Helen Armstrong said she is going to learn how to use a computer in 2015 so she can use it to communicate with her friends. She moved from the West Coast to Maryland in 2014.
Helen Armstrong said she is going to learn how to use a computer in 2015 so she can use it to communicate with her friends. She moved from the West Coast to Maryland in 2014.(Submitted photo)

It's a new year and seniors are making plans to try something new in 2015.

Westminster resident Helen Armstrong has had a lot of new going on in her life and, she said, there is more to come. She moved to Maryland in late June to be close to her daughter after living most of the last 64 years in California with her husband, who passed away in 2014. "Living in a different climate in a new city is very different," Armstrong said.


For this year, Armstrong is interested in learning how to use a computer. "I tried to learn the computer at one time," she said. "My husband tried to teach me. That worked out about as well as when my husband tried to teach his father how to drive a car. I suppose I might have to [start using email] if I want to stay in touch with people."

Manchester resident Doris Phelps, who is passionate about her antique cars, wants to find new venues for sharing them with others. "I want to go to new locations to show my cars and I believe there may be a lot of them," she said.


"I've been doing car shows since 2003 or 2004," Phelps said. "I have a 1929 Model A Ford Roadster, a 1950 Cadillac Coupe DeVille and a 1967 Cadillac Sedan DeVille." She said she tries to take all three cars to shows because the events almost always benefit a charity. Her son Michael will take one car on a trailer for her and she has a friend or relative bring the other one.

"I have a tremendous good time with it," she said of car shows. "It's a wonderful hobby and I have a room full of trophies."

Greta Crescenzi, of Westminster, has a simple plan for this new year: She is going to make herself eat more vegetables. "In the past, I said I would do more exercise, but I'm not very good at that," she said. "This year I am going to make myself eat vegetables."

Elaine Blum, of Manchester, plans to do three new things in 2015: "I'm interested in learning yoga, and in learning about smartphones and iPads," she said.

Blum already takes a class in aerobic exercise and an arthritis exercise class, both at the North Carroll Senior and Community Center in Greenmount. "I can easily get around, but I think I could do even better if I got involved with yoga. It would not only be relaxing but has healing powers."

Blum said she already has a Nook for reading, but not an iPad, and she is also thinking about getting a smartphone. "Availability to access information is better," Blum said. "It is a way of the times. If you want to stay up with the new and get rid of the old, you have to move forward."

Blum will also be taking a trip in 2015. "I'll be adventuring out into the eastern Caribbean," she said. "I've been on a cruise before, but never to the eastern Caribbean."

Bob Biddinger, of Eldersburg, also has travel thoughts. He said he wants to go abroad with his wife Diane — either experiencing France on a riverboat, or visiting Norway and Sweden. The couple has taken many trips together, both in the United States and other countries, but these would be fresh adventures.

At the Mount Airy Senior and Community Center, which hosted a Happy Noon Year Party on Tuesday, the center manager provided comments made by some seniors about their plans for something new in 2015.

Jim Jacobs, of Mount Airy, said he wants to go kayaking with his grandson Will Carswell. "What prompted this decision to try something different? I have a canoe, he has a new kayak and I'd like to spend more time with him," Jacobs said.

Mount Airy resident Bill Dolan wants to try two new things in the new year. "I'd like to get into woodworking — not something small, I want to build a mantel," he said. "I'd also like to get a part-time job. I've never had one and want to do something different."

Times staffer Patti Ritter contributed to this feature.

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