Director’s Corner April 2023

Happy Spring! The Activity Center has been busy with lots of classes and events, and we’re getting ready for more in the next dew months!
We have almost ALL our vendor slots filled for the upcoming Rhubarb Festival June 17 and 18! We’ll need just a few more and then we’ll have 100+ vendor booths with many new items such as handmade crystal products, wood/rock art, rye-dye, Sunriver Art Glass, and one of the 20 new vendors this year is 503 Distilling from Portland, who are going to be selling a rhubarb/whiskey cocktail. Yum!
Food trucks at the Rhubarb Festival will include Auntie Bernie’s Hawaiian Grill, The Corn Dog Company of Central Oregon, Kona Ice of Bend, Red Beard BBQ, Pop-N-Hot Kettle Corn, and Supreme Elephant Ears Funnel Cakes.
And the kiddos won’t be left out because we’ll have a bouncy house and face painting, so this is a festival for all ages!
In other news, we just received a $25,000 grant from the Ford Foundation for our upcoming kitchen remodel, planned for this September. So exciting!
New classes starting in April include a soap making class and a chalk class. In fact, these and other classes have proved so popular that we’re planning a multi-workshop weekend featuring classes in painting, jewelry-making, leather, chalk…hopefully in September of this year.
The Deschutes County Planning Department will be here on April 26 to present to the public what kind of developments are planned for La Pine. Bring your questions!
We’ll also have a free Covid vaccine clinic on April 3.
St. Charles Health Systems has been presenting some great informational sessions like the Wound Care class held in March. On April 4 they’ll present another one on Community Care, and on April 11 a class about transfer and gait.
On April 13, First Interstate Bank will have a “Fraud and Seniors” class. All these are free classes! No registration required, just show up! And if you attend one of these classes, please let us know what you think so we can plan more in the future!
I would like to address an issue that many people may not be aware of: who is going to take care of you when you get on in years?
Last night I got a phone call from a friend who knows someone who had just gone into hospice care and her home caregiver had persuaded her to sign over all her assets, including her house, to that caregiver. We need to protect our seniors…especially those who have no voice.
If you know a senior that’s struggling, please let us know and we’ll find a way to help them. There are a lot of resources out there and we can connect seniors with those resources.
That’s it for now, got to get busy with all that’s happening at the La Pine Activity Center!

Jean Marable · Queen Quilter

Jean Marable has been making quilts since La Pine started its first senior center, about 40 years ago. And at 90 years old, she is one of just a few people who meet every Wednesday and Thursday at 7 am and stay until noon making the beautiful items.
“We used to have two or three quilts going at the same time, but a lot of our quilters have passed away, or they’re snowbirds, etc., so it’s down to just a few of us“ says Jean.
The Activity Center quilters would love to have more people join them, because quilting is in danger of becoming a lost art.
“Today both parents work and there’s just not enough time to engage in this art,” says Jean, “but I think we do a remarkable job of quilting and make some gorgeous quilts. We accept fabric squares and make quilts from them, putting sashing in between the squares and add batting and a backing, then finish it up by binding everything together.”
Jean and her husband have lived in La Pine about 45 years and two of their sons still live here.
“We sell or raffle off these quilts and the money goes to the Activity Center,” says Jean, “so it’s a win for everybody!”

Zee Birthday Celebration (Celebration of Life)

Many of you knew Zee Gallagher, who celebrated her 100th birthday a couple of years ago during Covid.
Zee passed away not too long ago after her birthday, and family & friends were never able to officially celebrate the event.
Please come join us on
Tuesday, April 4th @ 11-12 pm at the
La Pine Activity Center, where we will celebrate Zee in style!
She loved pie & coffee!
$5 for 60+ • anyone else $6
Zee was our oldest volunteer!

Michelle Charlton · Yoga Instructor

Michelle Charlton has been teaching yoga at the La Pine Activity Center for almost four years, with classes Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (see page 11 of this newsletter for class times).
“Yoga has always been a safe place for me,” says Michelle, “and it was something I always went back to during difficult times in my life. I teach yoga because I want to share that safe space with anybody who wants to become familiar with their safe place through yoga.”
“There’s no experience necessary to come to class,” Michelle continued. “A lot of people hear the word ‘yoga’ and think that they’re not flexible enough, but yoga means to ‘unite’, coming from the word “yoke” in India, where people have been practicing it for thousands of years.”
Michelle said the practice and postures of yoga are only one limb of the eight-limbed yoga discipline. Practicing yoga for over 40 years, Michelle is licensed in Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga, and has great knowledge of Hatha yoga.
“Yoga is for everybody,” says Michelle. “It is your own personal journey. Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self. Everyone’s journey is different, and it changes over time. We have people in this class in their 70’s and 80’s. It’s not about turning yourself into a pretzel, anyone can do it, and you’ll be surprised at what your body can do!”
Right now the class at the Center is comprised of women, but most yoga classes tend to be co-ed. “At my Fit Zone class we have several men, and I encourage men to come to the Activity Center. I love the different type of energy they bring to a yoga class,” says Michelle.
“I continually remind my students that they need to know what their body is doing, and not worry about the person next to you, just do what you can do!”
Michelle would like to see more people be comfortable with coming to class, and “I feel blessed to be on this journey with my students and see their progress.“
“I have a male student in his 70’s who is a fisherman, and when I asked him what made him decide to start yoga he said he needed to quiet his mind, and work on his balance. He’s found that the breathing exercises have helped with his breathing issues and his balance is getting better!”
“So don’t be afraid of yoga; it’s a connection between mind, body and soul. Your body will have more flexibility and range of motion, better balance and a quieter mind.”