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Our seniors: friends, family, loved ones and neighbors

I watched my people disembark from our bus; I was smiling as they came in, knowing we are providing more than transportation and a meal to them. We are helping them retain their independence, with dignity, while remaining in their own homes and communities. Yep, I was happy.

Our seniors are your friends, family, loved ones and neighbors; they come to the senior center to meet with their friends, they bring along a son or daughter to show their pride in where they hang out, they bring a friend, meet up with a friend or they come to make new friends.

Some just moved to Pagosa Springs to be closer to family, others have lost a loved one and come for companionship.

Some are veterans and seek out other veterans to hang out with, while several others enjoy eating with their friends and sticking around the Den for other activities and then head home.

My mind wanders while thinking of my people, and I find myself being reminded of the Dan Fogelberg song, “Windows and Walls,” that has always made me tear up; I don’t want this to be my people …

Up every morning

Long before day

Cooking her breakfast alone

She quietly dresses

And pulls up the shades

And sits in the chair by

the phone.

But nobody ever comes

by anymore

Nobody ever calls

Most days she sits and

just stares

At the windows and walls

Windows and walls.

Children all married

Husband’s passed on

Nothing but time on her hands

Most of her mornings

Are spent in her dreams

Or making her sad little plans.

Maybe she’ll go to the

corner today

And pick up the new McCalls

If just to escape for an hour

From her windows and walls

Windows and walls.

The clock on the mantel

Chiming the hours

Must be the loneliest sound

She washes her dishes

and waters her flowers

And afterwards has to sit down.

Sometimes she still can

remember a child

Playing with china dolls …

Now all that she’s left

Are these memories and

windows and walls

Windows and walls

(day after day)

Windows and walls.

I am comforted in knowing many people of our community are not at home alone …

Don has been coming in for a number of years, he greets me with a smile and lovingly threatens to poke me with his cane as he comes through the door. Walter darn-near hopped off the last step of the bus and bounced on in, Sam, our bus driver assisted Donna on the lift with her walker.

My people ride our bus for a variety of reasons; Walter’s eyesight isn’t what it used to be, so he chooses to use the bus to get around town. Some of my people come in to the Den four days a week, while others just two days. In Walter’s case, he enjoys the companionship of his buddies during meal time, but only comes in on our two grocery shopping days.

Not wanting to be a burden on family and/or friends, and remain as independent as possible, others use the senior bus service only to run their errands, stop at the bank, doctor’s appointments, pay bills, hardware store, etc.

I invite you to join us; if you have not used our bus service, your first day will be provided at no charge through the month of March. The suggested donation for bus service for ages 60-plus is just $2 per day. Call me for more information and how to cash in on your free day. Try it, you might just like it.

Special events

Spaghetti dinner fund-raiser. Bring your sweetheart(s) or meet a sweetheart and celebrate Valentine’s Day a tad early. Enjoy a romantic setting while dining to the soft piano tunes of Dennis Driscoll. Proceeds benefit the Senior Center meal programs. Our programs are more than a meal; we are here to help older people retain their independence with dignity while remaining in their own homes and communities.

Who are our seniors? They are your neighbors, friends, family and loved ones. Show your support; come join us on Thursday, Feb. 9, 5-7:30 p.m. Community Center Dining Room, 451 Hot Springs Blvd. And for those of you that miss Jodi, she’ll be here to serve you.

Adults $10, children age 12 and under $5.

Nutrition Education: Cooking for One or Two. Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 12:30 p.m. Bonus Q & A session with registered dietician Jenny Pritchard.

Heart Health and Heart Attack Prevention. With Dr. Kurz. Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 12:30 p.m.

At your service

Lonely? Need to hang out with us? Not driving anymore? Car in the shop? Get to where you need to go; door-to-door bus service available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday to seniors age 60-plus. Suggested donation is $2 per day. Call for details, 264-2167.

Delivered to your door

Are you homebound, recovering from surgery or an illness? Let us do the cooking. Enjoy Senior Center meals delivered to your door. Our hot meal home-delivery program is available to those closer to town four days per week, with frozen meals for Thursdays and weekends. For those living further out of town you may be eligible for the frozen meal program. Meals are available to people age 60-plus for a suggested donation of $3 per meal. Give us a call at 264-2167 for further information. Donations are greatly appreciated.

Weekly activities at The Den

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

Monday, Feb. 13 — 12:30 p.m. Gym walk; 1 p.m. Canasta.

Tuesday, Feb. 14 — 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk; 1 p.m. Meditation for Healing.

Wednesday, Feb. 15 — 12:30 p.m. Dr. Kurz presents Heart Health and Heart Attack Prevention.

Thursday, Feb. 16 — Closed for administrative day.

Friday, Feb. 17 — 9 a.m. Geezers; 10 a.m. Stitchin’ in the Kitchen; 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk.

This week’s menu

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, guests $6, kids 12 and under $3. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act via the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging, United Way, Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other donations and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $11.51. 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. 10 — Crunchy baked fish, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, creamy coleslaw, banana.

Monday, Feb. 13 — Chicken Alfredo, Harvard beets, cranberry sauce, whole wheat bread, tossed salad, winter fruit.

Tuesday, Feb. 14 — Savory meatloaf with beef gravy, whipped potatoes, peas and carrots, fruit Jell-O, tossed salad, whole wheat roll.

Wednesday, Feb. 15 — Macaroni and cheese, ham slice, tossed salad, peas, bran muffin, bananas and mandarin oranges.

Thursday, Feb. 16 — Closed for administrative day.

Friday, Feb. 17 — Beef stew, fruit salad, biscuit.

Arboles meal program

Lunches are served in Arboles on the first and third Thursdays of each month, weather permitting, in the basement of the Catholic Church. Reservations are required the Monday preceding. The suggested donation is $3 for age 60-plus. Call 264-2167 for more information or to make a reservation.

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