Maintaining an even keel: Meet @gloaming

Dec 8, 2023 | John, Volunteer Mentor | @johnbishop | Comments (17)

Member spotlight: Meet Gloaming

JOHN: What brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect? 

@gloaming: I don’t recall how Mayo Clinic Connect came to my attention, but it must have been in reference to a search I was conducting to learn more about a certain condition, and the algorithm offered Mayo Clinic as one of the most common or relevant sites. Once I saw the nature of the forum and sub-fora, I knew I might play a part in helping people to learn more about the subjects with which I am familiar.

JOHN: What motivates you to take part in the community?

@gloaming: At my stage of life, I have developed limitations or conditions that require the conscientious adult to know more. Apart from wanting to live longer and to live well, I feel averse to imposing on our struggling medical system more than is absolutely necessary. Anything I can reasonably do for myself I ought to do.

 JOHN: What about Mayo Clinic Connect makes you feel comfortable to share and to be open with the community?

@gloaming: The tone of the site instills confidence and the people who come to look for assistance, or to offer it, seem to be self-actualizing, empathetic, and knowledgeable.

JOHN: What support groups do you participate in?

@gloaming: So far, and perhaps luckily (heh!) I am involved only in the heart related support groups, like Heart & Blood Health and Heart Rhythm Conditions, and the Sleep Health support group. It’s not to say I don’t occasionally wander to other support groups now and then, but I’m only really active in those three.

JOHN: Tell us about a meaningful moment on Mayo Clinic Connect.

@gloaming: I have been fairly active in Mayo Clinic Connect for just over a year, and I don’t recall a singular event or interaction that stands out. I’m also active on many other sites, often submitting a comment multiple times each day across them (and yes, I DO have a’s just multifaceted and...umm...busy.) I have interacted with numerous people literally at their wits’ ends, sometimes truly beaten and desperate to improve their circumstances. After many of those, they kind of all melt into a big clump with little least for me. 

Even so, I am very much into learning all I can about my conditions and am often looking at medical publications which are widely available online; PubMed, for example.

JOHN: What surprised you the most about Mayo Clinic Connect?

@gloaming: I was somewhat surprised to see how comprehensively and extensively the sub-fora range. There’s a wealth of information for anyone who comes and makes a reasonable effort to find it.

JOHN: What energizes you, or how do you find balance in your life?

@gloaming: Several pursuits keep me balanced and motivated. Firstly, being physically active. It helps to stave off so many physical ailments and diseases. If done properly, it builds muscle and capacity, and it keeps the brain bright and interested. Mood is almost universally improved after a brisk walk, according to so much of the relevant research. 

Secondly, hobbies, of which I have plenty: model trains, photography, music and choral singing, and astronomy. I’m currently building a small observatory to shelter my refractor telescope. 

Additionally, but perhaps first and foremost, my wife has a couple of medical conditions that make life often miserable for her. I work hard at keeping myself on an even keel and conditioned so that I can continue to be handy for her. If I am content and feel well, then I can help her more potently.

JOHN: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity

@gloaming: Two recent forays have been model trains, building realistic layouts with functional trackage and pursuing a lifelong interest in stellar evolution and internal dynamics, as well as using a fine telescope, of which I have two. 

My education is not in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), so much of stellar physics is beyond me mathematically, but fortunately some very good authors have taken pains to make the physics understandable for the amateur. Similarly, I am interested in telescopes and their optical characteristics. 

I should also mention that I maintain a substantial garden each year which, if you do it yourself, you’ll know involves a lot of planning, some expense, a lot of time and physical effort seasonally (yes, in the winter, spring, and fall as well), and the yield of a lot of pleasure.

JOHN: Do you have a favorite quote, life motto or personal mantra?

@gloaming: Not one great favorite, but several:

The people gladly believe what they wish to.” Julius Caesar

“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also:” Matthew 6:20-21

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” John Stuart Mill

JOHN: What do you appreciate the most in your friends?

@gloaming: My friends are smart, good listeners, honest, aren’t afraid to argue with me, and wish me happy birthday on the right day.

JOHN: What food can you simply not resist?

@gloaming: Brownies, mixed salted nuts, a fresh crisp apple, and peanut butter with jam. None of it particularly good for me, except maybe the apple, and then only for lower motility.

JOHN: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see cast as you?

@gloaming: This is tough. I don’t identify with any actors; at least, not any that are living. However, one non-actor comes close, and that would be Freddie Dodge, the gold mine guru on Discovery Channel.

JOHN: What do you love about where you live or vacation?

@gloaming: The mountain vistas, the local glacier (beaten up badly by climate change), the ocean, the 150 foot Douglas firs, Sitka spruce, hemlock, Western red cedars, the pathways through the rain forest. Where I live you can run up to the local ski recreation area and snow shoe, return home for lunch, and play golf that afternoon. I don’t play golf, know. Also, where we’re located, a distance from the mainland cities, we have clean air except during forest fire season.

JOHN: Puppies or kittens?

@gloaming: Not terribly keen on either, although I have raised three puppies. Once they’re adults, I can tolerate some cats. My daughter had a lovely cat. I suggested she name him  Merlin. That worked. Otherwise, I love dogs. We have had a Basenji, a Whippet, and are currently on our second IG (Italian Greyhound).

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What a great read to start the morning! Thanks for letting us get to know you a little better @gloaming. While I'm not into model trains I do love the big ones. I especially enjoyed the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train when it made a stop in a small town near us a few years ago... what a treat.

Hoping you have a great weekend along with a Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year!


Nice getting to know you, @gloaming! Thanks sharing!


Thank you for telling us about your life! I think staying active and having hobbies is very important in retirement! I am 7 years away from retiring, which keeps me very active, but fitting hobbies in is a challenge.

My husband retired this year and is still trying to find his stride as a retired person. I read your interview and suggested that he should also pick up model train hobby. He actually thought that might be a good idea!


Hi @gloaming 😊
It's a pleasure to meet you and read your Spotlight interview with @johnbishop
I found several chunks of gold...lifting mood with a brisk walk, having several interesting hobbies to enjoy, and more!
Thank you so much for sharing your experience and wisdom. I look forward to reading your future posts on Connect.
Happy Holidays to you and your family!


Thanks, everyone, for your warm welcomes and good wishes. I offer my own in return. It is so nice to belong to a membership that is active and caring....and giving.


@gloaming Thank you for sharing your life and your interests with us. I quite agree that doing everything we can including exercise and diet makes a huge difference in one's well being. An added benefit as you clearly stated is that one is in a better position to provide assistance our loved ones when needed. Happy Holidays.


Great read, my friend. I too enjoy astronomy and have a Gskyer telescope though I need to do some calibration.
Will you be watching the Geminids the next few nights? The moon will not be much of a problem, and I am lucky to live in Tucson, a traditional low light city as the Kitt Peak Observatory is very close to us.
Best always,


Hi John thank you so very much for your beautiful post!!! for me it was very informative and uplifting!!! my very best wishes to you and your family!!!


Hi John thank you so very much for your beautiful post!!! for me it was very informative and uplifting!!! my very best wishes to you and your family!!!

Jump to this post

Thanks Linda but it was @gloaming who made it possible and provided all of the uplifting words and wisdom. I'm just the messenger boy here and he gave me a big lift also🙃 @gloaming along with you and other members are what makes Connect work and give new members a reason to keep coming back for support and strength.

Hoping you also have a Blessed Holiday Season and a Merry Christmas!


What a wonderful testimony to the beauty of growing older gracefully while putting gems in one's crown in Heaven !!!😇

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