Northwest Prime Time September/October 2022

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…by Margaret Larson


o be honest, I’m not that crazy about the word ‘retirement.’ It vaguely suggests a withdrawal or


Prime Time

Septem be Octob er 202r/2

It’s About Time

diminishment to me. Now that I am ‘retired’ and in my 60s, I find myself trying to define this stage of life as fully as previous ones, such as going to college, entering the work force, getting married, having children. But it seems to me that this stage is different, one that doesn’t come with the scaffolding of strict work schedules or childcare needs. It’s all about time—how we think of it, what we do with it. Some people dream of round-theworld cruises, or moving closer to their kids, or just being able to afford not to work full time. But when you think about it, the dream is almost always the ability to choose how to use your time. And for that, you need to be open to the possibilities. My own sense of time is a bit skewed by a career in television where the clock is demanding and unforgiving down to the half-second. It’s taken some time (there it is again) to develop good habits without the deadlines crashing over my head and making the decisions for me. I’ve gone a few boxing rounds with ‘time’ in the past two years since I retired. The first was wrestling with the notion of not working full-time, being now 64, noodling out who I am if I’m not working as I did from the age of 15.

“We are all just nesting dolls, containing an array of our former selves... Inside the older people all around us are the wild child or young parent or wanderer they once were.”

To begin with, how am I 64? I mean, I was 34 about ten years ago, in my mind’s eye. My almost 30-year-old son was a toddler just a bit ago. Why does Facebook keep sending me ads for ‘antiaging’ products? Jeez, at one point, I got one about a mobility scooter and nearly threw my phone out the window. I think I won this round—or at least fought to a draw—when I realized that we are all just nesting dolls, containing an array of our former selves. When the sun shines and I’m driving, and the right Tom Petty song comes on, I truly am my teenage self again. Inside the older people all around us are the wild child or young parent or wanderer they once were. And it’s okay to feel yourself living at various points along your own timeline.

My second round facing off with time revolved around how to be intentional with it. I didn’t want to fritter away my days or lose a sense of purpose, but I also wanted to feel free to do nothing (which I would argue IS doing something). My husband leaned into this more quickly, framing houses with Habitat for Humanity, taking up cycling, and practicing daily guided meditation. I can’t emphasize enough how unlike him that last activity used to be, so it caught my attention. I’m giving it a go as well, and it feels like a chance to get squared away, as my military dad used to say. It’s difficult to spend the hard-won currency of time wisely if your mind never quiets. continued on page 13


Northwest Prime Time

Pickleball, Anyone? Did you catch the CBS Sunday Morning program in August that featured Bainbridge Island, along with Seattle native Luke Burbank and Washington’s claim to fame for inventing pickleball, the Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America, and is especially fastest growing popular with seniors sport in the country? On March 28, 2022, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation establishing pickleball as the official state sport of Washington. It began in the summer of 1965… “It all started, more or less, out of necessity,” reported Luke Burbank of CBS News. For a CBS Sunday Morning program featuring the origins of Barney McCallum playing pickleball “in the pickleball, Luke Burbank found day,” photo courtesy McCallum Family himself on Bainbridge Island speaking to David McCallum, property, spied the badminton court, whose father had a hand in a whiffle ball and some ping-pong developing the popularity of the paddles. David reported that they sport. The story began on the very made up the game on the spot and same court where the first game of named it pickleball. pickleball was ever played. “The pickles version of the David McCallum tells Luke naming is that Pickles [the dog] about that summer back in 1965 when a couple of neighborhood dads would run around here in these bushes and grab the ball, and so they on Bainbridge Island, Bill Bell and named it after Pickles the dog.” But Joel Pritchard (US Representative since Pickles had not even been born and future Washington Lieutenant in 1965, it turns out she was named Governor), were looking for for the game, not the other way something, anything to keep their around. Naming it after Pickles the bored kids entertained. They glanced around the continued on page 12

September/October 2022

Travels With Deb

Ohme Gardens …by Debbie Stone

I’ve always loved secret gardens, ever since I was a young girl and read the book of the same name. There’s something so delicious about entering an enchanting pocket of beauty and imagining resident gnomes and fairies as its caretakers. Though Ohme Gardens is not really a secret, it’s still a hidden treasure for those unfamiliar with the Wenatchee Valley. The Apple Capital of the World is one of those destinations that often flies under the radar. Those in the know, however, are well aware of Wenatchee’s allure and, like magnets, they are drawn to the area. They come for the picturesque scenery, the three hundred days of sunshine a year, the outdoor adventure, farm-to-table food and wine (and cider!), unique shopping continued on page 19

September/October 2022

Road Trip Checklist Many seniors wait until Autumn to hit the road because kids are back in school, and places are usually less crowded. Road trips are so much fun! But nearly everyone can relate at least one tale of an unexpected travel nightmare, whether it’s as simple as failing to pack prescription eyeglasses or a complex story of car troubles and a shortage of accommodations. Before beginning any road trip, take time to review this top ten checklist. You can’t prevent emergencies from happening, but you can reduce the possibilities. (And don’t forget those eyeglasses, prescriptions, face masks, phones, and anything else that is essential to your life.) Top 10 To-Do List Road trips provide an opportunity to get away from the routine of daily living but keep it safe. Put the following items on your pre-trip ‘things to do’ list: 1) Service your automobile – Check the air filters. Change the oil. Check the brake and transmission fluids. Don’t forget to top off the windshield cleaner solution. 2) Tires – Go beyond taking a quick look at the current running tires. Pull out the spare. Check the air pressure. Ensure that the condition of the spare is sufficient to see you through a long night on a desolate highway.



ALERT: Is your car compromising your health? …by Sunny Lucia

3) Tire repair readiness – Make sure vehicle contains a working auto jack, a tire iron and any special tools necessary to unlock your lug-nuts. 4) Mechanic tools – Pick up a basic homeowners’ toolkit. It’s light weight, low-cost and designed for tight storage. An inexpensive kit will address simple home-away-from-home or auto repair tasks. 5) First Aid Kit – Go for something small and easy to pack that includes the likes of Aspirin, band-aids, Neosporin, peroxide and other fundamental emergency items. 6) Emergency Survival – Think about where you are going and what disasters might overcome a stranded motorist. Many retailers carry emergency survival kits designed for campers and hikers. Lightweight and inexpensive, these kits contain all the essentials. 7) Fire extinguisher – 400,000 car fires are reported every year, so consider purchasing an auto fire extinguisher. 8) Roadside flare kit – Go for flameless flare alert kits that

Remember the old public service announcement “It’s 10pm. Do you know where your children are?” Our parents didn’t assume that neighbors were looking out for us. That was their responsibility, at least in my neighborhood. We’re in our 70s now and need to reframe that phrase to fit our age. “It’s oil change time for your car. Do you know where you cabin air filter is? As you read this article, think of your car maintenance people as the neighbor. That will make perfect sense in a moment. I’d like to take you through our health crisis journey to put this alert article into perspective. In mid-February, my 72-year-old husband and I began a medical odyssey that could have cost his life. After two emergency room admissions and a hospital stay with multiple tests, physicians were mystified as to why John fell and

continued on page 11

continued on page 9

Sunny and her husband are on the road to recovery


Northwest Prime Time

September/October 2022

Life Perspectives

The Joy of Living a Meaningful Life …by Kimberly Blaker

“It is not the years in your life but the life in your years that counts.” -- Adlai Stevenson The point Stevenson illustrates is a reminder of how it’s easy to lose sight of living a meaningful life. It’s an interesting phenomenon the amount of time, energy, and money we invest in living healthier, longer, and happier lives. Yet, we often still feel unsatisfied and that our lives are devoid of meaning. When it comes to living a meaningful life, there’s no one size fits all solution. What makes life meaningful is unique to each and every person. So to find meaning, you may need to do some exploration to discover what speaks to you. Meaning can come from many different avenues. Unlike happiness, which stems from receiving or doing things for yourself, meaning comes from giving or doing for others. Perhaps for you, meaning comes from fostering a close family relationship. For some, it’s about choosing a fulfilling career path that involves helping others through teaching, nursing, counseling or coaching. Others find meaning by giving back to their community through volunteering. Purpose can also come from joining or forming an organization for a cause you’re passionate about. Or perhaps taking up a hobby you enjoy, such as gardening, then donating your excess produce to a soup kitchen.

But before you begin your journey to explore new avenues for meaning, evaluate what you’re doing with your life right now. Maybe you’re already giving in a way you don’t even realize and aren’t giving yourself enough credit. If so, you may just need to reframe in your mind what you’re already doing and understand that what you do really does matter. If it still isn’t enough to satisfy your quest for a meaningful life, explore other options that are important to you. After you’ve determined what would bring meaning to your life, you must then make a conscious decision and concerted effort to follow through. If you’ve chosen a challenging path, only you can decide if the sacrifice and risk are worth the reward of a meaningful life. Often, we blow our sacrifices and risks way out of proportion. The most significant risk may merely be an unrealistic fear of failure. The greatest sacrifice may be little more than stepping outside your comfort zone or setting aside a little free time or pleasure in exchange for something more fulfilling,

uplifting and meaningful. If these are the things holding you back, work toward changing your frame of mind. Schedule 20 minutes a day to sit in solitude with your eyes closed, envisioning your meaningful life. Allow yourself to build excitement and desire for that which would bring meaning to you and others. Also, spend some time each day reading or listening to audiobooks and watching online videos relevant to the activity that would bring meaning. If you find you’re still holding yourself back, talk to supportive family and friends, and ask them to hold you to it. A counselor or coach can also lend support to help you move toward your goals. Whatever path you choose, and regardless of its outcome, give yourself credit for your efforts. Remember, having a meaningful life is often as much about how you perceive what you do as it is about what you do. ❖ Kimberly Blaker is a freelance writer. She also owns an online store,

September/October 2022

An Unexpected Encounter at Lake Crescent


Ignite Aging

…by Barbie Barrider*

Years (and years) ago, my young husband and I took a getaway to one of our favorite Northwest destinations— historic Lake Crescent Lodge. The quaint lodge graces the shores of scenic Lake Crescent and is nestled in the foothills of Olympic National Park. We have many pleasant memories of our days spent canoeing, hiking, and swimming in the area, as well as romantic nights at the lodge. One day on that sunny September getaway so long ago, we decided to explore Fairholme Campground at the west end of Lake Crescent. We arrived only to find it closed for the season, and yet its peaceful solitude beckoned us. We parked on the road and made our way into the park. What a glorious, uncharacteristically hot day it was! With no one anywhere to be seen and with the park all to ourselves, we decided that a leisurely skinny-dip could do no harm. And we knew the innocent adventure would make our special getaway all the more memorable. And memorable it was. While my husband swam in the clear, cool waters of the lake, I enjoyed my book on the beach. Engrossed in the story, I gradually became aware of a shadow looming over me. The shadow had an unnerving resemblance to a man in a hat. I glanced up to find a park ranger staring down at me.

Building Bridges …by Paige Bartlett, de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging, UW School of Nursing

“The park is closed, ma’am,” said the ranger, not once averting his eyes. “You’ll have to leave.” I quickly sat up and wrapped my towel around me. “My husband is still swimming in the lake,” I blurted out. “Yes, I see that ma’am. He needs to leave, too.” By this time, my husband noticed the ranger and swam closer to shore. Not sharing my sheepish reaction in the least, he confidently strode the last few feet with just a bit of a defiant set to his jaw, and unabashedly leapt out of the water to stand between his waiting wife and the ranger. We immediately pulled on our clothes and gathered our things to leave. The ranger graciously tipped his hat and said, “Have a nice day,” not once breaking a smile. As we walked back to our car, wouldn’t you know it, but a bee flew down my loose-fitting peasant blouse. I screamed, pulled up the blouse over my head, and ran around like a barechested crazy woman. Believe it or not, at that exact moment the ranger drove by and tipped his hat once again. ❖ *The author’s name has been changed to ‘protect’ the guilty and to shield her grandchildren from embarrassment.

Join the de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging for our fifth annual Ignite Aging Symposium on Friday, September 30th. Learn about benefits of exercise for older adults, programs for refugee vaccination, housing and health for the homeless, and more in Seattle and beyond. This year’s symposium highlights community partnerships between the University of Washington (UW) School of Nursing and community health organizations. Check-in begins at noon and the program goes from 12:30 to 4pm. The event is free and open to the public. All are welcome to attend. Speakers include representatives from EnhanceFitness and Sound Generations senior services, the Sharing History through Active Reminiscence and Photo-Imagery (SHARP) project, Compass Housing, the Somali Health Board, the Nashi Immigrants Health Board. The event will continue its tradition of live musical interludes, along with highlighting art made by residents in Era Living Retirement communities. Refreshments donated continued on page 19


Northwest Prime Time

September/October 2022

How to Find and Claim Your Family’s Forgotten Assets …by Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior,

A while back I read an article about some online tools that can help people search for lost or forgotten money left behind by their deceased relatives, Jim Miller but I’ve misplaced it. Can you help me with this? My mom, who passed away in January, was always bad about keeping up with her money, so I’m wondering if there was anything she left behind. --Searching Son Dear Searching, Forgotten or lost money is actually very common in the United States. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, there are literally billions of dollars in unclaimed funds sitting in state treasuries and other agencies just waiting to be found. These unclaimed funds are from accounts that are inactive or whose owners, or their heirs, cannot be located. Unclaimed funds can include things like lost or forgotten saving or checking accounts, stocks, utility security deposits, tax refunds, life insurance policy proceeds, un-cashed dividend checks, matured savings bonds and much more. This typically happens because of a change of address (the owner moved), a name change (the owner got married or divorced), or the owner dies and the estate was unaware of the money

or the heirs could not be located. By law, companies and financial institutions that can’t find the owner or their next of kin within two to five years must turn the property over to the state where it’s held indefinitely. Where to Search About 10 percent of all Americans have some unclaimed money out there waiting to be found, so it’s very possible your mother had some too. To start your search, go to, which has links to all state programs that will let you do a state benefits search online for free. Or you can do a multi-state search in 39 states at Be sure to check every state in which your mother lived, worked or did business. Also, make sure to check under your mom’s maiden name, and if she had a frequently misspelled name, search those misspellings too. Using her first initial and her last name is also encouraged to make sure everything comes up. Every state can tell you immediately if your mom has some unclaimed money, as well as how to go about collecting it. Look Here Too In addition to state treasuries, here are some other resources that can help you look for unclaimed money that may have been overlooked. • Forgotten retirement benefits: To search for lost or

forgotten 401(k) funds your mom may have left behind with an old employer, use the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits at Or to search for lost pension benefits, use the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation trusteed plan search tool at • Lost life insurance: To track down a lost or forgotten life insurance policy, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, an insurance regulatory support organization, offers a free policy locator service at https://eapps.naic. org/life-policy-locator/#/welcome. • Unredeemed savings bonds: It’s very common for people to lose track of U.S. saving bonds because they are often given to children as gifts, then forgotten before the bonds reach maturity. To find out if your mom had any, the U.S. Department of the Treasury provides an online search tool at for finding matured, uncashed savings continued on page 13

September/October 2022

Health Matters

Medical Minutes John Schieszer

Monitoring Health through Sweat Researchers now have come up with a smart biosensor necklace that can track health status through sweat. In a new study published in the journal Science Advances, researchers at Ohio State University demonstrated a battery-free, wireless John Schieszer biochemical sensor that detected the blood sugar levels through substances excreted from their skin when they exercise. The Ohio State team fabricated a “smart necklace,” which has a functional clasp and pendant. Once placed around the neck, it becomes a new type of health monitoring device. Instead of a battery, it works using a resonance circuit, which reflects radiofrequency signals sent out by an external reader system. Researchers had volunteers engage in indoor cycling for 30 minutes. Next, the participants took a 15-minute break, during which they drank sugarsweetened beverages before resuming cycling. The researchers knew that glucose levels in the sweat should rise after drinking the sugary beverages, but the question was whether this new sensor would pick it up, said Jinghua Li, co-author of the study and assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Ohio State. “Sweat actually contains hundreds of biomarkers that can reveal very important information about our health status,” said Li. “The next generation of biosensors will be so highly bio-intuitive and noninvasive that we’ll be able to detect key information contained in a person’s body fluids.” Biomarkers are substances that can divulge a body’s deepest secrets: Everything from disease, infection and even evidence of emotional trauma can be found in a person’s bodily fluids, which include sweat, tears, saliva and urine. In addition to analyzing the composition of sweat, the researchers believe this sensor could one day be customized into a bioimplant that detects hormone levels.


Small Dietary Changes May Lead to Big Improvements in Quality of Life for Women Women tend to live longer than men, but typically have higher rates of illness. Now, new research from University of Georgia suggests these higher rates of illness can be ameliorated by a better diet, one that is high in pigmented carotenoids such as yams, kale, spinach, watermelon, bell peppers, tomatoes, oranges and carrots. These bright-colored fruits and vegetables are particularly important in preventing visual and cognitive loss. “The idea is that men get a lot of the diseases that tend to kill you, but women get those diseases less often or later.. with illnesses that are debilitating,” said Billy R. Hammond, a professor in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of Psychology Behavioral and Brains Sciences program in Athens, Georgia. “For example, of all of the existing cases of macular degeneration and dementia in the world, two-thirds are in women. These diseases that women suffer for years are the very ones most amenable to prevention through lifestyle.” The study, which reviewed and analyzed data from previous studies, detailed several degenerative conditions, from autoimmune diseases to dementia. “If you take all the autoimmune diseases collectively, women account for nearly 80%. So, because of this vulnerability, linked directly to biology, women need extra preventive care,” said Hammond. One of the reasons for this vulnerability has to do with the way women store vitamins and minerals in their bodies. Hammond points out that women have, on average, more body fat than men. Body fat serves as a significant sink for many dietary vitamins and minerals, which creates a useful reservoir for women during pregnancy. This availability, however, means less is available for the retina and the brain, putting women at more risk for degenerative problems. Dietary intake of pigmented carotenoids act as antioxidants for humans. Two specific carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in specific tissues of the eye and brain and have been shown to directly improve central nervous system degeneration. “Men and women eat about the same amount of these carotenoids, but the requirements for women are much higher,” said Hammond. The recommendations should be different, but there are not any recommendations for men or women for dietary components that are not directly linked to deficiency disease (like vitamin C and scurvy). “Recommendations need to be changed so that women are aware that they have these vulnerabilities that they have to proactively address, so they don’t have these problems later in life,” said Hammond. continued on page 8


Northwest Prime Time

Medical Minutes ...continued from page 7

Avocados May Pack a Hidden Health Benefit Adding avocados to a healthy diet may help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, including lowering your cholesterol, according to research published by the American Heart Association. The consumption of avocados in the U.S. has nearly tripled in the past two decades, up to nearly 2.6 billion pounds a year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Avocados contain high amounts of fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamin C and vitamin K. The fruit is a known source of healthy, unsaturated fats and a great replacement for certain fat-containing foods like butter, cheese or processed meats. Researchers found that adults who ate at least one avocado each week had a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to those who never or rarely ate avocados. Replacing half a serving daily of margarine, butter, egg, yogurt, cheese or processed meats such as bacon with the same amount of avocado was associated with a 16% to 22% lower risk of cardiovascular disease events. “Although avocados are not a total solution to improving heart health, research shows substantial benefits to adding them to your diet,” said Mayra L. Estrella, a member of the American Heart Association’s Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health. “However, everything in moderation because avocados are not caloriefree. A medium avocado averages about 240 calories and 24 grams of fat, according to the California Avocado Commission.” Avocados are a source of healthy fat that can be eaten in place of saturated fat in a typical diet. However, if you’re eating them in guacamole or another type of dip, you’ll want to be careful not to indulge in too many chips. The research on avocados aligns with the American Heart Association’s guidance to follow the Mediterranean diet, which is a dietary pattern focused on fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, fish and other healthy foods and plant-based fats such as olive, canola, sesame and other non-tropical oils. ❖ John Schieszer is an award-winning national journalist and radio and podcast broadcaster of The Medical Minute. He can be reached at

September/October 2022

Senior Fitness Tip

Stretching For Seniors …by Mark Bryant

Stretching is a great way to improve the range of motion in your joints. As seniors age they typically have less range of motion, so stretching becomes especially important. Stretching is also good for your circulation and aids in relaxation. Before you begin to stretch, make sure you warm up first for ten to fifteen Mark Bryant minutes. When the body is warm, it will make the stretching exercises more effective and much easier to do. Warm up by doing joint mobility exercises, such as rotating your head, shoulders, wrists, hips and ankles, followed by squats (halfway down or less, with the aid of a chair if needed). Then march in place. Now you’re ready to stretch. Each stretch should be held for at least 30 seconds. Stretching should be gentle and comfortable Stretching should not hurt; never force a movement that causes pain. Breathe deeply and stretch slowly. Stretching can be accomplished while sitting in a chair if getting up and down from the floor is difficult. Examples of stretching include: with arms held above your head, gently stretch down side to side; stretch your shoulders by placing your hand on the upper opposite arm and gently pull it against your body then switch; while laying down, lift your knee toward your chest, grasp the back of your thigh and gently pull; on your hands and knees gently round up your back toward the ceiling while tucking your head and tailbone, then arch your back while lifting your head. These are just a few examples. Consider finding a stretching class for seniors to learn how to perform them correctly. ❖ Mark Bryant has been a personal trainer for 25 years and recently earned a certification as a Corrective Exercise Specialist. He is the Enhance Fitness Coordinator at Southeast Seattle Senior Center, with over 15 years of experience working with seniors. Despite having had a total hip replacement, Mark has won 11 Powerlifting World Championships.

September/October 2022 ALERT: Is your car compromising your health?


right? Another ER procedure, visit, this time with a three-day a hospital admission. hospitalization ...continued from page 3 Luckily, our medical during which at least 15 medical became unconscious, and a week later group wouldn’t give up until they found specialists asked was spitting up bloody mucus. We some answers, some numerous were at a world-premiere health care cause, something and repeating organization, UW Medicine, so the questions, we expertise of the physicians was without for a firm diagnosis Sunny and her husband are still recovering and appropriate question. from serious illness caused by a moldy car filter turned a corner. The Here is the laundry list of what we treatment. On the third admission day we working diagnosis is subacute thought were single-issue symptoms had a specialized pulmonary transplant hypersensitivity pneumonitis with that had been present for years and physician visit, and he kept asking mild pulmonary hypertension from involved many primary care clinic questions about our environment. long, repeated exposure to infectious visits: microorganisms. Translation: lung • Chronic insomnia, oversleeping “You’re both coughing and that makes me suspect something in your infection and enlargement of the right and extreme tiredness. Snoring… environment.” We didn’t have any of heart ventricle due to breathing in perhaps time for a sleep study? the usual allergy elements in our lives. microscopic mold particles over a long Morning headache…from too little Yet it obviously needed investigation. I period of time. sleep? Sluggishness and sometimes tore our condo apart while John was in This dedicated medical team difficulty breathing. Brain fog – he’s a the hospital. Nothing. walked us through a treatment plan numbers wizard and couldn’t read his Then I connected a few dots. We we will embrace. My symptoms are own Excel spreadsheet formulas. were both coughing incessantly in not on the same scale, but I had a • Chronic cough for over six the morning and using an abundance partially collapsed lung. I experience months. Tested negative for Covid. I of OTC remedies over six to nine acute shortness of breath frequently. had the same cough months, but nothing abated the cough. Diagnosis: asthma and pulmonary • Knee pain requiring a second We’d gone on a vacation for a week hypersensitivity. total knee replacement when the first returning just days before his fall. On The end of this article calls back one failed. Leading up to the second vacation neither of us coughed—at all. the beginning of the alert. Your car knee replacement, the pain was so We got into his car at the airport on maintenance folks are the neighbor. consuming, John got a bleeding ulcer They may or may not be completing from NSAIDs. Heck, could that be the our return home, and I was coughing within three minutes. Was the car the a long checklist of items and verifying source of exhaustion combined with infectious environmental source? it when you see them. You’re the everything else? Yes, it was. parent. It’s your responsibility to ensure Two months after the second I pulled out the cabin air filter your own safety and health as well as knee surgery, John’s health started to anyone who rides in your car. collapse. He fell face-first on our dining which was saturated with black and “It’s annual oil change time. Do room floor at 11pm one night. He was brown mold. It hadn’t been changed in the nine years my husband owned you know where your cabin air filter unconscious. the car. Forget the dealer checklist. The is in your car and if it’s dirty or clean?” Emergency room admission. No cabin filter had an almost impossible It may be a good idea to explore that significant findings from multiple ER access that took a special hexhead before multiple, complex and longtests: no stroke, no embolism in lungs screwdriver tool and monumental lasting health issues arise. ❖ or neck, no cranial bleeding. Was it tenacity. We believe this item wasn’t heart or lungs? Didn’t appear to be a ever addressed at the dealer checklist, Sunny reports that she and her husband heart attack. Good news all, except nor was it on our own maintenance list. continue treatment. They are learning how his lungs were compromised by an After three sets of imaging tests to not just cope but to live their lives. “Truly unknown cause. including eleven X-rays and five CT aging is not for the meek! Staying informed is One week later he was coughing scans, 47 blood tests, a bronchopathy the best offense,” says Sunny. up bloody mucus. Legitimately scary,


Northwest Prime Time

September/October 2022

Lost Roadhouses of Seattle A new book, Lost Roadhouses of Seattle by Peter Blecha and Brad Holden, explores the links between prohibition and the roadhouses that sprung up just beyond the city limits. Prohibition came early to Washington State—in 1916—and kicked off an unforgettable era of nightlife. The Prohibition movement went national in 1920, and a network of roadside inns, taverns and dance halls just outside Seattle’s city limits thrived, providing illicit entertainment for those seeking a good time. Spurred on by early car culture and strict liquor laws, places like the Spanish Castle, The Jungle and the Black Cat sprang into being and thrived well into the rockin’ 1950s and, for some, beyond. Commonly called roadhouses, many of these early remote outposts existed along two newly built and parallel stretches of “north of the county line” highways (the Old Bothell Highway and the SeattleEverett Highway, which later became part of Pacific Highway). During that era, roadhouse businesses were located far from the prying eyes of city police. The book opens: “Roadhouses were a fascinating American institution that have all but vanished from the old highways and remote roadways where they once flourished. A unique byproduct of early car culture, roadhouses initially offered lodging and a hot meal to

weary travelers—although drinking and dancing were additional attractions provided at some. “One commonality was that many openly flaunted liquor laws, and some allowed illegal gambling and prostitution, making them the frequent recipients of late-night police raids. Federal Prohibition agents—with badges out and guns in hand— were also regular visitors, and one young Snohomish County district attorney, who would later become a U.S. senator, rose to political fame as a result of his zealous crackdown on local roadhouses. Providing ample fodder for titillating newspaper headlines, roadhouses represented the sordid underbelly of Seattle’s peripheral nightlife.” Before reading this book, I had no idea that our region boasted so many memorable nightclubs that were perched just beyond “City Limits” signs in order to escape police crackdowns. “Back in the roadhouse heyday, the highways and byways all across Washington were lined with many more dine-and-dance and BYOB joints than could ever be covered in one book.” I’d heard stories from my aunt’s husband, a teetotaler but notable entrepreneur. He owned a cab company, which provided cover for his escapades delivering booze during Prohibition. He rented a house in Burien in order to bury bottles of liquor in the yard. When someone in his cab asked if he knew where they could get a drink, he answered yes. Then, after dropping off his fare, he returned with a bottle after a quick trip to the buried treasure. He had to give up the gambit when he was hauled to court for it. Although the judge advised the jury not to be fooled by his innocent looks, my

Big Tree Inn (1924) / 19207 Pacific Highway South - Courtesy Northwest Music Archives

September/October 2022

uncle walked Seattle: “Fridays out a free man. suddenly The truth was, opened up, he was a very and thus in young man October 1959, trying to support an enterprising his widowed local radio DJ, mother. Pat O’Day, This book booked the opened my eyes area’s most to the sheer prominent number of band, The Rubenak’s (courtesy of Alderwood Manor Heritage Association) stories that our Wailers, to play region can tell. what would be Who knew Seattle’s mild-mannered the very first of countless rock ‘n’ roll Greenwood Avenue was such a teen dances held at the Castle. And trailblazer for rowdy joints. so began the area’s golden era of teen Since I had heard about it from the dances…” My oldest sister, Barbara, time I was a young girl growing up in still laments to this day that our the hinterlands south of Seattle, I was mother would not allow her to attend particularly interested in reading about the teen dances at the Spanish Castle. the Spanish Castle, located in the Des I was a bit too young to even ask. Moines area, or “Mid-Way,” along Old The book ends with a description Highway 99. The Spanish Castle, built of Mack’s Shanty, which started life in 1931, attracted visitors from Seattle in 1932 on Twenty-Second Avenue and Tacoma with its dance floor Northeast. It later moved to Bothell and big bands. The Spanish Castle Way, relocating to several different continued to flourish after Prohibition locations along that road. The book lists ended, through WWII and well into numerous bands that have played the the 1950s. But by 1959, the big band Shanty, then ends, “Along the way, the era was waning, and rock was on Shanty has been proudly promoted as its way in. From Lost Roadhouses of ‘the last roadhouse in Seattle.’” ❖

Fabled speakeasy operator “Doc” Hamilton founded some of the earliest roadhouse hideaways. John Henry “Doc” Hamilton was legendary and known for his warm hospitality, described by local newspapers as “a genial host with a golden smile.” His first club was in Seattle’s Central District, an elegant speakeasy often compared to Harlem’s famous Cotton Club, but he later moved his operations to a roadhouse at 220th Street SW and Highway 99.


Road Trip Checklist ...continued from page 3

contain three no fuss, no fumes electrical flares that provide up to twenty hours of roadside safety. 9) Travel map – Don’t get lost. Map the route before leaving home. Know the rest areas. Download a free app for your Android or iPhone – they can point you to restaurants, attractions, gas stations, accommodations and more, but be sure to pick up a paper map as well. 10) Plan for comfort – Bring comfortable clothing and extra shoes. Bring plenty of healthy snacks and water. Bring a sweater, light jacket, lap blanket, pillow. Bring lightweight folding chairs for those who can’t stand for long periods in case you find yourself waiting in a long line. Consider best bets for music & audiobooks (electronic or CD) that all in the car will enjoy. Plan for rest breaks and to get out and stretch. Bonus Tips: – Know the Covid status of your destination and locations along the way. Those with health issues should be up to date on checkups. People with memory loss get restless, so make things as familiar as possible. Keep plans realistic for your passenger’s abilities and interest levels. Have activities ready like sing-alongs, looking for certain colors or landmarks along the way. Be alert for wandering. Proper preparation can make any trip more enjoyable. Use the above tips as a starting point for a customized packing checklist, and then go experience the pleasure from a simple road trip. ❖


Northwest Prime Time

Library Corner

Audio Books Wendy Pender

Just before the pandemic, I was attending the Public Library Association conference in Nashville, where Wendy Pender I heard popular author Ann Patchett talk about her works being recorded as audiobooks. Someone asked whether submitting her book for recording felt like giving her child up for adoption, nervously releasing her baby into someone else’s care. She replied, “On the contrary, it felt like I had made the best cake I could possibly make … and now I was turning it over to someone else’s incredible talents to add a completely different layer of ‘icing’ that I could not do.” Years ago in Ohio, I used to listen to books on cassette when I had a long commute (one side of a cassette was equal to driving from Toledo to Findlay). Now, however, I’m fortunate not to have much of a commute, yet when else does one listen? I’m not a knitter or jigsaw puzzle aficionado, but while my husband was out of town recently, I rediscovered the joy of the bedtime story. Now I let beloved stories lull me to sleep via audiobooks. You can “stream” stories on a smart device or check out books on CD or “playaways” small, portable pre-loaded audiobooks about the size of a deck of cards that you can check out. The following are a few of my favorites with vastly talented voice actors. Remember radio plays? When I was a child, I would go to sleep listening to CBS Radio Mystery Theatre, but these are even better because they aren’t scary. • William Shatner has written and recorded a number of books. I particularly enjoyed Leonard: My Fifty-year Friendship with a Remarkable Man about his relationship with Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock. If you grew up with Star Trek as I did, you can still hear Shatner intone, “Space, the final frontier,” and be taken right back in time. • James Herriot’s books, narrated by Christopher Timothy, who played the lead role in the 1970’s PBS version, are also favorites. I enjoy the current TV version as well as the older recordings. The accents take me abroad in an instant! • Voice actors Robert Ian Mackenzie and Barbara Rosenblat are celebrities with dedicated audiences. If you’re a fan of Chief of Police Bruno or Mrs. Pollifax, you’ll want to check them out on audio. • Finally, check this link for the latest list of Audie Awards for audiobooks and spoken-word publishing. Whatever your pleasure, reading or listening, check us out. We’re here for you! ❖ Wendy Pender, Older Adults Program Coordinator, King County Library System

September/October 2022 Pickleball, Anyone? ...continued from page 2

dog makes for a cute story though. The inventors started tweaking the game. They lowered the net to 36 inches so they could smash shots tennis-style. “You’ve got to hit the ball hard,” Pritchard said. “Nobody plays golf to putt.” Since a Madrona tree was next to one end of the court, they ruled the server could have one foot inbounds, unlike tennis, and that the serve was to be delivered underhand. Pickleball became something like a cross between tennis and badminton. The inventors said they deliberately crafted the rules so that it would be fun for all ages, with no height advantage for adults. The popularity of the game started growing. People on the island wanted to play, but they needed paddles. David’s father, Barney, was handy in the workshop. He and his son began making paddles for the sport’s growing fanbase. Next came Doug Smith, who promoted pickleball. He started by going to teaching conferences to convince P.E. teachers to add the game to their curriculum. “The teachers would be playing all during the conference,” said Doug. By 1968, Pritchard, McCallum, Bell, and others had incorporated a business, Pickle Ball Inc., each pitching in $500 to develop, promote, and sell their newfangled game. In 1976, Tennis magazine called pickleball “America’s newest racquet sport.” According to, the first known pickleball tournament was held in 1976 in Tukwila. Over time, the game spread across the country and the world. It is currently the fastest growing sport

September/October 2022

It’s About Time in America. “By some estimates, nearly 5 million people in the ...continued from page 1 U.S. have taken up pickleball, and So that brings us to the third round that’s having a profound cultural of facing off with time. The part where effect from the repurposing of many I look in the mirror and see my mother. tennis courts, to how retirement Where I see my hands and think those communities are being built, to the can’t be mine. Where my feet have themed restaurants. And of course, veto power over stilettos. Where young the hypercompetitive pro leagues,” people call me ‘ma’am’ and I honestly said Luke. Luke also interviewed Jen Lucore have no idea who they’re talking to. Part of this battle is normal, part of it is for the story. Jen is a pickleball halla carry-over from working in television of-famer and five-time champion, where, let’s just say, one receives an who coached Luke on how to best inordinate amount of feedback on one’s play the game. “I have exactly zero appearance. Here, I called on the idea pickleball championships,” said of ‘radical acceptance’ from Dialectical Luke. “In fact, the last time I played Behavior Therapy, which has been a was 30 years ago during a racket powerful influence in my life in recent sports class at Nathan Hale high years. The concept calls for looking school in Seattle. So I figured I at situations with non-judgmental would get a refresher from Jen.” curiosity rather than a need to control He added that fans of the game or a tendency to feel not quite good say the secret sauce of pickleball is enough. It fills me with gratitude to that anyone can learn the game and be in good health, to have my family start having fun in 30 minutes. He and his Sunday Morning producer John safe, to still contribute and exercise the wisdom I’ve gained. Goodwin, decided to test that theory. I’m sure my boxing match with “We had a few victories and a time is not over, nor yours. And life is lot of defeats and also a lot of fun. closer to the end than the beginning. Not bad for a game invented by a But it always makes me smile to couple of desperate dads that’s now remember Djimon Honsou’s scene in taking the nation by storm.” my favorite movie, Gladiator, when From Joel he contemplates joining his ancestors Pritchard accrued a long list of when life is over and then says, ‘but not weighty accomplishments as a yet. Not yet.’ politician, yet in some circles he We’re still here. remains best known for pickleball. Let’s make the most And that would not have bothered of it. ❖ him, according to his daughter, Peggy Pritchard-Olson, who Margaret Larson retired recounted her father’s words at a as host of KING 5‘s party in his honor just before he New Day Northwest. died in 1997. “He said that out of Her impressive 35-year all the things he’d done in his life, Margaret Larson career included stints he was most proud of that game. It’s as a London-based foreign correspondent for made such a lasting impression on NBC News and as a news anchor for the so many people. It’s made people Today show, as well as a reporter for Dateline healthy and happy… It may last NBC and anchor at KING 5. forever” ❖


FYI Fix It Fairs Did you know there are events that will help you repair things for free? These free community events feature skilled volunteer “fixers” with the tools needed to repair or mend small household and personal items. Many things can be repaired, including small appliances, some electronics, clothing, lamps, bicycles, jewelry, furniture, toys and other small household items. Event organizers don’t guarantee that they can fix it, and you may need to bring specific supplies, depending. These events not only help you keep useful items, but they also help reduce landfill waste by keeping perfectly useful things out of the dump. Fix It Fairs are sponsored by a number of organizations around the Puget Sound area. Click on the following links to see if there is an upcoming Fix It Fair near you: King County, Snohomish County Repair Cafes, South King Tool Library, and Zero Waste Washington. How to Find and Claim Your Family’s Forgotten Assets ...continued from page 6

bonds over 30 years old and no longer earning interest. • Federal tax refunds: Each year thousands of refund checks totaling millions of dollars are returned to the IRS by the post office. To look for lost Federal tax refund checks go to IRS. gov/refunds or call 800-829-1954. ❖ Jim Miller is the creator of Savvy Senior, a syndicated information column for older Americans and their families. Check www. each week to see a new Savvy Senior column.


Northwest Prime Time

September/October 2022

Vintage Funny Side of Life

Working and Dreaming …by Sy Rosen

Okay, as I mentioned before, Raisinetes (I told you I wasn’t going to lose weight). I am back to work which is good Each week, while we wait for the winning lottery for a 65-year-old. I feel valuable numbers to be announced, we speculate about what we again. Of course, why should will do with our millions. Yes, we are certifiably insane. my value be contingent on Ralph says he’ll buy an island and live on it. I don’t having a job? There are more like Ralph too much so I’m kind of encouraging him to important things that contribute move to that island now. Frank says he will still continue to my self-worth. For example, working because the office is his life. I think if we do win, I have good hair. Okay fine, I’m Ralph should use his money to seek psychiatric help. making a joke (and my hair is Agnes says she will use the money for plastic surgery. The Sy Rosen not that great) but going back goal being that she’ll look twenty years younger. I tell to work does make me feel good Agnes that she looks good just the way she is. Agnes then and my wife is certainly happy that I’m out of the house. eyes me suspiciously as though I were trying to worm my However, I have noticed that there are a few changes in way into her heart so I could get her share of the winnings. the office situation, which have nothing to do with the My wife Wanda and I would start living life to the job itself. And one of the biggest changes is the lottery. fullest, which probably means we would splurge and buy There’s this fairly new concept of office workers a $6 Coke when we go to the movies. I would also set pooling their money to buy lottery tickets together and up a college fund for our granddaughter Summer. Heck, then splitting the winnings. maybe I’ll buy her a college. And, Since the odds are about a of course, some of my winnings will billion to one of winning go to cryogenics research because (about the same odds as with all that money I won’t want my losing ten pounds), I’ve to die. never been a big fan of the I would also like to lottery. But now I am forced anonymously give some of to go in and the reason is the money to charity. And simple – I couldn’t stand it then, of course, I would tip off if my co-workers won and the newspapers that I gave it I didn’t enter. I can picture anonymously. There’s nothing them in the office jumping more satisfying than secretly giving for joy and me sitting in a gift and then being discovered. a corner eating a peanut And so every week I chip in butter and jelly sandwich five dollars for the lottery and every and pretending I was happy week I know I will lose. The lottery for them. is kind of like life – you keep going And so I put in five because what choice do you have. dollars a week – five Wow that’s really deep. I’m not dollars that I could use exactly sure what it means but if I “Ok, Doug, somebody’s in the bathroom. for something important win the lottery I can hire someone Let’s take it into a dive.” like buying three boxes of to explain to me what I just said. v

September/October 2022


The ongoing life-affirming adventures of Rose and Dawn

Encounter at the Spa …by Diana Couture

Rose flipped through the Seattle Times and thought that it was getting mighty slim these days. Even the ads didn’t give a good heft to the newspaper. Her thoughts wandered to her husband John sitting in his easy chair with the Seattle PI in the mornings and the Times in the evenings. Now there was a guy who knew how to read a newspaper! She remembered him reading “between the lines” on many occasions. With these thoughts making her smile, she noticed an ad in the paper for Dante’s Salon and Spa offering a Girlfriend Special for a full Spa Package including massage, manicure and pedicure. Two for one price would be just the thing to perk Dawn up. She had been feeling down lately because her ex-husband was coming to town to visit their daughter. After convincing Dawn that a massage didn’t mean that you had to take off ALL your clothes, they were off for their Girlfriends Day at the Spa. The Dante Spa and Salon was a little scary to a couple of women in their 9th decade of life. They clutched each other with fear as Summer, the head esthetician lead them into the Spa which had the sound of waterfalls and soft music. It smelled good and immediately made the girls feel comfortable. There were two massage beds in one large room and Summer and her assistant, Kristin, explained that they would be providing the massage first, then the pedi and mani. With that said, Summer told the girls to take

off all of their clothes and get under the heated blankets on the massage tables. “Kristin and I will be back in a few moments with the heated oils that will enhance your massage. Get naked, girls.” Dawn stared at Rose with open mouth and bugged out eyes. “I thought… I mean you said….well; I can’t….Oh no, Rose. What are we going to do? We can’t take off our clothes.” Rose looked like she’d just had a vacuum dropped on her head. She looked at Dawn with pleading eyes and said, “I didn’t know…that can’t be right. There was nothing in the ad that said we had to remove our clothing. Maybe they could massage through our clothes…Wait, that won’t work…the oil.” At that moment Summer and Kristin knocked softly on the door and the girls jumped. “Uh, uh, we’re not quite ready. Ah… A couple more minutes, please?” Rose pleaded with a tremor in her voice. “Sure thing” replied Summer. Dawn clutched her blouse and said, “This is another fine mess you’ve gotten us into, Ollie.” Rose squinted at Dawn through the semi darkness and said, “Okay, okay, just let me think. We need an excuse. And it needs to be hip and cool so we don’t seem like a couple of prudish 80 year olds.” “But we ARE a couple of prudish 80 year olds!!” snarled Dawn. With a flash of brilliance and a snap of her fingers, Rose told Dawn to just keep holding onto her blouse. She could fix this. She opened the door and stepped out into the dimly lit hallway where she encountered

Summer and Kristen with bowls of hot oil. After a few whispers and nods, the door was opened all the way and Rose and Dawn were gently led to the Nail Loft part of the Spa and were given cups of sweet mint tea. Dawn was given extra consideration by Summer and was seated in the most comfortable of the chairs in the Nail Loft. Both women had their hands and feet immediately submerged in warm soapy water and the “ahhhhhs” were audible. “How does that feel, Dawn?” asked Summer. “Take a deep breath and enjoy the openness of the loft and its natural light. Isn’t this a lot better?” Summer continued. Dawn looked up from the rose petals in her finger bowl confusedly. She whispered to Rose as Summer walked away, “What’s up with her? Why is she treating me with kid gloves? “Oh, um…well,” coughed Rose,” I uh, sort of, uh told them you were a little…well…crazy.” “What?” Dawn seethed. “Why would you do such a thing?” “It seemed harmless at the time. We needed to keep our panties on and get out of those massage rooms. I just told them you had the sun disorder thing and went crazy in small dark places.” After giving Rose the silent treatment during the mani AND the pedi treatment, on the drive home Dawn caught Rose’s eye with a smile. “Okay I forgive you. After all I can get a little cranky during the dark winters…And don’t my feet look pretty?” ❖


Northwest Prime Time

September/October 2022

Scenes from Childhood

Driven to Distraction …by Denise Thiery

Whenever teenagers ask what it was like learning to drive when I was their age, I always tell them, “There were few rules of the road. Often there wasn’t even a road. I just had to remember to hold the reins loosely and try to keep the wagon wheels out of the ruts, because it might throw a wheel. If so, I’d lift my long skirt and show a few inches of ankle to any cowhand who might gallop by and help. That usually worked.” The teens would look at me quizzically while they tried to estimate my age and figure out if that time frame were feasible or if I was teasing. I got my driver’s license in the late 1960s. It took three tries because I kept failing the parallel parking part of the test. The uniformed tester would stand on the curb in front of the Department of Motor Vehicles, his pen posed over his clipboard and a stern, judgmental look on his face. Other nervous teens waiting for their turns watched out the large window. I freaked out, bumped the curb, and knocked over the traffic cone marking the allotted space. The third time I took it, the tester said if I failed it again, I would have to wait six months before I could try again. I considered this possibility disastrous. I made a mess of the third attempt, but he still passed me. I think he felt sorry for me. Mom, who had driven me there and was waiting, told me later that she heard one the teens watching inside say, “Wow, if they pass her, they’ll pass anybody!” The effort so traumatized me that even now, if I arrive at an event that requires that I parallel park, I’ll just turn around and drive home. Gas in the 1960s cost 39 cents a gallon. Price wars often drove the price even lower. It was bargain hunting time for drivers. I could fill the tank for about $4 and cruise my small, rural town all day, with a friend or two along for the ride. We started at one end of town, by the farm supply store, and cruised down Main Street and through both traffic lights, then circled the parking lot of the dairy bar, beeping the horn and waving at our classmates.

I bought the gasoline one dollar’s worth at a time. This allowed me four opportunities to interact with the young man who worked there, on whom I was nursing a huge crush. Like all gas stations then, the attendant would hustle out as soon as you pulled up to the pump. He not only pumped the gas, he also checked the car’s oil level and tire pressure. Then he washed the car’s windshield. This gave me a close look at my crush’s green eyes and the cute way a lock of his hair fell in a curl across one eyebrow. Might this be the day, I wondered, as I batted my heavilymascaraed eyelashes in adoration, he might ask me for a date? He never did. There were other perks of a stop at a gas station in the 1960s, other than mooning over the teenage staff. They also offered premiums to attract your business. Drinking glasses featuring the station’s logo were a common giveaway at gas stations. I don’t think Mom bought a single drinking glass in her entire marriage. Once my brother dropped one of them and it shattered. Mom cursed and yelled, “I guess we can’t have anything nice in this house!” Those must have been the Sunday company drinking glasses. Gas now costs several dollars a gallon and you must pump it yourself. Even the air for your tires isn’t free. Nobody washes your windshield or checks the oil. The attendant is locked in a tiny booth. You still can flirt with him. He doesn’t have my crush’s curly brown hair and twinkly green eyes. He’s bald and his eyes are clouded over with cataracts. He didn’t ask me out either. ❖ Irreverent and borderline socially inappropriate, Denise Thiery sees the senior years as a minor speed bump on life’s highway. She is a life-long hiker and tree-hugger who encourages others to treat Mother Nature with respect: always ask the tree first.

September/October 2022


Win $100 Can you identify the location of this If so, you Where in photo? win $100! Washington? may For a hint, visit and click on the “Contest” box. The winner will be drawn at random from the correct answers sent to by September 27, 2022. If no correct answer is received, the $100 prize will transfer to the following contest. The contest is available only to readers who sign up for Northwest Prime Time’s email newsletter. Joining is as easy as sending an email to and asking to sign up. We anticipate emailing you about once a month. Northwest Prime Time will never share your information with any other person or organization.

Middle Men Len Elliott

Congratulations to Julie of Shoreline, winner of the last contest. It featured a poster of Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island. The park preserves the site of a renovated 1930s-era fishing resort complete with beachside cabins and a boat house. Before that, for as long ago as 1600 years, coastal Native Americans used the area as seasonal camping for fishing and gathering berries. The fishing resort ran for 55 years, and Cama Beach opened as a state park in 2008.

answers on page 19

Each of the clues below can be answered with the names of two people. The first person’s surname is the first name of the second person. E.g., the clue Black activist and comedian/Tap dancing sensation leads to Dick Gregory Hines. What is the commonality among the “middle” names?

SURPRISE! I felt pretty good about growing old And thought I was aging with grace Until they removed my cataracts And I got a good look at my face. -- Pat D’Amico

1. He played George Costanza on Seinfeld/Creator of mobiles and stabiles. 2. Pitcher for whom a surgery was named/Take Me Home, Country Roads singer. 3. Country vocalist married to Nicole Kidman/University of Alabama football coach. 4. Actress and panelist on What’s My Line/English explorer and privateer. 5. Guitar legend who sang with Mary Ford/One of the Beatles.

Northwest Prime Time

Writing Corner

Last Words …by Ariele M. Huff

We all have them whether we die with no notice or with years to discover the “perfect goodbye.” Either way, words have tremendous Ariele M. Huff power…for good or for bad. I’ve been working 47 years with people in groups of all kinds, especially Write About Your Life classes, and with people doing all sorts of books. Often, I’ve heard from students, friends, and family about beautifully written goodbyes, even some delivered orally to loved ones. More often, I’ve heard stories of mistakes. Politely, I’d like to say, for Pete’s sake, don’t besmirch the memories of your relationships because you’re old or in pain. I hear these stories all the time…last words that get to fester in the minds of those left behind until they die. If you haven’t already told your children, friend, or spouse the mistakes they’ve made, right before you pass is a brutal, really unfair time for that. Recently, a 61-year-old man started crying in a group. His parents (in their 90s) had called him and told him how much they disrespected him for becoming disabled. Needless to say, the damage to his body from his years of physical jobs is obvious to any who see him attempt getting around on his walker. Though he’d done

many things for and with his parents and thought of his father as his best friend for most of his life, they chose to forget all that and leave him with an emotional scar to add to his pain. Another group member was stunned when the mother she was attending during her dying years chose the end of that time to admit the non-caretaking sister was her favorite child. My student was especially shocked because she and her mother were getting along well and there hadn’t been any complaint against the sister or expectation for being the “favorite.” Yes, we need to let go of harmful words said to us in these situations the best we can. Recognizing the pain, fear, and confusion of dying may help with that. But words that are heard are hard to erase, especially when connected to losing a close relationship. Preparing some grateful and

Poetry Corner


September/October 2022 loving words to be given at the end is a good practice. If those don’t come, listen to pleasant words from loved ones or practice sweet silence. While I’ve never heard stories of verbal abuse to a dying person, those must happen too and are sad, hurtful goodbyes from either direction. However, at least, as people pass, they can leave those words behind as well as other cares and heartaches of their lives. One other aspect of last words is leaving final requests. Think long and hard before you set another person to complete some job you’ve begun. Perhaps, the best gift is to encourage them in their own projects. The point in all of this is to recommend that your memory will be far more cherished if your final words are fond. ❖ Connect for a list of online and ZOOM classes:


The tv weather report predicted thunder and lightning. I laughed—harebrained warning on a sunny, blue-sky day. An area wild rabbit nibbled dandelion florets—fine dining, nose wiggling—tasty assortment, a warm backyard buffet. Suddenly, stood tall, motionless…a garden sculpture pose, just ears moving in a slow swivel—nature’s radar detector. Raindrops dribble, dark clouds tumble—winds howl and blow. Smart rabbit ears crown—thunder and lightning protector. Hop, leap, run. Do return as official dandelion taste tester. --April Ryan

“How Heavy My Heart”

Our winter of life brings unbounded despair. Watching her mind slip inexorably into oblivion, my very courage evaporating into its fog, traumatized by contemplation of past and future, forever striving to arrest the insidious decline, but powerless to alter what inevitably must be. How heavy my heart! --Keith Wollen (Written eighteen months before Fran died.) Poetry may be excerpted, edited, or used in Sharing Stories on Northwest Prime Time’s website or in one of Ariele’s poetry anthology books. Send to

September/October 2022

“Building Bridges

Ohme Gardens

...continued from page 5

...continued from page 2

by Era Living will be provided during the program break. “Our community partners help us focus on addressing critical needs,” said de Tornyay Center director Dr. Basia Belza. “The work that faculty, students and alums do with our community partners makes lasting impacts on individuals and communities. The presentations will provide real time examples,” added Dr. Belza. “Nashi Immigrants Health Board, a unique local non-profit agency supporting Ukrainian and Russian speaking communities in our state, is looking forward to sharing our origin story with you,” said Tamara Cunitz, co-founder of the health board and a lecturer at the UW School of Nursing. “We know there is currently a great need for support in our community, as new Ukrainian refugee families are welcomed to Washington.” Attendees of past Ignite Aging Symposiums have highly praised the event. They’ve shared feedback, “The Ignite Aging symposium was a great way to learn about current research being done in the field of aging. [Our] time [was] well spent!” The event is planned to be held at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture at 3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle, 98195. However, the event may be moved online, based on current public health recommendations. On-site parking is available for attendees.❖

experiences and small-town ambiance, where the locals are friendly and welcoming. Though I’d passed through Wenatchee several times in my travels over the years, I had never spent much time in the area until recently. I soon discovered what I had been missing all these years. Like Ohme Gardens. This nine-acre, wooded wonderland is perched on a rocky bluff, just north of the city. Winding stone pathways traverse the hillside, leading you through lush foliage amid towering cedars and firs, to clear, tranquil pools and sparkling waterfalls, with names like “Moment-in-time” and “Decision Point.” Take a seat on one of the fifty-three stone benches and soak up the views of the Columbia River, Wenatchee Valley and Cascade Mountains. There’s even a Hobbit Bench for wee ones. And of course, a wishing well. The gardens were a labor of love for Herman and Ruth Ohme, who created their own private oasis with just a dream and hard work, mostly by hand. They hauled native stone from the Columbia River to create pathways and borders, transplanted small evergreens from the Cascade

To learn more and register, visit RSVP early, as space is limited.

Middle Men Answers to questions on page 17

1. Jason Alexander Calder 2. Tommy John Denver



Mountains and used five-gallon milk cans to hand water the plants before eventually constructing an irrigation system. Initially intended as a family retreat, the interest of friends and community members prompted the couple to open the place to the public. Eventually, in 1991, the Ohme family sold the gardens and surrounding property to Washington State Parks to preserve them for the public and for generations to come. Ohme is a wonderful spot to appreciate natural splendor. If you’re seeking serenity, you’ll find it here. You can also enjoy live concerts and yoga in the gardens during the summer months. ❖ If you go: Read Debbie Stone’s full Wenatchee article here. Debbie Stone frequently posts articles about her travels near and far at

3. Keith Urban Meyer 4. Arlene Francis Drake 5. Les Paul McCartney Each of the “middle names” is the name of a pope.

A Calendar of Places to Go, Do or See…

Our online calendar is updated twice a month. Visit


Northwest Prime Time

September/October 2022

The Great Outdoors

Return of the Eagles …by Roger Urbaniak

A group of five eagles circled far overhead near the entrance of the Yakima Canyon near Ellensburg. Thermals from the canyon made their ascent effortless and their flight seemed driven more from the pleasure of flight than the business of finding food this day. Traveling further into the canyon revealed seven more eagles circling overhead, surveying the Yakima River below. On this day, nine were bald eagles and three were golden. At various points during our canyon trip, we would pull off to the shoulder just to observe and enjoy their almost effortless, yet seemingly joyous, flight. Eagle numbers in the canyon have been steadily increasing over the last ten years as salmon populating the Yakima River have increased. Occasionally we see them nesting, but this was not always the case. In 1939, Yakima businessmen decided a diversion dam could help irrigate hundreds of acres of farmable land. After a few years of study, the diversion dam, now known as Roza Dam, was constructed along with miles of irrigation canals allowing farmers to tap into the precious water resource. As a result, both farming and orchards prospered throughout the County. Due to what is now considered a design oversight, the dam builders neglected to include a fish ladder in their plans. Chinook salmon,

which once prospered in the Yakima River, had to make do with spawning in the less desirable parts of the river below the dam and the food chain of several birds and animals upstream of the dam suffered. Eagles began to migrate to other areas and a strange quiet descended over the canyon. In 1999, the Yakama Nation noticed that a few fish still returned to the base of Roza Dam and decided to become involved in bringing the mighty salmon back to the upper Yakima River. This was consistent with their heritage and designed to benefit future generations. A major fish hatchery was constructed along the river in Cle Elum with satellite hatcheries at Jack Creek off the Teanaway River, Thorpe Creek and the Cle Elum River. The surviving Chinook that still had the instinct to go further up the river were captured at the base of Roza dam and their eggs used as the nucleus at the Cle Elum hatchery to develop future generations. Each year the fish were captured, studied, tagged, coded and then one-half released above the dam and one-half used for reproductive purposes. After a few years, returning fish began laying their own eggs in chosen upstream locations where satellite hatcheries existed. Each fall dozens of returning salmon began digging redds (nests) in gravel river beds

and producing their own offspring. A few eagles began noticing the spent salmon floating down the river and feasted on them. The extra nourishment allowed eagles and osprey to raise more young. Today the canyon resonates with sound as both eagle and osprey bounce their joyous notes off the canyon walls. So successful has been the reintroduction of the Chinook to the upper river that the Yakama Nation then embarked upon a program to bring Sockeye salmon back. Today these fish are returning. Those who float the river in drift boats or just on inner tubes and rafts are happy for the new influx of life. A canyon that boasts bighorn sheep, wild turkey and abundant deer now has both eagle and osprey circling overhead to showcase nature’s resilience and bounty. Mark your calendar for taking a drive through the canyon in late fall or winter when eagles are most abundant. A good dose of nature, now in balance with the environment, will be your reward. ❖