“It is December, and nobody asked if I was ready.”
~ Sarah Kay

“I heard a bird sing in the dark of December. A magical thing. And sweet to remember. We are nearer to Spring than we were in September. I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.”
~ Oliver Herford

Yes, we are deep into the December night—and getting up before the sun has never been one of my favorite things to do. But I keep reminding myself that the Winter Solstice is getting closer and closer. And then, just as winter really begins, we get back into lengthening days. In the meantime, I manage the dark mornings with a strand of those tiny, multi-colored Christmas tree lights around my kitchen window—until March.

The old and the new
In today’s issue you can find the Winter Schedule, a bit delayed due to the Charlotte News’ publication schedule. There are nine new classes or workshops and nine totally new Wednesday events. No need to worry about signing up; most of the new courses are planned for January because of the holiday season. (This is not counting courses that are returning and/or events that have been offered in the past.)

Until then, our extensive choice of exercise courses is ongoing and can be joined at any time. You are also welcome to come to one class at no charge and see if it’s right for you. Choose from Gentle Yoga, Chair Yoga, Pilates, Pilates Plus, Strength Maintenance, T’ai Chi for Beginners and T’ai Chi for Advanced Students. Some of them have no fees, but most do.

Starting in December
Friday morning, 12/20, at 9:30 a.m. begins a new exercise course called Introduction to EssentricsTM. It provides a full-body, weight-free workout through a dynamic combination of stretching and strengthening. You can find it on YouTube; it is described in books entitled Aging Backwards, and it is also known as classical stretch. No fee for this introductory series of nine classes.

On Tuesday, 12/10, at 2:15 p.m. the winter edition of the French Conversation Group for intermediate speakers will be informal and self-directed—with no fee. Be assured that Alysse Anton, our popular French instructor, will be back in March to resume her regular classes.

Starting in January
In the new year, there are five new courses: Traditional Rug Hooking for Beginners (1/14), Writing Your Life Story (1/17), Basic Cartooning (1/22), Unique Impressions (1/31) and Creating Handmade Books (2/13). Courtesy of our Charlotte Library friends, there are also returning workshops on iPad for Beginners and iPhone for Beginners, as well as a four-part discussion group on Short Stories for Winter.

Two other returning variations are Watercolor in Winter (1/7) and Acrylics-Intuitive Painting (1/9). And on Sunday, 2/2, at 2 p.m., Don Stevens, chief of the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe, will be back to present The Circle of Life and Native American Spirituality.

There is still more to mention—but no room. Please take a look at the Winter Schedule—and make notes. (There will be a test.)

Wednesday Afternoon
Events at 1:00 p.m.—after lunch
12/11: Wrapping Up a Good Read with Library Director Margaret Woodruff
Enjoy a relaxed afternoon of gift shopping and good cheer as Charlotte Library staff come to CSC to share their favorite reads for the season. Refreshments served. Book copies available for purchase thanks to the Flying Pig Bookstore.

12/18: “I’ll See You in My Dreams”—A musical performance
The Nells, a local trio, will perform classics from the 30s and beyond: “Sentimental Journey,” “All of Me,” “Moonlight in Vermont” and more, along with some Christmas songs! The Nells are Ted LeBlanc, Mike Walker (both Charlotters) and Patti Shannon. All share in the singing and play a variety of stringed instruments.

A bit later in the day, also on Wednesday, 12/18, from 2:30-3:45 p.m., join Jill Abilock for a resumption of Mindfulness Meditation. “You can’t always change what you experience in life, but you can change how you experience it. Mindfulness Meditation provides tools that help change how you experience things, increasing fulfillment and happiness, and reducing stress.” There is no fee and no registration required. Walk-ins are welcome. These classes are usually twice a month, with the next one on 1/15.

Health Events
A quick reminder that our Blood Drive is Thursday, 12/12, from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. If you’ve never been here, it’s very comfortable—with friendly hosts and great snacks.

The following week is our Foot Clinic on Wednesday, 12/18, although you do need to be preregistered. The Blood Pressure Clinic on the same day at 11:30 a.m. is open to walk-ins, however.

Art & Music
On Sunday, 12/15, from 1-3 p.m. is Shape-Note Singing in the Great Room. This traditional a cappella, four-part harmony has been called “full-body, shout-it-out singing.” And the more voices shouting, the better. Songbooks are provided. Stop by to listen or sing, and leave whenever you wish. No fee.

For December and January the new art exhibit is “Challenge Quilts ~ Black & White Plus One.” These are the responses to the challenge put to the Champlain Valley Quilters to use only three colors. There are nearly two dozen entries and the ribbon winners of the contest will be indicated. Put this one on your calendar, and be sure to give yourself enough time to stroll around the Great Room viewing these interesting pieces.

Winter weather closings
When there is iffy weather, remember that the Senior Center follows the school closures of Champlain Valley School District (CVSD). Closings are announced on local TV and radio stations, at the CVSD website, as well as on our website. [Please note that the Senior Center does not close during school vacations.]

The best times to see the art exhibit in December 
Monday and Wednesday at noon, Tuesday after 12:30 p.m., Thursday after 12:30 p.m. (except 12/12), Friday after 12:30 p.m. Please call the Center during the week to check on Sunday availability.

Do visit our website, for more details and menus. If you have questions, would like to register or ask about volunteering, please call (802) 425-6345, or stop by Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

We are at 212 Ferry Road, Charlotte, right across from the post office. The Senior Center’s mission is to serve those 50 and up. Residents from other communities are always welcome. There are no membership fees.

Stop in and say hello. See you soon!

Charlotte Senior Center
(802) 425-6345

Senior Center lunch menu
Monday Munch
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. No reservations required.

December 9
Turkey soup w/ squash, salad, homemade dessert

December 16
Welcome Chef Roland from The Old Lantern!

Wednesday Lunch
All diners eat at noon. Reservations required.

December 11
Chicken cacciatore, panettone bread pudding

December 18
Toutiere (meat pie), pineapple salsa, holiday cookies

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

December 12
Menu and Topic – TBA

Keep up to date on Menus at our website, and on Front Porch Forum, as they sometimes change.