Need Help Getting Garbage Cans to the Curb?


Good news!

The City of Seattle collectors of garbage, yard waste and recycling can go to your backyard (or wherever you store your cans) and get them for you!

All you have to do is call SPU Customer Service at 206.684.3000 and tell them you need “Carts-to-Curb” Help.

The additional fee for this service may be waived if all of the following apply to you:

1. Have curbside collection
2. Are unable to take your garbage, yard waste or recycling to the curb or alley for collection due to mental or physical disabilities or health problems (medical verification may be required)
3. Have no one living in the home who can assist you
4. Have a yard with challenging terrain or landscaping

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Have You Seen Our New Events and Activities Page?

By Marguerite Langlois

Now you can see all the Village events and activities together on one page on our Village website. Use it to plan ahead, to not miss any of your favorite activities, and to try new ones! We’re also including key Greenwood Senior Center events; there are many interesting, informative, and fun things happening at GSC. (GSC events are open to all and many are free; Village membership includes member prices for paid GSC events.) Go to You can also find the page in the left column list from any page on the Village website: New this fall: look for special events cosponsored by both the Village and GSC.

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Intergenerational Living in the Netherlands

PBS header

Student Onno Selbach interacts with two nursing home residents at Humanitas in the Netherlands. Selbach helped create an intergenerational program there that offers students rent-free housing. (Photo courtesy of Humanitas)

By Carey Reed
April 5, 2015

A nursing home in the Netherlands allows college students to live rent-free alongside the elderly residents under two conditions: Be a good neighbor and do not be a nuisance to the seniors. The students are required to do a variety of activities with the older residents, including watching sports, celebrating birthdays and offering companionship when seniors fall ill. The program is aimed at warding off the negative effects of aging.

Read the rest of this article at PBS NewsHour

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Interview with New President of the Board, Terry Cook

By Liz Bjorkman


Our current President of the PNA Village Board is Terry Cook; following is an interview with her.

How did you become interested in PNA Village?

I read several articles about Villages and thought Villages were a great alternative to a formal retirement home. It appeals to me because it allows me to live in my own home and community very much like my grandmothers and father did. I like the idea of expanding my relationships beyond the people on my block. I called Lee Harper and asked if the PNA had considered doing something like this, and she said “funny you should ask” and gave me Ed Medeiros’s number. I went to the next meeting and signed on to help create the PNA Village.

How did you become President of the Board?

The truth? I missed the meeting where they nominated people so I was it. I am more comfortable working behind the scenes so this was a big challenge for me. However, I am enjoying being president as this is an exciting time as the Village looks to expand membership and move into new services. We have great members and volunteers that make this a wonderful organization to belong to and work with as we move forward. The Village is their creation.

Have you served PNA Village in other capacities?

I started with the steering committee early on as well as working with the Business Vendor committee until I became president. Currently I am a volunteer and volunteer driver, and I sit on the finance committee.  

What is the future for the PNA Village Board?

We are looking to expand our board membership to include people in the Seattle area who work in areas related to seniors. The next three years will be challenging and exciting, and we need people who share our commitment to aging in the community. We have been very fortunate in our board members to date, and I am grateful for their enthusiasm and energy.

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Enjoying a Parade With Less Hassle

Greenwood Seafair via Seattle Times

By Alyssa McFarland

Do you enjoy a parade? Perhaps you used to go to the Seafair parade or Fremont Solstice Parade, but now it seems like too much trouble? Annoyed by the crowds and the sun in your eyes? Since my daughter is a member of a drill team, I went to a lot of parades last summer and now feel qualified to help you get the most out of any parade you attend.

  • The best place to sit is by the judges’ stand. This is where any group in the parade who has an act to perform will be strutting their stuff. You’ll get the most entertainment value for your time by sitting here, because otherwise you might find all those drill teams, drum lines, comedy skits, and dance troupes just marching on by you. The judges’ stand is typically near the middle of any parade route, and is demarcated by a tent or canopy or a raised platform of some kind. If you are coming close to the start of the parade, you’ll know the judges’ stand by listening for the sound of the announcer’s voice. During the parade, you can learn more about each group that passes by listening to what the announcer has to say about them.
  • If it’s an evening parade like our Greenwood Seafair parade, put out a seat early if you can, like by noon at the latest. Think about where the sun will be when you will be there, so you can avoid having the sun right in your eyes. Put your name on your chair with a Sharpie pen. I’ve been leaving my chair out for years and it’s always there for me later.
  • Dress in layers, as it can be sweltering at the beginning and quite cool by the end. Put on sunblock if you are sensitive to the sun. And don’t forget your sun hat and sun glasses.
  • If you’re like me and base your activities around bathroom availability, you should know there are normally portable toilets at parades. If this doesn’t appeal to you, some stores and restaurants are gracious enough to open their facilities to the crowd. In Greenwood, you can count on Fred Meyer to have its doors open for you, and Fred Meyer is typically where the judges’ stand is too…bonus!

The next parade in our neighborhood is the 65th Annual Greenwood Seafair Parade, July 22, 2015 from 6-8:30pm. This year’s theme is “Don’t Rain on My Parade”. The parade route is Greenwood Avenue between N 95th & N 85th, then west to 6th Ave NW.

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Playgrounds for Seniors Popping Up in U.S.

senior playground

By Leigh Ann Renzulli
September 2012—

Bobby Dinkins admits his idea to build a playground for seniors wasn’t exactly original. “I actually just got the idea [through] Google,” says Dinkins, director of the Boyd Esler Senior and Community Center in Springfield Township, Ohio. “I went online and googled ‘exercise equipment for seniors’ and read about the Hyde Park playground in England. I realized they were really popular in Europe and Asia, but not over here.”

Dinkins is right: Playgrounds designed specifically for aging residents have popped up in England, Finland, Germany and throughout Asia. But the idea is just now taking off in the U.S. The parks feature low-impact exercise equipment designed to promote balance and flexibility, such as elliptical machines, static bikes and body flexors.

After securing $33,500 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the facility, Dinkins opened it last November. “The idea behind the equipment is to get seniors to stay active and to prevent them from falling,” Dinkins says. “Improving balance is important because a fall can be physically and emotionally devastating for seniors. Plus, it’s just fun.”

Read the full article on

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Silver Foxes

Silver Foxes aerialist VimeoBy A.B. McFarland

Have you heard of The Silver Foxes? This group of over-40 aerialists held their 3rd annual show at our own Greenwood neighborhood studio, Versatile Arts. Below you’ll find some video links from their performance:

Silver Foxes aerialists Vimeo

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Poem by A. B. McFarland

There is a thread

that reaches back

through the needle-eye of history


and forward

toward tomorrow’s beyond.

It connects all those present

in the now

with the ancient people

who wanted so very much to help us


our best selves

that they left pages and sayings;


for us children.

Now grown, we feel how close the thread’s end

is to our fingertips.

We wake up —


now we know

why our elders spent nights telling yarns by candlelight,

and sunlit days showing us how to tie knots.

Consider how you might take the hand of someone

newer to this world than yourself

and be a guide

for the benefit of


before the end —

worn and frayed

slips through the hole where you once were.

·    ·    ·

A. B. McFarland is a PNA Village member and volunteer. She has recently written a novel, Pieces of Home, in which a poet loses her home to a house fire, ends up living with a family she barely knows, and lives are changed in the process. It is available at Couth Buzzard and

Poem originally published on A. B. McFarland’s blog here.

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Reading for the Weary

antique books By Alyssa McFarland

Some days (or months, or years) you just can’t summon the energy to actually read a book, and it makes you melancholy, because reading is something you really enjoy. Maybe it’s just a temporary condition for you – you’re ill or just had surgery, perhaps – and you know your love for reading will return eventually. Or maybe this weariness for reading has been going on for a long time. If you’re like me, you occasionally go through phases where reading seems to take too much brain power. But still…books call to you, like needy kittens and puppies, begging for your attention.

So what can you do? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Books on tape can be especially helpful when your eyes are tired or just not working as well as they used to. You can relax, even lie down, and listen to someone else read to you.
  • A change of genre might be what you need. For example, if you read history books, try a little poetry. Or instead of fantasy, try a how-to book.
  • Revisit some of your favorite books from an earlier era of your life. Even making a list of, say, the books you read when you were a teenager, could be inspiring.
  • Children’s books aren’t only for children. Whether it’s picture books or chapter books for a younger audience, you can find some top quality entertainment in books geared toward a younger audience.
  • You could skip words entirely and indulge in some art books or coffee table books with great photos of places you have never been or would like to visit someday.
  • Get out of the house and browse the shelves of your local library, bookstore, or museum gift shop. Visit an art gallery and see if any of the paintings inspire you to learn about the lives of the artists, or a different place or time.
  • Clear your head by taking some time to watch the clouds, birds, and squirrels in your neighborhood.

Taking a vacation from your usual reading habits might be just what the doctor ordered!

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Book Review: “Life Gets Better”

Life Gets Better coverLIFE GETS BETTER: The Unexpected Pleasures of Growing Older, by Wendy Lustbader (Tarcher, 2011)

By Alyssa McFarland

Reading Life Gets Better by local author Wendy Lustbader is like sitting down with a friend who regales you with brief stories about how people have weathered the storms of their lives and settled down into more peaceful waters. It can be comforting to read these stories and know that life can, in fact, get better.

The early chapters of the book weren’t doing much for me and at first I thought, “I’ll read enough to write a review and then give the book to my mom or something.” But by the end of the book I was savoring every chapter and thinking I’d have to get a new copy for my mom and maybe my mother-in-law as well, so sure I was I’d want to read the book again someday.

For a book that contains so many personal stories, there’s a lot of breadth and depth. The author has interacted with many people throughout her life, and has collected stories from other sources and from her own life experience. The book covers a lot of ground: there are chapters on loss, generosity, relationships, and beginner’s mind, to name just a few.

“If youth is the piling on of identities out of a need to feel substantial, later life is boring down into the depths of the essential,” Lustbader says.

Some of the most memorable parts of the book for me were when she described the personality change her mother went through in her final months (becoming a better listener and friend), and when she shared her secret for becoming a confident public speaker (remember that everyone in the room will one day be dead and won’t remember what you said).

“If youth is the piling on of identities out of a need to feel substantial, later life is boring down into the depths of the essential,” Lustbader says. I’m forty-five and have noticed that as teenagers, we tended to box ourselves into specific identities like outsider, jock or cheerleader. Then as new adults, we begin piling on identities culled from job, hobby or parenting roles, which make our personas more complex, but also make life complicated. I am relieved to think that in a couple of decades, I can shed some of these roles, and – like one of the people mentioned in her book – eventually refine my material possessions down to a single shelf of books.

Even for a relatively younger person such as myself, the book has lessons that can be helpful. She says, “We must move through difficulty, rather than try to get around it, if we wish to be strengthened by life experience.” This is true no matter what your age.


Find this book!

Seattle Public Library:

Indie Bound:


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