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DECEMBER 2016 | VOL. 7, ISSUE 12

Colors of Christmas


Serving the Sandhills & Southern Piedmont

DECEMBER 2016 | 1


Hoke Hospital is Open Hoke Hospital brings Cape Fear Valley’s nationally recognized quality to Hoke County and southwestern Cumberland County. Hoke Hospital’s Emergency Department and Medical/Surgical Unit are open.

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Of course, when in doubt about the seriousness of an illness or injury, please call 911 or go to the closest emergency department.

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910.692.0683 |

features DECEMBER

24 Volunteers Light Up Garden For All Seasons by Jonathan Scott

30 Five Ways to Add Holiday Charm to Your Home by Rachel Stewart

36 Better With Age Series: Heritage Square by Jonathan Scott

40 Life Is Not Always a Fairy Tale: The Changing Role of Grandparents by Nan Leaptrott

44 Festival of Yesteryear by Carrie Frye

47 Carolina Conversations with Bicycle Man Community Outreach Projects’ Ann Mathis by David Hibbard

52 Holidays & History: Oakwood by Candlelight by David Hibbard

56 This Holiday Season, Think Safety by Jennifer Webster

4 | DECEMBER 2016

Colors of Christmas Issue

DECEMBER 2016 | 5

departments December 2016

“December’s wintery breath is already clouding the pond, frosting the pane, obscuring summer’s memory...” —John Geddes

20 advice & health

22 life


Ask the Expert by Amy Natt


Belle Weather by Celia Rivenbark


Health & Wellness by James R. Liffrig, MD


Gentleman’s Notebook by Ray Linville


Caregiving by Mike Collins


Cooking Simple by Rhett Morris


Money Matters by Robin Nutting



Brain Health by Karen D. Sullivan, PhD, ABPP

Grey Matter Games Sudoku, Word Search & Crossword Puzzles


Law Review by Jackie Bedard

The Reader’s Nook by Michelle Goetzl


Resource Marketplace Find the resources you need.


6 | DECEMBER 2016

66 66 

Generations by Carrie Frye


12 DECEMBER 2016 | VOL. 7, ISSUE

Colors of Christmas


Serving the Sandhills & Southern Piedmont

DECEMBER 2016 | 1



Quality health care Ranked a 4-Star Hospital by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Only NC Hospital recognized in the Top 49 Safest Hospitals In The Nation by Becker’s Health Care Review

Wrap up the perfect holiday gift that lasts all year! 12 issues of

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910-692-9609 or mail a check to: P.O. Box 2478 Southern Pines, NC 28388

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magazine extras

Ranked as a top performer by the Joint Commission, Scotland Health Care System continues to expand and enhance medical care for the many communities it serves. This includes our affiliations with Carolinas HealthCare System of Charlotte, Duke Health, FirstHealth of the Carolinas and Pinehurst Surgical. These partnerships allow us to offer our patients a wide range of resources never before accessible in our region. These include: Scotland Physicians Network offers an efficient and unified approach to excellent patient care. These Network professionals are medical providers you know and trust; physicians and advanced clinical practitioners who have chosen to join themselves to a larger group of medical providers and to Scotland Health System. • Five primary care centers with experienced health care professionals in Laurinburg, Maxton, Pembroke and Wagram (NC), and Bennettsville (SC). • Two long-established Ob/Gyn practices which provide a wide scope of obstetrical and gynecological care from long-established health professionals. All surgeries are performed at Scotland Memorial Hospital. – Women’s Health Center of the Carolinas in Laurinburg was founded in 1993. – Marlboro Ob/Gyn in Bennettsville was founded in 1985. • Two general surgery practices, which provide a wide scope of surgeries, including laparoscopic procedures and GI disease diagnosis/treatment.  All surgeries are performed at Scotland Memorial Hospital. – Scotland Surgical & GI in Laurinburg was founded in 1990 and now has three experienced general surgeons.   – Marlboro Surgical Associates in Bennettsville was founded in 2009 and has one experienced general surgeon. A full range of top ranked surgical services supported by an excellent surgical team, including orthopedics, ophthalmology, Ob/Gyn, general surgery, ENT, podiatry, urology, and vascular surgery

A urology practice conveniently located in Laurinburg with experienced, board certified urologists also affiliated with Pinehurst Surgical. Scotland Cancer Treatment Center – Our affiliation with Duke Health means that our patients have access to both medical oncology and radiation oncology, as well as important clinical trials and the latest research, all in the same facility. Our medical and radiation oncologists are all Duke affiliated providers, offering convenient, high quality care close to home. Cardiovascular Services – our partnership with FirstHealth of the Carolinas allows us to offer cardiac catheterizations right here at Scotland Memorial Hospital Outpatient Endoscopy Center – A lower cost alternative for colonoscopies An Emergency Center with short wait times and the option to “hold your place in line” for non-life-threatening emergencies by scheduling online Urgent Care Facility located on the hospital campus offering convenient hours seven days a week A full range of diagnostic imaging services Supported by Charlotte Radiology, one of the nation’s largest radiology practices A full range of diagnostic laboratory services A Wound Healing Center staffed with a unique team of specialists dedicated to healing chronic wounds A four-bed Sleep Center to provide outpatient diagnostic sleep testing

Visit us at for information about all the services provided by Scotland Health Care System – your partner for quality health care.

(910) 291-7000 • 500 Lauchwood Drive • Laurinburg, NC| 28352 DECEMBER 2016 7

from the editor


ecember and the holidays are here, and another year is coming to a close. This month, we celebrate all of the colors of Christmas—red, green, blue, gold and silver—or whatever your favorite may be in this season of giving. These colors bloom offering shades of happiness, kindness, inspiration and goodwill, and they are brilliant this month throughout the region. To the north, visitors to Raleigh’s historic Oakwood neighborhood can tour century-old homes by candlelight. To the southeast, the natural beauty of Cape Fear Botanical Garden is aglow with more than 300,000 lights. Downtown Fayetteville’s Christmas Tour of Homes includes Heritage Square, the historic property featured in our Better With Age Series this month. To the west, festival-goers can take in a bit of yesteryear at Hamlet’s Old Fashioned Christmas for two evenings downtown, where Santa arrives on a shiny red tractor. Riding bikes is something that almost always brings a smile to a child’s face this season, so we head to Fayetteville for Carolina Conversations with the Bicycle Man Community Outreach Projects’ Ann Mathis. We first met Ann’s husband, Moses, a.k.a. The Bicycle Man, a few years ago. Moses’ legacy continues with Ann’s dedication to the cause of repairing and re-purposing old bicycles for at-risk children in the area. December is a big month for the Bicycle Man project, made possible by donations, volunteers and tremendous generosity of spirit. Volunteers in the Sandhills are in full bloom every season and on display, be it with lights, bikes or time. It is our honor to share their good works. You’ll also find plenty of tips for aging well, from holiday safety, to setting goals for 2017, to how having that glass of wine in moderation can be good for your brain health. From the OutreachNC family to yours, we thank you, our readers and advertisers, for your support throughout the year. We wish you tidings of joy for this season and a safe, healthy and happy New Year! Co-editor Jeeves is ready to call it a day and retire to his blue paw-patterned nap blankie. Until next year... 8 | DECEMBER 2016

—Carrie Frye

Editor in Chief Carrie Frye | Contributing Graphic Designers Nikki Lienhard, Jonathan Scott Contributing Proofreaders Michelle Goetzl, Jennifer Kirby, Kate Pomplun, Jennifer Webster Contributing Photographers Shannon Coleman, Diana Matthews, Carol Wilson Contributing Writers Mike Collins, Michelle Goetzl, David Hibbard, Nan Leaptrott, James R. Liffrig, Ray Linville, Rhett Morris, Robin Nutting, Celia Rivenbark, Jonathan Scott, Rachel Stewart, Karen D. Sullivan, Jennifer Webster

Y Publisher Amy Natt | Marketing & Public Relations Director Susan McKenzie | Advertising Sales Executive Ashley Haddock | 910-690-9102 Advertising Sales Executive Butch Peiker | 904-477-8440 OutreachNC PO Box 2478 | 676 NW Broad Street Southern Pines, NC 28388 910-692-9609 Office | 910-695-0766 Fax

OutreachNC is a publication of The entire contents of OutreachNC are copyrighted by Aging Outreach Services. Reproduction or use without permission of editorial, photographic or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. OutreachNC is published monthly on the first of each month.

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The mission of the Southern Pines Business Association is to encourage and enhance thecommercial well-being of Southern Pines and improve the quality of its common life.

DECEMBER 2016 | 9


Our Aging Life Care ProfessionalsTM will answer any aging questions you may have.

Email us your questions!


Avoid Scams When Canceling Timeshares by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA My dad has been trying to get rid of a timeshare he purchased years ago. He recently got a call from someone claiming to have a buyer. He authorized a credit card payment of $5,000 to complete the sale. After that, nothing ever happened and when we call, it is always a recording. Can you offer any advice on what we should do next?

The “Phony Timeshare Reseller” is a growing scam across many states. According to the North Carolina Attorney General, victims receive a call from a person who claims to have a buyer for your timeshare. The caller may even guarantee that the sale will go through. After the scammers obtain authorization to access your funds, they will send a contract. In the fine print of this contract, it will say that the timeshare will be advertised for sale. You should never agree to pay a fee upfront to sell a timeshare. They are not guaranteeing that there is a buyer or that any action beyond “advertising” will occur. It is still a good idea to go by the old rule of thumb that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Timeshare marketers typically use highpressure tactics and target older adults. The purchaser does not realize that the purchase is probably not going to gain value. Timeshares can be difficult to fully utilize and result in years of expensive maintenance and membership dues. So, what can you do if you are being held hostage to a timeshare you no longer use or want?

First, talk to an attorney and have the contract reviewed. Perhaps there is a buy-out or cancellation clause. While this option may cost you money, it may be your only way out. Over the long-term, the cancellation will save you money in continued fees, maintenance and upkeep. The wording in the contract may also allow you to sell it or give it away. Make sure you know if the developer has the first right of refusal on the property as well. Ask if there are any specific clauses to address, such as failing health, age or financial hardship. If you use a company to help you, do your homework. Make sure you utilize a licensed and insured title company. Following the correct steps is important, and the details matter. Trying to sell your timeshare can be risky, and there are many scammers waiting to target you. Another option is to ask if there is a deedback to the resort or developer. The unit would have to be paid for in full in this case. There may be a transfer fee, but in this case, it should only be paid to the resort, not a third party claiming to manage the sale.

Readers may send questions to Natt, an Aging Life Care ProfessionalTM, certified senior advisor and CEO of Aging Outreach Services. She can be reached at .

10 | DECEMBER 2016

If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

—Michael Douglas

It is not realistic to think you can sell your timeshare for a profit, but giving it away may be an option. Some charitable organizations will take timeshares on, but you have to make sure they are taking over all payments and fees. You also have to have an attorney involved to ensure the transaction is done correctly. If you feel you or your spouse has been the victim of a scam or you just want more information on how to protect yourself from common scams, contact the North Carolina Attorney General’s office. They have a great deal of information on scams, fraud and tips to protect yourself. Call 877-566-7226 or visit . DECEMBER 2016 | 11


H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S

Shoo the Flu: Get Your Vaccine Today! by James R. Liffrig, MD


etween 5 and 20 percent of people in the U.S. get the flu (influenza) every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 200,000 are hospitalized due to complications that include pneumonia and inflammation of the heart, and thousands die. Vaccination, according to the CDC, is the best way to prevent the flu. Why? The vaccine works to stimulate your body’s own immune system so that it will react when exposed to a flu virus. Flu viruses change each year so manufacturers identify and produce a vaccine that works against what they anticipate will be the most prevalent types. While the vaccine is not perfect, it is safe and offers good protection. Even if you do get the flu after vaccination, it will likely be much less severe than if you haven’t had the vaccine. While many think they will actually contract flu from the vaccine, it is simply not true: one cannot contract flu from the injectable vaccine that we have available.

12 | DECEMBER 2016

Flu is a respiratory disease caused by the influenza virus, and affects the entire body. Symptoms can be mild to severe and include sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever, muscle or body aches, headache and fatigue. Everyone 6 months and older should be vaccinated, but especially those in certain high-risk populations such as people with chronic diseases, pregnant women and women who have given birth within two weeks, children younger than 5 years (especially those younger than 2 years), adults age 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems due to disease or medication. If you suffer from a chronic disease, you may experience the flu in a more severe way and are at higher risk of developing associated severe illnesses such as pneumonia. The vaccination can help to prevent contracting the flu and those associated diseases. Also, the influenza vaccine is highly recommended for those who travel on a regular basis.

It is recommended to get vaccinated early—before the change in seasons drives more people indoors and in closer contact with each other. This gives your body time to build up an immune response after the shot. Besides the vaccine, keeping these steps in mind can help prevent the flu: • Avoid contact with people who have flu-like symptoms. Don’t shake their hands, share utensils, etc. • Keep your hands clean—wash them or use hand sanitizer as often as possible. • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze to help reduce the risk of transmission of airborne droplets. • If you are sick—stay home! • Avoid touching your face—eyes, nose and mouth—especially if you feel sick.

Other Vaccinations to Consider • PNEUMONIA—Adults 65 and older, smokers, and anyone with

chronic disease should consider the pneumonia vaccine for prevention purposes. There are two vaccines that follow back-to-back, and they are powerful—yet very safe and effective in prevention.

• TDAP—This is a combination vaccine that includes protection against

tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Although it initially resembles an ordinary cold, whooping cough may eventually turn more serious, particularly in infants. The best way to prevent it is through vaccination. The childhood vaccine is called DTaP. Adults that received pertussis vaccination as children likely have lost most of that protection. Re-vaccination with Tdap is especially important if you intend to spend time with babies or young children who will not have received their DTaP vaccines yet.

• SHINGLES—According to the CDC, one out of every three people in

the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. There are an estimated 1 million cases of shingles each year in this country. Anyone who experienced chickenpox may develop shingles; even children can get shingles. However, the risk of shingles increases as you get older. About half of all cases occur in men and women 60 years old or older. The CDC recommends that people aged 60 years and older get one dose of shingles vaccine. Shingles vaccine is available in pharmacies and some doctors’ offices.

If you have any questions about these vaccinations, talk to your healthcare provider.

Dr. Liffrig is a a physician with FirstHealth Family Medicine and Medical Director of FirstHealth Convenient Care. To find the nearest FirstHealth location, visit or call 800-213-3284.

DECEMBER 2016 | 13



Trash That Smells Good Enough To Eat by Celia Rivenbark


hen did we all decide that garbage needs to smell good? And not just good but insanely appealing, delightful even. The kind of irresistible aroma that makes you wish you could just curl up for a nap inside with all those coffee grounds, potato peels and used diapers. While there’s no word of a limited-edition pumpkinspice scented trash bag YET, it wouldn’t surprise me for something like that to be introduced next fall in scents like “pumpkin brûlee cinnamon swirl.” I get it. Nobody is ever going to fall for a marketing campaign that sells kitchen trash bags “Now! With week-old shrimp scent built in!” But how about just no smell at all? (“Now! Plastic-bag scented, er, plastic bags!”) The trash bag aisle is today what the cereal aisle used to be. Go ahead. Check it out. I’ll wait. But you’re going to be a while. The options are dizzying. Lemon, lavender, vanilla, tropical ... I wasted at least 10 minutes trying to decide if I wanted the discarded skin from tonight’s chicken thighs to smell like “Hawaiian aloha” or “Mediterranean lavender.” If you’re thinking: “I didn’t know aloha even had an aroma,” well, that’s because you’re probably the kind of cynical soul that would write an online review that, I swear, described Glad vanilla-scented trash bags as having: “a smell that reminded me of caring for my parents in their last months.” Even more alarming was the Hefty black bag that “hides unsightly messes.” What? Are we talking Dexter-style messes, because that’s kinda what it sounds like. Hide them from whom, pray tell? And isn’t garbage supposed to be an unsightly mess? That’s why they call it “garbage” isn’t it? I don’t think the sanitation truck crew is going to be fooled by your black bag. Bud: “Whoa. There are a whole lotta these black bags in the can today. Do you think they are hiding

14 | DECEMBER 2016

an unsightly mess?” Joe: “I don’t know. Since the bags are impossible to see through, I’d like to err on the side of caution and assume that they are brimming with nothing more than the rainbowhued happy tears of a million unicorns.” Never happen. They probably suspect it’s full of an unsightly mess and possibly even a week’s worth of used kitty litter. Trust me, an entire Hawaiian village of aloha couldn’t cover up that smell. Scented garbage bags seem antithetical. I don’t mind the endless array of home fresheners and clip-on car fresheners but making your kitchen trash smell like “Gain Traditional Fresh” seems a whole different level of shark-jumping. So now you want your garbage to smell like your laundry? Speaking of laundry, do we really need Downy Unstoppables, which, and I’m not making this up, claims to make your laundry smell like “gourmand vanilla and cedar undertones?” Finally! Laundry that smells good enough to eat, but remains manly enough to wear to the gym. We’ve waited our whole lives for this, said no one ever.

Rivenbark is the author of seven humor collections. Visit her website at . ©2016 Celia Rivenbark. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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A Caregiver’s Christmas: Endure or Enjoy by Mike Collins


omeone had placed a plate of fresh orange slices on the table in my mother’s room at the nursing center. When I smelled them, I thought I would, as we Southerners say, bust out crying. At the holidays, my grandmother’s house was filled with all kinds of fragrances: turkey, dressing, baking cakes and pies. I’m sure you have similar wonderful holiday memories. But, mostly, I remember the fragrance of oranges. She didn’t have much money, and the only time of year she had oranges was at the holidays. So now, as a 64-year-old, when I smell oranges—even if I’m in a Harris Teeter in July—I am right back in my grandmother’s house at Thanksgiving and Christmas. When I walked into my mother’s room and smelled the oranges and saw her in the bed as an 87-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s, the experience was overwhelming. This was the third caregiver Christmas we had experienced, and I was reasonably sure it would be the last. For many, maybe most, caregivers, the holidays are a bittersweet time. We are engulfed in the wonder of the season. Everywhere we go, we see and hear reminders, and at the same time, we are focused on our duties, stresses and emotions of caregiving. I’ve always loved the holidays, and as I moved through my caregiver experience, I was determined that the stress of caregiving was not going to steal the joy of the season from me. I discovered some simple strategies that eased the stress of the time, increased my appreciation of the season and kept me on an even keel—which helped me help other friends and family deal with the experience. Here are my seven secrets for a sane caregiver’s Christmas: Collins is the producer of the video, “Care for the Caregiver,” winner of a National Caregiver Friendly Award from Today’s Caregiver Magazine. For ways to deal with the craziness of caregiving, visit . ©2016 Mike Collins

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Let go of perfect. As a caregiver, how many times have you thought, “I not going to let this experience ruin __________!” Forget that. And, at least for this year, forget the Martha Stewart/Southern Living/House Beautiful image of the holidays. I promise, this time of year will be easier to move through and enjoy if you...


Simplify. The 80/20 Rule says that 80 percent of your accomplishments happen in 20 percent of your time. The rule also applies to the holidays. There are always a few people, a few activities and a few situations that provide most of your joy. Concentrate on those. In fact, your focus should be to...


Find some time for yourself. Whatever you have to do to find a day or half-a-day just for yourself, do it. Make sure the one you are caring for is safe and being cared for, and take a little time for you to...


Relax. Enjoy just breathing in and out. Take a ride and enjoy someone else’s lights and decorations this year. That doesn’t mean don’t decorate, but make a decision that this is the year your home doesn’t look like Chevy Chase’s in the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” Believe it or not, the holidays are not about all the stuff, they are about people. So, find a way to...


Connect with others. Who are some of the people you’ve missed connecting with due to your caregiver duties? Reach out to them for a meal or coffee, or at least touch base by phone. You want to hear their voices. And, don’t dump all your problems on them.

Simply tell them you’ve missed them, and then listen. Most of them will take over the conversation in a way that makes you feel better—I promise. Speaking of voices, call around and get some...


Practical help. Don’t take the tree out of the attic yourself, if it would be risky or a hassle. Let someone else hang the lights this year (and let however they do it be OK). If you’ll do that, you can have some...


Fun. Too often, a caregiver’s automatic response to the suggestion of having some fun is, “I don’t have fun anymore.” I certainly understand that it’s easy to let the caregiver experience overwhelm your life. Here’s the one thing I learned through all the stress: We, as caregivers, make the decision of how we move through the experience—on a minute-by-minute basis. It’s your choice whether you enjoy or endure each minute. Happy holidays!


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DECEMBER 2016 | 17



Discuss Future Financial Decisions With Family by Robin Nutting, CLTC


ach year, thousands of us take part in the role of making long-term care decisions for family members. These emotional decisions may create stressful situations for the entire family in addition to being time-consuming and expensive. Fortunately, there is a way to help make informed decisions in these situations: communication. Discussing plans for long-term care before it is even needed greatly reduces the stress of dealing with it in a crisis. Raising the subject may create some momentary awkwardness for both parents and their adult children. However, it is far better to discuss long-term care options ahead of time and together decide what makes the most sense for you and your family. Ask certain questions regarding a long-term care strategy, including: • Where and how you would like care delivered, if you were to need it. • The level of independence you’d like to maintain. • The role you’d like your family to play in your care. • How you want to fund your care, while protecting your assets.

Clear communication can help eliminate the problem of catching a spouse or adult child off guard. It may also help eliminate the burden of uncertainty with difficult decisions. Spelling out the location of important documents, as well as care wishes, helps ensure that family members have the information they need to provide for their loved one’s desired care. Create a Financial and Care Inventory It is also important to update family members on the location and status of financial and care documents. Having an inventory of these documents 18 | DECEMBER 2016

provides family members with a road map to critical information. It is focused on where information on financial holdings is located; not specific details about the financial holdings. The inventory is not a legal document, and it need not divulge personal or confidential details you are not prepared to share. It should, however, enable loved ones to quickly locate where you keep your financial, legal, care and legacy records should a crisis occur. Consider updating this inventory at least annually, and giving copies to family members, a lawyer or executor, or place it in a secure location, where those who might need this information can access it. While each family’s inventory will differ, the inventory list can also include information related to where someone can find the following: • Living wills/health care directives • Insurance (health, life, long-term care, annuities, auto, homeowners, etc.) • Wills, trusts and deeds • Bank accounts and investment accounts • Credit card accounts and other outstanding debt • Contact information for lawyers, accountants, brokers, agents • Jewelry and other valuables • Essential keys • Instructions related to funeral arrangements • Personal instructions or messages • Location of birth, marriage and military discharge certificates • Information related to charitable gifts

Nutting, CLTC, a financial associate with Thrivent Financial in Southern Pines, can reached at 910-692-5570 or .

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G E N T L E M A N ’ S N OT E B O O K

Time for Poinsettias

by Ray Linville | Photography by Carol Wilson


hat is the best-selling potted plant? Would you be surprised to learn that it’s the poinsettia? For many of us, the poinsettia is our favorite, particularly this month. My family thinks that the poinsettia is so attractive that we keep it to flower again for another season. As much as we appreciate poinsettias, they frustrate some of us. Have you ever tried to nurture them to change color for the holiday season? Sometimes when we try, the timing doesn’t occur as planned. However, how the leaves turn a brilliant red or another color is not a mystery. Although the poinsettia is not native to our area, we can coax it to perform beautifully. To get a poinsettia to bloom, keep it in total darkness between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. beginning around the first of October. Any exposure to light can prevent flowering. Then around early to mid-December, the bracts—the specialized leaves in the center—begin to flame. Similar to a bougainvillea, a poinsettia has colorful bracts surrounding less colorful flowers. Its color comes from these brilliant leaves, not from its flowers, which are small and yellow. The bracts are most often flaming red, but they can also be orange, pink, cream, white, pale green or marbled. The flowering is induced by a process known as photoperiodism, which means that the plant reacts to relative lengths of light and dark periods, and for a poinsettia, the nights need to be long. A poinsettia requires 12 hours of continual darkness for at least five days—any short period of light at night, even light from a streetlight, can prevent or interfere with flowering—while receiving abundant light during the day. It’s hard to believe that the poinsettia is named for a U.S. diplomat rather than a botanist. When serving in Mexico as ambassador after his appointment by President John Quincy Adams, Joel R. Poinsett noticed a beautiful shrub with large red leaves growing by the side of a road. He took cuttings and brought them back to his greenhouse in Charleston, and thus began the poinsettia’s journey into the Carolinas and the rest of our country. With a little effort, we can have as much success in our area as Poinsett did in Charleston. Depending on how you care for it, a poinsettia can retain its beauty for weeks, and some can stay attractive for months—enough beauty for us to sing its praises. “So happy, happy, I remember beneath the poinsettia’s red in warm December,” wrote poet Claude McKay, a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance who immigrated in 1912 from Jamaica, where the plant is also known as flame-leaf. Now, if someone would just show me how to get Easter lilies to bloom on time in a second year.

20 | DECEMBER 2016

Linville is a contributing writer for the N.C. Folklife Institute and writes about Southern food, history and culture. He can be reached at .

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5 Ways To Get Blood Pumping For Optimal Brain Health by Karen D. Sullivan, Ph.D, ABPP


f you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol, also called hyperlipidemia, it means a lab test showed that you have too much fatty plaque in your blood. When too much of this plaque builds up in the body’s cardiovascular system (our blood vessels and arteries) it is called atherosclerosis. This leads to a narrowing of the space within the blood vessels and arteries, which reduces the amount of vital nutrients and oxygen carried throughout the body. Over time, a decrease in glucose and oxygen, in particular, can damage the smallest arteries in the body most severely. These include those in the feet, eyes and brain. Within the brain, this can cause permanent damage and result in thinking and memory problems, particularly the rapid recall of known information, like quickly finding a word or recalling a friend’s name on the spot. In the worst case, a narrowing of the blood vessels and arteries can completely block blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke. This type of brain damage is more likely to occur if someone has other medical conditions that also reduce blood flow throughout the body, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or untreated sleep apnea. Consider these five recommendations to improve your blood flow for optimal brain health:

Dr. Sullivan, a clinical neuropsychologist at Pinehurst Neuropsychology, can be reached at 910-420-8041 or by visiting .


Strive for at least 30 minutes of safe physical activity most days of the week. This does not have to be in the form of aerobics, lifting weights or even fast walking; just do your best to move your body more. You may choose to park farther from the store entrance, lift your legs and arms during commercial breaks while watching television or walk around the block twice a day.

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Try to improve your diet by eating foods high in fiber, such as oatmeal, whole-grain breads, fruits and vegetables. Reduce foods high in saturated fat or cholesterol, such as meats, butter, dairy products, and foods with palm oil. Drink more water (aim for 6-8 glasses a day) and less soda, fruit juice and other drinks that are high in sugar.


A number of studies have found that a mild to moderate intake of alcohol (one or two small glasses a day) has a protective effect on blood vessels. Drinking alcohol in these amounts may also help to raise your good cholesterol levels. Although red wine is most often touted for its beneficial properties, any kind of alcoholic beverage appears to have a similar benefit. If you have liver disease, you should not drink at all. It is important to consult with your doctor to make sure that none of your medications prohibit you from drinking.

If you smoke, try everything you can to quit. Cigarette smoking lowers the good cholesterol in your body (called “HDL�). Once a person quits smoking, these good cholesterol levels slowly change to levels that are equal to people who do not smoke. If you are not a smoker, but live with someone who is, ask him or her to consider quitting or at least smoke away from you.


Take your medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Developing a routine to remind you when to take your medications will make it easier to remember. For example, taking your medications with breakfast is a good cue for remembering. Using a pillbox along with notes and reminders may also help you remember to take your medications. If you still have trouble remembering to take every single dose, ask a family member or friend to call and remind you, or set up a reminder system, such as an alarm on your cell phone.

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by Jonathan Scott | Photography by Diana Matthews

24 | DECEMBER 2016


t 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9, when darkness falls across the North Carolina Sandhills, the Cape Fear Botanical Garden will throw the switch on the first evening of its sixth annual Holiday Lights in the Garden. The garden, which is one of Fayetteville’s most beautiful places anytime of the year, takes on a spectacular glow, illuminated by 300,000 lights set along a mile-long path, strung in decorations and draped in the trees. CONTINUED PAGE 26

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For the second year, the event includes a synchronized show of lights and music over the Garden’s Cypress Pond that literally shimmers in the reflection. If there’s an evening chill, visitors can warm themselves and roast s’mores over a fire pit, or duck inside and take in a holiday movie. There are free craft activities for kids while adults can grab a beer or glass of wine at Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen. This kind of event, which seems so magical to delighted visitors, is possible only because of down-to-earth hard work by the garden staff and, especially, an impressive number of volunteers. “Volunteers are crucial to the success of the event,” says Brianne McMahon, the garden’s volunteer coordinator, “simply because we don’t have enough staff due to the tremendous uptick in patrons over the short few weeks.” The weeks may be short, but there is no shortage of projects McMahon has for the volunteers. To help prepare for the Holiday Lights, they decorate the buildings, prepare materials for the children’s craft activities, and even stuff s’mores packs. During the event, which runs through New Year’s Eve with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas day, there are 10-15 volunteers on hand each night. “Last year we had over 200 different volunteer slots to work during the preparation phase and the evenings the Holiday Lights was open,” says McMahon. “Our volunteers logged over 600 hours.” Cape Fear Botanical Garden attracts its volunteers from all walks of life. Many high school students want to gain hours of community service to help their college prospects. Children sometimes come with their parents, who are looking for family activities. There are even busy working adults who manage to give their time to help a facility they feel enhances the quality of life in Fayetteville. Senior volunteers at the garden are a group of active, dedicated and fun-loving men and women who defy the stereotype of retirement. It’s difficult to tell if the garden just attracts a certain type of volunteer,

26 | DECEMBER 2016

or if there’s some magic in the place that transforms and invigorates those who donate their time. Benny Foster, 72, is part of a regular Wednesday morning crew. Despite having back problems, Foster brings to his chores at the garden the same vigor he used in his career as a military officer. He enjoys telling how he now finds himself on Wednesdays raking, hoeing and planting. “One of my neighbors is Dot Wyatt, who endowed the Mr. and Mrs. John W. Wyatt, Jr. Visitors Pavilion Complex. I knew how important this place was to her, so one day I told her, ‘I’m going to make your day. I’ll go down to your garden and volunteer for a week.’ At the end of my last day, they followed me to my car and kept asking if I’d come back for another week. “As a former member of Special Forces, I should have been able to sneak out,” he says, laughing, “but that’s the way they got me. I’ve been here for seven years now. I’ll probably be here for the rest of my life.” Like Foster, volunteer Renata Roberts, 75, seems unfazed by the physical work involved. “Some people think we kill ourselves working here in all kinds of weather, but when you get here, it’s all peace and quiet,” Roberts says. “I love being here when the sun comes up and the Want to birds start singing. It’s rejuvenating. I call these Volunteer? my spa days.” CONTINUED PAGE 28

If you’re interested in volunteering at Cape Fear Botanical Garden, contact Brianne McMahon at or call 910-486-0221, ext. 40.

Cape Fear Botanical Garden, located at 536 North Eastern Blvd. in Fayetteville, welcomes visitors during its winter hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Holiday Lights in Garden glows from Dec. 9-23 and Dec. 26-30, from 5:30-9 p.m. For more information, visit or call 910-486-0221.

DECEMBER 2016 | 27

Through Jan. 8, 2017, the Cape Fear Botanical Garden is also hosting a special exhibit, Nature Connects®, featuring larger-than-life sculptures of animals and plants built entirely with Lego® blocks by artist Sean Kenney. Panels for each display have messages to help connect children to the natural world.


Roberts, who has hardly missed a week in 18 years, is 2016’s Volunteer of the Year. Lorette Hollinshed, 84, is as much an integral part of the garden as the plants, buildings and trails. The staff and other volunteers affectionately refer to her as a “Founding Mother.” Hollinshed has given her time for nearly 27 years and is still at it, now proud to tend full-grown shrubs and trees, some of which she planted herself. But even Hollinshed is a youngster compared to Paul Reaver. At 91, Reaver is as active as any of the other senior volunteers. When asked why, at his age, he would spend his Wednesday mornings doing physical work, he replies with deadpan humor. “I don’t know how to sit down,” he says. Reaver has become a fixture at Cape Fear Botanical Garden in the 14 years he’s been a volunteer. In addition to his hard work, Reaver is known for occasionally bringing his homemade sticky buns. 28 | DECEMBER 2016

“I’d make them more often,” he says, “but I don’t want to spoil the volunteers.” McMahon says that, even with volunteers they have, which can number 200, counting all the special events, the garden always welcomes more. “We offer training sessions for new volunteers,” McMahon says. “Then we partner each new one with a veteran volunteer—sort of an internship. That way the new people get to work in different areas of the garden to see where they’d like to work and how many hours they want to sign up to give.” Melanie Hinton, 58, is a relative newcomer, with only three years as a volunteer. Hinton started giving hours to the garden after she retired from working for UPS. She lays down her shovel and looks over the Heritage Garden she’s tending. It’s both a recreation of a 19th-century garden and a place for strolling visitors to enjoy. “I love plants,” Hinton says. “I love nature, but what really keeps me here are the people. They’re awesome. It’s my joy.”


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rom twinkling lights to the fragrant smell of pine, the winter holidays are a time to gather, reflect and rejoice with your loved ones. Here are a few pointers to make your home festive, whether you’re inviting the whole clan over or just having a simple celebration with a few friendly faces.


Focus on fresh scents.

Burning a fir candle is a great way to ring in the holidays— but it shouldn’t be left unattended, and it may also be filled with chemicals. Instead fill your dwelling with more natural holiday scents. Make your own potpourri by simmering cranberries, oranges, rosemary, cinnamon sticks and mulling spices on the stove top—or crock pot, if you’re prepping for an all-day affair. Once the house smells lovely, decant into glass jars for a last-minute stocking stuffer for that friend who just happened to drop by. If you’re looking for a centerpiece for the kitchen table or foyer for the home, mix up some essential oils—clove or peppermint are great choices—and sprinkle a few drops onto some pine cones. Place the pine cones in a decorative bowl and enjoy the uplifting scent.

Five Ways to Add Holiday Charm Your Home by Rachel Stewart

30 | DECEMBER 2016


Change the lighting.

Whether you prefer brightly colored bulb lights of years past or a muted glow from a stained glass lamp, the right lighting can set the mood. As you shift the lighting around, make sure all cords are neatly tucked away, so you don’t trip. If you prefer dimming the lights, installing a controller can make it more convenient year round. If you’re wanting to add the flicker of candlelight— minus the open flame, pick up some battery-operated tea lights for your votive holders.


Make it personal. With so many store-bought stockings and garlands, it’s important to add that personal touch. Use fabric paint to make each stocking stand out with your loved one’s name. Display photos from past holiday gatherings in your living room or den for an instant conversation starter.



DECEMBER 2016 | 31


4 Repurpose festive cards into shabby chic decor. Every year the holiday cards come to your mailbox. Don’t throw the season’s greetings away. Use old cards as simple ornaments for the tree or make festive bunting for the fireplace or dining room buffet.

Create a special spiritual space.


The holidays are an important time to give thanks for people of many faiths. Find a place in your home where you can hang symbols or art related to your faith and offer a quiet spot for reflection or prayer during the busy season. To allow others to share this sacred space, include a blank book where people can write down what they’ve been thankful for this year or their hopes for the next.

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2 8-ounce beef tenderloin portions 1 sheet puff pastry 8 ounces of button mushrooms, sliced 12 ounces beef broth 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour ¼ cup diced onion 3 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon olive oil Salt and pepper to taste Morris, owner of Rhett’s Restaurant, Personal Chef & Catering, is an awardwinning chef. He can be reached at 910-695-3663 or .

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by Rhett Morris Photography by Diana Matthews


Take puff pastry out of freezer to thaw. In a saucepan, add butter mushrooms and onions. Season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium high heat until mushrooms soften. Add flour and cook for 3 more minutes. Add 1 ½ cups of beef broth, and continue to cook until sauce thickens. Set sauce aside. Heat a pan on high heat until hot. Rub olive oil on beef, and season with salt and pepper. Sear beef for 1 minute on each side. Set beef aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out puff pastry on counter, and cut into four 6-inch pieces. Place beef on puff pastry sheet and top with 2 tablespoons of sauce. Dip your fingers in water, and then lightly moisten the edges of puff pastry. Place other piece of pastry over beef, and pinch to seal all around. Place on sheet pan and cook for 30 minutes until pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven, and top with remaining sauce.

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by Jonathan Scott | Photography by Diana Matthews

Heritage Square


circa 1797

ike a ring set with three gems, downtown Fayetteville’s Heritage Square contains three historic treasures—the Sandford House, the Baker-Haigh Nimocks House and the Oval Ballroom. CONTINUED PAGE 38 36 | DECEMBER 2016

DECEMBER 2016 | 37

The Heritage Square Historical Society invites new members to join in preserving Fayetteville’s largest historical property. For more information, call 910-483-6009.


At the time The Woman’s Club of Fayetteville purchased the Sandford House in 1945, it was already 145 years old. The mantel in the North Room still shows a trace of a Civil War bullet’s mark. Eleven years later, when the nearby Regency-style Halliday House was sentenced to demolition, the owners donated what had been the Dining Room

38 | DECEMBER 2016

building to the club. Built in 1818, it had once featured in 1850’s “Trial of the Century” as the site of an infamous domestic murder. It was renamed the Oval Ballroom and moved next to the Sandford House on the property. In 1966, the club purchased the neighboring BakerHaigh-Nimrocks House. They removed the modern additions, but it took until 1997 for a real restoration

effort to begin with the help of the Colonial Dames of America. It is said that the home once served as headquarters for Gen. Sherman’s army. Restoration on the interior is still to be undertaken. Earlier this year, The Woman’s Club changed their name to the Heritage Square Historical Society. Every year on the first weekend in December, the society hosts their Christmas Tour of Homes. It

features six locations including the Sandford House and the Oval Ballroom. The two are lavishly adorned with all-natural decorations as they would have been in the mid-19th century. Tickets are available at the Sandford House, located at 225 Dick Street in downtown Fayetteville. Thanks to the tireless efforts of several generations of dedicated women, these gems continue to inspire us.

DECEMBER 2016 | 39

Life Is Not Always a Fairy Tale: The Changing Role of Grandparents by Nan Leaptrott | Photography by Diana Matthews


nce upon a time … wait a minute. With these four words, most fairy tales begin. And most have happy endings. However, the role of a grandparent has changed throughout time. Some aren’t even sure what their story ending will be. Each beginning of the story is as varied as the grandparents and grandchildren and the circumstances in which the story began. Nancy and Ed Brooks’ grandparent story began 26 years ago. Ed’s daughter from a previous marriage, Shannon, wanted to live with Nancy and Ed so she could attend a nearby college. This is their story. Shannon was beautiful, intelligent and fun but naïve to life. Life happens, and Shannon became pregnant. It was Shannon’s desire that her child would have loving adoptive parents. On Oct.18, 1990, a very healthy Haley was born. “We said goodbye to our granddaughter one day later as the nurse cradled Haley into the arms of her adoptive parents,” Nancy says. “There was a sense of calm and serenity. This was the right decision for an immature 17-year-old. We knew Haley would be loved and nurtured.” Through the years the Nancy and Ed wondered what Haley looked like. Was she tall? Was she intelligent? Is she happy? Does she ever wonder about her birth mother? Questions that 25 years later would be answered. “We received a note from Haley,” Nancy explains. “It was very evident she had questions about her background. Not knowing if she was aware we are her grandparents, we were assured by her adoptive parents she did indeed know who we are. We were encouraged to contact Haley and to answer any questions she might have. We booked a flight to Chicago to meet our granddaughter, the granddaughter we last saw when she was one day old.

40 | DECEMBER 2016

“Haley opened her arms and heart to us, and it was as if we had never been separated. A 25-year dream became a reality. But a dream come true is also a start. My husband Ed has been quite ill for almost eight years and this experience of meeting his granddaughter he thought he would never see again has given him new purpose and stamina. He rejoices that Haley is beautiful, and out of 86,000 applicants, was accepted as a flight attendant for United Airlines. “We left Chicago with the assurance we would enjoy a long and happy relationship with our granddaughter Haley. As in fairy tales, if you hold a dream in your heart for a very long time, dreams can come true.” Grandparents rearing grandchildren is a time-consuming way of life. Stress is a big issue, for there are added responsibilities and the thought of what will happen to the grandchild if something happens to them is close to their mind. In some cases, there is anger and resentment towards the grandchildren’s parents who either died or abandoned the child. Guilt is another component: guilt from feeling you did not rear your child right and grief in the loss of your independence. Tina Shepherd’s story doesn’t resemble a traditional fairy tale either. “I sat in the delivery room and knew that at age 51, I was about to relive my past,” Tina recalls. “My mother was an alcoholic and drug addict. When I was born, she left me and my sisters with various relatives until Grandmother took us in. “Sitting in the delivery room now with my daughter Crystal, I pray her baby will be healthy. Crystal’s addiction to heroin and the injections of synthetic heroin she got every day of her pregnancy at a methadone clinic could easily impact her unborn child. CONTINUED PAGE 42

DECEMBER 2016 | 41


“When I saw Aoroa, I thought she was the prettiest baby I had ever seen, and she would bring me great joy. I couldn’t wait to bring her home, but Crystal’s drug addiction was evident in my grandbaby’s body. She had to stay in the hospital for a few weeks so the doctors could detoxify her. “Soon after Crystal gave birth to Aoroa, she went on another long drug and alcohol binge. She began stealing from everyone and more. Her path of destruction led to her incarceration in a North Carolina women’s prison. “I am now the grandparent caring for my grandchild. Aoroa is adorable and loves to go to church. It is good she is a part of our life. I admit my husband and I are tired. We work hard. We own a farm where there is much to do, and on the side I work as a hair stylist. But I never quit praying that someday Crystal will break the chain of her drug and alcohol dependence. She is a beautiful artist and gifted with many talents, but for now, she has lost her way.” Tina is not alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 5.5 million children who live with their grandparents. Fifty-two percent of grandparents are below the age of 55, and 17 percent are 65 or older. For Lillian Garbrick, now 91, her story was one of dramatic change in 1997. Twelve-year-old Sierra walked down a narrow two-lane road at 1 a.m. She carried a bag with her clothes jammed inside and another one stuffed with things from her room. A cell phone attached to a cord fell loosely around her neck. No wonder it shocked Lillian when her phone rang in the middle of the night. “‘Auntie Lil I’m walking to your house,’ she said,” Lillian remembers. “She told me, ‘I can’t live at home anymore. My stepmother hates me and picks on me all the time. I want to come to live with you.’ “I told her, ‘Sierra, turn around and go home. I will be there first thing in the morning to work things out.’ “The next morning, I drove to Pennsylvania and spoke 42 | DECEMBER 2016

to Sierra’s father, who agreed Sierra would be better with me. “I made an appointment to see a judge who signed the papers for me to have Sierra, so at age 72, I became the caretaker of a 12-year-old. This was a complete life change for me. I am not the typical grandparent, in fact, I am a great-aunt who took on the role of grandmother.

“When I was 21, I was engaged to be married when I found out my fiancé was cheating on me. I broke the engagement, cried my tears, picked up my oils, sat before a canvas and crafted painting after painting. After two weeks of this, I knew I had moped enough, so I decided to move on with my life. I joined the Women’s Army Core and began a long career in the Armed Forces. “I received my basic training at Fort Lee in Virginia, then on to Murphy General in Massachusetts. I served at Fort Dix and two terms in Germany. Then, I was assigned to the Pentagon and at Edgewood Arsenal. When serving in Massachusetts, I played softball for their semi-pro team. I was the catcher. Not many balls got by me either, and it was the most fun I ever had. I retired from the Armed Services with the rank of sergeant major. Little did I know, I would serve later as a grandparent, rearing a young girl. “Today, Sierra is a freshman at Salem College in Winston-Salem. She is making good grades, and she comes home as often as she can. Sierra doesn’t look at me as her mother; her mother died. She looks as me as a mother turned a proverbial grandmother. “On Mother’s Day, I shed tears of joy when Sierra gave me a Mother’s Day card with a sweet sentiment. I don’t want Sierra to dwell on the opportunities I afforded her. I want her to just respect me.”

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F of Y estiva este l ryea r by Carrie Frye


Photography by Diana Matthews

he clickety-clack of majestic draft horses’ hooves making their way down Hamlet Avenue and Main Street with a carriage of festival-goers in tow is one of the timeless traditions of Hamlet Old-Fashioned Christmas. For the ninth year, this festival is a tribute to olden days, celebrating the spirit of Christmas for two consecutive evenings from 6-9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9, along Hamlet Avenue and Saturday, Dec. 10, on Main Street. “Old Fashioned Christmas is the highlight of the year for the Hamlet Business Development Association, and having it in downtown Hamlet is so much fun,” says Amy Guinn, the group’s secretary and treasurer. “We hope the variety of ages and skill levels for our entertainment make the evening a special one for those entertainers as well as the audience.” Singers, musicians and a gospel and handbell choir are set to provide the sounds of the season while hot chocolate and hot cider take the chill out of the December air. Downtown Hamlet’s halls are decked, with streets and storefronts adorned in lights and boughs of red and green. Santa Claus, too, makes an appearance, sometimes on a bright red tractor, both evenings to engage with the children and learn their Christmas wishes. Tommy Peacock, pastor of New Vision Free Will Baptist Church, hopes to reprise his role as jolly old St. Nick this year. “I enjoy bringing joy into the lives of the kids who come and sharing what Christmas is all about,” he says. “Santa is a representative of Christmas and the spirit of giving.” CONTINUED PAGE 46

DECEMBER 2016 | 45

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Hamlet Holiday Events The Hamlet Christmas parade kicks off the season on Thursday, Dec. 8, at 3:30 p.m. with a 1.5-mile route along the downtown business district, sporting vintage fire trucks and Santa Claus with plenty to see in between. Hamlet Old-Fashioned Christmas welcomes all Friday, Dec. 9, along Hamlet Avenue, and Saturday, Dec. 10, on Main Street, from 6-9 p.m., both nights. For more information, visit or the Hamlet Old Fashioned Christmas Facebook page.


It is a family affair for the Peacocks, as Santa’s wife, Debbie, takes part in the reading of “The Polar Express,” which is just one of the many family-friendly children’s activities. Hamlet Old-Fashioned Christmas brings the smalltown warm welcome to visitors, just as it did in its heyday in the late 1800s as a hub for the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. Railroad lovers may want to come early prior to the festival and take a walk through the historic Hamlet Depot or National Railroad Museum and Hall of Fame. Hamlet may be small in size but its big heart opens wide to greet visitors and its neighbors alike in the sights, sounds and tastes of the season with a little bit of yesteryear. “Helping plan this event helps get me in the Christmas spirit,” Guinn says, “and that spirit continues on through the whole month of December.”

Carolina Conversations with


Community Outreach Projects’


by David Hibbard | Photography by Diana Matthews


oing on a quartercentury now, more than 26,000 children in Cumberland County and the surrounding area have had their Christmas holidays made brighter by the compassion and generosity of one man. Moses Mathis earned the moniker “The Bicycle Man” after his small project to fix up old bicycles for neighborhood children blossomed into something much bigger. Every December, at-risk children line up outside a Fayetteville warehouse to receive not just a bicycle, but the unbridled joy of getting a gift at Christmas time—and the pride of having something they can call their own. Although “The Bicycle Man” died in 2013, his wife, Ann, is fulfilling the promise she made to her husband of more than 45 years to make sure needy children continue to receive bicycles. We visited with Ann to find out more about the program, her husband’s love of children and ways the community can get involved. DECEMBER 2016 |



ONC: Your husband never set out to be “The Bicycle Man.” Tell us how this all got started. AM: My husband always loved children, so that’s no

surprise to anyone. He was sitting in the garage one afternoon right after Christmas, and this little boy came by. Moses asked him, ‘Did you get anything for Christmas?’ He said he did, but he didn’t get what he really wanted, and that was a bicycle. So Moses asked him if he had one, and the boy said he had an old, raggedy bicycle. So Moses said, ‘Bring it up, and I’ll fix it.’ He did, and after that, little children just started coming up to our house. We started out just as a community outreach project, and it grew from there. Moses and I and another couple started a community watch program, all of that was happening in the same year (1990), and my husband retired from Black & Decker. The community watch program was a response to trying to get rid of drugs in our neighborhood. Moses loved kids, so he started doing things to get kids in the neighborhood involved. We’d have kids over to the house and bring in different people to teach them about work ethic and other skills, how to plant flowers and vegetables and make them grow, things like that. As a result, more and more kids found out about Moses fixing bicycles and started bringing bikes to him. That’s when the bicycle thing took off. Gilbert Baez, who works with WRAL-TV now, he and Moses became friends, and he was the one who gave Moses the name “The Bicycle Man.” It started with him.

How did the program grow from the first few bikes?

The first year, we gathered enough bicycles to give away about 75 bikes. The second year, we added a computer to it—the kids had to write an essay, and the winner would receive a computer in addition to a bike. All of this was taking place in my home; I was still working, but Moses was retired.

Talk about the time some bicycles were stolen from you. In a strange way, it turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened...

I had never seen my husband cry or show any kind of emotion until we had almost all our bikes stolen from us (in 1993 or 1994). That was the first time, because that

48 | DECEMBER 2016

was his thing, making the kids happy. That year, the year those bikes were stolen, was the year we went national. CNN picked up the story. People from all over the place started sending us bikes. I remember (Cumberland County Sheriff) Moose Butler worked with us. They had a truck and went to Charlotte to pick up a bunch of bikes for us. That year, we gave away 2,000 bicycles, so the person who stole those bikes did not win! Things really took off. Those first few years, from October to December, we wound up spending our own money on this. We didn’t know what we were getting into. Moses just thought he was helping the community. We didn’t know anything about taxes and all that, but we always managed to have bicycles in December. How do you identify and ultimately select the children who will receive bicycles each Christmas?

In order for a child to get a bike, they have be in kindergarten through middle school, and they have to go through the social worker at that child’s school. Not the teachers, not the principal, but the social worker. We try to make sure we stick with at-risk children, the homeless children, the children who really need help. The social workers send letters home to the parents, and the parents have to return that letter back to the social worker. The social worker confirms with us that a child has a need, and the child receives a certificate. On the day we do the bike giveaway (this year, it will be Dec. 17), the child and parents have to bring that certificate with them. We do ask for a $5 donation on that day from the parent, to help us get started for the following year. We have to have some funds to help us get started. Instead of them going to Walmart and spending $50 for a bike, they come here for $5. The child has to be present. The parents bring them in with identification, check them in along with their $5 and then the kids pick out their bike. The only thing the parents do is bring the child and register them, and then our volunteers take it from there. The kids get helmets. They get a whole lot of stuff, not just a bicycle. The only thing we ask is that the parents bring the child, and allow that child to pick out their own bikes. The parents wait outside the warehouse while the kids pick out their bikes. That was Moses’ thing: it’s all about the children, not the parents. They come in and they have volunteers who will set them up, help size the child to a bike to make sure they can ride it.

You mention volunteers. How many do you have?

During the year, volunteers are scarce. That’s what I need. I have all these bikes in this warehouse that need to be repaired, and I need volunteers all year to help fix them. We get plenty of volunteers to help on the actual day of the giveaway event in December, but we need more all year long. Tell us about the bikes that are in your warehouse at any given time. Where do they come from?

All these bikes have been donated to us. Walmart donates a lot of bicycles to us, along with the private sector. We have one school in Holly Springs, a day care, they donated 200 brand new bicycles last year. We have some of the departments at Fort Bragg that donate bikes to us as well. Some of the national fraternal organizations donate, and some of the motorcycle clubs have also donated to us. Most of our donations come from Walmart. They donate all year. Sometimes we have

bike drives, where people can come and donate bikes at a certain location at a certain time. We’ve had those in Wake Forest, Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville. You also get bikes donated by individuals, and sometimes, those bikes need work before they can be given to a child. How important are bicycle parts to your operation?

Parts are essential. Pedals, kickstands, training wheels, seats—that’s where our money goes, is to buy parts. I work with Hawley’s Bicycle World, that’s who we get our parts from, and they sell those to us at cost, and that’s very helpful to us. I remember Mark Taylor (a Hawley’s staff member), he used to come to my house the night before the giveaway when we first started, and he and Moses would be out in the garage working on bicycles to give away the next morning. They have been one of my best supporters, other than Walmart. CONTINUED PAGE 50

DECEMBER 2016 | 49


How has the generosity of the local community, in addition to those from elsewhere, helped your program over the years?

One example is all the different warehouses we’ve had through the years to store and repair our bikes. This location is the 10th warehouse, and hopefully, this is going to become a permanent location. I don’t have to pay anything except the utility bills here, and every place we’ve ever been has been donated, like this one. What’s been most effective in spreading the word about this project?

Media. The media has played a great, big role. Newspapers, television, they’ve played a major role in everything that I do. Sometimes, people are amazed at the contacts I have in the media. If I partner with another group on some other project, they’ll say, “Ann, can you get the media there?” And I call the media and they show up. I’ve become friends with so many people at the television stations and radio stations. So it’s all these people that know our good work. You’re known for giving bicycles away in December, but is that the only time of year?

No. We work with different agencies that work with the homeless or homeless veterans, people who are trying to get on their feet and don’t have transportation. We are active all year, both receiving bikes and also giving them away. How are the funds that people and organizations donate to you used?

We use that money to buy parts and keep our doors open. Every December, people are able to see where their money goes. Last year, we gave away 1,300 bicycles, and about 1,200 of those were during the Christmas holidays. What does it mean to you to do something that helps children, but that you also know perpetuates what your husband loved to do?

To me, it’s helping somebody else. I’ve always helped people, and I wanted to continue that as long as possible. It means a lot to see these kids get something for Christmas. If they don’t get anything else, they’ve got a bicycle. It means a lot. My husband’s main thing was that it was all about the kids. As long as the kids are happy, it’s fine. 50 | DECEMBER 2016

The Bicycle Man project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, accepts donations of used bicycles at its warehouse, located at 1800 Wynfare Drive in Fayetteville, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. To donate, volunteer or lend your support, visit or call 910-424-3083.

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Holidays & History —Oakwood by Candlelight— by David Hibbard | Photography by Shannon Coleman



he shaded sidewalks and stately homes of Raleigh’s Historic Oakwood neighborhood teem with history. Before the neighborhood was even a thought, this area that is now just a short walk from the city’s center once served as a campground for the Union troops led by Gen. William Sherman during the Civil War. By the 1890s and into the early 20th century, the neighborhood became a fashionable place of residence for both the working and upper-middle classes, and, unusual for the times, welcomed both black and white residents. | DECEMBER 2016

As Raleigh grew after World War II, Oakwood gradually fell out of favor with those seeking to live in the city’s newer, suburban neighborhoods. The neighborhood turned into a hodgepodge of abandoned homes and houses repurposed as apartments or boarding houses, and in 1972, the state designated Oakwood as the corridor for a proposed North-South Expressway that would have leveled most of its remaining homes. At the same time, though, new homeowners attracted by Oakwood’s genteel charm began moving into the neighborhood, and they launched an effort to save it from the wrecking ball. They joined forces with some of the neighborhood’s older homeowners to form the Society for the Preservation of Historic Oakwood, and the group held the first Oakwood Candlelight Tour during the Christmas holiday season to showcase the area’s exquisite Neoclassical Revival and Craftsman-style homes. The state eventually relented, and Oakwood experienced its own renaissance over the next 25 years, once again becoming a magnet for people who appreciated the style of its century-old homes. And the Candlelight Tour that started in 1972 continues today, opening some of Oakwood’s homes for a weekend each December to the general public, this year, Dec. 10-11. It’s a holiday highlight for many to tour homes like the Whitelaw-Boushall House, owned today by Chris and Jessica Gotwalt. Restored in 1992, the home was originally built in 1876 for John Whitelaw, a Scottishborn building stone contractor. When Whitelaw died in a boiler accident, the house was sold in 1894 to politician Joseph Dozier Boushall and his wife, Mattie, and they soon expanded it and added a wraparound porch, a west wing with a small balcony, and stained glass windows. CONTINUED PAGE 54

DECEMBER 2016 | 53


The Gotwalts have made further updates and added a rear porch, but Jessica Gotwalt is quick to point out that the work never really ends with a 140-year-old house. While homeowners in Oakwood may have any number of projects on their wish lists, sometimes those take a back seat to more pressing concerns. “There are things you want to do, but then there are things that the house wants to do, like shoring up the foundation,” says Gotwalt of a recent project she and her husband learned was essential to preserving their home. But with its original hardwood floors and countless other touches, Jessica Gotwalt says the house is worth it. “It’s a huge commitment, in terms of money, but we just love the house.” The old neighborhood has a way of changing people’s plans in other ways, too. Coleen and Nick Speaks moved to Raleigh from New Orleans in 2003, thinking they would only be in town for a year or two. “We bought this house thinking we would renovate it, flip it and move back to New Orleans,” says Coleen Speaks of the A.M. Prince House, built in 1906. Two days after moving in, the Speaks found out they were expecting a child. That, combined with their growing love of the immediate neighborhood and Raleigh in general, convinced the Speaks to make this their permanent home. What once was an illegal liquor house in the 1980s, complete with a bullet hole in the transom over the front door, has now been restored and features the couple’s eclectic taste in art, as well as a two-story modernist addition with oxidized steel siding. “Sure, you have to think about money when you own one of these homes, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Coleen says. Throughout Oakwood, tour-goers can expect any number of visual treats from a bygone era. The Thompson-AndersonAllen-Robertson House has an elevator as well as kitchen and floor tiles imported from Mexico. The Pullen-Hutchings House has exterior walls that are three bricks thick, and its original light fixtures, once powered by natural gas, have been preserved with their conversion to electricity. Today, the neighborhood enjoys designation on the National Register of Historic Places, and as a local Historic District, new construction or alterations to historic homes must first be approved by a commission. Regardless of which homes are featured from year to year on the Candlelight Tour, Oakwood’s unique heritage and style will be on display, preserved for generations to come. 54 | DECEMBER 2016

The 45th annual Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour is set for SaturdaySunday, Dec. 10-11, from 1 to 7 p.m. each day. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 on tour days. Advance ticket sales will end Thursday, Dec. 8. On tour days, tickets must be purchased at The Tucker House, located at 418 North Person Street in Raleigh. For details, visit .

DECEMBER 2016 | 55


s we wish each other health and happiness, let’s start by addressing some holiday health and safety concerns.

First, a few data points: during the winter holidays, people tend to go to the emergency room more frequently. Reasons vary from mundane to metaphysical.

• Auto accidents:

Some accidents stem from driving while tired or intoxicated; other causes include people traveling to unfamiliar locations and driving during winter conditions.

• Decorating accidents:

This Holiday Season,

Think Safety by Jennifer Webster

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 15,000 people visit the ER in a year for decorating-related mishaps. (That time frame includes Thanksgiving, but not New Year’s.) The most common culprit for injury? Falling from a ladder. Stepping on broken ornaments can also be a problem.

• Overeating:

A little extra turkey ... and dressing ... and ham ... and pie ... and you’re on the way to indigestion that can feel like a heart attack. It’s even called “heart” burn. But it’s not always a false alarm: For people who already have cardiac problems, a heavy meal can trigger angina and heart arrhythmia, according to a University of California physician.

56 | DECEMBER 2016

• Ignoring symptoms: Since heart attacks can masquerade as heartburn, people may be tempted to attribute chest pains to too much raisin rum cake.

• Depression and self-harm: People may become isolated or, alternately, overwhelmed

during the social season. While it’s a myth that more people commit suicide on Christmas, ERs do see an uptick in behaviors related to depression.

• Alcohol- and drug-related events: Addictive behaviors may worsen around the holidays,

especially given more opportunity (think punchbowls). And if someone suffers from social problems—whether they’re stressed out by too much socializing and family drama, or feel extra-lonely when they see everyone else visiting friends and relatives—they may turn to substances to dull the edge of their pain.

All these dangers may sound like scaremongering, but really, they’re just common sense. When people change their routines, eating habits and socializing patterns, there’s more opportunity for mishap. Staying safe just takes a little forethought and a commitment to celebrating your winter holidays with moderation and tranquility.

Secure Yourself No one or two pieces of advice can cover every eventuality. But here are some general tips to stay safe from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.

• Be careful around ladders. Don’t stand on the top rung. Follow instructions included with a ladder. Replace old, battered ladders.

• Drive carefully. Leave for parties and visits early. Observe speed limits. Determine your

route before you begin; never consult directions on your cell phone, or try to read a paper map, while driving.

• Eat moderately. If a buffet is full of things you love, for instance, take just a small spoonful of each. Before taking seconds, give yourself a break to assess how full you’re really feeling. Drink a big tumbler of ice water before or during a meal to help you feel full.

• Keep a watchful eye for fire risks. Make sure live trees are not dried out; check that artificial trees are fire resistant. Put out candles before going to bed, and never leave candles unattended. Check the wiring of decorations as you take them out of storage.


DECEMBER 2016 | 57


• Manage your stress. Help loved ones with their stress, too. Women, in particular, experience elevated

levels of anxiety around the holidays. If you’re a man, do a little load-balancing for the women in your life. Are they taking on the lion’s share of cooking, cleaning, decorating and buying presents? Identify ways you can share the work. In the same way, men may feel extra anxious if they can’t afford the kinds of presents they’d like to. Again, manage expectations so your wage-earners don’t feel like they have to do more than they can. Ask for cost-free gifts, like breakfast in bed or a day spent hiking together.

• Pay attention to your body. If you need to skip a party for a nap, do it. If you feel too sleepy to drive,

ask to stay over or get a ride home. And if you feel chest pains, visit the ER rather than write it off as too much mashed potatoes. Better to look a little foolish than place yourself in danger.

• If you drink or use addictive prescription medications... Be aware of situations that may make your

usage problematic. Create plans to avoid the danger beforehand. For instance, you might resolve to drink only at parties at home, and come up with a good line to turn away offers of alcohol (“No wine for me, thanks; I don’t need the carbs.”) If you know back pain may encourage you to reach for a prescription pain medicine, plan ahead to avoid heavy lifting and schedule yourself a massage or spa day.

Safely Cook and Serve Food Consider these food handling tips this season:

Leave food on the table or buffet?

• All perishable foods—2 hours • In a hot location—1 hour or less • If food has been left out more than these times, throw it away.

Store foods in the refrigerator?

• Raw fish, chicken and ground meat—2 days • Raw cuts of meat—3 to 5 days • Leftover cooked food—4 days • Meat, chicken, fish or egg salad—3 days

Store foods on the shelf?

• Canned food—3 to 5 years

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends arranging your buffets to keep hot foods hot (140 degrees or more) and cold foods cold (40 degrees or less). Use heating trays or heat lamps for warm foods; nestle cold foods in bowls of ice cubes. And, put foods away immediately after dinner to prevent spoilage. That way, you can save your leftovers and your healthy eating plan.

Pope Leo the Great wrote, “Peace is the first thing the angels sang.” Stay calm. Embrace peace. And be safe this winter. 58 | DECEMBER 2016

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GREY MATTER See Grey Matter Puzzle Answers on Page 62

Active Angel Baby Bells Birth Brandy Bread Camel

Donkey Elves Fairies Family Fir Flock Ghosts Gift

Candy Card Carol Cedar Chestnut Child Chimney Crib Crowds Cupid Dasher Dolls

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Holy I Saw Three Ships Icicle Inn Ivy

Noel Party Pie Pine

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Jesus Joy

1. Hindu princesses 6. Unload, as stock 10. Supergarb 14. Avoid 15. “Mi chiamano Mimi,” e.g.


16. Clickable image 24. Illicit cigarette 17. Front of the plane 26. Provides an upper 19. Put one’s foot down? interior surface to a room 20. “Star Trek” rank: Abbr. 28. Cabernet, e.g. 21. “For shame!” 29. To create a ring 22. Nay-______ 33. #1 spot | DECEMBER 2016

Port Potato Prophecy Punch Red Roast Sales Sauce

Stockings Toast Toys Turkey Vixen Wassail Song Worship Wreath Xmas Yule

7. Victorian, for one 8. Sue Grafton’s “___ for Lawless” 9. Famous TV collie 10. Fancy person from the big city 11. “God’s Little ___” 12. “D” 13. Aims 18. Turn 23. High up 25. American side 26. Video maker, for short 27. Clear, as a disk 30. Advil target 31. Accordingly 32. Congers 33. Dangerous biters 34. Hint 35. Fictional resource of magic 37. Appeared 40. Wild Asian dog 42. Sloth, e.g. 45. Favorite 48. To fight back 50. Fondle 53. A crossbeam 54. Accept 55. Cavern, in poetry 56. Alone 57. Fit DOWN 58. Impulse transmitter 1. Allude 59. ___ bag 2. Dress style 63. “___ any drop to 3. Care for 4. Driver’s lic. and others drink”: Coleridge 64. “For shame!” 5. Couch 65. Backstabber 6. Preserve, in a way

36. Dalai ___ 38. A flat sheet of microfilm 39. Defamation 41. Small bag 43. Beverage made with fruit juices 44. Airy 46. Some male dolls 47. Odd shaped fish with elongated snout 49. Crystal meth, in slang 51. Admiral’s command 52. Home decorator Stewart 56. Round lot’s 100 59. Toni Morrison’s “___ Baby” 60. Howard of “Happy Days” 61. Checker, perhaps 62. Not willing to endure 66. ___ vera 67. Dirty coat 68. Enjoy 69. Short for generations 70. Certain surgeon’s “patient” 71. About 1.3 cubic yards


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Set Goals for 2017 by Jackie Bedard


he holidays are here, and for many of us, that means using this time to sit back and reflect on our successes or failures of the last year. Now is the best time to set personal and financial goals for 2017. Write two simple lists to help make progress for the coming year.


Set Simple Goals The first is a list of your top 10 personal and financial goals for the year—as simply stated as possible. This list might include paying more attention to your children, exercising more or paying off old debt by following a new budget plan. One goal to consider is making sure your estate planning documents are up to date. Draft the list out, set it aside for a day or two and come back to it to make revisions or additions. Repetition and Reminders Once you’ve set these goals, make three copies: one for your desk, one taped near the bathroom mirror at home, and one miniaturized in size to carry in a wallet or purse. This might seem silly, but reading one’s goals regularly can really help ensure commitment to achieving them.


The Little Things The second list is all about the little things you have been tolerating over the last year. Sprint out a list of these annoyances. Don’t worry about prioritizing it, just put pen to paper. Maybe you’re missing a button on your favorite sweater and are reminded of it each time you put it on to take the dog on a walk. It might be a garage door that needs fixing or a checking account that needs reconciling. Once you begin writing these things down, it becomes clear just how many annoyances you’ve been putting up with in daily life that need addressing. Regardless of its content, this list of tolerations will certainly grow if it is not addressed. You don’t need to take an oath to eliminate all of these issues within the next year, but you will have a much better chance of addressing most of them if you just start by writing them down.

Bedard, an elder law attorney with Carolina Family Estate Planning, can be reached at 919-443-3035 or by visiting .

62 | DECEMBER 2016


‘Wedding Bell Blues’ Book Review by Michelle Goetzl


ooking for a little small-town humor to go with your reading? Enjoy a little mystery with some seriously eccentric characters? Look no further than “Wedding Bell Blues,” the second in the popular Dixie Dew Mysteries written by North Carolina native Ruth Moose. “Wedding Bell Blues” is part of the cozy mystery genre. In this subgenre of crime fiction, sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. The murder happens early in the novel, but gets lost amid all of the other craziness that happens to Beth McKenzie and the town of Littleboro, based loosely on Pittsboro. Not a lot goes on in Littleboro, North Carolina, so folks have been pretty interested in the wedding plans of Crazy Reba, the lovable, harmless local homeless lady. No one in town believes she will really be marrying anyone, but they indulge her nonetheless. When Beth McKenzie, owner of the Dixie Dew Bed & Breakfast, gets a call one morning from a hysterical Reba saying that she has killed her fiancé, the wheels get put in motion for the silly romp that gets everyone caught up in its craziness. Beth’s fiancé may or may not have been Butch Rigsbee, whose wife is on the hunt for him after he continues to cheat on her and thinks that Beth is the hussy she is after. Amidst this small-town angst, we are also privy to Littleboro’s First Annual Green Bean Festival, where a famous food critic becomes deathly ill, and to watching as Beth helps plan the real wedding of her friend Juanita to police chief Ossie DelGardo, all while trying to keep her little B&B afloat. A do-gooder at heart, Beth tries to help her friend, but she always manages to get herself into trouble and everyone else’s business. With a fun cast of characters and a slew of Southern charm, “Wedding Bell Blues” might be the right light read to enjoy by the fire. Goetzl writes an online blog—“Books My Kids Read.” She loves books and sharing that love of reading with children. She can be reached at .

DECEMBER 2016 | 63



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by Carrie Frye

OutreachNC asked adults and children our December question. Share your answer on our Facebook page.

What is the best gift you ever received and why?

The joy of seeing the kids open gifts. —Bob, 64

My daughter and son.

A sisterhood diamond ring from my best friend who has now passed away. —Pamela, 59

My wife, because she married me.

A family portrait that my 3-yearold granddaughter drew. —Johnny, 70

Salvation. —Rita, 67 A brand new car once, complete with a huge bow. —Joanna, 64 My Rado watch. It’s maintenancefree. —Craig, 75 A trip to Israel and the Holy Land. —Betty, 73 Friends. You always need one. —Carole, 61

Books. I love history. —Leo, 70 Grandchildren. They are such a blessing. —Shirley, 66 My man cave. —Robert, 57 My engagement ring. —Becky, 59

66 | DECEMBER 2016

—Lorraine, 79

—Michael, 56

The greatest gift I have ever received is a loving family, because without them, I would have nothing to live for. —Matthew, 11

Smiles from my stroke-survivor husband. —Sharon, 62

A drum set. I had been asking for one for two years and I finally got one. —Max, 10

A unicorn from Santa, and it has pink wings and pretty hair.

The best gift I’ve ever gotten was my dog, Kramer. —Harrison, 9

Going to GaGa and PaPa’s house and building Legos with them.

When my parents took me and my sister to New York to see “Cats” on Broadway. —Judy, 9

—Haley, 5

—John David, 4

Getting my American Girl doll for Christmas because it can come with so many clothes. —Charlotte, 5

My best gift was a check. It’s for my college. I got this because my family loves me and they want me to be smart when I grow up. —Olivia, 10 A bear and a blanket. I got it right after my heart surgery so it is very special to me. —Hannah, 10

My favorite monster truck last Christmas because it was my one that I was really badly wanting. —Harper, 5

A truck that I could actually drive around my house. I’m giving a note to Santa to thank him. —Brennen, 6

My blue paw-patterned nap blankie. —OutreachNC

Co-editor Jeeves, 3


Tidings of


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to you —our readers & advertisers— for the Holidays and a Happy New Year!

2017 Coming in

JANUARY—Fit After 50 FEBRUARY—Downsizing By Design MARCH—Mindful Aging APRIL—Careers & Volunteers MAY—DIY Boom

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JUNE—Destination Travel JULY—Food for Thought AUGUST—Living Social SEPTEMBER—Retire N.C. OCTOBER—Slow Medicine NOVEMBER—Planning With Purpose DECEMBER—Leaving A Legacy 67 DECEMBER 2016 |

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OutreachNC Magazine December 2016  
OutreachNC Magazine December 2016  

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