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Silver Foxes Den — a cultural center for older adults

Artificial or not, January is the traditional month of fresh starts. Employ your suspension of disbelief and consider it possible that you, too, can be healthier and happier.

The Silver Foxes Den has many activities and services (that we list below in our activities calendar) available to help you do just that. All of our offerings are free of charge unless otherwise noted, and the instructors or leaders volunteer their time and supplies. Over the next several weeks, I will attend and describe our fabulous activities so you can have a better idea if that particular activity is something you want to do.

“Meditation for Healing” is a one-hour class or group lead by Sarah Barbara who has her own healing arts, alternative therapy business here in Pagosa Springs. She is also a certified Cranial Sacral therapist. Sarah explained to me that breathing meditation brings oxygen to the areas of the body that need healing. The body has innate knowledge of what needs to be healed.

She continued, saying, “Healing takes place in the present. It doesn’t matter what you felt yesterday or how you might feel tomorrow.”

I had not meditated before and was both intrigued and nervous about the possibility, especially meditating in a group. What if I fell asleep? Worse yet, what if I drooled? On the Tuesday before Christmas, there were Sarah, Kent, Skookum (Sarah’s dog, that I wish were mine) and me, sitting on the exquisitely comfortable couches in our darkened lounge. Sarah kindly reassured me, saying, “The more you practice, the deeper you go.” She instructed me to concentrate on my breath, breathing to places that need to be healed. “It doesn’t matter how the breath gets there,” she said, “just breathe it there.” Kent smiled at me benevolently and closed his eyes. Skookum curled up next to my feet and sighed. And I closed my eyes and breathed.

I breathed to my joints and my heartache. I breathed to my niece in Marine boot camp. I breathed to our seniors, table by table, who were traveling or ill or sad. There was talking outside of the door and I heard, “I don’t know where she is,” and I wondered what I was missing. I considered my leviathan to-do list before the holiday. I pondered how to write an article about emptying my mind of thoughts and words and using thoughts and words to do it. I remembered I was supposed to be thinking of breathing. I peeked at the clock. Only 10 minutes passed. I breathed until, you know it, I fell asleep. I fell asleep at work, on county time, in public, but that didn’t bother me. Skookum shifted and I slowly, deliciously, came to, and breathed some more.

Sarah whispered to us our time was finished. Skookum stretched and licked my hand and I petted her. Looking up I discovered Sarah and Kent were waiting for my reaction. “I fell asleep for half of it,” I confessed. “How do I know if it worked?” Sarah asked, “How do you feel?” “Marvelous,” I responded. “Then it worked,” she declared.

Meditation for Healing is held every Tuesday from 1-2 p.m. I wish I could attend every week, but government reporting demands otherwise. So, come to the Silver Foxes Den, where after a soul-satisfying lunch, you can learn to meditate and meet a great dog.

Senior Spotlight

Bradley Glover was born in Tulsa, Okla., in January 1940. After graduating from high school, he ultimately landed at Oklahoma State University, where he graduated with a double major in aeronautical engineering and mechanical engineering. After college, he enlisted in the Navy and completed officer training school. He has two sons, Bradley and Brandon.

His was the first Navy officer training class to become SEALs, Navy “special forces.” They were trained in underwater surveillance, demolition and explosive ordinance off of Key West, Florida. From there, he was sent to “spy school,” which included survival training in Alaska by Eskimos. Bradley was dropped off for one month without food or supplies, and the “handlers” would sabotage his traps and knock down his shelter so he would learn to live without either. He also completed “resistance school,” where he was trained by World War II OSS from Norway and learned to hack foreign communications.

He received the opportunity to test his new skills in the Vietnam War, traveling the world to “interrupt Soviet influences.” One of the scariest incidents that he can talk about was coming upon a Soviet missile submarine that surfaced off of the coast of Alaska and had all of its missile hatches open. “You just don’t do that,” Bradley explained, “You might open one or two but not all.”

Bradley left the Navy as a commander and continued his covert work with the Department of the Navy. In 1981, he went to work for Boeing, developing the basics of the drone, what is now being used in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also enjoyed developing a new generation of Navy dirigibles used for anti sub patrols at sea.

Because Bradley was “tired of sleeping with one eye open all of the time,” he left Boeing and opened a consulting company for digital systems for children’s medical facilities.

“Then one day, I said that is it, I am done working.” He had friends in Pagosa Springs, had vacationed here off and on over the years and decided to move here.

Rebuilding “hot” antique automobiles, working with computers and fanatically attending garage sales are his current favorite pasttimes.

His best life advice? “One thing I learned is if that bullet doesn’t have your name on it, you’re not going to die. Enjoy what you have now and stop worrying about tomorrow.”

Art in The Den

The Pagosa Springs High School Art I Class, taught by Rebecca Pepiton, will hold its gallery showing here in the dining room from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 14.

Snacks will be served.

Thank you

Thank you to the Pagosa Peaks 4H Club for serving our diners our holiday lunch, and clearing the tables. That was hard work and we deeply appreciate your coming every year to serve us.

Thank you to the Colorado Kids 4H Club for singing to us during our holiday lunch. What presentation! What a great song list! We hope all of you come back next year.

Thank you to J.R. Towing for the bazillion potatoes. We can bake them, shred them, fry them, boil them, make potato salad, have potato-tossing contests, use them for ammo in potato guns, make Mr. Potato Heads, make potato prints, mash them, make glue, make potato pancakes, make potato chips, play hot potato, plant them, and name them for the famous people they resemble. We should have Potato Festival Day every Dec. 29. Thank you, Chris Scarpa, for distributing them.

Weekly activities

Friday, Jan. 8 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Tai Chi Int. 9:30 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi Beg. 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; It’s Wear Your Favorite Hat and/or Brooch Day!

Monday, Jan. 11 — Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; Seeds of Learning 11:30 a.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 12 — Chair Massage 10 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 13 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; fraud prevention presentation by Musetta Wollenweber 12:45 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 14 — No lunch, administrative day; Art in the Den 5-7 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 15 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Tai Chi Int. 9:30 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi Beg. 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; Structural Integration Bodywork by Eric Siler 12:45 p.m.

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

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, Jan. 8 — Meatloaf, gravy, cheesy potatoes, green beans, pineapple, bread.

Monday, Jan. 11 — Lemon baked fish, rice pilaf, green beans and mushrooms, fruit salad, roll.

Tuesday, Jan. 12 — Roast beef, gravy, baked potatoes, mixed vegetables, fresh orange, roll.

Wednesday, Jan. 13 — Green chile stew, corn, fruit cup, tortilla.

Thursday, Jan. 14 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, Jan. 15 — Chicken and mushrooms, brown rice, cauliflower and broccoli, apple pear salad.