her husband, Brad, when he offers continuous epiphanies. My career took her writing class 32 years ago, has been filled with joy.” and he remains her best source of

December 2019

important if it isn’t true. Yes, if you behave with the expectation of considerate treatment, you are more likely to get it. For one thing, people holding jobs where they often deal with discouraged or angry people are desperate for someone who treats them well. On the other hand, even the creeps will recognize they might look bad if they don’t handle a reasonable and pleasant person fairly. 2) Then, you must do more than holding a good thought and using common courtesies. You must do your homework on the topic and formulate a plan of action. Though people of all ages wrestle with those who would cheat, this is more crucial to over 50s—due to ageism. But also due to the truth that statistically we tend to take longer to think things through and to articulate clearly what we think, feel, need or want. Add to that the human tendency to feel fragile when negotiating. We need to compensate for these possibilities. 3) Once you’ve researched the situation adequately and come up with the best plan for getting what you feel is possible, it is imperative that you rehearse the conversation. I recommend doing this both in your head and out loud to someone sympathetic to your cause. Remember: hold to the belief that the other side means you well and will be evenhanded upon hearing your brilliant observations and plan for amending the problem. 4) This can be strengthened by writing down your planned speech as well as potential replies to questions or challenges. 5) Sometimes, an advocate with you or on the line is a good plan. People are simply less willing to mistreat anyone in front of a witness. v

My friend is dying. His wife’s update— she’s crying. Senior Apartment No one can sleep, Tackling doctors’ visits, shopping no one can explain to him carts, why he can’t have dialysis anymore. grandmas indeed become weary. My positive, interesting friend. Catching busses, lugging bags from My friend who always had Walmart, compliments thoughts of home now seem cheery. for everyone. My friend who knew without asking. Behind front doors lie welcome My precious longtime friend. spaces, I can’t understand this is his end. homey, comfy, cozy places. Somehow, I’d seen him smiling. Shoes fly off; I de-stress Wings sprouting from his shoulders— in my safe little Granny-nest. mastering yet one more challenge, with his usual sunny aplomb. --Barbara Ruby In some magical way…inside himself, or in some other place or time, Poetry may be excerpted, edited, or that IS how he is dying… used in Sharing Stories on Northwest flying. Prime Time’s website. Send to ariele@

--Ariele M. Huff

December 2019 17

LET’S GO! Senior Events

Parkinson’s Support Group First Monday of every month at 2:30pm, Parkinson’s Disease Support Group at Quail Park Memory Care of West Seattle. Call Cynthia or Michael at 206-455-8842. 4515 41st Ave SW, West Seattle. One Warm Coat Drive Dec 3-21, 8am-7pm, Foundation House at Northgate is holding their annual coat drive. Clean, gently used coats, scarves, hats and gloves of all shapes and sizes are welcome. 11301 3rd Ave NE, Seattle. Info at 206-3612758 or info@ Tree of Lights Presented by Wesley Foundation, honor a loved one through your contribution, Dec 4 at 7pm Chapel Event Center, 707 39th Ave SE Puyallup; Dec 5 at 7pm 32049 109th Place SE Auburn; Dec 6 at 6:30pm Terrace Auditorium, 816 S 216th St, Des Moines, 1-866-Wesley-0 Wisdom Cafes Free discussions for seniors: Dec 10 2-3:30pm bring recipes & the stories that go with them Richmond Beach Library 206-546-3522; Dec 16, 10:30-noon “What has made your life fun?” Shoreline Library 206-362-7550. Guided Cannabis Shopping for Seniors Dec 11, Jan 8, Feb 12 10am, Curious about cannabis, marijuana and CBD? Join the team for free Wednesday events, 9am-10am coffee & conversation followed by in-store shopping at the Fremont store in Seattle, must RSVP (206-946-8157 or Service@SeattleHashtag. com). 3534 Stone Way N, Seattle, www. Aging Well Learning Community Dec 21, 10:15am, join discussion, new members welcome, Snoqualmie Library, 425888-1223. Dockside Cannabis Call for free Cannabis 101 workshops at your senior center or community, or group tours of stores, 1-844-dock-420, www.

Health Education

Free Medicare Seminars 5 King, & Snohomish County locations in December. RSVP 866-716-3153 (TTY 711) or visit presented by Kaiser Permanente Protecting Yourself from Medical Harm Dec 7, 2-3:30pm, Washington Advocates for Patients discuss how to protect yourself from preventable harm, free, Shoreline Library, 206362-7550. Dementia Education Dec 12, 2-3:30pm “Effective Communication Strategies presented by Alz Assc, Bellevue YMCA rsvp recommended 1-800-272-3900.

Community Events

Bloedel Reserve Dec 14-Jan 5, Holiday Village Display - free with admission, view intricately crafted tiny houses festively decorated surrounded by miniature working train; Dec 20 & 21, 4 & 6 PM, Solstice Walks - guided walks for children and families on the Bloedel trails lit by fairy lights. Dec 1,10am-4pm, save 10% on everything in the Bloedel Gift Shop. Tickets and info about Bloedel, located on Bainbridge Island, 206-8427631, Issaquah Reindeer Festival Dec 1-31, 26-30, daily 10:30am4:30pm, holiday sights and sounds, Cougar Mountain Zoo, 19525 SE 54th St, Issaquah, 425-391-5508. Reporter Speaker Series Dec 3, 7pm, KUOW food reporter Ruby de Luna discusses the region’s fascinating people inspired by food to engage their neighbors, free, Richmond Beach Library, 206-546-3522. Story Swaps Dec 6, 7-9pm bring your stories to share; Dec 20 7-9pm open mike holiday stories, Haller Lake Methodist Church, 13055 1st Ave NE, Seattle, free, refreshments. Sammamish Holiday Bazaar Dec 7, 9am-3pm, glass art, quilts, jewelry, scarves, soap, purses candle & much more, holiday music, Skyline High School, 1122 228th Ave SE, Sammamish, Winter Tales North of Seattle Dec 7, 2-3pm historical vignettes and snow photos of Shoreline, Lake Forest Park & N. Seattle, Richmond Beach Library, 206-546-3522.

See our full calendar at

A Calendar of Places to Go, Do or See…

See our full calendar at

AAA Cruise & Travel Dec 10, Open House 10am-3pm, African Travel Open House with African Travel expert. Enjoy free parking and light African-themed snacks, free but RSVP 206-216-4205, 1523 15th Ave West, Seattle. Powellswood Solstice Stroll Dec 14, 5-7pm, luminary guided stroll through woodland, fireside garden room, desserts & beverages, RSVP 253-529-1620. Winter Celebration Dec 19, 5-8pm, free admission to Tacoma Art Museum includes performances by Tacoma City Ballet, ornament-making, seasonal refreshments, 1701 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, 253-272-4258. Prime Time Poetry Contest Jan 2-31, if you are age 55+ enter a poetry contest (no longer than 14 lines) sponsored by Friends of Graham Library, 1st prize $25, for more info call 253-548-3322, or enter via email:


Smithsonian Exhibition Opens Dec 21, traveling Smithsonian exhibit shares stories of iconic African American men, Washington State History Museum,www. Model Train Fest Dec 20-Jan 1, every floor of the museum comes alive with trains including the largest permanent display in region, the Mount Rainier model featuring scenery, speak to train engineers, take the Freight Train Simulator which includes virtual reality tracks and scenery. Washington State History Museum, or call 1-888-238-4373. White River Valley Museum Dec 8, 1-2pm learn the history behind your favorite Christmas traditions; Dec 11 at 7 fashion show of vintage finds from Seattle Children’s Vintage Collection includes ball gowns and tea dresses to prom wear; Festival of Trees thru Jan 5, 10 trees decorated by local ethnic heritage groups on exhibit at the White River Valley Museum, vote for your favorite! 918 H St SE Auburn, 253-288-7433

Theater & Musicals & Dance

Tacoma Little Theatre Dec 6-29 “Holmes for the Holiday” whodunnit comedy; Dec 12 at 7:30 “4000 Days” a man awakes from a coma and can’t remember the last 10 years of his life; Dec 14-28 “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, 253-272-2281. The Nutcracker Dec 7, 8, 14 & 15, 2pm Emerald Ballet Theatre, Northshore Performing Arts Center, 425-298-3449. Inspecting Carol Thru December 22, rip-roaring comedy follows a struggling theater company scrambling toward opening night of A Christmas Carol and everything imaginable plus more goes wrong, Phoenix Theatre, 9673 Firdale Ave, Edmonds, $20-$25, 206-533-2000. Robin Hood Thru Dec 22, story presented in the style of British Pantomime – a hilarious take on fairy tales, Centerstage Theater in Federal Way, 253661-1444, Village Theatre Thru Dec 29 in Issaquah; Jan 3-Feb 2 in Everett, “Guys & Dolls” Enter by Nov 30 to win free tickets! (see ad on page 17 for entry form) Issaquah 425-392-2202; Everett 425-2578600. 5th Avenue Theatre Thru Dec 29, new musical “Mrs. Doubtfire” 206-62-1900,

Choral & Classical

Everett Philharmonic Dec 1, 3-5pm, annual Holiday Concert, Everett Civic Auditorium, 2415 Colby Ave. 425-585-8975. Holiday Concerts Dec 6, 7:30pm, St Margaret’s Episcopal Church Bellevue; Dec 14 & 15, 2pm, Highline Performing Arts Center, Burien, 206-246-6040. Northwest Chorale Dec 7, 7:30pm Edmonds United Methodist Church, 828 Caspers St, Edmonds; De 14, 7:30pm St Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 814 NE 85th St, Seattle, free (offerings benefit Northwest Harvest), carols and sacred works, 206-696-1222, Master Eastside Holiday Concert Dec 7 at 7pm & Dec 8 at 3pm, carols and readings from A Christmas Carol, Faith United Methodist Church, 3924 Issaquah-Pine Lake Rd SE, Issaquah,

Seattle Choral Company Dec 7, 8pm (pre-concert talk at 7), “O Yule Full of Gladness” Seattle’s St Mark’s Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave E, 206-363-1100. Market Street Singers Dec 7 at 7:30pm & Dec 8 at 3pm, holiday favorites & sing-along, Ballard First Lutheran Church, 2006 NW 65th St, Seattle, free. A Child’s Christmas in Wales Dec 8 at 3pm & Dec 14 at 7:30pm, the holiday classic accompanied by traditional carols interspersed with storytelling, Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, 7500 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, Auburn Holiday Concert Dec 9, 7:3pm, Auburn Symphony performs familiar and festive holiday favorites including music from movies, arrive early for treats in the lobby, Auburn Perf Arts Ctr 253887-7777. The Dickens Carolers Free concerts featuring singers in Victorian dress, Dec 14 2-3:30 Lake Forest Park Library 206-362-8860; Dec 22, 2-3, Shoreline Library. Northwest Sound Dec 14, 2:30 & 7pm, annual holiday showcase featuring quartets and mixed chorus, senior prices, www. Seattle Glee Clubs Dec 15, 7pm, Seattle Metropolitan Singers Winter Concert “A Winter Soundscape” Seattle First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Ave Bellevue Chamber Chorus Dec 21, 7:30pm First Congretional Church, 11061 NE 2nd Bellevue & December 22, 3pm Holy Trinity Lutheran Church 8501 SE 40th St Mercer Island, Hope in a Pan American Christmas: North Meets South. Special Senior Prices Available. 425-5223436.

Seattle Men’s Chorus Thru Dec 22, annual holiday concert, rockin’ and rolling celebration, several venues including Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, Tacoma’s Rialto Theatre, Everett Civic Auditorium, www. 206-388-1400. Bryan Schenkman & Friends Dec 29, 7pm, Baroque & Classical Chamber music series, Benaroya Hall, www. St James Cathedral Concerts Dec 13 at 7:30 “A Service of Readings and Carols”; New Year’s Eve Gala Dec 31 at 11am, Baroque music at St James Cathedral, 206-382-4874,

Downsizing Easy & Fun!

We do the work helping you sort through all the "stuff" of life that is tucked away and never enjoyed or used anymore. Soon your load will be lighter! You'll feel the freedom of downsizing what you own so it no longer owns you! We will help you recognize what "things" bring you joy and what "things" you are done with!

Call us for a free consultation on organizing, selling or giving away what you are done with. Contact me by email: or phone: (206)799-0318

Lori Wright

Wreaths Across America Suzanne G. Beyer

At the exact time, 9am PST, December 14th, folks across America lay wreaths to honor our fallen veterans. Not only at Arlington National Cemetery, but at 1600 other locations, the patriotic ceremony will commence. At the Woodinville Cemetery, 13200 NE 175th Street, the Woodinville Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Susan Woodin Chapter, will also participate in

this traditional wreath-laying ceremony. Following a minute of silence, wreaths will be laid on each veteran’s grave while each service man or woman’s name is announced. Adults and children are invited to partake in this long-established event to remember and pay tribute to the sacrifices our soldiers have made.

More Information Each wreath costs $20. The Woodinville Chapter uses the vendor, Molbaks, for their orders. You may order a wreath to be laid on a grave and can also personalize it for your family’s fallen veteran. To order, contact Wreath Coordinator at Ordering a wreath is not necessary. Please come to the ceremony. The Chapter would love your presence.


Northwest Prime Time

Happy Diamond Jubilee ...continued from page 1

remembers Doris. He started calling her Dorie May; she called him June just like the rest of his family (short for Junior). What was their courtship like? “We didn’t do much of anything at first,” says Doris. “We did a lot of necking,” reveals Clarence with a grin. The relationship was growing strong until May of 1943 when Clarence went into the Army and was shipped out to New Orleans for basic training. “I was lonesome,” says Doris of the separation. Frequent letters kept the longdistance relationship alive. They have kept those letters to this day. Clarence was transferred to South Carolina where, at Christmastime, he received a one-week pass and decided to head home. Trouble was, home was a seven-day round-trip on the train. Once he arrived in Seattle, Clarence hoped he could finagle extra days. Otherwise, he would have to get straight back on the train. He considered the possibility of seeing Doris worth the risk. Clarence fell asleep on the crowded train “settin’ on a suitcase because there wasn’t room anywhere. The vestibules were full of sailors.” That train was the Atlantic Coast Line that derailed in North Carolina on December 16, 1943. It is considered one of the worst train wrecks in U.S. history. Seventy-four people died in the crash. Clarence was among the 187 injured. He was to spend the next six months in the hospital. Back home in Seattle, a reporter tracked down Clarence’s father and informed him that his son was killed in the wreck. Luckily, the truth came out before Doris heard the news. That wreck and those long months of recovery probably saved Clarence’s life. His training as an amphibious pilot would have put him square in the Pacific theater of war, where statistics show that pilots of J-boats couldn’t necessarily expect to survive. After rehab he went back to duty, but his extensive injuries prevented him from shipping out. As an aside, Clarence was Doris’ steady fella, although the couple didn’t have specific plans to marry. Nevertheless, she was already a part of the Roedell family. The Roedells were known for parlor games and a secret family initiation called “The Roedell Airline,” which Doris would soon experience first-hand. And despite not knowing when she herself might marry, Doris was no stranger to weddings or even honeymoons. For the record, although she may try to deny it, she accompanied her best friend Carol on her honeymoon. But that is another story. By Christmastime 1944, Clarence was stationed in Florida. He received another pass and once again boarded a train for the three-and-a-half-day ride home. The young Doris, barely out of girlhood, began to fret about what to buy Clarence for a Christmas present. “I didn’t know what you were supposed to get for a serious boyfriend,” she says. A married friend suggested the same gift she got her husband: a lifetime subscription to Reader’s Digest. That $25 turned into a lifetime investment; after 75 years the magazine still arrives faithfully each month.

Clarence and Doris before he shipped out for basic training in May, 1943

Married at Last When Clarence arrived for his Christmas leave, the prospect of time together—however fleeting—prompted Clarence and Doris to tie the knot. Legally, the 20-year-old G.I. needed his mother’s permission to marry; the barely 18-year-old Doris didn’t. A two-night honeymoon was spent at a relative’s apartment, then it was back to Florida for Clarence and back to her mother’s for the newly minted Mrs. Roedell. But within a couple of months, Doris was able to follow her husband to Florida, riding a crowded train across the country. Wartime housing was scarce, and the couple lived for nearly a year on the porch of a rooming house, until young Doris found that she was pregnant. Clarence insisted she go back home, thinking she needed her family at a time like that. But... “I was lonely without him,” says Doris. She wanted to return. “No,” declared Clarence. “And besides, I’m getting transferred to California.” Somehow that seemed like an invitation to Doris, and she made her way unannounced to her husband. After all, California is a lot closer than Florida. Their small room at the Arlington California Hotel “had a window in it,” reports the couple, “but it was up in the ceiling. And the bathroom was down the hall.” Living conditions became a little uncomfortable for the very pregnant Doris, and she finally went back home. “Then I was discharged from the Army in March of ‘46 and made it to Seattle a month before the baby was born,” says Clarence. The couple gratefully reunited and found a basement apartment on Capitol Hill to set up house. Me and Queenie Doris relays her brother-inlaw’s joke: “Between me and our dog Queenie, one of us was always pregnant.” It was true. Their apartment became far too small after their third child was born. The couple was able to buy a house for $6,700 in a rural area south of Seattle. Three more kids quickly followed. The family was finally complete when the youngest brother joined the flock. His mother was Doris’ older sister. She and her husband both died, but not before entrusting their little one to the Roedells.

To make ends meet for his growing family, Clarence once held three jobs. His fulltime job was at King Street Station, but he also cleaned an office building at night and worked as a television and radio repairman. When his baby daughter cried at him—he’d become a stranger to her— Doris insisted he give up at least one of his jobs. Clarence eventually found a career at Boeing researching lasers. The Roedells’ small house was always filled to the brim with their own kids, with neighborhood kids, with visiting relatives and plenty of pets (including the usual dogs and cats, but also bunnies, a parakeet, pet chickens, a goat and raccoon). In addition, the Roedells were destined to host another “Ma Parker’s Hotel.” Family and friends came to stay, sometimes for the weekend, sometimes for months or even a year. As Doris would say, “We can always find room, even if all we have to offer is the floor.” Life Today Clarence retired in 1989 after 29 years at Boeing plus a railroad pension from his time at King Street Station. With time and money no longer in short supply, the couple traveled to Europe, Africa, Hawaii and took countless road trips across the country, frequently accompanied by Carol and her husband. After 50 years in their modest home, the site of so many memorable family gatherings (often featuring those same parlor games and secret initiations, which continue to this day), they sold the place and eventually moved to nearby Des Moines. Now Clarence and Doris have a million-dollar view overlooking the marina, Puget Sound and Olympic mountains. They continue to live independently, sharing an oversized balcony with none other than Carol, who lives right next door. Life is good, despite the physical ails that often accompany a long life, despite losing so many dear loved ones and friends. Clarence and Doris continue practicing the generosity and loving kindness they are known for, helping others without question. With nine grandchildren and seven great-grands, the couple remains centerstage at frequent family gettogethers. Everyone is looking forward to an especially raucous hoorah on December 23, Doris’ and Clarence’s 75th anniversary. v

Virtual Reality ...continued from page 19

with restricted mobility to “travel” or for calming anxiety and also training surgeons. THAT got my attention. So what is this new technology? The simplest way to describe it is that you put on a headset and essentially watch a 3D movie which makes you feel like you are in another world (thus “virtual”). The “world” could be something familiar and real like your old neighborhood, or something fantastical like outer space or even inside the human body. As with other technologies over the years, KCLS is continually testing out and bringing understanding of new technologies to our patrons. Although you can’t yet visit a library to try it or check out a headset, this year we brought

December 2019

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VR to senior living communities with a grant generously funded by the KCLS Foundation and the Snoqualmie Tribe Elders. I think VR might be the next “techie” holiday gift hit, just like e-readers (Kindles, etc.) were a few years ago. Like everything in the tech world, VR headsets are coming down in cost as their popularity grows; you’ll likely see it soon if you haven’t already. VR is featured in a book I recently enjoyed, called Health Tech: The Apps and Gadgets Redefining Wellness by the New York Times Company, and you can find out more by checking out books such as How Virtual Reality will Impact Society by Cecilia McCarthy. Take a moment to learn more about VR and we’ll do the same. Be sure to reach out to your library with any questions! v

December 2019 19

volunteer hours for trails and planting. These volunteer hours help to keep trails and facilities maintained, plus offer special events which help provide great park experiences at a minimal cost. Some of Bellevue Park’s special events include 4th of July Roger Urbaniak fireworks, Lake to Lake Bike Ride, movies and music in the Have you ever parks, ice skating and nature wondered how the parks hikes. Bellevue Parks maintains and trails we use were a website ( created? When this city-government/department/ thought occurred to me, parks) and distributes maps I decided to ask Bellevue Bellevue Parks’ Botanical Garden’s Annual Garden d‘Lights runs through and brochures to detail park December 31 from 4:30 to 9pm every evening, including holidays. Photo Parks and Community features and upcoming events by Rebecca Randall. Services. What I learned and activities. Popular park The network of facilities includes 44 about the planning and work it takes rentals include athletic fields and picnic playgrounds, 100 garden plots, 13 picnic was illuminating and shocking. Here are shelters. shelters, 64 sport courts, 38 sport fields, some of the interesting details provided Operating the park system is not by Bellevue that detail the operation of a two golf courses, a boat launch and a static and repetitive occupation. marina, plus four major community large city-wide park system. Recently, light rail entering the city centers. Special use functions include Bellevue parks system was formed impacted both private and park property, Robinswood Tennis Center, an aquatic with two defining principles. “First, to which required planning and negotiation create an open space system of impressive center, youth theaters, two golf courses, to minimize negative impacts. Kelsey Creek farm, watercraft rentals, natural habits that complement the Bellevue seems to do a better job the Bellevue Botanical Garden, an art urban landscape; second, to provide than most cities – Bellevue Parks has center, the Lewis Creek visitor center and been recognized as one of only 169 access to a variety of parks and two U-pick blueberry fields with their recreational experiences for all residents. nationally accredited parks department. associated fruit stands. The Lake to Lake Trail system was It also received a gold medal from The operation and maintenance created in the 1970s to link major parks the National Recreation and Park budget for 2019 was 19.8 million dollars, within the system with connecting Association. which is supplemented by voter approved greenways across the city. Blueberry Some of the most popular parks farms are maintained to memorialize and funds for specific capital purposes. in Bellevue include Downtown Park, preserve Bellevue’s agricultural heritage.” Bellevue parks are funded by the general Crossroads Park, Robinswood Park, Lake fund (sales tax, property taxes and Bellevue oversees and maintains to Lake Trail and Bellevue Botanical utilities tax) plus special levies as needed. Garden. 78 developed parks, six beach parks and Importantly, over 100,000 volunteer 98 miles of trails. In total, 12 percent of You will likely enjoy visiting one of hours were donated last year, with more the city land mass, nearly 2,800 acres, Bellevue’s parks. Now you, like me, will than 18,000 hours at the Bellevue is devoted to the park system including know a little more on what it took to Botanical Garden alone, and over 16,000 nearly 2,000 acres of natural open space. provide the experience. v

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Library Corner

Virtual Reality Wendy Pender

Libraries have always been leaders in assisting people in understanding technology. In today’s digital world where everything seems to change so quickly, one minute we are trying to figure out the latest gadget or trying to understand what virtual reality is, and why we should care. I got my master’s degree in library science in 1994, the year the world was just beginning to get connected via the “worldwide web,” or what most of us now call the internet. Some of my favorite memories are the days of teaching auditoriums full of people about the internet. And now you can hardly shop without a vendor insisting on your email address. Society has fully incorporated the internet into everyday objects such as telephones and even watches. Today’s frontier of technology is “virtual reality” or VR. I didn’t know much about this and frankly didn’t care until recently. I thought of VR as something that teenagers and “gamers” did, with no relation to anything I might care about. Until I heard it had implications for pain management, allowing people continued on page 18

10/29/19 3:00 PM

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Call 1-800-562-6000 today and urge your state lawmakers to pass legislation lowering the price of prescription drugs. @AARPWA Paid For by AARP

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Northwest Prime Time December 2019  

Celebrating Life After 50 in the Puget Sound region since 1986

Northwest Prime Time December 2019  

Celebrating Life After 50 in the Puget Sound region since 1986