Written by Carolyn Kulik, published in The Charlotte News.

“If there was a predominant season in heaven, Jenny Flanigan believed it would be summer. The long days and warm nights felt endless no matter how rushed the rest of the year was. With summer came the sense that all of life slowed to smell the deep green grass, to watch fireflies dance on an evening breeze, or to hear the gentle lap of lake water against the sandy shore.

Summer was barbecues and quiet conversation in the fading light of a nine o’clock sunset. It was cutoffs and flip-flops and afternoons on Lake Monroe.

~ Karen Kingsbury, Summer

Memories of Boating
Along with the fond memories of summer trips on the Nancy Ann, with the captain and his first mate (Al and Nancy Martin), not to be forgotten is the loyal crew who also volunteered their time and services for many years—and without them, the trips would not have been possible. Greg Smith and John Hammer assisted as deckhands, helping with lines, bumpers, deck chairs, aiding passengers on and off—and helping the captain with whatever needed doing. The able purser was Fraya Smith who compiled the manifests (passenger lists); this was not an easy task when spots had to be filled after people changed their plans or trips were rescheduled due to weather. Many, many thanks to all of you for your support of the excursions that so many have enjoyed. And now, back to the boat.

The Story of Shirley’s Cove: Anyone lucky enough to have gone on any of the Lake Champlain excursions with Al and Nancy Martin probably has multiple stories to tell of their experience. One true tale is about the time the Nancy Ann entered a quiet cove with her 25 happy souls on board. And there in the distance on the rock wall was a figure. Getting closer and closer, it slowly became clear that the figure climbing on the rock was a male—not a youngster, the story goes.

Although hugging the wall, he did not seem in any danger—and he had on a sturdy pair of hiking boots. Imagine his surprise when he looked down below in the direction of the shrieks and saw a boatload of people invading that secluded spot. Probably wanting to get an edgeless, head-to-toe tan, the passengers were now looking at him very, very intently—he had very apparently not worn a stitch of clothing. It is reported he practically flew up the rocks and disappeared without glancing back even once. Although he was out of sight, he was definitely not out of mind—and, thereafter, Shirley Bean told of the encounter very happily at every opportunity—for a long time.

Outdoor activities
The next Kayaking Trip for Women is 9/11. Please register your interest with Susan. Locations vary and are weather dependent, of course. Other Sept. dates are 9/18 and 9/25.

To sign up for Birding Expeditions (9/16, 10/14 & 11/18) or Fall Road Hikes in the Champlain Valley (9/29 through October), please call and leave a message at (802) 425-6345. Be sure to include your name, phone number and email address for the contact tracing log.

Courses starting soon
All courses are online, and all require registration. Register by sending your name, phone number and mailing address. You will receive confirmation that you are registered. Please see the Fall Schedule or the website for payment information.

Mindfulness for Life with Jill Abilock. Mondays, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Dates: 9/14–10/26 (no class 9/28). This course offers mindfulness techniques to help you meet life’s challenges with strength and ease and to deepen fulfillment from all of life’s joys. Suggested donation is $30 for the series.

Better Balance – I: Introductory Balance Exercise. Tuesday mornings, 11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Dates: 9/15, 9/22 & 9/29. Doctors of Physical Therapy from Dee Physical Therapy will lead a three-week series of classes designed to improve your balance and reduce fall risk. This program will emphasize development of a safe home exercise program that participants can do between sessions and continue beyond the three-week course. Generously offered by Dee Physical Therapy as a community service. No fee.

Play Reading with Sue Foley and Wally Gates. Third Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Dates: 9/17, 10/15 & 11/19. Great fun for people who enjoy reading plays aloud or listening to others perform. Give it a try! Hoping to welcome a few more males into the group. Scripts are provided and parts assigned. To register, contact Sue directly. Fee: $5 suggested donation per reading.

Civil Discourse: Making It Happen with Stephen Joyce. Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Dates: 9/24–10/29. Are you frustrated with discussions about politics that persuade no one, clarify nothing and go nowhere? Learn theories about civil communication and how to put them into practice when you are disagreeing with family, friends and strangers. Sponsored by Friends of Charlotte Senior Center. No fee.

And don’t forget these returning courses all starting on Friday, 9/18: at 9:00 a.m., French Coffee Club with Alysse Anton, for 10 weeks ($50); and at 1:30 p.m., Italian Intro, or at 3:00 p.m., Italian Refresher with Nicole Librandi, both for 6 weeks. ($30).

Ongoing exercise classes
There is a very robust choice of ongoing exercise classes for varying levels of ability: Tai Chi for Beginners, Chair Yoga, Eccentrics, Pilates, Pilates Plus, Gentle Yoga, Better Balance; most take place twice a week. Register by sending your name and mailing address. Fees are $5 per class, paid at the end of each month. Please see the Fall Schedule or the website for payment information.

All of the free Wednesday events at 1:00 p.m. are now online Zoom gatherings. The invitation/link for each week will be posted on the Wednesday Lectures/Events page by the Tuesday before the presentation. As well, this link will be supplied in Front Porch Forum in Charlotte and in surrounding towns. Registration is not required.

9/9. The Basics to Better Balance: A Virtual Lecture. Understanding balance and where it comes from is the first step in improving it. Doctors of Physical Therapy from Dee Physical Therapy will be discussing the anatomy of the balance system, how it works, typical problems, and how these are commonly treated.

9/16. Escape and Survival During WWII with Ayana Touval. As a two-year-old toddler, Ayana had to flee with her parents from Nazi-infested Zagreb in July 1941. She will tell her story and some of the lessons learned along the way, which could prove useful today.

9/23. Landscape and Your Sense of Place with Jonathan Silverman. Join us for a look at landscape across history, culture, genres and artistic intent.

9/30. Utah’s Gems with Lynn Cummings. Take a guided trip through Southern Utah’s famous, and some not-so-famous, national parks and monuments.

Art exhibit
The Senior Center’s monthly art exhibits continue and visitors are welcome. To see an art exhibit, please schedule an appointment at least 24 hours in advance. Viewing days are Tuesday and Thursday between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Leave a message anytime at (802) 425-6345 and include your name and phone number for a confirmation of your appointment.

The September Art Exhibit is Bill StirewaltLarge Format Photography. Most pieces depict the natural world, although the subject matter is very varied. Two stunning pictures are of the moss-covered vines in the Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington. But most spectacular is the 6-foot-long Lake Champlain Panorama with peak autumn color and purple mountains.

Be careful. Stay well. We are all in this together.

The Senior Center’s mission is to serve those 50 and up; if a course is not full, pre-seniors 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.

Charlotte Senior Center
(802) 425-6345