This article is from the April 2017 Issue of Forever Young

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By Fyllis Hockman

The land of Peter Rabbit really does exist.

It’s right in England’s Lake District, which was assured perpetuity when his creator, Beatrix Potter, bequeathed 14 properties to the National Trust when she died in 1943.

The fairytale villages of this region also bask in the glow of such literary giants as William Wordsworth and William Yeats whose inspirations sprang from the countryside immortalized in the familiar four-by-five-inch children’s books.

The landscape, so tantalizingly green that the colour needs a more-enchanting name, is quintessentially British -- replete with requisite sheep, rolling hedgerows, low-slung stone walls crisscrossing the landscape, slate-roofed stone houses, and sparkling floral flashes of hot pink, orange-gold and deep purple that blink on and off almost neon-like under the ceaseless breezes.

Meandering footpaths make it a walker’s wonderland where you’ll spot Peter Rabbit’s relatives skittering and scampering off on all directions.

Hill Top, Potter’s home for 38 years and the site of many of her creation’s adventures, transports the visitor to her world as it was until she died.

Pick up “A Tale of Samuel Whiskers” and follow the story as you visit the holes where the mice lived that threatened Tom Kitten. You can accompany Pigland Bland as he wanders through the village and seek to protect Jemima Puddle-Duck’s egg as it lays hidden in the rhubarb patch. You can almost hear the Two Bad Mice discussing the ham and cheese that don’t seem quite edible because they are, of course, from Beatrix’s dollhouse right in front of you in the parlor.

This article is from the March 2017 Issue of Forever Young

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By Patty Wellborn

While age may just be a number, how well we age impacts the quality of our later years.

March is Embrace Aging month at UBC’s Okanagan campus, and the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention (IHLCDP), along with Interior Health and Interior Savings Credit Union have teamed up to present a number of events about healthy aging.

The line-up of seminars and events covers everything from getting a good night’s sleep, staying strong physically, making sound financial decisions, to connecting with our loved ones and community.

“Our aim is to inspire and inform our community on steps we can all take to age well—both mentally and physically,” says Joan Bottorff, IHLCDP director. “We’re especially pleased to play an active role by providing seminars on fraud prevention, being savvy with technology, staying active, estate planning and several special screenings of the very popular Age of Love movie.”

Some of the upcoming events include:

Senior's Fraud Protection
Tuesday, March 7, 2 - 3:30 pm
Okanagan Regional Library, Kelowna
1380 Ellis Street, Kelowna

Electronic Health Records and You
Wednesday, March 8, 12:30 - 1:30 pm
Parkinson Recreation Centre
Bartlett room
1800 Parkinson Way, Kelowna

Senior's Fraud Protection - Vernon
Wednesday, March 8, 2 - 3:30 pm
Okanagan Regional Library, Vernon
2800 - 30th Avenue, Vernon

Sound of Music: A partnership to enhance lives
Wednesday, March 8, 2:30 - 3:30 pm
Parkinson Recreation Centre
Bartlett room
1800 Parkinson Way, Kelowna

Savvy Seniors - Vernon: New communication technologies and you
Thursday, March 9, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Okanagan Regional Library, Vernon
2800 - 30th Avenue, Vernon

Singing Makes Everything Better
Monday, March 13, 2016, 2 - 3:00, pm
Okanagan Regional Library - Vernon
2800 - 30th Avenue, Vernon

This article is from the February 2017 Issue of Forever Young

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By Glenna Turnbull

Sometimes a name is more appropriate than we first realize. Take, for example, Valley First. Set to celebrate their 70th anniversary this year, Valley First has truly lived up to its name through their commitment to, indeed, put the “Valley” first.

For example, did you know that since 2010, Valley First has raised well over $1.2 million and close to 72,000 pounds of food for local food banks through their Feed the Valley campaign? And if you donated in, say, Oliver, then the money stayed to help those in need in Oliver; or if you donated in Kelowna, Penticton, Salmon Arm or any of their17 branches, the food or money received remained in your own community to help those in need.

Susan Ewanick, President of Valley First, said, “We’re very proud of the Feed the Valley campaign.”

But Valley First does a lot more than just help out its local food banks. They’re also reaching out to help the valley’s youth through their CanSave program. “We’ve partnered with Enactus through Okanagan College in a new financial literacy program,” explained Susan, “educating children in grades two through four on basic money management skills.”

In keeping with their community-mindedness, not only are they teaching children the importance of spending and saving wisely, but kids are learning to include the all-important philanthropic idea of donating as well. “We’re helping them learn to make decisions around their spending and saving choices as well as their charity choices – the decisions we all make on a weekly and monthly basis,” Susan said.

Reflective of their passion about financial literacy and the importance of teaching future generations sound money management, Valley First is hosting an exciting contest on Facebook, asking parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles to create a short video about how they are educating future generations about the three pillars of financial management: spending, saving and giving. “We’ll be giving away three prizes of $1,000 for the best short video,” noted Meredith Birchall-Spencer, Communications Business Partner for Valley First

The contest is open from Feb. 7 to 21 and can be found on Valley First’s Facebook page at

This article is from the January 2017 Issue of Forever Young

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A WITCH WATCHES as Maggie tests her wand while shopping on Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

By Liz Campbell

I just became the world’s best grandma. It was easy; I took my grandchildren to Happy Central, aka Orlando, Florida. 

It’s easy enough to head for Disney World, but we explored Mars at the Kennedy Space Center; we stepped into Diagon Alley at Universal Studios; and we were turned upside down at WonderWorks. 

After four days, Sarah (age 12), Ben (age 11) and the twins, Josh and Maggie (age 7) were hard-pressed to say what they loved best. Well, to be fair, for Maggie there was no contest – she has read all the Harry Potter books.

To Infinity and Beyond....

“That was amazing,” Josh squeals as we leave the Destination Mars exhibit. “It’s like I was really on Mars and I could look all around me, even the ground.” We had donned Microsoft HoloLens virtual reality glasses and literally walked on the surface of the red planet, led by astronaut Buzz Aldrin and the Mars Rover. These aren’t just imaginary, but based on data gathered by the Rover while on Mars. It’s an extraordinary experience.

Some 35 years ago, my daughter and I visited the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Back then, it was exciting to see moon rocks gathered during the1968 landing on the surface. This time, through the magic of technology, we went back in time to those early missions –  the frightening failures and the awe-inspiring success of the moon landing. I asked the children if they would like to go into space. After seeing so many rockets explode on the launch pad, they were hesitant. But then we met Jerry Ross.

Between 1985 and 2002, Commander Ross flew a record seven missions into space, including one with Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield. Ben asked him if it was scary relying on technology. 

“In our world, we rely on technology all the time. Sometimes it fails,” Ross replied, adding with a laugh, “The only difference is that it’s a longer walk home from space.” 

He described sleeping in space (in restraints like a sleeping bag), the games the astronauts invented at zero gravity (racing through the space lab tunnel) and the worst thing about the trip (“Having to come home.”) 

After our chat, Maggie conceded that she ‘might’ go in space.

Ross signed a copy of his book, Spacewalker: My Journey in Space and Faith as NASA’s Record-Setting Frequent Flyer (Purdue University Press, 2013). And when Sarah asked him what had been the most frightening part of the trip, he replied, “The launch itself.”

We had the opportunity to experience a little of what Ross was talking about. Technology allowed us to safely launch in a virtual space shuttle just like the Atlantis. Afterwards, we took turns in astronaut training simulators to dock it ourselves. 

At KSC we got a close-up look at the huge rockets which powered the US into space history. And our hearts swelled with pride at the sight of a Canadarm, the robotic arm Canada developed for working in space. My grandchildren thought these were “cool”, but the significance of each numeral attached to Apollo is emblazoned in my memory. 

This article is from the December 2016 Issue of Forever Young

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By Glenna Turnbull

“Not those bell ringers again,” said the disgruntled woman in the fur coat who pushed past me on the way out of the store, her arms laden with plastic bags filled full of bargains.

“Yes,” I said to her, “isn’t it wonderful what they do?”

If she’d stopped for more than the moment it took to sneer at me, I would have explained:

The Salvation Army Kettle Fund has become synonymous with Christmas and each day, as volunteers man the kettles and, yes, ring their bells where permitted, they help to make our community a much brighter place for those who are struggling.

It’s a sad statistic that one in every eight households struggle to put food on the table and that 90,000 Canadians will find themselves at the door of their local food bank for the first time this month, but such is the case. (Ring ring...)

One of the volunteers at the Kelowna Salvation Army knows first-hand what it’s like to be in need and require their services and why those ringing bells are so important. When Alicia Cook moved to Kelowna in September 2015 with her daughter, she came on the premise of starting a new life for them both – a life that included her returning to school. As a single mom, struggling to make ends meet while awaiting her student loan to arrive, she found herself at the doors of the Salvation Army Community Life Centre where she met one of their Case Workers, Jamie Johnstone. “Jamie was amazing,” said Alicia, “she was a breath of fresh air. She was safe to talk to when I had no one else.”

Like many before her, the initial shame Alicia felt at having to ask for help manifested itself into tears but before long, with Jamie’s help, tears were turned into smiles. Food, clothing and a brand new backpack for her daughter to start school with were some of the things she left that first appointment with, along with the knowledge that there are good people in this world, people who care – care enough to listen to that ringing bell and drop in a donation.