Twenty-Five Days on a Ship

May 11

Twenty-Five Days on a Ship

Cruise ShipTransAtlantic cruising is one of my favorite cruise itineraries. I enjoy the sea days. There is something so relaxing about no schedules, no responsibilities, and no pressure. I do not get stir crazy, I like to see water, and I don’t need a constant stream of activities or ports to visit. I am there to get away from it all. When an email flyer came last fall advertising a 25-day cruise with the return air, travel insurance, and transfers to London, we started talking. We pulled the trigger in October and put down a deposit.

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Task Force Gets Award

Apr 04

Task Force Gets Award

Ann and Vinson Bankoski

It was a big surprise for me to be called up to the front of the conference center on March 21 to receive the Erickson Living Values Cup on behalf of the Harmonious Living Task Force. This was the first time the cup which recognizes Charlestown Departments exemplifying the Erickson Living Values.

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Four Years with Apple CHUG

Mar 29

The Apple Charlestown User Group also is known affectionally CHUG marked its fourth anniversary this month. It is hard to believe that I have been organizing programs, doing the website, and sending out notices for four years.

Our little group has grown from the first meeting with 25 people in attendance to a mailing list of over 100 people. It has been interesting to see the shift from computers to iPads and iPhones. The iPad users dominate the membership. I set up a website using WordPress.com as well as a Google Groups private email list used for meeting notices and communication between meetings. Meeting flyers are designed every month for posting on bulletin boards as well as announced on the closed circuit TV station.

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Can’t We Just Get Along

Mar 01

Can’t We Just Get Along

We are a diverse community—in beliefs, experience, and background. There is an underlying tension that surfaces when differing viewpoints intersect in the public arena. Case in point; prayer and scripture on the closed-circuit TV channel. A recognized group held devotions during Advent and Lent last year. Some other residents reacted saying it was not appropriate since they did not share the beliefs expressed in the devotions. Oops! Now what!

A focus group was set up representing the various viewpoints. The purpose was to give input to administration so they could make a decision. The outcome—no prayers on the TV channel.  Unfortunately, it was announced at a public meeting that there was a consensus in the focus group. Mistake—as a member of that focus group, I knew that was not true.

So weeks later, the administration suggested a group under the auspices of the Resident Council should work on the topic. This time the charge was broadened. I ended up as the convenor with the goal of answering the following questions.

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Renovations on Main Street

Feb 12

Charlestown has been a CCRC since 1983. Before that it was a minor seminary for the Sulpician order. The historic buildings date to 1909 so you can imagine the renovation that took place in 1983 when John Erickson opened it as a continuing care retirement community.

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Twelve Days of Crusing

Jan 07

Twelve Days of Crusing

It is so easy to cruise from Baltimore when our retirement community is only 8 miles from the Cruise Terminal. We set off on a 12-day cruise to the Lesser Antilles on December 22, 2016. I loved it for the 6 sea days. We sailed on the Royal Caribbean, Grandeur of the Seas. This was our first time on this ship.

Day 1 – 3 At Sea

We had three days at sea before our first port. That meant we had Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at sea. The ship was nicely decorated for the season.

Day 5 –  St. Thomas

After three days at sea, our first port was Charlotte Amelie, St. Thomas. Since we have visited there before, we opted for the Sky Ride on this trip.

Sky Ride St. Thomas.

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CCRC Residents Band Together

Dec 12

MaCCRA is the acronym for the Maryland Continuing Care Residents Association. It is the only organization which is solely dedicated to protecting and advancing the interest of residents of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). Big deal, you say. Yes, it is a big deal because we have a lot of money invested in the community where we live.  The entrance fee for an apartment represents the equity from selling a house or from investments. The deposit alone can be hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the community and size of the apartment.

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