Capital District Family Now - May 2021

Page 1


‘Hamilton’ helps heal

FamilyNow Capital District

Vol. 2, #5| MAY 2021 |FREE

generations together

A moment for moms

Parenting with confidence Baseball is back May 2021 —  1

2  Family Now — May 2021


Editor’s desk


Don’t expect perfection

oms aren’t perfect.

FamilyNow Capital District

generations together

For every age and stage of family life.

May 2021 Features

Yet in May, there’s a special day set aside just for us when we are bombarded with declarations of our selflessness, warmth and generosity approaching sainthood. Don’t get me wrong, everyone likes to hear their praises sung, but all this hyperbole exalting the virtues of motherhood sometimes overlooks the fact that we are very much human.

Mother’s Day ideas

We’ve all had moments where we’ve spoken sharply to our children – and even our own moms –without good reason. We’ve left messes we didn’t feel like cleaning up. We’ve sometimes told our kids to “suck it up” when they’ve approached us teary-eyed and with scraped knees. We’ve been less-than-capable homework helpers. We’ve skipped Open Houses. And on occasion, we’ve cooked up a box of mac and cheese and called it dinner. Or is that just me?

Learning Center

In any case, saints we are not. We’re wonderfully messy individuals with sometimes competing emotions and hearts big enough to love matched by a constant worry that it will never quite be enough. You know who else is a wonderfully messy individual? A child – both literally and figuratively. And would a saint be able to understand and embrace all that messiness and conflict? No, but a mother can.

Kids fun page

By all means, take some time this Mother’s Day – or any day for that matter – to thank your mom for being there for you, but maybe skip the hyperbole. A mother’s love isn’t perfect, but in the end, being human is what makes us so well-equipped to raise other humans. Check out our feature on Pages 14-15 for some ideas to honor your mom, including a recipe for a decadent and unusual mango dessert. Pro tip: Don’t forget to clean the kitchen afterwards. Check out our articles and more at and mail your story ideas and pictures to Capital District Family Now, P.O. Box 100, Delmar, NY 12054, or e-mail me at Kristen Roberts Editor, Capital District Family Now


Columnists Parenting with Confidence


Triple Threat

6-7 12-13

A Patriot Remembers


Retiring Retirement


What’s new 8

Brain teasers


Out and about


Resources Summer camp listings


Senior Centers


publisher - John McIntyre editor - Kristen Roberts editor-at-large - Michael Hallisey advertising sales - Denice Mau art director - David Abbott graphic design - Martha Eriksen Engagement Coordinator - Kaitlin Lembo

Word problems in math can be challenging for kids. Our Learning Center columnist talks about how parents can help on pages 12-13.

Capital District Family Now is a unit of Community Media Group LLC. Published monthly. Deadline for advertising and calendar events is the 5th of the month preceding publication. Display advertising rates are available on request. Capital District Family Now reserves the right to refuse advertising for any reason. We do not guarantee any of the information, services or products published in this or any issue. The opinions expressed by the contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this paper. © Copyright Capital District Family Now. No portion of Capital District Family Now may be reproduced without written permission from Community Media Group LLC.

May 2021 —  3

Parenting with Confidence

Always trust your instincts


rom the moment we realize we are going to be having a child, we naturally want to protect them, have them feel loved, help them, and teach them all of the wonderful things they need to know.

their instincts. It’s great to ask questions, it’s great to use some resources on the internet, but it doesn’t replace or take away from you. YOU are the parent of your child. Trust yourself! When you feel you need to call the doctor or ask to see a specialist, it’s OK to say, I often see parents, “I am around my especially new baby all the time, by parents, doubt and this isn’t the themselves. District mom and a Registered normal I’m used There is so much Nurse who specializes in materto seeing.” information nal and infant health, breastcoming at you at Advocate for feeding and childbirth educaone time it can be your child, and if tion. Over the past 11 years she overwhelming and something feels off, has worked in the healthcare cause some anxious speak up. Remember industry from military installafeelings. to trust yourself and your tions to local clinics. parental instincts. Don’t forget: I am a firm believer in perAfter having a daughter of her sonal development, professional You’ve got this! own and experiencing what it development, and parent develEditor’s note: Family Now’s felt like to be on the other end opment. I also want to remind newest monthly columnist, of the stethoscope, she felt a and encourage parents to trust Quoida Lauzon, is a Capital calling to support new mothers

Quoida Lauzon

2021 Albany JCC Summer Camps

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New parents are often faced with information overload, but it’s important for them to remember to always listen to what their “gut” is telling them. and their families. She started her own business to help women have more confidence with breastfeeding and adjusting to motherhood as a whole. She teaches classes and coaches new mothers in their pregnancy and “fourth trimester” journey and believes women should thrive, not just survive, motherhood. Connect with the author on social media @nurse.q.lauzon or visit

or hike the trails in person

May 15 - June 5 Fields of violet Lupine flowers and fluttering Karner blue butterflies set the stage for visitors to explore and support the Albany Pine Bush Preserve and its partners through free online interactive programs and limited in-person activities. Visit for details. *NEW* TRAILGATING on May 15, 11am-1pm! We’ll be parked at each of our 12 trailheads with our trunks open – but instead of barbequing, we’ll be dishing out informational materials and answering your questions before you head out on the trails! Covid precautions in effect.

June 28-September 3, 1, 2021. For kids 3 to 15. More info -, 518-438-6651 Follow us on @AlbanyJCC 113634_4

4  Family Now — May 2021

2021 Lupine Fest.indd 1


4/7/2021 12:07:14 PM

picture books

On the Bookshelf

Stories to snuggle up to ‘Wren’

‘We All Play’

By Katrina Lehman;

By Julie Flett At the end of this book, animals and children gently fall asleep after a fun day of playing outside, making this a great bedtime story and a beautiful ode to the animals and humans we share our world with. Greystone Kids

illustrated by Sophie Beer Wren just wants a bit of peace and quiet. What he gets is the noisiest baby sister you could ever imagine! But when Wren runs away to the country, he discovers that maybe peace and quiet isn’t all he needs. Scribble

‘Line and Scribble’ By Debora Vogrig, illustrated by Pia Valentinis Line and Scribble are best friends that like to do things differently. Line goes straight while Scribble wanders. Line walks a tightrope as Scribble bursts into fireworks. Line likes to draw with a ruler, and Scribble, well . . . doesn’t. Chronicle

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May 2021 —  5

parenting triplets in the Capital District

Triple Threat

Music makes it better ‘Hamilton’ soundtrack eases pandemic anxiety for one overwhelmed mom


heck it? Can I be real a second? For just a millisecond? Let down my guard and tell the people how I feel a second?” Thank you, Lin-Manuel Miranda for giving me the words I need to reach out and say I am overwhelmed. I’m the mom of three 13-year-olds – during a pandemic, wearing masks and not touching anyone other than the people who live with you. Thank you to the “Hamilton” soundtrack for helping transport me to happier times for me. This past year, I turned to music as my therapy and listened to the Hamilton

soundtrack. My earbuds and speakers took a beating. All I wanted to do was be in my happy place and sing along. During conversations, lyrics would pop into my head and I could smile again. Olivia and Rebecca know the lyrics by heart. Ben likes to roll his eyes and pretend he doesn’t know all the words. The kids and I have fun with them.


no idea how many times I have watched “Hamilton.” My days were dark sometimes. I know that there are other people who use music to help or to celebrate good times. Olivia uses music like I do, and she will sing to make everything better. Rebecca chooses to listen and sarcastically comment.

Jennifer Steuer

When Disney+ announced that they would be streaming “Hamilton” with the original cast, I was so excited! I have

My brain can’t wrap around all the death and despair that has been a part of this past year. My overwhelming and pathological need to keep my family safe has consumed me. I listen and draw strength from this music.

Aaron Burr sings “Wait for It” and describes how love, life and death “do not discriminate between the sinners and the saints/ they take and they take and they take.” This is how I see COVID. This virus does not discriminate. A virus does not care about infection and death. Many, many people have died from COVID, and I just don’t understand how this happened. My brain would seek out Phillipa Soo’s voice. Her beautiful and haunting Eliza calling out “Stay Alive.” This song may be about living through the American Revolution, but the words can also work in the

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H T E O R M ’ S Y D P A P Y A ! H




6  Family Now — May 2021


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The lyrics from the “Hamilton” soundtrack have resonated with the Steuer family as the stress of coping with the pandemic weighed heavily.

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Send calendar submissions by the 5th of the previous month to:

time of COVID: “Stay alive ‘til this horror show is past. We’re gonna fly a lot of flags half-mast. Raise a glass.” My goal through the last 14 months has been to stay alive and keep my family alive. We wear our masks, use hand sanitizer and socially distance in an effort to stay safe and help keep other people safe. Anxiety took up residence in my brain, my diaphragm and deep in my soul. It eroded me in a way nothing has before. Every cough, sniffle and headache scared me until I couldn’t breathe. The anxiety of not being able to control anything made me want to control every aspect of my life. It wasn’t enough. “I am the one thing in my life I can control!” Aaron Burr had it right. He was also riddled with anxiety. I am not going to dual with anyone, but anxiety can be just as deadly.

Since the beginning of COVID, I have watched an ambulance take Harlan, and I could not be by his side. My mother has gone in for major surgery, and I was not by her side. This nasty virus has touched every single person in one way or another. We are all scared. My family, my children have all stayed healthy. The pandemic is going to be a watershed moment in our lives and a time Olivia, Benjamin and Rebecca will talk to friends about what they did and how our family coped with the changes. The very last song of the amazing “Hamilton” soundtrack is “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” and I get tears in my eyes every time I hear it. I am still here, and I will tell this story for the rest of my life.

Pre-COVID my life was pretty basic as a stay-at-home mom and care partner for Harlan and my mom. I ran errands, made phone calls, drove to doctor’s appointments for the six of us,

Jennifer Steuer is an Albany mom whose busy household includes her husband, Harlan, and 13-year-old triplets Olivia, Benjamin and Rebecca. Follow her on Instagram: jennifersteuer.




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continued from Page 6

and I did what I could to keep my house moving. Pre-COVID, my kids went to school and would socialize. I was able to have date lunches with Harlan. There was a definite rhythm to the days.


n Triple Threat

Capital District Family Now, Attn: Calendar, P.O. Box 100, Delmar, N.Y. 12054 or Email:

Teens 14-17

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8  Family Now — May 2021

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May 2021 —  9




Monthly Deadlines June






September Deadline:






n the world’s first international game-making challenge for kids ages 1018, a young video game developer from Bethlehem Central Middle School has been named a top winner.

Ezra was awarded the grand prize of a “Best in Class” game that had an environmental theme. He earned the award in the junior division (ages 10-13) of the Code Games Challenge. He joins 15 other global winners in both the junior and senior divisions from the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India, Jamaica, and New Zealand.



To advertise in one or more of these issues please call: Denice Mau at 518-439-4940 or email: 113091_4

10  Family Now — May 2021

Bethlehem seventh-grader wins top prize for climate change video game

The Code Games Challenge is sponsored by XPRIZE Connect which encourages young people to help solve humanity’s biggest challenges through fun games that “envision and ultimately help build a better future for everyone.”



Young coder makes impression

He is Ezra Cotton, a seventhgrader who recently earned a $2,000 grand prize with a video game that challenges players to put their gaming skills and their environmental awareness to the test. His game design was one of only 16 winners chosen from more than 800 entries from 70 countries around the world as part of the “Code Games Challenge.”




“In a time when innovation and creativity is needed more than ever to reimagine the future, I am proud to announce the next-generation winners of our Code Games challenge,” said Anousheh Ansari, CEO of XPRIZE. “This challenge is a testament to the skill, ingenu-

Ezra Cotton, a Bethlehem seventhgrader, was recently awarded the grand prize and was one of only 16 winners chosen from more than 800 entries from 70 countries around the world as part of the “Code Games Challenge.” BCSD

ity and vision of the younger generation of innovators who will be integral in building the hopeful and abundant society we all want to live in.” The game Ezra designed is called “Climate Catastrophe,” which starts out in a polluted city. Players must learn about climate change through simulations in order to save the city. The middle schooler used Gamestar Mechanic to develop his game. Gamestar Mechanic is an online game and community designed to teach the guiding principles of game design and systems thinking to kids ages 7-14. Ezra said while Gamestar Mechanic was key to designing his video game, it was a school

Continued on Page 19

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JCC Summer Camps Experience a variety of summer fun for ages 3-15, June 28-September 1. 340 Whitehall Road, Albany Call (518) 438-6651 or visit

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May 2021 —  11

Learning Center

Education insight for parents

Worrisome word problems


hy are mathematical word problems worrisome for children?

Word problems take math concepts, such as arithmetic, geometry and algebra, and relate them back to the real world. But somehow, in the conversion from numbers and symbols to the written word, even students adept at math can become confused and discouraged. In fact, children often find it easier to solve a problem that explicitly asks them to multiply two numbers rather than tackle a word problem that requires the same mathematical skills. In addition to knowledge of core math concepts, word problems also require strong reading comprehension skills. Before a child can solve a word

problem, he needs to be able to translate the problem into a math equation. Once a child deciphers a word problem and is able to convert it into a simple equation, most students can easily calculate the answer. Unfortunately, determining the right equation is often the most challenging part of problem-solving. By applying reading comprehension skills to their math homework, students are better able to solve word problems correctly.

to demonstrate how everyday activities incorporate core math skills. Parents can make it easier for their children to understand word problems by making math a part of their child’s daily life. By by showing how math skills and concepts are involved in real-life situations, you can help children learn to use math in practical ways.

Patrick McNamara

A child’s ability to understand the language in word problems influences his or her ability to solve them. One of the best ways to help children learn math and make it more enjoyable is

Students must first have a good understanding of the basic math principles that each word problem utilizes. For example, if a child struggles with basic division, then a word problem that involves division will also be difficult to solve. Get to the root

of the problem first, and then work on a solution. Because solving word problems require good reading comprehension skills, if parents find that their child continues to struggle with word problems, notwithstanding good efforts and a grasp of the underlying math concepts, parents should consider getting their child’s reading comprehension skills assessed. What appears to be a problem with math may in fact be a struggle with reading comprehension. Parents can help their children approach word problems with more confidence by offering tips and suggestions for tackling them. Encourage children to draw pictures and look for key words that indicate certain

Continued on Page 13

To all of our

A Heartfelt Thank You! 12  Family Now — May 2021



n Learning Center continued from Page 12 mathematical operations. For example, “and” indicates addition, while “less than” is a sign of subtraction.

His first football season, Isaiah Parents should urge their us, childrentold to do more than the ‘Wear a jersey with my assigned problems, particularly those that are of a type that name on it. I want everyone to are more challenging to them. Extra practice might require their children to create their A child’s ability to understand the language in word problems influences know you’re here for me.’ own additional problems. That his or her ability to solve them. One of the best ways to help children learn

andreinforce Denna, adopted 16-year-old Isaiah exercise Darnell itself will math and make it more enjoyable is to demonstrate how everyday activities understanding, and the extra incorporate core math skills. practice will help children learn the mathematical formulas and word problem by highlighting and check their answers: techniques they need to know. Read the question carefully. the main words and important In turn, this will lead to greater ideas. Have the student ask Ask your child to read and reconfidence in their abilities herself the following questions: read the question to make sure to tackle the more difficult What am I being asked to do? that he understands what he is problems. What are the important facts? being asked to solve. EncourTo help children boost their Do I have enough information age him to read the question critical thinking and word aloud and pay close attention to to solve the problem? What ear-old Isaiahproblem-solving skills, parents operation will I use? the final question of the word should consider the following problem. Convert the verbal statetips to help their children dement into a mathematical code word problems, gather key Understand the problem. equation. Help him break the information, solve equations Encourage her to simplify the

ootball season, Isaiah ear a jersey with my . I want everyone to re here for me.’

word problem into manageable, ordered steps. It’s a good idea to do the work step-by-step, particularly if it’s a complicated problem with several parts. Have him begin by identifying key words such as “add” “less” and “product of ” that indicate certain mathematical operations. Creating flash cards that connect these operations to certain words can reinforce that skill. Generate the result. Encourage her to solve the mathematical problem using a technique such as drawing or mentally acting out the problem. After she finishes, make sure the results make sense and that she writes the answer in the appropriate units (e.g., hours, meters, kilometers, etc.). As a final step, have her translate the answer back into English. For example, “The son is 13 years old.”

His first football season, Isaiah told us, ‘Wear a jersey Patrick with my McNamara is the owner and executive director at name on it. I want everyone to Sylvan Learning of Albany and Park. For more informaknow you’re here for Clifton me.’ tion, visit Darnell and Denna, adopted 16-year-old Isaiah

st football season, Isaiah His season, Isaiah Hisfirst firstfootball football ‘Wear a jersey withatold my told us, ‘Wear jersey season, Isaiah us, with my n it. Iname want everyone to everyone to it. I want ‘Wearon a jersey with ou’reknow here for me.’ you’re for me.’ my name on here it. I want

opted 16-year-oldDarnell Isaiah and Denna, adopted 16-year-old Isaiah


everyone to know you’re here for me.’ Darnell and Denna, adopted 16-year-old Isaiah


A D O P T U S K I D S . O R G


A D O P T U S K I D S . O R G

May 2021 —  13


n Sunday, May 9, millions of people will celebrate the mothers, grandmothers and stepmothers who often tirelessly care for those they love.

Created by Anna Jarvis in the early 20th century and designated an official United States holiday in 1914, Mother’s Day is a special day in many families. Even though the way people have been living has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mother’s Day may be the first holiday on the calendar when the world can finally regain some sense of normalcy. Caution should still prevail during Mother’s Day celebrations. Thankfully, there are plenty of creative and safe ways to celebrate mothers and mother figures this year.

Dine truly al fresco Outdoor dining has become commonplace, and even before it was a safety measure, enjoying a meal on a sun-soaked patio or overlooking a body of water was popular. If you’re worried about limited restaurant space or crowds, plan a picnic at a scenic location, such as a botanical garden or county park. Include Mom’s favorite foods and enjoy the fresh air and delicious foods together. You can even whip up a very special dessert just for her, like the mango soufflé recipe featured here.

Create a photo slideshow Digital photos have eclipsed prints in many people’s hearts. But too often digital photos never get seen after they’re initially taken. That can change when you compile a slideshow of favorite photos from childhood and even present-day photos that Mom is sure to appreciate. Use sentimental music or Mom’s favorite songs as the soundtrack, and include some inspirational quotations or personal voiceovers. This is one gift that can be shared in person or over group meeting apps.

Get involved together An especially meaningful way to honor a mother who is always giving her time and love is to become involved in a difference-making organization. Joint volunteerism is a great way to spend more time together working toward a worthy goal.

Enjoy her hobbies and interests Devote a day or more to trying Mom’s interests and hobbies, whether they include hitting the links, knitting, singing in the church choir or digging in her garden.

Send an edible gift If you can’t be there to celebrate with Mom in person, have a special meal delivered to her door. Then enjoy the same foods with her via Google Meet, Facetime or Zoom. Don’t forget a tasty cocktail so you can toast the special woman in your life.

14  Family Now — May 2021

Small, personal touches will make it special

Surprise her with dessert Honor Mom with this tasty recipe for cold mango soufflés topped with toasted coconut from “The Complete Mexican, South American & Caribbean Cookbook” by Jane Milton, Jenni Fleetwood and Marina Filippelli.

Cold Mango Soufflés Topped with Toasted Coconut

Even in a pandemic, there are plenty of creative ways to celebrate mothers.

4 small mangoes, peeled, pitted and chopped 2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin 2 egg yolks1/2 cup superfine sugar 1/2 cup milk 1-1/4 cups heavy cream Grated rind of one orange Toasted flaked or coarsely shredded coconut, to decorate Makes 4 soufflés. Place a few pieces of mango in the base of each of four 2/3-cup ramekins. Wrap a creased collar of nonstick parchment paper around the outside of each dish, extending well above the rim. Secure with adhesive tape, then tie tightly with string. Pour the water into a small heatproof bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the surface. Leave for 5 minutes or until spongy. Place the bowl in a pan of hot water, stirring occasionally, until the gelatin has dissolved. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the superfine sugar and milk in another heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and continue to whisk until the mixture is thick and frothy. Remove from the heat and continue whisking until the mixture cools. Whisk in the liquid gelatin. Puree the remaining mango pieces in a food processor or blender, then fold the puree into the egg yolk mixture with the orange rind. Set the mixture aside until starting to thicken. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Reserve 4 tablespoons and fold the rest into the mango mixture. Spoon into the ramekins until the mixture is 1 inch above the rim of each dish. Chill for 3 to 4 hours, or until set. Carefully remove the paper collars from the soufflés. Spoon a little of the reserved cream on top of each soufflé and decorate with some toasted flaked or coarsely shredded coconut.

May 2021 —  15

On the Bookshelf

fiction for adults

Soaring stories for May ‘Project Hail Mary’

‘The Soulmate Equation’

By Andy Weir

By Christina Lauren

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission — and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment. And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone. Ballantine Books

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. But then Jess hears about a new DNA-based matchmaking company. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did. Gallery Books

‘Great Circle’ By Maggie Shipstead In 1914, Marian is raised by a dissolute uncle in Missoula, Mont., where a pair of barnstorming pilots passing through town spark her lifelong love affair with flight. A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film that centers on Marian’s disappearance in Antarctica. Her immersion into the character of Marian unfolds, thrillingly, alongside Marian’s own story. Knopf

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16  Family Now — May 2021


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Senior Centers Clifton Park Senior Community Center 6 Clifton Common Court, Clifton Park (518) 383-1343 For information about current services and programs, please visit index.php/services/seniorservices/senior-center.

Niskayuna Senior Center 2682 Aqueduct Road, Niskayuna (518) 372-4969 The center is open Tuesdays and Thursdays for in-person activities, including eat-in lunch. All opening information along with the calendar will be posted on the Niskayuna Town website at The Gershon’s lunch program is available Tuesday and Thursday with eat-in, takeout and drive-through pickup. Pre-order and reservation for eat-in are required. Bus/delivery service continues to be available for Niskayuna residents for grocery, pharmacy, post office runs or delivery of masks. You can reach Matt, our bus driver, at (518) 495-6202. Tuesdays and Thursdays • 9 a.m.-noon: Tom’s Computer Class (first and third Tuesday and Thursday of the month) • 10 a.m.: Tai Chi • 10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Open for indoor/outdoor socialization/ coffee service

• 10 a.m.: Cards, Bridge Exercise update A hybrid exercise program is in effect. All classes will be offered on Zoom with the availability for some classes in-house on site. Registration and reservations are required by calling (518) 372-4969 or emailing Monthly activities • May 6 at 12:30 p.m.: Talk about Mother’s Day • May 6 at 1 p.m.: Crafts with Edie • May 13 at 12:30 p.m.: Florence Nightingale discussion and trivia • May 13 at 1 p.m.: Art with Edie • May 20 at 12:30 p.m.: Ameila Earhart’s solo fight discussion and trivia • May 22, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Defensive Driving; registration required call (518) 784-5009

Colonie Senior Services Center 6 Winners Circle, Albany (518) 459-2857 The center is slowly and carefully reopening. Most events are being held virtually, with a small number of programs being held out-of-doors, in person. Please reach out for membership and registration information. Membership is $20 per year. The center is also planning

a few, small, socially-distanced outings. Please call for schedules and information. Members only.

of its steamy secrets. Free for members.

Log on for live Zoom events, including fun rock n’ roll, local musicians and a great way to connect and hear music – from your home. Concerts are free.

Thursday, May 13, at 10 a.m.: Learn how to meditate with Jeff Wigman of the Shambhala Meditation Group of Troy. Free for members.

Meditation 101 via Zoom

For more information, Secrets of a Good Night’s (518) 459-2857 ext. 327 or Sleep via Zoom email cbarrett@colonieseniors. Wednesday, May 5, at 12:30 org. p.m. Join us as we discuss the Walking Club basics of sleep and learn to Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Meet on identify “sleep stealers.” Free for Tuesday morning for a brisk members. walk in The Crossings. Free for Organize Your Vital members. Records via Zoom Cornhole Friday, May 14, at 1:30 p.m. Fridays at 10:30 a.m. Come An interactive program that disfor socially distant Cornhole. cusses various ways to identify Don’t know how to play? We’ll and quickly access your vital teach you. Free for members written and electronic inforonly; registration required. mation and records. Free for Book Club – in person members. (outside) or Zoom Financial Planning: ManagTuesdays, May 4 and 18, at ing Your Required Minimum 12:30 p.m. Discuss books in a Distribution via Zoom laid-back environment. Free for Thursday, May 20 at 1 p.m. members. Learn about the latest legisCooking Demonstration lation regarding Required Minivia Zoom mum Distributions so you can Tuesday, May 11, at 11 a.m. navigate the new rules. Free for Join Diane Conroy LaCivita members. Home is Where You’ll while she creates delicious and Rubber Stamping Art: Outexciting foods. Free for members. side or Zoom In Politics and Prohibition via Thursday, May 6, 3-4:30 p.m. Zoom Make beautifully crafted paper Tuesday, May 18, at 1:30 Home is Where You’ll UsUp inpieces, led byFind Stampin’ p.m. Maeve McEneny of structor and demonstrator Ann Discover Albany will join us via Burns. Cost is $10 and $10 fee, Zoom for another talk about payable to the instructor. the history of Albany and all


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A Patriot Remembers

Where baseball takes us


America’s pastime restores and renews a pandemic-weary world

ake me out to the ball game” is definitely where we are for 2021. More sports outside for us to get us away from the indoor virus blues. The sports pages are listed with so many events on the TV. Well, shut off the TV, put down your smart phones and get outside for some of your own live sports viewing and sports talk. Baseball, the national pastime, should bring us out into the good old fresh air and let our minds escape from worldly issues. Have you tried to buy a pack of baseball cards? Lately, the sale of baseball cards of past Major League Players is a big market again. Topps baseball

cards are the leader of the host in the sports that have “ball” of card companies. They are the in their name. The popular only baseball card company that sports are baseball, football and can use the MLB image. Take basketball. Think of this but some time and review do not use your smart your own cards. If phone: There are you don’t have many sports that by any, then check are played with a out a sports card ball but, ball is convention. not in the sport’s name. Popularity Baseball is rings loud with so comforting golfers, bowlers, to watch outtennis players, and doors. Live baseball how can we leave off needs to stay alive. A cool soccer? Groucho Marx once summer day watching kids at asked the question, “What sport any age, even 50-year-olds, will take you back in time and return uses tennis balls?” Now turn to sports that don’t use a ball. to the current moment, all at Most popular is hockey, but once. do not repeat that to race car Baseball is still the leader drivers, horse jockeys or wres-

Frank DeSorbo

tlers. Again, no smart phones allowed. Baseball is the only ball sport that you score runs (or points) when you do not control the ball and the team is on offense. The team on defense can throw the ball 90 miles an hour, make great plays on the field or just stand in place for whole innings waiting to get a chance to touch the ball. Some say baseball is too much standing, sitting and the players watching. Think of the conversations in the bullpen. There should be more books on the life of a bullpen pitcher. However, it is the one sport that a team’s “hero” today is sulking as a “goat” tomorrow

Continued on Page 19



The Capital District family has changed -- and we have changed too. In recognition of the multi-generational nature of the modern household, we’ve merged Capital District Parent Pages with Capital District Senior Spotlight to create Capital District FAMILY NOW, a monthly publication with timely features for every age and stage of family life. With Capital District FAMILY NOW, you will find all the great columns and features you already enjoy every month, plus so much more.

To advertise, please call Denice Mau at 518-439-4940 or email 18  Family Now — May 2021


Website visitors can access online resources to enjoy solitary nature walks, handson activities with community partners, music, games, crafts

n Patriot Remembers continued from Page 18 – a most common emotion for bullpen pitchers. But you always come back to play another day. Baseball had survived for years amid its controversy and heated discussions. Baseball has endured from the Black Stock Scandal in 1919, the Negro Leagues, the drug issues, the video cheating,

n Young coder continued from Page 10 project in spring 2020 that got him thinking about the theme for Climate Catastrophe. “I had to do a research project on climate change,” said Ezra. “I used a lot of the information from that project in my game.” Climate Catastrophe earned Ezra high marks for helping players learn about the environment, but it was equally important that the game be playable and be an enjoyable, immersive experience for users. Judges of the Code Games Challenge included some of the world’s

and more. This is a hybrid event; some components will be virtual and some will be guided in-person programs while others will be self-guided. Visit for details. On May 15, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., preserve employees and volunteers will be parked at each of the 12 trailheads for a tailgate event – but instead of barbecuing, they’ll be dishing out informational materials and answering questions. All COVID precautions, including masks and social distancing, will be in effect. and Pete Rose is still not in the Hall of Fame. But it still endured, and it is America’s dream from the first swing of a bat to when “pitch and catch” is only a senior citizen’s memory. This summer, sing the song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Tell the kids you will buy them a box of Cracker Jacks.

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The author is a Capital District resident and freelance writer and guest speaker. top developers and producers of gaming content. Ezra, who began experimenting with game design and computer science on, said anyone can find his awardwinning game and play it by downloading the Gamestar Mechanic app with a Mac or PC. Considering Ezra’s success in the Code Games Challenge, it’s no surprise that he sees more game design in his future. “I think that I will continue to make games,” said Ezra. “It is a fun process and I think that it is cool to get to create something that your friends and family can have fun playing.” ­— BCSD


May 2021 —  19

Puzzle Answers on Page 22

Clues Across


1. Maintains possession of 4. Other side 10. Comedienne Gasteyer 11. Lawn buildup 12. Southeast 14. Negative 15. Greek temple pillar 16. Blue 18. Pointless 22. Complete 23. Supervisor 24. Where kids bathe 26. Radio frequency 27. Cruel Roman emperor 28. Young woman (French) 30. Within 31. Civil Service Commission 34. Sarongs 36. Father 37. It grows on heads 39. A Spanish river 40. Boundary 41. Contains music 42. Causes to feel sorrow 48. Used to restrain 50. Fictional kids character 51. South American country 52. Devote resources to 53. Beginner 54. Everyone has one 55. University worker (abbr.) 56. Resist an attack 58. Unifying Chinese dynasty 59. Blood-sucking African fly 60. CNN’s founder

Clues Down 1. __and her sisters 2. Smear or rub with oil 3. Holy places 4. Indicates position 5. Drives around 6. Price 7. Semiaquatic mammal 8. With three uneven sides 9. Sacrifice hit 12. Covers a wound 13. Jaguarundi 17. Works produced by skill and imagination 19. A way to improve 20. River along India and Nepal border 21. Hairnet 25. DePaul University athletes 29. Bachelor of Laws 31. Game of skill 32. Holy man 33. Cylinder of tobacco 35. Most ingratiating 38. Repeats aloud 41. Red wine 43. Debilitating tropical disease 44. Entirely lacking 45. Female sheep 46. Where a bird lives 47. Stalk that supports the capsule 49. Cutlery 56. Symptom of withdrawal (abbr.) 57. Delaware

Flower Names


Solve the code to discover words related to GARDENING. Each number corresponds to a letter. (Hint: 8 = e)

20  Family Now — May 2021




Retiring Retirement

Hope for uncertain times


ocal psychologist Dr. Brian Fast of CCAHope in Delmar cautions that the pandemic’s profound lessons need not be lost in a whirlwind of re-entry busy-ness.

hope, which could trigger some poignant issues about meaning and purpose and the greater things in life.

“We can learn from a slower pace,” he said.

“My hope has never been about not getting COVID or living a long life or having great finances,” he offered. “I want those things, but that’s not where I put my hope. My hope is that in every circumstance I go through during the pandemic, I’ll respond in a way that honors and reveals what my God is like. My hope is that I’ll be a better man this week, this month and this year.

The psychologist postulates that the pandemic prodded people into thinking about

“If we place our hope in something we have no control over, we’re going to feel more

Fast concludes that it would be easy-but-dangerous to give into the temptation to squander things like getting enough sleep, connecting with family and friends in a deeper way, breathing easier and taking time for reflective leisure.

anxiety, increase our cortisol levels and have a sense of panic. It’s bad for our bodies, and it’s bad for how we interact with others because our fear breeds fear in others, and we’re either going to push people away by because they’re anxious about being around us or we’re going to create fear in them,” Fast said.

Robert LaCosta

He then explained how true hope extends to our deathbed reflections. “If you could have a videotape of your life that could be rewound or fast-forwarded and you found yourself on a deathbed and you were able to reminisce … what would be the most important things that you

built your life upon?” Fast asks. The pandemic unveiled the answer to that question. “All the things that you thought were meaningful on your deathbed are possible every day living in this pandemic if we’ll reach out and take those risks and connect with people to smile with your voice or on Zoom or offer a word of encouragement or say, ‘I’m scared and I need to talk or pray.’… Those things turn out to be the most meaningful. We don’t have to wait to see if we survive COVID.” Hope may then be the emotional vaccine for the symptoms of uncertain times. The author’s books, devotional blogs and music is available on


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This article is the final one in a three-part series.

TDD RELAY 711 May 2021 —  21

Out and about Great 8 trail challenge

Be kind, rewind

WILTON – Did you know that there are almost 2,400 acres of protected land that is part of the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park? There are also 25 miles of trails to explore.

ALBANY – “Back to the Video Store” and WVCR 88.3 The Saint have launched the first Back to the Video Store to Go kiosk right outside the Palace Theatre on Clinton Avenue. Stop on by anytime and grab a family-friendly movie on DVD to go. Stay tuned for more locations around the Capital District in the coming weeks.

Visitors can now take part in “The Great 8” trail challenge, where they walk a trail from each of the eight trailheads and record their progress to receive a prize. The Saratoga Sand Plains have a variety of habitats to discover, and the challenge can be completed any time of year with is no time limit, so grab some friends or family and get outdoors today. For more information, contact the Preserve & Park office at (518) 450-0321 or via email at For up-to-date trail conditions or program information, visit the Preserve & Park’s website at

to Troy” public art project.

The “Back to the Video Store” radio show resurrects the video rental experience and takes a deep dive into the music from the soundtracks we love and remember. Listen to it live every Saturday night at 7 p.m. on WVCR 88.3 The Saint!

Public art for all TROY – The Arts Center of the Capital Region has announced the installation of two works of public art: the first two murals in the “From Troy

“From Troy to Troy” is a public art project conceived in response to the protest murals created last June. Artists who live or work in Troy were invited to submit mural concepts that spark meaningful dialogue between the artist and the community, and among the community itself. The murals will use intentionally placed text and/or imagery that speak to the Troy community to foster a deeper connection with its shared experience. This month, artists Eugene O’Neill and Toast Halasz will start installing their works in two separate locations in the City of Troy. Eugene O’Neill is an artist of many hats with a spirit motivated to utilize art as a source of healing for others. The mural “At the push of a button” was made with the intention

to help you find grace in a world that is grieving; it invites you to reach your hand out when needed, because you’re deserving even when you feel detached. Toast Halasz is a 3D print and design artist. He has over two decades of experience with various plastics, plastics recycling, adhesives, weatherproofing and fixtures, 3D printing, CAD, and design software. “By using 21st-century technology to manufacture an art piece that is truly symbolic of this city, and then installing it on a structure made from the very same bricks it represents, I feel that this mural would be a full-circle symbol of the resurgence in Troy’s spirit of making, doing, and building,” said Halasz. For more information about “From Troy to Troy,” visit publicart/from-troy-to-troy.

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22  Family Now — May 2021






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May 2021 —  23

24  Family Now — May 2021


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