Let’s do the senior shuffle

June 10, 2014

I didn’t think I was ready for a senior center,” Pam, a recent retiree, explained. “I met Leslie, the director, who kept encouraging me to come, and finally, when I tried the first exercise class, I found out everyone was active and interesting. They shared ideas about restaurants and entertainment. One of the women in my circuit training class is an original member of the Chantels and will be performing at the Blue Moon June 24 which sounds like so much fun.”

The Cape Henlopen Senior Center, incorporated in 1966, has attracted over 1,000 members. The $20 annual membership fee provides access to a variety of classes in art, knitting, model building (Hobbies for Men) as well as many fitness classes and trips. Betty Diveley, age 88, loves teaching line dancing and will be part of the Annual Variety Show at Epworth United Methodist Church Saturday, June 14, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 15 at 2 p.m.  Check out their website to learn about trips to a lighthouse cruise in Annapolis or the Kennedy Center to see “The Lion King.” Why not venture to Niagara Falls and Toronto via motor coach this October for four nights? The Center is located on 11 Christian St. in Rehoboth Beach. Leslie, the director, invites you to come see for yourself. Call her at 302-227-2055. To book a reservation to see The Chantels go to the Blue Moon website.

I felt like Pam when I retired four years ago as I was put off by the label senior.  It connotes a gray head with hearing aids, stooped over a walker, shuffling across the dining room looking for glasses which are hanging around their neck. I am not ready for this. But then I go to put on eyeliner and I flip the magnifying mirror over and realize that I am already magnified five times. Pam and I are in denial and we are happy here.

John shared his story with me. “Like many of my neighbors here at Bayfront on Rehoboth, in retirement we are finding the time to do things we hadn’t thought about doing before...Hearing about the horseshoe crab piqued our interest. As it turns out horseshoe crabs are very important to the pharmaceutical industry to prevent bacterial infection, and have been used as fish bait for years. But with numbers declining in the 1990s it became important to count their numbers. Horseshoe crabs lay their eggs at the time the migrating Red Knot Shorebirds arrive on their travel north and rely on the eggs to fuel up to continue their journey. Eric Buehl provided our equipment and a short training class and we were off and running. The crabs lay their eggs during high tide during the months of May and June around 1 a.m.  The day of the count we begin to question our sanity at wanting to do this…Surprisingly once we were at the beach with our head lamps blazing the crew really enjoyed the process.”

Finally I would like to share another thrift shop encounter. An older gentleman comes up to the counter with a large green Tupperware bowl circa 1961 to purchase for $2. And I say, “Too bad you don’t have the lid.” And he says, “Oh, but I do. I bought it here two years ago!”

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