I confess. I have a leisure time activity, a favorite hobby. I love to explore the unique, the quaint, the curious in my new hometown. Two absolutely delightful lunches at the University Club of Phoenix inspired me to share this captivating restaurant with my neighbors and literary friends here in the Valley of the Sun. Dining here reminds one of the Orient Express somehow, without the train, of course.
The recent popular film Sully was based on Capt. Sullenberger’s account of his ordeal, a memoir of the 2009 aircraft mishap known as the Miracle on the Hudson. His reason for writing it was truth. There was a threat that truth would be overcome by industrial propaganda. And, so his version has been preserved. This is only one good reason to write a memoir.
The stories told in oral tradition and memoirs were cultural adhesives long before the average person could read or write. Today we are fortunate to be able to capture our memoirs in various formats that can be preserved and interpreted easily. Various media can be used to preserve and protect the truth of our experiences and pass those truths along to the next generation. There is no need to be in a specific place at a specific time to absorb the memory, we can tune in from anywhere and at anytime. This ability is becoming ever more important as we are deluged with more data in the past 50 years than at any time in history. Yet, the raw data is ever less helpful to making decisions.
Family history just isn’t complete without describing meaningful occasions. Most of us use photo albums, but a memoir of the event preserves a highly personal description capturing elements that perhaps won’t be remembered by those thumbing through albums in future years. Despite “gratitude” expressed at every departure and arrival these days, not so many U.S. families service careers. We celebrated a young man beginning military service recently and this memoir is my attempt to capture the experience.
Full-time caregivers deserve a medal and may well qualify for sainthood (mostly) but not for benefits. If accepted workplace standards for health and welfare were applied, most would be due a vacation. They are for the most part unpaid, whether volunteers or not. Chances are pretty good that they won’t get that vacation.
We’ve discovered an emerging trend, an aging in place alternative to those elegant and expensive 55+ active adult resort style communities springing up across the country. Those are, of course, a uniquely capitalistic (sometimes nonprofit) approach to the changing needs of aging but active residents with adequate resources.
Would it surprise you to learn there are other approaches to the problem? We looked for alternatives to the notion that once of a certain age one must go somewhere else or be someone else. Instead of evacuating and leaving homes they have known for years, some seniors advocate for making local changes that will accommodate their needs as well as allow for continued healthy interaction with family, friends and resources. And some communities are listening.