“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
~ Henry James. 

When it is really hot and humid, imagine that you have been transported to somewhere far away: New Orleans, Singapore, Hong Kong. The scene is set; go with the flow and have some gumbo, satay or sweet and sour pork. And speaking of food, the Charlotte Senior Center is happy to be collaborating with Executive Chef Arnd Sievers from The Residence at Shelburne Bay, who will be with us on Monday, July 30, to prepare a lunch of his choice. 

It is nearly the middle of July and summer is picking up steam (literally). Visiting friends and family helps us remember how very fortunate we are to live in this beautiful and inviting place. So many choices things to do and wonderful spots to show people.

Rounding out July
On Wednesday, July 11, the Foot Clinic at 9:15 a.m. is followed by the Blood Pressure Clinic at 11:30 a.m. The Foot Clinic (formerly Footnoters) does require pre-registration, but walk-ins are welcome for the Blood Pressure Clinic. The Center is grateful to long-time volunteers Martha McAuliffe, R.N., Julia Jacques and Samantha Wendel who will be on hand to take care of visitors. The next clinics will be on Aug. 1 and Sept. 5.

The Kayaking Trips for Women continue on Fridays in July (13 & 27), August (10 & 24), and  September (14 & 28). For destination information and to register your interest, please respond by email directly to Susan Hyde. Paddlers need to provide their own boats for all trips (except on 8/24). Sign up for one, or any number of them. No fee.

On July 18 at 10:30 a.m. visit the Charlotte Volunteer Fire Department. Meet at the Senior Center to walk over to the CVFD. See those big, red vehicles and gear; learn about procedures for fighting fire and rescuing people. Registration required. Maximum 12. You are invited to bring a young friend if you wish. 

The Bake For Good event on Thursday, July 19, is full. If you missed out on signing up, do call and let us know if you might want us to hold something similar soon that involves baking or cooking. There are many possibilities, and your input is always welcome. 

Shakespeare comes to Charlotte. A Performance Of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It will be given on Friday, July 27, at 1:00 p.m. in the Senior Center’s Great Room. The Hour-Glass Youth Theatre returns to stage one of Will’s classics. The play follows a young woman and her best friend as they flee a society in ruins from a government run on wealth and an imbalance of power. Registration is required. No fee.

New! On July 29, from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., the Senior Center will begin hosting a monthly gathering of singers of shape-note music, Charlotte Sacred Harp. (In the future, it will meet on regularly on the 3rd Sunday at the same time: Aug. 19, Sept. 16, etc.) Newcomers and experienced singers are welcome—no auditions. Shape-note singing is a traditional style of music with roots in the 18th and 19th centuries of the United States. Singing is four-part a cappella and is sung for the moment… not for performance.  Song books (1991 Dennison) are supplied, instruction given, and there is no charge. Come and find your voice or just listen. Call Carolyn at the Senior Center with any questions.

Continuing through the summer are the glorious Dream Day on Lake Champlain boat trips with Al and Nancy Martin on their trawler. The trip on July 12 is already full, but you might squeeze in on Thursday, Aug. 16 or Sept. 13. It is hard to believe that there is no charge for these all-day excursions except for your meal. Fraya Smith, Bosun’s Mate, and Greg Smith, Swab, lend crucial support to make this all possible. Registration is required, with a limit of one trip.

There are two more Birding Expeditions left for the summer, on Wednesday, July 18, and August 15. If you have never tried this, you will be pleasantly surprised, and Hank is the best person to introduce you to the feathered life. (And yes, there will be two more in the fall.) It is a different way to look at the world. Registration required. No fee.

Coming in August
Discover the fun of collaging! Collage, using bits of paper to create an artwork, has been called a very democratic art form. It allows those who otherwise might feel inhibited by paints and brushes to jump in and enjoy themselves. Learn how to juxtapose, overlap, organize, and play with negative and positive space with artist Linda Finkelstein, whose collages were on display in April at the Senior Center. The course, called Collage Experiences, is on Thursday mornings, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Dates are 8/2, 8/9, 8/16, 8/23. Each date will have a specific focus; some materials are provided. You may also bring your own treasures of memorabilia, papers and artifacts. Registration is required. Maximum is 12. All four classes are $35; or each class is $10. 

If it’s just too hot to go outside, reading a book is a pleasant option. Join Library Director Margaret Woodruff in the Senior Center’s August Book Group discussingThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood on Monday mornings, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Dates: 8/6, 8/13, 8/20. This is the novel on which last year’s popular TV series was based. The novel set in a near-future New England, a totalitarian, Christian theonomy. The story focuses on the handmaid, Offred, and her role as a servant and surrogate. Copies will be available at the Senior Center & the Charlotte Library. Group meets at the cool, cool Senior Center. Please do register; there is no fee.

Did you know you can exercise your brain in just five minutes a day? While working to commit a poem to memory your brain will be energized—but will not break a sweat. Look into joining Poetry by Heart with Ginger Lambert, Tuesday mornings, 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Dates: 8/7, 8/14, 8/21. She will share her tips and memorization methods, as well as the reasons to learn poetry. Really, memorizing poetry doesn’t have to be hard! Some poems will be provided, or you can bring your own. Registration required; fee is $10 per class.

Has anyone given any thought to the Senior Center’s BBQ on August 17? More info to follow next time. Mark your calendars – you will not be disappointed.

Ongoing Classes
Keep in mind that there are our ongoing exercise classes for all ability levels—as well as mindfulness, arts and writers groups, and other activities—that can be joined at any time. Many are free, and for those that do have a fee, there is the choice of paying for each class when you come, or, if you wish, for the remainder of the multi-class session.  This means you can come and check something out without needing to make a commitment. (You can access the schedule online or call (802) 425-6345 if you have any questions.)

About Art
July Art Exhibit: Diane Bell, watercolors. “My paintings are bold and colorful impressions of the places I visit and the vistas I capture around my home and beyond.”  

Viewing Art Shows: The Center is utilized for many classes and events, and the best times to see the art shows are: Tuesdays after 2:30 p.m., Wednesdays after 3:00 p.m., and Thursdays and Fridays after 12:30 p.m.

Volunteering
The Senior Center is made possible because many, many folks participate and also lend their time and expertise. Consider volunteering as a host at our front desk and meet the interesting folks who come through our door. Become part of a vibrant community with just a few hours a month. (Of course, there are many other volunteer opportunities, as well.) Stop by or give us a call to find out more. 

See you soon.