Thursday, September 27

Handwritten Letters and a Hidden Hero

by Harvey Gould

In 1938 Deborah was twenty eight years old, married and struggling financially, but she and her husband decided that a trip abroad might help her recover from her year-and-a-half bout with tuberculosis. 

Because she was an ardent Zionist, instead of taking a fun-filled vacation, Deborah chose to go to Palestine, a dangerous place at the time. 

The Great Arab Revolt, an uprising against British rule and Jewish immigration, was then in full throttle. Upon arrival she lived and worked on kibbutzim, but sometimes was prevented from traveling to Haifa and Tel Aviv because of ongoing bombings and murders. 

Eventually, she traveled throughout Syria, Lebanon and Transjordan. Then she returned to Palestine where she conferred with Golda Meyerson (later known to the world as Golda Meir). She met numerous Jews who had relatives living in Vienna from whom they’d heard nothing since the Nazis had occupied Austria as of March. Because of that lack of communication Deborah decided to engage in a dangerous mission.
In September of 1938, she traveled to Vienna, and at grave danger to herself, hand-delivered letters to those relatives. At times she was followed for hours by Nazi operatives because she was in the company of local Jews.

She attended Der ewig Jude (The Eternal Jew), an exhibition “demonstrating” how Jews evolved from rats. She brought a German interpreter with her to be sure she understood everything said. Though attending the “exhibition” made her sick, she felt that she had to see it for herself to better explain to others the German government’s role in promoting the rise in anti-Semitic hatred and violence.

When Deborah returned home she gave a series of lectures, admonishing that European Jewry was doomed unless the major powers would act to protect them.

After our mother died, my sister and I found the brochure she’d purchased at the Der ewig Jude exhibition and letters she’d written to my father during her 1938 trip. We always knew we’d been raised by a loving mom, but only after her death did we realize that we’d also been raised by a hero.

Guest blogger Harvey Gould is the author of A Fierce Local: Memoirs of My Love Affair with Ireland, a finalist in the San Francisco Writers Conference Indie Publishing Contest. For more information, visit or check out Harvey’s blog.

Friday, September 21

Creating Inspiration and Providing Information for Baby Boomers and their Parents

by Patricia Pickett

I remember my mother looking at me over the top of her newspaper and saying, “If I didn’t know any better, I’d think everyone in Indianapolis over 50 is dead.”

Mom always knew how to get my attention … and I obligingly asked, “Why’s that?”

“Do you see one thing about anyone older than 55 in this paper, this magazine or on TV?”

She was gesturing a lot…perhaps it was a slight exaggeration, but she had a point. There were very few “cover girls” from the greatest generation. Sure, there was the occasional “special section” featuring happy looking folks in assisted living facilities or the ever-popular story about some grandmother who beat the tar out of a would-be robber with her purse … but not a whole lot about Central Indiana’s active, vibrant, over-55 population.

I also noticed that there wasn’t a local place for caregivers to go and kvetch about their gesturing parents or gain much insight into programs and opportunities that might assist them in their journey.

Seeing my mom’s frustrations and listening to her friends who faced similar issues are reasons that organizations like Indy Creative Aging are so important to me.

Indy Creative Aging is dedicated to giving the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population a place to build a sense of community and to providing information and inspiration. It’s about empowering people with knowledge so that they can enjoy their later years independently and safely.

So whether you’re 55 years or older or caring for someone who is, I encourage a visit to the Indy Creative Aging website at, where you can celebrate aging and life’s experiences by sharing stories and learning about upcoming community events and volunteer opportunities.

Guest blogger Patricia Pickett is a native of Central Indiana and a proud graduate of Butler University. She grew up in an entrepreneurial household and owns her own business offering strategic communications to clients, including IndyCreativeAging. She relishes the moments with her grandsons (ages 4 & 2) and believes one’s plate is never too full for dessert. 

Wednesday, September 19

Six Steps to Raising a Healthier Child

By Katherine Matutes

As a nutritionist, I often become concerned whenever I see a child who is evidently overweight or obese. I feel this way because I know childhood obesity is likely to lead to health issues throughout life. 
Nearly two thirds of overweight or obese youth will become overweight or obese adults, according to David Katz, MD, at the Yale PreventionResearch Center. These adults then experience increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. 

I am also keenly aware that the overweight or obese child is likely to suffer from low self esteem, increased social isolation and teasing with studies indicating that obese children report their self perceived quality of life at the same level as children living with cancer.

For parents, there are strategies to help your children live healthier, but they are not always easy to employ and take real commitment to execute.

Parents’ Six Steps for a Healthier Child

Be a good role model – let your child see you making healthy food choices and exercising (even better if you can exercise together). They watch everything you do and although they probably won’t admit it- they emulate your behavior.

Limit screen time to 30 minutes – yes, I said 30 minutes per day. And by screen time, I mean TV watching, computer time or gaming. More time at the screen usually means less time being active.

Get 60 minutes of activity per day – my children’s recess is only 20 minutes per day including the time they line up and walk out to the playground. Don’t rely on school or daycare to provide your child’s daily activity, because they are not getting enough activity at school to meet their needs. Exercise at home needs to contribute to their necessary daily dose of movement.

Eat more fruits and vegetables – strive to make half your plate fruits and vegetables at every meal of the day.

Eat meals together as a family – this is a time for you to be a good role model and also a time to slow down, be mindful of what you are eating and connect as a family.

Seek support from experts – this could be your pediatrician, a registered dietitian or nutritionist.  Losing weight is doubly complex for a growing youth and the media is awash in fad diets and recommendations that aren’t the healthiest way to lose weight. It is very difficult for a parent to wean through the deluge of information available and make the best choice. Recognizing that your child is heading towards a weight issue is the first step, and the most important next step is taking action before it becomes a lifelong battle.