I had the best of intentions, truly I did, but a wild mix of webpage and blog ghostwriting (8 pages! 5 more ordered!) along with the usual Spring Break visitors that come and go, seasoned with a family mini-crisis (in resolution now) and the usual chores, business, and meals put blogging on the back burner. Writing, however, zooms along. I am closing in on the final chapters, then I must glean my grandmother’s letters to be sure I missed none of the vernacular of the day.
Other plans for May: touch base with the contact names given me, along with a name to drop in introductions.
There are some new readers here. Some from my journaling site, others from facebook, some who employ me to one degree or another. Some leave notes, others do not. This, I think, is one of the key differences between an online journal and blogging: the latter doesn’t leave much room for social networking. I may be wrong, since I’m brand new to the blogging world.
I hope to rectify that somewhat by creating a (small) mass e-mailing list (don’t worry…I use BCC so the only address you’ll see is mine). I’m not sure when that will start, though, so for new arrivals, here is the info on the story that reached publication:
That entry contains the information of where the book is sold (my story is one of many), price, and ordering details. I seem to have picked up some videos on my blog entries. I’m not sure how that happens because I’ve not had time to learn this site. I didn’t post the videos nor have I watched but one, which seems to be a ten minute advertisement for a cruise.
I promised to post some of my writing samples and thought you might enjoy the following:
Pines of Sarasota Guest Article
(Published Sarasota Herald Tribune, May 7, 2008)
Sarasota has many wonderful gems in its crown, from the arts to the natural wonders found all around us, but we also have a jewel no other city has: The Pines of Sarasota. No, it’s not exactly a tourist spot, but it is a treasure nonetheless. For those who do not know, I offer a very brief history: A home for the elderly since 1948, the Pines has reached out to those in poor health and limited incomes. First funded by the Kiwanis Club, it has always been a non-profit organization, and is a vital safety net that today provides for 300 residents of Sarasota County.
Many people do not realize how easily the elderly slip through the cracks. They are a generation of stoics, having endured the War years, so oftentimes, they don’t tell us, their Baby Boomer children, of their struggles, preferring to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, just as they’ve always done. It’s a great philosophy, but it has one flaw: their income doesn’t keep pace with expenses and they’ve tightened their belt to the last notch and many times, beyond. Some find refuge at the Pines of Sarasota.
The population at Pines is much like that of Sarasota’s; racial, age, and gender are closely mirrored. Most were born before or during the Depression, but there are younger residents, as well. Some residents were always low income, others lost everything due to the rising cost of living, and health issues have eaten away at the lifelong savings of others. All of the residents need assistance in more than one facet of their lives. Until now, the Pines has provided that help, regardless of ability to pay what the charges really would be in a “for-profit” entity.
The recent legislative cuts, approximately fifty thousand dollars for each month budget cut steps are initiated, means that Pines will have to make adjustments just to survive. Every Medicare dollar the state takes away also cuts additional matching dollars from our federal government. The double blow will be felt throughout the Pines community.
Pines of Sarasota is a well-run program that not only targets the needs of the elderly, it leads the way by providing ever more Alzheimer’s beds at the very time many “for-profit” nursing homes are cutting theirs. The Pines actively advocates for Alzheimer’s research, hosting lectures and workshops that address the advances made in the field. The Alzheimer’s Support Group meets upstairs in the conference room every third Tuesday at 6:30 PM of every month. This group is open to the public and “at-home” caregivers are welcome to join. You’ll find plenty of understanding and maybe even a few solutions in a friendly but not overbearing atmosphere.
Pines is certified as an “Eden Alternative Community”, providing a low cost day care facility for the children of staff (as well as the surrounding community) and an intergenerational connection for the residents. This program keeps employee turnover percentages below the national average.
Pines of Sarasota has proven itself, since 1948, to be a good steward in the care of the elderly in Sarasota County. The budget cuts are simply too deep for a program that already strains to keep up. We Sarasotans should help polish up our gemstone by supporting the capital campaign to replace aging buildings.
How can you help? Visit their website: www.Pinesofsarasota.org, consider taking a volunteer position and make a small donation. Pines of Sarasota needs financial help right in the middle of the worst recession on record. I’m aware that I’m asking you, the reader, to help at the worst possible time, but I ask you to remember that old saying: “A little from a lot makes a huge difference”. That’s why I’m asking the 300,000+ Sarasota County residents to dig into their pockets and send a few dollars to: Pines of Sarasota, 1501 N. Orange Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236. Donations are tax deductible and will be well used. It’s a good place. It deserves to be supported by the community because it serves the community well. I hope we will all join together to help keep this gem in sparkling condition.
I offer, for your reading entertainment, a link to the blog of one of my favorite scribes, a writing mentor (who needs to list his published work on his blog), sounding board, cruel editor and grand punster:
I’ve learned a lot from him. If you want to be a better writer, read his blog. You’ll thank me. He better, too.