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November 2016 Newsletter

Robert Girolo  | Published on 11/1/2016
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Community - Support - Peace of Mind

As part of an innovative national movement, the Village Network of Petaluma is a nonprofit membership organization created to empower adults 50+ to continue living active, vibrant, and connected lives in our own homes and apartments as we age.
Table of Contents
Weekly Village Programs
- Tuesdays, 8:30 - 9:30 am.Walking Group
- Tuesdays, 10:15 - 11:45 am.Our Life Stories &Legacy
- Thursdays, 9:30 - 10:30 am.QiGong Class


- Wednesdays, Nov. 9 & 23, 11:00 - 12:00 noon.Gentle Yoga for Balance, Flexibility,&Increased Energy
- Fri.,Nov. 11, 10:15 - 11:15 am.Film Discussion Group


- Wed., Nov. 9, 9:00 - 10:30 am.Women's Circle. For members, space limited to 10.
- Sat. Nov. 12, 11:00 - 12 noon.Village Welcome Info Meeting
- Wed. Nov. 16, 4:00 - 5:00 pm.Bocce Ball
- Fri. Nov.18, 1:30 - 3:30 pm.Poetry Group
- Mon. Nov. 21, 12:00 - 1:30 pm.Gardening Group
- Sun. Nov. 27, 4:00 - 6:00 pm.Potluck Gathering for Village Members & Volunteers
- Wed. Nov. 30 , 1:00 - 2:30 pm.Village Tech Workshop

Special Program

Sat. Nov. 19, 10:00 - 12 noon.Panel on Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages(co-sponsored by the Village & AAUW). Free & open to the public.

November Programs

Our office is closed for Thanksgiving, November 24

Welcome to the Village
Saturday, November 12, 11:00 – 12 noon
Saturday, December 10, 11:00 – 12 noon
Village Network Office, 402 Petaluma Blvd. North (at Oak St.)
An information meeting for adults 50+ and their familymembers who want to learn more about the innovativeVillage concept of “friends helping friends” to continue living vibrant, active, and connected lives in our own homes as we age. Learn how membership offers social engagement, transportation, home assistance, connection, and fun! Bring a friend or loved one, get your questions answered, and meet Village members and volunteers.
Weekly Walking Group
Tuesdays, 8:30 - 9:30 am. Meet at Walnut Park on 4th St.
We have fun, great conversations, and exercise while exploring neighborhoods and gardens, or walking across the river. Everyone welcome. Email Sue Miller atfor info, and whether rain

Our Life Stories and Legacy
Tuesdays, 10:15 – 11:45 am, Village office. Newcomers welcome.
Our life stories and legacy are unique and important both individually and as a community. We explore ways to preserve, celebrate, and honor our experiences. Tell your story using writing and creative projects. We work together to create a setting which can inspire participants to celebrate their life stories and remember long-forgotten details. For more info free, non-members $5.

Qi Gong Class
Thursdays, 9:30 – 10:30 am, Village office. Newcomers welcome.
Fridays, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, Petaluma Health Center,* 1179 No. McDowell
* Co-sponsored by the Petaluma Health Center
and the Village Network
Qi Gong is a gentle standing form of meditation and exercise that was developed in China thousands of years ago. Its benefits are strengthened nervous system, deep relaxation, and overall health and well-being. There are no restrictions on who may come - if you cannot stand, the poses can be done easily in a chair with benefit. It is preferable, but not necessary, to attend all classes. Members free, non-members $5.
Elad Levinson has studied Qi Gong for many years and is currently in teacher training level one of Qigong Dharma with teacher Teja Bell. He has also been practicing meditation since 1975.

New! Village Birding Group
Monday, November 7, 10:00 – 11:00 am, Village office
We will talk about what’s happening in fall migration, and when to go out and observe birds at Schollenberger Park and Ellis Creek. Whether you are a seasoned birder or new to this outdoor activity, you are welcome to join us. Please contact Jane Merryman,, 707-762-1023, for more information.

NEW!Women’s Circle
Wednesday, November 9, 9:00 – 10:30 am, at the home of a member
(also Dec. 14, Jan. 11, Feb. 8)
This discussion groupwill provide an opportunity to share thoughts and feelings about what life is like as we age, and the gifts and losses we experience. It is important to plan to attend all foursessions, and necessary to attend the first to participate. For Village members only, age 60+. Limited to 10 members. RSVP required to Stephanie at 776-6055
Sarah Fleming, MFT, is a psychotherapist in private practice. Sarah has worked in Petaluma with families and individuals for 15 years.

Gentle Yoga for Balance, Flexibility, and Increased Energy
Wednesday, November 9 and 23, 11:00 – 12 noon, Village office.
Oct. 12 session will focus on approaches to insomnia. Practice gentle yoga and breathing techniques, and improve posture, balance, flexibility, and energy. Can be done seated or standing - beneficial for all health levels. In addition, we’ll be investigating simple ancient hand gestures, or mudras, with accompanying meditations to support stress reduction and resilience. Come early, as we’ll start on time. Members free, non-members $5/class. Bring a large towel.
Pat Martin, CMT, EEMPC, CYT, has worked with hundreds of clients for over 20 years in her Petaluma practice. She focuses on optimizing health and managing stress, with tools including yoga, massage therapy, and Eden Energy Medicine. Pat teaches yoga at P.O.S.T. Wellness by Design.

Film Discussion Group
Friday, November 11, 10:15 – 11:15 am, Village office
The Village Network of Petaluma is offering a movie discussion club that plans to meet on alternate Friday mornings at the Village office. Each meeting will consist of a roundtable critique of the film we chose the previous week and have each seen on our own, and a decision regarding the next movie to see. Please RSVP to Stephanie at 707-776-6055, or Jerry Spremich (discussion facilitator), at 415-827-3206, Village members and volunteers.

Bocce Ball
Wednesday, November 16, 4:00 – 5:00 pm, Leghorn Park. (Meets 3rdWed. of the month.)
RSVP to George Beeler No experience necessary, rain cancels. Lots of fun!
Poetry Group
Friday, November 18, 1:30 - 3:30 pm, in a member’s home
(Meets 3rdFriday of the month.)
Poets are invited to join us to share our poetry with one another. For more information and the location of the meeting, please contact Sam Doctors atsamdoctors701@gmail.comor 530-414-4032.

A Panel on the Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages
Saturday, November 19, 10:00 – 12:00 noon
Petaluma Community Center, 320 N. McDowell
Co-sponsored by the Village Network and the American Association of University Women
Is a reverse mortgage the right choice for you? Hear the pros and cons from a panel of experts and get your questions answered. The panel will also address whom reverse mortgages might be most suited for, and the importance of exploring alternative options. Free and open to the public.
- Heidi Darling is a Licensed Fiduciary/Daily Money Management Supervisor for the Social and Financial Services Program of the nonprofit Council on Aging. For the past 11 years, she has overseen all trusts, conservatorships, and daily money management clients who named Council on Aging as their agent.
- Bill Fishman, Estate Planning Attorney,founded his law practice in Petaluma in 1984. For 32 years, the office of William R. Fishman has provided comprehensive representation for estate planning, estate administration, and dispute resolution concerns.
- David Carter, a Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional, has worked in this field since 2004. Since 2015 he has been a Loan Officer serving the SF Bay Region with Reverse Mortgage Funding (RMF), one of nation’s top reverse mortgage lenders.

Gardening Group
Monday, November 21, 12 – 1:30 pm (Meets 3rdMonday of the month.)
Join our monthly gardening interest group, meeting in each other’s gardens, and sharing brown bag lunches afterward. This is not about having a showplace, but about seeking suggestions, new ideas, and having fun. RSVP to Suzanne Clarke for address,, or Jane Merryman

Thanksgiving Potluck Gathering for Village Members and Volunteers: Newcomers welcome

Sunday, November 27, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, in a member’s home.
A time to get to know each other better, share good food, enjoy our “conversation café,” and have fun. For members and volunteers. Space is limited, RSVP to Stephanie Wilkinson,info@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgfor the address

Village Tech Workshop
Wednesday November 30, 1:00 – 2:30 pm, Village office
  • Want to be more comfortable using your computer, tablet, or smartphone?
  • Having problems with your cell phone or computer?
Members at all experience levels welcome in this workshop, which will assist you with computer or cell phone issues.Learn new ways to get things done and make your life easier. Led by Village volunteers Sarah Jane Catarozoli (a high school student), Tom Horst, and Paul Greenblatt. RSVP to

Reminder: If you are a member and need someone to come to your home to help with a computer problem, you can also schedule an appointment with a Village tech.
Village Singing Group
Thursday, December 8, 3:00 - 4:30 pm, at the home of a member.
(No meeting in November.)
No prior experience or talent necessary, just a love of making music. We try many kinds of music - and have a lot of fun! RSVP to Sue Miller atrmiller875@comcast.netfor location.
Book Group
Friday, December 9, 1:30 - 3:00 pm, at the home of a member.
(No meeting in November.)
Join us for a discussion ofUnderground Airlines,by Ben Winters. It is available at the public library and at Contact Village member Jane Merryman for the address

Online calendar at
Village Network office: 402 Petaluma Blvd. North

info@ · 707-776-6055

Featured Artist This Month

Bob Phillips always had a latent interest in being an artist, but only began taking watercolor classes to explore this interest three years after retirement. Now a member of the Petaluma Arts Association who has won a number of awards as an advanced amateur, his work will be on display in the Village Network office through the end of this year.
Profile of a Member

Lillian, born in Maine the eldest of ten children, wanted to leave the snow and ice behind as soon as she grew up. She was attracted to Northern California, and has lived here most of her adult life. As the first female manager at the Presidio Commissary in San Francisco she was given responsibility for arranging many large functions for military officers. Later, she developed a thriving business as a travel agent, leading tours for people in many countries. “I’ve always been very curious, loved learning new things, and traveling all over the world,” she said.

An avid genealogist, Lillian has created for each of her eight grandchildren a binder tracing their family tree back to William Wallace, the 13thcentury Scottish warrior featured in the film “Braveheart.” Lillian is an active member of the Women’s Club in Petaluma, and took it upon herself as president to make the repairs the historical building needed. And she is an accomplished artist, having sold all but one of her paintings (behind her in the photo).

What are some of the gifts of growing older?
“I’ve had a good life, and by now I have so many friends. I’ve always made it a point to keep making friends, getting out and being with people. Both my family and my adopted daughters have meant so much to me, and I’m very proud of them. I’m surrounded by their photos, artwork, and I can feel their caring. Soon it will be time for me to live with my granddaughter, and that’s OK with me. I will love living with my 7-year-old great grandson.

”I go to exercise class most days to stay as active as I can. Of course, you have to adapt to life at age 87, but it’s OK. I make do with what I have, and am proud to have lived on my own as long as I have.”

What has being part of the Village Network meant to you?
“It has made such a difference, knowing the Village is there for me. Stephanie is wonderful. She’s so organized, arranging rides, MedPals, and others to help me. You can tell she’s very interested in us and truly concerned. Without the Village, I wouldn’t know about all the resources available to me. I’ve really clicked with Cheryl, who drives me to most of my exercise classes. We have great conversations. My MedPals have been so helpful, taking notes at doctor’s appointments and putting them into my binder so I can keep track. I often miss what my doctors tell me, or I forget, and now I have it all in one place. And the wonderful volunteer who worked on fixing up my side yard made such a difference. Now I can lie out there in the sun appreciating how beautiful it is.”

Do you have any suggestions for how we can improve the Village?
“Not really. Except I wish so many more people knew about what a difference the Village can make in your life!”

- Lillian Powis
"I have been on both sides of giving and receiving as a Village member. I am a Friendly Visiting Team volunteer, and enjoy visiting my member. When I was recuperating from surgery, Village volunteers were wonderful-driving me to medical appointments and keeping in touch. I really appreciated their visits and support."

- a Village member

Continuing Genealogy Workshop?

In October, Rob Girolo, who has extensive experience in researching his own family tree, presented a workshop on researching your family tree, which was well received by thosewho attended.

Rob has offered to come back and host one or more open sessions for people who have questions, are looking for inspiration, want advice,have run into roadblocks in researching their own family history, or just want to trade stories with other “amateur genealogists." If you are interested in this session (or perhaps an ongoing series of sessions), please let Stephanie know, at

The 2016 Annual Village to Village Conference

The enthusiasm and creativity of the 300 people from more than 200 villages at the annual Village to Village Conference never ceases to amaze me. I left the conference reinspired by all the old and new friends from around the country who have created thriving Villages in their communities.

An important theme this year focused on “disrupting aging” – reinventing what it means to age, given our increased longevity. Dr. Bill Thomas, a geriatrician and author ofWhat Are Old People For, invoked laughter and tears of recognition with his multimedia presentation on “disrupting aging.”( As we age, we understand more clearly our culture’s obsession with youth and independence, which promotes a “declinist” vision of aging in our perceptions of ourselves and others as we reach mid-life.

In actuality, we grow in different ways our whole lives, and risk is an essential part of growth. With a declinist mindset, one’s primary objective can easily become safety, and independence can mean increasing isolation. Disrupting aging means growing throughout our lives, exploring new ideas, taking risks, and embracing our interdependence, our “social capital.”

The power of community is directly related to our social capital - the degree to which members can rely on one another. This is our real wealth, our reciprocal relationships with family, friends, and community. Villages increase our social capital, expanding the interrelationships that support all of us to continue growing and living meaningful, connected lives as we age, just as we’ve always done.

There are now more than 50 Villages in California. We are developing a consortium to support one another and new Villages taking shape. The photo abovewas taken during the conference at a lively meeting of staff and volunteers from these California Villages.

- Anne Greenblatt

Volunteer Opportunities
The Community Outreach Teamseeks a person to join the newsletter team, to format the newsletter using MailChimp. Training available.

The Wellness Support Teamis looking for volunteers who are retired healthcare professionalsinterested in developing a "hospital to home" training program for volunteers.

Donating Helps Build a Sustainable Village

Once firmly established, 75% or more of our funds will come from member fees. However, donations are vitally important in building a stable and sustainable Village that will be here for all of us as we age. All donations are tax deductible, as we are a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives, in San Francisco, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Make checks payable to:
Community Initiatives/VNP,
and mail to Village Network of Petaluma, P.O. Box 442, Petaluma, CA94953

Or you can visitour web page and click on "Donate,"at

Appreciating Village Donors

Diamond Sponsors - $1,000 to $5,000

Stanton Lawson &
Gabriella Ambrosi

Sequoia Senior Solutions
In-home care service provider

George & Ellen Beeler
Anne & Paul Greenblatt
Gary & Lyn Imm
Dr. David Strange

Sustaining Donors: $500 to $999
Gene Anderson
Steve Ayala
Lolly Burns
Barbara Carlson
Suzanne Clarke
Harriet and James Coyne
Ann and Mel Fox
Linda Fox and Floyd Dickman
Paul and Sherry Eckloff
Ron and Marsha Harris
Robert Gallup
Marilyn Hartley
Vasi Jayaswal
Tom and Marcia Joynt
Janice Kearns
Darcy Levy
Maryann Marks & Elad Levinson
Sue Miller
Diane Olberg
Nancy Porter
Joann Pozzi
Donald Revere
Jim Stern
Janny Van Alderen & David Quist
Naomi Weinstein

Supporting Donors: $100 - $499
Colene Abramson
David Adams, Quality Printing
Joellen Aymond
Lilia Bizal
B’nai Israel Jewish Center
Lyndi Brown & Anthony Tusler
Pat Burns
Sue & Christopher Castellucci
Bill and Maggie Fishman
Rev. Mary Foran
Steve Gavriloff, Westgate Real Estate
Majida Gibson
Camille Jordan
Brian Lemesh, D.C., Petaluma Family Chiropractic
Tiaga Liner
Sid & Gerry Lipton
Bill and Catherine Luther
Barbara & Jake Mackenzie
Jane Merryman
Mary Munat
Nadia Navid, D.D.S.
Len and Charlotte Nelson
Petaluma Elks Lodge #901
Paul Praetzel
Richard Quinn
Robert and Maureen Reed
Susan and Richard Rodkin
Vreni Schnirman
Ernest and Eileen Simard
Janine and Ray Slaughter
St. James Altar Fund

Donors: up to $100

Bridie Acton
Carmina Angka
Virginia Anderson
Gregory Bard
Bonnie & Pod Boatright
Carol Crabill
Lynn Camhi
Gail Cardaropoli
Charles Collum & Nancy Blanchard
Jan Crosby
Julie Donohue
Terri Dugar
Joni Gardner
Robert Girolo
Wayne Guptill
Kay Hardy
Tina Hittenberger
Kathleen Kestelyn
Scotti Kluess
Lucy Kortum
Nancy Jean Kull
Susan Lampert
Andree Langlois
Kathleen Lawrence
Louise Leff
Michael and Kathy Lerner
Darcy and Harvey Levy
Nita Liles
Ellen MacDonald
Kathy MacDonald
Robert and Nancy McFarland
Kendra Mon
Martha Murphy
Bente Niles
Alice Jean Rebizzo
Starr Rohrman
Phyllis Sharrow
Jerry Spremich
Pam Torliatt
Corlene Van Sluizer & Julian Blair
Village Network of Petaluma

Office: 402 Petaluma Blvd. North (at Oak St.)
Mailing address: P.O. Box 442
Petaluma, CA94953
Copyright © 2016 Village Network of Petaluma, All rights reserved.

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