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Refreshed by a trip to the garden

That Friday, I was the recipient of an unhappy person’s hate and discontent and it was the demise of my good humor. When the last table was served lunch, I exited to the Senior Center Garden to breathe.

The Senior Center is located in the north end of the Ross Aragon Community Center with stunning views of Pagosa Peak, our beautiful town, our wetlands and our San Juan River. The Senior Center Garden is beyond the parking lot, before the walking path looking over the river to the west.

The Mountain High Garden Club established our garden under the doggedly determined care of Ron Chacey three or four years ago. He leads a committee of 20 generous gardeners who donate plants, time and money exclusively to our garden.

I stood on the path next to the bench and looked to the earth. I searched for the plants to match the names that Ron had enumerated in a previous e-mail. Where was the Dragon’s Blood? The Creeping Thyme? The Snow in Summer? To my delight, I matched them easily. I investigated further, observing a dead bush in the midst of the verdant Cat Mint. Caught by a tiny glimmer of green, I noted two tiny leaves at the base of the bush. I smiled — it wasn’t dead yet.

Ron explained to me that about 80 percent of what is planted in our area doesn’t survive. Persevering as great gardeners always do, he and his club replace the plants and return up to four times a week to water and protect the replacements, no matter what.

I thought of my people eating and laughing inside. They come with oxygen tanks and canes and walkers and forgetfulness. They come with stories and questions and ideas and enthusiasm. They come to eat and play here before they go forth, volunteering in every not-for-profit and church in our community including their own not-for-profit, Archuleta Seniors, Inc. Like the bush, they are living every day of their life. Persevering no matter what.

The river rushed, the birds sang, the breeze caressed. I was restored.

Senior Spotlight

Greg Hudson was born in Omaha, Neb., in September of 1947. He moved several times and attended school in Phoenix, where he graduated from high school. Art was his favorite area of study.

Greg joined the Air Force during Vietnam and he served for three years, nine months and 19 days. During this time, he scaled El Capitan in Yosemite.

Upon leaving the armed forces, Greg attended an art school in Spokane, Wash. Following his art training, he went to work for his landlord doing miscellaneous handyman work. The landlord offered to train him to run a bar named “The Cactus,” in Spokane. He did this for 2.5 years and says with a grin, “It was loads of fun.” The bar was sold and Greg moved back to Phoenix, where he did finish cement work.

It was in Phoenix that Greg learned the art of kiln-fired stained glass. An acclaimed artist, he creates bowls, plates, platters and other art that he shows exclusively at the Wild Spirit Gallery here in Pagosa Springs.

“Everything I make is functional.” He says. Working with glass is clearly one of the joys of his life.

Greg spends the summer here in Pagosa Springs where his sister lives, and the winter in Phoenix where his daughter, Sunny, lives. About Pagosa Springs, he declares, “It is paradise to me.”

Senior Center Garden

You don’t have to be a member of the Mountain High Garden club to volunteer in our garden, or donate money and plants. Anyone who wants to help can call Ron Chacey at 264-6275.

Free love

We have an opening for someone to volunteer to deliver meals to homebound people on Tuesdays. Call me, Jodi Starr, at 264-2167, and we can talk about it.

Healthier Living

We need one more volunteer instructor to teach the Healthier Living class series. It is a six-week class that assists and educates people that are living with chronic illnesses. We have a grant that will pay for your training in Denver. Call me at 264-2167.

Hearts and Arts

School is out for the summer and so is Art in the Den. Rebecca Pepiton, Pagosa Springs High School art teacher and her husband joined the Peace Corps and will be working in China.

Doris Prior thought that our walls would look empty, so she called her quilting friends and asked them to lend us their quilts for a show. Doris and Helen Bartlett spent a Thursday morning lovingly hanging the quilts in our dining room for viewing.

Local quilters have sewn souls together with their work for generations. Come to the Silver Foxes Den at 451 Hot Springs Boulevard and see their work.

Fox Trot mischief

Our remaining Fox Trot Challenge event this month is June 22 — The End of the Fox Trot Challenge Extravaganza Ice Cream Celebration. Come for ice cream and bragging. This walking program was hard and we deserve a treat. The event begins at 12:45 p.m.


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, June 11 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; ASI board meeting 1 p.m.

Monday, June 14 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m., Tessa Michaelson “Readers Digesting” 12:30 p.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.

Tuesday, June 15 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Jim Santee, “What to do on a Rainy Day”; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, June 16 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; poker 1 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino 1 p.m.

Thursday, June 17 – No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, June 18 – Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.

ASI memberships

Is it time for you to renew or buy your 2010 ASI membership? You can purchase memberships at The Silver Foxes Den on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Folks 55 and over 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, June 11 — Chicken cordon bleu, brown rice, asparagus, apricots, roll.

Monday, June 14 — Baked ham, sweet potatoes with apples, green bean and mushroom, dinner roll, vanilla pudding.

Tuesday, June 15 — Bratwurst and sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, peaches.

Wednesday, June 16 — Oven fried chicken, baked potatoes, sunshine carrots, melon, roll.

Thursday, June 17 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, June 18 — Corned beef sandwich, swiss cheese, green beans and tomatoes, creamy coleslaw, peaches.