MAY 2012

outreachnc.com

MAY 2012

Aging Outreach Services

MAY 2012

Vol. 3 Issue 5

utreach NC

Navigating all your aging needs

Free

Down home with

bestselling author

Mary Kay Andrews


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and today, thousands of golfers also

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OutreachNC • May 2012 3

M A k e Y ou R S e L f AT HoM e on M AY 3.

At Penick Village, you’re welcome anytime, especially on May 3 at 10:30 am.

Join us for lunch at one of our new cottages and a great walking tour

of our wonderful neighborhood. You’ll also have a chance to visit our new

Village House community center, and meet some residents along the

way. Leave costly home and yard maintenance behind, and replace them

with a carefree, independent lifestyle. To RSVP, please call us today

at (910) 692-0386 or (910) 692-0382. Visit us at www.penickvillage.org.

PENICK

V I L L A G E

500 east Rhode Island Avenue | Southern Pines, nC 28387 | (866) 545-1018 toll-free

www.OutreachNC.com


VoL. 3 Issue 4

Aging Outreach Services

4 OutreachNC • May 2012

OutreachNC • May 2012

May and the early signs of

summer are here. This month,

we offer stories of inspiration,

each like a single flower within a blooming

bouquet perfect for Mother’s Day and

Memorial Day.

We go aboard the USS North Carolina

in Wilmington, seen above, to witness

a marriage vow renewal ceremony.

This special event wrapped up the 70th

anniversary celebration of the USO of

North Carolina.

We also meet one courageous Marine,

who lived to tell his story of the Battle of

Iwo Jima in 1945 and ventured back to

the site earlier this year with a little help

from his friends.

Joining the Peace Corps may seem like

something to do when you’re young, but

we’ll learn how one mom had the urge

to follow in her daughter’s footsteps and

joined as a retiree.

With inspiration all around us, one

grateful granddaughter shares a moving

tribute to her gardening grandmother.

Growing things is truly a family affair

at Gross Farms, and we learn about

From the Editor

Photo by John Gessner

the five-generation farm focusing on the

bountiful strawberry crop in honor of

National Strawberry Month, leaving you

seeing fields of red.

And speaking of red, we share a

Carolina Conversation with N.C. State

University Athletic Director Debbie Yow,

who is continuing a family legacy, living

out her own dreams and inspiring young

athletes in the process.

Completing this editorial bouquet is our

cover story featuring New York Times®

bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews.

Her new novel, “Spring Fever,” is a perfect

way to kick off your summer reading. We

go beyond the book jacket to learn about

the personal side of the author, who

set her new book in North Carolina and

brings her Southern characters to life

for readers. We also share an excerpt

of “Spring Fever,” which doesn’t hit

bookstores or e-readers until June 5.

And last, but certainly not least, if you

are a fan of social media, please “Like”

us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter,

@OutreachNC, for sneak peeks and prize

gieaways. Until next month...

—Carrie Frye

Aging Outreach Services

utreach NC

Navigating all your aging needs

PO Box 2478

676 NW Broad Street

Southern Pines, NC 28388

(910) 692-9609 Office

(910) 695-0766 Fax

PO Box 2019

101-A Brady Court

Cary, NC 27512

(919) 909-2693 Office

(919) 535-8719 Fax

info@outreachnc.com

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OutreachNC is a publication

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Inside this issue

OutreachNC • May 2012 5

Ask the Expert.......................6

Belle Weather

by Celia Rivenbark................7

Bridge Club.........................29

Consumer Beware..............36

Continuum of Care..............9

Grandmother’s

Garden

page 12

Cooking Simple...................26

Creative Retirement............11

Grey Matter Games.............34

Mary Kay Andrews

page 38

Hospital Health..............24-25

Literary Circle.....................19

Medicare Update.................37

Money Matters....................18

Over My Shoulder................50

Planning Ahead..................10

Senior Fitness.....................17

Senior Moments..................45

Iwo Jima Marine

page 30

Mom & Daughter

Peace Corps volunteers

page 42

Senior Shorts Guest Writer

Mary Kay Andrews, excerpt

from “Spring Fever”

.........................................48

“Spring Fever” Book Review

.............................................41

Sentimental Journey..........28

Spirituality & Aging............27

Volunteer Opportunities.......8

Debbie Yow

page 46

USO-NC

page 20

Gross Farms

page 14

Cover Photography by Sara Speert Photography ©2012, saraphotography.com

www.OutreachNC.com


6 OutreachNC • May 2012

Q: Over the past

year I have noticed

that my husband’s

appetite has decreased quite

a bit. He is 86 years old and

has experienced a decline in

his overall health. He gets

around the house fairly well

but does not have much

interest in going out. He has

lost about 15 pounds, and I

am concerned that this will

cause a further decline in his

health. What can I do?

A: Weight loss should not be considered a

normal part of the aging process. There are

many possible causes for a decreased appetite,

particularly as a person ages. Loss of appetite and

weight can be indicators of a more serious health

concern and should always be addressed and discussed

with a physician. That said, we can talk about some of

the possible reasons and things that you might be able

to try at home to increase his appetite.

Consider that food and eating are often a social

activity as much as it is for nutrition. As one’s social

activities decline, so does a person’s appetite and overall

interest in food. When the days of business dinners,

cocktail parties and the kids around the table become

fewer, meal time often just is not as exciting. Cooking

for one or two seems more difficult, and people tend

to get into routines of smaller meals. In addition to

social changes, loss of appetite can be an indicator

of depression, loneliness, chronic disease, dementia,

dental problems and increased pain.

Poor appetite has also been linked to a slowing

metabolism, side effects of certain medications and

Ask the Expert

Our experts

will answer any

aging questions

you might have.

Fax your questions

to (910) 695-0766 or

e-mail them to

info@outreachnc.com.

Amy Natt, MS, CCM

Geriatric Care Manager

nutrient deficiencies.

Changes in sight, smell and

taste can also diminish the

pleasure of eating. Food

becomes less enjoyable and

eating may become a chore.

Start with a full medical

and dental evaluation. At

home, you can try adding

some additional flavor to

foods. Cooking at home can

also circulate aromas that

stimulate appetite. There are

several nutritional shakes that

can be consumed between meals or after dinner. I always

like them really cold. You can mix them with ice cream

to pack on some calories with the nutrition. Review

possible medication side effects, and consider a multivitamin.

Make sure he is getting plenty of water, and

encourage some type of physical exercise. If boredom is

a problem, try looking up new recipes online. Increase

social meal opportunities if possible.

Make a list of concerns to discuss with your physician.

Keep a daily journal to record patterns that may be

helpful in identifying what additional issues your

husband may be dealing with. If it is determined to be

a medical or mental health issue, ask your practitioner

about medications that may help to stimulate appetite.

Nutrition is very important, but balance that with the

foods your husband seems to enjoy and will eat.

My final advice would be that while you are focused

on helping your husband, remember taking care of

yourself is of equal importance. If you find yourself in the

role of caregiver, you will need every ounce of strength

and energy to maintain this very important role.

Natt, a geriatric care manager with AOS Care Management,

can be reached at amyn@agingoutreachservices.com.

AUDIOLOGY of the SANDHILLS

Belinda Bryant, Vallie Goins,

Kate Tuomala, and Ruth Jones






PHONE (910) 692-6422

1902-K N. Sandhills Blvd., Hwy. #1 • Longleaf Medical Center • Aberdeen NC 28315

www.SandhillsHearing.com

10% off

any one

item

Gulley’s Garden Center

est. 1974

•Annuals •Perennials •Shrubs •Trees •Garden Supplies

Knowledgeable Staff to answer your gardening questions

Military Museum & Antique Store onsite

Come see us for a unique shopping experience!

445 SE Broad St

SouthErn PinES 910.692.3223

open Year round

Mon-Fri 9-5 •Sat 9-4

www.OutreachNC.com


OutreachNC • May 2012 7

Fare thee well, Britannica

I

was sad to read last week that

Encyclopedia Britannica is

going digital and no longer will

be printed. The weighty leather bound

volumes adorned the bookcases of

encyclopedia snobs who thought

of World Book as something of a

country cousin. It should come as

no surprise,

then, that I

grew up with

World Book

Encyclopedia.

Not only did

we own a set

but also my

Dad sold

Belle Weather t h e m ,

door to

d o o r ,

because

that’s what teachers did during the

summer months back in the day.

The commission wasn’t much

but salesmen did get a free set of

encyclopedias and my Dad even

built a bookcase just big enough to

hold the cream-colored leatherette

volumes with green and gold trim.

I would spend hours reading World

Book, absolutely blown away by the

H volume whose human body entry

contained transparent pages that

allowed you to overlay heart and

spleen and so forth until the last

page was a complete Technicolor

picture of human insides.

Or, as Encyclopedia Britannica

might call them, innards, if you will.

I always pictured the Britannica

being the encyclopedia of the

privileged. If it could swirl brandy in a

snifter, wear an ascot and talk about

foreign films, well, it would.

Britannica was foie gras and World

Book was jerky. (Carrying the meat

metaphor further, Funk & Wagnalls,

then, was potted meat, I suppose.)

World Book used a lot fewer words

than Britannica to describe popular

fifth-grade term paper topics like

Ecuador or Pellagra. If the teacher

asked us to walk on the wild side and

use the Britannica (available in the

school library and, I think, the town

doctor’s house), we would groan.

Encyclopedia Britannica reminded

me of that person who you ask what

time is it and they tell you how to

build a watch.

In the days before reality TV,

the Britannica was as close as we

ever got to TMI. I only needed to

know about the favorite foods of the

Ecuadoreans. I didn’t need to know

about the average temperature of

waters surrounding the Galapagos

islands. Jeez.

For many years, I would regress

into insecure country mouse mode

whenever I was invited to someone’s

home and I saw those big, brown

Britannicas on display. These people

probably had an in-ground pool, not

to mention a sound knowledge of

Ecuadorean currency.

According to USA Today, when

Encyclopedia Britannica was first

published in 1768, it caused quite

a stir. King George III, upset by

the pictures of fetuses and female

pelvises in a section on midwifery,

demanded that they be torn out of all

the volumes.

Crazy ol’ fool. You’d think that

anybody who had 15 children

wouldn’t be such a priss pot over a

few pictures of genitalia.

A spokesman for the company said

that there are no plans for the digital

Britannica to be made available for

free. Of course not. That would be,

well, tacky.

Rivenbark is the author of the New

York Times best-seller, “You Don’t

Sweat Much for a Fat Girl.” Visit

www.celiarivenbark.com.

© 2012, Celia Rivenbark, Distributed

by MCT Information Services

www.OutreachNC.com


8 OutreachNC • May 2012

This year marks the 20th anniversary for The

Center for Volunteer Caregiving. For 20 years,

this independent nonprofit has been serving

the needs of Wake County seniors, family caregivers and

adults with disabilities allowing them to remain at home

with independence and dignity.

By 2014 according to the Wake County Aging Plan,

200,000 people over the age of 65 are expected to live in

the county. With the trend toward two income families

and fewer children available to assist older family

members, informal caregiving is more challenging and

stressful than in years before. The need to provide

assistance that allows for access to health care and basic

needs for people to remain at home as long as possible

is now more important than ever.

The Center relies on volunteers to provide services

that are not just supporting seniors and adults with

disabilities but also families, who in most cases have

run out of options. The Center has a waitlist of 130+

seniors and adults with disabilities, ages ranging from

34 to 100, and all having different needs. Volunteering

helps The Center try to meet those needs. Services are

provided through three programs:

Escorted Door-through-Door Transportation:

1 Transportation is the most often cited unmet

need. The Center’s program provides services for nonurgent

medical appointments

and grocery shopping as seen

below.. In 2010, volunteers

provided 3,758 rides. Eightyseven

percent of the seniors

served reported having a

better sense of well being

because of receiving rides Volunteering

from The Center. Without

transportation, many

could not keep medical

appointments.

The Center’s Caregiver Support Program

2 provides respite or “time off” for primary

caregivers, who often dedicate all of their energy to

meeting the needs of a loved one while ignoring their

own, which can jeopardize their physical and emotional

health. More than half of family caregivers report they

do not have time to take care of themselves. A respite

volunteer allows family caregivers to get the care they

need to stay healthy both physically and emotionally.

The In-Home Connections Program seeks to

3

Volunteer Opportunities

Lending helping hand easy as 1, 2, 3

alleviate social isolation and depression that often

accompanies the physical and emotional challenges

facing older adults and adults with disabilities who are

homebound. Volunteers provide friendly visits in person

or over the telephone. Researchers realized 20 years ago

that social isolation is not just bad for a person but can

actually shorten their life span. Since then, there’s been a

steady stream of research pointing in the same direction.

Yet loneliness is not treated as a serious health risk.

A social worker at Rex Home Health Services says, “One

visit per week from a volunteer caregiver can prevent an

elderly person from having to move out of their home.”

The Center offers chore services, which includes light

housekeeping, yard work and shopping and are focused

on maintaining a safe and healthy environment in

addition to social contact.

The Center for Volunteer Caregiving has many

wonderful stories to share. Visit the center’s web site,

www.volunteercaregiving.org, to learn about how to

become involved.

Blankfard, PHR, services coordinator at The Center for

Volunteer Caregiving in Cary, can be reached at (919) 460-0567

or sblankfard@ctrvolcare.org.

www.OutreachNC.com


Plan ahead and utilize available resources

In this region

of North

Carolina, we

have exceptional

health care, medical

facilities and top-notch

professionals with

specific knowledge on

any diagnosis One may

receive. Take advantage of these professionals. Use

the resources in your community, and lay out a plan

for the future.

As we age, we begin

to realize that we need

or will one day need

care from someone else.

Right now, you might be

providing care, and the

next day you may be

receiving. Not everyone

dreams of residing in

senior living housing or

a facility setting, and no

one dreams of being

alone.

In a senior living

environment such as

assisted living, residents

can enjoy the company

of others while caregivers

are busy making them

comfortable. Worries

about cooking meals

and washing clothes

disappear, or if you can

get those socks on, help

is close by.

Map out a Plan A,

B and even C. I have

met so many wonderful

couples, widows and

even caregiving adult

children of parents, who

never planned for a B

or C. During your next

family get-together, have

a conversation about

your care options and

what you would like to

Free

pick

up

OutreachNC • May 2012 9

see in your future. Schedule visits to senior living

facilities in the area, and talk about what you like and

what you don’t. You have

the right to make these

choices now to make a

difference in your future.

Ragsdale, marketing

director at Fox Hollow Senior

Living, can be reached at

Eragsdale@5sqc.com or

(910) 695-0011.

Drop off your tax deductible

reusable material donations at a Habitat for Humanity

ReStore and help support affordable housing for families in

your community.

If your donations are too large for your vehicle, ask about

Habitat’s free pick up service.

For donation criteria, or to learn more about Habitat’s

FREE pick up service, call the ReStore in your county or

visit www.habitat.org/restores.

Moore County: 2268 NC 5 Highway, Aberdeen 910.295.2798

Scotland County: 12340 McColl Rd., Laurinburg, 910.276.3395

Wake County: 2420 Raleigh Blvd., Raleigh, 919.744.2420

Wake County: 181 High House Rd., Cary, 919.744.2420

Continuum of Care

www.OutreachNC.com


10 OutreachNC • May 2012

Seven retirement planning tips for women

Preparing for retirement isn’t just about saving

more money. It’s also about preparing for what

your potential needs will be and crafting a

successful financial plan to help you get there. This

concept is true for everyone, but especially true for

women. Here are a few reasons why.

On average, women spend fewer years employed

than men. This is usually due to their roles in parenting

young children and later in life, becoming a caregiver

to aging parents. This results in three adverse

consequences. They earn less income; subsequently

contribute less to their own Social Security, and with

limited work hours or no employment at all, there

is less opportunity to contribute to an employersponsored

retirement plan.

Even during the working years, women continue

to earn less than men. In 2008, the Bureau of Labor

Statistics reported women’s median weekly earnings

were only 79.9 percent of men’s.

Statistically, women also live longer than men. A

woman turning age 65 today can expect to live to age

85. But one out of every four 65-year-olds will live

past age 90, and one out of every 10 will live past age

95 (Source: Social Security Administration). This means

one out of every 10 of us will experience a 30-year

retirement!

To plan for a successful retirement, here a few factors

women should consider:

Save More. We should think about financial

1 matters from a long-term perspective. Many

underestimate how

much they will need

in retirement.

2

Realize that

you may live

longer than you

expect. Planning for

an “average life span”

means that half of the

people will live longer.

Women run a higher

risk of outliving their

savings.

3 of

Review sources

retirement

income. Understand

what your sources

of income will be. Social

Security savings and

qualified and non-qualified

investment accounts have

different distribution and

withdrawal implications.

Understand that

distributions from each

type of account may

warrant different tax

considerations.

4

Learn how to manage your retirement

savings plan at work. Due to the growth of

retirement savings plans such as the 401(k), individual

employees are often responsible for managing their

own investments. Many employees need to become

familiar with their retirement plan options, considering

their own risk-tolerance when making asset allocation,

diversification and investment choice decisions.

5

Seek advice. You don’t have to go it alone.

A qualified financial professional can provide

insight, operate from experience, and explain risks and

options. It’s acceptable to get a second opinion.

6

Face the facts about long-term care. Many people

underestimate the chance of needing long-term

care. Few people own long-term care insurance and

even less can afford to self-insure a long-term care

event. There are newer products on the market to help

defer this huge financial risk.

7

Consider the impact of inflation. Inflation affects

the purchasing power of most all goods and

services. As inflation goes up, each dollar buys less.

An average rate of inflation of 3 to 4 percent annually

might seem small but would cause the price of goods

and services to double every 20 years.

Women need to prepare for their special needs

during retirement. Educating oneself on personal

financial and investment matters should become a

priority throughout a lifetime to ensure a financially

secure retirement.

Donner, CRPC®, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor.,

can be reached at (919) 424-4650 or bdonner@adamsfp.com.

Investment Advisor Representative offering Securities and Investment

Advisory Services offered through Financial Network Investment

Corporation, member SIPC. Adams Financial Partners, Inc. and Financial

Network are not affiliated. Please consult with a tax attorney or advisor for

more information regarding your tax situation.

Branch Address: 2000 CentreGreen Way, Suite 150, Cary, NC 27513

www.OutreachNC.com

Planning Ahead


Creative Retirement OutreachNC • May 2012 11

OutreachNC • May 2012 11

Personal care and home aid partnership with St. Joseph’s

Jenny Troyer, coordinator for the Human

Resources Development (HRD) at Sandhills

Community College (SCC), is spearheading

a partnership with St. Joseph of the Pines in a

program designed to train personal and home care

professionals.

Human Resources Development at Sandhills

Community College focuses on assisting unemployed

and underemployed adults to secure the skills needed

to start a new career or re-enter the workforce. Troyer

coordinates training for this program, relentlessly

looking for new ways to incorporate training to serve

this population.

One way to serve, because of the skyrocketing

need for health care professionals who serve

patients in their homes, SCC and St. Joseph of the

Pines have teamed up to give students the skills and

training needed to become successful as a personal

and home care professionals. This program is a

result of a U.S. Department of Health and Human

Services grant.

“There are four distinct phases,” explains Troyer.

“The two introductory phases, which began in early

March, are appropriate for the person with little or no

health care skills. These phases are “Introduction to

Direct Care Work” and “Direct Care Basics.”

“Phase III-Nurse Aide Level I” and “Phase IV-Home

Care Nurse Aid” start soon,” she adds. “These advanced

phases are for a person already certified with certain

skills, such as a Nursing Assistant Level I or for people

who have completed Phase I and Phase II.”

“We are flexible on the type of training, schedules

and location based on the needs of the students.

Training through HRD can include career exploration,

academic readiness, life skills, job search strategies,

budgeting, mastering the interview and time

management.

Troyer adds that the partnership is a direct effort of

the Dean of Continuing Education Andi Korte.

“Without her determination and quickness to

respond, none of this would have been possible.”

For more information about Human Resources

Development programs, contact Jenny Troyer at

(910) 695-3926 or troyerj@sandhills.edu.

www.OutreachNC.com


12 OutreachNC • May 2012

Seeing through

my Grandmother’s Eyes

You sometimes never know the influence

you might have on someone, or they on

you. Looking back over my life, I can see

how my grandmother’s vision of a worthwhile life

has become my own.

My grandmother never drove a car or lived in a big

house. She worked one year as a schoolteacher before

getting married at 20. She was never famous, but in

some circles, the name Christine Wolf was well known

and respected. If you asked people who knew her,

they’d say, “Christine was a cheerful, positive woman

and accomplished gardener.”

My maternal grandmother also had a strong love

for God and family, and she made a mean German

chocolate cake. But, boy, she could garden. Like most

people of her generation, she grew vegetables to help

feed her family, but flowers were her passion. My

grandmother learned early on the joy of nurturing a tiny

seed, into something big and beautiful.

I remember, my grandparents’ tiny, two-bedroom

house in Akron, Ohio. The backyard was a small patch

of grass with a picnic table; the rest of the one-acre lot

was a large garden. The front and sides of the small

house had so many flowers that by late June it took on

the look of a Thomas Kinkade painting.

I can’t remember my grandmother ever saying there

was a flower she did not like, but then she was never

one to speak ill of anyone. Maybe she added flowers

to that belief. If pressed for favorites, she would say

the Double Delight Rose for its two-color blooms and

wonderful fragrance and the aromatic Stargazer Lily.

In the late 1970s, both of us moved to North Carolina.

My grandmother went to live in the mountains, and I

followed the horses to Southern Pines. Whenever I went

to visit her, she would take me around her small lot in

Clyde and show me all her flowers. She took time telling

me all their names and history. I would listen patiently,

genuinely admiring the bounty of blossoms, but my mind

was more on that moist chocolate cake with the coconut

icing I knew was inside. To my surprise though, just a

few years later, I got hit with the bug. The plant bug that

is, and in 1987, I became a landscape designer.

My grandmother enjoyed my new occupation, and our

By Gail Scott

Special to OutreachNC

www.OutreachNC.com

times together took

on new meaning.

We toured gardens,

shared our favorite

plants and poured

over new catalogs.

She would ask

me in detail about

the landscapes I

was working on,

quizzing me on my

plant choices.

When we ran across a friend or acquaintance, she

would proudly say, “This is my Granddaughter Gail. She

designs gardens. She got that from me.”

I was proud too.

Unfortunately, my grandmother developed macular

degeneration in her late 70s, and her eyesight gradually

became so bad that she had to move back to Ohio. But

shortly before she moved, she received her biggest

notoriety for her garden talents. A passing reporter

for the “Asheville Times” was so taken by “Grams”

and her garden that he returned with a photographer.

The following Sunday, she was the cover story for the

Features page.

In the last year of her life, she was no longer able to

care for plants. So I tried to see things through her eyes.

I started writing long letters chronicling what flowers

were growing in my gardens and describing what new

and exciting plants were on the market. I figured visitors

would read the letters to her, and they did, over and over

again until the next letter came.

In the newspaper article, my grandmother said, “It

doesn’t help to complain, and growing things helps me

stay cheerful.”

Now when I find myself feeling down, I remember

that, and I get back to the garden.

Scott, owner of Lotus Designs Landscaping, can be reached

at (910) 315-3055 or www.lotusdesignslandscaping.com


www.OutreachNC.com

OutreachNC • May 2012 13


14 OutreachNC • May 2012

Photos by Mollie Tobias

John and Tina Gross are proud to be part of five generations of farmers at Gross Farms, where strawberries are bountiful right now thanks

to the mild winter and the hard work of the whole family. Located at 1606 Pickett Road off N.C. 87 in Sanford, the farm has something

going on year-round. For more information, contact Gross Farms at (919) 498-6727 or visit www.grossfarms.com.

Ripe time of year for strawberries

Tina Gross didn’t grow up on

a farm, but when she married

John Gross, there was little

doubt her children would.

“Farming is a lifestyle; it’s not a career. It’s not for

the faint of heart,” she says. “My husband loves it

and has a great passion for it, and it rubs off on you.”

John took over the family farm as soon as he

graduated from high school, stepping up when

Alzheimer’s disease rendered his father unable to

carry on. That was in 1984. Almost 30 years later,

Tina and John’s oldest son, Cody, 19, got his first

tobacco contract. He represents the fifth generation

of family members, spanning more than 100 years,

to work at Gross Farms.

The Grosses’ three younger children pitch in too,

right down to 7-year-old Kassidy, whose jobs during

strawberry season include handing out coloring

By Jennifer Kirby

Special to OutreachNC

books and stickers to children who

come to pick and wiping down the

strawberry buckets with a wet rag.

“They need that; they need to feel

like they’re contributing,” says Tina, who resigned in

December from full-time employment as a medical

practice administrator so she could concentrate on

marketing, staffing, bookkeeping and a slew of other

responsibilities at the farm. “That’s one of the most

important things John and I can instill in them, is a

good work ethic.”

There’s plenty of opportunity for practice. Besides

strawberries, Gross Farms grows more than a dozen

other commodities and sells them in the onsite

“produce barn,” a converted tobacco barn that John

and his siblings, all of whom worked in tobacco

growing up, “vividly remember filling on numerous

occasions.”

continued page 15

www.OutreachNC.com


OutreachNC • May 2012 15

In the fall, the focus at Gross Farms shifts to

hayrides, pumpkins and the corn maze. The maze

is an impressive production that the Grosses have

been pulling off with help from John’s brother,

Bill Gross, and sister, Kathy Amir, as well as their

spouses, since 2002. The nearly five-mile labyrinth

is set on a 15-acre cornfield.

“It takes all of us doing all we can do during that

maze to make it happen,” says Tina.

But while in season, strawberries are all the rage.

This year’s mild winter led to an early, abundant

crop, and Gross Farms workers are up early every

day picking them.

“Day-old berries aren’t very pretty,” Tina says,

though they’re fine for jam or jelly.”

continued page 16

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www.OutreachNC.com


16 OutreachNC • May 2012

continued from page 15

Many are sold by the flat or the quart in the produce

barn. Others are distributed to the community through

the Sandhills Farm to Table food cooperative, for

which Gross Farms also supplies asparagus and

sweet corn.

A great many strawberry lovers prefer to do their

own picking, and Gross Farms offers extended hours

every April through July to accommodate those who

are so inclined. Weekends are especially busy at the

farm located four miles south of Sanford on N.C. 87.

“It is a hoot watching these little kids go out there,”

Tina says.

Such agritourism, which broadly speaking, includes

any agricultural-based activity that brings visitors to

farms, is on the rise in North Carolina according

to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer

Services, especially in the past couple of decades.

The Grosses planted their first strawberry field in the

spring of 2000.

“People are wanting to reconnect to a simpler

lifestyle, in my opinion,” Tina says. “We lead

such hectic lives, and they just

want to step out of that

for a little while and

take that deep

breath. You

can do

that at a

farm.”

Strawberry Pie

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked

1 quart fresh strawberries

3/4 cup white sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 cup water

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons sugar

1 lemon, zest and juiced

Photo by Mollie Tobias

Blend cream cheese, sugar and lemon. Spread

into bottom of pie crust.

Arrange half of strawberries on top of cream

cheese mixture. Mash or place into blender and

puree remaining berries and combine with sugar in

a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium

heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and

water. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling

strawberry mixture. Reduce heat and

simmer mixture until thickened,

about 10 minutes, stirring

constantly. Pour mixture

over berries in

pastry shell. Chill

for

several

hours before

serving.

www.OutreachNC.com


Aging Outreach Services

OutreachNC • May 2012 17

Make a habit of good posture

Sometime during your life, you’ve probably

been told to stand up or sit up straight. You

may have temporarily corrected yourself but,

in actuality, it takes conscious effort and practice to

achieve and maintain proper

posture.

First, experience what proper

posture feels like. Stand or sit

with your ears in line with your

shoulders and your shoulders

in line with your hips. Roll

your shoulders back and

Senior Fitness

down. Pull your abdominal

muscles in toward your

spine. Lift up through the

crown of your head as if a

cord is attached from the crown of your head to the

ceiling. And don’t forget to take long, full breaths,

inhaling and exhaling through the nose.

Now that you know what proper posture feels like,

make a concerted effort to check yourself throughout

the coming days when you’re driving in the car, sitting

in a waiting room or standing in line at the grocery

store. Make good posture a habit. You will reap

the healthful benefits to include better circulation,

enhanced breathing, improved concentration, less

muscle fatigue, strain and aches, improved image

(you’ll look thinner) and increased self-confidence.

You can also lower your blood pressure and promote

instant relaxation by learning this simple breathing

technique which can be done any time of day or night.

Begin by noticing your current breathing pattern. It

may be shallow and incomplete. Consciously deepen

your breath by filling your abdomen first. Then

expand your lungs completely like a balloon. Allow

your collarbones to lift slightly as you inhale. Hold

two seconds. Reverse the process as you exhale. Be

aware of your collarbones falling gently, your lungs

deflating and your abdomen sinking back toward the

spine. Repeat slowly four to five times. Give it a try,

and you’ll be glad you did.

Jones, a certified personal trainer at The Fitness Studio, can be

reached at (910) 445-1842 or trainer@thefitnessstudioinc.com.

Jones also teaches a 55+ focused, free exercise class on Tuesdays

from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at Aberdeen First Baptist Church, located at

700 North Sandhills Blvd., Aberdeen. All are welcome.

9th Annual

Regional Caregiver

Educational Conference

Presented by

The Enrichment Center of Lee County

Moore County Department of Aging

Wednesday, May 23

A one-day conference to address current trends in

Alzheimer’s care for family, community & professional caregivers.

Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center | 1801 Nash St | Sanford

8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Registration Required

Special Guest Speakers: Melanie Bunn, Dementia Training Specialist

& Dan Kaufer, Memory and Cognitive Disorders Program, UNC-Chapel Hill

(919) 776-0501 ext. 2230 | www.alznc.org

utreach NC

Navigating all your aging needs

www.OutreachNC.com


18 OutreachNC • May • May 2012

Give gift of good finanical advice to your graduates

It’s time for the Class of 2012 to jump into the next

stage of life—to earn their own salaries and pay

their own bills, and they could use your guidance.

For those who’ve been fairly independent during their

school years, this may not be a big transition. But for

others, managing finances may make entering the adult

world difficult.

Regardless of his or her circumstances, each graduate

is embarking on new challenges and setting new goals.

And one of the best gifts a graduate can receive is some

good financial advice to help get him or her started down

the right track.

Repaying student loans

Depending on how much money a graduate must

repay, managing student loans may seem impossible.

According to the College Board’s Trends in Student

Aid 2010 study, almost all students who earn four-year

degrees from private institutions graduate with debt.

Median debt levels range from $24,600 to $34,600.

Most federal loans offer six- or nine-month grace

periods before repayment must begin, but many private

loans do not. It is important to review loan documents

carefully to understand repayment options. If a graduate

anticipates difficulty in repaying loans, he or she should

contact lenders immediately to take advantage of possible

consolidation options or to work out an agreement to

defer payments.

Set up a budget

Now is the ideal time for graduates to put a realistic

budget in place. Several excellent online tools are

available to help, including mint.com and mymoney.gov. A

budget should cover all necessary expenses and should

take into consideration the following:

•Creating an emergency fund. This is by far the most

important part of a budget. The recommended safety

net is usually three months’ expenses. But in these

challenging economic times, a safety net of at least six

months’ expenses may be more appropriate. Though it

can be tough to build any type of safety net on an entrylevel

salary, it should be a priority.

• Building a nest egg. This is the best time to learn

a necessary lifelong habit—regardless of how little new

graduates may earn right out of school, they should save

some of it. Saving a small amount now can make a big

difference in the future since

the money has more time to

grow. A relatively pain-free

way to save is to contribute

to an employer-sponsored

401(k) plan, especially if the

employer offers a company

match. Putting aside a low

Money Matters

percentage at first is okay,

and the percentage can be

raised over time; just start now!

• Making sure social activities don’t break the bank.

This part of the budget is very different once young

people are paying for their own housing and food. It’s the

perfect way to learn to use a budget. Figure out what is

affordable, and stick to it.

Cleaning up the digital footprint

Graduate should google themselves to find out what

kind of information is easily accessible on the web.

There are two ways to manage an online presence.

First, new graduates should avoid conveying a negative

image on social websites like Facebook. Untagging or

deleting compromising photos and managing privacy

settings are good ideas, as is limiting what professional

friends can view. On the other hand, new graduates can

promote a positive online presence by registering on sites

like LinkedIn and Google Profiles, which are geared to

professional networking.

Keeping credit in good shape

Bad credit is hard to undo; it can limit a graduate’s

access to loans, lead to increased interest and insurance

rates and possibly prevent a candidate from getting hired.

The best advice for keeping credit under control is to

make payments on time and pay more than the minimum

if possible.

Graduates should also check their credit once a year

at each of the three major credit reporting agencies—

Equifax, Transunion, and Experian—to ensure that they

have not fallen victim to identity theft. They can do this

online at annualcreditreport.com.

Clement is a financial planner with Clement Capital

Group, offerering securities and advisory services as

an investment adviser representative of Commonwealth

Financial Network®, a member firm of FINRA/SIPC a

Registered Investment Advisor. She can be reached at

(910) 693-0032 or e-mail taylor@clementcapitalgroup.com.

www.OutreachNC.com


Literary Circle

Book Review: The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

I

always find it refreshing to switch back from today’s

action packed literature and read about a writer I

read as a child. Possibly no author is more endeared

to a woman reader than Louisa May Alcott, if the reader

read “Little Women.” “The Lost Summer of Louisa May

Alcott” gives those fans more of their beloved heroine.

The first chapter has this quote from “Little Women:”

“Don’t laugh at the spinsters, dear girls, for often very

tender, tragical romances are hidden away in the hearts

that beat so quietly under their sober gowns.”

We all have in our heads the descriptions of the author’s

destitute family: Bronson,

father, a Transcendentalist

philosopher and dreamer

who would rather talk than

work; his harried wife,

Marmee, overworked and

misguided caregiver who

has been brainwashed

about the necessity

f o r

g i v i n g

a w a y

o n e ’ s

worldly

g o o d s

to the

p o o r ,

and the

s i s t e r s ,

A n n a ,

L o u i s a ,

L i z z i e

and May, who complete

the close-knit clan.

In this book, the year is

1855, and the family has

just moved to Walpole, New

Hampshire for the summer,

thanks to the largess of a

relative who had an unused

house to spare. We learn

of Louisa’s frustration early

on, as her dream is to live

in Boston and write.She is

trapped at age 21 like her

sisters in the daily grind of

domesticity, sewing wornout

clothes, doing laundry,

picking apples, cooking

www.firsthealth.org/wound

www.OutreachNC.com

by Kelly O’Connor McNees

OutreachNC • May 2012 19

and cleaning.

She is determined to escape and

pursue her writing career. Obstacles

keep getting in her way. She

meets Joseph Singer. In spite of

her writing career and role in the

movement for women’s rights, she

falls for him, but situations prohibit

a romance. This book is romantic fiction.

Deep-down Healing

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again — we get to the source of the problem.

FirstHealth’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Centers use advanced technology

to successfully treat wounds that have previously resisted traditional

treatment. Healing wounds is what our physicians do.

Call (910) 715-5901 in Moore County or (910) 417-3636

in Richmond County for more information.

Book Review

Cos Barnes

1295-40-11


20 OutreachNC • May 2012

OutreachNC • May 2012

Photo by John Gessner

Retired Col. Vern Pike and his wife Renny of Pinehurst were married in 1958, at right, and

took part in the USO of North Carolina’s Marriage Vow Renewal Ceremony aboard the USS

North Carolina as part of the USO-NC’s 70th anniversary celebration. For more information

on the USO of North Carolina, contact (919) 840-3000 or visit www.uso-nc.org.

Ceremony honors service,

celebrates marriage

Editor’s note: For our 2012 issues, we are highlighting

an event or festval. I usually write about an something

forthcoming, but this one event seemed much too special

not to share. Since it was invitation only, it was an honor to

witness it, and I hope the importance of the event shines

through as we pause this month for Memorial Day.

Clouds moved in quickly over the USS North

Carolina battleship in Wilmington, but hopes

were high. A steady stream of couples dressed

to the nines, whether in uniform or not, filed in for

the USO of North Carolina’s Marriage Vow Renewal

Ceremony held March 31. This special ceremony was

part of the “USO–North Carolina 70th Anniversary-

Wilmington Celebrates” wrapping up a yearlong

commemoration of the milestone anniversary for the

nonprofit. The USO-NC’s unyielding service to the

state’s armed forces keeps them forever on duty.

Retired Col. Jeri Graham, the event chair responsible

for the idea of a vow renewal, had her hands full with

By Carrie Frye

Staff Writer

planning and preparation.

“A friend of mine had related to me how she organized

a marriage vow renewal ceremony when she was a Navy

chaplain’s wife at a base in Rhode Island. I had that idea

then in the back of my mind and thought that we could

do something special on the fantail of the USS North

Carolina,” explains Graham.

Talk of the event drew an overwhelming response,

initially surprising Graham.

“I was so impressed with how important this

opportunity was to so many families. I received many

phone calls with lovely stories of how their original

marriages often took place with a justice of the peace

prior to basic training or deployments. And this

same scenario was not a recent phenomenon. Every

generation had similar stories,” Graham recalls.

continued page 21

www.OutreachNC.com


OutreachNC • May 2012 21

“Many wanted to celebrate the years of marriage over

a military career with moves, frequent deployments and

the numerous challenges of keeping families growing

and together. Today’s military families have been faced

with many deployments over the past 10 years, which

is especially challenging to our service members. Folks

loved the idea that we would think enough of them that

we would plan this for them as couples. It was a great

opportunity for intergenerational sharing.”

Retired Col. Vern Pike of Pinehurst, a dedicated

volunteer for the USO-NC and chair of the 70th

anniversary committee, took Graham’s idea to heart.

“As you may have read in the newspapers lately,

young soldiers have experienced marital strain with

so many deployments and being away from home.

So this marriage vow renewal, in part, was to help

show youngsters that it is possible in marriage to

work through your problems, and the response was

incredible,” says Pike.

Pike and his wife Renny, married for 53 years, fully

embraced the idea of renewing their vows and being a

part of this intergenerational sharing.

“We were married at Fort Gordon Dec. 12, 1958. He

was a 2nd lieutenant, and I was still in school. There

was a blizzard in Georgia, which kept many of our

guests away, so it was a small wedding,” remembers

Renny. “We’ve always thought about renewing our vows

through the years.”

“And this is a unique event,” adds Pike.

The Pikes are no exception when it comes to facing

the challenges of being a military family raising three

sons. They are now quite content as grandparents and

USO-NC volunteers.

“I did two tours in Vietnam and a tour in Granada, but

the highs far outweigh the lows,” says Pike, who was

stationed with his young family in Germany from 1959

to 1962 and again from 1975 to 1983.

“Those were our happiest years as a family. The

military gave us the opportunity to travel. We’ve

traveled all over Europe, and it gave our sons a nice

international background in addition to being military

brats,” adds Renny.

With all the details of the ceremony itself put in place

by Graham and her hardworking team of volunteers,

the Pikes only had to decide what to wear. With the USS

North Carolina as the ceremony venue, Renny chose a

pant suit, as was the recommendation since wind could

be a factor.

“I can’t quite get in my uniform anymore,” Pike says

with a quick grin.

continued page 22

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22

Photos by John Gessner

OutreachNC • May 2012

OutreachNC • May 2012

continued from page 21

A dapper couple, the colonel in his gray suit donning his mini

medals, the Pikes joined 87 other military couples aboard the

USS North Carolina to renew their vows.

The battleship, too, was all decked out and adorned with

sheer white garland gathered with roses forming the aisle

leading up to the fantail. Couples received programs, red

carnation boutonnieres for the gentlemen and long-stemmed

roses for the ladies. The only unfortunate guest in attendance

was Mother Nature with a drenching rain.

When a window of blue sky appeared through the clouds, the

couples headed for the fantail, where they were greeted by a

bagpiper. When the skies opened yet again, Graham decided

the ceremony had to go on regardless.

Under the cover of umbrellas, couples faced each other as

the heavens poured down, however, it is said that rain on a

wedding day is good fortune. After the honors were paid to

God and country, Chaplain and retired Cmdr. Glenn Miller of

Pinehurst led the ceremony.

As if time stood still and weather was of no consequence,

vows spoken in love were the only sounds aboard the

battleship. Tears flowed like the rain from the eyes of wives

and husbands. Afterwards, wedding doves were released as

the rain waned. The ceremony concluded with a toast by Col.

Pike and the cutting of the ornately decorated wedding cake.

“No one will ever forget the closeness that everyone felt

during this very special and meaningful ceremony. There wasn’t

a dry eye in the place,” says Graham, who was forced to deal

with the inclement weather.

Couples married from a few weeks to 68 years stood together

aboard the battleship.

“It was especially wonderful to have such a blend of

generations present. I believe that younger couples could gain

support and insight by seeing couples married for decades

by sharing this day. The Pikes are a great example of sharing

a great career and then continuing to give back by being so

involved in organizations that make a difference in the lives of

service members and their families, past, present and future,”

says Graham.

It was a day to celebrate marriage and recognize the efforts

and anniversary of the USO-NC rain or shine.

“Marriage is a permanent thing. This is a reaffirmation of our

being together as long as we have,” says Pike.

“Since we’ve been married 53 years,” adds Renny, “it was high

time to ensure we have the next 50.”

To view the online photo gallery of the

USO-NC Marriage Vow Renewal Cermony, visit

www.outreachnc.com and click Photo Gallery.

www.OutreachNC.com


www.OutreachNC.com

OutreachNC • May 2012 23


24 OutreachNC • May 2012

A

new treatment now being offered by pain

specialists and neurosurgeons at FirstHealth

Moore Regional Hospital takes the management

of chronic back and/or leg pain to a more individualized

level.

The AdaptiveStim with RestoreSensor

neurostimulation system is the only chronic pain

treatment that provides pain relief by automatically

adapting stimulation levels to the patient’s individual

needs.

“This system uses the motion sensor technology

found in smart phones and computer gaming systems

to recognize and recall the correlation between a

change in body position and the level of stimulation

the patient needs,” says Brian Thwaites, M.D. of the

FirstHealth Back & Neck Pain Center. “It also records and

stores the frequency of posture changes, which helps us

understand how the patient’s stimulation requirements

change.”

An estimated 115 million Americans suffer from

chronic pain. For some, the problem is so severe that it

affects the way they live their daily lives, interfering with

work as well as with social and physical activity.

Neurostimulation systems include an implantable

device that is used with a handheld patient programmer

to keep pain signals from reaching the brain. Before the

use of the AdaptiveStim with RestoreSensor device,

however, patients often complained that even a

simple change in body position – such as sitting up or

lying down – could cause a change in the intensity of

stimulation as the spinal cord moved closer or farther

away from the stimulation site.

When this occurred, patients had to use the wireless

programmer to adjust their stimulation levels as they

moved.

The motion sensor technology of the AdaptiveStim

with RestoreSensor device automatically adapts

stimulation levels to the specific needs of the patient. The

system also recognizes and remembers the correlation

between the change in body position and the level of

required stimulation.

Patients receiving a neurostimulation device undergo

an extensive education process that includes a oneweek

trial to determine if they are suitable candidates for

a permanent implant. At Moore Regional, the trials are

conducted by three pain specialists with the FirstHealth

Back & Neck Pain Center: James Winkley, M.D., Paul

Kuzma, M.D. and Dr. Thwaites. The surgical implants are

done by Bruce Jaufmann, M.D., a neurosurgeon with

Carolina Neurosurgical Services.

The implanted devices are placed under the skin

of the abdomen, and the coated wire leads are

inserted under the skin and into the spinal canal.

The procedure is typically done as an outpatient

procedure involving a local anesthetic. The patient is

usually awake but sedated.

“This system is recognized as an effective treatment

for patients whose chronic pain has not responded to

other therapies,” says Dr. Jaufmann. “It provides a new

option to help manage their pain while allowing

them to return to their normal activities.”

Neurostimulation therapy has been

available for more than three decades, but

the technology, especially in the size of the

generator and batteries, has greatly improved

throughout the years. The generators are

small, about the size of a pacemaker, while

batteries are about the size of a silver dollar

and last for several years.

www.OutreachNC.com

Hospital Health

Pain specialists offer new therapy

For more information on the FirstHealth Back

& Neck Pain Center or on the AdaptiveStim

with RestoreSensor neurostimulation system,

call (910) 715-1478.


Hospital Health

OutreachNC • May 2012 25

Gastroenterologist joins Scotland Health Care

Scotland Health Care System announces

the opening of Scotland Gastroenterology

and welcomes Dr. Sebastian Abadie,

gastroenterologist.

Dr. Abadie completed medical

school, residency in internal medicine,

and a gastroenterology fellowship in

his native country of Argentina before

relocating to the United States.

Following the completion of his

training in Argentina, as well as

the U.S. Medical License Exams,

he began the internal medicine

internship and residency program at

Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville. At the

end of those three years, he spent another year as

a clinical instructor in gastroenterology at the same

institution. Lastly, he completed a three-year clinical

gastroenterology fellowship at MetroHealth Medical

Center in Cleveland, Ohio. After his gastroenterology

fellowship, Dr. Abadie joined a four-physician practice

in Sanford prior to his move to Laurinburg.

Dr. Abadie is also proficient in several languages.

“I started learning English as a child in elementary

school. I’m fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and

speak a little bit of Italian. I believe my language skills

will be an asset to my practice and patients here. I am

committed to offering the best quality of clinical care for

my patients,” says Dr. Abadie.

For more information, contact Scotland

Gastroenterology at (910) 277-4410. The practice is

located at 205 Lauchwood Drive in Laurinburg.

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www.OutreachNC.com


26 OutreachNC • May 2012

One of my favorite local lettuce varieties this spring

has been Speckled Mountain Trout Lettuce from

David’s Produce in Ellerbe. One of the great

things about the farm to table trend is the variety of fruits

and vegetables being produced and readily accessible.

Lettuce is a great example. There are basically six types

of lettuce: butter head, Chinese, crispy head, loose-leaf,

romaine and summer crisp. In North Carolina, many

farmers grow butter head (Green Haven Hydroponic

Plant Farm in Carthage), loose-leaf and romaine (David’s

Produce) and other varieties across the region.

May is National Salad Month. Think of lettuce as a base

for some amazing spring salads. Lettuce is a natural and

fresh food that has all kinds of vitamins, minerals and

fiber. Lettuce has 247 percent of your recommended daily

amount of vitamin A, 147 percent of vitamin K, 10 percent

of iron, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If lettuce is

the canvas, you can be the artist and create a great side

dish or a meal in itself.

As a child, I can remember my mother attempting to

grow her own lettuce and thinking it tasted like crunchy

green water and dirt (make sure to wash it), but over time

I grew to like it. You can easily grow your own in a small

planter or garden box. You will taste the difference; it is

nothing like grocery store iceberg.

Build your salad wisely, and add in other fruits and

vegetables. If you want to make a meal, add a lean

protein like grilled chicken, fish or lean beef. Play with

texture; add nuts, sprouts or raw vegetables for a crunch,

sautéed onions or peppers for savory flavors and fresh

berries for sweetness. Consider a creamy goat cheese

or tangy feta for additional calcium. Your choices are

endless!

The one pitfall many of us fall into is the dressing.

Many store-bought dressings are loaded with fat, sugar,

sodium and hydrogenated oils. Read the labels and

consider making your own. With all of the flavors in your

salad, you can use a basic olive oil, vinegar, Dijon, lemon

juice and salt and pepper to make a vinaigrette.

Celebrate salad!

Speckled Mountain

Trout Lettuce

& Tuna Salad with

Strawberry Vinaigrette

2 cups Speckled Mountain

Trout Lettuce (or any variety)

1 piece grilled Ahi or Yellow Fin Tuna (4 to 6 oz.)

4 spears grilled or blanched asparagus

½ cup fresh strawberries (diced)

1/8 cup toasted almonds (for topping)

1/8 cup crumbled goat cheese (or any cheese)

Makes 1 serving, double for two. Wash lettuce

thoroughly and pat dry. Layer the lettuce in the bottom of

your bowl or plate and top with grilled tuna, asparagus,

strawberries, and goat cheese. Sprinkle with toasted

almonds and drizzle dressing over the top.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tsp. lemon juice

¼ cup smashed strawberries

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Salt & pepper to taste

¼ cup olive oil

Morris, owner of Rhett’s

Restaurant, can be reached

at (910) 695-3663.

Cooking Simple

Rhett Morris

Combine first five

ingredients in a

small mixing bowl,

and slowly whisk in

your olive oil until

well blended.

www.OutreachNC.com


May I always...

OutreachNC • May 2012 27

As I pause a moment to take a breath, I see so

much beauty this spring season. The grass

seems greener. The trees are fuller. Color has

sprung up everywhere I look, and even when pollen fills

the air, the beauty around us abounds. May is indeed a

month of renewed energy

and of many reminders of

the powerful presence of

God’s love.

We celebrate both

Mother’s Day and Memorial

Day this month. Taking the

time to celebrate these days

Spirituality & Aging can remind us of so much.

Through the gift of life, our

mothers provided the way

for our physical presence

here in this world. And through the gift of their lives, many

service men and women have protected our country and

made freedom possible. There are so many ways to say

thank you for all we have been given that we may never

say thank you enough.

One thing we may do is to live the life we are given with

some renewed energy of our own. As difficult a task as

this feels to be at times, I believe when we are able to

give attention, however slight, to anything, we then begin

to provide energy to what we see. That energy may be

positive or negative or in-between the two. Nevertheless,

there is an impact. This requires a shift in the way we

think about life.

I know that when someone looks at me and smiles, I

feel lifted up. If I am being yelled at, I tense up. And when

someone is looking for me, I begin to recognize I am not

alone and that in some way I make a difference in the life

of the one looking. We are somehow, always renewing

energy whether we recognize it or not. Embracing this

awareness and becoming part of it provides renewal

both to us and those around us.

Recently, I received an e-mail with a list of “will-nevers.”

The list played on the idea of putting your best face

forward in what you do. Rather than focusing on what I will

never do, I want to focus on what I may always do.

May I always receive the gift of life? May I always

recognize those who serve others? May I always

remember to say thank you for all I am given? May I

always look to see the powerful presence of the love of

God? May I always every day pause a moment to take a

breath? May I? May you? May we together? That would

be a beautiful thing.

Hudson, Senior Development Officer at The Foundation of

FirstHealth in Pinehurst, can be reached at (910) 695-7500 or

phudson@firsthealth.org.

www.OutreachNC.com

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28 OutreachNC • May 2012

Hardest times easier when “Side by Side”

A

line from a song by John Lennon and Paul

McCartney from 1967 sums up my thoughts

on friendship: “I get by with a little help from

my friends.” How true. I can’t imagine going through a

difficult situation without help from my friends. The other

day I had the opportunity to help a client transition from

his home and move out of state. As with any of us who

are making big changes, there were anxieties and fear.

Moving is hard for any of us at any age. I often think it

gets harder the longer we’ve lived in one place.

There is no way he could have managed the packing,

getting medical records together and organizing for the

move out of state alone. I was honored to help. For two

weeks prior to the move, we diligently sorted items. We

scheduled doctor appointments to gather medical records

and worked with his family out-of-state to facilitate

the transfer of information to his new assisted living

residence.

My client was melancholy as we loaded up my car and

turned the key in the lock of his home for the last time.

He saw the tree in bloom that he and his wife had planted

when they moved in. His eyes filled with tears as we

pulled out of the driveway. He had recently lost his wife,

so this move was even more painful alone.

It was starting to rain outside, and I said that it was

perfect weather to say goodbye, that even Mother Nature

was shedding tears knowing of his pain. I wasn’t sure how

the next hour or so were going to be. I was very grateful

that I have satellite radio in my car, and I found

myself choosing the familiar 40’s on 4 station

as our backdrop. The best investment I ever

made was continuing my radio subscription.

It has helped in the most difficult of situations.

The day of the move required a drive to the

Raleigh-Durham International Airport and a

hand-off of suitcases and documents to the

devoted family member, who had flown down

to escort him on the journey to his new home.

As we headed north on U.S. 1 from

Pinehurst, various

songs played. He

poured out stories

and memories of

seeing certain bands

on the Steel Pier, his

opinion on singers

and genres and a

mixture of emotions.

During one song, he

kept rhythm by hitting

www.OutreachNC.com

his knee and on a sweet ballad,

tears again rolled down his

face.

We laughed at the silly

images from “Swinging on a

Star” and picked on each other

when we forgot various lyrics.

By the time we hit Interstate

40 westbound, we were

having a great time. As we

neared the airport exit and as

if on cue, the song “Side by

Sentimental Journey

Jennifer George

Side” by the Gene Krupa Orchestra with Anita O’Day on

vocals from 1942 came on the radio.

“Oh! We ain’t got a barrel of money; maybe we’re

ragged and funny. But we travel along, singing a song,

side by side. Don’t know what’s comin’ tomorrow; maybe

it’s trouble and sorrow, but we’ll travel along, sharin’ our

load, side by side. Through all kinds of weather, what

if the sky should fall? Just as long as we’re together, it

doesn’t really matter at all. When they’ve all had their

quarrels and parted, we’ll be just the same as we started.

Just traveling along, singin’ a song, side by side.”

Life is sometimes hard, and we often face challenges.

May you always have someone by your side to share

your burdens and your joy.

Contact Jennifer George to share music memories at

jenniferg@aoscaremanagement.com.


It’s time to play

Tell me if this has ever happened to you when

you’re playing a game of bridge at home.

The cards have been dealt, and you’re talking

amongst yourselves when after a short period of time,

someone finally wakes up and asks, “Who’s bid is it?”,

and I bet nine times out of ten, the person who asks the

question IS the person who’s turn it is to bid.

The same can be said of “Who’s lead is it?” or “Is it my

lead?” We all know that the auction is over after a bid is

followed by three passes, but certain procedure needs

to be followed before the opening lead is made to

prevent an irregularity.

The rule about asking

for a review is pretty

simple. You can ask for

one when it is your FIRST

opportunity to play. If

you’re the opening leader,

you can ask for one prior

to your opening lead.

If you’re the declarer,

you can ask for a review

before your FIRST play

from dummy. If you’re the

partner of the opening

leader, you may ask for

the review prior to the

FIRST play of your card.

After your FIRST play, you

may not ask for a review.

During the play of the

hand, it is very important

for everyone to play in the

proper order, and even

more important to not

detach (or finger a card in

your hand) until it is your

turn to play. Consider a

finesse that a declarer

needs to decide whether

or not to take. You are

then the last person to

play and have detached

the card and put it face

down on the table in front

of you. If the declarer is

watching, this would

Miles W. Whitaker, MD

Sanford

1816 doctors dr

919.774.8631

mean that the finesse is working

—since you would be playing that

card regardless of the decision that

declarer made.

Bridge is a logical game. Cards

should be played in tempo and

played from your hand in the proper

order. Remember, a card laid is a

card played!

www.OutreachNC.com

Dressing of Nancy’s Game in

Southern Pines, can be reached by

e-mailing nancy@dressing.org.

OutreachNC • May 2012 29

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30 OutreachNC • May 2012

OutreachNC • May 2012

A Marine Remembers

the Battle of Iwo Jima

George Cattelona, a member of the 5th

Marine Division, traveled with Military

Tours in March to Hawaii, Guam and

Iwo Jima after his friends at Alzheimers

North Carolina utilized social media to

raise funds to make the trip possible.

In December 1944, a young and

combat green Marine, George

Cattelona, and the 5th Marine

Division were told by their first sergeant that they

would make history. They didn’t believe it until their

days at the Battle of Iwo Jima. Serving his country

and witnessing the horrors of war, Cattelona, 87,

remembers the battle well.

The Fifth Division left the continental United

States and went to Hilo, Hawaii, where they were

trained for invasion.

“We just had to get through the day. There was

nothing romantic about it. No leave, we just trained and

did maneuvers and got ready,” says Cattelona.

As the Marines boarded a ship leaving Hawaii, they

soon realized Iwo Jima, an island of the Japanese

Volcano Islands chain, would be their destination.

By Christine Lakhani

Special to OutreachNC

“We left Pearl Harbor in a convoy, and

as we sailed towards Iwo Jima, we kept

picking up more ships and more men.

We ended up with three divisions of Marines for the

battle,” recalls Cattelona.

The first wave landed 45 days before actually going

onto the island. There were about 800 ships surrounding

Iwo Jima, three divisions of Marines and all the supplies

necessary for the operation.

The battle started with aerial bombardment, which

continued every day for 74 days, but the biggest problem

was the enemy underground in tunnels and caves.

“Tunnels were interwoven into the island. It allowed

for enemy soldiers to pop up in front of you or behind

you,” explains Cattelona.

Cattelona was a forward observer for his battery.

continued page 31

www.OutreachNC.com


“The first time going up, we joined

forces with another forward observer

team – 16 men with two officers. We

stopped for a minute or less, and in

that time frame, a mortar landed in

our midst. One dead, 10 wounded,

five walked away. My left canteen

had a four-inch slit where a piece of

shrapnel went through it. My poncho

was over my gun belt and shrapnel

went through it, right between by

legs but never touched me. After that, we went through

a command position that had been hit by mortar

rounds, and to my right was a Marine with his feet in the

air and the top of his body blown away.”

Cattelona continues, “Our radio man almost cracked

up. I had to yell at him to get moving.”

The group continued in their advance to relieve their

fellow forward observer team who was waiting. These

horrific events of war all happened in Cattelona’s first

day on the island.

“On the second day, I was fixing my foxhole for

the evening, and to my left rear, a hand grenade or

small mortar landed, and a small piece of shrapnel

went into the muscle of my left arm and one into my

helmet. The hole that was left I could fit my pinkie

through. My helmet was tossed around on my head,”

remembers Cattelona.

OutreachNC • May 2012 31

Yet another close call occurred on

his second trip to the front lines. While

preparing to set up a forward observer

spot to look at the enemy, a cannon

was fired at his mound.

“Everybody said, ‘Get down! Get

down!’ They kept firing at the mound

until we were all down, but no one

was hurt that time, just scared,” says

Cattelona.

All in all, Cattelona made five trips to the front line

with the artillery, for a total of 14 days out of his 28 on

the island.

When it was over, there was no more organized

resistance, and the island was secure. With the 5th

Division’s high rate of casualties, they were sent back to

Hilo to regroup and prepare to be a part of the invasion

of Okinawa.

“We got replacements and started training to get

the division back to full strength. We trained until

they dropped the atomic bomb. In the middle of the

night, the guard on duty started shouting, ‘Japan has

surrendered! Japan has surrendered!’ I firmly believe

that if Japan had waited three weeks, we would have

been on the high seas going to them,” says Cattelona.

continued page 32

3 Moore County Locations: Pinehurst, Carthage & Southern Pines

Call 910.295.2124 today!

www.OutreachNC.com


32 OutreachNC • May 2012

continued from page 31

After the surrender, the division went into occupation

at Sasebo, Japan for 10 months.

“This was the outskirts of Nagasaki (site of the bomb

drop), but I had no desire to go see what happened,”

he says.

Cattelona finally returned to the U.S. in July 1946

to Camp Lejeune, which is where he met his wife

Norma, who he calls “a Carolina girl.” They settled

in Durham in the summer of 1947. After working

as a cabinetmaker, Cattelona started a career in life

insurance that eventually brought him to Raleigh.

His memories of the war never left him. Ten years

ago, he started sharing his story by giving talks at

libraries, schools and civic groups, in addition to being

a member of the Wake Forest Air, Land NC Marine

Corps League.

Cattelona began volunteering with Alzheimers North

Carolina (ALZNC) when Norma was diagnosed with the

disease. Since her passing, he continues to volunteer

with the organization, working at health fairs, sharing

his experience with the disease and helping any other

way he can.

Now, Cattelona is the “No. 1” volunteer at ALZNC,

according to Lisa Levine, program director, and Dee

Dee Harris, family service director. Their working

relationship quickly turned into a close friendship.

On Cattelona’s birthday, 11/11/11, the three friends

were celebrating when he mentioned a return to

Iwo Jima was the one thing he wanted to do. Due to

the slow housing market, his house had not sold as

planned and funds for the trip were lacking. A return

trip to the island had been a reoccurring topic during

Cattelona’s years as a volunteer, so both Levine and

Harris knew what the trip would mean to him. They

decided then and there to somehow make his return

trip a reality and set forth on their mission.

“We just looked at each other at that moment and

knew what we had to do,” says Harris.

They had to send this veteran back for one more look,

no matter the cost. Levine and Harris hoped the trip

would give Cattelona the answers he was still seeking.

“He had always said, ‘I was hoping I could see where I

was so lucky and maybe I could find out why. All these

years, I wondered why I got so lucky,’” recalls Harris.

The two friends used social media to get the word

out and set up a “chip in” page to allow people to

donate to cover the cost of the trip. Harris and Levine

not only planned for Cattelona to go but also his friend

www.OutreachNC.com

Lisa Levine, left, and Dee Dee Harris were there at the airport to

welcome George Cattelona home from his trip.

and fellow Marine, Ray Gerald. Gerald served with the

8th Marine regiment in 1958 on their mission to Beirut,

Lebanon and wanted to be a part of his friend’s dream

to return.

Through donations, Levine and Harris collected

money from over 70 people from all over the country.

“We knew we had to send him no matter what we

raised, but we were blessed to raise all the money,”

says Levine.

The trip, taken through Military Tours in March, took

the Marines to Hawaii, Guam and Iwo Jima.

Cattelona was amazed by the changes in Iwo Jima.

New grass stretched from one end of the island to the

other, changing the look completely. He regards the

trip, which included a close-up look at a B-52, meeting

other members of the tour and learning more about

the various battles in the Pacific, as a resounding

success.

Cattelona notes that returning to the island and

discussing his experience in the war did not bother

him, and that in fact, “At times, it helps to talk about it.”

Levine and Harris saw Cattelona and Gerald off and

then greeted them upon their return with USO-NC

members and the staff of ALZNC. Cattelona returned

with some of the island’s famous black sand and pins,

which commemorate the battle.

“We felt honored to be a part of this. The men got on

the plane an 85- or 90-year-old, and got off an 18-yearold,”

she says.

Levine concluded that the variety of the schedule

as well as the camaraderie of the group helped the

soldiers reliving the battle.

Harris fully agrees adding, “This was a joy for us and

a highlight for him. It is something we felt humbled to

be a part of, something we’ll never forget. We got to

help make George’s dream come true.”


OutreachNC • May 2012 33

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34 OutreachNC • May 2012

There are a few things you can do to specifically ward off

memory loss. Most importantly, EXERCISE YOUR BRAIN!

HOW TO PLAY

SUDOKU:

• Every row of

9 numbers must

include all digits

1 through 9

• Every column

of 9 numbers

must include all

digits 1 through 9

• Every 3 by 3

subsection of the

9 by 9 square

must include all

digits 1 through 9

Grey Matter

See Grey Matter Puzzle Answers on Page 36

Across

1. Mercury and Mars

5. Half a dozen

8. Birch relative

13. ___-American

14. The “O” in S.R.O.

15. 1/100th rupee

16. Negative vote

18. Certain tribute

19. Reserve supply

20. Bauxite, e.g.

22. Caribbean, e.g.

23. Addis Ababa’s land:

Abbr.

24. Breastplates

26. Atlanta-based

station (acronym)

27. Recombine audio

tracks

29. Bad day for Caesar

30. Mozart’s “L’___ del

Cairo”

31. One stroke over par

33. Young raptor

36. ___ baseball (2 wds)

38. Puddinglike dessert

40. “Ciao!”

41. 30-day mo.

42. Blockhead

44. Stagger

48. “20,000 Leagues”

harpooner ___ Land

49. Mexican American

51. Victorian, for one

52. Anger

53. Appetite

54. Additions to usual

pay

56. Caterpillar, for one

58. Morse code device

60. Saved on supper,

perhaps (2 wds)

61. Barely gets, with

“out”

62. On the safe side, at

sea

63. Appears

64. ___ gestae

65. Amount to make do

with

Down

1. Gossip

2. Recently (2 wds)

3. Unit of apothecary

volume

4. Hit

5. Having more rough

protuberances

6. “___ say!”

(contraction)

7. Wood sugar

8. ___-ski

9. ___-tzu

10. Dilation of heart

chambers

11. Core

12. Knock (hyphenated)

14. Double-reed

woodwind

17. Loud electric horns

21. Something done to

restore a broken chair

25. Excellent in all

respects

28. Wading birds with

long slender downcurved

bills

32. Faust author

34. Everlasting

35. Expert

36. Victim of homicide

37. Food

38. Strong light brown

paper (pl.)

39. Run

43. Coldest season

45. Flea market deal

46. Breakfast order

47. Character preceding

a number (pl.)

49. A primary subtractive

color for light (pl.)

50. Denials

55. ___-Altaic languages

57. Animation

59. Barely get, with “out”

www.OutreachNC.com


OutreachNC • May 2012 35

1-888-206-2392

ADG117.

www.OutreachNC.com


36 OutreachNC • May 2012

Most telephone numbers you

see in movies and books

start with the prefix 555.

If you are old enough to remember

“Klondike 5” or “Klamath 5,” they were

used in the early motion pictures in

the phone number prefix. There are

real numbers with the prefix 555, but

numbers 555-0100 through 555-0199

are specifically reserved for fictional

use and used to prevent prank calls to

legitimate numbers.

There are many more interesting

tidbits about our phone system that

more people should know about and

use to their advantage. Three of

the most helpful, and least utilized,

features of our current phone

system are: Call Forwarding,

Anonymous Call Rejection and

Selective Call Rejection. Each of

these features is often available at

no additional cost to consumers and

is routinely included in your phone service.

Using these features alone can increase your safety and

reduce your risk of becoming a victim of crime.

Call Forwarding allows you to program your phone

by simply pressing a predestinated code such as *72

(the code will be different between providers) and then

entering the phone number you would like your calls

automatically forwarded to. If your home has been

targeted by burglars, a common tactic is for a criminal to

Make most of unused phone features

Grey Matter Answers

first call the target home to see

if the resident is home. If your

calls are forwarded, the risk of

this type of attack is reduced

since there is no indication to

the caller on the other end that

the call has been forwarded.

Consumer Beware

The appearance generated is

that you are home.

Anonymous Call Rejection allows to you set up your

phone, which has “Caller ID” to reject an incoming call

from anyone who has blocked their identity and who

would appear as “anonymous” on your phone’s LCD

screen. Blocked callers hear a message that instructs

them to remove their blocking and call back. The caller

must first disable their anonymous setting so their

information will appear for you to see. Again, a simple

code such as *82 must be dialed by the caller before

dialing your number for the call to go through. Since the

majority of telemarketers and fraudsters use computer

automated dialing systems, which cannot decipher the

blocked call and redial it with the correct access code,

the call is never completed.

Selective Call Rejection allows you to program your

phone to reject calls from a particular number. The

blocked callers hear a computer-generated message

that says you are presently not accepting calls. This is

an extremely useful tool if you frequently receive calls

from the same number over and over. Most phone plans

allow you to block up to 12 different numbers.

Our telephone has many other features that can be

used to our advantage such as Call Return, Speed

Dialing (for emergency

situations), VIP Alerts or

Busy Redial. Since you most

likely are already paying for

many of these features, take

advantage of what the phone

can do to protect you. Check

with your telephone provider

to learn what features are

available to you as they will

vary among providers.

For additional information,

contact the Community

Services Unit of the Southern

Pines Police Department at

(910) 692-2732, ext. 2852.

www.OutreachNC.com


What is SHIIP and how does it work?

Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program

(SHIIP) is a consumer information division of the

North Carolina Department of Insurance that

assists people with Medicare,

Medicare Part D, Medicare

supplements, Medicare

Advantage and long-term

care insurance questions.

SHIIP also helps people

recognize and prevent

Medicare billing errors and

Medicare Update

possible fraud and abuse

through its NCSMP Program.

SHIIP provides education and

assistance to North Carolinians in three ways:

by operating a nationwide toll-free consumer

• information phone line Monday through Friday

from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

by training volunteers, including senior citizens,

• to counsel Medicare beneficiaries within their

community about Medicare, Medicare Part D, Medicare

supplements, Medicare Advantage and long-term care

insurance.

by creating educational materials for consumers’

• use including the Medicare Supplement

Comparison Guide and featuring a Medicare

Supplement Premium Comparison Database on their

web site (www.ncshiip.com).

The program was founded in 1986 by the N.C.

Department of Insurance in direct response to the

growing concerns about health insurance for the

more than one million Medicare beneficiaries in North

Carolina. Numerous insurance companies sell Medicare

supplements, Medicare Advantage, long-term care

insurance and other medical insurance products to

people in North Carolina. Because there are so many

companies and because the Medicare system is so

complex, SHIIP was founded to provide people with

Medicare an objective information service.

You can contact SHIIP by dialing the nationwide

toll-free consumer number, 1-800-443-9354, visiting

the SHIIP web site, www.ncshiip.com, or e-mailing

ncshiip@ncdoi.gov. Trained SHIIP volunteer counselors

are available in all 100 counties of North Carolina. If

your problem is too complex to handle over the phone,

you can contact your local SHIIP Coordinator.

Sherman, program coordinator at the Moore County Senior

Enrichment Center, can be reached at (910) 215-0900 or

jsherman@moorecountync.gov.

www.OutreachNC.com

OutreachNC • May 2012 37

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does not apply to any other sale.

one coupon per day.

must have coupon for discount to apply.

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38 OutreachNC • May 2012

Down home with

bestselling author

Mary Kay Andrews

By Carrie Frye

Staff Writer

From her office in her 1925

craftsman bungalow home

near Atlanta, “New York Times

“bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews

creates works of fiction to keep her

readers turning pages. Her latest

novel, “Spring Fever,” set in North

Carolina in the fictional town of

Passcoe, debuts on store shelves

and e-readers next month with a

kickoff book tour signing at Quail

Ridge Books in Raleigh June 6.

“The books are entirely works of my

imagination with no real connection to

the real Moore County, but Passcoe

could be near Southern Pines,” says

Andrews, 57.

Having previously lived in Raleigh,

Andrews is no stranger to North

Carolina. She makes an annual trip

to Weymouth Center for the Arts and

Humanities and home of the N.C.

Literary Hall of Fame in Southern Pines

with her writers’ club for a week’s stay

dedicated to honing her craft.

“Weymouth is peaceful and quiet.

It really works its magic for us,” says

Andrews. “We write all day and then

brainstorm and play word games at

night. You have never played Scrabble

until you have played with a bunch of

writers,” she quips.

That sense of humor and her Southern

characters bring her books to life.

continued page 39

Photos by Sara Speert Photography ©2012, saraphotography.com

“New York Times” bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews, in her office of her

Atlanta home, is already busy working on her next book while preparing for

the June 5 release of her latest, “Spring Fever” in time to kick off the summer

reading season. A special book pre-sale offer is available for readers on the

author’s website, www.marykayandrews.com. Andrews kicks off her book

tour for “Spring Fever” with a signing at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh on

Wednesday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m.

www.OutreachNC.com


OutreachNC • May 2012 39

“What I really write about is home, the search for

home and what home means,” she explains of her

books, which are often called women’s fiction or

beach books, with titles like “Savannah Blues,” “The

Fixer Upper,” “Deep Dish” and “Summer Rental.”

“Basically I write about real people in real situations.”

Writing this genre since 2002, Mary Kay Andrews

is actually a pseudonym derived from her children’s

names, her daughter Mary Kathleen and son Andrew.

“I wasn’t even thinking about the cosmetics

company,” she says with a laugh. “And I am not

going to sell you any blush.”

Andrews began her writing career in journalism

working for for several newspapers. She transitioned

to writing mystery novels, publishing 10 novels in the

Callahan Garrity series. These books were critically

acclaimed and published under her real name, Kathy

Hogan Trocheck. She answers to both names now

and writes her books to please herself, her editor

and most importantly, her fans.

“Most of the time, I’m like everybody else,” says

Andrews. “I roll out of bed and prop up the laptop

with pillows and write. I try to make myself think

about plot points. But lately, I’m on a new health kick.

I have lost 45 pounds by walking and with healthy,

sensible eating. So now, I get out of bed, get in my

walking clothes, walk and then settle down to write.”

And just as dieting takes discipline, so does the

craft of writing.

“I may give myself a quota and say, ‘You’re

not getting up until you write a thousand words.’

You have to play little tricks with yourself to stay

Mary Kay Andrews is known for her beach books or women’s

fiction that feature settings in the Outer Banks,

Savannah, Tybee Island, and for her

latest book “Spring Fever,”

the fictional

small town of

Passcoe, N.C.

motivated,” she says.

Interacting with fans and readers is quite important

to Andrews, too. She maintains her website,

newsletter and social media.

“The quarterly newsletter has a recipe, so the

next one will have a Quixie recipe,” which is the

soft drink similar to Cheerwine featured in “Spring

Fever.” “I think to myself, ‘I should be writing this

book, but I have to fix ribs,’” says Andrews with a

gleam in her eyes.

She is quick with posts to her Facebook as well.

“If I have a question, I put it out on Facebook. I

have asked, ‘You are a woman in the South, so what

kind of gun do you have?’ And those answers were

scary,” says Andrews laughing. “I love social media.

It is a time suck, but it creates immediacy and allows

readers to get to know me, my little sassy self. I want

them to feel like they know me.”

Andrews’ readership seems to like what they are

reading, and they show it by putting her books on

the bestsellers list.

“My book “Hissy Fit” is a sentimental favorite

for me, because it was my first “New York Times”

bestseller. I still remember sitting on the porch of

my house in Raleigh on St. Mary’s Street when my

editor called and told me. I started crying. I called

my mom and dad to tell them the news. They were

crying. They were so thrilled. When I was a little girl,

I always dreamed of being a writer,” recalls Andrews.

When Andrews isn’t writing, she is fulfilling her

other roles of wife, mother, grandmother, book club

member and leader of her “junk posse,” which is

always in search of interesting vintage items.

continued

page 40

www.OutreachNC.com


40 OutreachNC • May 2012

continued from page 39

“I’m a collector/hoarder,”

jokes Andrews. “I like old,

funky signs. I never know what

I’m looking for. I just found

a vintage ice cream sign,

and it is going to the Breeze

Inn,” which is Andrew’s beach

home on Tybee Island, Ga.

named for a locale in her book,

“Savannah Breeze.”

She re-sells many of her finds

at her shop, Seaside Sisters,

on Tybee Island. Other finds

are on display in her Atlanta

home, creating a welcoming,

cottage feel. Andrews moves

the laptop around to where

she is most inspired to write,

her office upstairs overlooking

the lush backyard and her

husband’s raised garden beds,

the sunroom off her living room or outside.

“Sometimes I sit on the front porch with ‘Summer

in a Glass.’ It’s pink grapefruit juice, vodka and

lime with maybe a little tonic. It’s like Mayberry with

cocktails,” she says and notes that neighbors drop

by to say hello and see what she is working on.

There is also plenty of family time for making

Sunday dinners.

“I’m just so lucky to have the kids and grandkids

close by and blessed to be able to do this (writing

books),” she says.

For Andrews, family has always and still does

come first. She worked full-time as a newspaper

reporter while writing her first mystery novel.

Photo by Sara Speert Photography ©2012, saraphotography.com

Mary Kay Andrews’ 1925 craftsman bungalow is picture perfect for writing inspiration

and filled with her “junk” finds. When she needs to get away to focus on her craft, she

heads off to write with her writers’ club or often to her home on Tybee Island, Ga.

“I would write after the kids had gone to bed.

That’s what I always tell my kids, ‘You may not be

the best at what you do, but if you work hard, you

can get it done.’”

That work ethic remains for Andrews today. She is

already hard at work on her next book and gearing

up for the upcoming book tour for the release

of “Spring Fever,” which begins after her Atlanta

launch party organized by her daughter. Then she is

Raleigh bound.

“Quail Ridge is always my first out-of-town stop,

and I build a tour around it,” Andrews says. “It’s fun

to meet folks who love books, and there’s no heavylifting

for me,” she jokes. “Every book is like your

child, and I have the stretch marks to prove it.”

www.OutreachNC.com


Annajane Hudgens, the

protagonist of “Spring

Fever,” is in love. The object

of her affection is her ex-husband

Mason Bayless who is, regrettably,

standing at

a church

altar about

to marry

a n o t h e r

w o m a n .

During the

ceremony,

M a s o n ’ s

e y e s

connect with Annajane’s, and for

a split second, Annajane sees

something in Mason that has her

rising to her feet ready to protest

the wedding.

She doesn’t have to. A crisis in

the church puts a halt

to the nuptials, and

with that, author Mary

Kay Andrews hooks

the reader for 400

pages of wondering,

“Will they, or won’t

they?”

“Spring Fever”

looks like a love

story on the surface

–and the love story

is indeed riveting–

but the book is just

as much about

loyalty, family and

a sense of home.

Andrews invites the reader to

weigh wealth against legacy, family

devotion against truth, and roots

against novelty. Andrews weaves

it all together in her usual style of

humor and breeziness so the book

is a lighthearted and fast read.

Amongst an array of strong

personalities (Mason’s controlling

mother Sallie, his ambitious fiancé

Celia and Annajane’s best friend

Pokey are a few) is the Quixie

beverage company, so central

to the story that it becomes a

character in itself. The company,

founded by Mason’s grandfather,

is the backbone of Passcoe, N.C.,

the fictional town where the book

is set. Quixie employs many of the

town’s residents and is a major

donor to area nonprofits. Without

Quixie, there is no Passcoe.

Sales of Quixie’s cherryflavored

soda are on the decline,

and Annajane, the marketing

brain behind the company, fights

alongside Mason to keep Quixie

afloat despite subversive attempts

to sell it to the highest bidder.

Along the way, betrayals and longburied

family secrets are revealed.

The revelations and fall-out are a

delight as characters the reader

is going to love

to hate get their

comeuppance.

Andrews depicts

Passcoe so vividly

that it could be

any small Southern

town, and in fact,

she was inspired by

Southern Pines when

writing the book.

Andrews did much of

her brainstorming for

“Spring Fever” while

on a writers’ retreat at

Weymouth Center. She

sets Passcoe just 20 miles from

Pinehurst and Southern Pines, and

sprinkled throughout the book are

references to characters traveling

to Pinehurst.

Readers who like happy endings

will enjoy this escapist novel coming

out in June. Get a sneak peek by

logging on to macmillanaudio.com/

SpringFeverAudio and listening to

the audio preview.

www.OutreachNC.com

OutreachNC • May 2012 41

Book Review: Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews

Book Review

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42 OutreachNC • May 2012

OutreachNC • May 2012

Photo by Ann Robson

Nancy, left, and Ann O’Connell, mother and daughter, share a love for helping others and found a niche

volunteering in the Peace Corps at very different times in their lives.

Mother follows daughter’s footsteps

It’s not unusual when sons or daughters

follow in their parents’ footsteps.

Nancy O’Connell and her daughter,

Ann O’Connell, have reversed that trend. They have

both served in the Peace Corps, but Ann was first, going

into the Corps in the late 1980s right after receiving her

master’s degree. When she returned two years later, she

entered the doctorate program at Columbia University.

Ann is now a professor at Ohio State University.

Nancy waited until 2003 before she committed to

serving. She was too busy raising five children, being a

wife and working as a pharmacist to do it before then.

“I couldn’t believe it. I was astonished,” says Ann of

her mother’s decision in 2003. “I wasn’t concerned or

worried; I was totally thrilled and happy.”

Nancy chose the Peace Corps after being a widow for

five years. While she had a busy life with friends, golf

and her church, she had the feeling gnawing at her that

“there must be more I am supposed to do.”

One night she went to the Peace Corps website and

decided to apply. Lots of paperwork was sent to her, and

she underwent extensive medical testing over a period

By Ann Robson

Special to OutreachNC

www.OutreachNC.com

of about a year. She had

cataract surgery during

the application process,

and that set her Peace

Corps timeline back a

few months. During this

time, she told no one,

not even one of her five

children of her plans.

Once she had cleared all

the hurdles and had an

assignment, she broke

the news.

Both daughters “were

thrilled for me,” Nancy

says. It took her three

sons a little longer to

come around.

Ann says that she and

her sister, Kate, had

conversations after their

father died about, “What

Mom will do?” While

she “adores her friends

in Whispering Pines,” her

daughters knew that she

would need more to fill her life than golf,

being a golf writer and doing a column for

the newspaper.

“I honestly expected she might join Maryknoll or

do short-term missionary work somewhere. It never

occurred to me that she would join the Peace Corps,”

Ann says.

Although mother and daughter had very different

assignments, their basic beliefs in the Peace Corps and

in the United States appear to be the same. When

Nancy and her late husband, Stan, visited Ann in

Tanzania, Nancy was very impressed with the quality

of care and support given to Ann and her fellow Corps

members. She says that played a part in her decision

much later.

Ann taught mathematics at an all-boys school called

Mazengo Technical Secondary School in Dodoma,

Tanzania from 1987-89. She says her curriculum was

similar to high school and advanced high school

coursework. Now that school is a private college, St.

John’s University of Tanzania.

continued page 44


www.OutreachNC.com

OutreachNC • May 2012 43


44 OutreachNC • May 2012

continued from page 42

“Joining the Peace Corps was one of the best choices

I’ve ever made in my life. I believe it has made me a

better person. My experiences continually remind me

about the world’s gifts and beauty but also about its

inequalities and unfairness. The boys that I taught were

extremely gifted intellectually. They and their families

may have been resource poor, but they were invested

in education and its potential for opportunities just like

we are here in the United States,” adds Ann.

“It was great experience”, says Nancy of her two years

in Suriname. “I still miss it to this day.”

Suriname was formerly Dutch Guyana and sits at the

northwest corner of South America right on the Atlantic

Ocean. Nancy requested not to be sent to a cold country,

so her assignment took her to a hot, humid spot, a

mere three degrees from the equator. There was no air

conditioning and there were rotating electrical outages,

but running water was available. Nancy and two other

senior members of the Corps found an apartment

and promptly dubbed themselves the Seniors’ “Three’s

Company.” Nancy and her fellow worker, Gay, lived

upstairs while George lived downstairs.

One evening Nancy and Gay were in their living room,

and a rat sauntered across the room. That quickly

led to them finding a cat to take up residence. The

rat disappeared. The cat, Matty, is now comfortably

ensconced in Nancy’s home in Whispering Pines.

Although getting Matty stateside proved to be

a challenge with permission papers from the U.S.

Embassy and glitches en route to Miami. But Nancy

wasn’t coming back without her.

Nancy considers herself fortunate to have had living

quarters in the capital city of Paramaribo, where at least

a few creature comforts were available. Her neighbor

was the second-in-command at the U.S. Embassy and

often invited Nancy and others to enjoy her home and

swimming pool whether she was home or not. The pool

and the availability of ice were much appreciated.

Nancy celebrated her 70th birthday there with her

Suriname friends, Peace Corps friends and her son,

who came to visit. She was shocked and delighted

with the formality of a state dinner with full red

carpet treatment. The U.S. ambassador annually held

Thanksgiving observances as well as Independence

Day festivities to which Nancy and others were invited.

These events helped all have a touch of “home” on

those special days.

Nancy worked with the HIV/AIDS group in Suriname.

Before she retired, she had been a pharmacist and was

thus assigned to work in the health field rather than

education. She was particularly concerned about the

children whose parents had died and whose extended

families refused to take in the children. She visited

orphanages regularly. Nancy was never afraid to hug

an AIDS patient.

“Too many funerals” was her answer to the worst

part of her work, and all the losses affected her. “The

younger people with their lives ahead of them were an

inspiration,” says Nancy. “They were making sacrifices

and dedicating their lives to others.”

Many of her group were working “in the boonies” with

“none of the comforts we had.” What got her through

these hard times was her strong faith and her strong

belief that they were there doing something to help.

“We were like ambassadors for our country and that

gives me great pride,” says Nancy.

There were many good moments for Nancy −the

friends she made and with whom she keeps in touch,

the belief that what they were doing was helping and,

of course, Matty.

Ann agrees with her mom and adds friends as one

of the best parts of her experience. While she was in

Tanzania, both her grandfathers died, and she was

close to both. Another incident involved her brother,

Tim, who had a bad accident. Weeks later she had a

letter from her grandmother who told her, “Timothy

can walk today.” Her service in the Corps was before cell

phones and Internet communication, so first she was

shocked and later got the full story.

Ann still has a personal connection to Africa. Her

youngest daughter is adopted from Ethiopia.

“She is brilliant and very, very funny. Sometimes I

become overwhelmed just thinking about her and her

birth family and her small village−how smart people

are and how access to water, poor rains, famine, AIDS,

lack of health care and war destroy their opportunities

and potential.”

“We are increasingly more aware of dangerous

interferences,” says Ann. “I am no more sure about how

to solve that problem than the next person. I want to

see more of the world. I want my children to see the

world and not a fearful world, but a world where all

of us are just curious and respectful and learning from

each other.”

To which her mother Nancy quickly says, “Amen.”

www.OutreachNC.com


On way to beauty parlor, salon, spa?

Have you noticed

that over the past 20

years or so beauty parlors have

been changing their names? Used to be beauty

parlors were everywhere: “Ed and Amy’s Brake and

Tire Service and Beauty Parlor,” “Emerald City Beauty

Parlor,” “Exquiseete Beauty Parlor Specialists” and, my

personal favorite, “Acme Beauty Parlor #2.”

The first part to go was the term “parlor.” I’m thinking

it sounded too 19th century. When you hear the word

“parlor,” don’t you think of Grandma’s living room?

The sofa covered in see-through plastic, doilies on the

tables and dusty Hummel figurines on little wall shelves

built especially for them?

Parlor just sounds stuffy. And mayhap beauty parlors

were called that because lots of beauticians operated

out of their converted front parlors. Nothing like getting

your hair set in rollers while Adeline Johnson’s husband,

Floyd, sits three feet away from you in the Barcalounger

eating chips and watching the football game

on TV.

Parlor became salon or saloon depending on the

proprietor’s ability to spell. The first time I saw a “beauty

saloon” advertised, I thought I could go in, get a haircut

AND drink myself silly. Imagine my disappointment.

It wasn’t a very good haircut either. This means if

they can’t even get their own name right, your hair is

probably in for the same treatment.

If you aren’t going to a salon, are you going to a spa?

I really don’t like the name spa for a place that cuts my

hair. When I see spa, I envision so much more than

what a “hair spa” can do for me. I see spa, and you

better be breaking out the good wine (and I don’t mean

the kind that comes from a jug), have at least a halfgallon

bowl of death-by-chocolate ice cream waiting

near the Barbara section and be prepared to massage

the kinks out of my neck. After that, whatever you do

to my hair has got to be more than half decent, or you

need to be hoping I’m tipsy and won’t notice.

When did they start taking the word “beauty” out of

the names? My momma, my aunties and the next door

neighbor lady all went to the beauty parlor and, trust

me, they had expectations.

I think it has to do with suing and the whole truth in

advertising thing. For example, if I go into a grocery

store, I expect to come out with groceries. I go into the

Dairy Queen, I expect to get my Mocha Moolatte with

extra chocolate. And when I go into a hair salon, I still

expect to come out looking better than when I went in,

even if beauty ain’t in the name.

When the first cave woman had her friend, Uga (if

www.OutreachNC.com

OutreachNC • May 2012 45

perchance

your given

name is

Uga please

Senior Moments

don’t write me, I’m already

sorry), braid her hair, she did

not intend to look butt ugly when she left.

Therefore, I want a haircut that makes me look 20

years younger, accentuates my waves, curls and the

grey streaks alongside both temples (which would be

prematurely grey, and therefore sexy, if I actually were

20 years younger), minimizes humidity frizz, is wash

it, shake it and go-able and/or hair dryer-able without

manipulating it into any labor intensive styling, looks

great in the wind, does not need any hair product (aka

spray) to keep it in place and can be trimmed between

salon trips by my husband with my sewing scissors.

Do you think I’m asking too much? I mean, really,

do you?

Cohea, a freelance writer, can be reached by e-mailing

a37_tao@hotmail.com.

Licensed Home Care Agency

Providing non-medical care

910.725.0342 • 877.844.3877

www.villagehomecare.net


46 OutreachNC • May 2012

Carolina

Conversations

with

N.C. State’s

Debbie Yow

By Heather Green

Special to OutreachNC

Debbie Yow is living proof that you can achieve

your dreams at any age. Yow was raised by

parents who were not formally educated but

taught their children that you can do anything you

want to do and be anything you want to be. This faith

and courage has stuck with her and no doubt played

a huge role in her becoming one of only two women

in her field as an athletic director at a major university

and the first in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

An optimist, hard worker and believer that anything

is possible, Yow is an inspiration to all genders and

ages. Inspired by her faith, fans and the love of the

game, Yow is truly living the dream.

ONC: Tell us about where you grew up, family life,

and some your early accomplishments.

DY: I grew up in Gibsonville, which was a town of

approximately 3,000. I am an Elon graduate, taught

high school English and coached girls basketball. I

was also hired at the University of Kentucky, when

I was 25 to coach ladies basketball, which would be

unheard of today.

My mom and dad were also from Gibsonville. My

mother was very athletic and was the captain of the

high school basketball team. And that was the same

high school where I, my sister Kay and my sister

Susan were also team captains. Susan was the first

All-American for any women’s team at N.C. State.

ONC: In honor of Mother’s Day, is there any advice

from your mother that you can share with us?

DY: My mom did not balance her career, she just

did it. She owned a small beauty salon that allowed

her to keep an eye on us kids. She was on her

feet a lot, and my dad worked at a mill. It was very

challenging for them, and I respect their work ethic

and dedication.

My mom told us we could do and be anything

that we wanted to do or be. How she had that

wisdom for a woman that never went to college or

passed high school is amazing. So I did everything

I could—homecoming court and became captain

of the basketball team. I did not want to major in

physical education at all, but I loved English, literature,

grammar and writing, so I majored in that.

ONC: What does being at N.C. State mean to you?

DY: N.C. State means a lot to me because of the

40-year history that my family has with this university,

and it is one of the main reasons I decided to come

home to become their athletic director. The other

reason is Randy Woodson, the chancellor. He had

just been hired, and I thought he was terrific. We

shared a number of values that I thought were

essential for our athletic program to succeed. We

were, for many years, an underachieving athletic

program, and I knew that the job would be large and

impossible without the support of the chancellor. He is

a big part of our success and has been wonderful for

these past 21 months.

continued page 47

www.OutreachNC.com

Photo courtesy of N.C. State University Athletics


OutreachNC • May 2012 47

ONC: Did you aspire to move from coaching into

an athletic director role, and what means the most to

you as you have made the transition?

DY: I had no goal to become an athletic director,

because I did not know any women who were

athletic directors. It just did not seem within the

realm of possibility. There have been studies done

specifically by two women from Brooklyn College,

a longitudinal study that started in the late 1970s.

Based on their research, statistically, it would be

more likely that I would become the president of the

college rather than its director of athletics. That is

how rare it is. Even today, there are only two women

in Bowl Championship Series conferences who are

athletic directors—myself and Sandy Barbour at Cal

Berkeley.

I have had great opportunities to coach at three

terrific universities: the University of Kentucky, Oral

Roberts University in Tulsa and the University of

Florida. I loved my career, but I always knew that I

wouldn’t be a career coach. Being an athletic director

gives me the chance to help more than one team,

more than one set of student athletes, and that

means so much.

ONC: What does North Carolina mean to you?

DY: It means a lot to me to be back, and I never

thought I would be able to come home. It is just

unlikely that circumstances would be such, and I am

so blessed that it did work out for me and that my

husband Bill was willing to move to North Carolina.

ONC: What values do you work to instill in your

student athletes?

DY: I only see the athletes in large or small groups

but rarely one-on-one. That time is usually spent with

the head coach or assistant coaches. Our values are

very basic: go to class, do what your coach tells you

to do and be a good citizen. Those things sound so

simple, and yet they are much more challenging to

achieve routinely.

ONC: Any there any special memories you could

share of your sister Kay?

DY: Our love and shared love for the sport of

basketball is special. I remember playing basketball

in our backyard in Gibsonville when we were little,

especially the day Susan and I convinced Kay and

our mom to play two on two. Unfortunately, she broke

both of her wrists that day. My father was not very

happy with us. She was a great basketball player in

her day though.

ONC: What things or people have inspired you?

DY: I am inspired by Kay’s battle with cancer for

over 20 years as so many others have been. I am

inspired by my husband, who has such faith and

confidence in me and makes me want to do my

very best. He’s my mentor and an educator. We’ve

never had any kind of rivalry in terms of who’s doing

better in their career. He is just always there for me,

encouraging me and giving me wise council. He lets

me do my thing and supports me, and I would have

never been able to do what I am doing otherwise.

We’ve been married for 28 years this month.

ONC: What’s coming up for you this year?

DY: The year before I came home, N.C. State

finished No. 89 in the country, and we want to be a top

25 athletics program, so who we hire as our coaches

is so important. That’s why I am so pleased Coach

Godfrey has done so well in men’s basketball, and

we have hired a couple of others and they are going

to do very well in their chosen fields and sports. But

this is all about raising our academic outcomes, and

most importantly, our graduation rates and achieving

in the ACC on a national level competitively as well

as going back to what I mentioned earlier, being a

good citizen.

ONC: What motivates you when the chips are

down, especially during game time?

DY: Our fans. They are so faithful, no matter

whether we are winning or losing, they are there. It

is hard not to want to work hard to win, so that they

will be proud.

The other thing that motivates me is my faith. I don’t

believe that I am here by accident or that Bill and I

are living in Cary by accident. I think that this is a new

season of our lives, and all of the doors opened.

www.OutreachNC.com


48 OutreachNC • May 2012

Excerpt from “Spring Fever”

From her seat in the sanctuary of the Church

of the Good Shepherd, Annajane Hudgens

wondered if there had ever been a more flawless

day for a wedding.

Spring had arrived spectacularly early in Passcoe,

North Carolina. Only the first week in April, yet the

dogwoods and azaleas were already burst into bloom,

and the weeping cherry trees lining the walkway to the

church trailed fingertips of pale pink onto a blue and white

carpet of violets and alyssum.

It was as if the bride, the equally flawless Celia Wakefield,

had somehow managed to will perfect weather. Or perhaps

she’d specified blue skies and color-coordinated bursts of

blooms in one of her famously precise memos. If anybody

could do that, Annajane mused, it would be Celia.

Could there be a more beautiful setting? Baylesses had

been getting married at the Church of the Good Shepherd

for nearly two hundred years. Not in this grand sanctuary,

of course. The original church was a quaint, stoopshouldered

gray granite affair, with uneven oak floors,

a single Gothic-arched leaded-glass window above the

altar, and two rows of ten primitively wrought pine pews

built by black laborers from the casket factory in Moore

County, twenty minutes down the road.

Annajane could remember sitting beside her best

friend, Pokey, in the Bayless family pew after countless

Saturday-night sleepovers, back when they were both

still in pigtails. By then, Pokey’s grandmother had already

started her slow descent into senility, although Annajane

had not known that. Miss Pauline, for whom Pokey had

been named, seldom spoke, but she was content to sit

in church on Sunday mornings and smile and nod to the

hymns, dabbing at her cataract-clouded blue eyes with

her ever-present handkerchief and patting Annajane’s

hand. “She thinks you’re me,” Pokey would whisper,

giggling at her grandmother’s confusion and grimacing

and holding her nose when Miss Pauline passed gas,

which she did frequently.

When the “new” Church of the Good Shepherd was built

in the early ’90s, with reproduction Tiffany stained-glass

windows, solid cherry pews, and a custom-built German

pipe organ, the old church was renamed the Woodrow

Memorial Chapel in memory of Pauline Woodrow, who

died in her sleep the year Pokey and Annajane turned

fourteen.

Annajane’s own wedding had been held in the chapel,

the one concession her new in-laws made to what they

considered Annajane’s “quaint” ideas. Since she’d paid

for the wedding herself, she’d insisted on having an

intimate affair, just family and close friends, fewer than

forty people, with Pokey as her only attendant. It had

Available in bookstores June 5

rained the November evening of her nuptials, and at the

time she’d considered it wildly romantic that the loud

thrum of the rain on the church’s tin roof threatened to

drown out the wedding march played on the chapel’s

original wheezy pump organ.

Had it been only seven years ago? Sometimes she wasn’t

sure any of it had really happened at all, that it wasn’t

something she’d just remembered from a long-ago dream.

Today’s affair was nothing like Annajane’s modest

wedding. The sanctuary was at capacity—beyond

capacity, if you went by the county fire code, which said

the church could hold five hundred people. It seemed to

Annajane that every living person who had ever known

or done business with the Bayless family, or even just

sipped a bottle of their Quixie cherry soft drink, had

crammed themselves into one of the polished wooden

pews beneath the soaring exposed rafters of the imposing

Episcopal church.

Annajane felt her eyelids droop now. It was too warm in

the church, and the scent of the lilies and roses banking

everything that didn’t move was overpowering. She’d

had almost no sleep the night before, and not much more

sleep the night before that. And, yes, she’d had herself a

good stiff drink, Quixie and bourbon on the rocks, back

at the house, after she’d finished dressing and before

she’d left for the church. She closed her eyes, just for a

moment, felt her chin droop to her chest, and the next

moment, she felt a sharp elbow dig into her ribs.

Pokey had managed to wedge herself into the pew.

“Wake up and slide over!” she ordered.

Annajane’s eyes flew open, and she looked up, just in

time to see Sallie Bayless, seated in the front row, two

pews ahead of them, turn and shoot Pokey a stern look

of warning. Sallie’s gleaming auburn hair shone in the

candlelit church. She was sixty-four, but still had the dewy

complexion, sparkling brown eyes, and slender figure of a

woman twenty years younger. Now, those eyes narrowed

as they took in Pokey’s tardy and disheveled appearance.

continued page 49

www.OutreachNC.com

Senior Shorts

Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews is the author of

the “New York Times” bestselling “The

Fixer Upper,” “Savannah Breeze” and

“Blue Christmas,” as well as “Deep

Dish,” “Hissy Fit,” “Little Bitty Lies” and

“Savannah Blues.” Visit her website,

www.marykayandrews.com.


Senior Shorts

OutreachNC • May 2012 49

Pokey gave her mother a grin and a finger wave, and

Sallie’s head swiveled back around, eyes front, head held

high, the Bayless pearls, a double strand, clasped firmly

around her neck.

Annajane offered an apologetic smile to the elderly

woman to her right. The woman frowned, but begrudgingly

inched aside to allow the new arrival to be seated.

As usual, Pokey Bayless Riggs took no notice of the stir

she’d caused. She’d been causing a stir nearly every day

of her thirty-five years, and today, her brother’s wedding

day, was no different.

The boatneck collar of Pokey’s expensive new red

silk jacket had slipped off her right shoulder, exposing

a leopard-print bra strap and an unseemly amount of

cleavage. Little Clayton was two years old, but Pokey was

still struggling to lose her baby weight. She’d managed to

pop one of the jacket’s rhinestone buttons, and the tight

silk skirt had somehow twisted around so that the zipper

was now in the front, rather than on the side. She was

bare-legged, which was a scandal in and of itself, but

now Annajane noticed that her best friend had ditched

the Sallie-mandated sedate dyed-silk slingback pumps in

favor of a pair of blinged-out silver flip flops.

Pokey’s thin, poker-straight blond hair had already lost

its beauty-salon bounce, and now hung limply on either

side of her full pink cheeks. Her lipstick was smeared.

But her eyes, her amazing cornflower-blue eyes, glinted

with mischief.

“Busted!” Annajane whispered, not daring to look at her

best friend.

“Christ!” Pokey muttered. “This is so not my fault. I

couldn’t find a parking spot! The church lot’s full and the

whole block is lined with cars on both sides of the street. I

had to leave the Land Rover clear down the block in front

of the gas station and run all the way here.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be up there with your mom and

everybody else in the family?” Annajane asked. “I mean,

you are the groom’s only sister.”

“Screw that,” Pokey said swiftly. “I refuse to make nice

with that woman. Mason knows I don’t like her. Mama

knows it too. I’m taking a moral stand here.”

“Who the hell are all these people anyway?” she asked,

glancing around at the packed church and zeroing in

on the bride’s side of the aisle. “Not family, right? Since

poor lil’ Celia is an orphan, and the only family she could

produce is that elderly great aunt staying over at Mama’s

house. Did Celia charter a bus or something?”

Annajane shrugged. “You’re apparently the only person in

Passcoe who doesn’t think that Celia Wakefield is the best

thing since flush toilets and sliced store-bought bread.”

“Don’t give me that. You hate her as much as I do,”

Pokey said under her breath.

“Not at all,” Annajane replied. “I’m happy for them.”

“Yippy-frickin’-skippy,” Pokey drawled. “Happy, happy,

happy. It’s fine for you. In less than a week, you’ll pack up

your U-Haul and head for Atlanta and your nice new life

without even a glance in the rearview mirror. New man,

new job, new address. But where does that leave me?

Stuck here in stinkin’ Passcoe, with my mama, my evil

brother Davis, and good ole Mason and his new bride,

Cruella de Vil.”

“Poor, poor Pokey,” Annajane mocked her right back.

“Richest girl in town, married to the second richest man

in town.”

“Third richest,” Pokey corrected. “Or maybe fourth.

Davis and Mason have way more money than Pete,

especially since people quit buying furniture made in

America.”

“Speaking of, where is Pete?” Annajane asked, craning

her neck to look for him. Instead of spotting Pokey’s tall

redheaded husband, Pete, her eyes rested on another

tardy couple, Bonnie and Matthew Kelsey, hurrying up

the right-side aisle of the church.

Bonnie Kelsey’s eyes met Annajane’s. She blushed,

and looked away quickly, clutching Matthew’s arm and

steering him into a pew as far away from Annajane’s as

she could manage in the overcrowded church.

Pokey saw the maneuver for what it was. “Witch,” she said.

“It’s all right,” Annajane said smoothly. “I mean, what do

you expect? Matt and Mason play golf every week. From

what I hear, Bonnie and Celia get along like a house

afire. Best friends forever! Anyway, Bonnie’s not the only

one to sign up for Team Celia. Every woman in this room

has been staring daggers at me since I walked into this

church. I knew when I agreed to come today that it would

be awkward.”

“Awkward?” Pokey laughed bitterly. “It’s freakish, is

what it is. Who else but you would agree to show up at

her ex-husband’s wedding?”

Copyright © 2012 by Mary Kay Andrews

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

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www.OutreachNC.com


50 OutreachNC • May • May 2012 2012

This is the month

we officially honor

mothers.In reality, it’s

something we should be doing

all year, not just one day in May.

In 1868, Ann Jarvis of Grafton,

W. Va., first proposed a day honoring mothers of sons

lost in the Civil War. Her hope was that reconciliation

between mothers would lead to a more general healing

after the war. Her cause proved to be an uphill battle,

and she died before she saw the first Mother’s Day

celebrated May 12, 1907 in her home church in Grafton.

Her daughter, Anna Marie Jarvis took up her mother’s

cause after her death. Finally, on May 8, 1914, Congress

declared the second Sunday in May as an official holiday

recognizing and honoring mothers.

For a few years, it was a quiet celebration. Soon,

however, commercial interests caught on to the powerful

meaning of the day and now more flowers, candy and

cards are sold for Mother’s Day than any other day. The

younger Jarvis became upset with the commercialization

of the day and actively fought against turning what she

and her mother had hoped would be a day of quiet

reflection into a commercial circus.

So, how should we celebrate Mother’s Day?

Those of us who are mothers, but no longer have

our own mothers with us, have lots of mixed feelings

Make most of Mother’s Day

about the day. There is

emptiness when you can no

longer say face-to-face, “I

love you, Mom.” There is joy

when our own motherhood is

appreciated by our children.

I may not be speaking for all

mothers, but we don’t really

need a bouquet or chocolates Over My Shoulder

when a big hug will do. (Of

course, being treated to a

brunch or dinner out is quite

acceptable, giving us a day way from the kitchen.)

One of the best ways to honor your mother is to

follow the principles she taught you. It brings great joy

to me, when I see my daughter helping out a friend.

When someone tells me that she is “just like you,” I am

very pleased. But I do want her to be her own person.

When I was growing up, I didn’t always appreciate the

comments that I was a carbon copy of my mother. Now

that I have reached maturity, I know I am a lot like her

in both appearance and mannerisms, some good, some

not so good.

There are many mothers who may have rather lonely

days --- family lives far away, or there is no family left.

Those of us who have been blessed should share our

day with others. Perhaps you have a neighbor who is

like a sister or mother

to you. Include her in

your day. Nearly all of

us have had at least

one outstanding teacher.

Send her a card to say

thanks. Our teachers

played an important part

in our formation. Aunts

are often a special part

of our lives, yet we don’t

have an official day for

them. Remember them.

Howell

Drug Co. Inc.

311 Teal Drive

Raeford

Pharmacy

910-875-3365

Night: 910-875-4186

Grandmothers, who

gave our mothers life

which we then passed

on to another generation

should get special

attention. I would gladly

give up any material gift in

order to celebrate with my

mother and grandmother.

To all the mothers

out there, thanks for

everything!

www.OutreachNC.com


www.OutreachNC.com

OutreachNC • May 2012 51


52 OutreachNC • May 2012

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