Episode 9: The Joy of Giving Back
Date: June 19, 2020
Hosts: Bryan Reynolds & Kristin Davenport
Guests: Residents, Barbara Breckenridge and Dr. John Keisel
Update from President & CEO Laura Lamb
For our nineth episode, we hear from resident, Barbara Breckenridge at St. Paul Village and resident, Dr. John Keisel at Dudley Square at Episcopal Church Home. Plus, we hear from President and CEO, Laura Lamb.
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Episode 9 Transcript
Bryan Reynolds [00:00:04] Hello, hello, hello, welcome to Episode nine of the Linkage podcast by Episcopal Retirement Services. This is for the week of June 15th. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Bryan Reynolds vice president of marketing for Episcopal Retirement Services, and I'm here with my trusty friend always here, Kristin Davenport, who is the director of communications for your ERS and our executive producer. How are you, Kristin?
Kristin Davenport [00:00:30] Bryan. I am well, thanks for checking in again this week. It's always good to be here and get caught up.
Bryan Reynolds [00:00:37] Absolutely.
Bryan Reynolds [00:00:38] The Linkage podcast is dedicated to educating our audiences about the issues regarding aging, informing people about the mission of the ERS and how that comes to life in our everyday interactions with residents, families and staff members. So, Kristin, I just wanted to mention a little plug for our Gala coming up this fall again. It's going to be on October 9th. Theme is Together We Rise, which will be a virtual Gala. Obviously, in these times, we still need to practice social distancing. So it'll be on Friday, October 9th, and have a great hour of celebration, of heroism, a sneak peak for our new Manse Apartments, which is one of our newest affordable living communities and some light jazz. It's sponsored this year by our good friends, The Model Group who have been great partners in affordable living over the years, and of course, Ridge Stone Builders, who have also been wonderful partners well over the last 15 years. So looking forward to that, Kristin.
Kristin Davenport [00:01:35] Yeah, this week, I got to hear a little snippet of Mandy Gaines who'll be entertaining that evening. And I don't really want to wish away the summer, but I am looking for October and our virtual event.
Bryan Reynolds [00:01:46] Absolutely.
Kristin Davenport [00:01:47] Well, Kristen, you want to tell us a little bit about our upcoming show that we have some wonderful guests with us today on the show. First up, we have a resident of St. Paul Village. Her name is Barbara Breckenridge. Talk to Barbara about what she's growing out in her garden. Next up after Barbara, we're going to check in with our president and CEO Laura Lamb, who will have some updates for us. And then our final guest is Dr. John Keisel, who is just somebody to be admired, really. I got to know, John, last year when we wrote a story about him and our Linkage Magazine and featured him. I'm looking forward to hearing what John's been up to because he's a great inspiration for how to stay healthy and engaged in your retirement years.
Bryan Reynolds [00:02:33] Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, you want to go ahead and start this first segment with Barbara?
Kristin Davenport [00:02:37] So, Barbara Breckenridge is a resident of St. Paul Village. She's lived there about three years with her husband. She and her husband just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary back in December. Let's hear from Barbara all about what she's been up to, staying active and engaged at St. Paul Village.
Kristin Davenport [00:02:59] Welcome, Barbara, to our podcast today. Thank you for joining me.
Barbara Breckenridge [00:03:04] Thank you for having me.
Kristin Davenport [00:03:06] Well, I was introduced to you through our mutual friend, Chris Lemon. She told me that you would be somebody that would be very interesting on our podcast. And I'm glad to be getting to know you today. Barbara, why don't you tell us a little bit about St. Paul Village and what your time has been there with volunteering and working in their garden?
Barbara Breckenridge [00:03:29] This is a senior living center. My husband and I moved here around two or three years ago. We're in independent living. My husband's a little older than I am, and we thought it would be a good idea so we could keep our independence as long as we could. I volunteer for resident council and different programs. And for the garden, because they give us just enough space that I could handle. And I usually start with the plant rather than seed. So I can keep those going.
Kristin Davenport [00:04:10] Yeah. So what have you planted this year?
Barbara Breckenridge [00:04:14] I've planted my tomatoes, green peppers, cucumber and squash.
Kristin Davenport [00:04:21] Oh, wonderful. That sounds wonderful.
Kristin Davenport [00:04:24] How many residents are involved in the garden and do each have your own area? Do you garden together? What's that like?
Barbara Breckenridge [00:04:31] You have your own area and there's plots about the size of a large coffee table.That's what I call it. And it's raised. So it's enough that you don't have bend down to the ground. You can put your stuff in and can to it, you know, at a coffee table level.
Kristin Davenport [00:04:55] That's perfect. Wonderful. Tell me a little bit more, Barbara, about some of the things that you volunteer your time with. I know you had a very rich and busy career as a as a social worker and a social service administrator. And I know that you also volunteered with many things. What type of volunteering are you still involved in?
[00:05:19] Well, I'm still volunteering at my church, which is the Montgomery Community Church. And I volunteer as a greater with junior and senior high students. We built a building just for them. So in that building, we have a gym, we've got space for meetings and we had games in their for them like pool tables and racketball games. And you also have a little cafe cafe area where they can go and get their pop and things. And we give them cookies on Sunday morning.
Kristin Davenport [00:06:02] That sounds wonderful. So tell me a little bit about what things have been like. How have you been keeping your spirits up during this Covid 19? Have you been able to to stay involved and engaged and yet stay safe?
Barbara Breckenridge [00:06:17] Well, my church is doing a video. And so for church. And we do Zoom for Sunday school. So we're busy with that. And then my church had already been involved with the school out there in the area of Mason. So we were part of helping to deliver food to certain students. We already had a mission with the trailer park over there. We just kept on a different mission like for instance, so next Sunday, we're doing habitat. We build frames for habitat. And we make a whole Sunday out of it? Anybody want to come and volunteer and help with that, everything from just feeding snacks to actually nail and hammer and putting those frams together? Oh, good.
Kristin Davenport [00:07:19] Well, it's good to stay active and involved as long as you can be distanced and take those precautions and stay safe. That's a good thing for all of us to stay active and involved for sure.
Barbara Breckenridge [00:07:30] Yeah. My husband and I we've been married 50 years.
Kristin Davenport [00:07:35] Congradulations. That's awesome.
Barbara Breckenridge [00:07:40] We have about five children left in Cincinnati of the 11 we raised. So we get to see them. They were the ones that bought us our food and toilet paper.
Kristin Davenport [00:07:54] Yes.
Barbara Breckenridge [00:07:55] I didn't expect that much, so it was kind of like you all went overboard a little bit.
Kristin Davenport [00:08:02] You hate to run out of that, you know?
Kristin Davenport [00:08:04] Yeah. They bought us enough food and everything. So they've been pretty good to us. And of course, we have one who's a nurse. She's a nurse in Dayton. We pray for her. Yes. And we have another one, who's grandson he's an EMT. So we pray for him because they are right in the battle.
Kristin Davenport [00:08:30] They're the heroes. They're right there on the front lines. Well, God bless them and God bless you. And tell your husband thank you for his service.
Barbara Breckenridge [00:08:39] Korean War.
Kristin Davenport [00:08:41] Oh, wow.
Kristin Davenport [00:08:42] Amazing. We certainly are thankful for that. And that you stayed married 50 years is also a blessing. That's wonderful to hear as well. And so did you get to celebrate that at St. Paul Village?
Kristin Davenport [00:08:55] Well, we were here. They gave us one of the luncheon recognition for that, and two of the kids came in from out of town. Yes. So they called it's kinda like we have all of them, the kids and the grandchildren. And there's another more set of great, grands. It seems to go on and on. But that's OK.
Kristin Davenport [00:09:25] That's amazing. Good. Well, Barbara, it's been so nice catching up with you today and hearing about what you'll be working on this summer out there in your raised bed garden at St. Paul Village. And thank you for sharing that with me. And thanks for your time.
Kristin Davenport [00:09:41] Sure enough. Sure. Glad to talk to you.
Bryan Reynolds [00:09:54] Well, Kristin, that was a really nice interview with Barbara Breckenridge. So interesting to hear she's so engaged in normal, everyday life and sounds like she's finding some ways of staying engaged, even as we're obviously isolated than we've been for the past several months.
Kristin Davenport [00:10:11] Well, Barbara and I really we hit it off. We haven't met in person, but meeting virtually, I would say we talked for almost an hour before we even started our a recorded interview and found out that Barbara is a twin and she and her twin go to Twinsburg, Ohio, every year for their celebration.
Bryan Reynolds [00:10:28] Wow.
Kristin Davenport [00:10:28] And she told me so much about that. And I have twins. And so I promised Barbara that maybe next year when that Twinsburg celebration, if it comes back around, they're not having it this year, but maybe next year, she could tell our listeners all about that. She was a really interesting person. I was glad to get to know her today.
Bryan Reynolds [00:10:46] That's awesome. So next up, we've got our weekly check in with president and CEO Laura Lamb. Let's all listen to the update that Laura has for us today.
Bryan Reynolds [00:11:00] Well, we're back this week for our weekly update with Laura Lamb president, CEO of Episcopal Retirement Services. Welcome, Laura. How are you?
Laura Lamb [00:11:10] Oh, I'm great. Bryan. How are you?
Bryan Reynolds [00:11:11] I'm doing well. Thanks so much. So we've had a really busy week across the organization. A lot of Zoom meetings. Doesn't it feel like we've been on Zoom all week?
Laura Lamb [00:11:22] Well, I am officially Zoom fatigued. I didn't understand that term a couple of months ago, but I can certainly relate to it now.
Bryan Reynolds [00:11:32] One of those series of meetings and we started talking about this a couple of weeks ago with the tensions and everything going on in our society and how your heart was breaking was our, you know, our dialog to do better as an organization, as a society, to bring the Black Lives Matter topic up to the discussion. And this week we started a series about that. I was wondering if you could talk to our audience a little bit about what we were doing with our staff this week.
Laura Lamb [00:12:02] Yeah, Bryan. I'd like the opportunity. We've made a commitment as a servant leadership team to not make this about one meeting or one email. And I really appreciate the the servent leadership team's support in this. You know, I said to the listeners and to the staff and into our residents that, you know, when our staff and residents are hurting within our family of ERS, it's something that we have to pay attention to. And there are many of us that are hurting right now and and are angry and are frustrated and really, frankly, need a safe venue to process that and learn and to ask questions and to educate ourselves so that servant leadership team is hosting a series of meetings. And it's one of those things Bryan that we don't quite know where it's going to go. You know that it's going to be a journey and a process, you know, walking hand-in-hand shoulder to shoulder together. And so the first session was this week. It was probably one of the most powerful things have ever been a part of. Absolutely. You know, so much so that there was one part that I was supposed to facilitate and I needed to raise my hand and ask a friend for help because I just I couldn't I couldn't speak. It was so powerful. So essentially, what we're trying to do is continue the dialog, have healthy discussion, I believe. And it's just been a tenant in my life, being in a multiracial family since I was seven years old. And, you know, my husband's black. My children are our brown is what I call them. And with that, you know, I have learned that the best way to talk and grow as a family and as an individual in it and with my friend group is to share stories. So this week, we highlighted three very different perspectives. Three staff members raised their hand and said, you know, I will help with the panel. And it was beautiful. It was a combination of being vulnerable to being true, being our authentic, saying very uncomfortable things that people probably were very, very surprised to hear. Definitely. They say and, you know, that's how you that's how you generate dialog. That's how you generate understanding. That's how you you make change. And quickly. As a white woman, I feel a very high obligation to not be silent. Right. And to make sure that my story is told. My family's story is told. And then more importantly than anything, know that that's just my story. I have to have big ears and listen Bryan to your story. Ah. You know, panelist's story to each and every one because I can learn from it. Right. Right, right. I don't have to have your perspective in life to learn from it if you share it with me. So this very powerful.
Bryan Reynolds [00:15:30] Yeah. I couldn't agree more. And I want to thank you so much for the gift of being able to moderate, moderate those discussions, because I just really enjoyed having that dialog with you and with our staff members because like you said, if we open our ears and open our hearts, we can learn so much. And that's certainly been the case in my life. So to your point, it was so powerful and such a great, great start to this discussion.
Laura Lamb [00:15:56] And, you know, you you worry going into these kind of things. About one staff member very, very close to me. Black woman say, you know, are you afraid? Are you afraid to say are you afraid to talk about this? And be careful what you say. And you know, and I just like most things in my life, I just ask God for the words. And I can't live in fear. I can't live in fear of it being taken out of context. And the servant leadership team we talked about that we have to create an environment where every one of our residents and our staff feel valued, loved and supported. So that's what this is all about now.
Bryan Reynolds [00:16:47] So, so special. And can't wait to see where these discussions and the series kind of takes us. So thank you for that, Laura. So another Zoom, one of our big Zoom's for the week was our annual Partners Breakfast, which was held this past Wednesday. And this is always a great event. And, you know, like many things now, we took what's usually an in-person event and held it in a virtual way on Zoom. So I was wondering if you could introduce our audience to what the Partners' Breakfast is and who are partners are? Because I think it's it really is a special and unique event.
Laura Lamb [00:17:29] You know, it is. And, you know, when you do something for, you know, many, many years, you forget sometimes how special it is until one of your partners reminds you, you know, no other no other people that I had the president of our therapy program email me immediately after Jim, you know, so good at, like, giving me feedback. And he's like year after year he always says, you know, this is this is so unique and so special to ERS. So our partners. I just want to clarify that so we intentionally do not use the word vendors. Theirs is an ugly word. And I don't like it at all. And I don't like it because it implies that it's just a transaction. It's just a you know, we buy services from you and you get it, blah, blah, blah.
Laura Lamb [00:18:24] And instead, what we've tried to do it, is is really harness our the potential of having partnerships. So our partners ah ah ah general contractors are architects of the folks that help us with grounds and affordable living, you know, the people that provide the copy machine. And I think that is a little change for some that may be listening to think of them as your partners. But it really comes from a belief of ERS that we're better if we collaborate with others. And so we are stronger as an organization by by saying to them they are partners and their success really does impact our success and vice versa. And so years and years ago, we started our partners breakfast, where once a year we invite them in to have a breakfast and to hear, really, insights to where where we've been and where we're headed. And that's I think the other critical difference is that, you know, sharing your strategic plan with the person that is providing you legal services may be common. But I'm here to tell you that sharing your strategic plan with people that provide the welcome mats to your front doors is uncommon. Right. Right. But I would I would suggest that if we do that, then that company understands what's important to us, where we're headed and frankly, can walk alongside of us to say, you know, to to make connections. We've had that happen that people at the partner breakfast have said, oh, now that I know this is where you're headed. You know, did you know that so-and-so is working on that same initiative or may I make a connection with you, with someone in my organization that maybe help you with that strategy? So it's just been just a beautiful. And this year I have to shout out to you and to Joy Blang. You all did an incredible job. We had this pandemic and we can't have a breakfast.
Laura Lamb [00:20:48] So I just want everybody to understand. It was a viirtual breakfast. It was bring your own coffee. What is that? BYOC. Bring your own coffee. Yeah. But you know the attendance. Was, you know, last I heard was like high eighties. So how isn't that incredible?
Bryan Reynolds [00:21:06] That's really special that people showed up even in that virtual center, a virtual way. And even even in this session, we were able to do kind of some of the little networking by breaking out groups, by different topics and different people. Which was, I think, kind of fun. And special Zooms got that ability to have those breakout rooms.
Laura Lamb [00:21:26] So now, you know, I just have to say, I'm always looking for that. I call them the blessings and Covid and our ability to take technology. Know, I would I would suggest that everyone out there, no matter where you are in the technology scale, you've probably improved a bit. You've probably improved. And what is that going to mean? I mean, I hope we don't lose that when we go back to the I for state of normal, because I think that that's really been impactful for people.
Bryan Reynolds [00:22:02] Yeah. Whether it's us as an organization, we've even seen our residents grow so much in their usage and the willingness to learn. Should be fun. Well, I'm going to move on to another very serious topic. And that that's kind of where we're standing as a country, as a community with Covid 19. And I think we've seen a lot of news this past week of of surges starting to bubble up in various states and communities. And, you know, as the world's opening up and people are gathering and I think we're seeing some. Some burnout from isolation and wearing masks and things like that. And I think, you know, I've talked and it's it's concerning. And I wondered if you could kind of put this into perspective where we're at as a country and what our organization where our organization is as well and what's on the horizon for us.
Laura Lamb [00:23:08] Appreciate. I really wanted to speak to that. You know, Covid is is here and it is the enemy and it is invisible. And I too grow weary of being isolated, being quarantined, you know, being masked. But we have to continue to do this. Please, please, please. I'm I'm imploring everyone that's listening to wear your masks when you're out practice social distancing. Don't put yourself in positions where you are in areas that people aren't doing that. I mean, it's just it's beyond me to to see people congregate at restaurants and bars and on beaches. And I think that that virus isn't spreading. You know, we are seeing a surge. You you've read the news. Our listeners have. But fortunately, the governor called Southwest Ohio is a hot spot just yesterday and has some very specific things that he's doing. The National Guard will be in Hamilton County over the next 10 days. It's that serious. It's that serious. And one of the zip codes is literally a stone's throw away from our communities. Right. Well, it's serious. It's serious. It's here. We are seeing more cases. We're the other area that I'd like to point out is Louisville. So Louisville, that isn't having double digit, but they're right across the river from Indiana. In Indiana. The statistics in Indiana and just the different approach from the different states that, you know, I'm concerned about that a lot of our staff live in Indiana, a lot of our staff that work at ECH, you know, live or play in Indiana. And that scares me because those are hotbeds. Those are exposure points that we as staff need to be extremely mindful of, because if not, that exposure is going to come in our building.
Laura Lamb [00:25:24] So specifically, what that means for ERS. I would like to highlight two things. One is that if you receive our letters and our communication have been on our Web site, you'll see that we have had a few cases of Covid at Marjorie P. Lee. Again, that's not it's not unexpected. Right? We knew that we would have more cases when communities started opening up the broader community is what I mean by that. We haven't opened up much broader community. And so we as soon as we saw that, we we decided as a risk management team that we had to get together with each and every member of the Marjorie Lee team and talk about the guidelines and talk about what I just said to your listeners about. We've got to double down. This is not the time to get fatigued. This is not the time to get complacent, complacent. This is the time to do everything well. And so we talked very directly about the obligation of not just what you do, what you do when you're at work, but more importantly, this this this war is going to be won with what we do at home. And, you know, and I said to staff, you know, everyone chose to work in this career that's working at ERS. So we need you to show up to make sure that you understand that our obligation is different than other industries. And, you know, there are other people that work in different settings, can do different things. But we've chosen to work with seniors. We have to do things differently. And we wanted to give them the tools to do it. Doesn't mean you have to stay in your house 24/7, right. This means you have to be smart and choiceful, intentional about what we're doing. And I am so proud of the servant leadership team and our risk management team. They're really leading by example. They're they're making sure that they're making very intentional choices for themselves and their families. So.
Bryan Reynolds [00:27:38] Right. Wow. It's it's definitely you know, we have that obligation because of the people we serve. But what I worry about is that dialog. When we first started talking about flattening the curve, it's really about protecting those most most vulnerable in our society, whether that's people in our nursing homes or out in society. I think that's such as still such an important principle to where we're at in the process of this pandemic.
Laura Lamb [00:28:10] The only thing I'd like to add to that Bryan is that I guess I would broaden that to every senior that lives in a congregate setting. I know that that really it's more than just our nursing home residents. It's all residents that live in.
Bryan Reynolds [00:28:25] Absolutely.
Laura Lamb [00:28:26] You know. I know you know that. But I just want to make sure that they'll just to know that distinction. The other thing I wanted to share with you is that you've heard ECH had their mandatory testing by the state a couple of weeks ago. All the results are in.
Bryan Reynolds [00:28:43] Right.
Laura Lamb [00:28:44] We were very, very pleased at a moment in time. It's a snapshot that every one of our residents in our nursing and assisted living level, as well as staff, everyone was Covid free. We're very, very happy about that. We understand that it's just a snapshot in time and that can change. So that's why we have to be diligent. Right. We're getting ready. We're literally today submitting data to the state of Ohio and we have our dates for Marjorie Lee and Deupree. Ohio's doing it a little bit different and they're starting with staff their mandating staff testing. So all of the staff that work at Deupree and Marjorie P. Lee, residents that have requested. That's the difference in the different states. Residents that every state testing Ohio can be added to the list. So those test will happen on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. A test is a little different. So in in Kentucky, the tests were administered, administered by our staff. The Ohio National Guard is actually coming in to do the testing.
Bryan Reynolds [00:30:02] Wow.
Laura Lamb [00:30:03] Yeah. So it'll be interesting. We haven't we haven't experienced that yet. So the team is working on all the logistics to make that happen so that we can provide that test to all of our staff and understand where we are. You know, how many. You know, again, so that no one is surprised that the percentages that we're seeing come back after, you know, whole community testing. Is that anywhere from 25 to 50 percent, of us are asymptomatic? So the only way to know at is to be tesed and a snapshot in time. It's only as good that that moment. But, you know, if you don't have that data, it's really hard for a city at a state to understand what they're up against. So I applaud Governor DeWine each and every day. I just think he's I'm really happy that I live in Ohio is exemplified such strong leadership.
Bryan Reynolds [00:31:05] Certainly leadership at its finest. Well, Laura, thank you so much for joining me again this week. We have a lot to talk about this week. We'll look forward to catching up next week.
Laura Lamb [00:31:17] Great. Thank you, Bryan.
Kristin Davenport [00:31:25] Bryan, that was another wonderful update from Laura. It's always gets me through the rest of my week when I hear from Laura what's been going on and and what is happening all around your as it makes me feel connected.
Bryan Reynolds [00:31:38] Yeah. Even though I know I stay in contact with her throughout the week, I always find these these updates very refreshing because there's always some great stories and a good overview of what's going on within ERS.
Laura Lamb [00:31:52] She's kind of the hub that's holding this all together.
Bryan Reynolds [00:31:55] Absolutely. She's a great leader. So with that said, our next segment is with Dr. John Keisel. Dr. Kiesel is a resident at Dudley Square down in the fiscal church Hoehn in Louisville, Kentucky. And I had a really great chance to sit down and have a great talk, as you mentioned at the top. The interview is such an inspiring person. He gives so much of his time. He stays very busy and engaged in and has done a really nice job transitioning, you know, in these times where there have been more restrictions to to stay engaged. So let's listen to my interview with Dr. Keisel.
Bryan Reynolds [00:32:37] I'm here this week with Dr. John Keisel. John has been a resident at Dudley Square down at Episcopal Church Home in Louisville, Kentucky, for the past seven years. He's been a very active member in our organization, is just very active and general. He's our resident representative of the U.S.A. board of directors. Does a lot of volunteering throughout the city of Louisville, including being a court appointed advocacy program involved in the Wayside Christian ministry and very involved in his church at the Christ Cathedral there in Louisville.
Bryan Reynolds [00:33:15] Welcome, Dr. Keisel, to our show.
Dr. John Keisel [00:33:18] Glad to be here.
Bryan Reynolds [00:33:19] You know, obviously, the last 12, 13 weeks have been very different for our lives. How have you been doing during this time period?
Dr. John Keisel [00:33:27] I'm doing fine. I've been doing real well, just kind of plugging along.
Bryan Reynolds [00:33:32] What kind activities things have you been doing during this time period to stay engaged?
Dr. John Keisel [00:33:37] I have had to sort of redirect my life. A lot of my time was spent out of the facility. I volunteer work several days a week. I also did a lot of physical strength training, as well as swimming several times a week. That's all that came to an abrupt halt. So what I do is kind of re orient myself. Fortunately, before this whole thing started, I started on a low carbohydrate diet. So they'll maintain that fixed breakfast for myself. And in fact, I've created a new recipe for scrambled eggs. I'm looking at two old French cookbooks.
Bryan Reynolds [00:34:13] What does that comprise of, just out of curiosity?
Dr. John Keisel [00:34:16] You start off with a sauteing ham, chunks or chips or I use a Canadian bacon with small onion slices. Salting that and butter when the onions are done, then I add in quartered cherry tomatoes and slice specialize in salt, taking them down, set them aside and I've got two eggs that are scrambled, put more butter in the skillet. Add the eggs. Now the egg is starting cook out, throw in some chunks of cheese, I use brie, all together. When that is doing then throw the tomatoes, spinach, onion, ham mixture in with a stirring up. Serve it on a plate then add salt and pepper is very delicious. When you don't really taste the cheese or the onion essense of the tomatoes add an awful lot to the eggs and it's just a fantastic breakfast and very filling.
Bryan Reynolds [00:35:10] Wow. That sounds mouthwatering and I may have to try it pretty soon.
Dr. John Keisel [00:35:15] It is easy to do kind of fun.
Bryan Reynolds [00:35:17] That sounds like a great way to start the day. Appreciate you sharing that. So I just wonder if there's anything in your lifetime through crisis or life experiences that have kind of helped you manage through this period or advice that you would share with our listeners?
Dr. John Keisel [00:35:34] Well, there are several things. One, when I started to retire a little over 10 years ago, I had a conversation with my cousin, who retired several years earlier and ask people what is to be successful retiree and sort of proccess, having another job. And he suggested the time to leave the house every day. You know the house completely to that. I added to do something different in the afternoon, to do in the morning. So what I have done in the process, since I'm unable to leave the house, I get up and walk at least once around the circumference of our paved areas. Now you're doing that. I have done very little shopping. We've had all the water, all the food we've brought into us. If I had to shop I go very early in the morning. Get to grocery store at seven o'clock in the morning so I could be in and out before anybody else got there.
Bryan Reynolds [00:36:22] Right.
Dr. John Keisel [00:36:22] But try to get out, get out of here, do things. The other thing I did was change what I did. I'd gotten the Mueller report when it published last fall. And I kept wanting to read it. Of course, I was busy with everything else. The time wasn't available out. The isolation began. I sat down and work through the Mueller report, which is fascinating for me. And I try to read more staying of current events, reading some more magazines a week, trying to be active and just try to do something different every day. I don't try to get into daily routine, but I just find something to do every day and try to some in the morning. Something different the afternoon.
Bryan Reynolds [00:36:59] It sounds like your schedule was before. It sounds like you're staying very active. And, you know, from everything I read, getting outside in that fresh air is so important as well.
Dr. John Keisel [00:37:09] I'm doing more assisting my wife and cooking, taking on responsibility, cooking every Friday night and then trying to do something as well on the weekends, and grilling out. I am trying to assist her as a sous chef. We try to eat more healthy, eating more at home because we've been forced to to try to find new recipes and do different things that way. It's been fun. Assisting, cooking.
Bryan Reynolds [00:37:32] Well that's great. Yeah, I think my my wife and I have been trying some different things. She's been wonderful and providing some some new and different options for our family. I know if you knew we have five kids, so trying to keep it different and updated, can be a challenge. But she does a great job of that.
Dr. John Keisel [00:37:52] All of the kids are at home. I guess all the kids are at home.
Bryan Reynolds [00:37:54] Yeah, we've got a 18 year old, a 15 year old to 14 year old and 11 year old. So we're a blended family, but they're in the thick of that activity. So sitting, it's been very challenging. Obviously, they were in school there for that first part of all of this. But finding some different activities and things for them to do has been one of the big, big challenges. And we've been trying to make better time of our yardspace. So that were can really enjoy this time here as a family. Yes. So what are you looking forward to once this pandemic is over?
Dr. John Keisel [00:38:30] Being able to hug my kids again. Yeah. I have two kids in town that I see, but I can't give them a hug.
Bryan Reynolds [00:38:35] Yeah.
Dr. John Keisel [00:38:36] So that's number one. Going back to working out and swimming would be another thing that I'm looking forward to. I'm very active, swimming quite a bit. I like disntance swimming several times a week. The other thing would be being involved back with CASA program, the Court Appointed Special Advocacy program, as well as going back and helping in the kitchen and serving breakfast. I maintant contact with the head of the kitchen, there are volunteers in there right now. I look forward to going to group events like attending church again.
Bryan Reynolds [00:39:03] Yeah.
Dr. John Keisel [00:39:04] Going to theaters. Yeah, we attend a lot of the local lectures here. One of our major activities, what we do is we try to eat outside in the air.
Bryan Reynolds [00:39:13] Hopefully they're making a lot of progress. There's a lot of trials and things in development out there. So we'll keep our fingers crossed. Let's say our prayers for sure. Well, John, I want to thank you so much for joining us on our podcast this week. So fun to hear from you and learn about what's going on in your life.
Dr. John Keisel [00:39:31] Well, it's been for all of us challenging. I don't envy you. We had four kids growing up and there were times in Durham, North Carolina, that we lived outside of this city and we had electrical power for everything, including the well pump the front yard. And the ice storms came in and knocked electricity out. We had to go to one room with a fireplace.
Bryan Reynolds [00:39:52] Oh, my gosh.
Dr. John Keisel [00:39:53] We had no running water, nothing for toilets. It was a real challenge there for up to 24 hours before we get electricity restored to us. So being together, five kids, adolescents who many times at that point don't like each other.
Bryan Reynolds [00:40:09] Right.
Bryan Reynolds [00:40:10] You can easily have problems. I wish you well.
Bryan Reynolds [00:40:14] Yeah. Well, our first world problems now are just making sure we have proper Internet so they have Netflix and video games and things like that. Among others.
Dr. John Keisel [00:40:24] Communication with her friends.
Bryan Reynolds [00:40:25] Exactly. Yeah. That socialization is so important. Well, again, thank you so much, John.
Dr. John Keisel [00:40:31] You're most welcome.
Kristin Davenport [00:40:40] Bryan, it was really good to hear from my friend Dr. Kiesel, and as a physician, you know, he certainly understands what's happening in these times and is certainly finding ways to stay engaged and involved, but also to be safe. And it was great to hear his words of wisdom.
Bryan Reynolds [00:40:58] Yeah, it was, again, just great catching up with him. He is such a positive influence, not just on us, but as an organization. He's such a cheerleader for Episcopal Church Home and ERS. And it's always great to get his support.
[00:41:14] So that was another great show today. Thank you so much, everybody, for joining us for the latest episode of the Linkage podcast by Episcopal Retirement Services. For more information about us, you can visit our Web site at EpiscopalRetirement dot com. We have lots of great content, including our linkage online blog, resources to learn more about aging and the services that we offer and so much more. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to see what's going on within the ERS and our communities. And if you have any questions or feedback from us, we love hearing from you. Please email us at info at ERSLife dot org. The Linkage podcast is produced by Kristin Davenport and Bryan Reynolds. Feoshia Davis is our associate producer and our technical director, as always, is Michelle Hoehn.
Bryan Reynolds [00:42:04] I'd like to thank our guests today, including Dr. Keisel and Barbara Brackenridge and obviously a special thank you, as always, to our president and CEO Laura Lamb for giving her weekly updates on behalf of myself. Bryan Reynolds and Kristin Davenport. Thank you so much for joining us. We look forward to our podcast next week. Thanks so much again, Kristin.
Kristin Davenport [00:42:27] Thank you, Bryan. We'll talk again soon.