RSVP Knit-It-Alls The gift of warmth by fdh56iuoui


									Volume 22 | Number 4 | Winter 2009-2010                                      King County RSVP’s quarterly publication for people 55 & older

RSVP Knit-It-Alls: The gift
of warmth
By Peter Langmaid
   This year, the RSVP Knit-          The group—all women, so they
It-Alls (KIA) program will            can talk about the men—all live
distribute over 1,600 hand knit       at Northhaven, a retirement
and crocheted hats, scarves, baby     community “designed especially
blankets, afghans, sweaters and       to meet the needs of people
mittens to needy men, women,          older in age, but young in spirit.”
and children throughout King              The first thing lifelong
County.                               crocheter Evelyn Leckron              Caption: Northhaven Handcrafters: (L-R) Marine Galdon, Ingeborg
   Though the KIA process             showed me when I arrived to           Bower, Nancy Evans, Evelyn Leckron, Margaret McGreevy, Betty Weed &
culminates in December, the           sit in on one of their sessions       Margery Olson (Photo by Peter Langmaid.)
knitting and crocheting work is       was the wall where they proudly
                                                                            Evans has seen people wearing           courteous and helpful. And the
a year-round effort. One lively       display their multiple RSVP
                                                                            her work, and it makes her feel         activities are endless. There are
and energetic group of volunteer      Certificates of Appreciation.
                                                                            wonderful.                              exercise classes every day, movies,
contributors is the Northhaven        But the rewards they receive
                                                                                Watching them work, I was           special outings, food drives, foot
Handcrafters, who meet weekly         go far beyond certificates. For
                                                                            immediately impressed by how            massage, acupuncture, birthday
to knit, crochet, chat, and gossip.   Margaret McGreevy, the knitting
                                                                            expert they all are at their craft.     parties, game nights, educational
Together, they will produce over      helps her overcome feelings of
                                                                            No one seemed to be paying              opportunities, and on and on.
300 pieces of brightly colored,       worthlessness that sometimes
                                                                            attention to their work, but the        (The list was coming so fast I
imaginatively designed, and           slip into her consciousness if
                                                                            needles were clicking away like         couldn’t write them all down.)
expertly crafted items this year.     she doesn’t stay busy. Nancy
                                                                            an old-fashioned typing pool.           Nancy summarized Northhaven
                                                                            Asked when they learned their           by saying, “If you can’t find
   Solid Ground                                        Nonprofit Org.       craft, Evelyn said she started          something to do here, you don’t
   RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program)            U.S. Postage        at age 3 or 4 by cutting up old         want to do anything!”
   1501 North 45th Street
                                                            PAID            clothes and crocheting them into           As the knitted and crocheted
                                                        Seattle, WA
   Seattle, WA 98103-6708                              Permit # 3057
                                                                            rugs. Ingeborg Bower said her           goods pile up, they are bagged
                                                                            grandmother taught her, and             and sent to the RSVP office
                                                                            that they scavenged their yarn          for volunteers Shirley White
                                                                            by unraveling old sweaters and          and Margaret Orazem to sort
                                                                            knitting them into new ones.            and tag. Shirley found her way
                                                                            Nancy thought for a moment,             to the KIA program in 1998
                                                                            shrugged, and said, “since              through a flyer at the Greenlake
                                                                            forever.” Margaret also pointed         library. She called the office
                                                                            out that their work keeps their         and said, “I can knit anything.”
                                                                            fingers nimble and staves off           Since joining the program she
                                                                            arthritis.                              has knitted over 1,000 pairs of
                                                                                For these women, the most           mittens. Helping the homeless
                                                                            important benefits of all are           motivates her, and people who
                                                                            the love of their craft and the         are inspired by her work donate
                             Inside this Issue...                           feeling of ‘family’ that the group      most of her yarn. Shirley knits
                                                                            gives them. They find the work          while watching TV and keeping
                                                                            relaxing, creative, and intrinsically   her hands busy helps ease
                                                                            rewarding. Each member has              her arthritis. Shirley recruited
         Things we may not notice                                           her own ideas about design and          Margaret into the tagging and
                                                                            color, but they all “put a lot of       sorting, and Margaret’s reward is
 l   Warmth.......................................p. 1                      love into what they’re making.”         helping children. Margaret loves
                                                                            Someone mentioned that they             the positive atmosphere at RSVP
                                                                            all get along and have fun, too.        and enjoys seeing all the beautiful
                                                                            This idea was punctuated by the         items.
 l   Chickens?!....................................p. 2                     statement, “If you can’t get along         As the inventory builds and
                                                                            [with the group], you can just          the December distribution date
                                                                            leave!”                                 nears, RSVP work-study student
 l   Listening......................................p. 4                        One recurring topic of              Janae Detwiler contacts the 18
                                                                            conversation was how lucky they         agencies that receive the items
                                                                            all feel to live at Northhaven.         for their ‘wish’ lists. Janae then
 l   Beauty.........................................p. 6                    They feel “treated with respect”        matches requests to inventory.
                                                                            by a staff that is always                                 Continued on page 3
Page 2                                                                                            King County RSVP’s Experience in Action!

                                                                             really care about
                  Speaking Directly                                          the mission of this
                                                                             program and it
                  by Sonya Couch, RSVP Director                              shows. Olivia and
                                                                             I are excited to get
                                                                             back into the swing
Blessings of the season &                                                    of things and see
                                                                             more of the RSVP

looking ahead                                                                staff and some of
                                                                             you too! And since
                                                                             I plan to bring
    2009 has been a very eventful     adoration of your child is what        Olivia with me to
year, both professionally and         gets you through the pain of           work for the next
personally for me. The most           childbirth and all the sleepless       few months, her first     Olivia Joy Couch (Photo by Caleb Couch)
exciting part of it however has       nights that follow. So, I’ve been      words just might be
                                                                                                                    the gloomy economic conditions.
been the arrival of our daughter,     home enjoying this little bundle       “RSVP”!
                                                                                                                    During hard times Americans
Olivia Joy. She was born on           for the past three months and am          As we look forward to the
                                                                                                                    really do step forward and help
September 17th with a full            now transitioning back into work       New Year there are many exciting
                                                                                                                    each other out. You are all proof
head of dark hair. I mention          as we end the year.                    challenges ahead. Thank you
                                                                                                                    of this! We will need all of you
this because this seems to be            Speaking of the past three          to all of you who contributed
                                                                                                                    to continue your good work in
the feature that draws the most       months, I’d like to take this          financially to RSVP in 2009.
                                                                                                                    2010 as the need for your service
attention—strangers in the            opportunity to thank Jen               We will be putting your faith in
                                                                                                                    grows. And RSVP will be here
grocery store say, “My, look at       Gahagan and Robin Knudson,             the program to good use as we
                                                                                                                    to support you. Just call or write
all that hair!” And with all that     our fabulous RSVP Program              tackle the next year. I am happy
                                                                                                                    if you’d like some personalized
hair and her big eyes, I must say,    Coordinators who covered for           to say that we are ending the
                                                                                                                    service. Either myself, Robin,
she is the most beautiful child       me while I was away on maternity       year with more volunteers and
                                                                                                                    Jen, or Olivia will answer!
I’ve ever seen. Am I partial?         leave. I’m continually amazed          more hours than the previous
                                                                                                                       Happy Holidays from the
Absolutely. But that is the way       at the quality and consistency         year. This trend continues to be
                                                                                                                    staff at RSVP! l
that it goes, right? The complete     of both of their work. They            an encouragement to us despite

                                     Happy New Year!
Alert: Wild chickens on the Burke-Gilman!
by Roger Urbaniak

   During one of my hikes along the Burke Gilman Trail I heard               These chickens are hearty breeds, surviving winters here outdoors.
a rumor from a passing jogger about wild chickens living and                 Two Guinea fowl recently joined Bothell’s panhandling chickens.
prospering along the trail. I found this tip to be intriguing and planned They, too, were aggressive feeders chasing away ducks from the
a late summer hike to begin near downtown Bothell where I was told           breadcrumbs.
they resided.                                                                    The sun was warm and inviting, so after satisfying my initial
   After taking the SR-522 cutoff from I-405 to Bothell I found a            curiosity, I continued my walk along this portion of the trail. I had
city-sponsored parking lot south of Bothell Landing near the Senior          previously hiked or biked several sections of the Burke Gilman
Center on NE 180th. Next I followed a short path towards the                 Trail starting near Marymoor Park in Redmond. On my last trip I
Sammamish Slough where I spotted an old wooden                                                  had entertained myself by watching some college-
bridge and pedestrian walkway adjacent to the center.                                           age athletes compete in an organized game of
After a quick stroll across the bridge and a left turn on                                       Ultimate Frisbee at a playing field near the Chateau
the asphalt trail, I almost immediately began noticing                                          Ste. Michelle Winery. Today I was looking for new
wild chickens.                                                                                  sights to join with my travels of yesterday. A few
   Despite being armed with my rumor, I was still                                               wild mallards effortlessly landed in the Sammamish
surprised by the scores of wild chickens feeding                                                Slough near resident domestic water birds but quickly
openly along the trail. The bantam breed of chicken                                             departed when hikers intruded into their comfort
closely resembled jungle fowl that I had seen in Kauai.                                         zone. Later I spotted a mink frolicking, and then
My comparison was enforced when a few of the birds                                              hunting, among some large boulders which had been
flew up to low tree branches as I had seen jungle fowl                                          placed along the bank of the slough for erosion
do.                                                                                             control. This was exciting to me, as wild mink are rare
   Each bird was also unique in its coloration as were                                           in such an urban setting.
the jungle fowl. Some roosters were golden while            Typical female bantam chickens          Other features of this section of trail are the
others were stunningly colored similar to Chinese                                                periodic exercise stations dotting the route. Each
ring-necked pheasants. Several hens were nearly all black, others            little area has been designed with a different workout in mind.
were spotted and one a pure white. No two birds seemed to be the             Informative instructive signs detail exercises to be performed here and
same as if an artist resided in the bushes, granting them personalized       are usually accompanied by metal bars or wood structures to fit and
identification. Moments later, recently hatched chicks emerged from          assist the workout. These exercise stations allow the hikers and joggers
blackberry bush hideouts to begin pecking away at a fresh trail of           to work on achieving overall fitness while on their stroll.
breadcrumbs.                                                                     Once I felt I had gone far enough, I turned around and returned to
   Locals claim a few birds were dropped off here a few years ago            the car. I had spotted a Baskin & Robbins ice cream shop on my walk
and they have rapidly increased their numbers. Numerous blackberry           and it wasn’t all that far away. After all, I had been good by taking my
patches in the area help the birds elude coyotes or other predators.         hike and deserved some type of reward, right? l
King County RSVP’s Experience in Action!                                                                                                          Page 3

                                                                           from pads in mattresses, pillows
                   Wit & Wisdom                                            and insoles, apparently does
                                                                           wonders in relieving pain where
                   by author Henry Wiener                                  other attempts have failed.
                                                                              There was much to-do about
                                                                           HGH, the Human Growth
Hidden worlds                                                              Hormone, which presumably can
                                                                           keep the body young and virile.
                                                                           It nudges the aging pituitary glad
    Note to readers: Our dear Henry    segments was an author              to increase production and turn
is now residing at the Kline Galland   reporting on his contact with       back to its previous youth and
home and would welcome any thoughts    a Messiah-like Master working       health-promoting level.
or good wishes.                        toward bringing all nations            Another member of this
    It wasn’t until I was well on      together in cosmic harmony.         cadre of health enhancers is bee
the road to becoming a senior          In order to meet with him, the      pollen, which, like the others        The Retired & Senior Volunteer
that I became aware of the             writer reportedly had to be         advertised, was touted as an          Program (RSVP) is a nonprofit
hidden worlds that come to life        taken out of his body. It was       ingredient guaranteed to keep
                                                                                                                 National Senior Corps program
in the evening and hang around         great to learn that all of us can   oldsters feeling young again.
                                                                                                                 sponsored locally by Solid
the whole night.                                                                                                 Ground. RSVP encourages and
                                       attain those spiritual heights,     For those fighting the battle of      supports volunteerism in King
    When I was younger, all I          live forever and accomplish         the bulge, there was a substance      County for people 55 and older.
needed to do was close my eyes         miracles with the “energy of        described as a “fat blaster” which
and think a few good thoughts          life” component of such cosmic      is designed to make the blubber
to fall fast asleep. That luxury is    attainment.                         disappear without dieting,
gone and the output from the               Another unusual story was       convert glucose into energy and
late night radio has become the        the experience of a group of        curtail the fat-producing process.
sedative for reaching that old         tourists busy taking pictures of       One of the unexpected
dream state.                           the scenery. Suddenly one finds     wonders was wild oregano, a
    In the last two decades,           a UFO in the camera’s sights. A     favorite of the ancient Greeks        Solid Ground is dedicated to
sleepily wandering through the         Chaplinesque sequence ensues        and Romans. This herb is
                                                                                                                 achieving a just and caring
Sandman’s domain, I have been          in which the tourists pursue the    considered an enthusiastic fighter
                                                                                                                 community free from poverty,
forced to traverse terrain set         flying object, snapping away.                                             prejudice and neglect. Our 30
                                                                           of colds, flu and other infections.   programs give nearly 33,000
with seductive thirty-minute           Without warning the UFO plays       Included in this healing              families a year the services,
programmatic minefields.               turnabout, changes its course       community is HA, Hyaluronic           resources and support they need
    The cornucopia of subjects         and follows the human voyeurs       Acid, present in the traditional      to overcome homelessness,
and hawked products that clutter       home. Having satisfied their        Japanese diet, a key factor in        hunger, domestic violence and
the landscape, especially on           curiosity about earthlings, the     resisting life-threatening disease.   other poverty-related traumas.
weekends, are bizarre, fanciful,       aliens zoom away to their own          My hidden world is filled
visionary and incredible. They         world, much to the vacationers’     with a myriad of messages of
touch the whole gamut of               relief.                             available counter-aging magic.
our basic needs and intimate               But on Fridays and Saturdays    Unfortunately, the stress of
yearnings.                             much of the night air is filled     deciding which of these panaceas
    During the week, from early        with cleverly constructed           to consider has accelerated the
evening to 3 a.m., you can find        commercials in which a variety      aging process.                        Experience in Action! (EIA) is
many startling appetizers to the       of medications and treatments          I now get up each day with         published quarterly by King
main weekend fare. Appearing           are offered, all with the           my body feeling much older than       County RSVP and distributed
before my ears are a host of           guarantee, “your money back”        the one I put to bed the night        to 4,000 RSVP volunteers and
unusual beings: ghosts, witches,       and enticing inducements for        before. l                             friends. EIA is dedicated to
UFO denizens, mediums,                 quick response.                        Henry Wiener is author of the      providing news and information
apparitions and a variety of               One of these is the promise     book ‘Wit and Wisdom.’                to RSVP volunteers. Articles
angels.                                of bio-magnetic therapy. The                                              express writers’ opinions which
    In one of the talk show            power of magnetic fields flowing                                          are not necessarily the views
                                                                                                                 of RSVP or EIA. We reserve the
                                                                                                                 right to refuse any material
                                                                                                                 deemed unsuitable. Articles
The gift of warmth                   the receiving agencies.               and grateful for the chance to        may be edited in accordance
Continued from page 1                   Distribution day was more          participate.                          with technical and editorial
                                     of a celebration of all the              To judge the impact of the         policy guidelines.
Janae’s only lament is that          yearlong work and organizing          KIA program, I spoke with K.C.
“there’s a greater need than we                                                                                         EIA / RSVP STAff
                                     than a chore. Tables around the       Young, director of Sojourner
                                                                                                                      Robin Knudson, Editor
can supply.” “There’s a huge         room at the RSVP office were          Place, a home for women in             Jennifer Gahagan, Asst. Editor
amount of talent out there, and      stacked high with colorful hats,      transition and an RSVP site
                                                                                                                  EIA NEWSlETTER CommITTEE
it’s always fun to unpack the        mittens, sweaters, blankets, and      partner. K.C. pointed out that        Susan Baker, Mary Harvey, Sandy
boxes and see all the                           baby booties, all neatly   there’s an emotional component        Howard, Peter Langmaid, Sarah
beautiful, well-made                            sorted by category. Ten    to the program that goes beyond         Parkhurst & Linda Urbaniak
treasures.” When                                RSVP volunteers filled     the obvious utility of the items.         PHoNE                    TTY
                                                                                                                 206-957-4779 x116            7-1-1
the entire KIA cycle                            orders and marveled        “[These items] are knitted in
is complete, Janae                              at the quality of the      love. And it’s important for                  mAIlING ADDRESS
                                                                                                                 1501 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103-6708
coordinates the                                 craftsmanship and          women in our shelter to know
“thank yous” to all                                                                                                  RSVP STREET ADDRESS
                                                creativity. The weather    that people care.” The hats,             464 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98112
the 50 contributing                             outside was dreary,        scarves, gloves, and blankets
knitters and                                      but the mood of the      warm the body and the heart. l      
crocheters on behalf Janae Detwiler, RSVP         volunteers inside was                                             GetInvolved/Volunteer/RSVP
of both RSVP and         Work Study Student       cheerful, amazed,
Page 4                                                                                              King County RSVP’s Experience in Action!

                                                                              deeply, imagining yourself                • Attend a silent retreat at a
                  Aging with Wisdom                                           connected to that time and place.
                                                                                 • Find a recipe that you haven’t
                                                                                                                     spiritual retreat center. As you sit
                                                                                                                     in silence, notice what thoughts
                  by Carol Scott-Kassner                                      tried before that sounds appealing     and emotions are moving through
                                                                              to you. Prepare the food, noticing     you. Journal, reflecting on where
                                                                              the smells, textures, and colors of    you are at this time of your life.
Really noticing                                                               the ingredients. Set the table with
                                                                              fresh flowers and lovely place
                                                                                                                     During some of your retreat,
                                                                                                                     spend time in nature, deeply
    One of the joys of getting         Attention.” Half angered, the          settings. Sit at the table, saying     noticing as in the earlier exercise.
older is that we can slow down.        man demanded: “What does               thanks for this abundance. Slowly      During meals, truly savor your
In fact, our bodies sometimes          the word ‘Attention’ mean              eat what you have prepared,            food. Listen to music that is
mandate that we stop moving so         anyway?” Ikkyu gently responded,       savoring each bite. Notice the         calming for you, fully entering
quickly. We can give ourselves         “Attention means attention.”           tastes and textures. Chew each         the sounds, letting them fill you.
permission to simply “be” rather           This story can be frustrating      bite slowly, enjoying what you eat.    Move to the music with your
than “doing” all of the time. It       until we enter it deeply and           If you enjoy a good glass of wine,     whole body or simply one hand.
is amazing what happens when           realize what Ikkyu is trying to        have it as an accompaniment to         Feel the flow of your body in
we slow down. We really start          transmit to the seeker. When           dinner. As you drink it, enjoy the     response to the music. At some
to notice things. The process of       we pay attention, we need to           flavors of the various grapes that     point, see if you can simply be,
noticing can be to move inside of      pay attention with our whole           have contributed to this wine as       free of thoughts and worries. Be
ourselves or to attend to things,      selves—our eyes, our ears, and         well as the barrels in which it was    present to your breathing. Let any
people, and events around us.          our senses of smell and touch          aged.                                  thoughts simply move through
    Every major spiritual tradition    as well as taste. We also need            • Sit with a close friend or        your mind and out. Return to
emphasizes the importance of           to attend with our minds and           family member who wants to             your breathing.
slowing down, listening, and           spirits. We need to fully enter the    share something important with            May you take the time to listen,
paying attention. People raised in     moment that we are in and truly        you. Simply listen to the story        really listen to yourself, to nature,
the Christian tradition are familiar   notice what we are experiencing.       without interrupting, judging          and to others. May the practice
with the short passage, “Be            This spiritual practice can be         them, or giving feedback. Try to       of noticing bring you to a deeper
still and know that I am God,”         particularly rewarding in listening    remain still as you take in what is    appreciation of your connection
from Psalm 46:10. You can use          to the needs of people we love         said, being fully present. When        to all of life. May the practice of
that passage in meditation. Sit        or in meeting a stranger. It can       the story is finished, reflect back    noticing bring you peace. l
comfortably, close your eyes and       be helpful when we eat, really         what you noticed about feelings,          Carol Scott-Kassner is co-founder
say to yourself, “Be still and know    savoring our food. It can enhance      saying things such as, “That           with Pat Lewis of ‘Aging with
that I am God. Be still and know       our experience of being in nature,     seemed painful to you,” or “I          Wisdom.’ Pat and Carol are available
that I am. Be still and know. Be       truly noticing the shape, color,       heard you saying, . . .” Above all,    to do workshops on various aspects of
still. Be.”                            scent, and texture of a tree or        don’t give advice or tell a story of   the spiritual journey of aging. They can
    That series can be repeated        flower. When we pay attention in       a similar experience that you’ve       be contacted at: www.agingwithwisdom.
as you move into centeredness          this way, we are truly alive in all    had. Simply be a container for the     com or
with Divine energy—simply              of our senses. To be fully alive is    story. Listen, really listen.
being present to your breath and       to be fully present. Surprisingly,
a sense of quiet. As we sit in         we can often use this technique
quiet our body rhythms slow, our       of deeply noticing when we are
breathing slows, and our blood         in pain from a headache or injury.
pressure drops. We move to a           Really notice the pain, entering
place of healthy equilibrium. We       it fully. It will often go away.
can use this quiet time to offer       Here are some techniques you               fall EIA corrections
any challenges we are facing as        can use to slow down and take
a prayer, releasing them into the      the time to “really notice.” If            We at RSVP do our best to be as accurate as possible in
universe, holding them lightly.        you commit to practicing them              our reporting, but we have found that in the Fall issue
Often during this process of           over time, you should discover             we made 2 mistakes that need addressing.
stillness, things that have been       a qualitative change in your life.         The first, and
confusing or troubling to us come      You should feel more alive and             worst, is that in
into the light. We notice them in      more connected.                            the article about
new ways.                                  • Find a place in nature to sit.       the Citywide
    The Buddhist tradition invites     Stay there for a minimum of 30             Concierge and
us to notice things by really          minutes. Notice everything that            Visitor Center we
paying attention.                      you can – the sounds, the sights,          identified Charla
    A wonderful Zen story goes         the smells, the feeling of the air         Sullivan as the
like this:                             and the sun on your skin. Record           person in the
     One day a man approached          what you notice in your mind or            photo and it isn’t
Ikkyu and asked: “Master,              in a journal, describing sensations,       her! Here is the
will you please write for me           colors, textures and how they              real, and very
some maxims of the highest             impact you. If you want, draw              delightful, Charla           The real Charla Sullivan!
wisdom?” Ikkyu took his brush          a picture of what you noticed.             Sullivan.                    (Photo by Doug Howard)
and wrote, “Attention.” “Is that       Over time, extend this practice to
all?” asked the man. Ikkyu then        an hour or longer. Write a poem
wrote, “Attention, Attention.”         using some of the words you’ve             The second error was in the article about Communities
“Well,” said the man. “I really        used to describe your experience           in Schools. We misspelled the name of our volunteer
don’t see much depth in what           of noticing. Read some of                  mary Ellen flanagan.
you have written.” Then Ikkyu          the poetry of Mary Oliver to
wrote the same word three              experience her deep connection             We extend our apologies to both of these great
times: “Attention, Attention,          with nature. Enter those images            volunteers.
King County RSVP’s Experience in Action!                                                                                                         Page 5

What is hidden away at the Puget Sound archives?
featured Site: Puget Sound Regional Archives by Linda Urbaniak
   The records of a civilization add up, and they need to be stored,               A volunteer at the Archives needs to have an interest in records,
recorded and available for research. Here in the Puget Sound area,              and it also helps to have some office skills. Computer skills are
those records of local government are kept at the Puget Sound                   helpful now and will become even more so in the future. An
Regional Archives located on the Bellevue Community College                     ability that might not be thought of as useful is the ability to read
campus. It is one of five regional branches of the Washington State             cursive writing. That skill is beginning to become obsolete. “Senior
Archives.                                                                       volunteers show pride in their work. They will go the extra mile and
   The regional archives were established about 40 years ago                    are dedicated to go beyond the surface. They bring to their job a
to spread the work of the Washington State Archives. They are                   love of history and important local knowledge,” said Okazaki.
located in Bellevue, for the Puget                                                                                      Coming across old marriage
Sound region, Bellingham for the                                                                                     records of famous people or
Northwest Region, Cheney for the                                                                                     finding pictures of houses they
East Region, Ellensburg for the                                                                                      lived in as a child that no longer
Central Region and Olympia for                                                                                       exist are some of the unexpected
the Southwest region and State                                                                                       rewards for volunteers. The
Government.                                                                                                          records of King County contain
   The mandate for the PSRA,                                                                                         the pictures of every house on
according to Midori Okazaki,                                                                                         the assessor’s records that existed
the Assistant Regional Archivist                                                                                     from 1937 through the present
Volunteer Coordinator is “to                                                                                         time. Until 1972 the records were
collect and maintain local                                                                                           updated with each change in
government records, those from                                                                                       structures. There is a reward also
cities, counties, school districts,                                                                                  in being able to dig and dig and
etc., below the state level in                                                                                       dig to find something needed for a
King, Snohomish and Pierce                                                                                           researcher.
counties.” She stressed “It is also                                                                                     Because of the risk of natural
an important aspect of open                                                                                          disasters, the age of some of the
government. The ability to read                                                                                      documents that may deteriorate,
the records of government, to             Trudy Dasovick at work at the Puget Sound Regional Archives                and the huge volumes of data,
guarantee that information is full,       (Photo by Midori Okazaki)                                                Washington State has implemented
accurate and timely in its disclosure                                                                              a centralized digital repository for
and to be sure that those in power are accountable provide                                                         state and local information and
governmental transparency. This is important in a democracy.”                   records. By preserving marriage, death and other vital records,
   Right now there are three RSVP volunteers working at the PSRA.               digital records can be stored more easily and information recovered
Helen Lewis is the most senior volunteer in the archive system and              more quickly than original documents. This massive project will
was recognized by the Secretary of State for her dedicated work.                preserve documents that protect personal rights, ensure government
Martha Richardson and Trudy Dasovick also devote long hours to                  transparency and accountability and make available to everyone the
the Archives. Volunteers have opportunities to work with archival               history of people and institutions.
research, to assist research clients, to develop outreach products and             If you are interested in this fascinating work, call Jennifer
events and to process archival collections.                                     Gahagan at RSVP: 206-957-4779 x 122. l

Howard Hanson Dam                                                            potential for significant flooding
                                                                             in the Green River Valley so the
                                                                                                                    Zolle, Volunteer Manager of
                                                                                                                    American Red Cross Serving
                                                                             American Red Cross Serving             King & Kitsap Counties. “The
flood risk                                                                   King & Kitsap Counties is
                                                                             looking for individuals to train
                                                                                                                    Red Cross ReserveCorps is a
                                                                                                                    great way to help your neighbors
                                                                             now as ReserveCorps shelter            and really make a difference in
featured Site: Red Cross Reserve Corps                                       volunteers, so they will be ready      our community. Taking steps to
Red Cross Press Release                                                      to respond during flood season.        be trained before flood season
                                                                                “We are looking for volunteer       will help our area be better
   While almost all parts of          flood water—including parts of         shelter workers for larger scale       prepared to respond.”
the Greater Seattle area are          Auburn, Kent, Renton, South            disaster responses because we             For more information about
susceptible to floods or flash        Seattle and Tukwila - could flood.     know that there is a higher risk       ReserveCorps, please contact
floods, residents and businesses         Your local American Red Cross       for flooding in the Green River        Jennifer Gahagan at 206-957-
below Howard Hanson Dam               needs volunteers to help prepare       Valley this year,” said Ivy Davis      4779 x 122. l
in the Green River Valley are at      communities for floods and to
higher risk than previous years.      provide disaster relief such as
Water is seeping more rapidly         shelter, food and clean-up kits.
through an earthen bank next          We also have volunteers that
to the dam. Until the U.S. Army       give free community disaster
Corps of Engineers can make           preparedness presentations to
repairs, it must limit the amount     community groups, businesses,
of flood water it stores behind       and schools around King
the dam. If heavy and prolonged       County. Get trained now, so
rain occurs this winter, many         you’re ready when the time
homes and businesses in the           comes. All training is free.
valley that don’t typically see          This year there is the
Page 6                                                                                                     King County RSVP’s Experience in Action!

                                                                                    a similar effect can be achieved          smaller, shagbark hickory is also
                   The Garden Lady                                                  with a few paper birch trees.
                                                                                    These native, eastern US trees
                                                                                                                              available with smaller plates
                                                                                                                              peeling back.
                   by Linda Urbaniak                                                have attractively peeling white              For pure bark drama the
                                                                                    outer bark, that reveal, with             sycamore, or plane tree has few
                                                                                    maturity, the orange-brown inner rivals. This large tree has flaking
Trees are rarely really seen                                                        bark. This was the bark once used bark with gray, charcoal, cream
                                                                                    for canoes by                                                  and brown,
                                                                                    eastern Native                                                 all showing at
                                                                                    Americans.                                                     the same time.
   Trees are rarely really seen.            shiny, cinnamon brown inner                                                                            The color is
Mostly they are just part of the            bark. There are several “snake-                                                                        noticeable,
                                                                                    are familiar
background. We notice trees                 bark” or “tiger-bark” maples that                                                                      although not
                                                                                    bushes that
leafing out in the spring; in the           have whitish or greenish stripes                                                                       very advanced,
                                                                                    can grow into
fall we notice the beautiful colors on darker green-brown bark that                                                                                even on young
                                                                                    25-foot trees.
of their leaves; when they are in           really stands out during winter                                                                        trees. Although
                                                                                    One species,
bloom, but rarely do we notice              months. Usually this striping                                                                          usually thought
                                                                                    the Camellia
them in winter. This is, however,           occurs only on the younger trees,                                                                      of as a bush,
                                                                                    sasanqua is
when we can best observe                    giving way to different bark with                                                                      the crepe myrtle
                                                                                    covered with
their striking barks, in all their          only tracings of the younger                                                                           can develop
                                                                                    blossoms from
variations.                                 coloration as the tree fully                                                                           into a 40-
   Some trees provide flowers               matures. The coral-bark maple                                                                          foot tree. The
in winter although they are                 has bright reddish-orange twigs                                                                        peeling bark
                                                                                    February. In
usually, though not always, small.          and branches that develop their                                                                        reveals lovely
                                                                                    addition to their
During the dark months their                color only after the leaves fall, and                                                                   striation with
                                                                                    large blossoms        Coral-bark maple
lovely scent, needed to attract             only on the younger branches.                                                                           contrasting
                                                                                    in white, pink        (Photo by Jen Gahagan)
pollinators, fills the winter air.          These trees can be pruned to                                                                            brown and
                                                                                    and red, some are
Others provide interest through             maintain the coloration.                                                          cream coloring.
                                                                                    beautifully scented, something
their reproductive forms, from                  Aspen will create large stands                                                   A walk through your
                                                                                    like jasmine tea. Witch hazel is
cones to dangling racemes. Tall             of the tree (every trunk is from                                                  neighborhood, the Washington
                                                                                    another dramatically scented,
firs show off                                                 the same tree)                                                  Park Arboretum or the Bellevue
                                                                                    winter blooming tree. The tiny
their rugged bark                                             that will show                                                  Botanical Garden will reveal
                                                                                    feather duster flowers, pale
and western red                                               off their, trunks,
                                                                                    yellow to bright yellow through to these and many other dramatic
cedars reveal                                                 ghostly white,
                                                                                    russet orange, appear long before trees that show off their easily
their striated                                                splotched with                                                  concealed treasures during winter.
                                                                                    any leaves.
bark that looks                                               black. The trunks                                               Take some time to really look at
                                                                                       Certainly one of the more
as if it has been                                             become especially
                                                                                    dramatic native American trees is trees. You’ll be surprised by what
scratched by                                                  noticeable as                                                   you discover.l
                                                                                    the shellbark hickory. This large
enormous bears.                                               the leaves turn
                                                                                    eastern native develops huge,
   The maples                                                 bright sunshine                                                    Linda Urbaniak is a docent at
                                                                                    curving, peeling plates of bark up
give us the most                                              yellow and then                                                 the Bellevue Botanic Garden and an
                                                                                    to three feet long. With a second
variety in their                                              fall all at once to                                             RSVP Ambassador. She will gladly
                                                                                    hickory for pollination nearby
bark as well as                                               reveal the white                                                take your gardening questions at
                                                                                    you also may benefit from a few
in their form                                                 trees, barren of                                       l
                                                                                    edible nuts. The similar, slightly
The paper-bark                                                their leaves. If
maple sloughs                                                 an increasing
off its rough,
curling outer          Paperbark maple
                                                              stand of trees
                                                              is unwanted in
                                                                                    Post Office scoundrels?
bark to display        (Photo by Robin Knudson)              your small yard,
                                                                                    A little holiday humor...
                                                                                       “Dear God,
                                                                                       I am an 87-year-old widow living on Social Security and while
                                                                                    at the grocery store, I lost my purse. I don’t have any ID, so I
                                                                                    know it won’t be returned, and it wasn’t turned in to the store. It
  WHAT IS AN RSVP AmBASSADoR?                                                       had almost my last $100 in it. I had been planning on using it to
  An RSVP Ambassador is an RSVP Volunteer who is                                    fix a holiday dinner for my friends Harry and Alice. Now I can’t.
  willing to help us spread the word about the benefits                             Can you help me?
  of volunteering. Because of our small staff, we have                                 Thank you, God. Elsie”
  assembled a wonderful group of volunteers who help                                   Joe was deeply touched and went around the Post Office telling the
  us share the mission of RSVP with other seniors. If you                           story and most of the workers pitched a few dollars in. He sealed an
  would be willing to represent RSVP at events around                               envelope with the money in it and sent it off to Elsie at the address on
  King County, we would like to talk to you.                                        her envelope.
  We do not ask for a specific time commitment, only that                              A couple of days later another letter appeared addressed to “God”.
  you occasionally share your enthusiasm for volunteering                           Again Joe opened the letter and was warmed by the first sentence.
  and help us encourage others by relating your own                                   “Dear God,
  experiences and telling about RSVP We provide a fun,                                Thank you for hearing my prayer. Harry and Alice and I had
  interactive training and give you the opportunity to                              a wonderful dinner and it was so nice to sit with friends. But
  meet another group of active, enthusiastic people.                                God, I have to tell you something. There was only $96 dollars in
  To sign up or ask more questions: Contact Robin                                   the envelope. I think those scoundrels at the Post Office stole the
  Knudson, 206-957-4779 x116 or                            other $4.
                                                                                      Thank you, God. Elsie” l
King County RSVP’s Experience in Action!                                                                     Page 7

Exercise better than
                                                                                      Senior on the Street
angioplasty?                                                                          by Peter Langmaid
by Jim Evans, Senior Fitness Examiner

                                                                          What is your favorite
   DEAR JIM: My doctor says the arteries to my heart are all
clogged up and that I need an angioplasty. I’ve been really been
dragging for the past couple of years with absolutely no energy, so
I’m thinking maybe this is the best way to go. I’m not very active,
and I’m a bit overweight at 70, but my wife says she likes my “love
                                                                          volunteer activity?
handles” – otherwise I have no major medical issues. What do you
   DEAR CONSIDERING: What do I think? I think you should
get off your butt, start exercising, and lose those so-called “love
handles” whether your wife likes them or not. What do I think about
                                                                            “Working booths at senior
an angioplasty? I will leave that choice to you and your physician, but     fairs, because I meet so many
there may be a better choice.                                               nice people.”
   With an angioplasty the doctor typically inserts a balloon-tipped          ~Loretta Pearson
catheter (sometimes they use a laser instead) into one of your blood
vessels and maneuvers it around to one of your clogged arteries
where it is inflated to compress the plaque against the arterial walls.
A stainless steel mesh or “stent” is then inserted in the now-open
artery to hold the plaque in place and keep things clear so that the
blood can circulate through it again (a laser would vaporize the
plaque instead).
   Angioplasties are the most common treatment for your condition,
but a recent study showed that 90 percent of patients had no further        “Helping people with their
heart problems just one year after riding a bike regularly while            food trays during lunch at
                                                                            the Kent Senior Center’s Mill
corresponding patients who had an angioplasty instead were just 70
                                                                            Creek Café.”
percent problem -free. In other words, exercise may work better for           ~Cheryl Larson
you than an angioplasty.
   At a recent meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in
Barcelona, ( reported by Maria Cheng of the
Associated Press, several experts said doctors should focus more
on persuading their patients to exercise rather than simply doing
angioplasties. Now, whether or not your doctor would go along with
this thinking is another story. More to the point, however, is whether
or not you would be willing to start exercising to alleviate your
condition.                                                                  “Knitting!”
    “It’s difficult to convince people to exercise instead of having          ~Robert McMurry
an angioplasty, but it works,” said Rainer Hambrecht of Klinikum
Links der Weser in Bremen, Germany. Moreover, according to Dr.
Christopher Cannon, associate professor of medicine at Harvard
University and spokesman for the American College of Cardiology,
an angioplasty “only opens up one vessel blockage. Exercise does a
lot more than fixing one little problem.”
   Other benefits of exercise that we have talked about frequently in
this column:
  • Exercise lowers bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol
  • Exercise helps the body process sugar better
  • Exercise improves the lining of the blood vessels and gets rid of       “Teaching seniors arts and
    waste material faster                                                   crafts.”
  • Exercise lowers blood pressure and prevents plaque buildup in             ~Jacquie Myers
    the arteries.
   Previous research has estimated one third of heart disease and
stroke could be prevented if patients did two-and-a-half hours of
brisk walking every week. In the U.S., that would mean 280,000
fewer heart-related deaths every year. That could also be you.
   Joep Perk, a professor of health sciences at Sweden’s Kalmar
University and spokesman for the European Society of Cardiology,
said two thirds of heart patients in line for an angioplasty could
probably get better benefits by regularly working up a sweat. Further,
                                                                            “RSVP. I ran the Federal Way
he said doctors who performed angioplasties on their patients
                                                                            Senior Center as a volunteer
without asking them to change their lifestyles were ignoring the            for 11 years.”
fundamental problem.                                                          ~Harry Schreiber
   There may be other underlying medical factors that you or your
doctor have not revealed about your condition that would mandate
an angioplasty in your circumstances, but I urge you to at least
consider this information as a possible alternative. Otherwise, I think
you already know where I stand. l
Page 8                                                                                     King County RSVP’s Experience in Action!

Volunteer & Community opportunities through RSVP
The following are just a few of the volunteer and community opportunities RSVP has to offer. To talk to a real
person about opportunities that are just right for you, call Jennifer Gahagan at 206-957-4779 x122 — or visit our
website at for regional volunteer opportunity listings.

Volunteering                                                            In Our Community
AARP fraud fighter Call Center: Con artists bilk American               All City Tutor Training:
consumers out of more than $40 billion dollars every year.              Saturday, February 6, 2010
According to AARP research, people over age 50 account for over         9:00am-1:05pm
half of all victims. AARP has teamed up with the Washington State       Feel free to come 15 minutes early to sign up for workshops and get
Attorney General’s Office to create a program whose mission is to       refreshments.
provide consumers with information about the latest in consumer         Aki Kurose Middle School
scams and schemes. If you would like to help keep our community         3928 S. Graham St.
safe, come join our great team of volunteers.                           Seattle 98118
                                                                        This free training is open to tutors, parents, grandparents or anyone
...........................................................             with an interest in helping students academically.
The Power of one: Our senior volunteer program is recruiting            The variety of workshops cover everything from basic orientation
people 55 and older to volunteer in Shoreline public schools.           for new tutors and elementary reading to math games and student
Reading and math tutors, mentors, and classroom and library helpers     motivation
are some of the needs. Ages range from preschool to high school.        For more information or to sign up call 253-815-3066 or email
Apple Corps: A program of Solid Ground. Volunteers present
or assist with nutrition and cooking lessons for groups of children     fIUTS - foundation for International Understanding
at Seattle elementary schools and community centers during the          through Students:
school day and at after-school programs. Volunteers support staff       Take the World to Work program is a unique opportunity for
with hands-on education as well as set-up, food preparation, and        international students and returned study abroad students to
clean-up. Volunteers may also assist with developing lesson plans or    explore their future careers from a global perspective. Local hosts,
resource development.                                                   representing fields ranging from science and engineering to business,
                                                                        design, and management, invite students to spend the day in their
                                                                        workplaces or welcome them on tours or group visits. This year’s
United Way of King County: United Way is recruiting 100                 Take the World to Work program will be held from February 16-22,
volunteers to read aloud to pre-school aged children (ages 3 to 5),     2010.
one-on-one or in very small groups, in 20 select child care programs    Learn more about Take the World to Work at a special reception on
throughout King County. You can choose the time and facility.           Thursday, January 14, from 5:30-7:30 PM at the UW Tower (4333
...........................................................             Brookly Avenue N.) The Take the World to Work Reception is a
Brighton Elementary School: Volunteer positions include one-            networking opportunity for local professionals and graduate and
on-one tutors, math coaches, classroom assistants, library aides and    undergraduate students and scholars from around the world.
more. The HOSTS reading intervention program seeks volunteers           Call (206)685-1548 for more information.
for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday afternoons between 12:30       ...........................................................
and 3 pm who are willing to make a commitment of at least 1 hour/
                                                                        Garfield Community Center RecTech Program:
week for 3 months. Students and volunteers will be paired 1 to 1.
                                                                        We offer free technology classes for adults and seniors. The
The ARC before- and after-school program also needs volunteers
                                                                        following are course offerings for the 2010 Winter Quarter (Jan.-
for the rest of the school year and in the summer.
                                                                        Mar.): MicroSoft word; Internet, email and websites; Digital
...........................................................             photogatraphy. Space is limited and preregistration is required. For
Humane Society for Seattle/King County: (Bellevue). We                  more information call Brooke Kempner at 206-684-4788 or email
need volunteers we can count on to help us in the event of a local
disaster (such as last year’s snow storm) – volunteers who can come     ...........................................................
to our campus to help us care for our animals and any community         Senior Citizens lobby Day:
animals that are brought to us for refuge. You can also help out by     Tuesday, February 18, 2010.
assisting our Operations Dept. to prep and handle animals for the       United Churches, 110 11th Ave. SE, Olympia, WA
filming of our Comcast On Demand Adopt-A-Pet program, every             Call (360)754-0207, email or go to
other Thursday from 9:00 to 1:00.                              on the Web.
Partners in Caring: A program of Solid Ground. We are in need
of people to help deliver groceries to our elderly and low-income       * Please call to help me find a volunteer opportunity suited
housing community. Volunteers will meet at Solid Ground in the             just for me.
Wallingford area to load groceries and then go out in teams to          * Please send information about RSVP.
deliver to Seattle Housing Authority buildings.
                                                                        * Please note my new address.
Southeast Seattle Senior Center: Volunteers are needed to               Name:
help teach classes or work in reception, the kitchen, or the computer   Phone:                        Email:
lab. Visit our senior center to experience the rich diversity of the
Rainier Valley. We welcome you at the Southeast Seattle Senior          Address:
Center where active older adults gather for Fun, Fitness, Friendship,
and Learning.
                                                                        Please mail this form to: RSVP, 464 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98112

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