October Kitchen - February 2020

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Meet the Team Behind Your Meals FEBRUARY 2020

OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd., Manchester, CT 06042

How I Learned to Swallow My Pride and Ask for Help THE PIE INCIDENT

M any years ago, I broke my right wrist and elbow. I was laid up for six weeks, unable to work or even help with my church bakeshop! I couldn’t even take care of my lawn, which was why I was so surprised when I heard a lawnmower start up in my yard one day. I looked out the window and spotted my neighbor mowing my lawn entirely of his own volition. I didn’t know he was going to do this and while I was grateful to him, I also remember being so upset. As I stood in my kitchen, an intense feeling of shame came over me. Sure, my arm was broken, but I felt like I should have been able to mow my own lawn. That’s when I realized I had a real issue with receiving help.

There’s an old saying that 80% of the work in life gets done by just 20% of the people. That’s not always because the other 80% of people are lazy — sometimes it’s because that 20% don’t know when they need to ask for help. This is a big problem for someone like me who’s always involved in some activity or organization. In addition to October Kitchen, I’m also involved with my church, I’ve spearheaded the annual wine tasting dinner with my masonic lodge and I’m the chairman of Rockville Fish & Game Club’s hospitality committee. I’ve put on dinners and events for all these organizations, which demanded many long nights and sacrificed weekends. Don’t get me wrong, I love putting on events and making great things happen, but I’ve always struggled with the idea that if I don’t do everything myself, it won’t get done. This refusal to accept, or even ask, for help really came back to bite me when we started offering Thanksgiving catering boxes at October Kitchen. I didn’t want to burden my staff with the extra work, so I did it all myself. The first year was okay because it was our smallest number of orders. The second year literally wrecked me. We got twice as many orders, which meant I was in the kitchen until 3 a.m. pushing pies. I

After the pie incident, I forced myself to ask for help. I have never been let down in that regard.

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On the Move With Andy Medeiros

Andy Medeiros and his wife, Eileen, were high school sweethearts. Married for 60 years, they had three children together, four grandchildren and two great- grandchildren. When Eileen passed away in November of 2017, Andy was left a widower at 81 with a choice to make. “I refused to sit around with the blinds closed, moaning and groaning and crying about my life,” Andy says. “I miss Eileen, but I wouldn’t want her to see me just sitting around feeling sorry. Besides, I’m 83, not 183! I can still get up and have a good time. I go to the gym six days a week. I’m the oldest guy there, but I get to talk to other people who are around my age. It’s a social hour, and boy does that mile on the treadmill go by fast when you’re talking and laughing with the people on either side of you.”

“People say I have a green thumb, but all I do is use Miracle-Gro potting soil and fertilizer,” Andy admits. “It’s simple! I also have bird feeders outside, and the golden finches that come really make the patio look nice.” At 83 years old, Andy proves that age is just a number, but he also knows the value of taking care of one’s health. After being banished from the kitchen for 60 years, Andy didn’t know how to cook anything. When Eileen passed away, he found himself eating a lot of cheap junk food, and his health took a hit. About a year ago, Andy was in the hospital getting a pacemaker and a heart valve put in. After his surgeries, Andy’s doctors put him on a strict diet.

“I’m a widower. After 60 years of marriage, my wife passed away. I never cooked, and who wants to cook for just themselves? After Eileen passed, I was eating garbage and feeling terrible! I ended up in the hospital with serious heart problems. October Kitchen helped me turn it around. Six months after getting a pacemaker, my doctor looked at me and said, ‘Andy, your bloodwork is wonderful! I’m cutting your medication in half. What are you doing?’ I told him that October Kitchen really knows their stuff.” –Andy Medeiros

“I didn’t know what to do! I’ve never cooked! Fortunately, my son looked online and found October Kitchen. I’ve been there every week for over two years, and they really helped turn my health around. I lost 35 pounds, my doctor cut my diabetes medicine in half and I feel great. “People at my church ask what I’m doing because I look so good. I send them to October Kitchen. I’m eating healthy for the first time in my 83 years, and it shows! I have a pacemaker, a new valve, shoulder replacement, two total knee replacements and a lumbar fusion. I’m all new parts, but thanks to my diet, I’m ready to go! Chef Paul does an excellent job. Plus, I love going by each week and talking to Alison and Stephanie. They’re all good people.” Age is just a number, but our health is very real. We’re glad to help people like Andy Medeiros continue enjoying life and independence at any age.

In addition to working out, Andy also fills his days volunteering at a local retirement home doing one-on-one visits with residents. When the weather is nice, Andy tends to his beautiful patio gardens. His garden is home to 12 thriving hanging plants and 10 grand potted plants.

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Kyra was diagnosed with diabetes as a child. The cost of multiple medications, and eventually kidney disease, meant decades of medical bills. Because Kyra was often too sick to work, she didn’t have health insurance to alleviate the burden of bills. Eventually, she was forced to declare bankruptcy. That’s when the yellow envelope arrived. The letter came from RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit dedicated to buying and forgiving past due medical debt. Americans owe nearly $1 trillion in medical debt. Lenders know most people will never be able to pay their medical bills, so to recover some of their losses, lenders will sell medical debt for pennies on the dollar. This is how RIP Medical Debt is able to buy the debt and forgive it. RIP Medical Debt operates on donations. In 2019, almost 100 of those donations came from churches across the United States. Kyra’s debt was paid off thanks to Vineyard Church, a church she had never even attended. The congregation of Vineyard Church raised $18,000, which was enough to purchase $2.9 million in past-due medical debt owed by people in their community. This included Kyra. “I can pay car insurance, my bills, my rent. I can take care of my son.” Kyra’s life was completely transformed thanks to the generosity of Vineyard Church and RIP Medical Debt. In December 2019, RIP Medical Debt announced that they had eliminated $1 billion in medical debt, freeing over 500,000 people from the burden of overwhelming medical debt. To learn more about RIP Medical Debt and their mission, visit RIPMedicalDebt.org .

Churches Help Free Their Community From Medical Debt

Across the United States, Americans are opening their mailboxes to find a little yellow envelope. Inside, there’s a letter announcing that their overwhelming medical debt has been entirely erased.

“First I thought it was a joke,” says Kyra Taylor, a single mother from Ann Arbor, MI, who received such a letter.

_____________________________ Write your name here and fax the completed puzzle to 860-533-0585, send it via empty delivery box or bring it to the shop and receive 10% off your next order . Limit one per customer. Expires Feb. 29, 2020. WORDSEARCH ALISON ASH CHOCOLATE CUPID DONOR GROUNDHOG LOVE PISCES PAUL ROMANCE

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damaged my shoulder so badly from rolling pie dough for hours on end that it took half a year to heal.

After the pie incident, I forced myself to ask for help. I have never been let down in that regard. When I ask for help, there’s always someone willing to show up and contribute. People are happy to help when you ask, even if it’s just one person coming to wash the dishes or a father and son duo trimming some hedges. Finding that capacity to humble yourself, ask for help and being willing to receive help is something many people have to work on. We’re taught we should do things on our own. While it’s important to do things for ourselves, we need to remember we’re not alone in the world. This is easier said than done — trust me, I know — but we all deserve to have a little help now and then.


You don’t have to do everything all by yourself.

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24/7 Emergency Services O tob Kit hen.com 860-533-0588


309 Green Rd. Manchester, CT 06042 INSIDE Can You Lend a Hand? page 1

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Have You Met Andy Medeiros?

U.S. Churches Help Forgive Millions in Medical Debt

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Too Old for Love? No Such Thing!

TIME TO GET BACK OUT THERE! Expert Advice to Beat the Stigma of Senior Dating

smile. Make eye contact. Ask a question. Give a compliment and put a question behind it.” Be present when meeting new people. Dating as a senior means coming to the table with a lot of baggage. Dating is when people get acquainted, so be careful about sharing

Getting back into dating can be hard when you’ve been out of the game for a few decades. In fact, some would-be romantics are so self-conscious about their age that they never even try! In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up some expert advice on dating at any age. Don’t fear online dating. Online dating is a great way to meet people outside of your social circle and there are many dating sites and apps specifically for singles over 50 who are ready to mingle. Julie Spira, a relationship expert with senior dating app OurTime, says that “Authentic dating profiles get the best results.” Basically, don’t lie on your profile. Use a picture of you from this year and be proud of your age. That’s the best way to find people who will love the real you. Go to 26 different places. Prefer to meet people in person? Lisa Copeland, a dating coach who works exclusively with women over 50, recommends creating a list of 26 different places in your area, one for each letter of the alphabet, then going to those places. While you’re out, Copeland says, “You want to

that baggage right out of the gate. This doesn’t mean you should never talk about heavy topics, but remember this advice from the popular dating site, eHarmony: “Early on, focus on enjoying each other’s company here and now.” It doesn’t matter if you’re 26 or 62, dating is always hard. You have to step outside your comfort zone and trudge through a series of terrible first dates. But in the end, it’s all worth it when you find that special someone with whom you can spend your golden years. Just remember, you’ll never meet that person if you don’t make the leap.

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