Me in the Middle of Memories ~ Candy Stripers

Candy Stripers

Teenage girls in the 50’s, who were thinking about becoming nurses, could volunteer at the hospital as a Candy Striper.  I came across my service badge ~ Holy Name Hospital (Our Lady’s Service).  It sparked a lot of memories for me …….. so long ago …….. and so many changes since then.
Badge Candy Striper 1950s

Photo by mlq

I remember well the day that I received the badge!  We were all gathered in the auditorium at Holy Name for the Service Ceremony …….. and Pat Boone, the 50’s pop singer, gave each of us our badge and a rose.  He and his family lived in Teaneck where the hospital was located.  We all wore pink and white striped pinafores which is where the name Candy Striper came from.

Pat Boone ~ April Love

(I was a Rick Nelson fan, myself.  😉 )


The responsibilities I was given as a volunteer included sterilizing the baby bottles in the autoclave,and cleaning the circumcision boards and baby bassinets after each use.  I would string the alphabet beads on elastic cord to make the ID bracelets for mother and baby.  The Maternity Ward was a happy place for a fifteen-year-old Candy Striper as she went about refilling water pitchers with fresh water and delivering flowers and mail to the new moms.  More than any hope of becoming a nurse, I dreamed of one day holding my own newborn.

Maternity Ward Candy Striper

*Images by Pixabay*

Me in the Middle of the World of Walking ~ Part 3

This is my third post on a course I’m taking.  Walking has been my exercise of choice whether at the fitness center, traveling, or walking around the neighborhood where I live.

When OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) with the University of Virginia offered the Fall Course ~ The World of Walking ~, I was totally on-board.  What could this instructor, Dan Kulund, possibly introduce us to about ‘Walking’ that would fill up a six-week, hour and half weekly class on The World of Walking.  My first post on The World of Walking covered some of the styles of walking and tips on good walking form.  My Second Post (here) covers some of the interesting history of City Walking and how things have changed.  This third post covers country walking and tips on using a walking stick.  

Dr. Kulund, a retired orthopedist, is an expert at walking and its health benefits.  The class is educational in both the slide presentations of the history of walking plus the experience of walking in a group and learning exercises and techniques along the way.


Walking Stick

Walking Sticks

I bought my walking stick at the museum gift shop at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.  Now that I’ve taken this course and learned a few exercises you can do as your walking along the trail, I’ll be bring my walking stick along with me when I walk the Saunders-Monticello Trail. 

  • PUSH:  Up over your head ~ Out in front
  • PULL:  Curls; Half-jacks from waist up;
  • MIXED:  Squats using stick for support; Lunges (step back/drop knee to ground) 

In my area we also have a neurologist designed of special walking sticks called Neuro Staff.   (You can go to his website by clicking on the link)  You might be able to  find a similar product in your area.

The Staff of Asclepius is a medical symbol and refers to the Greek God of Healing:



“The object of walking is to relax the mind. You should therefore not permit yourself even to think while you walk. But divert your attention by the objects surrounding you. Walking is the best possible exercise.”

~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Country Walking

Country Walking

Me in the Middle of The World of Walking


Women, Walk, City, Blue, Good Looking

Image from Pixabay


Walking has been my go-to outlet down through the years.  Whether for exercise, weight-loss, stress-release or just plain relaxation, walking has always served me well.

So, when OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) with the University of Virginia offered the Fall Course ~ The World of Walking ~, I was totally on-board.  What could this instructor, Dan Kulund, possibly introduce us to about ‘Walking’ that would fill up a six-week, hour and half weekly class on The World of Walking.  Over the next few weeks I hope to bring you up-to-date on what we cover.  It’ll be a way for me to reinforce what we’ve learned and pass it on to you.


Ordinary Human Walks from A to Z

Amble ~ Bounce ~ Creep ~ Dance ~ Eggshell ~ Falter ~ Glide ~ Hobble ~ Idle ~ Jaunt ~ Knock-kneed ~ Lurch ~ March ~ Navigate ~ Plod ~ Quickstep ~ Race ~ Strut ~ Tiptoe ~ Undulate ~ Vacillate ~ Waddle ~ X-ing ~ Yaw ~ Zenwalk  (And many, many more!)  

I was strolling on the moon one day


Walking Form

Dan Kulund ~ The World of Walking



Image by Pixabay

Me in the Middle of Creative Writing ~ 3rd Person (Critique and Revise)

This Fall I’m taking another OLLI  (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UVA) class ~ Creative Writing for Dabblers.  There are twelve of us and we read our work to each other and offer critique.  This is the first time I’ve done this and I’m getting a lot of value out of it.

Last Friday I posted what I wrote for reading to the class and this week I’m posting the changes I’ve made based on what the other writers in the group suggested.  This is the link to the original post ~ The Ocean ~ Creative Writing Class

The new post, with the changes I made since last Friday, is below:



The surf pounded with a roaring intensity and the huge waves rolled in one after another. 

They all stood together, four-year-old Nora, her father and her two older brothers.  Standing there, with the water waist high, she could feel the sand travel through her toes as it ebbed and flowed with the undertow.  Her brothers were leaping over each wave and fearlessly plunging into the larger ones that rolled towards them.  They were having fun … and she was frightened!  She struggled to maintain her balance and held tightly to her father’s hand

I want to go back to the beach!”  she yelled over the roaring surf.

No! Stay here!” he shouted back.  “You’ll be fine!”  

Nora hesitantly pulled her hand out of his and let go.  As she started heading back to the beach where her mother was, she heard her father call to her.  “Go ahead then!  You’ll have to make it back on your own.”

The waves and the undercurrent were stronger than she anticipated and she found herself being knocked off balance.  It was too late to turn back and she was determined to get back to the safety of the beach.

Suddenly she plunged into a deep hole that had been created by the undertow.  Instantly, she lost her footing and couldn’t find the ocean floor to stand back up again.  She thrashed about, feeling a sense of panic.  It was hard for her to tell where the top of the water was.  When she opened her eyes all that she could see was the murky salt water and the long pieces of her hair floating around her.  It seemed like she floated there for a while and she didn’t fight it.  A strange sense of calm came over her.

Then, in an instant, she was scooped out of the water by strong arms.  It was her father and he took her by the hand to lead her over to the blanket on the beach.  He seemed upset with her as she gasped and cried.  

Shaking and shivering as her mother put a towel around her, Nora was relieved that she was safe again.  Once she had dried her off, her mother gave her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and lead her over to a towel that was laid out on the sand.  There she sat eating and thinking about what had just happened to her in the ocean.  

As she gazed out at the vastness of the sea and the power that she had just experienced, Nora felt the warmth of the sun and listened to the sounds of the people enjoying the ocean.   Little did she understand that the ocean had taught her an important lesson that day.

Today, Nora has come to love the ocean and is humbled by the power and force behind it.  The ocean taught her about the ebb and flow of life and finding her balance in the middle ground.

Me in the Middle Traveling with My Baggalini 4th Week

This past Wednesday was the fourth and last class of the Memories to Memoirs  writing course that I’m taking with OLLI ~ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute @ UVA.   The assignment was to write about ‘an item in my closet that I still use and that holds lots of memories for me’.  Here’s the link to the third class ….. (Me in the Middle of Memories of Opening the Door)


My Travel Companion

DSCN3582 (2)

 In 1995, two flight attendants looking for a travel companion that would be stylish with many pockets, founded Baggalini.  Baggalini Crossbody Travel Bags make it easier to move from place to place with a sense of safety and security while keeping everything you need at your fingertips and in its place.  Just what I was looking for when I set out on my first foreign trip to England in 2001.

This bag, tucked away on the top shelf in my closet, has since been my travel companion on many exciting and happy memories.  It seemed to be the perfect choice for this week’s writing assignment ~ ‘Write about an item in your closet that you still use and holds many memories.’  Foreign travel to the Middle East and Ireland were trips of a lifetime.  Air travel to see family in Arizona, Ohio and Vermont were made easier with this little bag, especially when I had mobility issues with the onset of age-related medical problems. 

There was a time when I thought the opportunity to travel by air would never happen for me and my Baggalini reminds me that dreams do come true no matter how old you are.  It will remain on the top shelf of my closet, within my reach, for those spontaneous moments when the chance to travel becomes a reality once again.  Life is a Journey!