Rudyard Kipling was a successful writer, leaving a sizable estate upon his death. A newspaper reporter came up to him once and said, ”Mr. Kipling, I read somebody calculated that the money you make from your writings amounts to over $100 a word.” Mr. Kipling raised his eyebrows and said, ”I certainly wasn’t aware of that.” The reporter cynically reached into his pocket, pulled out a $100 bill, gave it to Kipling and said, ”Here’s a $100 bill. Now you give me one of your $100 words.” Kipling looked at the $100 bill, took it, put it in his pocket, and said ”Thanks.” The word ”thanks” was certainly a $100 word then, and it is more like a million dollar word now, one that is too seldom heard, too rarely spoken, and too often forgotten.

When I was growing up, children were expected to write thank you notes for every gift. From the time I learned to write, “thank you” became a staple in my vocabulary. Sometimes notes were written for gifts I found to be wonderful, and sometimes they were written tongue-in-cheek for gifts under-appreciated, such as handkerchiefs! It was in my adult years that I came to understand the distinction between “thanks” and “gratitude.” Up into my early forties, I believed I had worked my way through college – with jobs on the Cape over summers and holidays along with four jobs in college. Based on the amount I worked, my truth was that “I worked my way through college” because my parents were unable to help with college expenses. I had my comeuppance the day I remembered my two aunts who provided funding for me each year, my father’s best friend who gave me a check toward tuition every semester, and the two scholarships over four years from the Federated Church of Orleans and the Eastern Star. Adding all those up, I realized that my earnings were meager in comparison! It was only when I remembered the generous persons in my life that I understood the meaning of gratitude, and I hold those faces close in my heart.

In the Harry Potter novels, there are characters called dementors – dark spirits – that come into a room and suck every bit of life, enthusiasm and hope out of all present. While the good news is that chocolate is the antidote, the dementors’ presence drags everyone down. Over the years, I’ve come to understand that there are a few dementors everywhere, those who seem ungrateful and angry with life and leave us sucked dry of enthusiasm and hope. While I suppose we should always carry a little chocolate, just in case, dementors remind us that gratitude is a much healthier quality to embody.

An article in Psychology Today listed some characteristics of grateful people, including (1) they feel a sense of abundance in their lives, (2) they appreciate the contributions of others to their well-being, (3) they recognize and enjoy life’s small pleasures and (4) they acknowledge the importance of experiencing and expressing gratitude.

As Thanksgiving grows near, gratitude is brought to the forefront of our minds. This season, let us all fill our hearts with gratitude for all the wonders, both big and small, that this life brings us.

-Chaplain Sparrow

On November 11, 1919, the first observance of Veterans Day, President Woodrow Wilson expressed the following sentiment: “To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day (Veterans Day) will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.”

In 1926, Congress called for the annual observance of Veterans Day, and in 1938, the day was made a legal holiday. From that day forward, November 11 has been a day to honor all the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces and to thank them for their dedication to our nation.

According to the most recent census, there are 18.5 million veterans in the U.S., at least 38 of whom live at Plymouth Harbor and 4 of whom are board members. Here are three of their stories:

After graduating from Vassar College in 1944, resident Sallie VanArsdale joined the women’s division of the United States Navy as part of W.A.V.E.S.: Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. After nine weeks of officer training followed by eight weeks of supply corps training, she was stationed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. For 22 months during World War II, Sallie ordered supplies that were needed to build and repair naval ships docked at the port. “It was an entirely different life than I had ever lived before,” Sallie said. “Seeing the whole place in operation and being a part of it all was very exciting. The whole country was totally unified.”

Colonel Jamo C. Powell, another resident, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Field Artillery from Texas A&M University in May 1958 and went on to serve 30 years of active duty. His military career was extensive: He served as a Major during the Vietnam War; commanded the 2nd Battalion, 6th Artillery Regiment in Gelnhausen, Germany; and served as a staff officer at the Pentagon in the Department of the Army. His final assignment before retirement was Deputy Chief of Staff and Personnel for the 2nd United States Army in Atlanta, Georgia.

Colonel Dale Woodling, Plymouth Harbor board member, was a judge advocate general and served in the United States Army for 28 years. He and his wife, who was a nurse, both expected to only serve for one assignment, but it turned into a career. Woodling has dealt with all types of legal matters, ranging from courts-martial to environmental law, and ended his career as Commander of the U.S. Army Claims Service.

Thank you to all of our Plymouth Harbor veterans:
Asterisks denote our board members.

Air Force
Terry Aldrich
H. Graham Barkhuff
Thomas H. Belcher
Lawrence E. Coffey
Irwin Eisenfeld
Duncan Finlay*
Leon Gainsboro
Allen Jennings
Jack Kidd
Don MacLean
Jay Price*
Arthur Sandler

Army
Martin Abrahams
Al Balaban
Robert Barkley
Bill Brackett
Tom Bulthuis
Richard P. Carroll
Richard Cooley
John Cranor III*
Jack Denison
Tom Elliott
Jerry Hamovit
Gregory Hetter
Bill Johnston
Sidney Katz
Tom Luebbe
Francis O’Brien
Jamo C. Powell
Tom Towler
Clifford Tuttle
Dale Woodling*

Coast Guard
Carl P. Denney

Marine Corps
David A. Beliles
Harold Dombrowski
Ky Thompson
Douglas West

Navy
Jim Ahstrom
Medora Dashiell
Arthur Davidson
Tom Goddard
James J. Griffith
Donald Hackel
Richard J. March
William A. Stanford
Jim Stern
Sallie VanArsdale
John Williams

We did our best to identify all Plymouth Harbor veterans. We know it is possible that some were missed, and we apologize for any who were missed.

The courtyards in the Northwest Garden were designed specifically as a welcoming and social area for each neighborhood. The courtyards provide an opportunity for a safe, secure outdoor experience for residents and their family members. Whether a sunny stroll, a social visit, or just to sit and reflect next to the water features, the courtyard gardens provide a wonderful outdoor experience.

The Seaside Courtyard is open to all, and is accessed from the Bridge (pathway from the Lobby to the entrance of the Starr Memory Care Residence). The water feature is a main focal point in the courtyard, with the soothing sounds of water splashing down the tiles, and is surrounded by beautiful plantings and pavers. The seating areas offer conversation spaces under the large four-canopy umbrella. Elegant lighting along the pathways and the seating areas makes way for pleasant visits during the day or night. Other special features include kinetic art that swirls with the wind, and musical instruments that makes beautiful tones when tinged. Going into the busy season and the cooler temperatures, we will see more and more people taking advantage of this beautiful courtyard garden, which was supported by Barry and Phil Starr during our “A Commitment to Memory” capital campaign.

The Lido and Ringling Memory Care neighborhoods each offer their own private courtyards with similar features, including beautifully lush plantings and pavers. The Lido Courtyard, supported by Carol and Morton Siegler, offers a beautiful tiled water feature, the Harp musical instrument, and two kinetic art pieces. The Ringling Courtyard, supported by a gift from the estate of Joan Runge, features a water cauldron with soothing sounds, the Griffin musical instrument, and two ‘Desert Flower’ kinetic art pieces that twirl in the breeze. Both courtyards have teak tables and chairs that are nicely positioned under the canopy umbrella for daytime use, and soft lighting suggests a cozy area for nighttime relaxation. Many life enrichment activities take place in the courtyards.

Future plans for the Lido and Ringling Courtyards include raised gardens for resident participation and soft piped-in music. We look forward to hosting more life enrichment activities and events in the cooler weather this fall and winter.

On Friday, December 16th, Plymouth Harbor held a surprise celebration for the retirement of our longest-serving employee, housekeeper Lanette Davis. She spent her last day at Plymouth Harbor on December 30, 2016, after more than 42 years of service.

In December 1973, at 22 years old, Lanette filled out an application for a housekeeping position at the suggestion of a friend. One interview was all it took and she was on the floor the next day. Lanette credits her length of service to an outstanding work environment and exceptional leadership. Most of all, however, she credits the sense of family she feels with both her co-workers and the residents she has cared for over the years.

Residents and employees alike gathered on the Mezzanine to celebrate Lanette, honoring her decades of service with laughs, cake, memory books filled with photos, a special plaque recognizing her dedication to Plymouth Harbor, and, of course, her favorite flowers (yellow roses). Special guests in attendance included Lanette’s son and husband.

“In this type of environment, it’s not often that you see this kind of cross-culture with residents and staff,” resident Dr. Paul Groen remarked. Residents and coworkers went on to share stories of their years spent with Lanette, consistently noting her unwavering positive attitude, work ethic, and contagious smile. “In my 13 years, she’s never not had a smile on her face,” says resident Ish Pedersen with a smile. “She will be missed.”

We are pleased to bring two lifelong learning courses to Plymouth Harbor in 2015, led by instructors from the Lifelong Learning Academy in Sarasota.  These offerings are supported in part through gifts to the Plymouth Harbor Foundation

EisenhowerSecret Illnesses of U.S. Presidents and their Effect on World History and Politics  

Thursdays 4:00-5:30 p.m. (3 sessions) January 29, February 5, 12 in the Club Room

Was the course of world history during the twentieth century altered as a result of the secret and unknown illnesses of U.S. presidents?  Until recently, presidential illnesses were often kept hidden from press and public. Most have since been revealed, but how at the time did they affect the sufferers’ interaction with world leaders and their management of crises? Did FDR’s hypertension influence the conduct of WWII and his critical negotiations with Stalin at Yalta? What about the impact on the Cold War of Eisenhower’s hypertension and heart attack and JFK’s back surgery and Addison’s disease? In this course, blending history and medicine, we’ll explore these and other intriguing questions.   Course Fee:  $15 per registrant

Course leader:  Allan B. Schwartz, M.D. 

Professor of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, specializing in nephrology and hypertension. He has served as vice chair of the department as well as clinical service chief, academic service chief, recipient of many “outstanding clinician” and “outstanding teacher” awards.  He has conducted numerous regional and national CME seminars. His publications include two textbooks and many chapters, national and international meeting presentations, abstracts, and articles. He is a peer reviewer for numerous medical journals. Dr. Schwartz received his M.D. degree from Hahneman Medical College (later Drexel University College of Medicine).

 

history medicineThe Epic of Medicine

Thursdays 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. (6 sessions) March 12, 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16 in the Club Room

This course traces the history of medicine as it relates to the history of mankind from pre-historic time to the 20th century. The emphasis will be on Western medicine, but influences from Eastern traditions will be included. A fervent attempt will be made to learn from history so we will not be destined to repeat it. Parallels will be drawn throughout the course to “modern medicine” as well as “alternative medicine.” Come to learn about the origins of “scientific” medicine, folk remedies, the role of religion in medicine, and so much more. This will be a PowerPoint presentation augmented by videotapes from the Teaching Company.  Course Fee:  $30 per registrant

Course leader:  Al Tripodi, M.D.

Dr. Tripodi has a B.A. from Cornell and an M.D. from SUNY Upstate Medical University, where he was an associate clinical professor of medicine. He is certified in internal medicine and geriatrics and practiced in Syracuse, N.Y. and Sarasota for forty years.  He has been responsible for teaching medical students and residents and was medical director of two extended-care facilities in Syracuse. He presently volunteers and is medical director of the Senior Friendship Center’s medical clinic in Sarasota. He has an abiding interest in history and a fervent belief that “to know history may prevent us from repeating it.”

Finlay_5x7 300 dpiThe Board of Trustees of Plymouth Harbor, Inc. welcomed three new members and elected new leadership for 2015.

The newly elected Chair of the Board of Trustees is G. Duncan Finlay, MD who is also currently serving as President and CEO of the Florence A. Rothman Institute and Chief Medical Officer of Alive Sciences, LLC.  During his previous tenure as Chief Medical Officer and President and CEO of Sarasota Memorial Hospital, the system was named one of America’s Best Hospitals by US News and World Report in seven medical specialties.

Harry Hobson, CEO of Plymouth Harbor said, “Dr. Finlay has served as a Trustee for the past three years.  He brings leadership, experience, vision, and a passion that is consistent with Plymouth Harbor’s mission.”

After four years as Chairperson during which he guided Plymouth Harbor through a significant growth initiative that culminated in the grand opening of new Wellness Center, F. Thomas Hopkins will now serve as Immediate Past Chair.

“Tom has always been present for important governance discussions and decision,” says Hobson, “I can’t imagine a more dedicated person than Tom Hopkins.  While we will miss him as Chair, we will cherish this coming year knowing he is in the Board Room with us.”

Sarah Pappas-portrait_4x5Three current Trustees have also been elected to serve as officers of the Board. Sarah H. Pappas, EdD, has been elected to the position of Vice Chair. Dr. Pappas is President of the William G.  and Marie Selby Foundation and former President of Manatee Community College (now State College of Florida).

Cindy Malkin, recently Board Chair at the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, also a member of the Women’s Resource Board, will serve as Secretary.

Brian D. Hall, Executive Vice President and Director of Wealth Management at the Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida, will serve as Treasurer.

Cindy-Malkin

Brian-D--Hall

In addition to the officers, Plymouth Harbor is pleased to welcome three new trustees to the board:

CranorJohn M. Cranor, III, former President and CEO for the New College Foundation, has over 30 years of management experience in the food service and retail industries including senior executive positions with Pepsi-Cola North America, Taco Bell Corporation, Wilson Sporting Goods, and Frito-Lay Company. He currently serves as the non-executive Chair of the Board of Directors of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc.

PattersonNora Patterson, a Sarasota County Commissioner, was first elected to the Sarasota City Commission in 1991, and served until 1998 when she was elected to the Sarasota County Commission.  Prior to this she served as the Mayor of Sarasota from 1994-95 and was appointed by the Governor to serve two years on Florida’s Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations from 1996-98.

Woeltjen lo resWilliam Woeltjen has served as the Chief Financial Officer of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System since 2010, where he is responsible for all financial matters related to the health care system, including financial reporting, financial planning, revenue cycle, reimbursement, debt management, and managed care contracting. He has more than 25 years of experience in corporate health care finance.

fall cleaningEverybody knows about spring cleaning.  Fall, however, may be a better time for cleaning since for many of us the year starts after summer and the hurricane season leaves us.

Of course, for Plymouth Harbor residents who hail from the more northern parts of our country, Fall cleaning conjures images of colored leaves collecting on the lawn and in the gutters. Yard work, lots of it, came on the heals of the bright fall colors. However, retirement years, particularly those in Sarasota, Florida don’t include much time with a rake in your hands. And at Plymouth Harbor, yard work is entirely a thing of the past, unless you enjoy tending your own garden.

Instead, Fall has other chores that seem to make sense.  Fall is good for throwing stuff out, all that stuff you have been collecting ever since you moved in.  There are some easy ways to get rid of your discards.

Think about your file cabinet.  How many outdated records do you have?  Those pounds of paper and their folders can go straight to the Recycling Bin.  If some are too private, there is the shredder in our Business Office near the mailboxes.

Old, dead batteries sitting around?  If they are marked with a letter (AA, AAA, C, D, etc.) they go straight to the trash and down the chute.  Batteries without a letter marking and all hearing aid batteries get special handling. They go to Audrey in the Maintenance Office on the ground floor.  Your housekeeper will take them there, if you ask her.

And your unused medicines, prescription or otherwise.  They are rather dangerous to keep around, some of them.  We all know they should not go into the toilet.  The A#1 place for them?  Take them to those great nurses in the Callahan Center.  They are disposing of their unused meds.  They will dump yours in with theirs.

And that chic skirt that makes you look fat?  The appliance that works but you do not need two?  To our handy dandy Fund Shop!  You know where it is — across from the Security Office in the East Garden Garage.

Whatever is not saleable here (would you buy it?) — off to Goodwill!!

Does it not make your life easier to be rid of that stuff?  The only question is “Can you resist the urge to fill up those shelves all over again?”

landfill We dump all that stuff down the chute or into the recycling bins and never give it another thought.  But we should.

After our recent resident  trip to the county landfill in Nokomis, we are a good bit smarter.  All that STUFF does not go up in smoke, literally or figuratively.  There is no burning to pollute our pure Florida air.  And, most assuredly, that debris does not just go away.  It requires an enormous number of employees, many of them operating challenging equipment, to get rid of our discards.

There is an area for construction waste.  By law, we are required to separate out the REusable lumber, pipe, metals and such from the UNusable.  When you see the piles of waste that arrive daily, you can see why many workers are required for this.

Someone has to oversee the Hazardous Waste disposal area.  There is usually a charge for getting rid of toxic materials.  It should be paid by you, if you deliver them yourself.  You will probably pay that charge to anyone else who takes those old electronics, liquid paint, and chemicals to the landfill for you.

Then there are the employees who separate all those plastics we dump, a separate pile for each type of plastic.  And tires.  There are a few uses being developed for ground-up tires and a few for the whole tire but, for the most part, these are a landfill problem.

A trip to the Nokomis landfill can clear up many of the mysteries about why we do what we do.