Like many of you, whether the groundhog sees his shadow or not, I am looking ahead toward spring! This past week I have felt it, in the sunshine, on the warmer cloudy days, and in the evening light at 5 p.m. when most of the staff are heading home. We are also seeing it in the beginnings of buds, leaves, and flowers as we look out at the grounds around Homewoods.
I always feel a sense of urgency with spring, as though I had better hurry up and get ready for something. Maybe that feeling is what has inspired spring cleaning from ancient times until now. With new light and life already shining, it is as if we want to make way for more newness in our lives.
Here are some “new” things we are planning for you. On February 20th, we will be hosting a Wellness Seminar with our friends from Willamette View. Some of you might remember Jay Ego, the Wellness Director from Willamette View, and the marvelous balance machine that he brought last year to let you test how well your balance is working for you. This year he will be talking about fitness in the later years for all activity levels. Jay is knowledgeable with many years of experience working with seniors. I also find him encouraging. He really makes me believe that it is possible to get in shape, though I sometimes feel time and gravity are working against me. I hope that you will come and hear what he has to say. This year at Homewoods we want to “beef up” our exercise program offerings and equipment. With Jay’s help we will be putting together a program for you that will allow you to track your progress and take maximum advantage of what we offer here.
For those of you who love the arts and would like to indulge in more creative expression, we will be offering watercolor classes this year. Through the help of Homewoods residents Millie Sandwick and Dee Frank, I have been able to make contact with Melissa Gannon, a Clackamas Community College instructor who comes highly recommended from several other retirement communities. This could be your year for discovering hidden talent and passion you did not know you had. Please watch also for Dee Frank’s presentation on Norman Rockwell to take place in our own lobby on February 3rd. Many of us will remember with fondness the beloved covers of The Saturday Evening Post which Rockwell painted for more than forty years. Though quaint at first glance these pictures depict real life, as it was at that time, and, while drawing the viewer in offer important and challenging lessons about its meaning. Dee is a master watercolorist and longtime teacher. This is sure to be an interesting program that you won’t want to miss.
I can’t let my February letter close without recognizing the creative writing endeavors of Millie Sandwick, LaRhee Lewis, Lavern Sager, and Helen Reasoner who each submitted an entry for the Leading Age Creative Writing Contest. Each year leading age produces a book of writing including the winning entries. This year LaVern Sager and Helen Reasoner have had pieces selected for publication. We will all be attending a luncheon at Friendsview Retirement Center in Newberg on February 27th in to hear excerpts and selected readings from this year’s contest entries. Please offer your congratulations to our Homewoods creative writers when you see them. As I have said before we are nurtured and live by the stories that we are courageous enough to share. If you have ever had an urge to put pen to paper you might consider joining our writers club which meets in the fourth floor activity room every Monday at 10 a.m.
Building strength and indulging in creative pastimes are some of the many ways that we at Homewoods continue to live well. I hope that you get a chance to join the fun.