February 2012

outreachnc.com

February 2012

Aging Outreach Services

FEBRUARY 2012

Vol. 3 IssUE 2

2 nd

Free

OutreachNC • April 2010 1

utreach NC

Navigating all your aging needs

Iron

Chef

In the kitchen

with Walter Royal


OutreachNC • April 2010

Celebrating 25 Years in Continuing Care

in Pinehurst, NC

Call Today to schedule a personalized

tour with Tiffany Abbey (910) 295-2294

It is time to join the wait list!

Managed by United Methodist Retirement Homes, Inc. with support from Life Care Services, LLC


OutreachNC • February 2012 3

We understand the value of

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© 2010 HRG

We appreciate how hard you’ve worked your whole life, and

the uncertainty of today’s economy... anD we Can HelP.

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At Southern Pines, all utilities except phone are included in one low monthly rent – there

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www.OutreachNC.com


4 OutreachNC • February 2012

OutreachNC • February 2012

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) 535-8713 Office

(919) 535-8719 Fax

info@outreachnc.com

www.OutreachNC.com

OutreachNC is a publication

of Aging Outreach Services, Inc.

Editor

Carrie Frye

Advertising Sales

Shawn Buring

(910) 690-1276

shawnb@outreachnc.com

Sharlyn Elmore

(919) 909-2645

sharlyne@outreachnc.com

Editorial Assistant

Jessica Bricker

Marketing & Public Relations

Susan McKenzie

The entire contents of OutreachNC are

copyrighted by Aging Outreach Services.

Reproduction or use, without permission,

of editorial, photographic or graphic

content in any manner is prohibited.

OutreachNC is published monthly

on the first of each month.

Fe b r u a r y

In honor of Leap Year,

celebrates love, From the Editor we learn how one man

Black History,

celebrates his actual

past presidents and even has an extra birthday every four years.

day for Leap Year. This issue is also One gift for a birthday or retirement

extra special to OutreachNC as it marks could be a home renovation. We look

our second anniversary in publication. at universal design ideas and ways to

We cannot express our gratitude to our incorporate changes to your current home

loyal readers and advertisers enough. We or when building a new home and how

sincerely appreciate how you have warmly it can make aging in place and living

embraced us across a nine-county region. independently an easier process.

Thank you so much!

Then there are the times when we cannot

This month, we sit down with Chef be home and may find ourselves or loved

Walter Royal of Raleigh’s Angus Barn as ones in a hospital or rehabilitation center

the second in our new series, Carolina and in need of a bit of extra cheer. We

Conversations. Chef Royal graciously meet some certified therapy dogs (seen

shares some fond memories of family and above, Abby, Tess and Daisy) and their

of his Iron Chef experience as well as one dedicated handlers that may be just what

of his favorite recipes.

the doctor ordered bringing smiles and

In recognition of St. Valentine’s Day, we lifting spirits as they make their rounds.

have a story that shows love is timeless And lastly, on our quest for an enticing

and still for the young at heart as we learn event this month, we did not have to go

how one Southern Pines couple met and too far to find Seagrove’s Winterfest.

married in their twilight years.

Local potters are turning out amazing new

February 20 marks Presidents’ Day, wares and art for your viewing and buying

but instead of looking at Washington and pleasure. The rich history within the clay

Lincoln, we thought we would introduce where Randolph, Montgomery and Moore

former presidents in our region of First counties join has potteries opening their

Bank and Pinehurst Resort and their kilns and shops Feb. 18-19 for a special

continued contributions and service to weekend. Until next month...

the community.

—Carrie Frye

Stay in Southern Pines

AOS Hospitality House

1900's Two Bedroom Cottage

Walking distance to downtown shops & dining

For rental information, call us today!

910.692.0683

www.AOSHospitalityHouse.com

www.OutreachNC.com


OutreachNC • February 2012 5

True Open MRI

Moore Regional Hospital - Pinehurst

While others may claim to

offer “open” MRI scanning,

we have the only true open

MRI system in our service

area. Our open, full-body

scanner offers greater

comfort especially for large

patients, older patients

and those who experience

anxiety in small, confined

spaces. Most importantly,

our open MRI provides

exceptionally high-quality

images, allowing your

doctor to have the highest

level of diagnostic

confidence. When it

comes to MRIs, we are

open for business – truly

open.

OURS

THEIRS

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firsthealth.org/mri

www.OutreachNC.com


6 OutreachNC • February OutreachNC 2012February 2012

Inside this issue

Ask the Expert.......................7

Back Care..............................8

Belle Weather

by Celia Rivenbark..............41

Therapy Dogs

page 38

Bridge Club.........................33

Consumer Beware..............13

Continuum of Care..............35

Universal Design

page 22

Cooking Simple..................36

Creative Retirement............37

Chef Royal

page 42

Spelling Bee

page 34

Past

Presidents

page 26

Grey Matter Games.............46

Hospital Health...................16

Literary Circle.......................9

Money Matters....................19

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

Planning Ahead..................12

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

Senior Moments..................20

Senior Shorts Guest Writer

Ruth Moose’s short story

“Derva’s Chair”...................48

Sentimental Journey..........29

Spirituality & Aging.............21

Travelogue..........................47

Singing

for Health

page 18

Leap Year

page 14

Love Story

page 10

Cover Photography by

Mollie Tobias

Seagrove Winterfest

page 30

www.OutreachNC.com


OutreachNC • February 2012 OutreachNC • February 2012 7

Q: My husband and I were recently in town

to visit my parents. My parents are very

independent and are managing things fairly

well on their own. We didn’t notice any specific thing,

but in general, they just seemed a bit slower and not

as engaged in activities they used to enjoy. As we were

leaving town, I felt like I should be doing more for them.

I don’t want to intrude on their privacy, but how do I

know when they need more help?

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.

A: It is typically more challenging to recognize

the warning signs that indicate a need for help,

when it is your own family member. Spouses

have a tendency to compensate for each other, and

adult children have a tendency to want to believe that

mom or dad is the same as they have always been. It is

often very difficult to notice the red flags that indicate a

change is taking place, because acknowledging that a

spouse or parent is not as spry or mentally alert as they

used to be, often opens up an uncomfortable realm of

confronting fears and making difficult decisions. While

the person’s typical patterns and personality must be

taken into account, there are several things that may

reveal a need for more support.

There are often triggers or signs that indicate a need

for more help, such as:

• Changes in memory

• Mail stacking up in the house

• Refrigerator is bare or filled with out-of-date food

• Bills not being paid, or being paid multiple times

• Routine household chores and maintenance not

being kept up

• Missed doctor’s appointments

• Multiple medications and/or physicians

• Weight gain or weight loss

• Increased sleeping or lack of ability to sleep

• Recent falls or unexplained bruising

• Recent hospitalization or ER visits

• Difficulty driving

• New diagnosis of medical condition

• Mobility issues (in and out of the house)

Amy Natt, MS, CCM

Geriatric Care Manager

• Personal hygiene changes

• Reduced participation in activities or isolation

Typically if you are

asking the question,

“When do I know if it is

time to get more help?,” it

means you have noticed

some indicators that help

might be needed. If you

are trying to help your

parents from a distance,

your parents’ minister,

physicians and neighbors,

or the department of

aging or a geriatric care

manager can be local

resources to help evaluate

the situation.

It is a challenging

position to approach the

need for help with your

parents, but start with a

conversation. Keep your

eyes and mind open to

the reality of what you are

seeing, and be proactive

in developing a plan.

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www.OutreachNC.com


8 OutreachNC • February 2012

8 OutreachNC • February 2012

Pinched

A

pinched nerve occurs when too much

pressure is applied for an extended period to

a nerve by surrounding tissues—such as by

bones, cartilage, muscles, tendons, ligaments, spinal

discs or rarely, tumors.

Everyone has at one time or another applied too

much pressure to the “funny bone” in their elbow,

which is actually the ulnar nerve. This physical

pressure disrupts the nerve’s function causing pain,

tingling, numbness or weakness from the elbow into

the fingers of the hand. Too much pressure applied for

too long to a nerve along the spine results in many of

the same sensations. Where these sensations occur

naturally depends upon the pathway of the specific

nerve involved.

Nerve pain resulting from direct physical pressure is

called an entrapment neuropathy because the nerve

is trapped or pinched by some structure. This term

helps to distinguish them from neuropathies resulting

from infection or disease where the nerve pain is more

often referred to as neuritis or neuralgia.

These are not specific conditions, but rather describe

nerves cause back pain

a nerve that is being

Back Care

pinched at or very

near the spinal cord

at the beginning or

root of the nerve. Radiculitis is from Latin word

“radiculo” for root plus “itis” for inflammation.

Radiculopathy comes from the same Latin radiculo

for root plus Greek pathos for suffering. There may be

slight technical differences between the two words,

but in truth, they are often used interchangeably.

In

radiculitis

or radiculopathy, the most common cause of this

physical pressure is a herniated or protruding spinal

intervertebral disc crushing the nerve against the bone.

The resulting pain at that level of the spine in the neck

or back, and along the pathway of the adjacent nerve

root itself may cause arm or leg pain through a process

called referred pain or radicular pain.

The differences between neuritis and neuralgia

are technical, and these terms, too, are often used

interchangeably. The most common causes of neuritis

or neuralgia are generalized metabolic issues such as

those that occur as a result of diabetes or alcoholism.

The nerve dysfunction is generalized and widespread

as opposed to being one specific nerve root such as in

sciatica, which is caused by direct physical pressure.

Acute or chronic poisoning, most commonly by lead,

arsenic, mercury, copper and phosphorus, may also

result in widespread nerve dysfunction.

Although the causes of back and neck pain vary,

spinal decompression is a common treatment that may

provide patients relief from herniated, degenerated

discs that have resulted in pinched nerves.

Hall, D.C. of Triangle Disc Care in Raleigh can be

reached at (919) 571-2515 or DrMLHall@nc.rr.com.

www.OutreachNC.com


Literary Circle

OutreachNC • February 2012 9

Book Review: The Night Train by Clyde Edgerton

A

comic novel, “The Night Train,” is Edgerton

at his best. It is the story of intense racial

conflicts in the South in the early 1960s. In a

small town in North Carolina where the railroad track

divides the black section from the white, the story tells

of the friendship of Dwayne Hallston, a white musician

who aspires to emulate the success of James Brown

with his band, the Amazing Rumblers, and Larry

Lime, a black teenager who wants to play piano like

Thelonious Monk, and is being given lessons by the

Bleeder.

to succeed. He even adds a

dancing chicken to the mix.

I have been a fan of Edgerton’s

since the publication of

“Raney,” his first and somewhat

controversial novel. I heard him

at Weymouth Center for the Arts

and Humanities in Southern

Pines several times when he

played his banjo. This novel is fun reading. Enjoy.

Book Review

Cos Barnes

Don’t you like those

names? There are more,

too. There’s Uncle Young,

who picks up trash and

is a meat runner for the

dog food factory; Flash

Acre, who works at the

factory and looks after

his ailing mother; and

Aunt Marzie, who gave

all her kin monikers

that included at least

10 names. A musician

himself, Edgerton spells

out the scales the young

musicians must master,

the beat, the tempo and

the dedication necessary

www.OutreachNC.com


10 OutreachNC • February 2012

OutreachNC • February 2012

Love of a lifetime

Photo by Mollie Tobias

Tales of young love are a dime a dozen.

Everyone has heard the stories of high school

sweethearts and teenage puppy love, but rarely

do you hear about love stories that start in a couple’s

twilight years. Love at first sight at the age of 80 is not

common; however, it is possible. Just ask Southern Pines

resident Barbara Baum, who met the love of her life when

she was not even looking.

In 2006, Ed Baum was 90 and Barbara was a mere 82

years young. Both widows for 15 years, cupid’s arrow

still took aim and left its mark. It was an impromptu

dinner invitation of a close friend that brought this couple

together and changed their lives forever, even though

neither was looking for love. Their mutual friend, Suzanne,

had known Ed for years through their volunteer work as

master gardeners. Suzanne wanted to take Ed to dinner

to thank him for his years of faithful service. Barbara, also

Suzanne’s longtime friend, was invited as well and a date

was arranged, which would be the beginning of forever

for the unknowing pair.

It was a dark and cold January night, through the softly

lit, cozy cafe, the three were led to a table. From the

moment Barbara saw Ed, her heart skipped a beat.

Barbara fondly remembers Ed later confessing that he

was smitten also saying, “’Where has she been all this

time?’ even though he had just told his daughter that he

was through with relationships.”

By Heather Green

The next morning, Special to OutreachNC

Barbara’s phone rang. It

was Ed on the line, and a date was quickly arranged for

lunch later that week. When Ed showed up at Barbara’s

door, their lunch date lasted until 8 p.m. They both knew

that it was love at first and second sight. Before Ed left,

another date was set up for the following evening, and

every day after that.

It was Valentine’s Day when Ed Baum proposed to

Barbara, and she happily accepted. After months of

preparation, Barbara and Ed walked down a sandy

path that led to a garden full of smiling faces and the

beginning of what would be the happiest times of their

lives. Following the ceremony, the newlyweds joined

family and friends for an unforgettable evening of dining

and dancing.

Ed and Barbara often talked about how they could have

finally found the loves of their lives at their age.

Barbara recalls Ed’s answer, “It was the Man upstairs.”

However, she was convinced that it was Della Reese

and her band of angels. Whatever might have led them

to each other, they both agreed that it was divinely

arranged and that whatever God’s plan was, they felt

blessed and grateful.

And so they began their life together in Barbara’s

cottage in Penick Village, a continuing care retirement

community in Southern Pines. Like any newly married

couple, they learned to accept each other’s habits and

nuances. Ed quickly became friends with the neighbors,

and the happy couple was called “love birds” by everyone

who knew them.

After two years of wedded bliss, Barbara and Ed made

plans for a week’s vacation in Michigan. Halfway through

their romantic getaway, Barbara fell and was caught

by Ed, who unfortunately in turn also fell, but could not

get up. As luck would have it, Ed broke his leg and

immediately underwent a successful surgery.

As he began to recover, Ed was flown back to Pinehurst

where family and friends awaited the couple’s arrival and

hoped to help nurse Ed back to health. Although he was

surrounded by loved ones around the clock, unfortunately,

Ed was soon called home and passed away a few days

later from complications.

Even though Barbara and Ed’s married life was short, it

was long in love. Barbara still ponders why God wanted

her to meet Ed so late in life. She may never know

the answer, but she does know that love lives on. For

Barbara, it is better to have loved and lost, than to have

never loved at all.

www.OutreachNC.com


www.OutreachNC.com

OutreachNC • February 2012 11


12 OutreachNC • February 2012

Right

Effective retirement planning involves reviewing

your portfolio and making changes when indicated.

As we start the new year, it is important to be

aware of the 2012 IRA contribution limits and consider

whether there is opportunity to make adjustments to 2011

contributions.

If you have not yet made a potentially tax-deductible

contribution to an IRA (also commonly referred to as a

traditional IRA), it may not be too late to take action, as

you have until the tax filing deadline date of April 17,

2012. The 2011 contribution limit to an IRA to anyone

under age 50 is $5,000. For those age 50 and over,

an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution is available,

allowing up to a $6,000 contribution. These amounts of

$5,000 (or $6,000 for age 50+) also hold true for Roth

IRA contributions. As far as tax-deductibility is concerned

however, the difference between a traditional IRA and a

Roth is that the traditional IRA may be considered taxdeductible

from your current year income and the Roth

contribution is not. Contributions to a Roth IRA are funded

with after-tax dollars.

For 2012, the IRS limits for the traditional & Roth IRA

have not received a cost of living adjustment from the

2011 amounts; the limits will remain at $5,000 for anyone

under age 50 and $6,000 for those age 50 and over.

The IRS does have requirements in regards to whether

or not you are eligible to contribute to a traditional IRA

or a Roth. Here are some topics to consider and discuss

with your tax advisor:

Contributions can be made to your traditional IRA

• for each year that you receive compensation and

have not reached age 70½. Contributions cannot be

made to your traditional IRA for the year in which you

reach age 70½ or for any later year.

You can make a contribution to your IRA by having

• your income tax refund (or a portion of your refund),

if any, paid directly to your traditional IRA, Roth IRA or

SEP IRA.

time to review IRA contributions

www.OutreachNC.com

You need to decide which

• year the contribution is for.

If an amount is contributed to your

traditional IRA between January

1 and April 17, you should tell the

sponsor which year (the current

year or the previous year) the

contribution is for. If you

do not tell the sponsor

which year it is for, the

sponsor can assume, and

report to the IRS that the contribution is for the current

Planning Ahead

Elizabeth Donner, CRPC

year (the year the sponsor received it).

Filing before the contribution is made. You can file

• your return claiming a traditional IRA contribution

before the contribution is actually made. Generally, the

contribution must be made by the due date of your return,

not including extensions.

One of the most important topics to review when

determining eligibility to contribute to a traditional or Roth

IRA is whether or not you (and your spouse if married)

have access to, or participate in a retirement plan at

work. The deductible contribution to a traditional IRA or

contribution to a Roth may be reduced depending upon

your (and your spouse’s) modified adjusted gross income

(modified AGI or MAGI).

If you are covered by a retirement plan at work, your

deduction for contributions to a traditional IRA is reduced

(phased out) if your modified AGI is:

More than $90,000 but less than $110,000 for a married

• couple filing a joint return or a qualifying widow(er);

More than $56,000 but less than $66,000 for a

• single individual or head of household, or

Less than $10,000 for a married individual filing a

• separate return.

If you either live with your spouse or file a joint return, and

your spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work, but

you are not, your deduction is phased out if your modified

AGI is more than $169,000 but less than $179,000. If

your modified AGI is $179,000 or more, you cannot take a

deduction for contributions to a traditional IRA.

If you are interested to know why we have two additional

days to complete 2011 tax returns, from the traditional

tax return filing deadline of April 15, it’s because April

15, 2012 is on a Sunday and April 16, 2012 falls on

Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia.

Donner is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, holds

NASD Securities Licenses 6, 63 & 65, has a BS in Nursing, is

licensed in LTC and is NAIC Partnership Certified. She can be

reached at Beth@DiversifiedPlanning.com or (919) 460-6076.

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 situation.


Beware computer virus scams

I

will be the first to acknowledge that I am not a

computer expert, but fortunately for both me and

my computer, I have an extensive background in

crime prevention and criminal fraudulent activity.

On New Year’s Day, upon opening my computer for

the first time in 2012, I was met with my first cyber

attack of the year. There on my screen was an antivirus

program calling itself “Win 7 Anti-Virus 2012.” This

program implied that it was scanning my computer for

viruses and when completed, it claimed that dozens of

files were infected and action was required to remove

the infected files. Both the scan of my computer and the

virus removal process were fake and simply an attempt

to make me a victim of internet fraud. “Scareware”

would be an appropriate term to use for this type of

fraud.

You will find that this program is near impossible to

avoid once your computer is infected. Any attempt to

close the program will either result in your computer

shutting down completely, or you are redirected to a

screen where you can enter your credit card number

and purchase what is professed to be a solution to

your alleged virus problem. It is this design of limited

options that causes so much frustration in the user that

they eventually breakdown and enter their credit card

information to purchase the “fix.”

The virus scan and the “fix” are

both bogus, so do not fall victim

to the frustration of not being able

to avoid this scan and pay the fee.

In my case, the so-called “fix”

was $59.99.

This fictitious virus has been

designed to morph its name

OutreachNC • February 2012 13

Consumer Beware

Bob Temme

to read what operating system your computer is using

and insert it into the name of the software. If your

operating system is Windows XP, the virus scan may

call itself “Win XP Anti-Virus 2012.” No matter what

it is called or how frustrated you become, do not enter

your credit card information.

The fix for removing the “Win 7 Anti-Virus 2012

infection is complicated. I cannot offer an easy solution

for removal other than suggesting you have your

computer repaired by someone who has the knowledge

and skill necessary to completely remove the program.

The key will be to have all the infected files removed

not just to restore what appears to be normal operation.

For more information, contact the Community Services

Unit of the Southern Pines Police Dept. at (910) 692-2732,

ext. 2852.

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www.OutreachNC.com


14 OutreachNC • February 2012

Leap Year can be confusing...

Thirty days hath September,

April, June and November

All the rest have thirty-one,

February alone hath twenty-eight,

But once in four hath twenty-nine.

At some point in our lives, we are asked to

commit the above lines to memory. The reason

given for adding a day in February once every

four years has to do with the exact time it takes the

earth to orbit the sun. Most of us have that ingrained in

us at an early age.

It turns out that adding a day every four years is not

really an exact science, according to “Infoplease−Leap

Year explained.” And what about the 187,000 people

in the United States and 4 million in the world born

on February 29? In a world increasingly depending on

numbers, what sort of difficulties do they have when

asked their birthdate by some sort of official?

One young man, Brian Chetney of Oswego, N.Y., was

born Feb. 29, 1968 weighing in at 11 lbs. He arrived

mid-morning much to his parents’ delight. They like the

uniqueness of his birthdate. Their daughter was born

on July 4, so special days seem a little routine for the

Chetneys. Another son has a “normal” birthdate.

According to legend, or myth, or old wives’ tale,

since Brian was born

mid-morning, he should

officially celebrate on

Feb. 28. If he had waited

until after noon, then his

celebration should take

place March 1.

Brian has conquered

these myths and reports

that, “Anyone who knows

me, knows that I make

the most of my birthday.

I celebrate on the 28th

and on the first—usually

on the 28th unless the

first falls on the weekend.

It’s cool because my

birthday goes on for a

couple of days. Once you

celebrate on the 28th,

By Ann Robson

Special to OutreachNC

you can do it all over again on the first.”

When he was younger, Brian recalls being

a “little embarrassed,” when they would

announce over the loud speaker at school and say,

“Happy 4th birthday” instead of “Happy 16th birthday.”

Brian coaches a girls’ travel soccer team now, and the

girls are joking that their coach is only 10. His daughter,

Claudia, 11, informed him that she will always be older.

“She caught up with me, and my boys pick on my wife

for marrying such a young man,” Brian adds.

His wife, Julie, “always does creative things for my leap

year birthdays. In 2008, she threw me a surprise 40th

birthday party. Another Leap Year she swept me away

on a surprise trip.”

“You can count on two other things every four years,”

Brian says, “a presidential election and the Olympics.”

This is one young man who appears to enjoy his

special status of a Leap Year baby. His chances were one

in 1500 for arriving that day.

The Gregorian calendar, which now serves as the

standard calendar for civil use throughout the world,

has both common years and leap years. Leap years

occur to help synchronize the calendar year with the

solar year, or the length of time it takes for the earth

to make its way around the sun which is estimated at

365 ¼ days.

The solar year is about 11 minutes shorter than 365

¼ days. To compensate

for this discrepancy, the

leap year is omitted three

times every 400 years. A

century year cannot be

a leap year unless it can

be divided by 400. Thus,

1700, 1800 and 1900

were not leap years, but

2000, and 2400 are.

There is enough

information about the

Gregorian calendar, leap

year and solar years to

warrant a doctoral thesis.

For this leap year,

let’s wish Brian a very

Happy 11th (or 44th)

Birthday and hope his

celebrations go well.

www.OutreachNC.com


www.OutreachNC.com

OutreachNC • February 2012 15


16 OutreachNC • February 2012

Scotland Memorial Foundation’s Women’s Health Event set for Feb. 4

Ladies, if you are looking for a fun and educational

event to attend, look no further than Scotland

Memorial Foundation’s ninth annual Women’s

Health Event on Saturday, Feb. 4 from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The day offers you the opportunity to learn more about

health issues at four breakout sessions, laugh and cry at

a fun and inspirational keynote address, enjoy a delicious

catered lunch and visit with many exhibitors.

Scotland Memorial Foundation, in collaboration with

the Scotland County Health Department and a generous

grant from the American Cancer Society, sponsors

this fabulous all-day event. This day of dedication to

women and their health will once again be held at

Laurinburg Presbyterian Church on West Church Street

to accommodate the approximately 275 women expected

to attend.

“This event has become so well known and so well

respected in our community that we’re expecting

registration to grow again this year,” states Karen Gainey,

event coordinator.

Keynote speaker Nancy Coey often asks women

“What will happen if you do remove the mattress

Winter is upon us and with it flu season – the

time to start thinking about avoiding the

germs most likely to torture stomachs and

ravage respiratory systems.

There are preventive measures you can take. The best,

according to Jayne Lee, director of patient safety and

infection control at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital,

is hand-washing.

“It helps to be aware of surfaces

that are common breeding

grounds for germs. Some of

them might surprise you,” says

Lee. “Gas pump handles were a

new one for me.”

A recent major-city study

conducted by the University of

Arizona and the Kimberly-Clark

Jayne Lee

Professional’s Healthy Work Place Project identifies a

half-dozen commonly touched “dirtiest surfaces” that

are likely to be teeming with illness-causing bacteria.

Topping the list are the previously mentioned gas

pump handles, followed by mailbox handles, escalator

tag?” From this question, she

leads her audience into how to

become effective women willing

to discard the unnecessary.

The Women’s Health Event

kicks off in high gear at 7 a.m.

with free health screenings

including: cholesterol, bone

density, body fat, height, weight

and blood pressure.

Nancy Coey

Local physicians and other

community members facilitate breakout sessions on a

variety of topics.

“Information, education and inspiration are not all the

participants receive,” adds Gainey. “At the end of the

day each woman will receive a tote bag full of fantastic

goodies provided by many of our local businesses and

national agencies.”

Registration for the Women’s Health Event is required.

The cost of the event is $20. Registration forms are

available online at www.scotlandhealth.org or by calling

(910) 291-7550.

rails, ATM buttons,

parking meters and

kiosks, crosswalk

buttons and vending

machine buttons.

Although only

public-place environments were involved in the study,

plenty of home surfaces also serve as breeding grounds

for bacteria.

“Door knobs are the worst,” says Lee. “So are

telephones, computer keyboards and light switches. “

Since public exposure to illness is common and widespread,

no one is immune. Annual vaccinations help

prevent the flu, but actions as simple as hand-washing

and avoiding facial contact are very important.

“Effective hand-washing,” Lee points out, “involves

the simple combination of soap, water and friction. The

greatest of these is friction.”

While risk of infection is especially likely during late

fall and winter, it is also important to remember that

infection—and therefore, hand-washing—is a yearround

business.

www.OutreachNC.com

Hospital Health

Illness-causing germs live on “dirtiest surfaces”


Straighten up and glide right

As a physical therapy patient and yoga teacher,

I have found that most people overlook proper

body positioning while seated or in motion. We

seem to have become sedentary from inactivity, watching

TV and hunching over computers. Unfortunately, the

result is poor posture with muscles under-functioning and

operating out of balance. Here are 10 tips for improved

balance when sitting and walking:

While seated:

Be aware of whether the seat is level (preferred)

1 or inclined downward towards the rear. This is also

common in cars. The incline will cause you to slump and

compress the discs in your lower back. A thin pillow can

level the seat out.

Notice the height of the chair. If your feet don’t

2 reach the floor, slide a bit forward, place a thin pillow

behind you, and lift your heels up and rest on your toes. If

the chair is too short, slide back, place a thin pillow in the

seat, and keep your feet flat on the floor. Crossing your

legs may cut off circulation and fluid drainage.

Align your feet and toes to be parallel and hip width

3 apart. (Think of train tracks.)

Bring your elbows back over your hips (upper arms

4 are plumb from your shoulders). Align your hands

and forearms parallel to your thighs.

Keep your chin parallel to the ground. Imagine that

you are pressing a piece of paper against the wall.

5

Bring your hips forward and up

6 while you position the shoulder

blades down and back. Imagine

holding a pencil between the blades.

While walking:

7

OutreachNC • February 2012 17

Replicate Numbers 5 and 6,

and imagine the crank around

the wheels of a locomotive

alternately pulling the elbows

back with each stride. The

elbows help to position the

shoulders and chin, allowing

you to gaze further than a few steps in front of you.

8

9

10

Senior Fitness

Howie Shareff

Roll your shoulders back to open your chest and

keep elbows parallel, generating speed and power.

Press the toes of your back foot against the ground

to help thrust you forward. This lengthens your

stride and strengthens your thighs.

Breathe in a manner consistent with the cycle

of your stride. Consider inhaling through your

nose with your mouth closed, then slowly and fully exhale

through your mouth. This provides a better flow of oxygen

for greater endurance.

Remember, whether seated, strolling or striding, you can

strengthen your body while enjoying your surroundings.

Shareff, director of You Call This Yoga in Raleigh, can be

reached at howie@youcallthisyoga.org or (919) 522-2646.

www.OutreachNC.com


18 OutreachNC • February 2012

Sing for better health

As 2012 gets underway, many

in the Sandhills will take steps

to improve or maintain their

health in the coming year.

We may not realize it, but singing is an actual

benefit to our health. According to researchers,

singing boosts our immune system. Scientists at

the University of Frankfurt in Germany performed

a blood test on singers in a professional German

choir before and after a one-hour rehearsal of the

Mozart Requiem. Tests results showed two trends:

1) a concentration of immunoglobin A, an immune

system protein that functions as antibodies, and 2) an

increase in hydrocortisone, a stress relieving hormone

occurred during rehearsal. Singing both strengthened

the singer’s immune system, and left him/her in a

better mood.

Singing causes a release of endorphins into the

system, increasing energy and well-being. Singing,

and the deep, controlled breathing that goes with it,

increases lung capacity, and helps tone the abdominal

muscles. Singing also encourages good circulation. It

makes the singer breathe more efficiently.

Singing makes us seem youthful by keeping our

vocal cords in shape therefore making our voice sound

“younger.” When we sing, we stand or sit straighter,

expand our chest and improve our posture. Singers

often need fewer doctor visits, have fewer falls, require

less medication and are less likely to be depressed

than the general population.

The research shows that singing is good for you, and

singers know it. However, there is more.

By Anne Dorsey

Special to OutreachNC Beyond the physiological benefits of

singing, there are many that, while

they may be less measureable, are no less important.

Singing allows us to express emotions, moving us with

its beauty. If one sings in a chorus, these emotions

are shared with a group, which is working towards

a common goal. The camaraderie found in a chorus

makes participation therein extremely rewarding.

Singing has the influence to bind nations. Song can

galvanize the world to a cause. Singing is everywhere...

in our churches, schools, sports events, cars and showers.

Most importantly, singing is in our hearts. It transcends

our problems and our prejudices, uniting us.

Singing in a chorus, then impacts us physically,

emotionally, socially, personally and often spiritually

as well. Singing is the lifeblood of our world. It is how

we express ourselves, both as individuals and as a

people. Singers have the opportunity to enhance their

own health and well-being, but far more importantly,

singers have the power to enrich the world.

The Moore County Choral Society, now in its 37th

year is a non-profit organization that welcomes singers

from all walks of life. Members can enjoy the health

benefits of singing and experience a sense of cultural

and artistic community. The MCCS Spring Concert will

feature Mozart’s final work, “Requiem” on April 29 at

the Robert E. Lee Auditorium at Pinecrest High School

in Southern Pines.

For more information, call (910) 692-8306 or visit

www.moorecountychoralsociety.org.

www.OutreachNC.com


Make most of earned income

OutreachNC

There are not many opportunities to avoid taxes,

and although not everyone has the option to

contribute to a Roth IRA, if you are still working

and within the earning limits, you should.

Unlike a Traditional IRA, the money you contribute to

a Roth is allowed to grow tax free and be withdrawn

tax free. You can also contribute at any age and it has

no required minimum withdrawals so the Roth makes a

decent estate planning tool as well.

Who is eligible?

First, you must have some earned income; a part-time job

or seasonal work is fine. The second criteria is not earning

too much. If you file your taxes as “single” or “married

filing joint,” there are income limitations of approximately

$100,000 and $150,000. You will need to open a Roth IRA

account and contributions will need to be made in cash; no

transferring securities that you already own.

Why should you?

It may seem weird moving money into a “retirement plan”

when you may already consider yourself in retirement, but

the idea is to move it away from taxes. Let’s say you earn

ten thousand dollars each year and like the extra income

but you live off income from an investment account. If you

are over age 50 you can move up to $6,000 into a Roth

IRA—it doesn’t matter where the money comes from, as

long as you’ve earned at least that much this year. So

you can feasibly still live off your extra income and move

$6,000 from your investment account to a Roth. By

moving it into a Roth you then turn your taxable dividends,

capital gains and interest into tax free growth.

Income from your Roth

I cannot count the number of financial experts who

misunderstand the Roth IRA distribution rules, so it’s

okay if this seems confusing, it is. If you are the detailoriented

type of person who wants to know the details,

read on. Otherwise just talk to your tax and investment

professional prior to making any drastic moves. The

bottom line is: If you want to still receive dividends and

interest from investments in your Roth, you can.

There is a five year window that the government wants

you to keep “earnings” in your Roth account. However,

earnings to them does not mean dividends and interest;

it means the amount over what you contributed. If you put

$5,000 into the account, you can take out $5000 the next

day or year without penalties.

So let’s say that $5,000 earns five percent interest, you

would be earning $250 each year. In five years, you’ll

have taken out $2,500 which is less than the $5,000

you’re allowed to withdraw tax and penalty fee. Not too

confusing, right? This means you are safe to remove all

dividends and interest as long as you are not earning

more than 20 percent each year.

www.OutreachNC.com

The five year holding period will

be in place for each contribution

you make. But again, as long as

you are not taking out more than

you have contributed, there are no

tax or penalty issues.

Clement is a financial planner

with Clement Capital Group,

offerering securities and advisory

services as an investment

adviser representative of

OutreachNC • February 2012 19

Money Matters

Taylor Clement

Commonwealth Financial Network®, a member firm of FINRA/

SIPC a Registered Investment Advisor. She can be reached at

(910) 693-0032 or at taylor@clemencapitalgroup.com.

Long Term Care Insurance Available


20 OutreachNC • February 2012

You know how the more birthdays we have,the

greater the chance is we’ll get the same gifts

year after year after year? My 91-year-old

friend, Katarina, clued me in on that a few years back

at her cousin’s 88th birthday party.

Every time cousin Oberanne opened a gift, Katarina

whispered to me, “She got that same vacuum for her

84th birthday . . . got that same blender for her 79th

birthday . . . that’s the exact same

GE turntable microwave oven with

the custom functions that’s sitting

on her kitchen counter and it’s not

even a different color . . . got that

on her 80th birthday.”

Ever since that day I’ve been on

Senior Moments

Barb Cohea

a quest for unusual gifts for

aging friends and family such

as the Peugeot Elis Electric

corkscrew, which according to

the advertisement allows you to open your wine bottles

“one-handed, with eyes closed.” If any of you have met

my relatives, this was a major selling point.

I’m also looking for gifts that really were not available

over the past . . . say 100 years. And those wily

Germans who gave us seasick outer space traveling

fish have come to the rescue again. A German firm

New gift idea quite aromatic

is selling cow f-a-r-t-s in a can.

In polite company, that would

be cow flatulence in a can.

But gaseous emanations

from the back end of a

cow are still cow farts

in my book.

The company

marketing it has

identified a target

audience, said to be

city folk nostalgic for

the good old days in

the countryside when

everyone took a hardy deep

breath upon awakening and

felt all warm and gushy inside

at the sweet smell of farm do-do. In Germany, there

seem to be a startling number of such people, and

business is exploding. Whether or not buyers are those

who actually have worked on farms is still unknown.

Although I personally have never worked on a farm,

I have never pined for the aroma of a latrine, be it

derived from animals or humans.

I’m sure it helps that the price is right. At $8 a can,

this is something I’d buy for all my friends and family.

Even if your gift stinks, both literally and figuratively, at

least you’re not out a lot of money and what would the

odds be that they’d be receiving two cows in a can. I’ve

wasted more money on a mocha-mint specialty coffee

with the flavor of what I imagine hot boiled compost

would taste like, if you were to gather and boil compost.

And no, I haven’t tried it myself, neither the boiling nor

the tasting.

The cow fart company has had such great success

with canned cows that they’re expanding into the full

farm family of odors. Next will come horse-in-a-can,

followed by straw-in-a-can, the ever enticing smell of

pigs-in-a-can, and rounding out the line will be farm

manure-in-a-can. I suppose canned manure will include

all the poop smells in one, since I’m assuming horses

and pigs is the smell of the whole horse and the whole

pig, not just the gaseous releases of said animals.

I can’t wait to see these come to the U.S. Is it an

aerosol spray? Perhaps it’s an ignitable scent candle?

Oh, that probably wouldn’t be a good idea given what

my husband tells me about teenage boys and matches.

Well, whatever it is, I’ll be first in line at the WalMartia

fighting the crowds on Black Friday 2012 to get some.

www.OutreachNC.com

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

a37_tao@hotmail.com.


Leaping for love

OutreachNC

Once again we come upon a Leap Year. Every

fourth year, an extra day is added to keep the

calendar year in sync with the seasonal year.

Adding this day keeps us on track with the solar year, as

our 365 day calendar is about six hours shorter than the

time it actually takes for the earth to go around the sun.

In researching all of this, I found it interesting to note

how many other calendars made a similar adaptation.

Seems we all want to be in time with our sun. I like it

when we all work toward a common goal, or at least a

common understanding exists among us, and we work

towards whatever we need to do to meet our own needs

within that understanding. In fact, I could push the point

and say that this sounds a little like ‘love’ to me. Granted

it may be self love, but love nonetheless.

In the New Testament of the Bible of the Christian faith,

Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is, “You shall

love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all

your soul and with all your strength and with all your

mind and your neighbor as yourself.” Our loving does

indeed seem to begin with love of self. As babies, we do

cry for what we need and want. And as we grow, our love

then takes one leap after another through childhood,

adolescence, young adulthood, middle age and our

wisdom years.

With each leap of loving, our love deepens and grows

and moves us in and out of sync.

We do, and will forever, balance

all we are when we go beyond

ourselves with believing and

reaching for those we love. As we

continue on, we move from, solely

our love of self, to love of others

together. Herein lies hope for

our time.

My mother died in March

2009, and I carry her in my

OutreachNC • February 2012 21

Spirituality & Aging

Rev. Pam Hudson

heart and think about her every day. I remember one

thing she said to me the week before she passed away.

She told me I was the love of her heart and that she was

here for me. I think about that a lot, and I would like to

believe that I share that love from her heart to mine with

those around me. But sometimes that requires a leap of

love from me, and I think I may need to add a day in to

make the time… maybe I will…

During this month as we celebrate Valentine’s Day and

welcome another Leap Year, may we add the time to

take a leap for love. It might just do our hearts good.

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


22 OutreachNC • February 2012

OutreachNC • February 2012

Photos by Mollie Tobias

Lynn and Robert Anderson, left, of Anderson Architecture used many universal design aspects in Kathy McPherson’s Pinehurst home. The

elevator is a favorite of the McPherson’s 12-year-old Corgi, Cluny, who uses it to avoid back trouble from climbing the stairs.

Universal Designing to age in place

Most people cannot imagine

the day they will need a

ramp to access their home,

or extra-wide doors to accommodate a

wheelchair or a roll-in shower. That’s where universal

design comes in. Universal design is the design

of products and environments to be usable by all

people, to the greatest extent possible, without the

need for adaptation or specialized design. Keeping

these principles in mind can help when planning

re-designs to an existing home or when looking for

a new home to move into to, especially a home that

will be used in retirement.

Lynn and Robert Anderson of Anderson Architecture

in Southern Pines try to persuade their clients to

add little details to their homes when remodeling

or building a new home that will make access easier

should any members of the home ever need to

By Christine Lakhani

Special to OutreachNC

use a wheelchair. These changes and

additions do not detract from the

beauty of a home, but rather help to

make it accessible to all people.

For example, one detail the Andersons encourage

is stacking two closets, one on the first floor and then

another directly above it. Along with space in the attic,

this will structurally accommodate an elevator if one is

ever needed.

“Realistically assess that you might be movement

impaired before you want to be,” says Robert, 57. “You’re

not too lazy to walk up the stairs, you’re preparing for

the future.”

When the Andersons first moved to the area in 1988

as two young architects on a budget, they built a home

in 1993 with all the bedrooms on the second floor. Now,

however, they have a plan to add a master bedroom to

the ground floor. continued page 23

Lighting Design

& Lighting Consultation

A LIGHT SOURCE

The Lighting Showroom

114 w Main St | Aberdeen

910.944.9100

www.OutreachNC.com


OutreachNC • February 2012 OutreachNC • February 2012 23

“People often won’t even consider a house without a

master bedroom on the ground floor, especially if it is

their retirement home. It could impact the price you ask

for and saleability,” adds Lynn, 57.

Minor changes can also make a big impact. One

simple thing to do is replace a toilet with a new, higher

model. But really thinking ahead is putting in wooden

blocks behind the walls in the bathroom around the

toilet so grab rails can

be installed that would

allow someone to place

their full weight on the

bar. Robert also advises

sinks without cabinets

underneath, so that a

person in a wheelchair

can roll under the sink,

or just making sure there

is enough room around

the sink so a person in a

wheelchair can maneuver

around it.

“You can pre-plan

things. Clients might not

feel like they’re ready, but

we encourage people to

put blocks in the wall so

it’s easy to add grab rails

later. As we get older,

we’re less flexible and

it’s good to have that

security,” says Lynn.

Some things that are

taken for granted in

newer buildings are being

added to older buildings.

Recently, Anderson

Architecture did a retrofit

at Brownson Memorial

Presbyterian Church,

adding an automatic

door opener. That wasn’t

required when the church

was originally built, but

the church had seen a need for it to accommodate

church-goers in a wheelchair or using a walker.

A revolving door, which can seem like a great saver on

heating and cooling costs, presents a barrier to many

hospital patients, so the Andersons were recruited to

replace a revolving door with an automatic sliding door

at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst.

Penick Village, a continuing care retirement

community in Southern Pines, has also incorporated

universal design, recently building apartments that are

compliant with the American with Disabilities Act.

continued page 24

www.OutreachNC.com


24 OutreachNC • February2012

continued from page 23

“From the knobs on

the stove to the space

under the sink, when

we worked with folks,

we designed for active

seniors now and the

evolving future,” says Jeff Hutchins, 41, Penick Village’s

chief executive officer.

Penick’s mission is to de-institutionalize aging care.

Making it easier for residents to move freely around the

campus is one of their methods to meet that goal. The

entire campus is accessible by wheelchair.

“One of our favorite expressions around here is that

‘cookie cutters are only good for cookies,’” says Hutchins.

“Your needs are different from my needs, you’ve got to

take that into consideration.”

Hutchins related that one of the small details they

had noticed and learned from is as simple as where the

microwave in a home is placed.

“Like my home, like most homes, the microwaves in

the apartments are over the stove. The placement could

be more flexible on the counter where it would be

easier to reach.”

Good design at Penick is all about flexibility. The

village’s theater, instead of using traditional theatre

chairs bolted to the floor, uses moveable chairs.

The chapel uses moveable chairs instead of pews.

Instead of long hallways that are a struggle to

navigate to the outdoors or to a dining room, rooms

are grouped around central common areas with easy

access to the outside.

Designing with the principles of universal

design in mind helps achieve that goal. The seven

principals of universal design as defined by the

Center for Universal Design at North Carolina

State University include:

Photos courtesy Penick Village

Penick Village, a continuing care retirement

community in Southern Pines, incorporated

multiple Universal Design concepts into their new

Village House building (top left), the chapel with

moveable chairs (top right), and great rooms

with counter heights to accommodate wheelchairs

and open floor plans with double doors for easy

access to the outside patio areas.

PRINCIPLE ONE: Equitable Use. The design is useful

and marketable to people with diverse abilities. A

good example would be installing a ramp instead of

stairs at the entrance to a home or business.

PRINCIPLE TWO: Flexibility in Use. The

design accommodates a wide range of individual

preferences and abilities. Scissors with a large grip

that can be switched between right and left hands

create ease of use.

PRINCIPLE THREE: Simple and Intuitive Use. Use

of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the

user’s experience, knowledge, language skills or current

concentration level.

PRINCIPLE FOUR: Perceptible Information.

The design communicates necessary information

effectively to the user, regardless of ambient

conditions or the user’s sensory abilities. A flashing

light as well as a sound helps to indicate when it’s

safe to cross a street.

PRINCIPLE FIVE: Tolerance for Error. The design

minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of

accidental or unintended actions.

PRINCIPLE SIX: Low Physical Effort. Why grasp a

knob, turn and push when you could lightly press a

handle to open a door?

PRINCIPLE SEVEN: Size and Space for Approach

and Use. For example, making sure doors are wide

enough for wheelchairs.

Hutchins adds, “If you’re going to meet the needs of

so many people, it’s all about options.”

www.OutreachNC.com


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OutreachNC • February 2012 25

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www.OutreachNC.com


26 OutreachNC • February 2012

All Hail

the

Chief

Very few people actually

know what it is like to be

called “president.” The title of

president is associated with power, respect and the

ability to do pretty much whatever you want within

reason, of course. As with any position of power, a

president’s job is one that can be as stressful as it

is rewarding, and whether it’s being the head of a

country or corporation, being the commander in chief

is an honor. As we honor Washington and Lincoln with

Presidents’ Day, there are former presidents in the

region still caring for the communities they live in.

Jimmie Garner, former president of First Bank

headquarted in Troy, father of two, grandfather of four

and great-grandfather of one is just getting started.

Married to his high school sweetheart, Dot, for over 63

years, Garner is an active member of his community

and family man, who could be the definition of an

upright citizen and what a true president should be.

“I guess you could say I went from working with dirt

to working with dollars,” explains Garner on how he

ended up in the banking industry. “Early in my life, I

was a bulldozer operator among other related jobs. I

grew up on a farm in northern Moore County and still

live on family land. I spent some time as a knitter in the

hosiery industry and followed that as sales manager

for Phillips Ford in Carthage. I was approached by John

Wallace, president of Bank of Montgomery in Troy,

to manage and grow their first branch office out of

Montgomery County, which was to be built in Robbins,

my home community. This was their first effort out

By Heather Green

Special to OutreachNC

of Montgomery County where they

operated as the home office and one

branch office in Troy.”

Promoted from branch manager to regional manager

and eventually moved to the home office, Garner

was charged with total production of all the bank

branches. He became president in 1996 and enjoyed

bringing other financial institutions to become part of

their organization.

“I saw the bank grow from the two beginning

branches in North Carolina to 60 branches in North

Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. We grew from

14 employees to 540 employees and assets of $1.8

billion,” says Garner.

Garner enjoyed the challenge of originating and

overseeing branch growth in five Moore County towns.

He was honored to have wonderful people come

to work with him to build up the business and still

cherishes their friendships today.

For Garner, retiring at the age of 77, was just the

beginning of “The Good Ol’ Days.”

“I enjoy retirement. I’m back to working the dirt on my

family farm and finishing my first project of building a

cabin near the lake located near my grandfather’s

residence,” says Garner. “There are no dull moments

with me. I am busy woodworking, gardening, growing

and baling hay for the cattle. I enjoy spending time with

my children, grandchildren and great-granddaughter.

We like traveling and spending time at Sunset Beach,

where I still love to body surf with my family.”

continued page 27

www.OutreachNC.com


OutreachNC • February 2012 OutreachNC • February 2012 27

During the week, Garner

is still very involved in the

progress of First Bank. He

meets with local boards and

continues to participate in

quarterly meetings as part

of the First Bank Community

Service Board.

Any given Sunday, you can find

Garner in the choir or teaching Sunday

school at Smyra United Methodist

Church, where he grew up.

Not many people can say that they

have a center named after them, but

Garner is one of those rare recipients.

The James Garner Community Center

is a large part of functions and

happenings in Troy.

“I have always lived in Moore County

on land my grandfather owned. Our

family loves living in a heritage rich

community,” says Garner. “In Moore

County, good banking and First Bank

are synonymous. I have never had the

urge to live anywhere else.”

Always open to serving his

community, Garner remains a God

fearing man, who is thankful for each

and every blessing and looks forward

to “whatever the good Lord has in store

for him and his family.”

Southeast of Troy and Robbins,

another former president

is making his mark, leaving

the private sector to tackle

working for a nonprofit.

continued page 28

Photo by Mollie Tobias

Former First Bank President Jimmie Garner and his wife Dot enjoy their retirement days on their

property in Robbins close to family and friends. They enjoy rocking in the gazebo that Jimmie built,

and he can often be found woodworking or gardening when he is not serving on many community

boards. Inset: Jimmie’s newest building project, a birdhouse that rests upon a cedar tree trunk.

www.OutreachNC.com


28 OutreachNC • February 2012

OutreachNC • February 2012

Photo by Mollie Tobias

Pat Corso, executive director of Moore County Partners in Progress, is working to make

positive changes for future growth and still makes time for an occasional round of golf.

continued from page 27

Pat Corso, 61, born in Logansport, Ind., is a former

president of Pinehurst Resort from 1987-2004 and

chairman of the 1999 U.S. Open Championship. In

2004, he founded National Resort Management, which

operated PGA National Resort in Palm Beach, Fla. and

Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, N.H. Corso

shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. This

married father of three stays active and involved in his

community, making Pat Corso a former president that

continues to raise the bar for others in positions of

power.

The pros and cons of the nonprofit versus corporate

world politics are just a few of the hurdles that Corso has

learned how to manage.

“Partners in Progress is a nonprofit,which functions as

the economic development entity for Moore County,”

Corso explains of his position now as executive director.

“Leading the effort to improve the quality of life in Moore

County provides a great challenge and opportunity.

The pro is the challenge and the con is insuring the

www.OutreachNC.com

necessary resources to accomplish

the goal.”

During his time at Pinehurst Resort,

Corso had the benefit of an incredible

team and very supportive ownership.

However, in his current role, he

explains the keys to success have to

include: leveraging relationships both

old and new, partnering to expand

the impact of limited resources; and

recruiting leaders to participate in

achieving our goals.

And when it comes to goals,

Corso is a man with big plans for

his community. With special projects

in the works, Corso has a list of ten

initiatives. One of these “positive

changes” is one that almost everyone

can agree on, bringing Dunkin

Donuts to Moore County. As much or

more about coffee as donuts, Dunkin

Donuts is “everyone’s coffee, high

quality and within anyone’s budget.”

Corso, too, is quite content to call

North Carolina home.

“The people are warm and

welcoming, and the culture is a

broad representation of what makes

the South such a wonderful place to live. Secondly,

the climate. Long springs and falls and very limited

extremes of heat and cold make this the perfect four

season location,” says Corso.

There’s proof, too, that presidents do get better

with age. Corso is the vice president of the Given

Memorial Library and Tufts Archives, as well as serves

on the Methodist University Reeves School of Business

Advisory Board, Pinehurst Community Trust and the

Moore County Chamber of Commerce. And in his spare

time, he is a chorister with the Carolina Philharmonic.

Past presidents, too, have to make time for an

occasional round of golf. Corso still plays the famed

Pinehurst No. 2 and considers it to be a privilege every

time. Since his tenure, the U.S. Open course was restored

in 2011. Corso is certain that it will once again be in the

top ten of Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses.

An amazing past, present and future leader in his

community, Corso continues to improve with age,

making his life after presidency one full of positive

changes for the community.


March to your own beat

It is hard to stay

unhappy when you

hear a marching band.

At least, that is what a client

of mine told me. We were

sitting in a doctor’s office on

a cold rainy day. I asked her

if on a day like this, would

she want to listen to music

to match the day and curl

up under a blanket, or

would she prefer music that would

perk up her mood. She said she would definitely

want music that would dispel the gloomy weather, and

nothing is better at that than a good John Phillip Sousa

march. I had to agree with her. Just hearing a marching

band could greatly improve my mood and want me to

join in the parade.

Perhaps that is why another client recently chose a

Sousa march to be included in her memorial service.

She chose Sousa’s, “The Thunderer,” to be played

during the service. She was right. It was beautiful and

touching. We all smiled during that thunderous Sousa

march, just the way she had hoped.

I recently saw a television program with Andre

Rieu, known affectionately as the Waltz King. Rieu

Valentine’s Wine Dinner

Saturday, Feb. 11 & Tuesday, Feb. 14

call for reservations

is a 62-year-old Dutchman,

classically trained violinist,

who has made his goal to

bring the joy of music to

everyone. The story opened

with the playing of “Seventy-

Six Trombones”, from the

popular musical “The Music

Man,” and a full-parade of

all the musicians to the

stage for their concert.

I was hookedn and it

seems I’m not alone. The

audience was standing

OutreachNC • February 2012 29

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in their seats clapping to the march, too. Rieu’s hero is

Johann Strauss, and he has made it his goal to make

people happy by sharing his love of waltzes.

Music, whether it is a march or waltz or whatever

genre is your favorite, can change your mood. Knowing

what type of music can improve our mood and having

it nearby is key. In a culture where it has become

accepted practice to take a pill to change our mood,

why not try the old standard of playing a favorite tune.

Contact Jennifer George to share music memories at

(910) 692-0683 or jenniferg@aoscaremanagement.com.

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www.OutreachNC.com


30 OutreachNC • February 2012

Kilns warm for Winterfest

Whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow

this month, Seagrove’s potteries are choosing By Carrie Frye

Staff Writer

to celebrate the season with Winterfest, the weekend

of Feb. 18-19. Over 100 potteries cluster together in and around Seagrove and the

surrounding towns of Star, Whynot, Erect, Westmoore and Robbins carrying on a

tradition that dates back to the 18th century. The Museum of North Carolina Traditional

Pottery sponsors the annual event as a preview of the latest works and to encourage

travelers to make a scenic drive along N.C. 705, better known as the Pottery Highway,

and visit the potters at their individual shops and studios.

“A number of years ago, winter was a slow time, so a few potters decided to have an

open house. It allowed them to present a few of their new designs they

will be showcasing in the spring,” explains Phil Morgan, 63, owner of Phil

Morgan Pottery and president of the museum. “Now, Winterfest provides

the potters a chance to showcase their shops.”

Morgan, world renowned for his famous crystalline glazes, specializes

in one-of-a-kind pieces, as does his wife Julia, 60, who was busily turning

her own pottery snowmen in preparation for the festival weekend.

“We hope people will come to Seagrove, spend the weekend and see

as many potteries as possible, stay at the bed and breakfast and narrow

it down to the pottery they like best,” says Morgan. “Every shop has a

different style, technique and glaze.”

Morgan is still making pottery the old-fashioned way and has been doing it

that way for 40 years, making his own clay, porcelain and glazes.

“What I do makes the experience so unique, I can’t ever get

bored with it,” jokes Morgan.” We’re still doing it the way it was

done originally. We age the clay for a year or two. We take

everything from raw materials to the finished art.”

That historical perspective can be seen with the

displays at the museum, which is typically a

good starting point for visitors.

continued page 31

www.OutreachNC.com

Photos by Mollie Tobias

Phil Morgan is a master potter, whose works

have been included in presidential

collections. His crystalline glazes

require an ancient and rare

porcelain glazing technique.

Julia Morgan, left, explains

how potters are a green

society, using waste from

leftover industries to

make clay,and thereby

completing the

circle.


OutreachNC • February 2012 31

Photo by Mollie Tobias

Seagrove area potteries kickoff 2012 with Winterfest Feb.

18-19 and follow it up with the 4th Annual Spring Pottery

Festival, April 14-15; Summerfest, June 15-16; Christmas

in July, July 20-21; 31st Annual Seagrove Pottery Festival,

Nov. 17-18; and a Christmas Open House, Dec. 1-2.

“The museum is open that weekend not to compete

with the potters, but to enhance the pottery experience.

We hope visitors will come to the museum, look at the

exhibits and pick up a map so that they can begin a

treasure hunt through the community,” says Morgan.

“Winterfest is open to all Seagrove area potters who

choose to participant. It is a time to show off all their new

and exciting designs and colors for 2012,” adds Martha

Graves, office manager of the museum.

It typically does not take visitors long to realize the

originality and authenticity of the works found in the

Seagrove area.

“What we have tried to do is create a pure pottery

community. Pottery is made by a potter on a potter’s

wheel and the glaze is hand applied. Having a lot

of potteries keeps prices reasonable and the quality

up,” says Morgan. “Seagrove has a history of quality

handmade pieces.”

One unique shop less than a mile from Phil Morgan

Pottery is Pottery Junction (seen above). A former gas

station for 40 years owned by her father-in-law, potter

Regina Voncannon repurposed the building to beautifully

display her wares and works of art while retaining a bit

of yesteryear with an old gas pump, Cheerwine cooler

and vintage metal signs. She even has what she calls an

“ode to Grandpa” with a real whiskey still display adorned

by many of her pottery whiskey jugs, which were once a

very successful source of income for potters in the early

20th century until it was outlawed.

Voncannon started in commercial art, but upon moving

to North Carolina, her husband’s grandmother turned her

interest to pottery. After taking classes at Montgomery

Community College, she has not looked back since

opening her shop in 1989.

continued page 32

www.OutreachNC.com

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32 OutreachNC • February 2012

continued from page 31

“I turn a basic shape and do a lot of altering,” says

Voncannon, 50. “The wonderful thing about clay is that

it is all magic. The process takes you over, and you end

up with your best pieces.”

Voncannon, known for her teapots and Rebecca

pitchers with their tall, narrow shape, flared spout

and long, looped handles,

is never afraid to try

something new.

“I usually start and end the

year with something new,”

she says. “The main thing is

to have fun. Winterfest gets

people excited about seeing

your work and potters excited

about introducing their latest

work to all the visitors. These events help remind people

to come out and see us year-round. We aren’t closed for

the winter.”

As vice-president of the museum, Voncannon loves to

participate in Winterfest to welcome visitors to the area and

intends to have new creations to show off like the banks

she was turning out, both in a decorative pig version and

more surprisingly, a guinea bird (seen at right).

“Guineas are one of the dumbest birds I have ever

seen, but it is also one of the most beautiful. God has

a sense of humor, and I like a sense of humor and

Photos by Mollie Tobias

Regina Voncannon started Pottery Junction in

Hillsborough in a train caboose before later

moving to Seagrove. “I don’t believe in rules

when it comes to pottery,” Voncannon says, which

is illustrated in her latest design of a guinea bird

that once finished will be a bank with enough

space to be a “good start for a college fund.”

not taking things too seriously. With most of the shops

opening and creating new pieces, we’re ready for the

public to come and be tantalized.”

Morgan, too, enjoys spending time talking with and

meeting visitors and introducing them to his canine

assistant, Pookie, the family’s black Scottie, who

appreciates a pet from willing shoppers.

“We want people to come out and meet the potters.

The excitement is seeing the pottery made; seeing

the technique,” Morgan says. “That’s what Seagrove

is all about.”

www.OutreachNC.com


Play the social game

OutreachNC • February 2012 33

Bridge has been a social game ever since its

invention. Recently, in the movie, “The Help,”

the bridge game was considered a high social

event, and one character was being snubbed by not

being invited. Duplicate bridge still has a social aspect

today, but often in the heat of the

competition, we forget this.

How often has this happened to

you? You arrive at the table sitting

to play, only to hear your opponents

talking about the last result they

just received—they could be talking

about the line of play they took

and are defending it, or asking their

partner about the bid or play they

made in the middle of the hand.

Two things are wrong – you are

giving information about the hand just played away to

the competition, so your conversation needs to stop,

and you’re being rude. Stop and say ‘hello’ to your

opponents, and bring your attention back to them and

the new adventure ahead.

Have you ever finished the play of a hand and been

upset about a play made, or a line taken, and examined

a player’s hand by pulling it from the box, or taking it from

their hands and spreading it for review? A bridge hand

is your property until it leaves the table to be played at

the next. Others (including your partner) do not have the

right to look at it without your permission. If you would

like to look at a hand, ask your partner or opponent first

—and abide by their decision.

Now that you are ready for the next round, have you

ever had to wait for an excessive time to sit down for the

next round? Everyone needs to remember that bridge

is a timed event, and all players should have an equal

opportunity to think about the plays at hand. You get about

seven minutes per hand. Should the director give you

a warning for slow play—take heed. The next time you

are late, gracefully accept any penalty that the director

assesses, and try to play more quickly. Try not to keep

your friends waiting, but instead, keep a good pace.

Avoid gloating. One form of gloating behavior is

looking at the traveler at the end of the round and

proudly announcing you received a top or a good score

on the hand you played. We are all human and make

these simple breaches in etiquette from time to time.

Live, learn and have fun at the table – it is the GAME of

Bridge after all.

Bridge Club

Nancy Dressing

Dressing of Nancy’s Game in Southern Pines, can be

reached by e-mailing nancy@dressing.org.

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www.OutreachNC.com


34 OutreachNC • February 2012

The annual Spelling Bee for

Strikes Back” from Southern Pines

By Katherine Stevenson

Literacy is not your ordinary

Special to OutreachNC Rotary; “See Sharp or Bee Flat”

spelling competition.

from Golf Capital Chorus; and “The

Twenty-two teams of three adults will fill the

stage at Sandhills Community College’s Owens

Auditorium and entertain a packed house

Newshounds” from The Pilot are predictably

good spellers. But last year, newcomers to the

stage, “The Killer Bees” from Sandhills

with their costumes, their skits - and,

Children’s Center, surprised even

yes, some of them - their spelling skills

on Thursday, Feb. 16.

“The Bee” is one of the Sandhills

zaniest traditions, as well as Moore

County Literacy Council’s major

fundraiser. Last year’s Bee raised 28

percent of the annual budget for the nonprofit agency

that provides free tutoring for adults who need to

improve their literacy skills in order to improve their

lives. Twenty-two percent of Moore County adults lack

the basic literacy skills to function well in everyday life.

The evening opens with the entry of the teams, all

of them sponsored by businesses, churches, service

organizations and neighborhoods. As the spellers

spill onto the stage, words like “Mardi Gras” and

“Olympic parade” come to mind. Though each team

comes ready to spell, great creativity and spirit go

into costuming and entertainment. Memorable teams

last year include OutreachNC’s “Miss Spellers Beauty

Pageant Finalists,” whose banners identified each

as “Miss Print,” “Miss Communication,” and “Miss

Informed.” Then there were the “B-52’s,” from Biggest

Buzz Sponsor Stifel Nicolas, who looked like a cross

between fighter pilots and 1980 rock stars. Or the

“Saintly Spellers,” the choir-robed angels with lighted

halos from Biggest Buzz Sponsor St. Joseph of the

Pines. Get the picture?

But can they spell, you ask? Well – some of them.

Returning winners like “Spelling Wars: The Rotary

themselves by being the last left

standing in the competition.

David Woronoff, publisher of The

Pilot newspaper and presenting

sponsor of the Bee, whose banter

has entertained the audience for eight

years emcees the annual event. He is assisted by the

astute Bob Howell, The Pronouncer, who picks words

from a large collection of possibilities that have been

carefully selected and ordered by degree of difficulty

by a secret Word Master.

In past years, three judges in robes have sat on

stage, accepting bribes from teams anxious to win

any competition they can. This year, the judges

are anonymous and seated in the audience. Their

experience in the entertainment field makes them

especially qualified to rule on the Best Costume

and Best Buzz awards. The final award—The Keep

the Hive Alive Award—goes to the team who raises

the most money for the students of Moore County

Literacy Council. The $10 (adults) and $5 (children)

event tickets can be applied to audience members’

favorite teams, and donations in that team’s name are

encouraged as well. Last year’s winners, “The Good,

The Bad and The Ugly,” representing the Professional

Women’s Network, proved their versatility by having

won the Best Costume award the year before.

For more information, call (910) 692-5954 or visit

www.mcliteracy.com.

www.OutreachNC.com


Children often overlook decline in their parents

OutreachNC

Working in the senior living industry, I watch

daughters and sons of aging parents

struggle with a wide range of emotions from

confusion to frustration as changes in behavior appear.

Many adult children wonder, is it normal to offer advice

and to provide support to a parent? Let me assure

you, as your parent ages, support from their adult child

is appreciated. However, admitting that mom or dad

needs assistance can be difficult. Dad was always the

strong one, and mom took care of us. It is normal to

overlook changes and to not acknowledge a parent’s

lifestyle needs have changed.

Ask yourself these questions to help determine

if your parent needs a little help at home or may

be ready to move into a

retirement community:

• Are you greeted with

a “to-do” list of repairs

and errands when you

visit?

• Have you seen your

parent wearing the same

outfit even though the

closet is filled with other

choices?

• When you look

around the house or

yard, is it as neat and

clean as it used to be?

• Is your parent taking

medications correctly?

• Are the same

conversations being

repeated more than

normal?

• Is your parent staying

home and not visiting

with friends?

• Does your parent

respond appropriately to

an emergency?

• When you really look

at your parent’s current

lifestyle, do you see a

more limited person who

needs help a few hours a

day or around the clock?

If you answered

yes to even a couple

of these questions,

have a conversation

www.firsthealth.org/wound

www.OutreachNC.com

with your parents and explore

options or resources that can

provide support. Don’t wait for

your parents to ask for help.

Ultimately, the responsibility

lies on the shoulders of the

adult child to make sure their

parent is properly cared for,

comfortable and secure. It is

now your turn to be strong

and do the caring.

OutreachNC • February 2012 35

Ragsdale, marketing director at Fox Hollow Senior Living,

can be reached at Eragsdale@5sqc.com or (910) 695-0011.

Deep-down Healing

To treat your existing wound — and to prevent it from appearing

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.

Continuum of Care

Elizabeth Ragsdale

1295-40-11


36 OutreachNC • February 2012

Celebrating

Southern

February is the month we celebrate the sweet

potato, a staple ingredient in the South. The

sweet potato is not only nutritious, but versatile

and delicious. The history of the sweet potato dates

back to a farm in Louisiana in 1543, when Spain’s

explorers found them growing in a Native American

garden. North Carolina is now the No. 1 producer of

sweet potatoes.

The sweet potato is also packed

with nutritional value. A medium

size sweet potato (with skin) has

300 percent of the Vitamin A daily

requirement. Vitamin A helps with

eye, bone and immune system

health. It has four times the daily

Cooking Simple

Rhett Morris

sweet ‘taters’

need for beta carotene and

35 percent of your daily

Vitamin C requirement.

Fiber is also an important

part of our diet. The sweet potato offers four grams of

fiber, which is more than a packet of oatmeal. Sweet

potato pancakes? Why not! Sweet potatoes are fat

soluble, so it’s okay to add that little pat of butter. It

actually helps your body absorb the nutrition. Low in

calories and packed with fiber, vitamins and antioxidants,

sweet potatoes should be a regular on your shopping

list, or pick them up at your local farmers market.

The sweet potato may seem somewhat plain, but it is

actually quite versatile. It comes in a variety of colors,

including white, golden and purple. You can use it as a

Photo by Mollie Tobias

substitute for any recipe calling for a white potato. Just

be mindful that because they are lower in starch, you

should roast them first, then add them to your soup,

stew, pot pie or potato salad. You can make healthier

fries and rich soups.

This month, I am sharing a recipe for sweet potato

soup. If you want a spicier version, just add a little curry,

cayenne or red pepper. The great thing is that this recipe

is also gluten-free and vegan.

Sweet Potato Soup

2 medium baked sweet potatoes (Bake at 425

degrees for about 45 minutes)

2 cups vegetable broth

1 tsp cracked pepper

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

Blend all ingredients

together in a blender or food

processor. You should achieve bisque-like

consistency. You can use more or less

vegetable broth depending on your preference of

thickness. If you spice it up, try a dollop of sour cream

or Greek yogurt on top.

Morris, owner of Rhett’s Restaurant, Personal Chef & Catering

in Southern Pines, can be reached at (910) 695-3663.

www.OutreachNC.com


OutreachNC • February 2012 37

OutreachNC • February 2012 37

Learning for the love of it

Probably because of

Valentine’s Day, February

is often referred to as the

“Month of Love.” Flowers, candy or

a romantic meal often come to mind as we show that

special someone how much we care about them. Many

of us rarely think to do something special for ourselves.

Treat yourself this February and take a class through

Continuing Education Community Enrichment at

Sandhills Community College. Maybe choose to learn

a new language or a new cuisine, learn to salsa and

merengue dance or look into a new hobby.

Tina Maisano, a Chinese native, will begin a fourpart

series of Chinese cooking classes that begin on

Valentine’s Day. Maisano will teach the secrets of stir

fry cooking in the Russell Dining Hall demonstration

kitchen in Little Hall.

Italian and Spanish will also be offered.

The title of the course may sound frightful,

“Deconstructing the Face,” but it is not what may first

come to mind. This new course teaches a drawing

method used by artists that utilizes the grid. Students

will learn portraiture techniques

Creative Retirement

including transfer, enlargement,

Sandhills Community College abstraction variation, and value

change in this unique class. It begins

on Valentine’s Day and runs through mid-March.

Hot and spicy dances can heat up your “Month of

Love.” An Introduction to Salsa and Merengue Dancing

class also begin in early February.

The dates, times, cost, instructor and class locations

for all Continuing Education classes can be found on the

college’s web site or in the printed schedule.

Register at least one week prior to the starting date.

Classes may fill and prohibit further enrollment or may

be cancelled if enrollment is low.

Walk-in registration is at the Continuing Education

office located on the first floor of Van Dusen Hall during

scheduled hours of operation. Phone-in registration,

(910) 695-3980, requires payment with a credit card.

Don’t forget the opportunity is still available to

purchase gift certificates for all classes taught through

the Division of Continuing Education. This could be a

good Valentine’s Day gift, too.

Sam’s girlfriend called and said this:

“ Sam, can you meet me in eight hours at my house?”

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www.OutreachNC.com


38 OutreachNC • February 2012

Therapy that’s something to bark about

Making their way down a long hallway corridor

to the Inpatient Rehabilitation at FirstHealth

Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, Abby

and Tess are reporting for duty. Led by their owners,

Kathy and Jerry Constantino of Seven Lakes, this

Labrador and Golden Retriever are greeted with warm

smiles, hellos and thoughtful pats on the head. It is one of

their weekly visits as Delta Society certified therapy dogs

to work with patients.

“It brightens everyone’s face to see them,” says a

smiling Nicole Dubois, an occupational therapist at Moore

Regional. “A lot of patients are dealing with pain, but

they start talking and opening up around the dogs. Even

patients that are afraid of dogs are surprised at how well

trained and docile Tess and Abby are.”

One patient, Cindy Horn of Lumberton (seen below

at right), made a round inside the gym with her walker

as Abby walked alongside with Kathy next to her. Horn

focused on her steps smiling from the moment she

arrived to see the dogs.

The therapy dogs’ Delta Society certifications mean

that they are trained, stringently tested and re-certified

every two years and is what allows them to be involved

in therapy sessions with patients.

“We go in on a schedule,” explains Kathy Constantino,

65, who has been volunteering at the hospital now for

almost four years. “The dogs can help with occupational,

physical and speech therapies. They might walk with

someone or the therapist might have a stroke patient

reach with their affected side to pet the dog or throw a

ball for the dog to retrieve. There are only three of us

certified right now in the area that go to the hospital:

Nancy Copeland with her dog Chinook, Mary Kay Wilson

and her dog Jake and myself with Tess and Abby.”

Photos by Mollie Tobias

For information on therapy dog programs, visit www.deltasociety.org or

www.tdi-dog.org. Jerry and Kathy Constantino’s, left, good works with

their therapy dogs, Abby and Tess, extend beyond North Carolina with

their involvement with HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response. They

travel with their dogs to where they are needed in crisis situations to

give comfort and support such as Ground Zero, the Virginia Tech college

campus after the tragic shootings or areas affected by natural disasters.

www.OutreachNC.com

Aside from inpatient rehab at the

hospital, Constantino also takes

the dogs to visit with patients in

neurology and oncology as well as

FirstHealth Hospice House.

“We’ve had incredible experiences

By Carrie Frye

Staff Writer

&

Melanie Coughlin

Special to OutreachNC

in oncology,” describes Constantino. “Most of the time,

family members are with the patients, and the dog is

just a nice distraction. Abby was visiting with a cancer

patient, who was actively dying. The patient stroked her

head gently and said, ‘Good dog, good dog.’ I was pretty

choked up just watching. Afterwards, his family came out

of the room and told me, ‘That meant so much to us.’”

Constantino remains aware of the impact the dogs can

have and takes it seriously, even a few things others

might not think about.

“We are very careful with cleanliness. I put hand

sanitizer in the patient’s hands, my hands and on the

dog’s head. We are under the same HIPAA rules and try

to be very professional,” says Constantino.

Both Tess and Abby have FirstHealth name badges

and wear their Delta Society bandana or vest when they

are working.

continued page 39


OutreachNC • February 2012 OutreachNC • February 2012 39

“It is important to note, too, that the dogs are valuable

to the staff. In oncology, the staff runs to see who can get

crackers for Tess or Abby first,” laughs Constantino. “At

hospice, we do a lot of visits with family. It is not a sad

place. It is peaceful and calm. The dogs are comforting

and an enlightening distraction.”

Constantino, a retired special education teacher, makes

time also for a monthly visit with Tess to Elmcroft, a

senior living and memory care facility in Southern Pines.

Residents’ faces sparkle (seen at top left) at the sight of

Tess. Conversations begin about their past pets as they

talk to and pet Tess.

Research regarding the impact of therapy dogs agrees

with Constantino. Studies conducted by both Delta Society

and Therapy Dogs International (TDI), have concluded

that patients experiencing therapy dog visits benefit

with increased socialization, verbalization, alertness and

positive mood alteration and that regular interaction with

dogs may also reduce blood pressure and cholesterol

levels. It also showed that staff have increased morale

upon viewing the dog visits as a break in their work

routine and observing the interactions between their

patients and the dogs. Facilities with the programs have

also shown to desire longer or more frequent visits and

often expand their therapy dog programs.

TDI also provides certification for therapy dogs and

their handlers so they may make visits to nursing homes,

hospitals or other institutional programs across the

nation and Canada. Bonnie Allen, 62, of Stem, a small

community in Granville County, has four years experience

as a handler taking her dogs to Central Regional Hospital

and Murdoch Developmental Center in Butner. She and

her Basset Hound Daisy (seen at top right) were lauded

for their work in 2010 when they won the Governor’s

Award for Volunteer Service.

“I have always had a love for all animals, but especially

dogs and horses,” says Allen. “When I found Daisy on the

side of the road, I knew she was special and first enrolled

her in basic obedience, then the American Kennel Club’s

Canine Good Citizen program, and finally, therapy dog

classes. I don’t care how bad I may feel before I go to do

pet therapy, but I feel like I’ve won the lottery when I leave.”

Allen appreciates how much the patients benefit from

their interactions

with Daisy.

“Once we came

to visit a patient,

who was very

upset and crying.

There were

probably six or

seven individuals

in the room. Daisy

just instinctively

went to this lady

first, put her head

on her knee and

looked up at her. It

didn’t take long for

the tears to turn

into a smile,” recalls Allen. “Then there was a young

patient, who would not talk to anyone. So the staff

arranged a session for Daisy and I to visit with just her.

From the time Daisy walked in the room, the patient

began talking and talked the whole time we were there.”

These moments happen with each visit for the handlers.

“I know the individuals enjoy it, but so do I,” says Allen.

“It’s the best feeling ever. I would definitely recommend it

to anyone who has a love for animals and wants to bring

a bright spot to the day of so many, and it’s so easy.”

continued page 40

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www.OutreachNC.com


Photo by Mollie Tobias

40 OutreachNC • February 2012

OutreachNC • February 2012

from page 39

In fact, Allen

did just that

when she was

a p p r o a c h e d

by Pinehurst

resident John

Barrett, who

r e q u e s t e d

a therapy

session for

his wife Mary

Anne, an

A l z h e i m e r ’ s

patient.

“John told me he thought it was really great that I was

doing this and that his wife really enjoyed it,” remembers

Allen. “He asked me questions, and I said, ‘I’ve got a lot of

information at home, and I’ll bring it in next time I come.’”

Barrett, 61, delved into that information, conducted

research on his own and talked to other handlers.

“I thought I really wanted to do it, and I read the book,

‘Izzy and Lenore,’” says Barrett. “That sealed the deal.”

“Izzy & Lenore: Two Dogs, an Unexpected Journey,

and Me” by Jon Katz tells the true story of the author’s

experiences visiting hospice facilities. Inspired by the

book, Barrett went in search of a dog. He already had

his dog Buddy, a Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso mix, but

the dog’s timid personality made him ill-suited as a

therapy canine. Barrett adopted eight-year-old Mulligan,

a Havanese, and began basic obedience training. When

they started, Mulligan, an otherwise good dog, did not

know any basic commands.

“We’re making progress,” says Barrett but he admits,

“There is something to that saying about ‘teaching an old

dog new tricks.’”

Barrett works with Mulligan and gets reinforcements

from trainer Abby Ganin-Toporek, owner of Sandhills Dog

Training. Ganin-Toporek comes to Barrett’s house every

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Therapy Dog International certified later this year.

www.OutreachNC.com

two to three weeks to help with any problem areas.

“You don’t have to use a trainer. You can do it on your

own,” says Barrett. “I thought I would have more chance

of success if I could rely on someone experienced.”

After obedience training, the next step for Mulligan is

to pass the AKC’s good citizen test. Then after additional

training, there’s the TDI-administered test.

“You get certified as a team, both you and the dog,”

says Barrett. “Mulligan is really bright. I keep kidding

people that Mulligan will probably pass and I won’t, and if

we don’t make it, that’s okay, too.”

Barrett is looking forward to the day he and Mulligan

can make patients happy, too. For now, he is comforted

in knowing that, though she can no longer communicate,

his wife Mary Anne would wholeheartedly support his

aspirations for Mulligan.

“She would love it,” says Barrett, adding that Mary Anne

was always the one to give their five previous dogs the

most attention. “She would have loved helping select

Mulligan, and she would have probably taken the lead in

the training. So taking the dog to make other people feel

good would be right up her alley.”

Helping patients feel better is what the mission of

therapy dog programs is all about, to bring individuals

together who share a love of animals and people and

are committed to making a difference within their local

communities. With committed individuals like Barrett,

Allen and the Constantinos and hardworking canine

efforts of Tess, Abby, Daisy and hopefully, Mulligan, the

good works of therapy dogs will be ongoing.

“Throughout the years I have realized the value dogs

have when interacting with people in all kinds of life

situations,” remarks Constantino. “They are comforters,

teachers, sharers, lovers and devoted companions. Many

dogs have an insight into what people need, and they

give their love freely without reservation or expectation

of anything in return. And, they are willing to do it all over

again the next time. That…is why I do this, to share my

dogs with people who need a little extra love.”


OutreachNC • February 2012 41

Think before you ink

Among the more horrifying trends forecast for

2012 is the one predicting that more and more

women between the ages of 50 and 70 will be

getting tattoos.

I’m not talking about a demure lil butterfly fluttering

above the ankle bone. No, I’m talking full-on sleeves

and tramp stamps.

Now far be it from me to tell a sister how to live her

life. Oh, I’m just kidding. Y’all know I fairly much LIVE

for moments like these. I want to be all open-minded

and embracing of any woman’s choice to decorate her

aging body in whatever way she chooses but, instead,

I’m thinking, “Fool, what is wrong witchu?”

Because I’m comfortably ensconced in this age

group, I feel qualified to point out my main objection.

It should be pretty obvious: The truth is, when you get

right down to it, the nursing home isn’t all that far away.

Trust me: You’re going to feel like a mo-ron the first

time that nursing assistant spots the giant red aorta

wrapped in thorns right above your Depends.

Come on now. Do you want to be the hospital patient

that the nurses identify as “the weirdo in 207 with the

Gramp stamp?”

No you do not.

There doesn’t seem to be much of a pattern as

far as tattoo choices go among the 50-70-year olds.

Mercifully, most of the women don’t seem to want

Chinese symbols, perhaps realizing, as a pundit once

observed, if you don’t read Chinese, the symbol that

you think means “Peace” or “Happiness” could simply

mean “Moo Goo Gai Pan.” And most don’t choose

cartoon characters like Tweety Bird or Smurfette,

favoring a tatt of Grandpa’s name intertwined along

the upper arm via an ornate Celtic band. No matter the

closest Gramps got to Ireland was drinking a Guinness

at his brother-in-law’s house one time.

Kingswood

Nursing Center

915 Pee Dee Rd • Aberdeen

910.944.8999

Rehabilitation Center

Skilled Nursing

Dementia Care

Assisted Living

Among the more eye-catching

designs I have seen was a colorful

full-size tattoo of a handgun inked

on a 65-year-old grandmother.

I guess that’s one way to

let those bratty neighbor

kids know that she’s DEAD

serious about them not

playing in her yard. (“Show

‘em yer gun, Mildred!”)

Belle Weather

Celia Rivenbark

And then there was the 50-year-old who had lifelike

portraits of the stars of the “Twilight” movies tattooed

on her back from neck to waist.

At the young end of this trend, she should feel a little

better that it will be about 20 years before she’s actually

sitting on Robert Pattinson’s smiling vampire face.

In a perfect world, I suppose, the tattoo would

disappear in the morning only to return after the sun

went down.

Just a thought.

Rivenbark is the author of the New York Times bestseller “You

Don’t Sweat Much for a Fat Girl.” Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

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www.OutreachNC.com


42 OutreachNC • February 2012

OutreachNC • February 2012

Photos by Mollie Tobias

Chef Walter Royal stands in Raleigh’s Angus Barn restaurant’s famous room known as the Meat Locker, where guests can enjoy one of the

chef’s specialties, spirits and smoke in the open air dining room that overlooks the outdoor patio area.

Carolina Conversations

By Heather Green

Special to OutreachNC

with Chef Walter Royal

Chef Walter Royal is not just an amazing chef. He

is an Iron Chef. This Alabama native not only

took home this coveted Food Network title,

but the standards by which he won, he takes with him

to work every day at the Angus Barn in Raleigh. Like

the Angus Barn, Chef Royal, 54, has high standards for

food and life. This humble and talented palette-pleasing

expert may have achieved what other chefs only dream

of, but Chef Royal is just getting started.

ONC: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

WR: I’m from a small town in Alabama named Eclectic,

and I currently live in Durham. I have a 31-year-old son

and 6-year-old grandson, and we are affectionately

known as Walter one, two and three. I was very close to

my parents, who passed away recently.

ONC: What made you choose to become a chef?

WR: Growing up in rural Alabama, going out to my

grandparents’ farm, playing in the dirt and watching

things grow, watching my grandmother collect fresh

eggs—it all became a passion of mine. At first, I wanted

to be a farmer, and later on in life, I decided I could have

the best of both worlds.

ONC: Who taught you to cook and are there any

special memories in the kitchen growing up you can

share?

WR: My grandmother Willie Mae, my mother Ida,

my beloved Effie and hanging out in the kitchen with

my Aunt Betty. Eating! Eating great, fresh food and

the fellowship around the dinner table during family

gatherings.

ONC: Do you hope your son might carry on the

family cooking traditions?

www.OutreachNC.com


OutreachNC • February 2012 43

WR: My son is in law enforcement, but he is a

wonderful cook. Someday, he may decide he wants to

follow in his daddy’s footsteps.

ONC: Do you have any special cooking values or

perhaps a favorite product or spice you always use?

WR: Growing up in Alabama and hanging out at

the farm, I learned to appreciate nice, fresh, simple

ingredients. When you have good, fresh ingredients,

you must complement them with simple preparations

and let those ingredients be the shining star. In my

many years of cooking, I have learned that a recipe or

meal is only as good as the characters on the plate,

good fresh ingredients and simple preparations.

ONC: What is the hardest thing you have ever

perfected making? Is there is anything you don’t like or

avoid making?

WR: There are two items. I finally mastered my Aunt

Vertle’s tea cakes recipe, and I’m still trying to master

Betty’s navy bean pie. I try to avoid things that are not

free range, all natural or organic like fois gras (duck or

goose liver that were fattened by force feeding), caged

veal and net caught seafood.

ONC: How did your career lead you to Angus Barn

and what do you like most about being a chef at a fine

dining restaurant?

WR: After working for years in the Triangle, the

Angus Barn had always been that large, shiny apple and

a place that had many of the same values I had growing

up. It is owned by Van Eure, who personifies exceptional

family values, community civic responsibilities, hard

work, animal rights, education and most of all, giving

back. With these values, it was a

place I yearned to be.

But the most rewarding part of my job is watching

people grow in their professional and personal lives.

ONC: Tell us about your Iron Chef experience.

WR: It is undoubtedly one of the largest and most

gratifying experiences of my life. But at the same time,

I was horrified, just a nervous wreck. I just stopped

and exhaled. I reflected back on my days at the Angus

Barn, which have prepared me for any challenge in life,

because if it’s going to happen out in the world, chances

are, we have experienced it at the Angus Barn. A lot of

the philosophies that we use, I used on the Iron Chef

like simple ingredients, using the 20-foot-rule (that

everyone within 20 feet of a problem should contribute

to the solution), counting on my team members,

relaxing and making the best of any situation, good,

bad, or indifferent.

ONC: Could you offer any advice for aspiring chefs?

WR: No. 1 is to make sure, and after you’ve thought

about it think more and be absolutely certain, that this is

the career that you want, because it is very demanding,

high pressure, and it’s not a job that you can take off for

holidays, birthdays or family summer barbeques. These

are the days that your customers and guests demand

that you be at the restaurant. It will consume 80 percent

of your time. But if you are prepared to miss the parties,

the family gatherings, the holiday meals, the concerts,

you will be the cream that rises to the top. It is one of

the most gratifying and rewarding things that you can

imagine.

No. 2 is to read, make notes and experiment with food.

Learn from the mistakes that you make when you are

experimenting.

continued page 44

ONC: Any special stories or

memorable moments in the kitchen

at the Angus Barn?

WR: Being a part of such a great

group in my Angus Barn family,

every day is special. It is like going

down the rabbit hole and waking

up in Alice’s Wonderland. Now with

this, you listen, grow, share and

learn, but the hardest part of my

job, is to counsel negative behavior.

www.OutreachNC.com


44 OutreachNC • February 2012

continued from page 43

No. 3 is that the dish station is the best form of

education, because it is the heartbeat of any restaurant.

Watching what is returned on the plate helps in knowing

things that you need to change or tweak. And if you

survive the dish station, you can survive any position in

the hospitality business.

ONC: What would you want people who have never

dined at the Angus Barn to know?

WR: I would like to dispel the conception that Angus

Barn is only a steakhouse. We are a great steakhouse,

but we cater to everyone. Our menu offerings consist of

seafood, poultry, pasta and vegetarian dishes. Not only

can we accommodate parties of 20 to 600 using our

private rooms in the restaurant, our world class private

rooms in our Wine Cellar, which has wines from every

wine-producing country. Our newest baby that has

taken off is our 27,000-square-foot Lakeside Pavilions,

which can accommodate parties, retreats and weddings

for 100 to 600 people. And then there’s the fact that we

are a family-owned business.

ONC: Any special happenings for Valentine’s Day at

Angus Barn?

WR: I recommend that you make your reservations

early for Valentine’s night, because we do fill up quickly.

We have a five-course meal in both dining rooms and

in the Wine Cellar with wines paired with each course.

We are also having a five-course meal at the Lakeside

Pavilions.

ONC: What does it mean to you to have reached this

level as a chef?

WR: My work has just begun. I need to continue to

educate myself, as well as up-and-coming chefs and the

general public.

Chef Walter Royal’s

Cream of Butternut

Squash Soup

Serves 6-8 people

3 lbs. Butternut Squash, washed, peeled & diced

½ gallon of Rich Chicken Stock

1 cup of Heavy Cream

3 tablespoons of Butter

3 tablespoons of Flour

2 ribs of Celery, chopped

1 Garlic clove, chopped

1 cup of Yellow Onions, chopped

1 Carrot, chopped

1 teaspoon of Basil, dried

1 teaspoon of Oregano, dried

3-4 dashes of Texas Pete

½ teaspoon of Nutmeg

Salt and Pepper to taste

Take butter and melt in heavy-duty soup

pot. Stir in flour. Add onion, squash,

celery, garlic, carrot, basil and oregano. Stir

and add in chicken stock. Simmer on medium

heat 20-30 minutes until sauce is completely

soft. Add in nutmeg, Texas Pete, heavy cream,

salt and pepper to taste. Puree in blender/

processor. Adjust seasoning if needed. Top with

fresh chives and bacon (bacon is optional).

ONC: What are some of your favorite things

about North Carolina, and what keeps you here?

WR: It’s location. We have a bounty of

everything, seafood, the growing period for

vegetables, where we are with wines and

fruits, and education. We at the Angus Barn

are at an arm’s reach of anything we need

from the shore, the mountains, New York,

Florida and Atlanta. Being a chef, you couldn’t

ask for more.

www.OutreachNC.com


OutreachNC • February 2012 45

G IvE youR lovEd

o N E S A lot moRE

thAN SwEEtS foR

vA l E NtINE’S dAy.

with a great neighborhood full of new friends and a carefree lifestyle, no

wonder so many residents choose to move to our continuing care

retirement community. Give your family peace of mind, and for you,

more opportunities to do the things you love. to learn about our living

options and how you can become a Penick village resident, call Phil or

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

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www.OutreachNC.com


46 OutreachNC • February 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 48

WORD SCRAMBLE

Rearrange the letters in each word

below to spell the names of words

pertaining to Mardi Gras.

PRLEUP

VNRCAALI

DMAQUAESER

TFA STDYEAU

Across

1. Handle the party food

6. Auditorium’s sound

qualities

15. Convex molding

16. Port city in SE France

17. Merry old times

18. Space between

margin and line of text

19. Conk out

20. Hutzpah, e.g.

22. Amazon, e.g.

23. Smeltery refuse

25. Freshman, probably

26. “___ bitten, twice

shy”

28. Waterproof hip

boots

30. Mrs. Bush

32. Black

33. Put up, as a picture

34. Ball field covering

38. “So soon?”

40. “The Canterbury

Tales” author

42. Makeup, e.g.

43. ___ line (major axis

of an elliptical orbit)

45. Brunch serving

46. Estuary

48. Moors

49. Clip

51. Acclivity

53. Harp’s cousin

54. Gloomy

55. Unhurried walkers

58. PC linkup (acronym)

59. Branch that

connects with capillaries

61. Cast out

63. One who drools

64. Hindu queen

65. Those who boldly

state an opinion

66. Ornamental

embroidery

Down

1. Physical reaction to

fear (2 wds)

2. At hand

3. Bullfighters

4. ___ Grove Village, Ill.

5. Like Santa’s cheeks

6. Organic compound

containing CONH2

radical

7. Unit of luminous

intensity

8. City government

statute

9. A Swiss army knife

has lots of them

10. Portugese Mr.

11. Little bird

12. ___ artery

13. Copy

14. Transmitted

21. “___ alive!” (2 wds)

24. Inherited, such as

disease

27. Musical mark

29. Swedish shag rug

31. “Bleah!”

33. Exaggeration

35. Metal welding gas

36. Expressed in

different words

37. One who is given

something

39. 10 liters

41. Trick taker, often

44. ___ and Meara

comedy team

47. Closer

48. “___ Town Too”

(1981 hit)

49. Runs smoothly

50. Con men?

52. Clairvoyants

54. Arp’s art

56. Soft roe

57. Balkan native

60. “The Three Faces of

___”

62. Long-jawed fish

www.OutreachNC.com


Safety first when traveling

On my last trip to Johannesburg, South

Africa, I had to get a ride from the airport

to the hotel, which was a 30-minute

drive. Were this not South Africa, I would rent a

car and enjoy the drive in a new country. But in

South Africa, and Johannesburg in particular, I would

not do such a thing. Driving in Johannesburg can be

dangerous. Human life is not valued, and there are

frequent robberies at gunpoint at intersections and

traffic lights. A cell phone or laptop bag on a passenger

seat is reason enough for thieves to approach with a

gun and demand valuables. Public transportation is

simply not for non-locals.

After collecting my bags, I noticed a taxi stand in

the arrival hall. A large sign indicated that these taxis

were police-approved. The representative at the stand

greeted me affably and quoted a price along with an

estimate of how long the drive would be. I felt safe and

reassured since policemen were standing next to the

stand. A taxi driver came to the stand and escorted me

to his vehicle. The vehicle was painted yellow and was

clearly marked with a taxi sign on the roof. A meter was

mounted inside on the dash board, and registration

numbers were clearly visible on the vehicle exterior.

Most important, all other yellow cabs in the waiting area

were outfitted in the same way.

Within the estimated time and for the quoted price,

the cab delivered me securely to my hotel. En route, I

noticed that the driver approached every red traffic light

by decreasing the speed early enough so he would not

have to come to a full stop before the light turned green.

During check-out, I asked the front desk clerk to call

a taxi to transport me back to the airport. He placed a

brief phone call and told me the doorman had called a

taxi for me. Five minutes later, a blue private car pulled

up. The doorman pointed to the car and told me this

was my taxi. Alarm bells went off inside my head. The

driver was not wearing business attire. There was no

Travelogue

OutreachNC • February 2012 47

meter on the dash

board, nor any other

credential that could

identify the vehicle

as a taxi. I refused

to get in the car, and

the doorman started

to argue with me.

He refused to call a

police-approved taxi from the

airport.

After a few tense moments, a representative for the

rental car company intervened. He told me he was

going to the airport to pick up a customer and offered to

take me for a reasonable price. I gladly accepted.

In a subsequent call with my client, I found out I did the

right thing. By refusing to get in the private car, I avoided

a common trap for tourists and foreigners. In this scam,

an accomplice to the driver impersonates a police officer

conducting traffic control. The “police officer” stops the

car, and there, the passenger is stripped of all valuables

except the passport. The thieves cleverly assume their

victims will not miss a flight out of the country and will,

therefore, not press charges.

You may not ever need a taxi in South Africa, but

whether you’re in Johannesburg or Manhattan, it’s

a good idea to stick with official and legitimate taxi

services. Doing otherwise risks your valuables and,

more importantly, your well-being.

Travel safely and keep exploring.

The Savvy Traveler is an anonymous international

consultant for luxury hotels. Have a travel question?

E-mail savvytraveler@outreachnc.com.

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48 OutreachNC • February 2012

I

only did what a good friend, a very good friend

would do. She would do that for my husband, if

I had one, which I don’t. So there I was at the

Goodwill Store where I browse on occasion, and saw

her chair. Derva’s very special chair her husband had

so proudly paid through the nose to buy. $2,000 he

kept saying. A healthy spine chair because all the time

he and she and the doctors thought her back was the

trouble. Trouble was, it wasn’t her back at all, but a

deeper, darker thing that took her right out of that chair

in a millisecond. That’s when he called me. “Judy, oh

Judy,” he said. “She’s gone.” At first I thought gone to

the mall? Gone shopping? Where? Then he told me.

After the EMT and all that and the preacher, undertaker,

then the services. Her special chair sat there empty

through it all. Casseroles and crying. Until suddenly

the house was quiet. He said he couldn’t stand it. The

quiet. He said come over for a glass of wine. I said

maybe later in the week. Truth to be told, I didn’t think

I could be in that too quiet house either. Nor see her

empty chair.

I know houses that suddenly go too quiet. And

playing so much yakkety, yakkety radio and TV in the

background doesn’t fill even the corners, much less

the rooms. You have to get to the place where you and

a quiet house are one. You learn to live in so much

silence, even cat’s feet across the floor sound loud. And

welcoming. That’s after you stop crying long enough,

loud enough to listen.

I let her husband, Wallace, cry on my shoulder as

long as I could stand it. Truly. And that was as far as

it went. Wet spot. Tears. I didn’t mind. Much, even if it

was messy. Just necessary. I’d pat his back like you

Derva’s Chair

Senior Shorts

Ruth Moose

Ruth Moose has been on the Creative

Writing faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill since

1996. She’s published two collections of

short stories, “The Wreath Ribbon Quilt” and

“Dreaming in Color” as well as six collections

of poetry. Born in Albemarle, Moose now

resides in Chapel Hill.

would comfort a child. “There, there,” I said. “It will be

all right.”

Even if I knew it wouldn’t. Not for a long, long time.

You spend 35 years of your life with one person, and

they’re gone in a flash. Blip. Blink. Zip. Then there’s

white space, empty space wide as the world. You wake

up alone. You go to sleep alone, though the people in

the grief support group told me, and the other widows,

that awful word, time, would made a difference. First

time I had to check Widow in some box on some form, I

thought. Am I My Mother? She who was a widow longer

than she was a wife. The grief group had said make

noise. Make your own noise. I cried, tried to play CDs,

DVDs, anything to fill up the empty space.

Anyway, another thing the grief people told me was

to go out and buy a “husband.” One of those long, long

pillows you see in places like Linens & Stuff or Wal-

Mart. You see them in plaids and polka dots, suede

and corduroy. Every color. I picked one up in a store,

squeezed it, hugged it and all I felt was shredded foam.

No husband at all. Nothing hugged me back.

continued page 49

Grey Matter Answers

WORD SCRAMBLE

answers:

PURPLE

CARNIVAL

MASQUERADE

FAT TUESDAY

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Senior Shorts

OutreachNC • February 2012 49

I got a cat instead. A fat, black foot-warmer of a cat,

that I have to feed, and brush, but he looks at me when

I speak. Even if he never answers back, I can tell what

he’s thinking. Food. Go out. Come back in. Food. Sleep.

The first time you hear yourself talking out loud in an

empty house, it’s almost as if there is another person.

Who? You ask. Who said that? Of course it was you.

Nobody else but you. And the cat.

How do you write grief out of your life? You don’t. You

go on going on, each day longer than the last.

No use going to the cemetery. That’s what I tell

Wallace. “She’s not there. Now now. Nor will she ever

be. Derva. Derva his darling and my very good friend.

Derva’s not there and neither is my Mitchell. My Mike.

But my Mike’s in his clothes closet. His car. His mail.

Sometimes the phone rings for him. I have to say he no

longer lives here. Let them think divorce. The caller. Let

them think he has left the country. Moved to the moon.

Let them think whatever they want to think. He’s not here.

He’s not in his chair, but his chair sat solid as a boulder

in my den. If I sat in it, I’d cry. So I walked around it. And

I kept walking around it. Then walked around it some

more until one day, again at the Goodwill Store, I saw

a pink wing chair that said Judy, that’s perfect for your

den. Out goes Mike’s big brown leather bathtub of a

chair; in goes my pretty pink little winger. Next, out went

the matching brown leather sofa and in went a little floral

love seat. I was on my way into a new life. A life alone.

But of course one has friends. Old friends. And you

make new friends. What you don’t have anymore are

couples friends. The wives cling closer to their husbands

when you are around. They pull them away on some

pretext if you start a serious conversation with them.

They never call you to go out. You are one. With them

that would make three, and three is an uneven number,

and then there would be that old business if he should

start to pay any attention to you. Any. The wife feels

threatened. So the couples go out with couples.

Sometimes the wife will call and you go out for

lunch. They don’t know what to say. You don’t know

what to talk about. Half your life is gone. You live in a

foggy space. You do not know how to make sparkling

conversation these days. You have no funny incidents

to share. All is gray. And white for empty. And black for

sadness. So the lunch invites get fewer and fewer with

more space in between.

Except Derva. She had been the exception. The dear

one who sometimes called just to say how are you.

Lunch? And she knew what to say. Not to complain

about Wallace, not tell what silly, stupid thing one of

them had recently done. She listened to my crazy

tales. How I put diesel fuel in my Toyota. How I lost

that same Toyota in the mall parking lot and couldn’t

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find it until everyone else had gone home and mine was

the only car left unclaimed. How I couldn’t remember my

own phone number or the way to my office a week after

Mike died.

Derva was the one who let me pile her van full of Mike’s

clothes and take them to the PTA Thrift shop. Then go

back with me the next day when I cried I wanted his worn

old sheepskin slippers back. Of course they were gone,

and of course it wasn’t the slippers I wanted back. It was

Mike. She knew, and I knew.

When I brought home the coffeemaker for one, Derva

said it made a perfectly good cup of coffee though it

tasted like dishwater to me. Still does.

She was the one who said someday you will sing again.

You will hum songs to yourself and you will dance. And I

said never. I don’t know how to smile. I will never laugh

again. She said I would and I did. I do. It still startles me

to be in the sunshine and not the rain.

So I guess I owed it to her when I saw her chair in the

Goodwill Store. That ugly, awful chair that cost a mint

and didn’t ease her pain a dime. I sat in that chair and I

bought that chair.

And the day I knew Wallace was going to be at the

men’s prayer breakfast at church, I had that chair

delivered to his house where I knew they always kept an

extra key by the rock under the fig bush.

I had the delivery men put that chair by the den

bookshelves where Derva always had it, then I dressed

myself in pink, though it isn’t my color, makes my skin

look flushed, but does blush up my cheeks. Pink was

Derva’s color. Tall, dark-haired, big

blue eyed Derva. I sat in that chair

and waited for Wallace to come in

the door

When he did, I didn’t say a

word. I waited as he walked by

me, patted me on the head

and said, “Just a minute,

darling. I’ll shower first.”

And he did.


50 OutreachNC • February 2012

Over My Shoulder

Ann Robson

On the first day, there

were mild cramps

between my shoulder

blades while I was on the

treadmill.

On the second day, the cramps

were more noticeable.

On the third day, during

a routine office visit, I

mentioned the cramps to

my doctor. While we were

talking, she reached for a phone and dialed a

cardiologist and booked a cardiac catherization for

me. I was surprised. Why? What do I need that for?

She was calm and reassuring saying she just wanted

to make sure “there’s nothing going on” that could

be serious.

That was almost 20 years ago.

The catherization was followed in a few days by

open heart surgery for a triple bypass. My doctor,

who was about nine months pregnant at the time,

came to see me on a cold blustery Michigan morning

to wish me well before the surgery. She came back a

couple of days later looking much happier than she

had earlier. It took me a

while to realize that by

actually listening to me,

she saved my life. I am

forever grateful.

Women, in general,

are not aware that

heart disease is the No.

1 killer for both men

and women; strokes are

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No. 3 for women. The

symptoms for women are

not exactly the same as

for men. If we get a

pain in our chest,

we are more likely

to chalk it up to

indigestion. Often

the symptoms for gall

bladder problems mimic

those for heart disease.

However, I have a

lengthy scar to show

where my gall bladder

was removed, long before the days of two little holes

and maybe a day in the hospital.

Women tend not to take some aches and pains

seriously—it’s not an easy thing to think that a pain in

your shoulder, arm or jaw could be a warning sign.

The most common warning signs for a heart attack

are chest pressure, tightness, or heaviness; pain in

shoulders, neck, jaw or arms; lightheadedness; fainting;

paleness. If these signs continue for even a short time,

call 911, and get to a hospital. Do not drive yourself!

(That seems so obvious but the number of people who

decide to drive themselves is alarming.)

Pain related to a heart attack can range from

dull to strong, or mild to severe. Many women feel

accompanying nervousness and anxiety that frequently

go ignored. People who commonly have heart attacks

without symptoms include women, elderly people and

diabetic patients.

I can be counted among those who knew very little

about heart problems for women. It took a caring doctor

and excellent surgeons to take care of the blockages. At

the time, I thought it was something like going to the

dentist, getting a problem fixed and that was all. I was

very wrong. Heart disease is a lifelong problem that

needs attention regularly.

Life can still be fulfilling

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

with that extra care. If

knowledge is power, then

learn as much as you can

about your heart and

what keeps it ticking.

February is Heart

Month. Take care of your

heart, and encourage

those you love to do

the same.

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OutreachNC OutreachNC • February • April 2012 201051

3

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52 OutreachNC • February 2012

4 OutreachNC • April 2010

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St. Joseph of the Pines is an aging service network offering a full continuum of retirement housing,

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