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:


NE Village Public Informational Meeting 
Interested in learning more about the Village Movement in general, and the Northeast Village in particular?  Come to our next "Villages 101" get-together:

When :
Tuesday, November 19, 10:00-11:30 am

Where :
Hollywood Senior Center, 1840 NE 40th Ave, Portland
No reservation required, just show up!
Village Square Resumes
Our monthly Village Square meetings for members have resumed after summer off. First, Jane Braunger reviews our October 9th Village Square:
On Wednesday, October 9, seventeen Northeast Villagers gathered to share a light meal and engage in an evening of conversation. Participants responded in turn to a prompt about their individual journeys to Northeast Village: Who am I? What have been some important influences on my journey to this point? For over an hour and half, participants told of key factors that have shaped their identities, from childhood experiences, to career and family choices, to accomplishments and losses.
While specifics varied widely, we could see themes across our stories, including taking advantage of opportunities, overcoming obstacles, experiencing resilience after loss, and engaging in community. Participants enthusiastically agreed with one person's insight that our journey, our growth as individuals continues. As she said, "I'm still in the process of becoming."
At the next Village Square from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, November 13, we will continue the group conversation, considering the follow-up question of how these individual stories might shape the Village community we are building together.
We meet in the parlor to the right of the basement entrance to Youngson Hall at Rose City Park United Methodist Church, 5830 NE Alameda. Enter the building from the west side door across from the 58th Avenue parking lot. 

Reservation is required; contact the NEV Office at 503-895-2750 or

Please bring finger food to share with others. Bring your own plate and utensils; cups and beverage are provided.

The Village Square meets on the second Wednesday of the months without a quarterly general meeting, that is, in January, February, April, May, July, August, October, and November of 2020. Continue to check our calendar of events e-mailed to you and on our NEV website calendar at for the program and instructions.
Recruiting for a new NEV Book Group
(members and volunteers only)
Several new NEV members have been asking about a book group. The current group is full, but if there is enough interest, we can start another one. 

If you like to read and talk about what you have read, please give us your name, phone, e-mail address, as well as your preference for morning, afternoon, or weekend meeting.

RSVP for an organizational meeting to the NEV Office phone  503-895-275  or e-mail
Calendar of Events
Plant the seed of sustainability for our Village
After three full years of operation, NE Village PDX is off to a great start and we are now asking for your help to lay the foundation for long-term sustainability through philanthropy. Within the next week you will receive a letter asking you to consider a donation to Northeast Village PDX before the end of the year.
In most villages across the country, membership fees account for only 44% of the budget.

Currently our Village is able to cover our expenses with membership revenue alone. As we grow we want to expand our support for our
low-income neighbors and also increase part-time staff hours to support volunteers and members. To do this we will need to supplement member fees with donations.
Help us lay that foundation. Thank you so much for being a villager!
Tracy McDonald reports: 
Back in the USSR
Loyal NEV member Tracy
It takes an hour and a half to get there by catamaran. We glide past majestic fjords, endless glaciers, and snow-covered mountains. But this trip isn't about the scenery. We are on a mission. Someone shouts "Pyramiden!" And suddenly we are there.

Pyramiden is an abandoned Soviet mining town located in Norway's Svalbard archipelago. I'm in Svalbard to go on a 10-day expedition cruise in the high Arctic, but seeing Pyramiden is almost as important to me. There are four months of midnight sun and complete darkness for another four plus a frigid climate. But the Soviets took on the challenge to show the world how innovative they were in creating their modern utopia. Pyramiden got a reputation and citizens actually wanted to move there. Then in 1991, the Soviet Union fell.

We meet our Russian guide, Masha, who has a rifle slung over her back. The rifle is not a throwback to the Cold War but a necessity. Polar bears. Gulp.

Once in the settlement, we see two neutral, hulking buildings that were workers' dorms and family apartments. There is a community center with canteen, a school, a hospital, and more, all displaying the boxy functional Soviet style.

Finally, our gun-toting guide says we can visit the building interiors. This is what we've been waiting for. After all the grayish exteriors, I'm surprised how bright and colorful the interiors are. The split staircase is a cheerful blue. High columns are adorned with polar bears. There's a mosaic that celebrates fjords, mighty workers, and polar bears (again).


Yet something feels disarming. After the Soviet Union fell, the 1000 inhabits were told to prepare to leave Pyramiden and to take only what they could carry. Pyramiden feels like it was abandoned yesterday. In the canteen, there are racks of dishes that will never be put away, a cafeteria counter with no food. In a music room, a piano no one will play. The desks in the classrooms still have the books on them. There are dead indoor plants that haven't decayed because nothing decays this far north. The basketball court, a movie theatre, and a pool were all the northernmost in the world.

And we go outside again. And there he is! The northernmost Lenin statue in the world. I follow his gaze and almost gasp: Nordenskiold Glacier. It looks like you could skate forever on its 16-mile long ice field.

Back on the boat, I imagine what it must have been like living in Pyramiden. Then after 73 years, the Soviet Union came tumbling down. I wonder what determines how long a superpower can endure. And I consider our own 243-year-old country and marvel at how slippery ours might be.
--Tracy M
Village Annual Meeting

A slate of eight Governing Council candidates was elected by unanimous consent during Northeast Village PDX's annual meeting on September 11 at the Hollywood Senior Center, attended by 35 to 40 members and volunteers.

New council members are NEV charter member Jean Robinson, member/volunteer, Nick Bouwes, member, Stephanie Sameh, member/volunteer, and volunteer Mary Kay August. Susan Bach, Nancy Donehower, Neil Malling, and Anne Lindsay were re-elected. All are serving two-year terms.
Jean Robinson & Nick Bouwes
They join continuing council members whose terms run through September 2020: Jane Braunger, Vonnie Condon, Todd Coward, Joan Malling, Pat Vivian, as well as Nancy Doty, our Villages Northwest liaison.

This brings the leadership team to 14, up from the original eight when NEV was formed; back then they drew straws to determine one- or two-year terms, and the longest-serving have just stepped down. "Planning for succession and sustainability is part of our strategic approach," said Bach. "Having 14 people is a miracle. Other Villages are lucky to have a handful."

Following the potluck and election, Susan Bach delivered an annual report (September 1, 2018, to September 1, 2019), referencing graphics projected onto a screen. Although some data classifications have changed, the overall direction in number of members has been relatively stable. 

Of note:
  • At 133 people, membership size has changed little over the last year. (In contrast, members totaled 74 in January 2017, shortly after the Village opened in Fall 2016.)
  • Individual members have decreased approximately 5% and household members have increased slightly.  The greatest growth and concentration have been in full-service single members (35% of total) 
The number of volunteers has remained stable at 63, and the number of services provided is up just slightly. The most notable trend is a shift from individual yard-maintenance services to "garden parties" in fall and spring, where volunteers work as a group on each yard.
  • On the rise: In-home support (services such as pet care, walking, errands) and assistance with technology (computers, phones, etc)
  • Declining: Transportation and assistance with home maintenance.
The number of program activity events rose to 107 from 84 the previous year.
  • On the rise: Special-interest activities (including lunches and dinners), quarterly Village Square gatherings, geographically smaller Village Circle events, and educational presentations.
  • Declining: Purely social activities (coffee, tea, happy hour); outdoor activities such as bike rides
Treasurer Neil Malling reported that as of July 31, expenses are below spending in the calendar 2019 operating budget, which is just over $40,000
Most activity is from membership renewals in the fall and the administrative fee paid to Villages NW at year's end.
Our Northeast Village PDX is the largest of the "spoke" organizations within the Villages NW "hub," which includes 10 Villages in greater metro Portland and one on the Oregon coast. Villages Clark County (Vancouver WA) and WLLO (West Linn, Lake Oswego, Stafford Hamlet) opened this year. Still in planning are Rivers East Village (Milwaukie, Oak Grove, Gladstone), Village at the Falls (Oregon City, Beavercreek, Redland) and Rainy Day Village (Manzanita).

--Jo Mancuso
Member Spotlight: Anne Pine

Anne Pine
Anne Pine moved from Ashland to Portland to be near her daughter and family two years ago.
Upon first meeting, Anne may seem quiet and unassuming. However, after spending time talking with her, it soon becomes apparent that she is not only kind and exceptionally generous, but has lived a very interesting life.
After the war Anne, her husband Clem who was in the Air Force, and two kids were transferred to Taiwan. While in Taiwan Anne gave birth to a third child and the couple adopted a baby girl. Even though Anne had two young kids and two babies, she still had a marvelous time in Taiwan. "It was fascinating. The people were so happy and friendly, and I especially loved the colorful way of dressing, which was so different from the more conservative western style.
When Anne and Clem completed their tour of duty in Taiwan, they returned home for a short break before being stationed in Japan. Anne also loved Japan, where they adopted another child, a Korean boy. She especially enjoyed the contrast between the flamboyant Chinese and the more reserved Japanese cultures.
Finally, after completing Clem's Air Force tours of duty, they moved to Klamath Falls. By this time they had another baby of their own, making a total of six kids; however, in the Pine household there always seemed to be room for one more, so they added a Native American foster boy to their brood for a final count of seven! To feed all these growing kids Clem, perhaps inspired by living in different cultures with different approaches to problem solving, developed a uniquely successful business of making hinges to fit specific types of doors.  
Once the kids were out of the house, Anne and Clem enjoyed several years of extensive travel throughout Europe.
Anne moved to Ashland after Clem's death. She misses her social life in Ashland and really prefers small town living; in fact, Anne says Portland is too big! However, she very much values and looks forward to her weekly meeting with her Village Partner friend as well as the monthly coffee gathering with a larger Partner group. Besides the support of the Village, she is grateful to have her loving family right by her side in the same neighborhood.  
--Susan Hodge

On the Night Stand:  Macbeth  by Jo Nesbo

In 2012 Hogarth Press launched the Shakespeare Project commissioning well-known authors to reimagine a Shakespeare play using modern settings and language.

Hag-Seed is Margaret Atwood's version of The Tempest, while the Nordic crime master Jo Nesbo takes on the power-tripping murder spree of Macbeth.

Nesbo sets his tale in 1970s Glasgow where factories are closed, unemployment is high, and an illegal drug epidemic is efficiently tapping into working and middle class despair. Macbeth is the revered captain of a SWAT team. The ultra-powerful Hecate, a precursor of Walter White, provides magic in the form of an inescapably addictive drug, Brew. Banquo, Duncan, gang members, and innocents are brutally slaughtered with the justification of acquiring power to rid the town of corruption, restore jobs, and, ironically, peace. 

The brains behind the scheme is Lady, the proprietor of an elegant gambling casino, another powerful addiction that escapes from the known confines of Nevada or Monaco into the desperate lives of ordinary people heavily betting on the off chance of instant happiness. 

The book was good until Lady whispers in her lover Macbeth's ear "We must kill Banquo!" And then it becomes a riveting descent into ambition and madness with no apparent way out. Macbeth is eventually stopped, but as Nesbo chillingly states, the damage may never be truly undone.

"To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow/Creeps in this petty pace from day to day/To the last syllable of recorded time." Geraldine Martindale, my high school English teacher, required that her students memorize this Macbeth soliloquy. I have impressed many when reciting my rendition, though now I frequently mutter it after reading the news. You too may be gripped by the unstable and delusional Macbeth mirroring our current political, social, and environmental experiences.

--Susan Hodge
Village Boundaries
Northeast Village PDX is a member of the Villages NW tax-exempt network.

For more information, contact:

Northeast Village PDX

Please help us spread the word by clicking "Forward this email" below to send our newsletter to your friends and family.