Leadership in Retirement

Sep 26

council logo I am now the President of the Residents’ Council in our over 2,000 resident continuing care retirement community. Did I forget to mention that? I was elected by the members of the Council at the August meeting. I will finish my three-year term in August 2016. 

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In Touch With Nature

Aug 31

secret gardenGet in touch with nature is many times suggested as an antidote for what ails you. I have a “secret” spot where I do just that. I like people, but I also like solitude. I found my spot close by the St. Charles apartment building where we live. It has a water feature with a small fountain in the middle. The preformed plastic pond is surrounded by flat rocks so it looks like it was a natural pond (almost). Someone has added two statues of St. Francis on each side. A new ceramic frog also turned up this year. I seat on the bench in front and enjoy the sound of running water, the shade of the tree overhead, and the privacy of the spot.

Actually there are many places around the Charlestown campus suitable for a pause that refreshes. There are benches under shade trees in many locations. A special area that is set apart from the rest of the campus is the Memorial Woods and Memory Walk. An area by the front gate was set aside for the planting of trees dedicated to family members who had died. Now the brick-lined Memory Walk curves through the trees.  Dan and I donated a brick in memory of my parents in 2013. There is a dedication of new bricks in the Memory Walk in the Spring and again in the Fall. The grounds here are beautifully maintained by a dedicated grounds crew. And I don’t have to lift a finger to weed, fertilize or prune.

IMG_1659 IMG_1515

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Will the sticky bun melt my baggie?

Apr 24

After an experience in the dining one Sunday morning, I wrote this article for our monthly newspaper, the Sunburst. I have received a positive response from everyone who commented to me.

Will the Sticky Bun Melt my Baggie?

The Atrium kitchen staff baked over 200 sticky buns for breakfast on Sunday. That is over one case more than what is needed for most Sunday mornings. Why were the sticky buns gone by 10 a.m.? Too many people were filling plastic bags with 3, 4, or 5 helpings of the hot from the oven sticky buns. If fact, one resident did ask, “Will the Sticky bun melt my baggie?”

Is it fair for diners that come later? No, the kitchen doesn’t order food enough to meet the demand of food going out in plastic sandwich bags. It’s hard to think of others when a sweet treat goes by, but we do live in community here. Save some sticky buns for the rest of us.


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What’s in a Name?

Apr 13

Name storm

What does continuing care retirement community mean to you? Do you think of old, feeble, not for me? So do others. Leading Age joined with Mathers Lifeways in Evanston, Il to come up with a new name for our type of living arrangement. They called it CCRC Namestorm to create a name to replace the CCRC term.The goal was to come up with a name “aspirational and attractive to future residents and their families.”

This naming effort started last April and is ongoing. The Leading Age October Annual meeting was to be the place to announce the results, but marketing professionals and others on the Namestorm term are continuing to work on the project. So far, the themes of community and life-living have emerged from the brainstorming effort.

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Help Kickstart A Project

Dec 28

KickstarterI don’t remember where I first heard about Kickstarter. It was probably a link from another site back in 2012. The project seeking funding sounded intriguing. Yes, I want one of those, I thought. I will gamble for a few bucks. My credit card isn’t charged until the project meets the funding goal. And so I was off. Since then, I have helped fund several projects.

Kickstarter is a way to fund creative projects. Project creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing — projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money. All-or-nothing funding might seem scary, but it’s amazingly effective in creating momentum and rallying people around an idea. To date, an impressive 44% of projects have reached their funding goals. [Kickstarter]

Here are items I helped get off the ground. All the projects I have backed, have been funded.

I also used IndieGoGo for the HealBe GoBe. The inventors wanted $100,000 to go into production but ended up with $1,000,000. As you can see from the list, I am still waiting for some items. That is part of the fun for me. The inventor typically sends out updates detailing what they are doing and if  there  will be a delay. For some of the inventors, they find out that production goes a little slower than they anticipated.

This way of helping dreamers, inventors, and folks with passion and an idea is inspiring to me. My dad was an inventor. He had the support of the 3M Company as he did his research. This is my way to help someone fulfill  their dream.  Maybe you have an idea that can get “kickstarted.” It can be a movie, book, comic, anything.


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Live Theater, Film and Music

Oct 13

Next to Normal set

Next to Normal set

It has been a week of cultural activities for us. Thursday night we attended the Center Stage production of Next to Normal, the rock musical. This Tony winning and Pultizer Prize musical tackles the family dynamics of a bipolar mother and wife. The two-story set is amazing and worth the price of admission. This was the second of the Center Stage season for us. We signed up for season tickets in September. The Amadeus production in the larger Pearlstone Theater was also very good.

Friday night we saw the Polish film, Ida, about a novice nun directed to meet her only relative, an alcoholic aunt, who informs her that she is Jewish. Saturday, we watched Draft Day, another movie in the Charlestown auditorium. I was surprised how good it was. Kevin Costner plays the general manager of the Cleveland Browns who has to make decisions about who he will draft for the season. Don’t let the sports theme keep you from seeing the movie. It was good.

Sunday, was another Chapel Concert with the LiveArts Maryland Annapolis Chorale directed by J. Ernest Green. Although we didnt have the full 180 chorus, we had more than the previous year. ‘t was a goose bump concert with selections from Carmina Burana. Director Green does a great job explaining the music. We discovered that Carmina Burana is the name given to a manuscript of 254 poems and dramatic texts mostly from the 11th or 12th century. Twenty-four poems in Carmina Burana were set to music by Carl Orff in 1936.

It is wonderful that we have these opportunities to enjoy music and film without leaving the campus.

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