The April calendar at the La Vista Senior Center has had more than one activity every day which has given us numerous opportunities to get out and socialize again.
There was a presentation on “Long Term Solutions to Pain Without Medications or Surgery.” Brittany from MultiCare Medical in Papillion told us how the 16-member staff examine, consult and reach a treatment plan to provide for freedom from pain. She handed out brochures in case we wanted to look into their services further. Since food could not be served due to COVID restrictions, we were surprised to receive a Panera sandwich and bag of chips as we left which was a nice treat.
Leonard Eby gave a musical performance of old songs starting with “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and stirring up memories with songs we had not heard in many years. There was plenty of toe-tapping and some singing along, though it is hard to tell since we all wore masks. Karen got up and danced to a few numbers.
We also got a surprise gift bag along with some valuable information from ENOA. There was a handout on fighting fraud, staying connected at home during COVID-19, how to download Zoom onto our laptops and information on telemedicine. In the gift bag we found a new cloth mask, hand sanitizer, a digital thermometer, a package of bathing cloths and a healthy Fig Bar. There was also a questionnaire along with a stamped envelope to share our thoughts on telemedicine.
Thanks to all of you that made donations to our Jingo prizes. We had a fantastic selection to choose from for our Happy Birthday Jingo. It is nice to see some more people as more of us are vaccinated and getting up the courage to get out among people again. We had a great turnout for the Friday bingo. Frances Weinke came back after almost a year and enjoyed catching up with old friends. The lunch outing to Ref’s Bar and Grill was a popular choice: 17 met there for lunch.
Kaily Stanley shared some plans for a senior garden in Central Park. Interested seniors will decide what to plant, take care of plot and plan to enjoy the crops as they grow. Right now they plan to include basil, onions and tomatoes.
Jan Gorman recently enjoyed a visit from son, Wil. Wil drove up from Cape Girardeau, Missouri to celebrate her birthday with her.
Last Wednesday, thanks to the Merrymakers, we enjoyed a full hour of entertainment by “Rockin Woody.” Woody comes from the Twin Cities Metro Area. He enjoys and plays music from the 50’s to 80’s. Since his mother had lived in assisted care for a long time and he had spent a lot of time in the summers playing and singing for her, he enjoys playing for seniors. Right at the start he invited us to sing along “cause it is funner that way.” Woody started off with some warm up songs: “You Are My Sunshine” and “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain When She Comes.” Woody then played a variety including “Blueberry Hill, “Kansas City” as well as Johnny Cash and other country western numbers. In addition to playing the keyboard, he played the trumpet, guitar and harmonica. There was lots of toe-tapping, some dancing and a lot of us did sing along though it is hard to tell with us wearing masks. While most of the songs were older, even a 100-year-old “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” he did do a newer Garth Brooks song when Vicki requested it. He ended the program with a salute to veterans singing “God Bless the USA.” We were still talking about the show the next day at tai chi and how great he was. Pre-pandemic we could have won prizes, a candy bar, for providing the correct answer to his questions but with restrictions he is not allowed to hand out food items. Maybe next time.
Last week I noticed numerous signs in the parking lot of the Hy-Vee on 96th and Q that they had the COVID-19 vaccine, so if you know anyone still looking to get vaccinated let them know. I am so used to wearing my mask it seems normal, plus it was an extra bonus to not have a cold or flu this winter. It will be quite a while before I give up wearing it. So for now we shall continue to take the proper precautions and look forward to things improving.
-- Janet Rentko is a member of the Ralston Senior Center.