On March 13, 2024

Senior Scene: Spring is around the corner

“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn,” said Lewis Grizzar.

March can be a bit dismal as many await the end of a long winter and the coming of spring. It’s like winter is holding on tight but spring is trying to get its foot in the door. We have to operate on good faith that spring will return.

Sunday, March 17, is St. Patrick’s Day. St Patrick was a 5th Century missionary, who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. He became a legendary figure by the end of the 7th Century and is considered a patron saint of Ireland. By the time of his death on March 17, 461 A.D., he had established monasteries, churches and schools. Many legends grew up around him. For example, it is said that he drove the snakes out of Ireland and used the shamrock to explain the Trinity. Ireland came to celebrate his day with religious services and feasts.

Today, it is more of a secular day celebrating all things Irish. So, wear your green, cook the traditional corned beef and cabbage and have a green beer.

The Sherburne United Church of Christ is a small church but mighty in its deeds. Better known as “the little white church,” it provides a food shelf and is open to anyone who may need a little help. Please call Nan Salamon, 802-422-9244 or Ron Willis 802-422-3843. Members of the community can donate items and there is always a need to replenish. As you shop for yourself, pick up a little something for the food shelf. Right now they need the following: peanut butter, jelly, ketchup, paper towels, tissue, napkins, dish soap, clothes soap, pudding, cookies, brownie mix, granola bars and any kind of other snacks. You may call Nan or myself  908-783-1050 for pickup or bring your items to the senior lunch held every Wednesday at The Lookout, starting at 11:30 a.m.

Monday is Movie Day at the library. The show starts at 1 p.m. and popcorn is available.

The Bookends Book Club will meet on Wednesday, March 27 at 1 p.m. The selection for this month is “The Cloisters” by Katy Hayes. A mystery that spirals out of control when one questions if tarot cards can not only teach about the past but also about the present. After the discussion, a special presentation will be given on tarot.

A group of volunteers meets on most Tuesdays to help prepare the library for it’s summer programming. Last year featured a very long snake and an alligator. So be prepared as we never know what the projects will be. All are welcome and we start working around 1 p.m. and finish up by 3 p.m.

The Sherburne Killington Historians will meet on March 16 from 10-11 a.m. The “Thoughts on Aging” group meets the third Wednesday of each month. On March 20 we will have an open discussion on anything that has caused alarms to go off or at the opposite end of the spectrum, we can discuss all the good things that are happening to us. We don’t solve any problems  but we sure get a lot of things out in the open. All are welcome and there is only one rule: What’s said in the discussion doesn’t leave the room and all opinions are valued.

On March 19 there will be a paint and sip session. Please call the library and reserve a spot.

The Spa at The Woods is now offering a senior fitness class for those over 65 that will utilize body weight exercises, balance exercises and resistance exercises. This class will run for six weeks as a drop in class at $5 per session. It began March 1. The weather will soon change and hopefully we’ll all be outside and more active. This is a good way to get us in shape so we’ll be ready. Balance or lack of balance is one of the leading causes of senior falls. As I have reminded you many times: knowing how to get up from a fall is equally important. Hope to see you there!

Staying healthy is probably the most important thing we can do. We are constantly exposed to bacteria, viruses and pathogens that could potentially make us sick. While it’s not something we consciously think about, our immune system is always on guard, fighting off these invisible enemies. Composed of a multitude of cells, tissues and organs, this complex system identifies and neutralizes harmful invaders. Our diets play a crucial role so our first goal is to eat right. Every day we see articles about what to eat and more importantly what not to eat. Daily exercise is also important. Regular physical activity increases the circulation of immune cells, making them more efficient in hunting down pathogens. Whether it’s a walk or an intense workout, physical activity is an inexpensive way to ward off illness.

How well did you sleep last night? The value of sleep in immunity is immeasurable. During sleep our bodies go through a series of restorative processes. Prioritizing sleep is not merely an act of self-care. It’s an essential strategy for staying healthy. Constant stress can lead to the production of stress hormones like cortisol, which suppresses immune function. Try meditation, mindfulness and breathing exercises to reduce the stress in your life.

Getting vaccinations that your doctors recommends for certain diseases are a good tool to help the body fight specific pathogens. The environmental factor can’t be ignored. Pollution can lead to inflammation and weaken our immune systems. Air purifiers, houseplants and just opening windows for fresh air can improve our overall wellbeing. Proactive healthcare versus reactive healthcare should always be the case but in this day and age we all know it is not. That’s why we have to take on this responsibility ourselves. Pay attention and eat right, exercise, get enough sleep and manage stress. It will be a gift to ourselves!

I am sorry to share the news of Dorry Lusher’s death. She lived in Bermuda but spent many summers in Killington and made many friends here. She attended our senior lunch, was part of a bridge group,  played a round of golf every once in a while and attended Bone Builders. We will miss her and her stories. I sent a note to her family on behalf of the seniors but if you would like to send your own please contact me for the address.

I have mentioned a little book called “Daily Sunshine” by Clare Josa. My latest reading in the book was titled “Ten Happiness Secrets That Children Would Love Us To Learn.” Children can be the best of teachers and they remember so much more than we do about how to feel happy. Here are10 secrets to happiness that they would like us to know:

Ask for what you want. It’s ok to be honest about our needs and desire.

Say what you are thinking. Of course, use compassion, but there’s no point in lying.

Cry, if you want to. Let those emotions out. Then let go and move on.

Wear your wellies, if you want to. It’s ok to express who you really are through what you are wearing. And jumping in puddles is fun.

Don’t care what anyone else thinks. As long as your conscience lets you sleep at night.

Spend time with those you love. Prioritize time with loved ones over all other activities.

Tell silly jokes. Laughter is an essential element of a happy, healthy life.

Get creative. Doing things with your hands… making things gets you out of your thinking head and back into the present moment.

If at first you don’t succeed… keep tweaking what you’re doing until it works.

Go and pick a daisy, stopping to admire a sunset or marvel at the beauty of a little daisy can help us get things back in perspective.

Spring is just around the corner. Every day deserves a chance. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months and months turn into years. Let’s vow to make them the best that we can by reaching out to each other and always being grateful. Love who you can. Help where you can and give what you can.

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