Advance, Australia Fair! – Mindwalker1910

Today’s Mindwalker1910  repost is Mom’s share about the upcoming 2000 Sydney Olympics, of a nation she held dear to her heart, of family  & friends she cherished loved missed.

Mom took seven (7) trips to Australia between 65-85.  I think that in almost every way (there was one crucial exception), she was her post-Pete happiest there – snug in the heart of a  community of friends & family who thought she was the bee’s knees, waking up  every day to the joy of being Nan-Nan, knowing she added significant value to the hum of their home.  “Mum” dearly loved Australia – her “home away from home,” her Australian loved ones & friends, and the self SHE was free to be Down Under.

FYI:  Donna Heldon – a granddaughter-of-her-heart;   Mike – Mom’s second son, a Sydneysider since 1973;   Kerry – his wife;   Scott & Karen – their children;   Bryan – Kerry’s brother.


Subj: Advance, Australia Fair!
Date: Wed Sep 6  2000 

Between the Olympics and Donna Heldon’s wedding, my heart and mind seems as much with my loved ones Down Under as with the “Yanks” here at home. (To Australians, all Americans – whether from Back Bay Boston or the back hills of the Appalachians – are Yanks.)

What do I love and miss the most about my home away from home? Of course, the people. They are so hospitable and as open as the Out Back. They are bold in what they say, no shrinking violets. There is a spirit about them that is hard to describe, friendly with an intentional edge. They have a special energy about them that is so real I could feel it.

I remember colors, all sorts of colors. From the stunning flowers to the exotic birds to the luscious fruits to the blue of sky and water. When I think of beautiful colors, I think of Rhonda Hall and the beautiful dresses she wore with their wonderful colors. 

It is impossible to describe the glorious fruits I enjoyed on my stays, especially my beloved mangoes. Oh, to enjoy a perfectly ripe, practically just picked mango. We get them at the supermarkets now, but they are not the same, not by a long shot. 

And the fish, so many wonderful types. My favorite fish of all time is barramundi. What I would give for a bite of barramundi right now. 

Then there is the water. I am a water baby, as my family knows, and it was heaven to be so close to the water. I drew strength just being so near. 

Best of all, of course, were my friends and family. My times with Mike & Kerry and Scott & Karen are happy memories. I enjoyed getting to know Kerry’s family, especially Bryan. Oh, yes, I like Bryan very much. As for the people in our church society, I wanted to pack them up and take them home with me, especially dear Laurel Brettel. 

I am on the other side of the world, but for the next few weeks, my heart will be in Australia, celebrating with the Heldons and whooping it up with the people cheering on the Olympians. Just writing this, I am smiling and so very happy.

A special “Good on ya, mate!” to Donna & Jason and her family – Grandma Lockhart

BRENDA WILTON – Eldering Evolution HERO!

AUTHORED   APPAREL  – restoring dignity & independence.

Friends ask if our crazed drive to & from D.C. this past Thursday for Aging2.0’s Pint-0 event was worth the time energy money.  YES!  It was an amazing opportunity to meet so many men & women who bring their creativity & innovative ideas to the eldering evolution, to rub shoulders with Aging2.0‘s movers & shakers.

Of all the WOW people we met, John & I agree #1 has to be BRENDA WILTON.

As an artist, John was rocked by the design sense she brings to her AUTHORED clothing line, featuring pieces created for people who find dressing a daunting, painful (on many levels) task.  As much as I am awed by what Brenda’s AUTHORED APPAREL has created for countless people who struggle to put on something as commonplace as the fashion T that John was sporting or the sky blue sweater I had on, what blows me away is how she exemplifies an entrepreneur who found her calling through personal experience. Experience rooted in her own 10 years as a young person in a corrective brace, then through years helping family members facing the myriad struggles related to problems getting dressed & horrifically limited clothing options.

Someone without such challenges might consider “horrific” an overstatement.  I think it doesn’t begin to describe how it must feel to be someone for whom the normally mundane act of dressing is physically painful & emotionally debilitating.

As the personal toll hit over & over, closer & closer to home, a fire was lit within Brenda to design alternatives to the horrendous choices available to the millions of people being cared for at home, in care communities & medical centers.  She’s determined to create stylish pieces that people with physical constraints or health challenges can put on, clothing that imbues both a sense of independence & the confidence we feel knowing we look good.

Brenda’s clothing line helps people of all ages nurture their sense of emotional & physical well-being, liberates them from the daily loss of dignity.  The three of us are kindred spirits in our shared belief that neither age nor physical limitations should define someone.

We’d never heard of  the  “adaptive apparel line,” although both of us understood the need – Mom’s clothing choices were limited by a torn rotator cuff that made it impossible to lift up her left shoulder.  Brenda’s unique designs “defines an entirely new wardrobe category for seniors and others who experience physical challenges with dressing. Authored ageless designs provide ease of dressing and undressing with style, comfort, and durability not offered by other apparel alternatives. Authored fashions function and fit well.”

Mom didn’t care about the wrinkles on her face or her “saggy baggy” (her description, not mine) body, but it did bother her that she could only wear loose-fitting clothing, that it was rare for her to feel anywhere close to lookin’ sharp.  And she hated always needing someone to help her get dressed.  Mom’s every day experience helps me understand & appreciate beyond words the need for clothing that leaves the wearer feeling physically fashionably emotionally EMPOWERED.

Let Brenda explain the power of Authored Apparel ~ ~ ~  We have reduced or eliminated irritating seams, used premium, durable and even some exclusive fabrics, and positioned closures to reduce discomfort while improving accessibility.

Authored clothing may allow care community residents to continue living in assisted living communities longer before transferring to skilled nursing environments. In addition, Authored is helpful to those who suffer from Parkinson’s, MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Diabetes, the after effects of Strokes, Dialysis and many other catastrophic diseases, injuries and disabilities in addition to the typical challenges of aging.

Authored is particularly designed to improve the lives of caregivers. This unique line of clothing reduces pain, injury, time and the challenges associated with assisting another with dressing and undressing.

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Amen, sister!  Brenda’s clothing line is the answer to countless prayers offered up by the people who are challenged, by their families & loved ones, by care partners doing the best they can to create an empowered & empowering environment.   With apparel from Authored, men & women have a fashion line that lets them dress with relative ease & look good at the same time.

Brenda offers something as basic to our emotional well-being as looking sharp, as essential to our mental health as the independence of simpler dressing, plus the support of our physical health by restoring getting dressed in the morning as part of a danger-free routine.

Back to Brenda  ~ ~  ~  No matter the cause of someone’s dressing limitation, they will appreciate the attention to detail in every Authored garment.  These timeless garments are constructed with excellence from high-quality fabrics in styles that are both fashionable and functional.  They allow an individual with limited mobility, weakness, or other challenges to look and feel like themselves again.

Brenda – you astonish us with your design skills, your determination to save others from the heartbreak you & yours went through, your remarkable fashion line.  Authored Apparel is a godsend for people of all ages who find themselves unable to handle the daily fashion tasks most of us never consider, for the people who love & care for them.

Dear friend, you are a Eldering Evolution HERO!


Why Authored is Needed

Prologue – Serving an under-served population because…

Chapter 1 – Getting Dressed Daily is Essential

Chapter 2 – Typical Clothing No Longer Works

Chapter 3 – Care Partner’s Caring Shouldn’t Hurt

Chapter 4 – Aging is a Life Experience, Not a Medical Condition

Chapter 5 – Clothing Must Fit Both the Body and the Budget

Chapter 6 – Everyone’s Story Deserves Dignity

Epilogue – …because we are the voice for the dressing challenged ~ Live, Love, Leave a Legacy

Dashing this off in a flash because it’s the start of a big fabulous busy busy day & want to make SURE it gets posted.  My apologies for any typos, wretched grammar or disconnected sections, but Washington DC beckons & we’ve gotta be on our merry way!

Everything I needed to know about the importance of leaving a legacy I learned from my Mom, who shared with us kids wonderful stories of her life, of what she knew about Dad’s.  Because of what she told us over her lifetime, I came to understand family human dynamics with a depth & reality no course or training could convey.

Everything my mother needed to know about the importance of leaving a legacy she learned from ME – it was little ‘ol moi who got her to WRITE THEM DOWN, to write them down first in journals, then online.

For years, doing my darndest to get her to write down her wonderful stories met with stubborn resistance tagged to her unyielding belief that NO ONE cared about such an ordinary life.  Over twenty years, I probably gave her ten journals of various types & sizes.  She’d write down one, maybe two, stories, then set it aside & never write another until she got the next journal.

But online – ah, that was different.  Different because we did it as a team.  Mom had more than a pen & paper.   She had another person, an engaged energy listening to her, an interested face looking back at her.  That turned the tide.  She not only had me, she had a circle of online friends who let her know, loud & clear, that her “little” stories had a big impact on their lives.  Mom had my interested, engaged face looking back at me -and- the loving, enthusiastic replies from men & women around the globe who felt forever touched by her writing.

I had never appreciated the power of a genuinely interested listener.  It was just recently that I learned that the biggest factor in whether a recounted story positively affects a person’s memory capacity is the person it’s being told TO – sharing  just one (1) a single recollection cab have a positive long-term impact,  IF  & only if it is told to an interested, engaged listener.

All of this is my rambling way to introduce this week’s featured website –

“Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in heart forever.” – Native American Proverb

Nancy tapped into her inner storyteller when her daughters were little. She made up adventures to tell them, turning them in a book series.  She wrote personal growth books, included storytelling into radio shows & podcasts.  But it took becoming a grandma for Nancy to discover the greatest power of sharing personal, really-happened stories.

Grandma-hood hit Nancy with the full impact of how important it was for children & grandkids to know who we are, that we had an existence before they were born, that we were once little, teens, survived (maybe barely) high school, dated, had relationships, became parents.  That we are “human beings who have suffered through hardships and celebrated achievements . . . and learned and grew through the good times and the bad.”

Nancy’s mission – beautifully laid out & supported through her website – is to help people breath life into their memories, their life experiences.  She does what I did for Mom – nurtures an environment where sharing such personal moments feels safe & natural; asks questions to help lead people to a place where they can connect with what waits to be said, with often the smallest story having the strongest connection.

Mom thought writing about making chocolate chip cookies with her near-by grandchildren or walking her Aussie grandkids to the “milk bar” for a treat was just fluff – – but those stories go straight to their hearts, especially as they edge upward into the forties. Nancy helps everyone make that basic connection, which for some perverse reason seems so hard for so many to accept.

The adage of English professors everywhere – “Write what you know.” – has to be tweaked for legacy writing – –  “Write what you want to be known.”  That is easy to write;  it is NOT easy to do.

Mom’s friends would tell her, “Kay, if I wrote as openly & naturally as you, I’d share stories, too.”  At which Mom would howl with laughter – “It can be like pulling teeth for Elsa (aka me, DEEV) to pull out stories.  For both of us!  She constantly peppers me with questions.  It is easy now, because I know that people like my “little” stories, but it took a LONG time & a lot of shutting down to get here!

I write that, wincing.  Yes, it was sometimes painful, especially in the beginning, before Mom had received bouquets of love for sharing her life stories.  Nancy is far more adept than I at easing out beloved memories & favorite moments into the light of recollection. Through her website, blog & podcast (more on both of them tomorrow), Nancy helps nurture the remembering muscle.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Mom would have plunked down the money for Nancy’s online podcast class – How to Create Audio Memoirs for Your Grandkids & Loved Ones!  It’s lovely reading what Mom shared through Mindwalker1910; how special would it be for her great-granddaughters – whether in Texas or New South Wales – to could hear her voice sharing those tales!

It fascinates me how people who love Mom’s Mindwalker1910 shares balk at the thought that THEY have such stories to share.  Invariable, they roll their eyes & say, “My children don’t care.”

It’s always a shock when, instead of protesting,  I lean into their space, look straight into their eyes – and don’t try to convince them otherwise.  Instead, I tell a story – – “You’re probably right.  Your children probably don’t.  My mother had four surviving children when she wrote her Mindwalker1910 shares – and three of them beseeched her to stop.  They did not care.  But her grandchildren do.

Now, I can cap that true tale, handing them Nancy’s website address.

I love legacy writing, have advocated its importance for many decades.  Nancy makes it do-able.  Thanks to her, people can write in the cozy comfort of their own home or pull together writing circles, people – men & women – sharing those priceless “little” stories that have such a big impact on our heart.  Hard to imagine a better Christmas or special occasion present for parents or grandparents – what a wow way to socialize connect engage generation to generation!

Nancy Murdoch – embodying (& emboldening) the call to LIVE, LOVE & LEAVE A LEGACY!

In Nancy’s own words:  I created this business so baby boomer grandparents can learn how to preserve their own stories, and the stories of their parents, grandparents and family members, because I didn’t get this chance when my grandparents were alive. But the knowledge and tools I provide is for everyone who has a story to tell. I love helping people tell their stories. 

When I first started writing and recording my stories I had to jump over a lot of hurdles. I had no idea if I would ever be able to tell my stories with the passion and emotion I felt when living the actual experiences.  I made a lot of mistakes, and learned as much as I could along the way, and here I am. Now let me save you the time and trouble of learning the hard way. I promise to you that with your passion and my know-how, I’ll get you there too.


Tomorrow – we will delve into Nancy’s blog & podcast!

Get out your calendars – Sept – Nov

WASHINGTON, DC  –   AGING2.0 PINT-0  Sept 7 – 6:00 p.m. –  Vapiano’s
“The Aging2.0 Washington, DC Chapter invites you and your colleagues to join us for drinks and networking on Thursday, September 7th from 6:00pm-8:00pm at Vapiano’s in the heart of Chinatown! We are excited to have team members from our head quarters in San Francisco as well as Aging2.0 Alliance members join us, making this a coast to coast evening of fun.   This event is a unique event for anyone interested in innovation in the aging, health-tech and long term care space!   Cash bar.   To learn more about Aging2.0 Alliance members,  visit
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NEW YORK CITY   MEMBERS-ONLY SUMMER SALON  Sept 13   6-:00 – 8:00 p.m.
“The Radical Age Movement invites you to our Members Only Summer Salon.  Join us at our quarterly members only salon in our beautiful lobby at 1 East 53rd Street. This will be a delightful, after-summer opportunity for members to get together over wine and light refreshments and meet new friends who share your concerns about older persons in our society.  New members can join at the event or join online.
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NEW YORK CITY   WHY AGEISM NEEDS A MOVEMENT  Sept 14   6-:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The Radical Age Movement & Senior Planet are co-hosting a special evening with Ashton ApplewhiteWhy Ageism Needs a Movement. We’ll view Ashton’s widely successful TED talk, followed by Q & A and discussion.
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WASHINGTON, DC  –    2017 LeadingAge D.C.’s 5th Annual Conference Oct 5, 8:00 a.m – 4:30 p.m. 
“LeadingAge DC is the advocacy and education leader for not-for-profit aging services organizations through the continum of care: continuing care retirement communities, senior housing, assisted living, nursing homes and home and community based services.  Our association represents a strong and undiluted voice for not-for-profits in policy, education and public arenas.  We advance policies and promote practices that supports, enables and empowers people to live fully as they age.”   see website for details about the all-day event  –
SEPT 8 – last day for Early Bird Registration 
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“You’ll share victories, exchange ideas, renew inspiration and build relationships along with thousands of your fellow dedicated professionals—and after four enriching days, you’ll go home better equipped to serve your residents and clients. Whether you’re a CEO of a multi-site organization, a case manager in a hospice organization or a service coordinator at an affordable housing community, you’ll find innovative solutions to your challenges and discover new ways to improve operations and quality. Passionate commitment, personal growth and organizational excellence all align here—join us October 29-November 1, in New Orleans to reenergize your commitment, refresh your knowledge and renew your passion for ensuring the future care of our elder community.’
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SAN  FRANCISCO  –   AGING2.0  OPTIMIZE 2017 *  November 14-15, 2017
“Join us for the annual Aging2.0 OPTIMIZE Conference in San Francisco on November 14-15, 2017. Cutting edge content, networking and partnership opportunities make this a high-value event for anyone interested in innovation and aging. Taking place in the iconic Herbst Theater at the War Memorial Building, OPTIMIZE will feature captivating keynotes, exclusive networking opportunities, unique market insights and a cutting-edge showcase of innovative exhibitors.”
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2017 CHANGINGAGING TOUR * –  Dr. Bill Thomas
Buffalo, NY –  09/18        Strongville, OH   –  09/19         Fort Wayne, IN  –  09/20                   Indianapolis – 09/21     Orlando –  10/16              Miami –  10/18                Pompano Beach – 10/19
Boo hoo – the 2017 ChangingAging Tour never got even close to Philadelphia – driving to New Britain CT would have been a bit of a stretch, even to see the great Bill Thomas!
“The ChangingAging Tour delivers live non-fiction theater experiences. It was created to build community by engaging directly with you, our live audience. Each of our performance experiences are unique, we take pride in sharing in the unexpected but here are a few things to look forward to, especially visionary storyteller Dr. Bill Thomas and a remarkable cast of performers weave mythology and science to bring new, true stories onstage”
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* On our 2018 calendar!

This little light of mine

after a long morning & early afternoon doing things that were important that led to major eye strain & cramped fingers/hands, was delighted to find this story about the pixar lamp.

what if pixar had thrown in the towel when it was being brilliant but not bringing in money – yet.

they believed in what they were doing, knew the cost of being full-throttle innovative, had the confidence to do what seemed to many to be fairly whackadoodle.

they made people feel the relationship between two lamps.  my calling is to help them feel – FEEL – the relationship between each other, not elder to younger, not grandparent to grandchild or (sometimes way more challenging) parent to child, BUT living breathing feeling beings to living breathing feeling others.

this little light of mine will shine, with a little lamp to lighten my way, to remind me – whenever i see it peering at me from a pixar movie – that relationships between anything begin & end with silently told stories that convey what’s in the heart.

The last day of summer – writing prompt

My memories of Labor Day include Soap Box Derby races down Quarry Road, starting at the edge of Alnwick Road then plummeting down past Boro Park, skirting Cathedral Hill, scooting along the edge of Cairncrest’s meadows.  Each gravity-powered racer built by hand.

Back then, kids would have considered starting school before Labor Day nothing less than barbaric.  Labor Day Monday was the last full gasp of summer vacation, something to be fully savored & enjoyed.  It was the last day that the community pool was opened, the last day to connect with friends any time you wanted, to sleep as late as you wanted, to go bare foot all day – the last day of freedom.

Labor Day was when the high school & college dorm students at a local private schools were arriving in earnest – dorms opened the next day, while “townies” registered.  They’d show up at the races, old friends & new arrivals, all hob nobbing in Boro Park.

When I was very young, we had the Labor Day picnic in Boro Park; later, it moved up Buck Road to Pine Run Park.  Never felt the same to me – I missed the big shade trees.

This week’s writing prompt is your choice of several:

√   If you are old enough to remember school starting AFTER Labor Day, how did that last full day of freedom feel?

√   How are your current feelings about Labor Day differ from your younger years?

√   In addition to saying adieu to summer, Labor Day often brought the pang of friendships winding down, bidding farewell to summer romances, seeing friends & family head out for far away schools.   If you ever experienced Labor Day as a time of loss, what did you lose & how did it feel?  


What prompt would you suggest to honor Labor Day?

7:28 a.m. – Thanks for the ride!

Our anniversary weekend celebrations, so far:

Donuts from Yum Yum on Friday

Breakfast at Fred’s yesterday.

Refreshments – kept it simple – after church this morning,.

Cap off the Day of Days with a brew this afternoon up the street at Naked Brewing.

John just popped his head in & asked, “Do you want to join me in some cereal?

Simple celebrations.

Our $$$ is tied up in quick nip down to DC on Thurs for our first Aging2.0 event; in a train trip next week up to NYC for a Radical Aging event honoring Ashton; in a Positive Aging lunch in Phila.

Come to think of it, each of those is the best way to celebrate our anniversary connection partnership.  Working together toward a common goal, a greater purpose, an expansive future.

Twenty-eight years of trials & tribulations, bliss & wonder.

Darlin’ – Thanks for the ride!