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ERS Linkage Podcast - Episode 23

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Episode 23: Kindness is Contagious

Date: November 6th 2020

Hosts: Bryan Reynolds & Kristin Davenport

Guests: Steven Fox and Mary Johnson


For our twenty-third episode, we touch base with residents Steven Fox and Mary Johnson. Plus, we hear from President and CEO, Laura Lamb.

Click on the link above to listen now. You can also listen to our podcast on Google Play Podcasts and Apple Podcasts.

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Episode 23 Transcript

Bryan Reynolds [00:00:05] Hello, hello, hello, welcome to Episode 23 of the Linkage podcast by Episcopal Retirement Services. This episode is for the week of November 1st, 2020. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Bryan Reynolds, vice president of marketing of Episcopal Retirement Services, and I'm here with Kristin Davenport, our director of communications and our executive producer as well. How are you, Kristin, doing? 


Kristin Davenport [00:00:30] Well, Bryan glad to be still doing podcasts. It's November and it's kind of exciting that we're continuing on connecting with the residents this way. I love it. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:00:39] Absolutely. And we're getting a nice little warm week this week with some sunshine. So that's been a little bit refreshing as well. 


Kristin Davenport [00:00:46] That is welcome. I love it. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:00:49] So the linkage podcast is dedicated to educating our audience about issues regarding aging, informing people about the mission of ERS and how that comes to life in our everyday interactions with our residents, clients, families and our staff. So, Kristin, you want to tell us about what's coming up on our show? 


Kristin Davenport [00:01:07] Yeah, absolutely. Bryan We got three guests with us today. We've got Steven Fox. Stephen is a resident of Westminster Court in Manchester, Ohio. And as Steven I'll check in with us about what's happening out there to the east and then we'll check in with president and CEO Laura Lamb. She's always got some updates for us. What's been going on around all the years communities. And then our final guest is Mary Johnson from Dudley Square. How do your homes in Louisville, Kentucky? 


Bryan Reynolds [00:01:41] Well, it sounds like we've got a wonderful line up once again, Kristen. So with that being said, let's maybe we'll just go ahead and into our first segment. You want to introduce our first guest? 


Kristin Davenport [00:01:51] Absolutely, Bryan. So I got to connect this week with Steven Fox. Steven lives in Claremont County in Blanchester, Ohio. He's been a resident for several years out at Westminster Court. Welcome to our program. And let's meet Steven. 


Kristin Davenport [00:02:20] Welcome, Stephen Fox. Thanks for being with us today on the podcast. 


Steven Fox [00:02:24] You. My pleasure. 


Kristin Davenport [00:02:25] Yeah, I'm so glad you reached out and were willing to to talk with us today about how things are going. How's your day been there in Manchester so far? 


Steven Fox [00:02:37] It's going great. 


Kristin Davenport [00:02:38] That's awesome. Well, I know during these times we're all trying to, you know, just stay engaged and healthy in every way that we can. Give us a little taste of for our listeners what it's like out there in Manchester and what maybe you've been doing with your neighbors to stay active and engaged. 


Steven Fox [00:02:59] Well, I've been helping Gale Porter service coordinator and Sean Bridget, the community manager, and then her sister passed out fliers, newsletters, rent statements. I pass out everything that they need to pass out to help them out. And then I'm a week stipend and I do some cleaning for them and different things like that to help them out and just whatever they need. And then there's a lot of elderly people here that need help getting their trash taken out and different things. And then they count on me to do things like that for them. 


Kristin Davenport [00:03:37] That is wonderful. So you're just basically there to help your neighbor with whatever they might need. 


Steven Fox [00:03:44] Yes,. 


Kristin Davenport [00:03:45] That's awesome. Well, I know Blanchester is a campus that has not been renovated since our group became the managers, but we that's a project that we did receive tax credits for and we're probably getting ready pretty soon here to start that. I know that will be a big change for you guys, but probably something that everybody's looking forward to. Maybe not the construction, but when it's all said and done and finished. 


Steven Fox [00:04:15] Yes. It will be nice whenever it gets done. 


Kristin Davenport [00:04:20] Yes, I don't know if you've seen any of the communities that have undergone renovations, but it's really quite an improvement. And I know that that's something that's needed for for the campus in Manchester. 


Steven Fox [00:04:35] Yeah,. 


[00:04:36] Well, this this time when we're trying to stay distance, I know there's a lot of things maybe that still you're not doing. 


[00:04:44] What are some of the things you're looking forward to even when this is all over, when it's all said and done that we can all get back to? 


Steven Fox [00:04:53] Well, me and my fiance are getting married in March, and we're hoping that just praying and hoping that this virus will be lifted soon and we're planning on getting married on March 6th and then and then we're planning on going on on our honeymoon and that. And I'm we're hoping that everything lifts and everything will be safe then. 


Kristin Davenport [00:05:15] Oh, yeah. That that's for sure. We're all looking forward to that time when when we can get back to normal. And of course, we're hoping for that vaccine to come as soon as possible. And we're also just hoping that people, you know, will abide by those things that we've been advised, you know, staying distanced and and doing things that are lower risk, like, you know, activities where people maybe wear a mask or outside those those types of things. 


Steven Fox [00:05:45] Yeah, that's what we'd wish me and my fiance I stay safe from where our masks and and we pretty much stay in our apartment, you know, keep update and clean, and all that and do what we have to do. 


Kristin Davenport [00:05:58] Well, that that is wonderful. And I'm glad that you have that to look forward to in March. Getting married, that's really exciting. Kind of a spring arrives. You'll have that to look forward to as well. 


Steven Fox [00:06:13] Oh, yeah,. 


Kristin Davenport [00:06:14] Well, that's wonderful. Well, Stephen, it was really nice to get to know you today a little bit and hear a little bit about what's happening out in Manchester. 


Steven Fox [00:06:23] It's been a blessing in talking to you. 


Kristin Davenport [00:06:27] Well, thank you so much. You stay safe out there. Say hi to all my friends. And I look forward to the next time that I'm out there and can visit and say hi in person. 


Steven Fox [00:06:38] All right. And it will be nice speaking with you. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:06:51] Kristin, what a wonderful interview with Steven Fox of Westminister Place in Manchester, I really enjoyed hearing about his love story and getting getting married at an older age. It kind of reminds me of my own grand grandmother that got remarried at age 80. 


Kristin Davenport [00:07:08] I love that that, you know, he and his fiancee are hopeful that things will calm down with covid and that they'll be able to enjoy a wedding and a honeymoon. And it's it's a great reminder that there's no age, that you can't still fall in love. So that was nice to hear from Steven this week. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:07:27] Yeah. And it sounds like he's so helpful for his neighbors, too. And I think that's always such a key to our affordable living communities. It's that sense of community and helping each other out. So it was great to hear that as well. 


Kristin Davenport [00:07:39] Absolutely. Well, I guess next up, we've got our president and CEO Laura Lamb ERS going to give us the weekly update for all things ERS. And here, Bryan and Laura. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:07:54] So we're back again this week with president and CEO Laura Lamb how hi, how are you, Laura? 


Laura Lamb [00:08:01] Hi, Bryan I'm doing well. How about you? 


Bryan Reynolds [00:08:03] Good, good to be with you again. And good to catch up as always. Well, I thought we'd start this week. We're just kind of coming out of the Halloween holiday and into the November holidays. And there's been no shortage of celebration of the of Halloween this year, even among the pandemic. And I was wondering if you could share with our listeners all the activities, fun things that have been going on around our communities. 


Laura Lamb [00:08:36] Well, I tell you, the only way we'll be able to know that this was the year the pandemic was that all of the pictures that we've collected, people are wearing face masks, which is kind of cool, you know, and in your Halloween masks. Plus a great surgical mask, right? A coordinating mask. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:08:56] Yeah,. 


Laura Lamb [00:08:57] Well, like you said, there's no shortage. So we've had our affordable living residents have decorated their doors and there was a contest and a lot of our communities kind of the best decoration. And then then some of our communities had pumpkin carving and pumpkin decorating contest among the staff. And then, you know, the actual day of and the days leading up to it, people took it as an excuse to dress up and to sometimes their alter egos and just hilarious, like, ah, one of our medical directors dressed up as a superhero because in the caption below, that was we are fighting Covid up in here. That is so funny. And, you know, the staff, it's so much fun when you know the back story, you know of the pictures. And you know why why Donna Watson dressed up as Lucille Ball is just hilarious. And, you know, it's just so much fun. And as you can tell, I just thoroughly enjoyed the task of of going through all the pictures to decide which pictures we'd highlight. It was it was a fun, fun part of the week. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:10:19] Yeah. And I think year in, year out and the year this year is no exception. I'm just always amazed that the creativity and the quality of the costumes that come out. 


Laura Lamb [00:10:30] So it is and this year, you know, you and I talked about this, sometimes I think you need a creative outlet. And I think as evidenced by the costumes and the fact that we haven't lost our creativity, I think people are using a Halloween costume as a way to express themselves. So it's it is fun to see. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:10:51] Right. And even the pumpkin carvings down at DCH or amazing. 


Laura Lamb [00:10:55] They are. They are. And we had a costume parade at Deupree. I mean, just again, we had one of the pictures that I'm highlighting this week is one of our staff at the cottages dressed up as a scary monster and Bryan literally when I saw it, I jumped. And so I asked the staff what was what was the resident reaction? And, you know, we you and I both know the Deupree Cottage residents very well and have just shook their head and said, there she goes again. She's crazy. The other half just couldn't stop laughing. So it was well worth the fun. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:11:39] So, yeah, well, again, Halloween always seems to be a special time, year in, year out for sure. 


Laura Lamb [00:11:46] I'm so glad it is this year. You know, I really am. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:11:50] Yeah. Yeah. We all need need reasons to celebrate and distract from what's going on. Well, also this time of year also brings out another special time at our communities, and that's that's Veterans Day. And, you know, I know in the past. You know, each community has different ways of celebrating, but it's really been an honor, I think, to celebrate with our veterans. 


Laura Lamb [00:12:25] Oh, absolutely, absolutely. We have such a rich history, you know, so many different stories within our communities. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:12:36] Yeah, I think one of the I think passion projects for our team, our creative director, Arlan Graham, creates a booklet of our veterans. And I've always found that so fascinating to learn so much from our residents about, you know, their early lives and the sacrifices they've taken. And, you know, some some you get a little more in-depth stories and some you kind of have those stoic individuals that maybe not talk a lot about it. They may kind of give some details of where they served and what they did. But I, I so enjoy going through those booklets year in, year out. 


Laura Lamb [00:13:14] I do, too. I look forward to it. And again, right now with where we're at, I'm looking forward to that just because I think it grounds us, don't you think? 


Bryan Reynolds [00:13:24] Yeah. 


Laura Lamb [00:13:25] You know, we've set it on this podcast a number of times. It's you know, it puts some things in perspective because for a lot of us, myself included, this is kind of the first kind of, you know, national global health, health emergency I've gone through. So I'm relying on the wisdom of our elders is never a bad thing. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:13:49] Right? Well, I think there's that great parallel of the sacrifice that that they had to go through, particularly during World War Two, you know, where they were all chipping in for the better. And I think that goes along, you know, with your topics of those, as we've talked about before, you know, having to make those sacrifices to social distance and wear your mask and, you know, for the good of us all. So I think there's some good learnings from our residents there. 


Laura Lamb [00:14:19] For sure. For sure. Looking forward to it. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:14:22] Yeah, well, kind of on the topic of Covid, I know last week we had kind of a heavy discussion about the direction of the infections. And our community is really increasing and, you know, the impacts on our communities and our staff, our residents, our families. But I know this, you know, in between you and I and the rest of the servant leadership team have been talking about this topic of resilience. And we've we've talked about it before. But you've found some really good information that I think would be great for our listeners. And I was wondering if you could kind of go over that today. 


Laura Lamb [00:15:06] Oh, I would love to. And I just have to give a little bit of context. So, yeah, I somebody very close to me that I care about greatly has had covid and. You know, it really has impacted me and my family watching this play out and. Between that situation, Bryan and I think the Fall-back, the it's getting darker, it's I know that that's something that I don't enjoy. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:15:44] Right. 


Laura Lamb [00:15:46] And as we said last last week, it's it's a long road ahead where we are with the pandemic. So in full transparency, I went back and reviewed everything. We've talked about resiliency and endurance. And candidly, it was missing something for me personally. So this this was very personal. I needed something to help me reframe where my head was last seven days and what what I my aha moment Bryan was that we've given folks a lot of information, but it's didactic. It's educational. It's not my word. Actionable. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:16:31] Right. Right. 


Laura Lamb [00:16:33] Something that I can sink my teeth into. So I went searching for something that was actionable. And ironically, our leadership group just had someone from the community come in and talk about, you know, resiliency and endurance. But again, it it it there's something missing. And maybe, you know, me and the the the listeners know me. I am action oriented. I plan. I need a grid. I need a model. So I went searching for one and I didn't have to search for somebody very close to me, shared with me something that they came across from positive psychology. And it's amazing. As soon as you ask for something, it appears like literally the first person I ask, I need a model. They're like, oh my goodness, this came to me in my inbox. I think it was meant for you. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:17:26] Right. 


Laura Lamb [00:17:27] And Bryan, I know you. You've seen it. It is exactly what people like you. And I've been searching for all the good theory, all the good education, all the good book, smart about resilience and makes it so practical. And I'd like to share just a few AHA's. The first aha is we have to name this thing called covid. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:17:52] Right. 


Laura Lamb [00:17:53] Has something that we don't want. You don't like that. You want to get through it as fast as we can, even though we have no control over it. So the first step is to frame it in in the context of something like a death, like a divorce, like a serious illness. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:18:12] Yeah,. 


Laura Lamb [00:18:13] Because by doing that, you give it the weight that it has on your life. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:18:18] Right. 


Laura Lamb [00:18:19] And and it's through. So that's the the one. Aha. We've got to name it then the second. Aha. Is that resiliency is not a trait that you either have or you don't have. That resiliency is something that you can draw upon and we're all resilient. We've all demonstrated resilency in our life, we've all gone through tough times and hardship. So this model, instead of saying this is what you should do, says what have you done in the past that has worked for you? 


Bryan Reynolds [00:18:54] Right. 


Laura Lamb [00:18:55] Which is powerful. Let me say again what in the past has worked for you. So Bryan your plan is going to look very different than my plan. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:19:05] Right. 


Laura Lamb [00:19:05] So it's a real simple framework. Imagine a grid, a three or I'm sorry, a four quadrant grid and y axis for those biology majors out there. You know, quadrant one is supports. What's kept you upright. Happy, upright 2nd Quadrant Strategies. What kept you moving it till you make it right? Right. Well, keep moving. The third quadrant. What gave you comfort? And hope. Wow. OK, and then last quadrant solution seeking, what are the behaviors that you showed? So it's essentially calling upon something that was difficult that you got through, right? It was the death of my mother and two thousand and eighteen. Yeah. Probably the most difficult thing I've ever had to go through. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:20:09] Yeah,. 


Laura Lamb [00:20:10] But I'm I'm, I'm, I'm going through it Bryan. I'm you know, I'm, I'm, I'm healing.  So what are the things in that situation that I did? What were the supports, what were the strategies, the sagacity that I used. What were those solutions seeking behaviors. Right. And then because you framed it as high up on your life experience as a death or a divorce or an illness, what did you do? What what are those things that you did that would be relevant now? And you kind of go back through the model one, two, three, four to say the biggest supports I need to call on. These are the strategies and so on and so forth. But it is simple. Yep. But it as you and I were talking, it's so powerful because what it really says is we have it within us all to get through this. We just have to be intentional. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:21:10] Right,. 


Laura Lamb [00:21:10] About how the past can help us get through this, right. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:21:15] Yeah, I think as soon as you share that with me, I recognized each and every category there and it could quickly identify, you know, when I've gone through some challenges in my life, you know what what are some of those those things in each of those buckets? So I really. It really was a great framework that I could appreciate, and I think it's, you know, as with everything, just being able to kind of write it down and your point to name it, to call it out. I think there's there's a lot to that. I really appreciate you sharing that. And look look forward to sharing that with with the staff at the staff meeting coming up. 


Laura Lamb [00:22:03] Yeah. And you know what? It's for me, it was like little things, like somehow I had forgotten in the last three months how music can change my mood. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:22:17] Yeah. 


Laura Lamb [00:22:18] I mean, it it can. So one of my tasks that I'm doing, my daughter challenged me to I guess she heard me singing when she was in town and I'm not very good at it and I typically don't know the words. So one of my activities is I am playing a song that I enjoy that empowers me, that makes me feel strong. And over and over again, until I know every lyric. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:22:45] Wow. 


Laura Lamb [00:22:47] I know.  Yeah, absolutely. So much fun. And I, I look forward to it. It's like, OK, I got to sing my song. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:22:53] Well you'll be ready for karaoke next time. 


Laura Lamb [00:22:55] Oh yeah. There you go. There you go. When we can do that again. Oh I would love that is one of my. How did you know. That's one of my favorite things. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:23:04] Well, and again, I think, you know, in my experience, you know, sometimes these things are. You know, very immediate, and sometimes they go, they move on, so it's important to kind of remember and keep those things. You know, as I was going through a divorce several years ago and you spoke about the strategies where those things keep moving. And for me, having order and cleaning and routine was so important because it did stretch out over a few years. But it really helped me maintain as an example to to to keep moving. So I just love that framework. 


Laura Lamb [00:23:49] My hope is that when our staff, you know, can just take a nugget from you and to your point about writing it down or sharing it, there's an accountability piece. So right now, I, I, I have a couple partners that I'm kind of sharing mine and we're kind of working through it together because I just feel like that too is a great strategy to kind of, you know, understand that we're not alone and that we can we can even connect on our resiliency plan. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:24:21] Right. 


Laura Lamb [00:24:22] Right? Which is can be very powerful. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:24:25] Yeah. Yeah. And I think that that that last that solution seeking is so important because, you know, because that's that actionable, OK, you know, you've faced it, but OK. Now how am I pushing through it. What are those actions or behaviors? And you've always been so good at that. But again, to to write that down and kind of provide that framework for folks I think is really, really helpful. 


Laura Lamb [00:24:50] So I hope when they enjoy it, I enjoyed it's kind of one of those things that you do for yourself. Right. And when you find something for yourself, you want to share it because, you know, this may not be is helpful to others as it is to you and me, but I have to believe that many, many people just need, you know, almost a roadmap that this. Yeah, yeah. Like the recipe. I need to do this. I know I need to do it. I just need a tool to make it happen. Right. All right. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:25:25] Well, Laura, thank you so much for sharing this. I hope it's helpful for everyone as it is has been for me to kind of go back over and we'll look forward to catching up again next week. 


Laura Lamb [00:25:37] I'm looking forward to it, Bryan. Thank you. 


Kristin Davenport [00:25:49] Bryan, it's always good to hear about Halloween, you know, my daughters are born on Halloween, so that's become a favorite holiday for me. Typically I spend Halloween time with the residents at Deupree Cottages. So that didn't happen this year. But it was good to hear those traditions went on despite covid. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:26:07] Yeah, if there's one holiday ERS really knows how to do right. I think it's Halloween. The the just the, the creativity and the costumes and the pumpkin carving contests, as Laura talked about, it's really, you know, a really fun to kind of celebrate that. 


Kristin Davenport [00:26:25] And of course, resiliency. That's another theme that. I never get tired of hearing about. I'm glad that people are staying resilient on the on the staff and also within the resident communities. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:26:39] Yeah, yeah. As we go into the winter months and as Laura talked about, you know, the infection rates are growing. And, you know, I think back in June or May, she was talking about being in a marathon, but not quite always knowing where we're at. And so I think having practical tools and what she shared is really helpful for residents, staff and our communities. So I appreciated her sharing that. 


Kristin Davenport [00:27:08] Absolutely. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:27:09] Well, our next segment is my interview with Mary Johnson. Mary is a resident at Dudley Square at the Episcopal Church Home. So we'll point our microphone south from here in Cincinnati. And here's my interview with Mary. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:27:29] So I'm here with one of our residents from Dudley Square at the Episcopal Church Home, Mary Johnson. Mary, welcome to our podcast. 


Mary Johnson [00:27:37] Thank you. Enjoy being here. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:27:39] Thanks so much for joining us. And I think, as always, we like to start out our interviews with just a check in and see how you're doing about, what, seven months into covid-19. And we've been under a lot of restrictions and ups and downs. And how are you handling everything? 


Mary Johnson [00:27:57] Well, actually, I think all things being said, I think we're doing remarkably well, given that, you know, obviously our lives are more constricted than they had been. And like you and I were talking about a little earlier, Bryan, one of the things my husband Robert and I did a lot was go out to dinner and went out to dinner with friends once a week, probably sometimes more than once a week. Right. And sometimes we. Just went out for fun sometimes we did it. My husband has I think I told you he he has a weekly column in the Alternative Weekly, and we also have a website with restaurant reviews. So that's part of his job, but partly because we love being out with people and that's been very hard. But aside from that, we have always both of us have been, I would say, very self-sufficient. And we are our work now. We're mostly retired, not entirely retired or being retired, but we have always worked out of our homes anyway. We work mostly on our computers. So that, of course, hasn't changed. And it's also been easier to conduct know the Zoom meetings. And it's a different way. But in some ways our lives certainly have not changed as much as many people with covid. And we're very grateful for that. And of course, we're you know, we have our panoply of masks and we have our hand sanitizers and we don't go out very much. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:29:28] Right. Well, and just to give a plug in and I want to ask you a little bit about this, since you mentioned it earlier, but you mentioned that the the review website that you have, you said it was Louisville Hot Bitts Dotcom. That's it. That is correct. Yes. Right. And you said that the way that's shifted is while you were going out maybe once a week now, now it's more delivery or curbside pickup, things like that, that you're you're still able to do it. 


Mary Johnson [00:29:55] Yes. In fact, yeah, we pretty much have to do it because, you know, he has to fill that waiting slot. But but that's worked out to it's very interesting to see the restaurants that have learned better to accommodate curbside pickup and those and it's very sad to the restaurant industry is one of the industries that is very hard hit by Covid. Yeah. And it's going to get really rough in the winter because, you know, you really can't eat outdoors as much as some people may think you can. It's winter, so I don't know what's going to happen. So I think in a way, I'm hoping that the restaurants can continue doing the curbside stuff, which is what we've been using. So. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:30:36] Sure, sure. And and it also sounds like you you'd also mentioned you're you're such a techie at heart yourself. So picking up the Zoom meetings and kind of being able to be engaged online has been very natural for you. 


Mary Johnson [00:30:52] Right. And yes, it has Bryan. And in fact, I would say that. I always tell people I'm an e mail person, I think that's a generational thing. People text all the time and but I do email and, you know, some very long conversations with people on email. And and so that's that's going to help. You know, we carry on conversations and back and forth. And I have to say, I'm very busy. I don't I do not find I don't find a lot of downtime. Sometimes I wish there were a little more downtime. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:31:23] Yeah. And I think I know the few times that we talk this week as we were connecting, you know, one time you were out walking. And I think the other time I caught you right after you had gone out for your walk. So you're staying active. 


Mary Johnson [00:31:35] Walking is one of the things that I think, you know, it's been a rough time, not just with Covid, but everybody, you know, with the politics. So just sense that you need to have time to decompress. And there's some really nice parks around. In fact, we did not know this when we first moved here, but there is a park very, very close to Dudley. Just I mean, you can walk to it in five minutes and we try to get we try to take a walk every day. I think that's important. And there's some wonderful wetland parks a little further. So it's you know, and you get at nature. Nature really helps you. Nature does help you. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:32:12] Yeah. Yeah, I know for myself, my wife and I have gone out and started fishing this summer. 


Mary Johnson [00:32:19] Oh my goodness. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:32:19] We love going out and doing all that social stuff. And that's been so rejuvenating. 


Mary Johnson [00:32:26] And you're getting your own food, right? There you go. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:32:29] Well, we've been we've been it's catch and release where we go. But it it you know, it's almost like being able to meditate and clear your mind and just just get out. Yes. I'm glad you're enjoying getting out of the parks as well. It's a big thing. So so, Mary, you know, it sounds like you've had some great adventures with your husband. We were talking a little bit. You'd lived in the New York area at one point. But are there any past situations or or crisis or maybe national crisis that that you and your husband a kind of drawing upon to get through Covid 19 and anything you can share with us and our listeners? 


Mary Johnson [00:33:12] Well, I think that probably in a way and I gave that some thought. I know you can ask me about that later. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:33:20] Sure. 


Mary Johnson [00:33:21] We have both been very interested in political and national life all our lives. And I think one of the things that has helped us through all of this is in a way being our age. We have seen a lot of things change and other things go in cycles, whether it's political or now. Of course, we've never been in an epidemic, but it's sort of like that. This, too, will pass. Right. And we sort of remind ourselves of that. And it's it's it's like any couple, you know, sometime I'll be very what's the word I want? I will be very calm about things. And Robert will be all like, oh, this is terrible. And I will say, you know, this is fine and it's going to be OK. And then, of course, then we'll switch roles. Right. So and I also think I think having being having two people in a house is good at this time because I think it's very hard on people. Yeah. Living by themselves. A lot of people I know friends of mine, but yeah, we sort of support each other and we do we do believe, no matter what, that it will it will pass. And we tell each other the Chinese proverb, which is may you live in interesting times. That's the Chinese curse. So we know about that. And these are indeed extremely interesting the last couple of days. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:34:43] Oh, yeah, absolutely. We were talking a couple of days after the election. Yes. We're still waiting on counts and things like that. 


Mary Johnson [00:34:52] And, you know, one of the best things that I have found to do is to either read a novel or what. You have plenty to work in my garden. We didn't talk about gardening, but that is another thing that we have been very blessed with, the particular house that Joanne had available for us when we moved in here. And that's a great big yard. Yeah, and a lot of room. We've got a raised bed for vegetables. Oh, wow. We've been able to put in some perennials and I just love gardening. And I think it it it's I was going to say it's grounding, which is sort of a pun, but it is grounding and. Yeah. So that has helped us get through. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:35:33] And you and you have that all right. Around your patio area. Right. Yeah. Well your backyard. Right. Yeah. It's really a backyard. 


Mary Johnson [00:35:39] We're in an interesting layout, Dudley, where some of the backyards are larger than others and we got a larger one. So we're very happy with that. Very happy. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:35:50] Well, that's great. Well, so, you know, thanks for sharing that. So so, you know, imagine now when the pandemic. Is over maybe in six months, maybe a year, I guess we just don't know yet. But what are you looking forward to? I know you talk about your, you know, getting out to restaurants before, but what things are you looking forward to when life gets back to normal? 


Mary Johnson [00:36:15] Well, I think I think I you know, I think that being out with friends is the the big thing. I miss being with a group of people that we can share a lot with that's you can do that online and you can do it on Zoom. But it's there's something about being social people and being together. And I miss my church now. Our church has very nice I guess it's a Facebook live production every city that we attend, but it's not the same Bryan it's the same as being in a large group. And I guess if I have to say the one thing about being back with my church communities, this is the thing that I look forward to the most. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:36:52] Right. And I think you said you were members of the St. Matthew's St. Mary's Episcopal. 


Mary Johnson [00:36:58] Yeah. Which is a pretty big congregation and a beautiful building. A beautiful sanctuary. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:37:03] Yeah, I've been there. It is certainly very, very nice. 


Mary Johnson [00:37:06] With all the windows and all. Of course you can see that on Facebook, but it's not the same. But yeah. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:37:11] Yeah. Well I think that that you know that one on one engagement with your neighbors and, and your community members is so important. And we, we miss that. My wife, my family certainly miss that as well. So. Well, Mary, thank you so much for coming on our show. We really appreciate it and maybe we'll have to catch up here in a few months again, just just to check in the winter months. 


Mary Johnson [00:37:38] That would be great. I would love to talk again. Thank you for having me on. 


Kristin Davenport [00:37:52] Well, Bryan, that was a really nice interview with Mary Johnson, and I was also tickled to know that Mary took the time to read some of our podcast transcripts, which I don't know if all of our listeners know that we're posting those as well. Maybe that's another way for people to enjoy what we're trying to create here with our with our guests. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:38:12] Yeah, I found that really interesting. You know, she was a freelance writer. Her husband was a journalist. And, you know, she wanted to get a good feel of how he did the interview and so she could be prepared to to do the podcast. So I thought that was a fun, fun little fact. And, you know, she's very active. She walks regularly. In fact, when I first spoke with her the other day, she was on a walk. And so, you know, remaining active. And it was a pleasure to get to know Mary a little bit more. 


Bryan Reynolds [00:38:46] So with that being said, that's our latest issue, her episode of the Linkage podcast by Episcopal Retirement Services. For more information about us, you can visit our website at with lots of great content, including our linkage online blog resources to learn more about aging and the services we offer and much, much more. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to see what's going on within our ERS and our communities. And if you have any questions or feedback for us, please email. Email us at We love hearing from our listeners. The Linkage podcast is produced by Kristin Davenport and Bryan Reynolds. Feoshia Davis is our associate producer and our technical director is Michelle Hoehn. I'd like to thank our guests today, including Steven Fox and Mary Johnson, and a special thanks as always to our president and CEO Laura Lamb on behalf of myself, Bryan Reynolds and Kristin Davenport. Thank you so much for joining us. And we look forward to our podcast next week. Thanks so much, Kristin. 


Kristin Davenport [00:39:51] You bet. Bryan looking forward to it. 


Kristin Davenport
November 06, 2020
Kristin Davenport is the Director of Communications for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Kristin leads ERS’s efforts to share stories that delight and inspire through social media, online content, annual reports, magazines, newsletters, public relations, and events. Kristin earned her BFA in graphic design from Wittenberg University. She joined ERS after a 25-year career as a visual journalist and creative director in Cincinnati. Kristin is passionate about making Cincinnati a dementia-inclusive city. She is a Lead SAIDO Learning Supporter and a member of the ‘Refresh Your Soul’ conference planning team at ERS. Kristin and her husband Alex, live in Lebanon, Ohio with their 2 daughters. She also serves as a Trustee and the President of the Lebanon Food Pantry and is a board member for ArtScape Lebanon.

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