THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FriDAy, MAy 17, 2024 Page 15 SOUNDS| FROM PAGE 14 The Saugus United Parish Food Pantry is open today (Friday, May 17) from 9:30-11 a.m. Legion Breakfast today There’s a good breakfast deal for Saugus veterans and other folks who enjoy a hearty breakfast on Friday mornings. The ASKS| FROM PAGE 12 She was a single mother, but never alone. We lived with my grandmother until I was 14; she meant the world to me. She passed away a couple of years ago. My Aunt Linda was a big champion for me as well and she passed just after we graduated high school in 2019. My mother still has family in Saugus though it’s just smaller now. We never really had a lot of money; there were a lot of mouths to feed. Because of that we couldn’t take big vacations or something for school break like the other students. The UMass system gives the most fi nancial aid and that made public college the best option for us. Looking back on it now, I wouldn’t have gotten many of the opportunities I have if I hadn’t gone to UML. My mother is a workhorse. She always has been but there has been a lot on her shoulders since we were born. Now that my sisters have begun their professional careers and moved into their own apartments in town, it’s a little less stressful for her and a little less to carry around. Neither of us are good at relaxing and my hair is already graying – hahaha. She’s always tried to make the best of what we have. Eventually I hope to have enough where she won’t have to worry about fi nances. Even when I started to think about law school, she was adamant that I do what would make me happy and that we would fi nd the money through loans, scholarships or otherwise. While the family has gotten smaller, I have had a lot of support from others in my life. By chance there are a lot of public offi cials in town that I have known well before any of us got involved, and their friendship is very important to me. I refer to Selectman Deb Panetta, Jeannie Meredith and former Selectman Jenn D’Eon as my Aunts because they have supported me through a lot over the years and I don’t really have American Legion Post 210 at 44 Taylor St. in Saugus off ers Friday morning breakfasts in 2024. Doors open at 7:30 a.m., with breakfast served from 8-9:00 a.m. for an $8 donation. Veterans who cannot aff ord the donation may be served free. Summer track is coming Coach Christopher Tarantino’s popular Summer Track for youths ages fi ve through 18 begins on July 1. The program is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. at the track outside Belmonte STEAM Academy. Registration will run from June 24-28. Here is the schedule: July 1-5: fi rst formal week. July 8-11: second formal week. July 12, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.: makeup practice (if necessary). July 12, 6 p.m.: pasta dinner at Prince. July 13, 9 a.m.: in-house meet at Serino Stadium. July 15-18: retrain week. July 20: Summer Showdown, Cranston, R.I. July 24: wrap up. Sa Cost: $250 fi rst year, $200 returning with uniform, $150 if three years or more in summer program; includes pasta dinner, t-shirt, uniform and entry into Summer Showdown. Please note that these programs are not being offered through the town’s Youth & THE SOUNDS | SEE PAGE 17 Say nr y nior y Senior Senio by Jim Miller Ways to Make Gardening Easier as You Age Dear Savvy Senior, What gardening tips can you off er to older seniors? I love to putter around and work in the garden, but my back and knees have caused me to curtail my gardening activities, which I miss greatly. Older Gardner RECEIVING THE CHANCELLOR’S MEDAL: Last Friday, Chancellor Julie Chen (right) presented Andrew Whitcomb with a Chancellor’s Medal for Service to UMass. (Courtesy photo to The Saugus Advocate) Dear Older, There’s no doubt that gardening can be hard on an aging body. Joints stiffen up, kneeling for prolonged periods hurts, and bending and reaching can strain muscles. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your hobby. You just need to garden diff erently, add some special tools and know your limits. Here are some tips that may help you. Limber Up With gardening, good form is very important as well as not overdoing any one activity. A common problem is that gardeners often kneel or squat, putting extra pressure on their knees. Then, to spare their knees, they might stand and bend over for long stretches to weed, dig and plant, straining their back and spine. To help protect your body, you A SPECIAL AWARD FOR A SUPER SAUGUS SCHOLAR (Courtesy photo to The Saugus Advocate) that kind of extended family left. So whenever I have big news to share, I call them. I called them all on Mother’s Day, too, and it’s always a comfort to me knowing that they are rooting for my success. College and studying and sometimes just being 23 and trying to fi gure out what you are supposed to do with your life can be isolating a lot of the time, but when you have people like my mother and those three cheering for you, it makes it a lot easier. Q: Please tell me about your sisters and your brother, and how they are doing. A: Collette works in the Endoscopy department at Beverly Hospital and she recently got accepted into a radiology program at North Shore Community College. Diana is an Operating Room nurse at Winchester Hospital. Neither are planning on graduate degrees at the moment, ASKS | SEE PAGE 18 need to warm up before beginning. Start by stretching, focusing on the legs and lower back. And keep changing positions and activities. Don’t spend hours weeding a fl owerbed. After 15 minutes of weeding, you should stand up, stretch, and switch to another activity like pruning the bushes or just take a break. It’s also important that you recognize your physical limitations and don’t try to do too much all at once. And, when lifting heavier objects, remember to use your legs to preserve your back. You can do this by keeping the item close to your body and squatting to keep your back as vertical as possible. Get Better Tools The right gardening equipment can help too. Kneeling pads can protect knees, and garden seats or stools are both back and knee savers. Lightweight garden carts can make hauling bags of mulch, dirt, plants or other heavy objects much easier. And long-handled gardening and weeding tools can help ease the strain on the back by keeping you in a standing upright position versus bent over. There are also ergonomic gardening and pruning tools with fatter handles and other design features that can make lawn and garden activities a little easier. Fiskars and Felco make a number of specialty tools that you can buy online or at local retail stores that sell lawn and garden supplies. Also check out Gardeners.com and RadiusGarden. com, two online stores that sell specialized gardening tools and equipment that are very helpful to older gardeners. Make Watering Easier The chore of carrying water or handling a heavy, awkward hose can also be diffi cult for older gardeners. Some helpful options include lightweight fabric or expandable hoses instead of heavy rubber hoses; soaker or drip hoses that can be snaked throughout the garden; thin coil hoses that can be used on the patio or small areas; a hose caddy and reel for easier hose transport around the yard; and a self-winding hose chest that puts the hose up automatically. There are also a variety of ergonomic watering wands that are lightweight, easy to grip, and reach those hard to-get-to plants. To find these types of watering aids check with your local lawn and garden supplies stores or visit Gardeners.com. Bring the Garden to You If your backyard garden has become too much to handle, you should consider elevated garden beds or container gardening – using big pots, window boxes, hanging baskets, barrels or tub planters. This is a much easier way to garden because it eliminates much of the bend and strain of gardening but still provides the pleasure of making things grow. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. ior

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