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Know the Shape of your Heart

Cardiac Risk Screening Saturday, February 23 8-11am

SCREENINGS: • Blood pressure • HDL cholesterol • Glucose • Body Mass Index • Nutrition consultation • Total cholesterol • EKG (results will be reviewed by a physician)

ONLY $20! Space is limited, call 334-293-8805 to register or go to

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2013




February 2013

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

BOOM!, The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


February 2013

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

Volume 3 Issue 7

Carl Bard

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Humor Advice Health Community

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

3 Jackson Hospital’s Health News 6 Publisher’s Letter 8 The Dating Coach 9 Valentine’s Day Cards by phone 12 BOOM! Cover Profile


14 Staying Connected to Your Ex-Daughter-in-Law After Divorce

16 I Took a Hike to 18 Investigating an 20 “She is one of the Celebrate My Birthday Encore Career world’s best huggers”

15 Do You Need a PreRetirement Checkup?

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What a birthday trek

Departments 10 This and That Have you heard...?

a hospital chaplain

28 {12} Things

Solutions for bored Boomers

and a Fairy Godmother

22 Healthy Hearing, Love, Marriage and Hearing Loss

30 Greg Budell That Girl!

25 Boomer Humor 27 Art & Soul


31 BOOM! Advertising


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BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine is published monthly by River Region Publications, 6398 Eastwood Glen Pl., Montgomery, AL 36117. The phone number for voice and fax is 334.523.9510. Copyright 2013 by River Region Publications. No part of this publication can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed in BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.

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February 2013



publisher’s letter

“Gomer Got Married” The mission of BOOM! is to serve the folks of the River Region age 50 plus with information and ideas to inspire new experiences, better quality of life and new beginnings.

Publisher/Editor Jim Watson, 334.523.9510

Associate Editor Kelly Watson

Contributing Writers Sandi Aplin Dr. Bettie Borton Greg Budell Sarah Cavill Curtis Compton Lisa Copeland Tammy Griffin Rebecca Nappi Fred Swegles Winnie Yu

Cover Photography Lola Fine Art Photography 334.551.2700

Advertising Jim Watson, 334.523.9510

Monette Mottenon, 334.523.9510

Design & Layout Lake House Graphics

Distribution Network Delivery

Printing Publications Press, Montgomery, AL

Jim Watson, Publisher

I’m proud to feature Tammy Griffin in this month’s BOOM! Cover Profile. Some of you know Tammy is the owner of A Catered Affair where she serves up delicious food to lots of party goers here in the River Region. Her story is interesting and I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know her. Another feature is about a man who turned 70 and decided to take a 250 mile hike. His observations about this very unique experience are worth a look and you’ll probably use the same word to describe his experience as he did, WOW!

As we move through our 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, many of us are checking out what are commonly called “encore careers.” We have a writer who left her regular job to investigate being a hospital chaplain. Will you pursue an encore career? I learned a new word in this month’s issue, Nonagenarian. Do you know what it means? Anyway, this nonagenarian is a Fairy Godmother and her flock thinks she has the best hugs in the world! Hard to argue with them considering how valuable these hugs can be. We have plenty of other good reads, like Greg Budell talking about his “That Girl”; Sandi Aplin sharing an article about the Alabama Art Colony at Lake Martin; and Dr. Bettie Borton making a great point about love, marriage and hearing loss. I know you wives will appreciate that. I hope you find a few surprises along the way and your reading experience is one of the best in the River Region. Please continue to share with your Boomer friends and even a few of the younger ones interested in a fun read. Don’t forget to Kiss your Valentine!


334.244.0436 334.324.3472 cell/text 334.523.9510 office

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February 2013

Gomer got married! Gaaaahhhhhh-leeee! Jim Nabors, the Alabama native who played Gomer Pyle for many seasons on the “Andy Griffith Show” and later had his own show called “Gomer Pyle, USMC,” has married his partner of nearly 40 years. Jim Nabors is 82 and his partner Stan Cadwallader is 64. I mean to tell you, Gomer has finally tied the notch. I couldn’t believe it when I read this in the news the other day. Gaaahhhh-leeee, I didn’t think Gomer was still living, so that surprised me in itself, but marriage? As someone who has lived 63 years, I can remember my father reminding me that there was nothing new under the sun and I guess I believed him for the most part until Rock and Roll music showed up and we went to the moon and we got Google Smart and now Gomer, I mean Jim, married Stan! Yeah dad, there’s plenty of things that are new and different and for some, just plain weird. Congratulations Gomer!

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2013



By Lisa Copeland


Why Men are Tuned in and Turned Off by Drama Question: Why are men so quick to want a relationship with you if they like you? Answer: A man has this ability to see the woman he thinks is right for him, and once he finds her, he goes after her. Men don’t analyze like we do. It’s very black and white for a man and if, in his mind, you are the one he wants to be with, he’s going to pursue you. You see, a man’s only emotional connection in his life is with a woman. Think about it, men talk sports, not feelings, with other men. Men not only miss an emotional connection with a woman after a relationship has ended, they yearn for it and need it in their lives again. So when a man finds a woman he thinks he can emotionally connect with, he will pursue her in the hopes of having that missing piece come back into his life once again. Question: When looking at men’s profiles online, I often see them write something similar to: “I don’t do drama well so be sure you are able to move on from your past relationships.” When I see this, it suggests to me that those who include that are not emotionally intelligent and may tend to be conflict avoiders. I also think it’s highly unrealistic for guys 50 and over to expect that the women they will meet now should not have any unresolved pain or need to talk about what went wrong in their marriages. What do you think, Lisa? Is this a red flag? Answer: Let’s start by identifying what drama means to a man, and this will help answer some of your concerns. In a man’s mind, the drama a woman brings to the table means she is


February 2013

constantly talking about her past and problems with her ex, her children or her friends. From time to time, most of us have some amount of residual drama with an ex but when an entire first or second date is devoted to a woman’s issues with her world, it turns a man off. Why? Because a man feels he has to fix your problems. It is literally in his DNA to help you as a “damsel in distress.” Yet, deep down, he knows when it comes to exes, he can’t fix this for you. So he thinks this is going to set him up as a failure in your eyes, before anything even can get started between the two of you. You, on the other hand, might be bringing him your “drama” to get a man’s perspective on the situation. But as you can see, he doesn’t view it the same way you do. It’s always good to make sure the majority of issues in your life are cleaned up before you start dating. When something comes up that is troubling you, call a friend or your sister to help you work it out. If you are in a relationship with a good man and issues with your world come up, he will be there to support you and help you find solutions to fix what’s wrong. But in the world of first, second and third dates, it’s better to go elsewhere for advice on what’s troubling you. Lisa Copeland, “The Dating Coach Who Makes Dating Fun and Easier after 50!” Find out more at (c) 2012, Lisa Copeland, Distributed by MCT Information Services

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Valentine’s Day Cards by phone What’s more exciting than getting real mail? Ok, a lot of things, but it is pretty great to get an actual card or letter. Something you can’t accidentally delete. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there’s no time like the present to merge your love of technology, your love of genuine mail and your love of a loved one. Several apps on Android and iOS platforms offer programs where you can design and mail a legit Valentine’s card or postcard from your phone. For a low, low price, you’ll get beautiful paper, cool designs and even your own photos. You’re never too old to learn new apps! Red Stamp: This is a beautiful and simple application. Red Stamp has the most options for cards, with over 30 for Valentine’s Day alone. Other categories include love, thank you, support, invites, baby announcements, holidays and more, with custom photo or without. The graphics are modern and fun, and the interface is a no-brainer. It took me less than 10 minutes to pick a postcard and mail it. You can select the mailing addresses from you contact list, making mass mailings easy. Expect to see Red Stamp all over your mailbox next Christmas. Price: Free in iTunes. $1.99 per card, including postage. Touchnote Postcards: These cards aren’t specific to any one holiday, but since it is a postcard of one of your photographs, you can make it whatever you want. Upload your favorite pic from a romantic Paris trip and send it as a Valentine. With over 400,000 downloads, and rave reviews for the product and quality of service, this is a charming way to share photos and reach out to loved ones. At 1-4 days for production

and delivery, they have the fastest turnaround time, as well keeping a history of your cards, and offering mass mailings. Price: Free in Android Market and iTunes for iPhone and iPad $1.49 per card, including postage. CardsCards: Offers pretty and elegant letterpress designs for thank you notes, holidays, baby announcements, birthdays and Valentines. It’s an actual card with an envelope addressed in refined script. It’s relatively intuitive to use, and most of the cards are photo cards, with customized texts, but the selection is limited and despite offering international mailing options, it couldn’t find a Canadian address I’ve mailed to dozens of times. Also, you have to resend your card over and over again instead of mass mailing, which isn’t ideal for announcements or holiday cards. Price: Free in iTunes. $2.99 per card, including postage. Sincerely Ink: Sincerely Ink has loads of modern, fun designs. They have a large Valentine’s selection, including photo cards, traditional Valentine’s cuteness, and graphic concepts. Their cards run the full gamut of holidays and sharing opportunities, including engagement cards. Ordering is very straightforward, I did so on my iPad in less than 10 minutes, including a photo. Sincerely Ink has also teamed with Cartolina Postale to offer romantic, vintage designs that would be lovely for Valentine’s or to send from a trip abroad. All cards can be mass mailed and are printed on heavyweight, glossy card stock. Price: Sincerely Ink is free in Android Market and iTunes. Cartolina Postale is free in iTunes. $1.99 per card, including postage. Sarah Cavill,



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February 2013




This & tHAT

The Cloverdale Playhouse Presents Here, life is beautiful….This classic of the American musical theatre takes place in the Kit Kat Klub of Berlin as the 1920s draw to a close. The Master of Ceremonies welcomes the audience to the show and assures them that, “Here, life is beautiful” and whatever their troubles, they will forget them at the Cabaret. Filled with memorable songs such as “Maybe This Time,” “Don’t Tell Mama,” It Couldn’t Please Me More,” and a cast of unforgettable characters, this evening at the Kit Kat Klub will make you leave your troubles at the door. A winner of 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical,by the writers who gave us CHICAGO. Directed by Randy Foster. “One of the greatest musicals of all time — if not actually THE greatest musical of all time.” —LondonTheatre To purchase tickets, visit

American Spiritual Ensemble at AUM on February 11th in Honor of Black History Month The American Spiritual Ensemble has performed around the world, delighting audiences with dynamic renditions of classic spirituals, jazz tunes and Broadway numbers that highlight the African-American experience. In honor of Black History Month, Auburn University at Montgomery’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs will host the ensemble for a free public concert on February 11, 6 pm, in Goodwyn Hall room 109. The performance marks a return home for the ensemble’s founding director Everett McCorvey, whose father is a deacon at the historic First Baptist Church on Ripley Street. A tenor soloist, McCorvey has performed worldwide at such venues as the Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Opera and Radio City Music Hall. He is a voice professor and former chair of the music department at the University of Kentucky. For more information on the American Spiritual Ensemble or its AUM performance, visit www. or

Never Too Old to Perform! It’s been more than four decades since Crosby, Stills & Nash first harmonized in Laurel Canyon and played their first concert as a trio at the legendary Woodstock festival. David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash have each been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. This legendary trio became a cornerstone of rock ‘n roll with the self-titled 1969 debut LP, tabbed as one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” They’ll be performing Friday, May 24th, at 8pm at Montgomery’s MPAC Downtown. For ticket info, call MPAC Box Office: 334.481.5100 or visit Elton John is set to perform at Garrett Coliseum on Friday, March 22nd at 8pm. Ticket prices will range between $29 and $139 and can be bought at ticketmaster or the Garrett Coliseum box office. “The Garrett Coliseum is very excited to host Elton John in Montgomery for the first time since 2000,” said Randy Stephenson, General Manager, “Elton John is one of the world’s premiere artists, and his is the first, in what we hope will be many, legendary concerts in the newly renovated facility.”

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February 2013

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Dick Van Dyke is Having the Time of His Life Dick Van Dyke is having the time of his life. At 87, his new lease on life began last year when he married the “new” love of his life, make-up artist Arlene Silver, who is 46 years his junior. He has performed in many areas, as an actor, producer, singer, comedian, writer and dancer and he has done them all with ease. His most notable works are his television series “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” created by Carl Reiner (1961-1966), and “Diagnosis Murder” (1993-2001), and his films “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Mary Poppins” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” Van Dyke is scheduled to receive The Life Achievement Award this year at the annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Q & A: You were married in 2012 to Arlene Silver. How does it feel to be a newlywed? I married somebody half my age and everybody thought I was crazy, but she is just an absolute angel. She sings and dances so there’s a lot of that going around the house. She’s a great cook, and the age difference hasn’t been a problem at all. Emotionally I’m about 13. She’s very, very wise for her age so I’m just having the time of my life. At 87, what’s your secret to keeping fit? I’ve always exercised, and of course I’ve always danced. I tell people my motives [for exercising] have changed. In my 30s, I exercised to look good; in my 50s, I exercised to stay fit; in my 70s, I exercised to stay ambulatory; and in my 80s, I exercise to avoid assisted living.”

Montgomery Pinot Festival

Wednesday, February 20, 6-8 pm. For those who are unfamiliar with this event, it is a large wine tasting of Oregon wines with a special emphasis on Pinot Noir. Montgomery Pinot Festival is held in downtown Montgomery at 129 Coosa, a wonderful special event venue. 80 - 100 wines will be open for tasting, and many winery representatives will be on hand to talk about their wine. Jennie Weller Catering will provide dekicious food. Discounts on wines ordered will be significant. Ticket Prices (including tax): $27.50 in advance. $33.00 at the door (cash or check only, please) Tickets Available @ Ted The Wine Guy & Co., 3062 Zelda Rd, 395-9911 or

Millbrook Mardi Gras Parade & Festival With a parade measuring over one mile long, a festival featuring classic Cajun and traditional fare from four states, along with arts and crafts, live entertainment and children’s activities, the Millbrook Revelers are proud to host the largest Mardi Gras celebration in Central Alabama. The festival begins at 9 a.m. and the parade kicks off at noon with lots and lots of beads and other traditional throws. Vendors open until 3 p.m. For info, call Art Elsner, 334.285.6847 or Visit www.

The Order of the Cimarrón Mardi Gras Parade

The Order of the Cimarrón Mardi Gras Parade is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 9th in downtown Wetumpka. The parade will feature vibrant floats featuring all that is Mardi Gras with plenty of colorful beads and other Mardi Grasrelated throws. This year’s theme to the Order’s parade is “A Journey Through the French Quarter.” Phone: 334-3007583 or email or visit facebook page of Order of the Cimarrón.

Bonefish Grill Now Does Brunch! Bonefish Grill at The Shoppes at EastChase is now serving Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. The new menu will include traditional brunch selections—including omelets, French toast, fresh fruit and croissants, just to name a few—and also specialty menu items such as steak and seafood options, salads and “American Style” Kobe burgers. Traditional brunch cocktails, Bellini’s and mimosas will be served, along with spirit-free specialty drink options.

Merle Norman’s Most Cutting-Edge Skin Care Products Anti-Aging Complex Emulsion: Face the future with the most advanced anti-aging facial hydrator designed for every day wear. Packed with anti-aging ingredients and broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen protection it helps reduce the signs of premature aging while helping to protect skin from future damage. Anti-Aging Complex Eye Treatment: Designed to treat the delicate and sensitive eye area, this truly hydrating formula utilizes cutting-edge ingredients and encapsulated Broad Spectrum SPF 15 to treat and protect fine lines, wrinkles and puffiness. Clinical tests show that both the Anti-Aging Complex Emulsion and Anti-Aging Complex Eye Treatment demonstrates exceptional results, including 94% experienced improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. See for more details or visit their store at the Shoppes at Eastchase. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2013




Tammy Griffin, Serving Others

I went on a mission trip to South Africa to Feed the Children”. Here we are preparing the soup for the “soup” line

This month’s BOOM! profile is Tammy Griffin. Tammy is the owner of A Catered Affair and has been cooking and serving delicious food for Montgomerians since 1996. She also serves others through mission work with her church. Tammy is one of the many Boomers living a dream and enjoying the benefits of serving others. We visited with Tammy recently and she shared some of her life’s journey with us. Hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we have. BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, i.e. where you’re from, education, what brought you to the Montgomery area, did you raise your family here, schools, married, family, etc? Tammy: I was born and raised in

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Union Springs, AL. I attended Bullock Memorial School and graduated in 1977. I attended Troy State University and graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with minors in math and Business. While at Troy, I was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority where I was the Social chairman, Membership Chairman and Rush Chairman. I married my high school sweetheart, Scott Griffin on September 5, 1981. He is a pharmacist for CVS. I worked for West Point Pepperell and Southtrust Bank right after graduation. I moved to Montgomery in 1982 and worked for First Alabama/Regions as a computer programmer from 1981 to 1994. I resigned from Regions to be a stay at home Mom & wife. My brother and I opened a restaurant in 1996 on

the Troy Highway called Country Café & Catering Co. We did some catering, but mostly lunches. The catering continued to grow and in 2000, I sold the restaurant to open A Catered Affair. I moved my business to Chantilly Place in 2010. I have two children, Jake, 26, and Jessica, 25. Jake lives in Indianapolis where he is the project manager for a company that restores historical homes. Jessica lives in Montgomery and works for me full-time. BOOM!: As the owner of A Catered Affair, would you share with us how you started your business. Were there any unique challenges because you’re a woman? Tammy: My Dad and Mom owned a restaurant in Union Springs and I

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helped them on the weekends and after school. I grew up working in the food industry. I always loved to cook and catered my sister’s and best friend’s wedding. I would always handle the company parties, sorority parties, & church events. I guess it was in my blood. BOOM!: What are the top three reasons for someone to have their event catered? What are your favorite foods to serve?

BOOM!: If you weren’t helping people make their event special, what kind of work would you be doing? Any dream jobs? Tammy: Teaching people to cook. I guess my dream job would be to have my own cooking show. BOOM!: What is it about living in the Montgomery/ River Region area that you like?

Tammy: I love to travel, read, & go to the movies! I also love to eat out. BOOM!: What future challenges do you have in operating A Catered Affair? Would you like to expand? Open a restaurant? Tammy: As with any business, it is always a challenge to find and keep trained reliable employees. I would love to open a venue. I have had a restaurant, so I’m not ready to open another one at this time.

BOOM!: Does technology play Tammy: Small a role in the town community Scott and I with 2 rescued boys in the shelter in catering business? in a city. Tammy: Most people Honduras. We go every summer in July Convenient to the have their event catered Tammy: Yes, the beach, the lake, & large cities like because they don’t have the resources social media is Atlanta & Nashville. or know how to cook large quantities of food. They want a stress-free, fun event My son, Jake, and I at Thanksgiving always a good place to find BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have where all they do is “show up”. They want caterers and other wedding vendors. your ambitions an expert handling it for them. Facebook, Google, Twitter, & linkedin are changed? Southern favorites like Shrimp great ways to get the word out and show & Grits, fried catfish, fried green Tammy: I want your “stuff”. tomatoes, country vegetables. to do what I BOOM!: Many people in the food service love, not do BOOM!: How do you like to relax area emphasize buying local foods. Will it for fame or and wind down from a hard day’s this “Buy Local” movement have an fortune. Life work? impact on the catering industry? is too short. I wanted to stay Tammy: Go out to eat or go to Tammy: Sometimes a client will ask in the corporate the movies and eat popcorn! My toy poodle, Abbie, and me for “local” products. I try to buy local world, but knew whenever possible. it wasn’t for me. I guess I was a closet BOOM!: Favorite vacation spot? Any caterer, so I decided to come out of the travel dreams planned for the future? closet and pursue my love for food & If you have any questions for Tammy, cooking. Tammy: My favorite place to travel is New you can reach her at 334.281.4747 or York City. My dream trip is Italy. If you need BOOM!: Give us some catering done three words that BOOM!: As a busy professional, do you check out her website describe you? have time to be involved in community, at www.acateredaffair. civic or other activities? info. We want to thank Tammy: Tammy for participating Content, joyful, Tammy: I am very involved in my church, in this month’s BOOM! committed Pike Road Baptist. I like to participate in Cover Profile. If you have charitable events. Every year my husband questions, comments BOOM!: Do and I go on a Mission Trip to Honduras or suggestions, please you have any with Forgotten Children Ministries. In send them to jim@ hobbies or 2010, I went to South Africa to Feed the other activities Children. I’m also a member of the River that grab your Region Kappa Delta Alumnae Association attention? where I serve as Social & Activities Jessica and I at my nephew’s wedding in Inverness, Florida chairperson.

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February 2013



Staying Connected

By Winnie Yu

to Your Ex-Daughter-in-Law After Divorce Divorce isn’t easy on anyone in the family, and grandparents are no exception. The hurt feelings, sadness and anger that erupt can threaten—and potentially destroy— even the most harmonious and loving family relationships. Put Hurt Feelings Aside After the Breakup But staying in touch is important, not just because you cherish your former daughteror son-in-law, but because you need to be there for the grandchildren. “The most important factor is your grandchildren,” says Tina B. Tessina, PhD, a psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage. “Even though your son or daughter is divorced from the other parent, they will still always be connected through the children, and your connection is important, too.” That connection may become especially important if your child or former in-law gets remarried, and circumstances change. “You’ll want to maintain the connection with the kids because they’ll need someone safe in their lives,” Brooke says. “But in order to maintain that connection, you need to keep connected to their parents.” Extend Your Friendship for the Grandkids Keeping the relationship friendly with a former son- or daughter-in-law may not

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be easy. “He or she may not trust you and may be projecting hurt or anger onto you,” Brooke says. “Often, ex-spouses have the sense that the former in-laws are no longer in their corner, and that prevents them from feeling safe enough to ask for help or support.” That’s why the onus may fall on the grandparent to reach out. Here’s how you can create a more harmonious relationship: Start by checking in with your child. Ask your son or daughter if it’s okay that you contact the former spouse. If there was a serious betrayal involved, you may jeopardize the relationship with your child by becoming too friendly with his ex, says Debra Castaldo, PhD, a therapist in Englewood, NJ and author of Relationship Reboot. “Balance your child’s needs with the need for your grandchildren to see a healthy relationship between the grandparent and both their parents,” Castaldo says. Make the first move. Regardless of who might be at fault or who initiated the divorce, the dissolution of a marriage is painful for everyone involved. A loving phone call, a kind email or even a good cry over a cup of coffee will go a long way toward setting the stage for future relations with your ex daughter- or son-in-law. “Call the future ex in-law and let her know how sorry you are that things didn’t work out, and that your heart is also breaking,” Brooke says. “If you don’t feel comfortable calling, reach out by snail mail

and write a hand written note.” Be reassuring of her role. “Let her know that you’re not blaming her and that you respect her as the parent of your grandchild,” Brooke says. “Making sure that she knows you are available, and want to be there for her as a supportive grandparent to their child, can help her feel safer. Provide practical help. Life is never easy for a single parent, so if you can, offer to prepare a meal or take the kids, so your ex in-law can get a reprieve. The kindness can help pave the way for a better relationship. Be patient. It’s not unusual for the former inlaw to harbor angry feelings toward you. Give her some time to come around, and don’t be afraid to offer your help several times. Be empathetic. Try and view difficult situations from the perspective of your child and your in-law, Tessina says. “Try not to be critical of one parent to the other, and definitely not to the grandchildren,” she says. Talk to safe people. When your ex-in-law or child does something that upsets you, talk to other grandparents, a therapist, or friends— not to either of them. “Let off steam to ‘safe’ people, so your children and grandchildren don’t experience your anger and frustration,” Tessina says.

“And if you can find other grandparents who have succeeded in overcoming their children’s divorce and stayed in touch with the former in-law and the grandchildren, find out how they did it.” (c)2013 Distributed by MCT Information Services

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Do You Need a Pre-Retirement Checkup? You can see it on the horizon. Neverending days of rest and relaxation. No stress. No pressure. No job. No worries. At least that’s how many people picture retirement as they trudge off to work every day and dream about the future. Talk to retirees for a while and a new picture emerges. Boredom, financial worries, stock market jitters, a lack of purpose and even depression are often cited as post-retirement concerns. To avoid working all of your life and dreaming about retirement only to be disappointed when it arrives, you need to do more than just monitor the balance in your 401(k) plan. Find out what you can do to make sure that your retirement lives up to your dreams. Manage Your Debt If you don’t want to worry about money after you retire, you need to take action well in advance of the day you expect to receive that gold watch and fond farewell. Because you’re going to be on a fixed income after you retire and debt servicing can take a big chunk out of a fixed income, you need to retire your debts before you retire from your job. The easiest way to get started is to pay off those credit cards. If that’s not possible, at the very least pay them down. Debt consolidation can help you with this effort. Once the cards are under control, it’s time to eliminate that car payment. Get yourself a good, solid set of wheels, so you can roll off into the sunset with years of carefree driving ahead of you. Next, it’s time to tackle your housing needs. Paying for a place to live tends to take a huge bite out most paychecks, so making sure that your castle is paid for in-full is great way to manage a fixed income. If you can’t afford to pay off your mortgage, consider the merits of moving to a less expensive place. Build Up a Big Emergency Fund Once the paychecks stop coming, the bills will continue to arrive. When you need a new car, a new hot water heater, or some expensive dental work, you The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

don’t want to have to worry about how you’re going to pay for it. And you don’t want to take a big chunk out of your nest egg to cover these costs. The best thing to do is plan in advance for those unexpected expenses. Prepare for Medical Expenses Evaluate your health and take care of any outstanding medical issues while you’re still covered by your employer’s healthcare coverage. If you’re not sure how to cover the cost of healthcare during retirement, health savings accounts can help. Without a doubt, you will need to make plans for healthcare coverage, if for no other reason than the fact that it’s expensive. Consider long-term care insurance. No one is immune to the possibility of needing long-term care, and the costs can deplete a life savings. Make Plans Spending all day doing nothing sounds great until all day becomes all month or all year. Far too many people spend all of their working years working and don’t make time to cultivate friendships and hobbies. This can lead to disappointment when retirement arrives and it turns out to be lonely and boring. Just as you have to plan your finances, you also need to plan for the social and mental aspects of retirement. You can go back to school to study art or get a degree that you’ve always wanted. You can volunteer for a local charity. You can even work part-time. A part-time job can provide healthcare coverage in addition to income and opportunities to get out of the house and socialize. Take Retirement for a Test Drive A few years before you are ready to retire is the best time to see if the reality of retirement matches your dreams. By this stage in the game, you should have a good idea of how much money you’ll have to work with and that you’ll have

to watch your spending. If you reach your golden years before achieving your savings goals, you’ll need to have a strategy to ensure that you’ll be able to retire at all. To test out your retirement, it’s time to start living as if you were already retired. Stop using those credit cards and pay all of your bills in cash for a few months. This is a great way to figure out how much money you’re really going to go though. When the wallet is empty, you’re out money. If you run out of money before you run out bills, you’ll have to work out a tighter budget to help you stretch your money a little further. It’s also time to join a club or take up a new hobby. This little exercise will give you a preview of the life that awaits. If the experiment suits you, you’ll have a good idea about whether retirement is something that you will enjoy. The Bottom Line If you’re nearing retirement, spend some time thinking about how you want to live and what you can do to reach your retirement goals. As you approach retirement, continue to contribute to your goal and make adjustments to your plan. When retirement arrives, you’ll be ready! Source:

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February 2013



“I Took a Hike to Celebrate My Birthday...”

By Fred Swegles To celebrate his 70th birthday, all Steve Netherby of San Clemente, Calif., did was hike California’s fabled John Muir Trail. A former camping editor of Field & Stream magazine, he trekked 29 days, all solo except for the last six days, when Kathleen “Kat” Cobb, a San Clemente resident and fellow board member with the San Onofre Foundation, joined him for the final rugged 50 miles. In all, Netherby covered about 250 miles, lugging a pack that weighed 44 to 50 pounds. He took on the 211-mile John Muir Trail from Yosemite Valley to the peak of Mount Whitney, the highest summit in the lower 48 states, at 14,505 feet. It was his seventh ascent to Whitney’s summit. From there it was an 11-mile hike to the trailhead at Whitney Portal outside Lone Pine, Calif. Added to that were several off-trail resupply detours along the way.

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This is Netherby’s account: On the altitude: “Spent most of my time above 9,000 feet, much of it above 10,000 feet. Crossed 11 passes nearly or over 11,000 feet, with two above 13,000 feet.” Taking in the sights: “Walked through watersheds of five major rivers, by hundreds of glacial lakes, serene meadows cut by meandering creeks and a surreal fantasyland of skyhigh granite peaks and volcanic cinder cones.” How he reacted: “My self-talk vocabulary on the hike shrank to mostly ‘Wow!’ and ‘Look at that!’ John Muir Trail boasts a superabundance of ‘wow!’ moments.” His daily diet: “A total of 25 cups of granola, with powdered milk and honey, for breakfasts. ... High-calorie energy bar, trail mix and dried banana chips for lunches ... and 25 freeze-dried meals for dinners. “It wasn’t nearly enough food to compensate for the calorie burn of days averaging eight hours of hiking and as

many as 15 hours. I hiked until 1 a.m. one night, climbing over a nearly 12,000foot pass by moonlight and headlamp. I lost 20 pounds on the trip.” Was the trail crowded? “There were fewer people on the trail than there would have been in midsummer. I began my hike Aug. 30, and reached Mount Whitney on Sept. 27. But I crossed paths with many hikers as I progressed along the trail.” Any 250-mile trekkers? “A number were through hikers, doing the whole trail as I was, but most were hiking a section of the trail. These were day hikers or two- to five-day backpackers. Many of these were there for the fishing. “Because family business had kept me from beginning my trip until three days later than I had planned and I had to make my resupply schedule ... I had to push every day and had no time for fishing. I carried fishing tackle with me the entire trip.” Any other solo trekkers? “Most through hikers hiked in pairs. We often leapfrogged each other day to day. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

I might pass them camped early in the evening and greet them in the morning as they strode past my camp.” Faces on the trail: “I met more women than men who were through-hiking solo, including residents of places as diverse as Boston, San Diego and Finland. I talked to hikers from France, Luxembourg, Japan, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Korea, Mexico, Spain and Canada, as well as the U.S.” The most ambitious? “One man and woman from the San Francisco Bay Area were yo-yoing the JMT, planning to hike it south to north, then turn around and go north to south. They were younger than I am. “I celebrated my 70th birthday four days after my hike ended.” Any bear encounters? “In a dream, my third night out. I woke up with a black bear standing on my tent and me. It was so heavy, this bear in my dream, that I couldn’t reach the small air horn I carried to keep them out of camp or the folding knife I kept open by my pillow in case it came to that.” But it was only a dream: “I attribute the fact that I have no true bear stories to tell to my religiously adhered-to habit each night of locking my food and scented personal items away from camp in a carbon-fiber-andaluminum bear canister with an airtight seal. I did, however, see many doe deer with young, some of which visited me at various campsites.” Other wildlife: “In Yosemite, I watched mule deer bucks with heavy racks feeding and watering at a meadow stream. There were countless birds, squirrels, chipmunks, one outrageously determined mouse that repeatedly charged my late-night camp at dinnertime and was only dissuaded when I flashed him with my headlamp.” How wet was it? “The weather was picture-perfect the entire trip. I took over 1,000 photos on my iPhone, charged by a solar charger I carried. I had only one afternoon of rain, while crossing a high pass in Yosemite, and one brief 3 a.m. thundershower. “Toward the end, Kat and I felt fall in the air. Her sleeping bag wasn’t as warm as

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mine, and on the night before we were to tackle Mount Whitney, she called to me at 1:45 a.m. from her tent, saying she was freezing and could we get started on the climb to warm up.” Not an easy start: “We left camp that morning at 3:45, climbed a challenging trail by headlamp and reached Mount Whitney’s summit at 8:45 a.m. We were the first to the top. The old steel National Park Service sign, bolted to a boulder that proclaims the elevation, was frozen over.” How long at the summit? “After a photo session and a brief warmup in the stone hut that sits near the summit, we began the 11-mile hike out to the trailhead, reaching Whitney Portal and Kat’s car (delivered there by a shuttle service from the Kearsarge Pass trailhead where I had met her) at 5:20 p.m.” Celebration: “Dinner that night at Seasons in Lone Pine seemed to us, still grimy from the trail, fit for gods, and my long, hot shower before early bed was, to me, a near-religious experience.” What all this taught him: “I learned great respect for the pioneers who walked hundreds and thousands of miles to their destiny in the West.” What he’ll remember most: “The unending mind-bending scenery, admirable people met, the aloneness with yourself and your higher power, moments of transformative clarity, satisfaction of meeting constant physical and mental challenge, rebirth of ability to laugh at yourself and your frailties.” And above all: “The certain knowledge you have a loving and supportive wife waiting for you back home. Then, if you’re lucky as I was, a brave, strong, sure-footed, fastwalking, high-spirited hiking partner like Kat Cobb with whom to share the final challenging miles and ascent of Mount Whitney.” (c)2013 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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February 2013



Investigating an ‘encore career’ — a hospital chaplain By Rebecca Nappi

From September to December, I took a sabbatical from The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, and moved to Chicago and completed a 12-week internship in chaplaincy at Rush University Medical Center. Aging experts predict that some baby boomers now in their 50s will work at “encore careers” in their 60s and 70s, lured there by financial necessity and/or unfulfilled callings.

the “car crashes” I witnessed. That said, many patients were at Rush because of random occurrences.

In the mid-1990s, I first heard a subtle call to chaplaincy. My brother-in-law and father died within two years of one another, and family members gathered for weeklong vigils at their death beds. It was sacred time, and in an editorial board meeting at the newspaper 17 years ago, I blurted out: “I’m going to be a hospital chaplain someday.”

I met patients with unrelenting seizures because they fell or got hit by cars and buses. I met people whose brains exploded due to aneurysms. I learned from them that lives change dramatically, and sometimes forever, in just a few minutes. Any illusion we have of control is just that.

I finished the theology master’s degree required for it in 2003, and this fall completed one of four required “units” of clinical pastoral education, the units combine class work and practical experience. I’ll complete the other units in the future.

Still, it’s impossible to live life always counting blessings. Every moment of life is a gift. Even the sickest people I met, those rescued from the brink of death, complained about something. Hospital food, family members who failed to visit, the long wait to go home.

Unlike most professions, age is a plus in chaplaincy work. The second week at Rush, a cab driver, noting my chaplain ID, inquired about the program. I explained the requirements. He seemed surprised. “Why does it take so much education and training just to be a chaplain?”

I learned that complaining, especially during recovery, is a fist against death. We complain because we’re alive.

“It’s harder than it looks,” I said. In my 12 weeks at Rush, I learned a lot about dying and living, including: Our bodies need to last a lifetime. Newborns should be given a car with the understanding that the car, the only one they’ll ever own, is the outward sign of their bodies. They need to use the proper fuel, get regular tune-ups and drive sensibly. Some of the illness I saw at Rush resulted from people neglecting and trashing their bodies. Obesity, alcohol and drug addiction, untreated mental illness were just a few of

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Code blues are dramatic in real life, too. When patients require immediate resuscitation, dozens of doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals rush to their rooms. To bring people back is messy, scary and often more violent than depicted in TV and the movies. Chaplains at Rush are summoned to every code blue to support family members, and our presence sometimes added to the trauma, as if angels of death had appeared on the scene. So we always said: “We’re here to support you. It doesn’t mean your loved one is going to die.” Inland Northwest hospitals should aggressively market the region’s stress-

relieving activities. In the middle of the night during those code blues, I marveled at the doctors and nurses who worked hours to save a patient’s life. It sometimes took me days to recover emotionally after my 24-hour on-call shifts, and no one’s life hung in the balance of my work. To blow off the stress, docs and nurses either would have to drink or engage in extreme sports, I concluded. Inland Northwest hospitals already market the region to docs and nurses by touting the outdoors, but they should really pump up our mountains, lakes, rivers and running/biking/hiking culture. And mention our cool bars, too. True listening can be truly healing. We were trained as chaplains not to ask a lot of questions in patient rooms, or give advice, or talk too much about ourselves. We were there as a “nonanxious presence.” We helped patients identify strengths they possessed, despite their hospitalization and illness. And when asked, we prayed with them. So patients were free to talk and talk and talk, and many did. Listening well is a discipline that requires intense practice. That’s one reason it’s so hard to be a chaplain.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

You can’t take it with you. I worked an on-call shift on Black Friday. In patient rooms, commercials and newscasts hyped the country’s biggest shopping day. The hype seemed ludicrous while visiting patients who wore simple hospital gowns. When patients died, nurses gathered up their belongings into one bag. It offered perspective on our cultural obsessions, including fiscal cliffs. Denial is OK. I met several family members who believed their loved ones would go home in a day or two, despite doctors and nurses explaining that their loved ones had just hours or days to live. These family members were in big-time denial. But when their loved ones finally died, the denial died, too. And they seemed to handle the reality as well as better-prepared folks. People are not their roles. I left Spokane a journalist. The next week, I was Chaplain Becky. Moving from journalist to chaplain to journalist once again feels disconcerting, but I am heartened by the wisdom of Clayton Thomason, the chairman of the religion, health and human values

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

department at Rush. He spoke eloquently in class one day about the difference between roles and vocations. “The theologian Frederick Buechner defines vocation as ‘the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need,’” Thomason summarized in a recent email. “A vocation is that path in life which calls us out of ourselves, to that place where our gladness meets the world’s need.” Some people express their vocations in their careers. Others through roles they play in people’s lives as family members and friends. Speaking of family and friends, keep in touch with yours. You’ll need them when you’re sick or dying. Patient rooms were often crowded with loved ones and close friends, but I rarely saw their coworkers or bosses. Push yourself in 2013. Years before I knew Rush was in my future, I read every mountain climbing and Antarctica adventure book I could find. I was never going to climb the world’s tallest peaks,

or live in Antarctica, and the attraction puzzled me. During my grueling on-calls at Rush – 24 hours carrying a pager that rarely stopped paging – I finally understood. During on-calls, chaplains can walk 10 miles or more in Rush’s sprawling medical complex, responding to patient requests throughout the night. Sleep in the on-call room is rare and fitful. Awakened in the middle of the night, I wondered where I’d find enough stamina to answer the page, and I drew upon those stories of women and men in Antarctica and on mountain peaks who pushed their bodies and minds to extreme. We’re all tougher than we know. At the end of their lives, men and women often regret not taking more personal and professional risks. So this year, climb that impossibly high mountain, real or metaphoric. You’ll return to your old life in a new way. And that’s what I learned in chaplain school. (c) 2013, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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February 2013



By Curtis Compton

“She is one of the world’s best huggers” One of the world’s best huggers Fairy Godmother, or Jackie Viener, ends her visit with 13-year-old cancer patient Hannah Layfield, waiting for her last chemo treatment after two years and four months, with her trademark embrace in the cancer center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston in September. Layfield said, “Fairy Godmother has been through a lot with us. She is always bright, uplifting and there to give you a hug. She makes me happy when I feel bad. After a visit with her you feel happy in your spirit.” (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/MCT)

Fairy godmothers of folklore fame are magical creatures, capable of turning pumpkins into carriages and making wishes come true. At Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, 91-year-old Jackie Viener has played that role every Tuesday for seven years. Like a fairy tale version of a superhero, the mild-mannered great-grandmother disappears into a coat closet in the hospital’s volunteer services office and emerges transformed by a pink bridesmaid’s dress, a magic wand and a tiara fashioned from pipe cleaners. “When she arrives, she lights up the whole room,” says Chris Jones, director of volunteer services at Children’s Healthcare. “She is one of the world’s best huggers.” In the hospital lobby, children suffering with sickness and injury gather around her, vying for attention. There they don costumes, wave wands and listen as Viener, a native of Manchester, England,

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reads them fairy tales about magic kingdoms and princesses and knights in shining armor. Over the years, she has been the conduit for many secret wishes. “I can’t grant a wish, but I can give a wish,” she says when a child asks. “There is a big difference.” Then she takes the child’s hand, touches her finger to the tiny palm and says: “You can’t see it, but there is one tiny speck of fairy dust right there. Close your hand. Close your eyes. Make your wish, but you can’t tell anybody what your wish is unless it comes true.” And sometimes those wishes do, in fact, come true. Just ask Dustin Fuller. He was a teenager who contracted the MRSA superbug following surgery to repair injuries from an automobile accident. He was, Viener

says, “very, very, very ill; actually not expected to live.” On his 19th birthday, he went into septic shock and his heart stopped beating, but he eventually stabilized and slowly began to recover. One day he asked Viener for a wish, and he continued to improve. When the day came for him to finally leave the hospital, he asked for one more wish. Viener wouldn’t see Dustin again until a year later. “We were doing story time at the hospital and all of a sudden we hear somebody saying, ‘Fairy Godmother, Fairy Godmother,’” Viener says. “And we looked across and there was a Marine coming toward me in full dress uniform including his white gloves, and as he came toward me I realized it was Dustin.” “Fairy Godmother,” Fuller said, “I wanted you to see that your wishes come true.” (c)2013 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2013



Healthy Hearing

By Dr. Bettie Borton Au.D.

Love, Marriage and Hearing Loss: Listen to me Dear! Ask any happy couple what are the secrets to a successful marriage, and chances are that “communication” will be on the list. That’s because communication allows both partners to convey their thoughts and Dr. Bettie Borton Au. D. emotions to each other – and this is a very important aspect of a healthy marriage. Take away this ability to talk, hear, and respond and the relationship is bound to suffer. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Well, things can get complicated if one (or both) partners have untreated hearing loss (choosing not to wear hearing aids), problems quickly occur, and because of the prevalence of hearing loss, this situation is more common than you think. A recently released British study demonstrates that relationships can flounder because of unmanaged hearing loss. The survey of 1,500 hearingimpaired people over 55 revealed that:

• Almost one in two (44% of people) said that relationships with their partner, friends or family had suffered because they can’t hear properly. • A third (34%) have lost touch with friends, and in some cases seen marriages fall apart, as a direct result of the breakdown in communication caused by hearing loss. • Two thirds (69%) said their hearing loss seriously hinders their ability to take part in everyday conversations with friends and family, causing 52% of those surveyed to feel left out and ignored in social situations. • Women (72%) were found to be more affected by social exclusion because of hearing loss than men

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• Almost half (49%) said that losing their hearing is the worst thing about growing old.

If you believe that statistics from across the pond might not be relevant to Americans, think again. A U.S. survey of baby boomers carried out in 2007 by Energizer Battery Inc., indicates that hearing loss harms relationships on this side of the Atlantic as well. In fact, nearly half (48 %) of those surveyed said their marriages have suffered because of their spouses’ hearing loss. More than half (57%) feel their spouse is reluctant to get a hearing check, and 46% believe that denial is the main reason.

Even more respondents (65%) indicated they feel annoyed when their significant other cannot hear them. Interestingly, although 45% indicated that their spouse doesn’t appear to hear chore requests, 78% are sure the hard-of-hearing partner can hear them fix a snack just fine! Talk about selective hearing loss! Seriously though, statistics show that the divorce rate is significantly higher in couples where there is unaddressed hearing loss, so partners take heed!

The best way to treat hearing loss is, of course, with hearing aids. With the wide availability of many technologically advanced digital and cosmetically appealing hearing aids currently on the market – and new ones being developed all the time - there is no excuse not to get tested and fitted. Let us guess: you think a hearing aid is unsightly? Not so – new open-fit hearing aids are sleek, tiny and allow very natural sounding amplification. Maybe you believe hearing aids will make you look old and / or disabled? Nothing can be further from the truth, since able-bodied people of all ages (including children) can have hearing loss.

Maybe you feel that the cost of hearing aids – ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 per hearing aid – is prohibitive? That is a valid concern, but if you calculate the initial price of a hearing aid over the three to five years an average device lasts, you come up with a totally affordable $3 a day.(But can you really put a price on improved quality of life?) And what about the financial and emotional costs to your relationship? And then there is denial. The “I can hear just fine” argument can only go so far when it is obvious that you have to strain to hear a conversation. Denial is a powerful deterrent, and you should never give in to it, especially when your health and well-being are concerned.

So now you know that there is no reason why you should not use hearing aids, and plenty of reasons why you should. Being able to communicate with your spouse is certainly worth getting tested, isn’t it? But a happy marriage is not the only reason why you should get treated (though it is certainly a very important one.) Numerous studies have demonstrated that hearing aids improve the overall quality of life by allowing the user to interact socially and emotionally with those around him.

Just remember, a happy marriage, good quality of life, and hearing aids go hand in hand! Give your relationships a treat by treating your hearing loss. Content adapted from Healthy Hearing: http:// Buying/Benefits/41667-Marriage-and-hearingloss

Dr. Bettie B. Borton is a licensed audiologist in Alabama, was the first board certified audiologist in Montgomery, served as National Chair of the American Board of Audiology, and was recently elected as President Elect of the American Academy of Audiology. To learn more, visit or call Doctors Hearing Clinic at (334) 396-1635.

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

THE HIDEY HOLE by Alabama author Geri Ellzey Craig has been awarded a stunning KIRKUS Review. Kirkus Reviews is an American book-review journal founded in 1933. Libraries and bookstores look to Kirkus reviews to find out what books are recommended. Several local libraries have just ordered THE HIDEY HOLE thanks to this favorable review. THE HIDEY HOLE is growing in fame after author Geri Ellzey Craig spoke at the December 6, 2012 “Lunch at the Library” in Selma, Alabama. The Selma Library had a record attendance for this monthly event. Nearly 100 fans filled the room and asked for autographs. The story of THE HIDEY HOLE begins around the turn of the 20th century and chronicles the unlikely and unique friendship of two women from wildly divergent backgrounds. Claire is the product of a wealthy family in Hawaii. Louisa Martin is born into a poor family in South Alabama. The two women meet in the same small town when the young Louisa runs away from home at age fourteen to escape a horrible life. About the Author Geri Ellzey Craig is the author of the bestselling memoir THEY WON’T LOVE YOU IF YOU CRY. ( She is the winner of a National Literature Award for short stories. Craig has been an Alabama television personality, professional concert singer and pianist, and motivational speaker. She is married to Rufus Hagood Craig and they share four sons and four grandchildren.

Boomer Humor share a laugh today!

Q: Where can men over the age of 60 find younger women who are interested in them? A: Try a bookstore under fiction. Q: What can a man do while his wife is going through menopause? A: Keep busy. If you ‘re handy with tools, you can finish the basement. When you ‘re done you ‘ll have a place to live. Q: How can you increase the heart rate of your 60-plus year old husband? A: Tell him you ‘re pregnant. Q: How can you avoid that terrible curse of the elderly, wrinkles? A: Take off your glasses. Q: Why should 60-plus year old people use valet parking? A: Valets don‘t forget where they park your car. Q: Is it common for 60-plus year olds to have problems with short term memory storage? A: Storing memory is not a problem, retrieving it is the problem. Q: As people age, do they sleep more soundly? A: Yes, but usually in the afternoon. Q: Where should 60-plus year olds look for eye glasses? A: On their foreheads. Q: Leading cause of diminished sex drive among senior citizens ? A: Nudity Q: What is the most common remark made by 60-plus year olds when they enter antique stores? A: “Gosh, I remember these!” The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2013



Fe at u re d A r t i st This Month, Cecily Orr Hulett A native Alabamian, Hulett grew up in the small town of Montevallo. While attending the University of Alabama, she was privileged to study with one of her favorite professors, Alvin Sella. Hulett says, “Mr. Cecily Orr Hulett Sella was one of the most interesting and engaging instructors I’ve ever had. He had a way of getting the best out of his students. He demanded your total involvement in your work.” On summer break she worked at the museum in Birmingham, giving children’s tours, which paid $10. a day, while also studying with Virginia Barnes and Martha Allen at the University of Montevallo. In 1964, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Alabama. After graduation, she married and lived in Germany, from 1970 to 1972. They tried to visit every museum they could find and see as much of Europe as possible. Hulett says, “I feel that because I was just out of college, surrounded by the most wonderful architecture and the layers of history had a profound effect on my painting.”

In Alabama, she attended the Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony at Children’s Harbor at Lake Martin. Sarah Towery and her grandmother were old friends which was one reason Hulett started attending the Colony. She shares,” I kept going because it’s hard to find a week where I have nothing to do but paint and talk with other painters. They feed us so we have lots of time to work and no excuses. The Bridesmaids Colony has had wonderful instructors; Hugh Williams, Harry Paul Alley, Pat Odom to name just a few. In the 90’s, I traveled with Sarah Towery and quite a few Alexander City painters to take art classes in San Miguel Allende, Mexico. This was the beginning of many painting trips to Mexico and Central America.”

In 1997, she retired as a Registered Vascular Technologist and began painting full time. “ I joined Gallery One Fine Art in 2001 and really began painting, a After moving back to the lot.” Says Hulett, “I was awarded states around 1974, she the Sarah Carlisle Towery was at the easel again Art Colony-purchase award and studied with Barbara in 2001 and 2002. In 2003, Gallagher. Hulett says,” I was asked to create the Barbara had a wonderful Montgomery Business gift for color and balance. Committee for the ArtsI enjoyed my time with five pieces to be given to Barbara very much and still leaders in the business miss her.” Hulett went to community, I titled them the Mississippi Art Colony Soaring Spirits.” Robyn Soaring Spirits for the first time in 1999. Bradley Litchfield wrote in The colony is held at Camp Henry S. Jacobs the October 26, 2003 Sunday edition in Utica, Mississippi. That year John (Jake) of the Montgomery Advertiser, ”Hulett Wagnon was the instructor. Hulett had lived used bold strokes of reds, blues and in Montgomery for quite a few years but this silver to create paintings containing was the first time they had met. “He is so a line that flows from one to the other.” much fun to take from you hardly notice how She titled the article Show of Patriotism. much information you’re being exposed to. He’s an excellent teacher” she says. Having Later that same year, Bridesmaids was enjoyed his class so much, she continued selected by Dale Kennington as Best of Show taking classes in Mississippi and studied with of the Montgomery Art Guild Museum David Moore, Johnny Winona Ross, Holly Exhibition. Between the time, Hulett Roberts among others.” submitted the slide of the painting to enter

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the competition, I sold the painting. The new owners were thrilled their painting was chosen Best of Show. In 2004, Hulett won the Energen Art Exhibition-non-representationalPurchase Award. During the filming of the movie Big Fish here in Montgomery several years ago, Ewan McGregor and his family lived across the street from the Huletts. Ewan and his wife, Eve, came to Hulett’s show at Gallery One. They were so kind that evening and posed for many photographs with Gallery One patrons. James Nelson writes for the Birmingham News and reviewed one of Hulett’s shows in March of 2008. Although the article was a half- page long, the last sentence took my breath away. He wrote, “Cecily Hulett is an artist in complete command of abstract color patterns. Skillfully blending texture, color, and form, she provides a constant source of new discovery and gracious satisfaction.” It was truly an honor to see her work in the Birmingham Southern Accents Showcase House and the University of Alabama purchased her paintings in the fall of 2010 to hang in the Capstone School of Nursing. At the dedication of the new facility, there were her seven paintings hanging on the Dean’s third floor walls.

Opening Reception February 14th 5-8 p.m. Visit Gallery One Fine Art 423 Cloverdale Road, Montgomery, AL Gallery Director Sandi Aplin 334.269.1114

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

By Sandi Aplin

Art & Soul

Alabama Art Colony

Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony on Lake Martin, Alabama The Alabama Art Colony a/k/a Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony on Lake Martin, will meet October 4th thru the 9th

Julee Hutchison resides in Telluride, Gallery, Auburn, Alabama to The Ty Stokes CO. She received a B.F.A. degree from Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia. He has also Miami University in Oxford, OH, and exhibited at The Pirate, Denver, CO. and studied at Scottsdale Artists’ the Taipei Fine Arts School. Her plein air landscape Museum, Republic of painting is inspired by her love China. His work has won of nature and animals. Julee’s awards from Watercolor at Children’s Harbor. awards and exhibitions span U.S.A., Springfield, more than a decade and include MO; Taos National Who was Sarah Carlisle Towery? solo and group exhibitions at Exhibition of American The Alabama Art Colony website says, the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art, Taos, NM; the New “Sarah was a charter member of the Art, the Greenhouse Gallery of England Watercolor World Art Workshop, which was organized Fine Art in San Antonio, TX, the Society, Boston, MA. in Mexico in 1972. The purpose of the AhHaa School in Telluride, CO. And the National organization is to travel, study and paint in and the Scottsdale Arizona Fine Watercolor Society, unusual and unfamiliar places. Members Art Landscape Show. In 2012 Brea, CA. Website www. “Crash Courts” 48” X 36” Oil on Canvas of the group painted for two summers she was selected as the poster in Greece on the islands of Samos and artist for the Telluride Wine Paros. Sarah was one of Festival and was a finalist Sarah was born on October 4th, 1911 three artists to exhibit in the Sourcetek Cover and died on August 16th, 2007 in her in Samos. She has also Competition. Website beloved Alexander City hillside home, painted in Mallorca, which she designed and where she Spain. A teacher for taught and painted for 50 years. With many years, Sarah taught Richard Mills received his the collaboration and support of Alabama at the Demonstration B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the friends and the staff of Children’s Harbor, School at the University University of Tennessee the Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony on of Montevallo, Southern and is Professor Emeritus Lake Martin has met every October since Union College in Wadley, of Art at Auburn University 1992. Happy Birthday, Sarah. Alabama, various public Montgomery, Alabama. “’Oreo’ and Her Baby” Oil on linen 10” x 10” Richard’s work has been schools and private Sandi Aplin, Director of Gallery One Fine Art A free lance writer living in Montgomery, Alabama schools, private classes featured in over 30 solo and workshops in her studio. She exhibitions from The Auburn University executed several large murals in her hometown of Alexander City and had one-woman shows in New York, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Wilmington and North Carolina. In 1992 the colony was born as an 80th birthday present to Towery from her children. In 1999 she was awarded The Alabama Governors Award. Sarah was one of six people in the United States who were recognized for their contributions to the arts.” This year the Instructor Artists are Julee Hutchison and Gallery One artist, Richard Mills.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m

February 2013



February 2013

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond


Get Outside and Play Romantic Getaway Callaway Gardens February

Make Any February Day a Fun, Romantic Getaway For those who can’t make it Valentine’s weekend, make any February Day a romantic getaway with the Get Outside and Play Package. Staring at only $119* in the Mountain Creek Inn through February 28th. This package includes lodging, one hour of tennis, two hours of kayak or canoe rental, two hours of bicycle rental and TreeTop Adventure, the new aerial obstacle and zipline course, the first bundle of firewood for a roaring fire (for Cottage and Villa guests and admission to Callaway Gardens and its many attractions including the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, John A. Sibley Horticultural Center, walking trails and more. For additional information, call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225.5292) or visit www.


Ethel, By Terry Burrell Alabama Shakespeare Festival February 8th - March 3rd A Jazz Legend Lives! Come hear Stormy Weather, Taking a Chance on Love, Heat Wave and Am I Blue from the sultry voice of Terry Burrell as she portrays the legendary Ethel Waters in this mesmerizing musical. Join us on a journey through the life of the forgotten child with the unforgettable voice. Recommended for ages 15+ . Contains adult language and situations. Ticket information 1.800.841.4273 or visit www.

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February 2013 or in person at the ASF box office located at 1 Festival Drive in the heart of Montgomery’s beautiful Blount Cultural Park.


SO PERCUSSION IS COMING! Clefworks 2013 Festival February 8th and 9th

For over a decade, So Percussion has

redefined the modern percussion ensemble as a flexible, omnivorous entity, pushing its voice to the forefront of American musical culture. Praised by the New Yorker for their “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” So’s adventurous spirit is written into the DNA passed down from composers like John Cage and Steve Reich, as well as from pioneering ensembles like the Kronos Quartet and Nexus Percussion. So Percussion’s career now encompasses 13 albums, touring throughout the USA and around the world, a dizzying array of collaborative projects, several ambitious educational programs, and a steady output of their own music. They will be performing in Montgomery at the Clefworks’ 2013 Festival Feb 5-9. Two different public performances: Location and concert times to be announced. For more information visit or

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN LOVE on The Harriott II Valentine’s Special February 11-14th, 6:30pm

It’s the season of love, and the Harriott II wants to help you celebrate. Join us February 11-14 for Love on the Harriott II. Bring your sweetheart and enjoy a surf n’ turf dinner, roses, champagne and live entertainment… All while cruising the beautiful Alabama River. Call the box office at 334-625-2100 to make your reservation, or visit www.funontheriver. net now!


Love Songs of Elvis & Buddy Alabama Shakespeare Festival February 14th, 7;30pm Hearts will flutter and hips will shake when Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly return to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival on Thursday, February 14th at 7:30 p.m. for a special Valentine’s Day concert featuring the love songs of two Rock‘n Roll giants. Elvis will be performed by Scot Bruce and Buddy will be performed by John Mueller. This show sells out year after year! Don’t miss it! Ticket information 1.800.841.4273 or visit or in person at the ASF box office located at 1 Festival Drive in the heart of Montgomery’s beautiful Blount Cultural Park.


Sandestin Gumbo Festival February 16th, Noon-4pm This Presidents Day weekend, the good times, gumbo and Zydeco music will continue on after Mardi Gras at the 24th Annual Sandestin Gumbo Festival, Feb. 16 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Dozens of Gulf Coast restaurants, civic groups, will compete to be named the area’s best by the panel of judges or win the people’s choice award. The main event runs from noon to 4 p.m. at the Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin, with live music by Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe. Tickets for the event are $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the festival, and are available at the Sandestin Gumbo Festival web site. www.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Animal Enrichment Day The Montgomery Zoo Saturday, February 16th, 10-2pm You may ask, “What do you mean by enrichment items?” We all need enrichment from time to time. To figure out a new puzzle or that new fancy remote, taste an interesting or new food item, or even take in the aroma of an intriguing scent. Enrichment is all about using our five senses in order to stimulate us, or in this case the animals, mentally and physically. At Animal Enrichment Day, we give our animals new toys, new foods, puzzles to figure out and treats as rewards. We, us humans, get to watch and see what happens. And if goes well, we and the animals will enjoy a great day of enrichment. call 334.240.4900 or visit


“Critter Crawl” February 16th, 9am RUN WILD...OR YOU CAN JUST CRAWL! Don’t Miss the Third Annual ANC Critter Crawl 5K February 16th. Enjoy Alabama’s forests and fields with your family in the Third Annual “Critter Crawl” -- a 5K run along the beautiful trails of the Alabama Nature Center located at Lanark in Millbrook. There will be a 1-mile race beginning at 10 a.m. We encourage all runners to dress up as a “critter” or something related to the outdoors. Contact Elizabeth Johnson at ejohnson@ for more information.

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN The New Shanghai Circus Davis Theatre for Performing Arts Tuesday, February 19th, 7:30pm The New Shanghai Circus is an innovative and internationally renowned troupe of Chinese acrobats, aerialists and athletes who will be bringing The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

to Montgomery a beautifully orchestrated presentation of Chinese circus arts. These astounding acts, dating back to the harvest festivals of 2,000 years ago, combine entertaining acrobatics with show-stopping choreography, spectacu- lar costumes and ancient and contem- porary theatrical techniques to present a show of breathtaking skill and spell- binding beauty. For ticket info call, 334.241.9567

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN Hair the Musical Montgomery Performing Arts Wednesday, February 20th, 7:30pm

This exuberant musical about a group of young Americans searching for peace and love in a turbulent time has struck a resonant chord with audiences young and old. HAIR features an extraordinary cast and unforgettable songs, including “Aquarius,” “Let the Sun Shine In,” “Good Morning, Starshine” and “Easy To Be Hard.” For info, call MPAC Box Office: 334481-5100 or visit


Wizard of Oz Millbrook Community Players February 21, 22, 23, 28, March 1, 2 @ 7:30pm & February 24 @ 2pm Directed by A. John Collier. Musical Direction by Skye Meadows Jenkins - Choreography by Daniel Harms. Little Dorothy Gale of Kansas, like so many girls her age, dreams of what lies over the rainbow. One day a twister hits her farm and carries her away over the rainbow to another world. Come join Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Cowardly Lion and Toto as they travel the universe of Dorothy’s imagination. For info, call 334. 782.7317 or visit www.


Inaugural Quidditch Tournament Blount Cultural Park Saturday, February 22nd, 11-5pm Quidditch is a fictional sport created by British author J. K. Rowling for the Harry Potter series of novels. It is described as a rough, but very popular semi-contact sport, played by wizards and witches around the world. The sport has been adapted under the name of Muggle Quidditch (or simply “Quidditch”) to the real world and its players are referred to as muggles. Since at least 2003, Harry Potter fans have played ball games resembling the Harry Potter sport. In the United States, teams from more than 200 colleges are affiliated with the International Quidditch Association and play tournaments. The day will not only include a Quidditch Tournament, but also a festival. The day begins with a spectacular Opening Ceremony that will kick off a magical day. Food and drink inspired by the books will also be available. For more information, visit or call 334.240.4333.


“The Princess Stories” The Alabama Dance Theatre Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts Friday-Sunday, March 1-3, 7:30 & 2:3pm The Alabama Dance Theatre will present “The Princess Stories” at the Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts. “The Princess Stories” will include experts from the beloved ballets “Cinderella”, “Aladdin”, and “Sleeping Beauty”. Performances will be held on Friday, March 1st at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 2nd at 2:30 p.m. (shortened children’s matinee), and Sunday, March 3rd at 2:30 p.m. Following the matinees, children may go on stage to “Meet the Princesses”, Cinderella, Jasmine, and Sleeping Beauty. Tickets for the onstage parties are $10 and include a chance to win an American Girl Doll. Performance tickets are $15-$30. For information call 334.241.2800 or visit Tickets go on sale February 11 and may be purchased at the Armory Learning Arts Center. It ’s a Great Time to Be Booming! Please submit any events/pictures to r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m

February 2013



By Greg Budell


“That Girl” No last names will be used in this love story to protect the innocent. Wait a minute. This whole story is innocent.

lunch I became certain that had I pursued the issue, I could have gotten more than a spin-the-bottle kiss.

I recently discovered MeTV, a cable network that carries classics like the Mary Tyler Moore show and Bob Newhart. But I also found shows I hadn’t seen in decades, including one called “That Girl”, starring Marlo Thomas. Marlo was a raven haired hottie then and she still looks awesome. So what’s the Big Deal?

I couldn’t go there. It was fulfilling to sense that, to feel wanted in that way. She admitted boredom with her marriage but that was not my problem to solve. When our two hour lunch ended, she smiled at me in a way I had waited a lifetime to see, and hugged me in a way I’d waited a lifetime to feel. As we walked away, I turned around for a last look at my still-hot first flame only to see her turned around to look at me.

In 7th grade, I fell in love with a ravenhaired, big dark eyed girl named Anne Marie. Imagine my shock when that same year, ABC introduced “That Girl” featuring Marlo playing a raven-haired dark-eyed beauty named guess what… Anne Marie! It was instantly my favorite show.

For a hopelessly awkward kid like me, “That Girl” was a Sign From God. I still haven’t figured out what the sign meant but it sure seemed significant.

From 7th grade into high school, Anne Marie was The One. Making her aware of my crush was a challenge in those prehistoric times - a project that required months of planning and manipulating. We had one, only one, person in common, my extremely Irish friend Sheila McMahon. I admit it. I shamelessly used Sheila to let Anne Marie know I had a thing for her. At age 12, I had no idea what the thing was but I sure had it.

Our “romance” blossomed to the passing of notes in the hallway between classes. I lived for those notes. Any attention from Anne Marie propelled me for days!

I had serious competition. His name was Guido. Or Joseph. All I knew was that he was 2 years ahead of me, and most grown up women today would admit that in high school, rank was important. An older guy was cooler.

Anne Marie allowed me the privilege of taking her to see a movie now and then. We had an actual date about every 90 days - the crumbs tossed to that Greg guy who was sweet but not what a girl who could attract upperclassmen had in mind.

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February 2013

Busted, we waved goodbye and it was the last time I saw, or talked to her.

By my junior year, it was obvious Anne Marie was Guido-Joe’s girl. I slowly, painfully moved on. After we graduated, I heard she took an office job with the Chicago Transit Authority, and as I learned years later, married her mature, older high school boyfriend.

Fast forward to 1993. I am still not cool, but I am doing a talk show on WLS in Chicago, the station I worshipped in high school. I was at my Dad’s house when the phone rang - A sweet feminine voice asked if “Greg Budell could be reached at this number?” I identified myself and the voice said “I don’t know if you remember me but my name is Anne Marie and…” Remember you??? I was instantly 12 again, and ready to do cartwheels when she suggested a reunion lunch. She asked me!

I had no trouble recognizing her standing, all five feet of her, outside the Merchandise Mart building in downtown Chicago the next day (why wait?). She saw me and smiled at me in a way she NEVER smiled at me way back when. We grabbed a table at a nearby outdoor café. Anne Marie was still married to Guido-Joe. She had 22 years with the CTA. Beyond the details, I was simply enjoying her big dark eyes finally returning my unrequited gaze from our school days. Call me arrogant, presumptive or whatever, but during that

Fast forward to Facebook, another 20 years gone by. One day a note arrives from my still very Irish friend, Sheila McMahon. “Greg, I don’t know if you heard this, but Anne Marie passed away a few years ago… Cancer…”

Stunned, I paid to enter the Chicago Tribune archives to find her obituary. It was brief. No kids. Retired after 30 years of service to the CTA. There was the list of grieving family members including her husband of three decades, so to her credit, she hung in there. I added my thoughts to the on-line memorial, tears dripping freely down my face.

“To my elusive first could someone I saw so rarely, talked to so little and for most of my life, made me aware only of my inadequacies…why do I feel such a searing loss years after your death? Is it because you were the girl who first jump started my heart and made my head spin? Because you were the girl who introduced me to teenage lust-ache? Because you, Anne Marie, were the one girl I could never have in the way I wanted…even when your eyes said “yes” after I waited 20 years? Yes, Anne Marie. You were that girl.

Greg Budell lives in Montgomery with his dog Hershey. He’s a 25 year veteran of radio who hosts the Greg & Susan morning show 6-9 am and Happy Hour 3-6 pm on Newstalk 107.9, Greg can be reached at

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m

February 2013



BOOM! February 2013  
BOOM! February 2013  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine