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Catching Your Memories

Author: Diane Atwood

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Everyone has a story to tell, a memory or two to share. That's what Catching Your Memories is all about — people reminiscing about the memories that have made a difference in their lives. The Catching Your Memories podcast is hosted and produced by Diane Atwood, a former health reporter from Maine. Diane also writes a blog called Catching Health and until recently hosted the Catching Health podcast. Before COVID, she spent a year traveling her homestate interviewing people 60 and older about their lives and views on aging. The project inspired her to shift the focus of her podcast to include people of all ages who want to share specific stories and memories. Diane also offers private audio-only and video interviews. For more information, check out
96 Episodes
The day after Labor Day, 2022, Jodie Lapchick rented a car and drove from Maine to Hilton Head, South Carolina to "rescue" her elderly parents. Over recent years, their mental and physical health had declined, and although Jodie and her two siblings did not live nearby, they tried to help manage things as best they could. Jodie says her dad had a plan for everything but not what to do when he and her mother could no longer care for themselves or each other. They relied on a team of home care providers for much of their day-to-day needs, which worked fine for a while. Things came to a head when it became clear they needed a higher level of care and the three siblings scrambled to figure out the best next step. That's when Jodie decided to bring her parents to Maine. Once they arrived, though, their problems didn't go away. In fact, it's been one challenge after another and as is too often the case for caregivers, it began to put Jodie's own health at risk. This is Jodie's story.
It starts with having a clear vision and then engaging 110% in living that vision. That is how Luanne Cameron approaches every aspect of her life. She even wrote a book about it - The 110 Philosophy. Luanne is my guest on this month's episode of the Catching Your Memories podcast.
When Gary Chalk retired, he informed some of his friends in an email. What he wrote made them laugh. So he wrote another the following week. The next thing he knew, he was writing a regular humor column and making lots of people laugh. Gary Chalk is my latest guest on the Catching Your Memories podcast.
Claire Hersom considers herself blessed. She has wonderful children and grandchildren, a safe place to live, and although now retired, does good honest work. That work includes trying to break the stereotype of the poor by speaking the truth about what it means to live in abject poverty. When her three children were young, Claire suddenly became a single parent. Her own parents had passed away. Her father when she was 17 and her mother just the year before. Six months after becoming a single parent, she also lost the family home. She was determined to give her children a "normal" life, but it was a constant struggle. In the 70s, a time when resentment against poor people was on the rise, she had to go on welfare. Even when she was working and off welfare she struggled to make ends meet. In this episode of the Catching Your Memories podcast, Claire talks about some of the ways she managed the challenges she faced and the many lessons and truths about poverty, grief, and forgiveness that she learned along the way.
It took several years for Christina Erde to understand and come to terms with her diagnosis of mental illness. Her struggle began as a child when she experienced sometimes crippling anxiety. Her transition into adulthood triggered severe depression and she began seeing a therapist and taking medication. About four years ago, a crisis landed her in the hospital, where she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. For a while, things went from bad to worse and she was hospitalized again after attempting to take her own life. With the help of professionals and her family, slowly but surely, things began to turn around. Christina came to accept her diagnosis and become more engaged in her recovery process. She realized that her life had meaning and that she was going to be ok. She now shares her story to help others who may struggle as she once did. Christina Erde is today's guest on the Catching Your Memories podcast.
Roland T. describes his childhood as chaotic. The biggest struggle he faced was his father's alcoholism. When he drank he would get angry and Roland never knew what to expect. As a result, he was often fearful and anxious. You might think that he would steer clear of alcohol, but as a teenager, Roland discovered it was a way to escape reality. That is until reality caught up with him several years later. Now in recovery, he shares his story so that others may learn from his experiences and begin their own recovery journeys.
Karyn Wing grew up in a home where physical, sexual, and verbal were the norm. She also grew up believing that it was all her fault. That if she were a good girl none of it would have happened. As an adult, she blocked out much of her childhood, but the scars were there, deeply embedded, along with the feeling that she was never good enough. It took several decades and a lot of hard work for Karyn to learn the difference between abusive and healthy relationships. She also learned that before anything else, she had to learn to love herself. Most days she does. Karyn shares some of her story in the hopes that it will help someone else who feels like she used to feel. Written transcript:
In this episode of the Catching Your Memories podcast, 23-year-old Marena Koenka shares a story about her mental health struggles. Her experiences are her own and may not be like yours or someone else's, but she has learned that there is great value in sharing them. Doing so helps to connect people, as well as normalize and destigmatize mental illness. A warning: Some people may be triggered by some of Marena's experiences, particularly when she talks about self-harming and suicidal ideation. If you would prefer to skip over those sections, here are some timecodes: Self-harming 12:35 to 13:32. Suicidal ideation 41:37 to 45:11. If you prefer to read rather than listen you will find a written transcript at
How do you move from a traumatic childhood into adulthood without carrying the demons of the past along with you? How do you cope with the anger, mistrust, sadness and depression, anxiety, self-blame? So many emotions and I've only named a few. For some people, it takes a lifetime, and still, they may be triggered by something as innocent-seeming as a sound or a scent. Christina Huff learned early on that in order to move forward, she had to come to terms with the anger she felt. Now, only 24, she feels ready to share her story of healing from childhood trauma. (Transcript available at
In her 80s, Rita Losee, from Maine, has lots of memories to share. What she'd much rather do, though, is make new memories. This year, she's already taken a January swim in a frigid ocean, gone whitewater rafting, and run a 5K. What else does she have on her agenda? Hang on, because she'll tell you all about it in this episode of the Catching Your Memories podcast.
Keegan Albaugh, from Burlington, Vermont, always knew he wanted to be a dad. He and his partner Stephanie happily welcomed their first child in 2016 and their second in 2018. Fatherhood has been as wonderful and as joyful as Keegan thought it might be. He also knew there would be challenges, but what he didn't realize is the lack of resources and support for new dads in his community. Stephanie had several resources at her disposal, but Keegan found nothing that met his needs. Today, new dads in Vermont have a multi-faceted resource called Dad Guild. My guest on today's episode of Catching Your Memories is Dad Guild's Executive Director — none other than Keegan Albaugh.
July 2022 marks 23 years since Carole Starr was in a car accident that changed her life forever. She didn't even realize at first that she had suffered a brain injury. No one did. She had no marks, and she had no memory of hitting her head. But little by little the signs appeared and they interfered with nearly every aspect of her daily activities. She's learned some hard lessons on this long journey, but some inspiring ones as well. She shares them in this episode of the Catching Your Memories podcast. You can also read a transcript:
It was the trip of a lifetime. In the early 1970s, WGBH-TV tapped David Atwood to not only direct Julia Child in her French Chef television show but also oversee filming segments with her in France. He shares some memories of those experiences on this episode of the Catching Your Memories podcast. (Read a transcript of the episode and see some pictures from the trip at
One of the most profound experiences of Leo Couture's life was his time in the Navy. He spent it on a ship in the South Pacific during WWII. At 17, he didn't know fear, but it wasn't long before it became an ever-present companion.
Just in time for Mother's Day, Jen Boggs shares what motherhood is like for her. Her story begins before she became a mother — when she and her husband Mike decided they wanted to become parents. It didn't happen as easily as they thought it might. That was one of the first lessons Jen learned about parenting, and as you will discover in this episode of Catching Your Memories, she's learned quite a few along the way, thanks to her daughter Ramona, who recently turned 12.
It's likely that each one of us knows someone who has Alzheimer's or is caring for someone with the disease. No matter how you look at it, it's a devastating disease that can take its toll on everyone. In this episode of the Catching Health podcast, I talk with Danielle Bernier, whose mother has Alzheimer's, and Tom O'Connor, who cared for his wife Deb until she passed away. Their experiences are both different and similar, but one important common thread is that caring for someone with Alzheimer's is challenging. No matter how much you love someone with Alzheimer's. providing care is not easy — on many levels. In our conversation, Danielle and Tom talk about the ups and downs of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's and how they are trying to help promote awareness and understanding, as well as raise money for research and much-needed services.
Imagine that your adult child has died from a drug overdose and you are the one who finds her. That is what happened to Ann Cookson. The grief never goes away, but Ann has been able to turn her pain into something positive. She wrote a book called Secrets: A Story of Addiction, Grief, and Healing. Listen to her story and how writing the book has transformed her thinking about drug addiction, as well as her entire life.
Stephen Andrew's mission in life is to help people who are struggling with a chronic illness like alcoholism. He goes about it in many different ways, but at the core of every one of his endeavors is compassion. In this podcast, Stephen, who is a licensed clinical social worker, explains how we can and why we should try to have compassionate conversations — even in the worst of situations.
Looking back at her childhood, Denise Kinney, now in her 50s, says she always had some degree of muscle weakness and she didn't have the stamina other kids had, but she enjoyed athletics. However, whenever she played basketball, by the second quarter, she'd be out of energy and didn't know why. Decades later, she finally got the answer, but not because she had been searching all those years. She'd simply been living and enjoying her life when one day everything changed. Denise shares her story in this episode of the Catching Health podcast.
My guest in this episode of the Catching Health podcast has put me to shame! From the moment she wakes up and wiggles her toes until she slides under her blankets at night, Liz Johnson is on the move. She might be dancing or she might be pulling weeds, but even if she's lounging (I'm not convinced she ever does), her brain certainly isn't. She takes classes, plays bridge, none of which she can do in person right now because of the pandemic. That hasn't slowed her down a bit. She just fires up her computer, clicks on a Zoom invitation, and off she goes. Join us for a conversation about aging that will inspire you to be more active.
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