We may be hitting our fifth wave of COVID, and our three variant, but people are exhausted and mostly vaccinated, so it looks like this will be a “close to normal” Christmas with families gathering together. (You still have enough time to get your COVID Booster and have the “two weeks” period for it to take effect before Christmas!)
I saw online some old-fashion Christmas decorations that were popular a few decades back, and young people were either saying “Ugh, that’s cheap looking and tacky,” or “My grandmother still has one of those.” But I bet if I show you them, it will stir up some warm, homey, joyful feelings. And, maybe you still have such decorations that you are pulling out of your cardboard boxes right now, huh?
- melted plastic popcorn Santa (1960s thru mid-70s)
- aluminum, with snow covered tree (1955-1975)
- painted ceramic tree with mini-lights (1960s to 1980)
- Hallmark Keepsake ornaments (the “gold standard” launched in 1973)
- My favorite — tin or aluminum icicles! (LightBulbs.com)
I personally think that the hand-made decorations will last forever. I made a banner that said “Peace – Love – Joy” (and yes, I made it during the Hippie Days!) It was made of silk-like material, and pastel colors. If I didn’t put it over the fireplace mantel at Christmas, I’d get complaints and sad faces from my family until it was put up. It was TRADITION!
Here’s wishing that you have a wonderful traditional Christmas this year! ………from Your Editor Kathleen Spring
Articles of Interest to Seniors
==Daisy Baber, writer in the 1920-1940s
==Eateries owned by early Lyons families (Huss’ Market, Calvin Huss Inn, Lionscrest)
UPCOMING ARTICLES in DECEMBER
==Pastor Emily Hagen is preparing an article to go with her church’s theme this year of “The Inn.”
==Mayor Nick Angelo is doing an article about the current Affordable Housing situation
==Every week we will have a Colorado book review. This week we have FIVE!! lists of “recommended books” based on different factors (like “most popular book on your birth day)
==Tips on driving in winter snow and ice (by CDOT)
==”Person on the Street Q&A” will be “what was your favorite childhood gift (November’s was “what’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish”)
+++There will NOT be a Christian Midnight Service at the Wildflower Pavilion this year. However, the High School Jazz band will be performing Dec. 7th, 7 p.m., with a food truck and drinks available. (Free event)
+++Due to COVID, the Lyons Redstone Museum will not have a booth at the Christmas Bazaar, but will open its museum doors to sell gifts, nick-knacks, Christmas items, and LaVern’s Famous Never Fail Fudge, and cupcakes. It will also have baked goods for sale at the corner of 4th and Main (the Lyons Community Church), during the parade.
+++You can buy a gift for a local resident (kid, adult or senior) through the LEAF Giving Tree annual effort. See our “nonprofit” page.
As you know, I list a scam or two each month in the Senior News. This month I saw a warning by the federal government that sounded a bit more urgent, so, I didn’t want to wait for the newsletter, and I posted it on the “Lyons Longevity” Facebook page. It got a lot of comments from people who had got scammed in the same manner as the government had described. So, please pay attention to this. As always — dont try to reason with the caller. JUST HANG UP. — then you can call the “normal phone number” of the business (eg, your credit card /bank or Social Security, or Amazon) to see if you are really in danger===
SENIOR MEALS: Tuesday and Thursday – 12 noon – Boulder County Aging serves lunch at the Lyons Senior Center (Lyons seniors, ages 60 and up), located in the apartment complex next to the Post Office. You must call the day before by 1 p.m. to place an order (303) 441-1415. Donation of $3 suggested. (Guests pay $8.25) Either order a carry out box, or come in at 12 noon and socialize and meet other seniors! Get a copy of the month’s menu by stopping by during lunch, or viewing it on Facebook “Lyons Longevity.” The room will be decorated in Holiday scheme!
FOOD PANTRY: Wednesdays – 3 to 5 p.m. – Food Pantry for those in need. Contact LEAF for more information.
1. IMPORTANT NOTE: THE LYONS FOOD PANTRY WILL BE CLOSED DEC 22 AND DEC 29.
2. Super Duper Food Pantry Distribution DEC 15 (See LEAF for details) Santa and 2 or 3 live reindeer will be present on Main Street.
SENIOR EXERCISE – 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., free, LaVern Johnson Park. Free. For Lyons seniors 55+ === Contact Lramsey@townoflyons.com for details. === class now meeting at the Walt Self basement entrance (on the alley side of the building) every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:30 – 11:30 am. “If the weather’s nice we’ll grab our hand weights and head outside to exercise or we’ll do a walk before heading inside for stretching and yoga. Masks are required inside the building.”
December 7 – deadline to enroll in or change your Medicare Plan.
December 11, 12-3p.m. – Bring your pups down to Gateway Realty Group, 324 Main St., for a special doggy treat and a photo op with Santa Claus!! We’ll have warm drinks and yummy treats for our human friends as well. This event is FREE, however, please consider dropping a donation for one of our favorite Lyons nonprofits, LEAF, Lyons Emergency & Assistance Fund!
December 11 – deadline to enter your home or business in the Lyons Chamber Holiday Lights contest. Cash prizes. See our ARTICLE for more details, and the “flier.” They will have a map that you can use to visit them, as well as an opportunity to VOTE between December 14- January 5, for your favorite! Register Here: https://bit.ly/3pmjJvH == For more info, go to https://www.lyonschamber.org/let-it-glow
December 14, online, 10-11:30 a.m. – 12 Scams of the Holidays==Register for “12 Scams of the Holidays” here. presented by the Community Protection Division of the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office
December 14 – Fresh Conversations: Please join Patricia Murphy, Registered Dietitian with Boulder County Area Agency on Aging, December 14th from 1-2 p.m. to talk about “Use it or Lose it- Maintaining Muscle Strength with Aging.” Register using the link found here: https://forms.office.com/g/R0kF813XuF
December 15 Bus Trip: DINNER THEATER! == Registration has ended, but you might get on a “wait list.” == This fun trip takes us to the Candlelight Dinner Theater in Johnstown for “The Sound of Music.” The trip date is Wednesday, December 15th, and includes round trip transportation, dinner, and the show at the “special group price”. (No charge for the bus or the tour supervision) For Lyons residents 55 years and up. No guests or children. Contact Lisa at LRamsey@townoflyons.com
December 16, 12:30 p.m., Lyons SENIORS Christmas party with live music at Senior Center (Option: order turkey lunch by 1 p.m. the day before, $3 donation — see above for info) Sponsored by Town of Lyons. Decorated by Boulder County Aging. Free.
December 25 – Christmas – Have a Great Holiday with your family and friends, from the Lyons Recorder and Staff ! ~~~ This is on a Saturday and most businesses and government offices will be closed Friday, December 24.
December 25 – Christmas Church Services = See our Community Resources Page in December for a list of all events, programs and church services happening at ALL LYONS AREA churches.
To see our “standard list” of links to mental, emotional and physical HELP, go to our Community Resources page.
LOW INCOME HOUSING – LONGMONT: For those of you who might be interested, here is some information about low income housing that will be coming in Longmont. While we certainly want everyone to stay in Lyons, we understand the need for affordable housing.
Save the date – Dec 14th at 8:30 am, the Boulder County Housing Authority is accepting applications for The Spoke on Coffman (below-market-rate rentals in Longmont) as well as Housing Choice Vouchers and Project Based Vouchers. https://www.waitlistcheck.com/CO3024 *Please note, info and apps won’t be live until 12/14 at 8:30am. Sign up for the interest list for the Spoke on Coffman to ensure you receive communications from us regarding the application process. www.TheSpokeOnCoffman.org
BOULDER COUNTY AGING SERVICES RECRUITING:
The Aging Services Foundation (ASF) mission is to is to financially support and advocate for, programs and services that encourage equity, well-being, independence, and dignity for Boulder County’s older adults and family caregivers. Questions? Contact us at email@example.com or 303-441-1979===Interested in joining us? Please complete our online application and we’ll be in touch!
DEADLINE to Sign Up for Medicare/MediGap/Advantage Plan = TIPS
December 7th is your deadline to sign up for Medicare (1) for the first time (2) to change plans (3) for Medicare Advantage. You can contact Boulder or Larimer County Aging Offices to find someone to help you figure out the plans (appointments end as of Dec. 5th). You can also go to Medicare’s web site, and they have information on Original Medicare; and shopping for GAP plans. The State (State Health Insurance Assistant Program) has trained professional licensed insurance agents who can help you; enter your zip code and they will find someone “local.”
Medicare Gap plans cover the “donut hole” that use to surprise Medicare members; but it was eliminated by Congress with the offering of this plan. eg, If Medicare pays 80%, then the Gap policy pays the 20% of the covered item.
Medicare Advantage is a plan where an insurance company takes over for Medicare (government) Plan A & B. The TV ads for easy free coverage, with no monthly payment, are short and do not tell the whole story. Instead of paying a flat monthly fee for full coverage, or minimum deductible, the Advantage Plan has you pay more on a per visit basis. You pay co-pays and higher deductibles, and you visit their list of medical help, and most do not pay for out of state health care. (Those who are also on Medicaid may find help with payments.)
Medicare Advantage (MA) plans must cover everything that original Medicare covers, and they can’t discriminate against people (meaning not cover them) who are ill or have preexisting conditions.
I am not a health care professional, nor an insurance professional, but I have spent a few hours reading reviews of these plans, and hope to bring a little clarity to them. Do not base your decision on my comments alone. It seems, if you are healthy, Advantage plans save you money (now). But if you get very sick the costs you pay for services are quite high; and if you try to switch later, the Medigap plans have high penalties.
Please do your research, and do not just choose based only on monthly costs.
====DRUG PLAN: For the Medicare DRUG D plan, if you do not join the first year or two, you will get high life-time penalties for joining later. ======If you have a Part D plan, it is important to verify that your drugs are still covered. Every year, the companies that provide these plans can change the formulary (the list of drugs covered), the amount you pay for each drug, and your monthly premium.
====If you have a Part C Plan, check for continuing coverage and cost changes of the drugs you need. Also check for changes in benefits, as well as changes in the premium and the costs of services.
====If you are satisfied with the plan after reviewing changes for the next year, you don’t need to do anything. If not, you can shop for a different plan and make a change during Open Enrollment. Many Medicare beneficiaries can save money by switching to a different plan.
WISHING HAPPY BIRTHDAYS to: Carol Groves, Carolyne Dollar, Bonnie DiSalvo, Annie Mannering, Gary McGrumb, Mimi Elmore, John King, Aggie Brown, Allen LaFollette, Linda Backup, Bob Freeman, JR Gordan, Emily May, and Gary LaFever.