Stay happy by staying connected

By Simone Ellin
Posted on July 19, 2021

As the saying goes, no one is an island. We all need the counsel, support and friendship of other people to lead happy, healthy and productive lives. As we age, it’s especially important to avoid loneliness and isolation. That’s because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “social isolation [is] associated with a 50% increased risk of dementia and other... READ MORE

State’s archaeologist digs Virginia’s past

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on July 12, 2021

It could be an 18th-century shipwreck half-buried in James River muck, a stone flake, a bone fragment, charred soil, a bead or a chunk of brick. Every artifact unearthed by archaeologists, along with its setting and the soil where it is found, tells a story or part of a story. Dr. Elizabeth Moore, the state archaeologist since 2019, leads efforts to document Virginia’s past — much of ... READ MORE

Double Dutch is twice the fun

By Margaret Foster
Posted on July 06, 2021

Have you seen the D.C. Retro Jumpers at the Cherry Blossom Festival or another local street fair? The group of six women, all over age 50, twirl two ropes in opposite directions, and people of all ages line up to jump Double Dutch. Sometimes they stop traffic. One driver spotted them, slammed on her brakes and ran over to jump, pumping her arms in the air and grinning. “Just to see... READ MORE

‘Top 100 woman’ works nonstop

By Robert Friedman
Posted on June 22, 2021

Felícita Solá-Carter, who was born in Puerto Rico and has lived in Howard County for the past 30 of her 70 years, is a wonder woman of sorts. The former federal official, businesswoman, wife, mother of two and nonstop volunteer was recently chosen as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women 2021. Solá-Carter currently chairs the Board of Trustees of Howard Community College, where she... READ MORE

Shop knits community together

By Dan Collins
Posted on June 21, 2021

What do Olympic diver Tom Daley, actors David Arquette and Ryan Reynolds and author Michelle Obama have in common? Here’s a hint: It has a connection to World War II espionage, botany, veterinary medicine, and the way a medieval shepherd might score the odd groat. Still wondering? Let’s toss in the Crimean War, the Battle of Waterloo, the Tour de France and a few... READ MORE

Doulas support end-of-life transitions

By Diane York
Posted on June 14, 2021

As an intensive care nurse at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond for 22 years, Shelby Kirillin saw people at their most vulnerable time. “I felt that a lot was missing in the way we treated patients that were dying and their families. Death was handled as a medical experience … with no emotional or spiritual support,” Kirillin said. “Death must be acknowledged. In a... READ MORE

The secret life of beekeepers

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on June 01, 2021

Few people venture up to the roof of Washington’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, but John Ferree, 59, does. He has managed four beehives there since 2017. Ferree also has nine hives at Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, five at the Bush Hill Presbyterian Church and six in his Springfield back yard. To pay the bills, Ferree analyzes car dealership financials for NCM... READ MORE

Made in Baltimore with love

By Margaret Foster
Posted on May 18, 2021

A few years ago, Teresa Stephens was working in a community garden in West Baltimore when a disheveled man stumbled in from a nearby alley, alcohol on his breath. The man, who told her he had grown up on a North Carolina farm, seemed interested in her work. Stephens, now 52, offered him a plot of his own. “I provided everything: a shovel, a hoe, the seeds he said he wanted,” she... READ MORE

Mentors help students grow

By Catherine Brown
Posted on May 17, 2021

Two decades ago, pediatric social worker Chaya Kaplan met an 8-year-old boy who became a lifelong friend. “T.B.” was a student she tutored through a program for disadvantaged children run by the Howard County Public School System and the Department of Social Services. He was one of eight children being raised by his grandmother. “I tutored/mentored T.B. weekly for about five years, ... READ MORE

When caregivers face abuse, there’s hope

By Eileen Abbott
Posted on May 10, 2021

When Pam M.’s husband, Keith, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the Richmonder felt confident she could care for him. “I thought, ‘Keith and I can handle this. We love each other.’ But you don’t realize the extent it changes your entire life. I was prepared for him not knowing me, but not for the anger towards me,” she said. One day, that anger, a common symptom of... READ MORE