Last Monday, we were serving lima beans and ham for lunch. I know there are lima bean lovers out there and I am all for diversity; however, I also know, as most small children know, that lima beans are for sticking in your nose or ears and flicking at your friends. They are not for eating. Imagine my surprise when 90 people flocked to our dining room beginning at 11:30 a.m. Last summer we averaged between 50 and 60 people a day.
My boss was on vacation which left me as chief cat herder. I fielded the random comments like, “The only two things to do in Djiboutu is to drink warm beer and ride camels” and “Jodi, I noticed some of the men are getting fat and I think you should take them on a camping trip and make them go on hikes.”
I accommodated all requests, refilled the salad bar and scheduled Medicare appointments. I assembled card tables in the lounge, rounded up office chairs, folding chairs and community center chairs until, alas, there were no more chairs. Rob expertly registered the new people and kept track of everyone coming in as he answered the unusually busy phones. Dolores and Alinea quickly and deftly prepared extra food both for the salad bar and for lunch. We were a breath away from chaos.
The dining room was at capacity, as was the lounge. Everyone was miraculously seated. I happily started lunch when chaos occurred. Two more people showed up. Two people who were not just here for the summer, but people who live at CASA year around — Brad and Nancy, who are invested in our Senior Center, volunteer to do anything that their friends might need, and who are always here to lend a hand or ear for whatever I need. Like the biblical innkeeper, I turned them away. Except that I did not have a stable for them where they might take lunch.
My coworkers tried to placate me by saying true things, like “We didn’t have any more room” and, “It is against state law to give take out meals or let them eat outside.” I was inconsolable. I turned away hungry people and that is not okay.
Chaos, like water over the flat inner tube of a tire, will expose flaws if we allow it to flow. On the Tuesday following Yucky Lima Bean Day, the staff and I discussed what we would do differently, and how we could improve our program. We made amends to Nancy and Brad, exchanged hugs and explained our new plan. Brad commented that it was an opportunity for improvement, as chaos always is.
I still feel bad, but not as bad as lima beans taste.
Back by popular demand and the advice of Colorado Legal Aid, Tina Gallegos from Hospice will be here on Wednesday, Aug. 18 at 1 p.m. to give a presentation on the award winning “Five Wishes” program. “Five Wishes” is a legal document that records your end of life desires for your family or friends. It contains a durable medical power of attorney and a living will. This program is free. Please sign up with Rob or call 264-2167.
Thank you Loretta Milton for rescuing us by cleaning our dining room. Thank you Barbara Ayers for volunteering extra. Thank you Jack Collingsworth for your singing entertainment at our Picnic in the Park. We are sorry to see you and your wife, Barbara, go back to Texas, but I am glad the fights over you have stopped. Thank you to the “High Country Squares” square dancing club who performed to a packed Picnic in the Park. Thank you for including the high school girl soccer players who were inextricably drawn to your show.
Do you enjoy helping others? The SHIP program (Senior Health Insurance Program) and SMP (Medicare Fraud Program), available through the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center, is looking for additional talented volunteers to join the Medicare Navigators Team. These programs educate, counsel and assist Colorado’s Medicare beneficiaries. We need people who have a desire to help others in the community, who have computer skills and are Internet-savvy.
The Colorado Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program is part of a national network of programs that offer free, confidential counseling and assistance for people with Medicare. Congress established SHIP in 1990 to help beneficiaries navigate an increasingly complex health care system. It’s also home to the SMP Medicare Fraud Program.
Each year, the Colorado SHIP/SMP provides invaluable services to people with Medicare, including: Counseling beneficiaries through the annual prescription drug plan enrollment period, connecting with beneficiaries who have limited incomes to help them save money on health care costs and educating the community about health insurance issues.
Please call Musetta Wollenweber at 264-2167 if you are interested in assisting us in providing this necessary service.
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 delivered program remains available to those closer to town 4 days per week, and frozen meals on Thursdays. Meals are available to people age 60+ for a suggested donation of $3 per meal. Give me or Musetta a call at 264-2167 for further information.
Beginning in August, Dance for Health and Tai Chi is offered through the community center. For times and information, call the community center at 264-4152.
Friday, Aug. 13 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; ASI Board Meeting.
Monday, Aug. 16 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Tessa Michaelson “Readers Digesting” 12:45 p.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 17 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 18 — Blood Pressure 11 a.m.; “Five Wishes” by Tina Gallegos 1 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino.
Thursday, Aug. 19 — No lunch, Administrative Day.
Friday, Aug. 20 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Fraud Presentation.
The Archuleta County Senior Center Newsletter is now available on Archuleta County’s Website: http://www.archuletacounty.org/Seniors/seniors.asp. Look it up.
Archuleta Seniors Inc. memberships
Is it time for you to renew or buy your 2010 ASI membership? You may purchase memberships at The Silver Foxes Den on Monday, Wednesday 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 begins at 11:30 a.m., with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 13 — Cheeseburger, potato wedges, baked beans, coleslaw, cantaloupe.
Monday, Aug. 16 — Beef stew, cornbread, fresh fruit, salad.
Tuesday, Aug. 17 — Roast chicken with mushroom sauce, brown rice, cauliflower, broccoli, apple pear salad, whole wheat roll.
Wednesday, Aug. 18 — French dip with au jus, oven browned potatoes, mixed veggies, strawberry applesauce.
Thursday, Aug. 19 — No lunch, Administrative Day.
Friday, Aug. 20 — Tuna salad sandwich, cucumber, onion and tomato salad, fresh peach, chocolate pudding.