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Lebanon County Edition

December 2011

Vol. 6 No. 12

Dickens-Inspired Village Ushers in the Holidays By Katie Weeber At Christmastime, George McMurty is always confronted with a challenge: finding the perfect gift for his wife. The challenge is further complicated by the couple’s wedding anniversary, which falls on Dec. 26, turning every holiday season into the search for two special gifts. One year, McMurty’s gift selection inadvertently sparked a tradition that is now a favorite element of the Christmas scenery at their retirement community. That Christmas, McMurty asked his daughter to help him with his gift search. While shopping, both were attracted to a collection of lighted Dickens’ Village houses, and McMurty purchased two of the buildings for his wife. The Dickens’ Village Series was developed and produced in 1984 by Department 56 as part of the company’s Heritage Village Collection. Inspired by Victorian England, the series contained seven shops and a church. Since that time, the Heritage Village Collection has been expanded tremendously to include many new village series, including The New England Village Series and The Alpine Village Series. The result is a line of countless Christmastime houses, figures, and accessories, many inspired by Victorian England or the works of Charles Dickens. After his first purchase, McMurty quickly came to realize just how extensive the village collections were. please see DICKENS page 10 It takes about two weeks for George McMurty to set up and add his own special touches to his 135-piece Dickens’ Village.

Inside:

Traveltizers: Christmas Travel page 2

Guard Against Identity Theft page 14

Landisville, PA Permit No. 3

PAID PRSRT STANDARD U.S. POSTAGE


Travel Appetizers: Stories that Whet the Appetite for Travel

Traveltizers

Christmas Travel: Colonial Cakes and Spanish Stew By Andrea Gross artha Washington tops Martha Stewart on my list of hostesses extraordinaire. In order to prepare for her Christmas guests, the first Martha whipped 40 eggs, 4 pounds of butter, 4 pounds of sugar, and 5 pounds of flour into a massive cake. Meanwhile, almost 2,000 miles away, in a part of the country that was most likely beyond the imagination of the first family, Native Americans joined Spanish settlers in serving posole and enchiladas. Today, modern renditions of these holiday festivities take place at George and Martha’s Mount Vernon home in Virginia and around an adobe plaza in New Mexico.

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A Mount Vernon Christmas I don’t expect to see a camel at Mount Vernon. Christmas trees, poinsettias, even a gingerbread house ‌ sure. But a camel? Then I learn that when

MOUNT VERNON LADIES’ ASSOCIATION

Washington rented a camel to entertain guests during the Christmas holidays. Today, Mount Vernon does the same. MOUNT VERNON LADIES’ ASSOCIATION

A gingerbread version of Mount Vernon is on display throughout the holidays.

Washington wasn’t off winning wars or fathering a country, he enjoyed playing with exotic animals and often rented a camel to entertain his Christmas guests. In 1789, George Washington spent his first Christmas as president attending St. Paul’s Church in New York City. The following week he returned to Mt.

Vernon where he and Martha relaxed with family and friends. Camels aside, the president’s Christmas, as most 18th-century Christmases, was low keyed compared to today. There would have been few gifts and certainly no Santas or reindeer, neither of which became popular

Christmas symbols until the 19th century. Today, Christmas at Mount Vernon is still mostly about welcoming guests. In addition to the regular attractions, which include tours of the mansion as well as the slave quarters, stables, gardens, and farm, the holiday season brings a host of special delights. I go into the mansion, past 12 decorated trees, through the dining room where a table is set to accommodate guests, and up to the garret chamber, which is only open during the holidays. “This is where Martha lived the last years of her life,� says a cheery woman who’s dressed in Colonial garb. “After George died, she never returned to their shared quarters.� The thought of a lonely woman huddled in an attic room saddens me, so to lift my spirits, I follow the smell of chocolate and cinnamon. In the kitchen a woman is stirring chocolate by an open fire, just as it was done in Colonial days. please see TRAVEL page 9

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December 2011

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

Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning Dri-Masters Carpet Dry Cleaning (717) 260-3563/(717) 769-1533 Construction Tri-Valley Contractors (717) 277-7674

CONTACT Helpline (717) 652-4400

PennDOT (800) 932-4600

Kidney Foundation (717) 652-8123

Recycling (800) 346-4242

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (717) 652-6520

Social Security Information (800) 772-1213

Lupus Foundation (888) 215-8787

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (800) 827-1000

Office of Aging Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging (717) 273-9262 Pharmacies CVS/pharmacy www.cvs.com Senior Centers

Emergency Numbers Poison Control Center (800) 222-1222

Hearing Aid Services Hearing & Ear Care Center, LLC (717) 274-3851

Food Resources Food & Clothing Bank (717) 274-2490 Food Stamps (800) 692-7462 Hope/Christian Ministries (717) 272-4400 Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging Meals on Wheels (717) 273-9262 Salvation Army (717) 273-2655 Health & Medical Services Alzheimer’s Association (717) 651-5020 American Cancer Society (717) 231-4582 American Diabetes Association (717) 657-4310 American Heart Association (717) 273-0463 American Lung Association (717) 541-5864 American Stroke Association (717) 273-0463 Arthritis Foundation (717) 274-0754 Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (717) 787-7500

Melnick, Moffitt, and Mesaros (717) 274-9775 Home Care Services Central Penn Nursing Care, Inc. (717) 361-9777 (717) 569-0451 Hospitals Good Samaritan Hospital (717) 270-7500 Medical Society of Lebanon County (717) 270-7500

Energy Assistance (800) 692-7462

Lebanon County Housing & Redevelopment Authorities (717) 274-1401 Insurance

Maple Street Senior Community Center (717) 273-1048 Myerstown Senior Community Center (717) 866-6786 Northern Lebanon County Senior Community Center (717) 865-0944 Palmyra Senior Community Center (717) 838-8237 Senior Center of Lebanon Valley (717) 274-3451

Medicare Hotline (800) 638-6833 Legal Services

Southern Lebanon County Senior Community Center (717) 274-7541

Pennsylvania Bar Association (717) 238-6715

Governor’s Veterans Outreach (717) 234-1681

Medical Equipment & Supplies

Environmental Protection Agency Emergency Hotline (800) 541-2050 IRS Income Tax Assistance (800) 829-1040

PA Crime Stoppers (800) 472-8477

Housing Assistance & Resources Program (HARP) (717) 273-9328

Annville Senior Community Center (717) 867-1796

Veterans Services

Hotlines

Medicare (800) 382-1274

Hope (Helping Our People in Emergencies) (717) 272-4400

MidPenn Legal Services (717) 274-2834

The Reading Hospital (610) 988-4357

Medicaid (800) 692-7462

Housing Assistance

GSH Home Med Care, Inc. (717) 272-2057 Neurosurgery & Physiatry Lancaster NeuroScience & Spine Associates (717) 569-5331 (800) 628-2080 Nursing Homes/Rehab Spang Crest Manor (717) 274-1495

Not an all-inclusive list of advertisers in your area.

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December 2011

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Salute to a Veteran

The Me-109’s Cannon Blasted a 4-Foot Hole in His B-17’s Wing

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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SeniorNews is published by On-Line Publishers, Inc. and is distributed monthly among senior centers, retirement communities, banks, grocers, libraries and other outlets serving the senior community. On-Line Publishers, Inc. will not knowingly accept or publish advertising which may be fraudulent or misleading in nature. Views expressed in opinion stories, contributions, articles and letters are not necessarily the views of the publisher. The appearance of advertisements for products or services does not constitute an endorsement of the particular product or service. The publisher will not be responsible for mistakes in advertisements unless notified within five days of publication. On-Line Publishers, Inc. reserves the right to revise or reject any and all advertising. No part of this publication may be reproduced or reprinted without permission of On-Line Publishers, Inc. We will not knowingly publish any advertisement or information not in compliance with the Federal Fair Housing Act, Pennsylvania State laws or other local laws.

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Robert D. Wilcox hen John (Jack) Herr was to load drums and ammunition From there it was to Kingman born in 1925, he was a belts. Army Air Field, in Kingman, Ariz., direct descendant of Hans Herr remembers well that he had for three months where Herr flew in Herr, who was a Mennonite bishop to be able to strip his gun and B-17s, honing his skills by firing at who came to this country during the reassemble it while blindfolded and tow targets. Then, finally, it was to early 1700s and became, with his wearing gloves … and with the Lincoln, Neb., where he was shipmates, the first settlers in gunnery instructor observing with a assigned to a B-17 crew. Lancaster County. stopwatch. Blindfolded because it The crew went by ship from That gentle man had had the Newport News to Marseilles, courage to cross an enormous France. Then it was to Algiers and ocean in the flimsiest of ships to back to Naples, Italy, and then live among natives who might going from there by rail to their have thought nothing of killing base in Foggia, Italy, where they him at any time. But it would be became part of the 416th Squadron of the 99th Bomb Group. interesting to speculate on what Once there, Herr was to he would have thought about the quickly learn that combat could grave dangers faced by his kill you. He flew 11 missions descendant of some 18 before war’s end, and on each one generations who, with millions of he had not just flak, not just other young people, fought World enemy fighters, but both. On all War II. of them, he saw other B-17s going Jack Herr knew from the down in flames, but somehow his beginning that he wanted to be a crew lucked out and always got pilot. So, upon graduating from back to base. high school in 1943, he enlisted Was any mission especially in the Army and requested hairy? “Oh, yeah,” he says, with assignment to the Aviation Cadet John H. (Jack) Herr his eyes closing at the memory. program. Thanks in part to a as an aviation cadet in 1944. “Our second mission was Berlin. strong letter of recommendation That was an especially heavily from his high school protected target. And it was an principal, D.L. Biemesderfer, exceptionally long-range target he was accepted into the for us. We were on oxygen for program. most of the mission, since we After basic training, he was turned it on at 10,000 feet. sent to a College Training You had to remember to Detachment at Drake squeeze the oxygen tube every University in Des Moines, few minutes, or it would freeze Iowa. Then he was sent to the up on you, and you wouldn’t Classification Center at Santa get any oxygen at all. Ana, Calif. During the war “When we got to the years, that was one of the centers where it was Four of Herr’s buddies (at right) standing in the hole target, the sky was just black with all the bursts of flak. determined whether a cadet that had been blasted in the wing of his B-17. Then, after we had dropped was to become a pilot, our bombs and turned to navigator, or bombardier. head home, there came the fighters. When Herr got there, however, he was tough to look straight down One Me-109 flew right through our got the bad news that the Air Corps when you were zipped up to the formation and blew a huge hole in had all the men in those specialties neck in a bulky flight suit. In gloves our right wing with his cannon. that they could use. So, he was given because it was often 60 degrees With it went our aileron control, a number of assignments from which below zero at altitude. If he were to and we had yet to fly over the Alps he could choose. One of them was touch his gun with bare skin, it to get home. One of our guys on the gunnery, so that’s what he picked. would freeze to the metal. right side in the waist yelled, ‘Hey, Off he went to Lowery Field in For a few weeks, they fired daily look at our wing’ as he saw the big Denver, Colo., where he learned on the range. And then they flew in hole and the fuel streaming out of it. how to maintain and clean .50aircraft and fired at tow targets, “We had lost one of our engines caliber machine guns, how to tear learning how to lead the target so in the attack, too. So we were down and reassemble them, and how the fired bullets would hit it.

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sweating out getting past the Alps. Fortunately, however, our pilot was able to thread his way through the peaks and get us back. At our base, we had to manually crank down the wheels, and we made a picture-perfect landing on our first (and which would probably have been our only) pass at the field. I truly don’t know how much flying time we had left, but it was next to nothing.” The rest of Herr’s missions were tough, and when he had finished his combat, he had earned the European African Middle Eastern Campaign medal with three Bronze Stars. Herr came back

to the U.S. from Naples on an ocean liner and was separated from the service as a staff sergeant in January 1946. He returned to the family business, John Herr’s Village Market, where he had worked since age 16. In 1974, he presided, as president, at the opening of the new and much larger store and finally retired in 2001. In retirement, he says with a chuckle, “I still go in once a week just to make sure everything is OK.” Colonel Wilcox flew a B-17 bomber in Europe in WWII.

LIHEAP Now Open Pennsylvanians who may have trouble paying Household sizes and maximum income their home-heating bill this limits for LIHEAP’s 2011-12 season winter can now apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program 1 person – $16,335 6 people – $44,985 (LIHEAP). 2 people – $22,065 7 people – $50,715 The federally funded 3 people – $27,795 8 people – $56,445 LIHEAP program offers 4 people – $33,525 9 people – $62,175 both cash and crisis grants 5 people – $39,255 10 people – $67,905 to those who meet income guidelines. Cash grants help to pay (For each additional person, add $5,730) for heating bills and are sent directly to the recipient’s utility company to offset their office. Residents can also apply in person at county assistance offices. bill. Crisis grants help households if This year, changes to income limits there is an emergency and they are in and grant amounts have been made in danger of being without heat. Crisis anticipation of federal funding grants may be used to purchase reductions. The minimum cash benefit additional fuel or fix broken heating recipients may receive is now $100 and equipment. the maximum crisis grant amount $300. Apply for a LIHEAP grant online at Pennsylvanians in need are also urged www.compass.state.pa.us or download to stretch their home-heating budget by an application form from the Department of Public Welfare website at properly insulating their home and keeping thermostats at a reasonable www.dpw.state.pa.us and return the temperature. application to their county assistance

In honor of World War II vets ... and in memory of the attack on Pearl Harbor LANCASTER NEUROSCIENCE & SPINE ASSOCIATES Central PA’s Premier Brain and Spine Team

NEUROSURGEONS Eddy Garrido, MD John A. Gastaldo, MD Keith R. Kuhlengel, MD Christopher D. Kager, MD William T. Monacci, MD James C. Thurmond, MD PHYSIATRISTS Elliot B. Sterenfeld, MD Tony T. Ton-That, MD Eric I. Finkelstein, MD

See our Physicians at our Lebanon Office:

PHYSICAL THERAPISTS Robert Gieringer, PT, DPT, CKTP Brian McClenahan, PT, OCS, Dip.MDT

1510 Cornwall Road, Lebanon For an appointment at our office on Cornwall Road please call 717-569-5331 or toll-free in PA 1-800-628-2080.

1671 Crooked Oak Drive, Lancaster PA 17601 • (717) 569-5331 1510 Cornwall Road, Lebanon, PA 17042 • (717) 454-0061 Toll Free in PA (800) 628-2080 •

www.lancasterneuroscience.com

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.

“The Swiss have an interesting army. Five hundred years without a war. Pretty impressive. Also pretty lucky for them. Ever see that little Swiss Army knife they have to fight with? Not much of a weapon there. Corkscrews. Bottle openers. ‘Come on, buddy, let’s go. You get past me, the guy in back of me, he’s got a spoon. Back off. I’ve got the toe clippers right here.’” – Jerry Seinfeld www.50plusSeniorNewsPA.com

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Additional Comments

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Mennonite Home Communities 1520 Harrisburg Pike Lancaster, PA 17601 717-390-1301 www.mennonitehome.org

Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community 625 Robert Fulton Highway Quarryville, PA 17566 717-786-7321 www.quarryville.com Spring Creek Rehabilitation & Health Care Center 1205 South 28th Street Harrisburg, PA 17111 717-565-7000 www.springcreekcares.com

StoneRidge Retirement Living 440 East Lincoln Avenue Myerstown, PA 17067 717-866-3200 www.stoneridgeretirement.com

The Village of Laurel Run 6375 Chambersburg Road Fayetteville, PA 17222 717-352-2721 www.laurelrunliving.com

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Creativity Matters

Creating Age-Friendly Cities, Part 1

By Myles Mellor and Sally York

Judith Zausner

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e know it’s coming. The silver formed a partnership with The New York tsunami is rising. Academy of Medicine to consult with the Baby boomer Americans are city’s seniors, service providers, advocates, getting older and continuing to increase and experts” with a four-year timeline for in startling numbers. The U.S. Census implementation. With 59 public-sector Bureau predicts that between 2000 and initiatives in progress, seniors will reap 2050 there will be a 147 percent increase benefits of being safer and more engaged in demographics for individuals aged 65 than other large cities facing such and over, while the entire population as a changing demographics. whole will increase by only 49 percent. Mayor Bloomberg says, “… As older Older adults will represent more than 20 New Yorkers continue to redefine the percent of the population. aging experience, government has a So what are cities and towns doing to responsibility to keep pace and to find prepare for this demographic change? innovative ways to empower this What should be done to build agecommunity and improve its quality of friendly cities and life.” It’s no wonder towns? that older New Fortunately, there Yorkers are moving When city changes back from Florida. are some leaders and innovators. Many urban leaders are implemented In New York City, are tackling these to assist older Mayor Michael issues because creating Bloomberg has begun adults, it positively age-friendly cities is an to change the face of imperative. They are impacts other senior centers. Once also aware that when just a drop-off place to city changes are groups. avoid isolation, there implemented to assist are eight pilot centers older adults, it now on their way to being an intentional positively impacts other groups. For destination with vital activities such as example, everyone could use outdoor underwater photography, rooftop seating, we all would like accessible gardening, technology courses, and video public toilets, and pedestrian crossings conferencing. They will also be the first reconfigured to accommodate slow in the country dedicated to supporting walkers would also help pregnant the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender women, adults with small children, and (LGBT) communities and also focus on people with disabilities. seniors with vision problems. Cities are dynamic places to live. This city is also creatively mining their Many empty nesters are moving to or assets. Idle school buses are being used to staying in urban areas for easy access to take seniors grocery shopping from transportation, a range of social services, senior centers. Senior centers will offer and a plethora of cultural opportunities. studio space to artists in exchange for They pay taxes, fuel the economy, and their services, such as teaching art classes contribute in a variety of ways that to center members. maintain a diverse and involved presence. The critical key continues to be Creating age-friendly cities is not only communication and support in a an obligation, but also an important way networked approach among stakeholders to grow vital and harmonious and others to make the Age-Friendly communities. NYC project effective and sustainable. Judith Zausner can be reached at According to the World Health judith@caringcrafts.com. Organization, “The mayor’s office

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Across 1. Graphical user interface feature 5. Latke ingredient 11. Attain 14. Game name 15. Trash container 16. Old Tokyo 17. Restrain 18. Calkins 19. Inflamed 20. Not extreme 23. Like old records 24. Choppers 25. Yellowfin, e.g. Down 1. SALT concern 2. Demand 3. Best 4. “You ___ bother!” 5. Clip 6. Capital on a fjord 7. Grand ___ 8. Decrease 9. Church donation 10. Attack 11. “My ___!” 12. It comes to mind 13. Sarah’s husband 21. Potter

28. 1995 hurricane 32. Its symbol is an omega 35. Present 38. Cartoon art 39. Taking drastic measures 42. Hitchcockian 43. Like some colonies 44. Harvester ___ 45. First place? 46. Cargo boat type 48. Cherokee and Wrangler

53. Foreign currency 56. Tolerance 62. One with a supporting role 63. More viscous 64. Way to go 65. Tide alternative 66. Short musical pieces 67. Mythology anthology 68. Departure announcement 69. Abandon 70. Textile worker

22. 26. 27. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 36.

41. 47. 49. 50. 51. 52. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61.

River of Lyon Excluding Asian buffalo Cotton fabric Grace period? In case Double curve Worked the soil Slough Mushroom you can eat 37. Departure 38. Historian Toynbee 40. Soldier of fortune

Black gunk Alate Just beat Gush Reverent Like a snicker “___ or not ...” In reserve Give away Bank Lothario’s look Bucks Start with while Telephone button

Solution on page 14

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December 2011

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Art and Antiques by Dr. Lori

Easy Tips to Stop China Damage Dr. Lori

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Display other collectible objects bubble wrap. Do not store your china in (figurines, ceramic bells, etc.) elsewhere. bubble wrap long term because bubble Don’t crowd fine china; it needs room to wrap traps heat. Heat may damage the prevent damage and to show off its glaze or the decorative pigment. beauty. When moving If you must your fine china, move your prepare for the china, wrap each worst. I use the piece old adage “wrap, individually. Do wrap, and not use reinforce.” Wrap newspaper as the piece once in wrapping as the tissue paper, wrap newsprint may twice in bubble bleed onto your wrap or a terrychina and leave cloth towel, and Photo: www.DrLoriV.com gray streaks or then reinforce the A Royal Doulton bone china bowl with dark stains. inside of the box hand-painted decoration. Individually with packaging wrap each piece material in acid-free tissue, then wrap it again in a (newspapers, Styrofoam peanuts, etc). white cotton cloth (small terrycloth face You will use a lot of material but it will cloths or hand towels work well) or protect your valuable china.

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Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and awardwinning TV personality, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide and appears on the Fine Living Network and on TV’s Daytime. Visit www.DrLoriV.com or call (888) 431-1010.

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:

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Another solution for wrapping china is to use disposable diapers because they are cushiony and have sticky tabs attached; no need for extra tape. Remember that breakage to any one piece in a china set will negatively impact the value of the entire set. When packing or shipping fine china vases, bowls, tureens, chandeliers, etc., it is wise to pack Styrofoam or foam peanuts on the inside as well as on the outside of the piece. The internal and external packaging will protect the body of the china. One last tip … take as much time and care unwrapping your china as you did wrapping it.

Thank You, Columnists!

Thank You!

hen it comes to fine china, the phrase “handle with care” couldn’t be more important. Everyone knows that china is fragile, yet we still want to use it as if it were paper. Fine china—be it Meissen, Wedgwood, or Royal Copenhagen—should be used with care. Rule No. 1: Don’t place fine china in the dishwasher, refrigerator, or microwave. If you chose to display your fine china in a china cabinet, give your collection breathing room. Do not stack plates more than six plates high, and place separators in between each piece. Display teacups atop their saucers. Don’t hang teacups on hooks within a china cabinet since that display option places undue stress on the teacup’s handle and forces you to screw a hook into your wooden china cabinet, damaging the furniture. A full set of fine china should be displayed by itself in one china cabinet.

Chaz Allen (Little-Known Facts) 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) Clyde McMillan-Gamber (The Beauty in Nature) Myles Mellor (crossword puzzles) Jim Miller (The Savvy Senior) Candace O’Donnell (Balancing Act) Victor Parachin (Fragments of History) Saralee Perel (Such is Life) Dr. Leonard Perry (The Green Mountain Gardener) W.E. Reinka (Silver Threads) 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) Sherra Zavitsanos (Social Security News)

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. 

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TRAVEL

from page 2

GAK STONN

Ledoux Street is filled with merrymakers and art lovers during the holidays.

TINA LARKIN OF THE TAOS NEWS

GRAHAM’S GRILLE

Christmas trees and luminarias decorate the plaza during the holidays.

Posole is a traditional dish during the holidays.

Nearby there’s a large gingerbread house designed to look like Mount Vernon as well as Martha’s grand cake, which was modeled after those traditionally served on the 12th day of Christmas (Jan. 6). A guide offers me the recipe, but the mention of 40 eggs and 4 pounds of butter leads to thoughts of calories and cholesterol, and I politely decline. That night a costumed actor cajoles me into dancing the Virginia reel, and a costumed Martha leads a candlelight tour of the mansion. I sing carols by the fireplace, sip cider, and reluctantly bid goodbye to Mount Vernon and George’s Christmas camel. www.mountvernon.org

in-your-mouth Christmas cookies that are flavored with anise and cinnamon. The original recipe dates back to the Spanish colonists. For heartier fare, I try posole, a spicy stew of meat and corn that’s served in most Taos restaurants throughout the holiday season. After the 16th century when missionaries converted many of the Natives to Catholicism, Spanish and Native American customs blended and eventually created traditions that are distinctly New Mexican. In this spirit, the 1,200-year-old Taos Pueblo has a Christmas Eve vespers service as well as Christmas and New Year’s Day celebrations that feature the Deer or Matachines (animal) dances. Anglo customs are highlighted (pun intended) with a gloriously tall Christmas tree that dominates the town plaza. In addition, the Taos Chamber Music Group presents “A Classical Holiday Encore.” But my favorite holiday activity is the annual Lighting of Ledoux, a tradition of mixed origins during which luminarias guide people up the winding road that’s home to Taos’ famed art galleries and studios. All the while, the piney aroma of piñón smoke wafts through the chilly desert air. For me as for many people, that signals that Christmas has come to Taos. www.taos.org

A New Mexican Holiday Santa has an easy time in Taos, N.M., where the town’s flat, adobe rooftops provide sure footing for his team of reindeer. But while the town welcomes St. Nick, its holiday charm is rooted in its blend of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo traditions. The Hispanic culture is represented by the farolitos (small bonfires) and luminarias (paper bags lit with votive candles) that shine from streets to rooftops, bathing the town in a soft glow. Las Posadas, a candlelight procession that reenacts Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter, takes place from Dec. 16–24. As for Hispanic holiday food, I become addicted to biscochitos, the meltwww.50plusSeniorNewsPA.com

Story by Andrea Gross (www.andreagross.com)

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December 2011

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DICKENS

from page 1

“I realized how many buildings there which contains houses, like Tiny Tim’s, were and I just started buying them each and some other related buildings, like year,” he said. churches and the police department. From that year on, McMurty The second area, located next to the purchased four to eight buildings residential section, contains what annually, and his original gift set to his McMurty calls the “clean” businesses. wife soon grew into a sizeable collection. These buildings in this section are He now has around 135 pieces. business oriented and include the jewelry Beside buildings, McMurty’s collection store, clothing store, candy store, and includes figures of people, many leather shop. characters from Dickens’ novels. His The third area contains the “unclean” collection also features several large, businesses, like the blacksmith shop, special pieces. Some of these are fictional warehouses, and the brewery. palaces and churches mentioned in “I lay it out as much as I can as you Dickens’ works, while some, like the would expect a regular town to look,” replicas of Big Ben, the Tower of London, McMurty said. and Kensington The display, Palace, are wonderful which contains renditions of realaround 60 houses in world locations. total, also receives a Every Christmas, number of special McMurty would touches from take the time to set McMurty. He sets up his collection in a up the lighting for winter display for his each building and house. As the then cuts pieces of number of pieces in cotton, which he lays his collection grew out between and on each year, the task the houses as a Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim from became more and blanket of snow. The A Christmas Carol pose outside more monumental. result is a beautiful their home. McMurty recalls a winter scene, time when the collection became a complete with children sledding in the permanent fixture in the house. streets and workers coming and going “I was able to have a room in the from their places of employment. The basement that we dedicated to the entire process takes about two weeks. Dickens’ Village. For four or five years, I The Dickens’ Village has been a huge never took it down. I would change it a success and has become one of the bit each year, of course,” he said. retirement community’s most favored When the McMurtys moved to Willow holiday displays. It is not advertised and Valley Retirement Community, the sits in what might be considered an outDickens’ Village was put in storage, but of-the-way location, but its popularity not for long. One year, residents began continues to grow as residents spread its looking for extra Christmas decorations to story by word of mouth. use to decorate some of the building’s “Each year there have been more and common spaces. One such common space more people. I’ve had a lot of nice is not far from McMurty’s apartment. compliments about it,” McMurty said. “It’s usually used as a place where a McMurty has enjoyed the Dickens’ jigsaw puzzle is set up that the residents Village for years and takes pleasure in work on. At Christmastime they went to sharing it with others. decorate it a little differently. One woman “I just really enjoy putting it together asked my wife if there was anything she and looking at it afterwards. I never knew they could use to decorate it with,” started it as something to put on display McMurty said. or show. It’s been a personal pleasure for McMurty’s wife immediately suggested me to do. I get a big kick out of it,” he the use of the Dickens’ Village houses, said. and, with her help, McMurty went to McMurty’s wife has occasionally work on a display. mentioned that the Dickens’ Village grew McMurty spends a great deal of time out of hand over the years, taking over planning the community’s display. He has entire rooms and storage cages. As developed a system of organization, with McMurty explains, however, the village each house and character holding a never would have come into being specific place. The display contains three without his need to purchase a gift for her. tables, each representing three sections of “I think she secretly enjoys it,” he said. a Victorian town. The residents of Willow Valley and The first area is the residential section, their holiday visitors certainly do.

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The Squint-Eyed Senior

Christmas by the Book

As of 2010, almost 15 million seniors were on Facebook. Theodore Rickard

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ometimes I think we have all become unwitting victims of both Charles Dickens and Norman Rockwell or, at least, our vision of their creations. We became hopelessly self-convinced that the roaring fireplace and jolly Mr. Fezziwig might be real and that there will surely still be a job there when we go back to work on Dec. 26. And, certainly, the smiling turkey carver at the head of the table will still have room on the Visa card for his spouse to hit the post-holiday sales. However, we who have survived to retirement know how wishful these little dreams really were in our own times of job holding and child raising. Nevertheless, we treasured the cozy fiction then and I, for one, still do now. The whole family knows that the sonin-law’s employer is downsizing its middle management—again. And the oldest son’s business, once so promising, is stuck in the doldrums, even though the bank was willing to extend the loans one more time. I think I’ve heard this before: that was in the ’70s when, besides a frozen economy, we had the additional specter of nuclear incineration threatened by a madman tyrant sworn to destroy us. We wondered then if Norman Rockwell’s beaming holiday family would live long enough for Easter. And we suspected Mr. Fezziwig’s business would be in bankruptcy by New Year’s. But Santa came anyway in those years. He brought more wardrobe pieces for Barbie and extra straight track for the electric train. International crises, vicious political confrontations, and domestic financial problems raged unabated. But somehow there were tennis rackets and first baseman’s mitts—and skis followed by several weeks in a cast, being chauffeured to school, and going on crutches to the junior prom. This last

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was first viewed as the depth of embarrassment to the would-be femme fatale. But the next day we noticed that her cast had been signed by more than a dozen new names, and all of them were male. At Christmas there may be bomb threats in Bethlehem and terror in Wall Street—each with the familiar ring of years-ago disasters. However, for a single day at least, we can leave hysteria outside. And we will do so again this year. Now the once-children have children of their own. The electric train has been divided up between two of the boys and, to no one’s surprise, one daughter. And it has been hugely expanded since. The grandchildren aren’t terribly interested in the tin crossing gate that actually goes down when the train approaches, not nearly as much as their fathers and their uncles are. These folks join Grandfather on hands and knees to watch the train go through the tunnel and insist on turning off all the lights so the sweep of the train’s locomotive lights can be seen more clearly—and fully appreciated. A few years ago, Barbie’s original wardrobe and personal property were heartlessly sold on eBay by a college senior facing eviction. Her sisters say they have forgiven her. I think her mother has, too. But I’m not so sure the once-impecunious student has forgiven herself. Not if we judge by what she gave her nieces for Christmas: Paris Hilton doesn’t have this kind of wardrobe. The dinner table this year will once more make room for a highchair and a chubby, tow-headed occupant. Highchairs now, I find, have seatbelts. But I’m proud to say that this grandchild has found a way to squirm out of the chair, despite the belts, and end up in Grandmother’s lap, where the sippy cup is waved in juice-strewing triumph and it’s much easier to pull at www.50plusSeniorNewsPA.com


the tablecloth and tip over the wine glasses. That’s why there are mothers and aunts: to do the mopping up. Grandmother has the baby in her lap and Grandpa is busy fixing the crossing gate. Dessert will be the traditional choice of pies. Then there is a second crisis—a decision involving whipped cream or ice cream on top. A halfwhispered estimate of “at least 500 calories” will be made, with appropriate scorn, by the high-school

freshman granddaughter who is getting a “B” in home ec. She is convinced that her parents have managed to make it this far in life only via miraculous divine intervention—or hers. Then, somewhere around her sophomore year in college after two years of dorm food, she will become a family dinner enthusiast and we won’t hear any more about calories. Mr. Fezziwig didn’t count calories. Not at Christmas. Why should we?

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 2011 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!

Many Reasons to Celebrate

December is a month of many holiday celebrations crossing a variety of cultures, nationalities, and beliefs. Here’s a quick snapshot of what people celebrate, and why: Al Hijra. The Islamic new year, observed in 2011 from Nov. 26 through Dec. 24. Al Hijra marks the emigration of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 A.D. Hanukkah. This Jewish holiday begins in 2011 on Dec. 20 (at sundown) and lasts through Dec. 28. Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after the Jewish victory over the Maccabees in 165 B.C. Each night, families light one candle on the menorah, observing the traditional story

of how the oil for the temple’s eternal flame burned for eight days. Christmas. Observed on Dec. 25, this Christian holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus, probably between the years 7 and 2 B.C. The 25th may have been chosen to correspond with a Roman holiday honoring the sun during the same period. Christmas became a federal holiday in the United States in 1870. Kwanzaa. A seven-day celebration of African heritage and culture, Kwanzaa is observed from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. Activist Ron Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 to emphasize AfricanAmericans’ shared history and experience. The name Kwanzaa is derived from “matunda ya kwanza,” a Swahili phrase meaning “first fruits.”

Know Your Mistletoe Kissing under the mistletoe is a custom that has spawned any number of popular songs, love affairs, and slaps across the faces of unwanted suitors. The origins of the traditional are unknown. Here’s one story: In Viking mythology, the god Baldr was killed through the trickery of Loki, who caused Baldr’s blind brother to shoot him with a poisoned dart made of mistletoe. Baldr’s mother, Frigga, the goddess of love, was stricken with grief. When her www.50plusSeniorNewsPA.com

tears fell on a mistletoe plant, the berries turned from red to white (mistletoe has both red and white berries), and this brought her son back from the dead. Because Frigga was so grateful to have her son restored, she kissed everyone who walked beneath the mistletoe. The berries are important to the tradition: According to etiquette, a man who kisses a woman under the mistletoe is supposed to remove one berry for each kiss. When the berries are gone, no more kisses are allowed.

Braintwisters 1. What holiday celebrates the end of slavery in the United States? A. Sweetest Day B. Freedom Day C. Kwanzaa D. Juneteenth Day 2. Celebration of the Jewish New Year is known as what? A. Yom Kippur B. Rosh Hashanah C. Ramadan D. Purim 3. During what ancient festival did masters temporarily serve their slaves? A. Lupercalia B. Saturnalia C. Floralia D. Agonia 4. What holiday was established in California in 1966 by scholar/activist Dr. Maulana Karenga? A. Earth Day B. Flag Day C. Kwanzaa D. National S’mores Day 5. In the Netherlands, what is the name of Santa Claus’s helper who judges which children were bad during the year? A. Green Eric B. Eli the Elf C. Black Peter D. Mrs. Claus Source: UsefulTrivia.com

This month’s answers on page 14

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December 2011

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Savvy Senior

How Seniors Can Guard Against Identity Theft Jim Miller Guard your SSN: Treat your SSN like your most prized possession. Never carry your Social Security card around in your wallet or purse, don’t write your SSN on checks (except those you send to the IRS), and never give your SSN, credit card number, checking or savings account numbers to strangers who call, visit, text, or send email messages to you, even if they seem legitimate. And, don’t carry around your Medicare card either, unless you’re going

Dear Savvy Senior, What tips and resources can you recommend to help seniors guard against identity theft? My next-door neighbor, who’s 79, recently had her identity stolen and I want to make sure it doesn’t happen to me. – Cautious Connie Dear Connie, Identity theft continues to be a big problem in the U.S., affecting around 9 million people every year—many of whom are seniors. Identity theft occurs when someone gets access to your Social Security number (SSN), bank or credit card account number, or other identifying information and uses it to steal from you. While there’s no ironclad protection against ID theft, here are some things you can do to minimize your risks.

to the doctor. Your Medicare card contains your SSN. Be wary of emails: If you use the Internet, don’t trust emails that claim to be from the Social Security Administration, the IRS, or other government agencies. Also be leery of emails that look like they’re from your bank, telephone company, or credit card company. Remember that only phony emails will ask for your credit card number or

SSN. For more Internet fraud tips, including a list of common online scams, see onguardonline.gov. Secure your mail: Empty your mailbox quickly, or consider getting a P.O. box or buy a locked mailbox to deter thieves. Also, don’t leave outgoing mail in your mailbox. To put a stop to prescreened creditcard offers that thieves look to intercept, use the consumer credit reporting industry opt-out service at optoutprescreen.com or call (888) 5678688—they will ask for your SSN and date of birth. Destroy your trash: Buy a cross-cut paper shredder and shred all records, receipts, statements, preapproved credit offers, mail solicitations, or other papers please see IDENTITY page 19

Braintwisters Untwist Your Brain!

1. D. Juneteenth Day 2. B. Rosh Hashanah 3. B. Saturnalia 4. C. Kwanzaa 5. C. Black Peter

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Lebanon County

Calendar of Events Senior Center Activities

Lebanon County Department of Parks and Recreation All events held at the Park at Governor Dick unless noted.

Annville Senior Community Center – (717) 867-1796 200 S. White Oak St., Annville Dec. 6, 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast at Cedar Grill, Lebanon Dec. 14, 10 a.m. – Christmas Party at Marabelle’s Restaurant

Dec. 10, 1:30 to 3 p.m. – Christmas Scavenger Hike

Lebanon County Library Programs Annville Free Library, 216 E. Main St., Annville, (717) 867-1802 Lebanon Community Library, 125 N. Seventh St., (717) 273-7624 Matthews Public Library, 102 W. Main St., Fredericksburg, (717) 865-5523 Myerstown Community Library, 199 N. College St., Myerstown, (717) 866-2800 Palmyra Public Library, 325 S. Railroad St., (717) 838-1347 Richland Community Library, 111 E. Main St., Richland, (717) 866-4939

Programs and Support Groups

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.

Have you photographed a smile that just begs to be shared? Send us your favorite smile—your children, grandchildren, friends, even your “smiling” pet!—and it could be 50plus Senior News’ next Smile of the Month!

Maple Street Community Center – (717) 273-1048 710 Maple St., Lebanon Dec. 1, 8, 15, 10:15 a.m. – Yoga Dance with Leslie Dec. 7, 10 a.m. – BUNCO Dice Party Dec. 19, 11 a.m. – Special Meal: Middle School Students and Song Myerstown Senior Community Center – (717) 866-6786 51 W. Stoever Ave., Myerstown Dec. 14, 11:15 a.m. – Christmas Party at Hebron Banquet Hall Dec. 21, 9:30 a.m. – Holiday Breakfast at Sophie’s Light Victorian House Dec. 30, 10:30 a.m. – New Year Party Northern Lebanon Senior Community Center – (717) 865-0944 335 N. Lancaster St., Jonestown – www.jonestownpa.org/senior.html Dec. 1, 4:30 p.m. – Carpool to Olive Garden Dec. 7, noon – Bingo and Lunch at Hoss’s Dec. 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Christmas Party at Marabelle’s Restaurant Palmyra Senior Community Center – (717) 838-8237 101 S. Railroad St., Palmyra Dec. 19, 10:45 a.m. – Christmas Party and Entertainment Dec. 21, 11:30 a.m. – Christmas Lunch at Red Lobster Dec. 29, 11 a.m. – Reminisce of the Year 2011 Southern Lebanon Senior Community Center – (717) 274-7541 Midway Church of the Brethren, 13 Evergreen Road, Lebanon Dec. 5, 12, 19, 10:30 a.m. – Bingo Dec. 12, noon – Birthday Meal Dec. 20, 11:30 a.m. – Christmas Party at Hebron Banquet Hall Privately Owned Centers Senior Center of Lebanon Valley, Inc. – (717) 274-3451 710 Maple St., Lebanon Just a snippet of what you may be missing … please call or visit their website for more information.

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

help you get the word out! (717) 285-1350

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NurseNews

Autonomy in Treatment Gloria May, M.S., R.N., CHES t took only hours after the news of Steve Jobs’ death for the medical journalists and bloggers to begin: Did he “succumb to alternative medicine”? Did he put his life in jeopardy by choosing, as one writer put it, “woo” over medicine? And, as his biographer Walter Isaacson claims, did he ultimately express regret over trying for so long to beat his cancer with these methods? In 2003, Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer—not the Patrick Swayze/ Michael Landon/ Luciano Pavarotti kind (with the grimmest of prognoses), but a rare form called islet cell neuroendocrine cancer, which is much more treatable if managed aggressively from the get-go. Jobs declined the surgery that was initially recommended and instead pursued a regime of acupuncture, diet, herbs, and supplements. Months later, when these remedies proved to have been of no benefit, Jobs had surgery, chemotherapy, and, eventually, a liver transplant. But by that time, his odds of survival had plummeted. While the debate will probably go on for years over what kind of care Jobs chose, didn’t choose, or should have chosen, the issue is really not his treatment choices per se, but his right to choose them, to be autonomous, and, in this case, to follow his own path—reportedly to the dismay and distress of his doctors, family, and friends. Given that your spouse, partner, parent, or best friend is competent (a legal determination, not a medical one) to make life and treatment decisions, and given that they understand the benefits and consequences of their choices, whatever they decide to do or not to do is their own decision. If we

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try to take control of another competent adult’s behavior, the resulting resistance will not lead to compliance or cooperation but to an unwinnable power struggle with plenty of anger and resentment to go around. But that doesn’t at all mean that we should give up. When it comes to trying to help someone, to guide them, to protect them, or to provide for them, we can often make a difference and affect change if we first realize that the most difficult task is readjusting not their way of thinking or behaving, but ours. Whether you are dealing with your aunt who won’t wear her hearing aids, your uncle who won’t quit smoking, your spouse who won’t lose weight, or your parent who won’t accept outside help in their home (a common concern), what we need to do, after stepping back and taking a deep breath, is to get help ourselves. Yes, they are the one with the problem, but we are the ones who need help. And there is plenty out there: doctors, nurses, social workers, case managers, friends, other family members, websites, even blogs. In these ridiculously frustrating and ludicrously exasperating situations where we are only trying to help and our efforts are met with resistance and rejection, we often need to be reminded and encouraged to value baby steps over sweeping reforms, to appreciate the value of patience over expediency, to embrace flexibility over the hard line, to choose negotiating over dictating, and to share control rather than trying to assume it. Gloria May is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in adult health education and a Certified Health Education Specialist designation.

recently received a National Mature Media Award in the Media Division, Newspaper/Tabloid category.

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Such Is Life

I Married for Love, Sort Of Saralee Perel ne part I loathe about the holiday season is that it’s usually a time of reflection. From age 5 until 8, I reflected on hating my parents because we were Jewish so I didn’t get any Christmas presents. From 9 to 15, I reflected on hating

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my parents because they wouldn’t let me bring one lousy tree in the house. Hey! People have plant life indoors. So what if it has lights and tinsel on it? At age 16, my reflections changed. I reflected on how rotten my parents were because it was Christmas, for heaven’s sake. How about forking over a

This Month in History: December Events • Dec. 5, 1933 – The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Prohibition Amendment, was repealed. For nearly 14 years, since Jan. 29, 1920, it had outlawed the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the U.S. • Dec. 17, 1903 – After three years of experimentation, Orville and Wilbur Wright achieved the first powered, controlled airplane flights. They made four flights near Kitty Hawk, N.C., the longest lasting about a minute. • Dec. 18, 1865 – The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, abolishing slavery. It stated, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, save as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Birthdays • Dec. 6 – Photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898-1995) was born in Dirschau, Prussia. He is best known for his Life magazine cover photos, including the sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square, celebrating the end of World War II. • Dec. 19 – British explorer William Parry (1790-1855) was born in Bath, England. He conducted Arctic expeditions and made three attempts to find a Northwest Passage. • Dec. 25 – Film actor Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957) was born in New York City. He is best known for The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and To Have and Have Not.

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huge wad of dough so I could buy my own presents? And Chanukah? You think lighting candles on a menorah was what I dreamed of? No. I dreamed of jewelry and boys. Well, I’d get one present. What all teenagers die for. A new dictionary. There’s nothing like the Christmas lights in New England, where I now live. Makes me reflect on evening drives my mom and I took through the infidels’ decorated neighborhoods in Maryland, where I grew up. It must have brought her joy while I’d scream, “They’re just lights, Ma! It’s not like they’re satanic! Why can’t we have them?” She must have loved the constant fracas of changing radio stations from Sinatra to Christmas carols. She’d nearly drive off the road during our handslapping battles while I’d shout, “PA RUM PUM PUM PUM” over Sinatra’s “My Way.” And New Year’s? Oy vey. The Jewish new year is as close to our national new year as Big Macs are to hamburgers made from soy beans. On Rosh Hashanah (new year), we don’t do fireworks. We go to temple. I’d pretend to listen to the rabbi while I’d play mind games— imagining the Hebrew letters in the prayer book as people in weird positions—when I was 40. At some point, I focused on getting married. Although love is important, I needed something else too. I wanted a man who not only adored me, but who also had a characteristic I’d cherish as much as love: a God-loving, presentgiving Christian. Last month, my Christian husband, Bob, and I celebrated our anniversary with a whole bunch of presents (oh yeah, we said “I love you” a lot too). The finest present I’ve ever received was from a sad and silent man—my grandfather. I was his fundamental source of joy. And I adored him. Other than when he’d look at me, the only time I’d see rapture on his face was while he’d play his violin. When he’d visit from

Manhattan, we’d hug like there was no tomorrow. Born in 1885, he was 76 when I was 10. That Chanukah, he walked the aisles of Woolworths, collecting 5- and 10-cent “pearls” and “sapphires” and hundreds of pieces of sparkling jewelry that he put in a fancy jewelry box. What man would do such a thing in that day and age? As I write this, my eyes fill with tears. I see myself as that little girl opening the magical box. I remember feeling the strands of jewelry but only looking at Grandpa. I needed him to see my face filled with delight and adoration because I knew, even then, there was something more important than jewelry. I needed to see him smile. His smiles were so rare. I needed him to know how happy he made me. For that would bring him peace, if only for a few moments. Late in his life, Grandpa was moved to my parents’ house. I can still visualize him, having arrived at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Station. He was sitting in a wheelchair outside the train, all alone, while passengers and luggage carriers rushed around. In his arms was his beloved violin, though he could no longer play it. So nowadays, when Bob comes home, we hug like there’s no tomorrow. Bob has my grandpa’s soul. I must have “sensed” that when we met. I have learned that presents don’t matter (oh, who am I kidding?). What truly matters is the joy on Bob’s lovely face as he tenderly opens a present yet looks at me before seeing what it is. His expression is identical to the look of adoration I had for Grandpa. I have a heart filled with treasures from my grandfather and my husband. And nothing, no matter what may lie ahead, will diminish the wealth these two loves of my life have permanently etched in my heart. Award-winning columnist Saralee Perel welcomes emails at sperel@saraleeperel.com or via her website: www.saraleeperel.com.

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IDENTITY

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you throw out that have your financial or personal information.

including you, can open new lines of credit in your name. This typically costs $5 to $10 per person per credit bureau each time you freeze or thaw your credit report. Some states offer free freezes for ID-theft victims.

Monitor your accounts: Review your monthly bank and credit card statements carefully, and see if your bank or credit-card issuer offers free alerts that will warn you of suspicious activity as soon as it’s detected. If they do, sign up for them. Watch your credit: Check your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com or call (877) 322-8228. You can receive one free report a year from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), so consider staggering your request so you can get one free copy every four months. Set up security freezes: You can help protect yourself by setting up a security freeze on your credit reports at all three credit bureaus: Equifax (equifax.com, (800) 685-1111), Experian (experian.com, (888) 397-3742), and TransUnion (transunion.com, (877) 322-8228). With a freeze in place, no one,

Take action: If you ever think your identity’s been stolen, immediately contact your creditors and financial institutions to report unauthorized charges or debts, and close any compromised accounts. Then place fraud alerts and security freezes with the three credit reporting agencies, and file a report with your local police and with the Federal Trade Commission at ftccomplaintassistant.gov or (877) 4384338.

Time is running out to make your Medicare coverage decision for 2012 Don’t delay! Medicare Annual Enrollment ends on December 7!

Call today to receive Lighting Your Way to Better Health, our no-cost, no-obligation informational kit. In it

Savvy tip: For more tips on preventing identity theft, visit IDTheftInfo.org and IDTheftCenter.org. Jim Miller is a regular contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior Book. www.savvysenior.org.

you’ll discover important answers to your Medicare questions.

Call 1-866-218-9822 (TTY/TDD 711), 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Or go online for more information www.MyHealthAmericaMedicare.com/CPA.

“Jump on the bandwagon” Old-time political campaigns would attempt to gain supporters with what amounted to a small parade, which included a band when a candidate had sufficient support. Jumping on the bandwagon was akin to providing support for this already-popular candidate.

Let us shine a light on our Medicare Advantage plans: • Monthly plan premiums as low as $0! • A maximum out-of-pocket cost protection that puts a fixed limit on how much you have to pay for health care costs in a year • Low copays for primary care physician office visits • $0 copays for routine vision and hearing exams

A Coordinated Care plan with a Medicare Advantage contract. The benefit information provided herein is a brief summary, not a comprehensive description of benefits. For more information contact the plan.

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Lebanon

Lancaster

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50plus SeniorNews



File & Use date: 10/23/2011

December 2011

19


High-tech hip replacement.

And high marks for compassion. Before she had her hip replaced, Tina Washington did what any former teacher would do: her homework. She learned that Good Samaritan uses computer-assisted surgery to properly align the hip so that it will fit better and last longer. And that the entire hospital staff–including many of her former students–would support her every step of the way. With that knowledge, Tina knew that Good Samaritan was right for her. For more information or to find a physician, visit comfortingcare.org.

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December 2011

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Lebanon County 50plus Senior News Dec. 2011