ANV Holiday Lunch, Friday, December 15, at noon
Please RSVP for the ANV Holiday Lunch on Friday, December 15 at noon – 2pm. We will gather again at the Church of the Covenant, 2666 Military Road for a light lunch, holiday cheer, and our Holiday Raffle. You are welcome to bring a dessert to share with your friends. Register by emailing Office@ANVarlington.org or calling 703-509-8057.
Roosevelt Island Walk: December 21
The winter seasonal walk at Theodore Roosevelt Island takes place December 21 at 11:00 am. Remember, walks this year are on Thursday, not Saturday. Details below.
Opportunity for County Budget Feedback
The County Manager is seeking your feedback to help guide the Fiscal Year 2025 budget. Arlington County is facing a $25-to-$40-million shortfall as our economy continues to evolve and adapt to changing realities. This means that the County must make difficult budget choices to continue being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. This is where you come in. The County is seeking your recommendations for balancing the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. I just completed the survey; it took just a few minutes, encouraging a greater investment in seniors. Share your thoughts today!
Eyeglasses Drive for Lions Club
Thank you to all ANV members and volunteers who donated eyeglasses at our Thanksgiving Celebration. Our donation drive was a great success, yielding 47 pairs of eyeglasses which will be delivered to the Arlington Lions Club by one of our ANV volunteers this week.
Medicare Open Enrollment Season
Medicare Open Enrollment ends December 7. This is the deadline to ensure that your Medicare Prescription Drug coverage is right for you. Your needs change and plan offerings change each year so it is important to do an annual “checkup.” Arlington offers free Medicare counseling from well-trained volunteers through VICAP (Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program). Learn how to use the Medicare Plan finder and other tools to maximize savings. Please sign up by visiting this website, emailing Medicarehelp@arlingtonva.us or calling 703-228-1725.
- Peggy Goldstein
- Margie Sauber
- Michele Brem
- Donna Loop
- Hamish Park
- Mecha Santos
ANV Events are posted on our online calendar at www.ANVarlington.org/events so you can always easily find the Zoom link for any scheduled event.
Coffee and Conversation on Wednesdays at 10 am
- December 6: Local author Michelle Brafman
- December 13: Public Radio Broadcaster Mary Cliff
- December 20: Sweet Treat Swaps: Plant-based Holiday Baking
- December 27: In-person New Year’s Welcome
- Tai Chi
- Bocce and Boules
- Happy Hour
- Board Games
- Men’s Lunch Bunch
- Ladies Lunch
- Pop Up Picnic
- Page Turners
Also of Interest
Coffee and Conversation: Wednesdays at 10 am
Coffee and Conversation occurs on Wednesdays, 10–11 am. Join our weekly conversations via Zoom:
You also have the option to dial in by phone to participate without video. For that, dial: 929-205-6099. The meeting ID is 889 4857 7106 and the passcode is 872327.
Wednesday, December 6: Christmas is a great time to tell ghost stories. Local author Michelle Brafman’s recently published novel Swimming with Ghosts is inspired by Arlington’s local history. In her presentation, Ms. Brafman will explain how local history informs her writing. She’ll also talk about her career as a writer and teacher and update us on her current projects.
Wednesday, December 13, 2023: Public Radio Broadcaster Mary Cliff is the creator of Traditions, Washington DC’s longest-running Radio Show devoted to Folk Music. After more than 50 years as the voice of DC Folk Music, Mary is retiring. Learn about her long and storied career and about her plans for the future.
Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Sweet Treat Swaps: Plant-based Holiday Baking with Dr. Julia Doto, Assistant Professor, Health and Human Performance, Marymount University. Learn to bake tasty, healthy treats for the holidays! We’ll discuss easy, low-cost alternatives to milk, butter, eggs, and oil for your favorite recipes. Our guest, Dr. Julia Doto, will be making Ginger Snap Cookies and Apple Pie “Ice” Cream.
Wednesday, December 27: Welcome the New Year in person. We will share details in the December 15 newsletter along with location.
ANV’s YouTube channel
If you miss a Coffee and Conversation speaker, be sure to check out ANV’s YouTube channel where we are posting some of our Coffee and Conversation speakers and other special events. Sit back and enjoy!
Save the Date, Holiday Party
Friday, December 15 at noon – 2 pm
Please join us to celebrate the December holidays at the annual ANV Holiday Lunch on Friday, December 15 from noon – 2 pm at the Church of the Covenant, 2666 Military Road. We will be serving a light lunch; you are welcome to bring a dessert to share with your friends. We will have a raffle for a few special gifts and good cheer. Wear your festive holiday clothes. Please register by calling the ANV office at 703-509-8057 or email office@ANVarlington.org.
Roosevelt Island Walk, Thursday, December 21 at 11am
The winter seasonal walk at Theodore Roosevelt Island takes place at 11:00 am on Thursday, December 21. Please note that the walks this year are on Thursdays not Saturday. This easy community walk takes about one hour. You, your family, friends and nice dogs on leash are invited and RSVP is not needed. The 11:00 am meeting point is at the landward end of the footbridge to the island. Access by auto to the island parking lot is only from the northbound George Washington Parkway. In addition, paid parking is available in Rosslyn on the street and in garages. The meeting point is a 15-minute walk from the Rosslyn Metro and bus stop. As usual this is a rain-or-shine event; no rain date. Questions, call David Christian at 703-785-3434 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zoom Practice Session
If you need some extra help getting familiar with ZOOM, just call or email office@ANVarlington.org and we will set you up with a volunteer who can help you.
Tai Chi: Tuesdays at 9:30 am
ANV Tai Chi practice meets outdoors every week, weather permitting. Meet the group in the parking lot at Museum of Contemporary Art (formerly Arlington Arts Center) at 3550 Wilson Blvd. If the forecast is too cold or wet, we will meet indoors. If you are interested in joining this practice (not instruction), please contact Anita Wallgren at email@example.com or (202) 674-5553 to get the weekly location email.
Bocce and Boules, Winter Hiatus for Outdoor Play
Bocce & Boules will take a winter break starting in December. Indoor bocce and lunch at Pinstripes in Georgetown is planned for later in January 2024. The January 15th Community Update will have more information on dates and times. Contact John Thomas for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANV Board Games Day, Thursday, December 14 and December 28 at 2pm
Do you like board games? Join ANV members and volunteers for Games Day at Ballston Quarter Food Hall (lower level). Look for players at the tables near the elevators. Play games like Rummikub, Mexican Train Dominoes, Ticket to Ride, Quiddler and more. We play every other Thursday at 2pm. Parking is available in the Ballston Quarter parking garage for $1. Contact John Thomas for more information at email@example.com .
Happy Hour: Thursdays, 5–7 pm
Join the ANV Happy Hour Group. The Happy Hour Group will try locations in the Ballston area. For more information and to know the weekly plan, contact Mike Murtha, Happy Hour Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mike will add you to his email list and let you know the weekly location on Thursday morning.
Ladies and Men’s Lunch, December 8 at noon
Back by popular request, we will once again have a combined men’s and ladies lunch to share holiday cheer. We will meet at noon, December 8 at Thai Treasure, 3811 Fairfax Drive. Thai Treasure is a real Arlington “treasure” featuring authentic Thai Street Food in a modern restaurant in the heart of Arlington, proudly using the freshest & locally sourced ingredients. Metered street parking is available. The restaurant is within walking distance from the Ballston and Virginia Square metros. Please RSVP to email@example.com so we may have an accurate count.
SPECIAL NOTE: We will be collecting food for AFAC so please feel free to bring a donation (non-perishable food; can or paper goods, no glass).
Page Turners – December at 28, 11am on Zoom
Share a book that you have read, and you think would be interesting for other people to read. It can be something you are reading now, or a book you enjoyed in the past. Meet up with your fellow bibliophiles, share opinions, and learn about new books to add to your reading list. The group is hosted by Donna Pastore and Beverly Cannizzaro.
Join the conversation via Zoom:
You also have the option to dial in by phone to participate without video. For that, dial: 301-715-8592. The meeting ID is 896 6678 5566 and the passcode is 007241.
Pop Up Picnic in the Park (PPP)
PPPs are on hiatus for the winter months. We hope to see you again as soon as the weather warms up.
Arlington Public Library Programs
The Library has several events planned for October; please visit their website to see the calendar of events. The Library staff have curated events from the 55+ Program, Encore Learning and elsewhere to make it easy to find something that will pique your interest. There are craft programs, book clubs, and more. It’s worth 5 minutes of your time to click on the calendar and see what’s happening at your local branch of the library.
Coping With The Holidays after the Loss of a Loved One
The holiday season is upon us! Everywhere around us the decorations are going up, the stores are all having holiday sales, and people are becoming cheerful. But this can be difficult when one has just lost a loving partner, sibling, child or friend. At times the joyfulness can seem overwhelming, and triggers all our memories that can be painful at holiday times. How does one cope, without spreading grief during times when others are so happy?
There are some reliable coping mechanisms to help get us through this time. An article in the Washington Post (Nov. 21) lends some helpful, and for me, very timely suggestions on “Navigating the holidays after the death of a loved one.”
I recently lost a dear friend, to a sudden, unanticipated, and punishing neurological illness. This seemed to come out of nowhere, is extremely rare, and within a month had taken my younger and otherwise very healthy friend from this earth. As he was a well-known journalist and Arlington historian, his circle of friends and acquaintances was wide, and the grief profound. As grief does, mine came in waves, without warning, and I had to miss several holiday occasions to deal with my grief.
Steven Petrow in the Post article speaks of “firsts” that mourners experience; the first (of each) holiday without the loved one, the proverbial empty chair at the feast table. He cites Mary-Frances O’Connor, a psychology researcher who wrote the book “The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How We Learn From Love and Loss.” O’Connor points out that, because our bonds and rituals with loved ones are deeply encoded in our brains, that when these change or are no longer there, the harsh reality triggers grief, pain, and suffering. Our internal map of the world no longer matches up with the world itself. So, every plan has a hole in it.
What to do? One way is to carry on with the holiday rituals in the same way, as keeping to tradition can be comforting. Coming together again, perhaps also to spread the ashes, keeps mourners connected. Another way is to completely change the traditions, such as going away for the holiday to grieve on your own terms without worrying about the reactions of others.
But, while preferring not to celebrate is normal, having one or more others around you for support is essential. Petrow has assembled some helpful suggestions for actions, shared here:
- Do something in memory of your loved one, such as go on a walk after a big family meal, or play a game the loved one enjoyed. Or try a new game that the loved one would have enjoyed.
- Buy a gift in honor of the deceased and donate it to a favorite nonprofit group.
- Watch a favorite movie together with a friend or family member that the deceased enjoyed.
- Tell others what you need, such as a hug, a break, a good cry. Remember no one reads minds.
- Find some joy, such as in the foods we eat, the hugs you give and get, and our memories.
I have found that one action that truly helps to heal is to talk about the loved one. Telling stories and especially humorous tales evokes all the emotions, including sadness but more often appreciation of time spent with the deceased. Nothing can take away the memories of all of the experiences you had together, nor the love you shared. This also brings friends and loved ones into a healing circle, and reinforces the positive impact of having had your loved one in your life.
I wish you all peace during your “firsts” and each year of facing the holidays without your loved one.
COVID Annual Vaccination
Getting vaccinated or boosted is an important way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. But if it’s been a while since you got the shot, your protection may need a boost. Updated COVID-19 vaccines are available now and protect against the Omicron variant. Other vaccines, including this year’s flu vaccine, are also available. Staying up to date with your COVID vaccine can reduce the risk that you’ll:
- Get seriously ill, need hospital care, or die from COVID-19
- Develop long COVID-19
- Spread the disease to others, putting their health and lives at risk.
Learn more about COVID-19 and the updated vaccines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Also of Interest
Aging Matters Radio and TV
Aging Matters radio is a weekly program on Arlington’s community radio station WERA Arlington 96.7 FM. Every Tuesday at 2 pm and Friday at 2 pm, host Cheryl Beversdorf interviews experts on topics impacting the lives of older adults and their families. All Aging Matters broadcasts can be found on Apple and Spotify. Aging Matters TV Show offers interviews with aging experts, including demonstrations of aging related subjects. Stories of Life programs feature interviews with older adults who have made a difference in their communities.
Shared Area Village Events Calendar
The Washington Area Villages are sharing their speaker series for all of us to enjoy. Please visit their calendar to see what’s available.
Complimentary membership in Arlington’s 55+ Program is available as an ANV membership benefit. If you haven’t yet opted-in and would like to do so, contact our Member Services Director at 703-509-8057. 55+ Program offerings are posted in the quarterly catalogue available online at Winter Guide.
ANV Events are posted on our online calendar so you can always easily find the Zoom link for any scheduled event.