One of the most fun things to do is yell “Bingo!” About a dozen seniors gathered at the Lyons Senior Center last week to participate in the game. You could hear a pin drop as Lisa Ramsey, Town of Lyons Recreation Coordinator, clearly stated, “B 10, B one zero.” Some people leaned over their card with intense concentration, while others leaned back in their chair with the card on their lap. The winners were delighted to receive gift cards from La Mariposa, and the grand prize card from Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ and Brew. One winner offered to take Lisa out to La Mariposa with her $10 card, but she said it would barely cover one of their premium margaritas! So, it is a yummy chimichanga for one, please!
The Walt Self Senior Center, part of the Boulder County Housing complex, is located next to the post office at 335 Railroad Avenue. Visitors are asked to not park in the tenants’ spots. There are two handicap spots available. The building is open during meals and special events. Contact Lyons Town Hall if you would like to reserve the hall for town- or senior-related events: 303-823-6622, ext. 30.
Each month, the Town brings a big beautiful cake to the Senior Center to celebrate senior birthdays for that month. In January, the date of the party coincided with the Oskar Blues Grill & Brew lunch, so the cake was brought to the restaurant. What a great surprise for the birthday celebrants, as they had the biggest crowd ever to celebrate with. For February, it will be back at the Senior Center. It will take place after lunch on February 12 at 12:30 p.m. With it being so close to Valentine’s Day, there will be a fun craft session (see Activities section below). Seniors can reserve a Lyons Bistro lunch (see below) or just come for the cake and/or craft.
Happy February Birthdays to: Maxine Harkalis (Pioneer Ohline family, turning 91 years old), Linda Harkness (senior lunch volunteer), Stevie LaRue (big-time town volunteer), Greg Miller (caregiver), Ron Pederson (car restoration expert), and Michael Tovani (watch for his golf cart and black dog!). If you would like to see your name here in future months, please contact me at LovingLyonsSeniorGroup@gmail.com.
Ruth Corwin has been collecting the reservations for the Oskar’s monthly lunch for a long time now, and she is moving on to other volunteer opportunities. We thank her for her thorough, friendly work. Can you spare two hours a month to call or email approximately 20 seniors to remind them about the lunch, and then call in the reservation count to the restaurant on Wednesday morning? Please call Ruth at 303-823-6490 for more details. The new person would take over for the March lunch.
Colorado was lucky enough to get a premier art exhibition this past year. Lyons seniors were lucky enough to get to see it this month. With some cooperation between the Town and VIA Mobility bus services, the seniors group got a free ride to the Denver Art Museum to see “Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature,” featuring more than 120 paintings spanning Monet’s career. The audio program was included with the ticket, and it was clearly spoken and easy to use. Many said it was the best museum audio program they had ever heard. Not only were there art experts speaking about the individual pieces, but also experts in other fields giving the listener far more depth into Monet’s processes over the decades. A meteorologist talked about the content of the raindrops in the London Bridge’s fog in the paintings. A botanic garden expert talked about the famous lilies in his paintings, and how he brought in lilies of color from other countries. A geologist talked about how he was certain the white cliffs of Normandy were white, and yet all the paintings of the cliffs were a variety of vivid colors resulting from weather and shadows.
The Denver Art Museum and the Museum Barberini in Potsdam, Germany put together the exhibit, and it will only be seen in these two venues. Pieces were collected from all over the world, including museums in places like Des Moines, Paris, and Australia. The seniors also checked out the other two floors of the museum to see the other works of art. The original part of the museum is still closed for construction, with the goal of reopening in early summer. The small cafe had extraordinary coffee, and sandwiches for only $6.50. But for some, the opportunity to share the day with new and old friends, talking on the bus, was the real delight.
The museum is always a very popular choice for the Lyons senior bus trips, as well as seeing plays at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. The next art exhibits coming this spring to the museum will display works by Winslow Homer, Frederic Remington, and Norman Rockwell. Get on the senior email list to be informed of the next opportunity: firstname.lastname@example.org
You should have received in the mail this month a letter from the Social Security Office about changes for 2020. Medicare Part B premiums are up 7% (and more for Part B based on income). The Part B annual deductible will rise $13. Meanwhile, the cost of living adjustment this year is 1.6%, resulting in an average increase in benefits of $24 a month. Price hikes for Part B are being blamed on rising drug costs. If you have not read the details, you can go to www.socialsecurity.gov and sign in to see how the changes might affect you.
The bipartisan supported Older Americans Act (OAA) reauthorization is moving through Congress. On October 28 it was unanimously passed by the House. Since 1965, the OAA has supported and improved the lives of millions of seniors, particularly those who are low-income, through programs that promote nutrition (e.g. Meals on Wheels), support caregivers, improve transportation options, prevent abuse and neglect, and offer employment and community service opportunities. It was last reauthorized in 2016. Senators Susan Collins and Bob Casey introduced the bipartisan Bill to Reauthorize the Act on December 17.
According to the Social Security Administration, the most popular scam in the nation, by far, involves their department. Scammers are pretending to be government employees. Callers will try to scare you and trick you into giving them your personal information and money. They may threaten you or your family, and may demand immediate payment for you to avoid arrest or legal action. The solution is simple: Do not talk to them. Just hang up, even in mid-sentence! Report them to the Office of the Inspector General at https://oig.ssa.gov/report-fraud-waste-or-abuse/fraud-waste-and-abuse
The Social Security Administration will not call you and demand money, and will not ask for identification information over the phone.
The Loving Lyons Senior Group (LLSG) sponsors two free movie viewings each month at 5:30 p.m. at the Senior Center. On the first Thursday, the movie stars a senior actor with a topic of particular interest to seniors. We have scheduled for February 6 “Bookshop,” starring Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, and Patricia Clarkson. The discussion after the film will be about small book shops, and e-books versus printed books. On the third Sunday of each month is a first-run feature, with popcorn served. We are hoping to get “Judy” (about Judy Garland) for February 16. The movies are five-star quality movies. Reserve your seat by contacting LLSG at the email address above.
The Town of Lyons will have a free, easy, and fun Valentine’s craft activity after lunch on Wednesday, February 12. You do not have to attend lunch, but if you want to enjoy the spaghetti and meatballs, call in your reservation by 1 p.m. the day before. Plus, there will be cake to celebrate all of the February birthdays.
The Town also offers a free monthly watercolor class, taught by the talented and popular Trish Murtha. She shares her twenty years of experience as an artist openly and with patience. You will go home with a landscape or floral painting. The classes normally take place on the third Wednesday of each month, from 9:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., but in February, the class will be held on Wednesday, February 5. Classes are free, and you can come as often as you like, but you must register so that there will be enough supplies. Contact email@example.com.
Free exercise classes are offered twice a week to Lyons seniors 60 years of age and older from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Walt Self Senior Center basement. The basement door is on the alley side of the building. Please do not park in the residents’ front parking lot. For more information on what is done in the classes, see my Senior News of January 9.
Boulder County Area Agency on Aging (BCAAA) has arranged for a speaker to come in on Wednesday, February 26, at 12:30 p.m. Lynda McCullogh, of Ensight Skills Center, will do a presentation and low-vision screening. Ensight provides training, services, education, support, and resources to give individuals living with uncorrectable vision loss the ability to live independently.
A good way to be in touch with senior events, trips, groups, and more is to get on the free quarterly Senior Newsletter email list of the Loving Lyons Senior Group. Besides the five pages of activities, it has five pages of tips, scam warnings, government agency contacts, health and wellness articles, and more. Write to LovingLyonsSeniorGroup@gmail.com or talk with director Kathleen Spring (myself). Request a copy of the First Quarter 2020 issue.
Activities Open To The Public
There are two big community gatherings that are a great way for seniors to mingle with locals. The Winter Wonderland Concert Series in LaVern Johnson Park concludes on Saturday, February 8, from 2 to 4 p.m. Bring your own mug for the hot cocoa, and enjoy free live music, cookies, ice skate rental, and parking.
The other program is the community dinners put on by the Wide Spaces Community Initiative (WSCI) at the Lyons Regional Library. The theme for February is line dancing. The group promotes mental wellness through education and community gatherings. This dinner is not a wellness class, but a fun gathering of locals. It takes place on Thursday, February 20, at 6 p.m. Food is provided, but you must reserve one of the free tickets and bring your own plate and utensils as part of the Zero Waste initiative. The WSCI also runs monthly group sessions on depression, suicide prevention, and more. See their Facebook page for more information.
Food & Wellness Assistance
Did you feel that you “just survived” the Holidays, and now feel that you should do something about that? Or, perhaps one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to improve your mental wellness in 2020? Well, you are in luck. Surprisingly, our small town has its own mental wellness and addiction recovery counselor. Cherie Maureaux joined the staff at Lyons Emergency and Assistance Fund (LEAF) last fall and jumped right in by conducting a free weekly session of self-help lessons, open to all Lyons residents, over a three-month period. It will be offered again starting February 27, from 10 a.m. to 12:45p.m. Email to reserve your spot. Cherie also offers private services. Insurance and Medicaid coverage is welcome, but nobody is turned away for an inability to pay. Learn more at LEAF’s website, or confidentially email firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEAF also runs the local Meals on Wheels program and the food bank on Wednesdays, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. It is located in the Lyons Community Church at Fourth and Main Streets. More information on what it offers is at www.LeafLyons.org or 720-864-4309.
If you walk by the Lyons Senior Center, chances are you will get a whiff of the wonderful food smells from the first-quality meals served there. The lunches are prepared in the kitchen of a catering business, and sponsored by BCAAA. Stop by and pick up the monthly menu on Wednesdays or Fridays, from noon to 1 p.m. Call in your reservation by 1 p.m. the day before at 303-441-1415. Cost is $3 (or what you can afford). For those under 60 years of age, or not living in Boulder County, it is a flat $8.25.
In addition, the four local churches provide a free supper almost every Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Senior Center. No reservation is needed. In February, The River Church serves on the 3rd, the Catholic Church serves on the 10th, and the Lyons Community Church serves on the 17th. On Monday, February 24, a potluck dinner is tentatively scheduled. And, we cannot forget the senior lunches offered by Oskar Blues Grill & Brew on the first Wednesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. Call in your reservation to Ruth Corwin at 303-823-6490.
For more details on these meals, see my Senior News column of January 9.