From OLOHP: Arden’s Musings & 2017 Interview Numbers

| January 10, 2018

Arden’s Musings

It seems like we just sent an issue of The Insider out a few weeks ago, which we did. Hurricanes and flooding kept that issue from coming out when it should, but things have calmed down and we feel like our lives are getting back on track. As you know, Charlotte and I had to move from the house we’d lived in for more than 20 years. Downsizing from nine rooms with lots of storage to three rooms was no small feat for us at 87 and an 86 years old! As you can imagine, the physical move was a huge task, one we could never have done alone. But the emotional impact was large as well. Many of you have reached out to us, asking if you can help in any way, and wishing us well. We count ourselves as incredibly lucky women to have such an extensive support system at this stage in our lives.

We’re now in a high-rise senior living building called The Forum at Memorial Woods. Like many similar facilities, there are various levels of care, and lots of amenities. We’re still living independently and have a two-bedroom unit to accommodate the OLOHP office and guests. We still have a full kitchen and I knew things were getting back to normal when I was able to stop unpacking and cook a full meal for us. I’ll miss the canning and freezing, but we are safe and comfortable. And Charlotte is busily charming and flirting with other residents… and we LOVE the valet parking!

It was a surprise to find out I may actually be a bit more of a tech user than others at The Forum. I’ve always felt like I barely know the difference between an app and an operating system! Working with Margaret in Washington, and interviewers and transcribers spread out all over, has made it a must that I can handle email, some basic word processing, do the occasional scan and such. Once we moved and I had time to set up my computer, I was incredibly frustrated. But it turned out the problem wasn’t mine this time! It was the connections within the building. I once again employed my new mantra, “I get by with a little help from my friends,” and they helped me get me up and running.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and supportive words. They’ve made this year’s changes all the more bearable. Charlotte and I recently went to San Antonio where I was able to get three new interviews for the Project – that tells me things are getting back to normal, and we’re once more moving ahead. Hope you enjoyed whatever holidays you celebrate.  — Arden

Numbers Tell Us How Many … Words Remind Us Why

As we approach the end of another year in the OLOHP, we thought we’d update everyone on where things stand. We’ll start with numbers. It has been an unusual year. Before, we would consistently have a handful of interviews conducted each month. In 2017, they came in spurts. We started with a very busy winter and spring, but it was followed by a quiet summer. For the first time in several years, we were able to pat ourselves on the back for getting caught up on the recordings waiting to be transcribed. Well, we should have held off on congratulating ourselves, because once fall arrived, it was like someone flipped a switch. There was even a recent day when five interviews came in on the same day. While this does mean we’re scrambling to get all the new interviews processed, as far as we’re concerned, that’s a good thing – it means even more of these important stories have been gathered and they will honored and preserved. A few more interviews might be added as the year comes to a close, but as of today (December 29), we have gathered 87 new stories in 2017 (a record!), bringing the total number of interviews to 643. In our wildest dreams, we never expected the Project to have lasted as long or accomplished so much.

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