Wit and Wisdom Blog for Atria Senior Living

      Wit and Wisdom      

a new view on growing older
Janet-S.-Gold-Medal-Winner

Janet S. – still living the gold medal life


Posted on March 2, 2018 by Atria Senior Living


Atria Bay Spring Village resident Janet S. never dreamed she would win an Olympic gold medal in track and field – mostly because she was a swimmer.

“I ran a little, but not as much as I swam,” said Janet. “I tried out for track and field anyway in college and it was unbelievable to me that I made it.”

In 1951, Janet’s team at Boston University qualified for and competed in the Pan American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. That led her to compete in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.

“It was a wonderful experience to walk into the Olympic stadium and know that I was representing the United States.”

That year, the Australian team was the heavy favorite to win gold during the women’s 4x100 meter relay. But there’s more to a relay race than running. The baton must be passed and, during the handoff, Australia dropped theirs. The U.S. team pulled ahead and won. Janet cried tears of joy when presented with her gold medal.

After returning home from the Olympics, Janet married her husband and moved to Barrington, Rhode Island, where she taught physical education to middle school students for 36 years. Janet was the first Rhode Islander to win an Olympic gold. She was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 1968.

A longtime minister, Janet returned to the Olympics in 2010 as chaplain for the U.S. Olympic Team. She also ministered to residents at Atria Bay Spring Village and eventually became a resident herself.

“It’s where I always wanted to be,” said Janet.

Today, Janet’s car parked outside the community proudly sports one of just six official Olympic Gold Medalist license plates in Rhode Island. She donated her Olympic uniform to the United States Olympic Committee archives and says one day her gold medal will be given to her alma mater to inspire future generations of female athletes.

“Women can achieve anything they aspire to if they work hard and believe in themselves,” Janet said.

 


Category: Community, Wit & Wisdom Tags: , , ,

Stories Connect People


Posted on December 5, 2017 by Atria Senior Living


From the time humans first roamed the earth, we have used storytelling as a way to understand our experiences, build connections and make sense of the world.

We live in a time when information is plentiful, but cheap. Wisdom, on the other hand, has become all the more rare and valuable. Our purest, most relatable source of wisdom is our stories.

(more…)


Category: Wit & Wisdom Tags: , , , ,

The Power of Gratitude is in the Sharing – Atria Senior Living Blog

The Power of Gratitude is in the Sharing


Posted on September 13, 2017 by Atria Senior Living


Take a few moments to think about what you are grateful for: things like your health, your family, your friends, the food on your table, the roof over your head and the beauty of the flowers planted outside the coffee shop.

When we mindfully contemplate our blessings, we consider that some are things we did not always have, or lost temporarily. We acknowledge that many others do not share our good fortune. We recognize that we might not always have what we do now. (more…)


Category: Wit & Wisdom Tags: , , ,

5 Things You Can Do To Make This Year’s Family Reunion the Best Yet

5 Things You Can Do To Make This Year’s Family Reunion the Best Yet


Posted on June 15, 2017 by Kacey Roby


Little ones running and chasing their cousins. Babies being held in the arms of wise great-grandparents. Family reunions are full of simple pleasures like these, yet they take a lot of planning. The when, where and who of a family reunion can be so time consuming that we sometimes forget why we’re getting together in the first place – to deepen our connection with the people we love, bridge generations and share the most precious gift we have to give – time. (more…)


Category: Wit & Wisdom Tags: , , , , , ,

“It’s History. It’s Over. Focus on Today.” and More Wisdom from My Father by Billie Jean King

“It’s History. It’s Over. Focus on Today.” and More Wisdom from My Father by Billie Jean King


Posted on June 1, 2017 by Billie Jean King


Billie Jean King is a winner of 39 Grand Slam tennis titles, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and a champion for social change and equality. She serves as Atria’s Well-Being Coach.

At 15 years old, I appeared on the front page of the Long Beach Independent sports section for the first time. Unfortunately, it was for a match I had lost 6-0, 6-0 – the worst loss possible. I was very upset. Here I had finally gotten on the front page and it had to be for that. (more…)


Category: Wit & Wisdom Tags: , , , , ,

From Chaucer to Motorcycles: Lessons from a Lifelong Teacher – Atria Senior Living Blog

From Chaucer to Motorcycles: Lessons from a Lifelong Teacher


Posted on April 28, 2017 by Sarah Warner


Photo courtesy of the Della Craighead Appreciation Society Facebook Group.

“I don’t think I ever had a student that I didn’t care for deeply. They became like my children.”

For Della Craighead, a resident of Atria Center City in Philadelphia, the scores of young people she taught in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, were not just her students. They were – and still are – her family.

As much as the 99-year-old retired high school English teacher loves her students, they love her back. Her former pupils have created The Della Craighead Appreciation Society on Facebook to honor their beloved teacher, posting photos from her teaching days and sharing stories of how she brought out the best in them and fostered their curiosity.

They also express gratitude for the lessons she taught them – not only about literature and grammar, but about keeping an open mind and finding their own voice through writing. They thank her for inspiring them to become teachers, writers and lifelong learners.

When they are not praising Della on social media, they are coming to see her at Atria. One recent visitor is a librarian at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Others bring their children and grandchildren to meet their beloved teacher.

Della does not recall a time in her life when she did not want to be an educator. She got her first teaching job after graduating from college at age 19. After taking a hiatus to raise her five children, she returned to the classroom in 1960 to teach American literature, English literature, grammar and composition. Her favorite lesson was teaching students to memorize Chaucer in Old English.

“My one desire was to get them to write and read well,” she said.

Della still counts reading among her favorite activities, attributing her love of books and learning to her grandfather. Whenever he visited her family, he’d hide a book under his coat. If she could read him the last book that he had given her, she would get the new book.

“He was an incredible man,” she said. “I give him and God credit for everything.”

Della continually sets new goals for herself. In 2015, she went on her first motorcycle ride. She is now learning French and practices her French vocabulary with her occupational therapist. She also maintains connections with young people, working on art projects and playing games with Atria’s First Grade Buddies, a group of local schoolchildren who visit the community twice a month.

And just as her grandfather was so instrumental in her upbringing, she continues to set a good example and pass along wisdom to future generations of her family. Della’s daughter Marion recalls one such moment after Della’s motorcycle ride. Her great-granddaughter Kate was on hand to watch and asked her what it was like. Much to the girl’s surprise, Della replied that it was even better than getting a new house or car.

“How many little girls are able to learn from their great-grandmothers that experiences are more important than possessions?” Marion said. “That’s the most important lesson of all.”


Category: Wit & Wisdom Tags: , , ,

Meet the Love of Your Life Again – Atria Senior Living Blog

Meet the Love of Your Life Again


Posted on February 10, 2017 by Kacey Roby


You met the love of your life the day you were born – it’s you!

Making positive connections with others is essential to a good quality of life, yet the relationship that requires top priority is the relationship you have with yourself. If you’ve ever flown on a plane, you know the drill: Place the oxygen mask on yourself before helping your fellow passengers. Loving yourself is the foundation to having a positive relationship with others. (more…)


Category: Wit & Wisdom Tags: ,

-->