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Joining the book club, and speaking one’s mind

I couldn’t wait for it to come. I ordered it the minute Cathy VanLiere said I could attend. Every day for a week, I arrived home looking at the base of my front door until finally it was there. No! I don’t Want to Join a Book Club by Virginia Ironside in an Amazon box. Woo hoo! I was going to a book club meeting.

Every fourth Friday of the month at 10:30 a.m. in our lounge, the book club meets. I observe them through the windowed door, laughing and sharing cookies, like a lost Golden Retriever in the rain looking into a butcher shop. I always wanted to spy on them, and one day after lurking about attempting to do just that, Cathy invited me to join them the next month. Right after I asked if I could come.

There were two problems with me attending the book club. The first one was that I so strongly disliked the book that I couldn’t read more than one page at a time. After ten tries, I gave up. I was an English major in college. I am selective (read snooty) in my reading choices. Not to say that I won’t read anything less than Pulitzer Prize winning literature. Like Cheetos, I enjoy certain magazines and blogs. Some reading material, however, is like the fake Sam’s Club unsatisfying Cheetos that make your stomach hurt and leave a bad taste in your mouth.

The second problem was that a long time ago, I was a member of a book club in a place where I used to live. It might be that I was not invited back to the book club meetings due to my statement, “That was the worst book I ever read,” followed by some comments like the Cheetos one above. The novel was written by the hostess’ best friend. Oops.

Hoping I learned my lesson and could hold my tongue, I nervously found a seat in the oversized love seat facing the window. The lounge was sunlit and warm, smelling of coffee and sugar cookies that were passed from each to another. Carolyn Stock, Mercedes Leist, Cathy VanLiere, Kathy Hamilton, Marilyn Falvey, Becky Herman and Marilyn Stroud conversed convivially. Kathy asked what the next month’s book was and Cathy answered “Driving with Dead People” by Monica Halloway. “Does anyone have any suggestions for March?” she queried. A lengthy discussion of great reads (“Sara’s Key” by Tatiana de Rosney, “Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe” by Sandra Gulland, “Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Stroud, “The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morton, “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett) followed.

Inquiries were made regarding missing members. There was a short discussion about the movies “True Grit” and “Burlesque.” All of us were looking forward to seeing “The King’s Speech.” “Sometimes it is hard to keep on task,” someone said. “If it was a better book, it would be easier to stay on task,” came out my mouth. I was good for approximately 20 minutes. I winced as I awaited a backlash that never came.

“I love where she (the heroine) fell in love with her grandchild,” Carolyn Stock said as she looked at me. “It was whiny,” said Kathy Hamilton. “Yes,” added Becky Herman, “Here I am where I can see the end of my life. I have been gravely ill and there has been a shift in my priorities. I will not waste time reading a bad book. I only want to read gems. I couldn’t read this.”

A book club where people speak the truth and have cookies! I asked Marilyn Falve how the books for the club are acquired. Kathy Hamilton, who works at the Ruby Sisson Library, orders the monthly selection through a program called Aspen Cat or Interlibrary Loan. This means that no one has to buy a book. “You can buy one if you want,” added Marilyn.

I cannot recommend this month’s book. However, I highly recommend this book club. The members are smart, the selections and discussions are entertaining, and there is no cost. Most importantly everyone is welcome, even me.

Valentine’s Day tea

Join us on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 at 10:45 a.m. for tea, valentine making and reading to small children. Tessa Michaelson, from the Ruby Sisson Library, will be bringing her posse of preschoolers for a morning of fun and snacks!

Volunteer needed

We need a volunteer to deliver meals to our home bound people on Tuesdays, and substitute deliverers for when our regularly scheduled volunteers can’t deliver. It takes about one hour; you get a free meal and the pleasure of being of service to humanity. Call me, Jodi, at 264-2167.

Thank you

Thank you, Kim Vernon, of our CSU Extension Office, and Mona Hughey for the fabulous Valentine making presentation.

Thank you, Rick Sautel, for rescuing us twice this week.

Thank you, Mike Mahaffey, for delivering meals with no notice.

Weekly activities

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

Monday, Feb. 14 — Valentine’s Day Tea with Pre-Schoolers (Tessa Michaelson and friends) 10:45 a.m., Gym Walk 12:30 p.m., Canasta 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 15 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m., piano music by Michael Monk 12:45 p.m., Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 16 — Sky Ute Casino 1 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 17 — Closed.

Friday, Feb. 18 — Geezers 9 a.m., Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m., Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.


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, 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, Feb. 11 — Oven fried fish on a wheat bun, tartar sauce, creamy coleslaw, glazed carrots, pineapple chunks.

Monday, Feb. 14 — Split pea soup, lemon chicken, oven browned potatoes, steamed broccoli, whole wheat bread, chocolate pudding.

Tuesday, Feb. 15 — Beef tacos, lettuce, tomato, salsa and avocado, refried beans, Mexicali corn, winter fruit salad.

Wednesday, Feb. 16 — Chicken Alfredo, Harvard beets, cranberry sauce, tossed salad, whole wheat bread, oranges, pineapple, banana fruit cup.

Thursday, Feb. 17 — Closed.

Friday, Feb. 18 — Spinach lasagna, Italian vegetables, tossed salad, garlic bread, strawberry fruit whip.