“There are two ways of spreading light: Be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.”
~ Edith Warton, 1909

Winter in Vermont: Snowy. Cold. Dark. Umm, how about two out of three? For me, the snow (the more the better) and the cold (okay to -20F) present both a challenge and an adventure. The dark, however, is just dark. My offset is keeping multicolored lights around my kitchen window long after the holidays—until the light comes in at breakfast. The good news is that we are now past the winter solstice and slowly moving into less and less darkness. In the meanwhile, think of how you can keep your own light burning bright.

What’s new?
Introduction to Mindfulness will be held on 1/22 at 2:30 p.m. The regular, weekly mindfulness class that meets Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m. is postponed until 1/23. (Please note that the Intro to Mindfulness scheduled for 1/10 at 2:30 p.m. has been canceled.) Find out what this is all about and stop in. No registration is necessary, and there is no charge for any of these mindfulness classes with Jill Abilock.

Likewise, check out Intro to Feldenkrais on 1/22 at 1:00 p.m. with Mischul Brownstone. Discover how this approach of minimal movement combined with awareness can improve your functioning—and even reduce pain. Registration is requested for the free introduction.

Up for walking in the winter? Try Strolling in Charlotte on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m., which is restarting on 1/9. Explore the new Charlotte Town Link Trail—and keep a leisurely pace on this level path. This season it will be self-guided with the town map and no official leader. This means there will be no minimum number for participation —and no weather cancellation decision. Meet up at the Senior Center at 10:00 a.m. to carpool and see who else shows up. It is a chance to get out and meet other like-minded walkers. (It’s a good idea to sign up for a particular date just to know how many might be coming.)

Since “approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.” (NIH), consider attending one or both of the Senior Center’s two Hearing Workshops. They will be presented by Dr. Elizbeth Adams, a Vermont-licensed audiologist and clinical professor at UVM’s Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Hearing Workshop, Part 1, on Wednesday, 1/9, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., is for those who are concerned about their hearing or that of a family member or friend. Hearing Workshop, Part 2, on Wednesday, 1/16, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., looks at how you find a provider, the questions to ask, treatment options and device choices. Both workshops are free, and no registration is required.

On the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, from 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., the Gents Breakfast with Bob Chutter and Friends meets in the café. Dates in January are 1/10 and 1/24. The men gather for breakfast and wide-ranging conversation. All pitch in to prepare the meal, set tables or clean up. On 1/10, the presentation (using our new 55-inch monitor) will be slides and a video on “Tales from the Oil Patch: Constructing the Stratfjord Oil Platform in the Norwegian North Sea.” Please register by the Tuesday before the breakfast. Suggested donation is $5.

A new course, Musical Immigrations to America with Benjamin Klemme, will be held on Friday afternoons, 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., on 1/18, 1/25 and 2/8. Experience the music of Dvorák, Mahler and Stravinsky and discuss the circumstances that inspired their immigration to the United States. Explore musical influence and identity in the masterpieces written during their American residencies. Dr. Klemme is the music director of the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association. Registration required. No fee. (Make a note of his upcoming presentation on 1/30. See below.)

Shape-Note Singing resumes on 1/20 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. and is usually held on every third Sunday. This traditional a cappella, four-part harmony is also known as Sacred Harp. The “full-body, shout-it-out singing” does not require a “good” voice. Songbooks are provided. Stop by to listen or sing—and leave whenever you wish. No fee.

The re-forming monthly Writers Group, scheduled for second Fridays, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., is looking for writers of stories, autobiographical pieces and poetry. Please register to indicate your interest. This is intended to be a gathering for mutual support and encouragement—not a course. (But a writing course is being planned for the spring.)

Free Wednesday Afternoon Events at 1:00 p.m.
Today, 1/09, Vince Crockenberg will present a slideshow history and discussion of Cuba After Fidel looking at Cuban-American relations—including the numerous American attempts to destroy popular support for the Castro regime. It will start with 1959 and cover the first year of Miguel Diaz-Canel’s presidency.

On 1/16, enjoy A Comedy Connection with Carrie Rae Shamel and Friends. Local comedians perform at the Senior Center for an afternoon of fun. They believe laughter is the best medicine!

Searching for your ancestors? On 1/23, an Ancestry Workshop with Dan Cole, Jenny Cole and Mary Cheney will provide you with advice and information about useful online resources, such as Ancestry and Heritage Quest, as well as local history information from the Charlotte Library collection. Bring your research questions.

Mark your calendar for a unique insight into The Making of a Conductor on 1/30 with Benjamin Klemme. Take a behind-the-scenes look at the training and apprenticeship that prepare an individual to become an orchestral conductor. Klemme is the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association’s music director and will share illustrations from his and others’ life-long endeavor to master the craft of conducting.

Art News
January is the last month of the colorful quilt show with both large and small pieces by members of the Champlain Valley Quilters Guild. It has been warmly received by visitors to the Center. Don’t miss it! (Note the best times to visit below.)

You’ve probably waited at least 50 years to take part in a senior center—and now’s the time. Don’t wait a minute longer! (You’re not too young!) We’d love to show you around. Visitors are often surprised because we are not what you expect.

See you soon.

So, are you a candle? Or a mirror? Or both?

Viewing Art Shows in January: Since the Center is utilized for many classes and events, the best times to see art shows this month are Tuesdays after 2:30 p.m., Thursdays after 12:30 p.m., Wednesdays and Fridays after 3:00 p.m. Please call the Center during the week to check on Sunday availability.

Charlotte Senior Center
(802) 425-6345