Senior News: Expanding the joy of storytelling

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    By Cheryl Wilkinson
    PREVIEW Columnist

    You don’t need an organized group to tell you how to do an activity — but an organization can embellish a simple idea in a way that can help you make your activities more of an adventure than you thought possible. 

    We’ve all told stories to kids — our children, grandchildren, kids’ playmates, school groups. Try some of the ideas below to make storytelling more of an adventure when they are little that can grow in scope and complexity as their interests grow. 

    • Ask your listener to provide you with the first sentence in the story and then make up the story based on that sentence. You’ll get better at this with practice. Karen Blixen (pen name Isak Dinesen) famously used this method. 

    • Tell a story (from a book or from your own experience or a story of your own making) and then provide simple art materials and give the kids a chance to draw pictures about the tale. This is a good way to get them started on an activity that builds imagination and skills, and still gives you some time when you don’t have to supervise closely as they work on their pictures.

    • Ask your audience to flip roles with you and to tell you a story of their making — it can be real or imagined, or some combination of the two. For younger or more inexperienced storytellers, you can provide a theme, a setting or an idea. 

    • Use a walk or other time outdoors to ask for or tell a story. This has a host of benefits, including making time fly while you are exercising and keeping kids from wandering too far when you’re walking together. 

    If you need more inspiration, three groups that are focused on intergenerational storytelling are: 

    • Connecting Generations: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/mar/01/connecting-generations-pilot-project-writing-acros/.

    • Writing Across Generations: https://latelastnightbooks.com/2016/05/04/growing-working-son-taught-writing/.

    • Literature as Legacy: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/literature-as-legacy-writ_b_1300794.

    Our website provides information about Archuleta Seniors Inc. programs here in Pagosa Springs, as well as resources for wellness and aging. You can also use our website to make reservations with The Community Café for takeout and Meals on Wheels at: http://www.psseniors.org/.

    Meals on Wheels
    volunteers needed

    The Pagosa Springs Senior Center Meals on Wheels program delivers approximately 3,000 fresh and frozen meals a year. We deliver fresh Meals on Wheels five days a week (and provide frozen Meals on Wheels for weekends) to homebound Archuleta County residents to help them stay healthy and independent in their own homes. 

    This program is vitally important because many seniors have little to no access to nutritious meals. They are often too frail or have health complications that prevent them from preparing meals for themselves or from using the Senior Center’s Community Café drive-thru meals pick-up site Monday though Friday. 

    The Senior Center needs volunteer Meals on Wheels Drivers for one day a week (or become part of our substitute driver team). Please join us as part of our driver team and build wonderful relationships with the seniors in our community. Call (970) 264-2167.

    VITA tax preparation

    Due to COVID-19, the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will not be coming to Pagosa Springs to prepare federal and state income tax returns this year. 

    VITA will be preparing 2020 tax returns at no charge as part of the VITA program in Durango. Please register at: DurangoVITA.org. The gross income limit this tax season is $54,000. 

    Take-out meals continue at Senior Center

    In order to continue providing meals, the Senior Center is offering take-out hot meals and a salad with a drive-up option under the portico at the Ross Aragon Community Center. 

    These meals will be available Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. There is a $4 suggested donation for lunch for those age 60 and better. If you need to have your meal delivered, please call (970) 264-2167 to see if this option is available in your area. 

    The cost per meal for the public age 59 and under is $8.50. The meals include a salad, hot meal, drink and dessert or bread. 

    Please call (970) 264-2167 to make a reservation for pickup. We are also continuing our Meals on Wheels program. 

    There will be no games, classes or presentations during this time. The staff will be available by phone. If you need to speak to a staff member, please call (970) 264-2167.

    The Community
    Café menu

    Thursday, May 13 — Pulled pork sandwich, spaghetti squash with bok choy, milk and peach cobbler,

    Friday, May 14 — Coq au vin, rice, glazed carrots, milk, salad and chocolate éclair.

    Monday May 17 — Beef spaghetti with meat sauce, Romanesco, garlic bread, milk and salad.

    Tuesday, May 18 — Turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, milk, salad and cranberry salad.

    Wednesday, May 19 — Clam chowder, asparagus steamed with lemon, cheddar biscuit with butter, milk and salad.

    Thursday, May 20 — Pork ribs, black beans, milk, salad and banana pudding.

    Reservations and cancellations are required. You can make a reservation at (970) 264-2167 by 9 a.m. the morning of the day you would like to drive through and pick up a meal. 

    For your convenience, you can make your reservations in advance or have a standing reservation on days you know you will always pick up. Please cancel if you cannot attend on your standing reservation days. We want to thank everyone for their support by observing our reservation policy. This helps ensure that everyone with reservations receives a meal and enables us to provide additional and healthier meals.

    Due to COVID-19, food supplies have been affected. Substitutions will be made accordingly.