“Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer, we’d have frozen to death.”
~ Mark Twain

So many words for cold: nippy, frigid, freezing, brutal, brisk, refreshing, crisp, bitter, glacial, biting, piercing, numbing, raw, arctic – and a few others I’ve never heard of, like gelid and brumal. But, living in Vermont, we all know that there is cold – and then there is cold. It does force you to be mindful and choose the right boots and gloves for the day.

Have you ever noticed that your very perception of the cold—and the words you choose to describe it—depend on whether you intend to go skiing or snowshoeing—or stay at home and bake or read a book?

The ongoing, weekly Mindfulness class, with Jill Abilock, which meets Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m. is resuming as of 1/23. (There is a possibility that it might also be offered on a Tues. or Thurs. at 2:30 p.m. in the future.) Walk-ins are welcome, no registration is necessary, and there is no charge for the classes.

Tomorrow, 1/24, is the fourth Thursday, and that means the Gents’ Breakfast meets from 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., in the Café. On the menu is Frittatas with biscuits, fruit and juice. In the “share chair” is Vince Crockenberg, who will talk about Cuba after Fidel, with slides.

Our new, amazing 55-inch HD screen in the Café was used for the first time last Friday – and it did not disappoint! Although it was originally thought of for use at the men’s breakfast, it will certainly be used in presentations for small groups from time to time. So, it will be utilized on 2/1 at 10:00 a.m. for Lynn Cummings’ Watercolor Video & Discussion, showing world-renowned artists creating their masterpieces. Be sure to register for that, as space is limited.

Shape-Note Singing on 1/20 was canceled due to snow. The next gathering will be on 2/17, from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 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. Check out this link for some background, or go to YouTube and put in “I’m Going Home” (Royce Hall concert).

The re-forming monthly Writers Group, scheduled for second Fridays, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., is looking for one or two more writers of stories, autobiographical pieces or 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.)

The January Book Discussion Group, which is reading Walking Each Other Home by Ram Das and Mirabai Bush, is off to a flying start. It is full to overflowing, so it will be offered twice again: once in March and once in May. The signups for those two new sessions will begin after the new Spring Schedule is published on 2/20. The new courses will also take place on Mondays at 10:00 a.m. Please note that these two new sessions are not intended to be continuations of the current course.

Coming in mid-February is a new course titled Creating in 3-D with Linda Finkelstein. It will meet on four Thursday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., starting 2/14. It will focus on creating small sculptural artworks using wooden pieces and found objects. You might take the time to look up Louise Nevelson and the totem arts of the Pacific Northwest Haida tribe, since they will be used for inspiration. This is a great course for those who are drawing- or painting-averse, or who would like to be creative in another way while having fun. Cost for the series of four is $60.

A five-week session of the Feldenkrais Method will begin again on Tuesday, 1/29 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. with Mischul Brownstone. This gentle, mindful approach to movement is subtle, yet effective, in increasing vitality and rediscovering lost abilities. Series is $75, with preregistration required.

Free Wednesday afternoon events at 1:00 p.m.
Today, 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.

On 1/30, you will be treated to a unique, behind-the-scenes look at The Making of a Conductor with Benjamin Klemme, the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association’s music director. Klemme will discuss the training and apprenticeship that prepares an individual to become an orchestral conductor, sharing illustrations from his and others’ life-long endeavor to master this demanding craft.

On 2/6, Hank Kaestner (our resident bird expert) will present Iceland and Ice Land, taking us to two different locations near and beyond the Arctic Circle: Iceland and Alaska (Ice Land). Come with him to see fascinating cultural, geographical and ornithological highlights of these two northern locales.

Art News
This is the last week of Coming Full Circle, the colorful quilt show by members of the Champlain Valley Quilters Guild. Don’t miss it!

The February Art Exhibit showcases watercolors and photography by Judy Brook who says, “The natural world inspires me—be it plant stamens, animals’ eyes, water droplets, rust, bird feathers or patterns found in nature. I am a biologist by training and passion who discovered, after retiring from teaching high school and college for 30 years, the exciting worlds of poetry, watercolor, and photography.”

Best times to see art exhibits in January and February: Since the Center is utilized for many classes and events, the best times are Tuesdays and Wednesdays after 2:30 p.m., and Thursdays and Fridays after 12:30 p.m. Please call the Center during the week to check on Sunday availability.

Ideas for staying warm: draft stoppers, flannel sheets, soup, two or three big dogs to hang with. Words for warmth: kindliness, amiability, enthusiasm, and hospitality.

See you soon!

Charlotte Senior Center
(802) 425-6345