“No one undertakes research in physics with the intention of winning a prize. It is the joy of discovering something no one knew before.”
~ Stephen Hawking

Okay, so perhaps you think that it’s easy for Hawking to talk about “the joy of discovering”—after all, he was doing ‘important work.’ But that need not be the yardstick. Not long ago, I waited in my car for an extended time for a friend at the bus station. I had the time to observe a spider (with my car window closed) on a web it had spun between the side-view mirror and the body of my car.

As I watched, it looked like it was dismantling its web. “No,” I thought to myself, “this cannot be happening.” But, as I continued to watch, there was no doubt that it was happening. The web came apart in very specific sections. Astounding! Later on, still not believing my eyes, I googled this phenomenon and discovered that spiders do, indeed, eat their webs! Why had I never known that? How had I never seen that in all my decades on the planet?

Somehow, this personal discovery gave me great joy—and not a little wonder. It was not unknown, but something I had not known—and would never have believed if someone had told me. So, you need not be a world-renowned physicist to experience the joy of discovery.

And today, you can discover the brand-new Winter Schedule as an insert in this edition of The Charlotte News. Because people are especially busy in the month of December, it is designed with more new courses to sign up for in January and February. To register for new courses, please drop by, call the Center, or mail in the registration form at the bottom of the back of the Winter Schedule.

On Wednesdays at 10 a.m., Strolling in Charlotte on the Town Link Trail will continue into the winter depending on the weather. There is no fee, but there is a minimum of 5 strollers. Please sign up in advance for each week, so we can contact you on Tuesday afternoon if it needs to be cancelled.

In early December, a new Fiber Arts Group will be meeting on Thursday mornings from 9:15 a.m. to about noon. If you are a knitter, rug hooker or do other fiber work, drop in and stay as long as you’d like. There is no fee.

Back by popular demand, Drumming with Stuart Paton of Burlington Taiko returns for 3 more Friday workshop sessions of djembe drumming. This will be followed in January by a new class called Dancing with Drums, an exploration of Japanese movement, led by Stuart who grew up in Japan.

Meeting on the second Friday of the month at 1:00 p.m., the Writers Group is reforming and is currently looking for a few writers of stories, autobiographical pieces and poetry. Writers would meet once a month to read and discuss their pieces, listen to those of others, and offer encouragement. No fee. Please do call to register your interest.

On Thursday, Dec. 13, the Gents Breakfast meets at 7:30 a.m. In addition to being good cooks, they are an interesting group of guys with many interests and varied, informal presentations. Since they usually end by 9:00 a.m., you can attend and still have a full day afterwards.

Wednesday afternoon events
Today, Nov. 28, at 1:00 p.m., the Annual Tree Trimming takes place in the Great Room. If you see this in time, stop by to lend a hand and get into the spirit of the season.

On Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 1:00 p.m., Charlotte historian Dan Cole will present “Demons Sometimes Live in Fog,” a real-life tale of an Irish immigrant railroader, who after the Civil War went from Charlotte to the West Coast—and had a life-altering experience.

Librarians Susanna Kahn Georgia Edwards and Cheryl Sloan, our friendly neighbors from across the street, will come by on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 1:00 p.m. for Wrapping Up a Good Read with book suggestions for your gift shopping. The Flying Pig Bookstore will have books for purchase, and you can ask questions and relax with refreshments while you ponder your choices.

Looking ahead to the Wednesdays at the end of December, on the 19th at 1:00 p.m., Judy Chaves will return with her Cello Quartet for the Holidays. They will be playing traditional holiday carols from England, France, Spain and the United States, many of which you will know—and can sing along with.

On Dec. 26 at 1:00 p.m. there will be a showing of the hour-long documentary, Sabra: The Life and Work of a Vermont Printmaker. If you think you know all about her Sabra field’s work, or even if you have seen this before, it is really worth viewing this beautiful video again.

Of course, there are many other courses taking place in December: ongoing exercise and health-oriented classes in T’ai Chi Ch’uan (beginner and advanced), Pilates, Strength Maintenance, Gentle Yoga, Chair Yoga, Moving Better, Fitness, and Mindfulness. Added to that is Spanish Conversation, Mahjong, Duplicate Bridge, and the Friday Morning Arts Group.

Art news
The December & January Art Exhibit will feature the colorful work of the Champlain Valley Quilters Guild. Some of the quilts were designed in response to the challenge “Coming Full Circle,” and the remainder are wide-ranging designs by other guild members. Enjoy the beautiful complexity of these works of art in a variety of sizes.

Viewing Art Shows in December
Since the Center is utilized for many classes and events, the best times to see art shows this month: Tuesdays & Thursdays after 12:30 p.m., and Wednesdays & Fridays after 3:00 p.m. Please call the Center during the week to check on Sunday availability.

If you have not seen it already, please visit our new website. There is a wealth of information about the Center and its history, menus and food tips, and the Winter Schedule course descriptions with monthly calendars. It will continue to evolve.

What will you discover today?

See you soon.

Charlotte Senior Center
(802) 425-6345

Monday Munch
11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. No reservations required.

December 3
Carrot ginger soup, spinach salad, cherry coconut bars

December 10
Turkey & squash soup, salad, chocolate peppermint cookies

Wednesday Lunch
All diners eat at noon. Reservations required.

December 5
African chicken, birthday cake & ice cream

December 12
Crustless quiche with ham & spinach, greens, chocolate surprise

Thursday
Gents Breakfast
7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Reservations required.

December 13
Menu and Topic – TBA

Keep up to date on menus with Front Porch Forum, as they sometimes change.