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Big love, awesome food, useful advice

“It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” — Irish proverb.

I call them the “Foxy Ladies” and the “Corner Intelligentsia.”

They are two markedly different tables of seniors located on opposite corners of the dining room who have been eating together at those particular tables for years.

The Foxy Ladies congregate beginning at 9 a.m.; have coffee or tea and cookies that someone will bring. They discuss family, Avon, gardening, local politics, each other, recipes (even for skunk stink removal) and also set up the dining room for lunch.

The Corner Intelligentsia meet for lunch and discuss economics, both local and national, global politics, the stock market and other more erudite topics. They often stay past 2 to finish their lively discourse.

With this wealth of knowledge available to me, I posed the question to each table “Should my husband and I buy a house right now or just rent?”

The Corner Intelligentsia said to buy a house and quoted the small recovery in the stock market, rising sales of homes in California, and the opportunity of foreclosures and motivated sellers. They were genuinely concerned about my question and later gave me some addresses of homes that would interest me.

The Foxy Ladies offered me a cookie, told me stories of their parents who lived in tents as their first homes, explained how just sticking with it, no matter what, is the secret to a great marriage, and asked how much help I had cleaning our current home. They concluded that I definitely needed my own house or trailer and that now is the best time to buy.

Come to the Silver Foxes Den where there is big love, awesome food, and a plethora of useful advice. Although we all come from different directions to get here, we arrive at the same place.

Senior Spotlight

Gerry Rayburn was born in Michigan. He doesn’t know exactly when he was born, (perhaps April, his mother reported) as there is no record of his birth. His Air Force discharge papers listed both the date and location of his birth as “unknown.” “I like not knowing how old I am. It makes for a great adventure,” says Gerry.

A national entrepreneur, Gerry describes himself as an eternally happy person and wants to be known as someone who is still going strong when he is 150 years old (give or take a year or two.) Gerry’s basic financial advice is, “Pay off high interest loans first, get out of debt and dig in for the long haul.”

His advice for a satisfying life is “always be willing to give more than you receive.”

Exercising, biking, fly fishing, and whistling are among his favorite activities. Gerry is blissfully married and has a 16-year-old daughter named Tasha Kiera who is in her second year of college and whom he clearly adores. He is currently writing his life story for her.

“The nice thing about getting older is that there are lots of stories.”

Thank you

Yeah! Woo hoo! Ask, and ye shall receive.

We have regular volunteers for home delivery and great substitute ones. Thank you to the Family Pongratz (Ann, Bill and Tina), and Christine Maestas for delivering meals. Thank you to Geri Starr and Bob Johnson who are volunteering for cleanup.

Thank you to Ken and Pat Millette for bringing apples to give away.

Thank you to two of our cooks, Dolores Gallegos and Dolores Sauce, who stayed late after long hours on their feet to hang autumn decorations in our dining room.

Art In The Den

Picture this: It is the end of November and there is whispering and pointing amidst the dining and conversing. The eye follows the pointing fingers to the art hanging salon style on the walls. Gasp! The beauty! The skill! Where did all of the pictures and paintings come from?

Why, the high school of course. Rebekah Wilkins-Pepiton, the art teacher from the Pagosa Springs High School and her students need a space for student art shows. Our dining room, although mostly perfect (the food and company already are), deserves more than calendars and United Way posters on the walls. And why not treat the Greatest Generation to the art of our most talented youth? All it takes is $111 (for 1x4 boards, paint, nails and adhesive backing for the art) and our high school art students have a place to showcase their work, and our dining room is the cultural center of town.

Want to help by donating money, or are you an artist who wants to assist with the project? Call me, Jodi Starr, at 264-2167 or e-mail me at


We need volunteers to drive the medical shuttle. Right now, if you are a senior 60 years or older, you can call the Senior Center for a ride to your medical appointment in Durango. And right now there is a 50 percent chance I would have to tell you we can’t do it because I only two drivers. I ask for two weeks notice of an appointment, and the county provides the fuel and the vehicle. Call me at 264-2167 or e-mail me at


Are you homebound or know someone who is? Let the Silver Foxes Den help you with your meals. We have expanded our service to the more rurally isolated areas of the county and would like to help you, help yourself.

These meals are the same meals prepared in our kitchen, by the same cooks who prepare those scrumptious senior center meals. Our hot meal, home-delivery program remains available to those closer to town four days per week. Meals are available to people age 60-plus for a suggested donation of $3 per meal. Give me or Musetta a call at 264-2167 for further information.

Weekly Activities at The Den:

Friday, Oct. 9 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Tai Chi Intermediate 9:30 a.m.; Tai Chi Beginning 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.

Monday, Oct. 12 — Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 13 — Chair Massage (signup required) 10-11:45 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 14 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; 11 a.m. Healthy Cooking by Richard Lindblad (still room on the signup).

Thursday, Oct. 15 — Administration Day.

Friday, Oct. 6 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Tai Chi Intermediate 9:30 a.m.; Tai Chi Beginning 11:00 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; noon music by Peter Morey.

Our October Archuleta County Senior Center Newsletter is now available on Archuleta County’s Web site: Look it up!

Medical expense assistance

The Silver Foxes Den, in cooperation with Archuleta Seniors, Inc. (ASI), may be able to help with excess medical expenses. Items covered might be prescription copays, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and dental care. Qualifying amounts are based on income and need. Recipients must be current members of ASI. Dues are $5 per year. For more information about how we might help you or your family, contact Musetta at 264-2167.

ASI memberships

Is it time for you renew or buy your 2009 ASI membership? You can purchase memberships at The Silver Foxes Den on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Folks 55 and older will benefit with discounts from many local businesses, including the local hot springs. This is one of the best deals in Pagosa Springs.

This week’s menu

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, and Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $9.75. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 9 — Mediterranean chicken, barley casserole, broccoli, mixed fruit, roll.

Monday, Oct. 12 — Spaghetti, meatballs, green beans, orange, bread.

Tuesday, Oct. 13 — Baked pork, country gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, fruit, ambrosia salad.

Wednesday, Oct. 14 — White chili with chicken, carrot and celery sticks, cabbage and red peppers, pear halves, bread.

Thursday, Oct. 15 — Administration Day.

Friday, Oct. 16 — French Dip Sandwich, au jus, oven browned potatoes, mixed vegetables, strawberry applesauce.