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The Den: Where in the world are we?

At Stitchin’ in the Kitchen on Friday, Bernie Sautel leaned over her cross stitch project and quietly informed me that she was at Edelweiss (a wonderful local yarn and quilt store) and overheard someone saying that she didn’t know where the Silver Foxes Den was, so she could come to Stitchin’ in the Kitchen.

I set my knitting down in disbelief and shame. Why didn’t I ever think of letting people know where we are located geographically? I hung my head and promised Bernie that I would do better.

The Senior Center and the Silver Foxes Den are one and the same place. I like the name “Silver Foxes Den” because this title is more literary, romantic and elegant and lends itself to metaphors. The “Senior Center” is a name that is more antiseptic, sounding like a place where government reports are completed, shots are given, Medicare discussed and health warnings dispensed. All necessary activities to be sure, but not fun or whimsical or descriptive of the larger reality that is the “Silver Foxes Den.”

We are located geographically at 451 Hot Springs Boulevard. If you are traveling east (toward Wolf Creek) on U.S. 160, turn right at the last stop light in town. This is Hot Springs Boulevard, the road on which the Post Office is located. At the end of 4/10th of a mile, there is a drive to the right that leads you to the Ross Aragon Community Center. This is the same community center where most everything social in Pagosa Springs happens. Like the Halloween Party, several churches, Festival of Trees, meetings, yoga, Chimney Rock meetings, charity events, etc. The Silver Foxes Den is located within the center, on the opposite end of the center office.

Ultimately, we live in our hearts and in our minds. However, when we party on a daily basis, we live here at the Silver Foxes Den.

Geezers

I dressed in all black on this particular Friday because I wanted to be extra stealthy. I have been spying on the gentlemen who come for the weekly Friday 9 a.m. activity named the “Geezers,” to discover what it is that they talk about.

The concept of the Geezers is that gentlemen gather to discuss gentlemanly issues like world hunger, politics, local issues, etc., and drink coffee. “Geezers” is not a term I would use to describe these men. They are a charming, distinguished, intelligent bunch whose membership changes every week and are definitely welcoming of newcomers. They informed me of that much.

Being excluded due to gender differences, I wisely resorted to utilizing the special operations tactics I have learned from studying many television spy series over the years. This includes wearing black, bait (chocolate chip cookie bars), remote listening devices (my ears) and interrogation. Having tried the first three, I next attempted interrogation.

I entered the lounge quickly, without knocking, in hopes of catching an edge of a discussion. The gentlemen had already smartly stopped talking the second they saw me and politely waited to see what I wanted.

“Would you like a cookie?” I asked sweetly. As they were choosing their cookies, I asked, “What are you talking about?”

One gentleman replied, “What don’t we talk about?” Then they commended me for my cookies, told me how delightful I was and asked for more cookies, which I gave them. They distracted me with their compliments and the moment passed.

To this day I do not know exactly what the gentlemen discuss, and after this missive, they will surely never tell me. This is what I do know: These gentlemen are laughing, debating, drinking hot beverages and consuming my cookies. And they are gentlemen, not Geezers.

Come to the Silver Foxes Den, and if you are a gentleman, you can join the Geezers at 9ish a.m. every Friday morning.

Senior Spotlight

Gladys Carreras was born in Sandhill, Ky., “a long time ago. I don’t remember when.”

She reports that her memory isn’t what it used to be, but she will happily tell me anything she does remember until lunch is served.

She remembers that her childhood was very happy and that she was nicknamed “Happytail” because she smiled so much. She remembers that she loved to explore caves where her grandparents lived in Kentucky. Gladys remembers she went to nursing school, became a private nurse, and married Abraham, the love of her life. Together they had two children.

She remembers that she enjoys going to the movies, getting her nails done and coming to our Silver Foxes Den dining room for lunch. She remembers that she loves to spend time with her family, as she has done her whole life.

She remembers that “education made my world much wider.” She remembers that “I believe in clean matching outfits” and that “people should try to be civil” and “Do the thing that you enjoy.”

She remembers to tease her tablemate, John, by calling him a “very bad boy” when he baits her by stating she is an embellisher and prevaricator.

Most importantly, Gladys “Happytail” Carreras remembers that life is about cherishing your friends and family, and possessing a gracious joyful outlook no matter what is forgotten.

Thank you

Thank you, Lynnzie Sutton, for the donation of the striking black minimalist clocks that can be seen with my naked, usually trifocaled, eyes. You have made a little difficult thing easier for all of us.

Tax-Aide cancelled

The AARP Tax-Aide Program Coordinator informed us that there will be no AARP Tax Aide Program in Pagosa Springs, due to lack of volunteers. Unfortunately, we know of no other free alternatives.

Help!

We need more volunteers for driving the Medical Shuttle to Durango. We provide the van and the gas, you drive a person to his or her medical appointment. Please call me, Jodi Starr, at 264-2167.

Recycle T-shirts

Not only does our beloved kitchen staff create amazingly delicious and healthy lunches, but Nancy, Dolores S. and Dolores G. clean with old, white T-shirts. And they need more. Just bring them to me, Jodi, in the office.

Services

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, with frozen meals on Thursdays. 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

Friday, Jan. 29 — 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.

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

Tuesday, Feb. 2 — Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks 11 a.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 3 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; dietician Jennie Pritchard here to answer questions and make a presentation 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.; Writing for Generations 1 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 4 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, Feb. 5 — 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.

Medical expenses

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, please contact Musetta at 264-2167.

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. 29 — Chicken piccata, spaghetti, broccoli and cauliflower, mixed fruit, roll.

Monday, Feb. 1 — Chili relleno casserole, parslied carrots, salad, roll.

Tuesday, Feb. 2 — Spaghetti with meatballs, spinach salad with eggs, green beans, mandarin oranges, bread.

Wednesday, Feb. 3 — Meatloaf with onion gravy, mashed potatoes, zucchini, roll.

Thursday, Feb. 4 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, Feb. 5 — Chicken cordon bleu, rice pilaf, asparagus, apricots, bread.