On March 23rd, the RKIDs Book Group gathered virtually for a discussion of It’s a Long Way from Penny Apples, an autobiography by Bill Cullen. With Tom managing the Zoom action and Sonja directing the discussion, the evening went smoothly and the talk flowed. Generally, people liked the book and were especially taken with Bill’s mother, Mary. They were impressed with how hard she and her impoverished family worked to survive Dublin in the 1940s and 50s. Thanks go to Liz for suggesting this book. Those present were: Tom, Sonja, Liz, Kevin, Maddy, Bill, Kathryn, Maura, Barb, Connie, Michelle, Mary Ann, Kate, Jean Wds., Larisa, Emma, Jerry, Marie V., Marilyn W., and Marilyn O.
The Book Group will be venturing into new territory on Tuesday, April 20th. Instead of a book to discuss, each member will have an opportunity to tell the group about a book they have read — either good or bad. In May, we are making some slight changes, as well. On May 4th we will be discussing Maeve Binchy’s classic, Circle of Friends, and then on May 25th we will be watching the movie of the same title.
The Return of BYOB (Bring Your Own Brunch)
On the first Saturday of April, our usual brunch took place; but once again, it was virtual. By now, we are getting used to the idea! Roger, Bill, Maddy, Gina, Larisa, Mary Ann, Connie, Pat G., Tom, Sonja, Michelle, Marie V., and Marilyn O. enjoyed the chatter. Thanks to all who attended. We are eating and working hard to keep our traditions alive and well.
Exercising Through the Pandemic
Marilyn O. found an enjoyable, low-impact exercise program on YouTube, called Fit Over Fifty. Jenny McClendon, the instructor, leads participants through easy-to-follow movements for a continuous twenty minutes. “The music is fun and it seems like dancing,” said Marilyn.
While Marilyn huffs and puffs in the living room, Obie walks outside for about an hour a day. It’s really just an excuse to listen to books on his phone. He recently finished The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John Barry and is now enthralled with Green Lights, an autobiography by Matthew McConaughey.
Jim Cu’s boiler went on the fritz and he had to wait several days for a repairman. Needing another source of heat, he worked out by cutting lots of firewood. The wood pile adjacent to the house was replenished with a wheelbarrow of his personally-cut logs, readying the fireplace to come to the family's thermal rescue. While outside, he took the tarps off the compost pits to be ready to start digging up that nice soil for his gardens. Always looking for an excuse to be outdoors, Jim said, “Then I gotta repaint the yellow brick road.” His exercise program is going just fine.
David and Toni set the standard for exercising despite the Coronavirus! Toni reported, “David and I virtually walked the length of the Camino de Santiago (480.9 miles) last summer and we are more than 80% finished walking the length of England and Scotland from Lands End to John O’Groats (1083.8 miles). It really is fun and a good competition. There are lots of walks all over the world available from www.theconqueror.events. The app's fee pays for tracking the walk using Google Maps, which shows where you are along the route. Every day we look to see where we are. AND you get a cool race medal when you finish.”
But that's not enough for Toni. Throughout most of the pandemic, she has been exercising with Walk Strong Roanoke Challenge Group, a Facebook group run by Rachel DeVaughn from Roanoke, VA. “Rachel creates free monthly fitness challenges based on walking and everyone in the group really is fun, helpful, motivational and inspirational. Rachel also has her own YouTube channel featuring free low impact walking and strength training videos each week. I was able to safely join them in person for two different 5K walks last fall and I am hoping to join them for one 5K in person this spring along with a virtual 5K and a virtual 10K. Hard to believe that I am now able to go walking every day, do strength training using weights, resistance bands, lightweight ball, and “booty band”, finish the 5K and 10K walks, and feel great.” Rumor is that Michelle has also joined Rachel’s program. Wow! This is very inspiring, Toni! Congratulations to all.
During these Days of Covid, Connie has found a variety of ways to keep her ready for dancing. She went to the gym for high impact classes last fall and has been walking and jogging around the neighborhood. While at home she is using her treadmill and doing pilates and other exercises. Like all of us, she “is looking forward to dancing again.”
Kathy O has been taking exercise classes online with the Rockville Senior Center. She is delighted to report that it will most likely continue the online sessions once the Center opens following the pandemic. She said, “It will be an option as many people enjoy the convenience of not having to drive to the Center.”
Our resident Master Gardener, Sonja, works as often as possible in her garden. It’s great exercise! Spring has sprung and she takes great delight in getting her hands into the fresh, rich soil. Lately, she has been working at the garden at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. All that work is good for the soul — and the heart.
In the RKIDs’ archives is a humorous story about one member’s attempt to exercise. Check it out here, and if you want to have some fun, view it on YouTube.
Liz is now home from her month in Florida where she had fun with her sister, Mary, playing mahjong, enjoying the sunshine, and taking short sailings on her yacht (in her dreams). Mary and Liz were also seen slashing about on the golf course (where the 19th hole is quite an attraction).
The RKIDs have gathered an intriguing pile of books and DVDs which are available for you to borrow. Bill and Marilyn O. set up a new online library catalog for us to peruse. It’s easy! Just find something you want to read or watch, email or call Marilyn O, and the item will be delivered to you pronto! When you’re finished, just contact Marilyn O again to arrange a pickup. Couldn’t be easier! Go to ringofkerrydancers.org, and click on the Lending Library menu item.