What if I told you that you could add a couple of lucid, happy years to your life and have fun doing it? Would that get your attention? Some recent studies have shown that learning new skills can not only enhance your life, but can reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. There are plenty of new skills you can learn for free in Lyons in classes and community events. (To find out more details about these and other events, go to the Lyons Recorder’s Events Calendar.)
First, let’s focus on renewing skills that we may have learned in our youth but have now forgotten.
How did you feel when you saw all the parts fall out of the cardboard box containing the dream 1956 Chevy model car? Do you remember the sticky fingers trying to glue the parts and paint the chassis? The Lyons Community Church offers an all-free workshop and light dinner every third Thursday night at 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., with the next one coming up March 19. Bring a grandchild with you, and double the fun!
More schoolhouse fun will take place at the Leap Year Spelling Bee on Saturday, February 29, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Spirit Hound Distillers. Win a trophy and a bottle of your choice. Another fun event is Trivia Night at Pizza Bar 66. The next one is tentatively scheduled for the evening of March 30.
How about jumping back into the yard, playing in the dirt and watching insects? Try a beekeeping workshop at the Lyons Farmette on March 15, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The Farmette also offers a two-hour workshop on How to Start your Home Garden on March 29 at 10 a.m., as well as one on Courtyard and Patio Gardening on March 22 at 1 p.m. The Farmette’s workshops have a fee. Learn more at https://www.lyonsfarmette.com/workshops.
Learn about nature
Want to be a bird watcher? Boulder County Open Space offers programs specifically for seniors. The organization offer walks in the open spaces and parks throughout the year, with an informed guide giving facts about the plants and wildlife that they are seeing. Go to https://www.bouldercounty.org/open-space/activities/calendar/ for a list of the free events, including a “Birds of Prey” driving tour on March 7 at 9 a.m.; a “Senior Foothills Hike” on March 25 at 10 a.m.; and a “Birding Through the Seasons” slide show on March 23. Learn how to recognize birds of prey (hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls) in the winter skies above Boulder County. Learn common field marks, habitat requirements, behavior, and ecology.
Learn fun arts
Did you dabble in art in your youth, and would you like to pick it up again? The 440 Gallery (formerly Art Pharm) periodically offers classes by working artists. Once a month an Art Trading Cards group meets at the library from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Participants create approximately ten miniature pieces of art each month and exchange them with fellow artists.
Knitting is an old-time artsy craft. There is a knitting group that meets at 11 a.m. at the Stone Cup on the first and third Wednesday of each month. The group welcomes beginners, and has knitting needles, books, and yarn you can use.
The most popular and regularly attended arts class in town for seniors is the watercolor class offered by the Town of Lyons. Trish Murtha brings her 30 years of professional experience to the class. She is friendly and patient, and assures each person that they will take home a piece of art that they will be proud of. She starts the class with a talk on what the day’s assignment is and does a sample piece, such as a fall pumpkin patch, a winter snowy landscape, or a summer sunflower. She has a wide spread of art supplies for students to chose from. The class is free, and takes place on the third Wednesday of each month from 9:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. in the Walt Self Senior Center basement. The class is open to all Lyons seniors ages 55 and above. (You can order lunch upstairs, served at noon. See “March Meals” below for more information.)
Learn exercise routines
The other ongoing class offered by the Town is the free exercise program on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Senior Center basement (enter by the alley door). The class is open to all Lyons seniors ages 55 and above. Tuesdays feature circuit training followed by gentle yoga. Circuit training uses gentle-intensity exercises targeting strength building and muscular endurance. Thursday’s class is Get Moving, which is exercise and gentle stretching. In good weather, the first half of this class takes a walk on quiet streets, followed by stretching. Mats and equipment are supplied.
Continuing with our theme this month of learning a new skill: Have you always wanted to learn yoga, but never seemed to have the time or money? The Town integrates yoga into its free bi-weekly exercise classes. The yoga in this class is made up of gentle, easy poses. You’ll start in a standing position on the mats and do some simple balance exercises and stretches. Then you’ll make your way to a seated position for more stretching poses, and finally to the floor for the most relaxing poses of all. In class, instructor Lisa Ramsey highly encourages folks to listen to their bodies and modify poses as they see fit.
Other exercise and health classes
Adult sports: Open gym basketball, ages 18 and above, takes place at Lyons Elementary School gym from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m every Thursday through May 8. There’s a limit of 45 people per drop in. Admission is free. Stillwater Healing Arts Clinic & Apothecary offers meditation, exercises, and more each week to help you live a balanced life using the wisdom of ancient traditions. Lyons Little Yellow House offers community gatherings and events. See their web pages for details. Fencing Class: open to all ages. On Saturdays at 3 p.m. at LaVern M Johnson Park. Text to 720-296-3224, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Certified martial arts instructor.
Lyons Old-Time Square Dance is offered on the first Saturday nights of March and April. The next one is March 7, then April 4. It covers old-time reels, mixers, squares, waltzes and flat-footing to live fiddle and banjo music. Live dance callers join the old-time string band. It takes place at Oskar Blues Grill & Brew. Cost is $10 per adult or $25 for a family. All dances are taught and are beginner-friendly; beginners are encouraged to come at the beginning of the night. Seasoned dancers can stop by as the night progresses. No need for a partner or special clothes or shoes. For more information, call 303-827-6322.
While reading won’t exercise your body, it will exercise your mind, and it can take you on trips across the world and across time. The Lyons Regional Library has a free book club that meets every other month. Busy Readers Book Club’s next meeting is March 29, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Stop by the desk and join, and order your copy of this month’s selection: “Sleeping on Jupiter,” by Anuradha Roy.
For armchair adventure, stop by the library on Friday, March 13, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to hear a talk by author Dorje Dolman talk about her book, “Yak Girl.” The memoir is of a spirited girl who lived in a remote, undeveloped region of Nepal near the border of Tibet. Immerse yourself in the landscape of snow-capped peaks and untouched green pastures, and feel the constant risks faced by the residents.
On occasion, Loving Lyons Senior Group puts on travelogues at the Senior Center. If you went on a wonderful unique trip, please contact the group to talk about giving a talk and showing your photographs on the screen: LovingLyonsSeniorGroup@gmail.com.
Why is the library sponsoring monthly community dinners with arts? Because people get healthier mentally, emotionally, and physically when they get together with others and do something creative or learn something new. The programs are put on by Wide Spaces Community Initiative on the third Thursdays of each month from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Around 50 people normally attend, and the events include food and encourage sitting with new people and having fun conversations. The next one will have the theme of “Improv” and will be on March 19. Reserve your ticket at www.facebook.com/WideSpacesComm.
I hope you find this list of activities inspiring. Print it out and check off some of the items over the coming months.
Senior Center news
The Lyons seniors celebrated February birthdays and then gathered around the craft table and made Valentines to share. They talked about how they would get little cut-out Valentine cards for pennies and give one to each child in their elementary school class. One senior asked me to give the card to another senior and “just say it’s from your secret valentine,” as she gave me a little wink!
March birthdays for Lyons seniors will be celebrated on March 11 at 12:30 p.m. (after senior lunch), and then Lisa Ramsey will lead traditional Irish games for St. Patrick’s Day. I wonder if the cake will be GREEN? I know I will be LUCKY to get a slice. We’ll blow out the candle and wish for a POT of GOLD!
Happy Birthday wishes to Shirley DeVeny (brings desserts to Oskar’s), Donna Johnson (pioneer Ohline family), Linda LeFou (past Golden Gang president), James McCurry (seniors’ yummy potluck cook), Deb Tabor (just retired Deputy Town Clerk), Helen Vanderwerken (senior lunch coordinator), and Isabel Vasquez (pioneer quarry family).
Other activities sponsored by the Town at the Senior Center are a free hand and shoulder mini-massage during lunch on March 13, and a watercolor class on March 18 from 9:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. An “Intro to Bookfolding, Beginner’s Heart” class is a new addition. There will be a small fee for for the class. More details to come.
We are sad to say that the Seniors’ kitchen manager from 2006 to 2012, Mary Lou Wallace, has passed away. Those were the peak years of the Golden Gang senior club. She not only managed the kitchen, but planned activities and helped with fundraisers. She knew each person well, and cared about their needs. There is no information at this time about a memorial program.
Lunches on Wednesdays and Fridays are at 12 noon. Reserve your catered lunch by 1 p.m. the day before by calling 303-441-1415. A donation of $3 for those 60 and older is suggested, or whatever you can pay. Those under 60 or not in Boulder County pay a flat $8.25. Thanks to Boulder County Office on Aging for providing the hot meals.
March starts out with Oskar’s monthly senior-style lunch on Wednesday, March 4, at 11:30 p.m. This could include something like meatloaf and potatoes, or a sandwich and soup. Thanks to Oskar Blues Grill and Brew for their ongoing free lunches. You must reserve your spot by emailing email@example.com. Thank you to Wendy Miller who has taken over the job of coordinating this meal confirmation list. And thanks also to Ruth Corwin for her years of doing it so well.
The four Lyons area churches provide free hot suppers on most Monday nights, according to a schedule, at the Senior Center at 5:30 p.m. This month’s sponsors are The River Church on March 2, and the Lyons Community Church on March 16. Also, the “Fifth Mondays Potluck” by our anonymous benefactor is on March 30 (bring a dish, if you wish). The Community Church is planning on providing some toe-tapping Celtic music. Stop by at 6:30 p.m. if you wish to only partake in the music.
There are no bus trips this month. Lisa Ramsey surveyed the seniors on her list to see which activities would be of most interest, and the Denver Botanic Gardens was at the top of the list, by a landslide. The Arvada Center for the Performing Arts’ high-quality plays came in second. And, a trip to see the Rockies play baseball will take place in July. The next trip will be to the Botanic Gardens in May. Get on the list by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Loving Lyons Senior Group sponsors two free movie viewings each month at 5:30 p.m. at the Senior Center. On the first Thursdays, a unique movie is presented which stars a senior actor with a topic of particular interest to seniors. On the third Sunday of each month is a first-run feature, with popcorn served. The movies are five-star quality. Reserve your seat by contacting LovingLyonsSeniorGroup@gmail.com.