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Cumberland County Edition

December 2013

Vol. 14 No. 12

A Colorful Marriage On Canvas and Off Couple Blends Artistic and Domestic Living By Alicia Morrissey Something about Barbara Pillette caught Robert Buchanan’s eye at an art show in Mount Gretna in 1981. Maybe it was her beautiful artwork, or perhaps it was her kind smile. Either way, neither of them had any idea what was in store for them at the moment their eyes locked. “She was in one booth and I was in another,” Robert reminisced. “I helped her carry her work out to her car.” After that sweet gesture, Robert and Barbara began dating, despite the two-hour commute it took to see each other. A couple of years later, they tied the knot. After that, the two artists had to figure out how to mesh not only their lives, but also their artistic styles and habits. “I always have to have music on—Barb doesn’t,” Robert said. “I enjoy music, but I do like complete quiet,” Barbara agreed. Laughing, Robert added, “Barb cooperates. She just acquiesces.” Despite their differing preferences for work environment, Robert and Barbara have found they coexist quite well. They both continued to thrive in their artwork, often asking each other advice on how to improve a piece. please see CANVAS page 14 Robert and Barbara Buchanan in the studio in their home.

Inside:

Chicago’s Christmas Magic page 8

Cumberland County 50plus EXPO Highlights page 10


Art and Antiques by Dr. Lori

Silver Cleaning Tips Lori Verderame oliday time means making 4. Place silver items into the tub atop your antique objects look their the foil. best, particularly your silver serving pieces, flatware, and collectibles. 5. Leave tarnished items in the solution You figure that cleaning silver is for no more than five minutes. Once pretty straightforward—silver polish, you see your silver piece looking clean, cloth, elbow grease. Well, actually, it is remove the piece from the tub. not that simple. 6. Rinse and First of gently buff all, do you dry using a know if you soft cotton have a piece towel. of sterling silver or a The Don’ts piece of silver • Don’t use plate? This rubber gloves matters because because rubber can sterling silver damage silver and silver plating. plate have different • Don’t use properties. steel-wool Silver pads because plate is a they may piece of scratch metal metal, surfaces. 18th-century sterling-silver usually chocolate pot and set. copper, that • Don’t use has been plated with a thin layer of sponges as they may scratch silver silver. If you polish too hard, then you surfaces. may polish away the silver layer and reveal the copper beneath the silver• Don’t over-polish silver plate. It is very plated surface. easy to rub away the thin layer of silver plating and reveal the copper or other How-to base metal underneath. As silver oxidizes, it will tarnish. There is no stopping this process. And, • Don’t serve certain foods—eggs, once you notice even the slightest bit of mustard, onions—that will wear away tarnish, it is time to clean your silver. silver plating. If you don’t want to use commercial polish, you can try this natural method, If you prefer a specialty commercial but go easy on the salt because salt can silver polish, be sure to choose either a damage your silver if you are sterling-silver or a silver-plating polish. overzealous. Many commercial polishes do the job well. Read labels and consult the 1. Line the bottom of a plastic tub with manufacturer’s website if you need more a sheet of aluminum foil. information.

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As On-Line Publishers, Inc. sees the conclusion of yet another year, we are grateful to our dedicated staff, loyal readers, and supportive advertisers who have all enabled us to continue to grow in our mission to serve the mind, heart, and spirit of the 50+ community. We wish to thank each of you for helping to make 50plus Senior News a fun, interesting, and unique source of information and entertainment for our readers in Central Pennsylvania. At this special time of giving thanks and reminiscing, the staff of On-Line Publishers wishes you, our friends, warmest holiday wishes.

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December 2013

2. Fill the tub with steaming hot water atop the foil. 3. Add 1 tsp. salt and 2 tsp. baking soda to the hot water. Do not use too much salt because salt is corrosive to silver and silver plate.

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Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori hosts antiques appraisal events worldwide. Dr. Lori is the star appraiser on Discovery channel’s Auction Kings. To learn about your antiques: www.DrLoriV.com, www.Facebook. com/DoctorLori, @DrLori on Twitter, and (888) 431-1010.

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Resource Directory This Resource Directory recognizes advertisers who have made an extended commitment to your health and well-being.

Emergency Numbers American Red Cross (717) 845-2751 Central PA Poison Center (800) 521-6110 Cumberland County Assistance (800) 269-0173 Energy Assistance Cumberland County Board of Assistance (800) 269-0173 Eye Care Services Kilmore Eye Associates 890 Century Drive, Mechanicsburg (717) 697-1414 Funeral Directors Cocklin Funeral Home, Inc. 30 N. Chestnut St., Dillsburg (717) 432-5312 Health & Medical Services Alzheimer’s Association (717) 651-5020 American Diabetes Association (800) 342-2383 Arthritis Foundation (717) 763-0900 CONTACT Helpline (717) 652-4400 The National Kidney Foundation (800) 697-7007 PACE (800) 225-7223 Social Security Administration (Medicare) (800) 302-1274 Healthcare Information Pa. HealthCare Cost Containment Council (717) 232-6787 Hearing Services Duncan Nulph Hearing Associates 5020 Ritter Road, Suite 10G, Mechanicsburg (717) 766-1500 Pennsylvania Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (800) 233-3008 V/TTY

Home Care Services Home Care Assistance Serving Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties (717) 540-4663 Safe Haven Quality Care Serving Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry counties (717) 582-9977 Senior Helpers Serving the greater Harrisburg area (717) 920-0707 Hospice Services Homeland Hospice 2300 Vartan Way, Suite 115, Harrisburg (717) 221-7890 Housing Assistance Cumberland County Housing Authority 114 N. Hanover St., Carlisle (717) 249-1315 Homeland Center Cumberland and Dauphin counties (717) 221-7727 Property Tax/Rent Rebate (888) 728-2937 Salvation Army (717) 249-1411 Insurance Apprise Insurance Counseling (800) 783-7067 Pharmacies CVS/pharmacy www.cvs.com Retirement Communities Homeland Center 1901 N. Fifth St., Harrisburg (717) 221-7902 Services Cumberland County Aging & Community Services (717) 240-6110 Meals on Wheels Carlisle (717) 245-0707

National Council on Aging (800) 424-9046

Mechanicsburg (717) 697-5011 Newville (717) 776-5251 Shippensburg (717) 532-4904

Organ Donor Hotline (800) 243-6667 Passport Information (888) 362-8668

Toll-Free Numbers Bureau of Consumer Protection (800) 441-2555 Cancer Information Service (800) 422-6237

Smoking Information (800) 232-1331 Social Security Fraud (800) 269-0217 Social Security Office (800) 772-1213

Consumer Information (888) 878-3256

Travel Wheelchair Getaways Serving Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, and Southern New Jersey (717) 921-2000

Disease and Health Risk (888) 232-3228 Domestic Violence (800) 799-7233 Drug Information (800) 729-6686

Veterans Services American Legion (717) 730-9100

Flu or Influenza (888) 232-3228 Health and Human Services Discrimination (800) 368-1019

Governor’s Veterans Outreach (717) 234-1681

Internal Revenue Service (800) 829-1040

Lebanon VA Medical Center 1700 S. Lincoln Ave., Lebanon (717) 228-6000 or (800) 409-8771

Liberty Program (866) 542-3788

Veterans Affairs (717) 240-6178 or (717) 697-0371

Medicare Hotline (800) 638-6833

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December 2013

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Beyond the Battlefield

He Hobnobbed with the Rich and Famous

Corporate Office: 3912 Abel Drive, Columbia, PA 17512 Phone 717.285.1350 • Fax 717.285.1360 Chester County: 610.675.6240 Cumberland County/Dauphin County: 717.770.0140 Berks County/Lancaster County/ Lebanon County/York County: 717.285.1350 E-mail address: info@onlinepub.com Website address: www.onlinepub.com

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December 2013

Alvin S. Goodman Veteran Profile of David Press continued from last month … uring and after World War II, David Press tried to keep in touch with his brother Charles. He was able to get a pass and hitchhike across Germany to visit Charlie, who was stationed at Flossenbürg (site of a liberated concentration camp). “He took me for a tour of the camp and I took pictures of the gas chambers, ovens, and piles of shoes stacked as high as a two-story house. Unfortunately, they and other pictures were lost at my mother’s house in Harrisburg during the Tropical Storm Agnes flood of 1972. “In the last town we were in before going home, the war in Japan was still being fought and our Commanding General Bolling volunteered our division to train for battle in the Pacific if it became necessary to invade Japan.” This was before the atomic bomb was known, so the training began again.

D

Discharged from Army in 1946 Press was honorably discharged from the Army at Ft. Meade, Md., in March 1946 and took a bus to Baltimore, where D&H Distribution Co. had a branch. There he met Harry Spector, one of the company’s owners, who offered to give Press a ride home to Harrisburg. On the way, Spector convinced Press to return to D&H and take a job as a record salesman in the Coal Region. Press accepted the offer, and a few months later took over as head of the firm’s record department, which distributed phonograph records to large retailers throughout a five-state area. “My first experience with celebrity recording stars was when I started working at D&H, pulling record orders,” Press said. “I was 18 years of age when Alvino Rey & the King Sisters, who were appearing at

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the Hershey Ballroom, stopped in to meet the RCA Victor record distributor.” Alvino Rey was married to one of the four King sisters. At Hershey, Press danced with the youngest King sister, Yvonne, who was his age. Elected Head of Trade Association In 1970, Press was named to the board and in 1973 was elected

Dave Press, right, visits his older brother, Charles, in eastern Germany after hostilities cease.

president of the National Association of Record Merchandisers (NARM), which included all of the record manufacturers, distributors, and large retailers in the U.S. He was the first non-CEO of a record company to hold that position. During his term of office, Press presented NARM’s Presidential Award for Sustained Executive Achievement posthumously to Judy Garland (1922-69). The award was accepted by her daughter, Liza Minnelli, at the 1974 NARM annual convention in Los Angeles. Whenever a recording artist had an appearance in the area, Press would meet and escort him or her to radio and TV stations to promote their recordings and to their concerts and personal appearances, sometimes even wining and dining them.

Over the years he met many famous celebrities. Among them were Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Mario Lanza, Harry Belafonte, Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor, Dick Clark, Merv Griffin, Johnny Mathis, Neil Sedaka, Jack Benny, Perry Como, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé, Jan Peerce, Robert Merrill, Eddy Arnold, Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry. He also met band leaders Louie Prima, Spike Jones and His City Slickers, Arthur Fiedler (Boston Pops), Tex Beneke (Glenn Miller Orchestra), Hugo Winterhalter, Al Hirt, Ralph Flanagan, Vaughn Monroe, Claude Thornhill, and Harry James and his wife, Betty Grable. Add to that list such vocal groups as The King Sisters, The Andrews Sisters, The Modernaires, and The Ames Brothers, among others. “When Spike Jones appeared at the Zembo Shrine Center in Harrisburg, I made arrangements for some of the band members to appear on the Pete Wambach radio program. The promo was great, but Pete was suspended for three days because he let out an expletive remark.” Press has many stories to tell about celebrities he met, some of which were reported in Life magazine, Time, and The New York Times. Press and his wife, Sonny, were dinner guests of Johnny Mathis at his home in Los Angeles. Fire Delays Fiedler Concert “Once, while taking conductor Arthur Fiedler of the Boston Pops to his concert in Scranton, a fire engine passed us on the way to a fire. Mr. Fiedler, a fire buff, wanted us to turn around and follow the fire truck,” Press said. “I said, ‘Mr. Fiedler, you have a concert in 30 minutes.’ He said, ‘Dave, we’re going to a fire.’ So we went to the fire and were half an hour late for the concert. “The audience applauded when Mr. Fiedler explained why he was www.50plusSeniorNewsPA.com


late. The next day, the fire chief presented him with a fire helmet and made him an honorary fire chief.” Fiedler and the Boston Pops also did two concerts in Harrisburg, one at the Zembo Temple and the other at The Forum, sponsored by The Wednesday Club. When The Jack Benny Program appeared in Scranton, an RCA executive called and told Press that CBS was trying to get Benny to leave NBC and put his TV show on CBS. “They asked that we meet Benny at the airport and romance him, telling him how much CBS loved him.” Press met him with a sound truck, a large horseshoe made of flowers, and signs, but without success.

Dave Press on the June 1973 cover of Music Retailer Magazine.

Singer Liza Minnelli accepts the Presidential Award given to her late mother, Judy Garland, from NARM president Dave Press, right. She was introduced by Clive Davis, president of Columbia Records.

Merv Griffin in Scranton One day while working in Scranton, Press ran into Merv Griffin outside the Hotel Jermyn. “I had met him years earlier in Hershey when he was the pianist with Freddy Martin and His Orchestra,” Press said. Griffin said he was trying to promote his first single recording for Columbia Records. Press said he would be glad to introduce him to disc jockeys in the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre area, and they spent the day calling on DJs. “Merv was appreciative and invited me to spend time with him in New York, where he was living at the time, rooming with Roddy McDowall.” To be continued next month …

A History of the Banknote Governments print it, misers hoard it under their mattresses, rich people light their cigars with it—but where does the idea of paper money come from, anyway? China, actually. The banknote apparently originated during the Tang Dynasty (seventh century) to replace bulky copper coins carried by merchants. The coins were minted with rectangular

holes in their center so they could be strung together on cords, but wealthy merchants found that lugging their coins around was difficult. A system was born in which merchants left their coins with a trusted agent in exchange for a note stating exactly how much money was being held. The merchant could return the note at any time to redeem his or her

coins, and in time, paper money called “jiaozi” evolved. In Europe, banknotes first came into use in the 14th century. The term “banknote” derives from nota di banco. The holder of a note could redeem it for an amount of silver or gold held on deposit with a bank. In the New World, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first of the American

colonies to circulate its own banknotes in the early 1690s, but all 13 colonies were issuing their own notes by the early 1700s. The First Bank of the United States, chartered by Congress in 1789 shortly after the signing of the Constitution, was authorized to issue banknotes, but the U.S. federal government didn’t start printing its own paper money until 1862.

Thank You,Columnists! 50plus Senior News continues to bring important information as well as entertaining articles to the 50+ community. We at On-Line Publishers would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the editorial contributors of 50plus Senior News:

Harrisburg’s Oldies Channel!

Mike Clark (The Way I See It) Angelo Coniglio (The Search for Our Ancestry) Wendell Fowler (Preventive Measures) Al Goodman (Beyond the Battlefield ) Andrea Gross (Traveltizers) Dr. Lori (Art and Antiques) Gloria May (NurseNews) Gamber (The Beauty in Nature) Clyde McMillan-G Jim Miller (The Savvy Senior)

Victor Parachin (Fragments of History) Saralee Perel (Such is Life) Dr. Leonard Perry (The Green Mountain Gardener) Ted Rickard (The Squint-Eyed Senior) Sy Rosen (Older But Not Wiser) Pat Sinclair (Recipes for Two) Walt Sonneville (My 22 Cents’ Worth) Robert Wilcox (Salute to a Veteran) Judith Zausner (Creativity Matters)

• Breakfast with Ben Barber and News with Dennis Edwards • John Tesh with Music and Intelligence for Your Workday • Bruce Collier & The Drive Home

It is through the varied interests and considerable talents of our contributors and freelance writers that such a range of informative and entertaining content is available to read each month. The pages of 50plus Senior News are enriched by your contributions.

Find us at AM 960 or at whylradio.com

WE PLAY OVER 1500 GREAT SONGS! www.50plusSeniorNewsPA.com

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December 2013

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Calendar of Events

Cumberland County

PA State Parks in Cumberland County

Senior Center Activities

Dec. 1 and 8, noon to 4 p.m. – Holiday Open House of Cameron-Masland Mansion, Kings Gap Environmental Education Center

Big Spring Senior Center – (717) 776-4478 91 Doubling Gap Road, Suite 1, Newville Dec. 5, 6:30 to 8 p.m. – A Civil War Christmas Dec. 13, 10 a.m. – Project to Support the Homeless Veterans Home Dec. 18, 12:30 p.m. – Holiday Dinner with Entertainment

AARP Driver Safety Programs For a Safe Driving Class near you, call toll-free (888) 227-7669 or visit www.aarp.org/findacourse. Dec. 4 and 5, 8 a.m. to noon – Southampton Township Municipal Building, 705 Municipal Drive, Shippensburg, (717) 532-1707

Programs and Support Groups Dec. 3, 7 p.m. CanSurmount Cancer Support Group HealthSouth Acute Rehab Hospital 175 Lancaster Blvd., Mechanicsburg (717) 691-6786

Dec. 11, 1 p.m. Parkinson’s Support Group HealthSouth Rehab Hospital 175 Lancaster Blvd. Mechanicsburg (717) 877-0624

Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m. Too Sweet: Diabetes Support Group Chapel Hill United Church of Christ 701 Poplar Church Road, Camp Hill (717) 557-9041

Dec. 17, 1 p.m. Caregiver Support Group Mechanicsburg Church of the Brethren 501 Gale St., Mechanicsburg (717) 766-8880

Community Programs Mondays and Wednesdays, noon to 12:45 p.m. Silver Sneakers Class: Muscular Strength and Range of Movement Living Well Fitness Center 207 House Ave., Suite 107 Camp Hill (717) 439-4070 Dec. 6, 7 p.m. Concert by New Cumberland Town Band Trinity United Methodist Church 415 Bridge St., New Cumberland www.nctownband.org Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to noon Holiday Family Program History on High – The Shop Cumberland County Historical Society 33 W. High St., Carlisle (717) 249-7610 theshop@historicalsociety.com

Free and open to the public.

If you have an event you would like to include, please email information to mjoyce@onlinepub.com for consideration.

Free and open to the public. Dec. 7, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Advent Walking Tour of Carlisle Churches Meet at First United Church of Christ 30 N. Pitt St., Carlisle (717) 243-2512 oneucc@1stuccofcarlisle.org Dec. 11, 11:30 a.m. NARFE West Shore Chapter 1465 VFW Post 6704 4907 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg (717) 737-1486 Dec. 13, 8 p.m. Cumberland Singers Holiday Concert: The 12 Days of Christmas Enola Emmanuel United Methodist Church 22 Salt Road, Enola (717) 367-8030 www.cumberlandsingers.org www.narfe1465.org Visitors welcome; meeting is free but fee for food.

Dec. 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wicked Walk and Book Signing History on High – The Shop Cumberland County Historical Society 33 W. High St., Carlisle (717) 249-1626 theshop@historicalsociety.com Dec. 15, 3 p.m. Cumberland Singers Holiday Concert: The 12 Days of Christmas Shepherdstown United Methodist Church 1934 S. York St., Mechanicsburg (717) 367-8030 www.cumberlandsingers.org Dec. 21, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Book Signing: Local Author and Artist Tony Zizzi History on High – The Shop Cumberland County Historical Society 33 W. High St., Carlisle (717) 249-1626 theshop@historicalsociety.com

What’s Happening? Give Us the Scoop! Please send us your press releases so we can let our readers know about free events occurring in Cumberland County! Email preferred to: mjoyce@onlinepub.com

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December 2013

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Carlisle Senior Action Center – (717) 249-5007 20 E. Pomfret St., Carlisle Mary C. Schaner Senior Citizens Center – (717) 7323915 98 S. Enola Drive, Enola Mechanicsburg Place – (717) 697-5947 97 W. Portland St., Mechanicsburg Southampton Place – (717) 530-8217, www.seniors.southamptontwp.com 56 Cleversburg Road, Shippensburg Mondays and Fridays, 9:30 a.m. – “Chat It Up” Group Discussion Forum Tuesdays, 10 to 11 a.m. – Line Dancing Wednesdays and Fridays, 9 to 10 a.m. – Steppin’ Sneakers Class West Shore Senior Citizens Center – (717) 774-0409 122 Geary St., New Cumberland Please call or visit the centers’ websites for additional activities.

Cumberland County Library Programs Bosler Memorial Library, 158 W. High St., Carlisle, (717) 243-4642 Dec. 2, 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. – Monday Bosler Book Discussion Group Dec. 6 – Music @ Bosler Dec. 11, 1 to 2 p.m. – Wicked Wednesday Book Discussion Group Cleve J. Fredricksen Library, 100 N. 19th St., Camp Hill, (717) 761-3900 Dec. 13, 2 and 7 p.m. – Foreign Film Friday: Joyeux Noel Dec. 16, 7 p.m. – Harp and Handbells Holiday Concert Dec. 19 – Mobile Device Basics: iPad, iPhone, iPod at 5:30 p.m.; Android at 6:30 p.m.; Kindle and Nook at 7:30 p.m. New Cumberland Public Library, 1 Benjamin Plaza, New Cumberland, (717) 774-7820 Dec. 10, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. – Christmas Concert by The Sentimentalists Dec. 11, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Great Books Discussion Group: The Man Who Could Work Miracles by H.G. Wells Dec. 21, 11 a.m. to noon – Couponing for Extreme Savings: Holiday Freebies www.50plusSeniorNewsPA.com


Christmas Traditions: The Real Story The December holidays are a time to honor traditions handed down over the centuries. You might be surprised to learn that many Christmas customs actually originated in older traditions and pagan celebrations. Here’s a quick look: Christmas Day. Dec. 25 was designated as Christmas Day by Pope Saint Julius I in the fourth century, reflecting a decision to combine several pagan festivities into one Christian celebration. Dec. 25 previously marked the Roman Saturnalia, as well as the purported birth date of Mithra, the Persian sun god, and the mythical first appearance of the Norse god Odin to the world. Food and drink. Parties, overeating, and general mayhem are also related to the Saturnalia. This Roman festival was named for Saturn, an agriculture god, and was celebrated with feasting and general revelry. Christmas pudding. The Celts celebrated their god of the harvest by

making a pot of porridge and stirring it for him. Later, plum pudding was made by adding prunes to the porridge, which evolved into what we now know as Christmas pudding. Tradition says that each member of the family should stir the pot in an east-west manner (as the sun moves across the sky). Flaming brandy poured onto the pudding is also a symbol of the sun’s energy. Christmas stockings. The first Christmas stocking was supposedly derived from the charity of a kindly Turkish bishop, who slipped a bag of gold into the stocking of a girl in need of a dowry. Christmas trees. Decorating Christmas trees has its origins in Germany. During the winter, the populace wanted to encourage tree spirits to return to the trees and reawaken them in the spring. The practice originally focused on oak trees but later came to be associated with fir trees by Christians, who associated the triangle outline of the firs with the Holy Trinity.

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Thank You, Volunteers! On-Line Publishers, Inc. and 50plus Senior News would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to all of the individual and senior group volunteers who donated their time and efforts at our 2013 50plus EXPOs. Because of your assistance, we were able to bring the contents and the mission of 50plus Senior News to life for the residents of Central Pennsylvania!

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December 2013

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Traveltizers

Travel Appetizers: Stories that Whet the Appetite for Travel

Chicago’s Christmas Magic department stores in the world. It offered the first bridal registry, he day is frosty cold, and I the first personal shopping say a silent thanks to the assistants, the first department-store unknown goose that restaurants, and the first escalators donated his feathers to fill my and was the first store to create parka. holiday window displays for the My husband hands me a mug sole purpose of spreading joy. filled with Glühwein. The hot, This holiday tradition, which spicy drink burns my throat in a began in the early 1870s, holds true nice, cinnamonny way and, as the today. There are no windows filled name implies, makes me glow with with glitzy clothes, new appliances, holiday cheer. or tempting foods, no attempt to We, along with several hundred lure folks to the cash register. The other folks, are braving the weather displays are meant to bring smiles, Bugles herald the holiday Diners at Macy’s historic The mall at Water Tower Place at Christkindlmarket, Chicago’s not to extract cash. Now how nice season on State Street. Walnut Room sit under a draws crowds with a largest open-air Christmas festival. is that? 45-foot-tall tree. combination of festive decorations and popular stores. The atmosphere is distinctly When, in 2005, after a series of European, with chalet-style stalls corporate changes, the iconic store offering a mind-boggling selection was acquired by May Company, the of the Christkindlmarket crowd, I’m theaters, public art, parks, restaurants, of Alpine delicacies and crafts. skyscrapers, and, yes, retail establishments terms included the requirement that more interested in having fun than in We taste-test a variety of wursts, many Marshall Field’s traditions be seriously shopping. both big and small. schnitzels, strudels, and chocolates and continued. Afterward, well fortified with another But again, we’re not here to shop. gaze longingly at the imported cuckoo So although the Chicago store, which We’re here to see the former Marshall mug of Glühwein, we move on to “The clocks and nutcrackers. I buy a small is the third largest department store in Field’s, which was once one of the most Loop,” where we walk along streets lined ornament for my brother, but, like most the world, now goes by the name of renowned and most innovative with government buildings, museums,

By Andrea Gross

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Saturday, December 14 • 8-11 a.m. Mechanicsburg Place • 97 West Portland St., Mechanicsburg Mechanicsburg Place and Mechanicsburg Lions Club invite you and your family to join them as they celebrate the holiday season with a special visit from Santa. Tickets available for purchase at Mechanicsburg Place or pay at the door: Adults – $4.00 Children (under 12) – $3.00

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11th Annual

DAUPHIN COUNTY

9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Hershey Lodge

NEW LOCATION!

2913 Spooky Nook Road, Manheim

15th Annual

FREE!

Pancake Breakfast with Santa

Lancaster

FREE!

9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Church Farm School

1001 East Lincoln Highway Exton (717) 285-1350 • (717) 770-0140 (610) 675-6240

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December 2013

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Macy’s on State Street, their Christmas windows continue to delight hundreds of onlookers. We walk slowly, carefully admiring each animated scene, and then enter the store to view the celebrated domed ceiling that’s made of more than 1.6 million pieces of iridescent glass. Designed by Louis Tiffany in 1907 and hand-set over a two-year period, it’s a glorious mosaic of serpentine swirls and graceful ovals in tones of amber, blue, and gold with touches of red. I stare in awe until my neck begins to hurt, after which we take the escalator up to the fifth floor, where I can see the details more clearly. Eventually we make our way to the historic Walnut Room, known for the classic chicken potpie that was first served in 1907. As always during the Christmas season, a 45-foot tree festooned with more than 1,000 ornaments brightens the room. We try to get a table, but no luck. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, and the wait, according to the very nice hostess, will be more than an hour. Instead we satisfy our hunger by purchasing—and devouring—some Frango chocolates. The minty truffles have been associated with the store since Marshall Field’s acquired the original candy company in the late 1920s.

Hot spiced wine helps people stay warm as they enjoy Christkindlmart.

The display at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry features trees that represent Chicago’s—and the world’s— various cultures. Macy’s window displays capture the magic of Christmas.

Although they are no longer made instore, in my mind there’s no doubt about it: Chocolate beats chicken potpie any season of the year! Our final stop is at the Museum of Science and Industry, which hosts

Christmas Around the World, an annual exhibit that celebrates the world’s—and Chicago’s—cultures and traditions. The first such display took place in 1942 when Chicagoans of all ethnicities wanted to show that they supported

America’s World War II allies. The museum placed a single pine tree in the rotunda, and volunteers representing various nationalities changed the decorations on a daily basis. The result: a rotating display that honored diversity as well as community. In the 70-plus years since then, that single pine has morphed into a 50-tree exhibit that lasts from mid-November until the end of December. We walk slowly, admiring the ornaments on each tree. The tree representing Kenya is adorned with wood animal carvings. The one from Denmark is laden with woven hearts, while the one from Bosnia-Herzegovina has miniature dolls and skis. And on it goes … Russian matryoshkas (nested dolls), Romanian snowmen … an international display for an international city. As we head back to our hotel, a gentleman who is sitting behind me on the train begins humming an old Frank Sinatra lyric, “Chicago is my kind of town.” My sentiments exactly. For the latest information on Chicago’s 2013 Christmas activities, go to www.choosechicago.com Photos © Irv Green unless otherwise noted; story by Andrea Gross (www.andreagross.com).

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or call 717-249-1315 or 1-866-683-5907 www.cchra.com www.50plusSeniorNewsPA.com

Dr. Danette Nulph, Au.D Dr. Kristen Duncan, Au.D.

5020 Ritter Road, Suite 106, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 Rossmoyne Business Park

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From left: Donna K. Anderson, president of On-Line Publishers; Martha Smith of Mechanicsburg, Outstanding Senior Award recipient; Valerie Pritchett, 50plus EXPO honorary chairperson; and Terry Barley, director of Cumberland County Aging & Community Services.

50plus EXPO Honors Local Volunteer By Megan Joyce The autumn wind seemed to blow more than just leaves and crisp air toward the Cumberland County 50plus EXPO in October—namely, the more than 1,500 visitors that accompanied the gusts through the doors of the Carlisle Expo Center. The 14th annual 50plus EXPO was a free, one-day event providing information and resources for the area’s 50+ community. It was hosted by OLP EVENTS and Cumberland County Aging & Community Services. More than 100 exhibitors displayed products and services in travel, housing, medical services, nutrition, home improvements, finances, and healthcare. During the opening ceremony, abc27 news reporter and Cumberland County 50plus EXPO Honorary Chairperson Valerie Pritchett presented the 2013 Cumberland County

Outstanding Senior Award to Martha Smith of Mechanicsburg. Smith has been a Cumberland County ombudsman volunteer for 16 years. She works on behalf of residents’ rights at The Oaks Skilled Nursing at Bethany Village in Mechanicsburg. “I just can’t tell you how much payback there has been from my volunteering. I never leave a visit with a resident without learning something and feeling optimistic,” Smith said after receiving her award. “I thank you all very much for being here, and I wish I could get to know each of you individually.” The Health & Wellness Area, sponsored by PinnacleHealth, included ongoing, free screenings for blood pressure and other conditions.

Craig Foltz of Carlisle sat down in the Health & Wellness Area for an osteoporosis screening, which involved placing his bare foot in a cradle-like device that uses ultrasound to take a density measurement of the heel bone. “The results were good, so I’m not worried too much about my bone density,” he said. It was his first time coming to the 50plus EXPO and added that there “seems to be a lot of valuable information.” Attendees were eligible for door prizes and also took advantage of additional health screenings for bone health, hearing, BMI, balance, glucose, and more. Students from Keystone Technical Institute and Central Penn College offered free mini chair massages, food

samples from their culinary school, and blood pressure checks, as well as medical, dental, and personal-fitness information. “I came out to see what vendors were here, what programs they have, and what they’re giving away,” said Judy Showers of Carlisle. “And they have interesting seminars and things going on.” The day’s entertainment included well-received performances by PA STATE SENIOR IDOL winners Vickie Kissinger (2012), Barry Surran (2008), and Peggy Kurtz Keller (2011). Later, physical therapists from Drayer Physical Therapy Institute conducted a presentation on falls and fall prevention to a large, interactive crowd. The 50plus EXPOs will return to the Susquehanna and Delaware valleys in spring 2014. Check www.50plusExpo PA.com for updates and more information.

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Savvy Senior

Simple TV Remotes Designed for Seniors Jim Miller Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend some easy-to-use television remote controls for seniors? I got my 74-year-old mother a new HDTV for her birthday, but the remote control is very confusing for her to operate. – Shopping Son Dear Shopping, It seems like most television remote controls today come with dozens of unnecessary buttons that make them very confusing to operate. Add in the fact that many people use two or three remotes to operate their home entertainment equipment (TV, cable box, VCR, DVD player, etc.) and it compounds the problem even further. Fortunately, there are several universal TV remotes available today that are specifically designed for seniors and the technically challenged. These remote controls have bigger buttons and fewer options that make them much easier to see, program, and operate. Simplified Remotes Two popular senior-friendly products to consider are the Flipper Remote and the Super Remote SR3. The Flipper (www.flipper remote.com) works all major TVs, including cable, satellite, and digital TV receiver boxes with only one remote. Available for $25, it offers a tapered design that makes it easy to hold, and for simplicity it has only six large, colorcoded buttons that are exposed (on/off, channel up and down, volume up and

down, and mute). All other buttons are accessed by sliding the top panel down, so they won’t get in the way during day-to-day TV watching. Flipper also has an optional feature that lets you program up to 30 of your mom’s favorite channels for easy access. The Super Remote SR3 from Universal Remote Control, Inc. (sold through Amazon.com for around $13) is a slightly more sophisticated, user-friendly remote that can control three devices: TVs, cable or satellite boxes, and DVD players. It offers a lightweight, ergonomic design; large, easy-to-see numeric buttons, each in the shape of the number it represents; and a centrally located “my button” that gives your mom the ability turn on the TV and set the tuner to her favorite channel with a single button press. It also provides four “favorite” buttons for one-touch access to her favorite channels and an “all off ” button that lets her shut down the entire homeentertainment system with a single button press. Super-Sized Remotes There are also a number of oversized

TV remotes that are ideal for seniors with vision problems. The Tek Partner, Big Button, and Tek Pal remotes, all made by the Hy-Tek Manufacturing Company (www.bigbutton remotes.com, (630) 4667664) in Sugar Grove, Ill., are three solid options to consider. If you’re interested in an extra-large remote control, the $40 Tek Partner—which is 5.5 inches wide and 8.5 inches long—is their biggest. It offers huge, brightly lit buttons with big, readable characters and a narrowed center (3.5 inches), which makes it easy to handle for a big remote. It also contains only the essential

functions, making it easy to use and program, and it operates any combination of TVs, VCRs, DVD players, cable boxes, and satellite dishes. If you’re looking for something a little smaller (2.5 by 9.5 inches) there’s the $25, rectangular-shaped Big Button remote that offers the same large and illuminating buttons as the Tek Partner and the exact same features. Or, if you only want a basic remote for the TV, there’s the Tek Pal that comes with just six large buttons (on/off, mute, channel up and down, and volume up and down buttons) that light up when pushed. Available for $19, the Pal will only work with televisions that have cable wired directly into the TV. Jim Miller is a regular contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior Book. www.savvysenior.org

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Submissions should be 200 words or fewer and photos are encouraged. Email preferred to mjoyce@onlinepub.com or mail nominations to 50plus Senior News, Volunteer Spotlight, 3912 Abel Drive, Columbia, PA 17512.

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Assisted Living Residences/Personal Care Homes The listings with a shaded background have additional information about their center in a display advertisement in this edition.

Bethany Village — Maplewood

Homeland Center

325 Wesley Drive • Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 717-766-0279 • www.bethanyvillage.org

1901 North Fifth Street • Harrisburg, PA 17102 717-221-7727 • www.homelandcenter.org

Total AL and/or PC Beds: 100 Assisted Living Residence: Yes Private: 100 Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: Yes Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: No Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes

Total AL and/or PC Beds: 50 Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: No Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: Yes Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: Yes Part/Totally Refundable: Yes Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes

Alzheimer’s Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: Yes Comments: 1-bedroom suites; secured memory support neighborhood; skilled nursing – The Oaks.

Health Fee-for-Service Available: No Alzheimer’s Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: Yes Comments: Exemplary care in a caring, beautiful environment has been provided for more than 140 years. Our continuum includes a hospice program.

Brandywine Senior Living at Longwood

Homewood at Plum Creek

301 Victoria Gardens Drive • Kennett Square, PA 19348 484-734-6200 • www.brandycare.com

425 Westminster Avenue • Hanover, PA 17331 717-637-4166 • www.homewood.com

Total AL and/or PC Beds: 70 Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: Yes Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: No Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: Yes Part/Totally Refundable: No Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes

Total AL and/or PC Beds: 98 Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: No Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: Yes Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: No Part/Totally Refundable: No Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes

On-call Medical Service: No Health Fee-for-Service Available: No Alzheimer’s Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: Yes Comments: At Brandywine Senior Living – life is beautiful!

Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes Alzheimer’s Care: No Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: No Comments: Excellent care in a lovely environment. Call to schedule a visit.

Chapel Pointe

Lakeview at Tel Hai Retirement Community

770 South Hanover Street • Carlisle, PA 17013 717-249-1363 • www.chapelpointe.org

1200 Tel Hai Circle • Honey Brook, PA 19344 610-273-4602 • www.telhai.org

Total AL and/or PC Beds: 53 Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: No Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: No Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: No Part/Totally Refundable: No Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: No Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes

Total AL and/or PC Beds: 100 Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: Yes Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: Yes Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: Yes Part/Totally Refundable: Yes Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes

Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes Alzheimer’s Care: No Respite Care: No Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: No Pets Permitted: No

Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes Alzheimer’s Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: Yes Comments: Come discover a wonderful, faith-based community that has been voted No. 1 retirement community by readers of the Daily Local newspaper!

Colonial Lodge Community

Mennonite Home Communities

2015 North Reading Road • Denver, PA 17519 717-336-5501 • www.coloniallodgepa.com

1520 Harrisburg Pike • Lancaster, PA 17601 717-393-1301 • www.mennonitehome.org

Total AL and/or PC Beds: 70 Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: Yes Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: No Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: No Part/Totally Refundable: No Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes

Total AL and/or PC Beds: 150 Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: Yes Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: Yes Short-term Lease: No Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: Yes Part/Totally Refundable: No Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes

Health Fee-for-Service Available: No Alzheimer’s Care: No Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: No Comments: A veteran-approved “home for heroes” facility all in a beautiful, rural setting.

Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes Alzheimer’s Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: No Comments: Supportive, encouraging environment. Various room types and suites available. Secure memory care offered.

This is not an all-inclusive list of agencies and providers. These advertisers are eager to provide additional information about their services.

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December 2013

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Assisted Living Residences/Personal Care Homes The listings with a shaded background have additional information about their center in a display advertisement in this edition.

Normandie Ridge Senior Living Community

VibraLife

1700 Normandie Drive • York, PA 17408 717-764-6262 • www.normandieridge.org

707 Shepherdstown Road • Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 717-591-2100 • www.vibralife.net

Total AL and/or PC Beds: 55 Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: Yes Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: No Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: No Part/Totally Refundable: No Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes

Total AL and/or PC Beds: 46 Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: Yes Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: Yes Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: Yes Part/Totally Refundable: Yes Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes

Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes Alzheimer’s Care: No Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: No Comments: Private or shared living in spacious rooms with private baths. Friendly staff assist where needed to help maintain your independence.

Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes Alzheimer’s Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: Yes Comments: Gorgeous new construction. Short-term rehabilitation center and personal care apartments including secured memory care.

St. Anne’s Retirement Community 3952 Columbia Avenue West Hempfield Township, PA 17512 717-285-6112 • www.stannesrc.org Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: No Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: No Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: Minimal Part/Totally Refundable: No Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes

Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes Alzheimer’s Care: No Respite Care: No Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Pending Approval Pets Permitted: Yes

If you would like to be featured on this important page, please contact your account representative or call (717) 285-1350.

This is not an all-inclusive list of agencies and providers. These advertisers are eager to provide additional information about their services.

Such is Life

The Help Was a Source of Love Saralee Perel llen, the woman who raised me, had live-in quarters in our 15room, red-brick house. I do believe that my mother would have enjoyed tending to me, but she conducted herself in ways that Caucasian women in her society were taught to behave. Nonetheless, I don’t think she liked it. Within five minutes of Ellen serving dinner in the formal dining room, I’d become such a whiny irritant that my mother would let me leave the table and eat supper with Ellen in the kitchen. We’d talk and laugh and put together cardboard puzzles while we ate. I bet Mom would have loved to be excused from the table and have had her meals with us instead. In the night, I’d run, frightened, to

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me giggling while having Ellen’s room. I’d be afraid me perform a pirouette. to go back to sleep after Then I’d do a goofy, long, having a bad dream. She’d drawn-out bow to which say, “Baby, God gave us she’d respond by dreams so he’d have a enveloping me in her place to talk to us. When arms. God talks to us, there’s I think Mom would nothing to be scared of.” I would then fall asleep have gotten a big kick out next to her in her bed. of dressing me for parties. Whenever my mother I also bet she would have Saralee and Ellen discovered me there, she wanted to be the one who never made me go back to my bedroom. I put Mercurochrome on my constantly think she not only loved Ellen, but was scratched knees or who’d raid the also happy for me that I received maternal refrigerator with me in the night and eat love from someone so wonderful. the tuna noodle casserole right from the Ellen put up with my fidgeting when baking pan. she’d dress me to go to girlfriends’ My mother’s main undoing was that birthday parties. When done, she’d get she was convinced her lot in life was laid

out for her. And that there was not a damned thing that she thought she could do about it. I married someone who was not like my relatives—not Jewish, not wealthy, not even employed. What did I have that my mother didn’t? Love. Happiness. And society’s support that it was OK to make my own path. I know that Mom would have been just as nurturing as Ellen. I wish for her sake she had known that too. Saralee Perel is an award-winning, nationally syndicated columnist. Her new book is Cracked Nuts & Sentimental Journeys: Stories From a Life Out of Balance. To find out more, visit www.saraleeperel.com or email sperel@saraleeperel.com.

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CANVAS

from page 1

Occasionally, Robert and Barbara combine their distinctive skills and create a work of art together. When they do this, Robert does the basic painting before letting Barbara take over with the details. Robert prefers to work in watercolor and oil; Barbara prefers to work in pastel and oil. They both do a lot of realism and frequently paint general scenes, such as farmhouses or nature scenes. They have found people have a connection with those pieces because the scene reminds them of their childhood home or a place they used to vacation. Even though Robert and Barbara are both successful painters now, their journeys to their success were quite divergent. In his undergraduate years, Robert studied illustration at University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Later in 1990, he got his master’s degree in illustration from Syracuse University. Robert has truly been making a name for himself through his work. He has received numerous awards, has been published countless times, and is included in many collections, such as his pieces in the corporate collection at The Eastman-Kodak Corporation and in The

Harley-Davidson Art Institute of Museum. Pittsburgh. In addition to It wasn’t until creating pieces 2000, when the for others to York Art enjoy, Robert Association has also been contacted her to sharing his teach drawing knowledge classes, that she through began doing art on Various examples of Robert’s sketches. teaching. For a regular basis. more than 30 Once she started, years, he has taught courses in fine art, she didn’t rest. She stopped doing graphic illustration, painting, and life drawing at design and began teaching and painting the Art Institute of York. full time. His teachings and work have not gone Barbara taught at the Lancaster unappreciated; the school’s art studio was Museum of Art for a few years and has recently named the Robert E. Buchanan done a great amount of commission work Illustration Studio. for a variety of clients, including It is his work as a teacher, out of all Pfaltzgraff and the Hope Lodge in the honors and recognitions, that Robert Hershey. deems his greatest accomplishment. He “Art is the focus of my life now,” feels pride in knowing he helped students Barbara said. “The older I get, the get a start to a successful career by stronger my desire to create in the form increasing their knowledge of the field of painting becomes.” and honing their skills. Aging seems to have had a great effect Barbara’s background, on the other on Barbara’s confidence as well. As her hand, hasn’t always included painting. interest in painting has increased, so has For 24 years she worked in graphic her knowledge of the field. design, and before that, she took a two“You have to keep growing and learn year course in fashion illustration at the new things,” Barbara said. “There’s always

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going to be more to learn, and I’m never going to learn it all. “Every time I do a painting, I try to do it better than I did before. Doing the artwork has made me very content and happy in my life.” Robert has found that aging has given him a new drive to produce artwork. When he was younger, he was impatient; he always wanted to be doing something and going somewhere. He was not as motivated to paint as he is now. “You know you don’t have forever,” Robert explained. “[Age] drives you a little harder to realize you want to make a statement.” When they got married, Barbara and Robert combined not only their love for each other, but also their love for art. And through their marriage, they saved each other emotionally. “My greatest satisfaction,” Robert said, “is I’ve changed and helped one life on this earth, which is my wife.” Barbara and Robert will be showing their work in December and January at the Blue Moon Restaurant at 361 W. Market St., York. For more information, email Robert at rbuchanan@aii.edu, call at (717) 2240973, or visit www.robertebuchanan.com.

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Media Division, Magazine Fall 2012

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“Solace for Wounded Spirits” BY LORI VAN INGEN

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The Green Mountain Gardener

Herbs with a Holiday History Dr. Leonard Perry lthough any aromatic herb is ideal for holiday decorations, wreaths, and table centerpieces, four have biblical links with Christmas. Many crafts shops and florists carry these dried herb plants along with the baskets, bowls, and other trimmings needed for decorating. You may find live, cut sprigs of them at florists and garden stores during the holidays, perhaps even plants in pots. English pennyroyal, a perennial herb, was said to have been placed in the manger on the night of the Christ child’s birth and burst into bloom the moment the child was born. English pennyroyal adds a fragrant aroma to wreaths but can be toxic if ingested, so keep out of reach of pets and children. It is often used in potpourri and cosmetics and is native to southern Europe and western Asia. Rosemary is one of the most beautiful

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and fragrant of the seasonal herbs. According to folklore, rosemary will bring happiness for the coming year to anyone who smells it on Christmas Eve. During the flight into Egypt, Mary is said to have spread her child’s garments on a rosemary plant to dry. The flowers, originally white, turned blue and acquired the sweet scent they have today. Another legend claims that at midnight on Jan. 5, the “old Christmas Eve,” rosemary plants will simultaneously burst into flower in celebration of Christmas. Rosemary plants add attractiveness and fragrance to holiday wreaths and are especially suitable for tussie mussies, which are small bouquets made with dried flowers, doilies, and ribbons for use at individual place settings on the holiday dinner table. Rosemary plants are one of the most common holiday herbs you can find in

pots, often trained into various shapes, such as wreaths, hearts, or topiaries. Look for the trailing or pendulous selections, which you can try training on a wire or support into such a shape. Given a cool location with light— such as a minimally heated hallway with windows or an unheated room or garage (but not freezing, around 50 to 60 degrees F is ideal)—they can be kept indoors over winter. You’ll be rewarded with their light-blue flowers through much of fall. Put your potted rosemary outside in summer, gradually increasing the amount of light over a period of weeks to help them acclimate. Keep watered but not too wet. Wild thyme, a pungent herb and member of the mint family, was collected from the fields outside of Bethlehem to make a soft bed for Mary during the birth of her child. It is thought to have

antiseptic properties and was burned as incense later in history by the Greeks. Today thyme is a popular culinary seasoning but can be used in dried-flower arrangements, bouquets, and potpourri during the holiday season. Plant thyme next spring in raised beds or rock gardens. It is said the Virgin Mary dyed her newborn’s swaddling clothes by spreading them on a bed of wild lavender. This herb, also of the mint family, grows as a small evergreen shrub (but isn’t hardy outdoors in much of the cold North). It has gray-green leaves, light-purple flowers, and a sweet, floral scent. When dried, it can be used whole for wreaths and centerpieces or crushed to use in sachets for closets or drawers or to scent a bath. Dr. Leonard P. Perry is an extension professor at the University of Vermont.

Winter Hands I’m thankful for these winter hands of mine. They’re healthy and they’re strong. But they’re affected by the cold, When winter comes along. If I’d wear gloves when I go out, Perhaps they’d better be. But I forget to put them on, Then suffer, don’t you see? Those tiny cracks around the nails, Appear and cause some pain. I put some ointment on them then, They go away again. Each wintertime, it’s just the same. Discomfort it does bring. But I ignore as best I can, And know ’twill soon be spring. Written and submitted by Hubert L. Stern

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Cumberland County 50plus Senior News December 2013