Good news from the Charlotte Senior Center, as some limited outdoor activities have taken place. One of the first is the monthly bird-watching trip. The group wore masks and socially distanced and still managed to see 32 species of birds at Shelburne Bay and the Ti Trail where this photo was taken on Wednesday, July 15. It was so good to be out again and birding with friends. Photo by Alison Williams

Good news from the Charlotte Senior Center, as some limited outdoor activities have taken place. One of the first is the monthly bird-watching trip. The group wore masks and socially distanced and still managed to see 32 species of birds at Shelburne Bay and the Ti Trail where this photo was taken on Wednesday, July 15. It was so good to be out again and birding with friends. Photo by Alison Williams.

By Carolyn Kulik, Senior Center director

“. . .Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. . .”
~ T. S. Eliot, East Coker

At present
It is sad to say that the Senior Center building remains closed, but it’s exciting to note that activities held outdoors can take place. The online Zoom courses will continue to be offered going forward. All of the Wednesday presentations/events will move to the online format. Any other courses or activities will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and will be announced only after they have been carefully considered. Please keep in mind that the state advises all those over 65, as well as those with underlying health conditions, to stay at home.

Updates
As yet, there is no news to report about when the Foot Clinics/Blood Pressure Clinics might be starting up again. (Those who signed up in the spring will be contacted when new dates are established.) Likewise, the distribution of Age Well’s Universal Restaurant Tickets is currently on hold until further notice.

Of necessity, two more items from the Summer Schedule have been cancelled: 8/21 – Middlebury College Art Museum and Lunch and 8/26 – Trip to the Morgan Horse Farm. Although the trips might have been possible, the venues are not open at this time and are likely to remain closed.

And, the Senior Center Community Art Show, which is usually held in September, is now postponed to the fall of 2021.

Blood Drive
8/6. A friendly reminder that our Blood Drive is Thursday, July 6, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Senior Center, although the building is closed for other activities. If you wish to donate urgently needed blood, platelets or plasma, please go to the Red Cross or call 1-800-RED CROSS. Peggy Sharpe, the Senior Center’s volunteer coordinator, is collaborating on this event with Charlotte Fire and Rescue. If you have any questions, you can email her or leave a message for her on the Senior Center’s number, (802) 425-6345.

New Zoom course
8/7. Writing Your Life Story. Online with Laurie McMillan. Fridays, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Dates: 8/7, 8/14, 8/21 & 8/28. You’ve got your story to tell, but what to include and what to leave out? How can you make your memories interesting to a reader? Explore storytelling techniques and utilize in-class exercises to help launch your own meaningful and important stories. Returnees and newcomers welcome. The original fee has been reduced to $30 for the 4-part series, with classes of 90 minutes each. Registration is required by 8/4. (See below for how to register.) Never zoomed? It’s not hard. Honest. If you need help, please send us an email.

Online Registration
Register by emailing your name, address and phone number. The suggested donation of $30 is requested at time of registration. Please make checks out to Charlotte Senior Center with the course name on the memo line, and mail to Charlotte Senior Center, P.O. Box 207, Charlotte, VT 05445. Registration is required by 8/4.

Outdoors
Both the first Kayaking Trip for Women and the first Birding Expedition have successfully taken place this month with great weather for both days. All participants had their temperatures taken (forehead, digitally), dutifully answered the health screening questions, donned masks and responsibly kept that six feet of social distance at all times. Despite all the restrictions, everyone was so happy to be together and able to do something they love.

7/24. The next Kayaking Trip for Women is tomorrow to Eden Lake. Please register your interest with Susan. Locations vary and are weather dependent, of course. Additional dates are: 8/14, 8/28, 9/11, 9/18 and 9/25.

The next Birding Expedition with Hank Kaestner is scheduled for 8/12 and already is only taking names for the waiting list. If you are already on the list and are not able to make it, please call so that someone else can have your spot, (802) 425-6345.

Wednesday Events
All Wednesday events at 1:00 p.m. will take place only as Zoom meetings. You will not need to sign up in advance. In order to join one of these events via Zoom, access the link on the Events page of the Center’s website. The specific invitation/link will be posted by the day before the presentation. As well, this link will be supplied in Front Porch Forum postings to surrounding towns.

7/29. A Mile of Ice Above Us with Craig Heindel. Learn about the most recent geologic history of Vermont and the Champlain Valley—from more than a mile of ice over us, to raging meltwater rivers, to a salty sea (home of the ill-fated beluga whose skeleton was found in Charlotte), and then, finally, to some large, higher-elevation lakes.

8/5. Demystifying Estate Administration with Suzanna Miller. Executors or Trustees often do not learn what is required of them before a loved one’s death. This talk will be helpful for those who may serve in these roles, or who may want to make their own estate plans easier for their Executors. Learn what is involved in administering an estate, as well as what probate is, when it is needed, and ways to plan for avoiding it.

Art Exhibits
The Senior Center’s regular, monthly art exhibits have resumed—with an important change: They may be viewed only by prior appointment. Since the physical building of the Senior Center remains closed until further notice, those interested in coming in to see an art exhibit in the Great Room will need to schedule an appointment at least 24 hours in advance. The days for viewing are Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Please leave a message at (802) 425-6345, and include your name and phone number for a confirmation of your appointment.

For the remaining weeks of July, Our Wake Robin Neighbors Art Exhibit, originally hung in March, will continue to be on display. This is your last chance to view works by our creative neighbors—comprising nearly a dozen artists and 50 representational and abstract works. There are oils to acrylics, and more—with some for sale. Don’t miss this interesting collection.

Coming next is the August & September Art Exhibit. Bill Stirewalt. Large Format Photography. During his long medical career, Dr. Stirewalt remained serious about his hobby of fine art photography. The work on display for these two months spans a time frame from the 1960s to the present. Subject matter is varied and includes rainforest, seascape, beaver pond, people, horses, kelp; locations range from New Zealand, to Yosemite and Vermont, and elsewhere.  Many of these pieces are also available for sale.

The Senior Center’s mission is to serve those 50 and up; if a course is not full, younger ages may also enroll. Residents from other communities are always welcome. There are no membership fees. Feel free to leave a message anytime at (802) 425-6345; voicemail is checked daily.

Be careful. Stay well. We are all in this together.

Charlotte Senior Center
(802) 425-6345