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Reunion Season

Posted by on Jun 27, 2022 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Reunion Season

This seems to be the month for reunions. Families are ready to reunite after the relative (pun intended) isolation and quarantine of two pandemic summers. My husband’s cousins have held reunions in June for years. In fact, they call it their re-JUNE-ion. This year my sisters and cousins are gathering with Grandma Alice in Tennessee. Six years ago we held “Alice’s TajMahallow Reunion” in some Smoky Mountain cabins near Gatlinburg. This year more than 20 are reuniting in the same cabins for the “Alice in Sugarland” Reunion. Six days of sun, fun and family.  A family portrait session, karaoke night, Mexican food with pinata, and a guided scavenger hunt in Pigeon Forge are all on the agenda. And there are some surprises in store for those celebrating Father’s Day and birthdays. Several family members have made new relationship commitments (marriage, engagement, moving in together) in the interim and we plan to celebrate them with a big (ssh – it’s a surprise)  reception complete with cake, streamers, speeches and dancing. Do they still do the chicken dance at receptions? The two newest members of the family will also be there.  My son’s marriage came complete with a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren (ages 6 and 8) who will be entertaining us all! And somewhere along the way we hope to have some hot tub soul searching sessions and campfire confidentials. But, knowing my family, it might take some planning to make these talks meaningful.  Being the loving and giving Friday’s Child, I have always filled the role of peacemaker in my family. Not the “bouncer” type that breaks up fights (not needed) but the one who wants everyone to be at peace and spend time getting to know each other more deeply in order to appreciate our strengths, similarities and diversity.  Some activities that I hope to do while we are there include: Storytelling to share common memories. CLICK HERE for moreFlashmob singing some of Alice’s favorite hymns.Alice’s genetic twin trivia contest, which consists of a list of genetic traits and scoring points based on how many you have in common with Alice. CLICK HERE for more Speed catch-up-ing, i.e. speed-dating style rounding through tables to learn about your cousin’s favorite pizza topping or the last movie they hated. Set the timer and move to the next group or partner in 7 minutes. While normally used for team building at corporate events, I am hoping it provokes laughter and closeness as we spend time together. CLICK HERE for more These examples are just a few ideas especially designed for large, geographically separated families who don’t gather regularly for Sunday dinners and holidays.  On the sunny days, when it’s not too hot, we will enjoy some lawn games. Have you ever played musical hula-hoops? Just like musical chairs but outdoors where there’s lots of room to move and laugh. Of course there will be lots of impromptu cards and board games. We particularly enjoy Farkle!  My mother – THE Alice of TajMahollow and Sugarland fame – will enjoy it immensely and we will take many pictures for her to put on Grandpad to share. The ensuing CoVid years have been filled with inevitable life events that include the deaths of two siblings, a brother-in-law and a dear friend which has her feeling her own mortality. In deference to a recently diagnosed bone spur on her foot she is using a cane but she’s determined to try and make it to everything she can. Well, except for the 2 mile scavenger hunt. And when she returns home she will have wonderful memories that don’t have...

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Anniversary Waltz

Posted by on Apr 17, 2022 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Anniversary Waltz

April is Golden Bridges’ anniversary month. Nine years ago (yes, April 1st of 2013) we held an official ribbon cutting ceremony after winning the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce’s Inaugural Business Plan Competition. That $10,000 grant award allowed us to attend training with the National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers; secure professional branding and logo; complete business registrations in Illinois and Missouri; and obtain the legal and accounting advice needed to start and succeed in our small business enterprise. We became entrepreneurs. We still had “day jobs” at first and spent a lot of time together evenings and weekends planning and preparing, laughing and launching.  What began as three good friends volunteering together as hosts at the Quincy Hospitality House and brainstorming about how we could make a difference in our community became Golden Bridges, Inc., which has now served over 300 individuals and families in the tri-state area.  Senior and Specialty Move Management existed throughout the United States, with around 100 solopreneur establishments and 4-5 franchise opportunities. At that time, it had already been around for 15 years (mostly on the east coast and in highly concentrated retiree populations, ie. Florida and Arizona) and was continuing to expand into the western US and into Canada. Today, SMMs exist in all 50 states plus Canada, Australia, and the UK. When we began, we were targeting seniors. After all, they were (and are) the fastest growing demographic in the country. We saw an opportunity to begin a new business and bring a new service to our community.  “According to The Pew Research Center, “The leading edge of the Baby Boomer generation reached age 62 (the age at which workers can claim Social Security) in 2008. Between 2008 and 2019, the retired population ages 55 and older grew by about 1 million retirees per year. In the past two years, the ranks of retirees 55 and older have grown by 3.5 million.” CLICK HERE to read more Many of these “retired early because of the Covid-19 crisis, new research found. That equals to more than half of the workers still missing in the labor force from pre-pandemic levels.” Many of those recently retired are finding time to downsize and declutter, whether they are ready to move or not. And Golden Bridges is here to help.  In the past nine years, we have helped families and individuals of all ages, worked with the Illinois Veterans Home, and provided jobs for over twenty employees. One question we often get is about our “typical” job, but there really is no such thing! And that is something that keeps us excited about serving our next client,  hiring our next new employee, or planning our next adventure. We have had fun with song parodies at Christmas, portraying Super Heros in the Dogwood Parade and golfing in the annual Ladies of the Chamber Golf Outing. We have conducted food drives for local food pantries. We have learned and laughed and loved being able to experience this together. Still three good friends,  still brainstorming about how we could make a difference in our community! Thank you to our staff, our clients, and our community for nine great years of Golden opportunities. It’s your move… Golden Bridges can...

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Well Behaved Women

Posted by on Mar 9, 2022 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Well Behaved Women

Well Behaved Women... …seldom make history. Or so the saying goes. No doubt you have seen it attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt or even Marilyn Monroe, but Laurel Thatcher Ulrich coined the phrase in 1976. CLICK HERE to read more.  And its original context was not in praise of rule-breakers or barrier-defying mavericks. “She wrote those words lamenting about the fact that so many women who made positive impacts on society are overlooked by history.” March is National Women’s History Month. Designated by the US Congress in 1981 and by proclamation of Presidents since it is meant to “celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.” To read more on Women’s History month CLICK HERE.  A shout out to our male readers – so glad you are out there. But face it, most of the work of caregiving, downsizing, decluttering, or moving and cleaning out our parent’s and grandparent’s homes of 50+ years falls to the women descendants of the family.  According to AgingCare.com, as many as “[s]ixty-two percent of women provide more than 20 hours of care each week compared to 38 percent of men.” Since the pandemic, many women have left jobs and careers to provide this care, often uprooting their lives to relocate closer to mom or dad. And, when it comes to activities associated with moving a parent to nursing care or clearing out the home after a parent’s death, it is most often a daughter or daughter-in-law who organizes the action. A recent blog on dumpsters.com gives some excellent advice for cleaning out a parent’s home, including:1. Find important documents 2. Forward mail3. Change locks4. Take a tour and process everything5. Create a plan of action and time frame 6. Start sorting through items and clearing out rooms 7. Donate or sell items 8. Get rid of items you cannot donate or sell9. Clean the homeAnd, more often than not, the list includes a 10. Call your sister!To read the full article CLICK HERE Watching your parents leave their home (probably your childhood home) for the last time is never easy. Dealing with the aftermath isn’t either. If you get stuck at any point along this list, Golden Bridges is here to help. We can pick up wherever you want to leave off. And if you live out of town, or state, or the country… we can do it all. From full service (free consultation) to our newest product, Spotless Advantage (cleaning the home to prepare for a realtor visit), the women at Golden Bridges have “got that”. So, during Women’s History Month, we salute the quiet women, the well behaved women, the women doing the right thing for their parents and their families.  Ladies, it’s your move, Golden Bridges can help!Susan Scholz, PartnerGolden...

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February Festivities

Posted by on Feb 9, 2022 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February Festivities

February Festivities This month carries many causes that claim recognition. Traditionally it includes holidays for the lunar New Year, Groundhog’s Day, Valentine’s Day, the birthdays of US Presidents Washington and Lincoln and of Emancipation activist Frederick Douglas.  Modern celebrations and causes abound. This website lists more than fifty. CLICK HERE Most of us know about Women’s History Month and African American History Month, but did you know it’s also Cherry Pie Month (presumably in recognition of the Cherry tree myth about President Washington)?  Whether Valentine’s Day is named for a sympathetic Roman priest or a pagan fertility festival, we Americans are certainly entrenched in the flowers and candy ritual. And, you likely will eat a piece of cherry pie during February because it’s  the special at your favorite restaurant on Presidents Day.  One that struck a chord with me was AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month. Good vision is so important to graceful aging.  CLICK HERE to read more.  But if vision loss is age-related, how do we avoid it or compensate for the issues it causes?  According to the website eye.ufl.edu, “the exact cause of AMD is not known. But there are a number of risk factors that may play a role. Some you can help control, some you can’t. The same things that put you at risk for heart disease and stroke also put you at risk for AMD. These include: High blood pressure High cholesterol Obesity Smoking Risks you cannot control include age, family history, gender and race.” Also, knowing that our vision will change, we can prepare our homes to improve visibility with proper lighting upgrades and the removal of obstacles or confusing light sources. Horizontal and vertical blinds can cause shadows on the floor that resemble steps and are difficult to negotiate. Low light on stairs makes it difficult to see the treads. Sunlight or light bulbs that are too bright cause glare that can confuse your senses. Some careful attention to lighting can make it easier to stay in your home longer. Aging in place costs less, is more comfortable, and can slow memory loss. CLICK HERE to read more.  Do you have questions or concerns about your home? Golden Bridges’ certification includes Aging in Place from NASMM@home. Call us at 888-922-6368 to schedule a consultation. We can help with lighting, rearranging frequently used items at easy to reach levels or recommended remodeling that allows you to remain at home.  It’s your move, Golden Bridges can help! Susan Scholz, Partner Golden BridgesCLICK HERE to learn more about Golden...

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From Projects to SOAR

Posted by on Dec 9, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on From Projects to SOAR

How many unfinished projects did you find when you pulled out the Christmas holiday decorations this year?   Here’s my list QCT t-shirts for making a quilt Beer can coozies for making a quilt (seriously, I have so many advertising coozies I could make a king sized quilt) Hotel room key cards for doing a mosaic of… whatever (there are some really cool colors and designs on them) Pictures of my adult kids with Santa for a collage Neckties to make into pillows or weave around a lampshade Old photo slides to create a lampshade QCT playbills for a display Ah, Pinterest, you mock me with your great ideas and beautiful pictures!   When I googled “unfinished projects”, I got this litany of words that follow it (in order): ADHD, website, for sale, meme, and crossword. And that’s before scrolling up. Arrggghhh!    Did you know that there’s even an unfinished projects syndrome? According to trig.com, “Fear of turning personal projects, which are supposed to provide rejuvenation, into “another work project” seems to slow our creative roll. The project becomes another deadline, but one that you can blow off without “consequences” because you’d only be letting down yourself, after all, if you don’t finish.”   https://www.trig.com/tangents/why-do-we-leave-projects-unfinished   Project enthusiasm is energizing, but it can also be troublesome if it leads to clutter. Additude mag.com suggests the following strategies to deal with unfinished projects and saving of “someday” clutter. Practice just-in-time knowledge and materials Make a date to start and stick to it Avoid FOMO (fear of missing out) on participating in the latest craft craze https://www.additudemag.com/too-many-unfinished-projects-adhd-clutter/   So, if you are also a project procrastinator, how do you SOAR? Well, to start with, Pinterest has 190 entries for craft room organizing ideas. Ha! You mock me again, Pinterest! But the best advice is to get some shelves, totes, boxes, cubbies, or other visual storage system that reminds you what you have and the plans you had for creating with it. Print that picture from Pinterest and tape it to the outside of the container. This time of year is a good time to shop for those, and January is even better.   Now, mark your 2022 calendar with the deadlines for completing those projects! And if your 2022 calendar is too full already… then it’s time for Project Jettison.   Either way, if you don’t think you have it in you to complete the organizing or jettisoning on your own, we can do that for you. Got clutter? Get Clean! Estimates are free. Call 888-922-6368. https://www.goldenbridges4you.com/contact-us/   It’s your move, Golden Bridges can help! Susan Scholz, Partner Golden...

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Celebrate Everything!

Posted by on Nov 5, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Celebrate Everything!

Celebrate Everything! After the past year (or two) of small, tentative, outdoors if possible, or non-existent celebrations, we are ready to decorate, cook, sing, play games, party, and celebrate with abandon!Travel Pulse says that Americans “eager to reclaim some semblance of normalcy…  appear to be embracing the holiday spirit wholeheartedly and again engaging in activities that may have been put on hold last year. In fact, close to half (48 percent) of survey participants said they have already started their holiday shopping. And, 38 percent reported that they plan on spending more on the holidays this year.”And that includes traveling to be with family. According to a Nerd Wallet – Harris poll, “the average holiday traveler is expected to charge just under $1,500 in trip expenses on their credit cards, according to the survey data”. And why not? Putting travel expenses on your credit card adds points. And as long as you pay it off right away the interest charges are not an issue.With the flexibility of working remotely, more of the workforce can schedule their travel for less busy days, and save that convenience cost of booking on the high travel days.According to new Amex Trendex survey findings:—Of all consumers surveyed, nearly half (49 percent) plan to travel on or before the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving (November 23) compared to just 29 percent who plan to travel on Thanksgiving Day itself (November 25).—Forty-two percent of participants said they would skip celebrating Thanksgiving in the U.S. in order to take an international vacation.—Seventy-seven percent would rather take a vacation with their significant other than exchange gifts, and 68 percent would forgo exchanging gifts with their family to instead go on a family vacation. — Many U.S. consumers would like to receive a domestic (65 percent) or international (49 percent) trip as a gift this season.—Fifty-two percent indicated that one of their New Year’s resolutions will be to take more vacation time in 2022 than they did in 2021.—Fifty-five percent of respondents said they plan on traveling between one and three times during 2022, while 39 percent plan to travel four or more times next year.https://www.travelpulse.com/news/destinations/2021-holiday-trends-show-more-americans-set-to-travel-this-year.htmlBut, of course that doesn’t include everyone. Hopper, a data company that makes algorithm-based personalized travel recommendations, projected in its most recent forecast that the number of passengers going through U.S. airport checkpoints will be around 75% of 2019 levels for Thanksgiving and 80% for Christmas.That said, figures for both dates are expected to be roughly double those of the same time in 2020, when the worst of America’s infection waves gripped the country.https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-07/americans-fearful-of-holiday-travel-are-sticking-closer-to-homeSo, how about you?My family will be together at Thanksgiving. Because they all live at least one state away from me, I am planning to combine all of the fall and winter holiday traditions into that one week. Trick or treating? Yes! I hope to introduce the grandkids to their great aunts and uncles with a costume road-trip. Thanksgiving? Grandma is taking care of the traditional meal at her house. Christmas? But, of course! Santa will be arriving at my house on Christmas morning, aka Black Friday.The week before will be filled with activity. I am envisioning hand drawn jack-o’-lanterns, ghosts and turkeys; gingerbread houses; decorating the Christmas tree and hanging the stockings. Sitting in front of the fireplace drinking hot cocoa and toasting marshmallows. I will ask one of the grandkids to flip the switch to turn on the outside holiday lights as we watch the glow reflected in their eyes.Hoping to instill some of the giving spirit of the holidays, they will accompany me as we fill some of the neighborhood food...

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