Archive for April, 2010

Katherine’s Walk: Day 11, April 15

April 30, 2010

I’m in Massachusetts for two days, presenting to the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, the MetroWest Community Healthcare Foundation, and meeting Adam Marx from Representative Mariano’s office, at the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School. There has been a spate of tragic older driver crashes in Massachusetts this past year and both of these foundations and this state legislator are seeking a positive approach to the transportation needs of older people who limit or stop driving. People outlive the decision to stop driving by as much as a decade, and even in a transportation-rich community, such as Greater Boston, there is a need for the kind of door-through-door and arm-through-arm senior transportation that ITN provides. I probably don’t need to say this, but I never get tired of presenting ITN to community-oriented folks. It is so energizing to talk about solutions.

I connected with Tufts Health Plan Foundation and MetroWest through David Abelman, Executive Director for Tufts HP Foundation. My phone rang.
“Is this Katherine Freund?” he said. “I just heard you on the radio, the Jim and Margery Show. I’ve been hearing about your organization for a year, now. I think it’s time for us to talk.” David and a few of his staff came to see us in Maine at our office in the old Dana Warp Mill, and the next thing I knew, I was invited to Boston to present to the Board.

If I were a legislator, Adam Marx would be the kind of aide I would want. He contacted us on behalf of Representative Mariano because he was trying to think creatively about solving the senior transportation problem. But the reason he met me in Boston was to help me describe an important public policy project to Mia Friedman, Director of Public Interest and Pro bono Programs at the Rappaport Center. Creating Incentives and Removing Barriers to the Use of Private Resources for Sustainable Senior Transportation: A 50 State Analyses and Policy Plan is funded by the Silver Century Foundation, and it is one of the most exciting policy projects we have ever done. But we need help with the legal research, and Adam offered to introduce me to the Rappaport Center.

I spent the night with family in Natick, and walked a mile with my cousin, Jeffrey, and his incredibly intelligent Labrador, Fenway. Here’s the village green, in Natick, on as pretty a spring day as I could wish. (1 mile, 24 miles total)

Katherine’s Walk: Day Ten, April 11

April 23, 2010

Spring is here. Oh, these little baby leaves. I have to share my outdoor time now with yard work. Never believe anyone who tells you there is such a thing as a low maintenance yard, unless maybe it is concrete. Saturday was all yard work and errands, but Sunday was another matter. I had two volunteer rides for ITN, so I planned my walk between them. Even after all these years, I still love to volunteer to drive. The people we drive are so nice, and even on the shortest trip, they talk about something interesting. Sunday, I learned a little bit about London in World War II from my ITN passenger, a war bride.

Before my first ride, I stopped at the corner bakery for coffee and a loaf of bread for the week. It’s a neighborhood bread bakery in an old fire station. My favorite part is the corner table for little children, with rolling pins and muffin pans and lots of dough for them to squish. Real play dough.

I picked up my first passenger at an independent living facility in Portland and drove her to the Congregational Church right here in my neighborhood. Then off I went to Mackworth Island for a walk around the perimeter of the island. Mackworth is in Falmouth, right next to Portland, connected to the main land by a little bridge, so it is easy to drive across and have a lovely walk beside the ocean, looking back across the water at Portland and around Casco Bay at other islands. There were so many people walking, with children, dogs, or just hand in hand, I had a hard time taking pictures for you without invading their privacy. I finally took a little movie of the fairy village for you. And I realized I can talk on the recording, too.

After the walk, I took another lady home from the Catholic Church, stopping with her on the way home to pick up the Sunday newspaper. Both my morning riders told me they had stopped driving for safety reasons and both said ITN is wonderful and helps keep them independent. Interestingly, both have family in the area and ride with them, too, but not all the time.

I’m off to Massachusetts this week, so maybe I can walk there and send you a picture. And I’ll tell you how you can join me in my Walk for Rides, if you like, to help support senior transportation and older drivers. (1.5 miles, 23 miles total)

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Katherine’s Walk at Mackworth Island (Falmouth, Maine)
Fairy village at Mackworth Island

Katherine’s Walk: Day Nine, April 8

April 19, 2010

Another day on the treadmill. (2 miles, 21.5 miles total)

Katherine’s Walk: Day Eight, April 7

April 7, 2010

Despite my best intentions, I never made it to the Boulevard for a walk, but I did do 2 miles on my treadmill. I’ll spare you the scenic view of my basement. (2 miles, 19.5 miles total)

Katherine’s Walk: Day Seven, April 4

April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday. After a lovely brunch on the patio, and a double Easter Egg hunt (first the children hid the eggs for the adults, as a surprise, then the adults hid them for the children) my brother Daniel and I walked down to the harbor in South Freeport. I asked him how far he thought it was, and he guessed maybe 1.5 miles. We never did find all the eggs. (1.5 miles, 17.5 miles total)

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The harbor in South Freeport, Maine
The harbor in South Freeport, Maine

Katherine’s Walk: Day Six, April 3

April 3, 2010

Saturday and it is a glorious spring day. I headed for the Fore River Sanctuary, right here in the City of Portland. Hard to believe such a beautiful walk can be a mile from my city house. I can access the start of the trail behind a medical building, and within a hundred feet, I am in the woods, following a trail over wooden foot bridges, along salt marshes, across railroad tracks, and finally to Jewell Falls, the only waterfall in Portland. I have so many pictures for you this time, I made a slide show. And this video is taken from the small wooden bridge over the Falls. Watch as I walk back down the path, then look up again at the bridge where I started. Portland has so many beautiful walks within a few minutes drive of my house I can enjoy a different walk every day of the week. Visit my Walk for Rides website to learn more about the 24 hour walk to support dignified transportation for seniors I’m training for June 18-19 in Portland. (3 miles, 16 miles total)

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Fore River Sanctuary
Trail at Fore River Sanctuary
Fore River Sanctuary
My walk at the Fore River Sanctuary

Katherine’s Walk: Day Five, April 1

April 1, 2010

I was looking forward to walking with my mother over the Passover holiday, but it just poured down rain. Even driving was like being in a submarine. But today, April 1, I had a wonderful stroll after work around my own neighborhood. My brother, Daniel, walked with me. Here he is, on the front steps of my house. You can visit my Walk for Rides web page if you like and send me a message, too. (1.5 miles; 13 miles total)