On November 15, 2023

Senior Scene: Generosity and outreach: opportunities abound in November

Generosity and outreach: opportunities abound in November

November: The awkward middle child between Halloween candy and Christmas cookies



As the transition from fall to winter, November is for change and preparation. That means it is time to give your rooms, wardrobe, body and mind a de-clutter. Get rid of things you don’t need, be it clothes or beliefs holding you back. When you have less, you have space and energy for the truly important things and people that matter.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month and Peanut Butter Lovers Month. National Vegan Month is also in November. Actually, including Thanksgiving, there are a lot of reasons to celebrate in November.

Nov. 1 was All Saints Day, Nov. 9 World Freedom Day, Nov. 11 Veterans Day, and Nov. 13 World Kindness Day.

Coming up: Nov. 17 is World Peace Day, Nov. 23 Thanksgiving, Nov. 24 Black Friday, Nov. 27 Cyber Monday, Nov. 28 Giving Tuesday. 

Since we are talking about Thanksgiving, I want to announce a collaborative effort of the Little White Church and the Senior Group. Killington Elementary School has let us know that seven families need our assistance. The plan is to buy turkeys and all the trimmings for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. There are several ways that you can help. One is to write a check. Please make the check out to Sherburne United Church of Christ (SUCC). What we do not get donated we will purchase. 

If you are shopping for your own family and would like to add items to your list, purchasing the following in any quantity will be very helpful: cranberry sauce, boxed instant mashed potatoes, canned sweet potatoes, turkey gravy, boxed stuffing, boxed cookies. Purchased items or checks may be given to Nan Salamon or myself. You may bring your donation to lunch, Bone Builders or Book Club. If you do not attend these events please call me and I will meet you at your convenience, 908-783-1050.

Gratitude for what we have and the spirit of generosity toward those who are in need cannot be measured.

Our Thoughts on Aging group is going strong and discussions are leading us in many directions. I think I have mentioned that we probably don’t solve any problems but we talk every subject to the point there’s nothing left to say and we leave with a much lighter feeling. We will meet this month on Wednesday, Nov. 15, starting at 1 p.m. at Sherburne Memorial Library. The subject will be the holidays, that should be interesting!

Book clubs are a wonderful thing. They introduce you to genres that you would never imagine you might be interested in. Then you have the opportunity to talk about what you have just read and share your thoughts and opinions. We are fortunate enough to have an active book club at our library called Book Ends Book Club. The selection for this month is “The Maid” by Nita Prose. Plot: Molly Gray is not like anyone else. Her Gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by. When Gran died, 25-year-old Molly must navigate for herself. She creates an orderly life that is turned on its head when she becomes a suspect in a murder. 

The Book Club meets Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 1 p.m. at the library. Pick up your copy at the library.

Movie Monday continues at 1 p.m. and the choices for the reset of the month are:

Monday, Nov. 20: “Montford”

Monday, Nov. 27: “Oppenheimer”

Small changes

Can you believe we are starting the last month of “52 Small Changes For The Mind” by Brett Blumenthal? We have meditated, faced our fears, made lists, smiled, read for pleasure, listened to music, drank green tea and many other small everyday changes. Small changes work. They are less overwhelming and more realistic and they give us a sense of accomplishment. Hopefully we are all happier and healthier for making these small changes. So on to the last four weeks:

Week 49: Deal with demons

“Turn your words into wisdom,” said Oprah Winfrey.

Our past is made up of both positive and negative experiences. When we struggle to let go of the negative experiences, they quickly turn into our personal “demons.” Demons come from past mistakes, and some of our relationships. We have to accept them and then learn to let go. Dealing with demons makes us stronger and more capable to persevere through the ups and downs and forgive.

Week 50: Train your brain

“The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous,” said Carl Sagan.

Physical training does a body good and mental training does our brain good. Cognitive training capitalizes on the fact that cognitive function can be maintained or improved by putting your mind through  new and challenging experiences. Training the brain helps protect memory and just 20 minutes a day will work and best of all it can be fun. Chess, cards, reading comprehension, math, word problems and video games are all good choices.

Week 51: Abolish brain killers

“Garbage in, garbage out,” quipped George Fuechsel.

There are many foods that promote brain health and, as you might imagine there are many foods that do not. Foods high in sugar, salt, trans fats and highly processed foods are ones to avoid. Start small and try to eliminate these foods from your diet.

Week 52: Have a generous spirit

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us: What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal,” said Albert Pike.

A generous spirit is a beautiful quality to have, and it is also good for your health, physically and mentally. As it turns out, we are biologically wired to feel happier from having a generous spirit. When we give to others, they are more likely to give back, and these exchanges between people encourage trust cooperation, respect and other positive feelings that strengthen ties. This starts a beautiful cycle!

Hopefully you will remind yourselves of these small changes as we near the holidays and a brand new year. The suggestions can’t hurt only help. Good luck!

Save the dates!

The Library will host a holiday market on Sunday, Dec. 3, from 12-5 p.m. It will feature a concert by Celtic musician and storyteller, Jeff Snow, who was here in March and was immediately invited back for the holidays. There will be more information on this event that will include shopping with local vendors, food and fun.

Then, Monday, Dec. 4, The Killington Active Seniors will be having their Christmas luncheon in the community room at the Public Safety Building on Killington Road. We have given this a lot of consideration and have decided to visit the past. We will provide turkey and ham and are asking everyone to bring their favorite dish. At our age we all have family favorites and it’s nice to share. It can be a side dish of any kind or a dessert. You can bring your own wine and maybe a few of us can bring an appetizer. It’s nice to socialize before we actually sit down to eat. There will be a charge of $5 to help with cost of paper goods, etc. There will be more information as we get nearer to the date.

Hopefully we will be together with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. If you are staying in Killington we have the exciting World Cup to look forward to. I wish for you the very best of celebrations. Please reach out to each other and always be grateful. Love who you can. Help where you can and give what you can.

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