By Carolyn Kulik, Senior Center Director

Victor (left) and Wanda Bean, son and daughter-in-law of Shirley Bean, join Peggy Sharpe, Senior Center volunteer coordinator, and Beth Merritt, board president, at the Center’s annual Volunteer Dinner at The Old Lantern on Thursday, April 26. The dinner honored the more than 100 volunteers who donated many hours of service at the Center over the year. This year the Friends of the Charlotte Senior Center also honored Shirley Bean, whose vision and hard work made the Center possible, by dedicating the Center’s new gardens in her memory. The special dedication plaque will be installed in the Center foyer. Photo by Jim Hyde

So maybe this time, (just maybe) spring has really come. There are actually crocuses outside, and a few folks have reported daffodils. And who could doubt the flowers? 

Although the weather may be typical for a Vermont almost-spring, let me point out that we are not your run-of-the-mill senior center. This is partly due to the wonderful food, partly the comfy building, but mostly because of the amazing people who come to participate in what the Center has to offer. 

Folks don’t often talk about their pre-retirement careers, but they have a wealth of experience in many, many fields. (And this makes them interesting to hang out with.) Here is a first attempt to list some of their work backgrounds: 

Actor, artist; bookkeeper; business owners; clinical social worker; college professors (chemistry, psychology); comptroller; cartoonist; craftsperson; cross-cultural trainer; decorator; dog whisperers (therapy dog owner, dog trainer, dog rescuer, dog raiser*); teachers of kindergarten through high school (art, history, English, math); engineers; executive secretary; government workers (federal, state and local); grant writer; homemaker; insurance salesperson; lawyer; medical doctors (infectious diseases, pediatrics); medical researcher; musician; museum curator; nurse; pharmacist; poet; professional golfer; professional photographer; psychologist; public health professional; real estate agent; school  principal; spice buyer; tech consultant; therapist; university and college administrators; writers.   (Any inadvertently left out will be included next time.)

* What is a “dog raiser” you ask? Hint: It’s not just anyone with a young dog. It’s a volunteer who raises a puppy that will later be given up to an organization for training as a service dog for people with physical disabilities or mental disorders (such as PTSD). 

Courses and activities
Acrylic Adventures starts May 8 and still has a few spots left. Instructor Lynn Cummings will focus on layering with several acrylic mediums with iridescent and metallic paints. She says, “We’ll also pour paints to create organic shapes for backgrounds, then finish with representational shapes and objects.” It runs for four sessions from 9 a.m. to noon and is $120 for the course. Registration and pre-payment are required.

Road Hike #3 on Tuesday, May 8, goes to Bristol Waterworks with Marty Morrissey. Meet at the Center 10 minutes prior to the 9:00 a.m. departure with water, good hiking or walking shoes, and a snack or bag lunch. Registration required. No fee.

The last Birding Adventure with Hank Kaestner is on Wednesday, May 16. (It is also the first one this year since the other two on the schedule were canceled due to uncooperative weather.) Meet at the Center 10 minutes prior to the 9:00 a.m. departure to carpool to the location for spectacular bird watching.  Good views are guaranteed through Hank’s “Oh My God” telescope. Registration is required in case of changes for any reason. No fee.

And don’t forget the many ongoing activities that you can join any week: Pilates, Chair Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Yang Tai Chi Chuan (beginners), Tai Chi Practice (advanced), Step Aerobics, Strength Maintenance, Dance: Moving Better/Living Better, Spanish Conversation, Art Group, Writers Group, Contract Bridge, Mah Jong. Whew! 

Is anyone interested in chess in May? It will be taught for beginners or as a refresher, with no fee. Coming in summer: French Conversation, Kayaking, Tubing, Poetry. . . and more.

Presentations and performances
Wednesday, May 2, presentation on the Feldenkrais Method® with Mischul Brownstone. This somatic approach uses gentle, mindful movement to bring new self-awareness and improve function. It can increase ease and range of motion, improve flexibility and coordination, and positively influence other aspects of your life. (Introduction to Rolfing® with Liesje Smith will be scheduled in the fall.)

Wednesday, May 9, CCS Small Music Ensembles directed by Monica Littlefield. This collection of vocal and instrumental music will include the Ukulele Band originally scheduled in April. Note: Performance time is 1:00 p.m., not 1:30 p.m. as posted in the calendar.

Saturday, May 12, Shape Note Performance of acapella four-part harmony. Begun in colonial New England, this traditional singing has haunting melodies, often with dark poetry from early hymnals. There will be an opportunity to learn a couple of songs and sing along. No registration or fee. Light refreshments. Sponsored by the Friends of the Charlotte Senior Center. Note: This Saturday event begins at 1:30 p.m. 

Wednesday, May 16, Crossing the Himalayas. David Rosenberg will speak about his adventure crossing the mountains on foot with two fellow Peace Corps volunteers in 1964. In their travels from central Nepal, to the slopes of the Himalayas, and then to the arid Tibetan Plateau, they observed how people had adapted to a challenging environment while preserving ancient Buddhist traditions.

May Art Show
This group show features acrylics with ink by Jenny Cole, watercolors by Anne Gordon, waterscapes in oil by Judy Tuttle, pastels by Jill Kleinman and both pastels and watercolors by Beverly Goodman.

Note: Art show pieces are hung in the foyer and in the Great Room, which is really quite large. Because this room is utilized for many classes and events, the best times to see the art shows are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons after 12:30 p.m. and Wednesdays after 3:00 p.m. Call the Center during the week to check on availability on Sunday afternoons.  

Special June Trip to Hildene
Friday, June 1, Full-day trip by Premier Coach to Hildene, the estate of Abraham Lincoln’s son in Manchester. If we are very lucky, the peonies will be in bloom in the spectacular setting.  A visit to the restored Pullman car on the grounds and a self-guided tour of the home are followed by a private look at the archives collection. The pre-ordered buffet lunch in the mansion features a horticultural presentation. If time and energy permit, there will be a short stop at the Northshire Bookstore. Start time is 8:00 a.m., return arrival time is approximately 5:00 p.m. All-inclusive trip cost is $80. Registration and prepayment are required no later than May 7. Please note: Some walking is necessary.

Stop in to say hello and check us out. No commitment required.  Really, we are not your typical senior center—and not your ‘typical’ seniors. As Edith Ann (Lily Tomlin) used to say, “And that’s the truthhh!”

See you soon!

S.O.S. for missing jacket
Gentlemen: Do you have a mystery jacket hanging in your closet??? It’s navy blue, size L. There is one black glove in each pocket and a dark blue visor cap in one sleeve. Did you forget where you mistakenly picked it up—because it was similar to one of yours? It was weeks ago after a Wednesday lunch at the Center.

If you have this jacket, kindly call the Senior Center and let us know. No worries, but one of our male friends is looking forward to wearing it again.

Monday Munch
11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. No reservations required.
May 7
Vegetable beef barley soup, tossed salad with fruits & nuts, magic cookie bars & ice cream

May 14
Beef & barley soup, green salad, homemade dessert

Wednesday Lunch
All diners eat at noon. Reservations required.
May 2
Smoked sausage & sauerkraut, baked potatoes, birthday cake & ice cream

May 9
Chicken cordon bleu, rice pilaf, raspberry cranberry relish, homemade dessert

May 16
Pasta & meatballs, antipasto salad, homemade dessert

Thursday – Men’s Breakfast
7:30–9 a.m. Reservations required.
May 10
Menu and topic – TBA