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Jackson Hospital has the area’s first Gold Plus certified stroke program. (A good sign that you should trust your treatment to us.)

May is National Stroke Awareness Month, so we wanted to make sure you know that Jackson Hospital is proud to be recognized by The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for high achievement in Stroke Treatment. This is made possible by our specialized stroke team of emergency physicians, CT technologists, radiologists, pharmacists and neurologists. With such a well-trained and dedicated staff, it’s no wonder we are certified by the state of Alabama for stroke awareness, prevention and treatment. Use the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s acronym F.A.S.T. to recognize a stroke. It’s an easy way to remember sudden signs and symptoms. Then seek immediate medical help at Jackson Hospital and get in the F.A.S.T. lane to recovery.


HealthNEWS

for Boomers and Beyond

May 2013

Women and Stroke: 4 Points to Know These facts may surprise you: Each year, twice as many women in the U.S. die from stroke as die from breast cancer. And women are more likely to have a stroke than men—but are often unaware of their risk and what they can do to reduce it. Here are four things every woman should know about stroke:

1. Stroke is a brain attack. Like a heart attack,

a stroke happens when the blood supply to the organ is cut off. Strokes are usually caused by a clogged artery that blocks the delivery of blood and oxygen to the brain. A stroke can cause brain cells to die, leading to brain damage or death.

2. Some risk factors are specific to women. The most common risk factors for stroke for both men and women are getting older, being overweight, smoking, having a family history of stroke, not exercising, having high blood pressure, diabetes or high blood cholesterol.

But for women, the following can also increase stroke risk: • Having migraines with auras. • Using birth control pills or menopausal hormone therapy. • Being pregnant. • Having an autoimmune disease, such as lupus, or a blood-clotting disorder. • Being postmenopausal and having a waist larger than 35 inches or a triglyceride level higher than 128 mg/dL of blood. Also, certain groups of women, such as African American and Hispanic women, are at higher risk of stroke than Caucasian women.

3. Up to 80 percent of strokes may be preventable. You may be able to reduce your

risk of stroke with a healthy lifestyle. That includes controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, being at a healthy weight, exercising, and not smoking.

4. A stroke is an emergency. Call 9-1-1 right away if you or someone else shows signs of a stroke.

Ask the person to smile. Is one side of their face or body suddenly numb or weak?

Is one arm or side of the body numb or weak? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Is speech slurred or garbled? Can they repeat a sentence? Difficulty seeing/blurry vision?

If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately! Treatment within hours of the recognition of stroke signs is important. Sources: American Stroke Association; National Stroke Association; Office on Women’s Health

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

Contents

May 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 10

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 Beauty Advice: Practice Safe Sun Daily

Happy Mother’s Day

12 BOOM! Cover Profile

page 15

14 Your Virtual Consultation, Dr. Michael Bowman

Features 15 Sandwich Generation

Needs to Get It Together!

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

16 Brain Training Apps that Work Taditional Apps Too!

28 {12} Things

Solutions for bored Boomers

20 A Parent’s Final Gift

20 Successful Aging, Leigh Anne Richards

What they teach us...

22 Healthy Hearing, Women Address Hearing Loss...

30 Greg Budell The Miracle

25 Boomer Humor 27 Art & Soul

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COVER PROFILE page12

page 28

page 20 page 30

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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publisher’s letter

“Who’s Elderly?” 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.

May brings us one the most valued holidays in America, Mother’s Day. We can all relate. The month of May also brings with it “Older Americans Month.” People across our nation are achieving remarkable things in later life. Many older adults are experts in their fields, have years of valuable experience, and are using that knowledge to improve the lives of others. There are many of you right here in the River Region who have the same qualities and make equal contributions to our daily lives. Older Americans, like our mamas, should be honored, but what is old?

Publisher/Editor Jim Watson, 334.523.9510 jim@riverregionboom.com

Associate Editor

Recently, there was an article trying to explain who was elderly. For some reason it wasn’t clear who qualified for this term for older Americans. How about people in their sixties? Seventies? Eighties? Are they elderly? What if you’re frail or slow?

Kelly Watson kelly@riverregionboom.com

Contributing Writers Susan Alred

We all have seen people in their sixties who seem old or elderly and there are some in their eighties who have enough vitality for the rest of us. I think aging is all about attitude. If you look forward to the aging process as a new phase of life with new experiences and adventure, you’re probably not going to be called elderly. On the other hand, if you use aging as an excuse for what ails you more often than not, you’re Jim Watson, Publisher probably going to begin celebrating Older Americans Month with your elderly friends.

Sandi Aplin Dr. Bettie Borton Dr. Michael Bowman Greg Budell Lisa Copeland Elizabeth Harper Rebecca Nappi

One way to keep the “elderly” at a distance is to embrace the same attitude philosopher Francis Bacon had on old age when he said, “I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.” If you need an attitude adjustment about your aging, please allow Mr. Bacon to guide you.

Peggy Perdue Leigh Anne Richards Paula Sirois

Cover Photography Lola Fine Art Photography twololas@lolafineartphotography.com

www.lolafineartphotography.com 334.551.2700

Advertising Jim Watson, 334.523.9510 jim@riverregionboom.com

Design & Layout Lake House Graphics

Distribution Network Delivery

Printing Publications Press, Montgomery, AL

Since BOOM! was born out of the idea that aging is a good thing, we should all celebrate being older because we are more valuable and wiser than before. Therefore, like every other month, BOOM! will be honoring “Older Americans” again in the month of May!

From the looks of her, she doesn’t seem so old, but she’s 50+ and has accomplished quite a bit in her life so far. I’m speaking of our BOOM! Cover Profile for May, Susan Alred, the Founder and Principal of Success Unlimited Academy. As you will see in her Q & A on page 12, she has much more to give before she becomes elderly, probably not going to happen. In this issue we also share some ideas on the last gift a parent gives their child, as a daughter learns through her caregiving experience. Many of you are part of the “sandwich Generation” and it is wise for all of us to sit down and have a serious conversation about the future of our moms and dads. We don’t live forever. And for those of you worried about your brains turning to mush while you age, we’ve got a story from Techlicious regarding the best apps for your brain with a few old school suggestions thrown in too. There are many other good reads, like an article by Dr. Michael Bowman about a virtual consultation as he walks you through the process of visiting his medical office at River Region Facial Plastics. Greg Budell shares a story about mom and a foul ball; while Leigh Anne Richards gives some ideas on successful aging. There’s plenty more to keep you from becoming cranky in your old age, so take a look and enjoy the read.

As always, I appreciate the feedback and support from readers and advertisers. Please share BOOM! with a friend and spend some money with BOOM! advertisers, they value your business. Happy Mother’s Day!

334.244.0436

jim@riverregionboom.com 334.324.3472 cell/text 334.523.9510 office

Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

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Jim

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THE DATING COACH

By Lisa Copeland

12 Simple Do’s and Don’ts for Smoother Conversations Last week, I watched an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” called “The Sister-In-Law.” What a funny show. A show that depicts so well what goes on conversation-wise between a man and a woman. It begins with Raymond having the house all to himself and he chooses to spend his time relaxing on the couch watching a basketball game. He’s so happy just eating chips and chilling in front of the tube waiting for his brother to show up. The door opens but instead of Robert, his wife Amy comes in and she immediately parks herself on the couch right next to Raymond. You can visibly watch Raymond’s face change as Amy starts sharing the details of her day, including the challenges and issues of a saleslady she encountered along with details of the Fondue Tuesday party the family is having the next night. As Robert walks in, Amy leaves happy as can be, feeling like she’s made a real connection with Raymond. But has she? No. In fact Raymond ends up nicknaming her Lady Chatterley. So, why do I share this story with you? I’ve been speaking with a lot of women and one of their biggest concerns was what to talk with men about on a first date. We women love details, and that’s why Amy openly shared with Raymond all the intricate details of her shopping experience. But men don’t like hearing details. It’s TMI for them, too much information. So if you can’t go into details, then what do you talk about on a first date? Here are 12 do’s and don’ts that will guide you into smoother first date conversation: 1. If you’re feeling awkward and silences are happening between the two of you, which is pretty normal, DO try smiling, laughing and saying, “First dates are really awkward aren’t they?” And watch where that goes. 2. Don’t talk about anything that involves anger or bitterness you may still feel about your ex. If you have those types of feelings, wait to startdating again until you’ve healed from them.

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3. Do talk about the news and what is happening in the world. And the weather is always a great topic, especially since it’s been so bizarre lately. 4. Don’t talk about your last relationship being the best relationship of your life. No man will feel he can live up to that standard, and he won’t try. Watch the date end quickly when this topic comes up. 5. Do ask questions and do really listen to what a man says to you. Men love sharing their lives with you if they like you. What they are really doing is trying to impress you so you will want to go out with them again. 6. Don’t monopolize a conversation and talk on and on about yourself. I know it’s boring when a man does it, too, but you have no control over him. You only have control over your part, so make sure you aren’t perceived as a Lady Chatterley like Amy was. 7. Do talk about something fun or funny that happened to you that day (or recently). It makes you light and fun to be around, and someone who doesn’t take life so seriously. 8. Don’t talk about politics or religion. These are “hot topics” that can push people’s buttons. You’re looking for a second date not World War III. 9. Do talk about friends and family and ask about his. 10. Don’t whine or complain on a date about anything. It doesn’t make a good impression on anyone and makes you look like a major Debbie Downer. 11. Do share any interesting travel stories and ask him where he’s been in his life. You never know, you may have been in the same place, at the same time and never even knew it. 12. Don’t talk about the details of your friend’s new love life or the fact your plumber was supposed to come at 1 p.m. but didn’t show up till 5, unless you want his eyes to glaze over. He’ll check out and figure out a way to escape your date...quickly. Stay on neutral topics like some of the ones I’ve mentioned Lisa Copeland, “The Dating Coach Who Makes Dating Fun and Easier after 50!” Find out more at http://www.findaqualityman.com (c) 2013, Lisa Copeland, Distributed by MCT Information Services

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Practice Safe Sun Daily

Little did we know that sun damage was happening to our skin in the 60s and 70s when dark tans were “cool” and a concoction of baby oil and iodine accelerated our tan while we baked in the sun. But now we know that the sun is the number one cause of premature aging of the skin, and even more importantly, that it puts you at a higher risk for skin cancer. Because of the damaging effects of the sun’s ultra violet rays, the FDA has issued new guidelines for the skin care and beauty industry to follow regarding products with SPF. All new formulas of skin care and color products with SPF must have a broad spectrum protection, meaning the skin will be protected from UVB (the burning rays), as well as UVA (the aging rays). The new labeling of sunscreen products with broad spectrum coverage allows the industry to make claims on the package about antiaging and skin cancer prevention. What is SPF? It stands for Sun Protection Factor, which is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent the UVB rays from damaging the skin. It is the amount of time you can be in the sun with SPF before your skin begins to burn. For example, an SPF 30 will provide five hours of protection for a fair-skinned person who easily burns after 10 minutes of sun exposure. Multiply the time it takes you to burn by the SPF you are wearing to give you the time frame or protection. Tests show that SPF 15 filters out 93% of the UVB rays, SPF 30 filters out 97% and SPF 50 filters out 98%. After that, it becomes a numbers game. Beware of the sun’s side effects from over exposure: • The U.S. Government identifies ultraviolet radiation from both the sun and tanning machines as carcinogenic. A tan causes DNA damage in skin cells that directly causes skin cancer and again. • 1 in 5 Americans (1 in 3 Caucasians) will develop skin cancer

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

By Peggy Perdue

in the course of a lifetime. One in 50 Americans have a risk of developing melanoma, which is on the rise. • 80% of sun damage occurs before the age of 20, then shows up years later in the form of wrinkles, age spots, sagging and uneven texture of skin • Car windows have been proven to let in more than 60% of UVA rays that are responsible for skin aging. This can lead to “asymmetrical facial damage,” which means there are significantly more wrinkles and spots on the side of your face closest to the window. *from the Skin Cancer Foundation

Practice safe sun in a variety of ways and get your DAILY dose of broad spectrum SPF with these products: • Face moisturizer - minimum of SPF 15 and higher (Include your neck and chest.) • Eye moisturizer - minimum of SPF 15 (The SPF should be encapsulated so as not to irritate the eye area and only use Ophthalmologist tested products around the eye.) • Sunscreen for the face and body - minimum of SPF 50 (For direct exposure to the sun with swimming, boating, and any other outdoor activities, apply at least 15 minutes prior to going out and reapply every two hours if swimming or perspiring) • Foundation - minimum SPF 15 (The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends wearing two applications of cosmetics containing SPF for the best protection. Layer your face moisturizer with SPF with a foundation containing SPF.) • Lip balm and hand cream - minimum SPF 15 (Lips burn easily due to very little melanin and hands tell your real age, so keep these two items in your purse to reapply.) • Remember, the safest tan these days is “faux,” thanks to selftanners and bronzers. Peggy Perdue, Studio owner Merle Norman, Shoppes at EastChase

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This & tHAT

Fairytale Ballet Camp for Granddaughters The Montgomery Ballet is hosting a Fairytale Ballet Camp offering young dancers, ages 3 – 8, a unique summer experience with training in classical ballet. Using famous ballets, such as Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty for creative inspiration, Fairytale Ballet Camp places special emphasis on musicality, movement and shapes. Dancers will participate in games, as well as, arts and crafts to further enrich their ballet experience. The Montgomery Ballet is offering 3 separate sessions of the Fairytale Ballet Camp; for dancers ages 3 – 5, camp is June 10 - 14; for dancers ages 5 – 7, camp is June 17 - 21 and for dancers ages 6 – 8, camp is June 24 - 28. Fairytale Ballet Camp will be conducted each day from 9:00 am until 12:00 noon at the Montgomery Ballet Studio. At the conclusion of each session, dancers will demonstrate their new skills by re-enacting a famous fairytale ballet in a special performance for their family and friends. Tuition for Fairytale Ballet Camp is $195 per dancer. For more information or to register a dancer please contact the Montgomery Ballet Office at (334) 409 - 0522, email TheMontgomeryBallet@gmail.com or visit www.MontogmeryBallet.org.

Zumba Party Night for More Sunshine in Montgomery’s Homes MetroFitness organizes fitness fun event to benefit the Family Sunshine Center Montgomery. On Monday May 6, MetroFitness is hosting a fiery Zumba dance party followed by an outdoor after-party open to the public. The charity event is fully benefiting The Family Sunshine Center in Montgomery to support their mission in making homes safe havens. From 5:30 to 7:00pm the Zumba instructors Mary Katherine and Courtney share the lead of this vibrant latino style mega class followed by a latino-style after-party - no “cool down” allowed. A donation of 25+ Dollars is appreciated from members and non-members to enjoy both class and party and to make this fundraiser a success. Zumba is not a must – anyone can just make their donation and join the after-party crowd. “Over several years we are supporting the efforts of the Family Sunshine Center”, says Leigh Anne Richards, general manager of MetroFitness in Montgomery. “This year we specifically address the fitness and Zumba loving folks to get engaged with us and enjoy the Zumba blast and party.” The mission of Family Sunshine Center is to end family violence and sexual assault, and foster hope and healing through crisis intervention, advocacy, and community education. www.metrofitness.com

Montgomery Welcomes Home Soldier with Free LASIK An army of friends deployed for Lt. Col. William T. Reeves Jr. They made sure he would receive the free LASIK laser vision correction he always wanted, when the soldier of three wars returned home to Montgomery. Reeves won Primary Eyecare Associates’ LASIK giveaway for “Hometown Heroes” late last year, when he still was serving in Afghanistan. The Montgomery eye care practice has been donating LASIK to community heroes for three years. Reeves received an unprecedented number of 330 votes from the public to be chosen. Now, Reeves is home and just received his LASIK surgery. As a result, the veteran sees 20/10 – which is better than perfect 20/20 vision – without glasses or contacts, for the first time in 40 years. “I am so appreciative for this life-changing gift from Primary Eyecare,” Reeves, 54, said. “I’m grateful that Primary Eyecare does truly give back and supports our local community. I’m anxious to experience life through different ‘lenses!’ “ Fredrick Jackson, O.D., owner of Primary Eyecare Associates, explained, “We periodically give away LASIK laser eye surgery Pictured (from left) are: Benjamin Harris, O.D., who managed Reeves’ LASIK; to outstanding citizens who serve the public good. We ask the public to Reeves; Bret L. Fisher, M.D., who performed the LASIK; and Fredrick Jackson, nominate members of the military, police officers, firefighters or teachers. O.D., owner of Primary Eyecare Associates. The nominees tend to be people who put off buying special things for themselves, like LASIK, in the interest of others’ needs, so it’s a good pairing.”

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BOOMERS, share your stuff with BOOM! We Love to Bring BOOMERS Together, send info and pics to jim@riverregionboom.com

Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic Memorial Day Weekend, May 25 - 26 in Decatur, Alabama JubileeThe Alabama Jubilee features sixty balloons from around the US. Visitors are encouraged to come out for the day to see these magnificent flying machines in action an are allowed to freely walk amongst the balloons. Saturday morning is the ‘hare & hound’ race and during the evening there is the always popular Balloon Glow that lights up the night sky. Sunday morning balloons fly-into the field in the Lynn Layton Key Grab and during the evening many balloons offer free tethered rides! for more info visit alabamajubilee.net

The Shoppes at EastChase Farmer’s Market to Open for Ninth Season The Farmer’s Market will hold a soft opening on Saturday, May 11, 2013, from 7 a.m. until noon, which will allow shoppers to preview some of the unique items and produce that will be offered throughout the summer. The Farmer’s Market grand opening will kick off summer at The Shoppes on Saturday, May 25, Memorial Day weekend, from 7 a.m. until noon. The grand opening will offer entertainment for the entire family, including cooking demonstrations from Williams-Sonoma, face painting and balloon characters for the kids and a bluegrass band for shoppers’ listening pleasure. The Farmers Market will be held every Saturday starting Saturday, May 11, and will run through Saturday, August 10, from 7 a.m. until noon. The Farmers Market producers and growers offer unique items such as organic meats and milk, goat cheese, natural bath products and hand-made soaps, honey, sprout breads, plants, fruit pastries, bird houses and hand-made jewelry—all made from local vendors and locally grown ingredients. For more information on The Shoppes at EastChase or its Farmers Market, call 334.279.6046.

Starting in May is Living Well Alabama Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop. The workshop is a six week course designed to teach people with chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and high blood pressure to manage their diseases, feel better, and lead more productive lives. The workshop is free and taught by two trained leaders. It is interactive and participants learn skills and strategies for managing symptoms, healthy eating, relaxation techniques, goal setting, pain and fatigue, and more. The workshop will be held on Thursdays beginning May 16th and end on June 20th. The hours are from 1 - 3:30pm, and the location is the Archibald Center, 115 E. Jefferson Street in Montgomery. Registration is required and enrollment is limited. To register or for more information regarding a future class, contact Myrtle Scott or Jane Mitchel at Central Alabama Aging Consortium, 334.240.4666.

Grandma’s Rule Knows Best One of the greatest struggles mankind faces is getting each new generation of children to eat their vegetables. One triedand-true technique to get rebellious youngsters to finish a plateful of peas is known informally as “Grandma’s Rule,” or in other words: “No dessert until you finish dinner!” The common sense practice is a practical application of a principle known more formally in psychology as the Premack Principle, named for the researcher who discovered it. For practical and probably ethical reasons, David Premack started his study not with children, but with Cebus monkeys. After presenting the subjects with four toys each and noting which toys each monkey favored, Premack began to limit their access. By taking away the monkeys’ favorite toys until they had played with the less desirable toys for a length of time the researcher deemed sufficient, Premack found that the primates were able to work the system to their advantage, engaging with the second-rate toys to gain access to the top-shelf goods. Grandma’s Rule succeeds because it offers a choice between good consequences and better consequences: While some children might decide that going without dessert is a fair enough trade for leaving the peas behind, the majority will likely suffer through for the sake of dessert. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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BOOM! COVER PROFILE

Susan Alred, Educating and Mentoring This month’s BOOM! profile is Susan Alred. Susan is the founder and principal of Success Unlimited Academy, a school who helps young people find a good fit for their educational needs. Susan is a dedicated educator with a passion for those kids who need a special educational environment to flourish. Hundreds of area families have benefitted from Susan’s vision of providing an educational alternative to our public schools. She

your desire lines up to His Word? If so, go for it with all your might and trust Him to accomplish His will through you.

Susan and student Sara Moody

shares some of her life’s journey in this month’s Q & A. 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? Susan: I was born in Birmingham, Alabama but moved to Montgomery when I was a year old. I graduated from Sidney Lanier High School in 1978. I attended the University of Alabama where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Special Education. In 1984, I earned my master’s degree from UAB. I have taken several courses at AUM in supervision and administration since then. I am married to Bob Alred. We have a blended family with seven incredible children, Ashley Alred, Rob Alred, Neil Alred, Lauren Morgan, Lindsey Martin, Caitlin Odle, and Bethany Odle. We have three son-in-laws, Brian Thomas, Zac Martin, Jason Morgan and one daughterin-law, Jessica Alred and six beautiful grandchildren, Hannah, Lucas, Emma, Will, Rylie, and Ethan. My life has never been more full or blessed!

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BOOM!: As the Principal and Founder of Success Unlimited Academy could you share some of the motivations and challenges of opening your school? What has been the greatest blessing? Any lessons you can share with other aspiring entrepreneurs, especially, women? Susan: My motivation to start a school was the need I saw in the community for a school to reach out to non-traditional learners. So many children were being lost in the system and I wanted to help bring individualized education to all children, not just children with a diagnosed special need. When I started the school in 2000, the greatest challenge for me was raising my four young daughters alone while pouring my soul into my business. My faith in Jesus Christ has kept me focused and allowed me the grace to take each day one day at a time. I have been so blessed to have raised four amazing, accomplished daughters that love the Lord, not to mention the true joy of getting to know over three thousand children since Success Unlimited Academy began! I love to mentor younger women, especially those seeking advice on business decisions. My advice to them is always put God first in your aspirations. Ask Him if

BOOM!: As a professional educator in the River Region for many years, could you share your education philosophy with our readers? What are the unique qualities that make Success Unlimited Academy different? Susan: My philosophy is very simple. I believe all children can learn given the right tools and a supportive learning environment. At Success Unlimited Academy, we are a Christian school that puts God first in everything we do. Our mission is to bring God back into the classroom as we teach the necessary skills needed for success in life. Our high school students enjoy our block schedule which allows each student the added advantage of taking only three courses at a time. This is especially helpful for students with focusing or organizational issues. I love it because it gives the child more time in the classroom per period which allows for more hands on activities and discussion. In addition, it mirrors the format of college class schedules preparing them now for what college will be like. BOOM!: Many Boomers are experiencing a renewed sense of purpose, new goals, new careers, especially if they’ve experienced the empty nest syndrome of their kids moving on. How would you describe this sense of renewal in your life? Any advice for the rest of us seeking renewal? Susan: I haven’t experienced the empty nest syndrome yet with a 15 year old still at home, but even when she does leave

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with mom since we started. Three have Susan: Community involvement is part graduated from SUA and are very successful of my personal mission statement. I have in their careers. My second daughter, always taught my children (school and Lindsey is a Master’s Level Licensed Social personal) that for all you have been given Worker living in Atlanta and a member of you should always be willing to give back. the school’s Advisory Board. Her career At the school, each grade has been a valuable resource for me at level is required to do a the school. She has spent time abroad service project each quarter. volunteering her time and Some of my talents with Compassion more eager International and spent service minded several months serving students do in an orphanage in Brazil. projects monthly. Her love and compassion We support for suffering children and the Food Bank, families has always been her Humane Shelter, passion. Caitlin will graduate Operation this month in Cosmetology Christmas Child BOOM!: What are you Susan with Husband Bob where she plans to give and the Veterans most passionate about? back to her community Association, just to name a few. through her work with the Some ways I stay connected Susan: I am so passionate about seeing Downs Syndrome Society to my community is through children excel in the classroom and in life. I Two of Susan’s six grandchildren, as a mentor. Bethany is my church involvement and have had the awesome privilege of serving Rylie and Ethan a sophomore at Success membership in the Chamber children and families since 1982. My heart Unlimited Academy. As for me, I couldn’t of Commerce. I sponsor leadership groups has been enlarged with each student I imagine a better career choice than what for Women in Business and am a member have had an opportunity to teach. My I am doing. Besides education, I love of the Council for Exceptional Children, and passion for a student to grow spiritually ministry work and this job provides many the Autism Society. and emotionally as well as academically opportunities to share my faith. So I am is equally exciting. Ask anyone that knows totally happy with the path the Lord has BOOM!: If you weren’t in the education me and they will say my family, friends and placed me on. business, what kind of work would you be faith are my life. doing? Any dream jobs? BOOM!: What is it about living in the BOOM!: How do you like to relax and wind Montgomery/River Region area that you Susan: This is my dream job. I have so down from a hard day’s work? like? many wonderful Susan: I love coming home Susan: I love the diversity in our city. The people to my wonderful husband, population has changed over the years surrounding Bob and beautiful daughter, and I enjoy all the newcomers that arrive me every Bethany. Bethany is the each year at our military bases. I have the day that I youngest of our seven children, privilege of meeting new families every love. I have who still has a couple of years day. It is always the people that keep me the added before she leaves the nest. here. The love and support I feel from this blessing of We like to enjoy a good meal community is priceless. having my together and watch a few of our daughter, favorite shows. BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have your Lauren work ambitions changed? with me. BOOM!: Favorite vacation spot? She is an Any travel dreams planned for Susan: Typically aging may mean slowing awesome the future? down, but for me I am just amping up. The educator and dreams get bigger and bigger not smaller. administrator Susan: Any beach destination of two of thrills me. We have a time share Four of Susan’s daughters, Caitlin, Lauren, BOOM!: Give us three words that describe our school in Gulf Shores, Alabama. It is my Lindsey and Bethany you? divisions: favorite spot in the world. our tutoring center and distance learning Susan: Driven, energetic, Christ-follower. programs. She manages those departments BOOM!: As a busy entrepreneur, do you exceptionally and teaches math and English have time to be involved in community, BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or other to all our K-6th graders as well. All four of civic or other activities? activities that grab your attention? my daughters have been coming to work home, I have almost all of my 16 other children and grandchildren living right here in town. So, I don’t think I will be feeling lonely ever! Between school events, little league and dance recitals I have more than enough to keep me busy! If someone is seeking a renewed sense of purpose, I invite you to consider volunteering at Success Unlimited Academy. Every week volunteers come to the school to share their faith or talents. Any musicians or artists out there? We need you!

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Susan: Since Bob and I have married, I have present educational environment is not started to play golf. It is a great excuse to working, find a better choice. One of spend extra time with my best friend and my favorite quotes that we use on our a wonderful time to enjoy literature in our God’s abundant beauty. I also school was spoken work out twice a week at by a pastor named Hogan’s Gym. I wouldn’t call Leonard Ravenhill. working out a hobby yet, but He once said, “The it is certainly a much needed opportunities of a stress reliever! A must have lifetime must be on my list is my monthly seized in the lifetime visit to Oasis Massage. of the opportunity”. Dr. Michael Hudgins is a Our children are miracle worker! Dancing is only young once. We a big part of my life also. can never get back Not me dancing, but taking tomorrow. If you my daughter, Bethany to have an opportunity her many practices and in front of you competitions at Tonya that could make a Speed’s Dance Connection. difference for your This year’s recital will be my child’s future, take it. 26th to attend since my first Effective education child started dancing there at should be personal Susan with Student Marsa Beck age three! Of course, highest and individual. Say to on my list of fun ways to spend my time yourself, “Is my child receiving an effective these days is with my grandchildren. They education? Does the administration take keep life in perspective for me. According the time to know my child personally?” If to my four year old granddaughter, Rylie, the answer is no, seek help elsewhere. life is about taking time for tea parties and singing songs. Everything else can wait! BOOM!: Technology is rooted in almost And she is so right. every aspect of our lives. How do you or your team use technology to better serve BOOM!: Effective education is a hot topic in your students and their parents? our society, especially when it’s perceived to be a problem. Can you offer any ideas or Susan: Technology is imbedded into our solutions to help solve it? total program from the use of our parent communication system, Renweb, to our Susan: My best advice to a parent seeking Smartboards in each classroom. Students an educational solution for their child’s use laptops, e-readers and multi-media needs is to “go with your gut”. If your equipment to enhance their learning. We

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are on the web at www.suacademy.com and on Facebook. Our alumni are utilizing social media to plan the upcoming class reunion. It is a powerful tool we rely on every day. BOOM!: Do you have any growth plans for Success Unlimited Academy or similar educational services? Susan: I keep looking across the street wondering, should we buy that land and build a gym and more classrooms today or tomorrow?? Truthfully, we are in much prayer about the future plans for Success. We added on two years ago, and are reaching capacity at both campuses. I feel the growing pangs again and see a possible move or building program in our very near future. Our athletic program continues to grow and so does our fine arts enrichment classes. More space and a gym would give us the platform needed to launch more programs. With God’s help, we believe we will see that happen in time.

If you have any questions for Susan, you can reach her at 334.213.0803 or admin@ suacademy.com. If you know of a child who needs a different school environment visit www.suacademy.com. We want to thank Susan for participating in this month’s BOOM! Cover Profile and Peggy Henderson for making it all happen! If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please send them to jim@riverregionboom.com

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Sandwich Generation Needs to Get It Together!

They call us the sandwich generation _ people who are trying to raise kids and take care of their parents at the same time. Stuck in the middle with lots of responsibility on both sides, we have a lot of stress in our lives. If you’re a member of the sandwich generation or think you may become one soon, you should know your options and have a plan in place. Gather your parents around the kitchen table and have an honest discussion about everyone’s future. With pen and paper in hand, start writing down real numbers about finances: income, expenses, and debts, and ask the hard questions about long-term care. With hard numbers and stated goals, you can sort out your options. Long-term care expenses can range between $30,000 and $100,000 or more a year. Not many people have that kind of money available. Make sure your parents understand this and seek out insurance options that will help cover these expenses. If you’re suddenly forced to start making major life decisions about medical or financial matters for your parents, there’s more paperwork than you may expect. It’s usually not just a simple matter of hearing what your parents want and then your doing it. You have to do it legally. “It’s so important to have the proper legal documentation in place, meaning HIPAA forms, power of attorney, advance health care directives, so you are never left scrambling if something unexpectedly happens to Mom or Dad,” notes elder attorney Heather Chubb of the Chubb Law Firm in Gold River, Calif. “There’s enough on your plate, and dealing with strict privacy laws and administrative red tape shouldn’t be on the list! It’s also important to keep the lines of communication open with your parents so you know what their wishes are and what’s important to them. It will simplify your life if an emergency or incapacity ever occurs.” You and your parents aren’t alone. Help

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is available. Eldercare. gov can show you where to get assistance with local agencies that can help with information on available senior services in your parents’ hometown. Benefitscheckup.org also can direct you to health, tax and utility costs relief programs. Taking care of your parents can be a huge financial burden, and you should look at all possible options to help alleviate the strain. If you parents own their own home, run the numbers and weigh the benefits of selling it, renting it, or getting a reverse mortgage, which is a viable option for some. Your parents can borrow against the equity in their home and receive either a lump sum payment or monthly payments. They will still own their house, but they’ll no longer have to pay a mortgage. Visit AARP.org and search for “reverse mortgage” to learn more about this program. If you do decide to take over the primary caregiving duties by having your parent(s) move in with you, it’s important to plan ahead, both financially and emotionally. Kim Atchley, co-author of “When Your Aging Parents Need Care,” explains that you “need to create boundaries when offering care. Boundaries for time commitments, communication, and level of involvement should be created. Finances between families should be kept separate to reduce the potential for frustration. If other family members can step up to help, that should be investigated. Resentments can take seed and grow easily around the issue of money control and usage. Save a headache and approach the topic openly, and seek professional financial planning advice if need be. Sometimes a person on the ‘outside’ of the care situation can make the points clear for both parties and easier to follow.”

By Paula Sirois Amber Fitzsimmons, an adviser at BraunAbility, which offers wheelchairaccessible vans and lifts, suggests that you “establish a role for your parent in the household to ensure they feel welcomed and part of the family. For instance, if they are interested in cooking or gardening, give them an opportunity to cook dinner once a week or to nurture their own flower bed.” She also suggests creating a family calendar to organize the various household members’ schedules and to jot down a much-needed night for you to relax and enjoy some “me” time. Your parents’ independence should be made a priority. Fitzsimmons notes that if they can, they should be able to arrange “their own activities, networking with their own group of friends or participating in physical therapy to promote wellness to ensure that they are still able to live their own life.” Carole Shaw, an administrator at Silverado Senior Living in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., says you should “have a buddy system with another person who knows what you are going through. You can find others who understand the special challenges of caregiving for aging parents by joining a local support group. Keep a journal of your feelings. Sometimes putting down your thoughts on paper can help you work through them.” RESOURCES www.aarp.org www.eldercare.gov www.benefitscheckup.org “When Your Aging Parents Need Care,” by Candy Arrington and Kim Atchley (Harvest House Publishers, $14.99) Paula Sirois is a Florida based writer who writes about all things online, frugal living and family life. (c) 2013, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m

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Brain Training Apps that Really Work There are lots of books, programs, and games out there that claim to train your brain for better memory and increased cognitive performance. And while we do like the idea of playing a game every day to improve our brain power, we have to wonder if these programs live up to their lofty claims. So we went to an expert to find out if a brain-training game could really help make us smarter. We spoke with Dr. Majid Fotuhi, a neurologist who chairs the Neurology Institute for Brain Health and Fitness. He’s written the book “The Memory Cure: How to Protect Your Brain Against Memory Loss and Alzheimer’s Disease” and just finished writing a new book, “Boost Your Brain” which will be released later this year. “The bottom line is this,” Dr. Fotuhi tells us, “these games are helpful, but they’re only a part of what you need to do in order to have a stronger brain. It’s a mistake for people to think they’re going to do these games and that’s it, their brain is upgraded.” But there has been research to indicate that cognitive training can work, including the IMPACT (Improvement in Memory with Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training) study out of the University of Southern California’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. So what should we do to really boost our brainpower? “Physical fitness is one of the most important things for brain health,” says Fotuhi. If you want to dedicate time to improving your brain’s health, he says these are the most important things to do for children, adults, and seniors: Vigorous physical exercise. This, Dr. Fotuhi tells us, is 80% of it. So if you want to help your brain, be sure you’re not playing brain training games on the couch: whatever your favorite physical activity is, make sure you’re doing something to work up a sweat regularly.

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Memory exercises. “If you want to be sharper, you want to maintain the memory part of the brain (the hippocampus).” So if you’re playing any kind of brain training game, look for something that requires you to remember names, faces, or other information to boost those brain muscles. Meditation and breathing exercises. Just spending 15 minutes a day will not only help you relax and destress, but also improve your brain’s health by decreasing brain excitement. Ingest more omega-3 (DHA). You’ll find these in fish oil pills—or you can get them by including more fish in your diet—and scientific research suggests they have a number of health benefits, including improving your brain health. If you’re looking for a brain training program, Dr. Fotuhi recommends looking for a program that you enjoy, works your memory, provides plenty of variety to stimulate your brain and is challenging enough to work your mental muscles. How much time you spend will depend on how much improvement you want to see, but the average person should make brain training a daily habit of 15 to 20 minutes. With that in mind, let’s look at our picks for best brain training apps. All of these are designed with science in mind and they provide the variety and challenge Dr. Fotuhi recommends. So if you’re looking to do more to flex those mental muscles, these are great places to start. Lumosity. Think of Lumosity (www. lumosity.com) as a gym for your brain. The Lumosity website and app features

a series of online games that have been specifically designed to boost your brain muscles, improving memory, speed, problem solving, attention and flexibility—core cognitive abilities that Lumosity says will help you with practical problems like remembering names and even driving better. Lumosity personalizes your training program based on how you’re performing and what you want to improve and gives you a daily routine of different brain games to help improve performance in your target areas. With over 35 million users, who range from the ages of 8 and 108, Lumosity is definitely a popular choice in the brain training field. “Lumosity takes what I refer to as an open science approach,” says Dr. Joe Hardy, Lumosity’s Vice President of Research and Development. “We make our software available for research partners all over the world to use in studies they’re doing to understand better what kinds of games are effective for what types of outcome. We’re working with researchers at most of the top universities in the US, including places like Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley.” If you want to know the details of Lumosity’s scientific credibility, they keep completed and ongoing research results online. If you want to get started, there’s a free trial, but after that Lumosity has a monthly subscription fee—$14.95 per month if you pay month to month, but with deep discounts if you pay for a year or more up front. A 1-year subscription will average out to $6.70 a month and a 2-year subscription will cost you $4.99 a month, and if you decide to make a lifetime commitment to Lumosity, you can pick up a lifetime subscription for $299.95. Lumosity is available on iTunes. Fit Brains. If you like the idea of brain training, but Lumosity feels too much like The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


a visit to your doctor’s office—by which we mean not very fun—you might want to check out Fit Brains (www.fitbrains. com). Like Lumosity, Fit Brains aims to improve your mental performance by running you through a series of brain games that are selected to help you improve areas you’re weaker in. However, unlike Lumosity, Fit Brains feels a lot more like a video game, which may be just what you need to stay motivated and on track. And as you play Fit Brains games, they’ll become more difficult, so you’re always getting a challenging brain workout. You can create an account and start training with Fit Brains for free, but to unlock all the games, you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription fee. If you pay month to month, Fit Brains is the pricier option at $29.95 a month. But if you pay for a year up front, it averages out to $5.80 a month. There’s also a lifetime subscription option for $329.95. Fit Brains is available on iTunes. Brain Workshop. If these options all sound pricey, Brain Workshop (brainworkshop.sourceforge.net) may be more your speed. Though it doesn’t offer a variety of games or a personalized program like Lumosity and Fit Brains, this open source application is entirely free for Mac and Windows. Brain Workshop is what’s called a dual N-back game, a type of memory game that recent studies suggest can improve short term memory and fluid intelligence. The game—which closely replicates the experience of the original study—requires you to remember a series of spoken letters accompanied by squares in specific positions on the screen. As new squares and accompanying letters pop up, you have to say if they match the previous ones. The system is configurable to make it more or less difficult and also includes statistics tracking so you can monitor your improvement. Hopefully one of these options is a good fit for you. Happy brain training! This article was posted by Elizabeth Harper at the website techlicious.com, a great source for keeping up with the fast pace of technology. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Your Virtual Consultation

at River Region Facial Plastics

Hello, This is Dr. Michael Bowman with River Region Facial Plastics. Dr. Tom Cawthon and myself are proud to be the founders of the River Region’s first medical spa dedicated to all aspects of facial wellness and beauty. As we approach our first year anniversary, we are thrilled and honored by the warm and enthusiastic reactions we have garnered from our clients throughout the area. Many of our patients are interested in doing what they can to help themselves look as good as they feel. However, fear of the unknown keeps some patients from coming in for a consultation to learn more. During the first installment of this column, in order to help you get to know us a little better, I would like to explore our philosophy of facial rejuvenation and give you an idea of what you can expect during your initial consultation at River Region Facial Plastics. Beautiful. Natural. Results. Those three words are our motto at River Region Facial Plastics and they encompass our philosophy of rejuvenation. First, all of our treatments are meant to help bring out your inner beauty, so that you look your best, whatever your age may be. Next, we want our results to always appear natural. The best rejuvenation should look so natural that someone passing you on the street will never know you had anything done at all. And finally, we deliver consistent long lasting results that will help you look and feel your best. At River Region Facial Plastics, we offer a wide variety of options for rejuvenation. Every face is unique, so we have carefully selected the best products, techniques and procedures to help us give a natural rejuvenation for every face. Almost all patients can benefit from great skin care products like SkinMedica. A customized skin care regimen can both repair damaged skin and prevent future skin

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problems. We also have a wide variety of minimally or non-invasive treatments like Botox, Juvederm, Restylane, Sculptra, Ultherapy, and more. Finally we also perform surgical procedures like Quicklift (mini-facelift), eyelid rejuvenation, nosereshaping, and more. We will probably delve into the details of some of these fascinating procedures in future columns. With so many treatments available, we need a consultation to determine which will be the best options for you. So now lets discuss what to expect at your consultation. First, there is some paperwork to be filled out. This is similar to the papers at your other doctors’ offices. Thank you in advance for taking the time to fill out those forms. This information is very important for us to help determine the best treatment alternatives for your face. When you call for your appointment, we can either mail the paperwork to you, or you can download it from our website (www. RiverRegionFacialPlastics.com) under Patient Forms & Resources. When you walk through our front door, you will be greeted by one of our highly trained staff members. She will check you in and go through your paperwork. Next, we will take a standard series of photographs of your face and neck, along with additional closeups of any specific problem areas. These are a part of your medical record and will be kept private. Now it is time for you to sit down with your doctor (either Dr. Cawthon or myself) in our comfortable consultation room. As we go over your paperwork,

we always take plenty of time to make sure we understand which areas of your appearance most concern you. We also ask some questions to get a feeling for other concerns like timing (do we need results by a given date or event?), downtime (can you take some time off your normal schedule?), etc. This part of the consultation is critical. Once we understand where you are coming from, we can begin to determine how we can best achieve your goals. At this point, we need to perform a simple and painless physical examination of your face and neck. After that, together we will develop your Beauty Plan. This is a roadmap for your facial rejuvenation. It will cover all of your options from basic skin care, through office procedures as well as any surgical procedures which might be right for you. After we explain your recommendations, we usually look at some before and after photographs and answer all your questions. Finally, you’ll sit down again with our Patient Care Coordinator. She will go over the details of pricing, financing and scheduling for your Beauty Plan. For most surgical procedures, most patients take a week or two to think about about their recommendations, so there is no pressure to make a snap decision. I hope you have a better understanding of our philosophy at River Region Facial Plastics as well as what to expect at your facial consultation. I do hope you will give us a call to schedule your free consultation so we can sit down and come up with your own personalized rejuvenation plan. Sincerely, Dr. Michael Bowman

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Fitness over Fifty

By Leigh Anne Richards

Successful Aging As life expectancy in the United States continues to move higher, the number of people 65 and older will grow dramatically Leigh Anne Richards in the coming decades. In fact, those individuals 85 or older are the fastest growing segment of the population. This group is proving that the postretirement years are not periods of loss and decline in quality of life. It is just the opposite. These later years can be one of continued growth, taking on new challenges, and exploring new things. “Successful aging is best understood as a process, rather than an outcome- a way of doing and being.” says Betsy Sprouse, Ph.D. program manager of AARP Foundation. “It is about our ongoing, day to day efforts to live as well as possible during the latter part of our lives. It is not confined to the most bright and vibrant among us.” We always think of good health as the key to successful aging, but that is not the entire story. In one of the research projects sponsored by the AARP Foundation, a little more than onequarter of the group of older adults that participated in the project have serious, even multiple chronic diseases and conditions, but they consider themselves aging well. On the flip side, some healthy adults, as many as one third in this study, did not see themselves aging well. One of the key factors in successful aging is ATTITUDE. A positive outlook on life, a willingness to learn and even try new things makes for a happier and more content person. The acceptance of aging is another part of the attitude equation. Those who come to terms with the

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realities and limitations of aging are able to adjust their perspectives. Staying involved in a variety of activities including volunteer work, taking classes or participating in cultural events helps in the aging process. It is so important to stay involved in the outside world. The study done by the AARP also showed that relationships, particularly close family relationships, matter. A happy marriage or a long term relationship significantly increases the chances of successful aging, as well as a spouse or partner that is aging well. On the other side of the coin- having children with financial, emotional problems, or relationship problems is associated with lower chances of successful aging. Of course we know that staying active physically is one of the best deterrents to the aging process. Exercise strengthens our bones, prevents many chronic diseases, and improves our mood, among many other things. Physical activity prolongs our life and gives us a better quality of life. Researchers looking at the issues of successful aging have identified the following 10 behaviors and attitudes 1. Don’t smoke- if you still do, it is never too late to quit 2. If you drink, drink moderately- one alcoholic drink a day does not hurt and may even reduce your chances of heart disease. However, alcohol abuse can lead to disability and death.

4. Eat a balanced diet- limit the fats in your diet and try to include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. 5. Avoid obesity. Being significantly overweight is associated with chronic diseases and may actually shorten your life by 8-10 years. 6. Protect your vision and hearing- your eyes and ears are critical to reading and driving. They also keep you engaged in conversations. 7. Get regular health care and necessary vaccinations 8. Maintain a vibrant social network and strong personal relationships. 9. Stay active in professional, community and other activities. Feeling useful and needed is associated with good outcomes 10. Plan for your financial well beinghaving the money to meet your material needs can increase your chances of successful again. Are you aging successfully? ** Information taken from “Aging Successfully” from AARP Leigh Anne Richards is General Manager of MetroFitness in Montgomery and has a MEd. in Health and Physical Education with a concentration in adult fitness. She is also a Certified Physical Fitness Specialist and Certified Group Exercise Leader. For questions regarding health and fitness you can contact Leigh Anne at LAMetrofit@aol.com

3. Stay physically active- find something you love to do and do it regularly. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


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Healthy Hearing

By Dr. Bettie Borton Au.D.

Women Who Address Hearing Loss, Enjoy Better Quality of Life

Too many women don’t realize how their quality of life could improve if only they addressed their hearing loss. National Women’s Health Week— which kicks off on Mother’s Day, May 12th—is a great time to let them Dr. Bettie Borton Au. D. know. Addressing hearing loss helps women stay physically, cognitively, and socially active, the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) advised today as part of its outreach in recognition of National Women’s Health Week. Research shows that hearing loss is frequently associated with other physical, mental, and emotional health conditions, and that women who address their hearing loss often experience better quality of life.

Doctors Hearing Clinic and BHI are urging women of all ages to take the free, quick, and confidential online BHI Hearing Check at www.hearingcheck.org during National Women’s Health Week. Anyone can take the online survey to determine if they need a comprehensive hearing test by a hearing healthcare professional.

Doctors Hearing Clinic and BHI support National Women’s Health Week, coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. The 14th annual National Women’s Health Week kicks off on Mother’s Day, May 12, 2013 and goes until May 18. National Women’s Checkup Day is Monday, May 13, 2013. Additionally, May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. This month of awareness is a good time to analyze your own hearing and determine if you are one of the estimated 28 million Americans who have a hearing loss that can be treated. For the vast majority of people with hearing loss there are solutions that help.

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And modern hearing aids are among them. Eight out of 10 hearing aid users, in fact, say they’re satisfied with the changes that have occurred in their lives specifically due to their hearing aids. From how they feel about themselves to the positive changes they see in their relationships, social interactions, and work lives, hearing aid users are reaping the benefits of today’s technology. When people with even mild hearing loss use hearing aids, they often improve their job performance; enhance their communication skills; increase their earnings potential; improve their professional and interpersonal relationships; stave off depression; gain an enhanced sense of control over their lives; and better their quality of life.

But when left unaddressed, hearing loss interferes with a woman’s life and negatively affects virtually every aspect of her day-to-day living—including how she communicates with her doctor. And because hearing loss has been linked to several chronic diseases—as well as to an increased risk of falling—it’s important that women and their healthcare providers routinely address hearing health as part of their medical care. Millions of women in America suffer from unaddressed hearing loss. Most are still in the workforce. Studies show that people with heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression may all have an increased risk of hearing loss. When left untreated, hearing loss also can lead to a wide range of physical and emotional conditions. Impaired memory and the impaired ability to learn new tasks, reduced alertness, increased risk to personal safety, irritability, negativism, anger, fatigue, tension, and stress are among its more common side effects. As part of its efforts to promote National Women’s Health Week, Doctors Hearing Clinic and BHI are encouraging hearing healthcare professionals across the

country to organize hearing screenings in their communities; host health fairs; disseminate women’s health information; and publicize National Women’s Health Week.

For more information on National Women’s Health Week, visit www. womenshealth.gov/nwhw/. For more information on hearing loss, visit www. betterhearing.org. To take the BHI Hearing Check, visit www.hearingcheck.org. More About Hearing Aids Today’s hearing aids combine highperformance technology and style with durability and ease-of-use, transcending the old-world notion that a condition as common as hearing loss is something to hide. The options are so varied that there is an attractive solution for just about anyone.

Whether they sit discreetly inside your ear canal, or wrap aesthetically around the contour of your outer ear like the latest fashion accessory, today’s highperformance hearing aids amplify life. They unabashedly send the message: “I’m too young and full of life to stop doing the things I love best.” For a step-by-step breakdown of what to expect, ask, and look for when visiting a hearing healthcare professional and purchasing a hearing aid, download Your Guide to Buying Hearing Aids at www. BetterHearing.org, under publications. Content adapted from the Better Hearing Institute.

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 Boar of Audiology, and was recently elected as President Elect of the American Academy of Audiology. Co-authored by Brittany Spahr, Doctoral Extern, LSUHSC. Visit Doctors Hearing Clinic at www. doctorshearingclinic.com or call 334-396-1635 for more information.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


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By Rebecca Nappi

A Parent’s Final Gift

to mom that she had a terminal illness. It was always about more medication, radiation, chemo and scans that she truly believed would help her get better.

It is said that our parents’ final gift is this: They teach us how to die.

“As the years went on, it seems that the doctor should have talked to us about outcomes, palliative care and hospice. She last saw the oncologist just six days before she died.”

Aging experts predict that end-of-life care, as well as management of chronic illnesses, will change dramatically for boomers, because of what the boomers are learning while caring for their aging parents. Here’s one woman’s story about these final lessons. Jean Leonard, 65, Spokane, Wash. BACK STORY: Leonard stepped up for major caregiving duties, beginning in 1999, when her 74-year-old father underwent heart surgery. Her parent’s health issues stretched over the next 10 years and included her father’s strokes and her mother’s metastatic breast cancer. Leonard, a small business owner, had more flexibility than her two siblings (who live out of town) to oversee their parents’ care. After retiring, Leonard and her husband moved from Colville to Spokane in 2008 to be closer to her parents who had relocated here from Reardan. Leonard drove her parents to doctor’s appointments, relocated her parents to retirement and nursing facilities and took the middle-of-the-night phone calls. WHAT SHE LEARNED: Doctors were too aggressive in treating her parents’ illnesses, prolonging the inevitable. Leonard said: “My mom was seeing an oncologist. In five years of appointments, I don’t remember the doctor ever mentioning

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HOW CAREGIVING CHANGED HER: Leonard’s husband designed their current home. It will allow the couple to age in place. The main floor has a complete living area, no steps required. Hallways and showers will accommodate wheelchairs. An upstairs floor will be ideal for a live-in caregiver. Leonard’s experience with her parents also informs her health care decisions now. “At 65, I’m not on any medication. I go to yoga and do Pilates. I was in the WunderWoman triathlon in Medical Lake last summer.” FUTURE EXPECTATIONS: The couple’s three grown children are 44, 40 and 35. Leonard and her husband have talked with them about their wishes for their older age, and the Leonards have all their advance medical directives, as well as financial information, in writing. “I want to be organized and make (our wishes) clear,” she said. “My mom and dad weren’t willing to talk about a lot of it.” Leonard hopes her children will participate in their lives as she and her husband get older. “I don’t expect my kids to ever be into the personal caregiving, but I will be grateful for all their help.” Rebecca Nappi writes for and edits the weekly Boomer U section in The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash. Email her at rebeccan@spokesman.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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Boomer Humor share a laugh today!

Real Laws of Nature: 1. Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to pee. 2. Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner. 3. Law of Probability- The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act. 4. Law of Random Numbers - If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers. 5. Supermarket Law - As soon as you get in the smallest line, the cashier will have to call for help. 6. Variation Law -If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now. 7. Law of the Bath - When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings. 8. Law of Close Encounters - The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with. 9. Law of the Result - When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will. 10. Law of Biomechanics - The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach. 11. The Coffee Law - As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold. 13. Law of Physical Surfaces - The chances of an open-faced jam sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug. 14. Law of Logical Argument-Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about. 15. Brown’s Law of Physical Appearance - If the clothes fit, they’re ugly. 16. Oliver’s Law of Public Speaking- A closed mouth gathers no feet. 17. Wilson’s Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy -As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it. 18. Doctors’ Law- If you don’t feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you’ll feel better... But don’t make an appointment, and you’ll stay sick. This has been proven over and over with taking children to the pediatrician. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Fe at u re d A r t i st This Month, Richard Mills I was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, to parents who wanted me to be a dentist and I was an only child for my first eight years. In the late-forties there were no distractions like TV or Facebook so I created my own little fantasy world of radio listening and comic books. The corner drug store would allow a kid the privilege of reading them for free, so I would go home and draw with pencils and crayons what I could remember of the covers. O.K., so sometimes I would copy them ,too. I doubt that Rauschenberg or Warhol began like that but they probably had more than four crayons. I had a fourth-grade teacher, Lucille Thompson, who loved to draw and she always included art in her lesson plans. She was very supportive and complimentary and allowed me to open a small business in the classroom. I would draw the S as seen on Superman’s chest, redraw it in bulk, attach safety pins to them and sell them for a nickel each. Bullies could get one for free. My classmates would attach them to their shirts and then proceed to break things. Ms. Thompson put an end to it, I never told the IRS and I took this limited success to high-school art where I had the most wonderful teacher, Ms. Yater Breeding. She was very willing to allow me to use my imagination and she stressed the importance of learning to carefully observe objects to be able to understand how to draw them. I’ll bet Rauschenberg and Warhol did get that, though. I graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a B.F.A. degree in painting and then earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from U.T.K. The support from faculty and strength of community of artists in graduate school directly influenced my artistic vision. Walter Stevens and Carl Sublett, my major

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professors in painting were particularly helpful by introducing me to the work of Richard Diebenkorn, Morris Louis and other artists who worked on large-scale color-field paintings. Most influential was my wife, Virginia (Ginger) Yarnell, who supported me through school and was willing to dash off anywhere that

Petty Flash 1, 48x36 oil on canvas

we needed to go for me to teach. Ginger has a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education, a degree that was very useful in raising our two daughters, Laura and Emily. We celebrated our forty-sixth anniversary this year. She has made it possible for me to work experimentally and as fearlessly as I am able. We came to Alabama in 1974 where I taught at Judson College for five years. As a one-person art department I was required to teach subjects that were unfamiliar to me and in doing so, I learned a lot from my students and learned a very important trait-listening. I can think of no more critical aspect

to teaching than the influence and motivation that comes from a student and professor actually listening to one another and understanding that artistic honesty in one’s work comes from visualizing one’s own story. I could squeeze my entire painting class into a station wagon for an on-location painting class or take a ceramics class to a rural pottery to watch a potter throw a vessel on a potter’s wheel the size of a Volkswagon. I taught at Auburn Montgomery for thirty years. I am proud of the many students that shared an interest in making art, exhibiting and realizing that they can mirror their own soul with images that they create with their hands and minds. My position at AUM allowed me to interact with scholars from many different countries. I am grateful for that opportunity to listen and learn from them and understand that we are all more closely connected than we once may have thought. Retirement has allowed Ginger and me to travel. We recently returned from an Alaskan cruise and have visited many European countries. Traveling energizes me and I notice that I see shapes, colors and random influences that find their way into my work in unexpected ways. I have seen streets full of people at 3:00 a.m. in Istanbul and an elderly gentleman in Ravenna dressed in formal-wear spending an hour gently caressing the juice out of a lime into his hot drink with the tip of his pocket knife. I think I could learn a lot from that guy. Richard Mills, April 19, 2013. Visit Gallery One Fine Art 423 Cloverdale Road, Montgomery, AL Gallery Director Sandi Aplin sandiaplin@aol.com 334.269.1114 www.galleryonefineart.com

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By Sandi Aplin

Art & Soul

Montgomery Art Guild (MAG) The 40th annual art event at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

The 40th MAG opened on April 5th at MMFA with a wonderful reception and awards presentation. It was sponsored by BB&T and Margaret Berry Lowder. Mark M. Johnson, MMFA Director, shared, “This exhibition is one of the largest in recent memory, 101 works by 81 artists selected from a pool of 416 by 126 artists. We owe a debt of gratitude to the juror, Janice Kluge, UAB Professor Emeritus of Art, for her selection of the show from the 416 digital images that were submitted. We are grateful to John Powers, a current UAB art faculty member, who selected the award winners and presented the critique.” In conjunction with the competition, the featured MAG artist is John T. (Jake) Wagnon. Curator of Art, Michael W. Panhorst, Ph.D., says, “Primarily a painter, Wagnon also draws and uses collage techniques, occasionally incorporating his earlier artwork into new creations. In recent years he has printed digital images of his compositions and integrated those prints into new artworks.” MAG President, Thornton Clark said, “This year we are very grateful to the many donors to the Art Guild who have generously given a record number of awards with an unprecedented total value of $27,700. Montgomery has a great combination: a remarkable number of excellent artists and a beautiful Museum with a great collection of art.”

WINNERS Lindy Bruggink - Koch Best in Show Award for Katelyn, Ray B. Dugas MMFA Director’s Award for Big Fish Comes to Town; Carolyn L. Sherer - Dollhouse Dilemma; Dale Lewis (two awards) - Art Galleries and Artists of the South Ad Award and Emily B. Gassenheimer Purchase Award for Golda Finch & Starling Darlings 5; Suzanne Jensen - Foy Gilmore Goodwyn Award for Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: Respect and Wallace Stevens; Scott Crockett - Bucks and Jean Weil Award for Guiding Star; Neal Brantley - Jimmie Sabel Award for A

Cecily Hulett and Juror John Douglas Powers with her painting Beyond Words

Visit to the Pantheon; Hope T. Langley - Ann Copeland Fitzpatrick Award for Abstract Water; Richard Mills - Clark Walker Award for Paper Chase 3; Amber Hall - Moore Wealth Management Award for Tornado Aftermath at Lake Martin Diptych 1; Cecily Hulett - Ed Robbins Award for Beyond Words; Michael Vaughn John T. Wagnon The Five Artists

Sims - Clementina MacPherson Award for Laura Elizabeth Moore; Michael Young - Bill Brewbaker Award for Big Wet

Kiss; Chie A. Hitchner - Cleveland Award for Winter Garden; Truman Grayson - Winnie and Charlie Stakely Award for The Gym Fashion Show-Pink is Powerful; Michael Vaughn Sims - Jay Ott Award for Chopin/Mendelssohn; Randy Shoults - Montgomery Art Guild Merit Award for Four Possible Remedies; Kay Alkire Brummal - Doug’s 2 Award for Discarded Dreams; Linda Bailey Goslin - Halvorson Award for Sanctuary; Ken Lever - McKenzie Award for Final; Jacquelyn Armstrong, Oriental Rugs and Carolyn L. Sherer, Dollhouse Dilemma, for Art Galleries and Artists of the South AD Awards; Martha A. Hopkins - Montgomery Art Gallery Association Award for Woman in a Bottle; Mitford A. Fontaine - MAG Award for Photography for

Richard Mills with Paper Chase 3 Watercolor, Gouache, Collage

Red Rust Morning; Cleve Webber - Phillip Ould Rawlings Award for Tribute to Gregory Hines; George Taylor - Montgomery Art Patrons Award for Cypress at Dark and Charlie Munoz - Meriwether Award for Female Form.

My favorite part of the process is to attend the Juror’s Critique. John Power’s was very generous with his time and knowledge. John, Cecily and I were looking at her work and I asked why he selected Beyond Words? He said, “When I looked at this piece, I immediately thought of Cy Twombly’s work.” As Cecily and I left the building, we were discussing neither of us knew of his work and we both went straight to the internet to search, Who is Cy Twombly?

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May 2013

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond

MONTGOMERY

Around the World in 80 Days God of Carnage Alabama Shakespeare Festival Through May 19th

Seven actors play 39 roles in Mark Brown’s adaptation of Jules Verne’s comic adventure Around the World in 80 Days. Fearless Phileas Fogg takes on the challenge of his life when he wagers his entire fortune that he can circle the globe in 80 days. But stampeding elephants, raging typhoons, runaway trains and a relentless detective who thinks Fogg is a fugitive serve as obstacles to foil this amazing race against time. Yazmina Reza’s Tony Awardwinning comedy about adults behaving badly, God of Carnage, follows two social climbing couples who meet to discuss why the son of one couple beat up the son of the other. The evening starts friendly enough but as the discussion wears on the façade fizzles and the verbal free for all begins-- with hilarious results. Ticket information 1.800.841.4273 or visit www.asf.net or in person at the ASF box office located at 1 Festival Drive in the heart of Montgomery’s beautiful Blount Cultural Park.

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN Southern Makers Union Station Train Shed Saturday, May 4th, 2-7pm

The inaugural Southern Makers event will take place Saturday, May 4, from 2 to 7 p.m. at the historic Union Station Train Shed in Downtown Montgomery. This event is an evolution of 2012’s successful Alabama All Star Food Festival. The highly curated, one-day event will celebrate creativity and innovation in Alabama. All proceeds from Southern Makers will benefit E.A.T. South, a nonprofit organization that encourages healthy lifestyles through education and sustainable food production in urban areas throughout the Southeast. Visit southernmakers.com for more info.

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MONTGOMERY

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN

Come and discover art on Saturday, May 4 from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.! Festivities include art making projects, artist demonstrations, music, food and a lot of fun! Also, experience Montgomery’s first Quidditch tournament, a fictional sport created by Britsh author J. K. Rowling for the Harry Potter series of novels. Matches are played between two teams of players riding flying broomsticks, rising balls and ring-shapped goals. Join us for this exciting day! Admission: $5 adults, $3 children under 12 Free to members and Active Duty Military Personnel and their immediate family.

Free Admission. Respect Your Elderberries is the theme of our 16th’ annual Herb Day. Elderberry is the 2013 Herb of the Year, as recognized by the Herb Society of America. Herb Day is a fun-filled public educational event for the entire family. It will feature children’s activities, programs by experts on growing herbs, a cooking demonstration using herbs, and a session that explores the medicinal properties of herbs. An open-air market will feature vendors selling crafts, books, food, herbal teas, garden wares and a huge selection of herbal plants. For more information go to oathsblog.wordpress. com.

MONTGOMERY

Hangout Music Festival Gulf Shores Beaches Weekend, May 17-19th

Flimp Festival & Quidditch Blount Cultural Park Saturday, May 4th, 10-2pm

Frazer BBQ and Flea Market Frazer UMC Saturday, May 4th, 7-1 Flea, 10:30-2 BBQ

Herb Day Old Alabama Town Saturday, May 11th, 8-3pm

GULF SHORES

It is that time of the year when pigs begin to fly. On Saturday, May 4, the 23rd annual BBQ will be helping Frazer send students on missions around the world. You can do your part by enjoying our BBQ for only $8 a plate or $6 a sandwich bag. There will also be a Singles Missions Flea Market for the bargain hunters! Be sure to drop by the fellowship hall to grab a tasty treat at the Women’s Circle’s bake sale. For more info call, BBQ: Youth Ministry Office 495.6409 or Flea Market: Singles Office 495.6390. frazerumc.org

The Hangout Music Festival is the first and only festival of its kind. Located directly on white sandy beaches surrounded by palm trees, the Festival treats guests to a unique festival experience and consistently features a diverse selection of top touring artists. The 2012 Festival welcomed a daily crowd of 35,000 and featured a diverse lineup, including: Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, The String Cheese Incident and The Flaming Lips. For more info visit hangoutmusicfest.com

MONTGOMERY

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN

For great writers telling great stories in a great part of the country, look to the South. The Playhouse presents a mix of readings and music celebrating a great American treasure. From Capote to Welty, the list is impressive and memorable. Come spend an evening that will wrap you in the warmth of great words and songs. For more info call 334.262.1530 or info@cloverdaleplayhouse.org. Visit for cloverdaleplayhouse.org

The Second Saturday of May down on the Montgomery Riverfront starts with the first ever Riverbend Brewfest featuring a variety of craft beers to taste. Admission is $20. River Jam will follow the Brewfest with 8 bands on two stages, admission is free. These events are examples of the “New” Second Saturdays for this year, which will continue

Southern Voices Cloverdale Playhouse Tuesday, May 7th, 7:30pm

Second Saturdays Riverbend Brewfest and River Jam Riverfront Park Saturday, May 18th, 2-8 pm

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to have the music, vendors and marketplace on the riverwalk and admission will be free. www. funontheriver.net

PRATTVILLE

Touch a Truck Pratt Park Saturday, May 18th, 10-3pm Pratt Park will host a “Touch a Truck” event, as well as inflatables, a remote control boat race and more. The “Touch a Truck” event is designed to help satisfy children’s curiosity by providing trucks from local businesses for them to “touch and explore.” There will be a wide variety of vehicles on site, everything from fire trucks, swat vans and dump trucks, to construction vehicles, trash trucks and more. The “Touch a Truck” event will take place from 10am until 3pm near the amphitheatre in Pratt Park on Upper Kingston Rd. These events are in conjunction with National Kids to Park Day, which encourages kids to get outside and be active. Please contact the Special Events Department at 334.358.0297 for more details.

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN Crosby, Stills & Nash Montgomery Performing Arts Friday, May 24, 2013 at 8:00 pm

More than four decades since CSN first harmonized in Laurel Canyon, and played their first-ever concert as a trio at the legendary Woodstock festival, its members continue a creative partnership that is one of the most influential and enduring in music. David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash have each been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two times-once with Crosby, Stills & Nash, and a second time with The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and The Hollies, respectively. They have also been inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, with the honor recognizing both CSN as a group, and each member as individual solo artists. For info, call MPAC Box Office: 334-481-5100 or visit mpaconline.org

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN Dreamgirls Davis Theatre for Performing Arts Saturday, May 25th, 7:30pm

The Subscriber Series will close on a high note in May with a sensational new stage production of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls. Full of onstage joy and backstage drama, Dreamgirls tells the story of an up-andcoming 1960s singing girl group and the triumphs and tribulations that come with fame and fortune.

With music by Academy Award nomi- nee Henry Krieger and book and lyrics by Tony and Grammy Award winner Tom Eyen, Dreamgirls features the unforgettable hits: “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” “One Night Only” and “Listen.” This Tony and Academy Award winning musical sparkles like never before! For ticket info call, 334.241.9567

WETUMPKA

Jasmine Hill Gardens Fri. & Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Jasmine Hill Gardens and Outdoor Museum, “Alabama’s Little Corner of Greece,” features over 20 acres of year-round floral beauty and classical sculpture, including new statuary honoring Olympic heroes. A tour of Jasmine Hill, now completely accessible to visitors with disabilities, offers spectacular and ever-changing views, including our full-scale replica of the Temple of Hera ruins as found in Olympia, Greece, the birthplace of the Olympic Flame. Located just off US 231, North of Montgomery, near Wetumpka. For more info call 334.263.5713 or visit jasminehill.org

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It ’s a Great Time to Be Booming! Please submit any events/pictures to barbarabondsrealestate.com jim@riverregionboom.com The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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By Greg Budell

MALE CALL

The MIRACLE on MOTHER’S DAY FACT- You have a 1 in 1500 chance of catching a foul ball at a major league baseball game. All my life I tried but the odds finally broke my way on Mom’s Day ‘87.

spun up and landed on the seat next to my sister’s friend Linda. I jumped up and grabbed the ball and a lifetime quest had been completed! I finally got my foul ball. Baseball treasure!

My Mom was a trooper. Her way of celebrating Mother’s Day was to ask “what can I do to make this a really great day for you, Gregory Benjamin?” Seriously.

So, one year I went to great lengths to let Mom know I had a radio commitment that would prohibit me from traveling to Chicago to see her. I sent an absurd floral arrangement on Friday of that weekend just to prove how guilty I felt about my situation.

I flew in that day, parked my rental car a few doors down and walked up the driveway. The “I’m seeing things” look on her face when she recognized me from the kitchen window was (I hate the word priceless) priceless.

So, beyond my surprise, how to make this a Mother’s Day never to forget? How about a trip to old Comiskey Park to see the Chicago White Sox play? Every Mom’s dream!

I already had my kid sister Kim and her girl friend lined up so it didn’t take much to convince Mom that this was the chance of a lifetime. “What time do we leave?” she asked that fine spring Saturday night. “As soon as the limo gets here” I replied. She thought I was kidding. I wasn’t.

My Mother had never ridden in a limo! I grabbed the handle on the wooden cabinet dividing the seats after we settled in, and up popped a full fledged bar.

Mom liked an occasional vodka gimlet so I made sure the requisite ingredients were on board. She nursed one on the way to the ballpark and thought it was amazing one could safely enjoy cocktails while traveling by car, albeit a rather extended one with a uniformed driver.

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Kim was equally thrilled. This was Justice!

We arrived at Comiskey and Mom started grabbing for the door handle to make her exit. “Ah ah ah ah ah, Mater”, I chastened.

“The driver will open the door. And they won‘t let you bring your gimlet into the park so drink-chug-a-lug!” I had the limo for 5 hours so I informed the group we’d have to be ready for departure by 10:30 whether the game with the Baltimore Orioles was over or not.

Once inside the park, we found our way to seats a few rows behind the dugout on the first base side. It can snow in Chicago in May so we were all pleased with temperatures in the 70s and a wind that was blowing out at a rather fierce 20 MPH. The ball was flying off the bat. We saw Hall of Famer Eddie Murray hit 2 bombs, one from each side of the plate, and Larry Sheets (who?), hit one onto the right field roof, a rare, prodigious blast. The White Sox, who were sucking their way through a suck season, managed to hit a couple homers too, each accompanied by a celebration of fireworks. Mom didn’t know a hit and run from and intentional walk but for the casual fan, it was a good game. Lots of action. Then, in the 6th inning, IT HAPPENED!

The aforementioned Eddie Murray was up; batting right handed and sliced a curling foul ball in our direction. It hit some empty seats at the end of our row,

She and I were at Comiskey a year prior sitting in the first row of the upper deck. A hitter for the Angels sliced one right at us. I could hear the ball whistling as it spun through the air. All went silent around me as I rose to catch it. I reached over the railing and “SMACK”. The ball hit the palm of my hand but I couldn’t grip it, and it tragically fell into the hands of some lower deck scum.

Well, it hadn’t occurred to me that I was representing the entire upper deck on my attempted catch, and when it fell, I got booed and booed loudly.

My face and hand were both red, and let me tell you- a direct hit from a rising foul ball hurts like hell! However, in the macho world of sport fans, I could not let the pain be seen. I did hold my soda from the inside of the cup for a couple innings. At 10:30, with The Ball and Mom in tow, we went back to the limo waiting right outside the park. It took exactly one more gimlet to get home and Mom thought it was the most wonderful thing. Not the limo, but that her son had a dream come true. The next night, back in Florida, I unpacked my clothes and The Ball and have displayed it the 25 years since The Miracle.

It forever reminds me of the best moment of that weekend, the look on Mom’s face when I surprised her. And how damn glad I am I did it when I had the chance.

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 gregbudell@aol.com

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BOOM! May 2013  
BOOM! May 2013  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine