September 10 -- Wearable Works of Art 

 

Our backyard is the place to be this fall! While we work towards opening doors safely for some programming, we have been having fun outside. Hoops and Hooks meets under the newly christened, “(rug) Hooker’s Tree” riverside in the park on the second and last Wednesday morning each month at 9:30. The woodcarvers can be found every Wednesday afternoon and the knitters gather on Friday mornings. The town is keeping the pool washrooms open 7 days a week through the end of September and the resurfacing of the road behind us is completed, so why not meet here for your activities?  35 members dropped by for birthday cake and a visit last Thursday and it was wonderful to see you all! Even when we came close to fill our plates and had our masks on you couldn’t beat the smiling eyes! And may I say that I have never seen a group with more varied and colourful masks. Who knew how much fun crafters could have making beautiful masks? They have become this decade’s Fascinator – even Queen Elizabeth matches her masks to her outfit. Conversation often turned to patterns and fabric choices and I can’t wait for the holidays to see what we will be sporting.

 

That morning was the first visit for the Bunka Babes as well and it made my heart happy to see their joy at being together. By the time you read this in the paper we will have had our first workshop with Yvette and I’d like to propose a picnic in the park for Wednesday the 16th at 11:30. Please drop by our backyard with a lawn chair and lunch if you wish and enjoy the company of other members. This is not an organized affair; just a chance for some friendly conversation. Our bathing beauties may be swimming if the weather is still warm enough so you might want to bring a pool noodle and a change of clothes or wear your walking shoes and take a pal on a spin around the walking path.

Tuesday afternoons at 1pm we continue to meet over Zoom with our coffee and craft group and Wednesdays at 1 the art studio gang has a Zoom meet. Sharon Stein will be offering some drawing lessons from her home studio so bring a pencil and some paper to your desk if you’d like to try. Our regular SCWW programs continue as well and we have a special biography planned for Wednesday the 23rd at 2pm. Frank Taker has written the story of rather unique childhood entitled, “A Life in the Slow Lane” and will share it with us. If you’ve caught him for Read Me A Story, then you’ll already be familiar with his engaging writing style and also know that his childhood memories will likely have a different twist on yours. We sure manage to have a lot of good times together, don’t we?

September 3 -- Let Us Eat Cake!! 

 

 

All of our Walker House members are invited to drop in for birthday cake on the afternoon of Thursday September 3rd. There is lots of space available between noon and 1:30. Katie and I will be serving iced tea and cake and you can either take it to go or bring a lawn chair and stay for a while in the shade. Either way it will be nice to see some familiar faces, wont it? The weather looks great, but on the slim chance that it rains, we will try again the next day at the same time.

 

If you have registered to paint a Halloween sign with Yvette on Tuesday September 8th at 9:30, please drop a $20 cheque for Walker House when you come for cake or make other arrangements with me. I also need to know which of the two styles you would like to paint so I can let Yvette know before the weekend. We will have tables set up for you that day, so just arrive with a lawn chair and your choice of snacks. In SCWW news for the coming week, there will be no Monday Morning Mindfulness on Labour Day and Mary Campbell from the Lanark Leeds Grenville Alzheimer Society is joining us at 10am on Wednesday September 9th with a presentation on healthy habits to help keep dementia at bay if you’d like to phone in. It’s sure to be filled with great tips and information and there will be time for your questions.

 

I’d like to reach out to all the area ministers and faith leaders as they try to navigate re-opening their churches. There are so many things that must be considered and no perfect solution to please everyone. I would especially like to thank Reverend Tracey Smith who has been on this journey with me and comes to us each week over the phone with our Weekly Faith Lift. She never fails to lift our spirits and it means so much that she gives of herself openly and with grace, wisdom, optimism, and faith. Last week her words resonated with me as I have been facing some of the same challenges and she said something I really needed to hear and maybe you do too? She read about the changing of the seasons and the promise of spring hiding under the snow. Trees do not die in the winter; they lie “dormant” which comes from the French word for “sleep”. Just as spring is lying unseen under the snow and dormant leaves wait to bud with the sun’s warmth have faith that, in time, we will open again like we did before. This will pass and the day will come when we can be together and when I am up in my office I’ll hear the sound of laughter rising up the stairs. In the meantime, my friends, we will settle for laughter through the phone lines and over glitchy computer screens and I will enjoy our outdoor meets as long as the weather allows. I am still making lots of plans for the coming winter for us, but let’s focus on the spring.

 

Aug 27th -- Happy Belated Birthdays! 

 

I won’t be publishing a monthly calendar for September; instead I’d like to plan out our schedule a week or two in advance for a while to allow for more flexibility to bring in new partners to deliver virtual and outdoor events. The best ways to keep in the loop are to sign up for our weekly newsletter by reaching out me at walkerhouse@prescott.ca and to subscribe to the South Grenville Journal who graciously publishes my Walker House News and other great regional content.

 

For the final week of August, we continue with our established schedule except our planned biography on the 26th is going to be postponed as our resident interviewer has been a very busy lady! We have a guest, Elena Kingsbury, joining us on Friday at 2pm over the phone for Read Me A Story. She’ll answer our questions and read from “The Doll; A Child’s Survival of the Holocaust” written by Melissa Mikel and charmingly illustrated in watercolours by Elena. It tells a story of Faigie Libman who grew up in Lithuania and moved to Canada after World War 2.

 

Members are having great success holding their activities in small groups on the lawn, so I’d like to invite all our members to drop by on Thursday the 3rd of September to celebrate all of us who missed out on our birthday parties after March. I’ll be serving cake and iced tea at the back between noon and 2 and would love to see as many of you as I can! If you are comfortable staying for a while to visit, please bring your own chair and spread out in the shade. It’s also good to just pop by for a take-out and a quick chat. In an effort to keep our numbers manageable for safety and to ensure that I have enough cake, please call me at 613-925-5300 and register to come at either 12, 12:45, or 1:30. Of course, the biggest downside of meeting outdoors is the weather, so I have a built-in rain date of Friday the 4th at the same times.

The following week we’ll be having some outdoor painting classes with Yvette Perrin. I’ll post the samples on our Facebook page – you will have the choice to create one of two spectacularly spooky Halloween signs. Yvette and I will set up tables in the shade with proper distance between all of us. Each participant will have their own individual supplies and access to the public washrooms at the pool that are regularly sanitized throughout the day. Our program funds will subsidize this workshop so the cost for members will be only $20. I can’t wait to work with Yvette again and plan to have her return in the colder months over Zoom. This workshop will take place on Tuesday the 8th of September starting at 9:30 and it’s a small board so you should be all wrapped up before lunchtime. There will be a refreshment and stretch break, if you’d like to bring a snack. In case of rain, we will hold the workshop on Thursday the 10th starting a 1pm. 

 

 

August 18 -- Our Virtual Programs Keep Growing

Just like the universities, we will be looking at some new virtual programming for the fall and winter and also are planning to take advantage of the nice weather while it lasts with some outdoor events. Currently on Zoom we have Tuesday afternoon coffee and craft group which is always a fun chat, and the Wednesday afternoon artists visit. On Friday mornings the knitters have begun meeting in the shade on the lawn with a Zoom meet as their rainy day back up. Hoops and Hooks also enjoyed their first park meets in July and they will be doing that every second and last Wednesday morning, but with no plans to meet on Zoom if the weather doesn’t cooperate.  Our carving group is the same and plans to meet here Wednesday afternoons weather permitting but aren’t really into Zoom at the moment and the Bunka Babes are going to give it a try as well. If you want my assistance please reach out; I am here and willing to help in any way I can.

Through Seniors Centre Without Walls, we have visited the Sydney Opera House and the Royal Botanical Gardens using a combination of photos and our teleconference system and continue with our regular schedule of our Weekly Faith Lift, Monday Morning Mindfulness, and Use Your Noodle Programs. Coming up on Friday this week I’ll be asking you to work together to solve a five minute mystery at 2pm. Next week we will have Jo back with a member biography on Wednesday afternoon and on Friday the 28th Elena Kingsbury joins us at 2pm to read from “The Doll: a child’s survival of the holocaust”. Elena, daughter of member Lynn Steiner (and granddaughter of Ann) painted beautiful watercolours to illustrate this special book.

Thank you to our board of directors who met with me last week over the phone to approve our kitchen renovation and to the other dedicated volunteers who are keeping our gardens green and who help me deliver our SCWW events. There is no way I could do what I do without your support.

August 11 -- Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens with us 

 

Our nest is empty again after we took our youngest and a U-Haul to Kingston this weekend to set him up in his first apartment for his second year at Queens. He will be doing school virtually this year just as we are here at Walker House for the moment, but he and his room mates are still looking forward to school and together they will also be Gaels doing virtual orientation programs for the first year students just beginning their journey.

 

I have been busy here rounding up some new programming for us in the fall and winter and I am equally looking forward to learning and experiencing new things, especially on Zoom. In the meantime, we have our usual Tuesday afternoon coffee and craft Zoom which is always a fun chat, and the Wednesday afternoon art visit. On Friday mornings the knitters have begun meeting in the shade on the lawn with a Zoom meet as their rainy day back up. Hoops and Hooks also enjoyed their first park meet in July and they will be doing that every second and last Wednesday morning, but with no plans to meet on Zoom if the weather doesn’t cooperate.  Our carving group is the same and plans to meet here Wednesday afternoons weather permitting but aren’t really into Zoom at the moment.

 

The big news for our Seniors Centre Without Walls this week is our presentation with the Royal Botanical Garden at 2pm on Friday. Karin has altered a video presentation to work with our telephone platform so you need to register with me in advance and I will send you the photo presentation. We will do the same when we travel to Australia with Vicki on the 19th to visit the Sydney Opera House. Many people are already calling and requesting both packages and don’t forget that I will print them out for you if you don’t have a computer at home.

Thank you to our board of directors who met with me last week over the phone to approve our kitchen renovation and to the other dedicated volunteers who are keeping our gardens green and who help me deliver our SCWW events. There is no way I could do what I do without your support. 

 

WALKER HOUSEAUGUST

SUN

MON

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

SAT

Seniors 

Centre

Without

Walls

   

01

Join us for some fun over the phone!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

02

03

04

05

06

07

08

 

Civic Holiday!

 

 

 

 

 

09

10

11

12

13

14

15

 

Monday Morning Mindfulness with Una – 11am

Use Your Noodle with Mary -11am

 

Weekly Faith Lift with Rev. Tracey

10:30

Virtual Tour, Royal Botanical Garden -2pm *

 

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

 

Monday Morning Mindfulness with Winhara– 11am

Use Your Noodle with Mary -11am

Armchair Travel with Vicki –Sydney Opera House 2pm *

Weekly Faith Lift with Rev. Tracey

10:30

5 Minute Mysteries with Susan 2pm

 

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

 

Monday Morning Mindfulness with Una – 11am

Use Your Noodle with Mary -11am

Member Biography with Jo 2pm

Weekly Faith Lift with Rev. Tracey

10:30

Read me a Story – 2pm

 

30

31

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Morning Mindfulness with Winhara – 11am

 

 

 

 

 

Steps to connect to any programs:

1)     Dial 1-866-279-1594

2)     Enter the passcode 595056 when prompted, then #

3)     Say your name, then press #

July 30 -- Creative Connections

 

Like all of us I imagine, I am tired of this “new normal” that we are living with and part of me is still mourning the way things used to be. I am preparing reports for the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility that does so much to support Walker House and it shines a spotlight on how different our 2020 calendar is from last year’s. It’s certainly not at all what I had planned for us this summer, but then magic happens and I marvel at our resilience and the wonderful ways we have been staying connected and supporting each other. There were many occasions last week where we spent time together in ways I wouldn’t have dreamed of last year.

It was a week full of poetry and music. Jean Paul Richter, an author from the late 1700’s, said that “music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life” and he was spot on! That theme kept coming up as we reached out to each other. We gathered in our backyard to sing Happy Birthday and wish our dear friend Edith a wonderful trishaw trip Saturday morning to celebrate her 95th birthday. We came together over the phone lines and magic happened when Melissa Morris and her new husband, Jose Miguel, dialled in from Nova Scotia and told us their love story complete with the lullaby he sang to her when they first courted. Yes maybe the line was a bit fuzzy so the acoustics weren’t perfect; but the warm feeling we shared definitely was. I think the word I am looking for is “serendipity” because Rev. Tracey spoke of music too and what an important role it plays in worship. We connected in different ways; we told stories, went swimming, shared knitting patterns, called friends, and met for walks. So maybe it’s not my planned summer full of day trips and performances but it’s still a really good summer because it’s full of friends and community.

This week along with our regular programming, we have Hoops and Hooks gathering in the park on Wednesday morning and over the phones on Wednesday afternoon at 2, our member biography will highlight Gary Jessup. Hmm….Gary is known around town for his karaoke so perhaps the musical theme will carry on for a bit? Dial in to see what he and Jo have planned.

I will be taking some time off so there will be no Seniors Centre Without Walls for the first week of August, but it will return for the rest of the month with more special guests. I’ll have Zoom links set up for the week so you can meet from your homes if the weather is bad. Thanks to all who have completed the survey that I sent out last week by email and a reminder that you have until August 6th to share your voice.  Stay strong, stay patient, and keep smiling!

 

Here are the survey links for you, if you have time to complete them:

The service delivery review survey for the town of Prescott is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5TDTVJQ

The Covid 19 response for recreation centres is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OACAOSurveyEastern

July 22 Prescott Love Stories live from Nova Scotia! 

 

 

I can finally let the cat out of the bag and it’s a very pretty kitty called Melissa Morris! She and her new husband, Jose Peralta, will be phoning in from Nova Scotia for our first ever Tele-Theatre on Seniors Centre Without Walls. Jose was here when Prescott Love Stories debuted years ago at the Shakespeare Festival and played a role in some of the skits and they will be phoning in together at 2pm on Wednesday (the 22nd). If you haven’t participated yet on one of our calls and want a refresher on how it’s done, please call me at 613-925-5300 and I’ll help. It’s free and it’s really easy. It’s also a surprisingly flexible delivery method for programs as we learned when we held our first arm chair travelling session last week. We found a couple of tweaks for next time concerning how people opened the slide show on their computers, but aside from that, it went very well. I actually had to cut it off at the hour mark as we were still happily sharing memories and asking questions. Vicki has graciously offered to return in August with another story from one of her travels. Our Weekly Faith Lift returns this Thursday at 10:30 with Rev Tracey and I’m inviting our poets to participate in our Read Me A Story on Friday afternoon.

CPHC is offering a fun program called Cycling Without Age and they will take seniors or adults of any age with cognitive or physical barriers for a free ride through town. Pick-ups can be either at Fort Wellington of Walker House and you have only to call Hillary at 613-342-3693 ext 2039 to book.

Have a wonderful week my friends and continue to help and support each other. Your kindness, generosity, and creativity is an inspiration and helps make our little corner of the world as special as it is. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now.

July 14 Pausing for Poetry

Things seem to be changing again at a more rapid rate with the introduction of Phase 3, but most members I speak with are with me in the desire to stay safe and see what happens. For many of us the new requirement to wear masks in public buildings is a welcome one and is increasing our confidence to step out to patios and shopping (oh, how I have missed shopping!!) What does this “Phase 2.5” look like for Walker House? We continue to have our Zoom meets every week and I will happily set one up for any groups that want to add one. Our regular schedule is Tuesdays at 1 for our coffee and craft groups, every other Wednesday morning at 10 for Prescott Hoops and Hooks, Wednesdays at 1 for Art Studio, and Fridays at 10 for our knitters. I send out the links each week in my member’s email by Tuesday morning.

 

Our Seniors Centre Without Walls will continue on the phone and the schedule changes each month. This is a simple no-tech, phone based program and it is open to all community members over the age of 55 regardless of their membership to Walker House. This week includes Tele-Travel with Vicki Cameron sharing her presentation, “Emergency in Amsterdam” I am emailing out the slide show to participants who have pre-registered by Wednesday morning. You can still do that by email at walkerhouse@prescott.ca or give me a call at 613-925-5300 and I will hand deliver the photos in town if you don’t have computer access. It’s happening on Wednesday the 15th at 2pm.

All regular programs (Monday Morning Mindfulness and Use Your Noodle) are taking place with the exception of our Weekly Faith Lift on the 16thwhile Tracey takes some well earned down time. She will be back with us on the 23rd. We are very please to have Frank Taker returning on the 17th at 2 to read us another of his short stories. Our author for the 24th is having some scheduling challenges, so I am switching gears and going with aPotpourri of Poetry. If you have a favourite poem that you would enjoy reading to us, please let me know, it would be great to have 4 or 5 voices. It doesn’t have to be one that you wrote (although that does get you Brownie points) Keeping with the theme of scheduling challenges, I am not able to announce with confidence who our guests will be for Telephone Theatre on the 22nd at 2 but I have a plan B in the works, so do call in!

 

Many members meet at the beach to swim and with the public washroom safely cleaned and open (daily from 11-7) it has been a wonderful way to stay in touch, stay active, and stay cool. Another option that is working well is to plan a back yard meet here under the shade trees. Please, if you would like to try it, keep in mind the physical distancing requirements and bring your own lawn chairs and drinks. I can help coordinate and can offer a Zoom meet as back up in case of inclement weather. Another consideration for now is that the doors at Walker House will remain locked so everyone must be able to make the trek to the pool building to use the rest room. Again; kudos to town staff who are keeping it clean. If you would enjoy some face-to-face time instead of FaceTime let me know what I can do to help make that happen.

 

June 30 Happy Canada Day! 

 

This summer continues to race by… It’s almost like when we were kids and because we wanted it to last with every fibre of our being, the summer holiday defied both our desire and the rules of time and sped by even faster!

 

We had a lovely week here and our kitchen sharing garden is thriving thanks to the faithful watering of our volunteers. Stop by for some herbs, Swiss chard, or lettuce to add to your table.

 

We met a new author, Melanie Robertson-King who read from one of her novels. I’ll be ordering her books for our library and will lend them out once they’ve arrived.  Having guests call in each week is a highlight of our programming and that reflects in the July calendar for Seniors Centre Without Walls. Reverend Tracey is taking some time off and so am I, so you will see a few days without programming but check out the new additions!

 

We are going  armchair travelling with Vicki Cameron. If you pre-register with me by email or call at 925-5300, I can email you some photos to accompany her talk, tantalizingly called, “Emergency in Amsterdam”. I am more than happy to deliver a paper copy in town for anyone who hasn’t got a home computer and would like to play along as well. For those of you who are missing live performances, I’ve also added Telephone Theatre…and I can’t wait to tell you all about that!

 

I am so grateful to Una, Winhara, Mary, Jo, and Tracey who call in with our returning favourites too; our telephone events have become something members look forward to each week and your voices add colour to our days.

 

Now that the water is warming up , a few members are making their way to the beach for a swim in the early afternoon and when time allows and the temperature calls for it I will head there myself around 1 (except for Tuesdays when I’ll be zooming with our coffee and craft group). Feel free to call me if you’d like to come down and want company but I suspect you’ll see some familiar faces. Don’t forget that I have a Zoom meet each week for our coffee and craft group, our artists, our knitters, and our rug hookers. It’s a great way to visit with your friends especially on rainy days and I can help talk you through joining in. Stay well my friends and enjoy the sunshine!

Susan

 

MosaiCanada 150 Topiary Exhibit

Here is the chair from our chair workshop, with members Rosemary and Steven enjoying their creations.