Letter to the Editor: Special Thanks to Shore Health Volunteers

As Chairman of the Board of Directors for University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, I am writing to express our gratitude for the men and women who volunteer in our three hospital auxiliaries — Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary, Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary and Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton. Members of these three volunteer organizations donate their valuable time to support health care services within their local communities, assisting with daily operations at many of our facilities and raising funds for programs, services, equipment and patient care throughout the region.

In the past year, the auxiliaries have earned a combined $500,000 in proceeds through their special event sales, hospital gift shops and their auxiliary-managed thrift shops – the Nearly New Shop in Chestertown, the Robin Hood Shop in Cambridge and The Bazaar at 121 Federal Street in Easton. The auxiliaries rely heavily on their gift and thrift shop sales to be able to provide the funding for each of the hospitals and offsite locations to which they contribute.

In addition to the funds they provide, volunteers assist with services such as wheelchair and patient escorts, blood pressure screenings, front desk and surgical service reception and many other areas. In total, volunteers donated 60,000 hours between the auxiliaries across the region, saving the organization valuable dollars that can then be used to further patient care efforts. Our team members, medical staff and patients value and appreciate the work of all auxiliary volunteers.

We encourage community members who have available time and would like to become more engaged with their community to reach out and learn more about volunteer opportunities with our three auxiliaries. Becoming a volunteer in a healthcare setting enables you to meet people from all walks of life while making a real difference in our communities

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health thanks the auxiliaries for their commitment to accessible, innovative health care, close to home. These are three fantastic organizations!

Thank you.

John Dillon, Chairman
Board of Directors
University of Maryland Shore Regional Health

Judy Crow New Maryland Wineries President

Judy Crow

The Maryland Wineries Association announced May 1 that Judy Crow, owner and operator of Crow Vineyards, is the new President of the Board of Directors. Crow will preside over all Maryland Wineries Association meetings, assist with membership initiatives and guide major policy discussions at this critical time of industry growth.

“Judy has been an industry leader since the winery’s inception and we look forward to her dedication in the role of president of the association,” said Kevin Atticks, Executive Director of the Maryland Wineries Association.

Crow was raised on a dairy farm and spent almost thirty years teaching college and creating early childhood programs in Maryland and Delaware before she met Roy Crow, her husband. In 2008, Judy and Roy married and began the transformation of Crow Farm, a third generation family farm located in Kennedyville on the Eastern Shore. Together Roy and Judy focused on diversifying the farm from the traditional farm of corn and soy beans to include a farmstay B&B, a vineyard, and a winery along with an impressive herd of grass fed Angus cattle. Committed to creating the best products in the region, Judy, her son Brandon, and Roy continue to be very hands-on with the management of winemaking, the tasting room and wholesale distribution.

“In the short time I have been in the wine business, I have seen growth in the Maryland industry and believe that, with a strong winery association, the opportunities are endless. I believe that Maryland’s diverse wine growing regions allow consumers and tourist alike to experience a full portfolio of interesting wines,” said Judy Crow.

Maryland Wineries Association, a non-profit, member based, trade association, represents more than 80 wineries across the state. MWA’s mission is to cultivate a sustainable wine-growing community by expanding agricultural products and by increasing awareness through special events, industry education, advocacy, promotions and tourism. MWA is represented by the management group, Grow & Fortify. For more information, please visit the MWA website

http://talbotspy.org/62483-2/

Nearly 200 Stakeholders Discuss Internet Access Equity at Regional Rural Broadband Forum

When nearly 200 business leaders, economic development professionals and state and local government officials came together to discuss bringing affordable, high-speed internet service to rural Maryland, the “why” was not up for debate. However, when it came to “how” the options were numerous and the financing was challenging to say the least.

Josh Hastings, RMC chair, addresses the attendees at the recent Regional Rural Broadband Forum. Photo credit: Harry Bosk.

Hosted by event partners the Rural Maryland Council and USDA Rural Development, the program titled the Regional Rural Broadband Forum was presented recently in Annapolis. The forum unofficially launched the work of a special task force enacted by Maryland’s General Assembly, which was signed into law on May 25.

Charlotte Davis, executive director of the Rural Maryland Council, chairs the Task Force on Rural Internet, Broadband, Wireless and Cellular Service. Over the next several months, Davis and her colleagues will research redundancies and gaps in service and funding options needed to bring digital equity to rural Maryland. By November the task force will report its findings and recommendations to Governor Hogan.

The program included six sessions providing attendees with information ranging from the different broadband technologies commonly used in rural communities to best practices used in New York’s “Broadband for All” initiative.

The day’s discussions often came back to how to create sustainable high-speed broadband access in areas with low population density. “Admittedly for a business whose mission is to turn a profit providing high speed internet in rural areas is a recipe for market failure,” said Davis. “Clearly the solution will be providing incentives and grants to make the project more doable and attractive,” she added.

Attendees at a group session at the recent Regional Rural Broadband Forum, hosted by event partners the Rural Maryland Council (RMC) and USDA Rural Development (RD). The forum included six sessions providing attendees with information ranging from the different broadband technologies commonly used in rural communities to best practices used in New York’s “Broadband for All” initiative.

The tone of the forum remained optimistic despite the acknowledgement that there will be no easy solutions. “We cannot have an equal society without equal access to broadband,” said RMC chair Josh Hastings.

Chiming in on that note was Maryland State Senator Adelaide C. Eckardt. “It is all about getting connected and for us (in rural areas) it is the art of the possible. It all works better when we work together,” she said.

Founded in 1994, the Rural Maryland Council serves as the state’s federally designated rural development council and functions as a voice for rural Maryland, advocating for and helping rural communities and businesses across the state to flourish and to gain equity to its suburban and urban counterparts. To learn more call (410) 841-5774, email rmc.mda@maryland.gov or connect with the Rural Maryland Council at facebook.com/RuralMaryland or on Twitter @RuralMaryland.

USDA Rural Development is committed to improving the economy and quality of life in rural America. RD provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; homeownership; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit the USDA website,

For more information on the Regional Rural Broadband Forum, call (410) 841-5774 or visit their website.

 

Another Juneteenth – A Sestina by Robert Earl Price

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  June 19th  is the day in 1865 when Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.

The order read, “The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.”

What became known as general order number 3 was delivered two and a half years after president Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation; this late arrival of the order to end slavery caused cynics in the newly emancipated community to create the term “Juneteenth.”: which meant something extremely late or likely never to arrive.

General Order number 3 is the only known emancipation notice ever given to Negroes.  Imagine the transition from slave to African American without recompense or consideration of citizenship, without a thank you for 250 years of free labor and no share of the massive economy built on your back.

This place a nugget of gold in a sea of clay

Today we stand on precious ground

A stoned arch bridging many an uncertain day

A monument for shoulder-to-the-grindstone will

We come to bear witness and to bare our hearts

Here where the past is buried in the marrow of bones

 

We are the wind chimed clank and clang of dry bones

A chalice of wisdom from fired clay

Reverent music poured into open hearts

Many colors carpet this hallowed ground

This is a cornerstone of will

The founders’ foresight promised us this day

 

Raise the pennants and praise the day

The drummer lives in incus bones

Trees planted by the waters of will

A joyful insistence encrypted in this clay

Let hurrahs and hallelujahs shake the ground

And stir the longing in our hearts

 

Ella scatting an anthem for our hearts

Spirit movers, seekers of a breaking day

The visionary’s broom sweeping this ground

This monument to long buried bones

Tread carefully over this layered clay

Built by communal warriors of one will

 

On the road to glory by grace and will

The boon of freedom glowing in our hearts

Moisten the yard and tamp down the clay

Fry the fish and fixings to celebrate the day

And set the legends sifting through our bones

Our dancing DNA moonwalking on sacred ground

 

Today a tower of tolerance stands on hard won ground

Today we acknowledge the power of a righteous will

Today we refresh dreams and replenish the legacy of bones

Today our heroes rest in the shelter of our hearts

Today a day like no other day

Today we patina the world in a crust of clay

 

Praise to this persistent will, that seized this day

Protect this swirling ground and blood mottled clay

Place the merit bones of our past safe in the trove of our hearts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oxford Prepares for Plein Air 2017

The picturesque town of Oxford, Maryland will host 2017 Plein Air Easton artists throughout the day on Sunday, 16 July. This will be a great day in our watermen’s town, with artists painting at various historic and scenic places in Oxford. To mark this occasion, a full day of events has been planned for our locals and visitors alike. We hope your plans for the weekend include a stop in Oxford to watch this year’s Plein Air Easton artists paint one-of-a-kind scenes from the town and waterways.

The Oxford Business Association is sponsoring this event, with support from the local businesses. It will be a ‘family–friendly’ day, with music and activities for everyone. You can bring your pooch along, too; we even have a dog park for him. Don’t forget a blanket or lawn chair to relax in the park, or to take in the live music, which will be offered in the afternoon at the Oxford Community Center.

For early risers, the Oxford Market will offer ‘free coffee with purchase of a muffin’ to start the day. A short stop away you’ll find the Oxford Museum open from 11 am to 4 pm. Outdoor activities during the day include watercraft rentals at the Strand from Dockside Boat Rentals, 1 – 5 pm. No visit to Oxford is complete without a ferry ride. Be sure to hop aboard ($5.00 per pedestrian) and traverse the Tred Avon River to enjoy the scenery. The ferry is an iconic landmark not only in Maryland, but also on the entire Eastern seaboard. A walking tour of Oxford will leave from the Ferry Dock at 10 a.m. Join Oxford resident Leo Nollmeyer for the history of our town.

Thirsty? Stop by the Treasure Chest from 10 am to 4 pm; free lemonade will be available. You are sure to find a variety of unique gifts and artwork inside, as well. Yacht and Home, newly opened across from the Oxford Market, will be offering iced tea and Plein Air Sugar Cookies to their visitors.

Oxford is also home to Mystery Loves Company Booksellers – a truly special bookstore located conveniently next to the Oxford Town Park. To mark the occasion of the Second Annual Paint Oxford Day, author Stephanie Verni will be on-site (1-3 pm) and signing copies of “Inn Significant,” appropriately set on the Eastern Shore, of course.

Be sure to take a stroll down Tilghman Street to the Scottish Highland Ice Creamery, which will be open from noon until 8:30 pm. They will feature a special “Plein Air Sorbet” as well as several other original and tempting flavors of the day.

While you watch the artists at work around town, you’ll no doubt notice a variety of painted picket fences prominently on display. Be sure to pick up a Picket Fence Map at local business locations, and stroll through town to view another form of original artwork. There are 9 new picket fences this year, as well as several others from years past.

Towards day’s end, head to the Oxford Community Center to see the artists’ completed, framed accomplishments. Paintings may be on display as early as noon for viewing and purchase, but the full Artist Exhibition (accompanied by available nibbles and beverages) will be from 5:00 to 6:30 pm. Capping off activities at that venue, the President of the Oxford Business Association will announce and present the coveted Artists’ Choice award.

By then, you’ll be just in time to enjoy dinner at one of our many fine restaurants before leaving town. Where will you be on 16 July? Why not ‘Come see why we love it here?’

For more information, go to portofoxford.com

“Long Walk Home” Update by Robert Messick

Editor’s note: Robert Messick has elected to walk the entire length of the Appalachian Trail this year to raise awareness and funds for benefit Talbot Interfaith Shelter in Easton. This is his first report from the trail.

I started my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (AT) on April 15th at Springer Mountain, Georgia, and have now been gone for a month. I’ve hiked close to 300 miles and crossed from Georgia into North Carolina and criss-crossed Tennessee and North Carolina throughout the Great Smoky Mountains before leap-frogging from Hot Springs, NC, to Damascus, VA, to meet my partner Lynda and my two children for a brief visit.

I hiked most of those miles with a group of hikers I met while waiting for the shuttle ride from the Atlanta MARTA North Spring Station to Hiker Hostel, Dahlonega, GA. It was a fun, diverse group, representing Germany, Maryland, Kansas, and Washington State; yet we all shared a common love for hiking and the outdoors.

Adam, a 10-year veteran of the Bureau of Land Management “Hot Shot” forest fire fighting crew stationed in South Dakota, Alaska, and Nevada, was accustomed to carrying a 62 pound backpack with all his forest fire fighting gear and transporting a 90 pound water pump with the help of a crew member. I was shocked to later learn from our co-hiker Rebekah that Adam unexpectedly left the trail after hiking for three weeks and flew back home to Kansas because, as he said, “hiking the AT was too much like work.” By that point, the group had disbanded, with the remaining hikers going at their separate pace.

Jörg, one of the nicest persons you could hope to meet, was a German hiking machine and ultimately left me in the dust with his fast pace. I struggled to catch up with him, but only did so after accepting a 6-mile ride from Garenflo Gap to Hot Springs, NC, to warm up my bones from the snow and freezing rain and to ease the pain in my knees.

The first 273 miles were accomplished in 22 days, which included three “zeros” where I simply rested (one at Fontana Dam and two at Gatlinburg). The relatively fast early pace and a wrenched knee from a fall on the very steep, muddy and slippery approach to Fontana Dam, led to my recurring knee problems. I am now forced to go at a slower pace.

Notwithstanding my knee problems, my greatest surprise and pleasure on the AT has been in discovering how friendly, good-natured, and helpful hikers and people in hiker towns are. I’m also amazed at how diverse the AT hiker community is. I’ve met people from all over the United States, plus Canada, Germany, Belgium, England, Crimea, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, to name a few. And it’s very interesting to learn about all the adventures and fabulous places these hikers have experienced.

In my next installment, I will discuss a divergence between some of my goals, proclaimed in my introductory article, and my actual experiences on the AT.

Allegra Publishing Kicks Off in St. Michaels

Would you like to go beyond the dusty family album? Allegria Publishing, a new company on the Eastern Shore, can help. Its motto is, “We bring the past to life.” With an array of talents, its founders have experience in writing, editing, research, and videography. They have produced biographies, folios, and personal videos, using family archives. Would you like to self-publish the book you have always dreamed of writing, or produce a Ken Burns type short video of your family history? Allegra Publishing can help.

Carl Widell, who studied history at Princeton, and reality in Vietnam, heads up the firm. He has self-published two books and is putting the final touches on a biography of a prominent attorney on the shore. Due to his military background, Carl understands how to research old military service records. He is assisted by Pamela Heyne Widell who has published three books, including her latest on Julia Child and kitchen design. She also is an experienced videographer.

In researching their own family archive, the Widells produced a short video about Carl’s grandfather, E.D. Johnston, who served with Canadian forces in WWI.

Johnston’s war diary describes experiencing the first mustard gas attack on April 22, 1915. His photo album contains pictures from the trenches, as well as happier occasions. One picture depicts two laughing WWI officers holding a mirror, in which the photographer, Carl’s grandfather, was reflected. Could this be the first selfie?

Carl’s siblings were surprised and delighted with the video, and sent it on to other friends and relations. According to Carl, “Our families are so spread around now, that our oral histories are lost. With so many images flooding the internet, it is particularly meaningful to celebrate original images from our own archives.”

Pamela Heyne Widell, also known as Pamela Heyne, is an architect and continues to practice. However, she likes the “sleuthing” aspect of writing. Years ago she wrote a book on the architectural mirror. In the rare book room at the Library of Congress, she read an old French 17th century account from a visitor to the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. “He was dazzled, and I was fascinated to relive his emotion, hundreds of years later,” Pam says.

Contact information: allegriapublishing.com 23901 Mount Misery Road, Saint Michaels, Md. 21663 410-714-9555

Senior Nation: Growing Old and Loving It by Dodie Theune

Editor’s Note. Dodie Theune is a resident of Oxford, adjunct faculty member of Temple University, and CEO of Coaching Affiliates. She was the keynote speaker at last week’s Senior Summit for the  Mid-Shore region. We have reprinted her address in its entirety.

Today I hope to encourage you to reimagine how growing old could be different than what we have come to expect. To do that, we need to let go of the old paradigms for aging and create a new vision for our future. No matter where we have been or what we have done or left undone…we can still reimagine our life in what I call “Our Third Act.”

You are never too old to become the person you were meant to be. And that’s what your Third act could be about…becoming the person you were meant to be.

We hear more and more about the “The Graying of America.” The median age of Americans is going up and the population is getting older. We are now the fastest growing segment and that gives us clout in many areas, especially in the voting box. And The Eastern Shore is a perfect example of this phenomenon. In fact, by 2020, we expect that more than 40% of the population of Talbot County will be over age 65!

Today we will take a look at what we can accomplish with this new-found power.

I remember Turning 65. There were a whole lot more candles on the cake. More small lines showed up around my eyes. I remember looking down at my hands and saying, “These are not my hands…These are my mother’s hands.”

I am more than a little stiff now getting up in the morning. I sometimes forget the names of people I know quite well. And I hardly ever remember the titles of books I’ve read and movies I’ve seen. And there are times when I walk into a room and wonder what I was looking for? These are all reminders that I am “gettin’ on in years.”

Turning Sixty Five is a big milestone for us. We send each other funny cards and tell jokes. We celebrate with cake and coffee at work. We have special parties. And we get a kick out of wearing black armbands at 65th birthday parties.

But the truth is that underneath all that playfulness, there is a clear aversion to getting older. And that is not good because when we resist the idea of aging, we are also saying NO to what is possible…saying NO to all that is new and wonderful about this truly unique and special time of life, Our Third Act.

We have, most of us, grown up with what I call the old paradigm of aging, You know what I mean: “Old Age Ain’t No Place for Sissies”, “Getting old is a bitch.” These deep-rooted bromides are what I call: Limiting Beliefs about Aging.

Beliefs are important because they determine our attitudes about everything. And our attitudes are what drives our behavior.

Think about that for a minute.

Limiting beliefs will influence us to have negative and self-defeating attitudes about our future. And since attitudes drive our behavior, we are then more likely to give in to aging, to give up, and to submit to the old expectations about getting old. If that becomes our attitude, we will be guaranteeing that ours will be a future with little if any possibilities.

I’d like to tell you a little bit about my own “growing older” story. I was 70 and teaching at Temple University in Philadelphia when I realized that I needed hearing aids. Mind you, I already had reading glasses. So off I went for the inevitable hearing test. I had to laugh as I remembered my mother saying…first the eyes…then the ears. I am now adding…then the feet!

To tell the truth I hated wearing those hearing aids. The little buds that went inside my ear tickled and I was constantly fussing to see if they were in place. And then one day, I turned on the ignition in my car and my hearing aids buzzed. I said out loud “This is getting ridiculous!”

I can laugh at it now but back then I was really annoyed. It was right around then that we had one of our family dinners. In fact, I think it was Mother’s day. I admit I was complaining more than just a little about those darn hearing aids when one of my daughters came over and put her arm around me and jokingly said, “It’s ok Mom. You’re just getting ‘OLDE’. I was speechless for a moment as I looked at her with amazement and then I said “I’M NOT OLDE… Grandpa…He’s OLDE!!”

So just what is OLDE? Johnny Carson said “Old is 10 years older than you are now.” We like that definition of course because according to Johnnie, we never ever actually get olde, we just age a little more.

My daughter meant well and she probably didn’t realize that what she was actually doing was expressing the old paradigm for aging. You know the one.

It’s often depicted as an Arch. You’re young…you’re middle aged and supposedly at your prime and after that, it is all downhill. We really must change that depiction because it fosters negative thoughts and limiting beliefs.

I prefer to show the life cycle as a straight line to demonstrate a new paradigm for aging: a new vision for “growing old and loving it. ”First there is your younger self…followed by your middle aged and older self … and then you shift into what I am now calling Your Third Act.

We can and should look forward to our Third Act with a curiosity for what could be possible. And anything is possible when you give yourself the opportunity to use your Third Act as a springboard to becoming the person you were meant to be.

When I was 65, It never occurred to me that I would be here with all of you talking about how much I love being 77. I am in the throes of My Third Act and I have not peaked yet! In fact, last winter I spent 30 plus days downhill skiing and I am skiing better than ever. I am truly blessed.

As we age, it is critical that we be authentic. We should tell the truth about ourselves and have some fun doing it. Life is so much easier when we learn to be authentic. Aging actually gives us permission to be who we really are. How refreshing is that?

We can spend time with the people we like especially the ones who make us laugh. And we should definitely find things to laugh about. We can always find something to worry about.

While I was preparing for this morning, I asked my husband if he could give me an example of a time when we laughed at ourselves. Guess what he said? Every day. We find things to laugh about ourselves and each other ….every single day.

I recently saw a post on facebook of a white haired woman dancing the high step and wearing the most outlandish hat and an equally outlandish red and white polka dot dress with lots of ruffles. The caption read: “It’s better to have a sense of humor than no sense at all”

It is extremely important as we enter our Third Act, to let go of the past. Forgive and forget. Life is too short and we just do not have the time to harbor a grudge. In fact, it is exhausting. I saw a poster recently that said: “The best revenge is to be happy.”

And absolutely…we should have no regrets. What’s the point after all? What’s gone is gone. What’s lost is lost. The past is the past.

Our friends have a really wonderful tradition for letting go of the past. All year long, they write down their regrets and then on New Year’s Eve, they make paper boats out of those lists of regrets and gather with other families at a small lake nearby. They line up the boats at the shoreline and light each one with a match and float the burning boats out into the darkness. And then they are free to celebrate a New Year. They have learned to be in the present by torching the past.

It is also important that while we are learning to be authentic, and letting go of the past, we must also learn to give ourselves permission to reach out and ask for help. Remember, ‘no one ever said that growing older would be easy.’ In fact, it takes a great deal of courage! Much too often, our genes disappoint us as we age and for some of us, the Third Act may become an overwhelming challenge.

We recognize that many of our Talbot County seniors are in need of support and encouragement, especially when they are suffering from pain, or financial distress or grieving for a lost loved one. Facing an uncertain future requires enormous courage.

That is precisely why we are here today at the Second Annual Senior Summit. Talbot Community Connections and the Talbot County Department of Social Services are hoping that by sharing information about the right tools and the assistance that is available, our seniors can approach their Third Act with more confidence and ease. Today is all about learning that Aging in Talbot County need not be scary. We can indeed, grow old and love it.

I launched my Third Act by retiring to St Michaels. I told my friends that I would be taking a year to settle in and that I would be nesting, testing and resting. Anyone who has downsized will understand what having ‘layered furniture’ means. I spent endless days unpacking and running to the thrift shops and rummage sales.

Testing was the most fun. I looked around town for ways that I could match my experience and skills with a need in the community. To fill a gap, if you will. I knew it would certainly be easy to be busy. There are endless possibilities for volunteering. But I was, after all, in my Third Act and I was looking for a way to experience what I saw as a profound new vision for myself…“to grow old and love it.”

That’s when I discovered the Academy of Life Long Learning. When I was a young mother I saw a poster at the library that read: “Live today as if it were your last and seek after knowledge as if you will live forever.”

I absolutely believe that anyone who stops learning will get old while someone who keeps learning will stay young. I have become a great proponent of lifelong learning. Malcolm Boyd, an Episcopal priest and Poet-in-Residence at the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles wrote that “Aging… requires learning. God knows it requires wisdom. It can be an enormous blessing because it serves to sum up a life, lend it character, underscore its motivation. Finally, it prepares the way for leave-taking.”

I AM a life long learner. I finished my undergraduate degree when my children were grown and then went on to earn my Masters in Adult Education. I received my PhD just 7 years ago and it took me more than 5 years to earn that degree.

So, when I discovered the Academy of Life Long Learning. I was really excited . I took several fascinating courses and then came up with the Idea of creating a course about my favorite subject: growing old and loving it. Facilitating that course was an extremely fulfilling experience. Actually it was a joy. I was in my Third Act and doing something I truly loved. And here I am today.

In one of the workshops at the Senior Summit, we will hear a discussion about reimagining your life. It is possible, you know…to reimagine your life …no matter what your current circumstances may be. A technique for reimagining your life is to ask yourself : What will be my life story; What legacy do I want to leave?

When you were younger and busy raising families and building careers, you may have wanted to do more but just didn’t have the time. Now that you have the time, what dream can you follow? And for you younger folks, now is your chance to do what you can with what you’ve got in the direction of your dream and begin to write that story.

The motto for Talbot Community Connections is “Filling the Gap.” What gap can you fill? What can you do to make a difference? You might think about what makes you mad or sad about what’s going on in the world? Is there an organization or group you can support that’s doing work you think is important. Is there one small thing that you can do to make a difference.

My neighbor is passionate about the environment. When she walks through our town, she always stops to pick up cans, and plastic bottles and puts them in the recycle bin. She then started cleaning up the recycle areas in town. In fact she would even bring back trash that wasn’t recyclable and put it in her own trash bin. She was living her passion about the environment. Eventually, she was successful in getting curbside recycle service in St Michaels. Wherever she goes, she makes a difference. Ann Hymes is living proof that small things, done consistently, in strategic places can reap huge results.

Remember: you are never too old to become the person you were meant to be, and it’s never too late to envision yourself acting out your passion in your third act.

Rally for Recovery Draws Strong Showing

Recovery for Shore’s Rally for Recovery, held Saturday June 3 in downtown Easton, drew a diverse crowd of those in recovery and their family and friends along with many treatment providers and representatives of other recovery support organizations. The event began at 3:30 p.m. with a march from Christ Church Easton on South Street, up Washington Street to the Talbot County Courthouse. The block between Dover and Goldsborough was closed to traffic from 4-4:30 p.m. so that the rally, which included cheers, speakers and prize presentations for the best rally sign, could take place. The event continued with the group’s return to Christ Church for the Alive at Five service followed by fellowship and refreshments on the lawn.

Bonnie Scott, founder of Rising Above Disease, addressing the Rally crowd. To her left is Keith Richards, Rally for Recovery emcee.

According to Sharon Dundon, program specialist for Shore Behavioral Health’s Addictions Program and ad hoc coordinator for Recovery for Shore, crowd estimates varied from 150 to 180. “The exact number was hard to gauge as many people floated in and out over the course of the event, but there was no doubt about the enthusiasm of those who were there,” says Dundon.

Rally participants brought creative, colorful homemade signs with positive messages about recovery.

The recovery cheers at the Courthouse — along the lines of “We cheer, we lead, we know there’s a need!” and “Say it loud, say it clear – Recovery helps, recovery’s here!” — brought onlookers out of shops and restaurants. Remarks offered by emcee Keith Richardson, of Warwick Manor, and the event’s keynote speaker, Bonnie Scott, founder of the Rising Against Disease recovery house for women in Talbot County, drew enthusiastic applause and shout-outs from rally participants.

“Bonnie’s talk, including her description of losing a son to heroin overdose, was equal parts moving, informative and inspiring,” Dundon said. “During the walk back to Christ Church, rally goers were talking about how heartfelt it was and how grateful they were for the information she offered about finding help for those who still suffer and the hope she offered by sharing her experiences as an advocate.”

The Alive at Five Service featured the inspirational music of the Alive at Five band and guest speaker Cindy Keefe, who talked about her 20-year journey in recovery and the support she has received from the local recovery community. Fellowship on the lawn, including tables offering information about recovery resources and a wide menu of donated refreshments — from pizza to crab dip and dessert and Rise Up Coffee — lasted until 7:30 p.m.

“We had great support from the Town of Easton, the Easton police and dozens of volunteers who brought food and recovery resource information and also helped with set up and clean up,” Dundon says. “All of us in Recovery for Shore are very grateful for the outpouring of support and enthusiasm, and for Christ Church’s generosity in hosting the celebration after the Rally. Our hope is that those willing to ‘recover out loud’ will do so as it can help decrease the stigma associated with addiction, inspire others to seek help earlier and brings awareness to the vast recovery happening in our community.”