How it fights for you: A staple of the healthy Mediterranean diet, extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) was considered medicinal as far back as ancient Greece. While more than 200 compounds have been teased out of extra-virgin and virgin olive oil, it’s their anti-inflammatory phenolic compounds that appear to offer up the most potent health benefits.
What to eat: Buy extra-virgin olive oil that is pungent, even a little bitter, with that back-of-throat burn. That’s how you know you’re getting polyphenols.
While there are no U.S. guidelines on intake, the European Food Safety Authority recommends 20 grams (1 1/2 tablespoons) daily.
And get this: To examine the health effects of a Mediterranean diet on cardiovascular disease, nearly 6,000 participants were assigned to either a Mediterranean diet that included 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil daily, a Mediterranean diet with a daily serving of an ounce of nuts, or a low-fat control diet. Heart disease dropped dramatically in both Mediterranean diet groups — by 30 percent, compared with the control group on a low-fat diet.
Nuts and seeds
How they fight for you: Nuts (such as almonds, cashews and peanuts) and seeds (such as flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower) are rich in healthy fats and contain a bevy of antioxidants, which indirectly fight inflammation. Nuts help reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which is prone to free radical attack and inflammation. Nut eaters tend to weigh less than people who don’t eat nuts, probably because nuts and seeds are particularly satiating. Less body fat helps stave off inflammation.
What to eat: All nuts and seeds are healthy. Walnuts contain ALA — the plant form of omega-3 fats, which is anti-inflammatory. Walnuts, as well as pecans and baru nuts (a new import from South America) are particularly rich in antioxidants. There are no official U.S. guidelines for nut consumption, but research studies show heart and other health benefits at 1 to 1 1/2 ounces daily.
And get this: Nut eaters have better heart health than people who don’t eat nuts, concluded a 2018 review of the research by Loma Linda University scientists. They noted that that people who eat about 1 3/4 ounces of nuts daily show reduced levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation.
People who eat more nuts tend to weigh less, have smaller waistlines and are less likely to develop heart disease or metabolic syndrome (a cluster of risk factors such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure and excess fat deep in the abdomen, which raises risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease).
Test tube studies show that sesamin, a phytonutrient in sesame seeds, is a potent cancer-fighter, thanks in part to its anti-inflammatory abilities.
Seafood and omega-3s
How they fight for you: Fish are the highest food source of two types of omega-3s: EPA and DHA. The American diet is woefully low in these fats, which not only prevent the formation of inflammatory compounds but also help destroy them. While scientists can’t say for sure why fish eaters tend to be healthier, omega-3s get at least some of the credit.
What to eat: Follow the American Heart Association’s recommendation to have at least two 3.5-ounce (cooked) servings of fish weekly. Your best bets are high in omega-3s but low in mercury: Arctic char, mackerel (Atlantic), rainbow trout, salmon and sardines.
And get this: Large-scale nutrition surveys find that fish eaters have a lower risk of developing heart disease, dementia and depression. Some, but not all, studies detected lower levels of inflammatory compounds in their blood.
One well-known Italian study that tracked more than 20,000 men and women age 35-plus for four years found that people who ate fatty fish at least four times a week were 40 percent less likely to develop heart disease. Fatty fish was particularly protective.
Averaging just 1.76 ounces of fish daily was linked to a 16 percent lower likelihood of having depression, according to a 2016 meta-analysis of 16 studies.
Choices that can help prevent everything from heart disease to type 2 diabetes
Name any common disease associated with aging — cancer, dementia, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes — and chronic inflammation will play a role.
In a way, chronic inflammation is like too much of a good thing. After all, something such as your finger swelling around a cut means that immune cells are doing their job, rushing to the scene and spewing out inflammatory compounds that kill bacteria and prevent infection.
But chronic low-grade inflammation that persists for weeks, months or years is the disease-triggering variety. Again, it’s your immune cells in action. But instead of fighting foreign bacteria, they silently attack your own body — your blood vessels, brain cells and organs included.
It’s not entirely clear why this happens, though stress is known to raise levels of inflammatory compounds in the body — as does obesity, since fat cells parked deep in the belly emit inflammatory compounds when they reach a critical mass. Genetics is known to influence your susceptibility to inflammation.
But diet plays a very big role, too, — specifically, eating too much white flour, sugar and fried foods, and not enough fruit, vegetables and fish.
But if diet can cause inflammation, it can also make a real difference in fighting it.
For instance, closely following a Mediterranean-style diet was shown to reduce the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 34 to 61 percent in one meta-analysis of 12 specific Mediterranean diet studies by researchers at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School. Big declines in the rate of heart disease have also been seen in programs combining a similar diet with smoking cessation.
Below are foods that will rally to your defense; to work, they should form the base of your diet, which, yes, should look quite a bit like the traditional Mediterranean diet in order to get the most inflammation-busting benefit.
Fruits and vegetables
How they fight for you: Their arsenal of vitamins, minerals and thousands of phytonutrients (beneficial plant compounds) prevent and attack chronic inflammation on many fronts. Some, like the carotenoids that give carrots and tomatoes their hues, act as antioxidants, which keep potentially destructive molecules called “oxidants” in check. That’s critical to our well-being because, in excess, oxidants destroy cells, give rise to chronic inflammation and in other ways put us at risk for heart disease, cancer and other killers. Other phytonutrients, like the anthocyanins in blueberries, work more directly — putting the brakes on the production of inflammatory compounds, including those produced in the brain.
And there’s more! Fiber in produce becomes a feast for bacteria in your gut, which return the favor by producing anti-inflammatory substances. And by helping keep your weight down, fruits and vegetables help you skirt obesity-induced inflammation.
What to eat: All fruits and vegetables fight inflammation in some way. The following reliably pop up as protective in large-scale diet surveys: apples, berries, citrus fruit, pears, green leafy vegetables/salads, green/yellow vegetables (such as green beans and yellow peppers), cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli and cabbage) and tomatoes.
While many health organizations recommend five half-cup servings daily, some research studies suggest double that amount offers the most benefits.
And get this: Building on research showing that blueberries improve a rat’s memory, researchers gave men and women ages 60 to 75 an ounce of freeze-dried blueberries per day (equivalent to one cup of fresh) to add to their usual diet. Another group got a blueberry-colored placebo. Three months later, blueberry eaters performed significantly better on tests of memory and other types of thinking. The small study was done at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging and published in 2017.
Skimping on fruits and vegetables may have caused 5.6 million to 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide in 2013, according to a meta-analysis of 95 separate studies that was reported in a 2016 issue of the International Journal of Epidemiology.
Herbs and spices
How they fight for you: Like fruits and vegetables, they’re rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. For example, rosmarinic acid — found in rosemary, thyme and other herbs — is both an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory.
What to eat: They all can be protective. Just to name a few: herbs such as basil, dill, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme, and spices such as black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, garlic, hot peppers, star anise and turmeric.
Without official guidelines on portions, just use them generously when making salads, dips, curries, stews, baked fish and chicken, and other dishes.
And get this: Oregano and rosemary reduce inflammation in lab animal studies. For example, in a University of Lisbon, Portugal, study, rats ingesting rosmarinic acid had 60 percent less swelling in their paws (in reaction to an irritant) than rats not receiving the supplement.
Compared with taking a placebo, ingesting 3 grams of ginger powder in capsule form for an eight-week period reduced fasting blood sugar levels by a significant 10 percent for 40 men and women with type 2 diabetes.
The study, reported in 2014 in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, found that ginger appears to improve the body’s sensitivity to the insulin, which, in turn, leads to better blood sugar control. One proposed mechanism: It suppresses inflammatory compounds emitted by fat cells; these can make the body less responsive to insulin.
To Be Continued……
“Here it is, the elixir of life!” Joan Mannick drops a shiny, salmon-pink pill into my palm. It’s RTB101, a drug developed by Mannick’s Boston-based biotech company that could change the future of aging forever.
I feel a crazy urge to pop it into my mouth. Versions of this drug have extended the lives of countless worms, fruit flies and mice by slowing down an ancient aging process. But unlike most other promising substances that have come and gone, this one has been shown to work in another notable species: humans.
In studies of more than 900 people by Mannick and her team, RTB101 and its cousins bolstered aging immune systems, cut risk for respiratory diseases and may have lowered the risk of urinary tract infections. A version of the RTB101 drug could win Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval as early as 2021 for a single, age-related health threat: the winter colds, flu, pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections that send over 1 million older adults to the hospital every year and kill more than 75,000. Studies of the drug as a preventive for Parkinson’s disease and possibly heart failure are set for later this year.
In the suddenly hot world of aging science, RTB101 is an A-list celebrity. It’s the biggest star to emerge from the National Institutes of health’s little-known, taxpayer-funded Interventions Testing Program (ITP), which has been quietly experimenting with compounds thought to extend longevity in mice and worms at three major laboratories across the nation. One of the best-kept secrets in aging research, the $4.7 million-a-year ITP has also debunked some big antiaging crazes, including green tea, curcumin and resveratrol.
But RTB101 has shown real promise, as have other similar drugs. An unprecedented number of age-defying compounds from labs across the U.S. are now heading into human clinical trials for the first time.
“We’ve reached the perfect storm in aging science,” says physician Nir Barzilai, founding director of the Institute for Aging Research at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. “Everything is happening. We have the foundation from decades of animal studies. We’re ready to move on to people.”
The ultimate goal is to put the brakes on aging itself—preventing the pileup of chronic health problems, dementia and frailty that slam most of us late in life. “I want 85 to be the new 65,” says Mannick, the chief medical officer and cofounder of resTORbio, the company developing RTB101.
(by Sari Harrar for AARP Magazine, June/July 2019)
Call today for an appointment to see what we are all about….570-925-2077.
Here is a list of fun and entertaining ideas to keep retirement anything but mundane:
- Take a trip to someplace you and your spouse/friend have never been before.The fun is in the planning. Pour your heart into researching the area thoroughly, create a comprehensive, but flexible, itinerary and have the time of your life. The new destination should be seen as a place to discover and experience together. Creating memories is one of the best things you can do during retirement.
- Take up a new hobby.Tired of golfing Monday through Friday or water aerobics every Wednesday afternoon? If you need something new in your life, it may be time to take up a new hobby and expand your interests. Do something you have never done before but always wanted to try. While jumping from an airplane may be a little risky for your taste, offer yourself something new by attending an organic gardening class, taking a painting course or learning a new card game.
- Learn to make music and impress your family and friends.Who ever said you couldn’t teach an old dog new tricks, did not consider music. You are never too old to take guitar or piano lessons. Wow your friends and family with a personal recital after dinner. Simply choose an instrument you have always wanted to learn to play and sign up for lessons. Before you know it, you will be making music.
- Join a book club.While it may not seem like the most exciting thing to do during your retirement, the social interaction and enjoyment you get from reading a good book can do wonders for the psyche. Aim to read a book you have always wanted to read. Maybe you skipped the classics in school and now want to find out what all the chatter is about Mark Twain or Hemingway.
- Take a course at a local college, university or trade school on a subject you may like.Many schools offer senior discounts or allow you to audit the class for no credit and a small fee. Whether it is a pottery class or astronomy course, you will find great enjoyment learning alongside young and bright minds in a higher education environment. Remember, you have a lot to offer these kids with your wisdom and life experience.
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 (10-ounce) bag of frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese
1/3 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
4 (4-ounce) center-cut pork chops
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 lemon, zested
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Warm the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook until combined, about 2 more minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add the goat cheese and the cream cheese. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Use a sharp knife to cut a pocket into the thickest portion of the pork chop. Stuff each pocket with 1/4 of the spinach and sun-dried tomato mixture and close the pork around the stuffing. Season the outside of the pork with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl combine the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard.
- Warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the pork. Cook until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to a side dish and tent with foil to keep warm. Add the chicken broth mixture to the skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan as the chicken broth simmers. Reduce the broth by half to make a light sauce, about 8 minutes. Spoon some sauce over the pork before serving.
Who knew my father was a pioneer? He was one of those lucky folks who was able to retire early from the Bell System with a full pension. And instead of just retiring to his garden or the golf course he reinvented himself as a part-time professor consultant and speaker. And from what career experts are now saying this new form of retirement will become more of the norm especially as the baby boomers move into retirement age and reshape the image of retired workers just as they reshaped many other aspects of life and work.
In fact Marc Freedman author of Prime Time describes how the baby boomers will transform how society views retirement — bringing about a new image of aging retirement and the role of older Americans in our society. He cites statistics that show that in just a few years the number of folks over age 50 will surpass a quarter of the U.S. population. And the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that baby boomers are reaching the age of 60 at the rate of one every seven seconds. Many of these folks will be searching for something beyond a leisurely retirement.
For many retirement will indeed no longer signal the end of working but more so a career and lifestyle transition where the retiree has multiple options — such as continuing to work (though perhaps at a different pace) returning to school for additional training or education changing careers venturing into entrepreneurship becoming more involved in volunteer work or simply enjoying leisure and travel possibilities — a mix of working learning relaxing and trying new things.
Dr. Ken Dychtwald author of Age Power describes the transition between working and retiring as middlescence which he says occurs to people sometime in their 50’s to 70’s. Middlescence can be a time of confusion and frustration for many workers especially those whose identity is tied directly to their jobs. But it is also a time of growth and reinvention.
For some older workers of course retirement of any sort is not an option because of financial necessity. Whether stuck in low-paying jobs with little or no retirement plans or through poor planning or other financial hardships these folks need jobs just to survive. According to a U.S. News report only half the workforce has an employer pension plan — and many of those have one have not contributed enough to it.
So how can older workers facing retirement find a new job or career?
One of the keys of course is finding an employer that both respects older workers and offers job flexibility options. And there are already a handful of employers gaining a strong reputation for hiring and valuing older workers such as Bonne Bell CVS/pharmacy Farmers Insurance Group Hoffman-La Roche John Deere Radio Shack Volkswagen of America and Wal-Mart. Healthcare security retail temporary agencies and other service sectors seem to be the norm for older workers.
AARP an organization dedicated to people aged 50 and older suggests 10 positions suited for mature workers: bank teller consultant customer greater English instructor floral assistant home-care assistant mystery shopper security screener teacher assistant and tour guide. Read more. AARP also publishes an annual list of the best employers for older workers.
A worker nearing retirement age might also look to his or her current employer for options such as bridge positions phased retirement part-time employment telecommuting or freelancing. Learn more in these sections of Quintessential Careers: Telecommuting Job Flexibility and Work-at-Home Job and Career Resources and Jobs for Consultants Freelancers and Gurus.
Another option for older workers who want to work but also want variety and new challenges is to consider temping. Temporary agencies help place you with employers who need your particular skills. A wide range of temporary agencies is available so find one that meets your criteria. You can learn more about temping in this section of Quintessential Careers: Temping Tools Advice Strategies and Resources which includes links to these articles Temping in the Golden Years and Temping: An Option for Older Workers.
If you want to continue working — but in a new career field — consider taking the time for self-assessment and career exploration. If you are unsure of your next career field examine your likes and dislikes strengths and weaknesses and consider talking with a career professional. Get more direction in these sections of our site: Career Assessment Tools and Tests and Career Exploration Tools and Resources.
And for those who want to work but are lucky enough not to need the income volunteering is a wonderful option. Volunteering is a great way to stay active while also making a significant contribution to a worthy organization. Volunteering opportunities abound in every community. Senior Corps is one such organization assisting local nonprofits public agencies and faith-based organizations in carrying out their missions by matching seniors with opportunities. For more information on volunteering go to this section of Quintessential Careers: Volunteering and Nonprofit Career Resources.
But why should you work or volunteer if you don’t have to? Experts suggest working helps older folks keep their minds and body active provide social interaction and relationships support their value system and work ethic find meaning to life and fight stereotypes that only the young are good workers.
How many boomers will keep working past traditional retirement age? Estimates range from anywhere from half to the vast majority with many boomers saying they plan to work because that’s what they want to do. And because many experts are predicting a talent shortage once these boomers retire — as both the public and private sectors brace for a mass exodus of workers by the end of this decade — there will certainly be a demand for experienced workers.
On a side note while there ought to be plenty of work for all job-seekers teens should be the most concerned about this shift. Many employers say they prefer seniors to teens because older workers are more experienced more reliable more polite more motivated and offer the most flexibility in working times.
Forget the beach — set your sights on the desert. With so much competition on and off the Las Vegas Strip, a 4-star hotel can be booked for under $100 a night. Along with lower room rates, visitors can enjoy a quieter scene: There are fewer rowdy groups when pool-party spots and some nightclubs have closed for the season.
One of the best times to meet Mickey Mouse is during the winter. Do a Disney vacation in January or February and shorter lines aren’t the only benefit. A greater variety of affordable hotel and food options can be found, too. Visitors can take advantage of lower prices at the Disney Resort hotels during their “value season.” Visitors generally get some of the best bargains on tickets and accommodations from mid-January to early March, with the exception of holiday weekends.
Arizona boasts winter temperatures mild enough for camping, hiking, and biking — not to mention amazing landscapes. A search on Google Flights generated round trips under $230 from New York and New Orleans, and under $150 from San Francisco in January and February. Pair that with a vacation rental for a very affordable winter getaway. Airbnb lists more than 300 Phoenix homes and apartments priced under $100 a night.
Go for the live jazz, Hurricane drinks, or the culinary scene in New Orleans. There’s always a lot to do. For those willing to brave the raucous crowds on Bourbon Street, the next Mardi Gras is March 5. A flight south in the winter is relatively inexpensive.
At other times of the year, Austin is brutally hot and overrun by festival-goers. In the winter, the temperature is mild enough for a light jacket and the barbecue is just as good. Take a dip in the Barton Springs Pool (warm year-round), hike up Mount Bonnell, bike around Lady Bird Lake, and eat as much beef and Tex-Mex as you can stand before flying home.
Famous for its ornate antebellum architecture and cobblestoned historic district, Savannah is also a comfortably temperate destination in winter, making this perhaps a better time to visit then the humid summer months. Walk manicured streets and parks lined by oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, visit the Historic District’s Forsyth Park, explore Bonaventure Cemetery and its sculpture garden, and stroll along River Street in the Waterfront District, running parallel to the Savannah River.
One benefit of being retired is the luxury of time. Many seniors enjoy a fair amount of flexibility, which means ample opportunity to save big bucks on travel. By vacationing during the off-season and pouncing on limited-time specials, savvy seniors enjoy discounts on food, lodging, transportation, attractions, and events. With so much incentive, why sit at home? Head to one of these budget-friendly destinations.
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
Soak up some Southern charm in genteel Charleston, named the region’s best city by Southern Livingmagazine for the second year in a row. Attractions such as the Fort Sumter National Monument and Gibbes Museum of Art offer senior discounts, while strolls along the waterfront and past gracious homes are free.
This vacation town deep in the Ozark Mountains is being talked up everywhere from Forbes to The New York Times. Take in country music shows and concerts, hit the links for a round of golf, cruise the lakes, explore the History of Fishing Museum, and just plain relax.
THE MARITIMES, CANADA
The Maritimes are Canada’s eastern provinces: Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick. The region is a frugal choice for American seniors on a budget: The U.S. dollar is still a bit stronger than Canada’s loonie. Take a ferry from Portland, Maine, to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia (the fare is as low as $31 for seniors during the off-season) or drive north to New Brunswick.
There’s no shortage of outdoor adventure, including whale watching at eye level on a Zodiac boat. Halifax’s Pier 21, the Canadian Ellis Island, stirs memories for immigrants, and historic hotels such as the Algonquin Resort and Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa may take seniors back to childhood vacations. Summer is the best time to visit, although that’s when prices are at their highest.
WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
City and seashore fun are rolled into one in Wilmington, which was hailed as one of the top U.S. destinations on the rise in TripAdvisor’s 2018 Travelers’ Choice Awards. It boasts three nearby beaches and a Riverwalk with shops and restaurants. Go at sunset for a memorable view of the Cape Fear River and walk down memory lane with visits to historic homes, museums, and the Battleship Carolina.
Many attractions are free, including two nearby state parks, the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, the Hanover County Arboretum, and the North Carolina Azalea Festival.
Plymouth and the surrounding county are a choice destination for senior history buffs, especially in the spring before the crowds arrive. Pilgrim Hall Museum, the oldest museum in the country, displays artifacts that arrived with the Mayflower, as well as a piece of Plymouth Rock that visitors can touch. Historic walking and ghostly tin-lantern tours are typically offered April to November, and 17th-century houses that belonged to some of the original 101 Mayflower passengers are now museums and charge no or modest entry fees. Outdoor adventures include whale watching, harbor and lobster cruises, and journeys through the 100-year-old Cape Cod Canal.
Yakima was selected as one of “America’s Best Small Cities on the Rise” by SmarterTravel. It boasts plenty of craft breweries downtown and more than 120 wineries (many award-winning) in the surrounding areas. Seniors will enjoy the small-town prices, farmers market, and “u-pick” farms. Mountain passes about 30 minutes away offer hiking trails along the back side of Mount Rainier. There’s white-water rafting on the Tieton River, fly fishing and tubing on the Yakima River, biking along various trails, and opportunities to spot wildlife in their native habitats.
A body in motion tends to stay in motion, and at Leisure Care we know that life is just getting started at retirement. At Fairwinds – River’s Edge in St. Charles, Missouri, one Leisure Care resident embodies this idea, even in the face of daunting health challenges and devastating personal loss.
Lee Nunn was no stranger to adventure in his younger days. A paratrooper in the Army, he was part of a special ops unit working with locals to create havoc amongst enemy troops. He was also on the Kimpo air strip in South Korea when a MIG-15 Russian enemy fighter plane flown by a North Korean pilot defected to the South, a historic salvo in the opening rounds of the Cold War.
One of Lee’s fondest Army memories is being chosen as one of Marilyn Monroe’s bodyguards when she visited the troops in South Korea—cutting short her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio in order to perform. “She wasn’t prepared for such a show—she only had one cocktail dress with her, which she wore for her performance, then quickly changed into warm Army fatigues for the bitter February temperatures outside,” Lee recalls.
Back in civilian life, Lee built a career at Lincoln Engineering and enjoyed spending time at the golf course. Lee and his wife Billie’s last home before moving to Fairwinds – River’s Edge was on a golf course. One of his guilty pleasures was playing golf every day except Mondays, and that was only because the course was closed that day. Billie used to say she had to take up golf so she could see him, and although she “couldn’t play at all,” they did have fun together.
He doesn’t like to brag, but he’s racked up four hole-in-ones, winning a Volkswagen GTI one year and a trip for two to Hilton Head the next. He claims he was the reason one organization closed down its hole-in-one prize giveaway!
Moving from their home on the course and into Fairwinds – River’s Edge was a tough decision, driven by Billie’s health and mobility issues. Still, it was Lee who wound up in the hospital not long after the move, with six life-threatening clogged arteries requiring open-heart surgery. Other health issues followed, then Billie became gravely ill. Lee moved into an apartment across the street from Billie’s nursing facility to be close to his wife during the last months of her life. After her death, withdrawn and depressed after losing his long-time partner, he made the decision to move back to Fairwinds – River’s Edge, a place they had both felt at home.
The couple had made many friends at Fairwinds – River’s Edge. Once back and settled in (with newly adopted rescue pup Lilly), Lee asked one of his lady friends out on a date. Darlene gladly accepted, and as a couple, they’re still going strong. For their first date, they went to a used car lot looking for a sports car. Getting out of the car, Darlene looked over to say something to Lee, but he was nowhere to be seen. He had tried stepping over an obstacle, and still getting used to his new orthotics, fell flat on his face. The paramedics came, and Darlene rode up front in the cab (wearing a leg brace on her own broken knee cap). The driver put her in charge of blowing the horn to help keep traffic cleared. Now that’s a first date to remember!
Lee enjoying an afternoon in sunny St. Charles.
As a car fanatic, Lee bought a GTO, and on one of their road trips, he asked Darlene if she’d ever gone 100 mph. She said she hadn’t, so he “lit it up.”
“All I said was, ‘Wee!’” Darlene notes.
His next car was a flat black 2006 C5 Corvette, not the easiest thing to get in and out of, but he didn’t let that hold him back. These hot rods led to his “Richard Petty Experience,” something that had been on his bucket list until an offer by Leisure Care made it a reality.
He recounts, “I was driving around the track, and the escort kept telling me I needed to get over so the other cars could pass, and all I wanted to do was speed up.”
“I was driving around the track, and the escort kept telling me I needed to get over so the other cars could pass, and all I wanted to do was speed up.”
He said he “only” got to a top speed of 98. Only?! The worst part of this experience, Lee recalled, was climbing through the side window to get in and out of the car. “I’m not as spry as I used to be,” he laughs.
Lee hasn’t let his losses, his diabetes, heart surgery, or back issues dictate his life. He continues to enjoy his kids and grandkids, travel with Darlene, play golf, and go on outings with friends to Cardinals games, Pere Marquette State Park, and other great local destinations. And he’s got his eyes peeled for his next adventure rod: a vintage yellow truck he’ll gladly race all over town.
(as written on www.leisurecare.com)
1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
3/4 pound linguine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 lemon, zest grated
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.
Meanwhile, in another large (12- inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily!
Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes.
Toss to combine.
When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.