"hit the jackpot" this time! We have two great guest
writers. We’ll laugh as we enjoy Vincent’s imaginative
"rest of the story" and we’ll be inspired by Penny’s
Happened to Ebenezer?
you live on a mountain top in Outer Mongolia, I dare say you are
acquainted with the iconic holiday tale "A Christmas
Carol" by Charles Dickens. Indeed, the story has been
republished countless times, and a dozen films have been produced
(fortunately none of them featuring Robert DeNiro as Scrooge!)
the holiday tucked away, we can finally learn what happened to
Ebenezer—the villainous, miserly skinflint after he was
redeemed by the hideous ghost of Jacob Marley and the timely
intervention of the three spirits.
confidential information comes to me from my close friend,
Reginald, who is a prominent Dickens scholar living in London. He
has shared excerpts of Scrooge’s personal diary which sheds new
light on whatever happened to Ebenezer, and I generously pass them
on to you.
words: "Yes! Marley and those three spirits did their work
very well—turning me into the benefactor of the Cratchit family,
especially Tiny Tim. I progressed, hence, to a Mr. Nice Guy, a
willing philanthropist to the destitute families of London.
after a year, the boredom of their gratitude had me in tears. The
three spirits had taught me to loosen my purse strings—and I did
it with a vengeance. My friend, Lord Bindley, sparked me with the
idea of visiting Venice, and ‘twas there where I became a
philanderer, gambler and renowned Good Fellow! My money flowed
like water—and it felt heavenly. Ebenezer the Bon Vivant!
bought a palazzo, purchased my own gondola and filled it with
enchanting women—then one fatal night Marley’s ghost appeared
to me… and he had me twitching like a landed trout when he
announced to me that I had spent my entire fortune! And that Bob
Cratchit owned my business!
final insult? I returned to London and became Bob Cratchit’s
clerk! God bless us one and all—especially Tiny Tim."
I reflect on the events of the past year, I wonder how I and
everyone else will now move forward. This has been one of the most
difficult and traumatic years we have ever experienced. We have
all been affected by it: each of us personally, our loved ones and
friends, our community, our country and, in truth, the whole
may feel we are ready to move on, but our fears and worries are
far from over. People are still filling up beds in hospitals, and
more families (even in our own village) are grieving lost loved
ones. Our rules and restrictions remain in place: wearing masks,
keeping our distance, celebrating and meeting on Zoom. Life as we
knew it changed in what seemed like an instant as businesses,
restaurants and schools closed down and social activities were
through it all I have learned appreciation and acceptance. I
respected and obeyed the rules not only to protect myself but also
those I came into contact with. And I admired the resolve of my
friends and community for doing likewise. It seemed as if an
invisible thread worked its way around our neighbors, our staff
and even those we haven’t seen for months—keeping us safe and
creating a sense of true community.
whole world was in chaos. Not only were we experiencing the terror
of a worldwide pandemic, but it was an election year, probably the
most divisive, contentious one ever. There were also protests, and
people of all backgrounds and ages marched as the world looked on—and
sometimes joined in. And yet, here in Golden Lakes we avoided any
contentious debate or criticism for the sake of staying strong and
focused—we were learning to survive! We learned to be resilient
and adapt to the challenges. We also learned to live with fear—the
reality that even though we have found new ways to stay in touch,
simply going shopping or getting a haircut is still risky.
has helped us to find comfort and peace has been the Golden Lakes
Love in Action club encouraging us to reach out and help one
another. Last February, before any of us knew what lay ahead, I
became very ill and spent a week in the hospital. I returned home
weak and feeling terribly alone. Thankfully, Love in Action angels
were there for me, offering to pick up meds, do shopping or just
stopping by to chat and extend their friendship. Then COVID hit
and there was a great outpouring of love. The Angel Network
offered med and food pick-ups to all residents and also got busy
making and giving out masks, purchasing and distributing fresh
fruit and veggies from local farms, preparing home-cooked meals
for residents in need, praying and offering phone counseling for
those requesting it, and doing fun things like giving out Tilly-the-Toilet-Paper-Ladies,
a sure way to lift spirits and elicit hearty laughs! We were—and
still are—able to call the Angel Hotline anytime with any need.
We’re not alone; together we can persevere and come out OK.
am happy to end this article with some good news. This week 1200+
of us are getting our second COVID shot. There really is a
"light at the end of the tunnel." Maybe at some point
this year we can return to what will be a "new normal."
It won’t be the same because we are not the same. Will I
continue to be absorbed in my own activities (reading, Netflix,
long conversations with friends)? Will I once again get
"too-busy" with theaters, lectures, lunch dates and
outings? I don’t know.
I do know that I will continue to be a part of Love in Action,
inspiring others as I have been inspired. What I look forward to
most is seeing and hugging my grandkids and of course enjoying all
my family and friends once again. It really is something wonderful
to think about…
BIG LOVE IN ACTION THANK-YOU TO OUR GUEST WRITERS:
with Ida Weiss, one of the nonagenarian honorees she interviewed
for the Big Birthday Bash in 2019 (for those turning 90 or more
with Ida Weiss, one of the nonagenarian honorees she interviewed
for the Big Birthday Bash in 2019 (for those turning 90 or more
(third from left—fourth, counting Herman the puppet): as a
member of Troupe LIA helping at the Reading Campout Night at
Benoist Farms School in 2018. Penny and Amy (far left) headed a
Book Drive for the school, also, and over the years LIA has
assisted in a variety of ways.
has been active in Love in Action for years and has led many
artist workshops, has led a course on different types of classic
movies and has organized art exhibits on occasion. He has used his
love of painting to brighten and inspire people while raising
money for Love in Action. His most recent project is bringing new
life to old furniture.
at left is an old worn-out stool belonging to Ruth's
grandchildren. Let’s see how colorful, acrylic paint and a
talented, imaginative artist (Vincent) can transform it! Photos to
be displayed in the next issue.
THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS _____.
each put in something near and dear to our hearts. Then let’s BE
the change we most want to see by acting on our own "word(s)
to the wise."
year I’m "sitting at the feet" of the late evangelist
Billy Graham as I make my way through his daily devotional called
"Peace for Each Day" (all 365 of them in 2021!) It’s
like hearing him speak directly to me as I read his daily message.
His compelling and dynamic preaching style inspired me at age 13
to ecstatically "fly" down tier after tier of metal
steps in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium to make a life-enriching
as if he’s checking back with me to see how I’ve lived my life
these last 64 years. I wish my actions had always followed my good
intentions. But no: I’ve done (and still do) much that I regret.
But the lessons learned from my failures make me a kinder, more
genuine and less selfish senior citizen. Amazingly, I now see that
my greatest personal growth lies still ahead of me!
I’m completing our "What the world needs now" sentence
with P-C-T, a code for PREPARATION, COMMUNICATION and TEAMWORK.
With this to guide me I can take giant steps toward being the
punctual, peaceful, patient partner I so want to be as Love in
Action (LIA) makes even more good things happen in and beyond
Golden Lakes this year. With the loving support of LIA’s members
and friends, our faithful Board of Directors and especially our
hard-working 2021 Leadership Team (Kim, Nancy, Joy and Dorinda)
I feel certain that this will be our best year yet. Heartfelt
thanks to all of you!
I spoke briefly with my LIA Buddhist friends, Batya and Barbara.
They always expand my insights and lift my spirit. Barbara gave me
the following story to share with you, dear readers, to illustrate
the word that most of us will agree best ends the sentence above.
The story was written by Terry Dobson, (1937-1992, American master
of Aikido—a modern version of Japanese martial arts) and was
repeatedly told by Ram Dass (1931-2019), a renowned American
teacher of Eastern spirituality and yoga.
was a typical spring day. A train clanked and rattled through the
suburbs of Tokyo carrying Terry, a few housewives with their kids
and some old folks going shopping. At one station the quiet was
shattered by a man who came aboard bellowing violent,
incomprehensible curses. He wore laborer’s clothes and was big,
drunk and dirty. He punched a lady with a baby and tried to kick
an elderly woman fleeing from him.
the man was trying to wrench the center pole from its stanchion
Terry considered how he might protect these vulnerable and
terrified passengers. He had eight hours of Aikido every day for
the past three years. He was tough but he never had his skill
tested outside of class because in Aikido one is not allowed to
fight. His teacher often said, "Aikido is an act of
reconciliation. Whoever has the mind to fight has broken his
connection to the universe. If you try to dominate people, you’re
already defeated. We study how to resolve conflict, not how to
his heart, however, Terry wanted a legitimate opportunity to save
the innocent by destroying the guilty. He told himself: "If I
don’t do something fast, somebody will get hurt badly."
Terry stood up to confront the drunkard, who then roared at Terry:
"Arghh, a foreigner! You need a lesson in Japanese
manners." Terry egged him on because he wanted the man angry
enough to make the first move so he could then "tear that
turkey apart" in self-defense.
as the man was about to lunge at Terry someone shouted
"Hey!" It was ear-splitting—with a strangely joyous,
lilting quality to it. It came from an elderly Japanese gentleman
who beamed delightedly at the laborer as if he had the most
important, most welcome secret to share. "Come here," he
said with a light wave of his hand as he focused only on the
trouble-maker, "and talk to me." The man followed as if
on a string. "Why the hell should I talk to you?" he
bellowed as he planted his feet belligerently on the ground facing
the old man. Of course Terry stood ready to be take over if
been drinking?" the old man asked, eyes sparkling with
interest. The younger man replied, "I been drinking sake…
and it’s none of your business!" Flecks of spittle
spattered the old man, which was ignored as he told the drunkard
how he and his wife enjoyed sake, too, as they’d sit on a little
wooden bench at sunset by a persimmon tree (planted by his
grandfather) that has survived many a storm. When the drunkard
said he too likes persimmons, the wise man remarked: "Yes,
and I’m sure you have a wonderful wife." This is when the
pain came out: no wife, no home, no job, just filled with shame.
As tears rolled down the dirty man’s cheeks the old man again
invited him to sit and talk about it.
Terry left the train he took one last look back. The laborer was
sprawled on the seat, his head in his new friend’s lap. Terry
suddenly felt his own neediness. What he had wanted to do with
muscle had been accomplished with
BIG LOVE-IN-ACTION "THANK YOU" TO:
STEIN, for the story featured in this column. To get a pdf of
the full story as written by Terry Dobson, email us at info@GLLove
LITTLEFIELD, featured in the last issue, for offering her
breakthrough story "When Time Stood Still," which was
published by two magazines. That started her prolific writing
career. For a pdf of that love story between two 1930’s
trucks, email us at info@GLLoveinAction.com
DADDIEGO, for his latest creative endeavor: "Bring your
Smaller Pieces of Furniture Back to Life." His motto as a
professional artist has always been "If it doesn't move,
paint it!" Over the years he has revitalized end tables,
chests of drawers, wooden boxes, coffee tables, etc. If you’d
like to get some much-needed color into your life, or give a
unique gift to a loved one, call or text 201-785-6481. Prices are
reasonable and much of the proceeds support LIA activities.
painted by Vincent.
JACKOWSKI, longtime LIA member and board member, for all he did
for Love in Action, Golden Lakes Village and American Legion Post
#367. Bill died on January 13th and will be sorely missed. Just
prior to his death he was given the first Love in Action
"Giver & Doer" award "for hard work, integrity
and devotion to serving others." In his honor a plaque will
be displayed listing him and all future recipients of that award.A
tree was also planted in the Holy Land in his memory.
with Jacqueline at our "Christmas in July" party for
kids with cancer, which was hosted by both LIA and Americal Legion
Post #367, which still does good works for and with POST
(Pediatric Oncology Support Group—see ad on back page of this
issue), by helping families of children like Jacqueline (who, by
the way, is now cancer-free).
in café B where he met with friends to enjoy both the food and
the camaraderie. It was there that Bill was first invited to an
LIA Gathering, at which he hit the ground running! He brightened
both Mother's Day and Valentine’s Day by giving roses to the
women attending. Always joking; always happy; always giving his
all. A great friend and family man! He’d always say "I love
you guys!" and now we say to him "We love you, Bill,
with all our hearts and from here to eternity!"
by Tom McCorry]
11 & 12, 2021
Norman, Victor and Martha (seated) are the last-of-day-one
recipients to receive part one of the Moderna vaccine, given to
GLV condo owners 65 and over. Standing behind them is Valena, a
medical team assistant, is pleased with their evaluation of the
is more exciting than the World Series, a photo-finish Olympic race
and (maybe) even winning the lottery? It’s rolling up our sleeves
for the much-needed and highly-anticipated COVID vaccination! And
this is exactly what many Golden Lakes residents, 65 and over, are
doing today and tomorrow (January 11th an 12th). The heroes in this
story are the Anzen Management Group, Seacrest Services, Inc. and
the many resident volunteers who "rolled up their sleeves"
and worked like crazy to make it happen in a timely and efficient
manner. And of course big credits go to Moderna for the vaccine and
those professionals administering it. Thank you, all!
or not we have had our vaccinations, we must all remain cautious by
following the rules of distancing, masks, etc. And let’s help each
other by sharing our thoughts and experiences on ways to get healthy
so we can emerge from this long tunnel better than when we entered
it. Hugo and I, for example, are focusing now on eating less,
having fewer types of food at one time and greatly decreasing
processed-and-packaged foods, salt, sugar and wheat.
of our members, published author D. M. Littlefield (better
known to us as Dottie), wrote this short story before the
COVID. It’s a delightful example of the discerning wisdom of our
feathered friends. It’s entitled:
BRAIN" by D/M. Littlefield
few weeks ago, my daughter and I had lunch at the Sailfish Marina on
Singer Island. The restaurant faces piers with large fishing boats.
Large glass windows were open to let the diners enjoy the fresh air
and view all the activity by the boats. Pigeons patrolled the floor
of the restaurant like meticulous little janitors picking up food
dropped from the tables.
sea gulls, and other birds gathered by the fish-cleaning station for
the tasty chunks thrown away by fishermen. The birds had a lot of
competition from large fish jumping out of the clear water to snatch
the goodies before the birds got to them. The enjoyable nature show
and large gift shop with everything from post cards, toys, clothes,
and jewelry to mermaid lamps, hammocks, and fishing equipment
attracted many tourists.
brown medium-sized bird landed at the unoccupied table next to ours
and used its beak to sort through the packets of sweeteners in a
container on the table. The container held yellow packets of Splenda,
pink packets of Sweet ’n’ Low, tan packets of raw sugar, and
white packets of pure sugar. The bird picked out a packet of raw
sugar and flew away with it. I was amazed at the bird’s dexterity
and choice. I asked our waitress if the birds stole sugar often. She
told me they took it every day, but only the raw sugar because the
other sweeteners were toxic to them.
term bird brain took on a while new meaning. I think the birds were
more intelligent than some humans. Don’t you agree?
Littlefield (whose pen name is D.M. Littlefield) has lived in Golden Lakes
for 18 years. Prior to that she lived for 25 years in Kilgore Texas (known
for having the most oil wells.) While visiting an oil museum there she was
inspired to write a love story between two old 1930’s trucks on display.
Her story was published in a Texas magazine and she was hooked! Since then
she has joined writers’ organizations and has written more than 50 short
stories. A true story she enjoys telling takes place in Golden Lakes when,
shortly after moving in, she went for a walk near one of picturesque
canals in the community. All of a sudden an alligator jumped out of the
water and grabbed an ibis that was closer to the water than she was. She
hasn’t walked that same way since!
books include two children's books called "Journey into the Land of
the Wingless Giants" and "Enchanted." Here is a promo
photo of her and some of the fairies from her books. She and her
daughter Sharon teamed up to co-write an adult book called "Life,
Love and Laughter." All can be purchased on Amazon.
Lakes Village Clubhouse Christmas Lights
the last week of the year be upon us ALREADY? Or should I say:
"Whew! 2020 is FINALLY coming to an end!" Whichever way we
view it, now is the time to take stock of who we are and where we
stand in comparison to this time last year. Needless to say, the
differences are dramatic, poignant and challenging. So let’s
ponder our highest hopes while making practical plans for 2021—then
we can put our best foot forward as we step boldly into the new
is featuring an article by Bryan Robinson, PhD, called "10 Tips
to be Happier and Make 2021 Your Best Year Ever." He advises
overcoming negatives by focusing on positives, such as: upsides,
opportunities, helpful lessons, gratitude, risk-taking, solutions,
positive self-talk, broader perspectives, inspirational solitude and
words of wisdom or sage advice would you like to offer as we bid
2020 adieu and welcome in the new year?
good friend and master artist Vincent Daddiego has graciously
volunteered to be our guest writer for this year-end column by
offering a timely tip of his own. In his characteristically
light-hearted yet powerful way he describes a great start to the new
just have to… "Buy the Book!" by Vincent Daddiego.
people inquire of me when I decided to become an artist, I usually
respond with a flippant but polite: "I guess it happened when I
was a fetus—or perhaps in the delivery room, 45 seconds after I
was born." In reality, though, that decision was made when I
was a youngster living with my parents and younger brother on the
lower East Side of Manhattan. The Creative Spirit planted an
invisible but firm hand on my right shoulder and whispered in my
left ear: ‘Do it, Vincent. You really have to do it.’
thus I did. I bolstered my dream with an excellent art education in
New York and Florence, Italy, and subsequently forged a successful
career in the graphic arts and then as a professional painter and
sculptor with an array of collectors and gallery exhibitions.
let me ask YOU a question. Or rather, ask yourself: ‘How am I
really using my time—those numerous hours of near-seclusion; those
humdrum, tedious hours during this time of the Virus?’ Answer:
Smile and say, ‘I’ll Go Buy the Book!’
books I am recommending are Art History books—those big, beautiful
volumes that usually end up collecting a film of dust on a coffee
table or book shelf. I dare say, you might own one or two of them
will find a new and dazzling world of unique beauty within the
covers of such books. A universe of surprising information that will
pour therapeutic juices into your heart and brain. Your eyes will
thank you and your mind will be enriched.
will be captivated by the world of art. Enthralled by each artist’s
innovations and visions of life—before the Vicious Virus!
will be inspired by the work of the Early Italian artists:
Tintoretto, DaVinci, Bernini. Others that will command your
attention are the French painters, among them Boucher, Watteau,
hello to Rubens, Rembrandt, Renoir. (Ruth tells me I’m running out
of space). But don’t forget the Americans: Georgia O’Keefe,
stroke of the brush: if you don’t own one of the colorful,
engrossing aforementioned volumes, then Go Buy the Book and spend an
hour or so a day with a new friend. Who knows—you, too, may be
tapped on the shoulder by that marvelous Creative Spirit!"
was born in. Greenwich Village, in New York City, and was intent on
a career in the arts from an early age. He received an excellent art
education in New York, Italy and England. Vincent’s graphic design
work and film documentaries have won numerous prestigious awards.
His canvas paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in a variety
of art galleries throughout the U.S. and Europe. His collectors have
all experienced an exceptional positive emotion upon viewing his
enjoys reading about art history and viewing the fabulous works of
art throughout the ages. He also keeps active creating new and
fanciful products (like his Pick-Me-Up-Pods, Squiggles and CleoCatra
works of art). His "Turn-Over-a-New Leaf" and
"Come-out-of-Your-Shell" products (shown in photos) are
especially appropo this time of year and sell for just $10 with
proceeds to Love in Action. Text or call 201-785-6481 to purchase
them or visit with Vincent to see all of his amazing works.
latest masterpiece is a colorful, whimsical painting called
"FISH WITH LEGS? MOTHER NATURE NEVER SLEEPS." How about
calling this photo "An Artist Sprouting Brushes? Antlers to
Create the Good and Fight the Enemy." According to this
sprouter "All Art Fights the Virus!"
EXCITEMENT IN GOLDEN LAKES VILLAGE
reindeer named BATYA
light up our lives!
bigger-than-life Santa came to the village and made quick friends
with GLORIA, LOUISE and ELVELITA (and many others).
Holiday Play-Date was enjoyed by (l-r): IRENE, LOUISE, WILLI,
ELVELITA, JUDY (and GLORIA who took photo). Fun and games included
music, dancing, treats, camaraderie, and plans-in-the-making for
an upcoming Valentine’s Day event. Both Phase A and B are
ushering in 2021 with a big celebration: a New Year’s Eve
poolside party at A and a New Year’s Day brunch with outdoor
entertainment at GLV Phase B.
FRIENDS RING IN THE NEW YEAR !
thoughts to ponder)
PALS" met to toast the holiday season and their friendship.
Here are their thoughts on 2021:
(standing, l-r): "Let's live life to the fullest by pursuing
worthy goals while maintaining a happy frame of mind."
"Love the Lord with heart, soul and strength—and love
others as yourself. This covers it all and makes all the
"In 2021 may we see each other smile (no masks), hug our
families and friends, travel to see loved ones, and live freely
"I hope to be able to throw my in-person Super Bowl party
again this coming year."
(sitting): May 2021 give us lots of ‘cookies’—things we
enjoy and are grateful for.
"My best advice for 2021 is 'Don’t turn on the TV’!"
a relaxing, déjà vu getaway for Hugo and me—the same
two timeshare weeks in December, and always the same unit of the
same resort on Sanibel Island (on the west coast of Florida.)
Right this moment, I’m sitting on our second-floor lanai as I
write this, sneaking glimpses of the panoramic,
spectacular-as-ever view of the Gulf. It soothes the soul and is a
welcome relief from the many unwelcome developments that have been
thrust upon us this year.
was planning on a holiday theme for this column, something like
"The Joy of Giving this Holiday Season," accentuating
the giving. But after streaming via computer into our
"virtual church service" here on the island and watching
the lighting of the JOY candle on the Advent wreath, then hearing
a sermon on the difference between joy and happiness, I realize
that the focus should be on THE JOYS OF BOTH RECEIVING AND GIVING.
generally reflects what’s going on around us, whereas joy (which
doesn’t correlate with outside circumstances) is a gift we
receive supernaturally from the One who loves, and watches over,
us. This inner joy is what makes us cheerful givers who delight in
being a blessing to others—which, in turn, deepens our own joy.
Lakes Village (GLV) has been blessed with many harding-working,
cheerful givers over the years. Corinne Blonstein, for
example, was President of the active and charitable Golden Lakes
Women’s Club for many years. An upcoming column will be a
memorial feature on her. She died unexpectedly a few weeks ago and
will be sorely missed. Love in Action has ordered a tree planted
in Israel as a living tribute to her life of joyful giving.
GLV group that comes to heart and mind is "Circle of
Friends." Here is what its Co-Founder and Coordinator Marie
Brier tells us about the group:
2003 my husband and I moved to GLV from Scranton, PA—an
astounding change for us. Almost immediately, I had the good
fortune of meeting Dotty Levin, a ‘transplant’ from
Massachusetts. We became fast friends and were soon talking about
forming a service group to help residents in our 55+ GLV
a sad fact that as we age in America we encounter stressful (and
costly) health and mobility issues. By age 65, according to the
American Medical Association website, two-thirds of Americans have
at least one chronic illness and see seven different doctors.
One-fifth have five or more chronic illnesses and are tangled up
with 14 doctors. And a huge proportion simply don’t have the
financial resources to live out their lives in independent comfort
and security. There are many ‘hidden hungry’ seniors who are
struggling to put food on their tables. They often can’t bring
themselves to tell neighbors or their families about their plight,
or even to just admit it to themselves.
Brier continues: "In 2004 Dotty and
I started Circle of Friends to help those in our
village who struggle with such big problems or just need a little
extra help in their daily lives. We assisted an elderly woman
(unable to walk) by having food delivered to her
condo. Another woman with Alzheimer’s wandered into the GLV
office crying that she was alone. We reached out to her to set up
a daily wellness check. Another time we were told of a woman who
was not leaving her house and was probably not eating enough. We
dropped off groceries for her until she finally had to go to a
services are flexible according to the needs. They have included
gift certificates for food and services, prescription pick-ups,
transportation to GLV clubhouses, daily check-in calls, respite
time for caregivers, home visits, and referrals to out-of-village
resources for transportation, food, counseling and other social
services. We also have sponsored several informative ‘Lunch and
Learn’ programs entitled Breast Cancer in Men and Women, Aging
in Place, Smart Phones and Latest Home Technology, Hurricane
Preparation, Non-Invasive Spinal Therapy and other topics of
special interest to seniors.
with COVID-19 bringing additional hardship to so many, we are
concentrating more than ever on helping residents who can’t
afford their much-needed food and meds. We recently provided hot
meals for Thanksgiving and will get holiday gift baskets out to
the most needy in our village. To accomplish our goals we conduct
bake sales, raffles and other fundraisers—and we gratefully
accept donations from individuals and from groups like LIA. To
donate, volunteer and/or learn more about Circle of Friends,
please contact either myself, Marie, at 561-676-4017 or Dotty
Circle of Friends, for spreading the lights of hope, peace, love
and joyous giving AND receiving this holiday season… and every
Greeting from Marie Brier, guest writer of this column.
Marie grew up in Scranton, PA. She graduated from the University
of Scranton with a BA in Health and Human Services. She had a
rewarding career as an Independent Living Specialist for people
with disabilities. She was able to help people with Cerebral
Palsy, TBI and other disabilities to learn to live on their own.
After retiring and moving to Florida, she became very active at
Unity of the Palm Beaches and served in whatever positions were
needed: Prayer Chaplain Coordinator, Marketing Team Chairperson
and Fundraiser to name a few. Today she serves as Co-Coordinator
of Circle of Friends and facilitator of Social Media for Unity of
the Palm Beaches .
HOLIDAY WISHES FROM GOLDEN LAKES VILLAGE
of Friends: treats for
Kwanza and New Year's Celebrations! Some
of Circle of Friends’ dedicated volunteers at a pre-COVID
bake sale. Left to right: Amanda
Griffin, Louise Link, Blake Kraham, Jerry Brier standing behind
Dotty Levin & Marie Brier (Co-Funders and Coordinators), Donna
Fine, Nancy Silberman, Effie Gonzalez and Marilyn Zehme.
winner of this CIrcle of Friends fundraiser will be the proud
owner own this beautiful handmade quilt, 50x64 inches. Each star
pattern represents a different place, historical event, etc. If
you recognize one or more of the stars, please feel free to
comment when you message or text Marie (?561-676-4017?) with your
bid. Starting bid is $50. She will update you each time the bid
changes. December 23rd the winner will be announced. Pickup or
delivery in Palm Beach county only. Proceeds go to CIRCLE OF
FRIENDS, (see LIA column)
"SILVER BELLES OF GOLDEN LAKES" RING IN THE HOLIDAY
SEASON BY SHOWING THEIR TRUE COLORS!
|Join the craze and proudly
sport your gorgeous silver locks as the following gals have done.
If you, dear readers, are also "coming out" and enjoying
the new au naturale hair color, please email us your photograph
for our "Silver Belles Ring in the New Year!" in the
next issue of Condo News. Email: info@GLloveinaction.com
Holiday Surprise for Olivia!
got around that Olivia (the Phase B water-aerobics instructor)
needed a bicycle because hers was recently stolen. Good bikes are
hard to find now because of the COVID rush on them, but a
concerned Phase B LIAer kept spreading the word. LIA then sent an
appeal via email blast to its growing list of big-hearted
villagers. A Phase A couple contacted the Phase B LIAer to donate
the fabulous bicycle shown above. After the LIAer replaced one
wheel and decorated it with a colorful garland, it was presented
to one very happy aerobics instructor!
ends with giving thanks and praise to our Lord… and December
turns our attention to the flip side of loving God, which is
loving others as much as we love ourselves. Through gifts and good
deeds—as well as kind words both spoken and written—we express
in late November, the Palm Beach Post started its annual
"Season to Share" promotion, asking us to help needy PB
County neighbors get their holiday wishes. Circle of Friends, a
group of big-hearted people in Golden Lakes Village (GLV), started
early, too, by purchasing Thanksgiving dinners from the Phase B
café for 20+ residents who were alone and/or in need on this
special day of thanks. Love in Action gave pumpkin pies to our
village management and maintenance staffs to brighten their
holidays, and the Italian-American clubs of GLV got a head-start
with their annual Toys for Tots project.
even during this horrific pandemic we see light, not only at the
end of the tunnel but even in the midst of it. As a great example
of this, here is an inspiring story written by an LIA member.
Vice President of Love in Action (LIA), posed this provocative
question to those who attended the November LIA board meeting: What
has been the most valuable lesson(s) learned during this
life-changing nine-month period?
I, Batya, pondered my own response, I decided to step out
of my more introspective lifestyle to embark on a quest of what
others were thinking. My goal was to gain and share a balanced
view of the COVID challenge in GLV. For me, as a dyed-in-the-wool
introvert, it wasn’t easy, but I connected with several
attendees who graciously shared their thoughts and experiences.
Here now is what each had to say:
I am too busy delivering food, medicine, etc., to my neighbors, to
worry about myself getting sick. My motto is "Pay it
Helping others has been a lifelong mission. During lockdown my
greatest blessing has been the permission to take time for myself
at home (1) to fold my underwear, and organize my
"drawers," and (2) to continue learning and building
skills through reading and practicing online tasks.
My appreciation of and empathy for myself and others has deepened
during the past nine months. I’ve learned just how fragile life
is; how I can’t take anyone or anything for granted; and how
rewarding it is to meet defensiveness with understanding.
After a lifetime of mastering the social and material realms, the
COVID downtime has allowed me to enjoy my alone-time with fewer,
quieter activities. I thank LIA President Ruth for being my
inspiration and support in feeling more at peace with my world.
This, too, shall pass… We’ve all been here before and will
again. It is important to have routines to create stability and
order within the chaos of not knowing "what’s up!"
The power of positive thinking and even sharing basic needs like
paper towels and toilet paper, have helped me overcome the anxiety
of being separated from those I love.
I am grateful for the opportunity to take the time for honest self
inventory to face my compromised dreams. After a lifetime of
learning lessons through Creative Play as well as through the
Grief of Loss, I am ready to get on with living. I invite our
readers to join me in the Healing Power of Play. Two of my recent
fun activities were attending a top-notch musical production at
King’s Academy (a nearby school) and initiating a spontaneous
outdoor Halloween dress-up celebration, a senior-style play date.
Let’s have more COVID-safe fun together in the days ahead!
My given name is Brenda; Batya is my chosen, more spiritual name
which means "Blessed of God" in Arabic. After many years
of self-enforced caregiving, the inevitable breakdown occurred—just
as the COVID lockdown began. I am most grateful for its gift of
time for self-inquiry and a safe space to "fall apart"
in order to resurrect my truer self. The arrogant ego, humbled
over and again, has finally softened and became less power-driven,
freeing me to both seek and offer support in a balanced
shame and guilt still create cycles of withdrawal and depression,
but I find myself more resilient and integrated as a result of
this challenging time. And, after writing this "story,"
I am now less the lone sequester and more the bold team-player. I
leave you with a line from "Anthym" by
singer/songwriter/Buddhist monk Leonard Cohen: "There
is a crack in everything… that lets the light shine in." Even
during the corona virus pandemic!
LAKES LOVE IN ACTION
thanks to BATYA ALBEE,
writer in this week’s column
Member Batya… (above right) with friend, Allegra
was raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, earned a BA in Art
Education from the Syracuse University School of Fine Arts, and
studied at Rutgers and other colleges during the summers to extend
her education. She taught in Long Island, the Boston Museum of
Fine Arts and in a private school for special-needs children.
was born with an auto-immune condition called colitis. Her dad was
an allergist (now known as an epidemiologist) favoring holistic
treatments, so she naturally gravitated toward natural solutions
to problems, both physical and emotional.
25 years she was a member of an alternative healing cooperative
called "Market Street Health Association" where she
worked as a colonhydrotherapist. During that time she became an
activist in building a coalition called IACT (International Assn
for Colon Therapists) and was instrumental in preparing a
professional certification program for hydrotherapists.
calls herself a Jewish-Christian-Buddhist, finding great strength
and comfort from all three, as well as authors like Brené Brown,
mentors like her dear friend Allegra Barschak and front-line
heroes who are putting their lives on the line. Her involvement in
LIA projects has also been a fulfilling source of joy for her.
staff were honored with a pies-ful Thanksgiving this year.
above left) Joy presented Phase B social director, Silvia, with 18
delicious pies, and (pictured above right) Kim presented another
18 to Gina, Phase B social director.
Love and Appreciation to…
Legion Veterans Post #367: Love in Action VP, Nancy, presented a
check to the Legion in honor of Bill Jackowski, member of LIA and
Assistant Chaplain of Post #367. Bill has been the wings beneath
the growth of both organizations in GLV. The check was accepted by
District Commander John Castro, right. Post Commander Darryl
Walcher, son-in-law of Bill, is on the left.
for Tots: LIAers purchased dozens of toys for needy children and
donated them to the Italian-American clubs' annual campaign. They
were accepted by the Santa on the left (Helen), the Santa to the
right (Helen’s sister, Toni) and Jan (in back, far left). LIA
members Kim, Joy and Willi presented the toys.
comes at just the right time this year—as we face a unusually
active hurricane season, a resurgence of the coronavirus, and the
mother of all messy post-elections. And all this is on top of the
challenging personal, national and world-wide problems we face on
a regular basis. But don’t despair, dear readers, for
Thanksgiving reminds us that with a healthy dose of loving
gratitude we can make good things happen to counteract the
negatives around us.
think of that wonderful song from the sixties (music by Burt
Bacharach, lyrics by Hal David and sung by Jackie DeShannon). Let’s
sing it together:
the world needs now is love, sweet love
the only thing that there’s just too little of.
the world needs now is love, sweet love,
not just for some but for everyone.
we don’t need another mountain,
are mountains and hillsides enough to climb
are oceans and rivers enough to cross,
to last till the end of time.
we don’t need another meadow
are cornfields and wheat fields enough to grow
are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine
listen, Lord, if you want to know…
a little P.S. for you: Burt Bacharach is now 92 years old, Jackie
is 79, and Hal David died in 2012 at age 92. All three have put
their love into action through their musical giftedness, enriching
the lives of untold numbers of people. It’s a win-win when love
is active and lifts others. As the saying goes: Those who
spread sunshine to others, can’t keep it away from themselves.
is a true story submitted by Love-in-Action member, Pearl
Warner, which illustrates the nitty-gritty of what it means to
put love into action. She calls it: A NIGHT IN THE PANDEMIC:
SEARCHING FOR OSCAR
11:45 PM. My neighbor knocks on my door crying. Her
newly-acquired, black-and-white cat has gone out the door and is
missing. So, wearing my red and purple garish lounging-gown, I
leave my cozy home to search for Oscar. Soon my neighbor sees him
by the canal. By the time I get there Oscar has scampered away…
and the next moment I’m puling my friend out of the canal! She
looks like a Halloween-costume mannequin.
spots Oscar under a car. I crawl under the car, yelling
"Woof! Woof!," only to hear a car stop. It’s Security.
He asks if I’m OK; I say I ‘m fine but Oscar is missing.
"Who is Oscar?" is his reply. "My neighbor’s
black-and-white cat," I say, brushing aside my sweaty (1/3
blond, 1/3 gray and 1/3 shabby) hair. He takes off. My friend says
he’s not very helpful; I utter: " He was wonderful! He didn’t
call the paddy wagon and pull us into a state mental asylum."
again my neighbor spots her cat by another nearby canal… and
once again she falls in. I go to pull her out only to end up in
the canal myself. We’re wretched, distraught and hoping there
are no hungry alligators looking for a tasty two-course meal!
on dry land, she looks up to the sky and says, "It’s a full
moon." I say, "Luna means moon and attic means top
story, and we are looking loony in what is sure to be a story that
tops them all." With that, a woman opens her door, looks at
us, slams the door shut and latches it. Smart lady. Then out comes
a gentleman with a beautiful white dog, and we yell to him:
"If your dog sees a stray cat will he please bark and send it
home." He yells out "Good luck" and runs from us. I
say: "Now that’s what I call good social-distancing!"
92-year-old legs are hurting (and my garish gown is dripping onto
my soaking wet shoes) when she spots her cat again. I tell her
that when he arrives at the garbage bin to grab him from behind—the
bushes in the area will stop him from escaping. I take her
flashlight and hold it. Along comes Oscar, so proud of himself for
his journey out. Our plan works: he stops at the garbage bin, I
blind him with the light which glows in his eyes. She grabs him,
kisses him and says "I need him so." I say, "I need
a bath. What time is it?" She says "3 AM." She
thanks me very much and says: "If you ever need a favor, ask
me!" I say, "I’ll ask you for one right now. If ever
your brat-cat decides to run away from home again, please knock on
someone else’s door!"
Pearl, for sharing your love-in-action (Lucy-and-Ethel-type)
adventure with us. Your great sense of humor and generosity come
through loud and clear. This Thanksgiving let’s all think about
and express our gratitude as actively as possible, thereby adding
to that much-needed love we just sang about. Happy Turkey Day to
IN ACTION THANKS CONTRIBUTING WRITER FOR THIS COLUMN, PEARL WARNER
Love in Action (LIA) Member
those in need as a dedicated volunteer with Golden Lakes Circle of
Friends Service group is Pearl, 2nd from left, front row. Leaders
of the group are Dotty, next to Pearl, and Marie, far right front
her younger days in Europe. She was born in NYC, a graduate of
city College, raised tree daughters on Long island.
an elf at the Christmas in July party for Kids with Cancer.
she was a young girl,
took to drama, loved Shakespeare and appeared on a TV show
"The Belle of 14th Street" with Barbara Streisand.
her expertise as a speaker at LIA classes and Gatherings. She was
a handwriting analyst (often testifying in court cases), a social
worker specializing in desensitizing fears, and still works as a
volunteer bereavement counselor (licensed by PB County Mental
Health) for a local American Health organization.
GLV social activities with boyfriend, Paul. They have known each
other for years: Pearl was a licensed appraiser and had jewelry
and antique stores here in Florida. Paul, whose parents lived in
Golden Lakes 40 years ago, still has his jewelry store in Lake
a recent flea market with friend Batya, where LIA raised money for
the American Legion Post #367.
Warner (right) at a Get-Together of LIA poets,
share favorites and originals
It’s November! And what’s so great about November? Well…
when I was a kid growing up in New Jersey in the forties and
fifties, it was one of my favorite months. Lots of Halloween candy
still hung around to sweeten the chill of the dropping outdoor
temperatures and diminishing daylight hours. Yet it was still warm
enough to enjoy the great outdoors and jump into the piles of
leaves without having to wear layers of clothing. It was an
"expect-anything" month titillating us with extreme
possibilities, like the lingering warmth of an "Indian
Summer," a powerful hurricane or even an early snow storm.
was a month with personal significance as well, because Dad’s
birthday and mine were celebrated just four days apart. And its
major holidays perfectly combined patriotism and gratitude as we
observed Armistice Day (which originated to mark the end of WWI;
after WWII and the Korean War it became the broader Veterans Day)
plus the 4-day Thanksgiving weekend set aside for giving special
thanks to the Lord for our many blessings.
have so many fond memories of family gatherings, delicious meals
and peeks at football games I had very little interest in. But the
televised Thanksgiving Day Parade … that was awesome! Except for
Santa’s appearance in the parade, there’s no hint of Christmas
yet—so we could savor the joys of the November without
interference from Black Friday, Hallmark holiday movies and
yuletide decorations here, there and everywhere.
highlight that makes November unique is Election Day, which occurs
on the Tuesdays after the first Mondays of the month. As the years
flew by, my understanding and appreciation of our right to vote
deepened. The heartbreaking assassination of our President John F.
Kennedy is unforgettable. I recall early dismissal from a college
class on November 22, 1963 and walking to my off-campus residence
missed voting in the 1964 presidential election by a slim margin
(I was over 18 but not yet 21; the age requirement changed in
1971). But in November of 1968 I finally got to vote for our
president and was among those who put him into office.
my view of November matured (no more delight in early snowstorms!)
other significant changes both brightened and clouded this month.
In 1967 I met the love of my life, Hugo, and married him on
November 10th of that same year. It happened to be my Dad’s
birthday and he of course attended our modest wedding, which made
it extra special! Seventeen years later he was no longer with us,
though his marvelous congeniality, wholesome humor and great
wisdom surround us more in November than any other month—and
especially on the 10th!
now, as retired seniors living here in the Sunshine State,
November is still very special to us. We have joyfully added a new
family member to our November Highlight List: Grandson Dionisio
Samuel Vazquez, born on 11/29/14. The November foreboding of
the coldest, harshest time of year (up North) has now yielded to
the delight of knowing that our best weather is now ahead of us.
The daylight hours are shorter, yes, but the air is cooler and the
sun less oppressive making it possible to walk, sightsee and enjoy
the great outdoors any time of day. The threat of hurricanes now
draws to a close. We have acclimated to the overlapping holidays
and hardly notice the early-Christmas commercialism, and—especially
this year—we value our right to vote more than ever.
so you see, dear readers, why November is one of my twelve
favorite months! We at Golden Lakes Love in Action invite you all
to join us as we cherish each and every month of the year,
bringing to each the best we have to give. It’s an amazing world—despite
all the hardships and challenges. Our heartfelt wish is that
November 2020 will exceed our expectations as we all vote our
consciences (and then accept the results graciously), honor our
veterans and all who sacrificed and are sacrificing so much for
our liberty, thank the Lord for our many blessings, and do our
very best to make our country and our world more just, kind and
healthy in every way
LAKES VILLAGE: HALLOWEEN HOOTS & HOWLS
IN ACTION MEMBERS
together for a "Halloween Play Date," which was a
howling success! Irene, Louise, Willi, and Batya enjoyed chatting,
games and just being together again after many months.
the "Halloween Play Date"
Gloria and Irene
B’s OUTDOOR HALLOWEEN BASH ...
included costume and house-decorating contests,
and music by DJ Alfonso.
Judy as Malificent
CS and Alice in the
Alfonso in Action
Karen ad Alex ready
Our mystery man as
|Silvia (Phase B social
(veteran in camouflage)
the First Prize Winner.
was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age
of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…it was the season of
light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair…
are you recognize the above words as those of Charles Dickens in
the opening sentence of his historical novel "The Tale of Two
Cities," set in Paris and London before and during the French
Revolution. Sounds something like the challenging times facing us
today, doesn’t it?
have so much to be thankful for, such as the many modern-day
marvels that make our lives easier and would astound our forebears
no end. Chief among our blessings are the priceless gifts we
cherish like our freedoms and the strides we’re making toward
"justice for all." Yet we’re bombarded with fear,
frustration and fluctuating feelings as we struggle with the
pandemic, the upcoming election, the issues that spark anger and
divisiveness, and the immensity of the work yet to be done.
is one to do?" we may ask. In his well-known story "The
Man Without a Country" Edward Everett Hale (a clergyman who
wrote in support of the Union during the Civil War—and the
grand-nephew of patriot Nathan Hale) we find this well-known
quote: "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do
everything but still I can do something, and because I cannot do
everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can
do." In that spirit, I would like to recommend a
"one-two punch" that will make us purveyors of the best,
the wisdom, the light and the hope sides of Dickens’
1: PREPARATION. Just as an athlete works out, we can build
ourselves up inwardly to be "workers who need not be
ashamed" (great words from a man who survived 39 lashes of a
whip five times, three beatings with rods, three shipwrecks, a
stoning that left him for dead and a narrow escape in a basket
lowered from the top of a city wall).
same man was imprisoned for years and ended up beheaded… yet he
is one of the most prolific biblical contributors and definitely
one of my most influential heroes. He tells and shows us how to
"rejoice always; pray continually; and give thanks in all
circumstances." He tells us to think about about what is good
and worthwhile, knowing that our actions follow our thoughts. He
stresses love, even above faith and hope—and writes about God’s
Spirit that fills us with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (an arsenal of
strength and equanimity to see us through difficult times). Who is
this great person? Saul of Tarsus, a highly educated Hebrew
Pharisee who later used his Greek name, Paul—the great planter
of churches and spreader of the Good News.
TWO: ACTION! What we say and do as individuals is the greatest
gift we can give ourselves and others. One habit I’ve adopted
lately is not keeping a sincere compliment to myself. If I think
something good, I share it with whoever deserves to know what I’m
thinking. Right now I want to thank Harold Sussman, who
wrote our previous column. Harold gets published on occasion by
the Palm Beach Post because he writes powerful Letters to
like to also express how honored I am to be on the Condo News
team, with Madelyn, Chelle and Roberto whose input
is so valuable… with Betty whose column keeps our bodies
and minds healthy… with Jimmy whose photos and wise
musings give us food for thought and a nature-lover’s look at
our world… and with Arnie, Lenore and the other
Condo-Connection writers who share their news in uplifting,
encouraging ways. Thank you, all!
out the photos of our latest Love in Action (LIA) examples.
Whether we’re one person, one group or one nation under God, we
can put our weight on the positive sides of Dickens’ see-saw
quote for the joy of lifting others higher. And let’s share a
wave and a wink when we see each other out there, obviously
well-prepared and full of LIA-style action!
LAKES LOVE IN ACTION: WELL-PREPARED AND ON THE GO!
Meals for special village residents. Joycelynn, one of three LIA
"cooks" recently made rollatini pasta with meatball
sauce, meatballs, tossed salad, roll and fresh apple with cookie
for dessert. She made the meals at her house and delivered them
hot, even to second-floor residents.
for Halloween, Dionisio, 5, is already enjoying his costume, which
he modeled at Golden Lakes for his grandma, Ruth, and her friends.
He holds his clone, Mario, a favorite video-game character of his.
Lakes resident, Barbara, is a wiz at cutting hair and recently
gave pre-teen Jessica (Ruth and Hugo's granddaughter) a new, mod
style that she loves. Barbara has owned beauty salons up north and
in PB Gardens, and has worked with all types of hair and all types
of people (including performers). She comes to your house and
offers a special GLV rate for her services.
for the Homeless
member, Robert, donates a bag of his gently used men’s clothes
to be given the homeless men serviced by St. Ann Place on Dixie
Highway. LIA member Lillian takes the donations to the location.
and Ernie transport frozen/refrigerated food sent by insurance
companies to recuperating patients, who sometimes want to share it
with others in the village. The transporters take resident food
donations to LIA Angel Network "distributors" to get to
those who need and appreciate it. These all-around do-gooders
deserve a pat on the back, but find that the reward is in the
LAKES LOVE IN ACTION (LIA) WELCOMES GUEST COLUMNIST, HAROLD I.
attending his first LIA Gathering (March 2017) with wife Jackie
and dog Dolly when he won a great prize in the raffle.
dinner and a show at Phase A (November 2018) with wife (center)
and LIA friends.
into LIA friends, Ruth and Hugo (July 2019) at the Norton Museum.
food and dental items (September 2019)
victims of Hurricane Dorian, which hit the Bahamas especially
GOLDEN LAKES VILLAGE
years ago I suffered a heart attack. An ambulance took me to White
Plains (NY) Hospital, where they inserted coronary stents to save
my life. While recuperating in the hospital, I told my wife that I
wanted to retire and move to Florida. She said she had a friend in
Florida who had been a college classmate, so we reconnected with
turned out that the friend was living in West Palm Beach, in a
55-and-over community known as Golden Lakes Village (GLV). By
coincidence, a neighbor of hers had recently become
widowed and was selling her condo so she could live with her
daughter in California. The real estate broker, Pamela,
called me and I purchased the property sight unseen, as is, since
it was going to be sold furnished.
few months later, my wife and I drove down to Florida on the
Amtrak Auto-Train. Our car was loaded up with linens and
other household items. When we arrived at GLV and entered our
new abode, we were pleasantly surprised. The prior owner had
left all of her possessions behind for us to use. I could not
even find room enough to unpack the items we had brought down with
us. Needless to say, it made our move here very comfortable.
did not know anyone at Golden Lakes except for my wife’s
ex-classmate. However, a local resident named Ruth
befriended me and told me about a charitable organization she and
others had started here in GLV called LOVE IN ACTION—which it
truly is. We attended their next meeting, at which there was a
raffle. I bought a ticket and was one of the lucky winners. I
won a nice collection of classical CDs.
year, a devastating hurricane, Dorian, destroyed one of the
Bahama Islands. Love in Acton initiated a food drive and sent the
collected donations to the Bahamas, where they were sorely needed.
I filled up a large cardboard box with canned goods and
Gatorade drinks. I also included toothbrushes and
toothpaste. (I was a dentist)
far as how our stay at Golden Lakes Village is progressing, I will
state that my wife loves it here. The scenery is beautiful and
there are lots of sea birds that come to roost in our
backyard. There is a canal about 20 feet from our sunroom,
and once in awhile an alligator swims by. Our community
boasts two olympic sized swimming pools, where we both swim every
day, rain or shine. In addition, there are also two small gyms,
along with bocci, tennis and shuffleboard courts.
say it turned out to be a very lucky move for us. I took a blind
chance and, as with the LIA raffle, I came out a winner!
new and exciting?" is a question I often ask as I greet folks
I haven’t seen in awhile. It elicits a wide variety of
responses: a smile, an expression of appreciation, an interesting
update and sometimes even the sharing of a concern. Now, with the
Hebrew New Year 5781 just starting, it’s the ideal time to think
about what’s new and exciting in our own lives; and if nothing
comes to mind immediately, let’s see what we can conjure up!
LOOK AROUND… and see with "new eyes" the blessings we
tend to overlook or take for granted. These are often tried and
true "biggies" such as life itself, a free country, a
safe place to spend our days (and nights), friends and family,
etc. Now let’s add some others, no matter how trivial or
insignificant they may appear or how deeply meaningful they may
be. For me, it’s things like our county maintaining a below-5%
infection rate as schools open this week. Or "Mr. Google"
who answers most of my inquiries instantaneously so I can keep
learning and growing. And then there’s our exercise class at
Phase A that challenges us to become healthier and stronger with
LOOK BACK… and see the new beginnings that can emerge from the
past as well, if we’re open to them. Last week Hugo and I went
to the new Amazon 4-Star Store at the Palm Beach Gardens Mall.
Even on its opening day it wasn’t very crowded so we felt safe
exploring the highly-rated items featured there— in our masks
and gloves, of course, and with social distancing from the other
curious adventurers. What caught my eye was a book I’d read
years ago called "The Four Agreements" written in 1997
by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s a practical guide to personal freedom
based on Toltec (American Indian) wisdom. Translated into 46
languages, it was a NY Times bestseller for over a decade. A quick
look at the Table of Contents reminded me of those agreements:
impeccable with your word (Speak with
integrity and carefully choose your words before saying them
aloud). Don’t take anything personally (Don’t let
others’ opinions fill you with anger, envy, sadness, etc. Keep
in mind that people’s words and actions come from their own
unique reality, which might have little or no bearing on you). Don’t
make assumptions (Ward off stress and conflict. Ask questions
so that clear communication will help to sidestep
misunderstandings). Always do your best (Avoid regret and
build self-confidence while moving toward your life goals).
STEP OUT BOLDLY… A bright future awaits us! Our Golden Lakes
resident artist, master of brightness and creativity, is Vincent
Daddiego. We previously featured his one-of-a-kind
"Pick-Me-Up Pods" and "New Leaf" designs, and
now his latest works of art are hand-painted shells in which his
cartoon character "Gail the Snail" lives. She moves in
and out dragging with her this important reminder: "It’s
Time to Get Out of Your Shell!"
LET ME ASK YOU: What’s new and exciting in your life? Look
around at what is, look back at what was, then move ahead boldly.
Above all, look within yourself for new hopes, inspirations and
incentives. Welcome your future with open arms. You may find
yourself achieving what you never thought you could, thereby
leaving a unique, precious and uplifting legacy!
in Action (LIA): The New and The Wonderful!
prepares an LIA Basket of Cheer for GLV shut-in.
on Lake Evelyn have been meeting together 7-8:00 PM daily since
the pandemic started. Lots of laughs and weightier discussions
take place outside Arlyne’s (standing) house.
and Tom spruce up Ruth & Hugo’s backyard with mulch and
some entertainment again! Vocalist "ZZ"
and "Mr. Keys" (keyboardist and vocalist) delighted
villagers with a fantastic show recently. Line-dancers and others
especially enjoyed getting up to dance together!
of the exercise class after an hour-long workout, pose for a
photo. Even the instructor Jacob (seated) is tired! Our
"energizer bunny" Willi, however, continues to do
exercises on her mat. Then on to the water aerobics!
and Alice are proud of their only grandson, Alex.. his kindness as
well as his accomplishments. They were not close with their own
grandparents, though they credit them for passing down some great
qualities that have made them who they are today: nonagenarian
dancers, active LIA members, enthusiastic volunteers, great friends
to each other & to many, & loving grandparents to
artist Vincent presents his latest creation: Gail the Snail (who lives
in the shell) with an important message. Only a few are left; just $10
each. See article to read all about it! Call or text 201-785-6481 if
in Action (LIA):
Day, September 13th
2020! It’s unlike any September we’ve ever experi-enced, isn’t
it? Worldwide news is discouraging, national challenges are
unprecedented, pandemic restrictions box us in, and hurricanes
hover over us like dark clouds ready to rain on our parades. We
also have the annual observance of the heartbreaking loss and new
reality associated with 9-11.
news! Love in Action (LIA) may have a solution to any related
blahs or blues that may threaten us this month. We can say no to
debilitating fears, worries and bad feelings by putting on an
imaginary pair of 3-D glasses to add clarity and depth to what we
see (just as the 3-D movie goggles do).
go ahead, put yours on. Look at all the good, the bad and the ugly
that September has to offer. Some things are "in our
faces" and others remain at varying distances. But what makes
these glasses so amazing is the fact that they also extend our
peripheral vision so we see all and don’t get blindsided. They
supernaturally give us insight and wisdom for making our best
choices throughout the month.
turn the little knob on the right side of the 3-D frame to the
first of our 3-D surprises. One click and the focus is on your:
Delightful blessings. Now all you can see are the things
you treasure most. For me, it’s Hugo, our cozy home here
in Golden Lakes Village, our closest family living just minutes
away, many dear friends and neighbors to enjoy and rely on when
necessary, and the thrill and honor of being President of Love in
Action; Trustee for our personal non-profit organization Open
Doors; and a follower of my Lord Jesus Christ. These are my
right-in-my-face delights, but as I look around and beyond, I see
many more that I’ve taken for granted or wasn’t even aware of.
I see loved ones cheering me on from heaven, including my maternal
grandparents who died by the time I was four years old, but whose
loving influence has been a mainstay in my life, bringing tears to
my eyes each time I think of them. And there are countless other
blessings to recall and fill my heart with gratitude.
let’s press the clicker on our 3-D frame to get to the second
"D" which enables us to make:
Decisions based on love, caring and kindness. O Boy! I see
many of LIA’s good decisions that have come to fruition, such as
having an in-village Walk-a-Thon fundraiser to put an LIA
Friendship Bench in our village. There’s also the decision to
activate our Angel Network to help GLV residents during the
pandemic. I see decisions being made to observe the two major
Jewish Holidays this month, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, to the
glory of the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And I see decisions
being made regarding the upcoming presidential election. In my
periphery is a unique thought: a decision to have debaters argue
the position of their opponents (like we had to do in junior
high). For that, they’d have to get to the truth beneath the
spin of the rhetoric and the selfish agendas, and delve into
objective research, seeing from differing perspectives, and
finding a respectful way to work together for the good of all.
turn the knob once again and we’ll see some great ways to:
Do so many small and big good deeds that there’s no time to
fret or fear. Hurray! Now I see that even though we think we’ve
done a lot, we have barely touched the surface. There are endless
things we can do (a word of encouragement, an unexpected or even
anonymous favor, a quick call or email, etc.) that will increase
the delights and good decisions of both givers and recipients.
That in turn means "pass-along" ripples fanning outward
(and where it stops, nobody knows!) To do
that we must hear the call to action!
we now remove our love-tinted glasses we find that we are not
where we started. Our vision has been extended. We see things more
clearly, and we are more caring and courageous as we add to the
good in the world. Now let’s pass those imaginary glasses on to
others while keeping an extra pair handy to refresh, remind and
rejuvenate ourselves as needed!
you out there!!
knew her grandparents, Edna and William Schoonmaker (above), for
just a few short years, but her Grandma’s singing her to sleep
while holding her hand has made a singing hand-holder out of her.
And her Granddad’s storytelling made her a lover and teller of
stories. She wishes she'd inherited his perfect pitch and and
piano playing, but cheats by enjoying her new electronic piano
that automatically plays as she sings along.
of Ruth's heavenly cheering section: Grandparents Joseph and
Frieda Olnowich on the left, her parents Howard and Grace Olnowich
(center) and Grandparents Edna and William Schoonmaker (right).
member Gloria holds photos of her Jamaican Grandmothers, Ethlyn
and Elsie (photos shown up close), who filled her Jamaican growing
years with tons of loving attention and encouragement. And they
lived a literal hop, skip and jump away from her! She now has
their photographs in a prominent place in her living room, where
she can speak to them and feel their loving presence each day. She
gets helpful heart-felt messages loud and clear as needed. Often
it’s the command to "Pray!" which she does… and it
never fails to bring her the peace and help she is seeking.
Grandma Elsie, right, attended Gloria’s wedding and kept dancing
despite being advised to sit and rest a bit between dances.
of LIA, Romelia, has knitted a lovely baby blanket for a little
girl at the YMCA’s Harmony House, which helps battered women and
their children. It will be presented just in time for Grandparents
Day. We don't know if the baby and mom have that generation of
support, but they will surely see and feel the loving care Romelia
put into the gift.
member Dorinda recently made and delivered seven homemade for
specially-recommended and extremely grateful GLV residents. It was
soup-to-nuts turkey meatloaf with mashed potatoes, green-bean
casserole, cut-up watermelon and small roll. She wrote on each:
"Hope you enjoy your meal. Lots of love, Dorinda." She
even customized each meal according to individual dietary needs
Decisions Based on Love, Caring and Kindness
and giving to make the world a better place
BENCH #! (brown): This is the bench envisioned by Walk-a-Thon
participants, led by LIA member Kim (above). Photo above shows the
plaque, designed by LIA-er Rosemary, up close. The bench is now in the
Phase B breezeway, positioned to watch the village news on the TV there.
BENCH #2 (red): LIA VP Nancy and member Joy social distance on the new
bench, sturdily installed along Golden Lakes Blvd. by Simon and Bruce of
Jeff Industries, Inc. (standing proudly behind). The Lantana non-profit
made and installed the benches. The message on this bench, along with
the walking-heart LIA icon, is: "Sit awhile… compliments of Love
in Action 2020."
and Active in Golden Lakes Village
I said to myself this past week as I saw my reflection in the
store windows at the mall. I don’t often see myself from the
side or back so I hadn’t realized just how slumped over I am. I’ve
never had great posture and, though I’ve been trying to rectify
that for years, it’s now time to do some serious work on both my
upright and sitting positions.
of us find ourselves in this dilemma, due to spending so much time
hovering over our electronic devices, sitting too long in a chair
without proper support, slouching at the dinner table and the low
bathroom sink, or sleeping in an unnatural way. No doubt aging
itself pulls us down physically… and the weight of the pandemic,
political and social issues, and hurricane threats surely affect
our body silhouettes, too.
that I have more posture-awareness I can be more mindful of how I
stand, walk and sit these days. I think of my good friend Florence
who turned 97 this past week, and how we all marvel at the
straight-as-an-arrow way she carries herself on her daily walk.
With her as my hero, I’m striving to give others a lift while
improving my own health by following these three "let’s-make-it-easy-and-fun"
LOOK UP. On one of my early-morning walks last year I got a real
boost to my spirits when I perceived a message from above saying
"Look up!" And whenever I do, I marvel at Creation and
am reminded of Psalm 121, which begins with "I will lift
up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help
cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth." And
having a better outlook also includes seeing the bright side of
things, laughing a lot and filling our lives with positive
ventures and positive people.
STRENGTHEN THE BACK MUSCLES. I’m a big proponent of this. Since
the 70’s I’ve been doing a series of early-morning exercises
that have kept chronic back pain at bay all these years. Lately I
sometimes also do three simple exercises to improve posture per an
Internet video. And now that Phase-A exercise class is back in
full swing I can enjoy the company of others as my back muscles
(and all the muscles in my body) get great stretches and
workouts. What a difference it makes when we strengthen our core
and spine, which also includes being stronger in our virtues and
convictions, standing up for what we believe in and speaking out
against injustice. Those who stand with and behind us, and
"have our backs" (watch out for us) make us stronger,
MOVE MORE! My hero in the moving category is dear friend Monika.
She rides her motorized tricycle around GLV, works out in the
exercise class, and does her own 7 AM water aerobics. She had
walked a neighbor’s super-active Schnauzer for years; I’ve
seen her dance non-stop, long after the rest of us are huffing and
puffing. She is the "gold standard" of movement but most
of us would be delighted to attain even the bronze. Things like
morning and evening walks, getting up once for every half-hour
spent sitting, and active involvement in life are all great
be a slouch! Check out your own posture and reposition yourself
throughout the day for a healthier, more energizing countenance…
then look up, straighten your shoulders and back… and get out
there and make good things happen. In essence, be Love in
Action wherever you are!
leaves for his 6:00 am walk. He leaves early to beat the sun and
the bugs, but take his hat as a weapon to make sure the bugs do,
helps neighbors with their gardens. As you can see, she does a
fantastic job and is very much appreciated. In addition she sings
in the "Third Row Center" a'cappella group and also has
a great love of cats; she’s a go-to person when something
shows the book she recommended to the Bridges of Understanding
group. It’s "Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change
the World and Become a Good Ancestor" by Layla F. Saad. This
is a look within to supplement the group’s outward look at
systemic racism historically and in current events.
and projects are also goals of the group.
used a hair dryer to shrink wrap the first Basket of Cheer this
time around. Nancy and Joy helped to assemble the basket and Ruth
delivered it to the grateful recipient.
Florence’s 97th birthday neighbors and LIA friends gathered to
do "flash-sing" for her. The songs were "Happy
Birthday" (of course), "God Bless America" and
"Let There Be Peace on Earth." A big card was signed by
all giving personal greetings.
was also given a peace medal-of-honor for all the goodness she’s
spread during her first 97 years. She waved her flag and joined in
Making The Best Of These Difficult Times
courtesy of Love in Action
I perused the Business section of today’s Palm Beach Post
I noticed that Jim Pawlak’s column had the headline "The
Wisdom of Samuel Smiles." With a name like that, of course I
had to see what it was all about. It turned out that Mr. Smiles
(1812-1904) was the oldest of eleven children, born in Scotland, a
contemporary of Queen Victoria and the Industrial Revolution. He
studied at Edinburgh University and became a doctor, then went
into political journalism, promoting freer trade, voting rights
for all and better conditions for factory workers.
with political reform, Smiles eventually turned his attention
toward personal development. He is best known for his book
entitled "Self-Help," published in 1859. It sold over
250,000 copies then and is still available on the Amazon and
Barnes & Noble websites. It was so highly regarded during that
era it was second only to the Bible in many households.
the sampling of Smiles’ words of wisdom in Mr. Pawlak’s
column, these are my favorites: Hope is like the sun, which, as
we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us…
To aspire we cannot look down, we must look up… Progress of the
best kind is comparatively slow; we must be satisfied to advance
in life as we walk, step by step…The duty of helping one’s
self in the highest sense involves the helping of one’s
neighbors…The shortest way to do many things is to do only one
thing at a time… Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost
knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but
lost time is gone forever…The reason why so little is done is
generally because so little is attempted.
selected quotes remind us that inspiration, optimism, patience,
generosity, focus, prioritizing and thinking-big are
"muscles" we can exercise and strengthen during these
challenging times. Smiles also said: If there were no
difficulties there’d be no success; if there was nothing to
struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved.
said, Mr. Smiles! You have now encouraged us to "up" our
efforts to make good things happen—as best we can, whenever we
can, however we can and wherever we can. That will spread smiles
around, won’t it? And those interested can get his book as a
free Amazon kindle and fight the pandemic with Smiles and more
at Phase B, Junior and Miguel, helped LIA to set up a DVD showing
of Bob Hope entertaining the troops. Laughter is good medicine and
many laughs were enjoyed by those who attended. Next on the agenda
is asking these great "techies" to help us use the TV so
Marie, facilitator of the Bridges of Understanding group, can be a
part of the meetings while in her NY home.
right, and her friend Sylvia (left) read about Vincent’s
"Gifts of Nature" artwork in the last issue of Condo
News. They contacted LIA (by calling or texting 201-785-6481)
and came To Golden Lakes Village for some bargain purchases for
themselves and as gifts for friends and family.
A is continuing its much-needed and greatly-appreciated exercise
class with social distancing, of course. Marcia, center, sometimes
teaches salsa steps to the class for fun endings to fabulous
workout sessions led by fitness expert Jacob.
are honoring those who have died during the lockdown by having
memorial trees planted in Israel, a Holy Land for Jews and
Christians—and Muslims, too. Here is a sample of the original
certificate that went to the wife of the deceased (Bryan, the
nephew of longtime LIA member, Doreen.) For just $18 (18 is the
Jewish symbol for chai, meaning " life") you can choose
the wording and have the tree planted via the website
Lakes Love in Action:
During the Lockdown
courtesy of Love in Action
to our brave new world… where we find ourselves confronting a deadly virus,
economic/social/business/educational upheaval, nationwide protests, political
warfare and the hurricane season—all at once! And the whole world seems to be
embroiled in similar challenges or watching intently to see how we’ll all
fare. I breathe a sigh of thanksgiving as I report that we at Golden Lakes Love
in Action (LIA) have fared very well so far. I attribute this largely to our
continuing efforts to:
RE-ORDER OUR INDIVIDUAL PRIORITIES. The coronavirus "down time"
has given us plenty of space to step back and see our world from more
appreciative, caring, and actively helpful perspectives. I, for example, always
thought that, if I found the time, I’d finally have a decluttered house with a
place for everything and everything in its place. I’d remember people’s
birthdays, return their calls promptly, get tax returns in on time and be known
for arriving early rather than late. But after five months of "found
time" due to the lockdown, I’ve made very little progress along those
lines. Instead, my priorities have been Love in Action’s virus-related efforts
and a new personal project that entails learning by heart 66 key Scriptures (one
from each Book of the Bible) for inclusion in an inspirational booklet entitled
"A Walk through the Holy Scriptures, 66 Steps in the Lord’s
Direction." So, my various tax returns have been extended, my house and
files are still in need of organization and my bi-weekly column for Condo News
will now be shorter and shared with guest writers.
delivers bags of fresh farm surplus to in-village distributors for
packaging and distribution within GLV. Kim also oversees the
TEAM UP WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE. In March social director Gina asked
what LIA was doing during the COVID outbreak. That started the ball rolling! We
expanded our Angel Network (originally created to help each other with household
tasks, etc.) to answer the call. We set up a dedicated telephone number as the
Angel Hotline, posted flyers and put ads on the village TV stations. Kim
gathered a team of driving angels to pick up prescriptions. A team of praying
angels was organized to handle prayer requests. Toni donated boxes of
overage produce her daughter purchased from an area farm, which has led to our
purchasing additional ones (thanks to driving, packaging and distributing angels
who get the fresh, healthy food surpluses from farm to hungry GLV residents).
LIA also teamed up with our all-village "Circle of Friends" to
supplement and support each other’s services, so that hopefully no
resident-in-need would fall through the cracks. Like-minded helpers throughout
the village donated food and other items… and contributed financial support to
strengthen our efforts.
displays some of her homemade masks which she gave to residents who
needed them. She is a cat-lover: notice the cat-themed mask she made for
the Toilet Paper Lady: elicited many hearty chuckles from the grateful
recipients. Nancy’s clever idea as a surprise "pick-me-up."
master artist, Vincent (who has hosted all-village art classes for
years) shows a sample of his "New Leaf" which inspires us to
see things from new perspectives—and his decorated shell that whispers
"It’s time to get out your shell!" This photo recently
appeared in the P. B. Post. If you’d like to see his various
works of art or wish to purchase one of these pandemic spirit-lifters
for just $10 each, call or text 201-785-6481.
BE PART OF THE SOLUTION. Willi saw the need early-on and filled it!
She sewed 150+ face masks which she gave out (sometimes even delivered) to those
in need of them. Pearl, a licensed professional peer counselor, offered
15-minute fear-reducing telephone sessions. And Nancy (with help from her
sister Joy and husband Robert) brought smiles and chuckles to
anxious friends and members with her "Tilly, the Toilet Paper
Lady:" a roll of much sought-after toilet paper with a pair or two of
plastic gloves as "hair," and a smiling face artistically added as a
lighthearted flourish. Vincent, our resident artist (who believes that
"All art fights the virus and lifts the spirit") painted beautiful
designs on shells and sea-grape leaves found right in his own backyard. He sells
these fanciful works of art (up-cycled "Gifts of Nature") for just $10
each to help LIA continue its pandemic outreach. A new friend to LIA, resident Marie
Clergé, (who was touched deeply by the recent news of police brutality)
teamed up with us to start an interracial group called "Bridges of
Understanding" to discuss systemic racism and work together for much-needed
change, keeping in mind Dr. M.L. King’s wise words: "Hate cannot drive
out hate. Only love can do that."
sincerely thank our dedicated volunteers, teammates and supporters. Among them
are our friends at Condo News. Hearty congrats to Betty Thomas,
owner and columnist, for using her "down time" to create a new and
exciting web page. Also to editor Jimmy Shirley, for using his
photographic expertise to capture one-in-a-million nature shots and organize his
treasure trove of amazing photos. I’d love to see a special section on the new
site for Jimmy’s striking masterpieces, presented in living color. Welcome
back, Condo News! We’re delighted to be a part of your continuing
efforts to add good to the world, starting with our own neighborhoods. And to
all our dear readers, please join us in sharing the good things happening in
your communities, too, so together we can not only survive, but thrive!
Condo News print newspaper is published every other Wednesday. It is circulated throughout Palm Beach County, from
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