Mature Adults... Quality Years, Quality Life
By JoAn Newby
Our Blaine senior center continues to be one of the most friendly places in town, maybe the county, state, or how about the world? Well, anyway, it is a wonderful place to find a very friendly and inviting atmosphere, and we want the world to know that.
As usual this month has a list of interesting and helpful activities with something for everyone.
• The center starts with line dancing taught by Armene Belless. Newcomers or beginners have special instruction at 9:30 and the regular class begins at 10.
• The Cancer Support Group meets at 10 on the 1st and 3rd Mondays with Toni Peller.
• Tuesday mornings bring stretch exercise class, led by Dolly Robb. These exercises are done while standing or sitting and are a great way of improving muscle tone. They meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
• Bible studies are studying the life of Jesus, and are led by JoAn Newby on Tuesday mornings at 10:30 and Mary Lou Felts on Fridays at 10.
• The computer class, taught by Bill Somersall, will be meeting Tuesday mornings at 10 and an afternoon computer class will be led by Turtle at 2 p.m.
• Painting class at 1 p.m. If you have never painted before, our instructor, Maxine Reynolds, will get you going with some easy projects and supplies.
• The Sing-Along Group also meets Tuesday afternoons, right after lunch at 12:30. Do you like to sing? Please come to the Sing-Along group, they could use a few more voices. Trudi Norquist plays the piano and leads in singing fun and familiar songs.
China painting, led by Don Richendrfer offers guidance and will do the firing at cost. Wednesday 9 to noon. Writing class, led by KayDee Powell, is a popular class and growing steadily. They meet at 10 on Wednesday mornings. Everyone has a story and we would like to hear yours.
• February 6 at 3 in the afternoon - Easy Yoga begins! Maria Monks is the yoga teacher and also a center member. She is volunteering to teach yoga. This is a one hour session and is very gentle, most exercises are done sitting in chairs or standing. Every level is welcome.
• The Pinochle group meets on Wednesday at 1 p.m.
• February 14 is the day of the big Valentine’s Day party. We will be celebrating and honoring couples who have been married 50 or more years. Everyone is invited to bring a sweetie or a friend. Come and exchange valentines and celebrate this great day with us.
• February 21 will be our February birthday party and will bring music by Jazz group The Halleck Street Ramblers!
• The bridge group meets Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 1 p.m.
• The strength training class is from 2 to 3 p.m. This is an excellent chance to build up strength.
• Bible study led by Mary Lou is at 10:30 a.m. Come to both the Tuesday and Friday classes and learn even more about the life of Christ.
• Blood screening will be available Friday, February 22 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. These tests require a 12- hour fast and are conducted by a R.N. Friday also brings the theater group, led by Toni Peller, a 1 p.m. Join Sheila and Toni in finding and putting on fun skits.
• The pancake breakfast will be February 16, from 8 to 11. The menu includes pancakes or waffles, eggs, sausage, orange juice and coffee. The complete breakfast is only $4 for adults and $3 for children!
• The center will be closed February 23 for floor care.
• We have a bowling group which meets in Ferndale and it would be a great idea to join the group and go bowling this day.
Big things come in small packages
On Wednesday morning at the Blaine Senior Center a group gathers to read and talk about what they have written, sometimes a few hours before, sometimes years ago. Kay Dee Powell facilitates the center’s creative writing class, a meeting that often includes lively discussion about the way the world should be.
Mary Lou Felts’ West Virginia accent has almost disappeared but sometimes slips through when she talks about her children and her life as an active Christian. She often writes about times when her faith gave her energy and courage. Today she’s well known as one of the volunteers who greets visitors to the Blaine Senior Center.
My small children, alone with me because of a divorce, needed coats.
My young girls couldn’t wear hand-me-downs from their older brothers. I prayed and then called Howard, my former husband. God must have touched his heart on that terribly cold day. He said that if I stopped by the store that he ran with his new wife, Cindy, he would have a check for me.
I drove there. Inside, the store was as cold as outside. Howard had gone to find parts to fix the heater. Cindy gave me the check. She was shaking from the cold. Her lips were blue.
Her hands were red and the two coats she was wearing didn’t seem to help. As I left and got back into my car I picked up a pair of gloves given me by a woman who attended the church where I worked.
They were expensive, lined gloves, more than I could ever afford. I remembered Cindy’s red hands and I took them with me as I returned to the store. I wasn’t worried about how the woman who gave me the gloves might feel. I was interested in pleasing the Lord and, surely, I thought, warming Cindy’s hands would please the Lord. And that was the true beginning of my story.
Years later Cindy called me from another city where she and Howard, and some of my children now lived. She asked what she could do. Howard had had a massive heart attack. Pray, I suggested. I heard her weep and could feel her tears. She couldn’t, she said, because she wasn’t a Christian.
I had only one response. “Accept Jesus as your personal savior and then pray for Howard.” We talked for a long time, sometimes reading scripture, often praying. God pulled Howard through and Cindy began her journey through life with the Lord. My story is not yet over, not at all.
It was many years later. One of my sons, now a grown man, had become a traveling evangelist. He called me saying he had postponed a revival because God had strongly impressed him to go at once to visit his father. He did and during his visit his father rededicated his life to Christ, just two weeks before he died. We felt blessed that things were right between God and Howard. I chose to stay in the city for a while to do what I could to help Cindy and my children who lived in that city.
Cindy would go with me to services, and she was there when I ministered to women’s groups or sang at church. One day we had lunch and talked about our lives. She told me that after I gave her those gloves so many years before she had time to think about her life. She told me that, “I knew the circumstances, who you were and what I had done to your marriage and children. But, you came in and told me that the Lord wanted you to give me your gloves. I knew then you had something that I would like to have.” I am so thankful that the cost of a pair of gloves was not as important to me as a lost soul. You see, Cindy, too, has slipped into eternity and I am happy to tell you that she was prepared to meet Jesus. And, yes, this concludes my story about the cost of a pair of gloves.
Mary Lou Felts admits to being “a little senior to some,” but her imagination crosses decades and cultures. Her church recently performed a “rap” version of the Christmas Story that she and her daughter wrote.