Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Twenty lessons to live a long and happy life. (Part 2)

When they look back on life, many folks would say that their grandparents had the biggest effect on the people they became. Unending love. Kneidlach. Funny stories. Great accents. Most everything about grandparents is colorful and worthy of remembering. Well, I recently spent a few weeks with an entire oasis of grandparents, and I too learned a lot about aging and not aging. In my last blog, I discussed 10 ways to live longer and happier lives. Here are another 10 things to consider (in no special order).
Trivia class.
11. Be interested. Every day we picked up a new packed activity schedule. Two of the activities – Trivia and Women’s Discussion Group have everyone chatting. It’s important to keep seniors interested in the world around them and in the conversation. As time does its job and they get around less, hear less, and see not so well, these discussion groups keep their world from shrinking, and keep older adults relevant.
“Today in 1901 the first Nobel Prizes were awarded.” Everyone had an opinion on who should have gotten one and who shouldn’t. “Today in 1830, Emily Dickinson was born. Can anyone remember one of her poems?” And I was flabbergasted to hear two of the men recite Emily Dickinson by heart. (I couldn’t remember anything. I’d better brush up on my poetry.) The Women’s Discussion Group chatted about varied random topics, exploring all kinds of horizons – life in Thailand, parenting today, and I even got to open a discussion on life in Israel.
Staying interested is staying in the game of life.
12 . Dress up. At my mother’s senior residence, her friends dress for dinner every night. Daytime is casual, as residents flit from one activity to the next. Evenings are special, and give everyone a boost, beginning with stylish clothing. Okay, no one wears orange leggings or crazy-youth-obsessed clothes, instead, they all look like they’re going on a cruise. I checked outside for a boat. None. You know the look. Fresh, classic, dignified, like the folks themselves.

Singing hit songs.
13. Sing. Sing out!! Mostly every day, a show or a solo performer takes the stage at my mother’s residence. The songs on the program range from 1920s hits (songs these great-grandparents and I heard from our own parents and grandparents) up to the latest Broadway fare. What a delight! I was in my element. Some folks sat quietly listening, but my mom and I sang along, every song.
Singing is great for seniors and all of us. It expands our memory, it makes us happier, reduces stress, and generally improves quality of life.
In addition to the shows, my mom’s pals like to sing whenever a phrase reminds them of a song. Usually I am the one to break out into a song at the drop of a hat. (I think my kids find it annoying. Tough.) Imagine being on the receiving end of an instant-song. “Thanks so much. That makes me so happy.” And then, three ladies simultaneously chime, “Make someone happy. Make just one someone happy.” Soooo cute.
14. Share your family. We’re in a family-scattered world. Kids, friends and siblings live everywhere from Maine to Mexico. So, when someone has company, everyone in the residence has company. Everyone enjoys stopping by to say, “Hi and where are you from, how long will you be here. Your daughter is beautiful.” And I got to schmooze comfortably with everybody, because they’re used to being friendly to visitors. Win win for all.
Yiddish fun.
15. Learn a new skill. Take up a new hobby. My mother (may she live and be well until 120) worked her entire life. She never had the time or the luxury to paint or even sit over a crossword puzzle. She definitely was not the type to make jewelry. Well, now, whenever she comes to visit, she gifts her children and grandchildren with beautiful Bubby-made colored necklaces and bracelets to match all their clothing. It’s not easy for my mom to use her fingers on these small beads, but she’s great at color coordinating and has become quite creative.
She also goes to a fun-tastic Yiddish class. My mother used to speak a mean Yiddish, but time made her a bit rusty. Now every week, she and her friends learn new fun Yiddish words and try to speak again – at least for an hour on Friday afternoons.

learning new skills and languages keep those brain gears going, plus it's exciting and empowering. What's next? Bring it on.
16. Taste the memories. Most of us cherish our mother’s pinwheel cookies or roast breast of veal in our hearts. The taste remains embedden in our memory banks forever. Every week my mother attends a cooking class where the “master chef” makes different dishes from long ago and today. I sat in on two cooking sessions. The first was devoted to New York City. The dessert, of course, was cheese cake. Deeelicious. Cooking class participants enjoyed every creamy morsel, as some remembered the last time they traveled to NYC, and commented on former mayors. They even sang, “New York, New York.” At another cooking class, souvganiyot donuts came out hot from the frying pan, and the chef said, “Get ready for our Chanukah delicacy. Does anyone remember a Chanukah song?” So, they munched and they sang, and they remembered.
17. Make friends. Be a friend. Moving to a new home is scary. Moving to a new home where 200 other people already live is even scarier. In my mother’s residence, the folks are so nice, I’m sure they help newbies fit right in. Friends are important at every age, and especially for seniors and super-especially when family is far away. Friends keep us young, really. They keep us going. They care about one another. “Why weren’t you at breakfast?” “You went to the beauty parlor? You look great.” “What did the doctor say?” “How are your kids?” Friends are our pillars, our teddy bears, our sounding boards. They keep us in better health, give us emotional support, share our joys and our challenges, and are fun to be with at every age.
18. Believe. Faith has so many forms. Recognizing the good in the world, reading the Bible, chatting with G-d, formal praying. As we face the challenges of life, faith keeps us going through dark times and gives us strength in times of weakness. Believing there’s more to Life than just 24/7 life is empowering, as faith gives us a helping hand, helps us face stress, anxiety and fear.
I attended local Sabbath services with my dearest mother (until 120). The congregation sang time-honored prayers, prayed for the health of their loved ones and the welfare of the nation, read from the Torah scroll and blessed the Sabbath with wine. Faith is invigorating, and if friendship is important to seniors, friendship with Our Creator is huge.

19. Change it up. Seniors in my mother’s residence have a daily and weekly routine, but they are encouraged not to get stuck in a rut. There’s a mini-bus to the Mall to go out into the world a bit. The dinner menu varies every night (although Thursday is always dairy with ice cream. Yes!). Even something as simple as changing a seat breaks their routine and keeps them fresh – sitting at a different table for breakfast or dinner, picking a different seat at a show or at a lecture. Keep life fresh until 120.
20. Become more than yourself. Truthfully, I had another eight things I learned hanging out with my new bubby buddies, but I’d like to stop here and add a thought of my own. As we get older and spend more time worrying about our own health and well-being, sometimes our focus becomes overwhelmingly self-self-self. There are so many amazing ways that seniors can go beyond themselves and make a bigger imprint. Many seniors are probably involved in the follow ideas already, but I wanted to end with a few simple notions.
Charity, of course, is an important aspect of life – helping worthy institutions, causes, projects. Every check makes a difference to a person/organization in need. Tutoring disadvantaged children - wouldn’t it be cool if a bus of inner-city kids was brought to a senior residence twice a month so that seniors could help the kids with their reading. Wrap gifts for children in the hospital or decorate cookies that could be sold at charity events. Knitters or crochet-ers could put their skills to use making caps for premie babies or woolen caps for soldiers. Mentoring young people starting out in the world - seniors have so much life experience/ business experience/ non-profit experience they can give over. Possibilities are endless. 
No one is too old to give of himself. Everything/anything we do for others can change the world for the better, and we're never too old to be a life changer and share of ourselves. Every positive deed we do leaves our mark, “I was here.”


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Twenty lessons to live a long and happy life. (Part 1)

“By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea…”, this 1914 song is just as great today as it was back then, and so are its singers! I’ve just completed a fantastically positive extended stay in a senior citizens’ residence in Florida. True. I may not fit the average resident age of poo poo poo 95 yet, but they let me in just the same. Before I left my home, I wondered, what would I do all day? How could I relate to the octogenarians, nonagenarians, and centenarians with whom I’d be spending my time?
Well, thank G-d, I did great! Like everyone in the residence, I was busy from morning to night, and I spent quite a bit of time speaking to the terrific folks that lived there. I shmoozed in the gym, in the dining room and in the hallways. And we did fun activities together too.
I didn’t have connectivity in Florida (so more or less no internet [I survived]), and I didn’t waste my time. I soon noticed that these spectacular silver citizens had lots in common that may very well contribute to their longevity and laughter. I wrote down 20 DOs that I learned from the folks I met. Here are the first ten (in no particular order).
1. Eat blueberries. I’m putting this at the top of the list, because every day began with blueberries. Yes, ba ba ba baaaa super-blueberries! They’re filled with vitamins and fiber; they reduce cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease. They help improve memory!! They’re also yummm. And they are the object of every day’s conversation, “Do you know how much these cost in the store? Well, today….”
2. Smile a lot. No matter where we were in this Florida residence, everyone was smiling – the staff and the residents. I thought it must be something in the water, but I guess it began with a conscious effort to smile, and now everyone who walks through the sliding doors smiles. Even if they aren’t feeling tops, they smile at the moment. That encourages everyone who looks at them to smile too. And isn’t it a great feeling to walk around a place where folks looked so happy?
3. Own your age. I did not meet one person in the residence who was embarrassed about or hesitant to admit his/her age. In fact, they were proud of their age, and even prouder of their friends who had hit 101, 103 and 105. They looked at every year as a blessing.
4. Don’t/act your age. I never heard once during my stay in the senior residence, “I can’t go/do/participate because I’m old, or I’m __ (whatever age).” If an activity included lots of walking, so they walked less. If it including lots of listening, and they didn’t hear very well, so they did their best. I even spent one morning on the treadmill with a lady of 105 on the treadmill next to me. Okay, she walked at speed 2, but helllooo, she was walking on the treadmill. I wish that I and everyone reading would be able to walk on the treadmill at 105.
5. Greet everyone by name. I’m a friendly person and I can usually recognize familiar faces, but I’m bad with names. I better up my game. No matter where we went, the seniors and staff greeted every single person by their first name. Everyone’s name was important. Every person mattered. None of the staff were “the waitress” or “the desk clerk”. They were Melissa, Aggie, a name, a person who matters. And every resident was Helen, Audrey, Edith…What a great you-are-our-friend vibe!
6. Hug. Everyone there hugged all the time. On the way into dinner, into the shows, going into a car. Hug hug hug. The seniors hugged the waitresses, the residence’s administration, and the activity leaders. You could hardly walk out of a room without hugging someone. Now, I’m a big hugger, but they out-hugged me by miles. Who could be lonely, depressed or feel in a bad mood when you’re sharing hugs? I just found out that hugs strengthen the immune system, relax tension and even improve sleep quality. Besides all that, they feel great and spread love and caring. {{{xoxo}}}
7. Be pleasant. Unfortunately, seniors and anyone who lives life can suffer from many troubles – bad legs, bad hearing, high cholesterol, diabetes. There is no lack of tzores, but the majority of the seniors around me didn’t kvetch. Pleasant people really are happier, and they make those around them happier too. Grumpy Old Men may be a TV show (or maybe it’s a movie – I don’t get out much), but I noticed that at this senior residence, there was no atmosphere of nastiness or gripe, and very little self-pity. Acting pleasant then domino-ed to everyone around them.
8. Say yes/Say no. Who’s not tired after lunch? I know quite a number of countries whose residents take a siesta or afternoon break. But then, it’s time to jump/glide/ease back into action. My senior gang could have taken their naps and said, “We’ll just hang out until dinner,” but they said “yes” to playing rummy cub, canasta, mahjong, going to a class. Then again, no one can hulya morning, noon and night, so it’s wise to know your limits and say “no” sometimes. It will enable you to say “yes” when something special comes up.
9. Move. Moving around is an essential of life here.
Residents walk from their rooms to the elevator to the dining room to the theater. When they go on trips, they walk to the movies or in the mall. Mobility is critical for seniors – especially for the simple tasks of getting out of bed, heading to the bathroom, walking to the kitchen.  Mobility keeps you social and “in the game.” Speaking of mobility, I wrote that a lady of 105 was on the treadmill near mine. The speed she walked was not important, but the fact that she walked was amazing. Whenever the subject of mobility came up, the seniors said, “We’re going to keep moving around as long as we can!” May they succeed.
10. Look pretty, feel pretty. Look handsome, feel great. When I was younger Thursday was beauty parlor day. At the senior residence, any day that someone could get a lift to the beauty parlor made it “beauty parlor day”. Every day I was impressed that everyone B”H looked so great. Their hair was coiffed, their clothing clean and it was clear to see that everyone took pride in their appearances. The result - surely higher self-esteem, more interaction with their friends and an enhanced feeling of “I am dressed to take on the world.” You go, guys!
More to come.



Monday, November 27, 2017

Blessed be a Sandwich


What's a sandwich? Two pieces of bread with something squished in the middle. (My mother-in-law ad 120 puts a slice of honey cake between her bread, but that's another story.) They call folks in my stage of life, sandwiches. Thank G-d, we've got parents on one side of our attention and children and grandchildren on the other. I guess we could feel squished by the responsibilities of both, but instead of being compared to a peanut butter on toast or lox on a bagel, I'd rather think of myself as an overstuffed club sandwich with delicious deli meat, pickles, coleslaw and Russian dressing - full and flavorful.

I flew down to Florida today/ yesterday/ today/ whenever/ the day seems confused, to visit my dearest mother (may she live and be well until 120). It's my fourth time in America since my family made Aliyah 25 years ago. My mother used to travel to Israel twice every year, but it's gotten a bit harder for her lately. So, here I am with my daughter in sunny Florida to visit "Bubby".

We hit the ground running, dropping off our bags in her apartment and immediately attending two programs in her senior residence - A Virtual Visit to Ellis Island and Remembering Tin Pan Alley.

None of the seniors in the room had come through Ellis Island, although they said their parents had. Everyone had a story - the kid with an eye infection, the tailor who got the name Schneider, etc.

Music-R-Us

The Tin Pan Alley program was supposed to have piano accompaniment. When the pianist didn't show, the lecturer was disappointed. Talking about Tin Pan Alley without music is kind of like going to an ice cream parlor that's all out of your favorite flavors. Everyone sat quietly as she spoke about the music of Gorge M. Cohan and Irving Berlin. This would not do! My sister and I began singing every song the lecturer spoke about - By the Light of the Silvery Moon, Over There,  K-K-K-Katy, Give My Regards to Broadway, Yes We Have No bananas, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Swanee and more. (They should hire us to perform.) Some other voices chimed in and we had such a rousing good time. The only thing missing was the beer.

Sitting together at a speech.
Then we met some of my mother's friends. They were so thrilled we came in from Israel. They remembered traveling there in 1972, 1989 after the Six Day War, after the Golan communities were formed. None had visited less than twenty years ago. Boy, I told them, things have really changed. They were happy to know that Israel has grown and prospered.

B"H, I'm lucky to be spending time with my Mom on her home turf, and I'm looking forward to her next trip to Israel to visit her great-grandkids.  Pastrami on rye, anyone? Yummm.




Friday, November 24, 2017

Intersecting Circles 1 & 2

I will probably write many blogs that will be called intersecting circles. Isn't that the way life is? We don't just sit at our desk and do our work, baste chicken and cut up potatoes, or attend dance class and twirl with abandon.
Working at our desk, we answer the phone to find that our friend lost her keys and needs a lift. With the chicken in our hands, we look down to see the worrying kid with homework trouble. As we pirouette across the dance floor, we get an emergency call from the babysitter.
Different circles of our lives intersect with other circles - work, home, culture, fun.
So, today while writing one show, rehearsals are underway for another. In my world, they're even often at the same location.
This morning, after a Rhythm and Romp dance rehearsal for DAMES of the DANCE 10 - LEGACY, I was back to work on rewrites of my new musical production "HIDDEN - The Secret Jews of Spain" with my co-author Avital Macales. We reviewed dialogue and hummed each tune as it popped up in the script, but the strains of Indian music kept mixing in with our Spanish songs. Interesting blend, but not exactly right for either production.

The toasty-warm kitchen smelled like Ashkenazi Shabbat as Avital and I traveled back in time to seventeenth-century Madrid to further explore our hero's dilemma. The living room was freezing, but Bollywood co-choreographers Bati Katz and Shifra A-C Penkower were sweating as they seemed to be in an intense workout of the upbeat high-energy jumping and bouncing that characterize Bollywood dance.
This is the first year that Bollywood will be part of DAMES, but this year's theme of Legacy makes the style perfect for our show. A legacy of the Jewish people and a dream have been to welcome our brethren from the four corners of the earth. Many Indian Jews, Bnei Menashe, have made their way to nearby Kiryat Arba with the help of the Shavei Israel organization. We also hope they'll make their way to our stage.
So, our circles collided and filled the house with creativity.


A perfect morning.

Monday, November 20, 2017

50s, 60s and 70


I spent the most amazing morning in a Gush Etzion sound studio. Thanks to a music mix, I got to mix with a super creative group of women whose ages spanned three decades. A writer and a soloist in their 50s, (me) a producer in her 60s and a project manager who turns 70. But age had no influence on the excitement and originality that we brought all together to that sound room.

Jocelyn Reisman Odenheimer, 53, is the energetic and ingenious choreographer of the DAMES of the DANCE troupe The Saturday Night Dancers. This year, DAMES’ mega-dance spectacular will be celebrating its tenth year of dancing for charity. It brings together about 100 women from varied backgrounds, ages and communities who donate their time and their talents to the needy and needy projects.
The Saturday Night Dancers strut their stuff in 60s and 70s dancing. Jocelyn thought the SNDers deserved a special song to mark DAMES’ decade anniversary, and she wrote a parody on Y-M-C-A by the Village People. It’s called, of course, D-A-M-E-S and it’s g-r-e-a-t.

Marci Wiesel, 50, is a renowned paper cut artist, reflexologist, naturopath medical student, and a super-shiny stage personality and singer. Marci wowed audiences on stage in Gush Etzion in the title roles of JOSEPH and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and NOAH! Ride the Wave! for the Raise Your Spirits theater company. When Marci recorded her solos, we felt her dazzle through the microphone.

I’m up next, Sharon Katz, 62, founder and producer of DAMES and founder of Raise Your Spirits. The women wanted me to pop by the studio to participate in all the excitement and fun, and get a preview of our great new song. Wow, I feel privileged that I did.

Cheryl Mandel, soon to be 70, started the SNDers 10 years ago for the first DAMES. She still consults on choreography, dances with the group and handles its organizational tasks. Cheryl thoroughly project-managed this recording, booking the studio and organizing the talent.
Teamed up in the studio, we rocked, we danced, we changed a line here and there, and we thrilled to DAMES of the DANCE’s new anthem!! I wish I could play it for you. It’s still in the works.
Thanks to Cheryl, Jocelyn, Marci and the other wonderful women who participated, Judith Epstein, Yael Simckes and Alona Cole. I can’t stop humming your song.
BTW, if you’d like the most beautiful of paper cuts, look no further then www.papercutjudaica.com, 052-811-9400, marci@papercutjudaica.com.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

On Stage after 70

Just about every little girl prances in front of the mirror and imagines herself a star, enjoying the applause from her adoring audience. Razzle dazzle, thank you and you and you! Yet, I wonder how many little girls imagined themselves still on stage at 70 years old?
Forget 70. What about 90?

Sylvia Dombey is a feisty 91-year-old who made Aliya from Hendon, England, five years ago, because she didn’t want to paint her house and pull up her rugs. Really. Sylvia had performed for 20 years in England with her late husband for all kinds of organizations. They raised nearly 20,000 pounds for charity doing shows about the lives of famous performers, like Judy Garland, Rogers and Hammerstein, and the greatest of all Sophie Tucker.
“Sophie Tucker!” Sylvia declared, “People don’t even know who I’m talking about.”
Actually, I know exactly who she was talking about, because my grandfather, o’h, raised us on Sophie’s classic, “Some of these daysssssss. Ya gonna miss me, honey.”
Sylvia developed a love of performing at a young age. On Sunday visits to her grandparents, her grandfather used to ask her to “put on the alta kreckers”, the old record albums. “They used to crackle, you know!”
Upon Aliya, Sylvia performed her shows in Jerusalem’s AACI - Americans and Canadians in Israel. Then at 89, she retired from the stage, and today is busy with weekly programs at AACI, Hadassah book club and her grandchildren who live in Greater Jerusalem.
Sylvia proved that she’s still got it when she sang some of her classics over the phone to me. I couldn’t help but sing along.
Ruth as Nimrod on his throne.
Photo by www.imagesthroughtime.com.
Ruth Sager, 71.5, began on stage as a three-and-a-half-year-old ballerina. Toe dancing (ouch) at eight years old pushed her to other performing pursuits. “I didn’t realize as a young person, how much [performing] was part of my identity.”
Over the years she's done radio, cable TV, voice-overs, plus music and dance therapy workshops. There always seemed to be a performing opportunity – in Melbourne, Australia, Papua, New Guinea, Boston, Mass., and here in Israel where Ruth and her husband Mike moved in 1993.
She launched her Israeli acting career with a 48-hour-combustion play project with Rafi Poch, and her theater engine has been running ever since. Ruth’s speaking voice is simply unique. Last year in addition to her other on-stage characters, Ruth narrated the title song in Jerusalem's re-imagined  COUNT THE STARS – The Journey of Avraham and Sara (which I co-created and co-produced with the amazing Avital Macales for The Women’s Performance Community of Jerusalem 2016 production with OU Israel). Nothing slows this girl down. Following on STARS’ heels, she started learning Improv with Debbie Hirsch, appeared in AACI’s Chana Senesh and in a recent Torah Live film.
Always expanding her horizons and ready to perform, Ruth said, “I think since 70, life has been really interesting for my husband and myself. We have a creative life. I feel in some ways that I’m only beginning.”

Netta, right in the center of the fun.
Netta deVriend, 71, was not a star struck youth yearning for the footlights. That didn’t keep her from joining the choir of JOSEPH and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 2001 for the Raise Your Spirits theater company (which I founded because of the terror around us). “I saw the energy, the achdut (unity) and the beauty of it [despite the terror] going on. With the little ones and the big ones, everyone gave chizuk (strength) to each other, during that stage of our lives, having suffered quite a few losses [due to the terror] on the road, and it made me feel part of the community.”
Once Netta took her place on stage, she never left. She is one of the few performers who has appeared in every Raise Your Spirits production since JOSEPH.
Netta, who lived in Holland and Australia before her Aliya, said that not only does she not feel like 71 - 71 was her old elementary school teacher who wore grey dresses and kept her hair in a bun - she thinks she’s a better performer today than 16 years ago. “I don’t perform for money. I do it to make others happy, and because of the energy of the group. It’s something you don’t see anywhere else.”
Bakol, left, in a scene from THE LOST LIGHT.
Bakol Gellar. Bakol. With a name that congers up smoky-throated Lauren Bacall, of course, she’s got to be an actress. The performing bug bit Bakol at age five. She went to arts camp, and wanted to go to theatre school. She started a Jewish theater in Bloomington, Indiana (who would believe there were Jews in Indiana) and performed in America in Chaim’s Lovesong, playing the part of a Holocaust survivor who visited Israel and convinced her husband to make Aliya.
After Bakol made Aliya in 2009, the first thing she did was get a job doing dramatic readings of Shai Agnon stories in the Agnon House on holidays…then a play for Eli Kaplan Wildman at the Agnon House and Beit Avichai, several things for JEST (Jerusalem English Speaking Theater, which is no longer around), an historical re-enactment in honor of Hadassah’s 100th Anniversary, living museum characters at the Israel Museum, plus shows at the AACI, like A Little Night Music, the Yom HaShoa production Remember My Name, Avenue Q, an indie film, plus several episodes of Torah Live productions (on which I serve as production manager). She even filmed a TV pilot recently.
In her 70th year, Bakol’s still got the bug. She said, “If someone woke me up at 2 AM and said, ‘I have a part for you’, I would jump out of bed and do it. An actor acts and I hope I’ll be doing it until I literally can’t.”
Cheryl in DAMES. Photo by www.imagesthroughtime.com.
Cheryl Mandel is a go-go dancer. Okay, she’s not still a go-go- dancer, but her teenage go-go dance personality has never left her, even now as she turns 70. If you watched the weekly teen dance shows in Canada more than 50 years ago, you’d find Cheryl monkeying around. She’s still at it every Saturday night, as she ponies, twists and shimmies with women half her age. In fact, she leads the women across the dance floor half the time.
While she didn’t dance as a young mother, she returned to the stage in her 50s, when she cracked up audiences as a hairy Ishmaelite in Raise Your Spirits’ JOSEPH. She continued dancing while she croaked her way into her audiences’ hearts as a raven in the RYS productions NOAH! Ride the Wave! and then as a cackling slave in RUTH & NAOMI in the Fields of Bethlehem. It was during ESTHER and the Secrets in the King’s Court that Cheryl showed everyone what a powerful figure she was off stage, as well. Toward the end of the show's run, Cheryl's son, Daniel, HY”D, was killed in an IDF military operation. Since then she has devoted her life to doing good works to honor her son’s memory.
Cheryl took on a new challenge at age 60, when she created a dance-autobiography for DAMES of the DANCE (which I founded in 2007), and then expanded it to a movie autobiography. For the past 10 years, Cheryl has lit up the DAMES stage with her fantastically popular dance-theater numbers and kept her fellow dancers energized with her fun personality and wacky laugh. Cheryl said, “I love working with others in developing the idea, the choreography, the costumes and music, and then putting it together.  It’s a very big creative challenge.”
Cheryl has taken on three more challenges this year. She’s teaching a dance class for bereaved women through the One Family organization and feels “it’s one of the most significant things I’ve ever done.” She’s organizing a group of women for the adventure of a lifetime to India. And she’s now giving workshops called, THE DANCE OF COPING. For a fun time, call Cheryl, mandelcheryl@gmail.com. 😜, or you can contact her for an inspirational speaker, a wise woman and a role model.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Advice to the Younger Me and Me Now


This great clip features older women giving advice to their younger selves and young women in general. You know what? It's good advice at any age. "Spend more time BEING, not doing."

Watch the clip here: https://youtu.be/ltVPj6-5xpo

Twenty lessons to live a long and happy life. (Part 2)

When they look back on life, many folks would say that their grandparents had the biggest effect on the people they became. Unending love....