Written by Carolyn Kulik, published in The Charlotte News.

“Never, never, never give up.”
~ Winston Churchill

“It’s no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’
You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.”
~ Winston Churchill

More about re-opening
It is now abundantly clear that there will not be a Grand Re-Opening of the Senior Center any time soon. Nor is there a phased re-opening plan. The reality is two-fold: the requirements to wear masks and observe social distancing (much expanded for exercising) limit attendance drastically and make it very hard to hold most activities. And, ironically, after checking with participants and coordinators, some of the activities that might be feasible (at least in theory) do not have enough folks interested in returning at this time. It appears that children and grandchildren are encouraging their elders to stay home and stay safe.

So, the Senior Center will remain closed, all the Zoom courses will continue indefinitely, and Wednesday events will be online. Aside from activities taking place outdoors, any other activities will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will be announced only after they are decided. Keep in mind that the state advises all those over 65, as well as those with underlying health conditions, to stay home. (And we all know that that is easier said than done.)

It is tremendously sad that the communal gathering that makes the Senior Center so vibrant and essential is the very thing that is not safe to do at this time. It is hard to believe that so much has changed in such a short time.

In-Person Courses
7/10. Kayak Trips for Women in July, August and September will be happening. Please register your interest with Susan. Locations vary and are weather dependent, of course. Dates are: 7/24, 8/14, 8/28, 9/11, 9/18 and 9/25.

7/10. Movie Discussion Group: Happiness Series for July and August has been cancelled. There is some possibility of having it with a different theme in the fall. Stay tuned.

7/13 & 7/14. Watercolor—Vermont in July has been cancelled at the request of the instructor.

7/15. The Birding Expedition with Hank Kaestner will take place, weather permitting. Sorry, it is already full; since it has a limit, only those already on the list can be accommodated. If you are already on the list and are not able to make it, please call so that someone else can have your spot: (802) 425-6345.

Free Wednesday Events at 1 p.m.
All Wednesday events will be online in July and will take place only as Zoom meetings. You will not need to sign up in advance. In order to join one of these events via Zoom, access the link on the Home Page. The link will also be supplied in Front Porch Forum postings to surrounding towns.

The first Wednesday online event this season was presented by Jim Hyde on COVID-19. It was exciting to have more than 35 folks show up for his great overview. Fortunately, it was recorded and is posted on the website, so you can listen at your leisure. The first five minutes or so have some technical issues, but after that it is quite smooth.

7/15. Everything You Wanted to Know About Medical Marijuana—But Were Afraid to Ask with Ada Puches. Find out about Vermont’s legal medical marijuana program: the state’s requirements for participation, the types of products patients can purchase, the success of the program, and the use of CBD. The history and science of cannabinoid medical use will also be covered. Ms. Puches is a Community Educator with Champlain Valley Dispensary. You can send your questions to her in advance. Co-sponsored by the Charlotte Library.

7/22. Kyoto & Beyond with Jonathan Silverman. What makes the Japanese culture so unique? This presentation with images of temples, cuisine, artwork and historic sites will help illuminate the Japanese rich tradition of attending to aesthetics as well as the challenges of integrating tradition into a contemporary world. Jonathan Silverman, Professor Emeritus of St. Michael’s College, was a visiting professor at Doshsisha University in Kyoto last fall. Co-sponsored by the Charlotte Library.

7/29. A Mile of Ice Above Us with Craig Heindel. Learn about the most recent geologic history of Vermont and the Champlain Valley—from more than a mile of ice over us, to raging meltwater rivers, to a salty sea (home of the ill-fated beluga whose skeleton was found in Charlotte), and then, finally, to some large, higher-elevation lakes.

New Zoom courses and registration
Never zoomed? You can do it! (Yes, you can.) If you need help, please send an email. Most of the Zoom classes are ongoing and can be joined at any time.

7/10. Two new classes will be starting tomorrow, Italian Intro 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. and Italian Refresher 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. These language classes have a new tradition of very carefully and safely doing Italian cookie exchanges, complete with recipes, at the end of the series—some tasty cultural realia after having met virtually for weeks. (Yum. Maybe an Italian festival next year?)

7/13. Starting at 1:00 p.m., and for six Mondays, is a first-time, online course in Conflict Resolution with Mark Williams. He will utilize role-playing and practical mediation exercises to help participants learn useful skills for dealing with conflict. Although Mark is a licensed couples’ counselor in practice for more than 30 years, please note that this course is not intended for couples. Suggested donation is $30 at time of registration for the 6-week course.

Online Chair Yoga with Carol Bokan is now meeting on Mondays as well as Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. Likewise, T’ai Chi for Beginners with John Creech now meets on Tuesday mornings at 10:30 and on Thursdays at 10.

For expanded course descriptions, please Online (Zoom) Courses. Register online by sending your name, address and phone number. Be sure to indicate the name of the course, or courses, you wish to take. Regular fees have been dropped, and the suggested donation is $5 per class to be mailed in monthly to P.O. Box 207, Charlotte 05445. (Please make checks out to CSC with the course name on the memo line.)

Art exhibits
The Center’s regular monthly art exhibits will resume very soon—for two-month periods. Please note that they may be viewed only by prior appointments and only on certain afternoons More about this will appear in the next issue of The Charlotte News, as well as in Front Porch Forum, at this website and on the phone message.

The Senior Center’s mission is to serve those 50 and up; if a course is not full, younger ages may also enroll. Residents from other communities are always welcome. There are no membership fees. Feel free to leave a message anytime at (802) 425-6345; voicemail is checked daily.

Be careful. Stay well. But mostly, be kind.

Imagine what it would be like to have Churchill giving speeches every week about being vigilant in the struggle against with COVID.

Charlotte Senior Center
(802) 425-6345