Holiday 2017 Issue

The new issue is in the mail and at local businesses!

Holiday 2017 Issue

 

OutLook by the Bay publishes 17,000 copies per issue, mailing 12,000 to targeted households with an additional 5,000 distributed throughout the Bay area at the following locations: doctors’ offices, hospitals, senior centers, real estate offices, bookstores, health and fitness centers, tennis clubs, various social clubs, libraries, restaurants, specialty stores, select Eastern Shore locations, and of course, at all of our advertisers.

Fall 2017 Issue

The new issue is in the mail and at local businesses!

Fall 2017 Issue

OutLook by the Bay publishes 17,000 copies per issue, mailing 12,000 to targeted households with an additional 5,000 distributed throughout the Bay area at the following locations: doctors’ offices, hospitals, senior centers, real estate offices, bookstores, health and fitness centers, tennis clubs, various social clubs, libraries, restaurants, specialty stores, select Eastern Shore locations, and of course, at all of our advertisers.

Summer 2017 Issue

The new issue is in the mail and at local businesses!

Summer 2017 Issue

 

OutLook by the Bay publishes 17,000 copies per issue, mailing 12,000 to targeted households with an additional 5,000 distributed throughout the Bay area at the following locations: doctors’ offices, hospitals, senior centers, real estate offices, bookstores, health and fitness centers, tennis clubs, various social clubs, libraries, restaurants, specialty stores, select Eastern Shore locations, and of course, at all of our advertisers.

Spring 2017 Issue

The new issue is in the mail and at local businesses!

Spring 2017 Issue

 

OutLook by the Bay publishes 17,000 copies per issue, mailing 12,000 to targeted households with an additional 5,000 distributed throughout the Bay area at the following locations: doctors’ offices, hospitals, senior centers, real estate offices, bookstores, health and fitness centers, tennis clubs, various social clubs, libraries, restaurants, specialty stores, select Eastern Shore locations, and of course, at all of our advertisers.

Early Spring 2017 Issue

The new issue is in the mail and at local businesses!

Early Spring 2017 Issue

OutLook by the Bay publishes 17,000 copies per issue, mailing 12,000 to targeted households with an additional 5,000 distributed throughout the Bay area at the following locations: doctors’ offices, hospitals, senior centers, real estate offices, bookstores, health and fitness centers, tennis clubs, various social clubs, libraries, restaurants, specialty stores, select Eastern Shore locations, and of course, at all of our advertisers.

Winter 2017 Issue

The new issue is in the mail and at local businesses!

 

Winter 2017 Issue

OutLook by the Bay publishes 17,000 copies per issue, mailing 12,000 to targeted households with an additional 5,000 distributed throughout the Bay area at the following locations: doctors’ offices, hospitals, senior centers, real estate offices, bookstores, health and fitness centers, tennis clubs, various social clubs, libraries, restaurants, specialty stores, select Eastern Shore locations, and of course, at all of our advertisers.

Holiday 2016 Issue

The new issue is in the mail and at local businesses!

holiday-16_final-cover-copy-550p

Holiday 2016 Issue

OutLook by the Bay publishes 17,000 copies per issue, mailing 12,000 to targeted households with an additional 5,000 distributed throughout the Bay area at the following locations: doctors’ offices, hospitals, senior centers, real estate offices, bookstores, health and fitness centers, tennis clubs, various social clubs, libraries, restaurants, specialty stores, select Eastern Shore locations, and of course, at all of our advertisers.

 

 

Fall 2016 Issue

The new issue is in the mail and at local businesses!

fall2016cover 600p

Fall 2016

OutLook by the Bay publishes 17,000 copies per issue, mailing 12,000 to targeted households with an additional 5,000 distributed throughout the Bay area at the following locations: doctors’ offices, hospitals, senior centers, real estate offices, bookstores, health and fitness centers, tennis clubs, various social clubs, libraries, restaurants, specialty stores, select Eastern Shore locations, and of course, at all of our advertisers.

Summer 2016 Issue

The new issue is in the mail and at local businesses!

summer 16 front cover

OutLook by the Bay publishes 17,000 copies per issue, mailing 12,000 to targeted households with an additional 5,000 distributed throughout the Bay area at the following locations: doctors’ offices, hospitals, senior centers, real estate offices, book stores, health and fitness centers, tennis clubs, various social clubs, libraries, restaurants, specialty stores, select Eastern Shore locations, and of course, at all of our advertisers.

 

Dear Vicki

Dear Vicki

In Sickness and in Health

I worry too much, especially about medical problems. This seems to be getting worse as I age, but I think I have good reason to fret. Friends are coming down with terrible illnesses and spouses are dying! What can I do right now to prepare for a health crisis?

Aging brings unexpected joys but it certainly may bring health-related challenges as well. While much of your emotional well-being depends upon your outlook and your ability to maintain perspective during trying times, you can begin now, when you are healthy, to place yourself in better stead for when the challenges occur.

Start by shoring up your inner resources. Develop a gratitude practice by jotting down a few things that you are grateful for each day. This habit trains a mind that tends toward the negative to instead search for the positives: a simple, accessible tool that reaps profound results when practiced regularly.

Continue building up these inner resources, that is your spiritual beliefs, your sense of humor and your interest in the world around you. Commit to a faith practice you left behind or find a new source for inner strength. Sharpen your sense of humor! Laughter stimulates the immune system, soothes tension and helps relieve pain. Some studies suggest that it even strengthens short-term memory. Develop an appreciation for good comedy and teach yourself to look for the ironic and funny aspects of your everyday life and in the world around you.

Likewise, boost your personal energy resources. Feeling frazzled and depleted impacts our health and renders us less able to handle a crisis. Give some thought to how you can reduce your stress and simplify your life. Take care of your body with good preventative health practices such as routine checkups, age-appropriate medical tests, adequate sleep, reasonable nutrition and regular exercise.

Now, cast an eye to your outer resources. Bring your financial house into order. Do you have adequate health insurance and, perhaps, long-term care insurance? If not the latter, make a plan for how you will financially cope with the cost of disability and chronic illness. Update your legal papers: your will, your advanced medical directive (also known as a living will) and your durable power of attorney.

Invest in relationships. When trouble comes, we need a soft place to land, some strong arms to steady us and sympathetic ears. Don’t wait till you are needy to look for those relationships. Strengthen your social resources now by spending time, energy and attention on your partner, family and friends. Also, practice depending upon others by asking for help when you need it. You don’t always have to be the strong one. Practice balance.

If you need help to fortify these inner or outer resources, bring in the professionals. Talk with a financial planner, a member of the clergy, a physician or a professional counselor for more ways to address your concerns. They often have suggestions that will help you build the kind of support system, team approach and inner resilience that will carry you through the type of challenges you fear. Loss is a part of life that isn’t fun, but we can learn to face it squarely with strength and resolve –and with a little help from our friends.

Vicki is a licensed professional counselor and welcomes your questions. She can be reached at Victoria2write@aol.com

 

It’s Never too Late to Put a Plan in Place for Your Parents

It’s Never too Late to Put a Plan in Place for Your Parents

By Leah Lancione

Nobody likes talking about it, but if you are a baby boomer whose parents are still living, there’s no time like the present to set up a plan to ensure their quality of life is maintained to the very end. There’s no denying that as your parents get older, health issues will arise along with potentially overwhelming financial concerns. It’s better to have a plan in place if and when your parents need help beyond what you can provide.

Experts warn that the “Silver Tsunami” is leaving many families unprepared for the financial burden of financing their parents’ senior living and care. “With a slowed economy in tandem with aging baby boomers and expensive elder care costs, the nation needs to start planning,” National Public Radio has reported. Don’t wait until it’s too late, the time to act is now. Approach your parents and siblings to discuss what options are available to your parents and to you as their caretakers.

Psychology Today.com published findings from a Journal of Social and Personal Relationships study that concludes “only one-third of siblings help in caring for their parents.” Hopefully you and your siblings are part of the third that realizes it’s a privilege to take care of you parents and will decide now to define what roles you’ll each take and how to best support your loved ones in their final days. All too often conflict develops in families when elderly parents need more care and not everyone chips in equally or—even worse—siblings fight over money.

To avert discord, open the lines of communication and make a pact to keep them open. By calling a family meeting and sharing any information regarding your parents’ health and financial needs, you can prevent the feelings of helplessness and confusion later on when a sudden decision has to be made. Establish how responsibilities will be divvied up if certain scenarios take place — who will be in charge of taking parents to doctors, who will keep after the bills and who will move them from their apartment to the assisted living.

Discuss with your parents where they want to live if they can no longer be on their own. Find out if they have specific wishes and expectations for their final days. Find out if they have a will or money saved in case of an emergency. Also, would they prefer living with with you or one of your siblings or in an assisted living facility?

 Make sure you know where your parents’ financial and medical records are. Then take the time to review your parents’ financial records, including their bank account numbers, social security information, monthly bill statements and health insurance information. You need to know what’s available for later on and whether you and your siblings will have to provide financial support.

According to the senior care website aPlaceFormom.com “MetLife estimates that the average cost of a parent’s assisted living care is $3,500 a month.” And this doesn’t account for more expensive senior care, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s care, which can cost $5,000 to $7,000 a month. In an effort to prevent a financial crisis for your parents, consider hiring a financial adviser to navigate through all the necessary legal matters involved in taking over the management of your parents’ finances.

Once you know your parents’ current financial status and have thoroughly discussed their health and the options for their future care, the next step is to designate who will have power of attorney. According to AgingCare.com without that in place, “you’ll have to go to court to get guardianship of your parent in order to access accounts on their behalf.” The site explains that a power of attorney enables your parent to select you or another sibling to handle detailed legal, health and financial duties. There are two types: one for health care in which you have the authority to make those decisions on behalf of your parent and one for finances, in which you have authority to make legal or financial decisions. Regardless of who takes on these responsibilities, make sure you agree to remain in constant communication with your parents and siblings when any major decisions are made.

Next, create a document that states who your parents want to assume the power of attorney responsibilities. If you have it all written out with all the specifics, it will be a lot easier when you visit your local estate planning lawyer to fill out the required forms and make it legal. You can also find these forms online. Fill them out, take them to a lawyer for review and then get the papers notarized at the law office or your bank. Make a copy for your parents and siblings; the original should remain with the power of attorney in a safe place.

Finally, if your parents are willing, visit some of the local assisted living facilities so you know which places are appealing to them.  Senior living communities abound that encourage a continued independent and active lifestyle for your parents, but with the security of a 24-hour emergency services available. Since Anne Arundel County and the Eastern Shore are home to countless independent senior living and assisted living communities, you can make an afternoon out of visiting those close by. You should also know that financial help to residents is available in many assisted living programs through the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Waiver.” For more information on assisted living homes and financial assistance, call your local county department of aging.

SideBar

Upper Shore Aging, Inc., for Talbot, Caroline and Kent counties www.uppershoreaging.org

Department of Aging Anne Arundel County www.aacounty.org/Aging/index.cfm

Department of Health and Human Services’ Eldercare Locator www.eldercare.gov/eldercare.NET/Public/index.aspx

 

Ask the Undertaker

ASK THE UNDERTAKER

Welcome to a Remembrance Tribute

“…I do not care what happens to this body. It is simply an empty house. And I do not need a grave for my family to visit and pay homage. My mother was buried in 1982. I have not been to her grave five times. She knew I loved her. I tell her I appreciate all she did for me. I will see her again when I get home (heaven).”

This was a consumer’s recent comment on a funeral industry blog about his feelings toward funeral planning. How many would agree with these statements and the over all viewpoint? It seems that statistics back this statement up with a very large spike in cremation, nonreligious services and what is a change in sentiment that will last for generations to come. Why is this? Why are more families leaning to alternatives to the traditional funeral service? Could it perhaps be something that the funeral industry has done to move people away from the “norm” or could it be the consumers themselves simply wanting something different?

While visiting Florida a few months back, I found what may be answers to these questions while wandering the halls of the hotel in search of coffee. I couldn’t help but notice staff members setting up what appeared to be an incredible party. There was a stage for a band, tables with beautiful linens and gorgeous centerpieces, two bars at each end of the room and long tables along the walls with easels nearby. When I asked one of the staff what they were setting up for, they said it was a bereavement event planned for that evening. A bereavement event? They explained that they were preparing for what an undertaker would refer to as a memorial service, but this was on a level of professional staging that no funeral home could ever achieve. Or could it?

The concept of bereavement events is breaking the mold cast by the majority of traditional undertakers. Rather than walking into a floral smelling, low-lit, dark-carpeted, somber room filled with sad people, consumers are now wanting something uplifting, happy and most importantly, celebratory as they honor a life lived. Since a majority of funeral homes are not yet offering this option today, people are seeking outside vendors to make it happen. Fortunately, some contemporary undertakers are open to this concept and are now offering similar tribute events to suit your needs. These unique tribute centers (my term) are something relatively new to the funeral industry. After much research, they have learned from the bereavement event that outside vendors offer, and now provide a much more relaxed atmosphere at events families and friends are hosting. For example, where are most of us comfortable standing while visiting a friend’s home? The kitchen, right? These modern-day tribute centers offer a kitchen feel to the office where you meet the undertaker. No more round table in a dark room surrounded by urns and caskets. Consumers now find themselves in a room that has a Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma feel, with coffee, appetizers and even a high-top table to provide the feel of home. In addition, these modernized facilities have a plasma TV around nearly every corner and state-of-the-art technology piping audio and visual media throughout the building. These facilities have revolutionized funeral service into an opportunity for friends and family to enter a comforting atmosphere. In other words, a small but growing number of modern-day undertakers have gone against the grain in order to adapt to the needs of today’s consumer.

So what does this mean to you, the modern consumer? When it comes to purchasing a funeral or cremation for a loved one, you can look at it in an entirely different way if you wish. Often, this means that the focus shifts away from the means of disposition (i.e. burial or cremation) and now towards what’s really important – honoring a life lived. Today many undertakers are still trying to get consumers to buy that casket, hold a visitation and even have a traditional funeral ceremony that was the norm when their grandparents were in business. In reality, there is a large portion of the population that wants something different, and today contemporary firms are starting to appear to offer just that. More families are selecting cremation or unique celebrations that give them the flexibility and creativity to hold that special celebration. If you are one of those consumers who wants something different than what you’ve seen in the past, for either a cremation or burial, you are in luck. Seek out one of these contemporary firms and learn how a funeral service of the past, can be transformed into a remembrance tribute of today!

 

Ryan, owner, supervising mortician and preplanning counselor at Lasting Tributes on Bestgate Road in Annapolis, offers solutions to high-cost funerals. He can be reached at 410.897.4852 or Ryan@LastingTributesFuneralCare.com

 

And the Scams Go On

And the Scams Go On

By M. Smith

This week I found myself scammed. I thought I was reasonably savvy about such things. Usually I don’t even answer the phone in my house unless I know the caller is known. As we are planning a trip to Quebec City in the near future, I answered a call identified as “Quebec” thinking it might be related to these plans. When I answered, a young man said, “Hi grandmommy.” I have a grandson who recently moved from his parents’ home and he calls me grandmommy, so my response was, “Hi, honey. How are you doing?” He replied that he wasn’t doing that well. He had strep throat, had seen a doctor and was on antibiotics. Much like any grandmother, I told him that even when he was feeling better to be sure to finish the antibiotics. Then, with a lowered voice, he said that he had something to tell me, but I must promise not to tell his parents. He proceeded to tell me he had been at a party and gotten a ride home with a friend he had only known for a short time. They were stopped for speeding – the car was searched and they found drugs. So, he was in jail and needed to post bond in the thousands so it would not go on his record. At this point, I insisted that he call his parents. Suddenly we were disconnected. Worrying that he was allowed only one call the picture that came to mind was him sick and in jail.

Not sure how to proceed with the information, I called a bond guy who could track what had happened. He found that my grandson neither incarcerated nor had any bail been posted. Next was to contact my daughter. She called her son who had been at work all day and did not have a strep throat.

How had the caller gotten my name? He sounded much like my grandson and although I was a bit leery, it had just enough plausibility to be believable. Perhaps the source was from a list of senior citizens from either our upcoming trip or a previous trip to Quebec. This was a new one for me. I’m well aware that one does not give any personal information to anyone on the phone (IRS, bank, etc.). And like many of us, we know not to respond to the friend in Europe who lost a passport and needs money wired immediately. (Have you noticed they forget to include an address for where to send the money?)

Although not financially scammed, as I had no intention of sending money, I was definitely emotionally scammed. And to add to the drama of the day, I called the bond guy to ask for his address since it was not listed in the directory. We both agreed it had been a scam, but I would like to send him something as a thank-you for the calls he had made. He asked how much did I plan to send. About $50. Interestingly, he said he usually charges $150 for the work he had done, but he would go half way at $75. Now I’m feeling not only scammed but now being conned! When I reported this to the police, the officer said I did not owe this guy a thing. The bond guy had told me at the beginning that his fee was 10 percent of whatever bail he put up. So that was really what he was working for. So this guy lost my $50 goodwill money. This was not my day!

 

Bay Reflections: Silo or Share

Silo or Share?

By Nancy Lincoln Reynolds

Recently I had a conversation with a young man who works in security research. His words suggested to me a correlation between cyber and personal vulnerability, while he was articulating an awareness of feeling unusually emotional. He described himself as having too much “attack surface.” I had to look it up. “Attack surface,” according to the Sans Technology Institute, refers to “our exposure, the reachable and exploitable vulnerabilities that we have.”

The article included an image of Spartan phalanx warriors armed with shields and spears in a protected formation. The shields were arranged around the warriors in such a way that very little human flesh was exposed or open to attack.

The cyber world employs thousands of people to work at reducing attack surfaces. They keep networks and computer software guarded and secure from invasion. But it is one thing to be protected technologically and quite another to protect our vulnerability from negative associations with others. The cyber emphasis on maintaining the integrity of confidential and “top secret” data stands in some contradiction to humanity’s need for the opposite — personal interaction and sharing – in order to survive.

Many refer to human beings as fragile, to our bodies as breakable and easily destroyed if not properly cared for. We worry about good physical and mental health and salvation. Often we become consumed by a focus on these and develop ways to protect our physical selves, our minds and our souls. This often leads us to emphasize our uniqueness and independence as the top priority. Concerns about relationships take a back seat to individual wellness.

This kind of emphasis fosters what I call living silo living. Rather than sharing resources some people hoard and store their knowledge and provisions. Instead of networking, we may reinvent the wheel (the same wheel) repeatedly and keep the results to ourselves. We seem to believe that survival depends upon our ability to throw up walls and build fences around ourselves and what we have. These mindsets foster isolation and unhealthy boundaries because, unlike cyber worlds, humanity is created for community.

In the Chesapeake Bay area we are trying to work more collaboratively across established borders. This is especially true where there has been a perceived threat or when we identify a need better served by cooperation than by individual response. The public schools, local government, service and faith-based organizations are all represented on the Youth Suicide Awareness Action Committee in our county, uniting to be more effective in preventing teens from committing suicide. Hospice and the Department of Aging cooperate with multiple nonprofits to provide resources for the aging. Churches and faith-based entities are considering ways to expand outreach with combined missions and ministries. “Desiloing” capitalizes on cooperation over competition.

Religious prophets and others have referred to our condition as living in metaphorical “clay jars.” The comparison is certainly an apt one when the focus is upon physical presence. However, what is contained within those clay jars is the very stuff of which life itself is made, and ironically, is ultimately that which we purportedly protect with our efforts at reducing attack surfaces. These are our unique gifts which are really made to share with one another.

As individuals we may benefit from thinking of the clay jar image from the perspective of possibility rather than limitation. While we are indeed fragile and breakable in many ways, that which is contained within us is eternal when it is shared with others. Where one person is finite and limited, together we are community and, as such, endless.

Nancy is the associate pastor of Woods Presbyterian Church in Severna Park and can be contacted at nreynolds@woodschurch.org

 

Recording a Life

Recording A Life

For the Not-so-Computer Savvy

By Penelope Folsom

You’ve lived all these years. You’ve had all those wonderful and maybe not so wonderful experiences. You’ve tried to share your history and your stories, but they don’t seem that interested – yet.

In the 1950s I had the opportunity to visit my grandparents in Europe. WWII was just 10 years behind them. They had lost two sons in the battle on the Russian front. The Russians then invaded and took over their home in Dresden and the only way to escape was to run in the dark of night. They relocated to southern Germany. That’s it. That’s as much as I learned during that Summer of my European adventure. I was a child and I didn’t know to ask more questions — the who, what, when, where and why. How had they managed to escape? What had their lives been like before the war? Where had my uncles been buried? Did they recover any of the treasures that had been lost?

So many questions. So few answers. While we were young and had the opportunity to delve into this “ancient history” of our elders, we had little interest. Now we’re at that advanced age where the history of our beginnings and those who came before us is of great interest. But there are no recordings other than birth, marriage and death.

My friend Anna has lived a most interesting 80-plus years, which covers a good deal of history of her developing town. There are stories from long deceased family members that only she knows. When Anna is no longer here, who’s going to remember these pieces of history?

But how, other than to hire a personal secretary? Well, now it just may be easier than ever before. There are a few options available other than chatting around the fire on a cold Winter’s evening.

One not very appealing option is to record the past in long hand, but at this point in life it seems laborious and there’s the possibility that no one is going to be able to read it. If you choose to write it in cursive, be aware they no longer teach that in public schools.

Typing could work, if you had taken that secretarial course when it was offered in your high school. If only we knew way back then, how a mastery of the keyboard would be one of the most beneficial, timesaving courses we could take.

One other method and perhaps the easiest is to speak words into a computer, which will then turn your words into text. Easier than you may think. Programs are available in one form or another on most computers, but for an Apple computer it’s as easy as:

•Click on the document (such as a blank page in Word) where you would like the words typed.

•Press the fn (function) key twice. A microphone appears on the screen.

•Begin speaking.

•When finished, press the fn key once.

•Your words should appear on the document.

Assistance available at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202584

If you have an iPhone, download the app Dragon. It’s free. Once it is downloaded speak and it will type the text. If you have a connection to your printer, it can then be printed. If not, ask for help from a grandkid as to how it can be done.

With an older computer, type in “speech to text” and determine which will work on your device. There are also easy-to-navigate programs available on the Web such as www.Dragon.com but be aware there’s a cost if you download it onto a computer.

And then there’s Google. If you have Google Chrome, it’s easy. If you don’t have Google Chrome, maybe it’s time because it’s free. Download VoiceNote.in through Chrome and follow simple but specific directions, and there it is.

When completed and what’s completed you ask? You decide. Do you start with, “It was a dark and stormy night when I entered this world,” or maybe you begin at high school graduation, what you imagined as the kickoff day to freedom! Flashbacks are acceptable. It is after all, your book.

When completed to your satisfaction, it can be as easy as pushing the command “print.” Review the completed pages and put it in a three-ring binder with pictures of your choice. Be sure to label those photos, as chances are good others won’t recognize those smiling faces from your past.

Another option is to use www.TaskRabbit It’s a source of outside help that will transcribe your words onto paper, lay it out and edit. Yes, there is a fee, but it’s negotiable.

When ready for a more professional look go to www.Staples.com or any other office supply store and have it printed and bound to your specifications. Order as many copies as you would like. The cost is minimal – often as low as 25 cents per page.

Holidays are coming. Wouldn’t this be a unique gift for those kids who have everything? The help you need is there and it’s easier than you think. Isn’t it time to begin?

 

NEA Big Read Returns to Annapolis

NEA Big Read Returns to Annapolis

By Ellen Moyer

For the second time, The National Endowment for the Arts has chosen a community group in Annapolis for a partnership grant in the Big Read Program.

The NEA was founded by Congress in 1965 to provide leadership in arts education and to promote projects for artistic excellence. One of their programs promotes great books and the stories they tell. Through literature a nation tells its stories to its citizens.

Some Annapolitans will remember the first Big Read in 2008, with activities associated with The Great Gatsby. It was highlighted by the party of all parties hosted by Debra Smith and Charter 300 at Sarles Boat Yard. Book clubs and high school students, too, joined in discussing F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic.

This time around The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer is the Big Read selection. As we all know, Mark Twain’s novel tells the story of a young boy in a small town on the Mississippi (like himself) who was finding his way to maturity. Though more than 100 years old Tom Sawyer, is one of America’s best-loved tales. Its representation of excitement and fear and mischievousness still appeals to young readers. And in Twain’s words, telling stories of growing up, “reminds adults of what they once were themselves and what they felt and thought.”

Mark Twain was a satirist and commentator on the foibles of human nature. When you read Tom Sawyer, you explore the principle moral, psychological and intellectual precepts of our species.

In the Spring of 2016, under the direction of the Chesapeake Children’s Museum, book-related activities will be called Old Fashioned Picnic, Goin’ Fishing, a White Wash Weekend, the Trial of Muff Potter, an 1850s Gala and book discussions, including one with “Mark Twain” himself. Check the museum’s website: www.theccm.org for event details. There will be many community partners including other nonprofits, local businesses, schools, churches, the City of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Public Library.

So get ready to jump back in time for adventure with Mark Twain and his characters, including Tom, Huck Finn, Becky Thatcher and Aunt Polly, who have become part of our American heritage. “There is much to be learned from this bygone era,” says Debbie Wood, executive director of Chesapeake Children’s Museum, “when children could play freely, doors didn’t need to be locked … and the village was a tight network of intersecting lives.”

Reading Tom Sawyer, we will revel in its essential optimism and sense of adventure, discover our human strengths and weaknesses and perhaps rediscover the growing pains of a less rushed life.

For more information, contact Debbie Wood at Chesapeake Children’s Museum at debbie@theccm.org or 410.990.1993.

SIDEBAR

Volunteers always welcome to help with:

planning committee

publicity

graphic design

volunteer coordination

costuming

music

record keeping

sponsorships

donations

book discussion

 

What Does Mary Say?

WHAT DOES MARY SAY?

Dear Mary,

My cousin takes care of her mother who has dementia. She has several siblings in the area, but none of them help her and they are always telling her that her mother is OK and that she’s making a big deal out of nothing. My aunt still drives and the family thinks that’s OK since she only goes to a couple of stores. What can my cousin do to make them understand?

Dear Reader,

It sounds as if your noncaregiving cousins do not have an understanding of dementia; many people still believe that dementia just means memory loss. A good first step would be a group conversation with your aunt’s doctor. If that’s not possible, your caregiving cousin needs to get as much information as possible from the doctor, preferably in writing, and share that with her siblings during a planned family meeting. It will continue to be important for your cousin to provide update to her siblings as your aunt’s health declines both physically and cognitively.

Then, all of the family members need to gain an understanding of the disease progression. This will help them prepare for your aunt’s future needs and help them understand what is to be expected. The Department of Aging and Disabilities has a myriad of information on dementia that can be picked up at the office. The department also offers caregiver support groups, a quarterly informational newsletter (The Caregivers Voice), and multiple caregiver workshops. The 2015-2016 workshop schedule can be found in this edition of Outlook by the Bay, online at www.aacounty.org/aging or by calling or emailing the Family Caregiver Support Program at 410.222.4464, ext. 3043, or at caregiver_support@aacounty.org

The family should also be speaking with your aunt’s physician about her driving. While they may feel comfortable that she only drives to a few familiar stores, there is no way of knowing which day she will forget how to get home. Unfortunately, this is often the scenario when we see those “silver alert” messages about missing seniors. The safety of your aunt, as well as the safety of other drivers, is paramount.

I will be happy to place your cousins (and any interested reader) on the Family Caregiver Support Program mailing list for updates on our workshops, support groups, conferences and other information. Call or email the program at the number or address listed above and asked to be placed on the mail list.

Dear Mary,

I care for my wife who has Parkinson’s disease and early onset dementia. We can’t get out much anymore because she is so unsteady and afraid of falling. And now, it seems that even eating at her favorite restaurant has become overwhelming for her. I love my wife very much; our children live out of state and I am feeling very alone in all of this.

Dear Reader,

Rest assured that you are not alone and one of the best things you can do for your wife and yourself is to join a support group or groups. The Department of Aging and Disabilities holds monthly caregiver support groups in Annapolis and Glen Burnie. There is also a Parkinson’s Support Group for both the individual with the disease as well as the caregiver that is held monthly in Severna Park. For information on meeting dates and locations, please feel free to contact me at the Department of Aging and Disabilities 410.222.4464 or at caregiver_support@aacounty.org

Although your family is out of the area, you can still ask friends, neighbors, fellow church members to help care for your wife for a few hours a week so that you can enjoy some of the things you like to do. Look into the Department’s Respite Care Referral Program or a home care agency and hire a home care worker for a few hours. You need to take care of yourself so that you can continue to care for your wife and your wife will enjoy a fresh face around the house.

I think you will find that several of the workshops scheduled for 2015-2016 will be of interest and help to you. Check out the schedule in this edition of Outlook by the Bay and consider registering for those that will be most useful.

Mary can be reached at Department of Aging and Disabilities 410.222.4464 or caregiver_support@aacounty.org

 

Listening Well, Connecting Well

LISTENING WELL, CONNECTING WELL

By Dr. Jim David

I am writing this at the Chautauqua Institute which is a haven for adventurous life-long learners. The institute seamlessly blends time for education, recreation, spirituality and the arts. The soul of Chautauqua (www.ciweb.org) is sharing with others who may or may not share your perspective. Listening well is essential for learning, for growing and for connecting well with others.

When I think of listening well and connecting well I can’t help but think of Mary. She will be 94 next month. She works two or three days each week as executive secretary for her local Rotary Club. Mary is full of life and joy. She is effervescent as she listens with total absorption to what the other person is saying. She’s my poster child for listening well, connecting well.

Listening Well, Step One

As you age, are you over-preoccupied? Are you worrying, planning and then missing the moment? Or are you  training yourself to be totally in “The Now?”  (See The Power of Now by Eckhardt Tolle).

So the first step in listening well is setting aside your own agenda, quieting your mind so you are able to fluidly take in the messages being sent to us. Ideally, you can discipline yourself to observe without judging, experience without thinking. How can you take in the message being sent if your mind is already filled with your thoughts?

This is particularly relevant and important with those of whom you are closest to. It’s so easy and comfortable to label someone very close as being closed or rigid or unrealistic. You don’t have to make the effort to connect with the evolving uniqueness of that person. Marcel Proust said it well, “The real voyage of discovery is not in seeking new lands but in seeing with fresh eyes.”  New or fresh eyes require an open or quiet mind.

How do you develop a quiet mind? You would certainly have to exit the digital cybernetic culture where you cling to your smart phones with total devotion and determination. To acquire a quiet mind, like any type of skill, requires time, practice and dedication. Generally, you need to go off and be by yourself (See The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson). It helps to meditate. We all need to embrace the sweet sound of silence. The truth is within us (See If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him by Sheldon Kopp).

Step Two

Step two is paying attention to nonverbal messaging. It helps to strengthen your “attending skills.” How attentive are you to the person you are attempting to hear? Remember that the first rule in communication is “we cannot not communicate!” We cannot help ourselves in that we are always reading one another and then probably making judgments, whether these judgments consciously register with us or not.

Of course, your nonverbal stance or presence simply tells the other person what your attitude toward them is. My friend Mary does this so well.  Her eyes light up when she turns toward you, she is with you 100 percent. What a gift! What is she communicating? She says, “I like you. I value you. I accept you just as you are. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.” Love gets operationalized in being accepting. Acceptance is your gift to another.

When someone listens to you really well, you open up to them. You trust them. You feel safe with them. You feel connected. What a precious gift to give one another! It becomes a gift to your spouses, your children, grandchildren and friends. I saw a sign at Chautauqua, “Nothing is more important than this day.” You could alter it to say, “Nothing is more important than this moment.”

Step Three

Thomas Gordon, in Parent Effectiveness Training, articulates three levels of listening. The first level is passive listening where you tune into the person speaking, but don’t give much feedback. This generally sparks some level of anxiety in the speaker because we frail, fragile human beings tend to be a little shaky without some feedback.

The second level is termed “door openers.” You can say brief things like, “Oh,” “interesting,” “really,” “tell me more.” These door openers encourage the speaker to further open up to you. They also restrain you from taking over and sending your messages, which may tend toward giving advice, teaching, moralizing, etc. The sender then shuts down because he or she perceives that your agenda has priority. Connecting ends.

The third level is active listening. You mirror or repeat what the sender has sent so they feel totally understood, accepted and supported. Mastering this skill takes tenacity, time and practice. It doesn’t happen overnight.

It requires “listening with the third ear.” The “third ear” is to tune into the underlying feeling and to feed it back first. You say, “you feel” followed by one word. You feel worried. You feel excited. Or you are worried. You are excited. When you tune into the sender’s feeling, you tune into them, into their personhood. You then experience what is sometimes called “limbic resonance.” This is what happens when you visually connect with an infant or anyone you love. The limbic part of your brain lights up, and you resonate with another person. Some term it “empathic resonance” (See A General Theory of Love by Lewis, Amini and Lannon).  In the deepest part of our souls, we need limbic resonance.

Of course, you also need to feed back the factual content, but the most efficacious sequencing is to mirror back the feelings first. An example is, “You’d feel embarrassed if we arrived late for the dinner party.” I call it “balancing feelings and facts.” The bottom line is that when you want to have a positive relationship with someone, feelings are more important than facts.  You can argue facts ad infinitum, but feelings just are. They are unarguable.

You have probably heard the truism that having two ears but one mouth, we are wise to listen twice as much as we talk. You’ve also probably heard several variations of “hearing but not listening or understanding.” Listening well brings the joy of connecting well. My 94-year-old friend Mary reminds me, “Don’t postpone joy!”

Dr. Jim David is a licensed clinical social worker and a licensed marriage and family therapist practicing in Silver Spring.  Visit his website at www.askdrdavidnow.com or email at james519@comcast.net

 

A Look at Leonardtown

A Look At Leonardtown

By Barbara Aiken

Arriving in Leonardtown, one almost expects Sheriff Taylor to stroll up and say, “Howdy fella, nice day ain’t it?” This little nugget of a town is a delightful glimpse into the not-so-distant past of small town America. Like Mayberry in the popular television show of the 1960s, this is a quiet yet vibrant spot filled with hometown charm and friendly folks. On the street today visually generic cars may have replaced the real cars of yesteryear, but this town is still a blast from the past.

Established around 1650, Leonardtown was first known as Newtowne. This “new town” was the second to be developed in Maryland; St. Mary’s City was the first. Nestled on Breton Bay, Newtowne was well situated with navigable deep water to the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay beyond. In 1708 Newtowne was renamed Seymour Town for Gov. John Seymour. By 1728 it took its current name, Leonardtown to honor then Gov. Benedict Leonard Calvert, Jr. Today, Leonardtown is the county seat of St. Mary’s County and the courthouse, although not the original from 1710, is still a center of activity.

Positioned 70 miles from Annapolis, Leonardtown is a strolling town; plan on spending a casual day discovering this gem. Go online at www.leonardtown.somd.com or stop in the St. Mary’s County Division of Tourism to get your map of the walking tour, which highlights 21 sites of interest.

Georgian style Tudor Hall is the oldest building in town, where the Historical Society currently resides. If you’d like more information about Leonardtown, ask to see a copy of A Most Convenient Place by Aleck Loker, an excellent account of the area, which can be purchased locally. Nearby is the Old Jail, which was last used in 1942 and today serves as a museum. Take note of the cannon outside, which is from the “Ark,” one of the ships that brought settlers to the area in 1634. Leonardtown is proud of its town square, one of few remaining in Maryland. This is the gathering place for a variety of old-time festivals throughout the year. While there, take time to stop at the World War II Memorial and the Deceased Veterans Memorial.

There are a variety of shops, art galleries and restaurants in Leonardtown filled with delectable delights to please the discerning visitor. On Fenwick Street, visit the oldest art gallery in St. Mary’s County, the North End Gallery, filled with treasures created by an array of talented southern Maryland artists. Check out Fenwick Street Used Books and Music. This store is overflowing with tantalizing titles and hidden finds. If you’re a bibliophile, you will have a hard time extracting yourself from this book lover’s haven.

Housed in an 1857 historic brick building, the oldest on Washington St., Caught My Eye showcases intriguing wares from India, local crafts and repurposed treasures. Also on Washington Street, try Crazy for Ewe, which specializes in superb yarns and patterns for those who enjoy knitting or crocheting, and The Fuzzy Farmer’s Market, which offers shawls, scarves, bags, baskets and other items made from a variety of wools.

When you’re ready to relax and have a leisurely lunch, Café des Artistes has some of the best offerings in town including local wines. As you enter you may be delighted by the garlic aroma of my favorite, Les Escargots au Vin Blanc. On an agreeable day, dine outside and enjoy the wafting breeze.

Another great spot for lunch is The Front Porch on Washington Street. This cozy restaurant was formerly the Sterling family home. Try the crab cake sandwich for a scrumptious treat or the cheese platter paired with a glass of wine.

Now that you’ve had time to relax and enjoy some fine dining, how about a walk? Head down the hill to the rippling waters of Breton Bay to take in Leonardtown Wharf. You may spot a majestic eagle or elegant great blue heron.  There are benches for sitting and this makes an excellent spot for an al fresco lunch. Maybe you could get dessert to go and enjoy it as you gaze out over the peaceful view. If anyone has concerns about walking you may want to drive down to the wharf, as the walk back is very steep.

After a day of exploration you’ll feel caught in a time warp. In your mind’s eye, you’ll see Sherriff Taylor waving goodbye and maybe saying, “Now ya’ll come back now, ya hear?”

Barbara is very fond of Leonardtown and visits regularly. She can be reached at  barbara.s.aiken@gmail.com.

 

7 Loving Ways to Leave a Legacy

7 Loving Ways to Leave a Legacy

By Victoria Duncan

How will you be remembered? When you think of a legacy, you may envision a stately, brick building at our local hospital sporting the name of a well-heeled donor; a generous scholarship fund set up in memory of a lost loved one; or a recreational park or facility named for a popular politician. What if you don’t have those resources or have not experienced that type of renown in your life? Does that leave you out of the legacy business?

Not at all! A legacy can fall anywhere on the continuum from the simple, but meaningful personal bequest to a grand and public gesture that touches many lives. Leaving a legacy is an intentional and responsible act that is, in part, an act designed in your self-interest, but at the same time, planned for the benefit of others. From a self-interested perspective, most of us wish to be remembered and want to think that our lives had significance. A legacy is a way of saying, “I was here.” In the interest of others, a legacy allows us leave something that may make life a bit easier or better for those who come after us.

Beyond the obvious necessity of leaving a traditional last will and testament, spend some time reflecting upon those gifts, resources and interests that are uniquely yours. We all have some. Consider what you would like to pass down to future generations. Think as small or as large as your resources permit.

1.Compile your family history. With tools like ancestry.com and archives.gov it’s never been easier or more interesting to fill out those branches on your family tree. Remember that you are the link between the generations. When you are gone, there may be nobody left to remember that your great-great grandfather carved a small wooden Bible for his infant son while he waited in the Pennsylvania hills for the Civil War battle at Gettysburg to begin. Mine did! While I didn’t know this ancestor, my grandmother wisely tucked the details into a box along with this tiny, wooden Bible. Your family also has its own unique stories. Catch them before they’re gone.

2.Pass on an interest or passion. Are you a talented woodworker or knitter? Do you love art? Teach your children and grandchildren! Those times when you are quietly spending time together doing something you love are also a good opportunity to pass down an oral history. For example, when I taught my granddaughter, Daisy, the notes on the piano, I also entertained her with the details of how my beloved, Great-aunt Daisy, for whom she is named, taught me the notes when I was the same age. Someday, I hope that Daisy might continue the tradition with her grandchildren.

3.Make a charitable contribution. Choose a charity that reflects your values and make a gift that is meaningful to you. A friend and her husband stayed active well into their 80s by walking and riding bikes on a nearby rail trail. Before they died, they purchased several garden benches and paid for a wildflower garden to be created along the trail. Although they are both gone now, this tiny, restful garden remains beside a plaque with their names and a lovely quote about nature.

4.Give a collection. Again, personalize this. If it’s just a random group of coins thrown into a box, it’s not going to mean much beyond the monetary value. However, if it’s your prized baseball card collection that you’ve shared with your sports-loving grandson as you’ve regaled him with the story of when you first saw Mickey Mantle playing center field, it’s going to pack more punch!

5.Share the Food. Few things speak to us of family and memories like food. Remember the caramel apple pie that your grandmother always made for Sunday dinners in the Fall? Your crazy Aunt Jean’s potato salad? Cull through your recipes and put together an assortment of family recipes. If you can jot down a bit about where the recipe originated or how it was most often served, all the better. It’s easy to compile your collection into books for your family and these make a great holiday gift. Include photos if you can.

6.Write a Letter. You don’t have to be a gifted author to write a heartfelt letter to your loved ones. Again, it’s the individual touch that counts.  Write a personal letter to each of your loved ones and include those large or small moments that frame your relationship. Perhaps you could describe the first moment you held your granddaughter and whispered in her ear, “I can’t wait to get to know you!” or the way your son’s face lit up when he saw his new bicycle on Christmas morning. Remark upon their strengths and talents or on your hopes and dreams for their future. Finally, share any life lessons or beliefs that you wish to pass on. This can also be accomplished with a video camera or aural recorder.

 

Live your life as you wish to be remembered. Perhaps the most important legacy we leave behind is simply the memory that people will hold of us, of how we lived our lives, and of how they felt when they were with us. My friend’s grandmother was apparently a bitter and contentious woman. Always referring to this grandparent as “the old witch,” her mother never learned to be a loving grandmother herself. In turn, this became part of her personal legacy. Is this the kind of legacy that you wish to leave behind? Would you rather be remembered as someone who extended herself for her family, who met challenges head-on, and who had kind words of encouragement for those around her? Remember that it’s never too late to improve yourself and the message you want to leave.

 

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