Happiness is…

Jun 27

learning imageI am a lifelong learner. It doesn’t mean I am taking college courses although I have in retirement. It means I like to pursue knowledge on a variety of topics and in a variety of ways.

Fortunately, I don’t have to leave home to attend classes. The Elderhostel’s Lifelong Learning Institute at Charlestown  or ELLIC as we call it offers programs with outside speakers as well as residents who are experts in their field.

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Beacon Newspaper Features Bloggers (Me)

Jun 19

I didn’t make the front page but I am included in an article about senior bloggers. Mel Tansill, Erickson Living PR manager gave the reporter my name. I had forgotten how long I have been blogging counting our Westy Travels blog started in 2003. The article starts on the front page but continues on page 20 of the Style section. It is on page 33 of the 36 page online issue. Here it is embedded on the page.

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Field of Honor

May 29

Ann and Dan registrationThe 4th Annual Field of Honor sponsored by Hubbard Funeral Home and Charlestown started with fireworks on Friday night followed by the 5K Race/1 Mile Walk on Saturday morning. Dan and I volunteered for race registration. It was fun to see the young fit men and woman come in for their race numbers and T-Shirts. We ran out of the small and medium size because of the many walk-ins. That should tell you something about the sizes of the runners. The first and second place winners from 2015 repeated this year.

Sara Nixon repeated winning the Charlestown resident best finish as well as first in her age range (60 – 69). We had the easy duty protected from the hot sun in the tent while other residents and staff were marshalls along the race route, at the water table, and at the finish line. The Philanthropy staff, Patti Santoni, Emily Fowler, and Brittany Owens were working hard to make sure everything happened on schedule. It did.

tapsAfter the race, the ceremony started with legislators, councilman, county executive, our own Charlestown veterans, and a military color guard. The ceremony ended with the lone bugler from the 229th Maryland National Guard playing Taps. As the last notes faded away all you heard was the wind flapping the 1,000 flags flying on the field.

The local FOX news was on hand. The video featuring resident Al Mederios is very well done.



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Boyle Family History

May 04


Dan Boyle

Dan Boyle 2016

Dan has been faithfully gathering documents, stories and photos of his ancestry since I first met him in 1980. As the years went by, he wrote about the Boyle family in Chapters. First it was the Boyle Beginnings: Ontario Antecedents. He sent that document off to the relatives with the Christmas Letter. In 1989, he wrote Breakthrough to Ireland detailing the long process to find out where his people came from in Northern Ireland. Another major effort was the family history for the Boyle Families Who Trod the Streets of Sheldon, North Dakota. Now they can be read by anyone just by clicking on the Genealogy Tab.

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Living in Community

Apr 30

Rev. Paur

Rev. Roman Paur, OSB, PhD

What can a Benedictine monk tell us about living in community.  A lot, it turns out. Rev. Roman Paur, OSB, St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, MN, was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of five retirement communities residents’ council members on April 19.  All are  managed by Erickson Living. As the host Residents’ Council President, I developed the program including the selection of the keynote speaker.

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Bullet Journaling

Mar 29

Bullet Journaling

RhodiaI respect the bloggers that have the disciple to write weekly or even more often. Many bloggers even earn their living with monetized blogs. Not me.  I don’t blog to get more readers. I blog for fun and to “stuff” share with family and friends.

This month I will tell about a new experiment in organizing my life. It is a Bullet Journal. It is a simple and flexible way to keep track of daily to-do lists, monthly tasks, future plans as well as goals and planning efforts. I won’t detail the steps because Ryder Carroll, the inventor explains it nicely in this video. It replaces fancy planners and calendars. All you need is a notebook and a pen.  I have used so many types of planners over the years, that it is refreshing to do what I want without being forced into someone’s else’s structure.

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All in the Family

Feb 27

Boyle Cousins

Owen Boyle, Kitty McCullin, Dan Boyle, 3rd cousins

Boyle Ireland

Owen Kerr, 3rd cousin and Dan Boyle

Genealogy is not my passion; it is Dan’s hobby. I do get roped into his hobby when some formatting, scanning, and emailing of documents is needed. I have been busy with those efforts since June. After many years of sharing his family history articles with close relatives, they have reached a broader audience.

In June, a long lost cousin, Chuck Boyle, sent an email through Ancestry.com hoping to make a connection. Chuck is a first cousin, one generation removed. His father was Dan’s first cousin. The email conversation started with Dan sharing family information including papers that Dan had written years before. Chuck was so impressed with what Dan had done; he said the information needed to be available for the ages.

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