“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.”
~ Carl Reiner
Have you noticed that your attitude toward snow changes as the season wears on? At the outset, it’s that wonderful, magical, winter wonderland stuff—and in March, it’s a guest who has stayed too late after the party. Still, there are elements of the world of water that I never tire of—like icicles. (I will resist the temptation to capitalize the word.) Whenever I see them hanging off roofs, they just make me smile for some reason. I am also very fond of those feathery frost patterns on windows, and the hoarfrost you see on the trees as you get off the chairlift at the top of the mountain. But my absolutely favorite thing is ammil – a new word to me. It’s Gaelic for the layer of ice which dusts leaves, twigs and grass after a freeze, that in sunlight causes a whole landscape to glitter. Have you ever tried to photograph that truly wondrous spectacle (in the days of film cameras) only to discover that nothing of the magic you saw with your own eyes shows up in the print? A shattering experience!
Tomorrow, 2/7, from 2–7pm, is another chance to help save a life by donating blood at the Senior Center. We are always happy to host the American Red Cross blood drives, and our friendly volunteers, comfortable space and great snacks make giving blood here a pleasure.
This Friday, 2/8 at 12:30, is the last class on Musical Immigrations with Dr. Benjamin Klemme, director of the Vermont Youth Orchestra. This week he will speak on Stravinsky, and his last two classes on Dvorak and Mahler had music and videos woven into his talk. (Please note that this class is the last of the series; there is no class on 2/15 because there is an error on the calendar.) Registration is not required, and there is no fee for this course. On 1/30, Dr. Klemme’s presentation on “Becoming a Conductor” was as informative as it was enjoyable, and it was just a peek into the complexity of what the training entails.
Thursday, 2/14, is the second Thursday, and that means the Gents Breakfast meets from 7:30 to 9 a.m. in the Café. French Toast is on the menu, with fruit and juice. The topic of the morning will be announced. Call for information and to make your reservations.
Coming in mid-February is a new course titled Creating in 3-D with Linda Finkelstein. It will meet on four Thursday mornings from 9:30-11, starting 2/14. (The 3-D is not the visual experience you have with those funny glasses in the movies!) The course will focus on creating small sculptural artworks using wooden pieces and found objects. Check out the work of Louise Nevelson online to get some idea. Students in Linda’s classes always have a fun time—so give it some thought. If you ‘can’t draw a straight line’—or would like to be creative in another way—this is the course for you. Cost for the series of four is $60.
Shape-Note Singing will be held on 2/17, from 1-3pm. This traditional a cappella, four-part harmony is also known as Sacred Harp. Nope, it does not require a good voice. Songbooks are provided. Stop by to listen or sing—and leave whenever you wish. No fee. [Curious? For a listen, go to YouTube and enter: “I’m Going Home” (Royce Hall concert).] Honestly, it is much more fun to sing than to listen to. I actually gave away my first CD of Sacred Harp years ago, because I just did not like it at all! Took the experience of actually singing for it a few weeks to change my mind. And then, I got hooked. (This is not unusual.)
The January Book Discussion Group completed its series of four weekly meetings, but they found it to be so meaningful that they intend to continue meeting once a month. Because of the high level of interest, there will be two more new groups reading the same book this spring: Walking Each Other Home by Ram Das and Mirabai Bush. The signups for those two new sessions will begin March 1— not after 2/20 as previously noted.
Wednesday afternoon events at 1 p.m.
Today, 2/6: Iceland and Ice Land. Hank Kaester (our resident bird expert) will take us to two different locations near and beyond the Arctic Circle—Iceland and Alaska (Ice Land). Come with him to see fascinating cultural, geographical and ornithological highlights of these two northern locales. No registration, free.
On 2/13: Cuba After Fidel (rescheduled from 1/09). Vince Crockenberg will give his second installment about Cuba. If you went to his first one last year (with wife, Susan, and also Jim and Susan Hyde), be assured that this one is different. Who knows, he might have installments 3 and 4—and then the Center can offer a Certificate in Cuba Studies. (Only kidding.) No registration, free.
On 2/20: Caring for Your Heirlooms. Richard Kerschner, former conservator at the Shelburne Museum for 32 years, will discuss and advise on how to care for your heirlooms, how to decide if they should be conserved, and how to go about finding and communicating with a qualified conservator. Bring in your heirlooms, and ask the questions you’ve had in mind for years. No registration, free.
The February Art Exhibit showcases watercolors and photography by Judy Brook who says, “The natural world inspires me—be it plant stamens, animals’ eyes, water droplets, rust, bird feathers or patterns found in nature. Her photos of ‘rustscapes’ on farm equipment are magical—and even dreamlike. (They are another reminder that paying attention and noticing what is around you can be as breathtaking as ammil.) Judy is planning to have a reception, so stay tuned and also check our website: CharlotteSeniorCenterVT.org.
Best times to see Art Exhibits in February: Since the Center is utilized for many classes and events, the best times are: Tues. & Wed. after 2:30, Thurs. & Fri. after 12:30. Please call the Center during the week to check on Sunday availability. You might also briefly squeeze in at noon on Mon. and Wed.