Thursday, January 30, 2020

Here's to You (Frances)

I’m talking this opportunity to talk about our older bud Frances. Last week I came down with a bad chest cold, and I had to take the week off. I’m the only facilitator at the Philadelphia Senior Center’s Best Day workshop, but I can always trust Frances to step in at a moment’s notice. She’s professional, punctual, and very motivated to make sure everyone reads. She almost always decides the reading order at Best Day, and she’s taken some of our Senior Selfies too. When she’s not in Best Day, she’s working as a landlord, speaking at City Hall meetings, and attending the Constitution Class after Best Day. So please enjoy this story below, so you can see how invested she is in politics and society:

Frances Bryce
Unlimited Powers

The president seems to believe that he has unlimited powers that are not spelled out in any part of the Constitution I have read. The three branches of the government that include the Congress, seems to be lost on him and that they are not equal to insure that we are not a part of an autocratic government run exclusively by him and his followers. Recent events that makes me remember an event in history: the president tweeted by the Executive branch, stating they would not honor requests from the House of Representatives, that is investigating issues for impeachment. Congress reported that Trump asked the Ukrainian President to probe a political (Joe Biden) rival for the 2020 Presidential election. The illegality of a foreign government to interfere in the election of the USA.

Trump is attempting to put the emphasis on Biden instead of the role he places (Trump is asking a foreign government to assist in his personal quest to find something about Biden and his son).

Joseph Nye was an American lawyer in October 6, 1969, hearing of the Communist activities of the Joseph McCarthy's senate. He said after  McCarthy caused many people to be fired and cases destroyed. He stated to McCarthy, "At long last have you no sense of decency."
I pose this to our new serving President. Have you no shame?? Our leader insists on calling people he disagrees with vile names and rejects the role of a branch of government as if he is an autocrat. He seems to surround himself with only those who do not question his positions that are not in align with policy and now it seems with provisions in the Constitution. 

I want to give a huge Thank You to everyone who donated to our 10th Anniversary celebration over the past year. You really made our anniversary one to remember. And the party may be over, but we never stop sharing stories. If you or an older bud have a story to share, send them our way right here. Thanks again for everything you've done for us so far, and Happy New Year.
Curated by Caitlin Cieri

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Hustle and Bustle (Carolyn)

Hi everyone. I hope you've all done a little extra something for Martin Luther King Day. Even better if you did a little extra something with Best Day ;)

Last week was a flurry of activity, especially because the copier broke and I had to use the one in the offices. But the good news is that Carolyn came back and it seems like she'll be in Best Day for a while. It also seems like there will be a lot more older buds going to The Moth on February, and we might see another older bud onstage this time. And for those of you who read the January 9th post, you'll be pleased to know that one our news-worthy Senior Selfie is now on our front page! There's Kodak moments, and then there's Kodak moments within moments within moments.

Also, I saw something new to add to my growing list of "older buds indulging in modern pop culture" moments: an older bud wearing a T-Shirt with the Triforce from the Legend of Zelda games! I only saw it for a moment, so I couldn't get a picture. But now I'm wondering how familiar that older bud is with video games.

In the spirit of hustling, bustling, and just moving in general, I'm showing off Carolyn's history of movement: 

Carolyn Boston

When I was a young woman, I wanted to see the world and visit as many countries as I could. I started out by applying to the Peace Corps and was accepted to work in Vietnam. I also sent in an application to the Airlines to become an Airline Stewardess and was accepted. All this happened in one year. I was ecstatic! Now was my time to choose. I was undaunted by the challenges I’d face by accepting either offer. Weighing the pros and cons, I decided that working for the Airlines would be a wise choice because I’d have the opportunity of seeing the world and flying for free. I was still living with my parents. My mother heard of my desire to be a Globe Trekker, she negated both offers and refused to sign the paperwork for me. I was extremely disappointed and made my mind up to travel to as many places as I could while still working a full-time job. I’ve been to many places around the globe (Africa, Bahamas, California, New Mexico, Hawaii, etc.) and still have a burning passion to see more. My sister who has the same travel bug has been to India, Morocco, Egypt, and Amsterdam. Her most favorite place to visit was the Taj Mahal which she described as the most beautiful monument she’s ever seen. When you have a passion as I do, you are able to take risks and become fearless in your pursuit. Even though my mother said no, the drive to see the world continued. Both my sister and I are nomads who love adventure and answer the call of unusual and the different.

I want to give a huge Thank You to everyone who donated to our 10th Anniversary celebration over the past year. You really made our anniversary one to remember. And the party may be over, but we never stop sharing stories. If you or an older bud have a story to share, send them our way right here. Thanks again for everything you've done for us so far, and Happy Holidays.
Curated by Caitlin Cieri

Thursday, January 16, 2020

In and Out (Carolyn and Philip)

It's wintertime and the living is breezy. We often have people breezing in and out of Best Day, for a myriad of reasons. Philip Pai is an excellent writer, but he won't come to Best Day unless he knows exactly what he'll write about. Sometimes I'll see him in the cafeteria, and then he'll vanish as soon as I turn my back. I've tried for months to give him a copy of one of his stories, before I realized he likes to leave right after lunch. I finally gave it to him last week.

Another older bud, Carolyn, has been good about coming to Best Day until a few weeks ago. Unfortunately she had some health challenges, but she's recovering. It feels like all sorts of health issues pop up in Winter, even in a Winter as warm as this. Regardless, everyone at Best Day is sending Carolyn our best wishes.

Carolyn Boston
Nature's Miracle
There is a fairly large population of geese in the area where I live. Last year, a female goose gave birth to five goslings on the roof of the building where I reside. Unfortunately, all of her babies perished because they fell into a concrete pit that houses a large exhaust system used for the building. The residents in my building watched the mother goose brave rain, snow, sleet, and severe cold weather as she sat on her eggs, keeping them warm and protecting them from the harsh elements. As myself and the residents watched this birthing play out on the roof, we marveled at her dedication and commitment to bringing her goslings into the world. It was a tragedy to see those goslings die. Many of the residents wept openly. This mother and her mate remained at the site verbally and lamented the loss of their children. We felt the parents grief as they honked in sadness for two solid weeks. Another root rose out of the gravel and concrete was a single lone free branch. It spiraled high in the air. It was a promise to the mom and dad that there would be restoration. At least that’s what we all perceived it to be. After that, the branch disappeared.
This April, 2019, the goose gave birth again in the exact same spot. I vowed that I would contact the PA Game Commission so that those goslings would not perish (tragedy would not repeat itself).
Another resident contacted them and the State Game Warden traveled all the way from Reading, PA with his daughter and crew because he said they couldn’t last another day – they would die. They rescued, at this time, all seven of her goslings. Even though these babies could not eat, they were strong and beautiful. It was a joyful experience to see the gander, mom, and the seven goslings parade off the property. Heads high and rejoicing they had a new living family.

Story About God
Philip Pai
Many years ago when President Mr. Regan was dead, I watched the funeral from the TV. I saw his wife, Nancy and his children. I think he was buried in California (I felt very sorry) beside his library in L.A., California. At last, there was a song that most people sing for him. After I listened, I liked it so much it was very beautiful. I really enjoyed it but I do not know the title.
Months ago, when I went to hear mass, the priest precast the same song … – it [brought] me to remember Mr. Regan. After, I hoped I could find the song title.
Last week, I had a chance to worship God. The father (priest) tells us which page, what number we will sing. After I listened, it’s as the exact song that I wish to look. That is really the gift from God. After I listened, I really enjoyed it. From the book, I know the title is “This Day God Gives Me.”
Thank God kept me so much [and] helped me get a wonderful and beautiful song. When I have time, I will listen to this special song.

I want to give a huge Thank You to everyone who donated to our 10th Anniversary celebration over the past year. You really made our anniversary one to remember. And the party may be over, but we never stop sharing stories. If you or an older bud have a story to share, send them our way right here. Thanks again for everything you've done for us so far, and Happy Holidays.

Curated by Caitlin Cieri

Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Art of Aging (Eleanor, Elliot, Frances, José)

On November 14th, ABC News came to us about a news spot as part of their Art of Aging Series. ABC’s Art of Aging is all about the different ways seniors and people with disabilities are keeping themselves healthy and strong in Philadelphia and Delaware County. I’m proud to say that The Best Day of My Life So Far got its spot aired on January 2nd, 2020. You can watch the clip right here.

You can also stop by the Philadelphia Senior Center at 509 South Broad Street in Philadelphia to meet Best Day’s Older Buds in person. Whether you want to volunteer, meet some cool storytellers or just get an autograph, we’re always happy to have new people coming in. We’ve also posted stories from some of the older buds featured in The Art of Aging below:

Eleanor Kazdan
We were overjoyed when our grandson, Aron was born 5 years ago. My daughter, Julia, had struggled through 3 miscarriages with all the agony and devastation, and here, finally was this gorgeous little baby boy. I must confess that I was hoping she would have a girl, the reason being that her husband's family had a history of severe autism, and I had read that boys are 4 times as likely to be on the autistic spectrum. All seemed fine. But when Aron was 2, his daycare teacher voiced concerns. Aron didn't play with other children and did not readily respond to his name or questions. He also had some obsessive behaviors such as picking up every piece of trash in sight and throwing it in a garbage can. Testing showed that Aron was madly autistic. A diagnosis is a mixed blessing. At age 5, Aron has friends, responds to questions, has good eye contact and is funny and delightful. The obsessive behaviors have faded. He is a handful, though. He has occasional tantrums and difficulty transitioning from one activity to another due to autistic or normal 5-year old behavior. Well, I know for sure that he is a delightful little boy. Last week, after reading him a bedtime story, we talked about his 5th birthday party that day, and about other people's ages. "Is a 6-year-old still a child, Grandma? How about a 13-year-old? Will I live to 100?" I answered as best I could. A thoughtful silence followed. "I have a dream, Grandma, I'm going to live for a hundred million years!"
Elliot Doomes
I'm thinking of going to Wildwood, NJ for Thanksgiving. I have some family there. I have my daughter, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, three grand daughters, a grandson, and two great-grandsons.. The two youngest ones, they may recognize me, but they really don't know who I am. I mean, they hear me called "Pop-Pop" but I really don't think that they understand the significance of that title.They think its just my name. It's not who I am. I want them to know who I am while there's still time. I neer met or knew my grandpa and I had very little time with my father. I knew him, but I never got to know him. He passed when I as just about eight years of age. And I often wondered about who he was and what kind of man was he? I was liked by all my grandchildren and both of my grandchildren for who "Pop-Pop" really is. When I visit them, I very seldom hear my name mentioned by them. Although my grandson has my first name s his middle name, and so does his son. Although they know where the name comes from, they really don't know who that person is. And that's what I want them to know. So this holiday visit provides me with the opportunity to spend some me-time with them and perhaps I can create some memories that they can think back on and relate to. I had no such memories in my life and I didn't have much time with my paw. Although we lived in the same apartment, I only saw him at dinner time. After dinner, hew as preparing at bed for the net workday and the next workday. 

Frances Bryce
Paying Too Much for a Free Service

I paid too much for a free service. The phone, iPad, computer and other modern conveniences that they are now used to provide many services, some that one can truly say allow us convenience, which we enjoy and often save us time. This was not the case for me this morning when I attempted to pay my phone bill using the app supplied to me for doing this task that was supposed to save me time and a one dollar charge if paid on line instead of the store. The appeal was not having to visit a brick and mortar store and of course saving a sum of one dollar was enticing.

I wanted to pay for 3 months and the prompts allowed me to pay for one month, after trying to adjust the payment to 3 months which caused a 31 seconds that I was told would be the wait, lasted 1/2 hours until I finally got a person whose language I could understand, then was told that a $3.25 charge was added, a land protest sent him to his supervisor to undo this error (at least I hope it was corrected). I concluded that a dollar charge in the store seems to me outweigh the free payment play if made online. Time waste was worth more than the online free payment plan.

José Dominiguez
A Little of Wine Helps
When I go to El Paso, Texas, I always stay with one of my oldest brothers, Ramon. He and Bertha are a superb pair of hosts. They treat me as if I were the president of Mexico. The only thing that can be an obstacle with them is that they are 100% Christians and I am 100% nothing. They believe that everything happens according to what their fait says and do a lot of praying for everything.. I respect their way of living and appreciate all the warmth and courtesy I receive from them. But always I have thought that it will come the day wen I will face Ramon and his way of thinking.

This September, I went to El Paso, Texas and among other nice things, he invited me to drink wine, and it was a big bottle, so almost at the end of the bottle we were speaking more vividly and freely. Then I spoke to Ramon saying: "I want to tank you that even when we believe very differently and we have different ways of thinking, you have not tried to convince me, or pressure me in to your religion. And for that, I thank you for the respect you have with me."

There was no answer from Ramon. He only said, taking his glass with wine to his mouth: "I drink to that."

I want to give a huge Thank You to everyone who donated to our 10th Anniversary celebration over the past year. You really made our anniversary one to remember. And the party may be over, but we never stop sharing stories. If you or an older bud have a story to share, send them our way right here. Thanks again for everything you've done for us so far, and Happy Holidays.

Curated by Caitlin Cieri