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Senior Column: Fun and outings

Senior Column: Fun and outings

For the past nearly 11 years, I have been writing this column in the Ralston Recorder. Now, thanks to the Papillion Times I will continue to tell you about some of the activities that senior citizens in the area are involved in.

The La Vista Senior Center has helped a number of seniors maintain their sanity during the past year with the restrictions of the pandemic. Senior Services Manager Kaily Stanley began her job there at the start of the pandemic.

To say it was a challenge is an understatement. Last spring, they started with car bingo and entertainment. A sound system was set up in front of the building, we sat in our cars with the windows down and enjoyed the music.

What a thrill it was as the senior center opened in August, some activities resumed with six-foot spacing, limited number of participants, masks and other precautions. Each month, Kaily would add something to the calendar and now, a bit over a year later, the calendar is full with numerous activities to choose from.

We had a special guest for the May 21 bingo at the La Vista Senior Center. Gus was well behaved and quite willing to sit on Connie’s lap. A very smart miniature French Poodle, Gus demonstrated some tricks: sit, howl, twirl and lay down, then quietly sat on Kaily’s lap as she called bingo. Kaily was dog sitting for a friend and there was no doubt Gus was very welcome and we all were willing to pet and spoil him. We had a good turnout for bingo as more people are venturing out and socializing again.

Charlotte Doyle and I had a nice surprise when we went to the last Friday of May bingo. No temperature checks when we entered and different chairs, padded, instead of the usual metal ones. To top it off we both won, with Charlotte getting the blackout.

We heard the outing to “Edge of the Universe” was fun: 16 people signed up so they took two buses. There were some great outings on the June calendar: a trip to Lauritzen Gardens, picnic outing to Holy Family Shrine, lunch outings to Spin Pizza and Johnny’s Cafe Steakhouse.

Reservations are needed for those events so check your calendar for the dates and call in your reservation. Another change for the June calendar is the Friday bingo will start at 1 p.m. instead of 2 p.m., lunch will be served Monday through Friday at 11:30 a.m. Volunteers are needed to help in the kitchen.

Starting June 1, another surprise: masks are now recommended but not mandatory; no more temperature checks. It was such a nice change to be able to see each other’s whole face and the smiles that were behind the masks.

Nine of us met at Spin Pizza Papillion for lunch last Thursday. They have a fantastic menu, great salads, sandwiches and variety of pizza. I am always looking for a New York style pizza crust and so was delighted with my mushroom pizza.

We all chose something different and everything looked good. Charlotte Doyle had potato chips that looked home made with her sandwich and when we had finished eating we all remarked how good they looked and how we would have liked to try one but no one had the nerve to ask. Charlene Lauer enjoyed her gluten-free pizza and got a box to take some home.

After eating, we all got a surprise when Kaily said we all could choose a small size gelato. Thanks to the La Vista senior center. They have a rotating selection and even offer a vegan gelato. A delicious treat.

The Ralston Senior Center will be reopening this week with limited activities. Exercise class will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday and Friday. The center will be open for cards and bingo from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The bridge group is looking forward to getting together again.

The Saint Gerald Friends on Q senior group is planning to canvas members and plan a get together for July. Details will be posted in the church bulletin.

If you are interested and not on the mailing list for the La Vista senior center, call 402-331-3455 for information. if you see me around the La Vista senior center say “hello.” I look forward to meeting new readers.

— Janet Rentko is a member of the Ralston Senior Center and the La Vista Senior Center.

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