Blog Purpose

The purpose of the blog is to report on the activities of the clubs and organizations and to post details about community announcements that are too long for the Announcements page. Comments and content are welcomed. Email the webmasters at

The BLUE heading is a link to more information about the post.

Questions about Medicare? She Has Answers!

Jennifer Simon is an Erickson employee who is a licensed insurance agent for Erickson Advantage, a Medicare Advantage plan insured through United Healthcare. Erickson Advantage  is only available to Erickson Living residents. Jennifer is offering free advice on any individual questions you or your family member have on your current health insurance and you DO NOT have to join Erickson Advantage to obtain your answers.

Many residents have Medicare and Medicare Supplemental Insurance. Medicare Open Enrollment begins on October 15th and ends on December 7th. We should now be examining our current health or prescription changes that may necessitate a change in our health insurance. Or we may have questions regarding options that we may foresee in our future.

Please note that Medicare regulations prevent Jennifer from contacting residents who are not members of Erickson Advantage. If you are not a member, you have to contact her first.  So, it’s up to you to reach out to obtain the free info and guidance. You may call or email Jennifer at any time to set up an individual appointment at 443-297-3110 or leaving your name, address, phone and/or email address on her voicemail, if she is out. Family members may also attend.  To obtain your best answers you should be prepared to share your current benefits and premiums with Jennifer.

Although there are no strings attached to join the Erickson Advantage plan, you and your family may want to listen carefully to specific benefits that are available for Charlestown residents in both Independent Living and Continuing Care. Once you join, there is an onsite Member Services Representative to answer benefit and health insurance questions, to help with arranging doctor’s appointments, and to arrange for transportation to medical appointments. There is also a Care Coordinator, a registered nurse, who assists members with managing their health care needs.

Erickson Advantage information cards have been placed at Lobby desks around campus for your convenience. Also, Jennifer will hold Erickson Advantage Annual Enrollment Meetings at the Charlestown Square Gallery:
10/10/2019    2:30-5pm                    10/24/2019  10am-12pm                11/14/2019  2-5pm
Charlie Eichenlaub
Resident Council Communications Website Sub-committee

Review of “Leadership: In Turbulent Times”

Resident Eleanor Lewis will review Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 7 PM in the Auditorium.

Leadership: In Turbulent Times gives a revealing picture of its four subjects, all of them involved in politics long before they became President of the United States.  The author, in her aim to show the kindred traits that each one exhibited in exercising the directorship of the nation, goes at it in a threefold way: she looks first at the early life of the man (they were, of course, all males) and his development of character: then at any adversity which he had to overcome to achieve his ambitions; finally, how he exercised his talents while in office.

All four confronted “great necessities”, as she puts it: “Abraham Lincoln entered the presidency at the gravest moment of dissolution in American history.  Franklin Roosevelt encountered a decisive crisis in our country’s economic survival and the viability of democracy itself.  Though neither Theodore Roosevelt nor Lyndon Johnson faced a national crisis on the scale of secession or devastating economic depression, they both assumed office as a result of an assassination, a violent rupture of the democratic mode of succession at a time when seismic tremors had begun to rattle the social order.” The author demonstrates how each was the right person to lead at the moment of history that gave him the reins of government.

Goodwin includes details that give us surprising insights into her subjects. For example, while we are  familiar with the close relationship of FDR with his mother, experiences in his early years with his father were life shaping for him, as she demonstrates in describing Franklin’s recuperation from polio.

Likewise, we learn about the influence of LBJ’s parents on their son’s political development.  From his mother, a college educated cultured woman with literary aspirations, he learned the value of a good education and an orderly life. From his father, who liked nothing better than swapping stories with his cronies, he received his life-long ability to relate to everyone he met and to manipulate people for his own ambitions. But the tension between his parents gave Lyndon a sense of insecurity and a need to control as well as an enormous desire to please, characteristics which would later show themselves in behavior with subordinates, colleagues and the press.

Goodwin gives a meticulous and fair accounting of each of her subjects, so much so that one might someday take on the task of reading her biography of each of them! But for now, this volume is recommended as noteworthy for its ease in reading and its appropriateness in these, our own times of turbulence.

Janet Neer and Jane Backstrom, Book Review Co-chairs

It All Started with 308 Small Squares

An anonymous elderly lady from the Odenton Senior Center knit 308 small squares and asked a friend of Susan Kowalewski (resident) if she knew anyone who might put them together. She claimed she was not up to putting the squares together. All she wanted was a picture of the finished project. Susan’s friend brought the 308 squares to her in a large black garbage bag, and Susan brought them to the Sew ‘N’ Sews group, of which she belongs, to get the coverlet together.

Seven members in the group proceeded to put four of the small squares together to make the petal pattern. They did this at their homes as well as at the group gathering. It took the group from approximately October 2018 until July 2019 to piece it all together. Finally, Chris Buppert crocheted an edge all around to give it a finishing touch.

Thank you to the Sew ‘N’ Sew members who participated and donated the coverlet to be raffled to benefit the Benevolent Care Fund: Mary Ackerman, Chris Buppert, Marilyn Ford, Ardeth Johns, Susan Kowalewski, Irene Roberts, and Lucy Sorensen.

Gardeners Fall Meeting

OCTOBER 15, 2019
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Cross Creek Craft Room
(Near Shortline Restaurant)
Special Guest:  Craig Nelson from Security

(Discussion on Heat Stroke and prevention)




Review of “Fall of Frost”

Resident Bill Tilles will review Fall of Frost by Brian Hall on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 7 PM in the Auditorium.

Fall of Frost , a novel by Brian Hall, is an up close and personal story of the life of the great poet, Robert Frost. Brian Hall was born in 1959 and graduated from Harvard summa cum laude in 1981.  This is his fourth novel, published in 2008. In Brian Hall’s words, “Although this work is properly called a novel, I’ve approached it in the spirit of a biographer who wanted to stretch his usual form to accommodate more speculation than non-fiction generally allows.” He lets us know that his personal contribution was the selecting of the events that he considers “important contours of Frost’s extraordinarily lush and difficult mental landscape”.

The novel begins in 1962 when Frost was 88 years old. It opens with him visiting the Soviet Union as a result of an invitation to visit Nikita Khrushchev by Russian ambassador, Antonin Dobrynin, after meeting at a dinner party.  President Kennedy thought it was a good idea. Frost anticipated that he and Khrushchev would resolve issues that would save the world.

From the first pages of chapter one we gain insight into the inner Frost as he ruminates about his presence in Russia and the likelihood of his success with Khrushchev and with his mission. Over the next 128 chapters and 334 pages, Frost’s life is opened to us. We can only wonder, as we witness the evolution of his brilliant career, how he managed the loss of his father at 11, his only sister being institutionalized, the death of his wife, Elinor, and three of his five children pre-deceasing him. The tragedies he faced introduced a lifetime of psychological distress.

Poetry was Robert Frost’s reason for being and the source of his sustenance. Poetry came first, although he loved his family deeply. But in each phase of his life his writing influenced his self-image, his self-confidence and his sense of self-worth, either because he was unsure of his ability to survive as a poet or because he was unsure about the strength of his reputation once it was established.  Even as one of the most famous poets in the world he wondered whether people understood him or understood his poetry,

Like many other great artists Frost was creating constantly. Poetry, whether his own or the work of others, was always flowing through his mind. Each personal experience, whether positive or negative, was a source of inspiration for him. Brian Hall uses a style of writing that sets up the opportunity to witness, seemingly first-hand, what such extraordinary creativity looks like as it mixes with real life. Rarely, does one have such a first-hand look into the world of a genius.

Janet Neer and Jane Backstrom, Book Review Co-Chairs

Here What’s Happening with the Charlestown-Sandtown Connection

You are invited to attend!

CSC General Meeting
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
1 PM

This event will feature Sandtown leaders and representatives from the New Song Academy discussing safety, fresh food, get out the vote, youth programs, DOJ consent decree, Kindle Fires and school supplies.

Charlestown Sandtown Connection is a group of Charlestown residents who volunteer to support our sister community Sandtown. Learn about what volunteerism means to this community and to theirs.

Resident Book Review for August, 2019

August 20 – Brief Answers to The Big Questions [London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2018] by Stephen Hawking, reviewed by Ralph Strong.


‘Brief …’ Is Stephen Hawking’s Parting Gift To Humanity [NPR]
Stephen Hawking’s final book… [PhysicsWorld ]
An unfinished tome reveals…musings on life’s biggest mysteries [Science]
Thoughts on the Book ‘Brief Answers…’ [Futurism]
Review [The Space Review]
…’Enjoy it, learn from it, and regret it… []
Stephen Hawking’s final musings…[Washington Post]
Brief…by Stephen Hawking – review [The Guardian]
‘Brief’ …Review – God, space, AI, Brexit
[The Guardian]
Hawking’s final book offers brief answers… [PhysOrg]

Black Swan Yacht Club Kicks Off Its Fall 2019 Season

Join us as the Black Swan Yacht Club begins the fall 2019 sailboat racing season on:

Monday, September 2, 2019
10 AM
Lake Charles
Shuttle service to Lake Charles will be provided.

Sailboat racing will continue each Monday at 10:00 am through October. The Black Swan Yacht Club (BSYC) is open to residents who have an interest in sailing. The club owns several boats which can be used by residents considering joining the club. The club provides fun, challenge, camaraderie, and the enjoyment of our lovely lake. No sailing experience is necessary, just having an interest in sailing and the opportunity of an outdoor activity. All women and men are invited to see how much fun model sailboats can provide.

For more information, contact John Ogaitis, whose contact information can be found in the Resident Directory in MyErickson.