Creating a Vibrant and Engaging
Community for Seniors
Newsletter of
Northeast Village PDX  
Northeast Village PDX is a community led by older adults sharing their skills and expertise and supporting each other to balance the challenges and opportunities of aging. We believe a better experience of aging is possible when we engage with and rely on each other. Every day, our members and volunteers come together to provide support services and create new possibilities for our future.
In This Issue:

MAY - JUNE 2019

Hours Changed for NE Village Office
Beginning Monday, May 6 th , the Village office will be open Monday through Thursday from 10am to 3pm. 

Messages may still be left outside of these hours by phoning the office at 503-895-2750. We remain committed to serving both our members and volunteers better, always.  

Hours of Operation Effective 5/6

Monday - Thursday: 10am to 3pm
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Closed

Introduction to NE Village 
There will be an NEV "Introduction to the Village" session for the public on May 11 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm at the Gregory Heights Library, 7921 NE Sandy Blvd.
Fast Facts about NE Village 
  • Total membership as of March 1 is 132
  • Members range in age from 52 to 93; the average age of all members is 75.
  • 72% of Village members are women.
  • Almost half of all full-service members are single women age 70 or older. 
Governing Council Elections in September
IT'S NOT TOO SOON.... to start thinking about the Governing Council elections that take place at our September quarterly meeting for Village members.

If you would like a voice in decisions about how NE Village PDX engages in our community and serves Village members, this is the opportunity for you! 
Watch for more information in the July/August newsletter about serving on GovCo and how to become involved.             
- Susan Bach, Governing Council Co-chair
Springtime Yard Parties slots are available! 

Spring yard parties are underway. Yard parties are for bigger jobs that will require more than one person in a volunteer time frame. 

Please call the office if you desire a yard party for large amounts of yard work. This is also a great way for volunteers to connect with each other and work together. Possible June dates will be added later in the month.

Dates open at this time :
May 15, 12 - 2pm
May 20, 10am - 12pm
June 8, 10am-12pm
June 9, 12-2pm
June 22, 10am-12pm
June 12th General Meeting
Plan to join fellow NE Villagers for a potluck dinner, conversation, and the latest news of our Village at our June quarterly meeting for Village members. Our program will include a panel who will share member, volunteer, and Governing Council perspectives on life in the Village. You'll learn lots of ways to be involved. 

We will meet at Rose City Park United Methodist Church, 5830 NE Alameda, in Youngson Hall (enter the basement hall across the street from the parking lot on 58 th Avenue). Please bring a dish to share. Beverages will be provided along with cutlery, plates, and napkins.   We will gather at 6:00 pm, Wednesday, June 12, and conclude by 7:45 pm.
Help in setting up at 5:30 pm is always appreciated; please contact the office if you can help: 503-895-2750 or
Neighborhood Walks

Among our Village's monthly activities are the Neighborhood Walks. We get together the  second Monday of the month, if weather permits, to be led on an easy walk through a local area and share something about the plants, the houses, and history. 
In March we went to Garden Home, following the Fanno Creek Greenway Trail, and through a neighborhood to see the interesting "Rummer" houses. 

We are there for the company - - we've come to know each other fairly well - and a little exercise. More are welcome to join us. 

Look for a description of the next walk on the NE Village calendar . Please RSVP so we can notify you if weather prompts a cancellation.
Meals on Wheels Serves Seniors at Home - and in the Community
Did you know that Meals on Wheels has dining centers as well as home delivery? If you're feeling social, you can join a group of diners at:  
You can also call 503-736-6325 for the serving schedule at each location. If you need meals delivered to your home, you can request them online at: or call the above number.
Annual Medicare Wellness Visits Are Free
This is a reminder that Medicare Part B covers a free Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) with your primary care provider. The focus is on prevention rather than a complete physical.  It will include routine measurements, cholesterol and diabetes tests, followed by a discussion of associated risk factors and referrals to other health providers if necessary. 

Equally important, this visit assesses the patient's sense of well-being, such as living arrangements, nearby friends and family, and general mobility. 

The AWV is another pro-active tool for staying on top of health issues before they become serious. It is provided at no charge as long as it's only for prevention and not for any treatment. For further information, is an excellent site.
Calendar of Events
Volunteer Spotlight: Margaret Lovejoy Baldwin
Without volunteers, NE Village would not exist. This is the first in a series of articles highlighting the contributions volunteers have made.

Is there a volunteer whose story you'd like to read in an upcoming newsletter? Are you open to sharing your experience as a volunteer? Send nominations for volunteer profiles (including yourself, if willing) to the NE Village office, or 503-895-2750.
When Margaret Baldwin retired from her teaching job in the Bay Area and moved to Portland, she attended a meeting of Villages NW, the hub organization that connects 10 Villages in the Portland metro area in a tax-exempt organization and other nonprofit resources.
At the time, Eastside was the only Village forming in Portland, so Margaret decided to help start one in inner Northeast. In October 2013, she placed an ad in the Hollywood Star for a kickoff meeting at Velo Cult and about 10 people showed up. A second meeting in her and husband Frank's living room was standing room only. As interest in the Village concept grew, the meetings graduated to   the Hollywood library, then the basement of Rose City Park United Methodist Church (RCPUMC). NE Village opened its doors in November 2016.
That's how Margaret Baldwin became NE Village's first volunteer.
Fast-forward six years, with nine more Villages offering intentional community to Portland seniors, and Margaret now co-chairs the NEV Volunteer Committee along with Helen Richardson, leading a crew of about 80 volunteers. In addition, Margaret works in the NEV office, is a member of the Governing Council, and was Governing Council/Coordinating Council chair from 2014 to 2018.
In so many ways, Margaret's vision and leadership have shaped NE Village since its inception. Recently, she reflected on her community-building experiences and her vision for the future.
On volunteering: "People who are attracted to volunteering for the Village want to serve others and they do it with an honest heart. There's nothing in it for them, other than the intrinsic reward that comes from helping. I'm humbled and impressed by the quality of the volunteers that we get."
However, it can be difficult at times to enlist volunteer energy. In an early meeting in the RPCUMC basement, Margaret dressed up as the Little Red Hen (and reading from the children's book by that title) and staged a skit, asking the other animals in the barnyard to help her make bread. They kept finding reasons not to. "The point was quite clear. Somebody has to step up" to make the Village concept a reality.
On leadership: "The biggest challenge will be the transition from the founding leadership to new leadership."
Members of the Governing Council are limited to three two-year terms by Village bylaws. With founding officers filling approximately half the board seats, the time is fast approaching when new leadership and fresh vision will be in demand.
On the future: "My vision for NE Village is that we'll have a strong community that can include the diversity in NE Portland neighborhoods like Cully  --  that we would have volunteers to serve their neighbors in those neighborhoods."
She notes that lower income residents are less likely to have time, energy, and financial resources to spare, and the cost of membership can be a barrier. Funding for scholarships is needed. "They're struggling to take care of their own needs, so they have less time to devote to others. Lots of things can make people's lives very fragile. These people need the Village more than ever. So we have to figure out how to be more inclusive of people with less flexibility. It's going to be a challenge."
 -- Pat Vivian

Neighbor Spotlight: 
Pastor Steve Ross, RCPUMC

This is the second spotlight in a series on our neighbor organizations residing at Rose City Park United Methodist Church.
Sitting across from Pastor Steve Ross of Rose City Park United Methodist Church (RCPUMC) one immediately senses a man of a vibrant faith, a consuming kindness and a healthy intellectual curiosity.
Pastor Steve will finish his two-year posting at RCPUMC at the end of June, 2019. Previously, he has served Methodist churches predominately throughout Oregon since 1982. He also spent seven years as a supervisor and consultant for United Methodist congregations and pastors across Oregon and Idaho.
His path was not a straight line to the ministry. He holds a BS in Biology. During graduate school he felt unsettled, left it, and started a successful cabinet making business. However, after a few years, once again he felt the need for something deeper, something to truly energize his life. At the age of 27 Pastor Steve entered seminary to fulfill his promise to himself and the United Methodist Church.  
Pastor Steve enthusiastically describes the mission of the UMC as "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." Specifically, for him and the RCPUMC congregation, that translates into a progressive agenda of promoting social justice, for example, by fully embracing the LGBT community, promoting gender equality, fighting ageism/racism, and serving the marginalized. The ultimate goal is to be a values-based community that includes and accepts all disciples.  
In July, Pastor Steve will assume the mantle of the retired. As is often the case with pastors, he will find ways to continue to serve his faith community. Equally important, he joyously looks forward to playing with his grandchildren who are luckily located in Portland, sailing his handcrafted wooden boat on the river, and traveling throughout the western United States.  
RCPUMC will meet Pastor Steve's replacement in July. Until then Pastor Steve will continue to lead his ministry with a strong emphasis on wholeness and justice.
What Makes a Village Tick?
Meet the NE Village Marketing & Outreach Committee
This is the second in a series of articles describing governance and operations of the NE Village. ( See our March/April newsletter for an introduction.) This issue describes one of our ongoing standing committees, Marketing and Outreach:
How did you learn about Northeast Village PDX? Did you see a poster in a local business? Maybe you attended an information session at the Hollywood or Gregory Heights library. Perhaps at the Fremont Fest last summer, you talked with a volunteer at our booth and came away with our brochure and some personal reasons to sign up.
These are some of the ways that the Marketing & Outreach Committee does its job of promoting our Village. When we do it well, we attract people to join our community as members and/or volunteers.
The Marketing and Outreach Committee is a real team, working to develop print materials like our brochure, posters, and cards that convey NE Village's rich array of programs, activities, and services. We write articles for neighborhood newsletters, keeping neighbors informed of what's new in our Village. We also like to meet new people and provide them with the detailed information they need to consider becoming a part of our Village community.
Settings for these "Introductions to the Village" can range from a member's living room to a street fair to a library meeting room. What's important is connecting with people and helping them imagine a place for themselves in our evolving Village.
NEV's website is an important tool both for outreach and for recruiting new members and volunteers. Having our webmaster as a member of the Marketing & Outreach Committee helps ensure that website content is well coordinated with our marketing materials and message.
Our committee is also a place to brainstorm ideas for new ways to promote NEV and create interest in getting involved. If you enjoy meeting new people, talking or writing about how the Village adds to your life, you'd fit right in to our Marketing & Outreach Committee. I'd love to hear from you!
 -- Jane Braunger, Governing Council Co-chair and Marketing & Outreach Committee Chair  
The Rites (and Wrongs) of Spring for Gardens
First, maintain a 2-inch layer of mulch. Mulch does a number of things. It helps control weeds. It acts like a blanket to keep moisture in and temperature stable as it feeds the soil. After an area is stabilized, any disruption can be destructive. When I was gardening professionally, I specified a mixture of half resistant material and half compost. The resistant material protects the soil. The compost feeds it. Since most of the feeding roots are on the top of the soil column, they can take in nutrients as soon as they are broken down. 

Second, be careful about your fertilizer. Personally I use an organic mix because it breaks down slowly. The biggest problem is fertilizer with soluble nitrogen; it can be gone in a rainstorm while creating problems called algae blooms in nearby stream and lakes. It is much like us eating straight sugar, too much too fast. Better to let the bacteria in your soil break the material down at a much slower rate.
Third, pulling weeds may not be the way to go. Sometimes weeding is necessary, but what every garden needs is a process. If there is a weed problem, I've been using a mixture of citric acid and clove oil.

Read Complete Article Here ... by  K ehrnan Shaw

On the Night Stand:  
My Antonia 
by Willa Cather
In this age of the mostly depressing never-ending news cycle, it is a joy and comfort to read a quiet classic novel. In My Antonia (1918) Willa Cather beautifully paints a picture of the Nebraska prairie and the families, often European immigrants, who through relentlessly ploughing the soil created this nation's great bread basket.
The story opens with newly orphaned Jim Burden arriving at his grandparents' Black Hawk, Nebraska, farm. Unlike his home in Virginia, "There seemed to be nothing to see; no fences, no creeks, no trees.... There was nothing but land, no country at all...." This then in part is the story of how this untamed land became what we call the Midwest. It is also Jim's coming-of-age story as told through his relationship with Antonia and other hired girls from the Norwegian settlements. Like Antonia, these women helped their families prosper by working in the city and sending money back to the farm. 
Village Boundaries
Northeast Village PDX is a member of the Villages NW tax-exempt network.

For more information, contact:

Northeast Village PDX

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